The Smacircle S1 folding electric ‘bike’ fits in a backpack

Smacircle S1, guy with bike

In 2015, a company called Smacircle formed with the goal of producing convenient, short-distance transportation solutions for people in small towns or inner cities. After two years of development, they’re almost ready to start producing the Smacircle S1. Calling it the world’s most compact and portable folding E-bike, the S1 folds down small enough to fit into a backpack and weighs just over 15lbs.

But wait, is it still an E-bike when it has NO PEDALS? The S1 relies on throttle power alone, so it could be called a sit-down scooter. Regardless, this is one nifty machine that pushes the limits of low weight and extremely compact dimensions. Intended to cover distances that are too far to walk but too short to drive, the S1 offers a limited range of 12 miles. The product launched on Indiegogo and early bird buyers can pre-order for as little as $550…

Smacircle S1, specs graphic

Thanks to its compact components and carbon fiber frame, the S1 weighs just 15.4lbs. The solid, shock absorbing wheels are 8” in diameter, the ‘pedals’ are simple fold-out platforms and the seat is basically a padded tube.

The S1 will carry up to 220lbs, and can climb hills up to 15 degrees. The bike comes in one size only, which should accommodate riders between 4’9” and 6’5” with its adjustable seat and handlebars.

Smacircle S1, dimensions

Smacircle S1, folding diagram

Unfolded, the S1 measures 37.5 x 34.25 x 16”. In five steps, the bike can be reduced to just 7.5 x 11.5 x 19.3”.

The S1’s 240W brushless motor drives the front wheel with enough juice to hit 12mph. With short trips in mind, its range is much less than most E-bikes at just 12.4 miles. The rider uses a thumb throttle to adjust their speed on the fly.

The 36V, 5800mAh Samsung battery is hidden in the seat, and locks to the bike to prevent theft. The battery fully charges in 2.5 hours, and conveniently plugs into any standard wall socket.

Smacircle S1, lights

The S1 uses an electric brake to bring you to a halt. The brake is activated with the touch of a button at the left grip, and it slows down the motor itself to stop the bike within 13 feet from full speed. For riding at night, the S1 has a front light integrated into the stem and side lights built into the seat.

Smacircle S1, phone mount

In lieu of an integrated display unit/controller, your smartphone mounts on the backside of the stem. Riders can monitor their battery life, trip duration, and current and average speeds as they cruise along. The bike automatically connects via Bluetooth when your phone is within range, and a USB charger keeps your phone powered while you ride.

The iOs and Android compatible app also allows you to adjust the bike’s top speed, adjust the lights’ intensity, track your rides, and lock and unlock the bike (by deactivating the accelerator/motor).

Smacircle S1, riding shot

*Photos and video courtesy of Smacircle

After the Indiegogo campaign ends the S1 will sell from Indiegogo InDemand for $1499 USD, but early bird buyers can currently pre-order an S1 for $549, with a Smacircle backpack included. The S1 comes fully assembled and color options are not abundantly clear, but the bikes are shown in black and white.

The S1 is covered by a one year warranty (excluding typical wear items), and global shipping is available. The first finished units should be ready in October. Check out the Indiegogo campaign page here.

Smacircle.com

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Chader
Chader
5 years ago

“But wait, is it still an E-bike when it has NO PEDALS? The S1 relies on throttle power alone, so it could be called a sit-down scooter.”

It IS a scooter, and an electric one at that.

Can we expect expanded coverage of all things scooter in the future?
Sorry for the snark, but why is this even on here?

Peter J. Sirman
5 years ago
Reply to  Chader

I agree completely.

August Bailey
August Bailey
5 years ago
Reply to  Chader

I agree that it’s more of a scooter, but it serves mostly the same purpose that an E-bike does for commuting. It might interest commuters, so it fits here. I wouldn’t buy it, but this post showed me something new. Its not our job as readers to police what writers put on here.

Also, Maybe some of the ideas put into things like this could revolutionize the bicycle in general. You never know.

Peter J. Sirman
5 years ago

No pedals make it illegal here

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago

“convenient, short-distance transportation solutions for people in small towns or inner cities.”

So we can’t walk anymore?

And this took two years to develop? It looks like a POS, and that’s being nice.

And as a fan of ebikes for commuting…this is not a bike. No need to cover it here. And it look ridiculous

Travis
Travis
5 years ago

If this takes another car off the street for short distance trips, then it is a win! But I agree, this may not be the best site for it.

tv
tv
5 years ago

So basically it is a folding version of this:

http://cdnl.monsterscooterparts.com/media/catalog/category/3132.jpg

And as such, it has absolutely nothing to do with cycling.

Nash
Nash
5 years ago

It will pay for itself with the gold you can sell from your fillings after they rattle out after 2 min ride on those wheels. Solid wheels are good for perfect flat and smooth concrete little else. Hence why you only really see them on fork lifts.

Paul Kersey
5 years ago
Reply to  Nash

Excuse me, didn’t you read? The tires are “shock absorbing tires”, same with the handlebars. Only change I would make to this e-scooter would be to add suspension between the main pivot (between the two open circles in the frame). Maybe the FS version will be 2.0!

alvis
alvis
5 years ago

one year warranty. that’s potentially $125 a month cost of ownership. no thanks.

mudrock
mudrock
5 years ago

It’s pretty cool, just what polluted cities need, and a lot of people won’t ride their bikes to work, cause they get sweaty and then they can’t shower. It may not have pedals, but a lot of commuters check out this site and might find it interesting.

ascarlarkinyar
ascarlarkinyar
5 years ago

So I just checked and in my city, this thing is illegal. Too fast for sidewalks and too slow for streets since it is “not” a bike, but a scooter.

Seriously what’s next Segways on “bike”rumor.com

Scooters? This site will post these ads here instead of to the left where we can all safely ignore them.

Nick
Nick
5 years ago

I think that saddle looks super comfy! Can I get that aftermarket for my roadie?

Torben Finn Laursen
5 years ago

If you don’t like “the smell in the bakery” stop reading Bikerumor, there are plenty of alternatives, or learn to be a bit more openminded and spacious

Flux
Flux
5 years ago

yes yes, but do you realize this thing is NOT even a bike? Just because it has two wheels and you sit on it does not make something a bike. There are e-skateboards, mobility scooters, Hover Boards, Razor Scooters (non-motorized), so should this site start reporting on those? I agree that e-bikes (actual e-bikes, not sit down scooters) should be covered, especially the ones that make sense (urban commuter e-bikes), but this is NOT a bike in any way. It’s a sit down scooter.

Joenomad
Joenomad
5 years ago

In USA, you need to read your local laws prior to plopping down your support dollars. In many jurisdictions, you can only legally ride these electric scooters on private property.

kbark
kbark
5 years ago

Next week we will have an article on the department store scooter shootout.

Walmart vs Target

Which one gets you down the aisles faster.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

I for one am eagerly awaiting the forthcoming Personal Commuter Blimp review.

Andy Pandy
Andy Pandy
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I already want to know how well it fares in Specialized’s wind tunnel and whether a passenger’s leg or facial shaving habit would make a difference in overall forward speed at the standardized 50 km/h wind velocity. Would it have a Campy seatpost? Dear BikeRumor, please cover this when it happens!

Thor29
Thor29
5 years ago

“Too far to walk and too short to drive” – sounds like the perfect job for… a bicycle!
But wait, bikes are hard to carry on public transport.
What if there was a special bike that folded up into a smaller size? Hmmm…

Swede1
Swede1
5 years ago
Reply to  Thor29

share bikes that don’t need docking stations are going to fill this need and i’ts $1/hour.. no loss of ego when riding too.

Maxx
Maxx
5 years ago

It shouldn’t even be on Indiegogo as its already available as an off-the-shelf product off various Chinese based websites. With a little search, you can already get it custom ‘branded’ with manufacturers off Alibaba.com already.

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
5 years ago

Just to be clear, that thing has a tiny battery. 5800 mAh is about equal to the capacity of two iPhone 6 Pluses (2900 mAh each). Because charging your phone is a lot less than 100% efficient, Doing so from this scooter’s 5800 mAh battery is going cut your range by half or more.

Finally, I hope the claim of 5800 mAh is an error. 5800 mAh is about 5.8 watt-hours, and this thing’s 240-watt motor would completely drain a 5.8 WH battery in less than 90 seconds if the battery could even discharge that fast (and it can’t, at least not safely).

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
5 years ago
Reply to  Penn Teller

Just a bit of clarification: draining the battery in 90 seconds would be at full throttle. Taking motor efficiency into account, 1/4 throttle (60 watts, maybe 7-8 mph on level ground) would drain the motor in 5 minutes. Either Smacircle’s engineering department is incompetent, or their marketing department (for conveying the specs wrong).

I have a hunch that their marketing department is a single person, and that person is also their engineering department.

Second hunch: that person does not have a degree in either the sciences or engineering.

Maxx
Maxx
5 years ago
Reply to  Penn Teller

You sound like you don’t grasp of the concept of POWER= I^2 xR = VxI

The battery is rated at 36V, at 240W, it would draw 240/36 = ~6.67A.

A 5800mAH battery at full draw would last approximately 0.87hr, which is approximately 52mins.

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
5 years ago
Reply to  Maxx

Mea culpa. I completely neglected voltage. I was undercaffeinated, but still, that’s one of the sillier things I’ve written in some time. Thanks for catching it. I’m a mechanical engineer, not an electrical engineer (which is now abundantly clear), and I should be more careful when discussing things outside my specialty.

Again, thanks for pointing out my error.

Penn Teller
Penn Teller
5 years ago
Reply to  Maxx

I left out the voltage term, as Maxx helpfully pointed out. Two iphone batteries do indeed match the mAH capacity of the scooter battery, but the iphone batteries operate at about 1/10th the voltage: 3.82V as opposed to 36V. The scooter can store about 209 Watt-hours of energy, while two iphone batteries store about 22 Watt-hours of energy.

In other words, the battery on this scooter is energy-equivalent to about 20 iPhone batteries, not two iphone batteries (as I wrote initially).

Always check your work, kids!

Joe M
1 year ago

I have one and well as of now my battery is prob weaker than 1 iphone its dead. It lasted a little over a year very dissapointed on it. It cost me alot and unless i buy from smacircle its a non working piece of art now. by the way batteries cost around 300 so…. hum. be careful what you spend money on.