Fifield Jetty Folding E-bike—Silver Sprinter.
The more people I talk to about electric-assist bikes, the subject of folding E-bikes continually gets willingly meshed into the conversation. The two make a great team with most all the features many hope for in a bike. Each of the two categories have major pluses, so it only makes sense that a folding electric bike is going to shine. Fifield has put this one together and shine it does. Part of that is its new reflective silver paint job.
A couple other things they changed are adding the stout mag wheels and some internal routing of the wiring. What remains is an easy to fold, easy riding bike that will fit most all that want to have some fun. More than just the fun, is all that it can do to get you around in a clean and comfortable way. I have gone on before about all the benefits you get from this combo of bike genres, and the Jetty is all that and more.
One of the first things you might notice is the apparent lack of a battery. It is inside the aluminum frame, as is most the wiring and the ECU (motor controller). This adds some style and maximizes the stealth feel of the Jetty. Next up are those not so stealthy mag wheels. With no spokes to adjust or snap, they add more than just eye candy, and should hold more weight than other bikes in its class. Although this bike is much for the boat and RV crowd, don’t forget the people who need a compact, storable E-bike for many other reasons.
Not really designed to be a road warrior, I didn’t let this stop me from taking a bunch of great runs in the back country and on beach routes. I packed it along for an out-of-town extended weekend and even one of our local E-bike club road rides. I did expect it to be just a tag lighter than its 50 lbs, but adding all the creature comforts like fenders, lights and a rear rack can take its toll. Getting it in and out of the car wasn’t an issue, as when folded it is pretty easy to maneuver. It also has a handy carry handle as part of the frame.
There were a couple things on their website spec sheet that seemed a bit optimistic. One has to do with the fact that my test bike had the speedometer slightly off in the calibration mode. Maybe that is why it really didn’t do 20 MPH, although the speedo said it was. With it set right, I think it would hit it, but can’t be sure right now. Also, like most E-bikes I test, the stated range was a tad on the high side (although battery range has to do with many factors). With its 7 AH battery (36 volt) and 250 watt motor, I calculated with my riding style, about a 16 mile range with some to spare. On one climbing, undulating long ride I was right. Luckily it has a full gear set and rides ok when un-powered.
Fifield has their control system programmed to help you make the most of that small capacity lithium battery. The way it works wouldn’t be my first choice, yet I fully understand why it is as it is, and learned to use it the way they designed. Being a dual control system (hand throttle and pedelec), you have options on ways to add the electric-assist to your ride. I explained it all in a video (linked at the bottom of this review), but I will try to do so in words here too.
The pedelec has two ways it chooses the motor’s amount of power. One is to determine that the pedals are moving, the other to tell how fast they are moving. With 6 levels of assist you can set on the LCD control panel (including a 0 so you can ride unassisted and still have the panel info fired-up), each one sets the motor power according to the number (1 lowest–6 highest). Once you start pedaling the motor will come to that power level, except when the pedals are turning slower than a preset (in the ECU) RPM (cadence). And to add, when you turn on the bike’s power system, the assist level comes to #3 by default.
What that means is, in any particular gear, if you slow down and the pedals slow down too, the motor will reduce power assist. To regain that level of assist you can pedal faster or downshift. To me it seems backwards as if my pedal speed reduces (on a hill for instance), I would want more assist to make up for it. Like I said before though, this is one way the Jetty helps reduce battery use to save some for the longer rides. At that point to you can just use the hand throttle for the boost of power to get you back to the desired speed if wanted.
The throttle will add full power at any time although you need to activate the motor with the pedaling first. Once the throttle takes control, it stays active until you quit using it while not pedaling. So, the throttle only works once you pedal to start the motor. Watch the video if my words don’t explain this well. Once again it is set this way to try to get you to reduce your dependence on the battery and extend your rides, saving the battery for the grades and such.
The built-in lighting system works better than many I try and it was a joy to have it. All the other added on goodies were welcome too, including the beefy kickstand and sturdy rack. I took advantage of the fenders more than once, rung the bell fanatically, and thought those large cross-section 20” tires handled the road well (some basic off-road too). The saddle and I became friends, and never once did the disc brakes fail to please. This well-rounded package became a sidekick of sorts, and shipping it back to Fifield won’t be my favorite day.
In one of my videos I rode the Jetty past a jetty in Carlsbad. I thought that was appropriate, yet this bike has so much to offer, just pairing up with the water folks would be a shame. It is a cool name for a folding E-bike, but be creative on how it can work for you. Hill or dale, water or desert, this little folder can be your sidekick too.
BTW, when I first came upon the Fifield E-bike company, it was their in-house built, steel framed flagship E-bike that caught my eye. With style, class and steel, it really looks and sounds like my kind of E-bike. Check out all their bikes, yet the Jetty might be just your cup of tea.
Bring it on Fifield, Turbo Bob.
“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle and that’s pretty close.”—Anon.
Look for Fifield on their website and Facebook.
Videos about the Jetty from my You-Tube channel