Stash E-Folding Bike from Motiv Electric Bikes—Where Will You Take Your Stash?
Some of the glorious advantages of a folding bike make me love to sing their praises. Many years ago I liked the idea, yet the bikes back then just rode so poorly. Things have made a 180 in recent years, bringing me to embrace them fondly. With most all the riding feel of a full-size bike, but with the ability to store, secure and transport them easily, they make so much sense. Then add an electric-assist system and they emerge as maybe the best bike ever.
Motiv Electric Bikes have been building on their range of electric bike styles, and now the Stash comes forth on the scene as a major player. It uses many of the most modern components, including a lithium battery hidden in the frame, disc brakes and a dual control E-bike system. With plenty of power and a 9 Ah battery, it will get you through some headwinds and hills with nary a whimper. When the riding is done it will tuck away into a corner or under a bookcase with ease.
This weekend I got a chance to spend an entire morning with the new Stash. The bike I rode is their prototype, as the first shipment of them is just being unloaded at the docks. That group of E-bikes is spoken for already, yet not to worry, more are on their way. Those bikes may have some slight differences (one to be sure is no red button on the bars to disable the throttle, yet using 0 on the display gives the same effect), yet on the whole this bike is a close match to the production models on their way. So get ready for some convenient bike fun.
One of the features that I like on the Stash is the sleek frame with the battery inside. Add to that the neat hidden area that houses the charge jack, master power switch and the USB port to power your phone and audio devices. The very large cross-section 20” tires rolled easy and soaked up all the bumps, and in front, the suspension fork handled the rest. A matte black paint job is your only option there, yet with a little creative excitement, that can be changed at will.
350 watts is plenty of go power for a small bike like this. The controls work smart, so getting used to them is the smallest learning curve. The automatic pedelec part has 5 levels of power-assist and the half-hand throttle on the right is there to power up the motor at your desire too. The display tells you what you need to know, and it seemed on level ground, about 17 mph was the top speed under assist. Climbing was a breeze.
The bicycle gear train has 7 speeds and low gear is ultra low to help with those steep grades. This style of handlebar shifter is pretty common and works fine. Pedaling the bike without the power-assist was easy enough, as it fairly light and has minimal drag from the geared motor in the back wheel. Working through the gears, whether under the assist or not, was not a chore, and just part of the fun you get with most any bike ride. One nice thing about geared hub motors is that shifting isn’t really a priority, so you can use just a medium and a high gear on most rides.
There are some pieces noticeably missing on the Stash that may or not bother you. Each of them can be added later if you feel they are needed. I like a pair of fenders just in case puddles and the such cross my path. Add-on lighting will be needed for night rides, and I always use them in the daytime too. Motiv has a nice kit with fenders, lights and a rear rack that you can get for a small additional amount. You do get a bell that is integrated on the left brake lever and a kickstand that does a great job when parked. One thing I would for sure need is a longer seat post for my 6’2” frame. I rode it quite a bit with my legs flexed more than I liked, and that was ok for the morning, yet in the long run it wouldn’t work for me.
The fold is extra fast, and the handlebar height has an adjustment too. It would be easy just to just lower the saddle and fold over the bars for most storage needs. Then again you can go all the way and fold the frame and the pedals to make the smallest package for tight areas, and when tucking it in your trunk or back seat. When fully folded it is a bit unwieldy to carry and I didn’t see any pieces that retain the fold. A Velcro strap or bungee cord around the tires when folded could help with that.
There were a few times in the ride that reminded me of why I think having the motor in the front on short wheelbase bikes can be wise. That helps keep the front end from getting too light during acceleration, especially if you are leaning back or pulling hard on the bars. I was ok at all times, yet when riding the Stash (or any folding bike with a rear hub motor) keep it in mind that a wheelie can be fun when you want it, yet not when you don’t. One other thing to note is I would like to see the safety catch on the main frame latch be just a bit beefier. The screw that holds it was not tight enough to hold it in place either. A bit of thread locker and a careful adjustment would be wise.
My wife and I rode the Motiv Electric Bikes Stash all over that morning. We did some long bike paths at the big park, and hit the local streets and neighborhoods too. I found a decent grade to test the power and rode that several times to feel the juice. Easy riding was what we experienced, and like most all E-bikes it was easy to smile and not pant at all times. The steering is quick enough, yet it was never jumpy. The tires pushed through any roughness and road bummers with ease. A stiff framework aided the ride and made for a fun experience.
Motiv Electric Bikes always seem to be reasonably priced, and I imagine the Stash shares that trait with the rest of them. If you are a boater or RVer, then you can take advantage of the Stash better than most. People who take public transportation, or work or live in high-rises are also going to love what it offers. In fact just about anyone that wants to ride a fun bike can probably see how much a Stash can do to make life easier and better.
Where will your Stash take you? Turbo Bob.
“Have fun, be active. Ride a bike instead of driving, for example.”—Dave Buettner.
Look for Motiv Electric Bikes on their website and Facebook.
Want videos? I have them. Check out these 3 I took.