Bike-to-work recommendation: SMCC's folding e-bike
My main problem about bike commuting to work in Metro Manila is the possibility of getting too sweaty before a face-to-face meeting with a client. But lately, after using the folding e-bike Wombat of Sierra Madre Cycle Company, I have discovered that this electric bicycle is the best solution to this issue.
I could cycle during the early hours of the morning to avoid the sun but as a freelancer who has an unpredictable schedule, I sometimes need to ride out while the heat is at its hottest for lunch or merienda meetings. I’ve experienced once arriving at work with too much sweat after a difficult uphill climb.
Climbs aren’t much of a problem with this e-bike. People might be concerned about its small 16” tires — that it’s a pain during steep slopes — but the Wombat’s pedal assist motor can really do wonders! And if you want easier riding, you can also go on full throttle.
Since I started using this e-bike, I should say that riding it feels like I’m on a motorcycle. The best parts of it? It doesn’t emit gas, doesn’t add fuel cost, lighter and it is definitely safer.
The Wombat has five gears for your motor’s speed and you can conveniently switch using its straightforward panel to gauge your desired speed. It’s easy to control and it visibly projects information.
This 200-watt e-bike isn’t just only for work. I have used this for short rides around Metro Manila and leisure trips during the weekend. In my experience, a good round of a full battery can complete a 20-kilometer trip and you can fully recharge an empty one in about two hours. Charging isn’t much of a problem as I can easily plug and replenish energy.
I’ve been using this bicycle for almost a month now and I did experience a few problems along the way. There was a time when the energy was depleted in the middle of the ride — my fault because I forgot to charge the battery. Luckily, the single-speed bike works in manual mode and I was able to go home.
Safety-wise, you can only speed up to around 25kph per hour using its pedal assist. It might not be the quickest if you switch to getting help from its motor but you can go faster when pedaling manually. Its V-brakes are reliable too.
In one unfortunate midnight in Makati after work, I got a flat. And that time, I didn’t have any spare inner tube with me. I was just lucky that my sister can pick me up on her way home from the office and I can easily fold and store my bike inside the car. It’s only 17 kilos so it’s easy to carry.
But let me tell you, I found it hard to find small inner tubes for this bike. However, if you have problems with your Sierra Madre Cycle Company’s bike, the company can easily accommodate your concerns since it’s a local brand based in Pasig. It’s approachable and they easily reply to questions on their social media channels.