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Xiaomi's cheap, foldable electric bike looks perfect for city commutes

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Xiaomi continues to push the message that it's not just a phone company — it's a technology company. Over the past year or so the company has launched various internet-connected devices, including air purifiers, wearables, rice cookers, and kettles. And it's latest? A folding electric bicycle, released under Xiaomi's QiCycle brand.

a built-in motor assists riders' pedaling

Looking at features and price, the Mi QiCycle Electric Folding Bike certainly seems like a good deal. For 2,999 yuan (that's around $455) users get a bike that can assist the rider's pedaling for 45 kilometers on a single charge, and comes with a companion app that logs your distance, speed, GPS location, calories burned, and more. The QiCycle also has Shimano three-speed gears, folds down into a (relatively) compact package that weighs 14.5 kilograms, and has front and rear lights built into its frame.

It's not clear if the QiCycle Electric Folding Bike is built by Xiaomi's though. Earlier this year, the company launched the QiCycle R1 — a non-folding electric bike with similar connected functionality. However, that bike was developed by startup iRiding (a company Xiaomi has invested in) and was much pricier, costing around $3,000. Some outlets have reported that the Electric Folding Bike is also built by iRiding, and although Xiaomi hasn't confirmed this, they did say that the bike was built by one of their partner companies.

Either way, this latest bike is designed to appeal to a much broader market than the R1. Xiaomi is marketing it as the perfect bike for navigating China's crowded cities, where there are already more electric bikes than cars on the road. Xiaomi is entering into a busy market, then, but it's confident it has undercut the competition on price. The new QiCycle certainly seems like a solid product, even if it missing the most crucial component for modern bikes: at least 4GB of RAM.


VanMoof made the Tesla of bicycles