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Onemile Nomad test: a folding electric bike that has everything of a great

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Onemile Nomad test: a folding electric bike that has everything of a great
Written by madishthestylebar

Comfort and ergonomics

The electrification of a folding bike generally causes it to gain weight and bulk. The Onemile Nomad is no exception to this rule and is logically more cumbersome than a muscular model. The interest of such a bike still lies in its volume when folded. The Nomad then occupies only 91 x 80 x 45 cm, which will however have the effect of quickly filling the trunk of a car. The Eovolt Afternoon is a little more compact.

The Nomad when fully folded.

The Nomad when fully folded.

© The Digital

On the other hand, Onemile has chosen a magnesium frame which allows it to be lighter. With 17.9 kg on the scale, the Onemile Nomad is a relatively transportable electric bike. Admittedly, you shouldn’t hope to climb more than one or two floors easily, but it’s still lighter than the 23 kg of the Eovolt Afternoon. Folded, this VAE can be moved while riding, held by the saddle. A solution that is suitable for navigating a few moments in the corridors of the metro, but not over very long distances.

The Onemile folding VAE remains a bit bulky.

The Onemile folding VAE remains a bit bulky.

© The Digital

Whether for folding or unfolding, the maneuver is simple and requires between 30 s and 1 min depending on habit. We would have appreciated a slightly sturdier system to keep the assembly folded, rather than the magnet here responsible for avoiding untimely opening in full transport.

The tie that holds the folded bike is not very secure.

The tie that holds the folded bike is not very secure.

© The Digital

This folding bike does not sacrifice comfort on its handlebars. The saddle and the handlebars can be positioned at different heights to suit a large number of sizes. However, cyclists under 1.60 m will have to opt for another model. In fact, the seat post that incorporates the battery goes down too low for the little ones, creating a risk when crossing sidewalks or other small obstacles.

Saddle height adjustment.

Saddle height adjustment.

© The Digital

The handlebar benefits from comfortable ergonomic handles and provides sufficient width to guarantee good stability. The riding position can be adjusted depending on whether you prefer a straight position, handlebars high enough, or more dynamic with the latter at saddle height. The Nomad is not, however, a very sporty model at heart, like most folding pedelecs.

The straight handlebar is quite comfortable.

The straight handlebar is quite comfortable.

© The Digital

Overall, the finishes of the Onemile Nomad are very satisfactory. The assembly is serious and the integration of the elements rather good. The motor is housed in the hub of the rear wheel, while the battery is placed in the seat tube. The latter can be completely removed easily from the bike to be recharged separately and to avoid theft. An anti-theft clamp is offered as an option – we would have liked to find it as standard. Unlike the Eovolt Afternoon which connects the battery to the bike from below, Onemile offers a much more secure connection by cable under the saddle.

The connection between the bike and the battery.

The connection between the bike and the battery.

© The Digital

Comfort is provided here by a welcoming saddle, Kenda tires 20 inches in diameter and 2.25 inches wide, as well as a shock absorber at the rear. This is quite enough to guarantee adequate comfort for the city, especially if you choose not to inflate the tires too much. Mudguards are quite good at protecting the bottom of pants, but not the toes of shoes. To save the latter, the flap would have had to drop a little lower. The chain is not hidden by a casing, so you will also have to be careful not to grease your pants.

Grippy Kenda tires.

Grippy Kenda tires.

© The Digital

Lighting

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

The lighting at the front is enough to be seen correctly by other users, but is a little too limited to provide effective lighting in front of you without any other light source. Too bad also that the rear light is not powered by the battery. You have to remember to turn it on and off each time, which is far from certain.

The front light illuminates correctly in front of the Nomad.

The front light illuminates correctly in front of the Nomad.

© The Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Conduct

By opting for 20-inch wheels instead of 16-inch, Onemile is focusing on stability and performance more than on agility. Thus the Nomad offers very good driving sensations for a folding bike with precise trajectories and appreciable rigidity.

The motor placed in the hub of the rear wheel.

The motor placed in the hub of the rear wheel.

© The Digital

The Onemile Nomad is equipped with a 250 W Aikema motor that can reach 50 Nm of torque. This motor is placed in the hub of the rear wheel, as is often the case with folding bikes. This position is not the one we prefer for the electrification of bicycles, but this VAE can count on a torque sensor to maintain a certain naturalness when pedaling. The assistance offers five levels, the first three sufficient overall for the urban and flat environment. The two highest levels will be reserved for the difficulties encountered. The latter is even not recommended in town as it is quick to propel the bike at the slightest pedal stroke. On the other hand, lovers of dynamism will find what they are looking for.

The Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain.

The Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain.

© The Digital

The assistance shows all the same very beautiful things at the time of facing the slopes, even marked. The Nomad is strong and allows great raises. Appreciable behavior in built-up areas when driving alongside cars.

The folding mechanism of the frame.

The folding mechanism of the frame.

© The Digital

The Shimano Altus 7-speed transmission proves satisfactory for the city. It’s not the fastest or the most accurate, but it’s suitable for most situations. The range offered by the Nomad makes it possible to drive correctly up to around 30 km/h, the assistance cutting off at 25 km/h. The sportiest will probably require one or two additional reports, but that remains in the spirit of a folding bike brought to evolve in town.

The color screen displays essential information.

The color screen displays essential information.

© The Digital

The assistance system screen offers – in color – a fairly standard level of information. It contains the essentials: instantaneous speed, battery level, distance traveled or even assistance mode. We would also have liked to find the pedaling rate or an estimate of the distance that can still be covered. This last data would have made it possible to compensate for a battery gauge that was too influenced by hills and descents with very significant variations, making it difficult to really assess the remaining energy. Good idea, a USB port is present on the side of the screen. What to give a little juice to his smartphone the time of a trip.

The Nutt brake lever.

The Nutt brake lever.

© The Digital

Braking

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

3m

A pair of Nutt hydraulic disc brakes and 160mm rotors effectively stop the Nomad from full speed. It takes only 3 m to stop. The width of the tires also helps to increase the friction surface for braking.

The rear suspension offers a little extra comfort.

The rear suspension offers a little extra comfort.

© The Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Autonomy

With its 486 Wh battery, the Nomad promises up to 120 km of autonomy. A very generous assessment that does not really correspond to realistic use. As always, we chose to evaluate the autonomy by placing ourselves on the highest assistance mode and by making the motor work at maximum. Under these conditions, we traveled 68 km on a route that has about 700 m of elevation gain. It is therefore not impossible to reach 80 km on a single charge with a flatter route and using a lower assistance mode.

The front mudguard is extended with a flap to protect the shoes.

The front mudguard is extended with a flap to protect the shoes.

© The Digital

It takes just under 6 hours to fully charge the battery with the supplied 2 A charger. Note that replacing the battery is complicated by its integration into the seat tube. If you want to charge the battery separately, at your desk for example, you will have to deal with the long seat tube and the saddle.

To recharge the battery separately, the whole saddle must be on board.

To recharge the battery separately, the whole saddle must be on board.

© The Digital

Strong points

  • Easy folding.

  • Comfortable.

  • Sustained support.

  • Pleasant to drive.

  • Enduring.

Weak points

  • Rear light not connected to the battery.

  • Battery in the seat tube.

  • Hold in folded position.

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