Dawes Arc II e-bike review

Move Electric Rating: Four stars out of five

What’s it all about?

Not so long ago, folding e-bikes looked like drain pipes.

The Arc II from Dawes is now a more attractive machine. The machine’s 6.6Ah internal battery is hidden behind the tubing in an arch shape. This makes it convenient to have it available for off-bike charging.

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What’s it Like?

Our e-bike arrived in its original packaging, which is unusual for an ebike. The assembly was simple as the pedals were simply screwed on using a spanner. The bike could not be ridden immediately as the derailleur was out of adjustment. Everything else on the bike was also adjusted, tightened, oiled, and oiled while we were there. Although it took a while, we aren’t sure that push-bike owners who spend four figures for PDI will be able to tolerate their own PDI.

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The unit we tested was purchased from Arnold Clark Autoparts at a cost of PS1000. Although this price may rise in the future, the bike still costs less than comparable bikes from Wisper or Volt. They start at PS1500 to PS1600, respectively.

What’s the difference between them? The Arc II’s specification is not as high as those of its branded counterparts. It lacks built-in lights and a rack. The machine comes with a front-facing, but not rear, AAA battery-powered light. This is something that we have never seen on any other bike. The Shimano Tourney’s basic gear mechanism features a long cage derailleur and an electric control module that displays battery status. It also has a few lights to indicate which mode you are in. There are only three levels of motor assistance, with a walking mode if you need assistance pushing the bike.

Riding the Arc II

The basic specs aside, the Arc II makes a great bike to ride. Although the MXUS rear hub motor pulls the bike to its mandated 15.5mph top speed, you will feel a little motor whine when driving on quiet roads. Although the brakes are basic cable-operated discs front and rear, they can stop the bike well and are a nice change to inefficient rim brakes that are ineffective when you’re commuting in wet winter. The mudguards that come with the bike are welcome. However, the long cage gear mech tends to pick up road debris and mud as it is only centimetres from the deck.

The twist-grip RevoShift shifter makes it easy to swap cogs, although not particularly fast. Additionally, the narrow handlebar gives the Arc II an agile feel. The bike has a USB power outlet that can be used to charge a smartphone running a navigation app. However, this will not affect the battery life.

The bike’s weakest point is its strongest. The hinge allows for a mid-horizontal fold. If you have enough space, this is possible. However, if you’re on a busy platform like a train station, it can be difficult to maneuver without getting in the way of people. The package once folded is awkward because it doesn’t come with any magnets or clips that will keep it from falling apart when you move it. The bike can’t be folded so it cannot be wheeled.

Verdict
For commuters, the lack of built-in lights and awkward fold might be a problem. However, for most people this is an excellent folding ebike that’s fast and easy to handle.

Greg Whitaker