This Mate City e-bike is a powerful alternative to a road bike, with the pedal assist one its best features. The battery charges quickly and lasts for miles – and it will get you noticed as you fly down the road on it. However, it’s weight is one of its downfalls – even when folded it up we struggled to carry it.
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The Mate City is a new revision of Mate Bike's original electric bike, which first launched in 2016. Its powerful 36V, 250W battery, which once charged can do 50 miles, is great for commuting or nipping about your local area. We found the five-level power assist particularly appealing as we flew up hills and got up to a speed of around 20mph on flatter roads, cutting our commuting time down considerably.
The Danish design, with clean lines, gives it a unique look, and our pink version of this folding e-bike definitely had heads turning. The LCD display was simple to use, with control buttons by its side, and the non-slip handlebars gave it a steady feel.
However, if you want a light bike that you can fold up easily and take up stairs, this isn’t it. Its weight, at nearly 50lb, is distinctly hefty for a commuter bike and the main frame was difficult for one person to fold up.
If you’re looking for a powerful bike which will get you attention and don’t mind investing a little extra then the Mate City is perfect for you – but it’s not a great model for limited storage or if you were hoping for a light commuter bike.
Price and release date
The Mate City electric bike was first released in 2016, and the updated model here was released in 2021. Prices start at $999 / £1,299 (about AU$1,300). It's available direct from Mate Bike, and from various third-party retailers.
Mate Bike is a Copenhagen-based startup, which was founded in 2016 by siblings Christian Adel Michael and Julie Kronstrøm Carton, to help traffic congestion and climate change. That Danish heritage can be seen in the design of the Mate City, with its clean, sleek finish.
The brand is popular with celebrities, and we can see why; our review model's bright pink frame (also available in three other colours) attracted a lot of attention as we rode it through London – and we loved standing out from the crowd. The frame is made from aluminium alloy, which although looks light, isn’t when you are trying to carry it up and down stairs – while overall the bike weighs in at nearly 50lb.
The Mate City is a foldable bike, it took a few attempts to get the swing of it, due to its weight. The handlebars were easy to fold down, with simply a lever twist, but the same can’t be said about the main part of the bike. To begin with it took two of us to fold and unfold, with the clip to clasp it together a little sticky. If you're hoping to commute with this bike and you lack arm strength, you’ll find it tough to fold and carry. Once folded it’s also relatively big, so you’ll need room to store it.
The Mate City is easy to set up, though. We changed the handle and seat height with ease, but while the cushioned black saddle was as comfortable for a short ride, it did start to get uncomfortable on longer journeys.
The anti-slip handles were great for keeping us steady – but added cushioning would mean less rub on the thumbs. The small Intelligent LCD computer display, which sits on the left of the handlebars, was quite discreet, but was easy to use and displayed battery life, time and distance of travel.
The battery, which is housed within the frame, can be taken out once the bike is folded, can be charged through a small hole in the frame, just below the seat – meaning you don’t have to unfold the bike to charge it.
A powerful, steady ride, even without the electric power – it performed well on all terrains and in different weather conditions. Turning the power on was very easy; simply hold down the power button on the LCD display flashes up.
The display starts automatically when you ride the bike, with your speed the largest on the screen, while the positioning of the acceleration level buttons sits perfectly next to the screen allowing you to change the speed as you go up and down hills.
We tested the bike on roads we normally struggled to cycle up, and with its five levels of pedal assist we were impressed with how fast it accelerated us up hills. One of the most powerful and impressive motors we’ve used on an electric bike – we had to be careful, when on full power, that we didn’t accidently accelerate when on busy park routes.
The bike has a 250W motor and a 36V battery – which has a 13Ah capacity. Once fully charged (which takes around two hours), we found that the battery lasted ages, up to 50 miles, allowing us to go on long bike rides without the fear of it running out. We only charged the battery once, but we assume if we used it more regularly, for a commute, we’d have to charge it once a week.
If you do run out of battery while on a ride the seven manual gears, on the right handle were also easy to use – but like most bikes, didn’t get you up hills as easily. We loved the power of its Tektro disc brakes, which performed well when braking quickly and when we were going down hills, in order to maintain our speed.
The bike's pedals could be clicked in for storage, but we did sometimes find them tricky to click back into place. Overall, we found it a powerful electric bike, and one of the best we’ve tried, with an impressive battery and motor.
First reviewed June 2021
Buy it if
You want an e-bike to power you up hills
The Mate City's five levels of pedal assist help you whizz up hills with hardly any effort.
You want a long-lasting battery
Once charged, the Mate City keeps rolling for hours, so even if you forget to charge it every time you head out on shorter trips, you don’t have to worry about it running flat.
You want to stand out
With bright colours such as pink and blue, you’ll catch the attention of other riders.
Don't buy it if
You want a lightweight bike
Weighing in at 22.5kg with the battery (that's nearly 50lb) the Mate City isn't easy to carry up and down stairs, whether its folded or not.
You need a small bike for storage
Even when folded, this bike takes up a considerable amount of space, so you’ll need a designated space or a spacious flat.
You want a cheap e-bike for commuting
The Mate City doesn’t come cheap, but we predict it will last for years, and if you’ll be using it daily it’s a great investment.
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Sarah is a freelance writer - writing across titles including Woman&Home, Fit&Well, TechRadar, the Independent and the BBC. She covers a variety of subjects, including trends in beauty, business and wellness - but her biggest passions are travel and fitness. She can normally be found trying out the latest fitness class or on a plane to an exotic destination. While she loves to combine the two - signing up to do hiking holidays in LA, intense boot camps in Bali - last year she went on her dream activity holiday: paddleboarding around deserted islands in Croatia.