Faraday Bicycles, named after a famous 19th-century British scientist and inventor, was one of the earliest crowdfunded successes. The Faraday Porteur e-bike resonated with the public and generated almost $200,000 in revenue, which hastened the formation of the company.
Completing the quintet of steel-framed commuters evaluated by BICYCLIST, the Porteur S is a less upscale version of Faraday’s flagship model. The Porteur S has the same award-winning design, impeccable welds, beautiful paint, 250-watt front-hub motor, hidden electronics, three-position (off, standard and boost) power assist thumb switch, bottom bracket torque and cadence sensors, and integrated front and rear lights as its stablemate. The primary differences between the two are their internally geared hubs and drive systems, with an 8-speed Shimano Alfine with belt drive on the Porteur, and a 5-speed Sturmey Archer with chain on the “S.” The particular Porteur S that BICYCLIST tested was equipped with optional front and rear racks, each with a capacity of 20 kg (44 pounds). This created a new genre of bike, the “cargo commuter.”
The Porteur S accelerated quickly to its maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Its steel frame and fork, even weight distribution, swept-back handlebars, premium saddle and puncture-resistant Kenda tires provided a compliant, confidence-inspiring ride. We appreciated the low-speed boost that senses the bike’s acceleration from a stop or on a hill and provides an extra “shot of adrenaline” to the motor. Faraday joins Pedego and Haibike as another gold standard producer of e-commuters. ($2,499 faradaybikes.com)