MiRider One GB3 review
HomeHome > News > MiRider One GB3 review

MiRider One GB3 review

Oct 28, 2023

A folding electric commuter at a palatable price

This competition is now closed

By Warren Rossiter

Published: March 20, 2023 at 4:00 pm

MiRider's original One was among my favourite compact, short-distance folding electric bikes.

That bike's design has been refined and the specification improved for the One GB3. MiRider has hiked up the price, but it's still significantly cheaper than Brompton's base-model electric, the C Line (£2,995).

As a commuter bike for urban use and rides that incorporate public transport, this latest MiRider is one of the best folding electric bikes around.

The heart of the One GB3 is its magnesium alloy frame.

MiRider claims choosing magnesium makes for a lighter weight than standard aluminium. Due to the one-piece casting method for its manufacture, and an extensive surface-coating process, it's also said to be highly corrosion-resistant.

The frame features an upward-sweeping back end, mirrored by a boxy rear swingarm anchored above the chainset, and is held by an air-filled shock absorber.

This type of unified rear-triangle suspension isn't especially common today. But having the drivetrain contained solely within the rear end of the bike means a constant belt length with no chance of the belt being dropped as the suspension compresses.

The MiRider comes with a good level of adjustability. The telescopic bar-steerer and clever seatpost mean the bike is claimed to fit anyone from 5ft to 6ft 3in.

I’m 6ft 2in, my partner is 5ft and the One GB3 fitted us both. However, it's worth noting that the saddle height I needed was almost at the post's upper limit.

The original One relied on just a singlespeed because MiRider didn't want to use a rear derailleur – having just 16in-diameter wheels would put it precariously close to the ground.

MiRider uses a rear-hub motor of its own design, unlike Brompton and many of its rivals that often use a front-hub motor.

For the One GB, gears are on the menu, via Polish brand Efneo and its clever chainset that houses a three-speed planetary gearbox.

The chainset runs a belt drive. Chains are de rigueur, but this is a brilliant choice for commuting. Belt drives are practically maintenance-free, and there's no grease or oil to dirty your trousers.

The One GB performed brilliantly throughout testing, tackling hot dry summer days, as well as snow, ice and lots and lots of rain, typifying a British winter.

The effective gears range from an easy 1:1 ratio through to a 1:1.79-ratio biggest gear.

In short, this proved to be a very usable range. The lightest gear will get you up steep ramps, and I found the biggest gear helped me keep pace with city traffic.

In a major plus, the gears can also be shifted when standing still, so you won't get caught out in the wrong gear when starting off from traffic lights or junctions.

The gears combine well with the GB3's electric bike motor. The unit delivers 25 per cent more torque than the original, and that was already quite a peppy unit to begin with.

A new, higher-capacity 7Ah/252Wh battery is packaged in, which MiRider claims could see you up to a range of 45 miles / 72km.

The accuracy of such claims is dependent on who you are and how you ride. I’m around 90kg, and at best I managed 30.56 miles / 49.18km, with 1,017ft / 310m of elevation.

For the sort of distances you’d expect to be covering on a small folding ebike, the actual range is more than ample.

The new full-colour head unit display is a highlight. It provides plenty of key information in a clear, bright manner. Motor power, distance, time, current battery voltage drawn and speed are all displayed.

It's all useful stuff and you get a good understanding of the GB3's power consumption.

The five power modes are too many. I never really found much need to move out of level 2 or 3, which provide enough punch for normal use.

That said, the full-power level 5 is certainly fun to use. The motor control is at your fingertips, via a remote mounted on the left-hand side, next to the grip.

The GB3 also features a power boost button, next to the right-hand brake lever. The thumb trigger dumps a big surge of power, helping to get you away from traffic lights or providing a good shove at the base of a hill. It's brilliant.

I even took the GB3 onto a local climb that's around a mile long and undulating with a maximum gradient of 14 per cent. The GB3's motor never struggled and giving a bit of boost on the steep ramps helped me maintain an impressive average pace up the hill.

The charger (much like the GB3) is compact, which is great because these are so often bulky items. At just 374g (including UK plug lead), and with a transformer only 135x65x30mm in size, it's relatively easy to carry with you.

The charge time is short, taking just two and three-quarter hours to charge fully from completely empty.

The system also powers a front light that's bright enough to light your way on urban streets, although you’ll need to add a rear light for riding after dark.

Stopping the GB3 is a set of hydraulic disc brakes from fellow UK-based brand Clarks, with its CMD-24 units.

I was impressed by the feel at the lever and the progressive stopping power. There was also good pad clearance, so I didn't get any annoying scrapes or squeaks, even when riding in very wet conditions.

The folding mechanism is as simple as it gets, with a large central hinge (complete with a safety lock) halving the bike's length. A pair of magnets at the front and rear ‘lock’ the two folded halves together.

It's then a case of folding down the bars and lowering the telescopic seatpost. It's all very easy.

A single urethane skate wheel is mounted underneath the bottom bracket. This sits proud of the chainring and enables the bike to be manoeuvred easily when folded. You can even ‘trolley’ the folded bike when holding the seatpost.

The magnetically locking folding pedals are excellent and help keep the folded GB3 compact with little poking out to get caught on things.

At 19.03kg, it isn't the lightest electric bike you will find, but it was easy enough to lift and move around, on and off trains or into the boot of a car.

Folded, the GB3 measures 770x430x680mm (with the bar and post recessed on the lowest setting). That's compared to 1,340x575x1,100mm, unfolded.

It's also easy to like the way the GB3 rides. The short wheelbase and small wheels make it an easy bike to manoeuvre in tight spots.

Weaving through static traffic, it has the edge on many rivals, helped ably by the well-balanced assistance coming from the rear hub.

It feels relatively stable at speed too, compared to other bikes with small wheels, though in this respect it's not a match for the Mango Dee.Dee's big-wheel stability, or the Ridgeback Errand's long-wheelbase balance.

Both of those bikes offer different concepts when it comes to utilitarian bikes.

Finally, the gel-filled Selle Royal saddle is a huge improvement over the original One's squishy padded unit, offering good levels of comfort and support. That said, if you’re a regular rider you may prefer something a little smaller.

The MiRider is well considered, very well put together and a whole lot of fun to ride.

If your commute sees you flitting between a bike and public transport, it's better value than its more famous folding rivals, and doesn't lack for either range or usability.

Senior technical editor

Warren Rossiter is BikeRadar and Cycling Plus magazine's senior technical editor for road and gravel. Having been testing bikes for more than 20 years, Warren has an encyclopedic knowledge of road cycling and has been the mastermind behind our Road Bike of the Year test for more than a decade. He's also a regular presenter on the BikeRadar Podcast and on BikeRadar's YouTube channel. In his time as a cycling journalist, Warren has written for Mountain Biking UK, What Mountain Bike, Urban Cyclist, Procycling, Cyclingnews, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike and T3. Over the years, Warren has written about thousands of bikes and tested more than 2,500 – from budget road bikes to five-figure superbikes. He has covered all the major innovations in cycling this century, and reported from launches, trade shows and industry events in Europe, Asia, Australia, North American and Africa. While Warren loves fast road bikes and the latest gravel bikes, he also believes electric bikes are the future of transport. You’ll regularly find him commuting on an ebike and he longs for the day when everyone else follows suit. You will find snaps of Warren's daily rides on the Instagram account of our sister publication, Cycling Plus (@cyclingplus).