The JUNTO MetroMini is a folding electric bike that we accidentally bumped into while scouring the internet for lightweight folding e-bikes. What immediately caught our eye wasn’t the sub-40 lbs of the MetroMini, but that for the first time we saw rim brakes on an electric bike.
In case you haven’t heard of JUNTO Electric Bikes the company states its long-term goal is to revolutionize transportation by incorporating e-bikes into everyone’s commute. Junto tries to design their e-bikes, not in hopes of replacing your bike… Junto wants to replace your car.
JUNTO MetroMini: Frameset
What strikes you first when you look at a JUNTO MetroMini is it looks like your everyday 20-Inch folding bike frame. However, as you get closer the frame appears to be modified to fit both the battery and controller.
To start, the seat tube seems to be lengthened to accommodate a higher seat stay. Raising the seat stay adds room for a battery mount that holds a side-insert battery between the seat stay and chain stay. This design reminds us of the Furo X electric folding bike where the battery is also mounted on the elongated seat post tube but above the seat stay.
Below the crank arms is an additional metal bracket that acts in a two-fold capacity. The first is to house the e-bike’s controller which leaves it partially exposed to the elements and tall brush. The second is as a frame protector to support the MetroMini while in the folded position.
Fenders are included with this model including an oversized rear fender to guard the battery from splash and dirt.
Since the frame’s seat post tube is a standard size the option for a suspension seat post is possible.
Cabling on the MetroMini is external with integrated front and rear LED lighting.
We appreciate the overall non-industrial e-bike look and feel of the frame compared to other folding electric bikes. In fact, if you opted to remove the battery, which would drop the overall weight, you could conceivably ride this as a normal folding bike.
We asked JUNTO how they decided on this specific frame and we received the following response:
“We chose the frame because of its German engineering & it’s light weight, mostly. If we are not the lightest eBike out there…we are pretty close. It’s fun, sturdy, twitchy and affordable, so I believe it’s perfect for the USA’s Urban market.”Brian Powell – JUNTO Electric Bikes
JUNTO MetroMini: Groupset, Battery, and Rim Brakes
The MetroMini is geared with a 52T front sprocket and 11-28T rear freewheel, Shimano 7-Speed derailleur, and operated by a thumb shifter. The MetroMini can also be operated with 5 levels of pedal assist or a twist-grip throttle. This throttle setup is similar to RadMini and provides power on demand at the twist of your wrist.
The 560mm handlebars are touted as custom, but the best we can see is they appear to have a slight sway.
The battery is a 36V 8.8 Ah Lithium-ion and slides from the side into the battery mount. This battery is stated to be able to power the 350W brushless rear hub motor for approximately 20-40 miles per charge. In our riding experiences with 350W motors, this battery may be pressed to achieve 40 miles. But given its mere weight of 39 lbs you just might be pedaling much more than throttling.
We are quite impressed that JUNTO decided to use a 350W rear hub motor. Normally folding e-bikes below 40 lbs choose to use 250W hub motors, but in our experience that is just not enough power especially if you wish to ride at a speed limit closer to 20 miles per hour.
So now to the brakes. JUNTO opted to use rim brakes on this urban style e-bike. We are not certain if the rim brakes were chosen to keep the bike weight sub-40 lbs or if JUNTO truly feels this is the right component choice for this model?
We can imagine the debate that will play out with each reader as to which is better – rim brakes or disc brakes? There are pros and cons to each braking system. We have become accustomed to seeing disc brakes mainly on fat tires because fat tire folding e-bikes can be ridden in inclement weather and rough terrain.
We believe the design goal of the MetroMini was more for commuting than aggressive trail riding. While rain and snow can limit the braking ability of rim brakes these should suffice plus the brake levers have motor cut-offs to ease up on the brake pads.
Since we first noticed the rim brakes on the MetroMini we have seen a few more folding e-bikes with this braking system although they are powered by 250W motors with 15.5 mph speed limits.
JUNTO MetroMini: Wheelset
The MetroMini uses 20-inch x 1.5″ alloy rims and is covered with Kenda 20″ x 1.95″ tires. If you were to upgrade these tires over time you would be limited to 2 inches as the max width.
JUNTO MetroMini: Conclusion
Overall JUNTO MetroMini is another exciting entry in the sub-40 lbs folding e-bike category. There was great thought in the creation of this folding e-bike for the US market.
We especially like the following features: 39 lbs, modified frame design, 350W motor, integrated lighting, and twist-grip throttle.
JUNTO MetroMini Folding Electric Bike: Pricing and Specs
The JUNTO MetroMini is currently priced at just $1,499 USD, plus free shipping, and a 21-day money-back guarantee. Although their website currently displays a sold-out sign for 2022 the owner is hopeful for more inventory soon.
The JUNTO MetroMini 350W folding e-bike comes 98% assembled as shown in the video below. Tools are provided to install the front tire, fender, light, and pedals. JUNTO offers a 1-year all-inclusive warranty from the date of purchase on accessories and hardware components and 5 years on the folding frame. Please review all warranties before purchasing.
The main features are as follows:
Frame: 6061 Aluminum alloy
Hub Motor: 350W brushless hub motor connected to high output controller
Battery: 36V 8.8 Ah Lithium-ion
Controller: 36 volts high output frame integrated controller
Display: LCD backlit with assistance level, speedometer, odometer, trip, timer, battery voltage and light indicator
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of pedal assistance
Throttle: Twist grip throttle
Brake Calipers: Mechanical V brake
Brake Levers: Alloy with motor cut off switches
Crank Set: 52T chain ring, 165 mm crank with double guard
Derailleur: Shimano 7 speed
Gearing: 7 Speed with thumb shifter
Handlebar: Custom 560mm
Stem: Foldable and length adjustable
Rims: Alloy 20” x 1.5
Spokes: 12 gauge stainless with copper nipple
Tires: Kenda 20” x 1.95”
Saddle: Black white stitched
Seatpost Clamp: Quick release
Kickstand: Alloy adjustable rear-mounted
Fenders: Front and rear oversize with stainless stays
Lights: Integrated LED lights front and rear
Weight: 39 lbs
Photos Courtesy JUNTO Electric Bikes