Ducati's MG-20 Proves That a Magnesium e-Bike Is Possible, It Also Folds Down

So, the bicycle industry has a new dog in town. Its name is magnesium, and what he’s doing is turning itself into bicycle. Yup, the kind with two wheels, handlebars, and a chain. The team that tries to domesticate this beast is Ducati.
MG-20 Folding e-Bike 10 photos
Photo: Ducati
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Maybe you understood what I meant back there; maybe you didn't. To say it in plain English, magnesium is used to make bicycles, and not just any bicycles, folding e-bikes. One team handling this newfound material is Ducati.

OK, you got me. The idea of using magnesium to build a bicycle frameset is nothing new. One of the first ever to hit the scene was Frank Kirk's 1980s bike that looked like Swiss cheese, albeit very tasty cheese.

Working with magnesium is nothing new for Ducati. The 2018 Panigale V4 hit the road with magnesium forged wheels. But making an e-bike frame is a bit different, isn’t it? Apparently, it looks like something Ducati was able to achieve.

1987 Kirk Precision magnesium
Photo: Classic Cycle US
Now, Ducati isn’t working alone here. The MG-20 is part of a long-standing project between the famed manufacturer and MT Distribution, a company around since 1977, which specializes in everything from distribution services to e-mobility. Since both companies have seen their starts in the Motor Valley, it made sense that eventually, they would merge.

Ducati’s ability to work with magnesium is now demonstratedd in the newest addition to the Ducati Urban e-Mobility line, the MG-20. Not only is this bicycle and e-bike, but it can also fold, standing up to what people seem to want when looking for an urban mobility vehicle.

As it stands, the MG-20 includes a frame, fork, and rims made from magnesium. Ducati's styling can be seen along the frame, showing off what would be an outline of one of their machines, and of course, the rims and spokes, all wrapped up in 20-inch tires.

MG\-20 Folding e\-Bike
Photo: Ducati
Looking closely at the frame, you’d be hard-pressed to find any welding patterns. Why? Well, magnesium. But that’s not the entire story. Other manufacturers of magnesium bikes do exist, but those examples have clear welding patterns. For the MG-20, it would seem as if Ducati isn’t letting go of their secrets.

Being the e-bike that it is, be sure to find everything one would need, a motor, battery, and the electronics necessary to control them all. For a motor, the rear wheel includes a 250-watt hub powerhouse able to recognize road conditions, inclines, and the force used while pedaling. Usually, that is done using a torque sensor, but Ducati doesn’t mention this clearly. With this 250-watt motor, the MG-20 has a top speed of 25 kph (15.5 mph).

As for the battery pack, can you see it? It's integrated right into the frame and is a 36-volt, 10.5 Ah, 378 Wh battery from none other than Samsung. With a full charge, 50 km (31 miles) is the stated range this little sucker will offer you. Once drained, you can take the battery pack out and carry it with you wherever you’re headed.

MG\-20 Folding e\-Bike
Photo: Ducati
The final piece of equipment is the controller. The management of all systems, including assist levels and turning on your lights, is done from a waterproof LCD display. To help keep riders safe, reflective strips have been installed on the wheels to ensure visibility at night.

To fold the MG-20, the frame bends right before the bottom bracket, allowing the front tire to sit swing around to the rear, and then the handlebars tuck neatly out of the way in a classic folding position. The seat can also be dropped to its initial position but exposed, it can be used to pull the bike along. With a weight of 20.5 kg (45 lbs), you may very well need to drag it along.

Now, Ducati announces that the MG-20 will hit the sales market starting July 2021. Wait, that’s tomorrow! Where the heck am I going to get €1,599 ($1,902 at current exchange rates) for one of these on such short notice?
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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