The folding electric bicycle market is currently quite saturated. There are a number of brands producing foldable bikes in different types and sizes. Although 20” is the most common, there are many more options for you to consider:
Folding Electric Mountain Bikes
A few years ago folding mountain bikes were merely a niche form of folding bike, however, they have grown in popularity and there is an increased demand for them among users. Despite being the least portable type of folding bike, they offer great benefits and can be used for a variety of activities. Such benefits include; the ability to tackle both road and dirt tracks, the ability to transverse hilly areas quite easily in comparison to ordinary road foldable bikes. This is made possible by the larger 26-inch wheels that folding mountain bikes have, however, the size differs among the different manufacturers. Many brands have gotten into the folding bike and mountain bike market. And each brand continues to revolutionize the bikes that they produce. And because of their unique and remarkable usability, We strongly believe that in the next few years these bikes will become a common trend on the roads of many cities around the world
Folding Electric Road Bikes
The folding road bike is one of the lightest types of folding bike. It is pretty fast and is even capable of going faster than a car around the city. However, just like mountain bikes, folding road bikes also tend to be relatively less portable. But if you are more concerned about time than portability, then these lightweight folding road bikes are perfect for you. And regarding portability, some folding road bikes have the much larger 26-inch diameter wheels. But this is not such a big deal since they do not weigh as much so you will have no difficulty carrying them around.
How Much Power Do You Need on Your E Bike?
This is question comes up a lot as you could imagine. As with everything in life, “it depends“.
But to keep it simple let’s consider these variables:
- I weigh about 187 lbs (85 kg), on a good day =) .
- My fitness is about average and I can hold 200 watts for 20mins while still just being able to have a conversation.
- The Ebike weighs 44lbs (20kg).
With a 250 watt motor, I can easily climb the steep onramp to the footbridge on my daily commute. When I engage the motor, it feels like someone is pushing me up the ramp and I could make it up and over the top without really breaking a sweat.
Now, a 250-watt motor is pretty standard and if you were going to get a much more powerful ebike motor (e.g. 500-watts plus) I would be checking to make sure the bike is legal in your state.
What Is The Range Of An E Bike?
The short answer is, “It depends“. The variables that affect how far you can go on a folding e bike include:
- Your weight
- Are there a lot of hills where you live?
- The size of the battery
- Are you pedaling as well?
To keep it simple, the average distance for the folding e bikes we review here is about 20 miles on a single charge. If you have concerns about the range of ebikes we like to recommend getting one that also has pedals so when the juice does run out you can always use good old pedal power.
What Model Folding E Bike Should You Choose?
Making a final decision on what kind of folding bike you should go for may not be easy. But if you want to narrow down the options, you should take into consideration the kind of rider you are. In other words, ask yourself. What am I using this bike for? And in answering this, you will have a better understanding of the type of folding electric bicycle that will cater to your personal needs.
Folding Ebikes For Leisure
The majority of people looking to buy a folding bike want one simply for leisurely purposes. This means they do not intend to use it as their main mode of transport but are more inclined to ride it for short distances, for example, when going to the mall or nearby shops or when visiting friends in and around their neighborhood and local town.
So, if you think you are a leisurely rider, you should be looking at buying a much cheaper model of bike. In this case, you don’t need a bike with the highest specs. In fact, you simply need a bike that can easily and reliably get you from one place to another. But obviously the higher the specification, the better the bike. You want a bike which looks good, is comfortable and very sturdy. Despite this, you should also keep an eye at cutting costs where possible. Some other additional considerations should be made for your personal bike specifications including the number of gears the bike will have. This is especially important because if you live in a hilly area, ideally, you should go for a bike with more gears but if your area is flat as a pancake then fewer gears can do or even none.
When thinking about the terrain it’s not just the road you should keep in mind. Don’t forget about any obstacles you may encounter like riding up an onramp to a bridge. But hey, if it suddenly gets steep, just engage the motor.
Folding Ebikes For Commuters
If after reading this you strongly believe you are not a leisurely rider then you are most certainly a regular commuter. In this instance, your bike is your main mode of transport and you frequently find yourself sharing the road with motor vehicles. The best folding electric bike for work commutes are generally those which are extremely comfortable, lightweight, and fast. Additionally, given the fact that you are likely to do a considerable number of miles on your collapsible bike on almost a daily basis, the bike should also be very sturdy and safe to ride at all times.
You can rest assured if you are a commuter though because folding bikes are designed mainly with commuters in mind. So you will find quite a number of brands and models which are perfectly suited to your personal requirements. Other important considerations for regular commuters include wheel size and the number of gears. These two components are important because they directly affect the stability and speed of the folding bike.
Despite the fact that leisure and regular commuters make up the biggest part of the folding bike market. There are riders who specifically want a portable bike which is capable of trekking difficult tracks. Such bikers are not very many but more brands have gotten into this niche. Today, there are more folding mountain bike models available. Mountain bikes are generally designed to be incredibly durable and fast over a wide variety of off-the-road tracks. These bikes normally have large and thick wheels which makes them heavier than a standard bike.
Additionally, they possess shock absorption features which increase their riding stability on difficult terrains. Mountain bikes come with different suspensions, some quite better than others but they all have the same purpose. Their prices vary greatly from one brand to another so it is important to weigh your specific requirements before buying one because it is very easy to spend a great deal of money on a top-notch foldable mountain bike.
Top Tips When Picking The Best Folding Electric Bicycle
You have probably already noticed that picking the perfect folding bike is far from easy. there are so many ways to go about it but do not despair. Below are top tips to guide you when picking the best folding bike for yourself:
It is essential to pick a bike that will allow you the best of comfort while riding it otherwise no one needs a bike that is uncomfortable to sit on or does not adjust well. So, to avoid this, be very mindful about the size you pick because not every size is right for you. It is crucial to search for bikes which can vary their saddles, handlebars, and frames too if possible.
Not only that, you should also be looking at the different wheel sizes including 16″, 20″, 24″, and 26″.
These wheels are one of the tiniest on the market.
- Very portable when folded
- Not good for long distances (over 18 miles)
- Can be difficult to handle over bumps
- Generally not very fast
These are the most common wheels on the market.
- Standard on most folding bikes
- Wide range of tire choice
- Good for leisure and daily commutes
- Good speed and easy to maneuver
- The bike can be a little big when folded
As the wheel gets larger, you get a more stable ride
- More comfortable ride
- More stable
- Not very portable
- More storage space required
Usually found on mountain bikes
- Greatest stability and shock resistance
- Good range of all-terrain tires
- Most heaviest
- Consumes the most space when folded up
Essentially, your bike’s folding mechanism determines how quickly it can be folded. Below are the different types of folding mechanisms.
Split Fold Mechanism
The split-fold mechanism is the most popular type of mechanism. It can be found on a regular 20″ bike. however, it is also used on larger models. This mechanism involves a hinge on the center of the bike’s frame whose function is folding the bike in half. It’s major benefit is the fact that it is very easy and quick to fold. On the downside, such bikes tend to be quite heavy when folded. They are perfect for riders who are always on the go.
Triangular Hinge Mechanisms
This mechanism is very common and is increasingly becoming the golden standard in folding bikes. It functions by intricately folding into a compact design. It involves both hinges and clasps hence more complicated and it takes more time to fold. but once folded it uses up very little space making it a perfect option to carry when you’re going to use public transport.
Break Away Mechanism
This is by far the rarest mechanism, it involves splitting the bike apart into two separate pieces. This sounds fun but it is far from it. From personal experience, I can tell you that it gets quite tedious and takes up a lot of time so I would definitely not recommend this type of mechanism to anyone. On the contrary, there are some people who actually like the breakaway mechanism.
One foldable bike configuration that most people struggle with is whether or not to get a geared bike. Let me break it down for you, why you should consider geared bikes?
Geared bikes travel on hills more easily, they have a high top speed and are quick at accelerating. Having a choice of gears will allow adjusting the resistance in the pedals as you ride. For those who may have knee problems, this will save you a lot of pain and trips to the physiotherapist. Personally, I would recommend buying a bike with 3 to 8 gears.
The number of gears on a bike is calculated simply by multiplying how many rings you have at the front by the number of rings at the back.
In the picture below we have 3 at the front and 7 at the back so there are 21 gears
Front Chain Rings
Another important bike specification is the frame material. The frame contributes to the majority of the bike weight so it is important to pick a bike with a lightweight frame. Below are the most commonly used bike frame materials:
Aluminum has been used in many bikes around the world for a number of years now. Why? because it is lightweight and does not rust. However, aluminum is not the strongest material but it is definitely a great hybrid.
If you’re the type of cyclist who believes that every rider should have n+1 bicycles then somewhere in your collection, you will have a carbon frame. You will also understand that these frames are considerably lighter and more rigid (helps with the transfer of pedaling power to the wheels). You will also know – although may not want to admit it – that carbon is more prone to crack if you fall and a lot more expensive than any of the other frame materials. So, if you want to go carbon be ready to dish out some serious cash.
Now, that said I do have a carbon frame and an aluminum alloy frame. The difference between ride performance between the two is night and day. Unfortunately, so is the price. However, I only ever seem to ride the carbon bike these days.
Titanium frames are a truly premium product, they are the most stable, do not break easily and are also very durable. But just like carbon fibre frames, they cost an astronomical amount of money and they are also heavier than carbon fibre and aluminum frames. Me personally I would only buy one of these to adhere to the n+1 rule.
Just like aluminum, steel has been used in bike frames for some years now. It does not rust and even better, it is more durable than aluminum. On the downside, steel is the heaviest of these materials.