Yes, E-bikes are the new thing but folding E-bikes?
Just like the world evolved from 1.44 MB floppy disks to 1TB USB flash drives the size of your thumb, everything gets compact and evolves to better suit the fast-moving pace of the world today.
Folding e-bikes allow you to take your bike indoors. You can easily store it in your one-bedroom or office without obstructing movement. This reduces the risk of your bike being stolen. They are highly efficient and portable and might just be the best choice for city commuters or even travelers. Read on to find out more.
Overview of Best Folding Electric Bike Models
*Without pedal assistance
**Only one working mode
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The Best Folding E-Bikes Reviewed
The heaviest bike on our list isn’t made out of steel, it has an aluminum frame.
So where do these 61 pounds (29kg) come from?
You probably guessed it if you looked this bike up.
It has massive 26” (66cm) fat tires with fully hydraulic suspension making this bike ideal for our mountain bike enthusiast.
The X3 Pro by W Wallke is a high-performance bike with a 48V Samsung battery that is inbuilt into the frame. This protects it from damage and debris during those intense mountain rides. The battery takes approximately 5-7 hours to fully charge and can be removed even though it is placed inside the mainframe, which can be easily folded using the split-fold method.
An interesting feature included is the ‘W-PAS’ (Wallke Power Assist System), which is a patented technology by Wallke. The ‘W-PAS’ technology converts kinetic energy to electrical energy and stores it in the battery while gliding downhill!
How cool is that?
• Powerful 750W brushless motor
• Impressive range of 35 miles (56km) without pedal assistance
• Display LCD – Speed, Battery Level, etc.
• Mobile Phone Holder with USB charger
• Shimano 8 – Speed
• Multiple Colors
Budget Off-Road Pick
Another great fat tire option to consider for our off-road experts is manufactured by ECOTRIC.
Weighing about 10 pounds less than the X3 Pro, this bike also has an aluminum alloy frame with 20” (51cm)wheels making it perfect for the mountains, beach, or even snow. This bike too uses the common split-fold method to fold the bike in half. In addition to the mainframe folding in half the handlebar also can also be folded down making it more compact.
The 36V battery is placed in the rear and can be removed and takes around 5-8 hours to fully juice up. The battery powers up a 500W brushless motor which can move you up to 20 miles (32km) on a single charge without pedal assist.
The only downside to this model is the LED controller, which turns out, doesn’t let the user switch between modes i.e. throttle and pedal assist. Once switched on, both options are available and cannot be switched off.
• 500W Brushless motor
• Split fold + Handlebar Fold – Saves more space
• Shimano 7 – Speed
The only bike with a steel frame to make it into our list, this one surprisingly weighs 1.5x less than our heaviest bike made out of aluminum alloy!
Why is this?
You might have read earlier that steel is the heaviest of all.
But how does it only weight 37 pounds (17kg)?
The unique and innovative design by ANCHEER uses carbon steel which makes it lighter than aluminum but in terms of strength is almost equivalent to pure steel.
Therefore, this stylish E-bike is ideal for commuters to carry around and can be easily folded in half using the split-fold technique.
The 36V removable lithium battery which fully charges in 4-6 hours is connected to a 250W motor. This isn’t as powerful as the 2 models reviewed previously but is enough to accelerate you up to 15 mph (24.14 kph) and 15 miles (24.14 Km) on a single charge without pedal assist. The motor might not help you climb mount Everest but can easily help you overcome hills in and around your city or daily commute.
• Lightweight Carbon Steel Frame
• Bluetooth App Support
At first glance, the ANCHEER dolphin bike probably looks like a kids bike, but let me assure you that it isn’t .
This unique dolphin-shaped bike only weighs 26.5lbs (12kg) making it the lightest addition to our list.
Surprise, it can hold up to 265lbs (120 Kg) which is 10 times its own weight. This is made possible due to its design and the aluminum alloy frame and dual-layer of aluminum on the 12” (30 cm) set of wheels.
Due to its lightweight and unique folding technique which only involves the handlebar folding down, this bike is the perfect fit for riders using the E-bike for short trips on level terrain around the town.
This product from ANCHEER is 100% electric and is a Pedal-less design. The pedals are replaced by steel pegs at the sides to rest your feet making the ride comfortable.
The 350-watt motor and 36V lithium battery can achieve a top speed of 12mph (19.31 kph) and has a range of 12 miles (19km) on a single charge, which approximately takes 3 hours or less.
The drawbacks of this bike is that the seat cannot be adjusted and you also have to make sure it is fully-charged. If it runs out, you are going to have to walk the rest of the way due to the pedal-less design.
• Lightweight Carbon Steel Frame
• Bluetooth App
• Cruise Control
• Quick Charge
A strong contender to the WALLKE X3 Pro by SOHOO E-bikes.
Weighing almost as heavy as the x3 PRO at 56lbs (25kg), this is another 20” (51cm) Fat Tire E-bike for off-road lovers. The sturdy bike has an aluminum frame that can be folded in two using the split-fold method and enhanced shock front fork making it perfect for rough terrains.
The 48V battery powers a strong 500W rear-drive motor can reach up to speeds of 25mph (40.23 kph) with a range of about 35 miles (56km) unassisted.
Riders can pick between 2 main working modes, ‘Throttle mode’ and ‘PAS mode’. What’s interesting is that the PAS mode has 5 levels, which can be adjusted according to how much the rider wants to pedal.
This model also comes with a 5-inch LCD backlit display, which enables the rider to choose between 5 power levels, keep an eye on the distance, speed, and battery level.
• Shimano 7 Speed
• 5-inch LCD display with USB port
• Enhanced Shock front fork
• 5 working modes
• Detachable Rear Luggage Rack
This bike definitely has ‘swag’ with its stylish looks and design. This option is similar to the ANCHEER EB006 but has 14”(36 cm) wheels, compared to the EB006.
With an Aluminum alloy frame, this bike can be folded in two and the handlebar can be collapsed making it another compressed option on our list.
The 250W Hub motor is powered by an inbuilt 36V battery. You can pick between two options, Removable or Standard Battery. The standard option has a port below the mainframe to charge the battery.
Like most E-bikes, this model has two modes, Throttle and Pedal Assist. On a single charge, the bike has a range of 15.5 miles (24.94 Km) and a maximum speed of 15 mph (24.14 kph) without pedal assist.
This bike is advertised as a ‘college commuter’ and I think it hits bulls’ eye.
• Adjustable Seat
• Triple Fold
Things To Consider When Buying A Folding E-Bike!
There are different criteria to consider and compare before buying anything. An E-bike is no different.
But compared to buying a conventional E-bike, there are a few additional details to watch out for when buying a foldable E-bike.
Broadly, this can be split into two.
• For commuting:
If you fall under this category, this means you use the E-bike daily and it might be your main method of transport. Folding E-bikes are designed predominantly people like you in mind.
The ideal folding E-bike for commuters would be lightweight, compact, and fast models. It also has to be well built to withstand daily use.
• For leisure:
Quick ride to the beach? Off-road adventure? To the mall? Chill at your friends place a few blocks away.
If you said yes to any of the questions above, you might fall into the leisure category. The needs of this category can vary depending on the activity the bike will be used for the most.
To travel short distances to the mall or around the town, you might want to consider a budget version without all the added features but yet sturdy and comfortable enough to propel you in style.
If your goal is to occasionally go off-road to mountain bike, your ideal bike would have fat tires, a high gear system, and a powerful motor. But these bikes can be heavy or bulky but would be compact enough to fit in the boot of a car or on a bike rack!
Rest assured there is a bike for everyone on our list of ‘Best Folding E-bikes’
WEIGHT & FRAME MATERIAL
Folding E-bikes are popular among travelers and daily commuters. The purpose would be lost if the E-bike is too heavy to carry around or too bulky to store away safely.
You would end up doing more work than riding a traditional bike.
The battery and the frame material are two main components that contribute to the weight of an E-bike.
The most commonly used material of frames are as follows,
• Aluminum alloy – It is common to see aluminum alloy on bike frames mainly because it is light, cost-effective, and does not rust.
• Carbon Fiber – The lighter the bike, the closer the chances of you catching up with the flash. Carbon fiber frames are the lightest of all hence carrying them around and accelerating to higher speeds are much easier, but unfortunately, carbon fiber frames are pricey.
• Titanium – The Rolls Royce of the material category, titanium products are very durable but very heavy compared to Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. It also can leave a colossal gap in your bank account!
• Steel – The heaviest of all these materials, steel is another common material to be found on bike frames.
• Split Fold: This method usually folds the bike in half using a hinge in the middle of the bike. The most common method which most bikes use because it is easy and also reduces the fold time.
• Triangle Hinge: Another common technique which is gaining traction nowadays involves the rear section to be folded down and then tucked under the mainframe. This technique takes longer but makes up with the very little space it uses after being folded.
• Break Away: Not many bikes use this mechanism. It usually involves removing the bikes into two separate pieces. This method takes the longest time to fold and set up.