The Best Folding Electric Bikes (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Pedal, fold, and go further with a portable and easy to ride electric bicycle
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON January 21, 2021
Swing your leg over an e-bike and discover a new world. These bikes may look and function similarly to traditional bikes, but the experience is completely revolutionary. It feels as though you’ve gained a superpower as the bike helps you to pedal for smoother acceleration, faster speeds, and greater stamina.
Just like traditional bikes, there are different types of electric bikes. One of the most popular types is the folding version. These are the most portable and compact because they fold down to impressively small sizes. But just like a traditional bike, there are multiple features and designs to consider. You don’t want to buy a mountain bike when your goal is to commute better. This guide will help you select the perfect bike with the right features for your riding needs.
Hop on this folding high-performance bike with seven gear speeds. The pedal assist has a throttle only range of 19 miles and can cruise up to 18.6 miles per hour.
- Swappable battery
- 16-inch wheels
- Dual disk brakes
- Awkward to carry
- Hard to fold down quickly
This lightweight bike has an aluminum frame and seven gear speeds. It comes in matte black, white, and bright yellow.
- Folds down in seconds
- Weighs 28.5 pounds
- Alloy brakes
- Folding process confusing
- High handlebar position
A 500-watt brushless motor is assisting you while pedaling. You can reach a top speed of 23 miles per hour and have a pure electric range of 19 miles.
- High load capacity of 260 pounds
- Arrives 90 percent preassembled
- Highly adjustable
- Heavy at 58 pounds
- Tabs can break on the battery
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Benefits of Folding Electric Bike
- Faster commuting. Riding an electric bike as your form of commuter transportation will allow you to get to work faster. This will reduce your commute time and allow you to commute further.
- Portable. A folding electric bike is more portable than other forms of personal transportation. The lighter weight and smaller size make it easier to bring with you. This makes it more versatile in how you use it and where you go on it.
- Fun. You’ll find riding an electric bike to be fun. The light assistance makes it easier to pedal and more enjoyable than a standard bike. This lets you focus on having more fun and less on the work of pedaling.
Types of Folding Electric Bikes
If you’re only looking to take a cruise on the weekend, then a leisure bike is ideal. These bicycles aren’t designed to be your main mode of transportation. You’ll find these bikes are more affordable than the other types. They also have shorter ranges, comfortable seats, and a sturdy build. They come in a range of gears and wheel sizes, so you can buy the perfect bike for the terrain you’ll be riding on.
These bikes are designed for use as your daily form of transportation. These commuter bicycles are designed to be compact, lightweight, comfortable, and fast. Because they’re designed for daily use, they’re incredibly sturdy. It’s important to balance the wheel size and number of gears with the bike’s overall size and weight. You want one that allows for quick commuting but is also easy to fold up and carry with you.
The third type of bike is a smaller segment than the other two but is designed for trekkers and hikers that want a portable bike to take with them. The bikes are durable and fast, with wheels designed for off-road riding, thick and large. They also have more shock absorption features for increased comfort. These features also make them heavier than the standard electric bike.
Based in South Bend, Ind., everything Swagtron does is focused on increased mobility. It’s a company founded on the innovation of personal e-rideables. It’s committed to creating fun and accessible products for everyone. The product line includes skateboards, e-bikes, hoverboards, and scooters. The Swagtron EB12 Electric Bike doesn’t fold but is a reliable commuter bicycle.
Headquartered in Union City, Calif., the team at Zizzo is committed to bringing European cycling culture to mainstream America. Its bicycles are known for increased stability thanks to a lower center of gravity. They also have wider tires for increased comfort and traction. A popular model is the EuroMini Zizzo Campo Folding Bike because it has an aluminum frame and seven-speed gear system.
Since its founding in 2017, Ecotric has sold over 10,000 bikes throughout the United States. Its commitment to research and development has allowed it to become a trusted name in electric bikes. The Ecotric Fat Tire Electric Bicycle both looks cool and is comfortable to ride.
Folding Electric Bike Pricing
- Under $500: You’ll find quality electric folding bikes in this price range. They’ll have aluminum or steel frames and may not have a long-range.
- $500 to $1,000: You’ll find a range of bicycles in this range that vary in type, power, frame material, and wheel size. These bikes are dependable and durable.
- $1,000 and up: These are the highest quality bikes. You’ll find frames that are made from carbon fiber and titanium. They’ll also have the highest top speeds and furthest riding distances.
Wheels come in sizes that range from 16 to 26 inches. The smallest wheel sizes are the lightest weight and the most portable. However, they are tougher on you for long distances and aren’t very fast. The largest wheels have the greatest stability and shock resistance. However, they’re also the heaviest and the bulkiest when folded. You’ll want to balance the size of the wheels with their speed and size when folded.
A split-fold mechanism is the most popular. There’s a hinge at the center of the bike frame, so the bicycle folds in half. It’s simple and quick to work. A triangular hinge is the second most common and considered the best. It’s more complicated to fold down but takes up very little space. The third option is a breakaway mechanism. It’s the least common and requires you to split the bike into two pieces.
Electric bikes are either single or multi-geared. More gears make it easier to ride on hills and have a higher top speed. Adjust the gears to give the right amount of resistance while riding. Anywhere from three to eight gears is suitable for more people. However, consider where and how you’ll ride to determine if gears are even a needed feature. A casual rider on relatively flat terrain will be fine with a single gear.
- Frame Material. The frame’s material will have a major impact on the durability and overall weight. Aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, and steel are the most common frame materials. Steel is the heaviest but very durable. Carbon fiber and titanium are top of the line but also very expensive. Aluminum is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and affordable. However, it isn’t the most durable.
- Weight. A heavier bike requires more work to move. If you plan on taking your bike with you, then the weight is an important factor. Once your bike is folded, you need to be able to pick it up and carry it to your chosen destination. Heavier bikes also require more energy to move, so they may not have the same speed and range as other lighter bikes.
- Adjustability. The bicycle that you choose needs to fit you so that it’s comfortable to ride. Since it’s difficult to find a bike custom made for you, look for an adjustable one. You should be able to adjust the handlebars, saddle, and frame. This lets you get the perfect length of frame and height of the saddle and handlebars.
Best Folding Electric Bikes Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you find yourself with a low battery, you can compensate for it by reducing the assist and pedaling harder. This will increase your range by preserving what little battery you have left.
- If you’re a commuter, consider buying a second charger for your destination. Then you can charge your bike at home at night while sleeping or during the day while working.
- Check your tires and maintain proper tire pressure. This will reduce the amount of required energy it takes to move the bike. Too low tire pressure makes your bike feel sluggish.
Q: Are folding bikes good for long rides?
Yes, similar to traditional bikes, you can ride a folding bike comfortably for long distances. As long as the bike has a strong and sturdy build, it will be stable enough to support you for long rides. It’s also important to choose a comfortable bike.
Q: What is the lightest folding electric bike?
The lightest folding electric bike weighs 12.5 kilograms. It’s called “The One” and is manufactured by the Swiss manufacturer United City Bikes. It has a single tube frame, 16-inch wheels, and a 250-watt hub motor. The entire bicycle is designed to be as light as possible.
Q: Can you ride electric bikes in the rain?
Yes, you can ride an electric bicycle in the rain. The electrical system is waterproof and designed to resist rain. However, manufacturers recommend that you don’t leave your bike in the rain unnecessarily. You also should avoid condensation from developing in the electrical components.
The EB7 Plus Folding Electric Bike is a great option with its swappable battery, compact 16-inch wheels, powerful disk brakes, and long riding range. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the EuroMini Folding-Bicycle is impressive with its light weight and seven gear speeds.