As with any bicycle, you should buy a folding bike in person, at a local bike shop—first, so that you can test-ride it, and second, so that you can have a knowledgeable person set it up and make sure it’s safely street-ready. If the model you want isn’t in the store, the shop owner can typically order it for you. If you do end up ordering online, unless you’re very knowledgeable about bicycle mechanics, please take your bike to a local shop to have a pro set it up (and be sure to take the fee for that service into account when you’re weighing any online discount you’ve found). Remember: You will be entrusting your life to this bike, and the last thing you want is for the handlebars to come loose or who knows what else happening when you’re riding in traffic.

5 levels of pedal assist and a thumb throttle allow you to control the amount of power, with a top speed of 20 mph. When power is applied, it is not overwhelming. You remain in control of the 500-watt geared hub motor at all times. The battery is a 36v 9 Ah Lithium-ion model. You can get 20-30 miles of range on one charge, in part thanks to the motor inhibitor that cuts power when the brakes are applied.
Designed specifically for travel, the Breakaway is a full-sized road bike frame that splits in two for easy packing. Ritchey uses high-quality butted cromoly steel for the frameset, which features an efficient road riding geometry and carbon fork. A locking compression system ensures the joints won’t come apart while you’re riding, and only adds 100 grams. The Breakaway weighs 5.2 pounds and is available in five sizes. Ritchey also includes a travel-ready packing case. Build it up to suit your traveling road cycling dreams. Price: $1600.
Batteries are the core part of a folding electric bike and if chosen poorly can turn your expensive e-bike into a waste. There are many batteries with different properties. But the most recommended battery for your folding e-bike is the lithium manganese battery. They are the best and are used even more than the lithium-ion ones. They generate high power and do not require a lot of maintenance.
China's experience, as the leading e-bike world market, has raised concerns about road traffic safety and several cities have considered banning them from bicycle lanes.[2] As the number of e-bikes increased and more powerful motors are used, capable of reaching up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), the number of traffic accidents have risen significantly in China. E-bike riders are more likely than a car driver to be killed or injured in a collision, and because e-bikers use conventional bicycle lanes they mix with slower-moving bicycles and pedestrians, increasing the risk of traffic collisions.[2]
Is it light enough? Make sure the folding bike you choose is light enough for you to easily carry around. Granted, you’ll be riding it much of the time, but you may have to hold it while on public transit or haul it up the stairs to your office or apartment. Some of the lightest folding bikes weigh under 10 pounds, but notably, they tend to cost more.
If you have very little storage space and love to bring your bike on vacations, you should look at the Goplus Electric Folding Bike. It has a powerful battery that’s removable and allows you to go up to 30 km per charge. To fully charge the battery, you’d need about 5 to 6 hours. It charges easily, and its charger is UL approved for safety. The bike is made of aluminum alloy with the front fork made of high-strength carbon steel. It features a quick release clamp that allows you to fold the bike quickly and easily. The bike weighs 55lbs, and when folded, it measures 33’’x26’’x14’’ (LxHxW). Both front and rear brakes are reliable and guarantee safety. The seat height is adjustable, so you can go up or down a size if you’re maybe sharing the bike with someone else. The bike comes partially assembled, and if you’re not a professional, I suggest you have someone help you with tightening everything into place.
There are individuals who claim to have lost considerable amounts of weight by using an electric bike.[62] A recent prospective cohort study however found that people using e-bikes have a higher BMI.[63] By making the biking terrain less of an issue, people who wouldn't otherwise consider biking can use the electric assistance when needed and otherwise pedal as they are able.[64] This means people of lower fitness levels or who haven't cycled in many years can start enjoying the many health benefits E-bikes have to offer. [1]
Brought to market via a Kickstarter campaign, this electric folding bike is probably the most superhuman looking of the bunch. The battery is just 138W, but it’s the size of a water bottle, drastically reducing the weight of the overall bike to just 12kg. A dual chain drive keeps the pedalling feeling as close as possible to a ‘normal bike’, despite the teeny tiny wheels. Possibly one that’s got to be tried to be believed.
Not only that, the foldability and light weight of these bikes can help you prevent theft – which is a huge problem in most cities. Instead of locking your bike up outside and leaving enterprising thieves to consider the best way of stealing it, you can simply fold it up and take it with you – to the office, grocery store, wherever you may be. No fretting about whether or not you bike will be there when you get back from your errands.
Another system found on folders, such as Montague Bikes, utilizes the seat tube as a pivot point for the frame to fold. This system uses a tube within a tube design to give the bike more torsional stiffness. It allows the user to fold the bike without "breaking" any vital tubes down, thus preserving the structural integrity of the diamond frame. This system is operated by a single quick release found along the top tube of the bike.
"I never lock my Brompton. I just fold it and carry it with me. I have several bikes, and at 24 lbs my Brompton is the lightest bike I've got! I take it in its sack on the Long Island Railroad and everybody assumes its just a large soft-sided attache case. The bike is quite nimble but is not the fastest two wheeler on the street. I wouldn't want to ride it to Chicago but its great for errands around town and the trip between Penn Station and Wall Street or for a leisurely trip from my home on Long Island to anywhere within 25 miles or so."
As with any purchase, ask yourself how you plan to use the bike and try to find the one that matches your needs best. Remember that you often get what you pay for and that a lower-quality bike may make you wish you had bought a better bike in the first place. The better quality folding bikes may seem expensive, but considering that a typical non-folding bike takes up 20 square feet in an apartment, you'll save perhaps $10,000 over ten years by being able to get a slightly smaller apartment. So you can't afford not to buy a good-quality folding bike.

Mate Bikes is focusing on volume right now, which helps to explain why its prices are so low. The company first wants to establish itself as a global brand, before introducing more premium bikes in 2019 and 2020 (a cargo bike is coming) using materials like carbon fiber. For now it earns money on thin margins and by up-selling buyers on higher-margin accessories. And yes, Mate Bikes, like most bike manufacturers, uses off-the-shelf components like Shimano shifters, LG batteries, and Bafang motors, but it’s not a white-label Chinese bike, the company assures me. The Mate X frame, for example, has been customized to the point of now being considered an original design, and each component has been independently selected to achieve the targeted cost and performance required from the overall product.


E-bikes are classed according to the power that their electric motor can deliver and the control system, i.e., when and how the power from the motor is applied. Also the classification of e-bikes is complicated as much of the definition is due to legal reasons of what constitutes a bicycle and what constitutes a moped or motorcycle. As such, the classification of these e-bikes varies greatly across countries and local jurisdictions.
I also had long discussions with my editors about price versus value. A number of companies sell very inexpensive folding bikes on Amazon and at big-box stores such as Target and Walmart. However, because a rider’s life could quite literally be at stake should their bike suffer a mechanical failure mid-ride, we suspected that most people would prefer to spend a little more for a known brand with a reputation to maintain. We did call in Amazon’s best seller, a $200 Schwinn, as well as a couple of other mass-market bikes that had good reviews from other editorial outlets. On the other end, we considered a few pricier picks for more serious riders who are willing to shell out for higher quality or extra features. Finally, with the established producers (Dahon, Schwinn, and Tern), we looked at both an entry-level model and an upgrade version. Our final list:
“I am a big mountain biker and over the past couple years have taken a couple of electric folding bikes with me on various trips around the Southwest. I ride hard on the mountain bikes, then use the eFolders to get out and see the nooks and crannies of the town we are staying in … Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear Resort, Sedona, Springdale near Zion National Park, etc. I leave my truck in the parking lot and explore on the eFolder … after a hard day of riding the electric aspect is great … don’t have to worry about hills! Also the folding nature allows the bikes to transport easily, and store easily in the hotel or condo.”
The Pacific Cycles Birdy Standard 9 Speed has a cool backstory: The bike was designed by a pair of German engineering students in the 1990s and is now manufactured by a Taiwanese firm. This model, a reintroduction of the original design, has no break in the frame. Instead, you fold it by rotating both tires underneath. This means that when it’s locked into the riding position, it has the structural integrity to handle heavier riders (up to 240 pounds). In our tests it offered a comfortable ride thanks to its integrated rear suspension, but given the bike’s limited distribution, its larger footprint when folded, and its high price—comparable with that of the Brompton—we chose the Brompton as our upgrade pick. Still, the Birdy could be a good option for larger riders.
This hand welded aviation grade alloy frame comes fitted around 20″ inch wheels and features an alloy fork with sprung suspension. The 250W motor will go for 45 miles on pedal assist mode (18 miles if you use more power) and you get mechanical discs. The whole package weighs 18kg, so it’s not lightweight – but the suspension means this one could be well suited to those wanting to take the path less travelled.

Brussels-based Ahooga picked up a prestigious Red Dot design award earlier in 2018 for this hybrid bike, which pairs design simplicity with a little added oomph from a 250W rear hub electric motor. Weighing in at 13kg including battery, it’s light enough ride as normal but with the electrical assistance as an luxury extra. The Style+ model comes with leather anatomical Saddle, Wolfy pedals, puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and a pair of rather natty roll-open mudguards. But perhaps the biggest draw with this handsome model is its colour options – there are 215 to choose from, in matt or glossy finish.
It is not just the final size that is a factor here, but the time it takes to actually fold the bike. The quickest simply fold in half but have a larger folded size than models with a more complicated mechanism. If you will be folding your bicycle multiple times per day, a quick folding time may be better, as long as it does not take up too much space on the bus or in the office. If you live in a tiny apartment and only ride to work, then go for something that folds up really small.
Back into the ‘fully folding world’, we’ve got the Coyote Connect. This 20″ bike comes with a 24V battery, has a max speed of 15 mph and will go for around 20 miles. It’s got a Shimano Tourney 6-speed gear system, Tektro V-brakes with Kenda tyres. The frame is alloy, but the forks are steel – which will add to comfort bit will be a tad heavier than most.
Brussels-based Ahooga picked up a prestigious Red Dot design award earlier in 2018 for this hybrid bike, which pairs design simplicity with a little added oomph from a 250W rear hub electric motor. Weighing in at 13kg including battery, it’s light enough ride as normal but with the electrical assistance as an luxury extra. The Style+ model comes with leather anatomical Saddle, Wolfy pedals, puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and a pair of rather natty roll-open mudguards. But perhaps the biggest draw with this handsome model is its colour options – there are 215 to choose from, in matt or glossy finish.
As a counterbalance to the cute utilitarian bikes above, the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp is a big, bad, and burly mountain bike. With 27.5-inch wheels, massive 2.8-inch tires, 150mm of travel in the front and 135mm of travel in the rear this bike is made to shred. The Specialized 1.3 Rx Trail-Tuned motor is designed specifically for off-road riding and features a double freehweel design that disengages the gear box at top speed to reduce friction while ripping downhill. The low center of gravity and stout parts make this one a relatively nimble handler that is ready for the rowdiest downhills.
As with any bicycle, you should buy a folding bike in person, at a local bike shop—first, so that you can test-ride it, and second, so that you can have a knowledgeable person set it up and make sure it’s safely street-ready. If the model you want isn’t in the store, the shop owner can typically order it for you. If you do end up ordering online, unless you’re very knowledgeable about bicycle mechanics, please take your bike to a local shop to have a pro set it up (and be sure to take the fee for that service into account when you’re weighing any online discount you’ve found). Remember: You will be entrusting your life to this bike, and the last thing you want is for the handlebars to come loose or who knows what else happening when you’re riding in traffic.
The Dahon Qix D8, a higher-end model than the Mariner D8, folds in half like a switchblade (end over end), and you can orient it the standard way (seat up) or upright, with the frame hinge up; with the bike in the latter position, you can roll it. In our tests, everything about the Qix D8, from ride to storage, was just fine, but unless you’re in love with the interesting fold, you may be better off putting your $1,000 toward a Brompton or a Birdy, or saving nearly half of that by buying the Mariner D8.
After evaluating the seven-speed Tern Link B7, I had to double-check that it in fact retailed for just $400. For starters, it rode great, an opinion that all nine of our cyclist testers shared—one tester, suspecting it was one of the pricier bikes of the group, said that even if it cost $500, he would buy it that day. (I don’t think he actually did buy it, but he was pretty pumped when I told him it came in under his estimated sticker price.) Bike expert Strub confirmed that “it’s a lot of bike” for the money, praising its “clean frame design” and pointing out that it had the same Shimano derailleurs and shifters and similar 20-inch Kenda tires as the Mariner D7, which usually retails for nearly $200 more; the updated Mariner D8, however, improves on the derailleur and shifter for the same D7 sticker price. I found the fold, which is like the Mariner’s, to be a cinch, and the magnet snapped tight every time. The Link B7 also has ergonomic handlebar grips similar to the ones we like on the Link D8.
The Ancheer folding electric mountain bike does have a few weird quirks. The first is the handlebar mounted battery. It saves space for the folding mechanism, but looks odd. Fortunately it has very little effect on handling because it is mounted so close the head tube’s pivot point. It does raise the center of gravity of the bike a bit, but the difference is small compared to how much you raise the bike’s center of gravity.
×