The environmental credentials of e-bikes, and electric / human powered hybrids generally, have led some municipal authorities to use them, such as Little Rock, Arkansas with their Wavecrest electric power-assisted bicycles or Cloverdale, California police with Zap e-bikes. China’s e-bike manufacturers, such as Xinri, are now partnering with universities in a bid to improve their technology in line with international environmental standards, backed by the Chinese government who is keen to improve the export potential of the Chinese manufactured e-bikes.[67]
Once I’d done my part, I invited eight cyclist friends over for test rides, asking them to rate the ride quality and the ease of folding and unfolding, as well as to provide commentary and suggest a price, as a way to gauge their perception of value. (Note: The Mariner model they tested was the D7, but we’re confident they would have similar opinions on the upgraded D8). Finally, I asked bike expert Damon Strub to peruse the spec sheets and highlight any pros or cons of each model.
Torque sensors and power controls were developed in the late 1990s. For example, Takada Yutky of Japan filed a patent in 1997 for such a device. In 1992 Vector Services Limited offered and sold an e-bike dubbed Zike.[9] The bicycle included NiCd batteries that were built into a frame member and included an 850 g permanent-magnet motor. Despite the Zike, in 1992 hardly any commercial e-bikes were available.
Cargo bikes and city bikes are common in the e-bike space, but until recently we haven’t seen that many performance road bikes. The Giant Road E+1 is a pedal-assist performance road bike that’s made for more than just commuting; the powerful motor can rank you up to 28mph very quickly on the highest setting so you can rip the flats, join your local group ride, or blast through the mountains with far less effort than a traditional road bike. Don't expect it to feel like a 16lb race bike when you lean it into high-speed turns, but the endurance-oriented geometry allows for an aggressive position on the bike and keeps the it nimble and agile at high speed.

And indeed, the company’s best seller, the Mariner, ranked as the first choice after our testing thanks to its features, as it ticks all the boxes on the list of what most commuter riders want in a folding bike. First and foremost, we found it smooth to ride and to shift—with the newest model, the D8, rigged with a Shimano trigger shifter, an upgrade to the twist shifters seen on the previous D7 and many other folders—and appropriately geared for pedaling up hills. (I rode up the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan comfortably on the fourth-easiest of its eight gears.) It folds down quickly, in about a five-step process, and locks together with a magnet between the 20-inch wheels.
I also know people. To research this guide, I consulted with David Lam, owner of Bfold, a folding-bike shop in Manhattan that carries Bike Friday, Birdy, Brompton, Dahon, and Tern, among other brands; Steven Huang, a consultant for Birdy and Brompton and the owner of Foldie Foodie Brommie Yummie riding food tours, also based in New York City; Stephen Cuomo, a folding-bike industry consultant in Connecticut and founder of Biketube; general bike expert Damon Strub, owner of the Astoria, New York-based Nomad Cycle (which carries Dahon), who answered all my annoying technical questions about derailleurs and hubs; and our very own Mike Berk, executive editor of The Wirecutter and a longtime folding-bike enthusiast. I also recruited eight cyclists—ranging from recreational to competitive, and including males and females of various heights—to test-ride the bikes and provide their thoughtful feedback.
Somehow, despite my original aversion to pedaling, I soon realized I was actually having fun using my legs. I even started dropping the assist level down from 8, the highest level, to a more reasonable 5 or 6. I could feel that I was making an honest effort, but it was just enough to get those endorphins going without being so much that I was sweating and tired.
If an electric bike can get you to work without sweating through your shirt, and a folding bike can fit in a car and get stored under a desk, why not...an electric folding bike? Jetson’s Metro electric folding bike fits a 250-watt CZJB motor cleverly hidden in the bike’s crossbar. At $800, it's much more affordable than, say, a $3500 Tern Vektron or even a $1700 RadWagon RadMini.
The market for folding electric bicycles is growing quickly as people realize the advantages of this unique method of hybrid transportation – and the world of folding bikes is no different. So to help you figure out which product is right for you, we’ve put together a list – the 5 best folding electric bike reviews for 2018! Read on, and see what product works best for your unique situation.
Great bike, especially for the price. After a few minor glitches, but working with an excellent customer service rep from Amazon, Gregg, we received the bike (basket had to be shipped later, it didn't come with it originally but all worked out well). I've used this several times, speed reaches 25 mph, powerful bike, can't believe the price. Easy to handle, I have no problems whatsoever with the kickstand but if it has to be physically carried, I let my husband do it, but as for getting it off the kickstand or back on, I have no issues. The only thing I didn't like was the seat, I found it to be uncomfortable so switched seats and bought a great sheepskin cover on Amazon for it. I don't know how long the charge will last, I've only used it a few miles at a time but no loss of power ... full review
I liked everything but I have two concerns. 1) I bought two bikes. One for me and one for my friend and already on the first week both biked got problems with the brake handle. One of them broke without any reason. But both are really bad and doesnt work properly. 2) we need to buy an extra battery and it is always sold out. We really need it and we can't find. But overall the bike is excellent. I don't know how to replace the brake handle.
Obviously, you shouldn’t ignore traffic rules and try to weave around cars – that’s dangerous, even for unpowered bicycles. However, folding electric bikes can fit places that cars can’t – alleyways, or even sidewalks – though again, you should follow all posted laws and regulations about where to ride them. Using your surroundings smartly in an urban environment can help you avoid traffic completely.
For some shoppers, the number-one criterion is how small a bike can get. The Brompton S6L elegantly transforms into a package that shaves 3 inches off the height, 2 inches off the width, and 8 inches off the length of the folded Mariner (and even more off the dimensions of the Tern models), making for an easier carry. Even so, it manages an “I’m almost riding a full-size bike” experience on the road. The handlebars, gearing, frame type, accessories, cargo options, and paint job are all customizable—for a price. (Our six-speed test bike, as it came to us, retailed for about $1,800 at the time of our review.)

The Mate X, like the original, can be folded completely in about 10 seconds. That can be a huge convenience for many urbanites since you can pack it in the car or take it on public transport where folding bikes are often allowed free of charge all day long (in Amsterdam, there’s a €6.20 surcharge for regular bikes and they can only be taken on trains during off-peak hours). You can also just fold the handlebars and pedals if you need a thin profile to store the bike in a narrow hallway, a wall rack, or to roll it into a busy elevator. But don’t underestimate the weight or the size of the Mate X. At 29kg (64 pounds), this bike is heavy, and it can be unwieldy to lift because it doesn’t lock into the folded position.
E-bikes can be a useful part of cardiac rehabilitation programmes, since health professionals will often recommend a stationary bike be used in the early stages of these. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes can reduce deaths in people with coronary heart disease by around 27%;[55] and a patient may feel safer progressing from stationary bikes to e-bikes.[56] They require less cardiac exertion for those who have experienced heart problems.[57]
While you are looking at foldable electric bikes you must keep in mind not to rush. Stay calm and make sure that you test ride every electric bike that catches your eye. Testing a ride is very important. It gives you the idea of each and every part, the noise of the motor, the power the engine takes, the speed it can reach up to, the weight of the bike, folding time, folding convenience, tools required for folding, paddling force etc. All these properties are very important to acknowledge as you can choose the right one for yourself.
It’s easy to figure out how to fold and unfold it. I put a stopwatch on myself and discovered that it usually takes under twenty seconds for me to take it apart or put it together. Of course, that’s not including the times when I couldn't align the crossbar properly, or when it took extra grunt to close the clamp. I thought about loosening the nut to make it easier to clamp the crossbar together, but loosening parts on a bike that can go 16 mph didn't seem like a great idea.
The Tern GSD is designed to carry up to 400 pounds, while keeping its footprint the same as a standard ebike. A stepthrough frame adds to the versatility and ease of use, especially for smaller riders, and a slightly longer wheelbase adds stability. Magura disc brakes provide confident stopping power, even when the bike is loaded. Tern also offers an assortment of accessories to customize your ride. Price not available.
As for tech specs, the Mariner D8 comes with a forged aluminum crank (according to our experts, more long-lasting than the pressed/riveted steel or aluminum that manufacturers sometimes use to cut costs) and a Shimano Altus rear derailleur (an upgrade to the Tourney on the previous D7 model), which offers good quality for the price. The D8’s tires, Schwalbe Citizens, are about on a par with the just-okay Kenda Konversions seen on the D7. Finally, and possibly most telling, our cyclist testers gave the Mariner D7 a unanimous thumbs-up, saying it “felt most like a real bike.” Although they weren’t able to test the D8, I was, and the ride quality hasn’t changed.
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.
Choose from a variety of builds and five colors or upgrade to the Elite Custom build and choose from 20 colors. Bike Friday’s size range should accommodate riders from 4’5” to 6’3” tall. Bike Friday also offers three belt-drive options for the PakIt, which are easy to maintain and great for keeping the grease off your pant legs. Add a electric-assist motor for easy climbing. Builds start at $1019.
For anyone familiar with the folding-bike category, it may not come as a surprise that a Dahon—the Dahon Mariner in particular—topped our tests and emerged as our pick for most people. Founded in Southern California by David Hon 30-plus years ago, the company lists 18 current models on its site, from basic grocery-getters to step-through beach cruisers to high-performance bikes.
E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles, as they emit no combustion by-products. However, the environmental effects of electricity generation and power distribution and of manufacturing and disposing of (limited life) high storage density batteries must be taken into account. Even with these issues considered, e-bikes are claimed to have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles, and are generally seen as environmentally desirable in an urban environment.[65]
I then rode each bike on a test commute into Manhattan and schlepped it back on the N train, taking note of the shifting, steering, braking, and overall ride quality, as well as the ease of folding the bike and then carrying it down the subway stairs, through the turnstiles (not all fit), and onto the train—and then doing the reverse on the other end. I also evaluated any luggage-/cargo-carrying options, as well as how compactly and securely each bike folded for fitting under a desk or into a car trunk or closet.

The 20-inch Schwinn Loop, Amazon’s best-selling folding bike at around $200 currently, isn’t really designed for commuting (despite the Amazon verbiage). It has a bulky step-through frame, and in our tests it offered a heavy, sluggish ride—Citi Bikes (those blue three-speed bike-share behemoths) often passed me on the bridge, and I had no hope of fitting it through the subway turnstiles. If you plan to use your folding bike regularly, do yourself a favor and spend more.


While folders are usually smaller in overall size than conventional bicycles, the distances among the center of bottom bracket, the top of the saddle, and the handlebars - the primary factors in determining whether or not a bicycle fits its rider - are usually similar to those of conventional bikes. The wheelbase of many folding designs is also very similar to that of conventional, non-folding, bicycles.

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.


My husband and I purchased a Vika + each. We have hip problems and I can't walk for any distance. But I CAN ride my new bike. I LOVE it. My husband had a hip replacement and wasn't riding very much anymore because of the hills. Now he has no problems with them and is really enjoying getting out riding again. I get around 34 miles to a charge and he gets double the mileage I get. When we ride I always have a smile on my face!!
You see, I’m not really a cyclist. It’s not that I’m lazy or out of shape. I run between 3 to 5 miles a day and could pedal if I wanted to. It’s just that I generally think of electric bicycles more like little electric motorcycles that don’t require me to get a motorcycle license or pay for insurance or registration. They’re for getting around quickly and effortlessly.
This bike is named the GSD because with it you can Get Stuff Done. Twenty-inch wheels keep the center of gravity low so heavy payloads—it's rated up to 400lbs—are easy to balance and a short (for a cargo bike) 70-inch wheelbase, similar to a standard single bike, make the GSD easy to maneuver. Designed with the urban commuter in mind, the bike can easily break down to 60 percent of its original size to fit into the back of a car and the rear rack doubles as a stand that allows it to stand upright to minimize space inside tight apartments. Put two child seats on the back and take the family along, or drop the seat and let you kid take the bike out himself—anyone from 4'10" to 6'5" can ride this bike. Last but not least, the GSD gives you the option of adding a second battery to extend your range up to about 150 miles on a single charge.
For anyone familiar with the folding-bike category, it may not come as a surprise that a Dahon—the Dahon Mariner in particular—topped our tests and emerged as our pick for most people. Founded in Southern California by David Hon 30-plus years ago, the company lists 18 current models on its site, from basic grocery-getters to step-through beach cruisers to high-performance bikes.
Your long bicycle commute to work means you are a sweaty mess before the day even begins, and you have never felt at ease leaving the bike locked outside the building all day, but now that you have a folding electric bike, both of these problems are solved. The electric bike assists you at the hardest parts of your ride and keeps you flying safely down the road at up to 20 miles per hour or faster, without pedaling. Its folding design then makes the bicycle so compact, you can fit it in a corner of the office without disturbing anyone. The large selection on eBay includes folding electric mountain bikes as well, for easily traversing more rugged terrain and in less than perfect weather. Folding electric bikes are safe, efficient, and fully rechargeable. Some brake systems turn the motor off automatically, which saves power. Brushless, gearless motors function quietly, which is more pleasant both for the rider and nearby pedestrians. Electric bike conversion kits are also available to help you install an electric bike motor onto a compatible standard bicycle.
With our “most people” rider in mind, we started by zeroing in on the brands and models that had good reputations and good reviews from other outlets, such as BikeRadar, Folding Bike Guy, and Momentum Mag. I discussed at length the merits of a variety of options with experts Lam, Cuomo, and Berk, as well as the specs to use as limiting factors to narrow the field. We settled on bikes with:
Range is a key consideration with e-bikes, and is affected by factors such as motor efficiency, battery capacity, efficiency of the driving electronics, aerodynamics, hills and weight of the bike and rider.[36][37] Some manufacturers, such as the Canadian BionX or American Vintage Electric Bikes,[38] have the option of using regenerative braking, the motor acts as a generator to slow the bike down prior to the brake pads engaging.[39] This is useful for extending the range and the life of brake pads and wheel rims. There are also experiments using fuel cells. e.g. the PHB. Some experiments have also been undertaken with super capacitors to supplement or replace batteries for cars and some SUVS. E-bikes developed in Switzerland in the late 1980s for the Tour de Sol solar vehicle race came with solar charging stations but these were later fixed on roofs and connected so as to feed into the electric mains.[40] The bicycles were then charged from the mains, as is common today. While ebike batteries were produced mainly by bigger companies in past, many small to medium companies have started using innovative new methods for creating more durable batteries. State of the art, custom built automated precision CNC spot welding machines[41] created 18650 battery packs[42] are commonly used among Do-it-yourself ebike makers.
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