7 Best Folding Electric Bikes – What To Expect in 2020?
Folding bikes have long been the go-to choice of cyclists who often use alternative transport, such as city commuters, cycle tourists, or motorists who like to drive to their cycle spots. With the recent rise of electric bikes, many of these same cyclists are now pondering to upgrade to something with a bit of motorized assistance.
Folding electric bikes combine the ease of portability with the additional convenience of motor assistance. This makes them the ideal bikes for city commuters who need a sweat-free trip to work and may also need to use the train on occasion.
Portable electric bike = foldable electric bike
Price & Value
Foldable electric bikes come in a wide range of prices, from as little as $800 up to $4,000 or more. The quality and components also vary greatly, with a big difference in battery life and motor strength. Depending on how you plan on using the bike it’s important to select one that is suitable for your needs.
7 Best Folding Electric Bikes
In this review
- RadPower RadMini 4 – $1,499
- Ecotric – $815
- Eahora X5 – $1,100
- Tern HSD P9 – $3,199
- Sinch – $1,499
- GoCycle GX – $3,299
- Lectric XP – $999
Rad Power Bikes – RadMini 4
Best folding electric bike 🏆
MSRP $1,500 RadPower.com
The RadMini 4 is one of our top value-for-money portable electric bikes due to its tough design and quality components. It has a plus-sized 20″ x 3″ puncture-resistant tires combined with a mini front fork for extra comfort and safety while riding.
- Range: 25-45miles
- Folded Dimensions (LxWxH): 41″ x 22″ x 28″
- Weight: 67 lbs
The robust aluminum frame and handlebars both fold up so the bike collapses to the size of a large suitcase (41″x22″x28″). For a foldable e-bike, the RadMini 4 is surprisingly powerful, providing 80Nm of torque from its 750W motor and taking you up to 45 miles on a single charge of the 672Wh battery.
- Motor: 750W @ 80Nm
- Battery: 672Wh
- Charge time: 5-6 hour
It has a twist-grip throttle and comes fully equipped with fenders, lights, a and detailed display panel showing speed, battery life, and other information. On the drivetrain, you’ll find decent 7-speed Shimano Altus gears and Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors.
Great for riders with an inseam of 24″-32″
Best under $1,000 foldable fat tire e-bike on Amazon
MSRP $815 Amazon.com
At only $840, the Ecotric is your best option for a cheap folding electric bike. Ecotric offers a 30-day free trial and 18 months warranty to address any concerns you may have about the quality. Despite the low price, the aluminum frame feels as solid as any other, with a strong clamp design that locks in tightly when unfolding it. There’s no front suspension here but with wide 20″ x 4″ fat tires, it’ll swallow up most vibrations.
- Range: Up to 45 miles
- Folded Dimensions:
- Weight: 52lb
Admittedly, the 7-speed Shimano gears are quite basic and the mechanical disc brakes are squeaky, but the small 500W motor runs well and the battery will take you up to 24 miles on one charge. At 52lbs (23.5kg), it’s fairly heavy for a foldable bike and doesn’t pack down quite as small as some others. The bike is also not as comfortable for riders above 6 feet tall.
- Motor: 500W, Rear-hub
- Battery: 48V 13AH battery
- Charge time: 5-8 hours (1000 charging cycles)
Wheels / Brakes
- 20″x4″ far tire bikes
- Mechanical disc brakes – 160mm rotors
Recommended for riders 4’8″ – 5’10
Eahora – X5
Folding fat tire electric bike
MSRP $1,100 Amazon.com
The Eahora X5 is a unique portable eBike designed for snowy conditions. It has a small and compact aluminum frame design with a simple middle pivot to fold the bike in half. It runs off a 48V Li-Ion removable battery and you can get it with a 500W or 750W motor (Plus), with speeds of up to 32mph (50kph).
- Range: 24-30 miles
- Folded Dimensions: n/a
- Weight: 60 lbs
The fat 20″ x 4″ tires have extra-thick tread for grip in wet, icy, or sandy conditions. On the drivetrain, there’s a basic Shimano 7-speed gear set supported by Tektro mechanical disc brakes which squeak a bit but provide adequate stopping power.
- Motor: 500W rear-hub @ 60Nm
- Battery: 500Wh Samsung
- Charge time: 4 to 5 hours
In practice, we found that the battery needs to be recharged quite often and the motor seldom reaches top speed but for a strong, foldable e-bike at a low price, the Eahora X5 is a decent buy.
Recommended for riders 5’3″ to 6’5″ / Max rider weight: 220lbs / Max bike load: 330 lbs
Tern – HSD P9
A cargo bike with a fold-in handlebar, front suspension, and a chain-tensioner
MSRP $3,199 REI.com
Not only is the Tern HSD P9 a high-quality electric bike but it’s also a foldable cargo bike. That’s the triple-whammy of convenience – electric assistance, portable, and able to carry heavy loads. It’s no wonder this is ebike is on the higher end of the price scale. The telescopic seat post and folding handlebars means this tiny bike can unfold to fit any size person and is surprisingly light considering the weight it can carry.
- Range: 26-69mi
- Folded Dimensions: Only the handlebar folds down
- Weight: 57lbs
- Motor: 250W mid-drive @50Nm
- Battery: 400Wh
- Charge period: 1.5h – 3.5h
It’s equipped with a powerful 250W Bosch Active Line motor on the crank and a battery that will take you up to 69 miles (111km) at 20mph (32kph). To assist the motor you get Shimano’s mid-level Alivio drivetrain with 9 gears and matching hydraulic disc brakes. With 2.2″ Schwalbe tires and a 70mm Suntour front suspension fork, the Tern has no trouble absorbing any small vibrations or shocks.
Recommended for riders 4’11” to 6’5″
Stylish fat tire foldable electric bike with a superb score
MSRP $1,499 Aventon.com
The Sinch is a modern-looking, funky little fold-up electric bike that will turn heads on the street. It has a 20mph (25kph) pedal-assist motor with an average 40-mile range on the battery and thick 4″ Kenda puncture-resistant tires for a smooth ride over any terrain.
- Range: Up to 40 miles (Up to 71mikes pedal-assist)
- Folded Dimensions: 41″ L / 23″ W / 31″ H
- Weight: 68 lbs
Shimano’s Acera drivetrain provides a decent 7 gears but is sadly matched with subpar Tektro mechanical disc brakes and large 180mm rotors. You also get 45mm of travel on the front suspension fork with a lockout, which is great for tackling some off-road dirt tracks or rough streets.
- Motor: 500W (750W peak)
- Battery: 672Wh, 48V Brushless motor
- Charge time:
When fully folded, the Sinch dimensions are 41″x23″x31″, which is a bit bigger than average so it’s not the most portable bike. However, it looks great and is fun for zipping around town, visiting friends, or commuting to work.
Recommended for riders: 5’0 – 6’3″
Folds in less than 10 seconds, equipped with 1″ travel rear suspension
MSRP $3,299 GoCycle.com
GoCycle makes two models of their lightweight portable electric bike, the GX, and GXi. It’s a modern, attractive looking bike that folds up quickly and easily for hopping on trains or buses. Design is a key factor in GoCycle’s appeal, with a futuristic display panel, unique five-spoke wheels, and a clean, minimalist frame.
- Range: 40-50 miles
- Folded Dimensions: L34.6in x W15.3in x H24.2in (with pedals folded in) / L32.7in x W15.3in x H29.5in (with kickstand folded in)
- Weight: 36.5 lbs
Although this is one of the most lightweight foldable bikes in this list – there’s a double-kickstand for convenient storage!
- Motor: 750W
- Battery: 300-375Wh
- Charge time: 4-7 hours
The hydro-formed aluminum frame supports a proprietary 250W front hub motor powered by a 300Wh removable Li-Ion battery. It goes up to 20 mph (25kph) with a range of 40 miles (65km). Tires are 20×2.25″ with hydraulic disc brakes on the front and rear Pitstop wheels. The more expensive GXi model has a faster charge time, longer range, more detailed display, predictive shifting, and daytime running lights.
Recommended for riders up to 220lb
Step-Through, Unisex frames available
MSRP $999 Lectricbikes.com
This foldable e-bike from Lectric is a steal at only $999 and comes in both a standard and step-through model. The bike has a strong, chunky frame that folds down to 37″x18″x27″, making it small enough for easy transportation and storage. It weighs a rather hefty 63lbs (28kg) though, so keep that in mind if you think you’ll need to lug it upstairs.
- Range: 25-50+ miles
- Folded Dimensions: 37″ x 12″ x 27″
- Weight: 63 lbs
Equipped with 4″ x 20″ fat bike tires for all-terrain riding – The bike comes fully assembled (folded)
- Motor: 500W (800W peak)
- Battery: LG 48v 10.4ah
- Charge time: 4-6h
Go up to 50 miles (80km) on a single charge of the 48v Li-Ion battery, with the 500W motor reaching speeds of 28mph (45kph). It comes fully assembled with fenders, a rack, and front and rear lights. The basic drivetrain and Tektro mechanical disc brakes aren’t great but acceptable on a bike in this price range.
Recommended for riders: 4’10 to 6’3″ / Maximum rider weight: 275lbs / Maximum load on rear rack: 55 lbs
Extra Pick: Oyama CX E8D V2
Folding-bike experts’ eBike
$1,899 $1,499 Giantnerd.com
Known by their ‘premium touches’, the Oyama CX e8D features an all-inclusive package for someone who appreciates a product made by a bike brand that specializes in one niché only – and in this case, it is the folding bikes (With 50 years of experience) The bike comes with everything you need for smooth, everyday commuting – fenders with mudflaps, a kickstand, chainguard, rear rack, on a fully foldable yet sturdy bike frame.
- 350W rear hub motor
- 8-speed gearing
- Shimano Altus drivetrain
- Weight: 47 lbs
For the money, it sure has a great value. With an integrated bell, front light, and a hidden battery – it ticks all the boxes to be a decent choice to consider!
Mid-Drive vs Hub-Drive
- Mid-drive – Mainly used on mid/high-end bicycles. The transitional torque is known to be smoother, also the weight reduction is more balance on the bikes’ geometry.
- Hub-drive – Cheaper to make. Compared to riding a standard bicycle, it might take some time to get used to the location of the mass.
Foldable eBike wheels & tires
In the past, most foldable bicycles had skinny tires on small diameter wheels that served a purpose to save as much space as possible. Today, you’ll see many folding electric bikes with chunky fat bike tires, which are the opposite. Fat bike tires allow you to ride on multiple terrains with ease while riding an eBike with skinny tires you’ll only feel safe on only well-paved areas.
- Fat bike tires – Multi-surface riding, better comfort. Generally 20″ diameter wheels, 3″ to 4″ wide.
- Skinny tires – Faster and smoother on paved roads, better mileage due to less friction
PUNCTURE RESISTANT TIRES
A folding eBikes is not your typical bicycle. The market for folding electric bicycles is rather limited, and most people expect a hustle-free ride – that’s why most folding e-bikes are equipped with puncture-resistant tires. Most bikes in this review are using a rear-hub motor, which makes removing a bike tire rather complicated.
Spoke vs cast wheels
Almost all bicycles these days come with wheels that use spokes instead of a solid alloy. The main purpose of spokes being used on bicycle wheels is to absorb vibration, evenly. Alloy wheels on the other hand are better on paved roads only. ‘Cast’ wheels are mainly made of alloy.
Class 1 / Class 2 / Class 3 Electric Bikes
- Class 1: eBikes – Pedal-assist only, with no throttle, maximum assisted speed of 20mp/h
- Class 2: eBikes – Throttle-assisted with a maximum speed of 20mp/h
- Class 3: eBikes – Pedal-assist only, w/a a throttle. Maximum assisted speed of 28 mph
Best deals on non-electric foldable bikes by Oyama – Giantnerd.