With so many different types of electric bikes on the market we wanted to help shed some light on what is a folding electric bike and are they worth it?
Electric folding bikes still have their part to play in this ever growing market so here we find out why they can open up a whole new world of possibilities if storage space is limited and whether they might be a good option if you are looking for your next ebike.
What is a folding electric bike?
Ok lets start with the folding part first – These bikes are designed to reduce in size so they can be stored away in small spaces yet be light enough to carry by the user, initially these were targeted at the commuter market which proved very popular as they were light-weight and could be folded down and carried onto trains and buses or even stored away in the boot/ trunk of your car.
There is usually a hinge located somewhere on the frame where the bike ‘folds’ in half, along with a similar mechanism on the handlebar stem with the final step lowering the saddle back into the down tube.
Brompton for example are market leaders in this field and their bikes are a favorite among commuters for their excellent quality, ease of use and lightweight frames.
Some Ebike Manufacturers are now incorporating folding ‘ elements’ into the bike rather than making them fully foldable such as Tern who have a clever mechanism in the handlebars which fold round so they sit flush with the frame to reduce the width of the bike making it easier to fit into narrow spaces, however does not really reduce the ‘footprint of the bike’ like the Brompton as a Comparision.
There are of course various different designs and mechanism’s out there, however it is important when considering a folding electric bike to not lose sight of the most important factors –
Weight – Will you be carrying it onto buses, trains and up stairs?( to your apartment)
Storage – When folded down will it fit in your required space or car boot?
Ease of use – Is it quick easy to fold down?
So Why would you buy one?
For me, the main reasons for buying a fold up Electric bike are as follows:
- Limited or no outside storage available at home
- Need to carry the bike onto public transport ie trains, buses etc often
- The bike needs to fit into the boot of my small car
Before electric bikes you may have wanted to do part of your commute by train and cycle the rest of the way however I don’t really see this being necessary as you can easily commute 10 – 20 miles and arrive in good shape at the office on most Ebikes.
The main challenge with Electric folding bikes Vs standard versions is the weight difference. There is a trade off here if you want long-range, then batteries tend to be bigger and heavier. If you need to carry your bike onto trains or up stairs then this can be problematic.
If storage space is top of the list then these bikes are a good solution and great for urban/ city riders and commuters.
What types of folding electric bikes are out there?
There is a huge range of various makes and models to suit most pockets, so here are a few of my favourites
Price Range: Under £700
ANCHEER 16 Inch Wheel 250W Folding City Commuter Electric Bike
Key Features –
- 15 – 30 Mile range on a single charge
- Charge Time 4-6 hours
- Weight 23kg
- Integrated Bell and Battery Level indicator
- Disc Brakes front and Rear
- Gears – Single Speed
- Removable 36V 8Ah Lithium-Ion battery which can be charged on or off the bike
The Ancheer folding electric bike is a very affordable option and would be suitable for shorter commutes on city terrain, however some users have said in their reviews that it does perform well on light gravel paths also which is a big plus. It weighs 23kg so you wouldnt want to carry for long periods of time, but for this price is a good comprimise.
Couple of things to note is there is no rack on this bike to fit panniers, and lights are not included so these would need to be purchased seperately.
For more information on the ANCHEER 16 Inch Wheel 250W Folding City Commuter Electric Bike ==>Click Here<===
Price Range: Under £1000
Ancheer 20″ Folding City Commuter
- Product Name: Ancheer 20 Inch Wheel Folding City Commuter Electric Bike
- Size: 20 Inch
- Weight: 20KG
- Style: City /Commuting
- Battery: 36V 8Ah (15 – 30 Miles on a single Charge)
- Motor: 250W Hub
–> READ OUR FULL REVIEW OF THIS BIKE HERE <—
Price Range: Over £3000
Tern HSD S+ 2020 – Electric Hybrid Cargo Bike
Key Features –
- Removable 500 WH battery which can be charged on or off the bike
- 500 WH Battery provides 118KM/ 74 Mile range on a single charge
- Charge Time 4-6 hours
- Weight 27kg
- Integrated Enviolo AUTOMATiQ gear shifting system ( so you can just enjoy the ride)
- Disc Brakes front and Rear
- Integrated rear Cafe Style lock on rear wheel
- Carbon Belt drive
- Bosch Performance Line (3rd Gen) motor
This is a true powerhouse of a bike weighing in at a hefty 27kg, the Tern HSD S+ is a very useful fold up electric Cargo Bike which can carry up to 170KG ( including the rider)! Easily capable of carrying a weeks shopping, camping equipment or even has an integrated tow hitch so you can hook a trailer onto the back!
The Tern HSD S + 2020 come equipped with a Bosch performance line motor providing plenty of assistance on demand which makes for a very natural riding experience ad the motor is almost silent.
The Handlebars flip round on this bike which makes it great for storing flat against a wall although it does not ‘collapse’ any so the length of the bike cannot be reduced any further.
It comes with a 500WH battery capable of up to 75 miles and has integrated automatic shifting so you can just focus on enjoying the ride.
For more information on the Tern HSD S + 2020 Electric Folding bike ==>Click Here<===
Downsides of folding electric bikes…
You could argue there are ‘Downsides’ to all bikes however because folding bikes are designed for a dual purpose ( to be portable and/or easy to store) then this will of course limit what the bike can cope with off-road for instance and have an impact on the overall style and look of the bike as a result.
There are not many Electric folding bikes which I would call ‘Lightweight’ but there are a few exceptions where some manufacturers have done this well and delivered a good compromise between portability and function, price ranges can be at the higher end though.
Conclusion – What is a folding electric bike
Hopefully the above answers the question of what is a folding electric bike and are they worth it? In my view they definitely have a place in today’s market and can make it even more possible for everyone to own and benefit from electric bikes, especially if storage space is limited.
I continue to be amazed at the innovation coming out from so many manufacturers giving more and more options to buyers on battery packs if its range you need through to practicality like being able to hitch trailers on to the back! I am now seeing more ‘Fat Tire’ electric folding bikes emerging which are bridging the gap between urban and light off-road use which is fantastic to see.
If you already own a folding electric bike then please do share your experience with us as I would be interested to hear what you bought and if you would recommend to other users. Alternatively if you need any help of advice then please drop me a line below as I would be happy to help
3 thoughts on “What is a folding electric bike and are they worth it?”
So, the electric bike is just awesome, especially for the enthusiastic outdoors person who wants the joy of a nice bike ride without putting in work, she is me, LOL! I love bike riding, I don’t always want to sweat. Are they good for trails? And I’m very interested to see how as technology improves to create new models how they become more affordable to the average person. Great article!
Lol, yes if you want an easy ride they are perfect! The Ancheer fold up bike mentioned in this article is one of the cheapest on the market so may be a good starter bike without breaking the bank.
On very light trails these bikes would be OK but the ones in this post are more geared toward the urban/city rider. If you want something more suitable for offroad then I would suggest either a Hybrid or Mountain bike. Dan
I have seen so many people over the course of the last 3 years using these types of bikes and it always intrigued me the way they would fit the bike into narrow and limited areas such as grocery shops that didn’t have any bike placers and even gas stations. I’ve never had the opportunity to have one but now that I can see the benefits of having one and the headache prevention of running out of storage room for your bike. Bikes are still a high demand in the market and with everything that’s happening they are a great source of exercise and transportation.