What to Look for When Choosing the Right Foldable Electric Bike
A foldable electric bike is a great buy: they're portable, budget-friendly, and beat public transportation. Here's what to consider when in the market for one.
Electric bikes are more popular than ever before.
It’s no small wonder. After all, they’re convenient, fast, easy to use, and environmentally-friendly by nature. People have started to catch on to the trend.
Indeed, the e-bike market is now generating around $1.5 billion in revenue every year. Clearly, there’s significant demand for them around the country!
Foldable electric bikes serve a particularly helpful function. They provide all the benefits of a typical e-bike and more: space-saving and portability are additional advantages to enjoy.
But not all of them are made equal! For first-time buyers, it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for. Equally, they don’t come cheap. No-one wants to spend a lot of money on a bike that isn’t fit for purpose! I wanted to help.
Keep reading to discover 6 top considerations for choosing the right foldable bike for you.
1. The Type of Foldable Bike
Different folding bikes are designed and manufactured for different purposes.
A whole wide range of folding e-bikes exists now, click that link to see our top 7 picks for this year. Think about what you’ll be using the bike for. You’ll almost always find an option to fit your needs.
For example, mini-folding bikes are ideal when space and portability are key. Someone in a studio apartment who commutes to work on public transport may find these traits particularly valuable.
By comparison, purpose-built commuting e-bikes are bigger and sturdier. They make riding on the roads a breeze. As a result, there may no longer be the need for public transport!
Mountain electric bikes are a third popular alternative. They offer more versatility and have a wider range of options to choose from.
2. The Weight and Size
Bike weight and size are two initial considerations to think about.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that foldable e-bikes can handle less weight than other bikes.
If you happen to have a larger build and need to carry panniers full of stuff (like your hunting equipment), then ensure the bike can still operate effectively! It’s no good having an e-bike if you’re crawling along at snail’s pace. Non-folding versions may be better suited to your needs.
Equally, the weight of the bike itself should be taken into account. Foldable e-bikes are great for portability. But that benefit is negated if you can’t carry the weight!
Folding bikes are great space-savers. However, not all of them have the same size specifications. Make sure its dimensions are suited to the place you want to keep it in your home.
3. The Type of Assist
E-bikes are generally designed for the same reason:
They make it easier to cycle and get from A to B with less effort.
However, they operate in different ways. The two main types of ‘assist’ are pedal and throttle. You can probably guess how they work.
Pedal assist e-bikes give you additional power when you’re pedaling. Imaging someone lending their weight to the pedals as you ride. You pedal as normal, just with a fraction of the exertion that’s typically required.
Throttle assist e-bikes power the actual wheel instead. It’s akin to riding a moped. No pedaling is required. Just push a button and off you go.
It’s for you to decide which is best for your needs. Now, throttle versions are by far the easier option. However, they work harder for you and don’t go as far as a result. You’re also forgoing the actual exercise that bikes provide.
The opposite is true for pedal-assist options.
Finally, you can find hybrids that offer both pedal and throttle support. This offers the best of both worlds.
4. The Power of the Motor
Think about the power you want.
Speedsters may be inclined to get the most powerful motor possible. The quicker the better! But think practically. More powerful motors may be quicker. But they also drain the battery far quicker too. You won’t be able to go as far.
Equally, some locations have legal restrictions on how fast you can go on e-bikes. There’s nothing more depressing (and tempting) than having more power but not being allowed to use it!
The power you need is generally dictated by your needs for the bike. Long distances over flat ground will suit lower powered motors. More power will be useful over shorter distances with lots of hills.
5. The Location of the Motor
Equally, the motor can be positioned on different parts of the bike.
You’ll come across bikes with motors on the front, middle and rear ends. As always, there are pros and cons to each of them.
Take front hub motors, for example. It’s simple to install motors on the front wheel. That means they’re often the cheapest options for throttle-assisted e-bikes (it’s rare to find them on pedal bikes).
However, having the drive coming from the front wheel (and more weight there too) can take some getting used to.
Many pedal-assisted folding e-bikes have the mid-hub motors. It’s generally helpful all around. In terms of weight distribution, handling, and overall functionality, this is a good bet.
On the back, rear-hub motors drive the back wheel.
You’ll probably enjoy the feeling of this more than the front-hub motor. It’s easier to get used to and performs better as well. However, the price can increase accordingly.
6. The Battery Replacement Cost
The battery on your folding e-bike is exceptionally efficient and well-designed.
However, it will still need replacing every few years or so. As a result, it’s like to be one of the largest expenses in maintaining the bike. Check in advance how much it would cost on the model you’re considering.
It’s a bit like printers and print cartridges. The printer itself may be cheap. But the cartridges cost an arm and a leg, making it exceptionally costly to run. Likewise, an e-bike may be cheap, but the battery may be expensive to replace.
The Best Foldable Electric Bike
There you have it: all the things to look for in your next foldable electric bike.
Foldable e-bikes are a thriving market! They’re now immensely popular around the world. And for good reason. There are wide-ranging benefits to using one. However, they’re not all made equal! it’s important to know which will work best for you.
Hopefully, this post has given you all the information you need.
Looking for a brand new e-bike? Click here to check out the range I have on offer.