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If you think your workplace is too far away to cycle to, there’s a good chance you find the first or last part of your commute the most challenging – especially if you work in a city.
In busy towns and cities, it can be difficult (and/or expensive) to park your car anywhere near your office. Or, if you commute by bus or train for the majority of your journey, then you’ve got to hope that both your home and workplace are nice and close to a station.
Therefore, it can be useful to have an easily storable mode of transport to hand. And that is exactly why folding bikes have exploded in popularity in the past couple of decades. They small, pretty easy to carry and don’t take up a lot of space when they’ve been folded up. You can keep them under your desk at work, in the boot of your car, or even in the luggage rack on a train.
Benefits of Folding Bikes
You can get a compact folding bike to ride to your train/car, then fold up and carry the bike into the train/car. Folding bikes are a highly practical option, which is why so many have turned to them to help them get to work. A folding bike is easy to store, both at home and when you get to the office, and you don’t need to worry about finding space in the bike carriage, or any extra charges you might have to pay on the train. You simply fold up your bike, and carry it on as hand luggage.
However, even the best options can come with problems of their own. Folding bikes are perfect for what they are designed for, but they’re not quite like riding a normal bike. They’re often very lightweight, which makes them easy to carry, but means that you lose some specification in other areas such as fewer gears, and a design that isn’t as comfortable or as speedy as you might be used to.
One of the biggest areas where a folding bike might be a little more difficult is in how easy the ride is. You can often find that these bikes are a little more difficult to pedal, causing you to work harder than necessary on your commute to work.
Folding E-Bikes: The Perfect Solution?
We do have a solution to this problem. In order to add a bit more speed and efficiency to your foldable ride, you can actually get folding electric bikes. Such folding e-bikes are typically a little bit heavier and a tad more expensive than regular foldable bikes, but they make cycling a lot faster and easier – and therefore you’re less likely to be sweaty mess when you arrive at your destination!
Electric foldable bikes have become an innovation that are helping commuters everywhere get to work. A folding electric bicycle is usually a little heavier than many other types of folding bikes but it is well worth carrying the extra weight – especially when you get the benefit of electric assistance while on your ride. This is perfect for people who have a fairly long bike ride, with a few hills on the way to the train station.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best electric folding bikes in the UK, Europe and USA and have put together this list for you to take a look at.
How Much Do Electric Folding Bikes Cost?
Electric folding bikes are a relatively new addition to the market and prices reflect this. After all, it’s a technical challenge to combine maximum power and portability in one machine. If you’re hoping to buy a model new, expect to spend anywhere between £/$700 to £/$5000.
Buying the latest e-bikes will give you access to increased torque and a durable battery not to mention the opportunity to buy from start-ups such as Ancheer or FIIDO. Fortunately, as of 2019, e-bikes have been included in the UK Government’s Cycle to Work benefit scheme. With tax breaks and cost spread throughout the year, this makes what is undoubtedly a large purchase that little bit more affordable.
Do Cheap Folding E-Bikes Exist?
Yes! While folding e-bikes can be costlier than their manual counterparts, adding a motor doesn’t always mean adding extra zeros to your budget. Halford’s own model, the Carrera Crosscity, can be picked up in store for less than £1000. Decathlon’s own contribution to the market – the BTWIN 500E – is even more affordable at £799.99 RRP.
Paying less for a folding e-bike does, however, mean sacrificing some features. If a model hovers around £/$ 1000 mark, it’s unlikely that the frame will have the same folding mechanisms that make pricier brands so compact. Likewise, the interval between charges on cheaper models often suffers – with each charge lasting around 25 miles. However, bikes like the Carrera and BTWIN are ideal for those want to weave cycling easily and affordably into their morning commute.
Do Brompton Make Electric Bikes?
Brompton are known for their intuitive, lightweight designs, allowing you to “tow, stow and carry” your bike anywhere. It should come as no surprise then that they’ve expanded their range to include e-bikes. Boasting the same battery used in Formula One motors, their range start at £2,799.
Brompton’s offering is divided into three: the C Line and P Line. The most striking difference between the lines is the material. While the C-Line is made entirely of steel like the classic Brompton, the P-Line has titanium rear forks, making it ultra-light and ultra-transportable at 9kg. Brompton say the ‘P’ stands for performance.
The C-Line is a kilogram and a half heavier than the P-line but you benefit from a wider choice of styles. The C-Line Urban is a classy commuter bike with an easy-to-maintain two gears set-up, perfect for city cruising. The C-Line Explore offers riders a more robust cycling experience. It comes with 6 gears and a built-in luggage rack.
Best Budget Electric Folding Bicycles
|1||ANCHEER 20″||£709 / $889.99|
|2||BTWIN 500E||£799.99 / $-|
|3||FIIDO D3 Pro||£579.99 / $699.99|
|4||ECOTRIC Foldaway||£-/ $889.99|
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Best Folding E-Bike under £/$1000
1. ANCHEER 20″ Commuter Bike
Range: 15m to 30km
Fold-Up Size: 126 x 63 x 25cm
Wheel Size: 20”
- 🇬🇧 £710
- 🇺🇸 $890
- 🇪🇺 €840
If you’re tired of turning up to the office crumpled and breathless, look no further. The ANCHEER’s buzzword is comfort. Its wide saddle, ergonomic handlebars and quick fold mechanism mean you can arrive at the office without a single crease in your suit jacket. Even its 20” wheels make for a relaxing cycling experience.
What really sets the ANCHEER apart from the competition is its front suspension. Its titanium forks make for a smooth ride over bumpy tarmac and are almost unheard-of in a bike this cheap.
If you’re in the habit of popping into the corner shop on your commute home, the built-in luggage rack is an added bonus. No need to worry about spilling that pint of milk.
The ANCHEER weighs 25kg, the heaviest of all options reviewed here. However, it is so versatile that it can be forgiven the added kilograms.
A powerful LED front light will also see you through winter commutes, although for UK readers, it’s worth remembering that cyclists riding at night are required by law to have a rear red light. For those in the US, most states only require reflectors.
2. BTWIN 500E
Range: 20km to 35km
Fold-Up Size: 83 x 67 x 45cm
Wheel Size: 20”
- 🇬🇧 £800
- 🇺🇸 $N/A
- 🇪🇺 €900
Decathlon is famous in Europe for its reliable, low-cost sports equipment, and the BTWIN 500E is no exception. £799.99 will buy you a sturdy, no-frills e-bike that you can throw into your car boot with ease. You can relax about any bumps and scratches with the retailer’s lifetime warranty.
Technically, the BTWIN 500E is an accomplished entry-level ride. Its 187Wh battery holds more than enough charge for the average commute, and the simple cadence sensor means the motor kicks in as soon as you start pedalling. No messing around with a fussy control panel.
Its lower-than-average motor torque and 16kg weight will prove an issue for those in hilly towns or cities. Residents of Bristol or San Francisco might just want to steer clear.
Otherwise, the BTWIN nifty appearance makes it obvious choice for the casual cycle commuter. It’s also worth noting that the BTWIN is compatible with Decathlon’s own accessories range, meaning you’re free to customise as needed.
3. FIIDO D3 Pro
Range: 20km to 60km
Fold-Up Size: 125cm x 40cm x 63cm
Wheel Size: 14”
- 🇬🇧 £580
- 🇺🇸 $700
- 🇪🇺 €685
A city bike is all well and good for the working week, but what about the weekends? Luckily, the FIIDO D3 Pro’s grippy 20” tires mean it’ll hold its own should you decide to stray from the cycle paths. With a full battery life of 60km, you can complete that Sunday ride with ease, with charge to spare for Monday’s commute.
Visually, the FIIDO speaks the language of downhill and trail biking. Its chunky frame is more than reminiscent of iconic hardtails like the Specialized Rockhopper. And, while we wouldn’t recommend testing it at your nearest bike park, it should be able to handle a range of terrains. Its high motor torque mean it won’t struggle with hills or bridges either.
Increased functionality does mean increased weight. The FIIDO D3 weighs in at 17.5kg. The bike still folds up relatively small – compact enough to carry on a packed train.
FIIDO claims it can travel at a maximum speed of 25km per hour, but UK shoppers should note that a e-bike is only classified as an e-bike by the government if it has a maximum speed of 15mph. This means that the FIIDO D3 can be classed as a motorbike, and you’ll have to invest in insurance and licencing.
4. ECOTRIC Foldaway
Range: 11km to 13km
Fold-Up Size: 98 x 62 x 85cm
Wheel Size: 20 x 4”
- 🇬🇧 n/a
- 🇺🇸 $890
- 🇪🇺 n/a
We’re not all lucky to live in towns with established cycle networks. If you’re based in the suburbs, or an urban-rural fringe, chances are your commute will contain some knotty riding. This is where the ultra-cool ECOTRIC Foldaway comes into its own.
The US-made ECOTRIC is essentially a folding version of popular “fat bikes”. With four inch wide tyres, it should navigate complex topography including tree roots and loose gravel with ease. The manufacturers even claim that its 500W brushless motor can handle snow, although we haven’t put this to the test.
On a component level, the ECOTRIC uses quality parts. Take the Shimano disc-brakes and 7-speed derailleur. Customer reviews have mentioned some issues with durability and the range is limited, so we haven’t rated it as highly as others on this list. Only available for now in the US, the ECOTRIC is an undeniably unique offering to the market.