6 Best Folding Electric Bikes for a Greener Commute

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Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular every day, and for good reason.

They’re a great way to get around town. They help you save money on gas and are better for the environment than cars.

I covered eco-friendly electric bikes in general in a previous article, but I now want to drill down specifically into the portable world of the best folding electric bikes.

Folding electric bikes are perfect for eco commuting. They get you where you need to be and will fold neatly in the office corner when you don’t need them. You can even take them on public transport.

Not only that, but electric bikes can be a lot of fun to ride!

But are they powerful enough to cover the miles you need? Are they easy to fold and unfold? Are they as strong and durable as non-folding electric bikes?

I’ve done the research. I’ve done the test. Read on to find out more.

The Six Best Folding Electric Bikes for Eco Commuting and Sustainable Fun

Key Specs

275lbs max load
25 - 45 miles per charge
Front and rear lights
Seven gears
Rear rack
70.20lbs
20” x 4.0” tires

They Say: Our latest folding e-bike has fatter tires to tackle adventures of all sorts. It features a step-through frame and allows you to customize your ride with adjustable handlebars, seven speeds, and five levels of pedal assist.

We Say: I love what Rad Power Bikes are doing. They make some of the best folding electric bikes at very reasonable prices. I recommended the RadRover 6 Plus Electric Fat Bike in my Eco-Friendly Electric Bikes with Zero Emissions article, and now it’s the turn of their folding bike option.

The RadExpand is an excellent option for those who want a folding e-bike that can tackle more than just the pavement. With its wider tires, it’s capable of handling light off-roading and uneven terrain, making it a versatile option for commuters or weekend adventurers.

The step-through frame makes it easy to get on and off the e-bike, and the adjustable handlebars and seven-speed drivetrain let you customize your ride to suit your needs.

The 48V battery gives you plenty of power for a day of riding, and the front and rear lights keep you visible in low-light conditions.

I found the RadExpand 5 a breeze to fold and unfold, and it feels really sturdy. You simply can’t tell that it’s a foldable bike when riding.

U.S. shipping is free, and a one-year warranty covers you against manufacturing defects and issues.

There’s also a 14-day free trial available for you to see the bike in person and decide if you love it or not. Terms apply. Click here for more details.

Key Specs

15.50MPH top speed
100cm x 54cm x 77cm when folded
95 miles per charge
Seven gears
331lbs max load
20” x 2.40” Puncture-resistant tires
52lbs

They Say: The intelligent sensor engages the I-ERS system to regenerate 60% energy when you’re going downhill without energy consumption. All Engwe Ebikes qualify for our 1 year warranty. You got a problem? We got you covered! Engwe e-bikes offer free shipping on all orders. We promise to turn around your order as quickly as possible.

We Say: Engwe, like Rad Power Bikes, produces some tremendous electric bikes and sensible prices.

I was so impressed during researching/testing that I’ve decided to make two Engwe folding electric bikes my joint runners-up.

The first cab off the electric rank is the Engwe C20 Pro.

The Engwe C20 Pro is an excellent option for a reliable and affordable folding electric bike.

With a top speed of 15.50MPH and a range of up to 95 miles, this bike is perfect for commuting or leisure riding.

The puncture-resistant tires give extra peace of mind (although I still always carry a repair kit and tools with me just in case), and the seven gears make it easy to find the perfect riding speed.

The 331lbs max load limit is impressive for a folding electric bike in this price range.

You might expect the 250W motor to be lacking, but it’s surprisingly punchy and generated more than enough assistance for modest hills. The lower power output of the motor is also a key factor in this bike having a range of almost 100 miles.

If you want a more powerful motor check out the following Engwe recommendation below.

Key Specs

28MPH top speed
50 miles per charge
Seven gears
330lbs max load
Durable leather handle
74lbs
20” x 4.0” tires

They Say: Fat tire bike with 750W high-speed brushless gear motors and 48V intelligent brushless controller, it can assist you to travel at maximum 28mile/h or 45km/h (under Electric Mode). This folding electric bicycle has front and rear disc brakes and rear 7 speeds. You can choose any speed to enjoy faster riding time or experience a relaxing ride. Perfect brakes fully protect your safety.

We Say: The Engwe EP-2 Pro takes the concept of the C20 Pro to a whole new level. For just $200 more, you get a more powerful motor, better brakes, and a higher top speed.

These extra features are not without their downsides. The EP-2 Pro is 22lbs heavier than the C20 Pro (that’s to be expected with a beefier bike like this), and the range is around 50% less (due to the drain of the more powerful motor).

The ride is excellent, though. The extra weight gives this folding electric bike a feel of quality and ruggedness.

If you’re looking for a ’go anywhere’ electric folding bike and feel you can handle the extra weight, the EP-2 Pro is excellent.

Key Specs

17MPH top speed
15-25 miles per charge
Seven gears
265lbs max load
44lbs
20” tires

They Say: Strong brakes, high-strength carbon steel comfort shock absorption and 7-speed professional transmission system offer all the qualities of a premium bike with the added feature of three pedal assist modes. You will get a more stable and comfortable bike.

We Say: This is the cheapest folding electric bike I’ve recommended (even with the sting of the $50 shipping charge).

Don’t let the price fool you, though. This is still a folding electric bike with some pretty decent features. The hub-mounted 250W motor will give you a good amount of speed and power (with a 350W boost mode), and the 36V battery lasted around 18 miles in my experience.

Weighing in at just 44lbs, this is one of the lightest folding electric bikes I tested and the lightest I’ve recommended.

It did feel a little lightweight when riding. Not that this would be an issue around town and commuting to work. However, I’m not sure I’d trust it off-road.

But, if you’re looking for a cheap and lightweight electric bike that doesn’t skimp on features, the ANCHEER Electric Folding Bike is a great option. Just be prepared to pay for shipping.

A one-year warranty covers the bike. And you always have the extra layer of peace of mind that Amazon would step in if there were any issues that ANCHEER can’t resolve.

Key Specs

20MPH top speed
40 miles per charge
275lbs max load
46lbs
20” x 2.40” tires
36" x 16" x 27" when folded

They Say: The XP™ Lite is Lectric’s most accessible model to date. This unique eBike maintains the core features Lectric riders know and love about the original XP™ and XP™ 2.0 models while being more maneuverable, lighter, and more compact. A twist grip throttle option and five levels of pedal assist allow you to own the roads with confidence and agility. This eBike’s single-speed functionality is perfect for riders looking for a simple transportation solution.

We Say: Thanks to its single-speed functionality, the XP Lite is an excellent option for those looking for a simple, lightweight, and affordable eBike.

The five levels of pedal assist give you plenty of options for power, and the thin grippy tires are perfect for roads, pavement, and light trails.

The XP Lite is only 2lbs heavier than the ANCHEER, but it felt much sturdier. It will not get you to the top of rocky hill climbs, but it can cope effortlessly with light gravel trails and small to medium inclines.

This compact bike is available in four colors:

  • Arctic White
  • Midnight Black
  • Lectric Blue
  • Sandstorm

Lectric e-Bikes ship to the contiguous lower 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Shipping within the U.S. is free. Outside the U.S., it costs a whopping $200 per bike.

A one-year warranty covers all Lectric bikes against manufacturing defects and issues.

Key Specs

28MPH top speed
100+ miles per charge
330lbs max load
75lbs
20” x 4.0” tires
40" x 22" x 32" when folded

They Say: The Lectric XPremium is the ultimate eBiking experience. With a mid-drive motor, the XPremium delivers power more intuitively to the rider, allowing the bike to tackle hills and take on tougher terrain. The foldable frame design accommodates a dual battery system, doubling the range. Ride further and more comfortably than ever before.

We Say: Ok. Cards on the table time. I’ve not had the chance to test this folding electric bike yet. Mainly because (at the time of writing this article) it’s not yet available to purchase.

As soon as I can get my hands on one, I’ll come back and update this review.

However, everything I’ve read, seen, and heard about the Lectric XPremium points to it being an exceptional piece of kit.

The battery is a huge selling point. Two 48v batteries giving you over 100 miles of range is incredible. And the fact that it’s a mid-drive motor makes it much more intuitive to ride than some of the other e-bikes on the market.

The mid-drive motor and the price point have swayed me to include this folding electric bike in the article before it’s even launched.

It’s been almost impossible to get my hands on a decent folding electric bike with a mid-drive motor for under $2,000. The alternatives are either not very good or too expensive.

Judging by the quality of the XP Lite, I’m very confident that the XPremium is the mid-drive folder I’ve been looking for.

Best Folding Electric Bike: A Buyers Guide

If you’re looking for an electric bike that folds, then there are many things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Wheels

Most folding electric bikes will use a wheel size between 16” and 20” because it reduces the bike’s overall length when folded and unfolded.

If you’re short, you might want to look for a bike with 16” wheels as it will put the saddle at a lower height. If you’re taller or want a more comfortable ride, go for 20” wheels.

There are two common types of wheel design:

  • Spoke Wheels: These look like traditional bicycle wheels with spokes from the hub to the rim.
  • Spokeless Wheels / Cast Wheels: These have a solid disc or drum in the center with a rubber tire around them.

Tires

The type of tire you want will be determined by the kind of terrain you’ll be riding on.

If you’re only going to be riding on pavement, you can get away with thinner tires. These tires will be lighter and have less rolling resistance, making it easier to pedal.

If you plan to ride on any kind of off-road terrain, you’ll want thicker tires. These tires will be heavier but will provide more traction and cushioning.

Puncture-resistant tires are also a handy option for a hassle-free maintenance experience.

Suspension

Due to engineering complexities, suspension is not as common on a folding e-bike as on a standard e-bike. But they are still an option if you shop around.

If you’re only going to be riding on paved roads, you don’t need to worry about suspension.

However, if you plan to ride on any kind of rough terrain, you’ll want to look for a bike with front suspension. This will help absorb some of the bumps and make for a more comfortable ride.

Folding Mechanism

There are two main types of folding mechanisms, hinge, and clamp:

  • Hinge: Hinge mechanisms are the most common as they’re generally easier to use.
  • Clamp: Clamp mechanisms tend to be more difficult but offer a more compact fold.

Frame Material

The most common materials used for folding electric bike frames are aluminum and carbon fiber:

  • Aluminum: A cheaper but heavier option. A good entry option for bikes you’ll only use occasionally.
  • Carbon Fiber: More expensive but much lighter. A better choice if you plan on doing a lot of riding.

Controller

The controller is responsible for controlling the motor and how much power it provides.

Most controllers will display things like your current speed, battery level, and range.

You’ll also be able to use the controller to change the amount of power sent to the motor.

Battery

The battery is what powers the motor.

The battery’s capacity will determine how far you can ride on a single charge.

Motor

The motor is what propels the bike and is generally the heaviest component.

The motor’s power will determine how fast you can go and how much effort you need to pedal.

Two types of motor placement are used:

  • Hub Drive: The motor is located in the rear wheel’s hub. This is the cheapest and heaviest option.
  • Mid-Drive: The motor is located between the pedals to improve the center of gravity. This is a lighter and more expensive option.

Speed Sensor

The speed sensor tells the motor how fast you’re going and how much power to provide.

Most speed sensors are located on the rear wheel and use a magnet to detect the wheel’s rotation.

Throttle

The throttle allows you to control the power of the motor without pedaling. This can be useful when you’re climbing a hill or want to go faster without pedaling.

Most throttles are located on the handlebars and can be operated with your thumb.

Pedal Assist

Pedal assist is a feature that allows the motor to provide power when you’re pedaling.

Most pedal assist systems have sensors that detect when you’re pedaling and will provide power accordingly.

Lighting

If you plan to ride at night or in low-light conditions, you’ll want to look for a bike with lighting. Most electric bicycles will have a headlight and taillight that run off the battery.

You can, of course, add additional lights if your folding electric bike of choice doesn’t have sufficient illumination.

Fenders

Fenders are helpful if you plan to ride in wet or muddy conditions as they help keep you clean. Most electric bicycles will have fenders that mount to the frame and cover the wheels.

Kickstand

A kickstand is a valuable addition to any portable electric bike as it helps keep the e-bike upright when you’re not riding it. Most electric bicycles will have a kickstand that mounts to the frame near the rear wheel.

Brakes

All electric bicycles will have brakes as they’re required by law in most countries. The two most common types of brakes for electric bikers are disc brakes and rim brakes:

  • Disc Brakes: Uses a metal disc mounted to the wheel hub. Pads press against the disc and slow the wheel when you squeeze the brake lever.
  • Rim Brakes: Uses pads that press directly against the wheel rim. These are generally less powerful than disc brakes but are lighter and cheaper.

Gears

None of the recommendations in this article are designed to scale mountains or win the Tour de France. Urban commuter usage ideally needs a reduction in gear range to add durability.

There are two main types of gear systems used on electric bicycles:

  • Derailleur Gears: The most common type of gear system. A chain runs between a series of cogs (gears) mounted on the rear wheel. You can change gears by moving the chain to a different cog.
  • Hub Gears: The cogs are located inside the rear wheel hub. This type of gear system is generally more reliable and requires less maintenance than derailleur gears.

There are also single-speed electric bicycles that don’t have any gears. These are generally the simplest to ride/maintain and the most reliable.

Belts And Chains

A folding electric bike with gears will have either a chain or belt to connect the pedals to the rear wheel.

Chains are more common on derailleur-equipped bikes, while belts are generally found on hub-gear bikes. Both serve the same purpose, but belts tend to be lighter, quieter, and easier to maintain.

Cost

A folding e-bike will generally cost more than a regular e-bike of the same spec.

This is due to the added complexity of the folding mechanism and the higher-quality components used to ensure they remain strong as well as foldable.

Electric Bike Classifications

There are three types of electric bike classifications.

You can read more about all three in Steph’s excellent E-Bike Classifications Explained in 3 Easy Steps article.

Seven Key Factors I Considered When Testing A Folding E-Bike

  1. Value For Money
  2. Range
  3. Speed
  4. Build Quality
  5. Foldability Ease
  6. Battery Life
  7. Extra Accessories

The Military Are Trend Setters

Folding bikes have been popular in the military for decades.

Armed forces like folding bikes because they’re easy to transport. You can’t just leave your bike lying around when you’re in the field. You have to be able to fold it up and carry it or hide it.

Folding bikes are also popular with the police and other emergency services. They need to get around quickly, and a folding bike is much easier to store in a car than a regular bike.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Folding Electric Bikes Break Easily?

The truth is, any bike can break if you ride it hard enough. Modern electric folding bikes are well-made and durable and should meet your daily needs.

However, if you want to ride a rugged downhill trail, for example, you might want to go for a more durable non-folding option.

Is A Folding E-Bike Worth The Money?

This is a difficult question to answer. It depends on your needs and budget. If you need an electric bike for commuting, a folding electric bike is a great option.

They are more expensive than regular bikes, but they are also more convenient. If you don’t need the extra features of a folding electric bike, then you might be better off with a regular electric bike.

What Is The Lightest Folding Electric Bike?

The world’s lightest folding electric bike is called ’The One’ and weighs just 12.5kg. It has a 250W motor and a range of up to 52km. It folds down to 25cm x 64cm x 76.50cm in just ten seconds.

Is It Difficult To Ride An Electric Folding Bike?

No, it’s not difficult to ride an electric folding bike. It’s pretty easy. The motor power makes riding up hills and into the wind much easier than on a regular bike.

If you’ve never ridden an electric bike before, you might be surprised at how easy it is to get used to.

Are Folding Electric Bikes Safe?

Yes, foldable electric bikes are safe. They’re equipped with the same safety features as regular electric bikes. However, you should always wear a helmet when riding, no matter what type of bike you are riding.

Is A Folding E-Bike Suitable For Heavy People?

Yes, a folding e-bike would be suitable for someone of above-average weight. Most can easily accommodate riders up to 250lbs. Some reinforced models can carry up to 350lbs and beyond.

Which eBike Battery Lasts Longest?

There are three main types of batteries: lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and lithium-ion. Lead-acid batteries are the least expensive but also have the shortest lifespan.

Nickel-cadmium batteries are more expensive but last longer. Lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive but also have the longest lifespan.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An eBike Battery?

The average eBike battery replacement will cost you between $200 and $600. Of course, the price varies depending on the type of battery you need and where you buy it from.

If you purchase it directly from the manufacturer, it will be more expensive than buying it from a third-party retailer or second-hand.

Is A Brompton E-Bike Worth The Cost?

The Brompton electric bike range is very popular. Brompton is a well-known and respected brand. They’re one of the folding bike pioneers.

When you buy a Brompton electric bike, you’re guaranteed to be getting a quality piece of kit. However, I don’t feel that the price tag offers value for money.

The Final Word

The first documented usage of a folding bike was in New York City in 1896, although patents for early versions of folding bikes date back even earlier.

As covered in our Electric Bike vs Regular Bike: 9 Pros & Cons article, electric folding bikes are great for ditching the car and cycling to work. A folding e-bike takes the ’commutability’ of electric bikes to the next level.

You don’t have to own a car to get around town anymore. An electric folding bike is the new way to get around town without breaking the bank. Not only do they help you save money on gas, but they’re also better for the environment than cars.

So, ditch the gas guzzler and jump on a folding e-bike. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.

Thanks for reading. I hope this article has helped you when shopping for your next folding e-bike. All the recommendations in this article are easy to fold/unfold and have a good range of other features and benefits while still maintaining good value for money.

Get In Touch

Which folding e-bike takes your fancy? Have I missed your favorite brand of folding e-bike? How many people commute to your workplace using folding electric bicycles? Drop me a line and let me know.

James is a senior editor at The Roundup and has been in journalism for over 10 years. He was born in the UK but raised in Florida, where he currently lives with his wife and two daughters. James is passionate about sustainable living and environmental issues which are reflected by his work as an editor of TheRoundup.org.
James Miller
James is a senior editor at The Roundup and has been in journalism for over 10 years. He was born in the UK but raised in Florida, where he currently lives with his wife and two daughters. James is passionate about sustainable living and environmental issues which are reflected by his work as an editor of TheRoundup.org.

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