Updated: Dec 29, 2021
As more people discover the benefits of electric bikes, they are becoming more popular. This is especially the case when people realize that they can buy electric bikes with specific features that enhance their bike's versatility.
In this post, we will go into folding e-bikes, how they can benefit you, and what to look out for.
What Are Folding Ebikes?
As the name suggests, a folding ebike has a specially designed frame that allows you to fold it. It uses a clever lockable hinge mechanism that makes the bike very compact when folded.
The compact size of a folding e bike makes it easy to store and transport. So it is ideal for people that are short on space. This is why they are becoming more popular for people who live and work in busy cities.
Folding electric bikes are more affordable than regular electric bikes, but they are still a significant investment. Therefore we will give you lots of information to help you buy the right one for you.
Difference Between a Folding Ebike Vs. Regular Bike
An electric bike has an electric motor mounted either on a wheel or between the cranks. Most folding electric bikes have their motor located in the rear wheel hub.
The motor is powered by a battery, and how good these components are, depends on your budget. Therefore, you need to carefully consider the model and manufacturer.
Many ebike riders love their bike's climbing efficiency. This makes them easy to live with, even if you are not very fit or have mobility issues.
But the main difference between a folding electric bike and a regular bike is convenience. You can slide it under a bed, into a cupboard, or just tuck it out of the way when you are not using it.
You can easily carry it in your car, or on public transport. In addition to this, you can keep it in an RV or on a boat.
What Are the Classes of Folding Ebike?
There are three different classes of ebike. You need to be aware of the differences to know if they are permitted in your area and which one suits your needs best.
Each class indicates how much assistance you get from the bike's motor and how fast it can go.
A class 1 electric bike requires you to pedal for the motor to engage. The motor will assist your pedaling until you get to 20mph.
Most first-time ebike buyers start with a Class 1 ebike. These bikes give you some exercise but make pedaling easier.
If you ride a class 2 ebike, you have the same restrictions as a class 1 bike. However, these bikes have an additional throttle, which means you can ride them without pedaling.
The advantage of class 2 ebikes is that you can choose between pedaling or riding the bike like a scooter with no effort. You can benefit from using the throttle to get started from a red light or on a hill and begin to pedal after setting off.
A class 3 electric bike is the same as a class 1, but with a difference. You can ride a class 3 ebike up to an assisted top speed of 28mph. They are more powerful too, so riding uphill and carrying weight is much easier.
The downside of class 3 ebikes is that they are not permitted on all bike paths and mountain bike trails.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Folding Ebike?
Before buying an electric bike, you need to consider a few things. These things will ensure you make an informed decision, so you get the best one for you.
1) Primary Purposes
The first thing you need to think about is what you want to use your electric bike for. For example, do you want to use your ebike as a commuter? Or do you want to hit the mountain bike trails at the weekend?
Where you ride your bike will make a significant difference to which one suits you best. So if you ride on smooth roads in the city, you will need a different electric bike from someone who rides rough off-road terrain.
If you carry lots of stuff or ride in a hilly area, you will need more power. But, if you live in a flat area and need to ride long distances, you may need a lighter and more efficient ebike.
2) Types of Assistance
Most folding electric bikes use cadence sensors. These sensors monitor how fast you pedal to determine how much assistance you get from the motor.
These are usually class 1 ebikes, and you will be assisted until you reach 20mph. The motor will stop assisting you once you get to the top speed.
If this doesn't suit your needs, you may need to go for a bike with a mid-mounted motor that uses a torque sensor. Torque sensors monitor how hard you pedal and work instantly. This gives you a more natural power delivery. However, you may struggle to find a folding electric bike with these characteristics.
3) Range of Assitance
Let's stick with class 1 electric bikes, as most folding ebikes fall into this class. Some class 1 ebikes have 250W of power, while others can go all the way up to 750W.
Most people will find that 250W is fine, but more power makes uphills and headwinds much more manageable.
If you want a faster ebike, you may need a license. But this depends on where you intend to ride your ebike.
A folding e-bike is an excellent investment and can be used for several things. Whether you need a commuter, something to keep you active, or to enhance your leisure time, there is a folding e bike for you.
Make sure you do your research and carefully think about what you want from your new folding e bike. Which one you buy will depend on your needs, budget, and how much cycling you have done.