Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Electric bikes have gained a lot of popularity over the years. So it is only logical to design a simple model that can be transported. This resulted in the electric folding bike, which can be folded just as small as a folding bike and works with an electric drive.

With our big test 2021 for folding bikes with an electronic drive, we want to help you find the right bike for you. We have listed some criteria that you should consider before buying and answered some frequently asked questions. In addition, you will also find our favourites from the editorial team, which you are welcome to take a closer look at.




Summary

  • Electric folding bikes are best suited for easy transport because of their folding function. You can simply put them in the car or take them on the train and explore the place with them.
  • The folding bikes with electric drive are especially suitable for people who like to take it easy when cycling. The electric drive means you don't use too much of your own power and you can still go fast.
  • You do not need a licence for electric folding bikes. The rider assistance usually stops at a speed of 25 km/h. However, it only stops at a higher speed. However, if it stops at a higher speed, insurance and registration are required.

The Best Electric Folding Bike: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for electric folding bikes

In the following, you will find the criteria that can help you in your decision to buy an electric folding bike.

The features include:

Weight

The purpose of a folding bike is to be able to transport it simply and easily. This is also true for a normal folding bike, but it is a little different for a folding bike with electric drive. These are heavier due to the battery and the motor.

A normal folding bike usually weighs 14-17 kilos, whereas an electric folding bike weighs 23-26 kilos. This is a difference of 10 kilos, which makes a considerable difference when carrying. Most of the time, you do not carry an electric folding bike around with you most of the time, but ride it.

If you plan to transport it, you fold it up and put it in a car or train to use it again later when you arrive. Therefore, it is not a concern that an electric folding bike weighs more. The electric drive makes it easier and more comfortable to ride, which for many is more important than the weight.

Range

The maximum range that can be achieved with an electric folding bike varies greatly from model to model. Everything from 50 km to 150 km is possible. Of course, the range does not depend solely on itself; there are also external factors that play a role.

For one thing, the weather plays an important role with regard to the performance of the battery. If it is cold outside, the battery will run down faster. Thus, the driver has to rely on his own power to make progress.

Furthermore, it also depends on how much help the driver needs. If the driver mainly uses the electric drive, the battery loses energy more quickly.

Speed

With an electric folding bike you can ride fast in a much more relaxed way. There is no maximum speed, as this depends on your own pedalling power. However, there is a maximum speed at which the driving aid switches off. With most, it switches off at a speed of 25 km/h.

The driving aid can switch off at a certain speed.

There are also driving aids that switch off later. However, these are not found too often on the roads, as a licence is required for these bikes. With these bikes, the driving aid stops at a speed of 45 km/h.

Wheels also play a big role in bicycles. With larger wheels, you get a higher speed. However, folding bicycles do not have such large wheels as normal bicycles, as these greatly restrict the folding function and thus the ease of transport.

Battery capacity

Basically, you can cover a longer distance with a higher battery capacity. The capacity of the battery is expressed in watt-hours.

Bicycles are equipped with different batteries with different capacities. Good batteries usually have a capacity of at least 300 watt-hours. There are also batteries with 550 watt hours.

However, different factors play a role in why you do not get as far as you would like with a high battery capacity. For example, the assistance level is a factor that causes the battery to run out faster. If you ride at the highest assistance level and only have a little pedalling power yourself, the battery will quickly run out of juice.

If the cycle path consists of many or long uphill sections, the electric folding bike consumes more energy because more assistance is required.

Some cyclists also charge their smartphones with the battery, which consumes additional power. Other electronic items, such as the bicycle light or the on-board computer, also consume energy. Of course, only when they are connected to the battery.

In summary, it is advisable to buy an electric folding bike with a higher battery capacity. It not only makes riding easier in the long run, but can also be used for other things, such as charging your smartphone.

Furthermore, the battery with a high capacity itself does not need to be charged as often as one with a not so high capacity.

Gear shifting

There are different types of gears for bicycles. For a folding bike with electric drive, there are two types that can be fitted. One is the derailleur and the other is the hub gears.

Derailleur gears

The derailleur is the most common type of gear and can be found in all price segments. It lies open on the wheel and consists of one or more cogwheels.

Advantages
  • low purchase cost
  • easy to repair
  • light weight
Disadvantages
  • susceptible to wear
  • high repair costs

A chain provides the link between a chainring and a cogwheel. If something breaks in the technology, it can be easily repaired. Unfortunately, the chain or the cogwheels will wear out after a while.

Hub gears

The hub gears are somewhat easier to operate than the derailleur gears. With derailleur gears you have to operate various levers to change gears.

Advantages
  • easy to change gears
  • not prone to defects
  • bicycle chain lasts longer because it is in a box
Disadvantages
  • make the bike heavier
  • purchase costs are higher

With hub gears, you only have to turn the steering wheel to change up. The only disadvantage is that this type of gear makes the bike heavier, which is rather unfavourable for an electric folding bike.

Additional equipment

When buying an electric folding bike, some additional features may also be included. For example, many bikes with electric drive come with a start-up aid or pushing aid.

This is a device on the bike that makes it easier for the rider to start riding. Here, the bike can accelerate up to 6 km/h without pedalling.

Furthermore, the bike can come with a rim lock, which is very convenient for a folding bike. This keeps your luggage small and saves you having to take an additional lock with you, which is often not even light. Some bikes also come with an additional tyre or puncture protection tyre.

Since the battery unfortunately does not last forever, some dealers include a second battery with the purchase. This is especially useful for longer trips with the electric folding bike. This allows you to relax for longer without having to worry that sooner or later you will have to pedal at full power.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about electric folding bikes answered in detail

In this section you will find frequently asked questions about electric folding bikes.

What is an electric folding bike?

The folding bike is a more practical version of a normal bicycle. These are often difficult to transport. For example, you can't just stuff them into the boot of your car, you have to buy extra accessories to transport them. Furthermore, you sometimes have to pay extra for bicycles on the train.

The folding function makes it easy to take the bike with you wherever you go

A folding bicycle saves you these little problems. It is a little smaller than a conventional bicycle because it has smaller wheels, for example. With the slightly smaller nature and the folding function, you can easily take a folding bike anywhere.

As electric bikes have become very popular over the years, it was only a matter of time before the first foldable electric bikes hit the market. An electric folding bike combines the folding function of a bicycle with an electric drive.

elektro-klapprad-test

An electric folding bike can be small and compact when folded, so you can take it anywhere. (Image source: Rex Lovic / unsplash)

The electric drive makes cycling easier. Cyclists are assisted by the electric motor while riding. How intensive the support should be can be set individually by each rider on the display. This makes hill climbs or long-distance rides more pleasant for the cyclist and saves energy.

What does an electric folding bike cost?

The cost of an electric folding bike cannot vary more. The cheapest options are mainly second-hand bikes. You can buy an electric folding bike on Amazon or eBay for just a few thousand euros. There is plenty of room for improvement. A well-equipped electric folding bike can cost up to just under €3,000.

Unfortunately, the purchase costs of electric folding bikes are not the only costs. There are also follow-up costs for the consumer. For example, you have to charge the electric bike. How often you have to charge it depends on how often you use the bike. On average, the battery is charged once or twice a week.

However, the costs do not stop there. The battery also needs to be replaced after about five years. It loses its capacity over the years, as with almost every electronic device.

Furthermore, an electric folding bike wears out. For example, the brakes wear out more quickly if you frequently ride at high speeds. The chains or sprocket also wear out and need to be replaced after a few years.

elektro-klapprad-test

Small wheels and thick tyres: with an electric folding bike, you can not only ride around town but also take a real tour through the forest. (Image source: Mike Von / unsplash)

What sounds like a lot at first is still cheaper than travelling by car. Charging the battery only costs a few cents and a new chain or sprocket around 20-25€. To avoid possible costs, it is worthwhile to have the bike checked by an expert in order to detect possible defects early on.

How big is an electric folding bike?

To determine the right size of an electric folding bike for you, you should pay attention to the frame size of the bike when buying it. This is determined by the diameter of the wheels. As a general rule, taller people should opt for a larger diameter.

In the table below you will find the values for your height and the corresponding inch values. On the Internet you will also find different values. However, this depends on what kind of bike it is.

For example, the values are different if it is a mountain bike or an e-bike. The values here only refer to the frame size for electric folding bikes.

Height diameter
160-170 cm 14-16 inches
170-180 cm 17-18 inches
180- over 190 cm 18-22 inches

The values are only average values. There are bikes that are also 24 inches and are suitable for people who are 170cm tall. It therefore sometimes varies from bike to bike.

It is best to go to a specialist dealer for advice before buying. This way you can also have the correct saddle height and steering wheel height adjusted.

What alternatives are there to an electric folding bike?

If you are looking for an alternative to the folding function of an electric folding bike, the normal folding bike is the alternative. It is lighter than the e-folding bike because it has no motor and no battery. Unfortunately, this makes it more strenuous to ride because it relies solely on your own pedalling power.

Another alternative to the e-folding bike is a pedelec. There are two variants of this model. The first is the classic pedelec. This is a standard bicycle with an electric motor.

For this model, you do not need liability insurance or a road permit. This is because the electric motor only supports the cyclist up to a maximum speed of 25 km per hour. If you ride faster, this support is switched off.

Type features
Folding bike no rider assistance as it is not electrically powered
Pedelec no folding function and not subject to registration
S-Pedelec liability insurance as well as road registration required

The situation is different for S-pedelecs. Here you need third-party insurance and a road permit because the assistance only switches off at a higher speed. This is 45 km per hour. S-pedelecs are therefore considered to be light motorbikes that require registration.

How much weight can an electric folding bike withstand?

Most electric folding bike models can withstand a weight of 120 kilos. However, this weight is the system weight. This is made up of the weight of the rider, the luggage and the weight of the bike.

If you have a bike that weighs 23 kilos, you have 97 kilos free for luggage and the rider. However, there are also models that can carry more weight. These models are called heavy duty models. Here, the system weight can have a mass of 140 kilos up to 200 kilos.

How long does the battery of an electric folding bike last?

There is no definite answer to how long the battery will last, as it depends on various factors. For example, the outside temperature, the weight of the rider and additional luggage, and the riding style all play a role.

The outside temperature plays a role in battery performance.

On average, the battery lasts for a distance of 50 to 100 kilometres. There are a few things the driver can do to maximise the runtime. For one, the battery will last longer if you drive in lower gears. That way, the engine is not used too much.

Secondly, you don't always have to drive with assistance. When travelling on flat surfaces, it is not always necessary to switch on the driving assistance.

And finally, it is advisable to protect the battery from the cold. If you are driving in winter, the battery can cool down quickly, which is favoured by the oncoming wind. To protect the battery from the optimal temperature, you can put a neoprene cover over the battery.

Do I need a licence for an electric folding bike?

In most cases, an electric folding bike does not need to be registered for road use. This depends on the speed up to which the motor supports the cyclist. If the speed is below 25 km/h, you can buy an electric folding bike and ride it without any problems.

Most bikes do not have to be registered.

However, if the value is more than that, you need a road registration and even a liability insurance. Because then the Ras is considered a moped.

Photo source: 123rf / Michael Nosek

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