Advantages of Foldable Electric Bikes. Why You Should Buy a Fold Up E-bike?

In a search for commuting alternatives, you may have found yourself wondering how to get past the stigma of appearance and novelty when looking for the best folding electric bike 2019. We can empathize. A foldable ebike frame and wheel design looks awkward when compared to a traditional bicycle. It is also reasonable to wonder if a fold up electric bicycle provides real benefits in an age of fads and gimmicks.

This review seeks to answer your questions about foldable electric bike products. We have taken the time to research mini folding electric bike designs to provide you with accurate information and the data we’ve collected will save more than time.

We’ve created a buyer’s guide that examines the electric folding bike lightweight design, the materials used in construction, to motor and storage features. These are not the only features we’ve examined There is also a review section that takes a closer look at five e-bikes. Each review offers information that can be used to determine which model will meet your needs. Finally, we conclude with a summary and a closer look at one of the models.

Table of Content

What Makes Folding E-Bikes Different from Others?

foldable electric bike

While some features found on a folding e-bike are familiar, there are design elements that allow a folding electric bicycle to stand out from traditional bicycles. We have looked at the market and examined what a foldable electric bicycle can or can not do. Our research shows that:

  1. A small folding electric bike can offer various combinations of battery and pedal power. Smaller e-bike motors won’t require a license in most cases. Drained batteries won’t leave you stranded because e-bikes can also be pedaled home.
  2. A compact folding electric bike is easier to ride. The motor allows you to move while exerting less energy. You can arrive at work without feeling sweaty or tired.
  3. A foldable design makes an electric bike portable. While they may weigh more than a pedal bicycle, they can be carried in a bag or case.
  4. E-bikes are harder to steal. Their portability doesn’t require you to leave them unattended on a rack or parked in a lot.
  5. Compact electric bicycles offer a green transportation solution. They can also be combined with public transportation to provide efficient and fast commuting.


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How to Choose a Foldable Electric Bike in 2019?

What class of folding electric bike should I get?

best-folding-electric-bikesFolding e bike models are classified in three categories based on their power design:

  • Class 1 (Pedal Assist/Pedelec) – This class of electric bicycles represents the majority of e-bikes today. It’s designed to be pedaled as you ride. The motor provides extra power to the rear wheel. That additional power makes pedaling easier, even in higher gears or on inclines. Due to lower speeds, these e-bikes can be ridden in most places without a license.
  • Class 2 (Throttle) – The throttle foldable electric bike is powered by a motor and does not require pedaling. This limited e-bike selection caters to the Chinese and American markets.
  • Class 3 (Speed Pedelec) – An e-bike in this class is similar to the Class 1 pedelec. The difference is the greater speeds they produce. The faster speeds of these electric bicycles will require licensing.

What material is used for a folding electric bicycle’s frame?

frame materials of electric bike

A folding electric bicycle for sale will have a frame made from one or more of these common alloys:

  • Aluminum alloys used in bicycle frames are either 6061 or 7005 grade aluminum. These lightweight materials are far less dense than other alloys but require thicker walls for integrity.
  • Carbon Fiber or CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced polymer) are a more recent development in bicycle frames. Manufacturers use carbon fiber sheets infused with resins to provide a strong but lightweight alloy. The anisotropic nature of CFRPs makes the tubing flexible.
  • Steel frames will employ 4130 chromoly. Steel is easy to work with, cutting production costs. It is heavier and prone to rust if neglected.
  • Titanium frames are made from 3Al-2.5V or 6Al-4V variants. It is difficult to produce and weld, resulting in higher costs. This medium-weight alloy can provide a frame that will last a lifetime.

Which Motor is used in a Folding Electric Bike?

front hub motorsBefore you buy electric folding bike, you should consider the differences provided by a hub motor compared to a mid-drive motor.

The location of the motor will affect how folding electric bikes work and what they are capable of.


A Front Hub Motor is used on the Class 2 models due to drivetrain considerations. While they provide a simpler design, they offer less traction and are more difficult to steer when cornering. Because of this, front hub motors are rarely used except in conversion kits.

The Rear Hub Motor is easy to manufacture, making them cheaper to produce. Being located at the rear of the e-bike allows them to be used on motorized or pedalec models. This design can be harder to handle due to the weight of bike and rider being concentrated on the back.

mid drive motor

A Mid-Drive Motor is integrated with the crank and is activated with pedaling. This pedalec-only design provides more torque and distributes weight more evenly. Since it drives the e-bike’s crank, it works more effectively with the offered gear range.


What Type of Gear on a Folding e bike? What is the Max Speed?

The best foldable electric bike designs make use of seven gears to power the rear wheel and are controlled by a lever-type switch located on the handlebars. This lever controls a derailer that moves the chain to different sized rings. Keep in mind that:

  • Lower gears use larger rings. They are easier to pedal and provide more torque.
  • Higher gears use smaller rings. They are harder to pedal and offer less torque.

While the top speed of the best electric models is limited only by the incline and the rider, there is a limit to the speed the throttle will generate in pedal assist mode.

Most Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes will top out at 20 mph, while the more powerful Class 3 bikes can reach speeds that are 10 mph higher.

Remember that the top speeds available to you may be limited by state and local regulations as well.

Battery Capacity of a Folding Electric Bike

E_Bike_Lithium_BatteryFrom Cyclamtic to Shimano, the best folding e bike models use nickel and lithium batteries.

  1. Lead-acid (SLA) are cheap and recycle easily. They are less durable and limited in power. Their weight and short range limit their popularity.
  2. Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) are a step up from SLAs. They provide greater capacity and longevity. NiCd are hard to recycle and cost more. This type of battery is becoming obsolete in 2019.
  3. Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH) is more efficient than NiCd but offers little improvement at higher costs. However, they last longer and are easily recycled easily.
  4. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) are the most common e-bike batteries. A lithium ion battery can generate more power longer, but requires additional electronic control for safety.
  5. Lithium-ion Polymer (Li-pol) gives a minimal improvement over lithium-ions but they don’t use water. They can be molded in different shapes and are more stable.
  6. Lithium Cobalt (LCO) is a newer design, making a verdict on performance difficult. Proponents claim they provide greater power due to a higher energy density.
  7. Lithium Manganese (LiMg204) is based on technology used in hybrid cars. Manufacturers claim it provides greater power and longevity.

How Long does a Folding e-bike Charge?

While the best folding electric bicycle will provide limited charging when moving down hills, batteries require charging once they are depleted. Lithium-ion needs on average between 3.5 and 6 hours to charge.

E-bike batteries reach a 90-percent charge within 2.5 hours, with the last 10-percent used to top-off the battery.

Partially charged batteries will take less time than those discussed above, of course.

What is the Distance of Folding e-bike?

The best e-bikes on the market today have a range of approximately 20 to 30-miles per charge. There are many factors that can affect this range, even on the lightest electric folding bike designs. A few things that can alter the distance per battery charge include:

  • Rider’s weight
  • The e-bike’s class rating
  • The terrain
  • The speed maintained
  • How much pedaling is done
  • Temperature and wind
  • The age and type of battery
  • The size of the motor

What Type of Brakes does a Folding Electric Bike Have?

disc brakes

Any folding electric bike for sale today will use either a mechanical or a hydraulic disc brake system. These brakes are different from the caliper brakes traditionally used on bicycles. These brakes employ rotors that are located on the hubs of your wheels.

When the brake lever is depressed it engages the brake pads against the rotor with acable or hydraulic pressure. The pads have a red dial that must be adjusted manually on mechanical disk brakes or automatically on hydraulic brakes. Just like the suspension and motor components, the brake system will require routine maintenance.

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Top-5 Folding Electic Bikes

PicturesBike NameKey FeaturesCheck Price
Nakto electric bike 26” CamelGears: 6
Frame: Carbon + Steel
Ecotric Fat tireGears: 7
Frame: Aluminum
SwagCycle EB-5 Pro Lightweight and Aluminum Folding EBikeGears: 6
Frame: Aluminum
SwagCycle Pro Folding Electric BikeGears: 7
Frame: Steel
Swagtron SwagCycleGears: None
Frame: Aluminum

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1. Nakto electric bike 26” Camel – Best Foldable Electric Bike in 2019

The Camel offers variable speed Pedalec operation with a removable battery and a lock. Natco offers direct factory sales and delivery to the lower 48 states.

This product is intended for riders looking to add simple e-bike mobility to their commute. The removable battery works ideally for those with limited space.

Key Features

Battery: 36v 10ah

Brakes: Front V and Rear Expansion

Frame: Carbon Steel

Gears: 6-Speed Shimano

Motor: 250-watt

  • PAS function saves energy
  • Provides higher maximum speeds
  • Handles loads up to 300 pounds

  • It has only six gears
  • Aluminum tubing is thick
  • Doesn’t cover service from other dealers

Verdict: A good selection for commuters looking for a light folding electric bike that is easy to ride.

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2. Ecotric Fat Tire – Best Folding Electric Bike with Fat Tires for All Terrain

The Ecotric is designed to travel across uneven terrain that many e-bikes struggle with. It combines east-coast engineering with west-coast green sensitivity to produce a rugged e bike intended for play as well as transport.

Key Features

Battery: 36v 12ah

Brakes: Front and Rear Disc

Frame: Aluminum

Gears: 7-Speed Shimano

Motor: 500-watt

  • Higher motor output
  • Large tires for various terrain
  • Evenly distributed braking

  • Larger tires increase weight
  • Bulkier design requires more room
  • Display is hard to read in direct sunlight

Verdict: This e-bike would make a nice choice for those looking for a folding electric mountain bike design.

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3. SwagCycle EB-5 Pro – Best Folding Electric Bike with Removable Battery

This classic design offers a unisex frame that appeals to men and women. Nakto can deliver a nearly assembled e-bike that requires little work while providing a one-year warranty.

This folding electric bike is designed for commuters looking for transportation that is easy to store. It charges within 4-6 hours.

Key Features

Battery: 36v 10ah

Brakes: Front V and Rear Expansion

Frame: Carbon Steel

Gears: 6-Speed

Motor: 250-watt

  • Easy to transport
  • PAS system saves nearly 88-percent energy
  • Aluminum alloy hubs

  • Provides only six gears
  • Smaller motor limits top speed
  • Shorter distances per charge

Verdict: The smaller motor and lighter weight provide features for those looking for the best folding electric bike.

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4. SwagCycle Pro Folding Electric Bike – Good Folding Battery Powered Bike

The Epik SE uses the latest in battery technology and solar paneling to provide users with advanced features. It keeps urban users moving while providing e-bike security and charging capabilities for their phone. E-Joe is a west coast company that combines traditional e-bike designs with the latest in electronic features.

Key Features

Battery: 36v 13ah

Brakes: Front and Rear Disc

Frame: Aluminum

Gears: 7-Speed Shimano

Motor: 350-watt

  • High capacity battery
  • Zoom disc brake style
  • Includes bike lock and solar cell phone charging outlet

  • The center frame is fairly thick
  • Smaller wheels limit terrain handling
  • It may be hard to locate

Verdict: This middle of the road model uses a lithium polymer battery design for riders looking for higher energy capacity not found on many fold up electric bike designs.

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5. Swagtron SwagCycle – Lightweight Affordable Electric Folding Bike

The SwagCycle is targeted for younger riders who will use it for play more than transportation. A simple and small frame make it easy to break down and transport.

Swagtron is known for their hover-boards and scooters as well as their e-bikes. Focusing on a younger demographic allows them to design products that are cool as well as fun. Younger first-time riders will appreciate the SwagCycle.

Key Features

Battery: 36v 4.4ah

Brakes: Front and Rear Disc

Frame: Aluminum

Gears: None

Motor: 250-watt

  • Easy to store and transport
  • Battery charges quickly
  • Includes micro USB charging port

  • Short range per charge
  • Limited top speed
  • Small frame and wheel size

Verdict: This cheap folding electric bike is a good choice for a first-time electric bicycle rider, including teens.


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Frequently Asked Questions about Fold Up Electric Bikes


Why a folding electric bike is perfect for commuters?

A folding electric bicycle provides you with easy and quick transportation, either on its own or in conjunction with public transportation. The compact design allows it to be carried so it won’t have to be left outdoors and unattended at work.

What are the disadvantages of a folding electric bike?

A folding electric bicycle has smaller wheels that can struggle on uneven terrain. The motor and battery weigh them down more than traditional bicycles. With larger Class 3 e-bikes, the top speeds will require riders to be licensed to operate them.

Do I need a license to ride an electric bike on the road?

Class 1 or Class 2 fold up electric bike can be operated without a license in most cases (Check your local restrictions as they can vary). Class 3 e-bikes require proper licensing due to higher top speeds.

Do you have to pedal an electric bike?

While all but a few e-bike models can be pedaled, it is not a necessity for some models. Some motors are designed to activate through pedaling. A foldable electric bicycle that is powered by a throttle will not require the rider to pedal.

How should I clean my electric bike?

Avoid using high-powered hoses when cleaning a fold up electric bicycle. A bucket, brush, and sponge will work fine. Use a degreaser on the drivetrain and a disc brake cleaner on the rotors. Remember to remove the battery before you begin cleaning.

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Summary of Folding Electric Bike Review

The foldable electric bike review above highlights many features e-bikes are known for. Among them, the Nakto electric bike 26” Camel may be the best folding electric bike 2019. Its PAS function provides energy savings during pedaling as well as a higher top speed. The aluminum frame can handle up to 300-pounds at a range of 22-miles. It can be pedal or throttle driven and has a removable battery for easier charging.

While the Shimano stands out on its own, each of the e-bikes can be recommended for the specific needs of riders:

Ecotric Fat Tire – This folding e bike is ideal for riders who want to forge their own path in less than ideal terrain.

NAKTO Adult Unisex – The design makes this the best foldable ebike for urban commuters living in smaller apartments.

E-JOE Epik SE Sport Edition – The lithium polymer battery and solar charging capabilities will perk the interest of technology enthusiasts.

Swagton SwagCycle – This folding electric bike would be an ideal gift for a teenager who wants to play.

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