Folding ebikes have become popular and you will see many of them in the market. As the name implies, it is a bike that has a frame that can be folded and usually has handlebars that can also be flipped to pivot down. The XP folding ebike from Lectric (link to XP Lectric articles) is a good example of this. This folding mechanism allows the bike to transform into a more compact configuration for easier storage and stowing. You can easily store it in the closet, or in the trunk of the car, and carry it along during your commute in the train or up a flight of stairs. Additionally, since it is compact and easy to carry, it is less likely to be stolen since the owner can just take it with him instead of parking it outside as a traditional bike would be.
It is no surprise that people who usually buy folding ebikes are more concerned about space and ease of carrying their ebike around. However, aside from its foldability, there are many pros and cons of an electric folding bike, and we will delve into them in this article.
Good Adjustability and Sizing
Folding bikes are designed to be constantly assembled and adjusted. Because of this, their components have very good adjustable ranges. The stem height and as well as the seat post height have a wide range that can be adjusted for the best comfort. As such, you will be less worried about sizing when it comes to folding bikes because one size can fit all.
Easy Packaging and Assembly
Because they are foldable, folding bikes can fit in smaller packages and can be shipped much easier. We did an unboxing of the XP Lectric folding ebike and it was a breeze to unbox and assemble. The bike was almost fully assembled and ready to go. It was in its folded configuration in the box, and when we pulled it out and snapped it to its full size, we were ready to roll. Folding ebikes are usually lighter and, as a result, they can be a bit faster as well.
It is also very common for folding ebikes to house the battery and other electronic components on the frame tube. Compared to traditional ebikes, folding ebikes hollow out the tube to make way for these components. They can do this because the inner tube frame is accessible when the bike is latched off to be folded. This can become a major issue when parts need repairing as vital parts can be tough to reach/repair.
Fat Tires As Suspension
Folding ebikes generally are fully rigid and don’t have suspension built into them. Thus, as a solution, fat tires are commonly used on folding ebikes to act as its suspension. Another thing you will find on folding bikes is that they usually come with smaller tires. This is also for the purpose of easy storage, However, folding ebikes differ from just the traditional folding bikes. Modern folding ebikes use fat tires instead of skinnier 20 inch tires. This can be attributed to the fact that ebikes tend to weigh more and travel at faster speeds. As such, riders on an ebike would need more cushion.
Compact Ride Posture
There are also some compromises on a folding ebike. Because of its intentional compact design, the riding posture in it can be limiting. For some people, the handlebars can be very close to the chest and might not make for a very pleasant riding. However, for others, this may not be a big issue, especially if you prefer small and compact sizing.
If you're looking for an ebike that can be stored in your closet easily and you could just snap together and cruise around town, folding ebikes are fantastic. However, if you are more into a fitness-lifestyle or even a commuter-style, a folding ebike might not be the best for you. At the end of the day, it’s really about what your purpose is and what kind of ebike you can be most comfortable with.