From fat folders to slimmed-down city dwellers, the staff at Electric Bike Report has reviewed some of the best folding electric bikes on the market in 2022, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorites.
From premium folding e-bikes lauded for their design and functionality to fat tire adventure folders made to pack down for storage, folding e-bikes are a dime-a-dozen nowadays. They span nearly every category of e-bike and every price point, so it can be difficult to choose what electric folder fits your needs best. That’s why EBR’s team of e-bike experts put together this list.
The storage and portability of bicycles has long been a problem the world has been trying to solve. Patents for early versions of folding bikes (more accurately characterized as “break away” bikes during this time period) go back as far as the late 1800’s, but there’s evidence they may have existed even before then.
The design really picked up steam in the dense cities of Europe as a smart transportation solution for commuters who needed a lightweight, compact bike that would fit easily on public transportation or into tight offices. The bikes are still popular for that use today, but the advent of e-bikes has adapted the folding design into a very broad range of uses.
There’s now versions built with fat tires and light suspension, built for adventuring on light off-road paths; there’s cargo versions that can pack down for storage; and even some that are the size of a full-size e-bike. Motors have made this bike more appealing and more useful to the masses.
Because the category of folding e-bikes has grown so diverse, we’ve done our best to mimic that by making this list as broad as possible. On it, you’ll find folding e-bikes that can be used as commuters, city bikes, adventure bikes and everything in between. The one thing they all have in common, is they all fold up.
Our Best Folding Electric Bikes 2022
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
How we picked these bikes
Pick almost any of the e-bike specific bike manufacturers nowadays, and it’s likely they’ll have at least one folding bike in their product lineup. Folders are one of the most sought after types of e-bike on the market right now, but with so many options, how do you suss out which one is right for you? We’re here to help with that.
Many of the bikes on this list we’ve tested and know intimately well, but there are others we’ve included based on their reputation and because so many of our readers tell us they love them. The bikes we’ve tested are put through a number of gauntlets including a brake test, hill test, range test and several other assessments. Our team of experts then puts their heads together to decide which bikes belong on this list.
We evaluated folding e-bikes based on a few key criteria, mainly:
- Value: Value is often high on the mind of anyone shopping for a folding e-bike. Most of the bikes on this list cost less than $2,000, a price point we consider entry-level or budget-priced. So, what are you getting for your money? Does the bike feel solid and well put together, or is it a little cheap? Does it come with extras and quality components?
- Range and speed: How far you can ride your e-bike and how fast is usually the first question anyone has about an e-bike, so naturally it weighs heavy on any of our best lists. But there’s more to a good e-bike than raw range and power. We want to make sure the motor is safe and the speed matches the bike’s design and primary user group.
- How well does it fold?: Making a metal (or carbon fiber) bicycle fold is actually a pretty tough task. For all intents and purposes, you’re taking a bike frame — something that needs to be tough and rigid — and breaking it in half. So the folding mechanism needs to be burly and secure. On top of that, it also needs to be functional and easy to use.
- Components and extras: As we mentioned above, bikes in this category are typically on the less expensive end of the spectrum (barring a few exceptions). But inexpensive doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice quality. Does the bike still come with good componentry and extras like racks, lights and fenders?
- Does the bike make sense?: On some bikes, it seems like a manufacturer made it fold more for novelty than function. It’s hard to blame companies for doing this, especially since folding e-bikes are so in vogue right now, but those bikes don’t belong on our best list. If a bike folds, we want to make sure it folds for a purpose.
We’re not going to pretend this is an exhaustive list of the best folding e-bikes, especially considering there are so many different types of folders and so many creative uses for them.
But these are our recommendations based on testing, expert opinion and a little crowdsourced insight from consumers like you. Know of a bike you think should be on this list? Let us know, we’ve always got an eye out for the next hot e-bike.
Bottom line: Your folding e-bike should make sense and match your needs
It’s not always obvious why someone is attracted to the idea of a bike that folds. Some people want them because they save space; others want them because they make great commuters; and some people just like them because of the novelty and unique look.
Whatever your reason for buying a folding bike, make sure you think long and hard about what you want to do with it, because not all folders are created equal. Just like other realms of the cycling world, there are subsets of bikes inside the folding e-bike category that are designed for different uses.
A lightweight commuter folding e-bike won’t perform well off-road, and a heavy all-terrain folder would be tough to carry up a set of stairs. So make sure you’re getting the right bike for you. Also, think hard about whether a folding bike is the right choice for your needs.
Folding bikes often ride much differently than their full-sized counterparts, so keep in mind you might be trading ride quality for compactness. But, after all that thinking, if you’re still looking for an e-bike that packs down small but is still capable, you’ve come to the right place.