Nakto electric bike review

As an avid cyclist and commuter, I’m always on the lookout for affordable yet high-quality electric bikes. Nakto has earned a reputation for budget-friendly e-bike models optimized for everyday riding. 

Introduction to Nakto Ebikes

The four popular Nakto bikes are: the SkylarkDiscoveryFolding Ox, and Camel. You read the reviews we’ve made of those 4 bikes by clicking on the links.

Based in California, Nakto has been producing electric bicycles for over a decade. They’ve honed their expertise at delivering reliable electric assist without breaking the bank.

In this comprehensive review, I took four of Nakto’s most popular models out on the roads of my hometown. After weeks of test rides, I’ve compiled my thoughts on key factors like powercomfortbattery range, and ease of use.

Keep reading for the full scoop on whether Nakto bikes deliver solid value or fall short on performance.

Key Features and Specs

Nakto bikes come well equipped with practical components tailored for daily commuting and recreation. Here’s an overview of the key features and specs:

Motors and Batteries

All Nakto e-bikes are powered by brushless hub motors built into the rear wheel. Different models utilize motors ranging from 250W to 500W. More powerful motors provide faster acceleration and greater ability to sustain higher speeds.

The bikes use lithium-ion batteries with capacities between 7Ah to 12Ah. Higher capacity equals greater range. Batteries lock securely to the frame but can be removed for charging or theft deterrence.

Range Capabilities

Nakto’s electric assist enables riding ranges between 20-40 miles on a single charge depending on model, terrain, assist level, rider weight, and other factors. Some bikes estimate conservative ranges while I found real-world results to exceed ratings.

Frame Materials and Sizes

Nakto e-bikes feature aluminum alloy frames for a balance of strength and lightweight maneuverability. Most models weigh 55-60 lbs including batteries.

Standard diamond frames and step-through frames accommodate riders from 5’3” to over 6’ tall.

Wheels, Tires and Suspension

26” wheels with wide 4” tires are common across the lineup for stability and shock absorption. Many models include front suspension forks to further smooth out bumps. Knobby tread provides grip on loose terrain.

Braking Systems

Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes deliver strong, consistent stopping power in dry and wet conditions. Low-end models utilize traditional rim brakes. Regenerative braking on some bikes extends range.

Transmission and Gears

Shimano gearing and 6 or 7 speed derailleurs allow you to modulate pedaling effort for efficiency on hills and flats. Twist or thumb shifters make changes easy on the fly.

Displays and Controls

Bikes include LCD displays mounted on the handlebars showing stats like speed, battery level, distance, assist mode and more. Backlit screens are easy to read.

Thumb throttles control motor assist, while integrated brake levers cut power for safety. Some models allow programming top speeds and assist levels.

Accessories and Customizations

Nakto offers handy accessories like phone mounts, mirrors, baskets, lights, helmets and more. You can also customize the look with decals.

Ride Quality and Performance

Now let’s get into how Nakto’s electric bikes actually perform out on streets and trails. Here’s how the models I tested stacked up:

Power and Torque

The 250-500W motors provide adequate torque for cruising around at 15-20 mph with some pedal assistance. 500W models can reach 25 mph on flat ground. Steep hills cause significant speed drops.

From a dead stop, acceleration is peppy. But power delivery tails off compared to high-end motors. For moderate urban use, the drive systems get the job done.

Speed and Acceleration

On flat paved trails with mid-level assist, I found Nakto bikes easily hold speeds between 15-18 mph. Hitting the throttle can temporarily boost speeds by 3-5 mph.

Acceleration feels brisk from 0 to 15 mph. Beyond that, pedal input is required to avoid major slowdowns. These aren’t speed demons compared to pricier e-bikes.

Comfort and Ergonomics

The upright riding position on Nakto bikes provides a comfortable, relaxed feel. The swept-back handlebars encourage a natural arm position that doesn’t strain my shoulders.

Plush, adjustable seats complement the fit. For my 30-40 minute test commutes, I stayed comfy thanks to the sensible ergonomics.

Handling and Maneuverability

At low speeds, Nakto bikes handle very intuitively and are easy to maneuver through tight spaces, thanks to balanced weight distribution.

High-speed cornering and turns cause some wobble, likely due to the longer wheelbase required for stability. But in general, they handle responsively.

Terrain Handling Capabilities

The wide 4” tires excel at absorbing cracks and potholes on paved urban roads. Even without suspension, the ride stays smooth.

On loose gravel or dirt trails, traction holds up surprisingly well. But frequent bumps take a toll. With no shocks, I felt every rock and divot. Keep it on pavement for the best experience.

Battery and Range

Nakto’s estimates of 20-40 mile range were largely accurate during my testing. Using higher power assist levels continuously will reduce range. But for my 30 mile roundtrip commute with varying assist, I could reliably get 3 days of use before recharging.

One nice touch is the simple battery life indicators on the LCD displays. I always knew exactly how much juice I had left. Overall, the batteries deliver as-advertised range to meet daily needs.

Noise and Vibration

I was pleased by how quiet Nakto’s hub motors operate, especially at lower speeds. There’s a mild hum which fades into background noise. Vibration is also minimal and never bothersome.

Some vibration kicks in through the handlebars at high speeds, likely due to the longer fork design. But it wasn’t severe enough to raise concerns.

Pros and Cons

Based on my extensive test riding, here are the key advantages and limitations of Nakto electric bikes:


  • Affordability: Nakto bikes cost just a fraction of high-end e-bikes. Quality electrically-assisted rides are made very accessible.

  • Range: Batteries reliably deliver 20-40 miles per charge, enough for most commuters’ needs. I never ran out of juice mid-ride.

  • Durability: The aluminum frames and overbuilt components stand up well to daily use. These bikes are built to last.

  • Easy to Use: Straightforward controls, displays and well-crafted manuals made the bikes easy to use right off the bat.


  • Weight: At 55-60lbs, Nakto bikes are heavier than traditional bicycles. Lifting and maneuvering takes some extra muscle.

  • Limited Speed: Top speeds max out at 25mph. Riders wanting higher speeds may be disappointed. Hills significantly slow acceleration.

  • Limited Warranty: Nakto only provides 12-24 month warranties. Some components may require DIY replacement sooner.

  • Proprietary Parts: Nakto uses some exclusive non-standard components that are only available from the manufacturer.

So in summary, Nakto bikes shine for providing electric assist at wallet-friendly prices. But the trade-off is lighter-duty motors and parts that compromise on higher performance capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here I’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions I get about Nakto electric bicycles:

How does the power compare to other e-bike brands?

Nakto’s 250-500 watt motors provide adequate power for most casual riding but can’t match the output of premium 1000+ watt motors on pricier bikes. Expect 0-20 mph acceleration with moderate hills slowing you down.

Can the bikes be used off-road or just pavement?

While the knobby tires provide some grip, a lack of rear suspension limits rough off-road handling. Nakto bikes perform best on smooth paved roads. Very bumpy dirt trails will be uncomfortable.

How tall/short can riders be for each frame size?

Nakto bikes fit a wide range of riders. Small frames accommodate heights down to 5’3″, while XL frames work for riders over 6′ tall. Those under 5′ may find the standover height too high.

Do the batteries lose capacity over time?

Yes, like all lithium-ion batteries, partial degradation after 2 years is typical. But well-maintained batteries should still provide 70-80% of original capacity for many more years. Temperature extremes accelerate loss.

Is self-assembly required or can bikes be pre-built?

Nakto ships bikes about 85% assembled. Installing pedals, handlebars, and adjusting brakes/gears only takes 30-60 minutes. If desired, many local bike shops offer full assembly and tuning services for a small fee.

How does tire tread impact braking and traction?

The wide 4″ knobby tires offer great traction and stability in dry conditions. But braking distances are extended on pavement, especially in wet weather. Studded snow tires can improve winter traction.

Are spare parts readily available for repairs?

Common parts like tires, brakes, and drive belts are easily sourced online. But some parts are made exclusively for Nakto, requiring ordering directly from the manufacturer. Inventory shortages are an issue right now.

I’d recommend wearing a helmet and closed toe shoes at minimum. Gloves improve comfort and protect your hands in a fall. For night riding, front and rear lights are critical for visibility.

How does cold weather impact battery life?

Lithium-ion batteries lose capacity in below freezing temperatures. At 20°F, expect up to 30% reduction in range. Storing bikes indoors helps maintain battery lifespan and performance.

What maintenance is required and how often?

Basic tasks like lubricating the chain monthly and adding air to the tires take just minutes. Tune ups including brake pads, cables, belt inspection, and wheel truing should be done annually by a qualified mechanic.


After extensively test riding four popular models, I’m impressed with Nakto electric bikes’ abilities to deliver budget-friendly electric assist for daily commuting and around-town use.

The approachable frame geometry provides a comfortable upright riding position suitable for a wide range of cyclists. Peppy 250-500 watt motors give you a helpful push up to 25 mph without taking over the pedaling experience.

While Nakto bikes won’t break any land speed records and aren’t ideal for rugged terrain, they fill the role of urban commuter and recreational rider remarkably well given the affordable sub-$1500 price points.

If you need more raw power or premium components, I’d suggest looking at Juiced, Rad or Aventon. But Nakto bikes offer a compelling blend of value, quality construction and usable performance.

So for new riders dipping a toe into ebikes or veterans seeking a laidback cruise-around-town machine, don’t overlook Nakto’s solid budget-minded offerings. Your wallet and your legs will thank you!

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