Folding bicycles were developed in the late 1800s and were first considered for military use. The first electric bicycle was patented in 1895 by Ogden Bolton Jr. Where the electric bicycle and the folding bicycle intersected is where perhaps one of the most useful bicycles on the planet was born.
WHY A FOLDING ELECTRIC BICYCLE?
The folding electric bike is the unsung hero of the electric vehicle world. Folding electric bicycles break down all the barriers to owning an electric vehicle, i.e. cost, weight, size, portability, speed, safety, reliability and performance. While not all folding bicycles or folding electric bicycles can meet those criterion, many of the well built models do.
HOW TO CHOOSE A FOLDING ELECTRIC BICYCLE.
There are many things to consider when choosing an electric bike, let alone a folding electric bicycle. The most important, of course, is the quality of your folding electric bicycle because you want a safe, reliable, vehicle that will keep you mobile and ridding happy for years to come. So here are the most important things to consider when choosing your next or first folding electric bicycle.
Size/Folded & Unfolded. If you are buying a folding electric bicycle to store in the trunk of your car, the hull of your boat, a compartment in your RV, a closet in your dorm or wherever else small space requirements limit the size of your bicycle, know the limits of your storage space and choose a folding electric bike accordingly. If space is a real concern, a 20” wheel folding ebike like the Prodectech Mariner might be right for you. If you have the room and prefer a full sized frame, the Prodectech Phantom X2 could be the best all around performing full sized folding electric bike ever invented.
The Prodecotech Phantom X2 was #3 of the top ten folding bikes of 2017. Check out the video here: https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-folding-electric-bikes
Battery Capacity. The battery on the ebike is the one of the most important and expensive components on the bicycle. Whichever folding electric bicycle you choose, make sure the company is using quality cells in their batteries and has a strong battery partner with a solid non-prorated warranty.
Warranty. A limited (aka prorated) warranty is just that… LIMITED. An unlimited or non prorated warranty gives you even coverage throughout the terms of the warranty. When choosing a folding electric bicycle, make sure you know the extent the company stands behind their product. It is easy to know if you scrutinize their warranty and ask questions like “What happens if the battery fails after a year? Do you replace it or do I have to pay for the portion of the battery that was used?” Ask the questions and make sure you get the coverage you deserve.
Distance Capability. Knowing how you intend to use your electric folding bicycle will help you in choosing which one to buy. If you know the distance range your will need your bike to achieve you can shop accordingly. Of course, if money is not a concern, you can always just go for the models that have the longest distances. However, if you are more economically minded, choose a folding electric bicycle that is within the distance range you would actually travel. For 20-30 mile round trips, a folding ebike is perfect. For distances longer than that, you may want to consider a full size bicycle.
Charging Speed. How long does it take to recharge your battery once you have drained it? This is important as it will help you to know when and if you will need extra batteries. Most good electric bicycles with high capacity batteries have charging times in excess of 4 hours.
Dependability. Ok so you are probably not new to shopping and know to look at the online reviews before you purchase. Look at the reviews that feature concerns that you have but also do your own research. It usually comes back to the warranty, the service and the overall performance of the folding electric bicycle in question. Reviews are good especially when addressing a particular concern like whether the bike will fit into a certain car’s trunk or how well the manufacturer stands behind their warranty. It is also good to note to buy from a reliable company that will be around in the years to come, not just from a new project or foreign re-box that may be gone tomorrow.
Price. What are you willing to spend on a folding electric bike? If you are using your electric bike to commute and it is replacing a car, maybe you should go the extra mile and invest in a bike that will get you back and forth to work reliably. In the long run, it will be saving you money on gas and parking. However, when price is a concern, be sure to choose from a reliable company with a good warranty because nothing is more expensive than having to rebuy over and over if your cheap imported folding electric bicycle breaks.
Customer Support. When the chips are down, i.e. your folding electric bike is having a problem, who will you be on the phone with you talking your through the issue. Where will they be sending you replacement and warranty parts from. Do they have local dealers to help you? Do they have local customer service or will you be calling a call center overseas? At the end of the day, when you are talking about a technology product like a folding electric bike, it is important to have the technical support you need throughout your entire electric bicycle ownership experience.
Where built. Believe it or not, not all electric bikes are built in China or Europe for that matter. Even when considering our, high quality, globally sourced components there is actually one mass manufacturer of electric bicycles in the USA, Prodecotech. While it may not be important to some simply to buy from a USA manufacturer only for patriotic reasons, Prodecotech bikes are actually on the cutting edge of electric bicycle technology at a fraction of the price of the European and Chinese competitors. Prodecotech now offers over 50 models of electric bicycles including full sized and 20” wheel folding electric bicycle models.
Categorised in: Electric Bikes
This post was written by Jason Behfar