Bodywel's "Mini" T16 Could Be This Year's Cheapest Chinese Folding E-Bike: Costs Just $600

T16 10 photos
Photo: Bodywel EBikes
The growing trend of e-bikes has finally reached a stage where we can offer future owners an EV that costs as little as $600. That's the case with Bodywel's T16, the full-suspension "pocket rocket" we have before us. Grab a helmet, and let's dive into what can be considered this year's least expensive adult-oriented e-bike.
Folks, the funky trinket we have before us is nothing more than Bodywel's newest addition to their lineup of affordable and electrified two-wheelers. It's called the T16, and aside from looking like something a clown would ride, the fact that it's selling for under $600 (€550) is reason enough to shed some light on it.

Now, whenever I explore a two-wheeler of nearly any kind, I like to begin with the frame. In the case of the T16, I was surprised to see nothing more than good old steel being used. That also means that we're looking at a rather heavy bike, and the T16 surely is. According to the manufacturer, it weighs 25 kg (55 lbs), so quite a whole bunch for something this small.

One important aspect of the frame is the fact that it's all built around a full-suspension design. If we look closely at the rear construction, we can see a shock mounted underneath the seat post and attaching itself to what can be considered the chain stay. It looks similar to what you'd see on your average motorcycle. The manufacturer doesn't mention just how much travel is available here, nor is this specified for the fork either.

Photo: Bodywel EBikes
Funny enough, as we dive deeper into how the frame is designed, things get a tad confusing. According to the manufacturer's website, the battery is supposed to be integrated into the tubes, but I can't help but wonder what that massive black component jutting out from the frame may be. I get that it has integrated rear lights, but what is it!? I think it's just the battery, and Bodywel just does a poor job of showing this.

Since I've opened up the topic of batteries and other electrical components, let's continue with that. According to Bodywel, each T16 is loaded with a 10.4 Ah battery running under 36 V, which is said to be good for up to 70 km (43 mi) on a full tank with only a 60 kg (132 lbs) rider on a flat surface, so you'll need to start skipping lunch if you want to hit that number. Just note that Bodywel mentions that the battery is not removable, and once drained, you'll need to pull over for as much as six hours.

As for what that battery is powering, aside from the lights, it's giving up its precious juice to a 250 W motor mounted to the rear hub. In all, this little powerhouse is limited to no more than 25 kph (15.5 mph) and only cranks out 35 Nm (26 lb-ft) of torque. Not a whole lot, but for a rather flat town, it should do just fine.

Photo: Bodywel EBikes
To make this two-wheeler even more attractive to the urban rider, Bodywell even added a foldable steering column to the design. This allows us to easily fold the T16 to a fraction of its initial size, making it suitable for taking with you in an elevator, a bus, a subway, or just being thrown into the trunk of your car. If the front wheel has quick release, even better.

Further down the line, the T16 also places some integration at our fingertips. Aside from a multi-functional LED display, an app for iOS and Android is available, letting us keep track of diagnostics, range, and a couple of others.

One phrase I couldn't help but laugh at was the mention of "all-terrain tires." I'm sorry, but there isn't one dang cyclist who in their right mind would consider 16-inch tires, even with rivets in them, as all-terrain-capable. Do not, for the love of god and your own life, try to catch airtime with this bike. None of the features here are what you'd want while ripping up local trails.

Photo: Bodywel EBikes
Now, Bodywel mentions that this electrified two-wheeler is suitable for adults, and quite a few are seen riding one on the manufacturer's website. However, some sources do state that a grown adult is kind of stressful for the T16 and that it may be much better suited for your "average teen." Nonetheless, for a flat $600, it's a funky risk that I'm willing to take.

Finally, I wanted to find out who the heck Bodywel may be and how this crew came about. According to the manufacturer's About Us page - excuse the rather China-influenced wording you come across - this crew came about because the company's CEO had trouble getting around town while working in the UK, and so, this Shenzen, China-based crew popped up and started dishing out EV after EV to the general public.

I'll be honest: I'm kind of curious as to how a T16 feels and if it's worth the $600; I'll try to get my hands on one and tell you if it's worth it. Until then, feel free to comment on whether or not this is an e-bike you'd spend money on and ride.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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