Engwe Delivers Another Cheap and Powerful E-Bike for the Masses: The Fat-Tire E26

What is it that most folks look for in an e-bike? If you're like me, comfort, capability, and cost are the three most important aspects when considering such an EV. With that in mind, let's explore Engwe's newest addition to their growing family, the E26.
E26 7 photos
Photo: Engwe Bikes
E26E26 Step-ThroughE26E26 Step-OverE26 Step-ThroughE26 Step-Over
Folks, Engwe is a crew born out of a partnership that unfurled in the streets of California, and since their early days, they hit the market with powerful and affordable e-bikes. After all, not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on a new mobility alternative.

Well, the newest addition to their family is the E26, an EV designed to be a go-to companion when it comes to reducing car use. Best of all, Engwe aimed at building an e-bike that isn't just strong and won't break your bank but reports stats that bikes twice, maybe even three times more expensive don't boast. It's time to dive a bit deeper into this urban mobility alternative.

Now, I already pointed out how much you'll be spending on this EV, just $1,200 (€1,100 at current exchange rates), and that's the sort of price tag that you'll rarely see on an e-bike with a 750 W motor (nominal with a 1,200 W peak) and range of up to 87 mi (140 km). Hell, sign me up! I'm just not a big fan of step-through frames, but that's a personal preference.

But don't get me wrong; step-through frames have their use, part of which is safety and comfort. Since such frames allow riders to easily mount and dismount, there's little to no risk of tipping over, especially if you're carrying precious cargo on the rear rack. A step-over variation exists, too, but it's the step-though that I'd go for if I were a first-time e-biker.

E26 Step\-Through
Photo: Engwe Bikes
Furthermore, such frames allow us to easily set our feet down in case we lose balance. Since the top tube is missing, there's nothing to mess with your stance. But all this also affects riding stance, and typically, you'll be cruising around in a more upright position.

More on comfort, it's important to note that the E26's frame has been designed around 26 in tires with a 4 in cross-section. In short, a pair of fatties, and since they offer a 4 in balloon between you and the ground, you're sure to feel reduced vibrations and bumps from the road. The only downside of fat tires is that they're a bit bouncier than most, which can be problematic if you hit something at high speeds; always wear a helmet!

Now, it may have felt as though I was bragging about the sort of power that Engwe throws into the game, and I was. Why? Well, for this sort of cash, you can access that massive motor I mentioned, which isn't just strong enough to help you reach speeds upwards of 28 mph (45 kph), but it's also capable of cranking out 70 Nm (52 lb-ft) of torque. That's more than enough spunk to climb hills, even with cargo on the back.

But that's a pretty hungry powerhouse, so to feed it all the juice it needs, you can expect a massive battery pack in place. Integrated into the downtube of the E26, a beefy 16 Ah battery is supposed to hold out for up to 87 mi.

Sure, that 87 mi of range is a number obtained in a test setting, and in the real world, you can expect a drop of around 30%, depending on road conditions, speed, and even the size of your lunch. But, around 60 mi (97 km) of real range is still a sizable amount for $1,200. Best of all, it's a removable battery pack, so you can double your range by grabbing another pack.

Photo: Engwe Bikes
I also mentioned that Engwe looks like they're aiming to help you leave your ICE vehicle at home as often as possible, and while the E26's range seems to be just what the doctor ordered, it's the rear cargo rack that extends this bicycle's ability beyond that of your grandfather's bike.

These days, racks like the one spotted on the E26 can handle an insane amount of cargo. However, on average, 25 kg (55 lbs) is about the limit most manufacturers aim for. Think about what you can achieve with this ability. Do you have to grab some groceries? Go for it. Taking the toddler to preschool? Make sure you have a proper seat. Whatever you decide to use the E26 for, just make sure you don't go over 150 kg (331 lbs) of combined weight.

The rest of this EV is decked out with a throttle function, headlights, taillights, and most importantly, hydraulic disc brakes, the latter being essential on a machine that can reach 28 mph speeds with a 150 kg load. Nice job, Engwe. Oh, there's also a front fork with some wiggle room to smoothen out roads and the occasional rock you run over. Lockout is there to help preserve energy on straightaways, too.

Now, take all that, place yourself in the center of the action, and what do you have? Well, as far as I can see, you'll be riding a rather comfortable e-bike - there's a seat post shock, too - strong enough to tackle varying city terrains and won't burn a hole in your bank account. With another battery pack, even backpacking trips are part of the equation. Go ahead; find a dealer, take a test ride, and go home with a new mobility alternative.

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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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