Ride, Fold, Repeat: The 7 Best Folding E-Bikes

Tern Vektron S10 40 photos
Photo: Tern Bicycles
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In many urban environments across the globe, space has become a premium commodity. This has led to the emergence of a new type of commuter: the folding e-bike. These electrified two-wheelers offer a solution to the challenges of city living while still boasting many of the useful features of other types of e-bikes. Today, I have prepared a list of the top seven best models you can get your hands on today.
Folding bikes have been around for quite a while. The invention is accredited to Emmit G Latta from the United States – he submitted patents for various different bikes, but the most important one was in 1887 for a bike that "can be folded when not required for use."

That was when the idea emerged, but it actually ended up manufactured later in the 19th century, when a French soldier named Captain Gerard saw the invention's potential for military usage. Pretty soon after, the rest of the world followed.

After the Second World War, in the 1950s, folding bikes started to lose their popularity, especially since they were replaced by the private car. Fast forward to the 1970s, and this is when the folding bike began taking off again. Following the natural evolution path of the bike, folding e-bikes emerged as well. Nowadays, we can find them all across concrete jungles, on city streets, on public transportation, inside office buildings, and more.

1. Lectric XP 3.0

Lectric XP 3\.0
Photo: Lectric eBikes
Since I'm a sucker for a good deal, I'll start with the best affordable option. And that is no other than the Lectric XP 3.0, which you've probably heard of if you're familiar with e-bikes. The 3.0 is, as its name suggests, the third and best iteration of the XP.

At the core of this e-bike is a 500 W (1,000 W peak) rear hub motor delivering 55 Nm (41 lb-ft.) of torque. Electric juice is offered by a 500 Wh, 10.4 Ah battery, which allows you to ride for up to 45 miles (72 km). If that's not enough, you can opt for the long-range version of the XP 3.0, which gives you a range of 65 miles (105 km).

There's a hinge in the middle of the XP 3.0's frame, enabling you to significantly reduce its size when you fold it. Furthermore, the e-bike isn't that heavy, tipping the scales at 64 lb. (29 kg) with the battery attached, yet it can hold up to 150 lb. (68 kg) on its rear rack.

Other notable features of the Lectric XP 3.0 are 180mm hydraulic disk brakes, a front oil suspension fork, and an LCD display. What's more, its electrical components are IP-65 rated, meaning it has the highest level of dust protection and can withstand low-pressure water jets.

This e-bike is all about blending quality and affordability. The Lectric XP 3.0 is currently discounted to $999 from $1,305. Spend $300 more and you can get your hands on the long-range battery. What's more, both versions come with some freebies: a "Comfort Package" with a suspension seat post and a "Cargo Package," which offers a front rack, a small basket, and a large basket.

2. Aventon Sinch.2

Aventon Sinch\.2
Photo: Aventon
Aventon seems to find its way into most of the e-bike lists I've made. But it's not because I'm a fan of the brand, but rather because the company manufactures e-bikes with excellent price/quality ratios. The company's only folding e-bike is the Sinch.2.

The Sinch.2 sports a 500 W (750 W peak) rear hub motor that lets you ride as fast as 20 mph (32 kph), making it a Class 2 e-bike. Moreover, it weighs 68 lb. (31 kg).

Depending on the riding mode you use, you're going to have a range of 35 and 55 miles (56 and 89 km). WHenerv you need to store it, you can fold the step-though frame in the middle, as well as fold the handlebars, thus creating a compact package.

What makes the Sinch.2 stand out is its torque sensor. This piece of equipment measures the amount of force applied to the pedal and then adjusts the motor's output based on the effort you make. The result is a natural riding experience that's impossible to replicate without a torque sensor.

One drawback of the Sinch.2 is that it comes with mechanical disk brakes. Aventon chose not to include hydraulic disk brakes for longevity. When folding the e-bike, there's a higher chance of hydraulic brake lines being pinched and broken compared to mechanical lines. Since the top speed isn't that high, mechanical disk brakes will do the job.

This e-bike rides on 20" x4" street fat tires. Moreover, it's nice that Aventon equipped the two-wheeler with lights front and back, as well as turn signals (which we don't often see on e-bikes) on the seat stays. Other important components are a suspension fork, an LCD display, a throttle, fenders, and a rear rack.

The Sinch.2 is only offered in a single size for $1,500. Just like Lectric, Aventon is throwing in a freebie in the form of an extra battery that normally costs $500.

3. Ride1Up Portola

Ride1Up Portola
Photo: Ride1Up
Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about the best affordable e-bikes by type of rider. The winner of the folding e-bike category was the Ride1Up Portola, although I have to say the XP 3.0 is an almost equally attractive package.

A 750 W motor powers the Portola, outputting 56 Nm (41 lb-ft.) and helping the e-bike achieve a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph) pedal-assisted or 20 mph (32 kph) via throttle.

The Portola comes standard with a 10.4 Ah, 500 Wh battery offering between 20 and 40 miles (32 to 64 km) of range. However, for a mere $100 more, or 10% of the e-bike's price, you can extend the range to between 35 and 45 miles (56 and 72 km) by equipping the e-bike with a more powerful 13.4 Ah, 643 Wh battery.

There are two hinge points on the Portola: at the stem and the downtube. Once it's folded, you can use a secure locking strap to keep everything together.

Weight is similar to other electrified two-wheelers on this list: 58 lb. (27 kg). What's more, the Portola boasts a total weight capacity of 300 lb. (136 kg), 130 lb. (59 kg) of which can be supported by the rear rack.

Even though the Portola has a budget-friendly price tag, Ride1Up still managed to fit it with a fork with 80mm travel for a more comfortable ride.

Other notable features are an 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, front and rear lights, a kickstand, fenders, and a display.

The Ride1Up Portola goes head-to-head with the Lectric XP 3.0, not only regarding components but also when it comes to pricing. This e-bike will set you back $995 if you get the standard version, while the larger battery variant costs $1,095.

4. Blix Vika+ Flex

Blix Vika\+ Flex
Photo: Blix Electric Bikes
If modularity and customization are your thing, you've gotta check out the Blix Vika+ Flex. There are more than 30 options on how you can set up this e-bike's modular rack system. With a loading capacity of 110 lb. (50 kg), you can mix and match Blix's numerous accessories, which include bags, baskets, boards, and more,

The Vika+ Flex boasts a classic design and a high-quality paint job, and it's made up of plenty of durable components. It's equipped with a 500 W rear hub motor that allows you to ride as fast as 20 mph (32 kph). But how about range? A 12.8 Ah, 614 Wh battery will keep you going for up to 45 miles (72 km) on a single charge.

Since the e-bike tips the scales at 55 lb. (25 kg), carrying it won't be too much of a hassle. You can make the experience even easier by using a special carrying bag. What's more, its compact design and less bulky frame make its transportation, when folded, less of a hassle. Another nice touch is a magnetic system that help the e-bike stay folded.

Other features that will make a difference to the riding experience are 160mm disk brakes that will slow down the 20" x2.4" tires, a 7-speed gear shifter, a display with USB charging, and LED lights. Regarding the latter, the stoplight lights up even harder when braking, a feature I feel is pretty important for urban riders.

Blix claims riders with heights between 4'10" and 6'2" (147 and 188 centimeters) will be able to ride on the Vika+ Flex, although people on the higher end of this interval might have an issue with the w-bike's compact design.

The company is currently asking $1,500 for the Vika+ Flex, discounted from $1,900. You get two accessories included in this price: a front basket and a top rack bag.

5. RadExpand 5

RadExpand 5
Photo: Rad Power Bikes
Another e-bike that deserves a spot on this list is the RadExpand 5 from Rad Power Bikes. The RadExpand series was launched in 2015, so the company has had plenty of insights to perfect its folding e-bike.

The RadExpand 5 is equipped with a powerful 750 W motor paired with a 14 Ah, 672 Wh battery. Together, they allow you to ride for up to 40 miles (64 km) between charges. In case your legs get too tired, you can use a half-twist throttle to get home or simply shift into an easier gear through a MicroShift 7-speed mechanical shift unit.

This e-bike weighs 62.5 lb. (28.3 kg), or 54.8 lb. (24.9 kg) with the battery removed, but it can carry up to 275 lb. (125 kg). What's more, 59 lb. (26.8 kg) can be supported by the rear rack.

Just like the Sinch.2, this e-bike features mechanical disk brakes with 180mm rotors. It's not the best option, but at least you will have easier maintenance and lower costs for replacement.

The RadExpand 5 rides on 20" x 4" tires, so it can handle some light off-roading. However, the only components that will absorb the bump are the tires, as this two-wheeler comes with a rigid fork.

One significant improvement with the latest iteration of the RadExpand 5 is a new handlebar serup. The bars are now widers, measuring 660 mm with 6.9" rise. For the rider, this tranlsates to imprived control and more stable handling.

Rad Power Bikes says riders between 4'10" and 5'10" (145 and 178 centimeters) can comfortably fit on the RadExpand 5. The company is currently running a discount on this e-bike, reducing the price from the original $1,600 to $1,300.

6. GoCycle G4

GoCycle G4
Photo: GoCycle
If budget isn't an issue for you and you're willing to pay more for top quality, consider the GoCycle G4. It's the work of a former designer of McLaren high-performance vehicles.

There are three versions available: the G4, the G4i, and G4i+. They're all built around the same frame: it's a blend of 6061 T6 alloy for the front frame, carbon fiver for the middle frame, and the company's patented magnesium Cleandrive, the casing where the transmission is housed. Cleandrive not only hides the components from sight but also protects them and keeps everything mess-free.

The folding mechanism isn't a simple side benefit of the G4. In fact, it's one of its main perks, and works better than other options on this list, as it's designed to release in seconds.

Another perk of this premium e-bike is its weight. It tips the scales at just 39 lb. (17.7 kg), making it feel more like a conventional bike, yet it can hold a rider with a max weight of 220 lb. (100 kg).

The low weight means it doesn't need a huge motor. Its 500 W front hub motor does the job, as it's powerful enough to speed you up to 20 mph (32 kph) and help you tackle hills.

A 8.1 Ah, 300 Wh removable battery powers this two-wheeler. GoCycle estimates a range of up to 40 miles (65 km), of course, depending on the pedal input. What's more, it takes three hours to juice up the battery.

This electrified bike rolls on 20" x 2.25" road tires, which translates to predictable handling and good maneuverability. Furthermore, the wheels use a mind-bending single-sided fork and rear swingarm, which allow for more compact folding and easier repairs.

Other notable features are an LED dash, a Shimano Nexus 3-speed transmission, a USB port on the handlebar, and hydraulic brakes. Moreover, the G4i and G4i+ models have predictive electronic shifting, a better range of up to 50 miles (80 km), a throttle, fully internal cabling, and some other minor improvements.

The GoCycle G4 is available for $3,500, but the US store is currently out of stock for the base version. The G4i will set you back $5,000, while the top-of-the-line G4i+ costs $6,000. All three versions come in a single size meant to be adjusted to accommodate riders between 5'4" and 6'2" (162 and 188 centimeters).

7. Tern Vektron S10

Tern Vektron S10
Photo: Tern Bicycles
What if you need an e-bike to carry cargo but you also need it to be foldable? Well, this description matches the Tern Vektron S10. Just like the G4, this e-bike is another higher-end option.

The Vektron S10 weighs 48.7 lb. (22.1 kg), but it boasts a carrying capacity of 59.5 lb. (27 kg). What makes it an attractive cargo option is that it comes with one of the longest racks you'll find on a folding e-bike. What's more, there are plenty of add-ons you can go for, such as baskets, panniers, child seats, and more.

Tern claims folding the e-bike will take just 10 seconds, and adjusting the handlebars is a quick and tool-free experience due to the company's patented Andros stem. Furthermore, the frame and cargo rack allow the two-wheeler to rest in an upright position. This way, you can wheel the bike around when folded instead of carrying it.

Stopping power is provided by Magura MT4 brakes front and rear. What's more, a Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain will ensure you can tackle slopes with ease. But how about power? A Bosch Performance mid-drive motor delivers 65 Nm (48 lb-ft.) of torque, with energy fed by a Bosch PowerPack 400 Wh battery.

This combo allows for a range between 34 and 68 miles (53 and 106 km). Top speed is limited to 25 kph in the EU and 20 mph (32 kph) in the United States. The Vektron S10 also features a kickstand, front and rear LED lights, and fenders.

Thanks to a double set of telescoping seat posts with quick-release clamps, the Vektron S10 can fit riders with heights between 4'10" and 6'5" (145 and 195 centimeters). You'll have to empty out $3,300 to get your hands on this e-bike.
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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
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Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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