This Pocket-Sized E-Bike Is the Cheapest That China Can Produce: It's a Road Hazard!

Yiso Mini E-Bike 13 photos
Photo: Guangzhou Yiso EBike Co., Ltd
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Whenever we hear of China spitting out a particular type of anything, we're all ears because they simply have a different way of doing business. That's precisely the case with the full-suspension e-bike before us today; it's selling for as little as $230 a pop.
Ok, so there's a bit of a catch to the price I just pointed out, and that's the fact that you have to order 50 pieces of the "14-inch 16-inch Folding Full Suspension Mini Electric Cycle" - as it's dubbed - in order to secure this offer. In the process, you could easily become your city's next e-bike supplier. The question then becomes: what will you be selling, and is it really what you want to be offering to your community? Time to find out.

First, the manufacturer behind this trinket, Guangzhou Yiso EBike Co., Ltd, has crafted a two-wheeler that's supposed to be the perfect urban aid for getting around cramped city streets. They did this by crafting an urban mobility option that weighs 19 kg (42 lbs), all the while giving it folding abilities and a full-suspension setup for a "smooth" ride.

Yiso Mini E\-Bike
Photo: Guangzhou Yiso EBike Co., Ltd
For starters, everything revolves around an aluminum frame with 14-inch wheels. From there, Yiso comes in with a floating rear crank arm, front suspension, and a folding mechanism sitting right in front of the seat. Oh, the handlebar stem folds as well, minimizing the already pocket-sized trinket even further. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not mention the exact dimensions of the folded Mini.

From here, we have to take a look at the motor this thing is sporting. Overall, the manufacturer's website shows that this bugger is strapping a 250 W motor, but it can hit a top speed of 40 kph (25 mph), so quite fun for US residents but not so legal in Europe. Luckily for interested buyers, you can talk things over with Yiso and receive speed-regulated machines for whatever part of the world you're in.

With the motor out of the way, let's take a closer look at what's powering this affordable two-wheeler. According to Made In China, the website selling these things in bulk, Yiso drops a 7 Ah battery in a Mini, running under 36 V, and here's where things get a bit tricky.

According to one part of the product page, the Mini is supposed to be able to attain a maximum range of 60 km (37 mi). However, another part of the page states a peak range of 40 km (25 mph), and yet another, just 30 km (19 mph), so which is it? Well, until Yiso picks up the phone and answers my questions, we'll never know.

Yiso Mini E\-Bike \(Magnesium Wheel\)
Photo: Guangzhou Yiso EBike Co., Ltd
Part two of the battery pack's story is that Yiso mentions this array is all "Chinese." This means absolutely minimal safety ratings, and seeing as how no-name Chinese brands have caused the majority of reported e-bike fires, this may just be one of them: be careful what you buy and put out into the world.

As for that all-important suspension system, we're not being offered some overly capable softness that you can use to ride around on trails; it's not. While the manufacturer makes no mention of the travel in place, we can see no-name shocks and forks, so don't expect too much.

The rest of this bicycle is completed with simple disc brakes, clearly mechanical, the most simple single-speed drivetrain - leading me to believe that this one's got thumb throttle - alloy rims, and an LED display, although, the images show no such feature, just a controller with a bunch of buttons.

Now, I have done a bit of digging, and Yiso offers countless variations on the Mini, some of which include magnesium frames and even wheelsets. Clearly, those variations are going for a tad more, but not much, and are selling for around $270, again, with that 50-piece minimum. I've added an image or two of those units as well.

Notch Cues 10
Photo: Salsa Bicycles
But the ultimate question is, where does something like this belong? Well, personally, not on American soil; we're sick of fires from Chinese e-bikes. So, ultimately, trinkets like the Mini belong only in markets where regulation hasn't taken off just yet because if it has, clearly, you won't be selling a non-ISO-certified e-bike anytime soon.

This brings us to my last and final point regarding what I consider to be "the world's cheapest full-suspension e-bike." Please be careful of where you're putting your money. It's not that Yiso won't deliver on its products - they will - but in terms of what a real full-suspension e-bike looks like and is meant to perform. After all, there are timeless and consecrated brands out there that will deliver a machine you can literally have till the end of your life, maybe even pass it down to your kids.

Did I mention that serious bicycles are also backed by countless years of R&D, much of which focuses on rider safety and performance? There's none of that here but speed. You'd better wear a helmet for this. Heck, maybe even bring a fire extinguisher along.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of e-bikes from several manufacturers.

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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