This Two-Person E-Bike Is a Contender for the Title of "Year's Cheapest and Most Capable"

Dolphin 14 photos
Photo: Romatlink
As you know, I've been covering e-bikes for some time now, and this next one was actually brought to light by one of our readers: Hat-tip to @Ed Toro. Bust out your wallets and grab your significant other because this one's a two-person e-bike for so much less than you'd expect.
Ok, so I'm going to try to hold off on telling you just how much the Romatlink Dolphin e-bike costs until the very end of this article. Why? I simply want you to feel the same level of surprise I did once I realized that we could be looking at this year's most capable and affordable e-bike. Trust me, it's cheap, really cheap!

Now, until this date, I'd never heard of Romatlink, but apparently, this Denver, Colorado-based crew's history, led by Tommy Wen, goes back quite a bit, mainly to a brand of indoor exercise bikes by the name of Hooseng. As for the Dolphin, this is Romatlink's flagship model or the one that started it all.

So, what are we looking at for just $? Gotcha! Well, let's start off with the frame and its most attractive feature: the fact that this steel hunk of electrified two-wheeling can fold; this one's going to be heavy. Oh, and that's not the end of the story; it can handle two riders, too, and is even prepared with a soft passenger seat and backrest.

Photo: Romatlink
It's also a step-through frame, so if you do happen to have a passenger, be they an adult or child, you'll be able to easily control the position of the bike during mounting and unmounting. Did I mention the steering column also folds for easy storage?

One question I have about the folding mechanism is just how much abuse and use it can handle. According to the manufacturer, 350 lbs (159 kg) of payload capacity is possible on the Dolphin, 132 lbs (60 kg) of which can be loaded up on the passenger seat. Quite a hefty load, if you ask me.

Further, down the line, allow me to point out that this bugger is set up with around 20-inch wheels, and while that may sound tiny, the fact that the tires come with a 4-inch cross-section, you're actually sitting a tad higher than you'd think, not to mention the shock-absorbing space between you and the ground.

Speaking of shock-absorbing, the front and rear of the Dolphin are equipped with suspension systems. But the manufacturer doesn't say anything about just how much travel we get, and judging by the video below, I'm not sure how much of a difference these added components make; things are looking a bit stiff. A seat post spring seems to be part of the mix, too.

Photo: Romatlink
As for the electronics powering this experience, Romatlink drops a 750 W motor to the rear hub that peaks at 1,000 W. With it, we're limited to a top speed of 25 mph (40 kph), and throttle functionality is also part of the mix. Oh, this little powerhouse can also spit out a rather solid 75 Nm (55 lb-ft) of torque.

Now, this big of a motor is bound to be hungry, and so, to ensure that future riders favor this brand over all others selling bikes for $ - got you again - they've added one massive battery back to the Dolphin. You probably spotted it right in front of the rear wheel and underneath the rider; it's a positioning similar to Engwe's L20.

Here, Romatlink has dropped a 30 Ah battery running under 48V onto this e-bike, and according to their website, it's good enough for up to 100 miles (161 km) on a single charge. Again, these are numbers achieved in a test setting, so the real world is bound to see a drop in this digit. Nonetheless, range isn't something you should have a problem with; there are bigger fish to fry here.

Photo: Romatlink
For example, the Dolphin, like a large number of Chinese-derived e-bikes - there's no denying that's where this bicycle was built - is equipped with nothing more than mechanical disc brakes. In my opinion, to stop something that's going 25 mph and weighing as much as 350 lbs, safely, you're going to need a tad more stopping power.

One other issue I have with this beast is just that, it's a beast and weighs 93 lbs (42 kg)! That's not going to be easy to maneuver if you live in an apartment building, nor is it going to be a breeze to throw in the trunk of your car. It is, however, going to feel like one hell of a stable bike, especially since a lot of that weight is nice and low to the ground.

Finally, there could have been a tad more attention paid to the rear rider and what was going on with them. For example, a passenger has nothing to hold onto except the seat post, nor is there anything to set your feet upon, not to mention any protective screens so that you don't get your feet caught up in the spokes. Honestly, what did you expect for just $1,000 (€921 at current exchange rates)? Other than that, it's a solid contender for this year's cheapest and most capable e-bike.

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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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