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If you're searching for an electric bike with the added convenience of portability, a folding e-bike may be the answer. These handy bikes offer motorised assistance to boost your pedal power, but then fold away into a space-saving package when not in use, making them particularly useful for commuters.
If you're thinking of buying a folding electric bike, keep reading to find out how to compare your options and find the right model for your needs.
What is a folding electric bike?
An electric bike uses a battery-powered motor to help you eat up the kilometres. Most e-bikes in Australia use a pedelec (or pedal assist) system, which means the motor provides additional power when you start pedalling.
E-bikes come in a variety of designs to suit different types of riding, and folding electric bikes are one of the many different styles available. As the name suggests, these bikes work just like a normal e-bike when in use, but then fold up into a compact size when not in use.
Folding bikes are a very handy option for commuters who take public transport to work. They let you ride your e-bike from home to the station, fold it up when you hop on the train, and then pedal your way from the station to your office. And when you're at work or at home, the bike folds away into a much smaller package so that it doesn't take up too much storage space.
5 folding electric bikes in Australia
If you're looking for a folding electric bike, here are six models you might like to consider.
Fortis 20-inch foldable electric bike. With a sub-$700 price tag and a 250W brushless motor, this Fortis e-bike offers a range of up to 40km and a 4-6 hour charging time.
VelectriX Foldaway. With a 200W front hub motor and a three-hour recharge time, the VelectriX Foldaway offers a 40km range and Shimano gearing.
Dyson Adventure. Boasting 26-inch wheels for added ride comfort, the Dyson Adventure features a 250W motor, an easy folding system and 7-speed Shimano gearing.
NCM Paris+. The 684Wh battery on the NCM Paris+ offers a range of up to 130km depending on the conditions, with power provided by a rear-drive motor.Buy this electric bike at Leon Cycle
GoCycle GXi. If you're searching for a high-end folding e-bike, the GoCycle GXi folds away in under 8 seconds and offers a range of up to 80km.
What to look for when buying a folding electric bike
You'll need to consider the following factors when deciding which folding electric bike is right for you.
- Range. Check the battery's capacity (measured in Wh) and the manufacturer's specs to get a better idea of the maximum range you can expect on a single charge. However, keep in mind that your weight, the terrain you're riding, the level of assistance you choose and a range of other factors can affect real-world performance. Read more about long-range e-bikes in our guide.
- Recharge time. Next, find out how long it will take to recharge the battery to its full capacity.
- Motor. Check whether the bike comes with a hub motor (generally cheaper) or a mid-mount motor. It's also a good idea to check how many levels of assistance the motor offers.
- Accessories. Check what accessories are available for your bike, such as lights, pannier racks for carrying cargo, and mud or chain guards to stop your clothes getting dirty.
- How to set up / fold down. Find out what you have to do to set the bike up and fold it away. Is it an easy process? How long does it take?
- Size when folded away. Check the manufacturer's specs to find out the size the e-bike folds to. Will that be suitable for your commuting and storage needs?
- Weight. If you'll be lugging your bike onto trains and up flights of stairs, make sure it's light enough to be carried comfortably.
- Wheel size. The wheel size will help determine how small your bike is when folded away, but larger-diameter wheels will come in handy if you're tackling bumpy terrain.
- Frame type. Some people might prefer a step-through frame, which may make it easier to hop on and off your bike in work clothes than a step over frame.
- Components. Next, check which brand provides the motor, battery, brakes, gears and tyres to make sure the bike features components from reputable manufacturers.
- Warranty. Check what the manufacturer's warranty covers and how long it lasts. Take note that a different-length warranty may apply to the frame than applies to the battery and motor.
- Price. Folding electric bikes can cost anywhere from $700 to $7,000, but you'll find plenty of models to choose from in the sub-$2,500 category.
Where to buy folding electric bikes online
If you're ready to buy, visit one of the following sites.
With a great selection of electric bikes available and a free 14-day test ride offer, you're guaranteed to find an e-bike to suit your needs at Bicycles Online.
- Free delivery to most Australian postcodes
- Free 14-day test ride
- Afterpay available
Pros and cons of folding electric bikes
- Easy to store. Whether you're storing your bike at home or at work, it'll fold away so that it takes up minimal space.
- Great for commuters. If you're looking for an e-bike that's easy to take on public transport, a folding electric bike is perfect.
- Handy for travelling. Heading away on holidays and want to take your bike with you? You can fold your bike up and pop it in the boot of your car.
- Security. When you can easily take your bike inside with you, there's no need to worry about bike locks and protecting your bike against thieves.
- Quick and easy. Folding away or setting up your bike is a quick process that typically takes seconds.
- Limited range. Folding e-bikes tend to have a shorter maximum range than conventional electric bikes.
- Smaller wheels. While smaller wheels make a folding electric bike more compact, they also affect the ride and can reduce the type of terrain your bike can comfortably tackle. Watch out for those potholes!
- Not built for speed. Folding bikes are convenient and practical, but they're not built to go fast.
Is a folding electric bike the right choice for you? It all depends on how you plan on using your e-bike. If you're looking for a portable bike for commuting on public transport, or just a compact e-bike that won't take up too much space in your garage, a folding electric bike could be just what you need.
But there's a wide range of models to choose from, so it's worth shopping around and comparing plenty of options before you buy. And if you get a chance to take a test-ride and put a bike through its paces, this is definitely recommended.
Frequently asked questions
Are there any power or speed limits that apply to e-bikes?
Yes, in Australia, e-bikes are limited to 25km/h — the motor won't offer any assistance after this limit. Motors are also limited to 250W for pedelec (pedal assist) systems and 200W for other models.
What other types of electric bikes are available?
Other types of e-bikes include commuter, road, mountain and cargo bikes. Check out our electric bicycle buying guide for more information.Back to top
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