Folding ebikes are a great hack for tiny homes and offices. Here is a selection of some of the most space-savvy designs.
- As ebikes have exploded in popularity, so have the number of clever foldable designs that take up minimal space at home and in between rides.
- When folded down, an ebike can be easily maneuvered through doorways, into cars, and onto public transportation.
- This guide is aimed at helping those who inhabit small spaces find the right folding ebike for their living situation.
It’s not hard to understand why electric folding bicycles are becoming such a common sight in cities.
While ebikes are a fun and practical way to get around, they can also eat up a lot of space at home—a problem that folders, as they’re sometimes known, help to address.
These origami-like designs fold up and become small in a flash, making them a godsend for people with pint-sized homes or offices, or who commute by bus or train. Plus, the ability to fold up your ebike and bring it with you wherever you go massively reduces the risk of theft.
Let’s dive deeper into the space-saving world of electric folding bikes.
Who Should Buy an Electric Folding Bike
Electric folding bikes are a favorite of apartment-dwellers because they can be knocked down and stowed in small spaces, like in a hallway or under a desk, rather than outside on the street where they are vulnerable to theft. They’re also popular among multimodal travelers since they can be rolled onto buses and trains, or stuffed into the trunk of a car, without taking up very much space.
Who Should Not Buy an Electric Folding Bike
Many (but not all) folders have small wheels and motors to ensure they are compact and portable. This can have the side effect of making them less fast and dynamic when riding. Therefore, if storage isn't a major concern for you, a folder may not be worth the sacrifice in terms of speed, power, and handling.
Here are seven folding ebikes we recommend checking out, at prices ranging from $1,099 to $5,099.
Famed for its three-part folding steel designs, Brompton makes an assortment of space-savvy bicycles that are perfect for anyone who lives in a home with limited storage and is constantly on the go. If this describes you, the British company’s petite Electric C Line is well worth a look.
At home, the Electric C Line folds like a Swiss Army knife into 3 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) of steel in less than 30 seconds. On the road, its modest 250W motor reinforces your pedaling speed up to a leisurely 16 mph (25.7 kph), while its 300Wh battery provides enough juice to travel 25-40 miles (40-64 kph) per charge.
But perhaps the best part about the Electric C Line is its lightweight construction. With the battery pack removed, the Electric C Line is a mere 32 lb (14.5 kg), which is only a smidge heavier than the non-electric version.
The Blix Vika is a budget-friendly ride that combines the convenience of folding with the sportiness of a decent motor.
Powered by a 672 Wh battery, the 500W rear-hub motor delivers surprisingly powerful acceleration when pulling away from stop signs and scaling hills. The Vika is a Class 2 ebike, and as such, you can expect it to reach speeds of about 20 mph (32 kph) using either the pedal assist or throttle.
In terms of weight, you won’t find yourself casually slinging the Vika over your shoulder on your commute, but at 50 lb (22.6 kg), it is reasonably lightweight and portable. When folded down, the bike’s dimensions are 36x21x28.5 in (91x53x71 cm).
While the iconic Gocycle G4 is loaded with proprietary technology and aesthetically pleasing features, you don’t have to be a designer to appreciate what makes this ebike special.
First, the G4 is feather light, tipping the scales at 38.8 (17.6 kg). Second, it folds up quickly and easily thanks to a patented folding mechanism, so it can roll wherever you need to go: up stairs, into taxis, under your desk. When completely folded the Gocycle measures a compact 34.6x15.3x24.2 in (88 x 39 x 61.5 cm).
While the Gocycle is more expensive than the Electric C Line from fellow Brits at Brompton, it’s also much peppier. When unfolded, the G4 provides quick acceleration up to speeds of 20 mph (32 kph) thanks to its 500W front hub motor. The motor is powered by a 36V battery which can travel up to 40 miles (64 km) on a single charge, plenty of range for running quick city errands.
Budget-conscious shoppers might consider GoTrax’s space-saving EBE4, which features a folding frame, pedals, and handlebar stem for convenient storage.
Powered by a 480Wh battery and 350W hub motor, this utilitarian device is capable of reaching a max speed of 20 mph (32 kph) and a max range of 50 miles (80 km), depending on your terrain and size.
You also get front suspension, dual disc brakes, large tires, and mud fenders. Its aluminum frame, which sits on 20-in (51 cm) wheels, is durable and reliable enough to handle up to 265 lb (120 kg) of weight.
While the EBE4’s motor is a tad underpowered, on price and size, it's an attractive option.
Let’s start with the obvious: At 68-lb (31 kg), the Aventon Sinch is a space hog. You probably won’t roll it effortlessly onto the bus. Your guests may not marvel at the way it hides inconspicuously in your home.
But if you want a powerhouse of an ebike that is well-priced and will get your heart racing in the saddle, this might be the right one for you.
Unlike many folding ebikes, the Sinch is a Class 3, which means it can hit speeds of up to 28 mph (45 kph). With front suspension, 4-inch-thick (10 cm) tires, and a 500W motor, it can also roll over obstacles and climb serious hills with amazing power. Plus, it has a throttle for when you want to skip pedaling entirely and let your thumb do the work.
When folded, the Sinch measures a respectable (if not exactly Lilliputian) 41x23x31 in or 104x58x78 cm.
Another option that offers great value for the money is the Rad Expand 5. This ebike shares signature traits with other members of the Rad Power family—Class 2 status, chunky tires, cargo capacity, respectable range—and introduces the power of folding down to 28x25x41 in (71x65x104 cm).
A mighty hub motor, custom plastic fenders, integrated headlights, and a sizable battery all come standard. And high-volume 4-inch (10 cm) tires go a way long way to compensate for the bike’s lack of suspension.
For the Rad Expand 5, Rad Power was able to shave around 6 lb (2.7 kg) off its predecessor, the Rad Mini. But at 62.5 lb (28 kg), be mindful that this ebike isn’t exactly a welterweight.
If your job requires bringing more gear to the office than just a laptop, or if you are the family chauffeur, you may want to consider an electric folding bike with extra luggage capacity. With the versatile GSD, Taiwan-based Tern has put its extensive experience building folding bikes to use in the Class 1 cargo segment.
Propelled by a mighty motor, which provides up to 400% pedal assist at the highest setting, the GSD has no trouble transporting loads up to 440 lb (200 kg). As you might expect from a premium brand like Tern, the GSD comes loaded with high-end parts, including reliable hydraulic disc brakes and a sizable battery with 1,000Wh of power. It also features highly adjustable handlebars for accommodating riders of varying heights.
The GSD isn't able to be packed flat like other ebikes on this list. But with its handlebars folded down, it can be stored upright on its back wheel, making it highly convenient to maneuver through doorways and into elevators.
Like many cargo ebikes, the GSD is not light (71 lb or 32 kg). It’s not cheap either. But if you want the functionality of an SUV in a form factor that can fit inside your apartment, it’s an undeniably solid choice.