Folding ebikes are great for an urban use. Their main feature is that they can fold when not in use, and take therefore much less room than a standard bike when stored. They usually mount smaller tires as well (12, 16 and 20″ are the most used standards), further reducing their footprint.
Folding non-electric bikes are usually harder to pedal, due to their non-standard size; this is of course much less of a problem in the case of a folding ebike, as the motor helps you a lot with pedalling. The downside is that if you need maximum portability, folding ebikes may be too heavy, especially if you plan to lift one many times per day, for instance when you take the subway or if you want to put it on the back of your car.
Of course, the smaller the folding ebike, the lighter it is, though it also becomes a little less comfortable to ride on. Smaller tires have a worse impact angle, so folding ebikes work best when used on a smooth surface.
Taking a folding bike always with you, carrying it inside at home or at the office, means that the risk of having your ebike stolen is much reduced.
When considering buying a folding ebike, there are a few things to do. First of all, try bikes with different tyre size (12″, 16″ or 20″) and find the one that suits you better. Then pay attention to the most delicate part in a folding bike: the hinge. Does it look robust and safe enough?
Have the salesman show you the correct method for opening and folding the bike, and familiarize yourself with the operation: is it fast, easy, and clean (meaning that you don’t run the risk of greasing your trousers or hands)? Are the cables that run through the two halves of the bike well connected, or do they look like they could easily break?
Read our general ebike buyer’s guide for more info on what to do.