Electronic mountain bikes are often confused with motocross bikes but these two are completely different. While Motocross bikes are used for racing, an electric mountain bike is more like a cycle with an electric motor on it. Folding mountain bike have become seemingly popular in the last few years. This is both because of its unique features and the utilitarian nature of these bikes. The following buyer’s guide would not only help you to understand how electric mountain bikes work but also help you find the best folding electric mountain bike for you.
- Part 1: What is a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
- Part 2: What are the Main Components of an Electric Bike
- Part 3: Do I Need a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
- Part 4: How to Operate a Folding Electronic Bike
- Part 5: Benefits of Owing an Electric Fold Up Mountain Bike
- Part 6: What to Look for in a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
- Part 7: Frequently Asked Questions
Part 1: What is a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
As the name suggests, it is an electric mountain bike that can fold. These bikes use a folding mechanism that helps them to become compact and portable. Manufacturers all over the world use three main folding mechanism horizontal fold, and vertical fold and break away designs. Horizontal folding systems rely on hinges located in the center of the frame. It also called as half/mid fold and operates on a quick release action.
Vertical fold also uses the same quick release hinges but their orientation is vertical. Resultantly, the bike folds in a triangular manner. Usually vertically folding bikes also have foldable handlebars and seats. Some foldable mtb bikes also come with a break away or modular design, you can disassemble the bike into two or three parts. However, there are little to no modular electric bikes.
As mentioned above, people are not very familiar with the concept of an electric mountain bike and confuse it with other bikes that run on fuel. An electric mountain bike requires the rider to pedal the bike but the motor attached to the frame is used for paddle assist. Electric bikes also feature a battery pack to store the energy required for paddle assist.
Part 2: What are the Main Components of an Electric Bike
An electric bike has four main components;
Motor: A motor is a major component of an electric bike. The motor uses the electric energy and converts it into mechanical energy for boosting your pedaling.
Battery: A battery is for store electrical energy that supplies the power to the motor. It is rechargeable battery and can easily be charged from any electric outlet.
Controller: A controller is a vital component of a folding electric mountain bike as it helps the rider to control the speed of the bike, allows you to monitor the battery percentage and the speed at which you are travelling.
Part 3: Do I Need a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
Buying a mountain bike, especially an electric bike is a capital heavy decision. The prices of foldable electric mountain bikes are generally high when compared to regular folding bikes. This is mainly because of the technology and materials used. Therefore, you need to make sure that you really need a foldable electric mountain bike as you don’t want to make a decision that you regret later down the road.
Do Market Research
While this guide is essentially a part of it, market research is important. Look out for electric folding bikes at the bike shop near you. You can research about the product online and know about all the specs and features the bike offers but it is imperative to have a physical experience with the bike where you try it out or at least understand the dynamics of it. Also, it would help you to grasp a better understanding of how a mountain bike works.
Think What You Want From The Bike
What you expect from an electric foldie is important. To simply put to words, not all bikes are suitable for all riders and not all riders are comfortable with every bike. This is no different for a fold up electric mountain bike. Each bike comes with a varying performance. Understanding what you want from the bike would help you to make a more informed purchase decision as you would be able to identify the exact specs and model that meets your riding style and technique.
Part 4: How to Operate a Folding Electronic Bike
The functioning of an electric mountain bike is similar to that of a regular mountain bike. The only difference is that instead of a handlebar, this has a throttle. The throttle allows you to add paddle boost. Following are four basic steps to ride an electric bike:
Turn on: As soon as you get seated on a folding electric mountain bike, all you need to do is press on the controller button and you are good to go.
Pedal: After turning the bike on, start pedaling. Once you reach a certain speed, assistive pedaling would start and your pedal would become lighter.
Turn off: After you are done with the riding session press the same button that you used to turn the bike on. Most modern electric bikes turn off automatically after some period of inactivity.
Recharging: these bikes run on a battery, therefore charging them is very important. As soon as you are done riding, plug your bike to recharge its battery.
Part 5: Benefits of Owing an Electric Fold Up Mountain Bike
The greatest benefit of a foldable electric mountain bike is that it requires the least amount of space. You don’t need to worry about parking or putting it inside the house. Even if you have a garage, a foldable bike is almost non-existing. Thanks to its foldable mechanism, a bike as such can easily be stored in a space as low a bag. The importance of space cannot be stressed enough especially if you are living in an urban setting. Space is a major concern for urban dwellers. But with a foldable mountain bike, you don’t need to worry anymore.
A foldable able bike doesn’t only save you space but is also extremely portable. The result to this is that you can fold your bike and literally take it anywhere. I mean be it a workplace or a train station, carrying a foldie would not be an issue.
Easy to Transport
Usually, mountain bikes require a huge trunk space to carry them around. You need to have a 4WD if you really want to enjoy track days frequently. But this is not the case with a folding bike. The compact nature of the bike allows you to transport the bike easily. You don’t require a large trunk space to carry foldable mountain bicycles. All you need to do is press on the hinge, fold the bike into two and put it in the boot of your car. Did you know that you can easily fit two if not three foldable mountain bikes in the trunk of hatchback? You can never miss a track day with a foldable bike as you can simply load it up in any car and reach to the track.
Part 6: What to Look for in a Folding Electric Mountain Bike
Manufacturers use various folding mechanism throughout the world. The most popular is a half/mid fold. It uses a horizontal fold system that operates using a hinge in the center of the bike frame. The quick release hinges make it possible for riders to swiftly fold and unfold the bike. However, prolonged usage or heavy weights lead to a stress on the frame.
Another popular folding mechanism is the vertical fold system. While it also uses the same quick release hinges, their orientation is vertical. Resultantly, the bike folds in a triangular manner and has foldable handlebar and seat as well. Vertical folding is better than horizontal as the issue of stress points is rectified in this design scheme.
Some collapsible mountain bikes also come with a break away design, you can disassemble the bike into two or three parts. This essentially allows you to but the bicycle in a bag or case for transporting it. However, modular bikes are not very common.
Most fold up electric mountain bikes use either aluminum or its alloys to keep them light weight. However, this compromises on shock absorption. Unlike the conventional steel frame, aluminum bodies are not great shock absorbers. There is a bifurcation in folding mtbs, some come with suspension and some don’t. If you want to go hard on the track, suspension is a must. Otherwise, for shorter rides or easier trails a bike without a suspension can also suffice.
Each fold up electronic mountain bike comes with a different range. Generally, most bikes can support up to five hours of boosted riding. A number of factors affect the performance of the battery. These include, speed at which the bike is driven, external conditions such as terrain and climate as well as the level of assistance that you are using. Boosting modes can vary from 20% to 100%. A 20% boosting means that you are using assistive paddling in eco mode so lesser battery would be consumed. Where as if you increase the boosting to a higher percentage, the battery would drain quicker.
Most mountain bikes come with a digital display that helps you to keep track of the battery percentage you are left with. For additional output, you can carry an extra battery pack which will help you have added performance.
You can find multiple additional features across folding bikes. It’s entirely up to you, for what suits you the best. Following are some additional features that you must look for as they drastically increase the utility of the rider.
Gears: Gears are a must have for mountain bike. Not only do they help you to cycle better but improve your overall riding experience.
Mudguards: Mudguards always come in handy when you are riding on a dirt trail. Otherwise, they are also great for normal riding as they protect you from dirt. This simple accessory can greatly impact your riding experience.
Luggage Racks: A luggage rack is a great bargain as it allows you to carry more while riding.
Lights: since the bike comes with a battery pack, lights are a must as they would help you ride in the dark as well as keep you safe.
Part 7: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Why are folding electric bikes so expensive?
The bike uses lithium-ion batteries that are expensive. Additionally, the folding mechanism also adds on to the price of the bike.
Q2: How long does the battery of an electric bike last
Batteries of an electric bike are made to last long durations thus; they don’t require replacement anytime soon.
Q3: Are folding electric bikes good?
Folding electric bikes enhance the performance of the rider through paddle assist. They can prove to be a great choice as you can travel more distance with the same amount of effort when compared to a conventional bike.
Q4: Is using an e mtb cheating?
While it is not considered as cheating, ebikes are less preferred by hardcore athletes as they believe in raw struggle.
Q5: How fast does a foldable electric mountain bike go?
The average speed of most electric bikes is around 20 miles per hour but this can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.