Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Igor Karni
There are many variations of electric bikes, but none can compare to the perks offered by folding e-bikes. That is just one of the many reasons why a folding e-bike should be high up in your list of possible e-bikes to get. There is no shortage of people who like these e-bikes because they are also one of the cheapest ones available.
Of course, we are using the standard cost of an electric bike as a gauge when we say this. Compared to other types of e-bikes, there is definitely a noticeable difference in the average cost of foldable variations.
How much can you expect to shell out for foldable e-bikes? With an average cost of around $1500, expect the price range of foldable e-bikes to fall in the $700 to $5,000 price range. That is arguably still a high limit, but you can certainly save thousands of dollars with even the high-end folding electric bikes.
Most of the folding ability or compactness of these electric bikes mimic the ones used on conventional bikes. That said, the very big difference lies in the components of the e-bikes, and how they look or are positioned once the bike is folded up.
They share almost the same kinds of portability benefits as well due to their foldable feature. However, you should certainly not overlook the fact that folding e-bikes have their own unique advantages when compared with other types of e-bikes:
- You can easily fold and carry these bikes once you run out of battery. Nonetheless, this is still assuming that you can carry the load of a folding e-bike, which is still quite heavy due to the extra components. Some folding e-bike models are comparatively heavier as well.
- They offer better space-saving capabilities than other kinds of electric bikes, once they are completely folded.
Listing down the best folding e-bikes at present
|Radpower RadMini (USA, Canada, Europe)||$1,499||67 pounds (30 kg)|
|X-Treme Baja 48 Volt E-Bike||$1,699||56 pounds (25 kg)|
|GoCycle GX||$3,700+||39 pounds (17,7 kg)|
|Montague E-Crosstown||$2,399||Not specified|
|GreenBike City Premium HD||$1,699||55 pounds (25 kg)|
|FuroSystems Furo X||$2,700+||33 pounds (15 kg)|
|Enzo Folding E-Bike||$1850 – $1,999||49.5 pounds (22,5 kg)|
|QuietKat 750 Bandit||$2,699||65 pounds (29,5 kg)|
|Swagtron EB-5||$499.99||37 pounds (16,8 kg)|
How do the disadvantages of folding e-bikes determine their cost?
Even though folding electric bikes have very undeniable perks, it is vital to take a look at their cons to see how they also influence the price and relative cheapness of this kind of e-bike.
Folding e-bikes usually have shorter than normal battery life
This relates to the usual size of the batteries integrated into foldable e-bikes. More often than not, manufacturers will opt for tinier batteries to compensate for proper and smooth folding. You will see a lot of folding e-bike brands incorporate smaller batteries compared to their heavy-duty mountain bike counterparts due to this.
Do not be surprised if the battery life will take a toll because of this as well. And since it has lesser battery life, they will certainly fetch for lesser dollars than most, considering the fact that battery is one of the primary determinants of total e-bike cost.
Folding e-bike have smaller wheels, thus more effort and less grip
Another noticeable trait shared by most folding electric bikes is their use of smaller-than-average tires. This results in a lesser grip, which is not at all amenable to bikers that tend to want to ride through off-road tracks often. Tinier tires translate to less cost because of this.
Other factors that affect foldable e-bikes costs
In this section, we will expound more on the specific factors that affect the costs of foldable electric bikes and why its price average is as mentioned. When considering the costs, there really is no need to deviate too much from the factors that you normally need to look at when determining the average cost of e-bikes.
This is because while we said that there are subtle differences in the components of folding e-bikes, they practically still function like one. And if there are factors that make most types of e-bikes overlap in terms of cost, it is in maintaining that functionality and power costs.
They might have varying initial sale prices as said above, but any experienced e-bike user will agree that it is the maintenance, electricity, and replacement costs that you should pay attention to the more you use your bike.
Folding e-bike battery replacement costs
The fact that foldable electric bikes’ batteries usually have a shorter life with each ride (but not necessarily lifespan) will definitely make them more affordable. However, they are still one of the most vital elements to consider because most e-bike batteries can only last for up to two years of regular use.
“Regular” would have to be emphasized here because e-bike batteries also tend to deteriorate if you seldom use or charge them. This is regardless of whether they are using lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries.
Established brands that manufacture these batteries like Samsung and Panasonic should always be expected to cost more. Replacement costs for folding e-bikes will be less costly, though, because they are usually smaller. Expect to shell out at most $500 for replacements. But you can also always opt to have it repacked, as a lot of users want to do if the brand is no longer supplying those batteries, for much less money.
The elements that your e-bike will be exposed to can also negatively impact its battery’s life, besides the average distance they travel on a consistent basis. Freezing weather can cut not only riding range but lifespan as well, so it is certainly vital to keep them warm by storing them in warmer places or using special covers on them.
Folding e-bike charging electricity costs
This is part of running costs and varies a lot depending on the locale. If you live in the US, you might not have much problem with this because electricity is relatively cheap. At present, the national average is still only around $0.12 per kilowatt-hour.
Considering your folding e-bike can guarantee a maximum distance of 100 kilometers (roughly 62 miles) with a charging cost of $0.04, this will only cost around $2.48 per full charge. And that is already for the models that can provide the most riding range.
Of course, since batteries usually have different capacities, especially in more advanced folding e-bikes, you would have to be mindful of these costs if you mean to make the most of your budget when riding them.
Maintaining your folding e-bike
Plenty of foldable electric bike models mirror most e-bike types in that you have to take them to tune-ups every year or six months, assuming you are riding them constantly. These check-ups will include the bulk of the maintenance costs you will pay. A single tune-up will cost you around $75 to at most $100 every time. This largely depends on the company that will perform them as well as whether parts would have to be replaced or added.
Flat tires are a common occurrence, and this might cost you around $20 to have them fixed. Complete tire replacements are a different story, though. Other parts that usually need to be maintained include the brakes or drivetrains, these might cost around $20 at the minimum. But do not be surprised if they need to be replaced, especially the latte, which might increase that cost threefold.
Maintenance has to be done continuously to avoid breakage (and more expenses) so you should never consider skipping them.
Clearing up common misconceptions about foldable e-bikes
Being cheaper than most types of e-bikes may give people the impression that it is because of certain other downsides that foldable electric bikes have. Rest assured that we have already outlined all the disadvantages that affect the cost above. Below, we will put to rest all the misunderstandings about foldable e-bikes.
Folding e-bikes are NOT fragile
It is understandable that some people are quick to assume that folding e-bikes are less expensive because they break easily. Most manufacturers anticipate the vulnerabilities in the joints and hinges of foldable e-bikes so they make it a point to reinforce those areas.
NOT all folding e-bikes are heavy
The standard rule in pricing e-bikes is – the heavier, the cheaper. The weight of the components varies a lot, and while the motor and the battery certainly make up most of the burden, some brands are still manageable.
Motor systems’ weight can drop to as low as 15 pounds in certain models, making the entire e-bike not at all hard to carry when folded.
A few words in conclusion
The value of foldable electric e-bikes lies in their undeniably unique advantages. The fact that they noticeably cost a few thousand dollars less than cruisers, mountain e-bikes, and city bikes only serves as a further bonus. If you are tight on your budget, then you might just opt for a high-end folding e-bike than a mid-range mountain bike.
You should be willing to cover all further costs once you have decided on a model, though, because foldables are definitely no different from other electric bikes. With their exclusive benefits, sale prices, and running costs considered, it does not take long to see that they are one of the most practical types of e-bikes you can get.