Author Topic: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?  (Read 662 times)

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« on: 04 May, 2024, 12:58:37 pm »
My sister is hankering after a folding e-bike, such that n=3, to be kept at our family holiday destination.and used on quiet rural routes with gigantic potholes.

Foldability to get into a car easily, electrickery because she's recovering from several years of CFS, and although she managed 5 miles on what she calls her 'acoustic' bike last week and this (which is a huge step forward), she'd like some help on the hills.

The one she has her eye on is  this Engwe..

As I'm not conversant with this genre of two-wheeler and the pros and cons of the spec (and price), can the panel see any reason why she should't buy one?


PS I've just watched the video review on that link, and it appears that that at one point the reviewer is using 'throttle-only' and cruising along without pedalling. To my understanding that isn't allowed. And the FAQ gives simple instructions to remove the speed limit, which seems well dodgy.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #1 on: 04 May, 2024, 07:48:23 pm »
If the manufacturer applies for type approval, then e-bikes are allowed to have throttle only operation on UK roads.  However, very few manufacturers have done this - Wisper are one. However, there would then be documentation confirming that status and there's nothing on the Engwe website or UK user manual stating that it's been done, so almost certainly it would be illegal to operate in that mode. 

Although of course it would be very unlikely that the police would stop your sister, especially as that bike seems unlikely to go much faster than the normal e-bike limit of 15mph under power.

It's a heavy bike and a not very powerful motor.  That's why it's very cheap.  It won't fly up hills. 

If she wants to fold it to go in a car, then lighter is better, which means spending a lot of money for a better quality bike such as an electric Brompton or Tern.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #2 on: 05 May, 2024, 08:41:39 am »
I went with the MiRider GB3 as it appeared to tick all my boxes (belt drive, discs, hub type gearing, folding).
It is heavy, but any folder is going to be. The ride quality is superb although I couldn't get on with the standard saddle . The build quality (UK) is excellent.
The biggest downside for me is that the gearing is too low - I'm spinning out far too soon, and with the belt drive changing the rear socket isn't trivial.
Carrying luggage while retaining the folding advantages is always a problem with most (not all) designs it seems.
The hub gear on the GB3 is a proprietary mechanism (Polish) built into the front chainwheel - it seems reliable, but how long it will last is up for grabs.
There is/was another MiRider without the belt & gearing.

Sent from my moto g22 using Tapatalk

Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #3 on: 05 May, 2024, 10:20:59 am »
Thanks Mike. And Adam -  I think my reply to you got lost somehow.

Am I right in thinking that broadly speaking the size of the battery is a significant factor in the weight of the bike, and the size of the battery determines the range? So a lighter bike might not have the range of a heavier bike, but might well be enough for my sister's needs?
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #4 on: 05 May, 2024, 11:41:33 am »
Halfords Carrera Crosscity is worth a look.  I've only had a ride round the block on one after adjusting the brakes on a neighbours, but it seemed fine and they're happy with it.  It's either a re-badged Dahon, or a copy.  Samsung battery and bike components you've heard of.  I know it's Halfords and they get a lot of criticism, often deservedly, I'd still rather buy an E-bike from them than an online brand I'd never heard of.
Quote
Am I right in thinking that broadly speaking the size of the battery is a significant factor in the weight of the bike, and the size of the battery determines the range?
To an extent, though I don't think you can lay all the blame for some bikes being heavy with the battery.  My Bosch 500Wh battery is 2.6kg, if that's typical, then capacity isn't going to account for the hugely differing weights between bikes.  Bike weight matters more than battery weight when lifting into a car, the battery can be removed before loading and it's weight isn't noticed when riding. 

Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #5 on: 05 May, 2024, 01:25:02 pm »
We bought a couple of Furo Systems X Max back in 2001, carbon folding frame & forks, 350Wh batteries, Shimano hydraulic discs & 9 speed for the motorhome. (only available in their "outlet" now - I assume they don't have a shipment on the way at the moment).

Pretty good bikes and well spec'd.  Only the tyres are a bit of a let down but I haven't been ale to wear them out to justify replacement with some decent BMX tyres. Folding's fine and at ca 15kg are easy to lift out of the car boot and in and out of the motorhome.
My wife isn't so keen on folding bike riding and she's now wary of the hyd discs having 'grabbed a handfull' on a fast downhill forgetting she wasn't on her road bike with (rim brakes and small hands, but then she's a creature of habit!) We have now 'electrified' the road bikes so don't take the folders when away in the van.  The Furo's are a decent folder and a good ride (saddle and tyres excepted) I use mine for utility riding and can be quite a blast. Have done up to 40-50 miles a ride when we did use them touring in the motorhome.

The main weight contributor to most electric bikes is the tendency to build them like e-mopeds.  Batteries weight is about 1.8-2.0 kg for 350Wh depending on whether the battery is 10s2p for 36v or 10s3p. Electrified the road bikes for a total up weight of 4.2 kg. I don't really notice the extra weight and don't use the electric!

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
    • Pics
Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #6 on: 05 May, 2024, 05:22:19 pm »
Thanks all for the replies.Plenty of food for thought.
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #7 on: 05 May, 2024, 05:36:26 pm »
Isn't there a history of cheap e-bike batteries / chargers spontaneously combusting when left charging?

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: What folding e-bike? Engwe any good?
« Reply #8 on: 06 May, 2024, 07:59:22 am »
Isn't there a history of cheap e-bike batteries / chargers spontaneously combusting when left charging?

The problems occur with home-made versions using kit bought online.  Reputable companies such as Bosch, Shimano etc haven't had any issues.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein