Best Budget Folding Electric Bikes [Top 4]
We do have a solution to this problem. In order to add a bit more speed and efficiency to your foldable ride, you can actually get folding electric bikes. Such folding e-bikes are typically a little bit heavier and a tad more expensive than regular foldable bikes, but they make cycling a lot faster and easier – and therefore you’re less likely to be sweaty mess when you arrive at your destination!
Electric foldable bikes have become an innovation that are helping commuters everywhere get to work. A folding electric bicycle is usually a little heavier than many other types of folding bikes but it is well worth carrying the extra weight – especially when you get the benefit of electric assistance while on your ride. This is perfect for people who have a fairly long bike ride, with a few hills on the way to the train station.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best electric folding bikes in the UK, Europe and USA and have put together this list for you to take a look at.
How Much Do Electric Folding Bikes Cost?
Electric folding bikes are a relatively new addition to the market and reflect this. After all, it’s a technical challenge to combine maximum power and portability in one machine. If you’re hoping to buy a model new, expect to spend anywhere between £/700 to £/5000.
Buying the latest e-bikes will give you access to increased torque and a durable battery not to mention the opportunity to buy from start-ups such as Ancheer or FIIDO. Fortunately, as of 2019, e-bikes have been included in the UK Government’s Cycle to Work benefit scheme. With tax breaks and cost spread throughout the year, this makes what is undoubtedly a large purchase that little bit more affordable.
Do Cheap Folding E-Bikes Exist?
Yes! While folding e-bikes can be costlier than their manual counterparts, adding a motor doesn’t always mean adding extra zeros to your budget. Halford’s own model, the Carrera Crosscity, can be picked up in store for less than £1000. Decathlon’s own contribution to the market – the BTWIN 500E – is even more affordable at £799.99 RRP.
Paying less for a folding e-bike does, however, mean sacrificing some features. If a model hovers around £/ 1000 mark, it’s unlikely that the frame will have the same folding mechanisms that make pricier brands so compact. Likewise, the interval between charges on cheaper models often suffers – with each charge lasting around 25 miles. However, bikes like the Carrera and BTWIN are ideal for those want to weave cycling easily and affordably into their morning commute.
Do Brompton Make Electric Bikes?
Brompton are known for their intuitive, lightweight designs, allowing you to “tow, stow and carry” your bike anywhere. It should come as no surprise then that they’ve expanded their range to include e-bikes. Boasting the same battery used in Formula One motors, their range start at £2,799.
Brompton’s offering is divided into three: the C Line and P Line. The most striking difference between the lines is the material. While the C-Line is made entirely of steel like the classic Brompton, the P-Line has titanium rear forks, making it ultra-light and ultra-transportable at 9kg. Brompton say the ‘P’ stands for performance.
The C-Line is a kilogram and a half heavier than the P-line but you benefit from a wider choice of styles. The C-Line Urban is a classy commuter bike with an easy-to-maintain two gears set-up, perfect for city cruising. The C-Line Explore offers riders a more robust cycling experience. It comes with 6 gears and a built-in luggage rack.
Best Budget Electric Folding Bicycles
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Best Folding E-Bike under £/1000
ANCHEER 20″ Commuter Bike
Weight: 25kgRange: 15m to 30kmFold-Up Size: 126 x 63 x 25cmWheel Size: 20”Gears: 7-SpeedPrice (approximate):
If you’re tired of turning up to the office crumpled and breathless, look no further. The ANCHEER’s buzzword is comfort. Its wide saddle, ergonomic handlebars and quick fold mechanism mean you can arrive at the office without a single crease in your suit jacket. Even its 20” wheels make for a relaxing cycling experience.
What really sets the ANCHEER apart from the competition is its front suspension. Its titanium forks make for a smooth ride over bumpy tarmac and are almost unheard-of in a bike this cheap.
If you’re in the habit of popping into the corner shop on your commute home, the built-in luggage rack is an added bonus. No need to worry about spilling that pint of milk.
The ANCHEER weighs 25kg, the heaviest of all options reviewed here. However, it is so versatile that it can be forgiven the added kilograms.
A powerful LED front light will also see you through winter commutes, although for UK readers, it’s worth remembering that cyclists riding at night are required by law to have a rear red light. For those in the US, most states only require reflectors.
Weight: 18.6kgRange: 20km to 35kmFold-Up Size: 83 x 67 x 45cmWheel Size: 20”Gears: 6-SpeedPrice (approximate):
Decathlon is famous in Europe for its reliable, low-cost sports equipment, and the BTWIN 500E is no exception. £799.99 will buy you a sturdy, no-frills e-bike that you can throw into your car boot with ease. You can relax about any bumps and scratches with the retailer’s lifetime warranty.
Technically, the BTWIN 500E is an accomplished entry-level ride. Its 187Wh battery holds more than enough charge for the average commute, and the simple cadence sensor means the motor kicks in as soon as you start pedalling. No messing around with a fussy control panel.
Its lower-than-average motor torque and 16kg weight will prove an issue for those in hilly towns or cities. Residents of Bristol or San Francisco might just want to steer clear.
Otherwise, the BTWIN nifty appearance makes it obvious choice for the casual cycle commuter. It’s also worth noting that the BTWIN is compatible with Decathlon’s own accessories range, meaning you’re free to customise as needed.
FIIDO D3 Pro
Weight: 17.5kgRange: 20km to 60kmFold-Up Size: 125cm x 40cm x 63cmWheel Size: 14”Gears: 7-SpeedPrice (approximate):
A city bike is all well and good for the working week, but what about the weekends? Luckily, the FIIDO D3 Pro’s grippy 20” tires mean it’ll hold its own should you decide to stray from the cycle paths. With a full battery life of 60km, you can complete that Sunday ride with ease, with charge to spare for Monday’s commute.
Visually, the FIIDO speaks the language of downhill and trail biking. Its chunky frame is more than reminiscent of iconic hardtails like the Specialized Rockhopper. And, while we wouldn’t recommend testing it at your nearest bike park, it should be able to handle a range of terrains. Its high motor torque mean it won’t struggle with hills or bridges either.
Increased functionality does mean increased weight. The FIIDO D3 weighs in at 17.5kg. The bike still folds up relatively small – compact enough to carry on a packed train.
FIIDO claims it can travel at a maximum speed of 25km per hour, but UK shoppers should note that a e-bike is only classified as an e-bike by the government if it has a maximum speed of 15mph. This means that the FIIDO D3 can be classed as a motorbike, and you’ll have to invest in insurance and licencing.
Weight: 25kgRange: 11km to 13kmFold-Up Size: 98 x 62 x 85cmWheel Size: 20 x 4”Gears: 7-SpeedPrice (approximate):
We’re not all lucky to live in towns with established cycle networks. If you’re based in the suburbs, or an urban-rural fringe, chances are your commute will contain some knotty riding. This is where the ultra-cool ECOTRIC Foldaway comes into its own.
The US-made ECOTRIC is essentially a folding version of popular “fat bikes”. With four inch wide tyres, it should navigate complex topography including tree roots and loose gravel with ease. The manufacturers even claim that its 500W brushless motor can handle snow, although we haven’t put this to the test.
On a component level, the ECOTRIC uses quality parts. Take the Shimano disc-brakes and 7-speed derailleur. Customer reviews have mentioned some issues with durability and the range is limited, so we haven’t rated it as highly as others on this list. Only available for now in the US, the ECOTRIC is an undeniably unique offering to the market.
Affordable Electric Bike for RVers
Last year, at Winnebago’s Grand National Rally, someone let me try their electric bike. I was very skeptical before I tried it, since I consider myself to be fit enough to pedal on my own. But I have to say, I jumped on the bike and took off throughout the rally grounds like I was a teenager again. yelling WHOA! during my ride.
It was so easy to get going on the grassy areas and on pavement the ride was so smooth. I noticed right away that I was enjoying the scenery around me rather than trying to push through and ride the bike. I knew after that one test ride that I wanted an e-bike to take along on our RV travels.
However, when I first started shopping around for an electric bike I was immediately turned off by the price.- with some costing thousands of dollars. So, I kept an eye out for an e-bike that would meet all of my needs on a budget of under 1000. I eventually found that bike: the Ecotric fat tire folding bike. And at a 780 price tag, it was significantly under budget.
Before I get into the features of the bike, let me dive into some of the reasons why I really wanted to pick up an e-bike for our travels and why I wanted it to be a fat-tire bike as well.
Why an E-Bike is Perfect for How We Travel
We have a Winnebago Vista LX 27N and it gets us out to some pretty cool places whether that be boondocking spots out in the desert or a campground just outside of town. We have always relied on our tow car to go out and explore, which works fine. Our tow car is a Ford C-max hybrid that gets great gas mileage, but I would not call it a fun car to drive.
I always thought a nice bike would be a great way to run errands or explore surrounding areas after the RV is set up. But I knew I would be limited to how far I could go and how long I could ride. This is really where the e-bike appealed to me, I knew that with an electric-assist bike I would be able to ride out faster and farther than I ever could on a standard bike.
Plus, I would be able to experience an area much different than with our car. I could jump on the bike and quickly take off on paved trails, go off-road with the fat tire on dirt roads through the woods or ride on the gravel roads of the campgrounds.
Since getting the bike, I have been able to put my backpack on and use the bike to ride to the camp office, pick up mail, run errands, and pick up a few groceries. I am finding that I am leaving the car back at the campsites more and more and using the bike instead.
The bike is just plain fun. I have the option to pedal or use a full-throttle mode like a scooter. I have taken the bike out for over 25 miles and still have had half a charge left in the battery. It is difficult not to want to yell out Weeee! while on it, which is almost everyone’s reaction when they try it out for the first time. I think the best way to describe the bike is that it takes out all of the hard work of biking and just leaves the fun.
Why the E-Bike Our Winnebago Go So Well Together
When we were shopping for an e-bike, it was important for me to be able to fold and stow it away while traveling. I wanted it out of sight of prying eyes and hands. Our Vista LX 27N has a lot of storage capacity, 123 cubic feet to be exact. Both of our bikes are able to fold and stow in the rear compartment of our Vista. Actually, this bay is so large that there is even room left for our set of four snow tires for our car, two six-gallon water containers, and my tools!
Additionally, our exterior cargo bay outlets make charging our e-bikes convenient and easy. The bike has an option to remove the battery from the bike and charge it or leave it on the bike and charge. We have found it very simple to leave the battery in place and charge it outside while the bikes are parked next to the RV. And because we have a factory-installed 1,000-watt inverter, our RV doesn’t even need to be plugged into shore power to charge the bikes.
While the bikes are out of storage, we deploy our awning in case of unexpected rain. it is nice to know that the bikes will always be protected from the elements. We also chose our rear passenger jack as an anchor point to secure our bikes with a 25-ft vinyl bike cable. This allows us to lock up our bikes and move them out of the way to gain access to our cargo bays when needed.
Why We Chose the Ecotric Fat Tire Folding Bike
We wanted an e-bike that was small, powerful, and easy to use. The Ecotric met all of our requirements and at 780 it was well under our 1,000 budget.
The simple one-push button to toggle from low, medium, and high power made it easy to always have the proper amount of power for any riding situation. And a twist of throttle located on the right side of the handlebar makes it a breeze to kick in a quick burst of power when needed to pass, climb a hill, or when we just want to zip around.
We were a little hesitant as to if we would like the fat tires. But since riding the bike, we would probably never go back to a standard tire size. We love the stability of them and their ability to roll over any terrain while keeping the nice and smooth ride.
All of these features combined with the adventurous places our Winnebago allows us to get to makes this bike the perfect fun addition to our RV life. We are both enjoying getting out more and exploring farther in a way we would have never been able to do before.
We hope you enjoyed this article and as always, we wish you safe and fun travels! If you would like to see more about the e-bike, you can check out our video here.
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Electric Bikes for Kids and Teens – A Buying Guide and Top Picks
Electric bikes for kids are quickly gaining in popularity, and the technology powering them continues to get better and better. From electric balance bikes for motocross kids to electric commuter bikes and e-mountain bikes, kids ebikes are an incredible tool for enabling kids to go faster and farther than their little legs can carry them on their own.
Whether you have a future bmx star, a young child tackling longer distances, a teenager commuting to work, or you’re a parent looking to replace short car trips, there’s an ebike for that! Ebikes for kids vary widely in purpose, so understanding what to look for as well as what is available is essential to finding the right bike for your child and your family.
In order to help you find the best electric bike for your needs, we’ve broken this article into four sections. The first section is a buying guide that covers everything you need to know about buying an ebike for your child, and the remaining three sections provide tips and specific bike suggestions based on the age of the rider.
While we highly recommend reading our full electric bikes for kids buying guide, here’s are some quick tips and specific bike recommendations for those TL;DR folks :-).
Quick Tips for Buying a Kids ebike
(1) Be aware of your local laws and regulations: Many areas prohibit kids from operating Class II (ebikes with throttles) as well as Class III ebikes (ebikes with a 28mph max w/wo a throttle).
(2) Look for a bike with a torque sensor: Torque sensors allow the rider to control the speed of the bike with the pedals. Without one, pedaling slower will NOT slow down the speed of the bike, which can be very confusing and dangerous for kids.
(3) Say no to the throttle: Throttles allow kids to reach high speeds quickly without pedaling and should be avoided. Throttles on essentially all ebikes, however, can be turned off or removed after purchase.
(4) Pay attention to weight: ebikes can weigh up to 60 lb. (or more!) and can be a lot for an adult, let alone a child, to handle.
(5) eBikes vs. electric balance bikes: Small electric balance bikes without pedals (such as STACYC) typically are not covered under ebike laws, but should still be used with caution.
The Best Electric Bikes for Kids
This list was compiled after extensive research as well as leaning heavily on our own experience with electric bikes. Unlike our other “best” lists throughout this site, we fully admit that we have not tested or personally seen all of these bikes.
details about these specific bikes are included in the age-based sections below. Like always, any additional feedback and suggestions are welcome in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.
|3 to 5
|5 to 7
|5 to 8
|8 to 10
|10 to 12
|8 to 12
|Best all around eMTB
|8 to 12
|Ultimate eMTB for advanced riders
|Comes with light, fenders, and rear seat
|Peppy longtail ebike, holds two kids
|Holds up to 4 kids!
Electric Bikes for Kids – Table of Contents
Jump Down Menu – Click to Jump to your Desired Section
- Electric Bikes for Kids Buying Guide
- eBikes for Kids (Bikes with pedals – age 6)
- Electric Bikes for Toddlers and Preschoolers(Balance bikes – no pedals)
- Electric Cargo Bikes for Carrying Kids(Cargo-esque bikes that allow for a child seat)
eBikes for Kids Buying Guide
If you are new to ebikes, there is certainly a lot to learn! In this guide, we will be focusing on the features of ebikes that are particularly important for kids. While the specifics of battery life, battery volts, motor torque, and countless other ebike components are very important to the overall performance of the bike, they don’t necessarily affect kids more than adults, so we won’t be discussing them here.
For a more general reference about electric bikes, REI’s How to Choose an Electric Bike is a great place to start. For a deep dive into the electric systems of ebikes, ebikes.ca is a top-notch resource, while Juiced Bikes does a great job going into the specifics of batteries. Lastly, for reviews on adult ebikes (including some small enough for tweens and teens), electricbikereview.com is a great resource.
Why an ebike for kids?
Two words – distance and elevation. Electric bikes allow kids to ride their bikes for longer distances as well as tackle greater elevations gains. Based on our experiences with our own kids, ebikes can magically transform rides that were previously too hard, too long, or too boring… into exciting adventures that kids truly enjoy.
Electric bikes are very different than electric scooters. Many people balk at the idea of a child riding an electric bike as they envision kids zipping down the street without taking a single pedal stroke. While this is certainly possible, it’s not probable nor is it the purpose or design of ebikes for kids.
When given the right bike (kids don’t need a throttle!) and in the right conditions (longer rides or in hilly areas), kids can still get plenty of exercise on an ebike.
Kid-specific ebikes don’t have a throttle (more about this below) and require kids to pedal for the motor to even kick on. If they stop pedaling, the motor also stops. While many tweens and teens can technically fit on adult ebikes with throttles (Class II or III), many areas have regulations to prevent kids from riding an ebike with a throttle.
Class of eBikes
Prior to shopping for an ebike, it is important to understand the differences between the three classes of ebikes on the market. Many states do not allow kids under the age of 16 to ride a Class III ebike, while many states don’t allow anyone (even adults!) to ride Class II ebikes on bike paths and trails. Check out Bikes for People’s Electric Bike Laws to learn more about your state’s regulations.
The two main differences between the classes of ebikes are:
What is a bike throttle? A throttle is a lever or button that activates the motor of the bike without having to pedal. If a bike does not have a throttle, the motor can only be activated by pedaling the bike.
|Max mph assist
The motor on Class I ebikes cannot assist the rider above 20 mph max. While the rider can pedal to accelerate the bike faster than 20mph, the motor will stop providing additional assistance once 20mph is reached.
Class I ebikes also cannot have a throttle. The motor can only be activated via pedaling and the rider must continue pedaling in order for the motor to operate. Most ebikes sold in big-box stores are Class I ebikes.
All kid-specific ebikes are Class I, but for added safety, they typically have a lower speed at which the motor will stop assisting. For example, the kid-specific woom UP line maxes out at 12 mph and the Kent Torpedo at 17 mph.
Like Class I bikes, the motor on Class II can only assist up to 20 mph. The main difference is that Class II bikes have a throttle that allows the rider to turn on the motor and propel the bike forward without pedaling the bike. The rider can also choose not to use the throttle and to activate the motor via the pedals as well.
Stepping it up a notch, Class III ebikes can assist the rider up to 28 mph when pedaling, but only up to 20mph when using the optional throttle. Due to their higher speeds, Class III ebikes are the most regulated and in many areas are limited to street use only.
Ebike Sizing vs. Traditional Bike Sizing
Like regular kids bikes, ebikes for kids are sized according to wheel size. So if your child is riding a 24″ bike, they will likely fit on a 24″ kids electric bike.
Like all bikes, it is also important to take minimum and maximum seat heights into account as they can vary widely within a wheel size, depending on brand. If you aren’t sure what wheel size your child needs, be sure to check out our Kids Bikes Sizing Guide.
Currently, there are only a handful of child-specific ebikes on the market (in the US). The smallest bike we are aware of is the Kent Torpedo 20″, which has a minimum seat height of 27″ and can fit kids as young as 7. The Swagtron EB-6 20″ bike is a popular bike marketed as a kid’s bike, but it is too tall for most kids and with only 1 PAS mode, it is too fast for kids to ride safely.
Larger kids electric bikes are available from woom and Commencal, but they are designed for more aggressive trail riders, versus everyday neighborhood riders. With suspension and top-of-the-line components, these bikes are powerhouses on the trail but also come with a steep price tag that puts them out of reach for many families.
As a result, many older kids (tween and teens at least 5′ not riding on a mountain trail), will likely ride an ebike designed for an adult. Our page on Electric Bicycles for Women has many bikes small enough for a 4’11 – 5’0 kid rider.
The wheel sizes on adult electric bikes vary widely from 20″ fat tires to 700c street tires. As a result, the wheel size on adult ebikes cannot be used as an indication of the overall size of the bike.
Weight of eBikes
Ebikes are heavy! While the motor does help to compensate for the additional weight to get the bike moving, ebikes can still be significantly harder to maneuver than traditional bikes. This is especially true for tweens and teens riding adult ebikes, which can weigh up to 70 pounds.
Kid-specific ebikes tend to be a bit lighter than adult bikes, but they are in turn much more expensive. As a point of reference, the 3,750 woom 6 UP with 26″ wheels weighs 37.3 lb. while the 650 26″ Hyper MTN weighs 48 lb.
Like traditional bikes, lightweight ebikes tend to be very expensive. Don’t be surprised if entry-level ebikes don’t have their total weights listed. When researching for this article, reviews of specific bikes on YouTube and electricbikereview.com were helpful in providing information about the weight and overall size of the bike.
For adults carrying kids as passengers on an ebike, the total weight of the bike can be a lot to negotiate. Over the years, we’ve found Class II ebikes with throttles to be a gamechanger when riding with a heavy load.
Using the throttle to propel that heavy load forward from a standstill is significantly easier than attempting to do so by pedaling, even with pedal assist. Once the bike is moving, it is easy to maintain balance and momentum on the bike by pedaling and the throttle is no longer necessary.
Pedal Assist Modes (PAS)
A bike’s pedal-assist mode or PAS, determines how much “help” the motor provides while pedaling. Most ebikes have 3 to 5 pedal assist modes. The higher the pedal-assist mode, the more the motor will assist in propelling the bike forward.
The PAS modes are easily adjusted by pushing a button on the bike’s display on the handlebars, or on some bikes, the downtube. PAS modes can be changed at any time during a ride.
Pedal-assist modes work by altering the total output of the motor (watts). The higher the pedal-assist mode, the greater the percentage of output the motor will produce, and the less effort the rider has to exert on the pedals to propel the bike forward.
As a point of clarification, be aware that these percentages are the MAX percentages the motor or the rider can have on the total output (basically speed) of the bike. The bike does not need to reach “100% output” in order to move.
The % of the output from the rider, as well as the motor, can vary within the set PAS range. For example, on a bike with 3 PAS modes, in PAS 2 the motor can apply up to 80% of the output, while the rider can apply up to 20%. As a result, the higher the PAS mode, the less effect the rider’s pedaling has on the speed of the bike. In all PAS modes, however, the motor will stop providing additional assistance once the bike reaches its max MPH allowed for motor assistance.
Riding with PAS
The rider must continue to pedal at all times in all PAS modes. If the rider stops pedaling (even in PAS 5), the motor will stop providing output. The bike, however, will not stop as it will continue to coast like a traditional bike. (Note: If you are engaging the throttle on a Class II or Class III ebike, the throttle overrides the PAS and you don’t need to pedal.)
To stop the bike, the rider can stop pedaling and coast to a stop or simply apply the brakes, which automatically turns off the motor.
The “feel” of riding with PAS can vary greatly from bike to bike. Compared to higher-end ebikes, lower-end ebikes tend to be jerkier and can also limit the rider’s ability to control the speed of the bike with the pedals. These differences are the result of the bike’s ability (or inability) to regulate the rate at which the motor output is applied.
Some ebikes will automatically apply the max motor output for every PAS (for example, ramping quickly up to 80% output at the first pedal stroke), while others will slowly ramp up the output based on the pedaling of the rider (slowly increase from 0% to 80% based how hard or fast the rider is pedaling).
A bike’s ability to quickly or slowly apply power to the bike is determined by the bike’s PAS sensor. There are two main types of sensors – a cadence sensor, and a torque sensor.
Cadence Sensors vs. Torque Sensors
While the PAS modes control the max % of output the motor will produce, the sensors on the bike determine the rate at which that max % of output is applied. There are two main types of sensors – cadence sensors, and torque sensors. While seemingly minor, these sensors can make a huge difference in how the bike reacts to the rider.
A cadence sensor detects if you are pedaling (not how fast, but whether the pedals are moving or not) while a torque sensor measures how hard you are pedaling (~how much tension is on the chain). Lower-end bikes typically have cadence sensors, but higher-end bikes have torque sensors.
While riding both bikes is the best way to “feel” the difference between the two, we’ll do our best to explain the difference and why we highly recommend bikes with torque sensors for kids.
Cadence sensors act as on and off switches for the motor. Upon sensing a forward movement on the crank arms and pedals, the cadence sensor turns the motor on. Once the motor is on, it then applies output according to the PAS mode selected. The higher the PAS mode, the more output is available from the motor.
The cadence sensor, however, does not have the ability to determine how fast or how hard you are pedaling, it just looks to see IF you are pedaling in a forward motion. On a bike with a cadence sensor, you can be pedaling in a very low gear with NO tension on the chain at all and the bike will still be propelled forward by the motor.
As a result, the benefit of cadence sensors is that very little effort from the rider is needed for the bike to function, especially at high PAS levels. But on the flip side, since the sensor cannot monitor how fast or slow the rider is pedaling, it can be very challenging, or in some cases not possible at all, for the rider to control the speed of the bike with the pedals.
Regardless of how fast or how slow the rider is pedaling on an ebike with a cadence sensor, the motor will apply the max % of input based on the selected PAS mode. For example, if your bike has 5 PAS modes and you are riding in PAS 3 (60% motor input, 40% human) the bike will automatically ramp up to 60% of its motor output once the pedals start rotating. Slowing down or speeding up your pedal strokes will not affect the amount of output the motor is providing to the bike.
You can increase the speed of the bike by pedaling hard and adding to the 60% output the motor is already providing (the 40% rider output), but you cannot decrease the output of the motor by pedaling slowly. If you are already pedaling at a slower pace (so as to not add to the motor’s output) the only way to slow the speed of the bike is to decrease the PAS mode, brake (which stops the motor), or stop pedaling (which also stops the motor).
It can therefore be very difficult to ride at a slow speed on a bike with a cadence sensor, especially at high PAS levels. Whether you are spinning in granny gear or huffing and puffing in high gear, the output of the motor will remain the same.
For young riders, the lack of ability to control the speed of the bike with their feet can be VERY confusing and potentially dangerous. As a result, we highly recommend ebikes for kids with torque sensors (explained below).
While cadence sensors act as an “ignition” switch to the motor (turning it on or off), bikes with torque sensors take it one step further and essentially turn the pedals into a “gas pedal”.
By monitoring the amount of pressure applied to the cranks and pedals, a torque sensor allows you to slowly ramp up the output of the motor by pedaling faster and decrease the output by pedaling slower in all PAS modes.
So instead of quickly ramping up to the max % output in the selected PAS mode (like on ebikes with a cadence sensor), an ebike with a torque sensor will slowly increase the output of the motor according to how much tension the rider applies to the pedals (until it hits the max PAS %).
For example, if the selected PAS has a max output of 80%, the bike will feather the motor’s output from 0% to 80% depending on the force applied to the pedals by the rider. At a slow pedal rate, the motor may only output 20%, but as the rider pedals faster, the rate will increase until it maxes out at 80%.
So while bikes with torque sensors require more effort from the rider (the rider can’t just coast – they must apply pressure to the pedals), setting the bike to a higher PAS mode still allows the rider to get plenty of assistance from the motor by pedaling harder (like you would on a traditional bike).
As a result, like a traditional bike, an ebike with a torque sensor allows the rider to always be in control of the speed of the bike via the pedals. Want to go faster? Pedal faster. Want to slow down? Pedal slower.
The downside of torque sensors is that they are much more expensive to incorporate on a bike. As a result, ebikes with torque sensors are rarely found under 1,500 and are usually closer to 2,000.
Single-speed or Geared
PAS modes on a bike do not replace the gears. Like traditional bikes, gears on a bike allow you to alter how hard the bike is to pedal. The PAS modes on the bike adjust how much additional input the motor adds to your effort.
Gears are especially important when tackling steep elevation changes or technical terrain. If a bike does not have a “granny gear” to allow you to easily start pedaling the bike, the motor can’t kick in, regardless of the PAS mode you are in. As a result, if you stop on a steep incline you may not be able to get the heavy bike started up again. (Unless you have a throttle.)
On technical terrain, this is especially important as the PAS modes can’t help you power through a particularly rough part of a trail if the bike is in too hard of a gear to pedal. On an electric bike with a torque sensor (which most e-mountain bikes do), in order to get full input from the motor in your set PAS mode, you also need to be able to pedal at a decent speed.
If technical terrain or strong elevation gains are not in your plans, then a single-speed ebike with several PAS modes should suit you just fine. Bikes with throttles also typically don’t necessarily need multiple gears as you can always rely on the throttle to power you up a hill.
Keep in mind, however, that regardless of the class of ebike, the throttle can never accelerate the bike past 20 mph. Speeds beyond 20 mph require input from the rider via the drivetrain (you gotta pedal hard!), so gears are also essential for riders aiming for higher speeds.
Motor Placement – Hub vs. Mid-drive motor
The motor on ebikes can be located in three different places, (1) within the hub of the front wheel, (2) the rear wheel, or (3) at the bike’s bottom bracket (called mid-drive motors). Rear hub motors are the most common on low to mid-range ebikes, while mid-drive motors are standard on most high-end bikes. Front hub motors are not common.
Mid-drive Motor vs. Rear Hub Motor
For basic riding on paved surfaces, rear-hub motors do just fine. Bikes with hub motors are typically much cheaper than bikes with mid-drive motors, but they can throw off the weight distribution of the bike. As a result, for more technical riding, mid-drive motors are always recommended. In addition to being centrally located on the bike, they are also placed lower, thereby helping to lower the overall center of gravity of the bike.
Another benefit of mid-drive motors is that it is much easier to repair or replace the rear tire of the bike. With a rear hub motor, removing a rear wheel is certainly possible, it just takes a lot more time and effort.
The Best Electric Bikes for Kids (with Pedals)
From 8-year-olds taking on longer distances with their parents to teens needing a budget ebike to commute to work, we’ve done hours of research to find the best electric bikes for kids. While we have not personally seen all of these bikes, we have tested four different ebikes with seven different kids on a variety of trails.
The best ride for your child really comes down to your budget and how you plan on using it. Per our explanation provided in our buying guide above, we have not included any Class III ebikes. While we do not recommend bikes with throttles for kids, we have included several Class II on this list knowing that the throttles on essentially all ebikes can be removed.
We have also not included high-end kids eMTB bikes (with the exception of the woom UP which can be used as an eMTB and a commuter). From geometry to tires, suspension and brakes, there are a lot more variables to consider when shopping for an eMTB, but the basics outlined here still certainly apply.
If you are unaware of the importance of a torque sensor, please read our section about the differences in ebikes sensors above. Essentially, without a torque sensor, the speed of the bike cannot be controlled by the pedals.
Electric Bikes for Kids Comparison
|4’11 – 5’11
The Best Electric Balance Bikes
While electric balance bikes should never be a replacement for a traditional balance bike, they are great fun for tiny riders, especially future motocross or riders or BMX racers. From doing laps at the track to simply riding around the campground or backyard, these electric balance bikes can help instill a passion for riding at a very young age.
STACYC electric balance bikes (owned by Harley Davidson) are by far the best quality and most popular. While other cheaper brands have hit the market, most are significantly heavier than the STACYC line and don’t offer as many speed settings.
Compared to the similarly-sized Yamaha PW50 kids motorcycle, electric balance bikes are quieter, lighter, and significantly cheaper! Like the PW50’s governor, most electric balance bikes have several speed settings to limit the top speed for new riders.
|Bikes for ages 2 – 5
|14″ – 16″
|(3) 5, 7, 9mph
|30 – 60 min
|Bikes for ages 5 – 7
|19.3″ – 20.9″
|(1) 15.5 mph
|STACYC Brushless 16eDrive
|17″ – 19″
|(3) 5, 7.5, 13 mph
|30 – 60 min
STACYC bikes are also available under several other brand names, including Harley Davidson (who purchased STACYC in 2019), KTM, GASGAS, and Husqvarna. As far as we are aware, besides aesthetics, the bikes themselves remain the same across all lines.
Electric Cargo Bikes for Hauling Kids
From quick drop-offs at a friend’s house to skipping the pick-up lane after school, electric cargo bikes are a fun and fast way to get around the neighborhood! With the flexibility to hold everything from toddlers in child bike seats to a full-grown adult, your family is sure to get many years of use from an electric family bike.
There are many different types of electric cargo bikes (or trikes!) to consider. In addition to the information covered in our buying guide above, there are a lot of variables to consider. For an in-depth dive into the specifics of cargo bikes for families, we highly recommend checking out Bike Shop Girl’s Cargo Bike buying guide.
When it comes to your budget, higher-end bikes are typically lighter, offer better speed control via a torque sensor, as well as increased durability from the drivetrain and electronics. If your planned trips are within a few miles around your neighborhood, however, don’t be afraid to go for a lower-end cargo bike, such as the RadRunner Plus shown above. Although heavy and not as fine-tuned as other bikes, it works great for quick trips and after 100s of miles, we have no complaints!
|Bikes for 1 Child
|up to 50 Mi.
|Bikes for 2 Kids
|up to 50 Mi.
|up to 60 Mi.
|Tricycles for 2 Kids
|Ferla Family Bike
All bikes listed, except the Bunch Coupe, have a throttle
Natalie has basically been obsessed with kids’ bikes since 2010 when her oldest of three kids began riding a balance bike. After trying to convince everyone she knew about how amazing balance bikes are, she began Two Wheeling Tots. As a certified secondary science teacher, she loves digging deep into the why and how of kids biking. With her in-depth knowledge of the kids’ bike world, she has consulted with many top brands as well as contributed to articles at NY Strategist, the Today Show, and more.
The VIVI 26 Inch eBike – An Amazingly Inexpensive Electric Bicycle
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable, good looking, and easy to use eBike than the VIVI 26 inch electric mountain bicycle. This black, white and red aluminum eBike (made in China) has everything you need for daily riding around your neighborhood… and is even equipped to handle a little dirt, gravel, or off-road riding as well. Plus, this amazingly stylish eBike is outfitted with a number of different options you’d only find on a bicycle with a much higher price-point, including front and rear disc brakes, 21 total speeds, a front headlamp, a rear kickstand, front and rear fenders, and even a bell.
With an online sales price of only 639 USD, the VIVI 26 inch eBike is one of the most affordable electric bicycles on the marketplace today. It’s easy to put together, looks great, and works like an eBike should – with electric pedal assist modes (low, medium and high), full throttle mode, and can also be used as a regular bicycle (with no assistance from the motor whatsoever)!
The VIVI eBike
When you order the VIVI eBike online (via Amazon for 639 USD or the official VIVI website for 719 USD), the bike will be shipped to your home at no additional cost. That’s right – FREE SHIPPING!
The electric bicycle arrives packed inside a standard, brown, cardboard bike box. The bicycle comes almost entirely assembled, but there are a few things you’ll need to do to finish putting the bike together completely.
You’ll need to install the saddle and seat post, insert and tighten the handlebars, screw in the left and right pedals, adjust the position of the front headlamp, and pump some air into the tires. The tools you need to perform this basic bicycle setup are included with the bike (another big bonus!)… along with instructions on how to finish the bicycle assembly process.
That being said, there is no air pump included with the VIVI eBike, so make sure you have a bicycle pump of some kind before your bicycle arrives. It’s a good idea to always carry a small hand pump on your bike rides anyway, in the event that you get a flat tire. So, if you don’t already have a pump, go out and get one right away!
Once you’ve set up the bicycle and inserted the charged battery into its holder positioned on the inside of the downtube of the bicycle’s aluminum frame, you’re ready to ride!
I suggest you start by riding the bicycle with its motor turned off at first – just to check and make sure that your handlebars, seat post and saddle are in the best positions for your body type. While the motor is off, also check that the brakes are functioning as they should and that you can easily shift through the 21 gears using the bicycle’s front and rear derailleurs. The VIVI eBike comes almost completely assembled, so you should, in theory, be able to jump right on the bike and start pedaling as soon as you have it properly put together, but you may need to adjust the brakes and/or front and rear derailleurs as these parts can shift slightly during the shipping process.
Once you’ve done a few laps around the block with the bicycle’s motor turned off, only then should you turn on the battery/motor and test out what the VIVE eBike can really do. This is where the fun begins!
To turn the eBike on, start by pressing the small, red, circular power button on the bottom of the battery. Then, press and hold the center power button on the power meter on the left-side of the bicycle’s handlebars. Once you do this, you should see the red lights on the power meter turn on. The lights at the top indicate the mode you are in (low, mid or high) and the lights at the bottom indicate approximately how much battery power you have left.
Now, just like you did a moment ago when the power to the eBike was turned off, step onto the VIVI eBike and start pedaling with the bike in the Low power setting. As soon as you make about one revolution of the pedals, you will feel the motor kick in and push you forward down the road. Keep pedaling in this manner and you’ll soon become comfortable with how the bike rides in the pedal-assist mode.
Once you become comfortable riding in Low, switch the bike into Mid by pressing the button on the right side of the power meter. Then, after you’ve become comfortable riding in Mid, switch the bike to High and see what the VIVI eBike is truly capable of.
Remember: The VIVI eBike is not a motorcycle and is not meant to transport you down the road at supersonic speeds. The maximum speed you’ll be capable of hitting on flat ground with the motor engaged is around 20 miles per hour (or approximately 25 kilometers per hour).
The final way to ride the VIVI eBike is in full eBike mode using the throttle located on the right side of the handlebars. This throttle allows you to ride the VIVI eBike and do no pedaling whatsoever. Simply twist the throttle, like you would on a motorcycle, and sit back as the bicycle’s electric motor transports you down the road.
You won’t go super fast using the bicycle’s throttle (especially when going uphill), but the throttle is extremely useful for new riders, or simply in the event that you want to go out on a bike ride, but don’t want to put in the work normally required with riding a bicycle.
As you can see, there are three ways to ride the VIVI electric bicycle: you can ride it as a standard bicycle with no motor assistance whatsoever; you can ride it in pedal assist mode, where you pedal normally, but the motor helps to make your bike ride a whole lot easier; or you can ride the bike with the assistance of the throttle, allowing you to simply sit back and do no pedaling at all.
Pictured above is the right side of the handlebar on the VIVI eBike. In the photo you can see the shifter, which allows you to change through the 7 total gears on the rear derailleur of the bicycle. The eBike’s throttle is located just to the right of the shifter. And in the foreground is the small, thumb-operated bell that comes as an added bonus with the VIVI 26 inch eBike.
Below is a snapshot of the bicycle’s battery specifications. For most people, these numbers won’t mean much, so what you need to know is that on a full charge, the VIVI eBike will transport you approximately 30 miles (or 45 km). Of course, this distance will vary depending on the mode you have the bike set to (Low, Mid or High), the terrain you are cycling over (steep vs. flat terrain), the wind, weather and other such factors.
During my time with the VIVI 26 inch eBike, I went on several long bike rides and found that cycling more than 20 miles on a single charge was no problem at all, as long as I left the bike in the Low setting for most of the ride. The battery indicator would sometimes show that there was only one or two bars left in the battery, but would then later jump to three or more bars later in the ride, depending on the mode I had the power meter set to and the steepness of the terrain on which I was riding at the time. Therefore, more testing needs to be done to see what the true limits are of the VIVI eBike’s included battery.
Whatever the case may be, the good thing about the VIVI eBike, when compared with other electric bicycle models, is that once the battery dies and the bike is no longer able to be powered by the electric motor, the bicycle functions normally as a regular bicycle. So, if you find yourself returning home from an especially long bike ride and the battery cuts out a few miles short of your return home, you can always pedal the bike home using the power of your legs for the final few miles.
The Wheels Tires
26 inch wheels and tires are what you’ll find on this VIVI electric bicycle. And while 26 inch wheels and tires are what you find on many mountain bikes, I suspect that most people who purchase the VIVI 26 inch eBike will not buy the bike for its off-road capabilities, but will instead intend to use the bike largely as a local commuter – allowing them to ride around their neighborhood, run errands and go on casual bike rides with friends.
While the Chaoyang 26 x 1.95 tires that come equipped on the bicycle have held up during my recent test rides, the long-term durability of these tires has yet to be determined, and I may have to update this article/review once I determine how long-lasting these tires truly are.
These standard, treaded, 26 inch tires are great for casual riding on paved roads, however, and also make the bike capable of riding on dirt and gravel roads with a fair amount of ease. My guess is that few people will purchase this bike to do serious mountain biking, but the bike can certainly be used in off-road environments of some kind, due to both the tire size, tread and front suspension (which allows the bike to absorb some of the bumps you are sure to find in an off-road environment).
The front suspension on this bike helps with small bumps and gravel on the roads you’ll be traveling, but the suspension is not good in super rocky terrain – nothing like the suspension you find on higher-quality mountain bikes.
The Mechanical Disc Brakes
One of the great things about the VIVI eBike is that it comes equipped with certain parts you would only expect to find on bicycles with a much higher price tag. For example, the VIVI 26 inch eBike comes equipped with front and rear mechanical disc brakes.
Disc brakes have quickly become standard on most bicycle models, but cheaper rim brakes are still often found on many low-priced bicycle models. So getting a pair of front and rear disc brakes with the purchase of the VIVI electric bicycle is a huge added plus.
The disc brakes come ready to use straight out of the box when your VIVI eBike first arrives, but I found that a small amount of adjustment was needed to position the brakes so they weren’t rubbing and squeaking during my initial test rides. This is a very easy adjustment to make, however, and almost anyone capable of watching a how-to YouTube video will be able to adjust the disc brakes on the bicycle, if need be.
In addition to the bicycle’s electric motor, front suspension, and disc brakes, the VIVI eBike is outfitted with a number of other extras worth noting.
The first and most obvious of these extras is, perhaps, the saddle, which is an inexpensive bike seat decorated with a red and white “flame” pattern on its top. The saddle decoration is probably the only part of the VIVI eBike that I would change if I were in charge of the production of these bikes myself. I personally would prefer a standard, plain black saddle. But the saddle that has been chosen here isn’t really that bad. It looks a little childish when compared to the rest of the bicycle, but it’s comfortable and will work well for 90% of the bike’s users.
Another wonderful extra included with the VIVI eBike is the front headlamp, which comes pre-wired to the bicycle’s electric battery/motor. To turn the front headlamp on, simply press and hold the “” button on the right-hand side of the bicycle’s power meter. Then, to turn the light off, press and hold the “” button again. Lighting up the road in front of you has never been so easy!
While it’s common for more expensive bicycles to come equipped with no pedals whatsoever, because high-end bike manufacturers know that many serious cyclists will want to use a very specific type of pedal, a lower-cost bicycle such as the VIVI eBike comes equipped with a pair of standard, plastic flat pedals – like you would find on so many other low-end bicycles found in your local bike shop. The goal here is to give you a basic pedal that you can use straight away, right out of the box, so that you can start pedaling your bicycle the first day you get it. These plastic pedals are inexpensive, but they work well and will make most casual cyclists very happy. If, however, you wish to upgrade to a more advanced pedal, you can easily do so! Simply unscrew these basic, plastic pedals and screw in the pedals of your choice. Bingo!
Another big bonus found on the VIVI 26 inch eBiks is the included rear kickstand, which helps you keep the bike in an upright position whenever you go to park it. Not only does this rear kickstand make it easier to park the bicycle when you need to do so, but the kickstand likely extends the lifespan of the battery, motor and the bike as a whole, as you’re less likely to damage the bicycle or any of its parts if you simply use the included kickstand each and every time you go to park the bike.
The photos above show the kickstand in both its extended and retracted positions. This is a good quality kickstand that the bicycle manufacturers could very easily have left off in order to save money and produce larger returns on sales, but have included as an added bonus… and it’s a bonus that I think will be very much appreciated by those who chose to purchase the VIVI 26 inch electric bicycle.
The VIVI eBike – My Final Review
If there is any major downside to the VIVI eBike, it’s the fact that it is only available in one frame size. And unfortunately for me (at 6 feet, 2 inches tall), the size of the bike’s frame is simply too small for me. In order to properly fit this bicycle, you should probably be between 5 foot 2 inches and 5 foot 7 inches tall. If you are taller or shorter than this, the bike will still be rideable, but it isn’t going to fit you well. If the bike came in different sizes (small, medium and large), the VIVI eBike would be a total low-cost winner!
Overall, I’m very impressed with the VIVI 26 inch eBike. It’s a good looking bike that will make many first-time electric bicycle owners very happy. The bike is perfectly equipped for around-town riding, local commuting, running errands and could even be used on some kinds of mountain bike trails and terrain.
While the battery life and tires have yet to be tested long term, my experiences with the bike thus far have me very impressed. And even though the bike doesn’t fit me (I’m simply too tall for the one-size-only frame), I plan to keep the VIVI eBike for any of my shorter friends and family members who chose to come and visit me and want the assistance of an electric motor to help them keep up with me on the roads and trails in my area.
Overall, I’d give the VIVI 26 inch eBike a very high rating, considering it is such a low-cost electric bicycle. It really is incredible that they’ve been able to produce such a good looking, well-working, electric bicycle that costs so little and comes with so many extras!
So, even though this may not be the best bike in the whole world, I suspect that this is the perfect bike for someone who wants a basic, around-town electric bicycle, but doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a more expensive brand or model.