Engwe M20 eBike review – moto, more range
REVIEW – The last 4 years have been pretty epic as far as personal electric vehicles go. The sheer quantity of electric bikes and scooters available is staggering which can make it tricky to find that one model that will be the perfect fit for you. Smaller moped-style bikes have become increasingly popular due to their ease of use and the one-size-fits-most design. Engwe has a brand new one called the M20 and I was able to get an early look.
What is it?
The Engwe M20 eBike is a moto-inspired, Class 3 ebike eBike with pedal assist, throttle, 4″ fat tires, dual-suspension, and can be equipped with either 1 or 2 batteries depending on your range needs.
Motor: 48v 750W (1000W peak) hub motor Battery: 48v 13Ah Lithium battery (1 or 2 can be mounted) Charge Time: ~ 5 hours per battery Frame: 6061 Aluminum Suspension: Front and rear suspension Tires: 20 x 4.0 All-terrain Fat Tires Lights: Dual headlights and rear brake/running light Display: Color LCD Display/Controller Gears: 7-speed Shimano system Braking: 160mm front rear mechanical disc brakes w/ motor cut-off sensors Throttle: Full width twist throttle Torque: 55 N.m Max Incline: 10° Speed: 28MPH (45 KPH) max speed (Actual speed varies w/ rider weight and terrain) Mileage: Up to 45 miles (pedal-assist only in mode 1) | Up to 30 miles (throttle only in mode 1) Weight: ~68 lbs without battery | ~77 lbs with 1 battery | ~86 lbs with 2 batteries Limits: Max load ~265 lbs | Rider height 5′ – 6′ (Engwe states up to 6’8″)
Design and features
The Engwe M20 eBike has a great look to it that just asks to be ridden.
It’s available in 3 different colors; White, Green or Black.
And additionally, can be ordered with two batteries if you want to double your range.
Up front, there are dual headlights that can be aimed individually. They have low running lights and a control switch by the left hand to toggle on the high beam.
On the right hand are the full-size throttle, 7-speed shifter, and your rear brake which has a sensor that cuts power to the motor when used, even if the throttle is still open.
The Engwe M20 eBike’s front wheel is mounted to a triple clamp suspension fork, providing a smooth ride and also preventing the steering from turning too far where the headlights might hit the frame.
At the top of the triple clamp fork, you have a red compression adjustment knob to tune the fork’s feel.
Here’s the whole cockpit. The small square in the center of the bar is my addition. That’s a Peak Design handlebar mount for their Mobile phone cases. Great, secure mount for your phone if you need GPS to get where you’re going.
The lights and horn are handled by 2-button remote mounted just to the right of the grip. As for the eBike settings, they’re all handled by the display which has three buttons. The power button is just above the battery icon on the top edge of the display. Just under the display on the left side are and – buttons. Pressing those increase or decrease the assist level from 0-5 (0 being no assist and 5 being max assist). Additionally, if you press and hold the – button the bike will slowly roll itself forward to help carry its own weight as you walk up hills. Just keep it pressed as long as you need the assist.
At the rear, you’ll find a very visible tail light that illuminates any time the bike is on and pulses brightly when the brakes are engaged. You can also see the rear swingarm in this shot heading up to the shock mounted under the seat.
Here’s that up close. The black perforated box under the seat hides the motor controller along with the horn’s speaker.
The Engwe M20 eBike’s rear derailleur comes with one of those protective cages around it. I’d recommend leaving it in place just due to the increased weight of this bike. A tip over to the right side could damage the derailleur pretty good. The mag-style wheels look good and are plenty strong.
As for the battery, it installs by sliding onto a modular rail and then locks in place with a key on the left side.
On the right side is a power switch along with the input barrel jack for charging the battery, and an output USB which you can use to charge up your phone or other USB-powered device. Both of those ports have rubber port covers to help keep moisture out.
Setting up the Engwe M20 eBike
Assembling a bike isn’t all that hard. Just take your time, follow the instructions, and hit up the manufacturer’s website (and maybe Google) if something doesn’t make sense. As was evidenced by the beat up shipping box up above, and this repeated photo here, transit can take its toll, so there’s a lot of protective packaging and cable ties that need to be removed.
The M20 assembly was pretty standard including…
- Installing the handlebars into the stem and tightening the 4 bolts
- Installing the front fender
- Adjusting position of the brake levers and shifter for hand size and reach
- Adjusting the display for visibility and the light/horn remote for reach
- Installing the front headlights and electrical connection (a little fussy, but easy enough)
- Inflating tires to proper levels
- Checking brakes and adjusting shifting
- Plugging in the battery to get an initial full charge
Installing the front wheel was interesting just because of how wide the fork is for the fat tires it’s running. As a result, the front axle had some spacers that need to be installed correctly. In the below photo, you can see the long spacer goes on the non-brake side in order to properly center the wheel and have the disc brake rotor properly align with the caliper. Photo is taken facing the front of the bike. The small bent tabs fit into retention holes as you’re installing the wheel.
Checking the tire pressure was a slight surprise. The rear tire needed about 20 psi to get up to spec, but the front was over-inflated by about 15 psi which was a little alarming.
The last item was switching the display from Metric to Imperial. To enter the settings mode, hold down both the and – buttons then press and hold the power button as well until the display enters a mode where you see P1. Use the /- buttons to navigate to P4 and press the power button to adjustment mode. Again use the /- keys to adjust. 00 is Metric, 01 is Imperial. Press the power button again to back out, or press and hold the power button to save all setting adjustments and power off the display.
Another setting you may want to enable is P7 which lets you set a power-on password that has to be entered for the bike to work. Super useful if you want to prevent someone from taking your bike for a spin. The two included keys are just for locking the battery to the bike, not preventing the use or physical locks that prevent moving the bike.
The M20 is straight-up, super fun to ride. Select the assist level from 1-5 after powering up and off you go. The low seat makes it easy to put your feet flat on the ground. The handlebar angle can be adjusted to help with reach and a comfortable riding position. The big 4″ tires have plenty of traction and together with the dual suspension, smooth out any rough roads nicely. The pedal assist has a momentary pause before engaging and a slight punch when it engages after which it feels nice and smooth. Similarly, you can just twist, sit back and smile as you cruise along.
The seat height and fore/aft position are fixed which is part of why the bike looks so cool. I’d confidently say that if you’re between 5 and 6 feet tall, this will fit you pretty well. Over 6 feet, pedaling can be awkward as your knees rise above your seated position. I definitely fall into that category, but that’s where the throttle comes into play.
The suspension is going to work better for you if you weigh a little more. I’m around 215 lbs and could feel it working, but wouldn’t call it plush. There doesn’t appear to be all that much adjustment outside the one dial on the fork. There’s also no damping on the return so if your wheels leave the ground, you’ll hear and feel the suspension shoot back out full force. Lowering the pressure in the tires will absorb the smaller stuff and help the suspension FOCUS on the larger bumps.
I did have an issue with how the battery was secured. It’s mounted on the bike prior to shipping and there may be a customs ruling or other regulation type reason for that but regardless, as I was setting up the bike, I noticed that the battery was leaning to the right side. It was also wobbly when moving the bike. After using the key to remove the battery and look at the mount I found the problem.
It is held onto the bike’s down-tube with 3 bolts. This is a relatively normal installation other than the choice to use Phillips head screws. However, these were a little loose, and tightening them up didn’t really solve the issue, so I removed them to take off the mount and get a closer look.
Here you can see that each of the 3 screw bosses are proud by about 2mm. Again, relatively normal for mounting a water bottle cage, but not for balancing an eBike battery that weighs 9 lbs. Even if these were flush, you’d be balancing a flat-bottomed battery mount on a round tube. To solve the problem, I knocked out a quick design file and sent it to the 3D printer. Voila! A platform that matched the tube diameter and sat flush with the top of the screw bosses (in a matching white even). I was limited on the print bed size, so the front boss is still working that original way whereas the lower two are handling the support. I’ll end up printing a pair to support the full length, but this absolutely created a rock solid foundation.
What’s interesting is that they got this scenario right for the optional 2nd battery location. Here you can see that the top tube has a nice flat spot for securing the battery mount. I supposedly have a 2nd battery on the way so I’ll update this post with images of that mount and battery installed when it arrives.
I found this to look a little unfinished without a battery so I installed the storage case they sent along. It’s the perfect size for lunch runs down the hill to Jersey Mike’s. It fits a little awkwardly though so ultimately I ended up finding an old Timbuk2 shoulder strap pad that fit well after removing the padding. You can see that in the lead photo and some others as I promptly forgot that it wasn’t a stock item.
Another issue I ran into was the throttle. Both it and the matching grip on the left side felt good in the hand, but I noticed that when I twisted the throttle, it did not spring back to the neutral position. That could create a very dangerous situation.
After removing the throttle and looking closely, I found that there is no inner sleeve isolating the throttle from the handlebar surface. Basically, if the silver clamping collar is tightened and not perfectly square to the handlebar, the throttle is able to drag and bind internally. It could also occur if installed too far onto the bar where the inside end of the throttle/grip is contacting the end of the bar. The solution was sliding the throttle on until it stopped and then backing up about 1mm before clamping nice and square. It’s worked properly since then. Just always test before riding by twisting and making sure it snaps back.
I also noticed while riding the Engwe M20 eBike that the throttle has a delay in engaging the motor. Diving further into this off the bike, the throttle drives the motor almost immediately so what I noticed was the effect that my weight has on the torque and getting the bike moving. One of the biggest power draws is getting the bike moving from zero. If you pedal to start (or at least pedal and twist the throttle) you’ll get moving quicker.
Hill climbing is the other place that comes into play. The bike has to work a lot harder the more weight it has to move. I definitely need to pedal up hills in addition to the throttle or the speed will keep declining. Overall that’s not a big deal as the bike’s assist is definitely noticeable.
If you’ve got big hills or testing the weight limits of the Engwe M20 eBike, I’d highly recommend picking up the 2nd battery as well as I’m definitely getting less than the specified range. Keep in mind Engwe has listed those using assist level 1. We all know that’s an unlikely scenario when you have 4 more settings to choose from. I’ll know a bit more when I can play around with 2 installed, but doubling the range almost has no downsides other than adding some weight. The top tube position also gives it a bit of a moto gas tank feel which further adds to the look they’re going for.
I’d also recommend upgrading the brakes if you’ve got big hills. These mechanicals aren’t bad, but the rotor size is small and extended hills are going to have you squeezing pretty hard.
Speaking of weight, that round tube behind the seat is an awesome grab handle for moving the bike around or lifting it up onto a bike rack. If you do throw it on a rack, take a second to remove the batteries as most eBike racks aren’t rated above 65 lbs per bike tray and regular racks can be far below that.
What I’d change
Overall, the Engwe M20 eBike is really fun and a great way to get around. The assist levels are great and with the included throttle you can just keep rolling. I can see this being really popular with teens getting to and from school as it would hit the sweet spot of range and rider weight. Nice work Engwe. Looking forward to more bikes like this.
Pricing: 1299 – M20 (13Ah – 1 battery) | 1599 – M20 (26Ah – 2 batteries) Where to buy: Engwe and Amazon Source: The sample of this product was provided by Engwe.
How to convert a bike to electric power | Electric bike conversion kits explained
The best electric bike conversion kits will enable you to add a motor to your existing bike simply and relatively cheaply – at least compared to the price of buying a whole new electric bike.
There are an increasing number of ebike conversion kits out there, and they’re getting more sophisticated and easier to install on your bike, making for a practical alternative to a new purpose-built electric bike. An electric bike conversion kit will include the motor to drive you along and the battery to power it. It also needs to include the apparatus to control the power output level. This usually takes the form of a bar-mounted display.
In addition, a kit will include sensors to detect how fast you’re travelling and your level of pedal input to ensure the power supplied matches your needs. We’ve tested a few electric bike conversion kits here at BikeRadar, but there are lots more we’re yet to try. A full test of the best electric bike conversion kits is in the works – stay tuned. If you want a more detailed explanation of the different types of kit available and things to consider when purchasing an electric bike conversion kit, then head to our explainer further down the page.
Best electric bike conversion kits 2022: our picks
Swytch electric bike conversion kit
Swytch says its electric bike conversion kit can convert any bike into an electric bike. Stan Portus / Our Media
- Pros: Very compact; easy to install; variety of range options
- Cons: 100mm threaded front axle only; not compatible with thru-axles
London-based Swytch makes a conversion kit that, it says, is the lightest in the world at 3kg total weight. It can convert any bike into an ebike.
The kit includes a 40Nm brushless hub-based motor that comes pre-laced into a replacement front wheel. The lithium-ion battery pack connects to your handlebars and also acts as the system controller and LCD display.
There’s a crank-mounted cadence sensor, and that’s all you need to fit to your bike to get going.
There’s a Brompton-specific kit available too, with an adaptor for the Brompton’s front luggage mount.
Depending on the range you want, there are three sizes of battery pack available, which provide a claimed range of 35km, 50km or 100km.
Swytch has recently unveiled an even more compact kit with a.sized battery that weighs just 700g and, Swytch says, gives 15km of range.
Cytronex electric bike conversion kit
- Pros: Clever sensor tech; decent range
- Cons: Not much onboard info on battery level and range
Weighing between 3.2kg and 3.6kg, the Cytronex ebike conversion kit is another front-wheel conversion to house a hub motor, but in this case, the battery is designed to fit in a standard bottle cage.
We tested the kit on a Cannondale Quick hybrid and reckon that conversion takes around 30 minutes. The charge level is displayed via LEDs on the battery, which also houses the system controller. We got up to an impressive 48 miles on a charge.
We’ve also tested the kit on a Brompton P Line lightweight folder, where the total weight undercut the C Line-based Brompton Electric. Fit it to a C Line and it’s also cheaper than the Brompton Electric.
Electric bike conversion kits: different types explained
Electric bike conversion kits come in styles to suit all types of bike. Russell Burton / Immediate Media
There are a number of ways to electrify your existing bike for assistance up those hills: you can fit a powered wheel, either front or rear; you can attach a drive unit to the bottom bracket; you can fit a motor above the rear wheel and drive it via friction; or, most sneakily, you can conceal a motor in the seatpost.
Whether you ride a hybrid, mountain bike, road bike or even a folder, tourer or gravel bike, it should be possible to convert your bike.
Many can even be fitted by a competent home mechanic if you’re feeling handy and have an afternoon spare.
So, what are your options? Let’s take a look at the different ways to convert your non-assisted bike into an electric bike.
Powered ebike wheels
The Swytch is a good example of a readily available universal electric bike conversion kit that uses a motor at the front hub. Swytch
Fitting a powered ebike wheel is probably the most practical option for many people.
A powered ebike wheel is built around a special hub that contains a motor. This is usually powered by a separate battery.
This sounds simple, but the main downside is that it adds rotating mass to your bike, which feels harder to accelerate than non-rotating mass.
There’s a steady stream of front- and rear-wheel conversion kits on Amazon and eBay, all looking suspiciously similar, priced from around £150 and with names you’ve probably never heard of.
Be wary of systems controlled by a throttle (also called ‘twist-and-go’) though. Legally, they’re classified as electric motorcycles rather than ebikes, and need to be taxed and insured. Take a look at our guide to ebike laws for more information.
Rear-mounted friction drive ebike conversion kit
Readers of a certain age may remember earlier incarnations of these in the 1980s/90s: a box that sits on your rear wheel and powers it via friction with a rubber flywheel driven by a motor.
The idea hasn’t gone away, and lives on in devices such as the Rubbee, which promises bolt-on electric assistance for nearly any bike.
Rubbee’s base model has a claimed weight of just 2.8kg, with a 16km range that can be extended up to 48km with the top-spec, 4kg version.
It works with any wheel diameter between 16in and 29in, has an integrated carrying handle and clips on and off your seatpost. start from €579.
Concealed ebike conversion kit
The Vivax Assist hid a motor in the seat tube of the frame and applied power directly to the axle of the crank. Vivax
Now we come to the low-key way to do it – hiding a motor inside your bike so no one knows it’s there.
The Vivax Assist was the best-known device for doing this, although the company has now ceased trading. It’s the system that was used by Belgian cyclocross pro Femke Van den Driessche in 2016 to power her way to victory in her home championships. She was found out at a subsequent race, got a six-year ban and quit racing.
Vivax Assist may be no more, but we reckon this idea still has legs – at least for the budding cyclocross cheat.
Mid-drive ebike conversion kit
eBay and Amazon are awash with mid-drive motor electric bike conversion kits like this one from TongSheng. TongSheng
Many commercially available ebikes are powered with motors mounted around the bottom bracket, near the pedals.
These have the advantage of placing the weight low down on the bike, making it more stable.
This isn’t just a ready-made option though – you can also buy aftermarket conversion kits with mid-drive units.
Bafang is a brand that is increasingly focusing on complete ebikes, but it also offers a mid-drive conversion kit on Amazon, as well as wheel hub motors.
Priced from £360, Bafang says the conversion is easy to install using only a few tools to remove the bottom bracket and fit the drive on the front of the down tube.
As above, be careful of throttle-controlled kits that won’t pass the UK ebike regulations and will legally be considered a moped.
You’ll find other mid-motor systems on Amazon too, such as that from TongSheng, which is claimed to fit 95 per cent of standard bike frames and be 30 per cent lighter than a Bafang unit.
It uses a torque sensor, so should fall within the ebike regulations, and is priced from around £350 – although that doesn’t include a battery.
German brand Pendix has a mid-drive system priced from €999 to €2,190 that weighs from 5.4kg for a 28km range. It replaces a BSA bottom bracket and can be fitted to folding bikes as well as a wide range of regular machines.
Folding ebike conversion kit
The Brompton electric conversion from Electric Concepts is one of many kits available to electrify an existing Brompton. Electric Concepts
What can you do if you’ve got a folding bike and want to join the electric revolution?
Well there’s good news if you’ve got a Brompton – a number of ebike conversion kits are available. They generally work with a powered hub in the front wheel and a battery carried in a bag mounted on the front.
As discussed above, Swytch and Cytronex can both be used to convert a Brompton. Swytch’s Brompton kit is priced at £999, although discounts of up to 50 per cent are sometimes available on the site.
As with its other systems, there’s a front wheel hub motor, a clip-on power pack and a bottom bracket torque sensor. Quoted range is up to 50km.
Swytch will also build wheels for folders with other wheel sizes and different fork blade widths, such as Dahon’s models.
Are electric bike conversion kits legal?
If your electric bike uses a throttle, it is technically classed as a moped, and must be taxed and insured as such. Simon Bromley / Our Media
Most electric bike conversion kits are legal to fit to a bike, although the precise rules differ depending on where you live.
In most of the world, the motor needs to be limited to a maximum of 250 watts of continuous power output, unless the electric bike is only used on private land.
You also need to be pedalling for the motor to work – a throttle can only operate at low speeds and assistance needs to cut out once the speed exceeds 25kph. There may be a minimum age to ride an electric bike: in the UK it’s 14.
The rules are different in the US, where higher power outputs and higher speeds are usually legal, while Australia has some variants as well, so it’s worth checking that your electric bike conversion kit is legal where you live before purchasing.
Is converting an electric bike worth it?
An electric bike conversion kit is not cheap, so you want to be sure it’s going to work for you.
You need to have a candidate bike in decent condition to justify taking the kit route.
If you’re going to have to buy a bike to fit the kit to, or going to need to make a lot of repairs to your bike to make it roadworthy, the total cost is probably going to mean it’s not a lot cheaper than buying a complete electric bike.
You need to be confident you can fit the kit yourself as well. If you’re going to have to pay a shop to fit the motor or sort things out if the conversion goes wrong, your savings over purchasing a new electric bike may dwindle quickly.
It’s also worth noting that an electric bike conversion kit may affect your bike’s handling, particularly if there’s a heavy motor and battery mounted somewhere where the bike was not designed to carry it.
Drivetrain components may not be adequately beefed up for the extra power they need to transmit and may wear or break. Factors such as torque steer may be a problem, and cabling and sensors can be unsightly.
In contrast, if you buy a complete electric bike from a reputable brand, it will have been engineered around the motor and battery, and you’ll know what the finished product looks like.
Can you convert any bike into an electric bike?
There are designs of electric bike conversion kit that will work with pretty much any type of bike. Kits are available that are engineered specifically for certain bikes, such as the folding bike conversion kits we’ve talked about above.
A design such as the Rubbee should be mountable on most bikes. However, tyre wear may be an issue with a road bike with narrower tyres, and wet-weather grip between the motor’s drive wheel and the tyre may also be a problem.
But some kits, such as those that work with a specific bottom bracket configuration, may not fit on some bikes. An unusual wheel size may also limit available options, so it’s worth checking the compatibility of your planned solution before buying.
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Premium All-terrain Electric Fat Bike Zebra
E-bike assembly from 112.7 with Check availability
All Himiway bikes are covered under our manufacturer’s 2-year all-inclusive warranty for the original owner against all manufacturing defects (All free Accessories are not covered by warranty service). Himiway has over 300 dealerships in the United States. All dealerships provide free diagnosis and free maintenance services to customers.
For non-quality issues, customer may ask for product replacement or return within 15 days after received it. A 10% processing fee will be applied but we can prevent it for the customer if a replacement order is received. The customer is also responsible for the return shipping cost of 150. Himiway will provide a return shipping label, and the designated carrier will collect the return package. The customer may also choose self-return or arrange the return shipment by himself.
Currently, we only provide FREE shipping to the lower 48 states in the US. And we DO NOT ship to PO BOXES or APO.
The top speed of all Himiway bikes is up to 15.5 MPH, which is legally required in the US.
48V 20Ah Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery
With the 48V 20Ah Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery, the single range of the Himiway Zebra can go up to 80 miles per charge. The 960Wh capacity provides a 60-mile range on pure electric power. Wires are all built in the frame which can reduce 95% of the mechanical failure in extreme weather condition. over, it will maintain 80% capacity after 1000 charges.
750W Gear Hub Motor With Upgraded Inner Ring
Himiway 750W gear hub motor has a larger inner ring which performs great in high temperature resistance and heat dissipation. No matter what difficult riding conditions you are facing, the newly designed motor will bring you the most stable and comfortable experience.
High-end Hydraulic Disc Brakes
The high-end hydraulic disc brakes provide more efficient and smoother braking, reduce riders’ fatigue, and perform with the same braking power all weather conditions, including in the rain.
Updated 6061 Aluminum Frame
Himiway uses higher-quality materials for the frames, which brings stronger triangle stability, 3 times thicker and sturdier than other competing frames on the market. The load capacity is greatly enhanced, and we promise a 10-year frame damage replacement service. In addition, the Zebra’s frame has a reserved fork opening distance, providing the possibility of upgrading from 4.0 inch tires to 4.8 inch tires.