- A strong and powerful folding fat-tire electric bike that has an impressive electrical system ready to handle steep hills and heavy loads, folds up for storage and transportation, comes standard with a number of features like fenders, rack, and a battery integrated headlight
- The Shimano Tourney groupset combined with ZStar mechanical brakes provide good performance while helping to keep costs down, the rear rack is weld-mounted for more stability, and the large steel fenders are sturdy and won't rattle
- A powerful 1000 watt geared rear hub motor from Bafang that has an impressive 85nm of torque, high-capacity battery with over 1000 watt-hours and Samsung cells, activated by the tried-and-true combination of a sealed 12-magnet cadence sensor with a variable thumb throttle
- Charging the high-capacity battery can take some time, a range of 14-28 on the cassette means a limited pedaling range, thick-gauge tubing on the rear rack may not fit standard pannier bags, and mechanical brakes require more grip strength and more frequent maintenance
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by BPM Imports. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of BPM Imports products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the BPM Imports electric bike forums.
- An unapologetic and unique take on the folding fat tire electric bike, the F-15rz is heavy, fast, and – most importantly – fun! Check out the video review to see how much it is capable of, I was quite impressed
- This is an all-purpose ebike, focusing on a little bit of everything with folding for easy transport and storage, tough fat tires and suspension for off-road riding, not to mention the rack, fenders, and an integrated headlight for commuting utility
- The fat tires are Kenda Krusade Sports measuring 20” x 4” wide, these provide comfort by absorbing a lot of bumps thanks to the large volume of air, and great traction as well, able to handle bad terrain such as sand, snow, and mud if you lower the pressure down near 5psi. They also have reflective striping on the sidewalls, a great safety feature that increases your side visibility when riding at night
- The wheels are sturdy thanks to the wide double-walled rims, and the smaller 20” diameter means a mechanical advantage for the rear hub motor, I also appreciate that the rims are punched out which increases flexibility and reduces weight
- I love the steel fenders here, they are sturdily mounted and offer decent protection, and won’t rattle like plastic fenders thanks to the vibration dampening qualities of the steel
- The low step-through frame and upright riding position make the bike pretty approachable for a wide range of riders
- I love the included rear rack, it has thick-gauge tubing and is weld-mounted so it is very sturdy. BPM doesn’t specify a weight limit for the rear rack but I would assume at least the standard of 25kg/52lb as the entire ebike is rated for up to 300 pounds – great for a folding bike!
- The F-15rz also includes a rear-mounted kickstand, I appreciate this for two reasons: One, it prevents “pedal lock” which occurs when the crank arm becomes locked against a center-mounted kickstand, and two because it helps keep the bike stable when carrying a load of cargo on the rear rack
- I appreciate the battery integrated headlight included on the F-15rz, it is a generic light and not very bright, but bright enough for safety and to “be seen”. There is also an independent light in the rear, which means that you need to engage it manually but it’s still nice that it was included
- In the front to help absorb bumps in tandem with the fat tires is the Mozo MTB Ride suspension fork with lockout and preload adjust, I love the 80mm of travel as it works nicely to provide comfort when riding for both commuting and off-road use
- The Selle Royale saddle is a real treat, it is wide and comfortable even for long rides thanks to the use of a gel core and bumper springs below.
- Folding is pretty standard compared to other folding ebikes but I do want to call out the pedals, the folding hinge is mounted closer to the bike which means the pedals can fold further in towards the bike providing a more compact folded footprint
- Mechanically, the bike is operated by a 7- speed Shimano Tourney groupset with a 52- tooth chainring in the front and a 14-28 tooth freewheel in the rear, while the Tourney is on the lower end of Shimano’s component range they have been updating it consistently and it is a quality entry-level derailleur. I definitely appreciate the steel derailleur guide, this protects the chainring and keeps clothing from getting caught while also preventing the chain from jumping off, great for off-road riding!
- Stopping the bike is a set of 160mm mechanical disc brakes in both the front and the rear, mechanical disc brakes are easier to adjust and maintain compared to hydraulic brakes as well as helping to keep costs lower. Large four-finger brake levers provide a mechanical advantage to help make stopping easier, and I appreciate that motor inhibitors are included which cuts power to the motor as soon as you actuate the brake levers
- Driving this ebike is a massive 1000-watt geared rear hub motor from Bafang with an impressive 85 newton-meters of torque, this pairs well with the enormous 1000 watt-hour battery pack to make the F-15rz ready to tackle any hill or cargo load
- You can engage the motor with either the five levels of cadence-based pedal-assist or you can use the variable thumb throttle, I personally liked using the throttle to get going and then pedaling to maintain momentum since cadence sensors have a delay before they kick in
- The backlit grayscale display is large enough to read but small enough to stay out of the way, I love that it has a flexible USB Type-A charging cord to plug in your phone or other devices for charging while you ride
- There is also an electric horn mounted on the left grip, this is noticeably louder than a bell and does a great job at getting attention in a crowded city or on the trails
- After riding this ebike off-road I was impressed with its power and strength, I had a lot of fun during my long ride and the F-15rz was very capable thanks to the combination of the powerful drivetrain, good suspension, and tough fat tires
- Only available in one frame size which means it may not work well for very large or very small riders, and only available online so there isn’t a good way to test ride before you buy. Remember that ordering online means that you will have to do some final assembly and tightening of bolts when you receive the bike before it is ready to ride, this can be difficult if you don’t have the right tools or expertise
- I enjoy these Kenda tires but I do want to note that they don’t include puncture protection, fat tires are naturally somewhat puncture-resistant but you may need to add some proper protection depending on where you ride. Riding at low psi is also great for soft terrain but it puts you at risk of “snake bite” punctures, so make sure you fill up again before moving to bumpier solid terrain
- Mechanical disc brakes require more hand strength to actuate compared to hydraulic, the big four-finger levers here help by providing a mechanical advantage… but this ebike is heavier than most so it still takes a decent amount of force to stop quickly. I feel like this is a missed opportunity here, these brakes do get the job done but hydraulic would be a good fit on a heavy bike and also be appreciated by riders who lack the grip strength to actuate mechanical brakes. Mechanical brakes are easier to maintain but they do require more frequent attention, particularly for tightening the rear cable which stretches with time
- The included charger is 2-amps which is standard for a basic charger, but the sheer capacity of the battery means charging up can take a long time, about 10.5 hours in this case. Please note that you should avoid letting your battery drain all the way to empty as this can be hard on the cells, it’s best to charge at or before reaching the 20% mark.
- The independent light in the rear means you have to manually turn it on and off as well as charge it or replace the batteries, I do love that it is included, just make sure you don’t forget to turn it off after riding so that you don’t drain the batteries!
- The gearing range of 14-28 on the cassette is basic, which means a limited pedaling range that won’t work as well if you are looking to be more active and pedal instead of relying on the electric assist. This isn’t a big issue here, folding bikes are typically harder to pedal due to their frame geometry which leads to relying more on the motor which has plenty of power here
- As mentioned earlier the tubing on the rear rack is thicker than the standard gauge, you will be able to fit some bags on there but standard pannier clips may not fasten so you may have to get creative when mounting them
- One of the drawbacks to this electrical system is that to operate the bike the keys must stay in the ignition, this can be annoying if your key is on a keychain that will bounce around making noise and potentially scratching off the frame. A good workaround is to put your key on a small carabineer so that you can easily remove it from your keychain and leave it in the bike, and then place it back on your keychain after riding so that it doesn’t get lost
- Unique to folding bikes is an occurrence called cable stretch, this can happen if you raise the telescoping stem to the maximum height which stretches out the control cables, especially when turning. This is a difficult problem to address since lengthening the cables can leave them too long at the lowest stem height. If you’re a tall rider just make sure that you keep an eye on the control cables when setting your stem height
- The included fenders here are a welcome addition, but since they are made of steel they are vulnerable to dings, scratches, and rust – make sure to repair any damage with touch-up paint or clear tape to prevent this. I would also like to see more length on the front fender, it doesn’t extend very far back which means that mud and water can hit your feet and legs when riding at speed… but to be fair this is a folding bike, so a longer fender on the front might be in the way for folding or within toe-strike range when riding
- Official Site: https://www.bpmimports.com/