- Affordable, durable, well balanced and smooth with built in front suspension fork
- Sporty fenders keep the mud off and stay out of the way but don't offer the best splash coverage
- Three levels of pedal assist and a thumb throttle that can be used simultaneously
This review is for the 2013 and 2014 e-Joe Epik SE which had a weaker motor, smaller battery pack and in some cases only one speed. This is still a great ebike and might be sold at a discount through some retailers or used at garage sales. Visit the 2015 e-Joe Epik SE review for the latest information on this electric bike.
The e-Joe Epik is one of my favorite folding electric bikes because it’s affordable but still offers a great feature set. The SE (which I imagine stands for Sport Edition) removes some of the city-centric accessories like full sized fenders, rear rack and lights and replaces them with a shock absorber on the front, a seven speed cassette for climbing and sportier short fenders. It keeps the same capable drive system, offering both pedal assist and throttle mode, and keeps the overall weight the same. At just 37lbs this folding electric bike is perfect for RV trips, stowing on your boat or using in conjunction with a train or bus commute. Well, it’s almost perfect, there’s no magnetic or rubber clasp included to keep it from unfolding so be sure to carry your own velcro strap or bungee cord.
Most folding electric bikes use smaller sized motors, it keeps them light weight and easier to stow. That’s also the case for the Epik SE but the motor is fairly capable because it’s geared and located in the rear hub which is ideal for gaining traction. The motor size is 350 watts but peak output is 520 watts and during my ride tests it felt pretty strong and peppy (you can see the bike lurch forward in the video review above). Top speed is limited at 15.5 miles per hour which is low compared with the 20mph legal limit for ebikes in the USA but that’s probably because the 20″ wheels and folding bits of the frame feel less stable at higher speeds. Keep in mind, the maximum recommended weight for the SE is 300 pounds and unlike the standard Epik there’s no built in rack for hauling cargo.
The battery powering the Epik SE is a 36 volt 9 amp hour Lithium polymer pack. It comes with a one year warranty and I estimate that based on the chemistry you’ll get ~800 charge cycles (given you keep it topped off and out of extreme temperatures). Keep this in mind if you are a traveler who plans to leave your ebike stowed or in a closet for long periods of time. You should really top it off once a month to maximize its life. This is easily done however because the battery pack is removable and can be charged off of the bike! I can’t stress how awesome this is, it makes the bike lighter weight to lift if you take the pack out. It also means you could leave your bike somewhere but bring the battery home with you. And since the battery is just below 300 watt hours in capacity you can actually carry it on to flights according to SafeTravel.gov. The Epik and Epik SE have packs that are 252 watt hours which is just under the limit but still large enough for good range when riding. Also, the way the battery is mounted on the ebike is great because it keeps the center of gravity low, distributes the weight towards the center and doesn’t require a rack (that will eventually rattle and take up storage space).
The control system on the Epik SE is easy to access when riding and includes all of the critical info you’ll need to enjoy the bike. There’s a battery capacity indicator and a button to select from three levels of pedal assist as well as an on off switch for activating the throttle. It’s basically the same as is used on the Epik except the throttle is on the left handle bar instead of the right. For pedal assist mode, the bike uses a basic pedelec sensor which isn’t as smooth or responsive as a torque sensor but is less expensive and doesn’t require as much effort to activate. I love that you can use the trigger throttle in conjunction with pedal assist mode on these bikes because that makes starting from rest easier (which is the hardest part for people with hurt knees).
As with most folding ebikes, the pedals fold flat for storage and don’t offer the best traction or rigidity when pedaling… they are simple and light. Since there’s no built in rack you can either try to add one (and change the fender design) or wear a backpack. You might also want to carry a bungee cord as mentioned above to keep it from coming unfolded when parked or stowed. The Epik SE only comes in one size but is pretty adjustable in terms of handle bar and seat height. I really just love the front suspension fork as it adds so much comfort and fun. This combined with the gears make the bike very capable and enjoyable over longer distances (which is impressive for a folding bike).
- Great configuration as a folding ebike for bumpier rides because of the front shock
- Seven speed cassette provides lots of options for climbing and riding on varied terrain
- Easy and fast to fold for storage, rides well when unfolded – doesn’t feel loose
- Simple control box shows battery capacity and provides easy access to three levels of pedal assist
- Trigger throttle is easy to reach, responsive and can be used in conjunction with pedal assist – perfect for getting started after a stop or extra help climbing a hill
- Avalable in four colors including racing green, bright red, light blue and black
- Battery pack is removable and can be charged on or off the bike
- Sport-fenders keep the mud and rocks from flicking up and making a mess
- 20″ wheels use medium sized tires that offer a bit of cushion, seat is also medium soft
- Great value in terms of features, performance and low price
- Maximum top speed of 15.5 mph vs. 20 mph on full sized ebikes
- Lithium polymer battery may not last as long as some other chemistries but does include one year warranty and is removable/replaceable
- Fenders aren’t close or long enough to really keep water from splashing up onto ankles
- Only includes a front light which is pretty basic and not powered from the main battery
- Uses a pedelec system vs. torque sensing for pedal assist making it less responsive
- No magnets or clasps to keep the bike in folded position
- Wires are not routed internally but stay out of the way pretty well