Promax with Telescoping Height and Quick Release Fold
Zoom Low Rise
Zoom Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Dia Compe Levers with Motor Cutoff
Velo, Semi Ergonomic
Selle Royal Hertz Trekking with Integrated Handle
Power Circle Double Wall Aluminum Alloy
36 Per Wheel
Kenda, 20" x 1.75"
20 in (50.8cm)
K-Shield Puncture Protection
Partial Length Plastic Fenders, Elevated Rear Carry Rack with Attached LED Light by Spanninga, Front LED Light and Reflector by Spanninga, Bell on Right Grip, Magnetic Clip for Secure Fold, Plastic Chain Guard on Front Ring, Side Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand, Metal Bar Below Bottom Bracket Stabilizes the Bike When Folded and Protects the Front Chainring, Optional Folding Bag
Locking Removable Battery Pack (Key Hole is Below Tube), Maximum Load 300 lbs, Model: Sport Edition (SE), Quick Release on Seat Tube and Front Wheel
This review is for the 2015/2016 e-Joe Epik SE but the bike continues to be refined and updated. You can see my latest review by clicking here or continue reading to get the details on what the bike was like in its former iteration. Perhaps you’ve found one of these for sale as used or leftover at a shop and are getting a discount? In any case, the motor was upgraded to a 500 watt and the battery pack now offers 48 volts 10 amp hours vs. just 36 volt 9 ah.
The Epik SE (Sport Edition) is one of my favorite folding electric bikes… not because it’s the fanciest, most refined model around but because it’s feature rich, functional and affordable. It’s hard not to appreciate the fenders, rear rack, lights, integrated battery, disc brakes, seven speeds and ~$1,699 price point. With a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs, the upgraded motor and battery for 2015 are even more capable than before for tackling hills, windy days and longer rides. For me, the best part about this ebike is that it offers a seven speed cassette along with three models of pedal assist so you can actually enjoy pedaling vs. a single-speed ebike which is how many folding electric bikes come. With those ebikes you have to rely more on the throttle and that changes the experience. Of course, I also love the basic suspension fork. There’s no lockout or fancy adjustments but it definitely takes the edge off of bumpy terrain or gravel paths.
Driving this bike in electric mode is very satisfying thanks to a 350 watt geared rear hub motor. The previous generation only used a 250 watt motor and that was still impressive to me because you actually get more power from hub motors when they’re mounted in smaller wheels thanks to mechanical advantage. The 350 watt hub isn’t too much larger or heavier and it rides fairly quietly as shown in the video review above. While the rear wheel does not offer quick release, the motor does offer a disconnect point so you or your shop can easily service the rear cassette, wheel, tire and tube as long as you have a wrench or two. The seven speed cassette uses a basic Shimano Tourney TX derailleur which keeps costs down but still offers a good range of gears. Shifting is activated through a grip twist mechanism on the right bar and the trigger throttle to activate the motor is on the left bar.
Powering the motor is a 36 volt 9 amp hour Lithium-ion battery that uses quality Samsung cells. I can’t say enough about this thing… not only is it larger in capacity than the previous Epik SE (meaning you’ll go further) it remained the same size and still fits right inside the downtube! It’s completely hidden, protected from impacts, dust and water and locks to the frame for security. The keyhole is a bit hidden, located directly under the downtube, but you don’t have to leave your keys in when riding and since the battery can be charged on or off the bike you might not ever take it out. There are times where the removability would come in handy however, such as lifting the bike (removing the battery reduces the overall weight by ~5 lbs) or if you’re planning to leave the bike in storage. To care for this or any Lithium battery pack I recommend storing at neutral temperatures (avoid extreme hot and cold) and always charge after you’ve depleted the battery after a ride. Even if you haven’t been for a ride, it’s good to top the battery off every few months and avoid completely discharging it on long rides.
Knowing when to charge with this bike is a bit more difficult because the display panel uses a basic LED readout instead of a digital LCD. You can see a voltage indicator for the battery with four dots along with three dots for pedal assist (low, medium, high) and a dot for pedal assist on/off. It works well enough, is easy to reach from the left grip and again… keeps the cost of the Epik SE down. One thing I like about the control system is that you can use the trigger throttle to override pedal assist at any time. This means that pedaling in low level assist (for a workout or to extend range) won’t leave you struggling on a hill because you can just activate the throttle. The cockpit on the e-Joe Epik Lite is similar to their other models, it’s relatively clean with semi-ergonomic rubber grips and no-name brake levers that cut power to the motor when activated. The brakes on this bike are actually another highlight, using mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors. Rim brakes would probably be fine most of the time but for any kind of off-road riding on dirt trails or in wet conditions discs tend to stay cleaner and this is the “sport” after all.
At the end of the day, this is an ebike that balances price and features very well. E-Joe has been around for several years and honors their comprehensive one year warranty pretty well from what I’ve heard. The issues with their 2014 model mostly had to do with plastic pedals breaking or misuse by customers (don’t submerge the bike, always top off the battery). Many folding bikes just aren’t comfortable for me whether it’s the limited pedaling speed or overly stiff frame. The Epik SE speaks to me because it’s comfortable and well balanced. If you’ve got an RV, boat or just limited space this could be an excellent choice.
One of the most affordable folding electric bikes available, the price did rise ~$50 from 2014 but the battery and motor are larger and more powerful respectively
Battery pack is mounted low and center inside the frame (very well protected) and is also lockable to deter theft – can be charged on or off the bike
Front and rear fenders, standard-gauge carry rack and front and rear LED lights add utility and all work pretty well
The saddle has a built in handle on the back which makes lifting and folding the bike easier, the frame also has a loop of tubing that doubles as a handle but is really meant to reinforce the seat tube
Geared 350 watt rear hub motor is an upgrade from the 2014 250 watt which will make climbing and carrying heavy loads easier, the motor has a mechanical advantage due to the smaller 20″ wheel size
While the front suspension fork is kind of basic (not very adjustable, no lockout) it does smooth out the ride considerably, the fatter tires also reduce the feeling of bumps and cracks
Mechanical disc brakes on the front and rear stay cleaner than V-Brakes would if you actually do take this “sport folding bike” on gravel or light trails – they provide excellent stopping power
Partial length “sport” fenders don’t protect you from water and mud quite as well as full length close-hugging ones might
The rear rack always looks a bit crooked which sort of bugs me but may be adjustable, the top storage area of the rack might also be limited by the handle that protrudes from the back of the saddle
The plastic folding pedals aren’t quite as stiff as metal ones and can be broken more easily if you hit a curb or the bike tips when folded
The LED display panel is very basic so you can’t measure how fast you’re going, how far you’ve traveled or get the same insight into remaining battery capacity as an LCD might offer
A sturdy folding electric bike with wider 2.25" tires for comfort and stability, a highly-adjustable suspension fork with lockout, sturdy cast alloy rims that won't go out of true, and powerful 180mm mechanical disc brakes. Internally mounted battery pack stays clean, dry, and positions weight at the center of the…...
A value priced and approachable step through electric folding bike with a ton of features and fun, comes in a 350 watt ($1,499) version and a 500 watt ($1,699) version as well. Features battery integrated lights in the front and rear, mono shock up front, locking ergonomic…...
A comfortable, highly adjustable, value-priced folding electric bike that's a third generation build with lots of little improvements and refinements like a more durable battery connection point. Color-matched suspension fork and swept-back handlebar with adjustable height improves comfort, integrated plastic fenders, a…...
An active step-thru electric bike with a stiffer frame, excellent weight distribution and decent price point, great for commuters given the rack integration and fenders. Available in two color choices (black and vanilla) with matching suspension, clean integrated wires and…...
A well priced urban-commuter style electric bike that offers lots of useful accessories including fenders, carry rack and LED lights. Purpose built frame is light weight and well balanced thanks to a downtube mounted battery…...
Step-thru frame with adjustable stem, swept back handle bars and high to extra-low seat tube positioning options fits a wide range of riders, including those with shorter inseams. Lots of drive options including five power modes for pedal assist and a twist throttle…...
osman8 years ago
I’ve owned the bike for a couple of months and ridden it a handful of times. Here are my issues: The crank set fell off as the threads became worn out. Speaking to the local bike shop owner he said that was pretty crappy but said it does happen. To be fair to Ejoe they tried to get a part out to me. Took several weeks and a lot of emailing. Of course the part didn’t fit. Having told them this and weeks of emailing and sending photos I’m still nowhere. Not sure why they need photos of the crankset they sent me when they’re well aware of the crankset they purchased and of the crankset the bike comes with. The backlight just fell off when I hit a bump. The lights are really cheap. Had to replace with lights off Amazon. The seat is pretty uncomfortable and cheap the stem doesn’t have any suspension, replaced with an old seat from another bike. The small wheels make it uncomfortable to ride on anything other than smooth road. The back tire seemed to be grating against the disc brake. Inspecting the back wheel the parts don’t seem to have been made very well and don’t fit appropriately. Removing the back tire is a total nightmare, I own several bikes and none have ever been as painful to remove or reattach. I’m still struggling with the disc scraping. Just very poorly made. The brakes seem to constantly become loose. Dangerous! Had to retighten frequently i.e. once every two weeks at least. Moral of the story don’t trust reviews online. Try out the bike at a store, ask the store if they will handle any problems you might have. Otherwise you’ll wish you never ever bought it. It might cost a little extra but trust me, bikes need maintenance and this is not a low maintenance bike.Reply
Court Rye8 years ago
Thanks for your feedback osman! I agree that the smaller wheels can be uncomfortable to ride with on bumpy terrain and I have heard other mentions of the bottom bracket issue. The Epik SE is a value oriented folding ebike and as such, some of the components are lower quality. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but really appreciate you speaking up about them! My ride tests are often very limited (in time and terrain) so it’s great to hear your feedback.Reply
Joe7 years ago
Any comments on the difference between the 2015 and 2016 versions? Also interested in how you feel the e-joe epik LITE fares against the voltbike urban and the e-joe epik 2016.Reply
Richard Wilson7 years ago
ordered this bike and was wondering about a added feature for bike (kryptonite wheel nuts),they sell in diff sizes was wondering if u can help me figure which size would fit this bike? (axle thread) they come in “m9,m10 & 3/8”..would like to get accessories for bike before it gets here so i can have fun adding all the cool things to it,any help would be greatly appreciatedReply
Ray7 years ago
I bought 2 of these bikes (Epik SE) and have had them for two years. My wife and I don’t ride them that often, maybe a couple of times a month. Overall, the bikes have been fun, but I would NOT buy them again. Both bike have the same problem, the batteries failed and they cost $550 to replace – BOTH BIKES. The batteries failed at different time, the first at about a year, the second just recently.Reply
Court Rye7 years ago
Hi Ray, thanks for sharing your feedback… I’ve heard that all batteries slowly lose capacity over time but that charging once a month or so just to keep them active can be a way to extend life (and storing in cool dry locations vs. extreme heat or cold). I believe E-Joe sells replacement packs if you want to give the bikes another try or you could probably sell them used to someone else.Reply
David Lai7 years ago
Not sure if these messages are working?Reply
Court Rye7 years ago
Hi David! Yeah, the comments are working here but I hold them for moderation and have been traveling outside the country then attending Interbike recently so they were all held. Feel free to chime in with questions you might have!Reply
Peter7 years ago
I have had the 2017 version for about 2 months. I agree with the other post that the rear wheel is very difficult to put back on because of the disc brake disc and keyed washers that can fall out and need to be in a certain direction for the wheel to go into the frame. The tube also requires extra long stems because there is an extra plastic piece on the wheel. I have not been able to find replacement tubes that have long stems. I have also lost my tail light during a ride. The front headlight gets shaken to point in other directions once in a while. On the good side, the 2017 version has a larger battery (12.8Ah), and for the most part it does work as an electric bike. There may not be a perfect electric bike, and this has its issues as well. I would also advise anyone who has not ridden a bike with small (20″) wheels to try it before buying because they do not feel as steady.Reply
Court Rye7 years ago
Great points and insights Peter, thanks for taking the time to share your “real world” experience. I know the manufacturers occasionally stop by and your thoughts might help them improve future iterations. Also, great point about the smaller 20″ wheels which do tend to feel less steady (less weight, lower rolling momentum and less comfort over bumps). Some folding and smaller ebikes even limit the top speed because of these ride characteristics. I personally just always aim for soft saddles and suspension if it’s an option :) good luck out there and feel free to add more updates as you ride more.Reply
Peter6 years ago
Hi Court, thanks for all the ebike reviews. I have had my 2017 e-Joe Epik SE for just over a year. The motor and battery has held up for me commuting to work about once a week, 30 miles round trip. One bad thing about this bike is the front quick release came loose on me twice. Once I caught it before anything happened, but the second time, the front tire came off while riding, and I went over the handle bar. Luckily I was not badly hurt. Now I tie it to the fork with a wire tie. I have also gotten on average about a flat every 3 or 4 rides and always on the rear tire, which is the harder tire to fix a flat on because that is where the motor is. I have not had any flats on the front tire yet. I am not sure why. I think it could be perhaps the front has a suspension, or the front tire lifts the nail and shoots it to the rear, or the rear tire has more weight because of the motor and the seat being closer to the rear. I have recently replaced the rear tire with a Schwalbe Marathon Plus HS 440, which has a lot of protection but is stiffer to put on. I, however, have already gotten two flats on it, so far averaging only one or two more rides before a flat. I am hoping that trend does not continue.
Gabriel6 years ago
Hey guys, I want to give my feedback about this bike i purchased in 2015. At the time Court had this ebike review as the best folding electric ebike, not sure if on a budget or overall, but it was affordable. Unfortunately, Ejoe built this bike with mostly cheap components. The battery especially, its range was a let down. Best I could ever do was 12-15 miles on the lowest setting of assist mode. Not sure If i was given a used battery, faulty, etc. I did not know much about ebikes and their range calculations and other stuff at that time but after 2 years of waiting for whats going to be my second shot at a new ebike, Its very clear that the battery of this bike was very cheap. Just an aluminum case, very short range. They claimed I could do up to 40 miles but no matter what 15 was my best. Batteries these days dont look that basic on ebikes actually just the look of that battery reminded me of cheap ebikes being sold on Amazon or Walmart. Thats not all, after like 3 months the motor started to behave weirdly. It would kind of shut down from like 0.5 to 1 sec and then turn on again but this happened several times in a minute, my trips were not smooth at all. This issue started to happen after i went on a hard uphill not sure how many grades but i believe the cheap components of this bike and how bad it was constructed, led to the bike not withstand that challenge. The displayer was so basic with only 3 modes low medium high and battery level of like 3 or 4 bars i think, it never helped me to determine what my range could be, in fact sometimes the battery level went from like 4 bars to 3 then back to 4 and then 2 bars and then back 3… in less than an hour, so innacurate my range anxiety and the fact that the motor and other parts of the bike were so basic prompted me to get rid of it asap. The fenders fell off, very cheap lights more to be seen than see, most uncomfortable seat ever ( had to get gel cover), the magnets to keep the bike folded were a joke very unreliable bike all around. Maybe the only part thats good about this bike is that it hides the battery inside the frame. Hey i think thats why i bought it at the time i wanted my ebike kind of stealthy but there are way better options these days ( Easy motion has good stealthy ebikes which i believe carry higher quality components, and its also a very well known brand. However, my best bet is with Bosch ebikes, they are expensive but you get what you pay for. They are like the Apple brand of Ebikes systems so you cant go wrong with them. If you want some really affordable well made and with guaranteed long range batteries, look for Juiced Bikes, Lunas Cycles, and for foldings : Magnum Premium and the Vika+ from Blix are all good options. These brands are not as popular as the high end like Stromer, Bulls, etc but you are guaranteed with really good range from these bikes. And please guys stay away from unknown brands like this Ejoe, most of the times they are entry level start up companies with no back up support information from their own products, heck even their website at the time was very basic, they didnt even have a good video for their Ejoe Epic se as far as i remember, literally a company that never cared about its own products. Look at Juiced Bikes and Tora, hes doing extensive tests on all his ebikes, you have the data and what quality you can expect from his bikes unlike Ejoe.Reply
Court Rye6 years ago
Thanks for the detailed feedback Gabriel and sorry that my optimism about the product and higher rating at the time led you to a disappointing experience. I do rate one bike for each category as best (regardless of price) and another for best value… and I think I had this bike marked as value. It’s great that we now have more options to choose from and I agree that Bosch is a leader. Again, I respect your feedback and will incorporate this into future reviews, since I often have limited time and experience with the bikes when filming… my reviews end up being more like overviews and comments like yours are very valuable.Reply
Peter6 years ago
Hi Court, I recently took a spill on my 2017 model as I ran over a small piece of 2×4 that I did not see in time because I was riding at night. It popped my front wheel up, and I lost control. No broken bones but scraped up on my elbows, knees, hand. A similar incident happened before. I saw what I thought was a wooden cabinet door perhaps ~1″ thick. Riding over that popped my front wheel up by what I thought was ~12″. I almost lost control but did not that time. If I had more travel in the front suspension, a full size wheel, and/or full suspension, would I have been able to ride over a 2×4 safely at 20mph or do I just need to slow down at night (so that I can avoid all object more than 1″ thick)?Reply
Court Rye6 years ago
Ouch, sorry to hear about the crash Peter! Glad you can still type at least ;) and yeah, larger wheels tend to handle larger bumps more effectively. They have lower attack angles so they rise up and over more smoothly than abruptly and they have more weight, stability, and air volume that can compress as well. The downside is that they take up more space in your home. I would suggest getting a nice light to mount on your handlebar and possibly going slower in the risky parts (where all of these 2×4 and cabinet doors are. Sounds like an interesting route!Reply
Peter3 years ago
Hi Court, I took another fall on my Epik SE. I am 5’9″, and I have my seat adjusted so that my legs can stretch almost fully. The places the seat nearly on top of the rear wheel. I also have my handle bars adjusted so that I can sit up straight. Going up hill (over railroad tracks), the front wheel slipped, and I fell. I think the center of gravity just went too far back, and there was very little pressure on the front tire to the ground. This also explains why I always get flats in my rear tire but never in my front. I think these small wheeled bikes are not safe for tall riders who want to sit up straight. Do you agree with my assessment?
Court3 years ago
Oh man! First of all, that’s a bummer… I hope you’re not too banged up, Peter. Yeah, any of the one-size-fits-all bicycles or ebikes can have a tendency to become unbalanced with especially large or small riders. That’s probably exacerbated by folding and small-wheeled ebikes. Your assessment seems reasonable, and there are some larger folding ebikes out there with the fat tires, but the geometry might still be limited for someone who wants to raise the seat all the way up. Consider a higher quality product like the Tern models. They have nicer hardware all around and the elevated saddle might function better. Another option would be folding fat bikes… which can negate the benefits of folding (because they are heavier and bulkier), they offer more stability and some added weight that could keep the bike upright ;)Reply