- Affordable, well balanced with integrated battery and light-weight (37 pound) folding electric bike
- Comes standard with fenders, lights, a rear rack, removable battery pack and is available in four colors
- Offers three levels of pedal assist in addition to a trigger throttle that can be used in conjunction with pedelec
$0 (0 €)$38,500 (36,190 €)
0 lbs (0 kg)175 lbs (79 kg)
0 mph (0.0 km/hr)50 mph (80.5 km/hr)
0 watt3,000 watt
0 in (0.00 cm)22 in (55.88 cm)
0 Newton meters160 Nm
The e-Joe Epik Lite is one of my favorite folding electric bikes. That’s because it’s very affordable, light weight (at just 37lbs), well balanced with a low center of gravity (it doesn’t use a rear rack for the battery) and offers both pedal assist and throttle mode! Even the little details are impressive on this bike. You get front and rear fenders with mud flaps for extra coverage, front and rear lights (though only the front light is powered from the main battery pack), the battery pack itself is removable and can be charged off of the bike if you’re riding to the office or need a quick charge during an island excursion away from your boat. Folding ebikes are really useful on RV’s, boats or up at the winter cabin. You can toss it in your trunk, store it in a closet and quickly unfold and adjust to accommodate nearly anyone (albeit not as comfortably as a full sized bike) as long as they weigh under 300lbs… including any cargo you strap to the rear rack.
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 here but the motor is 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. 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 are less stable at high speed. It also likely helps to extend the range and keep the motor from overheating if you are hauling a lot of cargo.
The battery running that motor is a decent sized 36 volt 7 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 bike for long periods of time. You should really top it off once every month to maximize use. 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 makes installing a replacement easy and it means you can bring your charger with you to the office and top the battery off if you’re using it to commute.
The control system on the Epik Lite is very intuitive, 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. The bike uses a basic pedelec sensor in pedal assist mode which isn’t as smooth or responsive as a torque sensor but I actually enjoy it for easy cruising, you don’t have to push as hard to activate the motor. I love that you can use the trigger throttle in conjunction with the pedal assist mode because that makes starting from stops easier (which is the hardest part for people with hurt knees). I really feel like they nailed the electric drive system with this bike and it makes riding more enjoyable.
Folding electric bikes have to compromise in terms of size, ride quality and features but e-Joe chose well for the Epik. It comes in three colors which is fun and it’s just a functional bike that’s amazingly affordable. The standard setup is a single speed bike which can be tiring if you’re around hills but they do offer an upgrade to a seven speed Shimano cassette in the rear. The front ring includes a nice chain guide to keep it on track and avoid snags on your pants. The biggest complaint I have is that the rear light runs on its own batteries instead of being tied in to the main pack but at least the front light is. Just remember to check that the back light is off when you park the bike.
The pedals fold flat for storage but don’t offer the best traction or rigidity when pedaling… they are simple and light. The rear rack has a spring clasp for carrying jackets and stuff but you’ll probably want a bag or panniers to really put it to work. You might also want to put a bungee cord on the rear rack, for cargo but also to secure the bike itself when folded. Unlike some of the other options out there this folder doesn’t have magnets or bands to keep the bike from coming unfolded. The Epik Lite only comes in one size but is pretty adjustable in terms of handle bar and seat height. This version has medium sized Kenda tires that are puncture resistant and offer a bit of give on bumps and cracks (along with the seat) but the Epik SE actually has a front shock which I really enjoy to smooth out the ride.
- Lots of great features built right in (fenders, rear rack, lights, bell and kickstand)
- 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 sign or light
- Avalable in four colors including racing green, bright red, light blue and black
- Front chain ring has built in guides that keep the chain from falling off and protect your pants from getting snagged or dirty, also doubles as a bash guard
- Battery pack is removable and can be charged on or off the bike
- Fenders are high quality and include mud flaps that keep you extra clean
- 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
- Only one speed (upgradable to 7 speed with Shimano components for more money)
- Rear light is powered independently of the front light which runs off the main battery, this makes it easier to forget and leave on and requires more batteries which is inefficient
- 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