- A cheap folding electric bike with some of the smallest wheels I've seen at 16" diameter vs. 20" used on the majority
- Efficient 250 watt motor keeps it light and zippy, the battery pack is removable to reduce weight when transporting but requires two separate keys and doesn't slide on/off very easily
- For a $1k electric bike you get some nice extras including steel fenders, integrated LED headlight and stand-alone back light, suspension fork and seat post shock and an integrated rack
- Pedal assist is delayed due to the more basic five magnet sensor and cannot be overridden by the throttle (choose one mode or the other), the drum brake isn't very powerful for stopping
The Alfa+ is ElectroBike’s second most affordable e-bike and it offers a decent folding design with some great extras. My favorite parts are the larger 2.125″ tires that soak up cracks along with the basic suspension fork and seat post shock… You even get a name brand Selle Royal gel saddle and the grips (while very firm) are ergonomic in design to ease stress on your wrists. This is all very important given the small 16″ wheel diameter.
I wasn’t impressed with the basic five magnet cadence sensor which can be seriously delayed at times, thankfully the brake levers have motor inhibitors on them so you can cut motor power quickly if necessary. The front brake is alright with a v-brake style caliper setup but the rear brake uses a heavier and less powerful drum brake. The motor itself offers 250 watts of power which is on the low side but perfectly acceptable for a smaller ebike like this with small wheels because that creates a mechanical advantage for climbing, I was able to scale a short hill in the video review to demonstrate this. Another frustrating design choice is the key location (on the left side of the battery near the pedal zone), I found myself brushing the keys during the ride test with my left foot because they have to stay in while riding… and the bike requires two keys! One for activating the battery and another for unlocking it to remove from the frame.
The top speed on the Alpha Plus is ~20 mph and I love that you get six gears to choose from because it makes pedaling more comfortable. Considering that some of the parts on this bike are more basic (like the Shimano Tourney derailleur) I was impressed with the comfort of pedaling. The frame is smaller but the front chainring is large to offset the smaller wheel diameter. For someone who needs the lightest weight ebike, this might not be the answer at ~48 lbs but it is one of the smaller designs with a low stand over height and compact folding design. The price is decent and you get a full year warranty from a company with 30 shops that has been in business since 2012… not bad.
- One of the most compact folding electric bikes I’ve tested because the wheels are only 16″ vs. 20″ on most, the folding points are pretty basic but felt solid for me at ~135 lbs
- I like that the downtube is reinforced with a curved tube at the seat tube because it doubles as a handle (useful for folding and transporting the bike)
- Great accessories here including an integrated LED headlight, independent back light and perfectly sized fenders with mud flaps to keep you clean
- You get a carry rack on the back of the bike that’s welded on for strength, one downside here is that the tubing size is above average and won’t work with clip on panniers, use ones with strapping or a trunk bag like this
- I love that you get a suspension fork, premium gel saddle and seat post shock even though the suspension isn’t adjustable, these parts definitely improve comfort
- The Alfa+ is pretty affordable at just under $1,000 and shipping is only $50 inside the continental USA or free if you drive to one of their dealer outlets, you also get a one year warranty
- You get six speeds to pedal with and the front chainring is extra large to help counteract the small wheels and create a more comfortable cadence
- While the battery pack is removable and does lock to the frame it requires the key to be left in while riding and a completely different second key to unlock… I also found that it was difficult to slide on and off the frame and I definitely had to remove the seat post (with seat attached) and even the quick release collar to get the battery to slide up
- Just like some of the other ElectroBike models I’ve tested, the battery pack on this one didn’t have any information about voltage and amp hours… I asked the company and found 36v 9ah but it felt pretty light so I’m not sure
- The cells inside the battery pack along with the hub motor being used here are probably generic and might not last as long or deliver the same quality as an 8Fun with Samsung cells or something more recognizable
- Only five magnets on the pedelec disc for this ebike (verses 10 or 12 on some of their other models) which means the system is slower to respond in pedal assist mode when starting and stopping
- The display panels are easy to reach but don’t communicate much beyond battery capacity and assist level, I also found that you cannot override assist with the throttle (basically you only have pedal assist or throttle mode) but I did enjoy the cruise control which can be activated by holding down the Fn key for a few seconds while using the throttle
- The rear brake uses a more basic, and heavy, drum or band style brake that just isn’t as effective for stopping and requires more hand effort, thankfully the front brake works well and is a v-brake, brake levers have motor inhibitors but I noticed the levers activated the reverse of what I was expecting (ie. the right lever stops the front wheel)
- Official Site: http://store.electrobike.com/products/alfa-plus-low-cost-folding-electric-bike
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/4mn2H2ZuC5CJbpDM6