Enzo Ebikes has been making electric bicycles since 2013, focusing on folding models that strike a balance between value and durability that can stand up to wet environments. The company is based in South Florida and has many customers who spend time at the beach and on boats, so they always focus on rust resistant hardware like stainless steel bolts and nuts and rust proof chains. You can those same hardware choices carried through to their new value-priced model, the Enzo Lite (also called the Ozne). This ebike comes with the same great two-year warranty (one year on the battery pack), but is only available in two colors (black or white) verses black, white, silver, pink, orange, blue, green, red and yellow… and this keeps the cost down a bit. The bike is stripped down in other ways too, it has a lower capacity battery pack, no rack, no fenders, and yet it actually weighs about one pound more! The good news is, it costs $300 less and is upgradeable with a more powerful 500 watt motor and 36 volt 12.5 amp hour battery pack for heavier or distance-hungry riders. But you might ask, why upgrade the cheaper bike vs. the more feature-complete original model? Well, they actually chose a brand new frame for the Enzo Lite which is slightly longer, comes stock with a minimalist suspension fork, and an ignition lock design that does not require the key to be left in while riding! It’s a nice upgrade if you’re a taller rider or just prefer the clean look and really don’t need fenders or a rack. And that’s one of my few complaints about this model, it doesn’t have bosses for adding a rack or bottle cage, possibly just fenders. So many things have been overbuilt and really scrutinized here including the cast rims which can take more weight and won’t get bent as easily as spokes, the plastic chain guide and derailleur guard that protects the motor power cable, and the reflective tires and included LED lights (even though the rear light runs on disposable AAA batteries vs. being wired in). The final big trade-off with this model is that it uses mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic on the $1,699 Enzo classic, and those are much easier to pull and have adjustable levers, but are more difficult and time consuming to adjust for most end users.
Driving this bike is a compact, mostly hidden, efficient geared hub motor from 8Fun (the consumer side of one of the largest ebike manufactures in the world called Bafung, from China). It offers 350 watts to ~450 watts of power output and is quite zippy because of the smaller 20″ wheel diameter. Both the motor and you as the rider achieve a mechanical advantage, but that is somewhat offset by shorter 165 mm crank arms (vs. 170 mm on most full sized bikes) and a larger 52 tooth chainring. The gearing is designed to feel naturally paced, despite the smaller wheels, and you get a very basic 7-speed cassette with entry-level Shimano Tourney derailleur to work with. It’s good enough for riding around town and is activated through the large SIS Index thumb shifter near the right grip. This is not my favorite shifting mechanism as a more performance-oriented cyclist (I prefer the smaller triggers that go below the grip) but it gets the job done and is easy to use with gloved hands. One thing I love about the drivetrain is how tough it is. Notice the steel derailleur guard protecting the derailleur and power cable running in through the axle there. This is a great little extra that will ward off damage if the bike tips or gets tossed around when folded. And, Enzo includes a black canvas sack to store the bike when folded and make it more allowable on public transportation (if the bike is dirty, this is a requirement of some busses and tram systems). Coming back to the motor itself, there is some whirring noise produced by the geared design which is most noticeable in the higher power levels. It runs independent of the pedal drivetrain so your chain and gears won’t get as much wear and you can rely on throttle power only if the chain brakes and you cannot pedal. I like that Enzo is upgrading from an 8-magnet cadence sensor to 12 for faster response time, but love that you can override pedal assist 1-5 with the throttle because my knee is sensitive and sometimes a hard start can agitate it. For those who want increased climbing power or an easier time moving more weight, Enzo offers a 500 watt upgraded motor for $500 which can be specced at time of purchase. It’s a unique offering, but one that I would probably skip as a 135 lb rider on a budget ;)
Powering the bike, the backlight LCD console, and the LED headlight, is a 36 volt 8.7 battery pack that fits securely inside the main frame tube. The pack is compact and lightweight at ~4.1 lbs and can be charged while mounted or separate from the bike. There’s a little rubber cover on the left side of the main tube, near the head tube, which opens to expose a circular plug and on/off toggle switch. Many times, I will bring my ebikes into a garage, shed, or even my room to keep them safe, clean and charging… but if that is not possible for you, or maybe you’re using the bike to commute, it’s great that you can store the bike outside and still keep the battery close and protected. Lithium-ion batteries like this one will age the best if you can keep them in a cool, dry location. I tend to leave the capacity around 50% if I know I’m not going to be using the battery for a long time so as not to stress the cells. I like that the battery locks into place when mounted to the frame, for security, and that it has a little silver loop to pull on when removing and lifting out. This battery and the wheel design of the bike makes it super stealthy and almost completely hides the fact that the Enzo Lite is electric at all. The zippy motor and LCD display are the main giveaways. And, just like the motor upgrade path, Enzo also offers a battery upgrade that goes form the modest 8.7 amp hours up to 12.5 amp hours and will support the stronger motor and simply help you go further for an additional $500. For me, this is the upgrade that is most worth considering. As someone who may be commuting or exploring new places with unexpected distances involved (this is a portable folding ebike after all), the battery really empowers you.
Operating this electric bike is a bit more involved than some competing products, but it gives you a lot of options. Once the battery is charged and mounted, and the frame is completely unfolded and ready to ride, you press the power button at the top left edge of the display panel to switch it on. Once on, you can tap the power button to activate backlighting along with the LED headlight. I do wish that this also controlled the backlight, but at least it comes with a second light and you can reposition this light, possibly onto your backpack or helmet, for more visibility. I love how large and sturdy the display itself is, it’s easy to read and feels strong enough to take some bumps and scratches if the bike is folded up or left at a crowded rack. Just below power is the set button which cycles through trip stats, and if you you hold Set it will launch a deeper settings menu… and this is where things get interesting. In addition to 0-5 pedal assist levels, there are also three power levels that control how zippy the bike feels. These are Eco, Normal, and Power. Think back to those battery upgrade options. If I had the larger battery I might go with Normal or Power to achieve a sportier ride! However, with the smaller stock battery, it’s nice to have an Eco and Normal mode to help maximize range. The up and down arrows positioned below Set allow you to raise or lower the maximum speed that the bike can reach and I feel that all of these buttons are within reach and work well enough, even with the little trigger throttle there between the grip and the display. Note that the trigger throttle was mounted to the left part of the bar on the demo bike shown in this review, but that you could probably move it over to the right side if you don’t mind pushing the shifter mechanism further in. As it is, the trigger throttle pushes forward for power vs. down like most ATV’s, jet skis, and other sport vehicles. The cockpit on this electric bike is pretty open and clean because the brake levers don’t have motor inhibitors, which could leave you stopping a bit slower and wearing your brake pads a bit faster. Having fewer cables and fail points, on a folding bike especially, is not a bad thing and the 160 mm disc brakes that the bike uses are enough to overpower the stock 350 watt motor. It’s a trade-off, and again, I like that the original Enzo model comes with stronger hydraulic disc brakes.
If you’re a taller rider, the extra-long seat post and adjustable-height stem are going to be a big bonus with the new longer Enzo Lite frame, just don’t elevate the bars so high that the cables and shifter wires become tight or get pulled loose. Consider getting a bungee cord or Velcro strap to keep the bike folded and not rattling, even if you do use the included bag. This product sits just above the cheapest folding electric bikes and just below some of the more feature-rich models. It looks good and I trust the company, though the upgrade prices are a bit high… but at least they have options? The monoshock is a bit basic, with short travel and no adjustability, but it saves weight, looks great, and is more comfortable than a completely rigid fork. I love that you can charge the battery separately and that you don’t have to leave the key inserted to run the bike, it’s great that both folding points on the frame have two-step locks so you can avoid accidental loosening or unfolding situations while riding. One point of vulnerability is that the bike powers on in pedal assist level 1 and the throttle is instantly “hot” and could get bumped if you’re mounting or folding the bike. You might want to arrow down to zero or consider turning the bike off to reduce this risk. The product I tested for this review was like the first generation of the Enzo Lite but I am told that the second generation for 2018 has some minor refinements and I have seen what a great job the company does with their original Enzo model. I love that they are focused, strive for excellent customer support and service, and are expanding thoughtfully. Though $300 may not seem like a big step in terms of cost savings, the Enzo Lite offers a lot of unique design features that set it apart from the original and I’m excited to have this new option. Big thanks to Vinnie and Enzo Ebike for partnering with me on this review. It was fun meeting up at Interbike in Las Vegas in late 2017, getting the chance to see both models back to back for some in-depth comparison. Feel free to add your comments and questions below as well as in the Enzo forums.
- It’s nice that this folding electric bike comes with headlights to keep you more visible at night, reflective sidewall stripes on the tires, and that they sell a black and white model (the white is going to give you a larger visual footprint if cars shine their lights at you from the side)
- Thoughtful drivetrain upgrades including a rust resistant chain, rear derailleur guard, and a plastic chainring guide so you won’t drop the chain when riding over bumpy terrain or folding the bike and these guides tend to keep pant legs cleaner and snag-free
- Even though the monoshock doesn’t offer much travel or adjustability, it still smooths out the ride and compliments the ergonomic grips nicely
- This folding e-bike could accommodate a range of rider heights even though it only comes in one size because of its longer seat post and telescoping stem (just don’t put the stem up too high or the wires could get pulled when you turn the bike hard while riding)
- Cast rims tend to be very durable compared to spokes, they won’t go out of true as easily and can handle heavier loads, I like how the rear wheel is designed to encase the motor for added protection
- This is an incredibly stealthy electric bicycle, meaning that it blends in with regular unpowered bicycles because the battery pack and motor are well hidden in the frame and wheel
- Enzo Ebikes offer quite a few upgrades such as a larger 12.5 amp hour battery (verses the stock 8.7 ah) and more powerful 500 watt motor (vs. the stock 350 watt) for $500 each
- The model I saw for this review had a six-magnet cadence sensor but I was told that they are moving towards an even more responsive high-resolution 12-magnet sensor that will start and stop the motor more quickly
- The rear dropout has a small stainless steel torque arm that will keep the Aluminum alloy frame in good shape as the motor (and even the upgraded 500 watt motor) put forces on the frame as they operate
- I absolutely love that you do not have to leave the key inserted into the bike frame in order to use the Enzo Lite! This is the case for the original Enzo and it just felt like the key was in the way and could get snagged or bent, especially if you had it connected to a keychain
- The saddle is a bit nicer than what I usually see on the affordably priced folders, it’s a wider gel saddle from Selle Royal that should provide good comfort for pedaling and using the throttle
- The battery is very lightweight and can be charged on or off the bike, this is wonderful if you have to store the bicycle frame in a garage or car but want to keep the battery full and protected (extreme heat and cold can be hard on Lithium-ion cells, cold in particular will limit range)
- Enzo Ebikes has been in business since 2013 and has always emphasized durability and water-resistance in the parts they used, they are based in Florida and offer a two-year warranty (one year on the battery)
- Even though the Enzo Lite is compact, it’s not especially lightweight at ~50.2 lbs which might have to do with the reinforced frame and sturdy cast rims vs. spoked wheels
- It’s nice that the bike comes with a headlight and tail light but the back light is independent (meaning it runs on disposable AAA cells) whereas the front light is powered by the main rechargeable battery pack, just be sure to turn on and then off the rear light so it keeps you safe and doesn’t run out of batteries prematurely
- Minor consideration here, the pedals are pretty basic and aren’t going to be as stiff as metal and require a bit more hand strength and positioning to fold compared to some others I have seen, you could always upgrade them to something like this if you want more surface area, better traction, and increased power transfer while still folding
- The kickstand is adjustable and has a wide foot that won’t sink into soft terrain, but it’s positioned at the middle of the frame and can block the left crank when deployed, this happens to me sometimes when walking the bike backwards or trying to do maintenance on the chain while also using the stand to stabilize the bike
- This isn’t a major complaint, but one of the biggest trade-offs going from the standard Enzo Ebike to the Enzo Lite is that it uses mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic and that means more hand strength and non-adjustable levers
- No bottle cage bosses or rear rack bosses, but it looks like you might be able to fit some aftermarket fenders, this isn’t a huge complaint but it does separate the Enzo Lite from the standard Enzo Ebike which does have these more utilitarian accessories included
- Because this ebike uses a planetary geared hub motor, it produces a bit more zipping noise when running in the higher levels of assist or full throttle power which you can hear in the video review above
- Some folding bikes have rubber bands or magnetic clasps to keep the bike from unfolding during transport, the Enzo Lite comes with a bag but you might want to get an adjustable bungee strap like this if you plan to fold and travel a lot, just to reduce rattling and scratching that can occur
- Some electric bikes that use cadence sensing controllers will include motor inhibitors on their brake levers for more instantaneous stopping signals, Enzo hasn’t done that here so you may put some extra stress on the brake pads or feel moments of conflicting power and stopping but at least the cockpit has fewer wires running around and the stock motor isn’t so powerful that it would override the mechanical disc brakes
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