Folding ebike, need help choosing

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
Hi!
I'm looking for my first ebike. I will be using the bicycle for commuting and in conjunction with public transport. Also I would feel a lot more comfortable storing the bicycle in my own apartment, rather than in the bicycle storage in the building, let alone outside. The last point together with public transport necessitates a foldable bike. I will be riding in both summer and winter, and plan to buy studded winter tires like I have for my normal bicycle already.

Due to local (Finland) laws and my reluctance to pay for registration and insurance, the motor will have to be limited to 250W, and can only work while pedaling.

In purchases, I'd like to favor local shops, so I mapped out all the options I could find in Finland. However, I am not an expert especially in ebikes, so I think my most pressing question is, what goes into the differences in price? What components are worth more and why?

I have two options as far as I see. I discounted a few sub-1000 € bikes for questionable quality, as well as few more from non-reputable sellers. From the remnants, I discounted folding fat bikes, because based on user comments online, they seem to be an absolute pain to pedal without assist if needed, and their folded size seems.. chunkier. I also left out some smaller-tire options, because I do plan to ride it in the winter and on rougher surfaces (nothing crazy, just gravel roads and whatnot). I've previously tried similarly sized normal bikes and know these to survive well enough for my needs. Also, studded tires are easier to find at this size.

Option 1: Tunturi FlexiE (or Flexi-e. Also sold as Carraro Flexi-E somewhere I believe?)
More widely available
link: https://www.tunturi.fi/tuote/arkisto/2020-mallisto/sahko-20/flexie-sahkotaittopyora-musta-2020/
Price: 2100 €
Gears: Shimano nexus 5-speed hub gear with shimano nexus revoshifter 5-v
Motor: Shimano STEPS E5000, 40Nm
Battery: Shimano BT-E8014 Lithium-ion 36 V; 11,6 Ah / 418 Wh
Brakes: Shimano MT-200 hydraulic disc brakes
Crank set: Shimano FC-E5000 38T
Rims: Mach1 650 or Rodi Web. A bit unsure which. Either case, double walled 406x21C
tires: Schwalbe Big Apple 20×2.1 (55-406), puncture protected with side reflector

Option 2: Apache tocho tourney
Available from two shops
link: https://www.sahkopyorakauppa.com/product/7/apache-tocho-tourney-20--ecity-taittopyora
Price: 1200 €
Gears: Shimano Tourney FT35 9-speed 11-36 with shimano alivio shifter
Motor: Bafang 8FUN 250 W
Battery: Apache Power S2 10,4 Ah (374 Wh)
Brakes: "Spec V" <- so generic V-brakes I guess?
Crank set: "aluminum"
rims: "remerx", no further information.
tires: no information

I listed the components that seem to differ between the two. Outward they both look very similar, with the exception of hub gear system in the Tunturi and derailleur on the Apache.

So, do these differences in components explain the difference in price, and how?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
If you wish to leave the city, ride faster and have more motor for hills, the mid drive is the more powerful bike. Riding in the city and mixing public transport, the hub motor may be enough. In addition, are not both bikes speed governed to 25.5 kn/hour? While 250 watt in the crank goes farther than 250W in the hub, perhaps it's a moot point. RIm brakes will be fine at those speeds.

Does the extra 1000 euro get you a better ride, lower weight? Does it pack and carry easier? Can you test ride them? The mid drive has a torque sensor pedal system, but I wonder if it's any advantage at 20 km/hour,
 

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
Thank you for the reply.

You're correct about the speed limitation as well. I was planning to mention it, but I suppose that got lost between the head and the keyboard. So far I'm leaning towards the less expensive one, as the manufacturer seems legit. The difference in price still seems odd, hence I'm wondering what might explain it. Do you have any rule-of-thumb or similar for what kind of differences in range one might expect from mid vs hub in terrain with rather mild hills? or any terrain, for that matter

It seems on the Apache the motor may be 'Apache power silent'. According to the shops, it should be a mid-drive, but it looks like a hub motor, so that's a bit odd. I expect they've mislabeled things, and in any case that will be answered when I can go test them. I have a possibility to test drive both sometime next weekend, as one of the shops is limiting customer encounters due to corona situation.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Hi!
I'm looking for my first ebike. I will be using the bicycle for commuting and in conjunction with public transport. Also I would feel a lot more comfortable storing the bicycle in my own apartment, rather than in the bicycle storage in the building, let alone outside. The last point together with public transport necessitates a foldable bike. I will be riding in both summer and winter, and plan to buy studded winter tires like I have for my normal bicycle already.

Due to local (Finland) laws and my reluctance to pay for registration and insurance, the motor will have to be limited to 250W, and can only work while pedaling.

In purchases, I'd like to favor local shops, so I mapped out all the options I could find in Finland. However, I am not an expert especially in ebikes, so I think my most pressing question is, what goes into the differences in price? What components are worth more and why?
You may want to take a look at the EBR list of best Folding EBikes before you make a final decision.

Here are our top picks for the best folding electric bikes of 2021. These top five ebikes represent the best combination of features and value right now, but you can see all 120 of our detailed folding ebike reviews listed by date here. Reviewing electric bikes is our primary focus, EBR has the industry’s most complete and objective reviews. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people find and choose the best ebike for their needs and budget. Let’s go!

Table of Contents:

 
Last edited:

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
You may want to take a look at the EBR list of best Folding EBikes before you make a final decision.
Thanks for the reply. I did run into that on my googling, and tried to extract what tips I could. As for the bikes themselves though, most would need at least road insurance here, and are unavailable locally even in less powerful configurations. With the exception of the gocycle, which seems unsuitable.
 

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
IDK about your public transit, but if by train where there's a bit of room available, I'd want to look at a full sized folder
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/montague
Also there is a review of their new ebike in the main site.
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Unfortunately, use with public transport for me would consist mainly of both trains and buses, with the occasional tram and subway stretch
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Unfortunately, use with public transport for me would consist mainly of both trains and buses, with the occasional tram and subway stretch
One word ... Brompton.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Hi!
I'm looking for my first ebike. I will be using the bicycle for commuting and in conjunction with public transport. Also I would feel a lot more comfortable storing the bicycle in my own apartment, rather than in the bicycle storage in the building, let alone outside. The last point together with public transport necessitates a foldable bike. I will be riding in both summer and winter, and plan to buy studded winter tires like I have for my normal bicycle already.

Due to local (Finland) laws and my reluctance to pay for registration and insurance, the motor will have to be limited to 250W, and can only work while pedaling.

In purchases, I'd like to favor local shops, so I mapped out all the options I could find in Finland. However, I am not an expert especially in ebikes, so I think my most pressing question is, what goes into the differences in price? What components are worth more and why?

I have two options as far as I see. I discounted a few sub-1000 € bikes for questionable quality, as well as few more from non-reputable sellers. From the remnants, I discounted folding fat bikes, because based on user comments online, they seem to be an absolute pain to pedal without assist if needed, and their folded size seems.. chunkier. I also left out some smaller-tire options, because I do plan to ride it in the winter and on rougher surfaces (nothing crazy, just gravel roads and whatnot). I've previously tried similarly sized normal bikes and know these to survive well enough for my needs. Also, studded tires are easier to find at this size.

Option 1: Tunturi FlexiE (or Flexi-e. Also sold as Carraro Flexi-E somewhere I believe?)
More widely available
link: https://www.tunturi.fi/tuote/arkisto/2020-mallisto/sahko-20/flexie-sahkotaittopyora-musta-2020/
Price: 2100 €
Gears: Shimano nexus 5-speed hub gear with shimano nexus revoshifter 5-v
Motor: Shimano STEPS E5000, 40Nm
Battery: Shimano BT-E8014 Lithium-ion 36 V; 11,6 Ah / 418 Wh
Brakes: Shimano MT-200 hydraulic disc brakes
Crank set: Shimano FC-E5000 38T
Rims: Mach1 650 or Rodi Web. A bit unsure which. Either case, double walled 406x21C
tires: Schwalbe Big Apple 20×2.1 (55-406), puncture protected with side reflector

Option 2: Apache tocho tourney
Available from two shops
link: https://www.sahkopyorakauppa.com/product/7/apache-tocho-tourney-20--ecity-taittopyora
Price: 1200 €
Gears: Shimano Tourney FT35 9-speed 11-36 with shimano alivio shifter
Motor: Bafang 8FUN 250 W
Battery: Apache Power S2 10,4 Ah (374 Wh)
Brakes: "Spec V" <- so generic V-brakes I guess?
Crank set: "aluminum"
rims: "remerx", no further information.
tires: no information

I listed the components that seem to differ between the two. Outward they both look very similar, with the exception of hub gear system in the Tunturi and derailleur on the Apache.

So, do these differences in components explain the difference in price, and how?
I've owned winter studded tires made in Finland, great tires. I don't know what you have available in your local market, but I've never seen studded tires smaller than 26 inch. Since this is a requirement for you, make sure you can get studded tires for 20 inch rims.

Best of luck!
 

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
I've owned winter studded tires made in Finland, great tires. I don't know what you have available in your local market, but I've never seen studded tires smaller than 26 inch. Since this is a requirement for you, make sure you can get studded tires for 20 inch rims.

Best of luck!
Indeed, I was also a bit skeptical about the availability of 20" winter tires. Luckily Schwalbe makes some, and they're pretty cheap as well. Normally I would prefer to spend a bit more on studded tires to get them to last years and years, but at least online Schwalbe are the only ones I can find. They're not the worst brand, and have replacement studs available for purchase, so it should be fine. I don't ride my bikes beyond commuting in the winter nowadays anyway.
 

kamms

New Member
Region
Europe
City
Helsinki
Schwalbe studded 20" tires look pretty reasonable here in the US. Probably little demand.
Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I have no bad experiences with Schwalbe before or anything. Just I don't expect too much, since last time I bought 40€ studded tires, they lasted for one winter, after which the studs were mostly gone. Whereas the 120€ ones I bought to replace them are still on my MTB after 5 years. My expectation here is purely based on price, and it can be that process optimization and general quality improvements have brought down the price of decent winter tires