From SoCal and looking for a "value" ebike (that's full size and maybe folds)...

BigNerd

Member
Now I realize value is relative and many will probably recommend name brand expensive bikes but I'm trying to keep it under $1k (closer to $700) but am willing to look as high as $1500.

The one I'm interested in is the folding mountain bike like the X-Treme Baja (I also see it under other names like Samebike, etc). But I don't see many around which makes me think it's not a very good bike.

I would post links but I don't want anyone to think I'm advertising any store. Not really looking for an electric mountain bike to ride on trails, just something for a little assistance up small hills on paved trails around where I live. I was also looking at Aventon (have a local ebike store that sells them), Ride1Up and Sondor but I really like the folding feature of the X-Treme. It also comes in different prices, as low as $900 for the 300/350w and then as high as $1600 for the 500/750w.

I did a search on this forum and I couldn't find anything for X-Treme. Also found quite a few Chinese brands via AliExpress. I'm hesitant to order an ebike from an online store but those seem to be the only way to fall withing my price range. My other consideration would be the Sondors Smart Step... it also folds and the review here seems pretty good.

I don't really plan to use it for commuting anything, just something me and my kids can ride around and we can put in the back of a car.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The Xtreme is not a very good bike. in my opinion. One longtime poster on this forum had one and her complaint was hat the rear suspension joint wobbled.

I would not order a bike from aliexpress. I order small packages that way, but a entire bike will cost you a fortune in shipping,

If your car can hold a sturdy rack, I think you're better off with a lighter non folding e-bike. A 26" or 28" tire folder can be pretty bulky.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Now I realize value is relative and many will probably recommend name brand expensive bikes but I'm trying to keep it under $1k (closer to $700) but am willing to look as high as $1500. The one I'm interested in is the folding mountain bike like the X-Treme Baja (I also see it under other names like Samebike, etc). But I don't see many around which makes me think it's not a very good bike.

I would post links but I don't want anyone to think I'm advertising any store. Not really looking for an electric mountain bike to ride on trails, just something for a little assistance up small hills on paved trails around where I live. I was also looking at Aventon (have a local ebike store that sells them), Ride1Up and Sondor but I really like the folding feature of the X-Treme. It also comes in different prices, as low as $900 for the 300/350w and then as high as $1600 for the 500/750w.

I did a search on this forum and I couldn't find anything for X-Treme. Also found quite a few Chinese brands via AliExpress. I'm hesitant to order an ebike from an online store but those seem to be the only way to fall withing my price range. My other consideration would be the Sondors Smart Step... it also folds and the review here seems pretty good. I don't really plan to use it for commuting anything, just something me and my kids can ride around and we can put in the back of a car. Thanks in advance for any advice!
Take a look at the EBR list of Best Folding Bikes... the Sondors is rated the best Affordable and Magnum Classic 48 the best Value.

 

BigNerd

Member
Thanks for the replies. So I currently have a minivan and I can fit 3 bikes into it but one of them I have to remove the front wheel. A folder would be perfect. I have a rack but we like to drive to different areas and try different paved trails (usually beaches) and then afterwards go shopping/eating and I want the bikes to be inside the vehicle.

Our other car can only fit 1 bike but it can fit that and a folder for when it's just 2 of us.

The Magnum is nice but it's not a 26"+.

There is a full size fat tire folder called Wallke but I think that even folded that would be too big to fit in the van but I do have fat tire envy when I see people ride them around. The other problem with a fat tire full size bike is that it's probably harder to ride with 0 pedal assist.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Don't envy the fat tire guys. They're like pickup trucks in the bike world. Ride one first and make sure it's for you.
 
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BigNerd

Member
That's probably why I have fat tire envy... I used to drive pick-up trucks. :)

As I've looked at probably hundreds of these less expensive online bike brands... it seems like most of them are just branded bikes from China. Even some Sondors models look similar to others (they just added that triangle battery cover). Although, I haven't seen any similar model to the Sondors Smart Step.

What are the best value brands to look at? Aventon is high on my list because they are sold at a local ebike store so I don't have to assemble it and I can go there for service.
 

Hacklemedia

New Member
Thanks for the replies. So I currently have a minivan and I can fit 3 bikes into it but one of them I have to remove the front wheel. A folder would be perfect. I have a rack but we like to drive to different areas and try different paved trails (usually beaches) and then afterwards go shopping/eating and I want the bikes to be inside the vehicle.

Our other car can only fit 1 bike but it can fit that and a folder for when it's just 2 of us.

The Magnum is nice but it's not a 26"+.

There is a full size fat tire folder called Wallke but I think that even folded that would be too big to fit in the van but I do have fat tire envy when I see people ride them around. The other problem with a fat tire full size bike is that it's probably harder to ride with 0 pedal assist.
Hey there!

We actually just filmed an in-depth review of the Wallke X3 Pro if you want to see it in action!


If you have any questions about it let me know :)
 

BigNerd

Member
Thanks for the video.

I’ve been actually looking at the non-fat tire version of that bike but can’t find a reputable reseller here. I think Ancheer has a lower model with the handlebar battery bag.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies. So I currently have a minivan and I can fit 3 bikes into it but one of them I have to remove the front wheel. A folder would be perfect.
I have a rack but we like to drive to different areas and try different paved trails (usually beaches) and then afterwards go shopping/eating and I want the bikes to be inside the vehicle.

Our other car can only fit 1 bike but it can fit that and a folder for when it's just 2 of us. The Magnum is nice but it's not a 26"+.

There is a full size fat tire folder called Wallke but I think that even folded that would be too big to fit in the van but I do have fat tire envy when I see people ride them around.
The other problem with a fat tire full size bike is that it's probably harder to ride with 0 pedal assist.
Did you read the reviews on EBR? 😉

Best Affordable Folding Electric Bike for 2020
Typically riding a folding bike means some compromises in terms of comfort and seating position, but not so for the SONDORS Smart Step! This ebike has a full-size frame with a nice upright-relaxed seating position, and it’s equipped with plus-sized wheels measuring 27.5″ by 3.0″. That means a large volume of air cushion as well as a great low attack angle for rolling over bumps, providing a much more comfortable ride compared to the typical folding bike which has 20″ wheels. There’s also a front suspension fork! That comfort comes at the cost of weight and portability, with only one fold junction and a weight of 55.6 pounds the Smart Step is more difficult to transport and store than smaller folding ebikes. To me, the most impressive part of the Smart Step is the price of just $999, making it a compelling pick for anyone looking to get started with ebikes on a budget. This is especially true for riders with a more active riding style, as the Smart Step is more comfortable to pedal than the other bikes on this page.

The electric assistance also feels fairly tame since it only draws 350 watts and the larger wheel diameter means less of a mechanical advantage for the rear hub motor… it still helps out, but it won’t feel as zippy as the Magnum or the Rad. Keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any accessories such as lights or fenders, so you may need to spend extra to add those by accessorizing at checkout or installing them yourself. Competitive pricing is a big part of the SONDORS lineup with their “Electric for Everyone” initiative, and they are able to achieve such low prices by selling direct-to-consumer only, as well as by using standardized components across their various different models. The low prices are fantastic, but of course, the downside of this business model is that you can’t go in to a dealer for test rides or support. Fortunately, SONDORS has revamped their warranty for 2020 to offer a full year of coverage, as well as increasing the size of their support team to accommodate their growing customer base.

April 8, 2020
SONDORS Smart Step Review

  • MSRP: $999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020
The Smart Step is the first step-thru Ebike from SONDORS that is both approachable and easier to transport due to the unique foldable frame, covered by a one-year comprehensive warranty, and at a great price point of only $999. Great ride comfort for a value-priced bike thanks to the coil suspension fork, plus-sized tires,…...
Read Review
 
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BigNerd

Member
Yep. I think it was the EBR Sondors Smart Step review that got me to the forums.

I just wish an LBS carried them so I can check it out before I buy.

I was hoping to find a US vendor for this bike but I can't seem to locate one. It's almost the same folding system as the Wallke (and the X-Treme) but it's non-fat tire and has 21 speeds (when you're not using pedal assist):

 
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BigNerd

Member
Hah. I looks like EBR actually reviewed something similar, the Daymak Arsenal:


Doesn't look like they make it anymore and the review was okay.

Talked to someone at my LBS and he doesn't like hub drives. He thinks mid-drive is the only way to go as hub drives make people lazy. I didn't want to argue with him as I like having the option to throttle but he was more talking about hub drives pedal assist are more like pedal take over so riders aren't really getting a "workout" since they use cadence instead of torque sensors.
 

Wulfgar44

New Member
Now I realize value is relative and many will probably recommend name brand expensive bikes but I'm trying to keep it under $1k (closer to $700) but am willing to look as high as $1500.

The one I'm interested in is the folding mountain bike like the X-Treme Baja (I also see it under other names like Samebike, etc). But I don't see many around which makes me think it's not a very good bike.

I would post links but I don't want anyone to think I'm advertising any store. Not really looking for an electric mountain bike to ride on trails, just something for a little assistance up small hills on paved trails around where I live. I was also looking at Aventon (have a local ebike store that sells them), Ride1Up and Sondor but I really like the folding feature of the X-Treme. It also comes in different prices, as low as $900 for the 300/350w and then as high as $1600 for the 500/750w.

I did a search on this forum and I couldn't find anything for X-Treme. Also found quite a few Chinese brands via AliExpress. I'm hesitant to order an ebike from an online store but those seem to be the only way to fall withing my price range. My other consideration would be the Sondors Smart Step... it also folds and the review here seems pretty good.

I don't really plan to use it for commuting anything, just something me and my kids can ride around and we can put in the back of a car.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
I have researched and tested numerous eBikes before I actually purchased one.

I rode a friends newly purchased eBike in Colorado, and narrowed my search to one after riding his.

I ended up buying (2) Two Folding Wallke X3-Pros with the 26” x 4” Fat Tires.

This is one of the Best Value eBikes on the International Market, and you will not be disappointed. You are buying direct from the factory at the exclusion of a buying a Marked Up eBike from a salesperson.

The factory is excellent on Customer Service and will respond to any questions by email in -48 hours.

You mentioned that you had a budget, however, two things to consider when buying anything. Quality and Price...Pick one!

Life Is A Journey...And The Journey Continues!

Rick S.
 

BigNerd

Member
@Wulfgar44 Thanks for the reply.

I'm still looking. After pouring through the forums, I also found the Espin Sport. I guess I like the folding models I've been mentioning because they don't look like eBikes so now I'm widening my search to value bikes that have integrated batteries.

Seems like the Espin Sport is on par or better than some of the others and at a sale price of $1199 (normally $1799) it seems to beat what is from Ride1Up/Aventon/etc.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Talked to someone at my LBS and he doesn't like hub drives. He thinks mid-drive is the only way to go as hub drives make people lazy. I didn't want to argue with him as I like having the option to throttle but he was more talking about hub drives pedal assist are more like pedal take over so riders aren't really getting a "workout" since they use cadence instead of torque sensors.
I find the opposite. I ride for exercise, but 25 mph headwind can turn my 30 mile commute into a 6 hour ordeal at 120 bpm. I usually do it in 3.5 hours. So headwind days I turn the geared hub motor on. Less than 12 mph headwind, I pedal unpowered. The one way clutch allows the bike to feel without power like it had no motor. Only mid-drive models with a one way clutch for unpowered pedaling are yamaha shimano esteps and some motor that begins with a b & is not bafang or bosch.
note direct drive hub motors drag unpowered, about like being in 2 speeds higher than you really are.
Plus a hub motor gets 1.5 to 5 times the chain life of a mid-drive. I got 5000 miles out of my 8 speed chain.
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
@Wulfgar44 Thanks for the reply.

I'm still looking. After pouring through the forums, I also found the Espin Sport.

I guess I like the folding models I've been mentioning because they don't look like eBikes so now I'm widening my search to value bikes that have integrated batteries.

Seems like the Espin Sport is on par or better than some of the others and at a sale price of $1199 (normally $1799) it seems to beat what is from Ride1Up/Aventon/etc.
The Espin Sport is a nice ride with an integrated battery, rack, fenders, and lights.... looks like a very good value. ;)


 
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Wesleykent

New Member
The Espin Sport is a nice ride with an integrated battery, rack, fenders, and lights.... looks like a very good value. ;)


Is that a folding bike ?
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies. So I currently have a minivan and I can fit 3 bikes into it but one of them I have to remove the front wheel. A folder would be perfect. I have a rack but we like to drive to different areas and try different paved trails (usually beaches) and then afterwards go shopping/eating and I want the bikes to be inside the vehicle.

Our other car can only fit 1 bike but it can fit that and a folder for when it's just 2 of us.

The Magnum is nice but it's not a 26"+.

There is a full size fat tire folder called Wallke but I think that even folded that would be too big to fit in the van but I do have fat tire envy when I see people ride them around. The other problem with a fat tire full size bike is that it's probably harder to ride with 0 pedal assist.
Rather than compromise on the quality of the bike for the sake of fitting it into your minivan, have you thought about just installing a hitch and a hitch mounted bike rack? That way you're not limited to purely bike size and portability giving you exponentially better options to explore.

If you don't already have a hitch on your minivan, you can purchase one from Amazon WITH the installation added for relatively affordable price. But it seems right now many are out of stock due to the surge in bike purchases and related items like hitches.
 

BigNerd

Member
Yep. The Espin Sport is compelling as I don’t know how long that $1199 will hold. They are located in NorCal so at worse I have a long drive to get in person support. :)
 

BigNerd

Member
Rather than compromise on the quality of the bike for the sake of fitting it into your minivan, have you thought about just installing a hitch and a hitch mounted bike rack? That way you're not limited to purely bike size and portability giving you exponentially better options to explore.

If you don't already have a hitch on your minivan, you can purchase one from Amazon WITH the installation added for relatively affordable price. But it seems right now many are out of stock due to the surge in bike purchases and related items like hitches.
I already have a rack for the minivan. It’s just sometimes I don’t want any of the bikes out in the open. And also so we can fit 2 in our other vehicle if we have to.

But I think price and “looks” is becoming a big driver as I’m looking at non-folders now.