- A compact folding electric bike available in two trim styles (Standard and Pro) for increased power and range, and easier folding
- Fairly comfortable to ride thanks to 2.125" diameter tires, padded comfort saddle, padded grips and a suspension seat post
- Great accessories including a derailleur bash guard, chain guide, front and rear fenders, integrated LED lights and an awesome kickstand that works when folded!
- Shorter wheelbase can make riding feel cramped, considering the lower power and smaller size it isn't especially light at ~50 lbs, pedelec sensor is very delayed and can feel jerky when it finally comes on (especially in higher assist levels)
The e-Trolley is a compact folding electric bike that offers great accessories, a decent drivetrain and two variations for those who are price sensitive. I reviewed the Pro model here which is ~$300 more but was also able to test the Standard and found it to be slightly less powerful, much more difficult to fold (easier to pinch fingers due to lack of a padded handle) and somewhat stripped down. Both ebikes come with decent fenders, a six speed drivetrain, and front and rear lights that run off of the main battery pack. You get everything you could want for commuting and traveling with this bike except for storage (like a rear rack and bottle cage). Normally I don’t enjoy testing smaller wheeled e-bikes because they tend to be stiff and jarring over bumps. And while the e-Trolley is built with 16″ wheels to keep it compact the tires are somewhat larger and softer. The seat post suspension takes comfort one step further and the padded grips and saddle complete it. Given the somewhat limited top speed of 15 to 17 mph (depending on which model you choose) this bike rides fairly well and didn’t suffer from speed wobble or a sense of instability. There’s a picture of the e-Trolley electric bike completely folded and leaning on the kickstand, it can be rolled in this position for easy handling and storage.
Powering the GreenWorldBike etrolley is a basic 250 watt internally geared hub motor mounted in the rear wheel. By European standards this is an effective size but many Americans are opting for larger 350 watt or 500 watt configurations due to more lax legal standards. Given the folding-portable design of the e-Trolley a smaller motor makes sense but usually folding electric bikes benefit from a lighter weight design that helps to offset the lower power. The E-Trolley uses a steel frame and weighs ~50 pounds total. This isn’t especially bad but it’s not exactly light weight either… Compare this to the ~42 lb e-Joe Epik SE that opts for a 350 watt motor and includes a suspension fork (which tend to weigh more) and you start to see the trade off more clearly. Certainly, the e-Joe is a more expensive electric bike and uses larger 20″ wheels which require more power from the motor to turn… it’s also less compact when folded and cannot be wheeled around easily when folded. These are some of the trade offs to consider and in general, I was impressed with the acceleration, power and performance of the e-Trolley.
Powering the bike is a 36 volt Lithium-ion battery that comes in two flavors: 10 amp hour with Samsung cells or 8.8 amp hour with Hanwei cells. The lower amp hour more generic cells come on the Standard model and didn’t offer as much power or speed during my tests. Both battery cases are the same design and I really like how they’re attached to the frame and not the seat post because it seems more sturdy and frees up space for dropping the saddle or adding a beam rack or other accessory to the bike. The battery pack resembles the “frog” design I’ve seen on models like the EG Vienna but again, I prefer how it’s mounted. There’s an red lens on the back side of the pack with three LED’s inside and this can be activated by pressing a little rubber button near the top front side for solid or flashing modes. There’s an LED power level indicator right next to the light button and on the underside of the pack there’s a charging port and on/off toggle switch (the solid line means on and the O means off). The battery locks to the frame but doesn’t require the keys to be left in when riding (win!) and it weighs ~4.5 lbs so it’s easy to carry with you and charge inside. I recommend storing it in a cool dry location (avoid extreme heat and cold to extend life) and keep it between 20% and 80% full if you’re not using it for long periods. Check in and top it off ever couple of months, this is especially relevant for those who will be storing the bike on a boat or RV and might forget about it for years… the battery will likely be dead or significantly degraded when you return… take the pack with you if possible but check FAA guidelines if you’re flying.
Activating the e-Trolley is a two step process once the battery is charged and mounted. First, you click the on/off button on the pack and then you press the power button on the console. There are two console options for this bike and the more basic LED console comes with the Standard model and only offers your charge level, lights on/off and assist mode (1-3) as readouts. I focused on the Pro model in the video above and will dig into that more deeply here since it’s more complex. Once the display is on you see a nice battery charge level indicator with six bars denoting your capacity. To the right of that is your speed, down below to the left is your pedal assist level and you can go from none (putting it a throttle-only mode) up through 1-5 bars with increasing power output through pedal assist. At any time you can override assist with the trigger throttle which is nice and frankly, I found myself avoiding assist altogether. The cadence sensor on this bike is very basic with just five magnets telling the control system to send or stop power. I would pedal for several strokes before the motor actually kicked on and when it did, I felt startled and was put off balance. Assist felt more comfortable in the lower levels because the motor didn’t kick in with so much power but it was still abrupt. The motor also takes longer to cut out but this is easy to overcome using the brakes that feature integrated motor cutoff switches. I did test both bikes in pedal assist mode and both suffered from this delayed then abrupt power kick-in. As mentioned earlier, you’ve got six gears to pedal with and a larger chainring up front that balances with the smaller wheel size to slow down pedaling and make it feel more natural. When I raised the seat and dialed everything in, the e-Trolley felt comfortable to pedal with but my body position was still a bit crammed front to back.
There’s definitely room for improvement with this e-bike but I still enjoyed testing it and found the folding design much more useful than bikes that bend in the middle. You can literally fold this thing “up” and stow the pedals, bars and seat to make it super narrow then wheel it forward and let it rest in this compacted orientation using the kickstand alone. The kickstand is phenomenal in my opinion and really felt solid without being too large or getting in the way while riding. At 50 pounds this isn’t the lightest folder but that makes it feel sturdy and I’m glad that it doesn’t skimp on the accessories because they add a lot of utility for commuting or travel when you don’t know what weather will be like or whether you’ll end up riding at night and need the lights. Built into the Pro model is a walk-assist mode (hold down on the display panel for a few seconds) that can help you move the bike independently up hills etc. if you’re walking and carrying groceries etc. The bike didn’t rattle during my ride and and once I got it powered up and moving (with the throttle) it was actually quite fun and zippy. The ~17 mph top speed felt good and overall the ride was comfortable. The lower score here mostly reflects the delayed pedal assist (due in part to the 5 magnet sensor and larger chainring up front that rotates slower but provides a more comfortable cadence as you pedal), I liked the rest of the bike and especially appreciated how they mounted the battery… low, center and solid on the frame.
- Quick and relatively easy to fold, the kickstand works when folded and the bike just felt stable, it can also be wheeled around in the folded position which is useful if you need to hop on an elevators or push the unit into a closet or something
- The wider 2.125″ tires, padded grips, comfort saddle and suspension seat post created a smooth ride
- Removable battery pack is fairly light ~4.5 lbs and is mounted more securely than on some other folding electric bikes, I like the built in LED light
- With six gears to choose from and a larger front chainring, the bike pedals comfortably at a range of speeds and climbs fairly well (the motor benefits from a mechanical advantage being mounted into a smaller 16″ diameter wheel)
- Available in three colors for an improved sense of style or independence if you get more than one, silver black and white (lighter colors will more visible to cars at night)
- Integrated fenders seemed sturdy and didn’t rattle, the front and rear lights added utility and ran off of the main battery pack which is convenient
- The locking mechanism was intuitive and keeps the bike folded or unfolded when acctivated, I liked the padded lift-grip on the Pro model because it made me feel less likely to pinch my fingers
- Derailleur bash guard should help to keep the drivetrain safe when folding, storing or if it accidentally tips over, I like that they also put rubber caps on the rear axles to reduce scrapes
- The reach on this folding electric bike is fairly short which makes it feel cramped, my knees came close to the stem and handlebars when pedaling (I’m 5’9″)
- For a smaller electric bike (with a less powerful motor and smaller wheels) the e-Trolley isn’t especially light weight at ~50 lbs
- The pedal assist sensor disc only uses five magnets vs. 12 on many newer ebike models, this results in a slower motor start and stop (especially given the larger chainring that slows your pedal cadence), I was often surprised and jolted when the motor finally did kick in (the lower assist levels felt less jarring but still suffered from lag to activate)
- No stated warranty or pricing on the official website… it would be nice to have more information