- A folding speed pedelec (capable of ~25 mph) that also offers throttle on demand, you get plenty of power from a 500 Watt hub motor and 48 Volt 13 amp hour battery pack
- Two frame styles and four color choices let you personalize the product a bit, folding mechanisms have locks for safety, I like the reflective tires and LED lights even though they require separate batteries
- Cast Aluminum rims can handle more weight than spokes and won't go out of true or break as easily, decent suspension fork, seat post shock, ergonomic grips and gel saddle enhance comfort
- With so many features the bike weighs more at ~61 lbs, the kickstand would stay out of the way better if mounted towards the rear vs. bottom bracket, key must be left in to ride
The Magnum Premium is an interesting folding electric bike… Not only is it powerful with a 500 watt geared motor and 48 volt battery configuration, it’s also sturdy and fast. Rather than spoked wheels, which tend to be stronger at the 20″ size to begin with, they chose cast Aluminum 20″ wheels setup like mag wheels. And instead of a standard 6 Mosfet controller, the Premium uses 9 Mosfets which can handle 14 Amps of Current vs. just 10 or 12. During the ride test, I had one of the company’s co-founders, Jesse, hop on and ride around the parking lot. Even with his 6’3″ height and 200+ body weight, the bike worked fine. Smaller wheels offer a mechanical advantage to hub motors, which tend to be easier on drivetrains than mid-drives. You’re getting a zippy compact platform here which is great for space savings but it is not light. Weighing in at 61+ lbs, it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to remove the 9 lb battery before lifting. And even though the frame only comes in one size, there are two different styles (a mid-step and the deep wave step-thru shown in the video and images above). Both come with a longer suspension seat post and adjustable stem for increased height. This is a big deal if you’re a taller rider, I felt great on the bike at 5’9″ myself and I have longer legs. In short, the bike felt comfortable and solid which is very important given the higher assisted top speed of roughly 25 mph. Again, it’s an interesting folding e-bike because it delivers a platform that is truly capable as a speed pedelec and might be great for commuting if you’ve got limited space… Wheel it into work, fold it up under your desk and charge it there vs. locking it up at the rack?
Driving this electric bike is an 8Fun internally geared hub motor sealed inside the rear wheel. It puts out between 500 and 700 watts and produces a bit more whirring noise than weaker options. I found it to be zippy and capable, it switched on very fast in pedal assist mode thanks to a precise cadence sensor mounted near the left crank arm (around the spindle). The sensor used here is compact and sealed compared to the larger discs with visible magnets. I imagine it would stay cleaner and get bumped less easily which translates to more reliable operation. As highlighted earlier, the motor is backed up with a 48 volt batter, more mosfets in the controller and higher current thruput. If you’re a larger rider or someone who plans to carry gear on the rack, this is a great thing.
Powering the motor and backlit display, but not the lights, is a 48 volt 13 amp hour battery pack mounted just behind the seat tube. To me, this is way above average in terms of capacity and very impressive to see on a folding electric bike. Depending on how you ride, the bike should get excellent range. Stick to the first few levels of pedal assist and under 20 mph for truly optimal performance. Note that the trigger throttle, mounted near the left grip, cuts out at 20 mph for legal reasons but that you can reach the higher speeds using the top level of assist, level 6. The battery pack is painted black which matches the saddle, rims and tires and it slides onto the frame easily. I felt it lock securely and noticed a 5 Volt USB power outlet on the right side. This would be handy for charging a portable electronic device stored in one of the panniers or a trunk bag but you could also string a longer USB cord across the frame with zip ties if you wanted to mount something to the handle bars. Just be careful near the folding point on the frame and dull the edges of cut zip ties so they don’t scratch and cut your legs while pedaling. A couple of downsides for the battery is that it doesn’t power the lights and that you must leave the key in while it’s being used. The key is mostly out of the way but might jingle if connected to a chain or other keys… this is quite common with the style of battery housing used here (called a Silver Fish in the industry). I like that Magnum fills the pack with premium cells (from Samsung, LG or Panasonic depending on supply) and that it has a handle and LED indicator on top. Another huge win is the flip-forward saddle mount which allows you to take the pack off without removing the seat and seat post. And when you do adjust the seat post, I noticed that the clamp is angled to the side so the lever won’t scratch the battery pack or collide with it… very smart.
Operating the bike is a multi-step process and one of the areas where improvements could be made. You have to press a little power button or switch on both lights, then turn the key to on in the battery pack then press a power button on the control pad. That’s four steps and it’s easier to miss one when parking or folding the bike. Perhaps you leave a light on and it runs out of juice? Perhaps you start folding and bump the trigger throttle which spins the wheel? These are areas to keep an eye on. All that aside, I do like the display panel and all of the options Magnum has offered. The throttle works at all times, even in assist level zero which I call “throttle only mode”. Arrowing up and down through assist is easy to do without taking your left hand off the grip because of the remote button pad. The trigger throttle on the left is a bit trickier to reach depending on where you mount it (behind the brake lever or in front of it closer to the grip). Given how responsive assist is, I’m not sure I’d use the throttle as much with this bike and fully appreciate that the brakes are higher quality disc style with rubberized levers that have motor inhibitors built in. And while I’d love to see hydraulic disc brakes, I appreciate the lower price point that they hit with this e-bike… again, compromises had to be made here and there so I get it.
The Magnum Premium comes with everything you need to commute, rain or shine, but it is a more advanced electric bike. With an always-active trigger throttle and higher top speed, I see this as a perfect option for commuters and younger riders (or those with more weight). Remember, you can tone down the power and speed by changing the six levels of assist but the throttle will always be ready with full up to 20 mph. I love this style of setup because I can save energy riding at lower assist then zoom up a hill or past another riding simply by pressing the throttle for a few moments. Note that the Aluminum fenders felt solid and didn’t make a lot of noise while riding on bumpy terrain. The rack uses standard gauge tubing which should work with panniers and other standard accessories and you could use the USB port on the battery to add additional lights if you wanted. I’m impressed with all of the frame and color options here and appreciate that Magnum now has 70+ dealers in the US who can let you take a test ride and help with service and warranty stuff. The bike comes with one year comprehensive and the company has been around globally for five plus years.
- One of the most noticeable and coolest features about this folding ebike, at least to me!, is the cast Aluminum wheelset which can support more weight and won’t go out of true the way traditional spokes might
- I love that Magnum sells two versions of this bike, mid-step and wave step-thru, both are relatively easy to mount but might appeal to different tastes (I reviewed the wave style because it has the lowest downtube)
- Four color combinations make it fun, you could get a set of these for your family and easily keep track of who owns which bike, my favorite is the white because it is the most visible for night riding
- Solid rack with a full 25 kg max weight rating, I like the little spring latch for quick cargo additions and love that the battery is mounted to the frame leaving the rack clear vs. some older designs
- This is a minor plus but I noticed how the seat tube and collar were twisted a bit so the quick release tab wouldn’t collide with the battery pack when fully closed! This is a wonderful attention to detail
- I love the included lights and reflective tires but wish that the lights ran off the main battery pack, they are higher quality builds however (both from Spanninga)
- The folding points seemed very reliable thanks to locking mechanisms (there’s even a spring run through the frame to help with alignment and unfolding if you’re by yourself)
- Sturdy metal plates sandwich the chainring acting as protection when folded (along with a metal support arm directly below the bottom bracket), the metal plates also act as a guide, keeping the chain on track if you’re riding over bumpy terrain… this is especially important in throttle mode and when riding on bumpy terrain at high speed
- Capable of ~25 mph top speeds (in pedal assist mode) this is one of the very few speed pedelec folding e-bikes I have ever seen and would work well for some people who want to commute faster
- Excellent drive mode control here with throttle only mode, throttle override (with full power) and six levels of assist… just be careful to turn it off before folding or you could bump the throttle and have the bike take off
- At under $2k I feel like this bike is priced well, especially because it comes with all the accessories you need for commuting (rack, sturdy Aluminum fenders and lights)
- Mechanical disc brakes are a good upgrade from rim brakes because they stay cleaner and don’t wear out as fast, the brake levers on the Magnum Premium have motor inhibitors so you stop safer and don’t compete with the power of the bike
- Smaller wheels keep the bike compact for folding but aren’t as comfortable as larger ones so it’s great that you get a mid-level suspension fork, suspension seat post and large gel saddle… it really makes a difference at speed and on longer journies
- Telescoping stem offers more height options to improve the ride for taller people (the bike only comes in one size after all), don’t stretch it all the way up however because the cables can get stretched and messed up when steering if so
- You can charge the battery on or off the frame with this bike and I love how easy it is to take off! The saddle flips forward and the slide and locking mechanisms just seemed to work here vs. some other folders I’ve tested
- I really like the cadence sensor they chose for this pedelec, it’s not a big disc with exposed magnets (easier to bump and mess up), this thing is compact and sealed from water and mud but still very responsive
- The fold point mid-frame does bulge out a little but is positioned much lower than some other e-bikes so I feel like it wouldn’t bruise your thigh as easily (this was an issue my girlfriend had with some of the folding fat bikes we tested)
- I like that the battery features a USB charging port on the side so you can fill your phone, GPS or music player… in some ways I’d like it up by the handlebars but on the other hand, it’s very close to the rear rack so your gear could be charging while stored, consider buying a right angle USB dongle like one of these to keep it out of the way
- The charger is pretty compact and very lightweight at ~1.5 lbs, the plug end for the bike is metal which seems tougher if it was dropped or stepped on, I’d probably bring it along all the time and just keep it in a trunk bag on the rack
- I love the brake levers they chose for the Premium, you get a tiny (but loud!) integrated bell on the left and the levers themselves have a rubberized edge for comfort
- Generally speaking, this is one of the most powerful folding electric bikes around given the 500 Watt motor, 9 Mosfet controller with 14 Amp thruput and 48 Volt battery, it was able to move Jesse who is a larger rider (6’3″ at 230 lbs), up hills as shown in the video review above
- The folding plastic pedals are light, inexpensive and compact but not as stiff or durable as some Aluminum ones I’ve seen, given the “premium” price and features found elsewhere on the bike this is one area that could be improved… or you could add some like this aftermarket
- Weighing in at over 60 lbs, this is one of the heavier electric bikes out there (folding or otherwise) due in part to the cast wheels, suspension fork and larger battery… but at least the battery is removable so you can subtract ~9 lbs when moving the frame
- Neither wheel offers quick release which means you’ll need tools to fix flats or break the bike down further (for super compactness), one positive here is that they’re less likely to be tampered with or stolen when parked
- While I love the adjustable length feature of the kickstand, I wish it was mounted further back on the frame from the crank arms because it collides (especially when walking the bike backwareds as the cranks turn themselves)
- Both lights require two AA batteries and must be switched on separately (that adds time and makes them easy to leave on accidentally to drain overnight or during the day when parked at a bike rack), the lights also don’t have flashing modes or other settings besides on/off
- The key must be left in the battery pack in order to operate this bike, it’s positioned mostly out of the way but could jingle if you have a chain or other keys connected
- The display looks great but isn’t removable, you can angle it forward and back to reduce glare but it could get scratched at a rack or weather worn being left on all the time
- This is a minor con but the drivetrain is entry-level, with seven speeds you’re getting enough range to climb but might not keep up at the ~25 mph level, Shimano Tourney components work well enough but might need more tuneups, I love that they included a derailleur guard to protect it when folded
- One way their folding design could be improved is with a rubber latch or maybe some magnets to keep the bike from coming unfolded during transport… this might also reduce banging and rattling as it flops around due to vibrations in your car trunk, plane, boat or whatever