- A sturdy folding electric bike with a full-sized feel, the extra long seat post and telescoping stem fit a wider range of body types than most folders I've tested
- Premium drivetrain features and accessories including a Gates belt drive, Shimano Nexus internally geared hub, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, integrated front and rear LED lights, full length fenders and a custom chain guard
- The three color choices look great, I appreciate the black motor and spokes, you get a USB charging port on the display panel and bungee cords on the rear rack
- This is a heavier and more expensive folding ebike, the front wheel can spin out if you blast the throttle, there's no suspension elements but the tires are a bit oversized, It folds extremely well and has a clever locking clasp to stay put
The Pedego Latch is a sturdy, surprisingly powerful folding electric bike that shares a lot of the same design features with the full sized beach cruisers that Pedego is known for. It also shares the same battery pack design, making it cross compatible with other 36 volt models. This consistency in design and parts… quality parts, made the Latch feel familiar to me. More than any of the other folding electric bikes I’ve tested to date, the Pedego Latch feels “full sized” and solid. I attribute some of this to the reinforced double-tube frame design and highly adjustable seat post and stem heights. In the video review you can see my friend Cassidy riding around on it looking very comfortable. It’s the little things with this bike that make a big difference and here are a few that I noticed and liked: the bottom bracket is shifted forward to create a more relaxed seating position while also keeping your legs clear of the rack tubing, there are rubberized stickers at the base of the rack allowing you to tip the bike up on-end when folded without scratching the frame, there’s a special pin and clasp mechanism to keep the bike from coming unfolded and there are bungee cords included with the rack making it functional right off the bat without purchasing additional accessories.
It’s a delightful product but it’s not perfect… for one thing, the Latch costs a bit more than some of the other folding electric bikes I’ve reviewed and that’s because it uses quality parts, is sold through dealers vs. online and comes with a solid three year limited warranty. I appreciate having the option to test ride ebikes before purchasing them, receive ongoing service and the peace of mind that I can get replacement batteries if needed… but that level of service doesn’t come free. The Pedego Latch is also heavier than many competing offerings and I think this is a trade-off that comes with the sturdy frame and larger battery choices. The rack alone has to support up to 8.9 lbs for the larger 15 amp hour battery plus cargo that you might mount on top or in panniers along the sides. Another one of the trade-offs for me was limited pedal speeds because there are only three gears. Rather than using a traditional derailleur and cassette for the Latch, Pedego opted for an internally geared three speed Shimano Nexus hub. It stays cleaner, allows shifting at standstill and doesn’t require tuneups as frequently but also adds a bit of weight. Complimenting the enclosed gear design is a carbon belt drive from by Gates. This belt-drive us used instead of a traditional chain and is much quieter and cleaner while being just as, if not more, durable and less likely to fall off.
Rounding out the Latch are integrated LED lights and reflective tires for enhanced safety, full length plastic fenders designed for durability that keep the electronics and your person clean and even a beautiful custom made chain guard. Even the main latch handle is beautiful… but still functional with a sliding lock to reduce the chances of an unwanted opening while riding. The bike is quick and easy to fold and unfold, there are no screws that come off to get lost and without the battery in the bike weighs 44 pounds (20 kilograms). For this type of design, leveraging the same great battery and display as other Pedego models I feel like the bike is great but it does ride stiffer, having smaller 20″ wheels. Operation is straight forward and I like that the handle bar doesn’t feel too crowded. The LCD display unit shows your battery level, speed (which is limited at 15.5 mph in pedal assist but up to ~17 mph in throttle mode) and assist level. There’s a USB charging port built into the base which is great for portable electronics like MP3 players or phones and you can activate it by holding Set and + for a few seconds. I went into this review trying to ignore some of the specs like the 250 watt motor and 15.5 mph top speed and came away impressed with the performance. I tend to ride folding bikes differently than full sized bikes but the Latch offered a bit of both worlds. For a first version, this is a solid offering and one of the more complete folding bikes I’ve tested.
- The bike feels stiff and solid thanks to the double-tube frame design, the reach was comfortable and I didn’t feel squished like I have on some other folding ebikes
- The hub motor, while rated a bit low at 250 watts, was surprisingly powerful and helped me climb moderate hills without issue, I’m told that it peaks out closer to 500 watts
- While the Pedego Latch is fairly rear-heavy I like that they put the motor in the front to sort of balance things out and use an internally geared hub at the rear
- The Gates carbon belt drive with CDX center-track is extremely quiet, clean and durable… there’s no derailleur in the back, just a cable housing so it’s less likely to get bumped on curbs or go out of true
- Pedego does a great job with visibility and safety, the Latch has reflective tape on the tires, reflectors on the pedals and integrated LED lights front and rear
- The bike folds down to be extremely compact and it stays that way thanks to a clever pin and clasp system, some other folding ebikes use magnets and rubber cords but I like this solution a lot
- The stem and seat post both extend quite far to suite a wide range of riders, even taller riders can feel comfortable on this e-bike, you get three color choices which is nice
- I love the way the battery slides into a protective plastic housing and that it’s the same pack used on larger models (in case you already own another pedego), I also like that the key folds to stay out of the way but does not have to be left in when riding!
- Quality accessories and components all around including full length matching fenders, aluminum folding pedals from Wellgo, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes with finger-adjustable calipers and a Velo hybrid saddle
- The latch mechanisms were easy to use, didn’t have any hardware parts that would come off and possibly get lost when folding/unfolding and each lever had a special slide-lock to prevent accidental opening
- Pedego has built an impressive dealer network where you can try this bike out, get tuneups and ongoing warranty support for their three year limited warranty
- The frame for this bike is completely custom and I noticed that the bottom bracket is positioned a bit forward to create a more relaxed seating position and help your legs avoid the protruding rack supports, the seat post is extra long to act as a balancing point when folded, there are rubber pads at the end of the battery rack to rest the bike upright when stored and all of the cables are internally routed to be protected and stay out of the way, the cable connection points are threaded and water-resistant which is great for boaters
- I love that the frame color matches the rims and the motor is painted black along with the spokes and other accessories, the little details add up for a beautiful appearance and the Space Blue color is very unique (green and black are cool too)
- This is definitely one of the heavier folding electric bikes I’ve tried but it’s also one of the most sturdy and “normal sized” to ride, I’d definitely remove the battery to lift it as the pack can weigh 6.5 lb to 8.9 lb depending on the size you get
- There’s no suspension fork or seat post shock here so the ride can feel a little jarring if the terrain gets rough, the Schwalbe Big Apple tires are extra wide with a 2″ diameter and that helps
- There are no bosses on the downtube or elsewhere for adding a water bottle cage, mini-pump or lock… and to be honest I’m not sure where I’d put them if I could? Consider the Pedego pannier bag for accessories and a Camelback for water
- The pedal assist sensor used six magnets instead of twelve on some of the other bikes I’ve tested but it was enough to feel responsive and I love throttle-override option
- Three speeds is enough for pedaling around town and the low and high gear are far enough apart to make climbing or zipping comfortable but there’s just not a lot of choice in between so I felt more like my pedaling was matching the bike vs. it matching me, it’s a trade-off for the clean durability of the belt and internal hub
- The Latch is one of the more expensive folding ebikes on the market but it also has one of the best warranties and the most features, it’s a good fit for an ebike that will last