- An affordable, but heavy, folding electric bike with twist throttle only
- Available primarily online, offers solid two year warranty including battery pack
- Lithium Iron Phosphate battery chemistry is stable and long lasting but heavier than other Lithium-ion technologies
The ProdecoTech Mariner 7 is a folding electric bike that costs significantly less than competitors but takes a hit on weight, drive mode options, frame balance and in-person support. All ProdecoTech electric bikes cost less than competing brands because they are primarily sold online, bypassing a physical bike shop outlet. This savings is passed on to the buyer but it also means you may not have a chance to test ride the bike or get maintenance support as easily when the bike inevitably needs repairs. You’ll also have to build it yourself the first time. Still, with a 2 year warranty on all parts including the battery pack this could be an efficient way to step into the world of ebikes.
The motor driving the Mariner 7 offers 300 watts of power with a 500 watt peak and it’s geared meaning you get more torque. This is fairly standard for ebikes where 350 watt geared hub motors have been the most popular choice for full sized offerings. Given the frame size and reduced torque here, this bike is probably ideal for riders under 200 pounds.
The battery pack fueling that hub motor offers 38.4 volts of power and 9 amp hours of range. Again, fairly standard offering and enough to power the bike up to 35 miles in perfect conditions. The cell technology is Lithium Iron Phosphate which provides more cycles than other Lithium-ion types but has a lower energy density meaning in order to reach the 345 watt hours this pack delivers, it ends up being heavier. And this is where the real trade offs begin…
It seems to me that one of the primary benefits of any folding electric bike is the ability to fold and store it. With the Mariner 7 this action becomes more challenging due to the overall system weight. This folding bike weighs nearly 50 pounds while other competing offerings weigh closer to 40. This starts matter when you’re trying to the bike down in a boat compartment or up in an RV closet. Thankfully, the battery pack is removable so this challenge can be somewhat mitigated. Please just be careful when storing this bike so as not to hurt your back.
The ride quality of the Mariner 7 is acceptable. The pedals are plastic and therefore not that stiff. The weight of the battery is elevated high off the ground and all towards the rear which makes it a bit less stable than mid-frame designs but the inclusion of a built in rear light is a nice touch. Since the hub motor is built into the front wheel, that actually helps balance out the weight. I appreciate the seat post shock and idealism of the front shock but honestly, the travel is so short and the springs so stiff that it was hardly noticeable when I rode. The bike could save weight and would ride nearly the same without a front shock of this quality.
Aside from the weight and balance concerns with the Mariner 7, the lack of pedal assist also gives me pause. While this isn’t the only “non pedal assist” electric bike out there, it doesn’t include a cruise control setting which means you’ll need your hand on the grip shifter at all times in order to keep the assist. It’s one of the sacrifices you make for that lower price point. I think of this and other ProdecoTech bikes as entry level scooters. The battery is durable, the components and frames are mid grade and the system works, it’s just less refined. Compare this bike with the EZ Pedaler F300 that weighs less and does include pedal assist but costs $600 more or the IZIP E3 Compact that weighs over 6 pounds less, keeps the battery weight much lower and also offers pedal assist for $1,899.
- One of the cheapest folding electric bikes available
- Battery pack is removable and features a built in rear light
- Fantastic 2 year warranty, free shipping for fixes in the first 30 days
- Seat post shock smooths out the bumps but don’t lift by the seat as the shock may become loose or break
- 300 watt geared motor offers good torque and power with 500 watt peak output
- Oversized disc brakes offer great stopping power
- Aluminum bash guard protects front chain ring when folding and storing
- Challenging to find and test ride in person, mostly sold online
- Battery tends to be heavier due to lower energy density of LiFePO4
- Battery is positioned high off the ground creating a less stable ride
- Overall weight of bike makes it less convenient for stowing
- Frame components are mid-grade, twist throttle is basic, pedals are soft, front shock hardly works
- No magnets or other fasteners to keep the bike in folded position
- Can’t mount anything on top of the rear battery pack, also won’t work with panniers