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Best folding electric bikes: top-rated folders for commuting and city riding

Our pick of the best folding bikes with an electric boost

Folding electric bikes

For an extra boost on your ride to work, one of the best folding electric bikes could be the answer. With smaller wheels and a compact frame, a folder will pack down easily for storage, carrying and travelling on public transport.

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Combining an electric motor with a folding bike means you can get on and off trains and buses easily, and most transport companies will let you take the bike without booking, even on peak-time services.

Plus, the compact folded size makes storage at home and when you get to work much easier. You can often buy a storage bag, so you can keep a mucky bike apart from other possessions.

Let’s take a closer look at the best folding electric bikes we’ve reviewed.

Otherwise, for more information on what to look for when buying an electric folder, check out our full buyer’s guide at the end of this article. You can also read our guide to electric bike types for more advice on choosing the right bike.

Should you want to go further and faster, study our compilation of the best electric road bikes. We’ve also curated the best electric mountain bikes for motor-assistance on the trails. And if you prefer flat bars for town riding and commuting, head to our selection of the best electric hybrid bikes.

The best folding electric bikes reviewed by BikeRadar

We’ve tested plenty of folding electric bikes here at BikeRadar, from classics such as the Brompton Electric to new entries and budget folders. Here are the top picks from our full archive of electric bike reviews.

GoCycle G4

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The GoCycle is a folding bike, ebike and commuter in one.
Dave Caudery / Our Media
  • £3,999 as tested
  • Great ride
  • Fast charging
  • Expensive

With a unique single-sided frame and carbon fork, the GoCycle G4 delivers a smart design and smooth ride.

The relatively long wheelbase and relaxed head tube angle mean the G4 is far removed from the twitchiness often associated with small-wheeled folding bikes. Despite the long wheelbase, the bike still folds up small and can fit in the boot of a small car.

GoCycle has its own motor system that monitors speed and cadence to determine how much power assistance you need. However, there’s also a button on the handlebar to override this.

We found the motor and bike to be nippier than some of the best electric bikes and well suited to city rides. But, due to the chunky tyres, suspension and traction control, it can also tackle rougher terrain.

The only thing holding the G4 back is its high price.

MiRider One

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The MiRider One is a well-styled folding bike with e-assistance.
Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media
  • £1,300 as tested
  • Range up to 35 miles
  • Boost button to add extra assistance
  • Singlespeed only

With a quick fold via a central hinge, the MiRider One pairs funky looks with a fun, practical ride. Handy features such as a skate wheel to help you push its 18.7kg weight around when folded also help make this a winner.

You only get a singlespeed gear on the MiRider One, but with the added electric assistance, that’s enough to tackle most hills around town.

Hit the ‘boost’ button and you’ll get a turbo charge to help you get away from the lights and up steeper gradients. Cable disc brakes help you stop safely and the keen price is appealing, too.

Cytronex Brompton conversion kit

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Cytronex kit enables you to convert a non-assisted Brompton into an electric bike.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,295 as tested (Cytronex conversion kit only), Brompton sold separately
  • Convert a standard Brompton to an electric folding bike
  • Lightweight system with smooth power delivery
  • 29 miles of range with 300m ascent in testing

This one’s an outlier because it’s an electric folding bike comprised of a standard Brompton and an ebike conversion kit from British company Cytronex.

However, if you’re already a Brompton owner, or want to choose a different model than the e-assisted options on offer as standard, then this is a smart choice. It’s worth noting that fitting the kit will invalidate your Brompton’s warranty though.

The kit contains a new front wheel with e-motor hub, battery pack, charger, wiring loom and bottle-cage style mount. The price also covers fitting and, rather than using the strap-on battery mount, Cytronex will add bottle bosses to the frame for a neat and secure fit.

The battery can remain in place when folding and adds only a couple of kilograms to the overall weight.

The result is an efficient system that retains the lightweight handling of a standard Brompton, though you need to take care not to unweight the front wheel on steeper roads.


Also consider…

These bikes scored fewer than 4 out of 5 stars in our reviews, but are still worth considering.

Brompton Electric H2L 2-Speed

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Brompton’s Electric H2L bike is the result of a partnership with the company behind the Williams Formula 1 team.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £2,725 as tested
  • Powerful assistance and clever battery system
  • Would benefit from a bar-mounted control
  • Claimed range of 20-45 miles from 300Wh battery

Brompton partnered with Williams Advanced Engineering (of Formula 1 and Formula E fame) to develop a bespoke system for its electric folding bike. It’s made up of a front-hub motor and a smart-looking battery, housed in a Cordura bag. The total bike weight is 17.43kg, compared to a claimed 11.35kg for a standard Brompton.

The system is operated by two buttons on the battery, but we’d prefer a bar-mounted control, or the ability to use Brompton’s app (and a phone mount) to cycle between settings.

Brompton’s motor provides a punchy ride, but it does feel like overkill in some situations, even if it’s fun to get a head start on other riders at traffic lights. The middle of the three settings provides the best balance of power and range.

You need to remove the battery before folding, but that’s simple enough, and the charger is nice and compact.

Emu Mini

3.0 out of 5 star rating
The Emu Mini folding electric bike makes for a good city commuter.
Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media
  • £999 as tested
  • Well priced and compact size
  • Three speeds and disc brakes
  • Not so good for taller riders

For £1,000, the Emu Mini packs a punch above its diminutive size.

It’s light for an ebike at 17.7kg, and its 16in wheels come with chunky tyres, so it can handle more than just city streets. The 3-speed gearing helps you get around fast, and you get disc brakes for reliable stopping.

The range is a bit limited: we got just 13 miles, although there’s a £100 battery upgrade that will improve on that. Otherwise, this is a bike for short commutes.

Still, with the battery located in the seatpost, it’s easy to take away for recharging, and the charger is compact enough to carry with you if you need a top-up at work before turning for home.

Tern Vektron

The Tern Vektron is a rugged folding ebike, capable of carrying plenty of luggage.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
  • £3,000 as tested
  • Three spec options
  • Mid-mounted Bosch motor

Powered by a mid-mounted Bosch motor, the Tern Vektron has the same three-step fold as Tern’s pedal-powered bikes. Its wheels are a tad larger than a Brompton’s at 20 inches, rather than 16 inches.

The Vektron includes hydraulic disc brakes, providing a step up in power from mechanical disc brakes. Three build options are available in all.


Buyer’s guide: what to look for in a folding electric bike

Folding electric bike motor systems

Brompton’s removable battery is housed on the front of the bike.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The most common systems for powering folding ebikes use a hub motor either in the front or the rear wheel, powered by a battery that’s often built into the frame. That has the advantage of a tidy, weatherproof package, but may limit the battery size and hence range, and add weight.

Another option for the battery is to make it removable. That’s the way Brompton has gone, with a pack that clips to the front of the bike so it can be carried separately. It also means you can take your battery somewhere convenient to charge it, while leaving your bike locked up or in the garage/bike shed. Some internal batteries are removable too; that’s how the battery works in the GoCycle GX and GXi.

Legally in the UK and EU, the motor in a standard electric bike has to provide no more than 250 watts of power output, and most ebike motors, including those in folders, will provide up to this level of assistance.

Folding electric bike gearing

Folding electric bikes have a limited gear range.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Some folding ebikes will only have a single gear ratio. With the assistance from the motor to start you off, that may well be enough if you have a shortish, flat commute, though around town you’re not likely to be setting any speed records.

But for longer, hillier rides, or for leisure use, you may want some extra gears. Hub gears are popular because they’re out of the way and less likely to get damaged than a derailleur system when carrying or moving the folder.

Hub gears may range from a simple 2- or 3-speed system, up to eight or more gears. Adding gearing also adds weight, and the cabling for the shifters adds complexity to the design.

Wheel size

A folding bike has small wheels to reduce its size once folded.
Gocycle

A folding ebike will have small wheels, to make for a compact bundle once it’s folded. The classic Brompton has 16in wheels, a size used by many other folders.

Other brands, such as Tern and GoCycle, use 20in wheels. Their larger size helps a bit with rolling resistance and they’ll ride more smoothly over road imperfections, in compensation for increased weight and a larger folded size.

Folded size

Electric folding bikes are ideal for mixed-mode commuting.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Folded size and ease of folding are other things to think about. If you’re planning a commute that also includes public transport, you’ll want a folding ebike that packs up as small as possible, so you can get it onto busy trains or up awkward steps on buses.

That’s where a design with an integrated battery comes in handy because it won’t get in the way of the fold. Brompton’s solution of a separate battery pack also works here. Although there’s a second piece of kit to carry around, the folding mechanism and compact folded size aren’t compromised.

Another option, used by GoCycle and others, is to let you part-fold the bike, so you get a package that you can push or pull around using the seat as a handle. It’ll take up more space than a fully folded machine, but has the advantage that you don’t need to fully lug around the bike’s often substantial weight.

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MiRider’s clever design, meanwhile, has a skate wheel on the bottom of the bike, to make manoeuvring the folded package much easier.