The dinky Eelo 1885 is a folding e-bike for those on a budget

Motorised folder that won't break the bank (or your back)


Editor’s note: We’ve since fully reviewed this bike and have found it to score 2.5/5 stars. Read the full review now.

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For those who want the convenience of a folding bike but don’t want to be without the assistance of electric power, here is the 1885 from Eelo.

Two main points are likely to draw a buyer towards the Eelo — its cheapness and its lightness.

It currently retails for £899/$1,181, which places it well under the likes of electric folders from Brompton and Tern, but still above the popular Carrera Crosscity.

The chunky aluminium frame of the Eelo actually contains the bike’s battery pack
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

At 14.81kg/32.6lbs, it’s nearly 2kg/4.4lbs lighter than the lightest motorised Brompton, and at least 3kg lighter than Carrera’s Crosscity.

The weight has been saved through an extensive use of aluminium where you’d sometimes find steel, as well as the bike’s smaller-than-usual 14in wheels — a size most regularly used for children’s bikes.

The Eelo folds down to a form that’s not far from that of a folded Brompton
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Anyone familiar with folding bikes will likely find the Eelo both quick and easy to fold thanks to its large quick-release style clamps and folding pedals. Once folded, it takes up a similar amount of space to a Brompton, though it lacks the straps and fittings that hold certain folding bikes together so securely.

Cute mudguards come already fitted
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The Eelo hides its 36V, 7.8Ah LG lithium battery within the bike’s front triangle and this feeds power to a 250w motor at the bike’s rear wheel via a singlespeed transmission.

The whole shebang is controlled via a neat handlebar display, which allows the rider to pick from five levels of pedals assistance. It also includes a lever that acts as a throttle to speed you up to as fast as regulations will allow.

Also controlled at this display is the bike’s integrated LED front light, which is a nice touch. It’s also nice to see a pair of mudguards fitted as standard.

Fold the frame and you get a glimpse of the battery inside
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Eelo Claims the 1885 takes up to six hours to charge — it then goes on to deliver a range of up to 49 miles (79km). Should this turn out to be true then that’s a pretty impressive range (and will help keep the bike away from the plug socket).

That’s a seriously short rear triangle
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Folding bikes will always feature some sort of compromise in terms of geometry, and the 14in Eelo is a classic example.

Its wheelbase, for example, is a full 7.5in shorter than that of a Brompton folder, while its chainstays are so small that a rider is placed almost directly over the rear hub.

We’ll reserve our judgement on this until we’ve put real miles on the bike, but experience tells us this will likely lead to a bike with a very light front-end in certain scenarios.

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Stay tuned for a full review.

I’m looking forward to properly trying out Eelo’s 1885 folding electric bike
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media