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Don't Buy folding electric bikes

by Matthew Knight

A Don't Buy folding electric bike will leave you with a big hole in your wallet and wishing you'd done more research before buying one

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The worst folding electric bikes are heavy and impractical to carry or transport. They may also have poor-quality components, meaning repeated folding and unfolding could cause an early breakdown. They'll also fail to give you appropriate motorised support when you need it, making for a jerky and bumpy ride.

The best folding electric bikes will fly up hills, fold down easily into a compact and easily carried package, and the build quality and components will be second to none. See our Best Buy folding electric bikes.

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Folding electric bikes to avoid

A key area where we see Don't Buy folding electric bikes fall down is build quality. The worst models have extremely poor hinges that are prone to rust and fiddly to tighten and release, making your shiny new purchase quickly lose its gleam and your regular route more, rather than less, of a chore.

By contrast, the best folding electric bikes will power you up hills as if you're leading the Tour De France. They're well built, relatively lightweight and incredibly practical too. 

Avoid the shoddy folding electric bikes that will make cycling a drag by choosing one of our recommended folding electric bikes.

How we find the best foldable electric bikes

As well as putting each bike's motors and batteries through tough performance tests to see how much they help and how far they'll get you, we also test how quickly and easily the bike folds and unfolds, how easy it is to carry, its build quality, ride quality and practical panel assessments on factors like how suitable the bike would be for commuting and transporting

  • We measure how quickly motor assistance kicks in to support the rider and how smooth the ride is. The worst models will be jerky on corners or at speeds, and won't make it easy to switch levels.
  • We time how long it takes to fold and unfold each bike, and how easy they are to store and carry.
  • We make a thorough assessment of all of the bikes' hinges. Some will stand the test of time, but others are flimsy, difficult to tighten, and prone to rust.  

Join Which? today to find out which folding e-bikes we rate, and the ones we recommend avoiding.