Electric folding bikes often look similar to their unassisted counterparts. They weigh a little bit more, but it’s a worthy compromise for that bit of boost. Whether you’re looking for something to take on public transport and ride the rest of the way to your destination, or you live somewhere with little storage space and need a compact bike, there’s likely a folder for you in our list of the best. It is worth mentioning that if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve previously picked out the best electric folding bikes under £2,000.
Some electric folders are more focussed on portability and being as compact and lightweight as possible for last-mile journeys, whereas others aim to match the ride quality and feel of a bigger bike in an easier-to-store package. There is generally a trade-off between the two, but that’s not to say you won’t enjoy riding a lighter, less powerful folder.
You’ll tend to find the lighter, smaller bikes have 16” wheels and the bigger folders have 20”. Hub-driven motors also reign supreme in electric folding bikes, but whether they’re in the front or rear wheel will depend on the bike. In general, electric folding bikes are a great urban companion, particularly in flatter areas, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good for quick leisure rides on country lanes too.
Best electric folding bikes
- Tern Vektron Q9 - best overall | Buy now for £3,000 from Surge Bikes
- FLIT-16 Commuter Edition - best lightweight folder | Join the waitlist now on FLIT
- MiRider One 2021 - best for motorhomers and leisure riders | Buy now from £1,595 from MiRider
- MiRider One GB3 - best under £2,500 | Buy now for £2,595 from MiRider
- Brompton Electric P Line - best for bigger budgets | Buy now for £3,695 from Tredz
- Raleigh Stow-E-Way - best budget electric bike | Buy now for £999 from Halfords
- Gocycle G4 - best full-size feel | Buy now for £2,998 from Cycle Revolution
- Vello Bike+ - best belt-driven folder | Buy now for £3,390 from Vello
- Eovolt Afternoon - best 20" wheel electric folding bike | Buy for £1,780 from Tweeks Cycles
The only folding bike on this list with a mid-drive motor, the Tern Vektron brings the most full-size e-bike qualities to the table. The motor used is a Bosch Active Line Plus which provides 50 Nm of torque – more than enough for most urban environments. The battery is also large for the bike’s size, at 400Wh, which our reviewer got 60-70km out of on flat terrain.
It may be easier to think of the Vektron Q9 as a micro-cargo bike, with space on the rear rack for a YEPP child seat, and panniers for example. It’s like a smaller Tern GSD model in terms of practicalities, with the added benefit it folds into a neat package. It is quite heavy for a folder at 21.9kg, but it can be stored folded or vertically if you’re stuck for space.
For more detail, read our review of the Tern Vektron Q9.
Ideal for train commuters who want something to help propel them those last few miles to the workplace, the FLIT-16 is one of the lightest electric folders out there that doesn’t compromise on performance. It’s single-speed and hub-motor powered, yes, but the Bafang motor does a stellar job even on reasonable hills.
It’s worth noting that FLIT are currently out of stock of the Commuter Edition, and have set up a waitlist to hear about their new bike, which we’re excited to learn more about. But if you are keen to get your hands on one of these, head to their website for more up to date information.
For more information, read our review of the FLIT-16.
The MiRider One was updated for 2021, and we thought it was pretty damn good. There’s a larger 252Wh battery, a lighter hub-driven motor and other weight-saving features, but it’s still kept its distinct frame design.
It hinges in the middle, which is where you’ll find the removable battery. This is handy if want to remove it whilst it’s locked up or it needs to be charged away from the bike. The bike's aimed at motorhomers and leisure riders, but given its lighter weight than the previous iteration, it may be attractive to commuters who want something they can carry on and off of public transport as well.
For more information, read our review of the MiRider 2021.
Yes, it’s another MiRider on the list – but they make great electric folders so it would be remiss of us to miss off the latest model. The MiRider One GB3 is the newest addition to the One range, and has impressed us just as much as their 2021 model. It’s the first MiRider to come with gears – three, to be precise, and a fancy display unit on the handlebars.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the hydraulic disc brakes, which go some way towards explaining the big price jump from the other MiRider One models. It’s 19.1kg in weight so an unlikely candidate for everyday multi-modal commuting for most of us, but it’s compact enough to fit in a car boot or the back of a caravan for some enjoyable leisure rides outside of the rat run.
For more detail, read our review of the MiRider One GB3.
The latest addition to the electric Brompton range is the Electric P Line. It follows the introduction of the non-electric P Line last year, which come in at around 10kg. The electric P Line is essentially an upgrade on the Brompton Electric M6L. The main difference between the two is the introduction of a smartphone app.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it means you no longer have to reach over the handlebars to press the assist buttons on the battery. Instead, you have the power in your hands. The P Line comes with a 312Wh battery pack that’s easily removable and a front wheeled hub motor. It’s also Brompton’s lightest e-bike. It weighs in at 13.3kg without the battery but including the ‘Roller Frame’ - so it’s lighter still if you go for the Urban model without the rack.
For more detail, read our review of the Brompton Electric P Line.
The Raleigh Stow-E-Way is one of the larger folding bikes on this list. It may be better to think of it - as our reviewer put it - as “an e-bike that folds” rather than a folding e-bike. It folds in the middle and 20” wheels do make it a little bulky, but it doesn’t mean it’s not easy to cart around.
The Stow-E-Way comes with a quality electric assist system from Trans-X, a well-respected manufacturer. This is paired with a 245Wh battery, LED lights, mudguards and a kickstand. It’s also equipped with a frame integrated rack for carrying some essentials.
For more detail, read our review of the Raleigh Stow-E-Way.
Previously dubbed ‘the iPhone of e-bikes’, the Gocycle pairs excellent performance with sleek yet funky looks – as you’d expect from a former McLaren automotive designer. Unlike some other e-folders, the Gocycle has been designed from the ground up and uses lots of proprietary tech including the ‘Pitstop’ mag wheels which use single-sided forks to make them easy to remove in the event of a puncture.
Across the industry reviewers and customers alike say the Gocycle G4 is one of the most fun e-bikes you can ride. A beefier motor than previous models eats up hills and even though the wheels are small, the grippy tyres inspire cornering confidence. The frame is a blend of aluminium, carbon fibre and magnesium, depending on whether you go for the G4 or G4i model. We found it to be stiff enough for excellent power transfer.
For more detail, read our review of the Gocycle G4.
If you’re after a folding e-bike with regenerative braking then this is the one for you. It’s operated by a Zehus all-in-one motor system in the rear wheel which also incorporates the battery.
It may be a single-speed drivetrain but we found it could even conquer 15% hills with ease. Once you’ve figured out where the pedals need to be, then folding it is easy and it’s rather compact with a folded size of 81 x 37 x 57cm. It makes the Bike+ a great option for those who use public transport as part of their journey.
For more detail, read our review of the Vello Bike+.
The Eovolt Afternoon sits in the middle of the range, both in terms of size and price. With 20” wheels it's one of the larger electric folders on our list, but what it lacks in portability it makes up for in ride quality. It’s one of the few electric folders to come with front suspension, which you may or may not see as a welcome addition. It’s also equipped with Spanninga lights, a kickstand and a 25kg rear rack.
Last year's version boasted a rather large 504Wh battery. While this has since been reduced to 378Wh, Eovolt reckon this hasn't siginficantly compromised the bike's range thanks to the introduction of torque sensing power delivery to improve efficiency. The 2.4” tyres also open up a world of canal towpaths and fire roads for those who feel restrained by tarmac. It’s not as compact or light as other e-folders, but certainly takes up less room than a full-sized bike and can be transported in the car.
For more detail, read our review of the Eovolt Afternoon.
How to choose from the best electric folding bikes
How far do the best electric folding bikes go?
The battery range of an electric folding bike varies depending on a number of factors; the battery capacity, rider weight, terrain, weather and gear choice. If you ride in a headwind up a 10% incline, you’ll see a much reduced range compared to riding on the flat with no wind. Most folding electric bikes now use batteries between 140Wh and 400Wh, with most getting about 30 miles of range on average from each charge - but as we say, this can differ substantially depending on the factors above.
Do you have to pedal an electric folding bike?
Yes, you do have to pedal an electric folding bike. Why? Because in order to be classed as an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) in the UK, the assist can only activate as you pedal. You might find some models don’t use a torque sensor to determine how much power the motor should provide, which means you can quite literally tap the pedals for the full benefit. More expensive models come with torque sensors that determine the correct level of assistance required given your power output.
Are electric folding bikes heavy?
Electric folding bikes don’t all weigh the same. Some weigh as little as 13kg, but weight goes all the way up to around 24kg so there is big variety. A non-folding electric bike might weigh around 14kg, but the biggest draw with folders is that they are compact and easy to store, as well as being portable for use on public transport.
How do folding electric bikes fold?
The most common type of folder is the ‘fold in half’, where the frame hinges in the middle and the seatpost and handlebar post fold down. This is pretty quick and easy, but often results in a bigger folded package than other designs.
The main other type of design is one that breaks the frame in two places. By its very nature this is a little more complicated to fold, but generally produces a smaller package than a ‘bi-fold’. The Brompton is the classic example of this and the quick, compact and secure fold is an absolute classic of bike design. The electric version retains the same superb mechanism.
What size of wheels do electric folding bikes use?
There are two main ‘families’ of wheel sizes on folders and electric folders, grouped by the approximate diameter of the wheel plus the tyre: 16” and 20”. 16” wheels are chosen to make for a more compact fold and to cut weight, with the downsides being the extra rolling resistance of a more sharply-curved tyre (compared to larger tyres of an equivalent design) and rather more sensitive handling.
Conversely, folders with 20” wheels mean a larger and usually heavier folded package, but they may produce a more efficient, comfortable and predictable ride. For carrying on public transport, you might find 20” wheels more of a struggle to get on a train luggage rack, to give one possible drawback.
Small wheelers are easier to pedal up to speed quickly compared to larger ones, but less efficient at maintaining speed over longer distances, pedalling steadily at a consistent pace. This is another reason they are so popular as ‘start/stop’ machines for nipping through city traffic.
What type of motor is most common on electric folding bikes?
Unlike on larger e-bikes where mid-drives are becoming dominant (particularly when you move above the £1,500 price point), hub motors are by far the most common on folders. That’s simply because these can be made lighter than most mid-drives, and are less likely to get in the way of the fold.
Batteries are often smaller in capacity too, to keep weight down and help simplify the fold. The battery sizes on our recommended selection of e-folders are pretty typical, mostly spanning 150Wh to 400Wh. On full size e-bikes a typical capacity is 300-625Wh, with options for dual battery systems meaning 1,250Wh is possible. Of course you can always buy a spare battery for an e-folder and carry it with you to extend your range.