Electric bicycles, more commonly called e-bikes, have grown in popularity over the recent years as more people are looking into eco-friendly transportation options. However, e-bikes have changed over time which may be confusing to potential buyers.
If you’re interested in buying one, one of the things you might wonder is: is it better to buy a foldable e-bike or a conventional one? Foldable e-bikes are known for their compactness and portability while conventional e-bikes offer durability and performance.
Let’s compare these two types of e-bikes, taking into account the most important factors to consider, so that you can find out which one suits your needs the best.
How We’ll Compare Them
We will compare the two electric bikes based on five different factors. We will assign each bike a score out of ten for each factor, ultimately leading us to see which one comes out on top in the end.
The five factors we will be looking at are:
- Battery Life
The whole point of foldable e-bikes is that they have a folding mechanism. They are designed to be more compact and portable and often come with specialized features. Because of this, they cost slightly more.
Prices for foldable electric bikes range from $800 to $3,000 or more, depending on different factors such as brand, model, specifications, and features like motor power and battery capacity. This might be a little pricey for someone who’s looking to purchase their first e-bike unless they specifically need a lighter and more compact bike. For this, portable e-bikes earn a score of 9/10.
When it comes to price, traditional e-bikes provide a wider range of options that cater to different budgets and preferences.
The price for entry-level options begins at around $500. Mid-range models, which feature improved design and specifications, are priced between $1,000 to $2,500. Premium models that are typically equipped with more advanced features and the latest technology, sell for over $3,000.
Because traditional e-bikes provide consumers with plenty of options that align with their budget and desired specifications, this bike gets a score of 10/10.
How They Compare
In terms of price, conventional e-bikes are generally more affordable and provide more flexibility compared to their foldable counterpart, especially for new or budget-conscious bikers. The specialized design and foldable mechanism of foldable e-bikes contribute to their higher price range.
Foldable e-bikes are specifically designed for convenience, portability, and easy storage. These bikes typically feature foldable frames, lightweight builds, and long-lasting removable batteries which make them versatile for city commuting.
Newer models are also equipped with features such as powerful motors, all-terrain tires, multiple working modes, integrated lights, LCD display, and more. Because of its wide range of features, foldable e-bikes earn a 9/10.
Conventional e-bikes, on the other hand, are designed for cruising, commuting, or off-road rides. They are known to be generally more robust and have a slightly better range in terms of power, speed, and durability.
In hindsight, these bikes offer the same features as foldable e-bikes, depending on the model. What they don’t have is the folding mechanism, which many bikers find useful. For this, conventional e-bikes earn a score of 8/10.
How They Compare
New e-bike models are continuously released in the market. Therefore, the newest models, regardless of type, come out with the most advanced features and the latest technology – so both foldable and conventional e-bikes typically offer the same features, depending on the model.
The only difference is the foldable e-bike’s foldable frame, that’s why it wins this round.
Portability is an important feature that many bikers consider, especially if they intend to use it in the city. They’re very handy when you need to take them with you on the bus, train, or subway.
Foldable electric bikes excel in this area as this is what they’re designed for. Their foldable frame, removable batteries, and collapsible handlebars make them very portable, earning them a score of 10/10.
Traditional e-bikes, while versatile in design, are not as portable as their foldable counterparts. Although some models have lighter frames, the components of these bikes are often fixed which gets in the way of their portability.
As a result, conventional e-bikes cannot match the convenience of foldable e-bikes in terms of easy carrying and storage, earning them a score of 8/10.
How They Compare
In terms of portability, foldable e-bikes clearly have an advantage over conventional ones. They make a great choice for bikers who prioritize the convenience of a bike that’s easy to carry, transport, and store.
Because of their compact design, foldable electric bikes are typically equipped with smaller and lighter batteries which may only be sufficient for daily commuting needs and biking around the city. They may have a slightly lower battery capacity, although newer models now feature improved battery life. In terms of battery life, foldable e-bikes earn a score of 8/10.
On the other hand, conventional electric bikes generally have larger and more robust frames which allow them to accommodate bigger and more powerful batteries that provide longer range, making them ideal for extended rides and off-road adventures.
Because of their larger battery capacity, conventional e-bikes get a score of 9/10.
How They Compare
Conventional e-bikes win this round because of their longer battery life which makes them suitable for long-range rides. On the other hand, you may need to charge the battery of a foldable e-bike more frequently, but they excel in city riding and commuting.
Foldable e-bikes yet again shine in terms of storage mainly because of their folding mechanism and compact design. These features make them easy to store in the trunk of your car, under your office desk, closets, RVs, and more.
These bikes are ideal for bikers in urban environments where there is usually limited storage space. Because of this, foldable electric bikes score a 9/10.
Conventional e-bikes, on the other hand, make storage a bit more challenging because of their larger size and fixed frame. They are usually stored in sheds or garages; with many urban dwellers needing to store them inside their small apartments which take up a lot of space. Because of this, conventional electric bikes get 8/10.
How They Compare
Foldable electric bikes earn a higher score in the context of storage. They are compact, lightweight, and have the ability to fold which makes them a convenient choice for bikers who have limited storage options or those who are traveling.
In case you got caught up in the details and the results are unclear, here’s a breakdown of all the scores:
Read Also: Top Best 10 Budget-Friendly Folding E-Bikes
The Winner – Folding E-Bikes
The winner is the folding electric bike, leading with only two points!
However, it’s important to remember that although folding e-bikes took the lead in the scoring system, conventional e-bikes also offer plenty of strong benefits.
Foldable e-bikes are ideal for bikers who intend to use their bikes to commute to work, ride around the city, travel, or cruise along the countryside. They are highly portable and can be stored easily even in small spaces.
On the other hand, conventional e-bikes are a great choice for bikers who plan to use their bike in long-distance rides or off-road adventures. These bikes typically feature more powerful motors and longer battery life.
In the end, the decision ultimately depends on the biker’s intent of use. You should choose a bike that aligns with your budget and suits your personal needs and preferences.