The best folding electric bikes for space-saving rides

Best folding electric bikes quick menu

The best folding electric bikes are a convenient way to take a ride, even when you're tight on space at home or the office. They fold up small for storage in a corner or a closet, then expand quickly and easily for short to medium commutes.

But it's hard to know how they'll actually fare until you get one in your home. That's why we put the best folding electric bikes to the test, taking them out for leisurely rides and quick commutes, and putting the folding mechanisms through their paces to see if they're durable and easy to use. 

We found that the Aventon Sinch.2 was the best option overall thanks to its versatility. And, if you're working on a budget, the Ride1Up Portola is a fantastic alternative. But these aren't your only choices, as we've rounded up the best folding electric bikes for a range of budgets and activities. 

The quick list

The best folding electric bikes you can buy today

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Best folding electric bike overall

Aventon Sinch.2 ebike parked on grass

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best folding electric bike overall

Specifications

Weight: 68 pounds
Motor: 500W, 48V rear hub motor
Battery: 48V, 14Ah
Folded dimensions: 20 x 24 x 32 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Great handling for a bike with small wheels and short wheelbase
+
Looks great
+
Good for taller riders

Reasons to avoid

-
Suspension fork is too soft and largely unnecessary
-
Expensive

The Aventon Sinch.2 is a durable, stable, quick-folding electric bike that'll suit quick commutes and longer rides. We were particularly impressed with its stability, especially for a foldable bike, and the build quality. 

The rear-mounted motor can assist you up to 20mph, while the 20-inch wheels and 4-inch tires mean that the Aventon Sinch.2 can handle most everyday terrains with relative ease. 

Aventon focuses on the essentials, so the bike can do the basics well, but if you want to carry larger loads, you can pick up additional accessories to expand the bike's storage. 

However, the base bike is pretty expensive as it is, so these extras quickly add up. But if you're looking for a solid folding bike that can handle the majority of your daily routine, the Sinch.2 is an excellent option. 

Our only complaint is that we found the suspension fork was a bit too soft for our liking. But, you can easily switch this out for a more rigid fork if you're inclined, though this will, of course, add to the overall cost.

Best budget folding electric bike

Ride1Up Portola parked on a sidewalk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best budget foldable ebike

Specifications

Weight: 59 pounds
Motor: 750W, 48V sustained, rear hub
Battery: 48V, 104Ah or 48V, 13.4Ah
Folded dimensions: 19 x 29.5 33 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful motor
+
Nimble yet stable ride
+
Good battery life
+
Fits riders of various heights easily

Reasons to avoid

-
Hinge squeaks during riding
-
Strap that secures the two halves when folded is too short

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly foldable ebike, then the Ride1Up Portola is a great option. It combines an excellent ride with a sleek and versatile design, which is impressive for the almost $1,000 price tag. 

You get a choice of two battery options; 10.4Ah and 13.4Ah, although you pay an extra $100 for the larger size. The bike folds at the center, and it gets pretty compact — just 36 inches long and 16 inches wide. Plus, the handlebars collapse at the touch of a lever too. 

Like with many of these foldable ebikes, we found that the front suspension was unscary, didn't add much to the ride, and just added weight to the bike. But that was our only major complaint, as the bike offered plenty of power, even on hill starts. 

For such a small bike, the motor packs a powerful punch, and was able to tackle almost any situation we put it to. If we had one small criticism, it's that Ride1Up could make the hinge level quieter, but that doesn't stop it being a fantastic budget-conscious folding electric bike.

Best folding electric bike for comfort

Lectric XP 3.0 parked on a road

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best foldable ebike for comfort

Specifications

Weight: 64 pounds
Motor: 500W hub motor
Battery: 48V Li-Ion
Folded dimensions: 18 x 28 x 37 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful motor kicks in quickly when pedaling or using the throttle
+
Fun, comfortable ride
+
Lots of accessory options

Reasons to avoid

-
Suspension fork is unnecessary and a bit clunky
-
Folding and unfolding process could be easier

If you're after comfort without compromising on power, it's worth considering the Lectric XP 3.0. It's not quite as fun to ride as the Ride1Up Portula, but it comes close. It can handle hill starts and speedy commutes with ease using the right settings. 

We found that the ride was incredibly responsive, which did take some getting used to, but once you're out of any swooping corners, the motor kicks back in as soon as you start pedaling again, though it was tough to get the bike to actually hit the 20mph max assist speed. 

The bike was comfortable, even on extended rides, but we did feel that the seat was too large and ended up getting in the way, even when folded. The folding mechanism was intuitive, but the hinge was on the stiff side, making it difficult to engage with cold hands in winter. 

You can upgrade the base model with accessory packs, like the Comfort kit, which includes a larger seat. However, even without the extras, the Lectric XP 3.0 is a speedy, long-lasting, and comfortable option for rides around the city and to the office and back.

Best lightweight folding electric bike

Brompton Electric C Line Explore parked on a street

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best lightweight foldable ebike

Specifications

Weight: 32 pounds
Motor: 250W hub motor
Battery: 300Wh, 36V
Folded dimensions: 10.6 x 23 x 25.3 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Looks cool
+
Folds up easily
+
Removable battery offers versatility
+
Fun to ride

Reasons to avoid

-
Wheels are too small and narrow for rougher roads
-
Very expensive for limited features

The C-Line Explore looks a lot like Brompton's other bikes, but if you're a fan of the company's minimal aesthetic, then you'll find plenty to like with this folding electric bike. It's a breeze to ride, has good range, and folds into a nicely compact package for storage. 

Plus, we liked the attention to detail in the design, like adding a USB port for charging your phone. And, if you want to reduce the weight and take a manual cycle, you can quickly remove the battery for unassisted rides. It's a great package if you're looking for a commuting bike, but there are some trade-offs. 

The C-Line Explore easily folds to make it compact for storage, with small wheels designed to reduce its footprint. But these smaller wheels make it harder to stay in control across uneven roads, so you may be better with the larger wheels of the Aventon Sinch.2 on rougher terrain. 

However, it excels as a lightweight commuter bike for city rides. We were impressed with the battery's almost 50-mile range, and how neatly the bike folds away to make it easy to store beside your desk at work or discreetly placed behind the couch at home. 

Best folding electric bike for rough terrain

Heybike Mars 2.0 on a sidewalk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best foldable ebike for rough terrain

Specifications

Weight: 75 pounds
Motor: 750W brushless geared hub motor
Battery: 600Wh, 48V
Folded dimensions: 21.7 x 27.95 x 37.4 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Big, sturdy rear rack included
+
Fun to ride
+
Strong assist once it kicks in

Reasons to avoid

-
Two to three pedal-stroke lag before assist kicks in

The Heybike Mars 2.0 isn't the most elegant ebike around, but the fat-tired wheels make it an ideal option for uneven ground or rougher terrain. Plus, there's a large rear rack for carrying cargo and it comes in four colors if you want to add some personality to your bike. 

It's the follow-up to the company's first folding bike, the Mars, and the upgrades here are relatively modest, as you get a bit more power and a slightly longer-lasting battery. And it retains the first-generation's center-folding lever-based mechanism for quick storage. 

However, we found that, while the motor is powerful enough to see you through most situations (even steep hills), there's a noticeable lag between when you start to pedal and when the motor kicks in, which we didn't experience on the other folding electric bikes in this guide. 

But once you've adjusted to this delay, the Mars 2.0 is an extremely fun bike to ride, even on rough or snow-covered roads. So, if you're after a durable, solid folding ebike for your next adventure, it's worth adding to your shortlist. 

Best compact folding electric bike

Rad Power RadExpand 5 at a park

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best compact foldable ebike

Specifications

Weight: 62.5 pounds
Motor: 750W geared hub motor
Battery: 672W
Folded dimensions: 25 x 29 x 41 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful and quick-engaging motor
+
Easy to fold
+
More compact than most of its competitors, especially when folded

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive compared to its folding ebike peers

Rad Power makes some of the best electric bikes, but many are packed with premium features and a price tag to match. The RadExpand 5 takes a more back-to-basics approach in the best possible way and adds a quick, easy-to-use folding mechanism for storage. 

It feels like a foldable electric bike, rather than an electric bike you can fold with fewer unnecessary features like a suspension fork, which adds weight for minimal performance gain on these compact ebikes. It might be smaller than RadPower's other models but it still has plenty of power.

We also quite liked that the pedals don't fold. This sounds counterintuitive, but folding pedals make the process more complicated for very minimal space savings, and it's more time consuming to unfold when all you want to do is hop and your bike and get riding. 

However, it's also significantly more expensive than the other folding electric bikes we've included, and it feels like it's missing several features at this price, like a handlebar-mounted cycling computer, for example. Still, it's extremely versatile, powerful, and fun to ride. 

How to choose the best folding electric bike

Start your search for the best electric folding bike by examining the basic specs and comparing them against how you intend to use the bike. For example, if you have a long commute, you’ll want to make sure you choose a bike with a long advertised range so you can make it to work and back with battery life to spare.

And consider the terrain on which you’re most likely to ride. While many folding ebikes today come stock with wide tires that can handle dirt roads and rough pavement, others come with narrower tires that might not be suitable for rougher terrain. 

But, narrower tires also mean more compact folding. And those skinnier tires save weight, so if you’ll be stowing your ebike in an overhead space, pay close attention to the bike’s overall weight and err toward skinny tires. And if your priority is space savings, skinnier tires help a ton. 

How we test the best folding electric bikes

We rode each bike in this guide extensively to gauge ride quality, usability, versatility, battery life, and motor power. For some of the bikes that claim a wide rider height range, we asked a much taller friend (over 6 feet tall) to test the bikes for their handling capabilities and size accommodations. 

Since folding ebikes tend to be compact, the bike’s handling can be affected. During testing, we paid particular attention to how the bike responds to different steering situations — from tight corners to high-speed sweeping curves. The best folding ebikes handle both with ease or at least limit any steering unsteadiness to the least common steering scenarios. 

While all of those factors are important in any ebike, folding ebikes must also be critiqued on their foldability. How small does it fold up? How light is it? Can the rider easily carry it in the folded position? How quick and easy is it to fold, and to unfold for riding use? 

Build quality matters, too. Since folding ebikes have hinges, those hinged locations must remain solid and stable while you’re riding the bike. Quick-release levers should engage tightly, and there should be little to no play in any part that releases for folding. 

The bulk of the testing took place on rolling terrain in Colorado. Almost all of it was on paved surfaces, or through patches of dirt and grass for brief periods. Temperatures ranged from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit; colder temperatures can have an adverse effect on battery life. 

Each bike was tested for motor response (how long it takes for the assist to kick in once you start pedaling); throttle response; starting from a dead stop on a hill; battery life under heavy use; foldability and storability; and basic functionality. 

FAQs

What is an electric bike?

An electric folding bike is a style of ebike that folds at its center. It has a motor and a battery, just like any other ebike, but when it’s time to store it, the rider can fold the bike in half, stow the handlebars and seat, and tuck it away easily. 

Many folding electric bikes now come with 20-inch wheels that accommodate wide tires, often up to 4 inches wide. These tires make the bike more capable on rough terrain and improve comfort. You can run wide tires at lower tire pressures to increase grip and bump absorption.

Folding electric bikes are a good choice for commuters who are short on storage space at home or in the office. They make a nice complement to van life enthusiasts, too. 

How do you fold a folding bike?

Folding bikes, whether motorized or not, feature hinges placed strategically to allow you to fold the bike up to a compact size. There’s usually a large hinge on the main tube of the frame. The hinge is locked in place with a lever that can be released to allow the folding movement.

Most folding ebikes also include a hinge or hinges placed on the stem, which is usually a very long structural piece that allows for a comfortable riding position. Levers once again lock the hinge in place, and when disengaged, allow for the folding movement that makes the bike compact.

The best folding ebikes feature some sort of locking mechanism to keep the halves of the bike secured to each other when folded. This makes it much easier to move the bike in the folded position. 

Are folding bikes harder to ride?

Folding electric bikes aren’t harder to ride than any other type of bicycle, but there is a learning curve when you ride one for the first time. Because the wheelbase of a folding ebike tends to be quite short, the bike’s handling may feel odd to some riders. 

This is especially the case for taller riders who may find themselves feeling cramped on these compact bikes. But once you get a feel for the reactivity of the steering, a folding ebike is no more challenging to ride than any other bicycle. 

Are folding bikes useful for carrying cargo?

Some folding ebikes come with rear racks onto which you can mount baskets and other accessories. And many come with mounting points for a front rack as well.

This makes the folding electric bike more useful if you have items you want to carry, but adding these accessories makes the bike larger and bulkier, and, ultimately, more difficult to store in the folded position. 

How do I know if a folding bike is right for me?

A folding e-bike’s usability hinges largely on where, how, and why you’re riding a bike in the first place. It’s best for city commuters who need to store their bicycle in an apartment or an office when not in use. They’re also useful for van lifers who want a good transportation option once the van is parked. 

However, they are less useful if you need to carry cargo, and they can be limiting or uncomfortable for taller riders, who may find the short wheelbase and limited adjustability too small for them.

Are folding ebikes heavy?

Generally, a folding ebike will be heavier than a non-motorized folding bike. That can limit how and where you use your bike, and how and where you store it. Many of the bikes in this test weigh upwards of 50 pounds or more, which limits overhead storage for most users.

If that’s a concern, consider something like Brompton’s C-Line, which is much lighter and smaller than every bike in the test. Removing the battery also makes it even lighter. It can be ridden as a non-motorized bike too. Of course, for the lightest option, go with a non-motorized folding bike. 

Do folding ebikes have different batteries and motors than full-size ebikes?

All the folding ebikes in our test use batteries and motors with a similar size and power profile as full-size ebikes. Since folding ebikes generally fold at the center point on the frame, that limits the type of motors they can use. For instance, a folding ebike probably can’t incorporate a mid-drive motor; instead, it will use a rear-hub or front-hub motor. 

What is the difference between a Class 2 and Class 3 ebike?

In the U.S.,there are three electric bike classifications; class 1, class 2 and class 3. The main difference between them in the top assisted speed and whether you need to pedal to get the motor to kick in. 

Class 1 ebikes only assist while you pedal and reach a top speed of 20mph. Class 2 electric bikes also have a 20mph top speed, but have a throttle to power the bike without pedaling. 

Meanwhile, class 3 electric bikes only assist when you're pedaling the bike, but can reach a top speed of 28mph. 

Dan Cavallari

Dan Cavallari is the former technical editor for VeloNews Magazine, who currently reviews electric bikes, bike lights, and other bike accessories for Tom's Guide. In addition to VeloNews, his work has appeared in Triathlete Magazine, Rouleur Magazine, CyclingTips.com, Road Bike Action, Mountain Bike Action, CycleVolta.com, Tomsguide.com, and much more. Dan also hosts two podcasts on his site, Slow Guy on the Fast Ride: One is about cycling and other outdoor activities, while the other looks at mental health issues. Most recently, Dan also covered the 2022 Tour de France. Dan lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his family.

With contributions from