Engwe EP-2 Pro Folding Electric Bike – CleanTechnica Review

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If you are looking for a decent, affordable entry-level e-bike, or need to be able to carry your e-bike with you in the trunk of your car, or store it in the corner of your office or apartment for storage or charging, then a folding electric bike like the Engwe EP-2 Pro might be just the ticket. It’s not intimidating like some folding e-bikes can be, and the price is about perfect for dipping your toes in the waters of the e-bike.

Before we get into the review of that latest electric bike, I think it’s important to remember that determining whether a particular bike model is right for you depends a lot on your personal habits, needs, and goals. A perfect e-bike for me, a guy living on a piece of land at the end of a dirt road in the countryside who works from home, has a bit of a thirst for speed and thrills, and hardly ever charges his bikes in cars, trucks, or trailers, but just coming out of their barn, probably won’t be perfect for someone else who lives in a big city, or a small apartment, or who regularly has to transport their bike upstairs, in a car trunk or in an office.

The range per charge demands will be different for someone driving more than 20 miles each way and someone who lives within five miles of most places they need to go every day or week. Total cargo capacity – in terms of weight and size – will most likely be different for those with kids or pets or many home improvement projects than for one person who may be able to do all of their shopping. just using a simple backpack. I won’t dwell on this here, but I will encourage any potential e-bike buyer to carefully consider how, where, and why they’ll be using it, and even consider those weird moments that do happen every now and then that could. require a very different bike than the one they might have fallen in love with online. ‘Nuff said.

Disclaimer: Engwe provided the EP-2 Pro Folding Electric Bike free of charge to the author for the purpose of this review.

Right out of the box, the Engwe EP-2 Pro Electric Bike is a little different from almost every other bike I’ve assembled, in part because it’s a foldable electric bike, which means that setting up the handlebar stem isn’t as straightforward as a standard bike, although it wasn’t particularly difficult. That said, the hardest things about assembling the EP-2 Pro were 1) installing the wheels, which don’t have quick-release pins, but rather bolt-on wheels (we do). we’ll talk about later) and 2) mounting the rear rack, which didn’t line up exactly with the frame holes and required a bit of brute force and another pair of hands to install.

Engwe EP-2 Pro Electric BikeBecause I tend to ride on MTB style frames with a more forward leaning posture and not an upright posture like a lot of city bikes and cruisers, when I’m on the road, which in my case is a dusty and bumpy road for the first time about half a mile before it hit the curb it took me a minute to get comfortable with the EP-2 Pro. Also, with the combination of the relatively taller handlebar stem and the bike’s smaller frame and 20 inch wheels, it was a bit different from a riding experience, although one that I quickly got to grips with. used to.

The bike’s 750 watt geared hub motor in the rear wheel had plenty of power to get me up hills and pick up speed quickly, with the lowest level of pedal assist being enough for a guy from around. my height (around 120 pounds) on flat ground and the highest level of pedal assist being able to reach speeds of up to around 22 miles per hour. At first I wasn’t so sure how stable this bike would be on bumpy roads and even off-road trails mainly due to its smaller frame and wheels, but after a few trips off the beaten track, I found that my concerns were unwarranted, as the big four-inch tires and the front suspension fork went a long way in smoothing out the ride. That said, I’m probably not going to bomb the descent, get some fresh air, or hit a technical trail on this bike anytime soon, but it’s certainly more than capable for most city trips and the occasional well-traveled bike trail.

The EP-2 Pro Folding Electric Bike has a twist grip throttle on the right side of the handlebars, which I actually prefer over the thumb throttles that many e-bikes have (often on the left side of the handlebars), because I think this is a better way to control the power of the bike, but your mileage may vary. The only cool thing about the throttle on this bike is that it seems to be governed by the level of pedal assist you have selected, so if you are using level 1 pedal assist the accelerator will not only increases the speed of the bike to this level. 1 allows, unlike other e-bikes I’ve ridden, where the throttle has the full range of power available regardless of the current pedal assist level setting. For example, on my RadWagon (which also has a twist grip throttle), if I throw it all the way towards me, the bike’s motor quickly rises to full power, and if I crank it just a little bit, the bike will just slowly crawl forward. But on the EP-2 Pro, you have to put the bike up to pedal assist level 5 to get access to the full power of the motor through the throttle, which might not be a big deal for anyone. other than me.

Engwe EP-2 Pro Electric Bike

The folding feature of this bike allows the EP-2 Pro to be compacted to about 30 “wide by 32” high and about a foot in diameter, which means it can fit into most car trunks – or frunks, so to speak – or in a closet or corner of a room. Comparing this aspect of the Engwe bike to traditional (non-folding) e-bikes, which can take up a lot of room in a room – and can’t fit in a trunk at all, I can now see the use case for bikes. folding like I’ve never done before. One of the main drawbacks of e-bikes in general is that many of them are heavy – like 60 to 80 pounds, compared to half or less for a regular old analog bike – and therefore carry them by vehicle, whether in as long as a last mile fix or to a trailhead or bike path far from your home, can be a bear. Most consumer bike racks aren’t designed to support such heavy bikes, and while they can handle them, lifting the e-bike on a bike rack can be more like powerlifting than just riding a bike on a car. And that means if you own a heavy e-bike and need to be able to transport it in a car, you’re probably going to need a more sturdy hitch mounted bike rack, and like my grandpa used to say, that is not the case. cheap.

All this to say that being able to charge an electric bike in a standard trunk (assuming that this trunk is not already full of waste stuff) can be extremely handy if you want to be able to ride your bike where you want or need to drive it, whether or not this type of combined transport is low carbon or logical or necessary. Of course, the other tricky point of e-bikes – their higher weight – means that even if you have an amazing foldable e-bike, you still need to be able to lift its 70 pounds completely off the ground and into the trunk without throwing your back or scratching. your car, so take this into consideration before purchasing one.

The bike’s 48V 12.8Ah battery, which fits inside the frame, can be removed for charging or safety, and is said to be good for “50+ miles” of power assistance. Just like with the EV battery specifications and the range between charges, it all really depends on your particular situation. A series of steep inclines, or a heavier rider, or someone still riding using mainly the throttle and very little pedaling, will all narrow that range quickly. The integrated headlight and tail light come in handy, especially the brake light function which lets cyclists or drivers behind you know when you are slowing down or stopping.

Where rubber meets the road, the wheels of the EP-2 Pro are unlike any other e-bike I’ve ridden. These are not traditional metal spoked wheels, but rather motorcycle wheels or BMX style wheels, in that they are aluminum with 6 rigid “spokes” so no wheel dressing is required ( or even possible) in the event of an accident. And getting back to the bolted nature of the wheels, if by any chance you have a flat tire – which happened to me quite often here in goat head country until I became a tire liner and a convert. tire mud – you are going to need to have a wrench with you in addition to a flat repair kit and a pump. But then again, most people might not know how to fix an apartment, but instead take it to a bike shop to have it done, which is great for local bike shops, but might as well. leave them stranded somewhere and need a ride home.

As for the bike’s packaging, it comes in a much smaller box than many other e-bikes because its frame and wheels are smaller than a standard bike, but it included around a billion small parts. foam and plastic and zippers to keep it secure during shipping (this is pretty standard practice, in my experience, as these bikes have to travel a long way from the factory at walking pace. door, but the amount of trash is always a bit boring to me and seems a bit silly to me at a time when we find out that little bits of plastic are literally all over the planet).

All in all, the Engwe EP-2 Pro could be a good choice as a commuter bike or as a grocery store, especially since it comes at a very reasonable price of $ 1,197 (and it appears to be on sale in this time for just $ 929, which is pretty much a steal), and that it can fit where few other e-bikes can.

This article is supported by Engwe. All images are by Derek Markham / CleanTechnica.

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