Fully Charged Insights

The Best Folding Electric Bikes for 2021

As the electric bike movement kicks into overdrive here in the UK, it is no surprise whatsoever that countless brands, either established or emerging, are now looking to tackle the folding eBike category.

Words By Henry Hayes

As the electric bike movement kicks into overdrive here in the UK, it is no surprise whatsoever that countless brands, either established or emerging, are now looking to tackle the folding eBike category.

With a folding electric bike, you can get from A to B in a safer, easier and more practical fashion than ever before. Whether your travelling a few hundred metres from your local tube or train station and need that extra assistance, have limited storage at home and work, or if you’re simply looking to go on adventures to all parts of the world and need an electric companion to put in the back of the car, hull of the boat or luggage compartment on the train, a fold-up is the answer for you.

At Fully Charged, our eBike specialists and technicians have tested all of the major folding eBike brands including Gocycle, Tern, Carrera, Furo, Raleigh and the Electric Brompton. We take huge pride in curating the world's leading products. Our aim is not stock a huge variety of folding eBikes, but instead offer a range that provides not only immense enjoyment, but longevity. From traditional icons re-inventing themselves, to super advanced carbon-fibre infused lightweight brands and fold-ups using the renowned Bosch eBike System, here’s our top four folding eBikes for 2021, offering you the most compact, easily transportable and pleasurable rides in this category:

 

Gocycle G4i

Enter a folding masterclass from Gocycle, the G4i. As the UK’s leading electric bike specialist, we have had the pleasure of testing a host of different folding electric bikes. We can say with absolute authority that none have ridden with such conviction as the Gocycle G4i.

The Gocycle was designed in a Waterloo flat for Londoners, and since its inception in 2009 has made an indelible mark on the electric bike industry with a succession of generations bringing advancements and betterments on an already renowned, industry-leading and award-winning performance product. The Gocycle, whilst looking like a compact eBike, has the same regular touchpoints of that of a normal bicycle, and so consequently gives you a more upright geometry and makes you feel as though you are riding a bike of orthadox size.

The G4i is lightweight for an eBike, coming in at 16.6kg thanks to a carbon-fibre front fork and midframe. It is portable, and fast-folds inside of 10 seconds. However, it’s stand out feature is its new G4drive™ electric motor, which delivers more power and in a more silent fashion than its predecessors. There is more lower-end torque than previous models, which gives you greater acceleration out of the blocks, making this perfect for those uphill climbs or traffic light starts.

The G4i is one of three out of the Gocycle Generation 4 range, and has electronic predictive shifting with an ergonomic twist grip, as well as fully integrated cabling, a daytime running light and a 375Wh battery, which is discreetly fitted in the downtube of this city-slicker, gaining you up to 50 miles of electic-assistance.

The G4i is the future of cycling as we know it, offering an aesthetically pleasing full size eBike, disguised in a small bikes frame. You can find more information about the Gocycle G4 range, and its key upgrades here.

£3999.00

ORDER THE GOCYCLE G4i

 

Tern Vektron S10 Gen 3

The Tern Vektron sits on its own within this category, as the only premium folding electric bike that produces extreme comfort, great power dynamics and an extended range of up to 80 miles due to it utilising the Bosch eBike System.

Reliability is at the forefront of public opinion when purchasing an electric bike. As most well researched individuals and eBike enthusiasts can attest, a brand that uses Bosch not only produces a finished product that has unlimited capabilities, but one that is consistent and sturdy. The Tern Vektron S10 has those qualities.

Model Year 2021 brings a nice upgrade to the Tern Vektron S10, with the Generation 3 Performance Line motor replacing the Active Line motor. This improvement generates 300% pedal assistance and 65Nm of torque. The Vektron S10 has the largest capacity battery out of our chosen fold-ups, with a 400Wh Bosch PowerPack. These PowerPack batteries are interchangeable, should you wish to upgrade to 500Wh PowerPack if you were looking for a range of up to 80 miles.

The Vektron S10 has the widest gear-ratio of our line up, with the Shimano Deore ten-speed derailleur gearing system (hence ‘S10’, meaning ‘speed 10’) which makes those hill climbs all the easier, especially with the new Performance Line motor. The Tern Vektron S10 can also take up to 27kg on its rear rack, making this not only a nimble option for urban and rural use, but just as versatile, with multiple cargo opportunities.

At 22.65kg, the Vektron is notably heavier than its competitors, but this is expected owing to it carrying the Bosch eBike System. Its folded package is reasonably compact considering its 20” wheels. A cool feature is that when folded, the bike can stand either horizontally or vertically on the pegs provided. The price point is similar to the previous model, which when considering it has an improved motor, is a huge positive due to the continued rise in price-points from a host of manufacturers this year courtesy of the demand, supply chain-issues and Brexit.

The Vektron’s ideal companion is someone who wants a folding eBike but also wants to be in the saddle for a long time, be that on canal paths, bridleways, or sprawling countryside greenery. We continue to be mightily impressed with Tern as they are in the highest echelon of the e-mobility space.

£3,700.00

ORDER THE TERN VEKTRON S10 GEN 3

 

Brompton E-Bike M6L - 6 Speed

You do not need to be a cyclist to acknowledge the international acclaim Brompton has. Their iconic folding bike has transcended an industry, and has offered urban commuters across the globe with a lightweight, two-wheeled transport companion for over forty years.

It was not going to be long until the British giant of the folding bicycle movement introduced a battery-assisted model to the marketplace. The M6L – 6 Speed carries many of the same characteristics as its traditional counterpart, but there are subtle differences. What has been produced might not have the same race car appeal as the Gocycle, but does deliver the same in battery power, alongside a nippy performance that understandably still retains that quirky charm of the original Brompton design.

The Brompton E-Bike M6L - 6 Speed retains its 16” wheelbase, as well as the M-Type handlebar that is designed to create a more upright riding position. It boasts a full range of 6 gears, covering all riding needs for the inner city. It’s main difference, apart from the hub motor which is fitted into the front wheel, is where the battery pack is situated. The 36V battery pack (complete with a USB port), sits exposed under the handlebars, like a front pannier. Whilst we acknowledge the need to maintain its sleek and nimble design, one notable downside of the M6L is the fact that the battery and the motor are both situated towards the front of the bike, creating a slightly imbalanced handling dynamic, especially when going over bumps.

Weighing in at 18.31kg, the Brompton Electric M6L does have some excellent characteristics, most notably its emblematic folding feature, which means you can charge and store it safely inside your home or workplace. As ever with a Brompton, it can be twitchy at first until you get used to the narrow handlebar and small wheels.

We currently do not stock the Brompton at Fully Charged, as we still believe the overall riding geometry is not as comfortable as our other products. However, it’s not to say we continue to look out for their next move within this space and we admire just how much this brand has advanced cycling worldwide!

£3215.00

VIEW THE BROMPTON ELECTRIC

 

Furo X Max

The most affordable out of the four folding electric bikes chosen, the Furo X Max has seemed to crop up more and more in London over the past twelve months, creating a lightweight product that is catered towards urban living.

Weighing in at just 15kg, the Furo X Max is also the lightest out of the four models thanks to a frame made entirely from carbon-fibre. Comparable to the Gocycle and Tern Vektron S10, it has 20” all-terrain tyres, which means they’re larger than some other folding bikes and bring notably more comfort on the road.

The Furo X Max is equipped with a 9-speed Shimano gearing system, a 375Wh battery and comes with the BAFANG rear hub motor. The folding element of the Furo still needs a touch of work, as it doesn’t have the fast-folding mechanism that is beyond desirable with the Gocycle G4 range, or indeed the Electric Brompton.

At this price point, there are some undeniable shortcuts made to the construction of the product, with it not having the same build quality, intuitiveness or complete riding experience as the Gocycle G4 or the Tern Vektron S10 Gen 3. However, it is most definitely good value for money and we will be keeping a close eye on Furo to see if they release a more premium product soon.

£1799.00 

VIEW THE FURO X MAX

 

Words By Henry Hayes