This is a review of the ENGWE folding fat bike. It is an aluminium bodied fat bike that is manufactured in China. It is available through the website Banggood. For UK readers, the bike may be available on a participating employer’s cycle to work scheme – it will depend on how it is administered. This bike is frequently found on large manufacturing sites as a means for travelling around.
The e-bike market has grown significantly in recent years and this is the latest addition to a booming market. The bike comes with a number of features that make this a practical means of transit, especially in densely populated cities.
Included in the package
The bike package is quite comprehensive and includes the following
- The bike
- Mains Charger. This comes with Schuko plug and a BS1363 Adaptor to make it suitable for UK and Irish Sockets
- Full Tool Kit (Hex Keys, Wrenches/Spanners and a Pump)
- Instruction manual
The bike comes equipped with several country modes. All country modes are installed on the bike and they can be selected from the onboard computer menu. The country modes are described below
- Europe 250W power limitation, 25km/h (15mph) assisted speed, hand throttle is disabled
- USA 300W 32km/h (20mph) assisted speed, hand throttle is disabled
- Derestricted, Full Motor Power, no speed limitations , hand throttle is enabled
The power is administered by way of a current limitation, hence 300W applies an approximate 6.25A ceiling to the motor current draw.
The ride is heavily influenced by the large fat bike tires. The spring stiffness and damping for most of the bike is controlled by a combination of the tires and the dampers. The front fork has a lockout so it’s possible to stand on the pedals without much handlebar bounce.
The bike is heavy, circa 20kg. Most of the weight is located in the box section where the battery is located. The hub locates the motor and is another heavy part of the bike.
Overall, the bike is quite comfortable to ride, it’s quite easy to go for 20-30km with little fatigue.
The Human machine interface (HMI) consists of a large backlit LCD screen accompanied by four rubber sealed control buttons that are placed near to the left handlebar grip. Everything is straightforward and intuitive. The screen can be configured to show various parameters such as run time, odometer, average speed, instantaneous power and remaining range.
Unlike other e-bikes, the control system on this bike is polished. The power input is very progressive. Depending on the country mode selected, various features become available. One feature which is highly useful but prohibited in Europe is the use of the hand throttle. One of the most awkward parts of e-bikes is the requirement to set off from a stand still. The rider is faced with having to overcome the resistance posed by a heavy bike and it’s transmission, the use of the hand throttle as a means to start the bike off is advantageous.
The speed limitation at around 15mph (25kph) is progressive, the motor does not completely kick out, it starts to reduce power at a slightly lower speed with full power removed at the cut off speed.
In pedal assist mode, the motor requires 2 full rotations of the pedal axle before power will be initiated.
The control system also features automatic lights, brake lights and a tail light, all of these functions can be accessed from the control menu. All systems are powered by the on board battery and thus nothing additional is required.
Brakes and Transmission
The brakes consist of front and rear hydraulically operated sic brakes, the rotors are large 160mm units with a 6 bolt fixing. The transmission consists of an unbranded set of cranks sporting Wellgo 170mm pedals on a square taper bottom bracket. The rear derailleur is an 8 speed Shimano Altus cable operated mech shifting an unbranded 8 speed chain. The main drive motor is housed inside the rear hub.
Real life Use
It’s a very easy bike to live with and practical. It’s possible to ride it virtually anywhere at any time and folds up into a compact format that will fit into the rear of most cars, even the pedals are spring loaded and fold in. The bike has been used on various terrain. Trips to the beach, offroad, the supermarket, business trips as well as transit around work sites. It’s versatility is unparalleled. It comes with a kickstand and has been designed as a do it all bike.
The two limiting factors of any type of electrical vehicle tend to be range and speed of charging. The range on this bike is affected by how it is ridden. Stop starts from traffic lights are particularly hard on the battery as is riding it in derestricted mode. With pedal assist on, in excess of 80 to 90km on a single charge should be easily attainable.
It takes around 5-6 hours to charge the battery up from empty to full using the supplied battery charger. The charger varies the charging rate so the initial charge up to 80% is quite fast before it starts to taper off.
The graph below shows the real world range based on power assistance
Security can be a problem with bikes and the advent of e-bikes has also resulted in battery theft. This bike has it’s battery located in the effective down tube. The battery cannot be removed with out the key and the bike cannot be folded without the key. A bike lock would normally be positioned through the frame and the rear wheel and then fastened to an immovable object – that strategy is not feasible with this single down tube design of bike.
Link to the bike from Banggood.com
Coupon Code 1: BG661460 C
oupon Code 2: BGe7c882
Discount: 20% off