Best folding e-bikes 2024

Let pedal power take the strain on your daily commute

Commuting by car is becoming increasingly expensive and more difficult, but public transport isn’t an option for many of us, either. 

Shifting to two wheels could be the answer. Using a bike means you can drive to a place where it is cheaper to park and then simply cycle the rest of the way to your destination. 

A folding bike is much easier to pack into the boot of your car, and having an electric motor to help out on the hills should mean you don’t arrive at work in too much of a sweat. None of the models we’re testing here is cheap, but they can often be bought through cycle-to-work schemes to save tax, and the cost offset by savings in fares and parking. 

But which folding e-bike is the best to get you out of a jam? We tested seven at various price levels to find out.

How we tested them

There’s a huge choice of folding electric bikes on the market, but here we’re considering models that make the most sense for motorists who will be putting them in the boot of a car frequently. 

Given that you’ll be lifting them into the back of a car, we looked at how easy they are to fold, how compact they are, and how much they weigh. Bonus points were given for extras such as built-in lights, clear displays and mudguards.

We then rode all the contenders for several miles on hilly terrain to check the handling, comfort and assistance levels. Finally, we scored them for value.

Reviews

MiRiDER One

  • Price: around £1,600
  • Weight: 17.3kg
  • Gears: One 
  • Range: 45 miles
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Contact: mirider.co.uk

This was the Best Buy in our last test, but it risked being dethroned by another MiRiDER model – the GB3 we tested in April 2023. That was also a five-star bike and we’d recommend it if you do longer journeys. But for shorter – and flatter – commutes, the One is £900 cheaper, so makes more sense.

Unlike the other bikes here, it has just one gear, so the motor has to work harder on hills. However, there is enough range for all but the longest commutes. It’s a comfortable bike, great fun to ride and folds almost as small as the Brompton. 

Buy now from MiRiDER

Gocycle G4

  • Price: around £3,400 
  • Weight: 17.6kg
  • Gears: Three 
  • Range: 40 miles
  • Rating: 4.5 stars  
  • Contact: gocycle.com

The Gocycle G4 won a recommended rosette in our last test and the price has dropped by a massive £600 since then, making it even more attractive. It looks like a bike from the future and features some sophisticated materials and engineering.

It’s bigger than the MiRiDER and Brompton, yet still easy to fold down to a size that will fit in a boot and is light enough to carry. Thanks to its bigger wheels and rear suspension, its ride is the most comfortable of any bike here, and the powerful motor makes hills simply disappear.  

Buy now from Gocycle

Ampere Alter

  • Price: around £1,300  
  • Weight: 22 kg 
  • Gears: Seven 
  • Range: 40 miles
  • Rating: 4 stars  
  • Contact: ecobikecompany.com

It might be the cheapest bike here, but the Alter isn’t short of the extras we like. It comes as standard with front and rear lights, mudguards, a luggage rack and even an electric horn. Unusually, it has front suspension too, which makes it comfortable over rougher roads, especially with its wide and supportive saddle.

There are some areas where it feels built to a price, though, such as the awkward operation of the removable battery and the unlit LCD screen. It’s heavy too, but is fairly compact when folded. 

Buy now from Ampere

Brompton Electric P Line Urban 

  • Price: around £3,700
  • Weight: 15.6 kg 
  • Gears: Four 
  • Range: 45 miles
  • Rating: 4 stars  
  • Contact: brompton.com

If you need to incorporate a stint on public transport as part of your commute, then the Brompton might be the only choice. Once you get the hang of the mechanism, it folds down to a tiny size and can be carried on a rush-hour train without causing too many complaints – especially as the battery pack can be removed to make the bike easy to handle. 

Four gears and its light weight mean it takes little effort to ride too, but the front-wheel drive and the weight of the battery pack over the nose of the bike do make the handling feel odd. 

Buy now from Brompton

Estarli e20.7 Pro

  • Price: around £1,500  
  • Weight: 18kg 
  • Gears: Seven 
  • Range: 31 miles
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Contact: estarli.co.uk

With its 20-inch wheels and a chunky frame, the Estarli dwarfs some of the other bikes here, yet it also boasts one of the lowest prices. The Pro version we tested has a few nice extras, but there are cheaper options if you are not all that bothered about having lights, mudguards and luggage racks.

With seven gears, strong disc brakes and five levels of assistance, it offers a comfortable ride on longer journeys. But
that sheer size scores against it when it comes to loading it into a car boot, although the weight is far from the heaviest. It’s ideal for those who have a bigger vehicle, such as a campervan.

Buy now from Estarli

Legend Monza

  • Price: around £2,000  
  • Weight: 19.5 kg 
  • Gears: Six 
  • Range: 62 miles
  • Rating: 3 stars  
  • Contact: legendebikes.co.uk

Like the Estarli, the Monza is suited to longer trips on country lanes and dirt tracks, thanks to its big wheels, chunky tyres and strong hydraulic disc brakes. 

It has six speeds operated by a twist grip, and the longest range of any bike in this test. It’s very stable, with a stiff frame, and comfortable enough for hour-long rides. It has no display, though, relying on a push-button control and Bluetooth connection to an app – which takes time to get used to. It folds down into a surprisingly small package, but is heavy to lift.

Buy now from Legend

Wisper 806

  • Price: around £1,400  
  • Weight: 21 kg
  • Gears: Seven 
  • Range: 50 miles
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: ecobikecompany.com

There’s a lot to like about the Wisper. The low centre bar of the frame means it’s easy to mount if you are less agile, and the big battery gives a range of up to 50 miles, helped by seven gears. A wide and comfortable saddle keeps the aches away too. 

A large backlit LCD display shows essential information, and the battery is easy to remove or plug in. There are some negatives, though: the gears aren’t as slick or easy to use as the twist grips of its rivals here, and the Wisper is cumbersome when folded.

Buy now from Wisper

Verdict

The best bike for your needs will depend on your budget and riding requirements – there are no bad products here. 

But for the purposes of our test, we judged them as though we would be riding on a commute of a few miles into an urban area after taking the bike out
of a car boot. On this basis, it’s another win for the MiRiDER One. It’s compact, fun to ride and remarkable value. 

The GoCycle G4 is a pleasure to ride over longer distances and incredibly advanced. Yes, it has a hefty price tag, but it could end up paying for itself if you’re saving on fares and parking.

If you want long-distance ability, but are on a tighter budget, the Ampere Alter looks good value and takes third place.

  1. MiRiDER One
  2. GoCycle G4
  3. Ampere Alter

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