The best folding e-bike is also the most expensive. But there are inexpensive models that score. The list of the best shows the top 6 electric folding bikes with and without street legal.
Folding e-bikes are very practical and popular mainly because of the way they can be folded. They are considered free luggage on the train, take up little space in city apartments and fit in every trunk for commuters. How it fares against an e-scooter, we explain in comparison: E-folding bike or e-scooter? And the winner is …
In addition to many established brands, many Chinese companies are entering the German market through import dealers, especially in 2020. Your electric folding bikes look chic, look stable, drive well and often cost a fraction of what buyers spend on branded bikes. But they have a huge catch: They lack approval for German roads. What to look out for when making a purchase, do we explain in the legal or illegal guide? Everything about e-bikes and pedelecs.
From all the folding e-bikes that we have tested so far, we will choose the six best in this top 6 list of the best. Click here for a detailed comparison test of folding e-bikes from 500 to 3000 euros.
1st place: Brompton Electric
Brompton has cult status among folding bike enthusiasts. Not wrongly. The folding mechanism in particular is really ingenious. It works twice and thus achieves folding dimensions that the competition can only dream of. Even with the rest of the Brompton Electric (test report) you can tell the great experience of Brompton, every detail seems well thought out and adapted to the needs of the driver.
But the Brompton Electric is not without its flaws. For many, the most deterrent is the high price – nothing goes below 3000 euros. You also have to get used to the front-wheel drive first; on gravel, for example, a spinning front wheel can be dangerous. On the other hand, you quickly get used to the fact that there is no screen. Anyone who has the necessary money for the Brompton Electric should be happy with it.
2nd place: Fiido D4S
As with all the folding e-bikes from China that we tested, the following also applies to the Fiido D4S (test report): It’s a shame that it is not allowed on German public roads, mainly because of the throttle lever. Because apart from that, we can fully recommend it. Its unique selling point is without question the price of well under 600 euros. But it is really well made, offers a great driving experience, goes very far on one battery charge, works compactly, offers good brakes and good gear shifting. It is also suitable for really tall drivers. On the other hand, the cables on the handlebars that are too long are visually unattractive and the pedal assistance only reacts with a delay.
The Fiido D4S costs from 600 euros with a voucher code BGD4S009 (Buy link Banggood).
3rd place: Blaupunkt Fiene 500
The Blaupunkt Fiene 500 (test report) is a very good folding e-bike. In terms of price, it is well above the Chinese alternatives. But it offers the higher quality components in virtually all sub-disciplines. The most outstanding feature is perhaps the extravagant magnesium frame, which looks very chic. Nevertheless, the Fiene 500 weighs a good 21 kilograms.
The driving experience is very good for a folding bike. This is due on the one hand to the rather large 20-inch tires and on the other hand to the high rigidity of the folding e-bike. However, the seat post is too short for tall riders.
Tekro’s mechanical disc brakes are very good. The battery has sufficient endurance and can be easily removed. The pedal assistance is good and significantly better than with the very cheap China e-folding bikes.
The folding dimensions of the Fiene 500 are narrow, at least after you have readjusted the folding angle of the handlebars yourself as described in the test report. Blaupunkt has used a magnet to hold the bike together very nicely. Only one would have liked to be able to glue it on.
4th place: Mate X
The Mate X (review) is a beast! Not only does it look bold, it drives like that too – in an absolutely positive sense. All in all, Mate-Bike uses higher quality components than the visually very similar but only half as expensive Fiido M1. One notices that, among other things, in the better driving experience and the more precise electronics.
We think it’s great that there is a street legal version, which we recommend in Germany. Because the Mate X stands out. Not just passers-by, the police too. The legal variant then comes without a throttle grip with a 250 watt motor throttled to 25 kilometers per hour. If you don’t care, you can even order a version with 750 watts. In our opinion, this is not even necessary, since the Mate X accelerates faster than almost any other folding e-bike at 250 watts.
5th place: Fiido M1
The Fiido M1 (test report) is a brazen copy of the Mate X, which at well under 1000 euros costs only about half as much as the original.
It has inexpensive components across the board, but overall great workmanship, a practical folding mechanism and, thanks to the suspension and the wide tires, a really good and safe driving experience. The Fiido M1 is also a real eye-catcher. Currently, Fiido bikes can only be recommended in Germany on private premises. What a shame, that massively restricts your usable space. In conclusion I can only say: Great, but illegal.
6th place: Fiido D11
The Fiido D11 (test report) is a really good folding e-bike. The design is fantastic apart from the massive welds and the thick wiring harness on the handlebar. Its weight is pleasantly low and its range is high. Integrating the battery in the removable seat post is clever. The engine is powerful enough, the brakes are fine and the gears are exceptionally good.
As a big negative point, we see the fixed and too low height of the handlebars. This makes it ergonomically rather unsuitable for drivers who are taller than 180 centimeters. It is also significantly more expensive than the Fiido D4S, which is equivalent in many ways.
The Fiido D11 costs from 850 euros with a voucher code NhwHZpL8 (Purchase link Geekmaxi).
The following applies to e-folding bikes: if you want a variant approved in Germany, you pay on it, in contrast to the very cheap Chinese alternatives from Fiido and Co. The Brompton Electric (test report) is the most expensive, but also clearly the best folding e-bike we have tested. Anyone who only drives the folding e-bike on private routes can use the Fiido D4S (test report) without hesitation thanks to its unbeatable price-performance ratio. It offers almost everything you would expect from a good electric folding bike and costs less than 600 euros.
The Fiido D2S (test report), Xiaomi Himo Z16 (test report) and DYU D3F (test report) folding e-bikes did not make it into our top 6 list of e-folding e-bikes. In the respective test reports it becomes clear why this is so.
How exactly do you recognize a legal e-bike? We explain in detail in the legal or illegal guide? Everything about e-bikes and pedelecs. We compare all of the foldable e-bikes we have tested point by point in the comparison test of folding e-bikes.