When I first began researching electric bikes for my own purchase decision, it was a bit overwhelming.  There was so much to learn because I hadn’t any experience with electric bikes, wasn’t familiar with any of the brands, features, capabilities, or options.  So this is a guide for the total newbie to e-bikes.

I knew for certain that I wanted an electric bike with a warranty, ongoing customer support, and available replacement parts.  Many of the cheaper options I looked at seemed a bit like a crapshoot.  You could easily spend $700+ on something that may become a very large and expensive lawn ornament if you’re not able to find replacement parts for it later.

So, I’ve selected companies that have been around for a while, have online catalogs for parts and accessories and come with decent warranties.

How much do electric bikes cost?  Costs range from $4,000+ to a decent setup around $1,000.  The ones that I’ve selected for this guide typically are less than $2,000 since that’s the budget I was trying to stay under and if you’re new to electric bikes, you’re probably not going to be ready to spend more than that.

These are also foldable e-bikes and that’s because these are bikes that short people, like myself, can ride.  I’m 5’1″, so many of the standard frames used on e-bikes wouldn’t work for me.  The frames typically only come in one size so that leaves me with a folding bike or possibly some of the walk-thru models would work as long as the seat post adjusted low enough.

However, these foldable bikes will also accommodate taller individuals.  They’re very versatile. Just make sure to contact customer support or read through user manuals to make sure whatever you’re interested in will support your height and weight.



With any bike it’s important to get the right frame size for your height but it’s especially important for electric bikes for safety reasons.  Some of these bikes have some snappy acceleration to them and if the bike isn’t the right fit, your control of the bike is going to be compromised.

If you can find a bicycle shop nearby to try out different electric bike models that would be preferable but there aren’t any near where I live so I’m having to do a lot of research online.

Terms that you’ll need to become familiar with in regards to electric bikes are pedal assist and throttle, either twist throttle or thumb.  All of the bikes below on this list have both pedal assist and throttles.

Different electric bikes also have varying levels of pedal assistance.  Many have 5 levels with level 1 offering the least assistance and level 5 the most.  Some of the cheaper electric bikes only have one level.  The EZ Pedaler and the Green Bike USA GB5 below have 9 levels.

Throttles come in very handy on electric bikes because you can be pedaling along without any assistance but when you meet a hill or a strong headwind, you can hit the throttle and get that boost you need.  Also, by using the throttle you can use just the motor on the bike and not pedal at all.

Of course, electric bikes have lithium batteries and these need to be charged periodically to keep them fresh.  So, in the winter or when you’re not using the bike for prolonged periods of time, you’ll need to make sure that you charge the battery once a month or so and store the battery where it isn’t too cold or too hot.



It’s also important to point out that the range estimates for each bike is dependent upon the user’s weight, the terrain (flat vs hilly), and wind conditions.

These aren’t in any particular order and I’ll be adding to the list when I find good bikes to recommend.

*Also note that as new models become available some of the specs may change.  Make sure to double check all the specs before ordering.

EZ Pedaler X350 Folding Stowaway

This is a foldable e-bike that lists for $1795.  The company is based out of Lee, New Hampshire.  In addition to the X350, two other models are also available, the X500, and the ST500.  The X350 has more of that old-school look to it, just a more classic design.  It is available in 3 colors: black, white & red.


Battery: 36V10AH Lithium Battery
Motor: 350W (8Fun)
Range: 35-40 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: Tektro Disc Brakes
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: Suntour Forks (front)
Gears: 7-speed Shimano Deraileur
Display: LCD
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 9
Throttle: Yes
Frame: Marine Stainless
Weight: 49lbs including battery
Max User Weight: 250 lbs
Warranty: 3 years frame; 1 year other parts
Accessories: Integrated front & rear lights / kickstand / rear carrying rack / fenders

What I like about the Pedaler X350 is that it has those 9 levels of pedal assistance which should make for a smooth transition.

Product Video/Review* This may be of an older model and the first part of the video discusses the X350.

Enzo Foldable Electric Bike

The Enzo Foldable Electric Bike is an Italian designed marine ready bicycle with a list price of $1699.  In fact, it was designed to withstand harsh humid and salty coastal climates so it’s extremely rust-resistant.  A rather unique feature of Enzo bikes is that the frames glow in the dark for added visibility and are also available in several colors: black, white, silver, pink, orange, red, lime green, blue, and yellow.

Battery: Samsung 36V 10.4AH
Motor: Rear Direct Drive 350W Brushless
Range: 30-50 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: Front/Rear Hydraulic Disc
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: No front forks or seat suspension
Gears: 7-speed Shimano
Display: LCD with Speed, Pedal Assist Levels, Throttle Control, USB Phone Charger
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 5
Throttle: Yes
Frame: 6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy Glow in the Dark, Foldable
Weight: 44lbs
Max User Weight: 275 lbs
Warranty: 2 Year Limited
Accessories: Storage Bag / Rear Carrying Rack / Front & Rear Lights / Seat Post with Integrated Tire Pump / Titanium Bolts / Front & Rear Fenders

The Enzo is a seriously cool looking bike with the battery hidden inside the frame.  I love the lime green color option (and who wouldn’t like glow in the dark anything) and the fact that it comes pretty much entirely assembled.  I think Enzo is a brand that’s going to be around for a long time and it’s one of the more popular e-bikes out there right now.

The only drawback for me is that it doesn’t have a suspension system.  I’d prefer that it have front suspension forks or at least a suspension seat post.  Of course, you can always change out the seat post and get something more comfortable to absorb those bumps.

A big plus however is that it’s the most lightweight foldable e-bikes I’ve found and a lot of that is due to not having those heavy front suspension forks.

Joulvert Playa Journey

The Joulvert Playa Journey looks to be a good quality electric bike that lists for just under $1,000.  A neat feature to this bike is that you can get a rear seat for it for just a few more dollars.  It also has heavy duty tires that are going to be more resistant to thorns and such.  It’s only available in a matte black finish but has a nice streamlined classic look to it.  More importantly this is an electric bike that’s going to have many of the features people are looking for in a no-nonsense package at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

It doesn’t have the LCD display like the others but that’s saving you some serious money.

There’s also a Joulvert Playa Journey Pro that comes with mag wheels and in August of 2018 will have a USB charge port on the battery. It’s about $150 more than the standard Playa Journey.

This is the bike that I’m seriously looking at for myself because it has the features I’m looking for and it’s more in line with my budget.  I like the integrated lights and the optional seat for the back.  When my grandson gets a little older, he could ride with me.

I also like the suspension system for that added comfort and the 280 lbs max carrying capacity.  Although I don’t weigh anywhere near that, it’ll allow me to carry an extra rider or equipment without worrying about stressing the frame or motor.

Another positive for short riders is that the seat height goes all the way down to 26″ and for taller folks as high as 41″.

The only major drawback is that I haven’t found a single full review on it but I have found reviews for their other models and they’re very positive. The Joulvert Stealth model is one of them and a contender for one of the better foldable electric bikes.

Battery: Lithium ion high capacity cells, 36V/11Ah
Motor: Rear Wheel 350W Brushless
Range: 30 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: Front/Rear Disc Brakes
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: Front shocks, seat post shock
Gears: 6-speed Shimano
Display: None but has controller on handlebar
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 5
Throttle: Yes
Frame: 100% Aluminum
Weight: 52lbs
Max Rider Weight: 280 lbs
Adjustable Seat Height: 26″- 41″
Warranty: 1-year Full Warranty
Accessories: Rear Carrying Rack / Optional Rear Seat / System Operated Front & Rear Lights / Front & Rear Fenders

Green Bike USA GB5

There’s a lot to like about the GB5 by Green Bike USA due to all the features it has for the price.  You’re really getting a lot for your money with this electric bike.  The GB5 features a full suspension, 9 levels of pedal assist, brake light and turn signals.  Brake lights and turn signals are particularly useful safety features that I feel are missing from the other options.

There’s also the GB1 model which only has front suspension, 3 levels of pedal assist, but weighs less, so if you’re planning to transport the bike often, you may want to look at this model instead and save a little money too.

Battery: Lithium Samsung, 36V/13Ah
Motor: 8 Fun 350W Motor
Range: 50 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: Front/Rear Tektro Disc Brakes
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: Full Front and Back
Gears: 6-speed Shimano
Display: LCD multi-functional display
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 9
Throttle: Yes
Frame: 100% Aluminum
Weight: 57 lbs
Max Rider Weight: ?
Warranty: 18 months for frame, motor and the lithium battery , 12 months for controller and charger.
Accessories: Rear carrying rack / front and back fender / integrated lights / brake lights and turn signals

There’s a lot to like about the GB5 but something to consider is the weight.  That’s probably the biggest drawback of this model.  Another problem that I’ve read is that if you’re around 5’1″ this may be too tall of a bike for you.

E-Joe Epic SE Sport Edition

The E-Joe Epic was definitely a folding e-bike that I took a very close look at.  It too had everything that I was looking for and has many positive reviews.  I think it would be a good choice for many.

The only reason I didn’t choose it was because it has a thumb throttle on the left side which my thumb probably wouldn’t reach well (I have a clubbed thumb!) and I also have essential tremor which means my hands have a tremor in them, especially the more that I use them.  The constant vibration of riding a bike causes my hands to shake even more.  So, I chose a bike with a twist throttle.

That’s definitely something to consider when you’re choosing a bike.  Not that there’s zillions of people with clubbed thumbs and essential tremor but there’s a lot of people with arthritis or other physical limitations.  Take those special needs into consideration, if any apply to you, when choosing your e-bike.

Now onto the E-Joe Epic SE.  The E-Joe brand along with Enzo are probably the two most popular folding e-bike brands.  They produce similar bikes and many people find themselves choosing between the two.

The E-Joe Epic SE is one of the lightest folding e-bikes I looked at. It only weighs 42 pounds which means easier lifting and transporting.  It also has a 500W motor and a large 48 Volt battery giving it plenty of power. With a carrying capacity of 300 lbs this is a good choice for heavier riders or those transporting heavy gear or bags.

Battery: 48 Volt 10.4Ah LG Cell Lithium Polymer
Motor: 500W Brushless Motor
Range: 30 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: TEKTRO 180 Rotor Disc Brakes
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: Front Zoom Brand Suspension Fork
Gears: 7-speed Shimano Tourney TX-55
Display: LCD multi-functional display
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 5
Throttle: Yes, Thumb
Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
Weight: 42 lbs
Max Rider Weight: 300 lbs
Warranty: 1-year limited
Accessories: Rear carrying rack / front and back fenders / magnet clip for folding

Ness Icon and Ness Rua

Where I stopped at the pond

The Ness Icon

The Ness Icon and Ness Rua foldable electric bikes are currently the only two models that Ness produces.  Ness is located in Miami, Florida and sells their bikes at their local shops and online.  There’s also several online retailers carrying Ness bikes now and possibly a local distributor to you.

This is the bike that I chose and you can read the review here!

The Ness Icon features a low step “wave” frame design while the Rua has the more familiar mid-step frame.  The Icon is available in white with different color accents and the Rua is available in black with the same color accents as the Icon.

The Ness Icon is the bike that I chose for myself and I will be reviewing.  I chose it due to its quality components, price, and hopefully a frame that will accommodate my short stature.  There’s very few plastic parts to either the Icon or Rua.  Both feature magnesium cast wheels and aluminum alloy fenders.  Many of the bikes in the same price range have plastic fenders which helps reduce weight but aren’t as durable.

The Icon and Rua are identical in the type of components they use.  The only difference is the frame style.  The Icon is possibly a more feminine looking bike while the Rua a bit more masculine, although I like the looks of both and would feel comfortable choosing either.  They’d be great to buy as a pair for a husband and wife due to their style choices, value, and price point.

Battery: Lithium Samsung, 36V/13Ah
Motor: 350W Motor
Range: 30 miles
Top Speed: 20 MPH
Brakes: Front/Rear Hydraulic/Disc Brakes
Tire Size: 20″
Suspension: Front Zoom Brand Suspension Fork
Gears: 7-speed Shimano
Display: LCD multi-functional display
Levels of Pedal Assistance: 5
Throttle: Yes
Frame: 100% Aluminum
Weight: 51.5 lbs
Max Rider Weight: 250 lbs
Warranty: 1-year comprehensive, 5 years frame
Accessories: Rear carrying rack / front and back fenders / integrated front light

Most of the reviews that I’ve read on the Icon have been very good.  At the time I’m writing this there’s only one review on Amazon and it’s not so good but I’ll for sure be putting the bike through its paces and letting you know what I think.

Enjoy this great review from ElectricBikeReview.com

Categorized in:


Last Update: October 1, 2018