Please Help Me Find Good-Quality FOLDABLE Type

Forever Blue

I'm back on the hunt for some good-quality, foldable e-bikes! The ones we got ended up being the biggest lemons ever, so I guess we're stuck w/ them. (Retail price $1694 each.)

We want these requirements:

- preferrably 20 x 3" tires, but I know most tires aren't 3" wide...well take about 2.5" or fat tire 4"
- as lightweight as possible to carry in/out of the car
- can go a good long the very least 40 miles
- at least 500w motor, preferrably 750w
- at least 48v battery, preferrably 52v
- speed in the 25-30 mph range
- twist throttle, but thumb may be OK
- comes in step-through AND non-step through styles (for each of us)
- price: nothing outrageous like $3K, but post here anyway & we'll see because we'll be getting a PAIR.
- hydraulic brakes preferred, but if mechanical, then OK
- full suspension, but at least front
- one of us needs a seat height of 31-32" at tallest
- great customer service when things go wrong
- when repairs need to be done during warranty, how are they fixed? (Have to send bikee back which we don't want, can be reimbursed if go to local shop, etc.?)

- NOT Lectric - heard bad things & a little too cheap @ $999.
- Pedego...we'll see

(We really want the Ariel Rider & Juiced later on, which we'll get someday, but they're not foldable & we can't do non-foldable where we live now...way too much trouble.)

TIA! :)
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Let's see. You started with Ecotric Dolphin step-thru fat tire and the Ecotric 20" fire , but they were too heavy to lift (I agree) so you got your money back.

Then you bought the Motiv Stash. Snazzy looking folding bikes. Why are they lemons?

You've got a pretty demanding shopping list. It will be tough to meet it. Good luck.
Let's see. You started with Ecotric Dolphin step-thru fat tire and the Ecotric 20" fire , but they were too heavy to lift (I agree) so you got your money back.

Then you bought the Motiv Stash. Snazzy looking folding bikes. Why are they lemons?

You've got a pretty demanding shopping list. It will be tough to meet it. Good luck.

Actually, w/ the Ecotric, it's not just that they were heavy. The very 1st time we went to ride them, my throttle stopped working & never worked again. I took a video showing that the throttle wasn't working & fortunately, they needed a video showing that it no longer worked before we were able to return them, which we gladly did, so got the full refund there because it was still w/i 14 days.

With these Motivs, bought therm from a bike shop that time & we've had the bikes 11 mos now, but starting about 3-4 mos into buying them, we've started having trouble & must have returned them to the bike shop 8-10x's now to get repaired. The shop won't do anything except keep fixing them. We've contacted the Motiv co. directly & get a very brief, flippant reply stating, "Any refunds have to be sorted out with dealer" when we explained what's happened (faulty wires, throttle stopped working, bike doesn't accelerate, crank issue, strange noise, power cutting in and out, etc.)

Now, this is the latest that's happened:
So when we had to bring our bikes in for the latest time to get them fixed on Thursday, Feb. 17th and they were ready for pickup, which we went back the following day, the 18th. One of the bikes stopped working 3xs' all in a matter of minutes...the first time merely seconds from walking out of the bike shop BEFORE we even left the shop, so we left it there for additional repair. Even a shop employee saw how we had to keep walking back in there too. That means we'll have to drive back a THIRD time over the course of 5 days.

This is not what we paid $3K total have our bikes stop working every few weeks and we have to waste our time, gas money, and wear and tear on our car to bring them back repeatedly in 2+ hrs round trip fwy traffic. That's not the solution. It's like putting a band-aid on a gushing, open-infested wound. Again, we never rode our bikes in a rough way, casually on trails/in the park (never off-road, in the streets). They've stayed in the car when not riding them surrounded by pillows & folded blankets for cushioning, never out in the elements/rain, etc.

So it's pretty much guaranteed that every 2nd or 3rd ride, the bike(s) isn't/aren't going to start. Fiance' suggested that all new wiring probably needs to be done, but the shop won't do it. The bike shop & the brand co. keep passing the responsibility to each other. No one wants to take responsibility.
Motiv brand forum has one post on the "known problems" thread. It is a praise post. That makes it look like a quality bike. Why don't you help others by listing your problems on that thread for potential purchasers to see.
I can't imagine going 25 mph on a 20" wheel bike except on perfect pavement. We don't have much of that in my county. However, you want what you want.
I would try to recycle your frames and install a reliable hub motor kit from somebody. I had good results with but he doesn't have 20" wheel now. Some people like leaf. At the speed you want, direct drive hubs are the ticket. They don't accelerate very fast, consume too many watthours on hills and aren't good for heary loads. Geared hubmotors are the opposite. Slower, more torque at low speeds. Many controllers top out at 15 mph to be legal in all states. My 2017 geared hub kit topped out at 25 mph.
Some kits like ebikeling come with the battery. He is not getting complaints about his batteries. I bought a battery from lunabike, and am still using it 4 years later. I previously bought batteries from bettrbattery on amazon & sun ebike on ebay. Both were trash. I only got my money back from amazon.
I converted my cargo bike left with battery mount of aluminum angle & machine screws, controller clamped under the seat with a spam can lid, and wiring done with dorman crimp connectors from the auto supply. Other than throttle problems in the rain solved with hairdryer, my ebikeling controller & accessories have been 100% reliable over 4 years & 8000 miles. The first motor wore out the gears in ~4500 miles. Whoopie, a used replacement from bafang is $38.
The wiring is outside, clipped on with tie wraps. Some people find that offensive. I'm riding 2000 miles a year, others are waiting for repairs at the shop or for parts in the mail. Their bikes are much prettier than mine. Nice yard ornaments. With the extra length wire I installed near the motor & folded up, I can change a tire without unwiring the motor. I carry a few spare tie wraps along with tubes & tools.
Thanks for the comments so far. Yes, I will go over & give my experience w/ Motiv this past year I've had the bikes.

Re: building my own, no way, but thanks for the idea. I don't know a thing about that kind of thing. My safety is what's most important & I'm surely not going to try to watch youtube videos on how to do each step & risk doing it wrong NOR do I even have the time to build my own bike & we'd need 2.

Any other suggestions these days?
Reading your want list again and been watching the folding bike stuff over the years I still think surface604 twist is probably your best bet

Closest I can think of that isn’t heavy

The pedego latch are great riding folders but the power is on the lower side, fine for the flats
A thought about suspension forks; try a suspension seat post first. A good one makes a huge difference in ride quality. You may not need a suspension fork and therefore can save some weight.
OK, I think I've found them! 😀 The Eahora Azaria has literally ALL the specs we want @ great price! & to add another 2 pluses...

- they welcome people to pick up directly from their warehouse, in which the drive is perfect for us
- brand is based in California in the USA

We were going to get the Rad Power Mini Step-Thru 2 & the RadMini 4, but they very recently got discontinued.
Oh that's strange.
Initially I thought maybe the manufacture discontinued, but it is still available.

I wonder why Rad decided not to sell the Mini.. I thought it was popular.

Have no idea why they discontinued BOTH RadMinis. I heard all kinds of good reviews too. Their new Expand5 is supposed to replace them (in their eyes), BUT, unfortunately, the new Expand5 doesn't have front suspension like the other 2 did & the Expand was very temporarily selling for $200 or $300 less (than those Minis) due to that, but I've now noticed it's now $1500 (well $1499) like both Minis used to be, so you're getting less for the same money!
Have no idea why they discontinued BOTH RadMinis.
I'm thinking those eBikes are more fad than function. While folks seem to love them I didn't find 20" folders to be suited to much more than medium to light use. The high-priced rides from Tern, Dahon, and Brompton I found to have a better setup and geometry. BUT significantly more expensive. Those 20" fat-tire rides are, well, to me, FUGLY!

No one discontinues a product that made money. But as screwed up as manufacturing is right now, it's anyone's guess. Prices on many products are climbing significantly. $320 delivered vacuum last 2021 and month $320. Today $420. NUTS. My new Day6 due this week is now spring of 2023.