Blog

Feb
14
Side by Side Comparison - 3 Fat Tire Folding E-Bikes

You are not alone if you feel 'overwhelmed' by all the brands of e-bikes in the market place. Thus I am introducing a series of side-by-side comparisons. This comparison format is designed to answer some questions you may have considered, and likely some you haven't. My aim is to help you get to the most productive questions, and the correct answers more expeditiously. So that you will resolve the feeling of being overwhelmed, have more confidence in what to look for in terms of differentiation, and more quickly find your 'right' e-bike for you. Your e-bike search should not be hard...admittedly the industry is (likely unwittingly) making it harder than it ever should be.

Of course you will also want answers to your own questions for fit, suitable for intended purpose, and where you will ride. This is just a starting point BEFORE you visit any e-bike stores, or bike stores that happen to carry some e-bikes.

Your test rides will be the most informative and revealing, which we strongly encourage everyone to do before they pull the trigger on their e-bike purchase.

It's also important to look beyond the stated 'features' as they are not always 'apples-to-apples' even when the various e-Bike brands use the same terms. You might also want to consider investigating more about attributes like the manufacturing of each brand, how they are built, the small details of component quality, and their use of brand name components, to make sure that they are not sub-par, consistently applied (i.e. not mixing cheap with 'better' to make you feel like the overall e-bike is 'good'), or components that harder to repair, or find when it comes time to replace them.

In this comparison, I am comparing 3 popular brands of Folding Fat Tire e-bike models. In the following two slides, important attributes of the Aventon Sinch, Pedego Element, and Rad-Mini are shown. They are rather close in price, but as you will see, there is important differences in build quality and appropriate for the price point, component tiers.

Two of these brands are made in 3rd party contracted Asian factories, where neither 'brand' does any of their own design, nor engineering, no quality control. Essentially those 'brands' are putting their label on a frame, that is built in a shared 'multi-brand' factory, that they've imported here to the US to make it easier to buy. They are actually the oft-quote 'middle man', rather than the e-bike dealers who add considerably more value. Those 'white label brands' are not an Original Equipment Manufacturer. One brand in the below comparison though IS a true OEM, owns its factory, and does all of its own design/R&D, monitors QC from top to bottom, and was actually building regular bikes before manufacturing its own e-bikes.

When you see these e-bike models in person, it's not hard to discern which brand owns its own factory, as you will witness the higher quality of the overall build like their smoothed welds (that allow for discovery of any possible defects, better adherence of their automotive like paint finish) and their higher strength hydroformed (versus extruded) aluminum frames.

If you could ride these side-by-side on the same day, your response would be over-whelmingly clear in terms of performance, build quality, ride comfort, and aesthetic beauty.

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