Comparing Two Step-Thru Folding E-bikes
The world of e-biking is bigger and more exciting than ever, with exploding worldwide interest. In the US, record sales are expected every year for at least the next 10 years. E-bike imports into the US outpaced electric car imports by nearly 200,000 units in 2021!
Contributing nicely to the huge increase in e-bike sales is the popularity of folding e-bikes. These models offer a level of convenience that is very attractive to many riders. Fat tire e-bikes are great fun to ride on all types of terrain, but their sheer size often makes them difficult to transport on a bike rack. Folding fat tire bikes are less common than more traditional frames, but they conveniently open the door to new possibilities.
For example, you might need to toss your fat tire e-bike into the trunk or rear seat of your car. Even within your home, you might choose to fold it into a compact rectangle that fits nicely in a corner of the room. Or perhaps just fold down the handlebars to let the Jaguarundi rest neatly against a wall.
For city riders who don’t need to transport their bikes in car, the ability to fold means it takes up less space in the home, perhaps fitting in a corner or under a desk. Or perhaps you just need an e-bike that is easier to carry up the steps to your apartment. Regardless of the reason, folding bikes have become a great option for e-bike shoppers. Let’s take a closer look at two popular brands and compare the key features important to riders.
The RadExpand 5 and The MAGiCYCLE Jaguarundi
1. Overall Size and Storage Footprint
Folding bikes are normally smaller bikes, but they can be designed to be comfortable for riders of various sizes. The MAGiCYCLE Jaguarundi is designed to comfortably accommodate riders varying from 4’10” to 6’2″ in height. This is very nice, especially if 2 or more family members are taking turns on the same e-bike. It has a wheelbase of 46.8″ and its folded footprint is 30.71″ H X 24.41 W X 45.28″ L.
However, the RadExpand 5 is not as adaptive to rider height. It is recommended for riders varying from 4’10” to 5’10”. Taller riders may not be comfortable on this model. The wheelbase is a shorter 45 inches, with a folded footprint of 29″ H X 25″” W X 41″ L.
2. Motor Power
Everybody wants a comfortable e-bike that fits their height, but they also want plenty of power. After all, it doesn’t help much if a bike accommodates a tall rider, but doesn’t have enough power to get the extra weight up a steep hill.
MAGiCYCLE has always insisted on providing a motor that excels in both power and reliability. The Jaguarundi is no exception, giving riders a strong 750 watt (peak) motor, powered by an unusually good battery, offering 52 volts. The Expand 5 also sports a 750 watt (peak) motor, but it falls short on battery power with only 48 volts.
The Jaguarundi motor has the power to handle a 350 pound payload, while the Expand 5 is limited to 275 pounds.
3. Power Control
Yes, it’s very true that power is important, and so is the control of all that power. Both the Jaguarundi and the Expand 6 are equipped with a half-twist throttle to smoothly deliver power to the hub motor.
The Jaguarundi also has a Pedal Assist System, as does the Expand 5. The Jaguarundi gives the rider 7 levels of pedal assist, providing a wide range of control. The Rad Expand 5 has opted to provide only 4 pedal assist levels. Why is this important?
The cadence sensor notifies the controller that you are pedaling, and the controller then sends power to help you pedal. How much power? That depends upon the pedal assist level you have selected. With the Jaguarundi’s 7 levels, you can customize your exercise so that your pedaling effort is optimal.
This is true even if you have physical limitations, such as arthritic knees or leg pains. Selecting the appropriate pedal assist level often allows riders to get the exercise, sunshine, and fresh air they crave. It’s always prudent to check with your doctor,! He or she may well recommend e-biking as the best exercise when dealing with various joint pain.
As you exercise, your muscles get stronger, which allows them to better support your bones and surrounding tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic. This, in turn, helps ease the stress that’s placed on your knee joint, for example, and can help your knees to feel better.
4. Battery Charger
Just as a hub motor is useless without a battery, even the best battery is not very helpful without a charger. MAGiCYCLE has “gone the extra mile” by understanding the need for a reliable fast charger. To get the increase in charging speed, it was necessary to upgrade the charger to 3 amps. MAGiCYCLE riders get the benefit of a quiet, fast charger that will fully charge the Jaguarundi’s battery in a very short time. Again, the Jaguarundi outpaces the Expand 5, which has only a 2 amp charger.
If battery charging was an Olympic event, the Magicycle Quick-Charger would cross the finish line ahead of the pack! You can expect your battery to be fully charged in no more than 5 hours, and often much less. Why settle for an ordinary charger when Magicycle provides up to 30% faster charging?
Battery charging is an important part of maintaining your e-bike battery in great condition. Follow the charging guidelines, and you’ll enjoy great reliability and a long life span, at least 900 recharges. This important battery maintenance is just a lot easier when you have a high-powered and very fast charger, and that’s exactly what you get with your Magicycle.
5. Riding Comfort
Comfort may be more important than many riders realize. The truth is…if the e-bike is not comfortable to ride, then you won’t spend nearly as many enjoyable hours enjoying the quality exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.
Two big factors in riding comfort are tires and suspension. The Jaguarundi and the Rad Expand 5 both are equipped with 20″ X 4″ fat tires. Only the Jaguarundi provides front fork suspension. This is a “biggie.” If you’ve ever been on an e-bike without front suspension, you know exactly what I mean! E-bikes that have both — fat tires and front suspension forks — are much more enjoyable to ride. The combination of wide, stable fate tires plus front fork suspension does a great job of absorbing the bumps. Not only is it more comfortable, but it also eases stress on the arms, shoulders, and back. This one feature alone makes the Jaguarundi worthy of a position at the top of your list!