Electric bikes allow for a vastly improved commuting experience, ensure that journeys are environmentally friendly, and help riders take on difficult terrain or distances with ease.
However, when selecting an electric bike for city life you may want to purchase a model with small wheels. The advantage of small wheels on an electric bike is the increased maneuverability, stability, and acceleration.
This is why we’ve compiled a list below of some of the most popular models to give you an idea about what’s on the market.
1. Axon Pro Lite
With the word ‘lite’ in the name, it should come as no surprise that this small-wheeled e-bike is lightweight. However, that’s not the only factor that makes this bike stand out from the crowd.
Despite it weighing in at only 15kg it has a powerful 36V 250W motor which will give you the power you need to push through traffic on a busy commute.
While we’re on the topic of getting to work, it should be noted that the Axon Pro Lite is incredibly easy to pack down and fold up. If you have to take it on a train or tuck it away safely out of sight, the Axon Pro Lite may be the e-bike that you need.
TechRadar.com concurs and found that:
“(…) it feels extremely portable thanks to its clever design that allows it to be folded up and stored away in seconds.”
This is all possible due in part to its magnesium alloy frame and the tiny 16-inch wheels, however, there are some drawbacks to its lightweight design.
For example, the Axon Pro Lite is not fitted with suspension and, coupled with the small wheels, some riders may find that it does not offer a smooth and straightforward riding experience.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a gearless, folding e-bike that packs a punch, then the Axon Pro Lite will only set you back around $2,120.00.
2. Brompton Electric
You’ll have heard of Brompton if you’ve ever researched folding bicycles; this company is arguably the leading manufacturer of the best traditional folding bicycles on the market, so it’s no surprise that they have taken a leap into the e-bike domain, too.
The Brompton Electric has the small wheel size that you may be looking for – only 16 inches. Naturally, this e-bike is a dream to pack away and store, thanks to the years of development that Brompton has spent perfecting the folding bike.
Moreover, the Brompton Electric has some quality components and features, such as 250W motor and a
Additionally, the Brompton Electric is known for some impressive luggage options, decent brakes, and an overall great ride quality that is perfect for daily commutes.
However, although the brakes are responsive, the awkward placement and their inability to halt the motor have given something for riders to complain about.
Nevertheless, the Brompton Electric only weighs 15.33kg and is fitted with girthy Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires which will ensure portability and stability wherever you take it.
The Brompton Electric starts from around$3,850.
3. GoCycle G4
Small-wheeled electric bikes are sometimes known for ‘twitchiness’, and riders occasionally have issues when learning to steer these e-bikes on the streets. However, the GoCycle G4 has been designed to make this problem a thing of the past.
By implementing a long wheelbase and wide tires, the GoCycle G4 allows for greater traction and stability. What’s more, it also gives riders the freedom to take this little e-bike off the commuter journey and onto more difficult terrain.
The GoCycle can hold its own in a variety of settings thanks in part to the three-speed Shimano Nexus hub, a powerful 500W motor, giving it an approximate range of 40 miles.
Additionally, all that torque combined with the 20-inch wheels allows the GoCycle G4 to be fantastic when you need fast acceleration.
Moreover, the founder of GoCycle was previously an engineer for McClaren, so the company knows a thing or two about designing top-of-the-line transport. This may explain build features such as the carbon fork and magnesium alloy frame.
The only downside to the GoCycle G4 is the price, there’s no denying that $5,000 may put some potential buyers off, but if you can stomach the high price tag, the G4 will not disappoint.
4. E-Trends Fly
If price is a concern when trying to find a small-wheeled e-bike that suits your needs, then take a look at the E-Trends Fly.
This electric bike weighs much more than its competitors (23.5kg) and will give you a range of 19 miles, however, the good news is that it will only set you back around $875.00.
The E-Trends Fly has more going for it than just price. It is equipped with a 250w rear hub motor which is powered by a 36V 7.5AH lithium-ion battery, and it comes with a super soft saddle that will make each journey from point A to point B far easier.
Moreover, your small 20-inch wheels have mudguards on both the front and the rear. However, this is not an e-bike that will turn many heads as the design is lacking a certain aesthetic quality.
Naturally, at this low price point, the E-Trends Fly has had to make some compromises, with one reviewer explaining that not only is there an absence of gears, but it is also:
“(…) necessary to squeeze out the power more frequently than we expected to given the easy-to-ride characteristics of this e-bike. As a result our battery dwindled quite a lot as the speed sensor did its job.” [Source:Techradar.com]
Despite this, you could do a whole lot worse when it comes to selecting a cheap e-bike with small wheels. If you want an electric bike for short journeys, then the E-Trends Fly is a real contender.
5. Hummingbird Electric 2.0
If you plan on having to carry your new electric bike up flights of stairs then you’ll want a lightweight model. Naturally, small wheels will help with that, but the overall design of the e-bike is also an important factor.
The Hummingbird Electric 2.0 has been designed to ensure weight is kept to a minimum by keeping to 16-inch wheels and carbon fiber components. The result is a commuter e-bike that only weighs 10.3kg.
The company’s website boasts that this is the world’s lightest e-bike, and you can tell from just a quick glance that every effort has been made to ensure that it looks sleek and stylish.
After fully charging the Hummingbird Electric, you can expect to achieve distances of around 50km due to the integrated battery and 250W motor. Additionally, with ‘boost’ modes and pedal assist, taking on steep inclines should be a breeze.
Due to the Hummingbird Electric being a city e-bike, security is a major aspect that needs to be addressed. Thankfully, this has been addressed with an electric lock system to prevent theft.
However, if you’re not happy to leave your Hummingbird on the street, then folding it up for easy and quick portability will be no problem – in fact, it should only take 5 seconds!
The Hummingbird costs $ 4,677.53, can be shipped worldwide, and should arrive after 2-4 weeks from the date of order.
The JackRabbit is a micro e-bike with plenty of attitude that is sure to turn heads when you are cruising around town at speeds of up to 20mph on small, 20-inch wheels.
This is an electric bike that relies entirely on the motor as it is completely pedal free. This makes the JackRabbit a micro e-bike that will not keep you fit, but will get you from A to B without breaking a sweat.
The JackRabbit weighs under 11kg making it one of the lightest electric bicycles you can get your hands on and that low weight and compact size make it incredibly portable. This is an e-bike that you can store easily and will fit comfortably in a car boot.
However, there is no denying that the JackRabbit’s small size will not suit everybody.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the wheelbase is only 26 inches. This makes the JackRabbit perfect for those riders who are on the shorter side, but it may be uncomfortable and feel cramped for individuals 6ft and above.
The JackRabbit may also take some getting used to because, as previously mentioned, it does not have pedals and instead relies on a 300W rear hub motor and a minute 36V battery. You’ll need to use the thumb throttle to engage the motor and will need to keep it held down to maintain speed.
One major drawback to the JackRabbit will be the limited range – only 12 miles. However, the battery can be easily recharged from the frame or quickly removed and replaced with a spare.
The JackRabbit is available for purchase from $999.99 and comes in a range of colors. If you want an e-bike that looks like a BMX and is sure to turn heads, then the JackRabbit may be the right choice for you.