Author Scott Alexander
Highs Portable folding e-bike with plenty of power and a beautiful LCD Display.
Lows Lacks fit and finish in several areas.
Engwe (pronounced Eng—wee) is a consumer direct brand so the EP-2 Pro was delivered directly to my house. The bike weighs in at about 74 pounds and comes in a sturdy and compact box, albeit a bit awkward to move around with no handles.
The packaging inside was very secure, but this also means that there are a lot of steps required to build the bike. I wasn’t counting but there must have been 40 zip ties to cut. All the necessary tools are included but in my opinion this isn’t a bike assembly for someone with limited experience. There were a couple steps that required some aggressive wrenching — mounting the rack and front fender. The front wheel has a rudimentary axle that required some finessing for proper alignment. On my bike the front brake caliper mount was cross-threaded and only partially installed. I was able to clean up the threads by disassembling it and running the screw through from the other side.
After working through the kinks I don’t have any long term concerns with the build, but it’s a tall order for a novice to handle. If this applies to you I’d have a local shop or friend with more experience complete the assembly.
The EP-2 Pro is spec’d with entry level components.
Gearing — The seven speed Shimano drivetrain (14-28 rear, 42 front) shifts reliably and provides a gearing range well suited for normal urban riding terrain.
Suspension — The front suspension fork provides 2.4 inches (61mm) of travel. It has a preload adjustment which I set to the highest setting. There’s also a lockout option which I appreciated when riding around town. The high volume tires provide quite a lot of cushion, even without the fork engaged.
Brakes — The mechanical disc brakes are sufficient but a bit spongy with a significant pulse in the front brake. I haven’t spent much time troubleshooting but it’s likely a slightly bent rotor which could be bent back.
The EP-2 Pro is powered by a 750w brushless rear hub motor with 80Nm of torque. There are five levels of pedal assist, easily configurable using the controls on the left side. There’s also a half twist throttle on the right side which can be used to control the motor; no pedalling required.
I’m 180 pounds (82kg) and found the motor to be plenty powerful to make it around town, up and down hills.
The lithium-ion battery is mounted inside the top tube. It takes about six hours to charge and Engwe claims a range of 50+ miles, which of course depends on weight and riding conditions.
A key is required to remove the battery as well as run the motor. I appreciate this as a security feature. A lot of similar bikes require a key to remove the battery but not to start the motor. Simply remove the key when you run into the store and it’s it’s far less likely that an opportunist thief will pedal away with your 75 lb e-bike if they can’t get it started.
I do have a few gripes though.
The LCD display is my favorite thing about this bike. I’m not familiar with the technical term but it’s like dark mode for your display – the figures you care about are illuminated, instead of being dark with a mostly backlit background. It’s very comfortable to view in both high and low light situations.
The options are pretty standard but one feature that stood out to me was cruise control. This feature was enabled by default and from what I could tell, if you held the throttle at a position for more than a few seconds it would attempt to maintain that power setting, even after you released the throttle and until you engaged the brakes. I didn’t really care for it, probably because most of my riding was in an urban setting with lots of stop and go. Good news though; I spoke with Engwe and got access to the manual which includes instructions for disabling this feature if it doesn’t suit your riding style.
Collapsing the bike is a simple two step process. There is a lever on the steerer tube that you open and fold the stem down, and a lever in the middle of the frame that you open and fold the bike in half. You can even save a bit more space by lowering the seat and collapsing the drive side pedal. There is a stand built in beneath the bottom bracket allowing the collapsed bike to balance.
I found the frame’s built-in handle to be really helpful. When the bike is folded, it makes it easy to move the bike around without pinching your fingers. I also found it useful when lifting the assembled bike up stairs.
The geometry is typical for a folding bike – very upright. The reach feels like a nice compromise for the single size, recommended for riders 5’2”–6’4”. I’m 6’1” and my wife is 5’3” and we both spent time on the bike comfortably. The seat and stem height are easily adjustable. The stem could even be cut to reduce the bar height by an additional 5cm, but we didn’t find it to be necessary.
Heck yes! Towards the end of my test period we got some snow and I spent quite a bit of time out on the frozen roads. The 4” knobby tires are excellent on the hard pack snow and the motor is even strong enough to pull kids on a sled 😆.
At the end of the day the EP-2 Pro is a capable folding e-bike that could make a great choice for anyone who is looking for a simple and fun commuter. I think the decision really comes down to value. You can find other options on the market in the $1,400 price range with a bit more polish. However, the Engwe bikes are often on sale for under $1,000 which changes the value equation significantly and makes the EP-2 Pro very competitive.
We’d like to thank Engwe for sending the EP-2 Pro for review.
Rear rack included.