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CleanTechnica Review: HOVSCO HovBeta Folding E-Bike (So Good Someone “Stole” It)

A few weeks ago, HOVSCO, an e-bike manufacturer, sent us a pretty cool e-bike to review. In this article, I’m going to go through the basic specifications, what I love about it, and how it rides. I really didn’t come away with anything to complain about with this bike, but it’s also not bottom of the barrel cheap (but not overpriced, either).

Basic Specifications

The HOVSCO HovBeta Foldable 20″ Fat Tire Electric Bike is a powerful electric bike designed for comfort and performance. Equipped with a 750W motor and a 48V Samsung/LG removable lithium battery, the bike can reach speeds of up to 20 mph (28 mph with software unlock) and has a range of up to 60 miles on one charge. The bike features 4-inch wide fat tires for added stability, front suspension, adjustable stem and handlebar, and an adjustable seat post, and it all folds into a fairly compact package for storage and transport.

What caught my eye about this bike right away was that it comes in cool colors. In a time when driving a white, black, or grey crossover is the norm (maybe silver if someone is feeling adventurous), having a splash of purple was kind of refreshing. The bike also comes in a brilliant red color, for those of you who don’t want to look girly.

The multi-color “dark mode” display makes for a much classier look than most bikes in this price range.

It comes with a better display than many e-bikes in this price range, and with a black background and light numbers/letters, it looks pretty classy. It also has some connected features, which is kind of unheard of in this price range ($1499 as of this writing, $1799 “normal” price).

This is a step-thru bike, but unlike many other cheaper step-thrus, it has the battery pack integrated into the lines of the frame. While many cheaper e-bikes have a battery that sticks out like a sore thumb, this one has clean lines and doesn’t scream, “I’m an e-bike!” with a battery mounted on the frame or behind the seat post.

How It Rides

When it comes to power and acceleration, it’s pretty similar to any other 750-watt e-bike out there. I think it moved slightly faster than average, but the light weight of the frame could be a factor here. So, I’d classify this bike as pretty average. But, 750 watts is the limit for most of the US, at least if you want the bike to be treated by the law as a bicycle and not a motorcycle, so I’m not complaining!

Like other fat-tire 20″ bikes, it’s pretty stable. The extra weight of the wheels and fat tires/tubes allows for a fairly stable ride despite the smaller size of the wheel. With front suspension, it’s even good for some trail duty, despite its small size. Sand and dirt, and maybe snow, shouldn’t be a problem for this bike with all of the real estate it has on the tires, assuming you air it down a bit.

Classy Display & Connectivity

One thing that sets it apart from most other e-bikes in its price range is that it’s got a better riding computer. Most have a simple LCD display that’s reminiscent of the Gameboy of the 1990s many of us played Tetris for the first time on (Super Mario Land was my favorite, though). This bike has a much nicer black-background display, like “dark mode” on websites and apps, so if you’re into that, it’s the bike for you in this price range.

Probably what makes it even cooler is that it can connect to your phone. Once you have it paired up (just follow the instructions), you can use your phone as a display with a appropriate mount, so you can get full color (and be one of the cool Game Gear kids). It can also sync information on the ride for review later. But, perhaps most importantly, you can switch the bike between Class 2 and Class 3 modes, increasing the speed limit up to 28 MPH.

Between the clean lines of the frame, the integrated battery mounting, the classy display, and the connectivity, the HovBeta is striking above its price point and competing with bikes that are $800+ more expensive.

So Good My Sister-In-Law Stole It

I review a lot of bikes here at CleanTechnica, and they usually send the bike for keeps. Not only does this let us do longer-term reviews, but it’s probably a good way to get on our good side and get a better review. I try to remain objective, and I’ve been pretty rough on a couple of these bikes that didn’t impress me. But, this time you don’t have to take my word for it.

Why? Because my sister-in-law stole it.

You see, I only have so much room in my shed for bikes, and I like to let family help us with longer-term reviews. So, I asked my brother if he wanted to take it and go out on some rides. He really liked the bike, but his wife decided to give it a test drive. When she got back, he was informed that the bike was now hers. Between the nice lines, the purple color, and the classy display, she decided she really liked it.

As you can see, we’re slowly replacing the combustion engines in my brother’s garage with electric motors.

Don’t feel bad for my brother, though. He has since been given a 26″ fat-tire e-bike to ride, which is what he really wanted all along. The whole family has bikes, so now the whole crew can go out on rides.

I’d say that this “theft” proves that an independent third party liked it!

Final Thoughts

If you want a stylish e-bike, don’t have much room to store it, and/or don’t want to carry it on a bike rack, the HovBeta is probably a good buy. You can find cheaper folding 20″ fat bikes with similar power, but you’re not going to find one with the classy looks and connectivity this one has without spending a good chunk more.

For this reason, and given the independent thumbs up it received from my sister-in-law, I’d say we have a winner on our hands.

 
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Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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