Image credit: FUELL

Riding The FUELL Folld-1 E-Bike — CleanTechnica Tested

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Recently, I was contacted about the possibility of reviewing the FUELL Folld -1 ebike. I had never ridden an e-bike, so I was intrigued. After agreeing, one was quickly shipped. The Folld-1, true to its name, is a folding e-bike, so I wasn’t sure if I had the knowledge or skill to assemble it. I also do not have the required tools. Fortunately, there is a local e-bike shop, Pedego, and they said they could do it.

Before continuing with the personal experience narrative, let’s get to the tech specs, which is what many readers desire to know first.

  • Motor: 750 W
  • Battery: 720 Wh
  • Top Speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 70 miles in pedal assist mode, 30 miles in full assist
  • Charging: 0 to 80% in 4 hours, or to 100% in 6 hours
  • Frame: Single-piece magnesium alloy
  • Final transmission: Shimano ALTUS 8-speed
  • Tires: 20″ x 4″ with a knobby tread
  • Weight, with battery: 82.5 pounds, 74.5 without battery
  • Torque: 85 NmPrice: As of this posting, just a shade under $2,000

Pedego picked it up and several days later it was ready. If I had tried to assemble it I might have done some damage. To ensure that did not not happen, choosing professionals seemed like the better option. 

At the e-bike shop, when the Folld-1 was ready, a technician helped get the seat adjusted for my comfort. He also explained the e-bike’s features and how to charge the battery, which was fully charged during the assembly and set up. At first, I did not want to use the electric motor to ride it. So, I left the power off and pedaled around in a mostly empty parking lot for about 15 minutes. I practiced riding this way to get used to the balance, steering, brakes, and gear shifter. The Folld-1 has 8 gears.

Then, I rode about two miles toward home, again with no electric power assist. At that point, I stopped to turn on the power and set the pedal assist at the lowest setting and started pedaling, The electric motor kicked in and helped me achieve a cruising speed of about 7 miles per hour.

The extra power did help because I had noticed previously pedaling up some slight grades with no electric power was somewhat difficult.

As a side note, it occurred to me that riding up a slight grade by pedaling only on an e-bike that weighs about 80 pounds could be considered moderate or high intensity exercise, depending on how strenuous it was and the heart rate achieved. To be clear, I saw this opportunity as an advantage. So, if a rider was looking to pedal hard for about 4 minutes and then cruise far less strenuously by using the electric motor as a “cruise control,” an interval of hard pedaling could be followed by one of light pedaling. If one were to repeat hard (unassisted) and then light (assisted) riding intervals several times, that might qualify as a workout for the cardiovascular system.

After riding for a brief while at about 7 mph, with the electric assist and light pedaling, I tried the next level, which increased the speed by about 3-4 miles per hour. At this increased speed, I also pedaled lightly. Cruising along in such a manner was easy.

It was during this time that a boy of about 12 years of age was riding a motorized scooter toward me. It had a tiny, loud, gas-powered motor that spewed fumes. It seemed funny to see that outdated, polluting technology as I was riding a very quiet, stout, sturdy, comfortable, and well-equipped e-bike.

There are some particular details that I like about the Folld-1. It has a bright, red rear taillight and orange turn indicators, also in the rear. The rear rack over the back tire seems quite strong and it did not jiggle or rattle. The front headlight is small and yet its beam is bright and extends far enough in front. The tires are fat and have a knobby tread so the e-bike can be ridden on trails. I asked the e-bike shop technician about off-road riding, and he said yes, it can do that, but lightly, as in not going off jumps. There is a digital display between the handlebars positioned vertically. It is about the same size as my iPhone 5. The numbers and other information presented on the screen are crisp and easy to read.

The Folld-1’s frame seems stout, sturdy, and strong. The battery is housed within the frame. It can be charged from a port within the frame or removed to charge. The bike comes with its own charger. The disc brakes seemed powerful and could slow and stop the e-bike quickly. This is just a personal opinion, and it is the opinion of someone who is new to e-bikes, but the Folld-1’s range seems more than adequate.

I also liked that the tires are fat and thus, to my mind, provide some cushioning to the ride. The adjustable front suspension also does that, as well as the rear suspension.

FUELL Folld-1 E-Bike
Image credit: FUELL

Typically, when I create content, I reach out to executives, authors, program managers, and the like to get their perspective on the subject matter. In that vein, Dan Hurda, Director of Engineering at FUELL, answered some questions about the Folld-1 for CleanTechnica.

To maintain the battery life, should the battery be kept at a constant state of charge (SOC) such as not allowing to go below 10% or near there? Is it ok to charge to 100% or is it better for the battery to charge to about 90%?

In general, lithium-ion batteries will get the most charge-discharge cycles without the capacity degrading if they are used between about 10 and 90%, but it is certainly OK to charge it to 100%.

Everyone wants the most range possible, so we assume the battery will be charged to 100% in most cases.

Can the e-bike be ridden on dirt trails, but lightly, as in not going off jumps and not up and down steep hills?

Dirt and sand are no problem for the Folld-1. The fat tires are great for this type of terrain. Even steep hills should not be a problem, but you are correct, the Folld-1 is not designed to be taken off of jumps.

In the user manual, it says something about not letting the e-bike sit in blazing sun. If it sits for too long in blazing sun, would that overheat the battery and harm it?

It could. Once again, this suggestion is a best practice for lithium-ion batteries in general, not just the Folld. We know the bike will be ridden on many hot sunny days. As mentioned above, the fat tires are perfect for sand so we picture people riding it to the beach.

In general, though, its best to minimize subjecting the battery to temperature extremes when possible.

If you are riding and a light rain begins, should you stop and get the bike covered so water does not enter the battery compartment, or is it sealed to prevent water entering?

A light rain is no problem. We definitely recommend against powerwashing the bike, but rain should not be a problem.

Does high heat or freezing temperatures affect the battery and range?

Yes, temperature extremes can impact range.

FUELL Folld-1 E-Bike
Image Credit: FUELL

I want to thank FUELL for letting me ride their Folld-1 e-bike. As stated at the beginning of the article, I had not ridden an e-bike and was glad to get the chance to do so. The Folld-1 is an impressive one and has an affordable price. (I once saw a Trek e-bike designed for off-road riding that was $9,000!)

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Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter:

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