Rattan Folding Electric Bike Review
Cons: Small wheels/slightly twitchy handling, battery rattle, inaccurate speed reading on display
Compare to Similar Products
Rattan Folding Electric Bike
|Price||$1,189 List||$999.00 at Lectric eBikes||$1,599.00 at Rad Power Bikes||$1,599 List||$1,600 List|
Check Price at REI
|Pros||Great distance range, folding design, throttle cruise control, lots of features||Reasonable price, no assembly required, folding design, big tires increase versatility, Class 2 or Class 3 capable||Smooth, quiet, powerful, fully-featured||Sleek design, fully-featured, 400 lb weight limit, excellent stability, dual battery capable||Simplicity, rides like a regular beach cruiser, comfortable|
|Cons||Small wheels/slightly twitchy handling, battery rattle, inaccurate speed reading on display||Small wheels, handling can feel a little twitchy||Heavy, 20 mph top speed||Heavy, shorter range (without optional 2nd battery), long turning radius, difficult to transport due to size and weight||Limited features, mediocre display and controls|
|Bottom Line||A relatively affordable folding electric bike with a great distance range||This quality Class 2 and Class 3 capable folding electric bike is highly versatile and affordable too||A well-rounded and competitive performance at a reasonable price||A well-designed, competitively priced utility e-bike for transporting kids or other cargo||A simple, no-frills electric beach cruiser|
|Rating Categories||Rattan Folding Elec...||Lectric XP Step-Thru||Rad Power RadCity 4||Blix Packa||Electra Townie Go! 7D|
|Specs||Rattan Folding Elec...||Lectric XP Step-Thru||Rad Power RadCity 4||Blix Packa||Electra Townie Go! 7D|
|Battery Size (Wh)||624||500||672||500 (with dual battery capability for up to 1,171 Wh)||309|
|E-Bike Class||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)||Class 2 and 3 capable||Class 2||Class 2||Class 1|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||5||5||5||3|
|Top speed throttle||20||20||20||20||N/A|
|Top speed pedal-assist||25||20(up to 28)||20||20||20|
|Measured Distance Range||29.74 miles||23.68 miles||26 miles||19.2 miles||24.43 miles|
|Distance Range (claimed)||60-80 miles||Up to 45+||Up to 45+||70 claimed||Up to 50 miles|
|Frame material||Aluminum||Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Maximum rider weight (lbs)||300 lbs total, 55 lbs on rear seat||275 lbs (up to 55 on rear rack)||275 lbs||400 lbs total capacity (up to 200 lbs in cargo)||300 lbs|
|Measured Weight (w/o pedals, Medium)||58 lbs||62.2 lbs||63.3 lbs||78.5 lbs||50 lbs|
|Drivetrain||Shimano TX50 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano Altus 7-speed||Shimano 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed|
|Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro MD-M300 Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc|
|Additional features||Fenders, rear seat and foot rests, folding, head and tail light,||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights||Cargo Rack, Integrated Brake Light, Puncture Resistant Tires, Headlight, Digital display||Fenders, front and rear lights, USB charging, kickstand, bell, puncture resistant tires, smart mounting points for accessories, dual battery capability||Cargo Rack|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||Lifetime on frame, 1 year on components|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rattan Folding Electric Bike e-bike caught our attention with its reasonable price and positive consumer reviews. We tested it against a diverse selection of moderately priced electric bikes, and came away impressed by its ease of assembly, distance range, comfort, and power. Its folding design also makes it a good option for users with limited storage space or fitting into a vehicle for travel.
The Rattan Folding has a ride quality that is a product of its folding design and 20-inch wheel diameter. Its compact dimensions give it a short turning radius but reduce its stability and the steadiness of its handling when compared to the larger wheeled competition, a tradeoff for its folding convenience. That said, we found it to be quite comfortable, and it comes with loads of user-friendly features.
With small wheels and a folding design, the Rattan Folding isn't the most stable or steady e-bike around. That said, we still think it performs pretty well, and it feels quite similar to other folding models we tested. Given its shorter wheelbase and 20-inch wheels, it has a very short turning radius, although that is also why it doesn't feel quite as stable at speed as the big-wheeled competition. The small wheels along with the tall and somewhat narrow handlebar also result in the handling feeling somewhat twitchy, comparatively speaking, of course. It does come with a suspension fork that helps smooth the ride over rough terrain, and the girthy 3-inch wide knobby tires also provide a bit of damping over cracks and bumps while expanding the bike's versatility on a range of surfaces. While testing, we rode it on everything from paved roads and bike paths to smooth dirt roads and trails.
The Folding Electric Bike has a very low step-thru frame that makes mounting and dismounting the bike incredibly easy. Rattan also makes a step-over version that has a slightly higher standover height. The handlebar is relatively tall and the bike's reach is pretty short, so it has a relaxed, upright seated position. There is a large range of seat and handlebar height adjustment, so most riders should be able to find a comfortable fit. Rattan specifies a 300 lbs total weight capacity and a suggested user height range of 5'4" to 6'4", and our six-foot-tall tester had no problem dialing this bike in to his comfort preferences. The large padded seat is relatively comfortable and the rubber grips are fine but unremarkable.
The Rattan Folding comes with a wealth of useful features. It has front and rear fenders to help protect the rider and the bike from splashes of mud and water. Front and rear lights run off the bike's battery, and the rear light also works as a brake light that gets brighter when the brakes are applied. The bike comes with a kickstand, and Rattan includes a simple bell attached to the handlebar so you can warn other people of your approach. It also comes with a welded rear rack that can support up to 55 lbs. The rack comes with a padded cushion installed, and the bike includes two small foot platforms that can be attached to the chainstays should you choose to use them. Rattan states that the rack is "suitable for all children safety seats of Yepp brand." The folding design of the bike allows users to fold it down in two easy steps, reducing its size to 35-inches wide x 28-inches tall, making it easier to transport or store.
We were quite surprised and impressed by the Rattan in our range test. Given its small wheels and folding design, we didn't expect it to perform as well as the big wheel competition, much less outperform every other model we tested. In the end, it traveled farther than every other bike in the test, edging out the next closest competitor by just over a mile.
During our throttle-only range test, we rode the Rattan for 29.74 miles with 1,564 feet of elevation gain/loss at an average speed of 15.4 mph. We found this to be quite impressive, especially considering the fact that it has a 624Wh battery, 48Wh less than several of the other bikes we tested. The 20-inch wheels of this bike would also be considered to be a disadvantage, as they don't tend to hold momentum as well as larger diameter wheels, but that didn't seem to affect the outcome of this test. We were also pleasantly surprised by its average speed of 15.4 mph. While this isn't the highest average speed among our test bikes, we think it's still pretty solid and demonstrates the power of the motor that didn't bog down too much on the gently rolling hills of our test course.
With a 500W rear hub motor and 20-inch wheels, the Rattan Folding is a powerful little e-bike. This Class 3 model has 5 levels of pedal assist to provide a great range of support for your pedaling efforts, and it has no problem getting up to its top assisted speed of 25 mph. Using the throttle, it's quick off the line and can easily propel you along up to 20mph on flat ground.
The Rattan Folding is a zippy e-bike whether you're using the throttle or pedal assist. The 5 levels of pedal assist provide a nice spread of support and corresponding bike speed. The bike operates with a cadence sensor, and it takes roughly a half pedal stroke for the assistance to kick in. Once the cranks are turning, the motor delivers power consistently regardless of how much effort the rider is putting into the pedals. Shifts between output levels weren't entirely seamless, however, and we found there were a couple seconds of lag between pressing the button and the motor actually changing levels. A top pedal-assisted speed of 25-mph makes the Rattan a Class 3 bike, and the speed limit can be adjusted through the display to drop it down to Class 2 if need be.
A twist of the throttle in assist level 5 and the Rattan Folding springs to life. The 500W motor and small wheels make this bike quick to accelerate, and you can even peel out on dirt or gravel. The throttle can whisk you along at up to 20mph on flat ground, and the power corresponds to the selected assist level. You can plod along at a lower speed in assist level 1, or cruise along at 20 mph in level 5. We like that you can choose how powerful you want the throttle to be. While range testing, we also found the Rattan's motor to hold speed well, even up the gradual hills of our test course. This power was evidenced by the bike's average speed of 15.4 mph over the course of our 29.74-mile test ride.
The Rattan Folding has a good user interface that consists of a handlebar-mounted control unit, twist throttle, and a digital display. The controls are intuitive and easy to use, and the display is relatively easy enough to read. Charging is a standard procedure, and the removable battery can be charged on or off the bike.
To turn the Rattan Folding on, the key must be inserted in the battery and turned to the On position. Next, you press the power button on the controls to turn on the power to the display. The controls have + and - buttons that are used to shift up and down through the motor's 5 output levels. Pressing and holding the - button also engages the bike's walk mode when you are off the bike. These buttons are also used to make adjustments to the bike's settings, like measurement units or speed limit, and detailed display instructions can be found on the Rattan website. On the side of the control unit, there are two additional buttons, one of which turns on the bike's lights, and the other scrolls through the options on the data field at the bottom of the screen.
A twist throttle is integrated into the right grip. Twisting it engages the throttle to propel you and the bike forward without the need to pedal. The bike's throttle power correlates to the assist setting of the bike, with more power in the higher settings, and vice versa. The rider can also modulate the power depending on how far they twist the throttle. The Rattan Folding also has a slick cruise control feature that is engaged by twisting and holding the throttle for five seconds. Once cruise control is engaged it delivers power consistently until the brakes are applied.
The LCD display is centered in the middle of the handlebar in an easy-to-see location. It measures 2.5" long x 1.5" wide and has a dark background with bright numbers and letters that are relatively easy to read in a range of light conditions. The screen also has a backlight feature that turns on/off with the bike's lights. The screen shows a variety of information including remaining battery life, current speed, pedal-assist setting, and mileage. Battery charge is displayed graphically at the top of the screen as a small battery with 5 bars that turn off sequentially as the battery is depleted. Just below that, the current speed is shown in large numbers. Interestingly, when compared with our GPS cycling computer, we found the speed readings to be off, consistently telling us we were going 26 mph when we hit the top throttle speed of 20 mph. Below the speed reading, the pedal assist level is shown as a number 1-5. At the bottom of the screen is a data field that can be switched between odometer, trip distance, max speed, and average speed.
The Rattan Folding has a removable battery that slots into a cradle behind the seat tube. The battery is locked in place with a key, and can easily be removed by pulling it up by the handle when it is unlocked. The battery can be charged on or off the bike, and Rattan claims a charging time of 6 hours for a fully depleted battery. One of our biggest complaints about this bike is that the battery rattles when riding over rough surfaces.
The Rattan comes almost completely assembled, and it only requires the user to insert the seatpost and handlebar, and unfold and lock it in its riding position to complete the process. Once removed from its packaging, it takes only a couple minutes to dial it in and get it ready to ride. The manner in which this bike is packaged, however, makes removing it from its protective packing materials a bit of a chore. Our test bike also had a slight issue that left spray foam residue on our frame and cranks.
Since the Rattan is a folding model, it comes in a smaller bike box in its collapsed, folded position. Due to the fact that the bike weighs 58 lbs, this box is still quite heavy, and removing the bike from it is easiest with two people. In order to protect the bike from shipping damage, Rattan takes an innovative approach by encasing the bike in a stiff spray foam within the box. To do this, they place the folded bike in a large plastic bag with a second plastic bag around that. The bike is then placed in the box and the hardening foam is sprayed between the outer and inner bags. When the foam hardens, it creates a great protective barrier for the bike and prevents it from moving around within the box. Unfortunately, our bike tore a small hole in the inner bag and a small amount of the spray foam leaked inside and stuck to part of the frame and the cranks. While it is easy enough to remove the hardened foam from the bike, it leaves an ugly residue that is nearly impossible to get off. So, our bike wasn't damaged from shipping, but it ended up with a less than perfect appearance from its protective packaging. We assume this isn't a common occurrence, but notable nonetheless.
We feel the Rattan Folding is a pretty good value. This bike is one of the least expensive bikes we tested, yet it rivals the performance of some of the more expensive competition. This bike is fast, powerful, has an excellent distance range, and comes with a wealth of useful features. If you're looking for a folding model, we think this is a great option to consider.
The Rattan Folding is a convenient folding e-bike with a great distance range. This reasonably priced bike comes with a wealth of user-friendly features, plus it conveniently folds down to a compact size for storage or transport. This Class 3 model easily zips along at 25 mph using pedal assist and can be configured as Class 2 depending on your preferences. If you're looking for a folding electric bike, we feel this is an affordable option that is worthy of consideration.
— Jeremy Benson