Rattan Folding Electric Bike Review
Compare to Similar Products
Rattan Folding Electric Bike
|Price||$1,199 List||$1,649 List||$999 List|
$799.00 at Lectric eBikes
$359.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great distance range, throttle cruise control, lots of features||Adventure-ready, excellent range, rugged, top-notch control and handling, stable, comes with useful features||Great price, no assembly required, Class 2 and 3 capable, wide range of fit, loads of features, nice ride and power||Affordable, lighter than most, 3 pedal assist modes||Lightweight, compact for storage and transport, integrated battery, no assembly required|
|Cons||Slightly twitchy handling, battery rattle, inaccurate speed reading on display||Not for tall riders, fairly heavy, more involved assembly, mediocre display and controls||Falters in its range, smaller battery, modest portability||Funky handling, limited rider height range, modest power and max distance||Only one pedal assist mode, limited rider height range, shorter distance range, less steady handling|
|Bottom Line||A mid-priced, well-featured folding electric bike with a great distance range||The fat bike-esque build and components of this bike make this folding model ready for any adventure you are||A near perfect match of performance and price, this model will appeal to most riders seeking a quality folding e-bike||This convenient Class 2 folding model has a serviceable all-around performance at an entry-level price||A basic but convenient folding Class 2 electric bike that collapses small for transport or storage|
|Rating Categories||Rattan Folding Elec...||Rad Power RadExpand 5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Ancheer 16-inch||Swagcycle EB5 Plus...|
|Specs||Rattan Folding Elec...||Rad Power RadExpand 5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Ancheer 16-inch||Swagcycle EB5 Plus...|
|Battery Size (Wh)||624||672||460.8||288||270|
|Measured Weight||58 lbs||64 lbs 8 oz||61 lbs 10 oz||46 lbs 15 oz||36 lbs 10 oz|
|Folded Dimensions||38.6 x 18 x 28 in||41 x 25 x 29 in||37 x 18 x 28 in||29.5 x 15.3 x 33.4 in||26 x 15.6 x 23.6 in|
|E-Bike Class||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)||Class 2||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)||Class 2||Class 2|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||4||5||3||1|
|Top speed throttle||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||17.5 mph||15.5 mph|
|Top speed pedal-assist||up to 25 mph||20 mph||up to 28 mph||18 mph||13 mph|
|Measured Distance Range||29.7 miles||31.2 miles||20.7 miles||15.4 miles||12.1 miles|
|Frame material||Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||Aluminum||High strength carbon steel||Aluminum and Steel|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs total, 55 lbs on rear seat||275 lbs||330 lbs||220 lbs||264 lbs|
|Drivetrain||Shimano TX50 7-speed||MicroShift 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Single speed||Single speed ProWheel|
|Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Mechanical disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Mechanical disc||V-brakes|
|Additional features||Fenders, rear seat and foot rests, folding, head and tail light,||Fenders, rear cargo rack, lights, bell||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, folding design, front suspension, mounting points for racks, baskets, and a bike lock, IP-65 rated for water resistance||Bell, fenders, headlight, tools, folding pedals||Bell, folding pedals|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rattan Folding Electric Bike caught our attention with its reasonable price and positive consumer reviews. We tested it against a diverse selection of moderately priced folding e-bikes and came away impressed by its ease of assembly, distance range, comfort, and power.
The Rattan Folding offers a comfortable ride with 20-inch wheels and a short turning radius, but it falls behind some of the competition with some small but noticeable drawbacks. Our riders noticed more twitchy handling compared to other high-scoring models, and the rattling battery on rough surfaces. Still, it felt stable at higher speeds, helped by its wide tires and front suspension fork. It lands comfortably in the middle of the pack, well above lower-priced models, but paling against bikes of its price and higher.
The Rattan Folding isn't the most stable or steady model around. The somewhat narrow handlebar results in the handling feeling somewhat twitchy, comparatively speaking. It comes 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 Rattan 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 lead tester had no problem dialing this bike into his comfort preferences. The large padded seat is 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 clear your path. It also comes with a welded rear rack that can support up to 55 pounds. 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."
We were quite surprised and impressed by the Rattan in our range test.
During our throttle-only range test, we rode the Rattan for 29.7 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 because it has a 624Wh battery, 48Wh less than a few other bikes we tested. 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, it's still 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 folding 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 zippy 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 there were a couple of 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 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 20 mph 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, the Rattan's motor holds 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 throughout our 29.7-mile test ride.
The Rattan Folding model lands in the middle of the pack regarding its portability. Weighing in at 58 pounds and folding to dimensions of 38.6 x 18 x 28 inches, it can be tucked into a corner of an apartment or garage fine, but you won't want to carry it far. E-bikes with this kind of range are classically heavier than the lighter models in this category, but most folks looking to cover larger distances won't care that much. The effort of folding/unfolding this bike is minimal.
The folding mechanism on this model is smack in the middle of the frame and at the base of the handlebar, with quick-release clamps on the upper handlebar extension and seat post that make breaking down and deploying this bike quick and easy. In its compact form, it's awkward to carry, but the Rattan isn't alone in this among its relative competition. No surprises here.
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 readable 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 the 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 of 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 chore. Our test bike also had a slight issue that left spray foam residue on our frame and cranks.
The Rattan comes in a bike box in its collapsed, folded position. Because the bike weighs 58 lbs, this box is still quite heavy, and removing the bike from it is easiest with two people. 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.
Should You Buy the Rattan Folding?
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 an affordable folding electric bike with a solid range, this is an option worthy of consideration.
What Other Folding Electric Bikes Should You Consider?
The Rattan Folding is a pretty good value viewed on its own, but for an even more affordable folding e-bike, we really like the Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0. Its range isn't as good as the Rattan, but overall we feel it is a better bike. The Lectric has a better ride, power, and interface, and is the bike we would choose ahead of the Rattan.
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