If you’re looking for your first electric bike, there are lots of factors to consider – motor power, gear-number, number of modes, weight for portability, build quality, and value for money.
The Ancheer folding electric bike is unlikely to satisfy those who’ve been in the electric bike game for a while and want all the latest refinements, because it simply doesn’t have them. But, importantly, neither does it have the incremental increases in price that each new fancy add-on brings with them.
If you’re new to electric bikes, there’s every chance the Ancheer will give you at least as much as you’re looking for and probably more. And it’ll do it for significantly less hard cash than some of its competitors at the same level.
Let’s take a look at the Ancheer folding electric bike, from the outside in.
Point number 1 – it folds easily, which makes it ideal for city use – it can be carried on the subway or the city bus should you get tired of riding.
That sounds like an obvious thing, but with increasing overcrowding in cities and the value of carriage real estate, meaning the need to fit as many seats as possible into any subway carriage or city bus, you’ll notice an enormous difference with a folding bike like the Ancheer compared to the frank public loathing you’ll experience if you try to take an unfolded, full-size bike on the subway.
What’s more, the foldable nature of the Ancheer, and its electric motor, make it ideal for vacations too – it’ll fit easily in the trunk of a car without having to be tediously disassembled at one end of the journey and reassembled at the other. Instant holiday fun, boom, no waiting.
Again, it’s possible that at first, the power of the fold gets a “So what?” reaction, but it’s worth considering life with the alternative – having to invest in a bike rack, probably taking off the wheels, etc.
For most people, especially on short vacations, it’s not worth the hassle of taking their bike along. With an easy-folding bike like the Ancheer, it becomes eminently possible.
Point number 2 – It’s comparatively lightweight. Now, that’s a statement that needs clarifying. There are, by all means, much lighter folding ebikes out there – the Citizen London and Lil London, for instance, weigh in at just 39 and 33 pounds respectively, whereas the Ancheer is a relatively hefty 48.5 pounds.
So you’ll definitely know you’re carrying it. But again, when compared to non-folding bikes, you’re still tossing clouds from hand to hand here, and reaping the rewards of that lightness.
That’s especially worth remembering when it comes to Point number 3, which is the price. Sure, either of the Citizens would get you a lighter ebike. But you’d also be paying comparatively through the nose for that lightness, and in an entry-level bike, you never want to pay through the nose for anything.
That’s pretty much the point of entry-level equipment – to see whether the idea brings enough enjoyment to your life that you’re willing to invest in it in the longer term, and then upgrade your experience into something more expensive and high-end.
Don’t overspend on an entry-level bike, especially when the likes of the Ancheer will be enough to tell you whether the benefits of electric bikes have a place in your lifestyle.
If you’re more used to a full-sized, standard pedal bike, there’s no disguising the fact that the Ancheer’s 16-inch wheels might take some getting used to, simply because they’re smaller than you’re probably familiar with.
If you’re used to a full 26-inch wheel, the Ancheer will at first feel disconcertingly compact. But like many elements of bike ownership, you’ll soon get used to the smaller wheels, and the size doesn’t impact negatively at all on the smoothness of the ride you’ll get.
It does impact slightly on the handling of the bike, especially if you’re stepping down from a 26-inch standard pedal bike. And you may also take a little while to get used to the comparatively upright riding position, but that quickly fades, and the upright position is more comfortable long-term.
You get a brushless 250W motor on the Ancheer – the same as on the significantly more expensive Citizen Lil London – and no fewer than three power-assist modes, which will give you between 15-17mph (bear in mind your local bike speed limits).
The 36v 8Ah lithium-ion battery will give you a powered range of up to 30 miles between charges (depending on your riding style and the terrain over which you’re traveling), so you have quite a range at your disposal – certainly enough to show you whether electric biking, and the Ancheer, are right for you.
One downside is that if you run the battery down to zero, it will take between 4-6 hours to recharge it. This is one real downside of the Ancheer that might be worth thinking about – many electric bikes charge in up to half that time (usually 3 hours), and it’s an area where the entry-level tag doesn’t really give the Ancheer sufficient cover to hide behind.
In terms of build quality though, the Ancheer bounces back into contention quickly. With a frame made of 100 percent lightweight aluminum alloy, and a front spoke made of high strength carbon steel (accounting for some of the almost 50 pounds of bike weight), it has a ruggedness that will support you, without for the most part feeling overly sluggish or heavy.
It also comes with both front and rear disc brakes, rather than is sometimes the case, front wheel-only brakes (which, if you’re a novice to the biking world, are an open invitation to do an undignified forward somersault if you stop too suddenly). With front and rear brakes, you stand a much better chance of staying in control of the bike, especially in the wet.
As with some other areas, there are bikes that are easier to assemble than the Ancheer – in fact, there are plenty of electric bikes on the market that come fully assembled and fully charged, so you’re not required to build anything before you can start putting your bike through its paces.
The Ancheer gets most of this right – it is supplied with its battery as fully charged as warehousing and despatch will allow, and it comes to you with 85% of the construction done.
It also supplies all the necessary tools and instructions to put together the bits that aren’t fully assembled, like attaching the pedals, the seat, the seatpost, stem, and handlebar. There is also a step-by-step video of how to get your Ancheer folding electric bike up and running.
That said, as an entry-level offering, this is six of one, and half a dozen of the other. On the one hand, it’s basic and self-built to keep the costs (not to mention the difficulty of delivery) to a minimum.
On the other hand, as an entry-level offering, it presumes a level of technical skill that not everyone will have. So that’s something to keep in mind if you decide to try out the Ancheer as your first electric bike.
Also, given that the amount of time spent in warehousing and despatch is uncertain, it’s always a good idea to check the level on your electric bike’s battery before you start using it – and charge it up if need be.
At least with the Ancheer, the battery housing is straightforward and in plain sight (though discreet, for when you don’t want to necessarily advertise the electric boost you have) – just behind the upright seatpost.
As mentioned, the Ancheer comes with three modes – full electric, assisted bicycle, and standard pedal bicycle. Unlike some electric bikes – including some which cost significantly more – you get a clear indication of which mode you’re in at any point with the Ancheer, through the simple mechanism of a series of LED lights. That will save you from confusion – or any unnecessary pedaling(!)
The Ancheer folding electric bike is one among a crowded market. Is it worth your consideration? On balance, yes. It’s not as elegant as some, as light as others, or as pre-assembled as others again, but in an entry-level offering, it combines a lot of the things you absolutely need to decide whether electric biking is something you’re going to enjoy.
It’s portable, foldable, has a decently powerful motor, and can give you some solid service while you have it. It has three easily identifiable modes, and the price is a lot more right than it is with some competitor bikes.
As an incentive, Ancheer also offers a 1-year warranty, so you can at least put it through its paces without fear of breaking the bike and wasting the purchase price.
As we say, if you’re a confirmed electric biker, you’re probably going to go for something sleeker and more lightweight. Something that fits more with your lifestyle, whatever that might be. But if you’re looking for a hardcore entry-level electric bike that won’t break the bank, the Ancheer might be your new best friend.