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Following on from my previous review (of the Engine Pro 750w), I’ve been sent the Engwe EP-2 Pro to review. This folding electric fat bike comes in at under €1000 and is a lot of e-bike for the price. In this article, I’m going to be looking at all the components in greater detail and be sharing my thoughts based on the initial test ride.
- Motor: 48v 750w continuous, 1000w peak power
- Battery: 48v 13Ah (624Wh) Generic cells
- Battery Range: 80-100 km manufacturers claimed range. 30-40 miles (48-64 km) as tested
- Charge time: 6-8 hours
- Top Speed: 28 mph on the flat
- Weight: 34kg
- Maximum load 150kg
- Gearing: Shimano Tourney 7-speed with TX50 thumb shifter
- Brakes: Tektro Mechanical disc brakes with cut-off sensors on brake levers
- Suspension: Front coil sprung suspension fork with lock-out function
- Accessories: Kick stand, pannier rack, headlight, tail / brake light
The Engwe EP-2 Pro was delivered very quickly and the bike well packaged. Inside the box, the bike was protected with lots of foam covering the vulnerable parts. The bike includes a toolkit, battery charger, 2 x keys, instruction manual and pedals.
Upon initial inspection of the paintwork and finishing kit, there were no marks or blemishes and the overall finish was of a good and consistent quality – full marks here!
Engwe EP-2 Pro Assembly
Assembling the Engwe EP-2 Pro is a fairly straightforward process. I’ve listed below the main things involved.
- Install the front wheel
- Fit the seat post and saddle
- Install the foldable steering stem
- Install and align handlebars
- Fit folding pedals to crank arms
- Fit front and rear mudguards (if required)
- Fit rear pannier rack (if required)
- Install and adjust front headlight and tail light
Engwe provide all the necessary tools needed for the assembly, and there is an instruction manual. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, including unboxing and removing all the packaging materials. If you’re not confident in doing the assembly yourself, I would employ the services of an experienced bicycle mechanic or someone who has assembled bikes before. It’s very important that this is done properly, as poorly fitted components could result in a serious accident when riding.
The Engwe EP-2 Pro shares a lot of similarities with its more expensive sibling the Engwe Engine Pro, but it’s a lot cheaper. I will be doing a separate article comparing the two e-bikes side by side, but for this article I will stick to the specification of the EP-2 Pro.
- Motor: A Geared rear hub motor rated to 750w continuous power is integrated into a six-spoke mag wheel design. As with the Engine Pro, I’d say the peak power off a fresh battery is considerably higher – probably around 1000w.
- Battery: The Engwe EP-2 Pro uses a 48v 13Ah (624Wh) lithium battery that’s integrated into the main folding beam. This battery can be removed if required or can be charged in situ via the charging port. The claimed range of 80-100 km does seem a little optimistic, and based on the initial test ride, I would say a range of 30-40 miles is more realistic.
- Display: I’m very impressed with the display. It’s large, easy to read and provides the rider with plenty of info. The speed is prominently displayed and is surrounded by a circular power gauge.
- Keypad: The keypad is located near the left hand grip and is easy to use. There’s a plus and minus key for changing power levels, on/off button, light button and a button for activating the walk assist.
- Brakes: The EP-2 Pro uses mechanical disc brakes. These work reasonably well, although they lack the bite and modulation of hydraulic brakes. They also have a tendency to squeal from time to time. Maybe this will improve as the pads bed in.
- Gearing: There is a single front chainring with Shimano 7-speed gearing. The rear freewheel looks like a 14-28 and a TX50 thumb shifter is used to change gears. The gears work well, although they did need a little initial adjustment to make the shifting acceptable. Gearing is a little too low for an e-bike with this much power and you quickly run out of gears once you’re above 20 mph.
- Front suspension: The stanchions on the front suspension forks aren’t quite as beefy as on the Engine Pro, but they seem to work well enough out on the road. You can lock these forks out and also adjust the preload.
- Accessories: Despite its budget price, the Engwe EP-2 Pro comes with all the extras you will ever need on an e-bike. The metal mudguards are easy to fit and give a nice finishing touch to the bike. The kick stand isn’t as sturdy as the one on the Engine Pro, but it does the job. The front headlight is bright enough for city / town riding and the tail with integrated brake light works very well. The pannier rack is very sturdy and seems to be made from steel (as opposed to alloy on the Engine Pro).
First test ride – Initial impressions
I’ve been sent the Engwe EP-2 Pro to keep, so I’ll be updating this article over the next few weeks. This appraisal is based on my first test ride of around 10 miles.
- Comfort and sizing: The EP-2 Pro is a good size. I found the riding position to be slightly better than the Engine Pro, mainly because the steering column isn’t quite so tall. The handlebar height can be easily adjusted, as can the saddle height. I would say rider’s from 5’4″ to 6’4″ should be absolutely fine. Shorter riders may find the reach too long as there is minimal adjustment in the saddle (fore and aft). The saddle is identical to the Engine Pro, and feels like being sat on a cushion!
- Performance (pedal assist): The Engwe EP-2 Pro has 5 levels of assist and uses a cadence pedal assist sensor. There is no lag and the assist kicks in as soon as you start pedalling. I found level 3 provided the best all-round performance without sacrificing too much battery range. Levels 1-2 were fine for cruising on the flat at slower speeds. Levels 4-5 were ideal for steeper hills and on the flat would take you up to about 28 mph.
- Performance (throttle only): Unlike the Engine Pro, the EP-2 uses a more traditional right hand side half-twist throttle. There is an initial lag when used, but this soon gives way to a useful turn of speed. I’m not a big fan of throttles on e-bikes, but they can be useful for that initial push off from a junction or to get going on a hill.
- Motor noise: This motor is definitely quieter than the motor on the Engine Pro. I think this maybe due to the fact there’s no regenerative feature, so the motor is disengaged when freewheeling.
- Riding with assist off: This is where the EP-2 Pro wins hands down over its more expensive stablemate. I found it much easier to pedal without the assist – you could still feel the heavy weight and rolling resistance from the tyres. But, there was very little resistance from the motor.
- Hill climbing: The hilly 10 mile test route involved around 1000 ft of elevation gain with a few short, steep hills. Level 3 assist was fine for hills of around 8% average gradient. But, level 4-5 was necessary to get up the steeper hills. On a really steep 20% climb, the motor really struggled and I needed to add a fair bit of my own pedalling effort.
- Handling: I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been riding a lot of fat tyre e-bikes lately, but the Engwe EP-2 Pro actually felt quite good out on the road. There was still that sluggishness at low speeds, but at higher speeds it felt quite responsive.
- Braking: The mechanical disc brakes work just fine, but you do need to pull them in hard on the steep descents. Also, they did make an annoying squeal on occasion. I expect this to improve as time goes by.
- Suspension: There’s a front suspension fork with lock-out and preload adjustment. Comparing this with the Engine Pro fork, it has skinnier stanchions and doesn’t look like it will take too much off-road abuse. It worked just fine out on the road, but I would err on the side of caution if using off-road (avoid big obstacles like rocks and don’t do jumps).
- Folding: This is a straightforward process – the pedals fold easily, and there’s a catch on the steering shaft and one on the main beam. It’s takes a matter of seconds (with practice) to fold the EP-2 Pro down, but it is heavy and may not seem easy for some people.
I’m impressed with the Engwe EP-2 Pro based on my first test ride. I have to admit, that I prefer it to the more expensive Engine Pro. There’s hardly any drag from the motor, and it coasts much better. I’ll be expanding on this in my forthcoming comparison article. I didn’t really miss the rear suspension, but I did miss then bite of hydraulic brakes.
Is the Engwe EP-2 Pro legal?
This is the main caveat regarding this e-bike. Just like its sibling, the Engwe EP-2 Pro is not going to be legal to use on the road in some countries. I would advise checking the e-bike laws in your country, so you can make an informed decision. My test routes are always on quiet country lanes away from people. But, if you were riding this in a town or city, I would take extra care not to ride too fast and definitely keep your speed down if using shared cycle paths.
Who is the Engwe EP-2 Pro suitable for?
Legal issues aside, I can see the Engwe EP-2 Pro being a great daily commuter e-bike as it’s comfortable, has all the accessories and provides an effortless riding experience on flat or undulating terrain. It would be great for putting on a camper van to take on holiday as it will be a cheap and easy way to get around.
From a practical perspective, it’s not going to be suitable for taking on public transport. Even though it folds, it’s very heavy and still quite bulky once folded. You could, however fit it into the back of a hatchback or estate car, but you’ll need to be careful when lifting it.
If you’re looking for a folding electric fat bike that’s got a fair bit of power, the Engwe EP-2 Pro has to be the best one available at this price. It comes across as being well made, sturdy and versatile. Plus, I think it looks great in the matte orange paint scheme.
The performance is useful, but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly fast. My road legal Vitus Mach E would wipe the floor with it on hills! But, for cruising on the flat or gently undulating terrain it will be just fine. It’s comfortable and the brakes are adequate, if a little noisy at times. Handling is decent for a folding e-bike and it’s very well equipped. I particularly liked the addition of an integrated tail / brake light.
One thing that stands out for me when comparing this with its more expensive sibling (the Engine Pro) is the noticeable reduction in resistance from the motor when coasting or not using the e-assist. This will probably not bother most riders and the reason people buy e-bikes is for the electric assist. But, if you were to run out of battery power or you wanted to extend the battery range, it’s an important consideration.
All in all, I think the Engwe EP-2 Pro is one of the best folding electric fat bikes for the price and well worth considering.
I hope you’ve found this review useful. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience with the EP-2 Pro, please leave a message in the comments section below.