As the fat-tire electric bike market continues to heat up, ebike companies are going the distance to gain market share. New features are added all the time like increased cargo space for passengers, headlights, turning signals, and apps to fine-tune your ride. So when Engwe Bikes reached out to us about taking their latest model ebike, the futuristic X24, for a test ride, we figured it was our duty to see what this thing is made of.
After testing it for a few months, it’s safe to say that the X24 (and it’s siblings, the X20 and X26, the numbers corresponding to the wheel size) are here to make their mark in a positive, fun way. It’s got a few quirks which we’ll get to further down, but the pluses far outweigh the minuses to give a bike that is blazing fast, provides a smooth ride, and lasts for a very long time.
Engwe X24 – First Impressions
|2x battery = long range (in eco mode)
|Components a bit finicky
|Folds up for easier transport and storage
|Doesn’t do great on steep hills
The first thing you notice, before even opening the box, is just how heavy the bike is. It’s 92 lbs without packaging, so with the package it’s probably close to 100 lbs. You might need some help in moving it! Unboxing was not too difficult, however there is a dummy axle to replace before riding that isn’t well-specified in the instructions. Further to that point, the instructions could use a bit more specifics, and often times felt a bit confusing. Most of the bike is already assembled, though and it’s really just a matter of getting it out of storage mode.
Design-wise, the Engwe X24 definitely earns a few style points. It’s a unique look that isn’t your standard fat-tire ebike. And the space-age design is more than just aesthetic – it has a triple suspension system that, on first impression looks great, but after a bit of testing we found that the rear suspension wasn’t working properly. Whether it’s a design flaw across the board or just bad luck is uncertain, but Engwe does have a warranty that I’ll be utilizing for that piece. We’ll discuss the triple suspension later.
As far as riding performance goes, this bike absolutely hauls. It officially clocked in at 34.7 mph, but that’s good enough to round up to a cool 35mph in my books. You can even give the acceleration a caffeine boost with its “sport” mode, adding a bit of white-knuckle excitement to your ride. Or on the other side, the “eco” mode will help the batteries last a bit longer. Yes, I said batteries – the bike has two batteries to give you a bit more time between charges. The downside to this is the added weight, which was definitely noticeable in lifting and moving the bike, as well as going up hills. But this bike isn’t meant for racing up hills, so we can give them a bit of a pass there.
As mentioned before, the X24 has a triple suspension system that includes a burley fork and two pivot points in the rear to provide a remarkably smooth ride. As mentioned before, the rear shock seemed a bit stuck, and while it didn’t impact the ride, it would be nice to try the bike when it’s fully operational.
The bike also sports a rear padded seat for a second passenger, although notably absent was pegs for that person to rest their legs. It’s easy enough to get some aftermarket pegs if you do wish to add someone, or you can buy one of their add-on gear bags to go on instead.
Most notable though is the wheel size. Most fat-tire electric bikes these days have smaller wheels, but with both 24″ and 26″ options, you have some options for fun off-road travel. We tested the 24″ wheels and found it left many other small-wheel fat-tire ebikes behind when cruising on sandy beaches. There is still a line you cross where the sand is too soft and the bike won’t move, but if there is just a bit of moisture in the sand, cruising was effortless and fun. Same went for most other off-roading, and I’ll be interested to see how the bike performs in the snow.
The main drawbacks have to do with various parts needing a bit more QA off the production line. I mentioned the rear shock, which is able to be warrantied, but it’s always a drag to have to send a part in and wait for it. We also had some issues with the seat post staying locked-in while riding through rough terrain. And while this bike is foldable, the weight still makes it tough to move around single-handedly. It’s definitely a two-person job most of the time to get it in the back of a car or truck, or to carry it up some stairs. But the folding did come in handy and it is able to fit in the back of a Subaru with very little headache.
The Engwe X24 (and its siblings X20 and X26) provide a ton of fun in a variety of conditions. The few mechanical issues I experienced had nothing to do with the motor, drivetrain, or safety, so while it may be annoying it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully since it’s a new model they will only get better with each run, and since this was the first run, it’s not uncommon to see some flaws along the way. That said, unless you’re a little handy or have a good bike mechanic, it might be worth waiting until that next run of bikes. Still, you won’t find another bike as powerful for under $2,000. Especially one with larger wheels that can rip up to (almost) 35mph.Check price on Amazon Check price on Engwe
Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.