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Affordable e-bike hey bike mars

The Heybike Mars, a relatively affordable e-bike that folds up for storage. Photo: Heybike


The Inertia

E-bikes are all the rage these days. There are a million options, ranging wildly in price. From the $12,000 e-mountain bikes to the classic $1,500 Rad Runner, you should be able to find an e-bike that fits your budget. But, depending on where you’re at, $1,500 can be too much. With that in mind, when the people at Heybike hit me up to test out the Heybike Mars, a foldable e-bike with fat tires that costs under $1,000, I thought I should hop on it. Literally. So, after a few weeks of buzzing around on the Heybike Mars, which clocks in at $949 USD, here are my thoughts.

Pros: Cons:
Easy to assemble Takes nearly 7 hours to charge fully
Fast acceleration Rear rack only supports up to 100 lbs
Foldable to fit in most car trunks Battery weight of 9.35 lbs
One of the most affordable e-bikes at $949 Awkward to carry when folded
Relatively light at 66 lbs. (without the battery) Slow using pedal power only
Fat tires at 20″x4″

First Impressions:

When the Heybike Mars showed up in its box, I was pleasantly surprised at how small the box was. I knew the e-bike was foldable, but I didn’t know how small it might fold down to. Once open, I realized that the Mars only required a few things to become ridable. Simply unfold the bike, add the seat, pedals, and handlebars, then insert the battery, plug a few odds and ends in, and you’re ready to ride for an advertised range of up to 47 miles with pedal assist. Using the battery only, Heybike claims you’re looking at about 37 miles. I, however, didn’t get that far. Without pedaling (because, let’s be honest, that’s what matters when it comes to an e-bike), I was able to ride for a little over 26 miles — still a decent amount of road.

Best For

This bike hits the sweet spot for trips to the beach or store, especially for someone who doesn’t have a lot of storage. The Heybike Mars easily folds up to 94×38×74 cm, which will fit just about anywhere. The fat tires along with the front suspension make this e-bike a breeze to ride on dirt paths, gravel, or a paved road. If you’re heading to a place that requires a vehicle to get to as well as a long hike in, the Heybike Mars is a good option.

Notable Features

The Heybike Mars e-bike has a 500-watt rear hub motor, which is pretty standard for a class 2 e-bike. A seven-speed derailleur with thumb controls helps the rider (and the battery) properly shift into the correct gear to both save the rider’s energy and the battery’s. When in the correct gear, the rate at which the Heybike Mars gets up to speed is surprising, as is the top speed. Using throttle only, it can get up to 20 mph on a flat road, which is plenty fast enough to get you where you’re going.

The bike has a key that turns the battery on, a nice security feature. It’s capable of being ridden without the key, but then it will just be a plain old bike. To engage the battery, simply turn the key to the on position, then hold the on/off button on the display on the left handlebar. The display wakes up, and you’re off to the races. Also of note: there’s a USB port on the battery, so you can use it to charge other things.

With front fork and seat post suspension, the Hey Bike Mars is a smooth ride.

With front fork and seat post suspension, the Heybike Mars is a smooth ride. Photo: Heybike

Accessories

The Heybike Mars came with a few little extras that make a big difference: a solidly built rack on the back that holds up to 100 pounds — which isn’t quite enough to throw a friend on the back for a double — and front and rear lights. The front light is surprisingly bright. Front fork suspension is complemeted by seat post suspension, which makes the Mars a very smooth ride. There are also a plethora of upgrades to choose from including panniers, saddle bags, and baskets.

Drawbacks

Although the Heybike Mars is a great value e-bike, it’s not without its faults. That’s something to be expected when looking at the more affordable side of things, however. One of the most obvious missing things is the lack of regenerative braking, a feature that some more expensive e-bikes boast. Also, when using the pedal assist function, I found there was a slight delay before the assist engaged. Nothing huge, but enough to notice, especially at higher speeds.

In Summary

The Heybike Mars is a great little e-bike for the budget conscious. Because of its fat tires, it’s capable of mostly all-terrain riding. Where it shines, though, is on short trips in town or around the neighborhood. It comes with a rack on the back strong enough to put something up to 100 pounds on. When it comes to bang for your buck, the Heybike Mars is a great option for the e-bike rider who doesn’t want to take a second mortgage out to afford one.

Additional Specs

Recommended height: 5’3″-6’3″
Load capacity: 330 lbs.
Handlebar Height: 47″-52″
Stand Height: 26″
Top Tube Length: 23″
Battery: 48V 12.5Ah
Rear Rack Size: 40.5×14.5(cm)

Check Price on Heybike

Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

 
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