Cheap, cool, illegal: the Eleglide F1 electric mountain bike at 700 euros in test
Electric bikes and in particular electric mountain bikes are in demand today as seldom before. As a result, many models are sold out. Chinese eMTBs from China are often available online. And although these meet many homologation requirements for German roads, Chinese manufacturers generally have not homologated them. They are therefore not authorized. This also applies to the Eleglide F1 tested here. More information on this in the guide to electric mountain bikes under 1,500 euros: This is what you need to watch out for with cheap off-road electric bikes.
Despite the lack of street approval, the Eleglide F1 is a particularly exciting model. Because it is for a purchase price of 700 euros (Geekmaxi-Kauflink, Coupon Code WMQQY2C4) very well equipped. It has front and rear suspensions. In addition, despite the large 26 inch tires, it has a folding mechanism. Neither the Eskute Voyager (test report), the Eleglide M1 Plus (test report) nor the Ado A26 (test report) have these features despite the higher purchase prices. We put the Eleglide together for this review and sent it down a rough forest trail.
As usual with e-bikes ordered online, the Eleglide F1 also needs to be assembled before the first ride. We need about an hour and a half for this. The tool is included. First insert the front wheel and screw on the handlebars. Pay attention to the small stickers on the pedals. Because one is planned for the left side and one for the right side. Finally, the front light and a small bracket to protect the rear shifting should be installed.
Correct adjustment of the front disc brake was a bit tricky. Maybe a professional can do better, we laymen took almost 20 minutes to do this and still couldn’t get them right. The Eleglide F1 was still ready to go after tightening all the screws and inflating the tires.
The Eleglide F1 looks fantastic! On the one hand, this is due to the thick, foldable transverse frame that connects the rear and front parts of the bike and does not require any additional struts. Something similar is already known from small folding bikes such as the excellent and affordable Fiido D4S (test report). This build is even more impressive on a full-fledged 26-inch electric bike. The hinged hinge is located on the frame bar, which also frees the battery hidden there for removal.
We also really like the choice of colors. Eleglide painted the F1 frame in a matte bluish turquoise, with the logo and other letters on it in bright orange. The rest of the eMTB is predominantly black. We also found the rear wheel suspension to be visually successful.
What we don’t like at all is the cable management. Nine cables pull a wide, messy loop in front of the handlebars in particular. We didn’t like this with the Eleglide M1 Plus (test report).
For this test, we drove the Eleglide F1 for about 50 kilometers. This is enough to have a well-founded first impression. However, it is far from sufficient to be able to make claims about the durability of the components. However, it can be assumed that Eleglide mainly uses inexpensive and therefore potentially low quality items given the low purchase price. We noticed, for example, that the articulated hinge creaks. However, it should be possible to fix this with a little grease. Otherwise, the components make a reasonable first impression.
The Eleglide F1 is a full-fledged electric mountain bike with a folding mechanism. To do this, the buyer swings the safety lever on the frame. The handlebars cannot be folded down, nor can the sturdy metal pedals. However, it is possible to store the electric bike in a large trunk or a small cellar compartment without any problem.
Light and bell
The front light is connected to the electric circuit of the e-bike and can be switched on and off using a button on the control unit. The individual LED is incredibly bright. The Eleglide F1 does not have a tail light so the buyer needs to upgrade an LED light with a rechargeable battery or batteries for night driving. More info on the subject in our great guide: Illuminated bicycle lights with and without battery from 15 euros.
As with the Eleglide M1 Plus (test report), the manufacturer does without an electronic horn which is otherwise common on Chinese e-bikes. This is good, because a light colored bell is mandatory for bicycles in Germany. Also good: Eleglide attaches cat eyes to the rays. Plastic mudguards for the front and rear are included.
Motor and control unit
The 250 watt motor sits on the rear wheel and pushes the bike correctly on the highest of the five levels. We find it a bit annoying that the Eleglide F1 always starts with the lowest level when restarting, which the driver then has to activate on the control unit.
The control unit itself is very simple and does not require an LED display. As a result, the driver never knows how fast he is actually driving. However, measured by GPS, the eMTB reaches the 25 km / h specified by the manufacturer and then regulates the engine.
The engine starts after about half a turn of the pedal and continues to run for that long. This is almost always the case with the rear engines. However, beginners need to get used to it first. After all, the engine stops immediately after applying the brake.
A throttle lever is not allowed in Germany and is not installed on the Eleglide F1. However, one is optionally included in the package. It works well after mounting on the handlebars and free port. However, hard plastic handles are less comfortable than pre-assembled soft handles.
In order to put the Eleglide F1 to the test, we send it, among other things, on a demanding forest trail. The missing damping of the front suspension fork is immediately noticeable. After rolling over each root, he hits hard and brutally in his starting position. The rear suspension, on the other hand, does a good job of defusing bumps reliably.
In this price class, the 21-speed shifting, part of which comes from Shimano, is anything but obvious. Thanks to it, it is possible to choose a very low translation and therefore also to face really difficult passages. Thick tires, which provide sufficient tread for good grip, are also good. In our case, the mechanical disc brakes do their job quite well after adjustment. However, we fail to adjust them so that they don’t drag around and still stick.
The battery hidden in the frame is secured with a key and only works when the key is in place. It has a capacity of 374.4 watt hours. Eleglide specifies a range of 85 kilometers in assistance mode. Without a screen, we can’t say exactly how far we’ve come on a single charge. We estimate it with a rider weight of 80 kilograms at the highest assist level and on mostly flat terrain, but at around 45 kilometers. It recharges directly in the electric bike using the supplied power supply. Optionally, it can also be removed. A full charge takes about six hours.
The regular price of the Eleglide F1 at Geekmaxi is 759 euros. It is already a very good price for the equipment offered. With promo code WMQQY2C4 it is reduced at Geekmaxi (Kauflink) to 699 euros. The reseller ships from a European warehouse. This speeds up shipments compared to direct imports from China. There are also no customs duties.
In the following price comparison we show the cheapest electric mountain bikes available on the Geizhals price comparison portal:
When we tested the Eleglide F1, we were surprised at what the E-MTB offers for its low price. This is how its full suspension works well, even if the suspension fork lacks damping. The look is great and the folding mechanism is unprecedented in a full-fledged electric bike. However, the central hinge creaks a bit. The control unit is rudimentary and we miss the display of a speed. The motor is powerful enough with 250 watts and works reliably both in assistance mode and in fully electric mode. Pedals, bells, lights and fenders do their job as intended.
We are disappointed with the disc brakes because as laymen we cannot adjust them perfectly. The 21-speed gearshift is excellent. However, if you are interested in purchasing the Eleglide F1, you should know that although it meets many criteria, it is not approved for German road traffic.