E-bikes and especially e-mountain bikes are currently in demand like seldom before. As a result, many models are sold out. Chinese eMTBs from China are often available online. And although these meet many requirements for approval for German roads, Chinese manufacturers have usually not approved them. So they are not allowed. This also applies to the Eleglide F1 tested here. More on this in the guide to e-mountain bikes under 1500 euros: This is what you should pay attention to with cheap off-road e-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 suspension on both the front and the rear. 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) come with these features despite the higher purchase prices. We assembled the Eleglide for this review and sent it on a challenging forest trail.
As usual with e-bikes ordered online, the Eleglide F1 must also be assembled before the first ride. We need about 1.5 hours for this. The tool is included. First you insert the front wheel and screw on the handlebars. Pay attention to the small stickers on the pedals. Because one is provided for the left and one for the right side. Last but not least, the front light and a small bracket to protect the rear gear shift have to be installed.
Adjusting the front disc brake correctly was a bit tricky. Perhaps a professional can do it better, we laypeople needed almost 20 minutes for this and still didn’t manage to set them perfectly. The Eleglide F1 was still ready to drive 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 cross frame that connects the rear and front parts of the bike and does not require any additional struts. Something similar is already known from smaller folding bikes such as the excellent and affordable Fiido D4S (test report). This construction looks even more impressive on a full-fledged 26-inch e-bike. The hinged hinge is located on the frame bar, which also releases the battery hidden in it for removal.
We also really like the choice of colors. Eleglide painted the frame of the F1 in a matt and bluish turquoise, with the logo and other lettering on it in bright orange. The rest of the eMTB is mostly 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 large and untidy-looking loop in front of the handlebars in particular. We didn’t like that with the Eleglide M1 Plus (test report).
For this test we drove the Eleglide F1 about 50 kilometers. That’s enough to get a well-founded first impression. However, it is nowhere near enough to be able to make statements about the durability of the components. However, one can assume that Eleglide mainly uses inexpensive and therefore potentially low-quality elements in view of the low purchase price. We noticed, for example, that the hinged hinge creaks. However, it should be possible to regulate this with a little grease. Otherwise, the components make a reasonable first impression.
The Eleglide F1 is a full-fledged E-MTB with a folding mechanism. To do this, the buyer flips the safety lever on the frame. The handlebars cannot be folded down, nor can the sturdy metal pedals. Nevertheless, it is possible to stow the e-bike in a large trunk or a small cellar compartment without any problems.
Light & bell
The front light is attached to the electric circuit of the e-bike and can be switched on and off again using a button on the control unit. The individual LED is amazingly bright. The Eleglide F1 does not have a rear light, so the buyer should retrofit an LED light with rechargeable battery or batteries for night driving. More on the subject in our big guide: Bright bicycle lights with and without battery from 15 euros.
As with the Eleglide M1 Plus (test report), the manufacturer does without an electronic horn that is otherwise common on Chinese e-bikes. That’s good, as a light-colored bell is mandatory for bicycles in Germany. Also good: Eleglide attaches cat eyes to the spokes. 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 properly 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 turn up on the control unit.
The control unit itself is kept 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 kilometers per hour specified by the manufacturer and then regulates the motor.
The engine starts after about half a pedal turn and continues to run for just as long. This is almost always the case with rear engines. However, newbies have to get used to it first. After all, the motor 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 packaging. This works well after mounting on the handlebar and the free port. However, the hard plastic handles are less comfortable than the soft pre-assembled ones.
In order to put the Eleglide F1 through its paces, we send it on a demanding forest trail, among other things. The missing damping of the front suspension fork is immediately noticeable there. After driving over each root, it bangs loudly and roughly back into its starting position. The rear suspension, on the other hand, does a good job and reliably defuses bumps.
In this price category, the 21-speed gearshift, some of which comes from Shimano, is anything but self-evident. Thanks to it, it is possible to choose a very low translation and thus also to cope with really difficult passages. The thick tires, which offer sufficient tread for a good grip, are also good. In our case, the mechanical disc brakes do their job well enough after adjustment. However, we do not manage to adjust them so that they do not drag and still grip.
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 support mode. Without a display, we can’t say exactly how far we’ve come on one charge. We estimate it with a rider weight of 80 kilograms at the highest support level and mostly flat ground, but at around 45 kilometers. It is charged directly in the e-bike using the power supply unit supplied. 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. This is already a very good price for the equipment offered. With the voucher code WMQQY2C4 it reduces at Geekmaxi (Kauflink) to 699 euros. The dealer ships from a European warehouse. This speeds up shipping compared to direct imports from China. There are also no customs duties.
In the following price comparison we show the cheapest available e-mountain bikes from the Geizhals price comparison portal:
When we tested the Eleglide F1, we were surprised at how much the E-MTB offers for its slim price. This is how his fully suspension works well, even if the suspension fork lacks damping. The look is terrific and the folding mechanism is unparalleled in a full-blown e-bike. However, the central hinge creaks a bit. The control unit is rudimentary and we miss the display of a speed. The motor is sufficiently powerful with 250 watts and works reliably in both support mode and fully electric mode. Pedals, bells, lights and mudguards do their job as expected.
We are disappointed with the disc brakes because as laypeople we cannot adjust them perfectly. The fine 21-speed gearshift is great. However, if you are interested in buying the Eleglide F1, you should definitely note that, despite meeting many criteria, it is not approved for German road traffic.