The Engwe Engine Pro is a monster of a fat-tyre bike that purports to do just about everything. It’s got huge power, great spec, full suspension, chunky off-road tyres and a load of practical features too. It even folds. The only downside? It’s not road legal. But if you’ve got somewhere to ride it, could this be the bike that does it all?
- Serious off-road terrain
- High-speed fun
- People with large country estates
- Amazing amount of features for the price
- Brilliantly fun
- Comfortable ride
- Powerful and fast
- Genuine off-road capability
- Hydraulic brakes
- Practicality features like mudguards, lights and rack all included
- Foldability means portability
- Battery regen feature can extend range on hilly rides
- Heavy and bulky
- Not road legal in the UK
- Sometimes too powerful to pedal comfortably
- Some low-quality components
- Slow to recharge
The Engwe Engine Pro is a bike so packed with features, it seems scarcely believable for the price. For just a shade over £1100, you get a huge battery, full suspension, hydraulic brakes and even an energy recovery system. It’s powerful, fast and great fun to ride, and as if that wasn’t enough, it folds up for easy storage, too.
There are a couple of “buts”, however. With its 750W motor, the Engine Pro is not road legal in the UK, which means unless you want to risk a run in with the law, you can only use it on private land. It’s also very heavy at 38kg, and while it folds down to a convenient size, try hoiking it in and out of a car a few times and you’ll feel like your arms are about to drop off. While I found the ride to be supremely comfortable, thanks to its big tyres and full suspension, it does feel a bit like overkill – ditching the suspension would drastically reduce the weight and still maintain a high level of cushioning.
All that said, this remains a great value bike for the number of features, and it’s very upgradeable too. If I had a large area of private land to hoon about on, I’d absolutely get one of these.
|One size, suitable for adults between 165cm/5’4” and 190cm/6’2”
|Max Rider Weight
|104cm x 55cm x 84cm
|Aluminium, magnesium fork
|Eight-speed Shimano Altus
|Logan hydraulic disc brakes front & rear
|Assembled & built
|750 Watt rear-wheel hub
|5.5 hours. Charger included
|Five power assist modes
|Front and rear included
|Components and build quality
|Safety and security
|Performance and handling
|Comfort and practicality
Components and build quality
I’ve been umming and aahing between giving three or four stars for the components of the Engwe Engine Pro. On the one hand, you get a LOT of features for the money. When the spec sheet lists full suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and an energy reduction system and yet the price is only a shade over £1,100, it seems churlish to criticise too much.
On the other hand, some of those components are on the cheap side, and there’s a wider question about whether you actually need some of them. So let’s look at what you get.
Mounted to the folding aluminium frame is an eight-speed Shimano Altus gearset, which is solid and well-proven. The gears are changed using a handlebar-mounted thumbshifter and they work in tandem with a 750W rear motor, which is integrated into the back wheel. Said wheels, by the way, are metal alloy, like a motorbike. This is great for strength and durability, and they’ll need no maintenance in terms of tightening spokes, although if a wheel gets damaged it’ll be trickier to remedy than just popping into a local bike shop.
Mounted to the 20-inch wheels are fat 20 x 4 off-road tyres that provide plenty of cushioning. That comfort is complemented by the full suspension setup, consisting of an adjustable magnesium alloy front fork and a rear shock.
On the one hand, that’s a lot of bump-reducing componentry that can, in theory, stand up to a lot of punishment. On the other hand, this is a folding e-bike, not a downhill mountain bike, and the suspension components are firmly at the budget end of the market. There may be some niche customers for whom this setup is perfect – perhaps you have a large open space with some bumpy trails and farm tracks – but for many others, it seems like overkill. So cushioned are the tyres that I suspect you could ditch the suspension, still be very comfortable and save a (figurative) tonne of weight, which would aid portability and extend battery range.
All that weight – a whopping 38kg – needs some serious stopping power, and the Engwe Engine Pro comes fitted with Logan hydraulic disc brakes – a budget brand without the proven reliability of some other manufacturers, but they felt good on my test rides. At this price it’s impressive to have a hydraulic rather than mechanical system as standard.
There’s also a regenerative braking system called I-ERS, which is intended to harvest kinetic energy when you’re freewheeling and send it back to the battery, extending your range. We’ve heard from those riding on hillier terrain that it’s worth having – freewheeling down longer hills can recoup a decent amount of energy.
The battery is a big 48V, 16Ah unit that’s integrated into the frame and removable for charging. Engwe claims that will give you up to 62 miles of assist, but if you’re leaning heavily on the battery (and because of the weight, you will be) then that figure is very optimistic. Based on my test riding, and those of my colleagues, around 20-40 miles is more realistic.
The Engwe Engine Pro uses a cadence sensor that I found responded quickly, and I also liked the thumb throttle on the left handlebar for a quick burst of power. Hold it down and you’ll get a cruise control function for effortless zipping along.
For all the above misgivings about component quality and longevity, the Engwe Engine Pro is a great canvas if you want to customise and upgrade an off-road-capable, folding e-bike. Aside from the motor and the I-ERS unit, just about everything else is easily upgradable, from the fork and rear suspension to the drivetrain, handlebars, brakes and tyres. So affordable is the base bike that you could drop a few hundred pounds on upgrades and still not have overspent compared to some of the Engine Pro’s rivals.
General build quality seems decent – despite the folding hinges on the frame and steerer tube I didn’t notice any major creaks or rattles during my reviewing, and although some of the frame welds don’t look the tidiest, I do think everything feels solid enough.
Safety and security
The Engwe Engine Pro’s stopping power comes from the Logan hydraulic disc brakes. They may not have the brand awareness of Shimano, Tektro and the like, and we can’t really comment on long-term reliability, but based on our test rides, they work very well. The Engine Pro is very heavy and can move at a serious pace, but when I jammed on the brakes at top speed (just to see what would happen), I had no issues bringing the bike to a controlled stop. I also found it easy to modulate the brakes while weaving through slow-moving traffic.
The big, heavy battery is integrated into the frame, but by opening the folding mechanism you can easily remove it and take it inside to charge. It’s a chunky boy, but it’s a darn sight lighter than the rest of the bike to take up to a flat or office.
A front and rear light are both included and integrated into the bike – a quick press of the dedicated button on the left handlebar turns them on and off, and they’re nice and bright for night-time street riding. There’s also a horn button under the thumb throttle, whichto be honest makes a frankly horrendous, high-pitched electronic squeak, but did at least make wayward pedestrians aware of my impending presence.
Performance and handling
As you’d expect from a 750W motor integrated into the back wheel, performance in the Engwe Engine Pro is seriously punchy, even considering its weight. I popped in level 5 of 5 for maximum fun, but level 3 is fine for everyday cruising. The included thumb throttle gives you a good blast of power to get going, which I found useful considering both the weight and the fact that the cadence sensor takes a small turn of the pedal to register before it provides assistance. A flick of the throttle from standstill negated any delay and got me up to speed quickly.
The combination of the plentiful assistance, thumb throttle and excellent Shimano gears (with eight speeds to choose from) meant I never felt like I needed extra power. Almost the opposite, in fact – such is the amount of juice available that at speed in top gear I felt like I was spinning the pedals out with maximum assist, so dialled it back again to feel some resistance on the pedals.
Engwe optimistically promises up to 62 miles of range from the large battery. During one of my relatively stop-start rides, where I was working the power assist and thumb throttle hard, I could almost see the battery level drop in real time as the motor strained to heave the bike forward. Luckily, it’s easy to monitor such information on the crisp and clear display, so you can tell early on if you’ll need to lay off the juice to save battery power.
The handling feels composed and stable even in tight manoeuvres, and it’s only really under braking that I started to feel the weight. But again, the hydraulic brakes work very well.
Comfort and practicality
I’ve already highlighted my concerns about the suspension system and whether the bike needs it, but putting that aside, it works very well to keep things supremely comfortable. Transitioning from tarmac to bumpy, muddy grass barely felt any different as all the lumpy terrain was soaking up by the shocks and tyres, as well as the squishy but supportive saddle. My colleague Moja did some more adventurous off-road riding and found it was very capable on relatively savage terrain.
He did highlight a concern about how narrow the handlebars are, which could be frustrating when riding off-road. However, I didn’t find it a concern on tarmac, and it makes the overall package slightly more compact when you fold it up.
Pleasingly, the Engine Pro comes with a stout rack for strapping your worldly goods to, as well as excellent mudguards that should keep the worst of the British weather away from your back as you glide over mud and rain.
While the Shimano gear set will need lubrication and regular maintenance, it’s all proven componentry that should last well if it’s looked after. The rear derailleur is surrounded by a cage to protect it from accidental knocks, which is a nice touch.
Folding the Engine Pro is relatively straightforward, with a catch in the centre of the frame and another on the steerer tube. Be prepared for a work out when you need to load it into a car or drag it up stairs, however. My arms were aching for a good hour after lifting it.
Phill Tromans has been a journalist and reviewer since 2001. As both a keen road cyclist and car aficionado, he’s fully embraced the concept of e-mobility, and while he still loves pure pedal power, he also likes not being a sweaty mess at the end of every bike ride.