What’s it like riding a fat tire e-bike with TRIPLE suspension? Engwe X26 review

One of the major advantages of riding electric bikes is that the extra electric assist means you don’t have to worry about weight penalties as much. Pedal bike designers have to minimize weight to make the bike less grueling to ride, but e-bike manufacturers can add in more comfort features without making the bike harder to use. That often means more suspension and larger tires. Or in the case of the Engwe X26 electric bike, the company opted for an extra helping of both.

I got my first glimpse of the new Engwe X26 electric bike at Eurobike this summer, and that’s where I got to check out its novel triple suspension design.

With a fairly normal dual crown front suspension fork and a rear swingarm, the suspension looks more or less standard at first. But when you get closer, you see there’s actually a second suspension system in the rear. The entire rear half of the frame is its own swingarm, with a second swingarm formed from the lower chainstays. That means we’ve got a monoshock hiding in front of the seat tube and a set of coilover shocks in place of seatstay tubes. It’s a Frankenstein of suspension with a total of five shocks in three locations. Then to top it all off, the bike wears some massive 26×4″ tires for the ultimate cushy riding experience.

Want to see the Engwe X26 in action? Check out my review video below. Then keep on going to read my full review further down the page.

Engwe X26 Video Review

Engwe X26 Tech Specs

  • Motor: 1,000W peak-rated rear geared hub motor
  • Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h) on throttle, 31 mph (50 km/h) when unlocked
  • Range: Claimed up to 57.7 mi (93 km)
  • Battery: 48V 20Ah (1,272 Wh) split among two batteries
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum
  • Tires: 26″ x 4″ puncture resistant
  • Weight: 90 lb (41 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 330 lb (150 kg)
  • Brakes: Two-piston hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors
  • Extras: Color LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, left side thumb throttle, frame integrated rear rack with cushioned passenger seat, integrated headlight and tail lights, folding mechanism, 8-speed Shimano Tourney transmission, adjustable kickstand
engwe x26 e-bike

So much extra junk in the trunk

Wow, there is a lot of excessiveness going on with this bike.

First, there’s that suspension. It’s a triple suspension design that is probably unnecessary (just give me good rear suspension, not two sets of decent rear suspension), but it seems to get the job done.

A fast bike like this is best tested on-road, since there’s no way you want to be bucking around off-road at 30+ mph on a 90 lb machine while riding a rutted out dirt trail. And since the bike comes out of the box with a throttle-enable 28 mph top speed, there’s some serious credence lent to using this as a commuter bike.

It likely won’t fit into Class 3 designation in many areas since it can exceed 20 mph on throttle control, but if that isn’t an issue in your area, then you’ll enjoy that extra speed and power. The 1,000W rear hub motor makes quick work of starts, and the dual battery system means the batteries won’t drain as quickly as you’d expect on such a big and heavy e-bike.

The Engwe X26 is also a folding e-bike, though I wouldn’t want to fold it very often.

It’s so big and awkward to maneuver in its folded state that it’s really more of a feature list add-on than a useful quality.

Sure, it folds in half. But it doesn’t roll well like that, and it’s now half as long but twice as wide. There’s a time and a place that such a feature will be helpful, but I doubt many people will ever actually fold it.

Just look at me struggling to get this thing into its folded state below.

The bike’s main battery is in the seat tube, offering 912 Wh of capacity. That’s already quite a bit above average, but there’s a second battery in the top tube that adds another 360Wh of capacity. Together, you’ve got enough battery to ride pretty much all day with moderate pedal assist.

They claim over 50 miles of range, but expect barely over half that if you’re heavy on the throttle.

Normally I’m not a fan of seat tube batteries since they’re easier to steal if you don’t take the seat in with you, but in this case they’ve included a handy lock on the seat tube clamp. It’s surely not as strong as the locks on conventional e-bike batteries, and I imagine a 12″ flat head screwdriver would make quick work of it, but it will stop thefts of opportunity.

And the good news is that with a second battery hidden in the frame, if the seat and battery ever do get stolen, you can at least stand up and ride home with your reserve battery powering the bike.

There are some other nice to see parts here, too.

The cast wheels forgo spokes, which means they also forgo the problems that come with spokes. Your wheels will never go out of true or get clicking spokes, though you should also avoid crashing with these wheels since they aren’t repairable or adjustable like spoked wheels.

You also get some good hydraulic disc brakes, too, which I consider a minimum piece of safety equipment on any bike this heavy. Stopping 90 lb of e-bike plus however heavy the rider happens to be is no easy task, and while mechanical brakes could do it, those poor cables would need frequent adjusting.

Hydraulic disc brakes are simply a better choice on these big, heavy e-bikes.

The knobby fat tires and the extra suspension would normally make this a fine trail bike for anyone taking it off-road, but it’s just so heavy that I wouldn’t recommend it for super technical terrain. Where it really shines though is on the road. Those tires and the extra suspension make it as comfortable on the road as a motorcycle, letting you sink into the bike and overcome pot holes without worrying about getting catapulted off the saddle.

At the current sale price of $1,899, marked down from a $1,999 MSRP, the bike feels fairly priced to me. You’re getting much more battery (and much more suspension) than comparably priced fat tire e-bikes, though the design isn’t nearly as nice. Wires are cable-tied just about everywhere, so what you gain in performance you give up in appearance and tidiness. It’s not a looker, but it actually rides quite well.

If you’re on the hunt for an e-bike that rides like a motorcycle and has the suspension to match, this could be it. This is a bike for someone who values performance over attractiveness. If you want a nice, easy-going bike for recreational rides, or one that doesn’t look like a project, I’d keep searching elsewhere.

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