X24 & X26 fat tire e-bikes (starting at $1699)
Four-inch wide tires, 1200 watts of max power, top speed of 31 mph, 62 hours battery life
Just let us have this one thing outside of running
From October 16-29, enter to win 1 of 10 limited edition Engwe X26 Ymir, a fat tire e-bike designed to take on any winter adventures. Learn more and enter to win here.
ROBBE (X24): Despite being runners, we have an array of interests outside of running. Like a lot of runners, cycling is one of them, and something we do quite often, which is why we’re reviewing an e-bike.
I’m not a cyclist in the “spandex bibs, face shields and gloves” kind of way. Most of the geared road cycling in my life was done in my teens, mostly at night, and involved either stealing golf balls from the local driving range or sneaking over to my girlfriend’s house. God bless that Schwinn.
I’m also not a motorcyclist in the “taking my chopper for a Sunday ride” kind of way, riding across the great expanse of the U-S-of-A in search of my soul.
My allegiance to two-wheeled machines lies somewhere in between. One of my most sentimental possessions is my single speed bike, a steel-frame SE Draft that’s been with me on plenty of adventures since moving to Baltimore. Through bikepacking adventures, days of exploring, and a few decent crashes, the thing is indestructible. At this point I feel like I know the way it moves, like an extension of my body, and I can’t switch to anything else.
Then there’s the motorcycle. While I do have a motorcycle license, my machine is a 1968 Honda CT-90, a fun little thing but doesn’t really get above 30 mph and can’t be kept in Baltimore thanks to its unique design (it was almost stolen the first week I had it here).
And now, the Engwe X24 E-bike, which lies somewhere in-between all my life experiences.
THOMAS (X26): We have no business reviewing an electric bike; honestly, this is more of an electric motorcycle. Robbe and I couldn’t resist when Engwe asked if we wanted to test the bikes. Our team straddles the line between nerds and culture connoisseurs; having fun is our forte. So we won’t compare the Engwe X26 and X24 to other e-bikes. We will tell you about the bike and how it’s as rad as the first time you ripped a power slide on your Big Wheel.Shop Engwe X24 & X26 E-Bikes
Engwe is a Chinese e-bike company that looks to offer a range of affordable e-bikes for various uses, everything from folding bikes to e-scooters to fat tire off-road bikes (like we’re reviewing today). Their “About Us” page is somewhat confusing and vague, speaking of three founders, though they’re nameless with zero background information. The text honestly seems like it’s AI-generated. Doing a reverse Google image search, the photo of them is just taken from a stock photo site. They’re also all riding standard road bikes, no motor involved.
Whatever, in any case, Engwe has been around for almost a decade, so they have a decent track record in the e-bike world, especially in Europe..
Engwe’s offerings look good and pack some impressive metrics inside of a very reasonable price tag. Over the last few years, they’ve done some heavy marketing and promotion of the fat tire bikes, specifically the X24 and X26. From YouTubers to editorial gear reviews, they’re really getting the brand out there. In the process, they’ve made quite a few in-roads in the global market. Which is how we ended up here.
For this review, we received two models of Engwe Fat Tire E-Bikes: the X24 and X26. They’re practically the exact same, save for different tire sizes (24 inches on the X24 and– you guessed it– 26 inches on the X26). The other difference is in the tire design; the X26 has mag wheels while the X24 has spoke and rim. There’s also a 20” version, which is obviously smaller, and which we won’t be reviewing. All of them are foldable.
The X series e-bikes feature some really great design– balancing the point between rugged and technical, which is exactly what you want in a functional-yet-stylish fat tire bike. If I’m being honest, that was a major selling point in us reviewing it. It just looked like a great product.
The specs are impressive as well. This is designed to be an e-bike with off-road capabilities, and it has the suspension to prove it. Or should I say suspensions– plural– because there are three suspension systems on this beast, for a total of five shocks between the front fork, rear swing arms and seat tube. Combine that with the big boy tires, and you are riding in some high-class comfort.
As you can imagine, the bike falls into the Class 3 e-bike specification, though in reality– its listed specs would put it into the “out of class” category. Specifically, the top speed (31 mph) and wattage (1,200 watt output), which both put it outside of class 3. Depending where you are, this may or may not matter. Where we are in Baltimore, there’s pretty much no rules regarding bikes or motorbikes or quads or any other vehicle for that matter. So we really couldn’t care less.
In terms of performance, the bike features three different modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport, with power assist levels 1-5. A center display (roughly the size of an iPhone) shows speed, mode, and power assist. You can also switch to see other metrics like trip distance, max speed, and trip time. Eco is pedal and pedal assist and Normal is just pedal (you’ll probably never use this). Then there’s Sport, which is full assist; however, this can only be kept on for a short amount of time, because if it’s full assist all the time, then I believe it places it into the moped category, which means you would need a license and liability insurance in most states. Interesting way to skirt that rule.
A control module sits between the left handlebar and display screen and features five buttons to control power and headlights, increase or decrease the assist level, and switch between display options. The thumb throttle is also on the left handlebar, beside the control module.
Moving on to the batteries, there’s a 19-amp lithium ion battery in the seat tube with a range of about 35 miles, then a 10-amp lithium battery in the down tube, or top tube, or whatever the frame is called. That has around 17 miles in our experience.
Other components include hydraulic disc brake system, Shimano 8-gear transmission system with trigger brakes on the right handle, padded leather bike seat, and rear passenger seat. LED headlights and taillights round out the bike.Shop Engwe X24 & X26 E-Bikes
ROBBE (X24): Be prepared for the arrival of the Engwe X24 or X26. You will probably need two people to move it to wherever you’ll set it up. In my case, I live in a 1,200 square foot Baltimore rowhome, which means it took up most of my living room (like, a 7’x2’ foot box).
I guess when I hear folding e-bike, I think ‘yeah, that’s a one-man job.’ Instead, I needed to reframe my thoughts to ‘oh, I’m putting together a motorcycle.’ Because that’s basically what you’re doing. Because it weighs a whopping 109 pounds. As such, there will be parts of the assembly process where you will likely need two people.
While some of the bike is assembled (brake components, batteries, shocks, hub, etc.), you will have to put on the tires, lights, handlebars, seat, pedals, and crank arms. Tools and hardware are included. This would be all fine, nothing too technical, except– the directions are terrible.
I really, truly, don’t understand how these Chinese brands can’t just hire an English-speaking technical writer right out of college for like $1,000 to rewrite their manuals. Because virtually none of it was clear, and the directions for some components were straight-up missing (like, it came with a set of keys that I still have no idea what they go to; turns out they go to the internal batteries).
There were also random extra cap nuts for the rear, and ones that looked totally different from the manual, so that was confusing. I got the feeling that this bike was already used or at least opened (the battery was already charged), and they just resent it to me without checking all the parts. Maybe not, but who knows.
Eventually, you will get the bike assembled. It took me around an hour to do with the help of a friend, so it wasn’t totally ridiculous. But still annoying on account of the poorly written user guide.
THOMAS (X26): I’m no mechanic. When the nearly 7-foot-long box arrived, I took my time opening it. Robbe had warned me there would be some assembly required. I waited until my 14-year-old was around to help. You’ll need help to hold parts you can’t balance. It took 30 minutes to have the bike fully assembled when we got the box open. The instructions aren’t complicated, but a couple of details could have been made easier to understand.
The computer that controls the bike is somewhat intuitive. I just pushed buttons until I got the desired result. I was off to the races once I figured out how to get the bike to the maximum power assist.
ROBBE (X24): Aside from a bike share e-bike that we rode once because apparently Ubers don’t exist in Colorado Springs, I have never ridden an e-bike. In the city, I ride a steel-frame single speed. Getting up hills can require a good amount of effort. What a difference an e-bike makes.
Right away, I love the design of this bike. It really does look badass. The fat tires, the frame, the suspension– you legit feel like you’re on a motorcycle or something from the future. Riding it quietly but fast with fat tires on city streets, you feel like the Batman riding through the dark night. It’s almost awkward how many heads it turns as you ride past. On multiple occasions I’ve had people compliment me on the bike.
Speaking of fat tires, at 24”x4”, they really just roll over everything. Obviously this is great for off-roading or trails, but it’s equally awesome in the city for jumping on or off curbs, over railroad tracks, literally just wherever you want to go. Combined with the assist, it can pretty much take any shortcut you want.
Which brings me to my next point– this bike is so much fun. Thomas had a shit-eating grin on his face the entire time and I probably looked the same. There are few things as an adult that make you feel like a kid getting a special toy for Christmas. This was one of them.
The interface and controls are pretty intuitive and easy to use. I like the thumb throttle on the left side, which is best used for getting going before you start to pedal. I recommend doing this because it eases into the ride, whereas pedaling from a stopped position can be a bit jumpy once the assist kicks in. The AMOLED display features large numbers and is super clear in any condition, so I really enjoyed that.
The Shimano thumb shifters are very easy to use, making it effortless to switch between gears at any moment. I usually just kept it on the highest gear and used assist mode to get the most out of the bike.
The seat is very large– it’s basically a cruiser-style seat– but very comfortable. Adjusting the seat requires you to loosen with an Allen wrench, so it’s not just a quick release. But I appreciated it because it does make it more secure. Once it’s loosened, it’s easy to adjust to whichever level you prefer.
Adjusting the suspension compression in the front fork is quick and easy, you can do so by turning the adjustment dials on top of each tube.
Charging is pretty straightforward and takes about 6 hours to get a full charge.
Lastly, for the amount of power and battery life you’re getting out of this bike, the price point is very competitive, and probably the best value out there. At $1,700 for the X24 ($1,800 for the X26), you’re getting a ton of value for the price point. I would also say that there’s really no need for the X26 unless you really need extra clearance. The 24” wheel is plenty big and will still roll over pretty much anything.
THOMAS (X26): The electric bike provided a smooth and comfortable ride. The suspension system absorbed bumps and road imperfections. The ergonomic design of the handlebars and saddle ensured a comfortable riding posture, and the integrated lights added a safety element to my nighttime rides. I’m about 6′ tall, and the bike was a comfortable fit. The X26 rides more like a scooter or motorbike than a bicycle. Engwe lists 31 mph as the top speed, but hacking the governor would be necessary to see the speedometer go over 28.
The powerful electric 1000w Engwe X26 motor significantly boosts your pedaling efforts. Let’s be real– I don’t really use the pedals on this thing. You could switch between different levels of assistance, which will allow you to tailor your ride to the terrain and energy level if you want to get a little exercise.
The double 48v 19.2ah Lithium-Ion battery life of the electric bike was remarkable. I never got close to the 62-mile battery limit.
The bike is a heavy beast, but you’ll enjoy using the throttle to launch yourself from a dead stop to 27 mph in a few seconds. Don’t worry about stopping, either. You can reach a standstill just as fast between the wide tires and power disc brakes. The bike also has a triple suspension that easily handles the Baltimore potholes. It’s hard not to smile when cruising through the city traffic.Shop Engwe X24 & X26 E-Bikes
ROBBE (X24): There’s something about this bike that’s just slightly off, like it’s trying to be too many things at once and ends up struggling with an identity crisis. It’s like those farmhouse-style McMansions where the builder just throws in every architectural trend that’s hot right now– you get a tin roof, you get a doric column holding up the roof of the side door on the garage, you get some fake brick walls just because! It looks pretty great, but it functionally may not make sense.
The bike has shocks everywhere, which comes as a shock. The seat tube suspension is largely unnecessary. Then there’s the rear passenger seat, which is just a big “why?” Not only are foot pegs not included– they’re not even possible, rendering the passenger seat pretty much useless. Even if you take the seat off, there’s no pannier attachments, meaning you’ll have to do some creative modifications to utilize the space for cargo.
Thomas said he didn’t have this issue, but I’ve seen other reviews on YouTube that had this same problem that I did: The battery in the down tube rattles around. It’s actually super annoying and gives the unsettling feeling that the bike is going to fall apart over bumps (it won’t, of course). If you’re having that problem, you can add pieces of foam to the top and bottom of the battery to separate it from the frame like this guy did.
If you’re trying to keep this bike in full manual mode, I’m not gonna lie– it’s pretty hard to pedal a 110-pound package around. The “E” in the name is doing a lot of heavy lifting; you’re pretty much going to need to use the electric portion whenever you’re riding it. Even with pedal assist on, there are times when you’ll get a good workout, especially if you’re trying to go top speed.
Technically, this is a folding bike. Functionally, it’s really not. At least, not without an assistant. Again, this is one of those weird Frankenstein features of the bike. It folds, but it’s so heavy that you’re going to need help with it.
Although I love the design of the bike, there is room for at least one improvement. As is, the break cables and electric wires are all bundled together outside of the frame, which makes it look like the underside of the table in our podcasting room. Just a lot going on, and somewhat of a mess visually.
While the headlight works at night, I do wish it cast a brighter and wider beam. Obviously that would be a trade-off and use more energy, but I’d take that safety trade-off any day, or at least have the option to do a low beam/high beam.
This isn’t the fault of Engwe, it’s just more of a personal thing. But riding it around in the city is weird because I can’t figure out where I belong. On a single speed bike, I know how it moves and gets up to speed and where it fits in with cars and traffic and everything. On a motorcycle, I know that I largely travel the same I would as if I were driving. But on a massive, 110-pound e-bike that tops out at 31 miles-per-hour, I struggle where to fit in. So I’m still figuring that out.
Not necessary a bad, but an “I kinda wish mine had this”: the X26 that Thomas got has star-pattern mag wheels while the X24 has spoke style. Not the end of the world, but let’s be real– the mags look way cooler (and require less maintenance).
THOMAS (X26): You will need space for this bike. Oddly, it folds in half, making the bike even more cumbersome. The x26 isn’t lightweight, either. Again, think of it more like a motorcycle than a bike—mine parks in the garage.Shop Engwe X24 & X26 E-Bikes
ROBBE (X24): Do I need an e-bike? I never thought I did, but now that I have one, I see the ways in which it’s making me less car reliant and I’m definitely into it. As I got more into the e-bike world while doing this review, I realized there’s almost an endless array of options to choose from. Every bike brand is jumping in on the trend, and that’s not including the tens (hundreds?) of start-ups throwing together their version of a battery powered bike.
Engwe is somewhere in between, a newer brand that’s been around for a few years, has a decent track record of reliability, and is making in-roads into Europe and the United States. The value is there– comparably priced bikes like the REI CTY cost $1300 and only have 250 watts of power, no throttle, and top out at 20 mph.
People routinely asked if my bike cost $3,000-$5,000 and were shocked to hear the actual price tag on it. For $1,600, you’re truly getting the most out of your money. And while we can’t attest to the durability over, say, thousands of miles, we’ve seen good testimonials on Reddit regarding its performance over thousands of miles. However, we recommend you always do your own due diligence (which is why you’re here!). In any case, if you have the money, an e-bike is a great way to cut down on car commutes and travel medium-length distances with little effort. It’s also a great way to feel like a kid again.
Can you really put a price on that?
THOMAS (X26): My experience with the electric bike was incredibly positive. While some may want an e-bike for a greener, more cost-effective, and more convenient mode of transportation, I like it for the pure, childlike fun you can have whizzing around the city streets.
You can pick up the Engwe X24 and X26 e-bikes for $1699-$1799 by using the shop links below, or you can pick up the limited-edition Ymir model (available now) meant for those snowy, wintry adventures.
Also, enter to win one of ten X Ymir e-bikes for the month of October (out of only 100 production models). Learn more here.Shop Engwe X24 & X26 E-Bikes
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe
As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be.More from Thomas