When I started the Evelo Dash review, I found myself thinking this folding e-bike was limited in what it can do. But the more I rode the Dash, and thought about how this e-bike is so easy to fold, store and transport, the more I saw the void this e-bike fills in in the greater needs of the e-bike market. Looking at the other quality features Evelo added to this bike, like the Dahu motor, Sturmey Archer hub and Gates belt drive, you will discover how this e-bike actually has quite a lot going for it.
The EBR Team had a chance recently to ride the Evelo Dash over 175 miles, testing its performance, handling, safety, reliability and functionality. Our time on this e-bike revealed the differences and similarities with other folding e-bikes; and how the Dash has a lot going for it that others lack.
Down below in the heart of our review on the Evelo Dash you’ll see what we learned about how it stretches the boundaries of where you can take your e-bike and experience rides you would not have previously experienced.
Bike Class:Class 2: PAS & Throttle assist, up to 20 mph
Unique lightweight folding frame design increases options for transporting, storing and where to take it.
Clean, low maintenance internal gear hub and belt drive.
Smooth, efficient power from the mid-drive motor and torque sensor.
Up to 40-mile range with plenty of assistance.
Throttle assistance provides quick acceleration when you need it.
4-year warranty – customer service will be there to help with any issues.
One size frame limits shorter and taller riders from using.
For the record, you shouldn’t shift while pedaling for long-term care of your drivetrain, but the Sturmey Archer IGH doesn’t want to shift at all if you’re still moving the pedals. Make sure to change gears before approaching hills.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: 36V 10.5AH Samsung
Motor: Dapu M65X 4.8lb, 70 Nm torque, 350W Mid-Drive Motor
Sensor: Torque sensor
Headlight: Fully Integrated Front Lighting
Taillights: Fully Integrated Rear Lighting
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of Pedal Assistance (PAS 1 -5)
Max Speed: Up to 20 mph with PAS motor
Range: 20 miles in PAS 5, 40 miles in PAS 1
Throttle: Handlebar-mounted thumb lever
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 49 lbs.
Maximum rider weight: 275 lbs.
Maximum load on rear rack: 45 lbs.
Folded dimension: 37″ x 17″ x 26″ (with seatpost removed)
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Zoom HD875 hydraulic disc brake system, with 160 mm rotors.
If you’re asking yourself, “which folding e-bike is the best for me?” consider, first, what the key factors are for a folding e-bike: lightweight, quality components, and designed to conveniently fold into a small, portable size for storing and transporting. There are folding e-bikes, and then there are e-bikes you can fold up – there is a difference – and it’s important to remember that when you consider buying a foldable e-bike.
The Electric Bike Report team has tested and reviewed our fair share of folding e-bikes and we were looking forward to checking out the Evelo Dash foldable e-bike. Besides being easy to fold and store, this e-bike also has some great features to enhance your riding experience: mid-drive motor, hydraulic disc brakes, and a greaseless drive train, via the belt drive and internal gear hub. If you’re serious about getting a folding e-bike, then the Evelo Dash is feature-packed enough to worthy of a spot on your shortlist – this e-bike has a lot going for it!
As we tested and evaluated the Evelo Dash’s many features, we also considered the new doors this bike can open to your riding experiences, things that non-folding e-bikes could never do. So when we did the first performance test on Dash, we were hopeful its performance would meet our standards.
The Dash’s unique folding design makes this one of the most portable e-bikes to store and transport, enabling you to take your riding adventures to more places.
Cockpit nestled on the 610mm handlebars, all bike control items neatly placed at your fingertips.
While having any bike fold is convenient, the lighter-than-most 49 lbs weight makes the Dash simpler to fold and store.
Evelo Dash Review: Circuit Test on Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
The circuit test is important because it gives a good indication of what it will be like to ride this e-bike most of the time. The test results above give an accurate description of how the motor engaged with my pedaling, and I was happy – and somewhat surprised – how well this bike performed.
Rather than focusing on speed, Evelo made safety, durability and a smooth ride more the priority with this e-bike. The Dapu MD350LT motor is a great choice because of its quality, power delivery and the way it fits the overall design..
On the first lap of the circuit test, without motor assistance, the Dash felt light, like I was pedaling a regular bicycle. Even pedaling motorless on the uphill part didn’t seem arduous like on most other e-bikes. Moving to PAS 1 on the second lap, the power assist helped but was too light for constant engagement – the bike was relying more on my pedaling than on the motor.
Full motor engagement happened in PAS 2 on the third lap. When I reached the 30-foot incline, I had to increase my pedaling to help reach the top. Switching to PAS 3 in lap four, the motor engagement was really noticeable, even getting me up and over the incline without having to increase my pedaling. Because of that, I used PAS 3 often in my general riding on the Dash.
Moving up each pedal assistance level, the bike’s speed increased by about 2 mph each time. Riding in PAS 4, the bike was moving consistently at 17 -18 mph. This is a good constant speed to use on the Dash, considering its light frame and 20” x 2.4” tires and rigid suspension. I occasionally used PAS 5 to pass other cyclists and pedestrians, but there is a greater chance of experiencing “ghost pedaling” – that’s when the motor is moving the bike faster than you can pedal. From a safety standpoint, it feel’s like the bike’s way of telling you that you needn’t go faster.
A good takeaway from the circuit test is that PAS 2 and 3 will likely suffice for most of your riding, with an occasional switch up to PAS 4 for inclines and PAS 5 to pass slow bikes and pedestrians. I’ll never forget the jealous look on one lady’s face, as she was riding a heavy old clunker cruiser, as I whizzed by on the Dash, and she said, “that’s what I should be riding!”
The Dash has fairly nimble handling when riding around town and heading into corners.
The LCD color display is easy to read and easy to use.
The 20”x 2.4” wheels provide good handling and control.
Evelo Dash Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
The range test is used to determine how many miles the battery could provide electricity for the motor, at the minimum (min PAS) and maximum (max PAS) pedal assistance levels from the motor. The Min PAS test determines how far you can ride (and you’re not in a hurry) when you need to ride as far as possible using constant pedal assistance from the motor. The Max PAS test is for rides when you want the motor to contribute the most, and your pedaling the least, in powering your e-bike.
Our test rider Josh covered 38.38 miles on the MIN test, and came very close to the factory claim of 40 miles. 40 miles is a respectable range for a folding bike with a 350-watt motor and 10.5 amp-hour battery, so we were impressed by this result.
For the maximum pedal assistance test I used PAS 5, and managed to go 19.18 miles before the battery stopped supplying sufficient power to the motor. This was very close to the 20-mile target, and my ride time was one hour eighteen minutes (1:18). Keep in mind that test results will vary, depending on rider weight, road conditions, and even weather conditions. Extreme heat or cold can reduce a battery’s power range (as well as shortening its life). Nonetheless, the Dash proved it could travel the distance we expected.
One thing we would like to see Evelo do is change the battery level display from blocks to numerical values. The current 5-block display on the Dash implies that the range is broken down into 20 percent increments, which is often not accurate. For example, I was nearing 20 percent battery life remaining, but the display still showed two out of five blocks on the screen (40 percent). Believing the battery is at half range, rather than under one-quarter, a rider can under-estimate the bike’s range, and run out of power before reaching the destination. Numerical values are more accurate than blocks, and that is a better display indicator to help riders avoid being stuck without power.
Evelo designed this frame to have the battery neatly integrated within it. Making it easy to remove, the battery can be charged on or off the bike. The battery has a safety feature to stop charging when the charge is full, which eliminates damage from over-charging and possible fire risks. This is especially important when storing the bike in a vehicle, RV, or boat.
Evelo Dash Review: Hill Climb Test
EBR’s hill climb test determines an e-bike’s ability to climb under extreme conditions. In the Throttle-only test, the Dash’s 350-watt motor lacked the power to get our 180 lb test rider, Justin, to the top. This wasn’t a bad thing, some e-bikes don’t make it to the top. In fact, most cyclists end up pushing their bike up this trail. Justin, at least, had a motor and throttle to help push the Dash the rest of the way up.
Using PAS 5 for the maximum pedal assistance test, Justin and the Dash made it to the top, using 3rd gear (on the 5-speed internal gear hub [IGH]), in 121 seconds, and an average speed of 9.0 mph.
Riding uphill with an IGH requires being in the right gear as soon as you start up the hill, otherwise the rider has to stop pedaling in order to downshift into the proper gear. Some IGH are more forgiving than others when shifting on hills, but the Stermy Archer hub really didn’t seem to leave any wiggle room for shifting mid-hill.
This may not sound like a big deal, but when you have to do it in real life, it makes the uphill ride more difficult. This is one of the reasons you don’t see racers use IGHs. Additionally, you can damage your gear shifter by trying to force it to drop gears while you are pedaling up a hill.
People who rode Schwinn 3-speed back in the 1950s and 60s, or riders who rode “Dutch” bikes in Europe, will have some familiarity with IGHs, and know about this gear change issue. Most other riders won’t know and they might get frustrated learning the hard way.
The Dash rolls well on its smoother-tread tires, and the throttle is convenient for taking over for tired legs.
The Dash stopped well using the Zoom disc brakes.
Gates’ carbon belt drive is cleaner, quieter and should last 10,000 miles.
Evelo Dash Review: Safety, Brakes and the Brake Test
Giving the Evelo Dash its stopping power is the Zoom HD875 hydraulic disc brake system, with 160 mm rotors. It also includes a motor cutoff switch, so the electric motor doesn’t try to continue in PAS mode when you hit the brakes. These brakes performed well in our brake test, coming up with an average equaling the other folding bikes we tested at 22’10”. The brakes’ grabbed firmly when pulling back on the lever, and the wheels maintained control while coming to a stop. This was a good result especially when you consider the 20-inch wheels and the weight of our 230 lb test rider.
The brakes proved their value on some of the long downhills I rode. A testament of the bike’s stability and handling, I got the bike going 30 mph on a long downhill and the brakes grabbed the rotor decisively to safely slow and stop the little Dash e-bike.
Riding with reliable stopping power means riding with greater confidence knowing that your folding e-bike will keep you safe. I had some doubts about how safe this e-bike would be, due to its folding design and lightweight construction. Each time I hit dips and speed bumps, and hopped off low curbs, the Dash never felt like it would loosen or buckle. Fortunately, Evelo also delivered confidence with their impressive folding design.
Evelo Dash Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
Some e-bike enthusiasts might voice concern about the handling and stability of folding e-bikes, based on its design and construction. During my personal 60 miles of riding, I found the Dash to be very stable and it handled all the road conditions really well. This included a section of tight-turning trails, with kids and dogs to test this bike’s maneuverability.
The small frame size doesn’t mean this is an e-bike for small people. Evelo claims the Dash can be adjusted to comfortably fit riders between 4’10” and 6’4”. We had two riders, Matthew at 6’5,” and Sidney at 5’1,” test ride the Dash. Matthew said he would’ve liked having the bike sit about an inch taller (which made sense). Sidney said she was fine with the size but couldn’t ride it if it sat any higher.
Anchoring the cockpit is the Zoom 610 mm aluminum handlebar. Narrower than most e-bike handlebars, the Zoom bars were adequate in helping me safely control this e-bike. The bars have to be this size in order to make this a folding e-bike. The LCD color display was easy to see in bright daylight and in the ensuing darkness of early twilight. Rounding out the cockpit ergonomics include the PAS control buttons, left thumb throttle, grips and brake levers.
The Sturmey Archer twist shifter was easy to operate, but the hub didn’t like to shift unless the rider stopped pedaling.
We found the LCD display very easy to read with just a quick glance down.
We love the design and look of the rear rack.
The Selle Royale Astro Comfort Saddle proved to be more comfortable than expected.
Evelo Dash Review: Summary / Where to Buy
The unique frame design is what really makes the Evelo Dash standout as a folding e-bike. This frame was literally designed from scratch on a clean sheet of paper. Every tube is unique to the frame, and the development of the frame was a nearly three year process from prototype to finished product. All of the tubes are unique, unlike other e-bike frames that are produced from standard off the shelf tubes. The Dash’s frame passed the more stringent mountain bike test (ISO 4210) before being introduced to buyers. Even though this was not an industry requirement for this type of e-bike, it shows that Evelo is serious about maximizing this bike’s durability.
When you look at how you can take advantage of this bike’s foldability, you will start to see how valuable the Evelo Dash really is. When I used to ride the train everyday to my job downtown, I could’ve kept this bike with me and used it to take me that last mile-and-a-half to the office, instead of riding the bus. When I drove those long crosscountry trips to visit family, I could’ve fit this in my trunk and used it for transportation when my wife needed the car. When I was living in my apartment, and had no safe place to park and lock my bike overnight, I could’ve made this my e-bike and conveniently stored it inside my dinky apartment.
Do you see what I mean about how this folding e-bike can take care of needs you might not have thought about before?
Compared to cheaper folding e-bikes on the market, Evelo offers a more upscale product with its Dash model. The smooth acceleration of the mid-drive motor to the internal gear hub is an efficient way to get power out of the small motor, even though its output will drop proportionally as you go faster. This bike is meant to get you there, plain and simple, not get you there at the same speed as a regular e-bike. That’s the give-and-take of having the folding convenience, and being able to ride when you previously couldn’t.
The Dash is not for the budget-focused consumer. Evelo mixed in high quality components, like the mid-drive motor, internal gear hub, and torque sensor, which puts this in the $3000 range, not the $1500 range. That’s not a bad price range at all considering what the Dash includes. The cheaper models will likely be heavier and not have the same folding convenienece. My advice is for you to look twice before dismissing this e-bike as too expensive.
Also, remember how clean life will be having a belt drive and internal gear hub – no dirty deposits left in your trunk, closet or clothes because there’s no greasy chain, chainring or cassette. Thank you Gates and Sturmey-Archer!
New Dash owners who are new to internal gear hubs will have a learning curve as they get the hang of shifting on hills. The lack of shiftability might frustrate unaware riders in the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of it with time and conscious approaches to steeper hills.
Evelo touts their responsiveness to site visitors and existing owners, claiming they are on duty seven days a week. While we can’t speak to that, their handful of reviews are good and the company demonstrates an understanding of bikes that goes deeper than just talking to a Chinese factory. This is a company that understands both bikes and mobility. (For those curious about origin stories, the Mordkovich brothers, who started Evelo, have a pretty fascinating path to launching the bike brand.)
Like many of the brands we review, they are direct to consumer, but offer buyers a 21-day at-home trial. Should the occasion to put an e-bike’s warranty to use occurs, it will usually emerge in the first year or two of bike ownership. Evelo offers a four year warranty, which is a substantial improvement over the single year offered by many companies.
The Evelo Dash is an e-bike that presents a strong take on what a folding e-bike can be. Even for those who weren’t sold on the idea of a folding bike, this is one worth looking at for its sheer versatility.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Evelo Dash.