Innovation for the perfect folding e-bike continues in the lightweight e-bike category. Companies such as Letric have recently brought a lighter version to the market with their XP LITE, but now it is Dahon’s turn with the UNIO E20.
However, what makes this new folding electric bike unique is the use of an ultra-light, mid-drive motor.
Dahon UNIO E20: Mid Drive Motor and Battery
Folding Wheels readers know that we are big fans of seat post battery folding e-bikes. While there are pros and cons to this style it is an overall cleaner look.
Folding electric bike brands such as CARBO, Qualisports, and even Dahon’s K-One folding e-bike lineups utilize this battery powered design. What is surprising about the Dahon UNIO E20 is that it is almost 5 pounds lighter than the Dahon K-One Ebike Mid Drive (41 lbs). While the K-One Mid Drive does house a 250W mid-drive motor (vs Unio’s 200W) it definitely does not add that much extra weight.
The Dahon UNIO E20 uses a custom 200W mid-drive motor with a torque sensor and is powered by a 36V 8.7aH battery. This seat post battery is on the smaller side so it will limit the overall riding range making this more of a commuter bike.
The UNIO E20 does not come with a throttle and we have confirmed with Dahon that they are not planning on adding a throttle as an option.
The mid-drive motor on this folder has an incredible amount of torque at 60 N.m. In fact, this mid-drive motor can provide more uphill power than most 350W rear hub motors.
“Our design is simple and attractive, with a systematic structure, lightweight design, excellent riding experience, and great advantages in folding function and appearance. It is equipped with a torque motor, suitable for all-round road conditions; the motor is small and light, also with a seat tube battery, which can be taken out andcharged separately, the overall frame technology and configuration make for an integrated masterpiece.“~DAHON
Dahon UNIO E20: Gearing and Brakes
Dahon UNIO E20 is equipped with a custom Dahon 9-speed with a trigger shifter. The gearing is well thought out for this e-bike with a 52T front sprocket and an 11-32T rear cassette.
Stopping power for the UNIO E20 is provided by disc brakes. This is a nice brake upgrade from the European version, as well as, 2-inch wide tires vs the European version’s 1.75-inch.
Dahon UNIO E20: Conclusion
Dahon has been steadily moving into the folding electric bike category as they see the demand growing. While we have confirmed with Dahon corporate that the Curl Ei4 16-inch will not be available in the North American marketplace Dahon does offer a decent 20-inch wheel lineup.
In North America, Dahon now has available the K-One Rear Hub (250W), K-One Mid-Drive (250W), and now the UNIO E20 200W Mid Drive Motor which enters the sub 40-pound category.
Mid-drive motors are making their way into the newer, lighter folding e-bikes due to them providing a more true riding feel. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see a Fnhon-ish mid-drive folding e-bike sometime soon…
Dahon UNIO E20 Folding Electric Bike: Pricing and Specs
The Dahon UNIO E20 folding e-bike is currently priced at just $2,599 USD, plus shipping (unless you can locate a local Dahon dealer). Currently, it appears that ordering online is your only option in North America.
The Dahon UNIO E20 folding e-bike comes 98% assembled. You will need your own tools to install the seat and pedals. Dahon does offer a 7-day return policy. Please review all company warranties before purchasing.
The main features are as follows:
Frame: Lightweight Dalloy Aluminum Sonus Tubeset, Lattice Forged Hinge, w/ ViseGrip Technology
Fork: Lightweight and Responsive Dalloy, with Integrated Crown
Motor: 36V / 200W 60N.m. ultra-light mid-motor with torque sensor
Seat Post Battery: 36V8.7AH Samsung cell.
Range: 30+ miles
Display: LCD backlit with assistance level, speedometer, odometer, trip, timer, battery voltage
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of pedal assistance
Brakes: Disc Brakes
Drivetrain: SRAM RD X5 9S
Gearing: DAHON Custom 9-Speed with Trigger Shifter, Front 52T/Rear 11-32T
Handlebar: Forged Aluminum Radius Telescope w/ Fusion Technology, Adjustable
Stem: Foldable and length adjustable
Tires: C1959 20″*2.0″
Saddle: DAHON Ergo Comfort
Seatpost Clamp: Quick release
Kickstand: Alloy adjustable rear-mounted
Pedals: Wellgo Folding
Light: Front – battery powered
Fenders/Rear Rack: Available
Folded Dimensions: 32.5″ H x 14.6″ W x 27.95″ L
Weight: 36.8 lbs
Photos Courtesy: DAHON