New Qualisports Dolphin Folding E-Bike Review

All New Qualisports Dolphin
New Qualisports Dolphin with 500W Hub Motor

It seems like every day a new folding e-bike is being launched. From the Dahon Unio E20 to the Lectric eBikes series and now the New Qualisports Dolphin.

Qualisports is a leader in folding e-bikes with a full lineup using our favorite seat post battery style. Using the seat post to house the batteries help provide the appearance of a non-motorized folding bike. One of the exciting upgrades of this New Qualisports Dolphin is the increased battery power for a more powerful rear hub motor and the option to add a second battery that fits inside the frame.

While we own a number of folding bikes ranging from non-motorized to motorized we find the greatest riding enjoyment from our Qualisports Dolphin (with a few of our own upgrades listed below of course).

While the old Dolphin is capable of hitting 20 m.p.h. on a fully charged battery the e-bike tends to settle in the lower 19’ish m.p.h. range. The torque of the old hub motor is a touch underwhelming so when we heard the “new” Dolphin was going to revolve around a more powerful hub motor we knew they had listened to their customers.

In fact, here is what Daniel Hang, CEO of Qualisports USA has to say about their new Qualisports Dolphin:

“DOLPHIN has always been one of our best-selling models since Qualisports was founded. We are committed to developing lightweight, practical, green folding electric bikes. Therefore, it is popular among commuters, RV owners, campers, yacht owners, etc.

This upgraded DOLPHIN has received a lot of interest and messages from old and new customers. We have received a large number of pre-sale orders. We are really fortunate to have a group of customers who believe in us.

This is the first time Qualisports used a dual battery system, adding a new mode of outdoor riding. The second battery can be used as a rechargeable battery if needed. The new LCD meter can also charge cell phones and other devices.

In addition, the new DOLPHIN has a more energy-efficient and effective hydraulic brake. The first batch of new bikes has been sent out and we are looking forward to the feedback from the market.”

Daniel Hang, CEO of Qualisports USA

So let’s discuss all the new upgrades on the Qualisports Dolphin.

Qualisports Dolphin: Hub Motor Upgrade and Battery

The first feature that is the greatest improvement to the Qualisports Dolphin is the upgraded rear hub motor. The older model had a 350W hub motor with 40nM of torque. While this rear hub motor served its purpose in moving this e-bike along it did struggle to maintain 20 m.p.h. and motor uphill.

The new and improved hub motor is now a 500W with 80nM of torque and still operated with a 12 magnet cadence sensor. This substantially increased torque will provide that needed power that e-bike riders desire when pushing those steeper inclines while easily hitting 20 m.p.h. The seat post battery to accommodate this new motor has also increased from a 36V to a 48V 10.5aH battery.

If you are familiar with the Qualisports lineup you would think this is just a Beluga with thinner tires. On the surface, this would appear correct, but the Dolphin has designed a new frame that adds the ability to hold a second battery. This dual battery configuration extends the riding range of up to 80 plus miles per dual charge.

The second battery for the Dolphin Plus is a 48V 7aH lithium-ion battery capable of adding an additional 20 miles with full thumb throttle or cruise. If you are a long-range rider then the $300 for this second battery is well worth the purchase. Keep in mind this second battery will increase the overall bike weight by approximately 6 pounds.

NEW Qualisports Dolphin: Brakes, Gears, and Display

Brakes are another major improvement for the New Dolphin. The older model had mechanical disc brakes which quite honestly provided more than ample stopping power with minimal maintenance. However, most e-bikes, including Qualisports, that provide more riding power have opted to move up to hydraulic disc brakes for the easier braking feel.

The gearing on the Dolphin did remain the same with their standard Shimano 7 speed comprised of a 52T front sprocket and a 14-28T rear cassette. If you have read some of our other folding e-bike reviews you know that we do not find much value in the higher gears on e-bikes. We would love to see an industry standard e-bike gearing with either 8 gears adding an 11T on the rear cassette or an increase to a 56T front sprocket.

Lastly, the LCD display was upgraded to include a USB port for charging your phone. The display is backlit for easy night viewing when the front headlight is turned on, but the best feature – cruise control.

Qualisports Dolphin: Upgrade Comparison Chart

We thought it would be worthwhile to provide a simple comparison chart highlighting the main differences between the “old” and “new” Qualisports Dolphins.

SpecsDolphinNEW Dolphin
Weight47.7 lbs48 lbs
Battery36V 14Ah48V 10.5Ah
(Plus – 48V 7aH)

NEW Qualisports Dolphin: Conclusion

Qualisports knew they had a hit with the Dolphin as sales started to surge. As folding e-bike manufacturers have continued to improve their best sellers this year, such as Lectric eBikes, Qualisports had enough consumer response to do the same.

What we appreciate with these upgrades is that Qualisports kept with the goal of maintaining the original bike weight. The Dolphin weighs 48 lbs (without the dual battery) yet this folding e-bike is extremely portable and easy to lift/move when folded compared to other folding e-bikes.

The Qualisports Dolphin is a firm ride and unfortunately adding a suspension front fork would just add weight, and a suspension seat post is not an option. If you desire a suspension fork then you may want to check out the Slinker Sidewinder.

There is much that we like about the original version such as the 2.3″ tires (which are the perfect size for street and trail riding), integrated front headlight, and cruise control, however, we look forward to the power and speed the 500W motor will add to this Dolphin riding experience. Of course, we will need to move over our personal upgrades that really make the Dolphin shine which are a 56T front sprocket, RevGrips R5 grips, and our favorite purchase of the year the Ergon ST Core saddle.

NEW Qualisports Dolphin: Pricing and Specs

The Qualisports Dolphin folding e-bike is currently priced at just under $1,599 USD (although their site does have a spinning wheel for a discount incentive) and includes free shipping. Qualisports also offer additional accessories that make this folding e-bike more cargo friendly.

If you are looking to shop locally check our list of Qualisports dealers.

The Dolphin comes mostly assembled (except for the front and rear fenders) which is a bonus for the non-ebike technician. Qualisports has a 5-year warranty on the frame and fork and a 2-year warranty on the battery. The main features are as follows:

MOTOR 500W Brushless Geared Rear Hub Motor, 80nM torque w/ 12 dot Cadence Sensor
BATTERY 48V 10.5Ah Samsung (600 lifetime cycles)
RANGE Up to 60 Miles on Pedal-Assist. Dual Battery up to 80 on Electric-Only
DISPLAY LED display with USB Charging Port
PEDAL ASSIST 5 levels of PAS, Cruise control, Walk-assist
THROTTLE Yes, Thumb Throttle
HANDLEBARS Promax, Flat, Aluminum Alloy, 590mm Length
GEARS 7 Speed Shimano Tourney Derailleur – Front 52T, Rear Cassette 14-28T
FRAME 6061 Al-Alloy Folding Frame
MAX SPEED 20 mph
RIMS 20-inch Al-Alloy 12G36H
TIRES INNOVA, 20″ x 2.30″
LIGHTS Fully Integrated Front Lighting, Rear Light Battery Operated
BRAKES Custom 2 piston Hydraulic Brakes with power cutoff
WEIGHT 48 lbs
FOLDING SIZE 33″ x 16.5″ x 28.5″

Photos Courtesy Qualisports USA