Years ago when searching for a folding electric bike I stumbled upon this funky video advertising a totally cool-looking folder. It was the Original Billy ebike.
The entire vibe of this folding fat tire e-bike makes Billy seem more like a person you want to hang with than a well designed electric bike.
In a fat tire folding electric bike market that is flooded with white-labeled repeats, this e-bike’s urban branding is definitely original.
“We launched our first Billy ebike in 2017, the first BMX style ebike on the market. We wanted to bring the fun back to riding, so it wasn’t just a commuting tool – and we wanted to look good while doing it.
Every element of the design and components are carefully considered to give you the ultimate ride: from the geometry to the clean and quiet marketing-leading Gates CDX carbon belt drive, to fully adjustable suspension and Vee Speedsters – Billy is the ultimate joyride. Our signature frames are hand polished with smooth welds and all frames come with a lifetime warranty. We want to have fun, but we never compromise on quality.”Phillip Pedrola, Founder, Enki Cycles
Now meet Billy.
Original Billy ebike: Frameset
When you first look at Billy you immediately notice the polished aluminum finish frame. It’s an eye catcher for sure but the folding frame itself is touted as hand welded, hand polished, and hand assembled.
In fact, Enki Cycles is so confident in their frame’s quality that they back it with a lifetime guarantee.
The BMX/MotoX inspired frame geometry has been tweaked for a smoother ride the rear swing arm has recently been upgraded to allow for more precise adjustments with the rear suspension.
Both front and rear suspension systems have also been upgraded to provide longer travel and damping adjustability. While fat tires do absorb bumps quite well a full suspension does increase riding comfort.
Original Billy ebike: Groupset
Hub Motor and Battery
Enki Cycles opted to electrify Billy with a Bafang G060 500W rear hub motor with 80Nm of torque. This Bafang rear hub motor is specifically designed for fat tire electric bikes. The hub motor is coupled with a 48V 14Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery for approximately 40 miles of urban riding fun while providing enough torque in any riding environment.
It is worth noting that there is a rising debate about which is a better riding experience a rear hub motor or a mid-motor. Most recently Lectric eBikes announced their new mid-motor fat tire e-bike the Lectric XPremium. We even spoke with a folding bike brand owner who is customizing their frame to house a mid-motor because of the torque-sensing feel.
Enki Cycles uses a mid-motor on one of their non-folding e-bikes but did feel the need to explain why they chose the rear hub motor specifically for Billy. It’s a good rear hub motor versus mid-motor discussion.
Gates CDX Carbon Drive
Belt drives seem to be the future which is why Enki founder Phillip Pedrola wanted to use this system on Billy. It is a clean, low-maintenance drive that is worth the price in the long run of ownership.
Billy is a single speed with 5 power control levels (or pedal assist) and a twist throttle.
The best part of a Gates belt drive system is they have a Gates Carbon Drive phone app that sonically measures your belt tension.
Original Billy ebike: Wheelset
Billy’s components are well thought out all the way down to the wheelset. Billy uses 20″ lightweight cutout rims which helps keep its overall weight to 54 lbs. Enki Cycles coupled these rims with awesome 4-inch Vee Speedster fat tires. Not certain if whitewalls are still an option but these fat tires really make a statement. The Speedsters are specifically designed for hard pack and paved terrain so they perfectly match Billy’s urban style.
The Original Billy has also upgraded their brakes from mechanical to hydraulic. Knocking around the city requires a fair amount of braking and hydraulic brakes are better suited to handle this type of riding.
Original Billy ebike: Conclusion
The Original Billy is a BMX-style folding e-bike that is unique, fun, and fast for urban riding. Enki Cycles has done a tremendous job in marketing as well as providing great attention to detail from frame geometry to full suspension to each individual e-bike component.
You should meet Billy.
Original Billy ebike: Price and Specs
The Original Billy ebike is currently priced at just $2,490 USD, plus free shipping. The Billy is also offered in Stealth Black and Arctic White. Manufactured in Taiwan, Billy was unavailable along with numerous other brands due to global challenges, however, the good news is the Original Billy is back in stock, in all colors, and ready for immediate shipping.
The Billy requires proof of assembly by an e-bike specialist or bicycle dealer for a valid 90-day warranty from the date of purchase and covers the following: failure of the fork, electronics, battery, motor, controller, display, sensors, accessories, and hardware components. There is also a lifetime warranty on the folding frame. Please review all warranties before purchasing.
The main specs are as follows:
Frame: 6061 Aluminum alloy
Fork: Fully adjustable air shock, preload/compression damping/lockout
Rear Suspension: Spring, preload and damping adjustment
Rear Hub Motor: Bafang G060.500 DC fat bike motor with 80Nm torque
Battery: 48V 14Ah Samsung Lithium-ion
Display: LCD display
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of power control
Throttle: Responsive twist grip throttle
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic disc
Brake Levers: Tektro 2 finger blade
Rotors: 180mm Front, 160mm Rear
Chainset: Gates CDX Carbon belt drive
Sprockets: Front 55T, Rear 20T
Gearing: Single speed
Handlebar: Ultra-wide BMX bars
Rims: 20-inch lightweight cutout rims
Tires: Vee Speedsters 20″ x 4″
Seatpost Height: 32″ inches to 38.5″ inches
Seatpost Clamp: Quick release
Fenders: Free set for a limited time
Dimensions: 68″ x 31″ x 45″ inches
Weight: 54 lbs (48.5 lbs without battery)
Photos Courtesy Enki Cycles