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Evelo Dash review: Belt-drive folding e-bike with class… 2

The Evelo Dash manages to stand out in an ever crowded segment of electric folding bikes. At Electrek, many of the folding electric bikes we’ve reviewed over the years blend together, but the Evelo Dash has such incredible features that it has unearthed an inherit problem I didn’t know existed.

Some people are surprised that despite their appearance of being mission specific, folding electric bikes are often made for a variety of uses. City life, camping, and last-mile options are the most common cases, but within them different specialties begin to arise.

The Gocycle, for example, is a totally custom design and weighs very little, shooting for a customer who wants high tech and easy transport. The Wallke H6, on the other hand, is selling a wild ride with inordinately heavy components for a down and dirty adventure.

The Evelo Dash is a clean, refined electric folder that puts the money where it counts and saves on the rest. The ride is a bit stiff, but it’s balanced by the smooth pedaling achieved by Evelo’s masterful combination of drivetrain components.

Evelo Dash Specs

  • Motor: 350 mid-drive
  • Battery: 36v 10.5Ah Samsung (frame integrated)
  • Engagement: torque sensing pedal assist, throttle
  • Drivetrain: Gates CDX carbon belt drive
  • Gearing: Sturmey Archer Internal 5-speed
  • Top Speed: 20mph
  • Range Estimate: up to 40 miles, 20 throttle-only
  • Weight: 48.5lbs
  • Brakes: 160mm dual piston hydraulic discs
  • Tires: 20″ x 4″ CST
  • Frame: folding aluminum with latch
  • Extras: full color display, full fenders, rear rack, integrated front and rear lights, brake light function, folding pedals, folding handlebars, locking battery (in frame)
Evelo Dash-ing!

Evelo Background

Evelo as a company stands out for having the best bikes to pedal on the market today. One look at their lineup of the Omega, Galaxy SLk, or Galaxy Lux will show that Evelo has put a lot of effort into how an electric bike can feel luxurious to pedal and retain the power and throttle demands that American buyers search for. That attention to the ride experience has been placed into the Dash model, albeit scaled down and streamlined for weight, cost, and complexity savings.

Dash mid-drive motor

Why the Dash?

The heart of the matter is the Gates Carbon CDX belt drive that replaces the chain. This single component improves the bike owning experience in more than just smoothness. A belt drive requires no maintenance with lubrication or constant replacement, which makes the bike travel very easily. Now it can be tossed into a trunk, closet, boat, etc. without the worry of grease or rust damaging the bike or the storage compartment it resides in.

The smoothness of the belt drive is magnified by the torque based mid-drive motor that Evelo has custom programmed for this bike. I can’t stress enough how nice this combo is, and I find myself singing its praises in each Evelo review I write. There are many other electric bikes with great motors, such as Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano. However, these motors are sold as 250w max and, more importantly, have expensive licensing with limited interface options and will absolutely not tolerate a throttle.

Dash handlebars (note the throttle)

The Evelo Dash has all of that: 350w power output, cheap price for the components, a wealth of connectivity, and throttle power at any speed.

The Dash also sports 160mm dual piston hydraulic disc brakes, which are especially nice. These brakes have a nice bit of stopping power while keeping the size and weight at a reasonable level. They might be a bit overbuilt, but in terms of brakes, this is the side you’d want to err on.

The Evelo Dash isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t recommend it for all folding uses. The folding aspect is very normal for folders, and it’s a bit heavy, coming in just shy of 50 pounds with the battery.

Internal locking battery

What’s the problem?

The single greatest drawback to the Dash is common for folding bikes: It rides stiff.

The Dash has some but not a lot of air volume in the 20″ x 4″ tires. Combined with the solid seat post and down-to-business handlebars, the ride feels very harsh compared to the soft experience of pedaling. I think that’s the issue. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the bike has no suspension options, but the pedals feel so amazing that I subconsciously expect that from the road as well.

Sturmey Archer 5-Speed

I actually went out to ride a few other folding bikes to test my theory. Maybe it was confirmation bias, but it seemed to me that, indeed, folding bikes are still stiff. I simply gave them a pass these last years since I expected every folding bike to feel like speed-dating on folding chairs. The Dash had quietly dashed my low expectations with normal comfort on an otherwise incredible ride.

Smooth Electric Folder

Electrek’s Take

The Evelo Dash is a sweet folding electric bike that makes me want to pedal just about everywhere. The practical features and amazing drivetrain make for a compelling bike to take on the road or keep handy for car-less days. The motor and battery combo aren’t the heavy powerhouse that others have, but since I want to pedal, I’m going to save more energy from the battery at a natural rate.

I would recommend accessorizing the Dash with a thicker saddle, suspension seatpost, and comfort grips. Most of these are available from Evelo’s website.

The Dash comes in at an MSRP of $3,199, although the company has periodic sales and open box specials when available. Get $100 off the order of an Evelo with this code: REF-4Q1DYKZ39397O5.

Evelo Dash Gallery

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