One of the things I love about ebikes is how many different form factors you can create with them. Since bikes aren’t that expensive to manufacture, ebike companies can push out different styles of ebikes rather quickly. And because ebikes have electric motors, it’s possible to try out different form factors that you otherwise might not be able to do with a traditional, analog bike.
I have a lot of different form factors of ebikes – regular commuter bikes, fat tires, step-thru bikes, cargo bikes, etc. But one useful form factor that I haven’t had in my roster of ebikes is a folding ebike. That is, until now.
I recently got my hands on the HovBeta from the ebike company Hovsco. The HovBeta is a folding ebike with great specs and a lot of interesting features, and importantly, it’s sold at a good price point. I’ve had a blast commuting with it and using it to do deliveries with DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub.
In this Hovsco HovBeta ebike review, we’ll take a closer look at the specs and features of the HovBeta, what my experience with it has been like, and why this ebike might be a good fit for you.
HovBeta Specs And Features
The HovBeta has some excellent specs for the price point. Here are some of the main things that the HovBeta offers:
- 750-Watt Brushless Gear Hub Motor
- 720Wh, 48V 15Ah Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery
- Torque Sensor
- Foldable Frame
- 20 x 4 fat tires
- Up to 60 miles of range
- 20 mph max speed out of the box (can be unlocked to 28 mph with the Hovsco App)
At the outset, this is an excellent bike with a lot of good features. It features a step-thru frame, making it easy to get on and off. It also has an adjustable seat, so it should work for a wide range of people. That being said, it is a fairly small bike, but given that it’s an ebike and you don’t really need to pedal when you ride, it should fit a lot of different body types.
In terms of power, the bike features a 750-watt rear hub motor and a 720wh Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery. Hovsco advertises 60 miles of range on a full charge, but in normal use, I’d probably expect closer to 30-45 miles depending on terrain and how much pedal assist and throttle you’re using. The battery is interesting because it includes an LED light in it, so you can use the battery as a flashlight if necessary.
The tires on this bike are good. They’re 20×4 fat tires, which gives you good traction and a stable feel. I’m a fan of 20×4 tires because they’re fat tires that put you lower to the ground and give you a stable feel.
In terms of speed, the HovBeta comes out of the box as a class 2 ebike, with a 20mph max speed. However, you can download the Hovsco app, connect it to your bike via Bluetooth, and unlock it so that it becomes a class 3 ebike with a max speed of 28mph.
The LCD display is very nice. It includes your pedal assist information, your speed, and your trip mileage. You can also see your battery level. The display itself is clear and visible even in sunny weather.
On the handlebars, you have your control settings on the left side, along with a thumb throttle. The right side has your gear shifters. The stock grips are solid and I don’t have any complaints about them.
What makes the HovBeta different from other bikes is that it’s foldable. Both the frame and the handlebars fold, making it possible to store the bike indoors in a small space. The folding aspect of the bike makes it particularly useful for commuters. I can see someone riding the HovBeta to work, then folding it up and bringing it into the office with them. In addition, if you have a hatchback or a car with a decent-sized trunk, you can easily fold the bike up and bring it with you in your car.
Another interesting feature of the HovBeta is that it comes with a torque sensor, rather than the typical cadence sensor that is used on most ebikes in this price range. Torque sensors differ from cadence sensors in how they send power to the motor. A cadence sensor simply measures whether you are pedaling and sends the same amount of power to the motor each time you pedal. The power it sends is based on whatever pedal assist level you’re at. This can lead to that jerky feeling when you’re pedaling and suddenly get boosted forward as you pedal.
In contrast, with a cadence sensor, a torque sensor measures how hard you are pedaling and how much force you are applying to the pedals. The more force you put into the pedals, the more the motor will work. This gives you a more natural feel when you’re pedaling since the motor essentially matches your power output (i.e. you won’t get suddenly jerked forward like with a cadence sensor ebike).
Finally, in terms of looks, the HovBeta is a great-looking bike. The removable battery is integrated into the frame when attached, blending it in very well. The color of the bike is good too. It comes in red or purple, which are two colors that aren’t that common with ebikes. I went with the purple HovBeta and love how the color pops and makes it look unique compared to other bikes.
Unboxing And Assembling The HovBeta
Unboxing and assembling the HovBeta is fairly straightforward. The bike comes shipped in a large box and was well packaged. I didn’t have any issues with the delivery and there was no damage or missing parts.
The bike comes mostly assembled, but you’ll need to put on the front wheel, handlebars, pedals, and any accessories you may have purchased (fenders, rear rack, front rack). I got the fenders and rear rack with my HovBeta, so I had to put those together as well.
The bike comes with written instructions on how to assemble the HovBeta, but when it comes to assembly, I prefer to search for a YouTube video. Fortunately, Hovsco has an excellent assembly video that walks you through how to set up the HovBeta. I followed this video step-by-step and didn’t have any issues.
The front wheel is a quick-release wheel, making it easy to put on and off. Most everything else on the bike is pre-assembled. The only things I did have issues with were lining up the handlebars and stem, and getting the disc brake on the front wheel to not rub against the brake pad.
The brake rubbing is a common issue with any new bike, but it’s usually fairly easy to adjust it so it’s lined up properly. I was able to get it lined up by adjusting the caliper a bit and loosening the tightness on the quick-release skewer.
The stem and handlebars were a bit tricky. Because it’s a foldable stem, there are more moving parts, so getting it properly lined is a bit harder than a normal stem. My main issue was that I had to first have the stem folded to semi-tighten one of the screws, then lift it and line up the handlebars. Each time I did that, the stem would move slightly and I’d be off-center a bit. It takes some trial and error before you get it right.
The other thing that confused me a bit is that the clamp on the stem faces off to the side. When I looked at it, I kept thinking the stem should be facing forward, so it threw me off. So, if you’re setting up the HovBeta, be aware that the clamp is supposed to be facing off to the side
Finally, my HovBeta also came with a rear rack and fenders. There were no instructions for these accessories, but they weren’t difficult to attach to the bike – mainly just lining them up in the proper places and removing/reattaching a few screws. The accessories do cost extra, but I’d highly recommend getting the fenders and rear rack, as both items will make for a more comfortable ride. In retrospect, I should have gotten the front rack too for extra cargo capacity, so I’d recommend getting the front rack as well if you can.
My Experience With The HovBeta
As previously mentioned, I’ve had a blast using the HovBeta and I think it’s an excellent ebike for most people. The form factor makes it a very accessible bike and it’s particularly good for anyone looking for an easy bike to mount. Since it’s a step-thru bike and has 20×4 tires, the bike ends up lower to the ground, making it much easier to get on and off the bike since you don’t have to lift your leg over it.
The torque sensor is also a huge bonus for an ebike in this price range. Most ebikes with torque sensors cost two or three times more than the HovBeta, so I think it’s a real bargain that Hovsco went with the torque sensor for this bike.
If you’re new to riding ebikes, a torque sensor is particularly useful as it gives a more natural feeling when you’re pedaling. Since the torque sensor responds to the power you put into the pedals, you won’t get the sudden burst that you often get with your typical cadence sensor ebike. One thing to note is that with a torque sensor, you do have to pedal harder if you want to get more power from the motor when you’re pedaling. I didn’t realize this when I first started riding and initially thought the HovBeta was underpowered.
Of course, if you don’t want to pedal, you also have the option of simply throttling to get yourself moving. The HovBeta uses a thumb throttle, located on the left side of the handlebars. To get moving, you simply push down on the throttle, which then engages the motor and moves you forward.
Admittedly, I find myself primarily using the throttle when I’m riding the HovBeta. This is because the form factor of the HovBeta makes it feel more like a moped and while pedaling the HovBeta isn’t hard, it feels a lot more natural to use the throttle, rather than pedaling. One nice thing about the HovBeta, however, is that the seat is adjustable. This makes it possible to adjust the seat to a comfortable height so you can pedal the bike if you want.
Finally, the folding mechanism on the bike is very nice. The HovBeta is my first folding ebike and I love how I can fold it up and easily stash it in the corner of my garage. If you live in a city and are short on space, using a folding ebike like the HovBeta makes a lot of sense.
Why The HovBeta Is An Excellent Bike For DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub
As always, whenever I review a new bike, I also use it to deliver food with apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. The HovBeta works out particularly well as an ebike for doing food delivery and other gig economy work for a few reasons.
- It has a low center of gravity and a step-thru frame, making it easy to get on and off the bike quickly.
- It’s compact, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces and bring indoors with you if needed.
- The bike is powerful, going up to 20 mph in Class 2 mode and up to 28 mph if unlocked to Class 3 mode.
- It has enough range that you can use the bike for a while before needing to recharge.
With respect to the first point, I think most people underestimate how important it is to be able to easily get on and off your bike when you’re doing deliveries. Time is money when it comes to food delivery, so being able to hop off your bike and get back on it quickly matters. It might not seem like a lot of time, but it adds up. Plus, food delivery can be taxing as well, so being able to save some energy by getting on and off your bike easily helps a lot.
The compact size of the HovBeta is also helpful when you’re out doing deliveries. It’s probably not worth it to fold it up and bring it inside, but even when not folded up, it’s small enough that you can easily bring it inside entryways and apartment buildings.
The HovBeta also works well for food delivery because of how powerful the bike is. In class 2 mode, you’ll go 20 mph, which is plenty fast for most people. If you really want to go faster, you can unlock the bike using the Hovsco app and put it up to 28 mph. In most places, you’ll be able to keep up with traffic at that speed.
Finally, range is obviously an important factor for food delivery workers. With an advertised range of up to 60 miles, you should be able to do deliveries for much of the day on a single charge. To maximize your range, I’d recommend sticking to pedal assist as often as you can. You should also consider keeping the bike in Class 2 mode, as putting it in Class 3 mode will drain more of the battery. I’ve personally had no issues with range, although, for the most part, I only deliver for a few hours per day during the lunch and dinner hours.
The HovBeta is an excellent folding ebike that I think is great for most riders. Having a folding ebike is particularly useful for people with limited space. If you live in an apartment or other small space and don’t have a good spot to store your ebike, getting a folding ebike makes a lot of sense.
The fat tires on the HovBeta make it suitable for a lot of conditions as well. You can go off-road with it if you want and riding in the city is good since the tires can absorb a lot of bumps in the road. For winter riding, the HovBeta works out well as well since the fat tires and low center of gravity will help you stay balanced in snow, ice, and other slippery conditions.
The HovBeta typically retails in the $1,700 to $1,800 range. It’s not a cheap ebike by any means, but it’s still in the category of budget ebikes. I think it’s a good value for the price given what it offers.
I hope this review was helpful. If you’re interested in the HovBeta and want to support this website, feel free to use my affiliate link. You can also use coupon code FNAP to get $100 off any Ebike priced $1,400 or more. And if you have any questions about the HovBeta, feel free to ask in the comments below.
E-bikes are rad! I’ve never used a portable/foldable one before but this would be epic for taking on flights to get around