Eelo 1885 Disc Explorer Pro review – Electric bikes – Bikes
Eelo’s 1885 folding e-bike has been completely redesigned for 2022. The bike now comes with custom one-piece alloy wheels, which look sharp in their raw polished aluminum state.
Mechanical disc brakes replaced the simple v-brakes of the old bike, while the motor gained some punch and a trigger throttle to help you pull away from standing starts or give you a boost in the hills.
Motor and battery Eelo 1885 Disc Explorer Pro
Don’t expect a moped-style freewheel from the throttle, it will only kick in once the 1885 senses pedal movement, but the throttle thrust is quite impressive.
The simple LCD screen gives plenty of information and, unlike many of its rivals, the battery level is reasonably accurate without too many level fluctuations often found on mid-range systems.
Eelo claims a range of up to 40 miles from the bike’s 280.4 Wh battery. This may be achievable if you live in a relatively flat urban area, stay in the most economical of its three power modes, and are a smaller, lighter rider.
However, I couldn’t get much more than half of that range, as I live in a relatively hilly area and at 6ft 2in and 90kg, it takes more energy to move around. My longest run was 22.85 miles / 36.77 km, with 3,133.2 feet / 955 m of elevation gain.
Dimensions Eelo 1885 Disc Explorer Pro
I wouldn’t criticize the Eelo on the range though, as it is an ultra-compact folding bike. Its wheelbase of 89cm (axle to axle) is shorter than a Brompton (105cm) and it is intended for short distance journeys, commuting or trips to the shops.
The folded dimensions are 37x61x59cm, making it a good choice for storage in motorhomes, caravans and boats.
The bike adjusts from a saddle height of 70cm to 98cm (from the ground) and a bar height of 80cm to 103cm, making it suitable for riders under 5ft up. about 6 feet 3 inches. It’s a versatile design that could work for multiple users, perhaps as a single bike for the family or the office to use when needed.
Driving impressions Eelo 1885 Disc Explorer Pro
These dimensions are however at the expense of handling. The ultra-short (36cm) rear end means taller riders like me sit back over the rear wheel due to the seat angle when the long post is fully extended.
This means that the 1885 has a very light and slightly nervous front end. I adapted pretty quickly to riding the Eelo with a forward-leaning seating position.
Carrying a backpack loaded with groceries has even more weight towards the back. On steeper hills, the bike naturally wants to roll, so you definitely need to keep your wits about you.
In defense of the 1885, however, my 5-foot partner had no issues with maneuverability the days she took it for her mixed-mode (bike/train/bike) commute.
The 250 W motor contained in the one-piece rear wheel is impressively powerful. The three modes that control it are at their best when you substitute gear assist, because the 1885 is a single-speed bike.
On the flat, however, a relatively fit rider will find themselves revving the gear too early, negating the motor assist. On the slopes, the motor provides enough power to assist you smoothly.
However, the short back means adopting a strange leaning forward position once the gradient increases beyond about 5%.
The folded bike is compact enough, although at over 17kg it’s not exactly light. The fold does not lock properly, like a Brompton, Tern or MiRider.
If you are transporting the bike any distance, it will need to be bagged. Fortunately, Eelo includes a bag that attaches perfectly to the rear rack.
For getting on and off a train or bus when cycling to work, the 1885 does the job well enough, but is outclassed by market leaders. It’s a similar story with the equipment included.
The front light is hardwired into the battery system and can be operated by the controller. However, the taillight attaches to the seat post and is an accessory rather than an integrated component.
The rear rack is neat, but since the wheel size is small (14 inches), it’s not something you’d fit a saddlebag on. The platform is generously sized to fit your bag, but if you want to carry the bike bag, that storage space is already taken.
The Eelo is easy going. It’s compact, easy to adjust and easy to drive, while the compact charger slips easily into a backpack pocket.
However, the battery is fixed and the charging port is under the main frame, so you’ll need to keep the entire folded bike near a power source to charge it.
The five-hour charging time is shorter than the working day, so you can charge the 1885 for free at the office and possibly use it for long trips. Impressively, it’s backed by a three-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Eelo 1885 Disc Explorer Pro Bottom Line
I have a hard time recommending the 1885 to anyone over about 5ft 10in, and if you’re looking for a compact electric folding bike at that kind of price, the MiRider ONE does it better. Its longer wheelbase and rear also make it more stable for taller riders.
The Eelo isn’t a bad compact folding e-bike, it’s just not one of the best e-bikes I’ve tested.