Engwe X24 review: Fat tires, fat value
“We’re not sure how Engwe packed a triple suspension, dual batteries and hydraulic brakes into a bike at this price.”
- Lunar-lander styling
- Smooth ride
- Dual batteries increase riding range
- Heavy frame inspires confidence
- Plenty of speed and torque
- Easy-to-read AMOLED display
- Too heavy to carry
- Incomplete owner’s manual
- Rear seat, but no foot pegs
- No fenders
You may not be familiar with the Engwe e-bike brand, but you’d probably do a double take if you saw the new Engwe X24 rolling down the street. The all-terrain fat tire bike combines style, function, and fun at a price that seems too good to be true.
It’s the middle child of three new X-series fat tire e-bikes that Engwe introduced simultaneously this summer as its flagship line of go-anywhere e-bikes. With model numbers denoting wheel size, the new X20, X24 and X26 e-bikes embody significant improvements over the original X26.
The Engwe X24 isn’t a speed demon like the Ariel Rider Grizzly, or a featherweight commuter like the Gocycle GX, but when the road gets rough, the X24 finds its niche. I found the X24 to be a confidence-inspiring, versatile, and powerful e-bike that was equally competent riding in dirt and on varied off-road surfaces and paved streets. You could even use the X24 as an e-bike for commuting, as long as you don’t need to lug it upstairs or on elevators.
You’ll feel road cracks and rocks, but the X24’s jolt-softeners will let you ride longer without feeling beat up.
The X24’s major checklist items include dual batteries, a triple-suspension system, hydraulic disc brakes, dual brake lights, a 31-mph top speed, and a 54- to 149-mile range, depending on riding mode and speed. That’s an appealing combination, especially at the $1,900 list price.
If you owned multiple e-bikes, the X24 could be the one you’d ride when you your plans weren’t solid and you were open to whatever turned up.
Lessons learned from the past
Besides the new sizes, how does the new X series differ from the original X26? Most notably, you get more torque, an adjustable front suspension, and an easier way to use two batteries.
The rear hub drive electric motor from the original bike still puts out 1,200 watts peak power and 1,000 watts continuous, but now outputs up to 70 Newton-meters (Nm) of torque, up from from 60 Nm on the original X26. That means the newer e-bikes pull stronger, especially uphill. The front forks are also adjustable now, allowing you to set compression and preload damping.
In order to use both batteries with the earlier design, you had to switch a power cable from the main battery to the smaller backup battery. Now, both batteries connect to an integrated mixer. When the primary battery is depleted, just turn off the e-bike’s display panel briefly and then turn it back on to use the power in the second battery. You can charge either battery on or off the bike, but only one battery charger comes standard with the bike.
Size and portability
The X26 and X24 fold in the middle of the bike frame to reveal the second battery. The handlebar stems do not fold, which is a common feature on most other folding bikes. And good luck carrying this 90-pound behemoth anywhere after you fold it. Even if you can pull it off, it’s hard to believe anyone would voluntarily do it often.
The $1,700 Engwe X20, the smallest model in Engwe’s new X Series line, is a more traditional folding bike, similar to the Engwe EP-2 Pro folding e-bike I recently reviewed. The X20 motor has lower power and torque output and less powerful dual batteries than the X24 and X26.
None of the X Series are small e-bikes. The X24 has a 36-inch minimum seat height, and Engwe recommends it for riders measuring at least 5-feet 2-inches tall, while the X26 is for riders at least 5-feet and 7-inches tall. Because I’m 5-feet 8-inches tall when I inhale, I opted for the somewhat smaller, but still large X24.
There may be something wrong with the way Engwe measures rider height. In order to comfortably reach the X24’s pedals, I had to set the seat post below the minimum recommended height, and even then the top of the seat was 36 inches from the ground. I was extremely comfortable pedaling and riding with that adjustment, but was aware that I had adjusted the seat height out-of-spec.
Softening your ride
The X24’s lunar-lander style isn’t just for looks — it also accommodates a triple-suspension design: front shocks with adjustable preload and damping, a pair of air shocks over the rear axle, and a small mechanical shock in the middle.
But looks can deceive. The middle and rear shocks don’t have much travel, actually, and the front forks compress only three inches. You’re not going to use this two-wheeler for aggressive jumps, trail riding, or downhill rides. But for moderate off-road riding or any type of street riding, the X24’s triple-touch suspension componentry does a fine job smoothing the bumps.
Four-inch wide tires not only help grab uneven terrain, but their sidewall flex helps soften the ride significantly. They’ll handle up to 20 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure, but I found that 18 psi was the sweet spot for some extra flex without compromising performance or stability. Also, the standard plush seat measures 3 inches at its thickest and sits on a metal frame, adding a bit more give when you hit a curb or pothole.
You’ll still feel irregularities, cracks, and rocks in the road, but the X24 lets you ride longer without feeling beat up.
Life in the (tall) driver’s seat
The X24’s hefty frame and multipart suspension quickly gave me confidence in its stability. I hit loose sand and broken pavement at speed unexpectedly more than once, and the bike’s fat tires didn’t spin or get squirrely. I also ran an unplanned braking test when a young deer darted in front of me across a private road. I was only going about 10 or 12 mph at the time, but the powerful hydraulic disc brakes still halted all 90 pounds of bike quickly and easily.
Engwe lists the top speed as 31 mph. I did see that speed once on the excellent AMOLED display, but more often I saw 25 to 28 mph with full throttle on pavement.
The X24’s 70 Nm torque doesn’t cause the tires to bite the road as we’ve experienced with e-bikes built with speed as the top priority. Our house has a long, steep driveway, and the X24 conquered it without issue, with power bleeding off just a little bit from a moving start at the bottom.
I do have a few gripes about the X24. The assembly instructions use rough graphics of bike parts where high-resolution photos would be more helpful. And the manual isn’t complete. For example, the generic battery charging section could have been for any e-bike. Engwe’s website does offer helpful videos, but they still don’t cover all systems.
There are no fenders for the X24, either standard or as listed accessory options on the Engwe website. If you intend to use an X24 for commuting or as an urban bike, fenders will be important.
Also, the X24 has a passenger seat but no foot pegs. The seat felt comfortable enough, but without foot pegs, you won’t make it far. A small rear rack without the seat upholstery would likely be more useful to most owners.
A hearty recommendation
The Engwe X24 is an extremely pleasant bike to ride, even though its overall size, weight, and seat height may require some getting used to. There are many admirable all-terrain fat tire bikes available, such as the Rad Power Bikes RadRover. The Engwe x24 has a price advantage over most of the e-bikes in this category, however, thanks to its dual batteries, powerful motor, multipart suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and overall confident, competent, and comfortable ride. I recommend the X24 heartily for anyone looking for a fast, fun, go-anywhere e-ride.