KBO Flip Review: Cheap Folding Electric Bike

kbo flip electric bike on the beach

The KBO Flip stands out for its versatility and affordability. It’s designed as a folding bike, bridging the gap between robust off-road capability and compact, space-saving features.

This makes it an ideal choice for those with limited storage space or who need to transport their bike in a car or camper.

In our quest to provide a comprehensive and unbiased review of the KBO Flip electric bike, we’re including insights from Brian of DIY Outdoor Life.

Unlike traditional bike experts, Brian offers a unique perspective as an everyday user, making his insights particularly valuable for those considering an e-bike for practical, day-to-day use.

His six-month experience with the KBO Flip offers real-world insights into its functionality, build quality, and how it integrates into an active, outdoor lifestyle. His perspective is especially relevant for those who, like him, value practicality and efficient space utilization without compromising on the joys of biking.

By considering Brian’s user-based review, we aim to provide a well-rounded assessment of the KBO Flip’s performance and suitability for various lifestyles.

Electric Wheelers is reader-supported. Although we independently research and test products, we may receive a commission on purchases made from our chosen links. Read more…

KBO Folding Electric Bike Review

2 young guys sitting on their KBO Flip electric bikes
Photo: KBO

To Whom?

The KBO Flip electric bike is ideal for riders who value portability and convenience.

The 20-inch wheels and foldable design make it easy to store and transport. These features make the bike perfect for commuters and urban riders who need a bike that can be easily stored in small apartments or carried onto public transportation.

Additionally, the detachable battery provides the flexibility to charge the bike either on or off the bike, making it an excellent choice for riders who need to charge the bike while at work or on the go.

Pros and Cons

  • Compact frame design
  • Quite long mileage
  • Reasonable price/quality ratio
  • 2-year warranty
  • Heavy
  • Messy cables

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KBO Flip Performance

Motor and Speed

The KBO Flip is equipped with a 500W rear hub motor, a feature that lends the bike its smooth and efficient performance.

This motor type, integrated into the rear wheel, offers a seamless blend of power and simplicity, making the bike suitable for various terrains and riding styles.

The rear hub motor design is known for its reliability and ease of maintenance, making it a popular choice among electric bike enthusiasts.

500 W motor
Brian shows the motor’s ability to start spinning from a standstill. Photo: Electric Wheelers

Brian, sharing his experience with the KBO Flip, highlights the motor’s capability and efficiency. He notes that with the throttle engaged, the bike easily reaches speeds of 17-18 mph, which is quite impressive for a bike in this category and price range.

His real-world testing underlines the motor’s ability to deliver consistent power, essential for tackling both flat terrains and gentle inclines.

Brian’s endorsement of the motor’s performance underlines its suitability for recreational use, grocery runs, or light off-road adventures, making the KBO Flip a versatile choice for various outdoor activities.

Battery and Range

The KBO Flip features a 36V 15.6Ah battery, which is a key component in its design, offering a balance of power and range suitable for a variety of uses.

On paper, this battery is capable of delivering a range between 35 to 60 miles, depending on factors such as the rider’s weight, terrain, and the level of pedal assist used. The battery recharges quickly and can be fully charged in 4-5 hours. 

The battery is also detachable and can be recharged at home or on the go.

kbo flip folding electric bikes ready to go for a long ride
Photo: KBO

Brian’s real-world experience with the KBO Flip sheds light on the practicality of these specifications.

He found that the bike lived up to its advertised range, achieving the higher end of the spectrum under pedal-assist mode and around 30 to 35 miles using throttle only.

His tests, conducted in real-life scenarios rather than controlled environments, provide a more relatable benchmark for potential users.

Brian’s ability to achieve these numbers, despite acknowledging his weight might be higher than the test conditions usually account for, speaks volumes about the battery’s efficiency and the overall energy management system of the bike.

Shimano 7-Speed Gearing

shimano tourney derailleur on kbo flip bike
Shimano Tourney derailleur. Photo: kbobike.com

The KBO Flip features the Shimano Tourney, which is widely recognized as Shimano’s most basic gearing system. All e-bike experts, including me, usually say that it’s a low-end system and would rather see something better but it gets the work done.

To gain a real-world perspective on how this gearing system performs, we turn to Brian, an actual user of the KBO Flip.

In his experience, the Shimano Tourney’s seven gears have proven to be more than adequate for his needs. Brian appreciates the versatility it offers, allowing him to effortlessly shift gears while navigating various terrains – be it uphill climbs, speedy descents, or flat stretches.

His experience suggests that while the Tourney may be basic in terms of Shimano’s lineup, it holds up well in practical use, offering a smooth and responsive gear-shifting experience.

This feedback from an everyday rider provides valuable insight into the functionality of the Tourney gearing system in everyday scenarios.

Brakes

KBO Flip brakes use a mechanical disc brake system. They are designed to provide control and stopping power to keep you safe and secure while you explore the open road. 

For durability and performance, the brake pads are made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel and alloy. The brakes feature a two-finger lever system with adjustable reach to customize your brakes’ feel. 

The 160mm brakes also come with a safety lever, preventing the brakes’ unexpected release while riding. The brakes are water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about getting damaged in wet conditions. 

KBO Flip Design and Features

2 kbo electric bikes folded down into very compact size
Photo: KBO

Frame and Geometry

KBO Flip electric bike frame and geometry provide maneuverability and an enjoyable riding experience.

With its lightweight aluminum frame, KBO Flip offers a stable and comfortable ride perfect for urban commuters and recreational riders alike. 

Read also: KBO Compact Review: Folding Bike with Low-Step Frame

The frame features a low step-over design, making it easy to mount and dismount, and an adjustable stem for a more comfortable riding position. 

black kbo flip e-bike on the left and white kbo flip ebike on the right
KBO Flip comes in 2 different color options. Photo: Electric Wheelers

The frame’s geometry has been designed to provide improved stability, cornering, and a comfortable upright riding position.

With a long wheelbase and low center of gravity, KBO Flip offers excellent balance and maneuverability in tight spaces. 

Folding Mechanism

The KBO Flip stands out with its practical folding mechanism, a feature that significantly enhances its versatility and convenience.

This bike’s ability to fold quickly and efficiently in two main points – the handlebar stem and the frame’s midpoint – is a major selling point, especially for those with limited storage space or who frequently transport their bike.

folded kbo electric bike in the trunk of the car
Photo: KBO

Brian has found the folding feature to be exceptionally useful in his travels. He emphasizes that the bike’s foldability has been a game-changer, especially when space is at a premium.

With the ability to fold the bike in just about 10 seconds, Brian can easily store the bike in his tiny camper, the back seat of his truck, or even under a truck cap, offering him unparalleled flexibility.

He notes that this feature eliminates the need for an external bike rack, which can be cumbersome and expose the bike to weather elements.

Suspension System

The KBO Flip is equipped with a basic suspension system, designed to offer a level of comfort and stability suitable for casual riding and light off-road use.

This modest setup, while not as advanced or adjustable as higher-end models, still manages to provide a smoother ride compared to bikes without any suspension.

front suspension for of electric bike
Photo: KBO

However, it’s important to set realistic expectations with this type of suspension. It’s not designed for heavy off-road use or challenging mountain bike trails.

The basic nature of the suspension means it might not handle large potholes or very rough terrain as effectively as more sophisticated systems.

Lighting

The Flip’s lighting provides enhanced visibility and improved safety for your biking experience.

It features bright integrated rear brake lights and a front light that are highly visible in dark conditions. It is designed to provide a bright and wide range of lighting for visibility at night.

Wheels and Tires

The bike is equipped with fat tires (20″x3″) that are slightly smaller than typical mountain bike tires, yet large enough to provide a stable and comfortable ride on various terrains.

3-inch wide bike tire
20×3″ Chaoyang tires. Photo: KBO

The wider profile of the tires ensures better traction and stability, particularly beneficial on gravel, dirt paths, and mild off-road conditions.

Furthermore, the tires perform admirably on pavement, making the bike suitable for urban commuting or leisurely rides through the park.

While these tires are not designed for extreme off-road use, they are more than capable of handling everyday adventures.

Multifunctional LCD Display

KBO Flip e-bike multifunctional LCD features an easy-to-read LCD of speed, distance, time, and power level indication. The LCD display is user-friendly and provides easy monitoring of your riding progress.

lcd display of kbo electric bike
Photo: KBO

Also, the display has a built-in safety feature that flashes when the speed exceeds the limit the user sets. The display also offers a power-saving mode to keep your battery in good condition.

Free Accessories

The KBO Flip comes with a range of useful accessories that enhance its functionality and convenience, making it a great value for its price.

One of the standout features is the rear rack, a versatile addition that greatly expands the bike’s utility. The rack is sturdy and well-integrated, perfect for attaching saddle bags, securing groceries, or even carrying camping gear.

This makes the KBO Flip not only a recreational vehicle but also a practical tool for everyday tasks and adventures.

Photo: KBO

Additionally, the bike is equipped with fenders, an essential feature for riding in various weather conditions.

The fenders do an excellent job of protecting the rider from splashes and debris, making the ride more comfortable, especially on wet or muddy paths. This inclusion shows a thoughtful consideration of the practical needs of riders.

Brian from DIY Outdoor Life highlighted the practicality of these features, particularly valuing the rear rack for its ability to carry essentials during his travels.

He appreciated the convenience and utility these accessories provided, underscoring their contribution to the overall positive experience with the bike.

KBO Flip Review Conclusions

The KBO Flip is a well-rounded electric bike that strikes a fine balance between affordability, functionality, and practicality.

Its folding mechanism is a game-changer for those with limited storage space or who frequently travel, making it highly versatile for various lifestyles, as Brian from DIY Outdoor Life highlighted.

The bike’s motor delivers a smooth and reliable performance, while its basic yet functional Shimano Tourney gearing system caters to both casual riders and those who seek a bit more control over their ride.

The battery life and range are impressive, aligning with the advertised specifications, and even at a higher weight range, the bike performs admirably.

While the suspension system and mechanical disc brakes are basic, they are more than adequate for the bike’s intended use, offering a comfortable and safe riding experience.

Overall, the KBO Flip stands out as an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable, versatile, and practical electric bike.

Read also: Overview of All KBO eBikes

KBP Flip Specs

General

Bike NameKBO Flip Folding Electric Bike
E-Bike ClassClass 2
AvailabilityUnited States
Warranty24 Months

Electronics

Motor TypeRear-Hub Drive
Motor Power500W
Top Speed20 mph
Battery36V 15.6 Ah (561.6Wh)
Charge Time4-5 hours
Range30 miles (pure electric), 55 miles (pedal assistance)
DisplayLCD

Bike Components

Dimensions65″ x 23.2″ x 47.2″
Folded Dimensions36.6″ x 14.6″ x 27.6″
Frame Material6061 Aluminum
Frame SizeOne Size
Frame TypeMid-Step, Folding
Frame ColorsBlack, White
ForkShock-absorbing fork,
Gearing1×7-Speed Shimano Tourney
BrakesMechanical Disc
Wheel Size20″
Tires20″ x 3″ Chaoyang Fat Tires
Additional FeaturesFront Light, Brake Light, Kickstand, Rear Rack
Weight57 lbs
Weight Capacity275 lbs

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