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Folding electric bikes tend to be heavy, especially when they have fat tires. So, why would you buy one?
A bike like the Heybike Mars offers all the benefits of a regular bike with super-wide tires, but it’s easier to store and transport.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the Heybike Mars as well as a few alternatives.
- Motor: 500W brushless geared hub-mounted
- Battery: 48V 12.5Ah lithium
- Range: 48 miles (pedal-assist mode)
- Max speed: 20 mph
- Gears: Shimano 7-speed
- Tires: 20” x 4”
- Load capacity: 330 lbs.
- Weight: 66 lbs.
Who The Heybike Mars Is For
Like all fat tire bikes, the Heybike Mars is especially good for people who want to ride off-road. Although you can ride the bike on tarmac, it comes into its own when you ride it over difficult surfaces like sand, snow, or mud.
Even if you do use this bike to ride on smooth roads, it still has benefits. The wide tires with their low pressure soak up a lot of road vibration. Front fork suspension and a shock-absorbing seat post add to the exceptional comfort the bike offers.
Fat bikes can often take heavy riders, too, as this one does with its 330 lbs. capacity. The 500W motor of the Heybike Mars gives it enough muscle to get large riders over hills.
Who shouldn’t buy this bike? Anyone who wants a lightweight folding bike to pop into the car trunk. At 66 pounds, this is at the heavier end of all folding bikes. You must be moderately strong and healthy to lift it.
The Heybike Mars is also unsuitable for most bike racks.
Top Features Of Heybike Mars
You’ll now discover some of the best features of the Heybike Mars folding e-bike.
The steel frame is one of several reasons why this bike is heavy, but it has some positive sides.
Steel is a durable material that is easy to weld and tends to bend before it breaks. It is not brittle, unlike aluminum. Equally unlike aluminum, it has an indefinite lifespan. As well, the natural compliance of steel tends to yield a comfy ride.
The Heybike Mars folds into impressively compact 37” x 15” x 11” dimensions. It does this by folding in half at the frame and with a folding handlebar stem. You’ll have no trouble getting it into a car trunk if the weight isn’t an issue.
The brushless 500W motor of the Heybike Mars is a good thing to have if you’re a heavy rider. It’s especially good if you want to ride over hills in throttle mode, whereas a 250W motor may need some pedal power to conquer an incline.
This is also a geared motor, which is lighter than a direct drive motor. It’s also better for hills as it can deliver high torque at slow speeds. One downside of this type of motor is that gears wear out, so it’s less durable than direct drive.
You’ll achieve a maximum speed of around 20 mph (32 km/h) on this bike.
You’ll enjoy the comfort of the Heybike Mars, which comes from multiple sources. Not least of these is the front suspension fork (with lockout) and seat post suspension.
Lockout is a useful feature to have when you’re riding on smooth surfaces, as the suspension fork reduces power transfer efficiency.
A big reason for buying this bike is the width of its tires. The 20” diameter tires are 4” in width, which effectively means they won’t get stuck in sand, snow, or mud with the same ease that skinny tires do.
They’re all-terrain tires.
Read more: Tires for folding bikes guide
This Heybike model provides a pure electric mode (aka full throttle), pedal assist mode with three levels, and a manual mode.
These are controllable via the LCD mounted on the handlebar, which also provides other info like battery level.
The Heybike Mars has seven Shimano gears. Regardless of any pedal assistance, these help you adjust resistance and your cadence.
Cadence is the speed of your pedaling measured in revolutions per minute.
This bike includes mechanical disc brakes with large 180mm rotors (bigger = better with rotors).
These powerful brakes are dependable in wet weather and disengage the motor when applied.
12-Magnet Cadence Sensor
A cadence sensor is less desirable than a torque sensor because the latter enables smoother, better-synced delivery of motor power.
A cadence sensor with 12 magnets is superior to those with fewer magnets. It detects your pedaling within 30 degrees of rotation, giving smoother pedal assist engagement.
Video: Cadence Sensor vs Torque Sensor Pedal Assist
Several extra items come with the Heybike Mars. These include an electric horn, front and rear LED lamps, fenders, and a rear cargo rack.
The Heybike Mars is well-liked. More than anything, riders have fun on them. See the Reddit post below, for instance.
Heybike Mars Alternatives
If you’re wondering what else you can buy instead of the Heybike Mars, you’ll find three ideas below.
1. Heybike Ranger Foldable 500W Step-Thru Electric Bike
A little more expensive than the Heybike Mars is one of its stablemates, the Heybike Ranger Foldable 500W Electric Bike. So, what’s different? For a start, it has a swooping frame design that firmly makes it a step-through bike. It’s easy to mount and dismount.
You’ll also note the minimalistic spoke design of the Ranger, which some will surely find more stylish and eye-catching. The LCD is also arguably nicer and brighter.
A key difference between this Ranger and the Mars is the battery capacity. This one has a bigger 48V 15 Ah removable battery versus the 48V 12.5 Ah battery of the Mars. That extends the range on this bike to 55 miles max with a top speed of 25 mph.
What We Like
- Range – impressive 55-mile maximum range.
- Speed – a nippy 25 mph maximum speed (Class 3 speed).
- Mount – the step-through frame makes this bike easy to mount and dismount.
What We Don’t Like
- Weight – this is heavier than the Mars at 70.5 lbs.
2. Populo Curve 20” Folding 250W Electric Bike
At first glance, the Populo Curve 20” Folding 250W Electric Bike seems to offer far less than the Heybike Mars, but these are completely different bikes. For a start, the Popular is nearly 20 lbs. lighter at 47 lbs.
This is also not a fat-tire bike, which predictably means its load capacity is lower at 260 lbs. The Populo Curve is intended for road use or paved trails with its 2.2” wide tires. As such, it’s a more practical machine for urban commuting.
A definite downside is the low capacity of the 36V 6.6 Ah battery, resulting in a range of up to 15 miles only (throttle mode). But there are many positive features, including its 6 Shimano gears, disc brakes, front and rear lights, fenders, and a rear rack.
What We Like
- Stylish – a distinctive bike that resembles its name.
- Lightweight – not too heavy for an e-bike.
- Extras – a well-equipped bike.
What We Don’t Like
- Range – you can’t go far, though it’s okay for typical commutes.
3. Vivi Folding Electric 500W Mountain Bike
A more conventional folding MTB with 26’ wheels and dual suspension is the Vivi Folding Electric 500W Mountain Bike. You can buy this steel bike in 350W and 500W versions. The smaller motor may suit your needs if you live in a flat area.
The manufacturer claims a 25- to 30-mile range in throttle-only mode for this bike. Its 48V 7.5 Ah battery is not high capacity, so don’t be surprised if the real-world distance falls short of this. You can allegedly ride 50-60 miles in pedal assist mode, too.
Gears are useful on an e-bike because, just like on a manual bike, they alter resistance in the pedals and adjust cadence. The Vivi has 21 gears as opposed to the 7 gears of the Heybike Mars. It’s also lighter (around 60 lbs.), so it’ll be easier to pedal up hills.
What We Like
- Wheels – 26” wheels roll over obstacles easier than small wheels.
- Gears – bigger gear range and some very low gears for climbing.
- Brakes – mechanical disc brakes for powerful stopping in all weathers.
- Range – a good range on the face of it, but reality may be different.
What We Don’t Like
- Capacity – a low-capacity 48V 7.5 Ah battery (360 Wh) makes the claimed ranges seem optimistic.
Heybike Mars: Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll find answers to frequently asked Heybike Mars questions below.
Is The Heybike Mars Easy To Assemble?
The bike is easy to assemble, especially with the help of Heybike’s walkthrough unboxing and assembly video. All necessary tools for setup come with the bike.
Is the Heybike Mars waterproof?
The Heybike Mars has an IP rating (ingress protection) of IPX4. This means it’s rainproof, but you should avoid washing it with high-pressure jets of water. Don’t ride it through deep floodwater, either, as it cannot be immersed.
Can I Ride The Mars Off-Road?
For sure you can ride the Mars off-road. That’s where the bike excels, with wide tires that can ride over almost any surface, including mud, sand, and snow.
Final Words: Is The Heybike Mars Good?
What We Like
- Motor – powerful 500W geared motor is good for hills, even with heavy riders.
- Range – a good range of up to 48 miles in pedal-assist mode.
- Comfort – multiple sources of comfort, including front suspension forks.
- Off-road – ride over almost any surface, including sand and snow.
What We Don’t Like
- Weight – it’s a given that this type of bike will be heavy, and it is.
The Heybike Mars is a well-specified bike with a powerful motor and a battery with decent capacity. Its wide 4” tires make it a fun bike to ride off-road.
This is a smart choice if you’re looking for a go-anywhere bike that manages most terrain. It fits into the trunk of a car with ease and could even be a good commuter bike.
Check out the Heybike Mars here.
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