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B’TWIN Tilt 500 Folding Electric Bike Review

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The B’TWIN Tilt 500 is still one of the best value folding electric bikes

Folding electric bikes continue to increase in popularity, as savvy commuters realise the benefits of having an easily transportable e-bike to complete the last couple of miles of their daily commute. The B’TWIN Tilt 500 from Decathlon has been around for some time now, and is one of their best-selling ebikes. I’ve had a go on one of these on more than one occasion, and I think they’re great value for money. Read my review below for more information.

btwin tilt 500 folding electric bike

Summary

Electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes and cater for all disciplines. The electric folding bike is probably one of the most practical everyday applications for an e-bike.

The benefits of a folding bike are obvious. I have taken my touring bike on trains many times, and it can be a right pain as there are limited spaces available on most trains in the UK, and unless you book a space in advance you ,may  find yourself waiting for a train with available space.

btwin tilt folded and being carried on a train

Folding bikes completely remove this concern, as they can be quickly folded and stored relatively easily.

The B’TWIN Tilt 500 is not only fully foldable, but it’s also quite a capable little electric bike, that can be adapted to riders of all sizes.

Buy Now: B’TWIN Tilt 500 folding electric bike

Electric components

The B’TWIN Tilt uses the lightest components possible to make this bike easier to transport. A small, but high-torque 250w rear hub motor is powered by a 24v 7.8Ah lithium battery pack. Although this battery has quite a low energy capacity, it is still enough to give the rider up to about 20 miles of assist pedalling. Which should be more than enough range especially if you are using it in an urban environment.

The battery pack is removable and is neatly concealed within the frame of the bike.

btwin tilt 500 removable battery pack

There is a basic LED display and control panel, which gives basic information like battery remaining and level off assist. There are 3 levels of assist to choose from – eco, normal and sport.

The Tilt 500 uses a simple cadence pedal sensor, meaning as soon as you start turning the pedals the motor will kick in.

btwin tilt 500 led display and control panel

Having ridden these bikes before, my first impression was the motor packed quite a punch considering its small size and modest battery. Bearing in mind I’m not a small chap, I thought it coped very well when negotiating moderate hills. My only complaint was the gearing is not really suited to very steep climbs (more on that below).

Bike components

Decathlon have kept thing to a bare minimum on the B’TWIN Tilt 500. There is a large 52t front chainring with a 6-speed rear freewheel which is operated by a gripshift and dependable Shimano Tourney rear derailleur.

My only complaint in this department is the size of the front chainring. Bearing in mind, the assist cuts out at 15.5mph (25 km/h) a 52t chainring seems like overkill. Another consequence of having such a large chainring is steep hills become more difficult to negotiate (even with the assist maxed out). I would have gone for something like a 42t front chainring which would have still allowed 20-25mph pedalling at a high cadence, but more importantly much better gearing for climbing steep hills.

6 speed shimano gearing on btwin tilt 500

Brakes are B’TWIN branded v-brakes which do a decent enough job of stopping the bike, although they lack the bite and stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes, as long as you are aware of their limitations you will be fine.

The wheels are typical 20″ and seem quite tough. There are also puncture resistance 1.75″ tyres fitted which provide a reasonable degree of comfort.

Mudguards and LED lights finish off the package nicely, meaning that there are no worries if you find yourself riding in fading light. The lights can be activated by a button on the control panel,

How quick does it take to fold down?

The Tilt 500 folds down just as quickly and easily as a regular folding bike, and after a bit of practice you can have the bike folded down within 60 seconds. See the video below.

Who is the B’TWIN Tilt 500 aimed at?

The great thing with a folding electric bike is they can appeal to almost anyone. Whether you are looking for something to take you on the last couple of miles of your commute through to a student who wants to get around campus quickly or you’re just after a bike to run errands on, the B’TWIN Tilt 500 does the job.

2 btwin tilt 500 ebikes in the back of a car

If your after something that can cover higher mileage then this probably isn’t for you. And although it’s comfortable enough fort shorter journey’s, I wouldn’t want to travel more than 15 or 20 miles on it.

B’TWIN Tilt 500 vs Carrera Crosscity folding electric bike

The nearest rival I can think of in terms of price and specification to the B’TWN Tilt 500 is the Carrera Crosscity folding electric bike from Halfords.  It does have a slightly more powerful battery and benefits from having 8-speed gearing, giving the rider a bit more gear range for hill climbing. The Crosscity also uses the excellent Bafang 250w hub motor.

carrera crosscity folding electric bike

Having ridden both bikes, there isn’t anything in it performance wise. Both bikes are well-built and offer excellent value. The Carrera is about £150 more than the B’TWIN at the time of writing. Both bikes also weigh in at around 18kg.

What it boils down to is your budget and how much range you’re looking for.

 

Conclusion

The B’TWIN Tilt 500 is one of the best value folding electric bikes available, and at its current price is a bargain. Like all Decathlon electric bikes, the Tilt is a well put together bike at an affordable price. As a folding e-bike it does the job perfectly, and is currently Decathlon’s number one selling ebike with hundreds of reviews from customers.

Some people may find it a touch on the heavy side at 18kg, but that is about as light as you’re going to get on a folding ebike at this price.

btwin tilt 500 folding electric bike

As far as riding one is concerned, I wouldn’t personally want to spend too much time in the saddle, but that is not what this bike was intended for. As a runabout or commuter bike it is ideal, and the fact it can be folded so quickly and easily makes it a great buy for the rider who uses public transport from time to time.

If leisure riding is your thing and you want a couple of e-bikes you can just throw into the back of your car without having to worry about fitting a cycle rack, then the Tilt is also perfect for that purpose.

When I rode this bike, I took it on some pretty rough country back lanes and in fairness it handled them surprisingly well! You could definitely ride canal towpaths or even do some (very) light trail riding on this bike.

I’m giving the B’TWIN Tilt 500 the big thumbs up – it’s a great little ebike at a reasonable price.

Visit Decathlon’s website for more information on the B’TWIN Tilt 500

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B'TWIN Tilt 500 folding electric bike

£749.00
8.3

Value for Money

9.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Performance

8.0/10

Pros

  • A great value folding ebike
  • Folds quickly and easily
  • Surprisingly good performance

Cons

  • Short battery range
  • Gearing not suitable for steep hills

4 thoughts on “B’TWIN Tilt 500 Folding Electric Bike Review

  • April 17, 2020 at 8:17 am
    Permalink

    Hi Tony. I am 49 and returning to the saddle after 20yrs absence. Had a bad leg break. I live in Marsden w yorks amidst the pennines and so have some serious hills. Just bought trek touring bikes for me and my wife but its really a struggle( with the hills, in the wind). Thinking of fitting bafang mid drives and have been reading lots on this website with interest and wondered if you could advise on the best option of motor/battery for this situation. Im not interested in speed or a thumb throttle. want to get fit too, if poss. I recognise the legal limit but wonder if there is any point in sticking with the 250w if its not going to manage. Im 15 st. Thanks in advance for your advice on this

    Reply
    • April 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Andy,

      Email me the exact model of your Trek bikes to: cycletek@outlook.com, and I’ll be able to recommend a suitable motor and battery configuration. If you can also let me know what sort battery range you’re looking for (on a single charge) I can make sure I recommend the right capacity.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
  • April 16, 2020 at 4:17 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Tony,
    please, if you can help me i have a new Crusis bike with a factory-fitted Bafang Max Drive engine. 36 V / 250 W M 400 center (pedals)
    I wonder if the power can be increased from 250 W to 350 W- from 15 A to 18 A.
    The display is Bafang DP C 18 color – newer.
    It is not possible to change the speed and diameter of the wheels.
    I wonder if this can be changed because I would like to increase the speed.I also wonder if the gas throttle can be connected to the engine.Thank you for the answer and have a nice day.

    Reply
    • April 16, 2020 at 7:13 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Peter,

      I’m not so sure about the latest M400 motor. Bafang had to put measures in place so their motors could be approved for use in the EU. The earlier ‘M’ series motors could be reprogrammed via a USB lead just like the BBS01 mid-drive, but these later versions seem to have been changed. If you can trace the wiring loom and there is a spare yellow plug, this may accept a throttle. Also unplug the display (which should be a circular green connector on the loom), it may be worth seeing if a programming lead will fit. There is more information on programming the ‘M’ series here. But this article was written a year and a half ago. Another option may be to purchase a separate DP-C18 display from China as these displays will not be locked out and you should be able to change the speed limit.

      If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply

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