Monday, July 15, 2024
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Jeep FR 6020 e-Bike Review: Foldable, Portable, Fast as an Arrow!


The Jeep FR 6020 is a foldable e-bike with a 250 W motor and shock absorbers in the frame while featuring a range of around 50 kilometers on a single charge. At the same time, it is often compact enough when folded to pass as a piece of hand luggage. NextPit reviewed the Jeep bike to find out how much fun it is to ride and which features are annoying in everyday use.

Good

  • High performance electric motor
  • Own cool look with Jeep branding
  • Practical folding mechanism
  • Solid range for city and last mile

Bad

  • Very high cadence at 25 km/h
  • With 21.6 kg a bit heavy
  • No mudguards
  • Folding mechanism without closure

The Jeep FR 6020 in a nutshell

For everyday use, the Jeep FR 6020 proved that folding e-bikes can be both comfortable and fun! Jeep’s FR 6020 is also stylish enough that it was stolen from my backyard during the review duration. However, both bikes provided by the manufacturer were amazing with a powerful electric motor, sporting a simple and practical folding mechanism, with a solid range of up to 50 kilometers.

However, the high cadence at 25 km/h ensured that I generally rode the e-bike fully electric with slow pedaling. At the highest support level, this had a negative effect on the range. The fact that Jeep’s e-bike is very heavy at 21.6 kilograms and that there is no clamp or magnet to hold it together when folded also causes problems when taking it on the train or placing it in the trunk.

If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll have to budget €2,099 for the Jeep FR 6020 based on the MSRP. However, the manufacturer’s online store currently offers a discount, which reduces the price to (a slightly) more manageable €1,799. Note that the Jeep FR 6020 is not sold in the USA, which is why only EU availability and pricing are shown. 

Design

The fact that Jeep’s e-bike was stolen during the review duration was a positive sign concerning the bike’s looks! This is because the FR 6020 looks cooler than many other bikes with its yellow color accents and exciting design including shock absorbers and small 16-inch wheels. The folding mechanism also makes it easy to get off the ground, as is the initial setup without screwing it together.

Pros:

  • Unconventional and cool look.
  • Shock absorbers for superior riding comfort.
  • Measures only 75 x 52 x 58 centimeters in size when folded.

Cons:

  • Quite heavy at 21.6 kilograms.
  • Does not hold together when folded.
  • No mudguards.

With yellow color accents, a large Jeep logo on the frame, and a special frame design, the FR 6020 stands out from conventional e-bikes. Of course, the look is a matter of preference, but if you like unusual e-bikes, you’re in good hands with Jeep. I also found it pleasant that neither the functionality nor the ride comfort suffered from the somewhat unusual design.

Jeep FR 6020
The design of the FR 6020 is sporty and stylish. / © NextPit

This is mainly due to the shock absorber and the two-part frame. That’s because Jeep suspended the rear suspension from the rest of the frame at about the wheel bearing via a joint that swings freely. A shock absorber then provides the necessary stability and ensures that you move with a light suspension when you are riding across uneven surfaces. The suspension makes for a more comfortable ride on cobblestones, for example, and in my opinion, is superior to a suspension located at the front fork.

Another advantage of the FR 6020 is the folding mechanism, which folds the frame 180 degrees to the side once the handlebars are completely down. If you were to also retract the saddle, the result is a compact package measuring 75 x 52 x 58 centimeters. Together with the wheels, which measure under 20 inches, the bike should be able to be transported free of charge on the train or bus without too much hassle.

Disadvantages of the folding mechanism are the hefty weight of 21.6 kilograms and a lack of a locking mechanism when folded. Here, the Brompton Electric (review) and the Fiido X were more convincing in their respective reviews. The Brompton activates the folding mechanism via the handlebar, while Fiido simply attaches two magnets to the frame.

Jeep FR 6020
When folded, the FR 6020 fits comfortably in the trunk. / © NextPit

Another drawback with the Jeep: there are no mudguards, which means you can quickly mess up your pants and backpacks on rainy rides. Apart from that, the equipment is solid: A pre-installed headlight is located in front and Jeep included a battery-operated taillight. The 7-speed gearshift is conveniently operated via a switch for one-handed use and the onboard computer is also useful.

E-motor and riding fun

In the Jeep FR 6020, a 250-watt motor powers the rear wheel. This can be managed via three support levels, which limit only the maximum speed of the motor. Therefore, there is not much issue when it comes to braking and accelerating, and riding pleasure is mainly diminished by the extremely high cadence at higher speeds.

Pros:

  • E-motor is really powerful.
  • Climbs effortlessly thanks to 40 Newton meters of torque at 250 W.
  • Pleasant seating position for a folding bike.

Cons:

  • Very high cadence at top speed.
  • Motor does not really work dynamically.

The power that Jeep gets out of the 250 W motor from Xiongda convinced us a lot in the review. This is because the Jeep FR 6020 not only takes you effortlessly over inclines and bridges, the motor does not really heat up noticeably even during longer rides. At the same time, it was possible to pull a person on a pair of inline skates without any effort or loss of speed. I can thus state quite confidently that even heavy riders approaching the permitted total weight of 120 kg can travel with ease on the FR 6020.

Jeep FR 6020
The FR 6020 has a shock absorber for uneven surfaces. / © NextPit

You can control the power of the motor across three support levels. Like many e-bikes, however, Jeep limits the maximum speed via such mode of assistance. On e-bikes like the VanMoof S5 (review), this happens more dynamically, which is especially advantageous when riding at slow speeds. If you’re stuck in Berlin’s gridlocked traffic with the Jeep bike, the ride can be a bit rough.

After starting up, it takes about a second for the assistance to kick in: Then you’ll notice a noticeable push, which you can best interrupt by pressing the brake. If you want to continue riding then, you repeat this process and will experience some stutter. In the review, I preferred to switch off the assistance and use the gearshift with seven gears in order to move forward comfortably.

Jeep FR 6020
The gear shift can be operated comfortably with one hand. / © NextPit

However, this is not really well executed in my opinion. After all, e-bikes have the great advantage that you can cover longer distances at 20 to 25 km/h without having to break into a sweat. It is here that the gear ratio demands a cadence from you that is exhausting and relentless in the long run. That is if you still want to make progress using your own effort.

The problem is somewhat solved by the fact that you can also activate the electric motor while pedaling slowly. There is no resistance at all, but by going slow, you basically move all-electric on the FR 6020 to your destination. This is much more fun than fast pedaling, but of course, it comes at the expense of range. At the same time, it is also pleasant to pedal with some degree of resistance on e-bikes.

This drawback is particularly unfortunate, as I found the seating position on the Jeep FR 6020 to be really comfortable. Despite having compact folding dimensions and small wheels, the e-folding bike rides almost like a “normal” bike. It is an advantage that I know is available so far only on the Brompton Electric and where many other folding bikes fail to live up to such standards.

The familiar seating position also ensured that I was very confident of the FR 6020 during the review duration. Meaning, I had no qualms about plunging into big city traffic or taking shortcuts over rough terrain with the e-bike. The powerful disc brakes, which are mechanically actuated, contributed to this feeling of safety.

Jeep FR 6020
Braking on the FR 6020 is achieved via disc brakes. / © NextPit.

Since the total weight of the e-bike is rather hefty at a massive 21.6 kg, I very much welcome the use of disc brakes – anyone who also likes to take the Jeep bike on a mountain tour from time to time will also be able to come to a safe stop downhill.

Battery and smart functions

The battery of the Jeep FR 6020 holds 230.4-watt hours and delivers a range of 50 km according to the manufacturer. For more convenient charging, you can remove the Panasonic brand battery from the frame and charge it indoors. To prevent it from being stolen on the road, the Jeep bike comes with a key.

Pros:

  • Solid 50 km range.
  • Removable battery that is secured by a key.

Cons:

  • Range suffers from poor gearing at higher speeds.
  • No charging option for smartphone.
  • No app connectivity.

With a range of 50 km, the FR 6020 settles comfortably in the middle when compared to other e-bikes. This is mainly due to the fact that the manufacturer does not specify a maximum range under optimal conditions and when saving power. Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that the range highly depends on your riding style, your weight, route inclines, and other factors.

Jeep FR 6020 taillight
The taillight is battery-powered. / © NextPit

Of course, the already mentioned poor gear ratio affects range in addition to riding enjoyment. That’s because when reaching higher speeds, it’s hard to avoid the motor from working completely, or at least mostly, on its own. When under full load, the electric motor naturally also consumes maximum battery power.

A particularly pleasant aspect of everyday use with the FR 6020 is that you don’t have to take the rather heavy bike into your home. When you fold the bike, you can remove the battery after unlocking it with a key and charging it externally. Charging is done via a proprietary charging cable and takes several hours.

Jeep FR 6020
The range is indicated on the onboard computer by five bars. / © NextPit

One more note—if you’re expecting lifestyle features on an e-bike: Jeep doesn’t offer an app for the FR 6020. You will have to rely on the information provided by the onboard computer and live without GPS tracking and other convenient features.

Conclusion

The Jeep FR 6020 is an exciting folding e-bike that is not exactly cheap with an MSRP of more than €2,000 (around $2,200). For this very reason, shortcomings like the hefty weight, uncomfortable gear ratio of the 7-speed transmission, and little things like the battery-powered tail light are annoying. In addition, when loading the bike into the trunk or carrying it to the track, one wishes for a clasp that will hold the bike together in the folded position.

Jeep FR 6020
The large Jeep logo on the side will appeal to fans of the brand. / © NextPit

These drawbacks aside, the FR 6020 is mostly convincing as a lifestyle bike. With a bold design and flashy accents, there are bound to be one or two people who fall in love with the look of the bike. In my estimation, this target group also overlaps with those who want a powerful electric motor in an e-bike for steep climbs at speed.

This mix of folding e-bike and lifestyle bike is definitely a unique selling point of the FR 6020. However, if you are looking for a foldable e-bike that is as portable as possible, models like the Fiido X or the Brompton Electric are a bit more convincing.



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