CARBO Model S Review: 250W Carbon Fiber Folding E-Bike
An ultra-portable folding e-bike that weighs in at only 34 lbs, the stylish CARBO Model S is a sleek, lightweight electric bike that offers riders the ultimate in portability, build quality, and performance...
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What is the CARBO Model S?
Crafted from aerospace-grade, Japanese carbon fiber, the CARBO Model S is a high-end folding e-bike that combines performance with next-level design. An electric bike that’s incredibly easy to carry, transport, and store, the Model S is a great option for everything from city commuting to RV life, and the foldable design makes it perfect for smaller spaces like apartments and sailboats.
In our review of the CARBO Model S, we’ll take a detailed look at the bike’s specs and componentry, features, pros and cons, battery life, and more. We’ll also tell you who this electric bike is ideal for and why we consider it to be one of today’s best folding electric bikes.
Based out of Montreal, Canada, CARBO was founded in 2018 by Lyne Berro and is focused on the ultralight, folding e-bike market. With 2 bikes in its 2023 lineup plus a small range of accessories, CARBO continues to push the boundaries of what's possible in the world of folding bikes.
CARBO folding bikes include a rock-solid 2-year warranty which provides coverage to customers in the event of a manufacturing defect. There's also a 7-day money-back return policy for added peace of mind, and the company is well-known for providing outstanding customer support.
- High-end, Toray Japanese carbon fiber frame
- Stainless steel spokes (13G front, 12G rear)
- Sport saddle
- Folding Wellgo pedals
- Adjustable handlebars
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- SHIMANO ALTUS M370 9-speed drivetrain
- Schwalbe Big Apple tires (20-inch by 2-inch)
- 250W or 350W BAFANG rear hub motor
- 36V 7Ah or 36V 10.5Ah lithium-ion battery
- 2A charger
- LED headlight
- USB-powered rear taillight
- USB charging port
- Easy-to-read LED display with Bluetooth connectivity
- Optional thumb throttle
- Speed and cadence sensor
CARBO Model S Review: E-Bike Overview
CARBO Model S is a high-quality folding electric bicycle designed for daily commutes and around-town fun. With its sleek, clean style and incredibly lightweight Japanese Toray carbon fiber frame, the Model S is a bike that’s built for portability, performance, and enjoyment.
Powered by a BAFANG 250W or 350W rear hub motor (providing 32Nm and 45Nm of torque), the Model S offers riders quick acceleration and plenty of torque for hill climbing and exploring city streets. Offered with both a 36V 7Ah and 36V 10.5Ah battery, the Model S is capable of delivering up to 40 miles or range on a single charge.
CARBO opted for a high-quality, Samsung lithium-ion battery which is integrated neatly into the Model S’ seat post. The battery is removable and the 3.5-hour recharging time can be completed with the battery on or off the bike.
While there are plenty of foldable electric bikes on the market today, there are few that are as user-friendly and easy to carry as the Model S. Capable of being compactly folded up in only a few seconds, the Model S comes with a magnetic system that keeps things folded and compact. Additionally, CARBO designed the Model S to be easy to carry or roll when folded, making this the ultimate portable e-bike.
Unlike the single-speed CARBO Model X, the Model S is equipped with a 9-speed SHIMANO drivetrain that’s reliable and smooth shifting. Also built to be pedaled without assistance like a traditional bicycle, the Model S offers plenty of versatility for riders who enjoy the workout of an unassisted, pedal-powered ride.
Stopping power is provided by Tektro 180mm mechanical disc brakes, and there are also a minimalist LED display, front and rear lights, and optional thumb throttle.
The Model S features a comfortable, upright riding position and the adjustable handlebars make it easy to dial in the perfect fit.
The CARBO Model S is designed to be easy to transport, carry, and store, and it weighs in at only 34 lbs. While not a step-through model, the 21-inch standover height makes it easy to mount and dismount, even for smaller riders and individuals who deal with mobility issues. The Model S measures 60-inches long and the bike folds up nicely into a 31.5″ x 23.6″ x 13″ form factor.
2-year warranty and 7-day money-back guarantee1 of 11
36V 7Ah or 36V 10.5Ah battery options2 of 11
20″ x 2″ puncture-resistant Schwalbe Big Apple tires3 of 11
250W or 350W BAFANG hub motor4 of 11
Compact LED screen5 of 11
Optional thumb throttle6 of 11
180mm Tektro mechanical disc brakes7 of 11
Detachable LED headlight8 of 11
USB-powered taillight9 of 11
SHIMANO 9-speed drivetrain10 of 11
Lightweight, folding carbon fiber frame11 of 11
*click on hotspots for additional details
A comfortable e-bike to ride, thanks to its upright geometry and adjustable handlebars, the Model S is a pleasure to ride for daily commutes, errand-running, and urban adventures. Offering speedy acceleration, smooth shifting, and predictable power delivery, the Model S is easy to ride and control.
We also love the rubber that CARBO paired with this bike — 20″ x 2″ Schwalbe Big Apple tires. These tires deliver a super comfy ride and definitely help to offset the non-suspension frame’s firm ride.
CARBO has a pretty good reputation for build quality and is well-known for taking care of any issues that happen to arise. The Model S is a beautifully built electric bike that ships with top-notch components, and it arrives well-packed from CARBO’s factory. Once unpacked, the bike requires very little assembly as 85% of the setup is done before shipping.
One look at CARBO’s Model S reveals that this is a high-end ride, with its clean lines and modern, minimalist aesthetic. Like its single-speed sibling, the Model S shares a premium look and feel and the stunning carbon fiber frame is perfect for riders who want to stand out from the crowd.
While many foldable e-bikes share the same, mass-produced aluminum frame design, CARBO’s bikes are refreshingly unique, and everything from cable management to the battery’s stealthy seat post-integration are well thought out and executed.
Billed as the world’s lightest electric bikes, it’s no wonder that CARBO’s rides lack the extra fittings often seen on other foldable electric bikes. The Model S doesn’t ship with mudguards or a rear rack, but these accessories are available separately as optional add-ons.
In the box, you’ll find a USB-powered taillight and a detachable front headlight, and in addition to the optional mudguards and rear rack, there are other items available through CARBO’s online store.
CARBO stands behind its bikes with a 2-year warranty that covers consumers in the event of a manufacturing defect. Customers also have the ability to return their bike within 7 days of purchase, however, return shipping costs must be covered by the customer.
CARBO is a responsive company and we’ve found their support staff to be quite friendly and helpful. Live chat is the easiest way to contact the company, while the company’s online contact form provides same-day replies in just a few hours…
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An Introduction to CARBO's Model S (VIDEO)
Price, Where to Buy it, & Coupon Code
At the time of our review, the Model S is available for purchase through the company’s online store with a base MSRP of $2,549. There are upgraded configurations available which include a higher-capacity battery, a more powerful motor, and CARBO’s optional thumb throttle.
CARBO’s top-of-the-line Model S configuration is currently priced at $3,136, and bikes fitted with the upgraded 36V 10.5Ah battery are subject to an additional shipping delay.
CARBO's electric bikes are manufactured in Canada, Vietnam, China, and Taiwan.
Pros and Cons
- Stunning design and attention to detail
- Lightweight carbon fiber frame
- Folds up quickly and easily
- Easy to lift, carry, and roll when folded
- Bundled componentry is high-quality
- Upgraded configurations available (battery, motor, and thumb throttle)
- BAFANG rear wheel hub motor provides plenty of acceleration, speed, and torque
- Comfortable ride, especially for a bike that lacks suspension
- Great cable management
- Battery is neatly hidden in seat post for a super clean look
- Rock-solid 2-year warranty
- 7-day money-back guarantee
- Great customer service experience
- Outstanding overall value
- Peppy 750W rear hub motor
- Great for long-range riding
- Front fork suspension and 26" x 4" Kenda Juggernaut fat tires deliver a comfortable ride
- Super versatile and can handle sand, trails, gravel, and more
- Handsome rear rack gives you the ability to load it up with ~50 lbs of gear
- Included front and rear fenders do a good job of keeping the rider clean
- Generous 2-year warranty
- 15-day return policy
- Free shipping to lower 48
- Fenders and rear cargo rack aren't included and need to be purchased separately
- Only one color option
- Some riders won't care for the minimalist, compact LED display
If you’re shopping around for a versatile folding e-bike that’s built to last, the CARBO Model S is one seriously solid choice. With its clean lines, high-quality groupset, and top-shelf riding experience, the highly portable Model S is a bike that ticks all the boxes for a lightweight, foldable commuter.
In addition to the fact that the Model S is one of the nicest folding e-bikes currently on the market, we also have a lot of confidence in the company behind the bike. Unlike some brands that are nearly impossible to reach after a sale is made, CARBO goes to great lengths to support its customers with quick reply times and super-friendly staff. Also, CARBO stands behind its bikes with a warranty that’s better than the typical 1-year warranty offered by most of today’s direct-to-consumer e-bike brands. This tells us that the company has a lot of confidence in its product range and is firmly committed to standing behind the bikes it makes.
While not an inexpensive investment, we feel that the CARBO Model S is a good value overall and when compared side-by-side with the mass-produced folders currently flooding the market, offers riders a step up in terms of quality and overall design.