himo zb20 max review

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I’ve just taken delivery of the latest Himo ZB20 Max folding electric bike, and in this review, I’m going to be covering all aspects from delivery, how the bike was packed and importantly give you a detailed appraisal of the components. Plus, I’ll be giving you my thoughts on performance, comfort, handling (on and off-road) and real-world battery range.

I plan on using the ZB20 Max as a general runabout and will be adding a cargo trailer for shopping trips and other errands – I’ll be posting regular updates here as things progress.

himo zb20 max review
The Himo ZB20 Max – photo was taken on my first ride

Brand Summary

Anyone familiar with the Himo brand of electric bikes will know they offer excellent quality at an affordable price. I’ve previously test-ridden a few e-bikes in their range and have always been suitably impressed. This latest version is fully EN15194 compliant meaning it meets the legal requirements of a pedelec in the EU and UK.

Himo are the first Chinese brand to have full CE certification on all of their products. All Himo E-Bikes also conform to the important EN15194 – this covers electrical and mechanical safety standards.

himo zb20 en15194 certification
The all-important EN15194 certification

Himo is putting a big emphasis on looking after their European customer base, with a 3000 square metre central technical service centre in Germany and three maintenance centres in Germany, the UK and Poland. There’s also a decent warranty of 12 months on electrical components and 10 years on the frame.

For quick shipping to all European destinations, Himo has distribution warehousing in the following locations: Germany (Brushal), Poland (Mazowiechie), the United Kingdom (Lancashire), Spain(Madrid), and Italy(Rome).

himo zb20 max folding e-bike

Delivery and Packaging

I received my Himo ZB20 Max within five working days and the bike was incredibly well-packaged in a large box. All the key components were well protected, as were the frame and any other vulnerable parts.

himo zb20 max packaging
The ZB20 Max came well-packaged in a sturdy box

I’ll be shortly uploading a video to YouTube of the unboxing – this bike is quite heavy and I would certainly recommend two people to make the task easier.

Test Ride – First Impressions

It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a fat tyre e-bike and it took a bit of getting used to. I usually ride a road bike and a hybrid e-bike, and this felt cumbersome in comparison. But, this is not an electric bike designed for riding at 25mph and is better suited to cruising at lower speeds.

As expected there’s a lot of noise from the tyres (akin to a Land Rover) and the steering initially felt a little nervous. Once I’d gotten the hang of it, everything was fine.

himo zb20 max folding electric bike

Performance was better than expected. The pedal assist is very smooth and doesn’t kick in with a jolt, but builds progressively. I was also very impressed with the quietness of the motor. Riding up a climb with an average 6-8% gradient was fairly effortless.

The brakes performed as expected, they stopped the bike quickly enough and I’m sure they’ll improve once bedded in properly. Gears shifted well using the old-style Shimano thumb shifter.

Comfort was another level! The combination of the fat tyres, front suspension and padded saddle made for a very plush ride. I’m looking forward to putting in quite a few miles on the ZB20 Max and will update this article in future with real-world battery range.

Electric Components

  • Motor: The Himo ZB20 Max uses a brushless geared 250w rear hub motor that’s powered by a 48v 10.4Ah battery. This all-new model is fully EN15194 compliant, meaning it’s legal to use in the UK and EU countries. The rated torque is 32Nm which is about right for a 250w hub motor in this design.
himo zb20 max 250w hub motor
The 250w rear hub motor on the ZB20 Max
  • Pedal assist sensor: Pedal assist is cadence-based, meaning it’s activated by pedal crank rotation. The Himo has an updated motor control unit which has an improved pedal assist algorithm, making the assist feel smoother and more natural.
himo zb20 max pedal assist sensor
The Himo has a tidy pedal assist sensor
  • Display: This bike features an excellent 500s display unit which is clear to read and has great functionality. There are 3 power assistance modes to choose from, a battery indicator, power indicator, speedometer and trip function. This display is IPX7  waterproof meaning it will be fine to use in heavy rain. In my experience, this particular display is generally very reliable, and even if were are issues (outside of warranty) a replacement is cheap and easy to source.
himo zb20 500s lcd display
The 500s LCD is easy to read
  • Battery: There’s a decent 48v 10.4Ah battery, which fits neatly inside the frame (out of harm’s way). This battery has all the latest BMS safety features including overcharge/discharge protection, over current, temperature and short circuit protection. A 48v battery will achieve 250w by drawing less current (amps) when compared with a 36v system – this means the motor will run cooler and be more efficient (plus increased reliability).
himo zb20 max electric fat tyre bike

Bike Components

  • Gearing: A Shimano Tourney 6-speed derailleur with thumb shifter, provides reliable gear shifting. There’s a 14-28t freewheel and large front chainring giving a decent gear range for a bike of this kind.
shimano 6-speed gearing on the himo zb20
Dependable Shimano Tourney 6-speed gearing
  • Brakes: The front and rear mechanical disc brakes work just fine, but as I’m going to be towing a trailer, I’ll be upgrading to hydraulics – I will be fitting a pair of Zoom HB-100 hydro-mechanical brakes which offer a substantial improvement on braking for not a lot of money.
mechanical disc brakes fitted to the himo zb20 max
Mechanical disc brakes provide adequate stopping power
  • Suspension: There’s a decent front suspension fork of the coil-sprung variety, which will be ideal to soak up potholes and rougher terrain. These forks have a hydraulic lock-out function and can also be adjusted for preload. They’ll be okay for moderate off-road riding, but not big jumps.
himo zb20 max front suspension fork
The suspension fork works very well and can be locked-out
  • Wheels and Tyres: The 20″ wheels look tough and with the 4″ wide tyres I’m expecting the ZB20 Max to be a versatile machine capable of riding off-road on difficult terrain. I plan on putting the Himo through its paces by tackling a long off-road route on Dartmoor (in the UK).
  • Accessories: The ZB20 Max comes with a useful array of accessories including some very nice metal mudguards, kickstand and lights. Plus, there’s a tyre pump which fits neatly inside the seat post tube.
  • Frame and finishing kit: I love the frame, it looks and feels like it could stand up to a lot of abuse – it’s covered by a 10-year warranty and has undergone stringent safety tests. The seat post has plenty of adjustment for taller riders – I’m 185cm and there was plenty of adjustment left. Finally, the handlebars are a little narrow for my liking, but this is to facilitate easy folding. As I won’t be folding this much, I’m going to fit some wider MTB handlebars. The saddle is good quality and has plenty of padding, adding to comfort.
himo zb20 max folding mechanism
I’m very impressed with the finish on the frame!

Buy the new Himo ZB20 Max from Himo EU


Type20 x 4.0 Inches
ModelZB20 Max
ColorGrey / Sand
Dimensions L×W×HOverall unit:1620mm x 625mm x 1095mm
After folding:1000mm x 620mm x 760mm
Package Size 
Operating Temperature-10~40°C
Storage Temperature-20~50°C
Net Weight28kg
Gross weight36.5kg
IP RatingIPX5
Max. Speed25km (15.5mph)
TransmissionShimano 6 Speed
Assisting range<80km
Shock-absorptionFront fork hydraulic switch
BrakeFront: Mechanical disc brake
Rear: Mechanical disc brake
Charging timeabout 6 hours
MaterialAluminium alloy
Handgrip MaterialTPR
Adjustable of heightYes
Throttle leverNO
Small bellMechanical bell
Brake handleleft/Right
Mobile Phone Charging Station/
MaterialAluminium alloy
Hub typespokes hub
Size20 *4.0inch
TireRubber pneumatic tire
BrakeMechanical disc brake
MaterialAluminium alloy
Hub typespokes hub
Size20 *4.0inch
TireRubber pneumatic tire
BrakeMechanical disc brake
MaterialAluminium alloy
TypeMain Girder Folding
ParkingParking stand
Battery locationBuilt-in main girder
Reflect Stickeryellow
Max Steering Angle60°(each side)
Battery Number/
Air pumpYes
Foot Pad MaterialNylon
Foot Pad TypeFolding
Carrying handleNO
MaterialLithium battery
Type of batteriesRemovable portable charging
Front and rear mechanical disc brake52 PCS
Rated Voltage48V
Charge cut-off voltage54V
Rated Capacity48V/10.4Ah (499Wh)
Charging Temperature0~40°C
Battery Management SystemOver-heating, Short circuits,
Over-current, Over-charge protection
Input Voltage100~240V, 50/60Hz
Output Voltage54V
Output Current2A
Output Power118W
Motor TypeHall Brushless Gear DC Motor
Rated Voltage48V
Rated Power250W
Max. Power\
Torque32 N.m
Rated speed236 r/min
Turn On/OffVisible button on the speed control handle
Riding Modes Switch
Front Light Switch
Display TypeHD LCD Display
Display ContentsSpeed, mileage, Gear, glitch
Electronic booster starting point20″ x 4.0 Inches tyres with Integrated moulding hub
Under voltage protection41±2V
Over current protection15±2A
Front and rear mechanical disc brake
250W Power rate Gear Motor with 236 r/Min speed
Front fork hydraulic shock absorber
Front and real mechanical disc brake

Who is the Himo ZB20 Max E-Bike aimed at?

The Himo ZB20 Max is so versatile it’s going to appeal to a broad range of riders. The Himo will make an excellent daily commuter e-bike or could be used for weekend leisure rides. Thanks to the fat tyres, the ZB20 Max will be ideal for riding on snow, sand or mud. It would also be great as an urban e-bike – I’m going to be using mine as a general runabout, with the odd excursion up to the moors.

himo zb20 max folded up

Folding the ZB20 only takes a matter of seconds, but be warned – it’s very bulk and heavy at 28kg and I wouldn’t want to try carrying this on public transport.

Where can I buy the Himo ZB20 Max?

Fortunately, the Himo ZB20 Max is available in most countries. I have included links below to all the main eBay stores. Plus, links to the popular Chinese e-commerce platforms Geekbuying and Banggood – these companies usually ship from the EU and UK.


My initial impressions of the Himo ZB20 Max are very favourable. I can’t fault the finish and build quality, it comes across as very tough and well-built. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be expanding upon this review with more photos. I plan on tackling some longer rides and it’ll be interesting to see how much range I can squeeze out of the battery.

It’s a great-looking bike and is available in the matt grey paint of my bike or a nice sand colour (above). The frameset looks robust and it’s good to see a 48v system being used. The performance is very good for a 250w considering the heavy weight of the bike (and rider), and I’m very impressed with the smoothness of the PAS and very quiet motor.

The only downside to this bike is the weight and size – it may be a folding e-bike, but it’s a beast of a machine. It looks a lot bigger in the flesh and it’s very heavy. In my opinion, it’s not going to be practical to cart around town on public transport, unless you’re a powerlifter!

When compared with the competition, the Himo ZB20 Max is great value for money and I’m looking forward to putting plenty of miles in on mine.  If you’re looking for a versatile, all-terrain folding electric bike, then I would highly recommend the Himo!

The Himo ZB20 is also featured in my article featuring 8 of the best folding electric fat bikes.

Visit the official Himo website for more info.

Thanks for reading. if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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  1. Hallo Tony, vielen Dank für diese hochinformative und sehr hilfreiche Seite!
    Ich hab heute mein ZB20 zusammengebaut und hätte noch ein paar kleine Fragen, zu denen du vielleicht ein paar Tipps parat hast?

    1. Was ist eigentlich der Unterschied zwischen dem ZB20 und dem ZB20 MAX in Bezug auf die EN15194-Zertifizierung? Beide Modelle haben die doch, oder? Mir scheint das MAX hat nur eine höhere Lastgrenze (120 kg statt nur 100 kg), kann das sein?

    2. Bei der Montage des Vorderrades läuft bei mir die Bremsscheibe nicht mittig zwischen den Bremsbacken. An der Innenseite schleift es leicht. Wie kann man das feinjustieren? Über die Radmuttern hab ich’s nicht hinbekommen.

    3. Mit der 6-Gang-Schaltung komm ich nicht in die letzten beiden Gänge (5 und 6). Wie kann man das justieren?

    Danke und Grüße,

    1. Hallo Christian,

      Ich beantworte Ihre Fragen der Reihe nach.
      1. Soweit ich weiß, hat das ZB20 Max die offizielle Zertifizierung, daher gehe ich davon aus, dass einige allgemeine Verbesserungen vorgenommen wurden. EN15194 deckt nicht nur Motorleistung und Geschwindigkeit ab, sondern auch die allgemeine Sicherheit des Fahrrads.

      2. Um den Bremssattel einzustellen, müssen Sie die Befestigungsschrauben des Bremssattels lösen und die Vorderradbremse betätigen – dann die Schraube wieder festziehen. Dies sollte die Bremse zentralisieren. Das Innenpolster kann mit einem Inbusschlüssel eingestellt werden.

      3. Am hinteren Umwerfer befinden sich zwei Schrauben (sogenannte Begrenzungsschrauben), von denen Sie die mit „L“ (untere Begrenzungsschraube) gekennzeichnete Schraube lösen müssen, möglicherweise um eine oder zwei volle Umdrehungen. Möglicherweise müssen Sie auch die Kabelspannung anpassen – am Umwerfer befindet sich ein Einsteller (gegen den Uhrzeigersinn drehen).

      Ich hoffe diese Info hilft. Wenn Sie die Gänge nicht einstellen können, müssen Sie möglicherweise einen örtlichen Fahrradladen aufsuchen, da dies idealerweise mit dem Fahrrad vom Boden abgehoben werden sollte.


    1. Hi,

      Unfortunately the ZB20 Max has been designed so you cannot modify the speed limit in any way (due to the EN15194 certification). The only way around this would be to replace the motor controller and display unit together – something with a similar voltage and current specification but with the ability to program the speed via the display.


      1. Ich habe eine Frage.
        Wie wird der Tageskilometerzähler zurück auf 0 gestellt
        Gibt es vielleicht eine vollständige Beschreibung zum Display mit allen Möglichkeiten im Netz ?
        Die Beschreibung in der allgemeinen Betriebsanleitung ist da nicht sehr umfangreich.
        Mit freundlichen Grüßen
        Johannes Haschke

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