Xiaomi Z16 folding electric bike review

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If you’re looking for a ‘no frills’ single-speed electric bike to use in an urban environment, then the new Xiaomi Himo Z16 takes some beating when it comes to value for money. As I have stated in previous reviews of Himo e-bikes they do the job, and they do it well! The Z16 is great for zipping about city streets and canal towpaths. It doesn’t represent the pinnacle of e-bike technology but delivers an affordable solution for those wishing to ditch their cars and/or public transport. Read on for my full review of this great little folding electric bike.

lady sat on a yellow himo z16 folding e bike


Folding e-bikes now account for a big slice of the global electric bike market… Why? Simply because consumers are looking for a cheap and affordable way to replace their car (automobile) or stop using public transport.

The Xiaomi Himo Z16 offers an affordable way for short commutes to work without having to worry about buses, trains, taxis etc.

I’ve ridden a few Himo-branded e-bikes now and each one has impressed me with its overall build quality and rideability – is the Z16 any different? Read my overview below for more information.

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xiaomi himo z16 in white gray blue and yellow

Electric components

As far as I can ascertain the Himo Z16 uses the same 250w DC brushless geared hub motor as the Z20 and C20. The battery energy capacity is also the same at 36v 10Ah (360wh). These components are generally fairly reliable (in my experience), although gremlins do appear from time to time.


Not a lot to report here. The Himo Z16 uses a very generic 250w brushless, geared hub motor. It produces an adequate amount of torque and power to take the rider comfortably up to the 15.5mph (25 km/h) limit. It’s smooth and fairly quiet.

The good thing about these motors is if they do go wrong (which is rare) they can be easily repaired by a competent DIY enthusiast and parts are generally easy to come by.

himo z16 folds and comes with mudguards and folding pedals

Pedal assist

The pedal assist on the Z16 is provided via a basic cadence sensor, meaning that pedal rotation is all that is needed to activate e-assist. Cadence pedal assist is especially useful if you need a boost when setting off, as unlike a torque sensor, the rider does not have to exert any discernible force through the pedals to get assistance.

My only issue is pedal assist is only available in one mode, after that you need to activate throttle control to receive 100% of the motor assistance – it should be noted that this is contrary to UK and EU e-bike laws where it is stated that a throttle should only take the rider to 6km/m (walking pace) and an EPAC should not be able to be propelled without pedalling input.

I don’t agree with this and I believe this part of the law needs to be reviewed. I’ve converted countless bikes for people with serious medical conditions that make the initial act of pedalling very difficult. After they use a throttle to get started, they can then pedal as normal (with assistance).


The battery on the Himo Z16 will give an assisted range of between 40-50 miles, depending on how much pedalling input you provide, your weight, and the kind of terrain you’re riding on.

the himo z16 battery is easily removable


The LCD on the Himo Z16 provides all the basic information you will need – battery level, speed (km/h) and a trip function.

xiaomi himo z16 lcd display

Bike components

At this price point, only the most basic and entry-level components can be expected. All the components seem well-made, from the wheels through to the frame and finishing kit.


The Z16 uses a simple single-speed arrangement – this is perfect for negotiating city streets, cycleways and gently undulating terrain, but the lack of gear range could be a problem if you need to negotiate steep hills regularly. I have tested this on a 10% gradient and I still had to put in a fair bit of effort to assist the motor up the hill.


The mechanical brakes fitted to the Z16 are okay for general riding but I wouldn’t want to regularly descend very steep hills with these brakes. This observation is, of course not particularly relevant to the average urban rider. When riding on flat (or mildly undulating terrain) I found the brakes on the Himo Z16 to be more than adequate.

xiaomi himo z16 folding electric bike review

Wheels and tyres

Apart from being the smaller 16″ variety (hence the name) they seem quite tough and feel as though they will deal with most minor potholes and road imperfections, I would still keep a good eye on the road ahead though. The tough alloy construction means no more worrying about broken spokes, which are quite common on hub motor e-bikes.

Frame and finishing kit

The Himo Z16 frame is made of lightweight aluminium and even though it comes across as quite robust, I wouldn’t advise taking it on off-road trails that have a lot of jumps, rocks and other obstacles – the  Z16 is quite comfortable on canal towpaths and light forest trails, thanks to the small rear shock absorber.

Full Specification

GeneralBrand: HIMO
Type: Electric bike
Model: Z16
Colour: Gray White Blue Yellow
SpecificationMax Range (pedal assist mode): up to 80 km
Max Range (Pure Electric Mode): up to 55 km
Max Load: 100 kg
Battery: 10Ah 36V (360Wh)
Motor: 250W DC Motor
Motor Rated Speed: 326 rpm
Rated Voltage: 36V
Charging Time: About 5 hours
Weight & SizeProduct Weight: 22.5 kg
Package Weight: 27.5 kg
Product Size(L x W x H):  1400 x 550 x 1050mm(unfolded); 860 x 650 x 400mm(folded)
Package Size(L x W x H):  825 x 440 x 645mm
Package Contents1 x Himo Z16 E-Bike
1 x Wrench
1 x Foot pedal
1 x Power Charger with Adaptor
1 x User Manual

Who is the Himo Z16 aimed at?

If you’re after a cheap single-speed electric bike, then the Xiaomi Himo Z16 is a hard act to follow for the price. It’s true, they are cheaper options available, but when I test an e-bike I look at the sum of its components. The Z16 isn’t groundbreaking technology, but its price puts it within the reach of a lot of potential e-bike buyers. If you’re looking for an electric bike to take you from one end of the city to another – you could do a lot worse. It’s also a good leisure bike – as long as you’re riding mellow, undulating terrain it’s a good e-bike. But a word of warning – if you have steep hills to negotiate, I would opt for the Z20 which has six gears.

the himo z16 folded and unfolded

Where can I buy the Himo Z16?

The Himo Z16 is easy to get hold of if you live in the EU and UK. It may also be available from selected retailers in the US and Canada, although due to the more relaxed e-bike laws in those countries, it’s unlikely to be that popular.


The Xiaomi Himo Z16 is a good addition to the many folding electric folding bikes currently available. Does it possess any qualities that place its head and shoulder above the rest? In my opinion, it does what it says on the tin! It’s not great, but it’s not all that bad either. The Z16 offers good value for money looking for those that are looking for a cheap and effective alternative to commuting to work (without working up a sweat),

blue himo z16 fully folded

Its simplistic single-speed design and the fact it folds quickly and easily will mean the Himo Z16 will appeal to commuters. As with most cheap folding e-bikes, it is a little on the heavy side at around the 20kg mark.

Having ridden the Z16, it’s hard to find fault considering the price. The legality of the throttle control may put some potential buyers off – it could be disconnected, but then you would lose the benefit of 100% of the 250 watts of power.  Maybe with upcoming e-scooter legislation (in the UK), the government will look again at throttles on e-bikes. At present you can only legally use a throttle on an electric bike purchased before 2016, or on an e-bike conversion kit fitted to a used bicycle.

It would be nice to see a pedal assist-only version where you can have 3 different levels of e-assist without the need to fit a throttle, but apart from that the Himo Z16 is a great value folding e-bike and it would certainly pay for itself with the money saved from fuel or public transport within a few months of use.

👉Check out the best electric bikes for under £500 / €500

Thanks for reading, if you own a Himo Z16, please feel free to leave a review in the comments section below. If you have any questions regarding this bike I usually reply within 24hrs.

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    1. Hi,
      The best option would be to fit a throttle but you would need to change the motor controller (silver junction box hidden in the frame). You can find the controllers and throttles on eBay or Amazon and they’re usually fairly cheap (around €35). You will need something like this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/363863223774

      1. Zdravím, ovládání plynu má ale motor naskočí až při rychlosti 5km/h a do menu se nemohu dostat

  1. Hi, Tony. Thank you for this review. I got one Himo z16, but it came without handle throttle. I see that I can buy the handle throttle, but I don’t know if my bike has the cable. (orange connection). Do you have any tip to help me? I read that you already did this. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Adriano,

      If you have the latest 2022/2023 Himo Z16 model it’s possible that it doesn’t have a throttle connector. They have removed it to comply with EU e-bike laws. I tested the Himo ZB20 a while back and that also didn’t have a throttle connector.


  2. Himo z16 Max on uusi versio tästä z16 compact nimellä kulkevasta sähköpyörästä. Tässä compact versiossa on joitakin ongelmia: ketjukiristimiä on vain yksi ketjun puolella. Pyörä ei oikein kestä polkemista ylämäkeen, kun takapyörä vääntyy vinoon. Takajarrua on mahdotonta saada säädettyä hyvin toimimaan, koska takapyörää ei saa suoraan ja vaikka saisikin se ei millään pysy suorassa jos polkimia käytetään akun säästämiseksi. Valoissa tai heijastimissa ei ole e-merkintöjä ja jarruvalo on keltainen. Takimmainen sisärengas hyvin ohut ja ei pidä ilmaa.

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