Oyama CX E8D Series II Folding Ebike Review

Electrified commuter for tight spaces.

Oyama has made folding bikes since 1998.
Oyama has made folding bikes since 1998.Julia LaPalme

China- and Taiwan-based Oyama is a fairly new brand to the US market, having crossed the Pacific in 2017. The company has been in business for half a century, and it started making folding bicycles in 1998. The initial line arriving stateside included a $1,300 folding ebike, the CX E8D (now priced at $1,499). The Oyama CX E8D Series II is a refinement of that electric folder, with a host of upgraded components and a higher-power rear hub motor.

The CX E8D in its fully folded configuration.
The CX E8D in its fully folded configuration.Julia LaPalme

What Is an Oyama CX E8D Series II?

The Oyama CX E8D Series II is a Class 1 (pedal assist up to 20 mph) folding electric bike built on the company’s own patented folding alloy frame. The bike folds down into a package measuring about 28 x 26 x 18 inches for easy storage in an office, apartment, bus, train, car, or boat. It can also be wheeled easily by hand in the fully folded position. All Oyama folding bikes come with a rear rack, and the CX E8D Series II is no exception.

The standard rear rack provides carrying capacity, and the ebike’s taillight and headlight enhance safety.
The standard rear rack provides carrying capacity, and the ebike’s taillight and headlight enhance safety.Julia LaPalme

It’s also equipped with a headlight and taillight that turn on as soon as the display is powered up. Speaking of the display, this LCD screen provides essential information when the bike is in motion (battery charge, assist level, current speed) without overwhelming the rider with too many data fields.

Power comes courtesy of a 350W Aikema brushless rear hub motor and a compact 36V battery integrated into the folding frame. The system offers eight levels of pedal assist.

The Shimano Revoshift twist shifter efficiently moved the electric folder through its eight speeds.
The Shimano Revoshift twist shifter efficiently moved the electric folder through its eight speeds.Julia LaPalme

The electric folder rolls on 20-inch wheels dressed in 2.125-inch-wide Kenda tires with reflective striping on the sidewalls. A Shimano Revoshift twist shifter moves a Shimano Altus eight-speed derailleur up and down the cassette.

The folding stem is Oyama’s own design, and the seatpost measuring more than 20 inches long allows riders of just about any size to get full leg extension aboard the ebike. A pair of Tektro Auriga Sub hydraulic disc brakes—an upgrade from the mechanical disc brakes found on the original CX E8D—rounds out the package.

The CX E8D weighed 44 pounds on the Cycle Volta scale.

Drag from the hub motor was less pronounced on the Oyama than some other hub-drive ebikes we’ve ridden.
Drag from the hub motor was less pronounced on the Oyama than some other hub-drive ebikes we’ve ridden.Julia LaPalme

How Does the Oyama CX E8D Series II Ride?

Our initial spin aboard the CX E8D Series II was a bit unsettling. Pedaling motion caused a terrible creaking sound. After a quick once-over, we found that the frame hinge just needed lubrication. Silent running from then on.

We experienced a brief delay for the electric assist to kick in on the CX E8D Series II, but once it gets going the power delivery is smooth and consistent. Drag while coasting is a common problem with hub motors, but it was much less of a factor here compared with other hub-drive ebikes we’ve tested at Cycle Volta.

The folding ebike is no lightweight, but it can be easily carried.
The folding ebike is no lightweight, but it can be easily carried.Julia LaPalme

Although the folder is clearly inclined toward last-mile trips and errand running rather than covering long distances, we still wanted to test its range. Toggling through the various modes on a mostly flat route, we went 32 miles before exhausting the battery. Torque drops off precipitously as the battery reaches the end of its charge, and the last bit of juice gets delivered to the front and rear lights rather than the hub motor. At that point, muscling the Oyama forward becomes an unenviable chore. (And remember: It’s not good for your battery to run it all the way down.)

The Tektro Auriga Sub hydraulic brakes provided fine modulation.
The Tektro Auriga Sub hydraulic brakes provided fine modulation.Julia LaPalme

The Tektro Auriga Sub hydraulic disc brakes were a welcome surprise, delivering the smooth modulation and stopping power of a much higher-spec brake. And the Shimano Revoshift twist shifter—with an easy-to-understand gear indicator—is much more approachable for less-experienced cyclists than a dual-trigger flat-bar shifter.

We weren’t fans of the Oyama saddle on longer rides.
We weren’t fans of the Oyama saddle on longer rides.Julia LaPalme

The bike’s touch points need work. Riders with bigger hands will appreciate the cushy large-diameter oval-shaped grips, but might be annoyed that they tend to rotate out of their most comfortable ergonomic position. We were constantly twisting them back into place. Applying hairspray or motorcycle grip glue inside the grips would solve the problem. The Oyama-badged saddle also became extremely uncomfortable after about 30 minutes aboard the bike. Admittedly, that likely won’t be a problem if the ebike is used predominantly for shorter trips.

Those minor issues don’t overshadow the fact that the CX E8D Series II is a reasonably priced and compact package suited for urban dwellers living in tight spaces, train commuters, or dedicated bicycle commuters who need to bring their bike up in an elevator to their destination for the day.

The CX E8D Series II is priced at $1,999.
The CX E8D Series II is priced at $1,999.Julia LaPalme

How Much Does the Oyama CX E8D Series II Cost?

The CX E8D Series II retails for $1,999. It can be purchased consumer direct on Oyama’s website or through the brand’s network of independent bicycle dealers. To find the shop nearest you, visit the dealer locator at oyama.com.