E-bikes are a great alternative to ordinary bicycles. They’re generally more cost-effective, convenient, powerful, environment-friendly, and faster than ordinary bicycles. However, they are typically more expensive because of the additional power source — but fear not! We’ve found some of the best electric bicycles under $500!
I’m going to try and break this down for you because I know that all the information you can get about electric bicycles is probably killing you. Here’s the deal: The power source of an electric bike is its rechargeable battery. It goes without saying that the type, size, and even number of batteries affect how fast the bike can go and how long it can last.
In a separate article, we also already discussed the different types of electric bicycles. Check it out to learn more about e-bikes.
We’ll discuss everything you need to know about the power source after we’ve gone through all our best electric bicycles under $500!
Top 3 Best Electric Bicycles Under $500
When we were researching the best electric bicycles under $500, we concluded that there are three which stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Let’s take a closer look at each below.
1. ANCHEER 14 Inch Wheel Folding Electric Bike
If you’re looking for a convenient way to get around town, while avoiding car traffic and parking hassles, then check out the ANCHEER 14 Inch Wheel Folding Electric Bike! This comfortable, compact e-bike fits easily in small spaces and it’s made from high-quality materials. It also comes with a powerful motor to help ensure a smooth ride.
The ANCHEER 14″ Wheel Folding Electric Bike definitely looks like a bike — it’s got two wheels, pedals, and a handlebar. It’s even got lights! It could be mistaken for a small motorcycle, but it’s not. You don’t have to register it with the DMV, you don’t need a motorcycle license or insurance, and you can pretty much ride this bike anywhere as long as the road is flat enough.
Close enough to electric bicycles under $500, the ANCHEER 14 Inch Wheel Folding Electric Bike is a show-stopping hit! Its unique dolphin shape makes it not only a comfortable ride but also a stylish way to get around town.
A high-speed 500W brushless motor powers your commute and gives you the ability to pedal all the way up hills with a top speed of 20 mph. The 48V system is designed for long rides while still being portable and easy to store, making it the perfect travel companion.
Next, its innovative aluminum alloy frame makes it lightweight and durable. So durable, in fact, that this bike will be going strong long after you’ve left it behind for greener pastures (as we all do).
The 3 concerns for this folding e-bike are random and/or continuous honking, and occasionally unresponsive brake lever, and some minor issues with the companion app. But other than that, it’s a fantastic COMMUTER e-bike that’ll save you hundreds on Ubers over the summer. It’s a bit hard to miss out on the fun come warmer weather!
2. Swagtron EB5 Folding E-Bike
When it comes to e-bikes, most people are concerned about the weight of the product. The Swagtron EB-5 Folding E-Bike is lightweight and easy to transport, making it one of the best electric bicycles under $500 for those who want a simple solution for a better commute. And it’s not just about commuting — if you’re looking for an e-bike that you can fold up and fit under your desk, this is the one for you.
The Swagtron EB5 Folding E-Bike is ready to ride right out of the box. No assembly required! The lightweight frame and small 14-inch wheels make it easy to ride through town, come rain or shine.
You can ride The Swagtron EB5 Folding E-Bike up to 15.5 miles after 4-5 hours of charging time. With a maximum load of 264 pounds, it’s perfect for people of all shapes and sizes! Plus, you’ll never find yourself without a ride simply because the battery died. It’s got you covered on that front, too!
There are plenty of perks to be had with the Swagtron B-5 Folding E-Bike, but if you’re 6’1 or 6’2, you should consider getting a different bike. If you can’t get your hands on some extra power in case the battery dies (or just want to go faster!), then this may not be the best option for you either.
3. Vivi 21 Speed Electric Mountain Bicycle
This amazing bike weighs less than 60 pounds, enough for you to pedal without feeling weighed down. The best part is that it’s also waterproof. Even better, all of the bike’s accessories and cables can be removed immediately — which means you can ride faster and farther!
Shimano 21 technology means smooth, controlled shifting, and is widely recognized as the best technology available for bicycles. But it’s Vivi’s commitment to safety that really takes the cake! I’m not joking – Vivi’s engineers have placed a huge emphasis on keeping riders safe while zipping around town, whether on uneven pavement or slick streets.
One of the best electric bicycles under $500 (+$160 at Sears but absolutely worth it!), The Vivi 21 Speed Electric Mountain Bicycle is made of superior quality, and so are the parts that make them up. The shock absorbers and breaks allow you to stop at a moment’s notice if need be. The motor is also pretty quiet, all things considered. There is no complex assembly or disassembly required to go from riding the bike to storing it — just pop the battery clip out and place the bike on its kickstand.
If you prefer not to spend all your free time charging your bike, then this model has got you covered. Thanks to its power storage technology, the bike only needs to be charged after every trip, which should take no more than 4-6 hours.
With a one-year warranty, this electric bike will give you the freedom to ride how you see fit. It has three riding modes that allow you to personalize your experience. If you want to ride in a more relaxed manner, you can take your bike out of its sportier mode. If you’re trying to get somewhere quickly, you can switch to a faster mode and ride with more energy. It is the perfect mode of transportation for those with active lifestyles.
This e-bike folds up easily enough, but the handlebars don’t fold over to make it small enough to put in a car boot (trunk). The battery life is a bit shorter than expected, but it’s fine for shorter commutes. It’s a smooth ride, but the brakes screech a bit when used.
The Vivi 21 Speed Electric Mountain Bicycle isn’t going to set the world alight. It’s not meant to — but it is a fun little ride that’s perfect for casual use, and is great value for money. There are a couple of issues with this bike that may put some people off, but overall it’s a solid performance at a good price.
Check out this review post of the best electric bicycle on the market if you’re looking for better e-bikes.
Before Getting Electric Bicycles Under $500
When you’re looking to buy one of the best electric bicycles under $500, it can be a bit of a gamble. There are so many options out there, and the wrong choice can leave you frustrated with your purchase. But the good news is that there are a few things you can keep in mind to help yourself decide what electric bike is right for you.
You know what they say – The heavier the rider, the bigger the torque! Torque measurement refers to the amount of force that is applied to the pedal. This means that the more weight you have on your bike, the easier it will be to peddle up even the steepest hills. It’s also perfect for people who like to go fast on rough terrain.
Electric bikes tend to use one of two types of motors: a hub motor, or a mid-drive motor. An electric bike with a hub motor usually offers more torque and higher top speed, whereas a mid-drive offers more assistance at a lower top speed.
At what speed do you want to bike? While there are lots of differences between electric bikes and regular ones, the most noticeable is that each electric bike is known for its varying speeds. As such, you need to ask yourself, ‘What is my preferred speed?’ If you expect to travel fast, search for a model that can go as fast as 20 mph.
A lighter structure is usually associated with better performance and convenience. However, when it comes to durability, a heavier structure usually trumps a lighter one. Which should you go for?
While the more expensive electric bikes are substantially lighter, you do not need to spend more than $500 to get a lightweight e-bike. Just make sure you’re buying your bike from an established company with great reviews and a solid return policy in case the bike doesn’t work for you.
Because the range of an electric bike depends on your particular needs, it’s also important to know what kind of terrain you’ll be riding on most often. If you’re always just riding around your neighborhood or city, you’ll probably want to look at electric bicycles under $500 that are smaller and with less range that costs less to maintain.
While it’s certainly true that electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, are highly desirable to many people, it is often the case that the smaller or more lightweight they are, the more portable and easy to transport they become. An e-bike that folds will be even more compact and convenient for travel. It can be put in a car trunk, stored under a desk at work, or even carried onto public transportation.
Disc brakes are a widely used braking system for your bike. You’ll usually find them on the rear wheel — discs are larger than other wheel cylinders, so they can handle greater force. Discs have two main types: mechanical and hydraulic. The former uses cables to work, while the latter utilizes brake fluid.
If power is your thing, then mechanical brakes are what you’re looking for. If you want something that’s super-efficient, hydraulic disc brakes are what you’ll need. The choice between these two is often a matter of preference, rather than one of efficiency. There are also drum brakes, which don’t require any fluid at all. Their performance is widely considered inferior, however.
E-bikes with disc brakes have a number of advantages over typical pedals. For one thing, they are extremely efficient and can even be used in heavy rain (though not underwater). They don’t need too much maintenance. Although they can overheat, more expensive e-bikes have the necessary mechanisms in place to prevent overheating.
The materials often used for e-bike frames include:
Durable and long-lasting, a steel frame is a great idea if you plan to cycle in hilly areas, or if you want your bike to last. However, steel frames are quite heavy, which can make them unsuitable for use on rough terrain or unpaved roads. The biggest drawback to steel frames is that if they do dent, it can be tricky to repair or change them. Cheap steel frames can also rust, causing them to crack; repairing these can be costly.
If you’re looking for something impact-resistant, steel maybe your best option. However, if you’re concerned about weight and sturdiness, consider a different frame material.
If you’re shopping for an affordable bike, you’re probably in the market for an aluminum frame. These are easy to work with and lightweight, which means they are easier to make and cost less. You do have to be a little more careful when riding because while aluminum is strong it’s not as shock absorbent as steel or carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber frames are incredibly light and durable — they’re the perfect combination of the best traits of different materials. E-Bikes with Carbon frame construction provide the best at shock absorption, which makes them highly desirable for electric bikes, where you’ll be doing a lot of stop-and-go traffic. They might be a bit more expensive, but carbon fiber will make your commute so much better that you’ll forget all about the money you spent.
Without batteries, electric bikes just wouldn’t work. The battery is the heart of your e-bike, keeping it alive until you decide to pedal again. But which battery should you choose for your new e-bike?
Your e-bike’s battery is one of the most important features. More than anything else, you want your e-bike to be reliable and convenient. That’s why you should never buy an e-bike with a battery that takes too long to charge — you don’t want to wait 8-10 hours every time you want to use it. Instead, invest in one with a battery you can rely on!
When it comes to batteries, there’s one very important rule: knowing when to charge them. Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) and Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) batteries can be charged in a similar manner. Both can be charged for at least three hours only. LI-Po batteries have a higher charge capacity and can be fully charged quicker than Li-Ion batteries. However, this means the lifespan is shorter and most devices only recommend charging for four hours at most. With LI-Ion batteries, the charge is sustained over a longer period of time but takes longer to charge.
There are electric bicycles under $500 that can be recharged whenever the rider wishes to ride, without switching to electronic mode. The pros who buy this type of bike don’t regret it.
Lead-acid batteries are the most affordable, but they’re not the best option for your electric bicycles. If you’re trying to save money, a nickel-metal hydride battery is a better choice. Why? It lasts longer and recharges more often. But if you can afford it, lithium-ion is easily the best choice for any device.
Voltage and Capacity
The total capacity of a given battery is a pretty easy concept to understand. It’s the total amount of energy that thing can hold. It’s measured in milliamp-hours or mAh. Voltage’s also a simple concept. It’s a measure of electric potential. The higher the voltage, the more “juice” there is to power your e-bike.
When you’re on the lookout for electric bicycles under $500, there are a number of considerations. You should consider how far you’ll use it, how much you’re willing to invest, and what your general purpose of needing it is. If your commute is long, for example, you’ll likely need a powerful battery to get you through those distances. If you live in the city and tend to use your bike around town, something that stores easily is a smart investment. Given your specific circumstances and needs, hopefully, you’ll find one that suits you best.