(Product prices are subject to changes and could be higher than the stated price range.)
I put 7 of the best electric bikes under $500 to the test. Can e-bikes replace cars?...you'll find out here!
As a rider who snubbed e-bikes for a long time, I eventually hired an electric mountain bike and my bike world was changed forever...I'm not even exaggerating.
I will happily tell anybody who disregards e-bikes, just how good they truly are.
Anyway, enough of my rant. My favorite was the Ancheer bike.
The battery is impressive. You get throttle mode. The frame is aluminum. It's a lot of product for the money! Not to mention the quality build. Ancheer has really pulled it out of the bag with this one.
Let's get straight into the bikes under $500 review so you can see what you think!
*Depending on the working model.
I'll kick off by saying this e-bike is at a fantastic price point and is packed with features.
As you'd expect it's 100% electric so there are zero emissions and it's powered by lithium batteries.
With this ebike, you get an LED headlight and a horn already installed, meaning you don't need to go out and purchase lights separately. Speaking as someone who paid a small fortune on lights...this is a huge benefit!
Naturally and understandably, people are concerned about electric bicycle theft. Shaofu has thought about this and has developed an app for your cell phone. From this app, you can lock your folding electric bike.
It features an aluminum alloy frame, and the rims are also aluminum. It's kept at a good weight of 12kg. In terms of weight, this is one of the best electric bike weights I've seen, especially when you factor in the size of the batteries.
The look of the bike is striking, it's reminiscent of dolphins. This style is on-trend at the moment.
Ensuring you stay comfortable, the seat can be adjusted.
This adult electric bike is easy to fold making it ideal for those commuting.
Now you're probably wondering...
How good is the battery?
The battery is good! You'll be good to get around 25 - 50km range out of it. In terms of power, it has a 350-watt motor - this will see you reach a top speed of 15mph.
Charging time is good too, at 3 hours you won't be waiting forever to be back on the road again. It's somewhat hard to believe that this bike falls into this price range given the number of features it has.
Rain shouldn't stop you from getting to work on your bike as this folding electric bike is IPX5 rated waterproof!
A brand that is known for creating high-quality electric bikes for adults and children alike.
The Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 is another fine example of their electric bikes under $500.
It comes preassembled and you get a choice of batteries!
If you take customer reviews into account, this bike has lots going for it and I'm minded to agree with the reviews!
To start with, you get an aluminum alloy frame so it's nice and lightweight - perfect if you need to carry it anywhere!
Speaking of needing to carry it...
This Swagtron Swagcycle folding electric bike can be folded three times so it really is compact when it needs to be.
There are two settings you can flip this bike into. The first is power assist mode, this will help you when you're pedaling so you won't need to put as much effort into climbing a hill as you would without a motor. Happy days!
The other type of power you can use is through the throttle, this will work up to around 15mph. If you're riding through a city, 15mph is probably the quickest you want to be going in all honesty!
Sure, there is the option to use the bike as a standard bike with no assistance. It's a good feature to have as one of the potential drawbacks to this bike is its range.
Whilst Swagtron claim that you can get around 15.5 miles out of the battery with the Swagtron Swagcycle, that's not what I found to be the case.
It does depend on the terrain, inclines, etc on where you're riding but in terms of performance, I would say you're looking closer to 7 - 10 miles on a single charge. Now for most, I dare say that isn't a problem and for flat routes, 15.5 miles could be achievable, it just wasn't my experience.
You do get a 250w motor and the lithium-ion battery only takes 5 hours to fully charge so it could be ready to get you back home after a full day in the office!
One point I seriously liked was what Swagtron calls, 'auto-guard technology'.
What is it?
Basically, it will automatically apply the stoppers when it senses you're in trouble. If you encounter hurdles that you may not have been expecting, the bike can react for you, allowing you to stay upright and nicely balanced!
One final gem, you get two battery options. You can choose between the standard battery and a removable battery.
It's a type of design feature that few bikes have at these prices and it's a superb product!
Ancheer is a name you can't avoid in the electric bike market...not that you'd want to avoid these bikes either!
This Ancheer is a folding ebike that is IPX5 rated waterproof, for under $500?
Yeah sounds great, doesn't it?
It actually gets better...
The Ancheer folding bike frame is constructed from aluminum alloy and as it's a foldable bike, it compacts down into a neat little package.
There is an Ancheer companion app you can download, this will keep track of the battery life, what speed you're doing and other key stats you may want to know. The bike can be locked through this app too!
Now, onto battery and power for these bikes...
You get a powerful motor of 350w with the Ancheer folding bike, paired up with a 36v 8ah Lithium-ion battery. The 350-watt motor will allow you to reach speeds of up to 15.5mpg, which is ideal for city biking.
The charge duration is seriously impressive and provides tremendous flexibility as it can be fully charged within 3 hours - all fantastic for a bike within this budget!
The wheels have been considered in the design process - I know you'd expect this but wheels can often be a final thought and a way to keep the costs down - not with the Swagtron!
Ride quality is a factor, an important one too, the wheels provide a good level of shock absorption so those inevitable bumps in the roads won't be felt too much. Traction on these tires is good too, though Ancheer doesn't recommend you use this bike for serious hills, it will be able to go up an incline of 10%.
If you're looking for an ebike to take to the mountain on a budget, then the GoPlus folding electric bike could be ideal for you! A superb product in the bikes under the $500 price range.
This folding electric mountain bike comes with an aluminum alloy frame. The front forks are made from carbon steel.
What does that mean for you?
It's strong! The frame is built to last, it gives you confidence that it's sturdy and durable design. Whilst many e-bikes aren't ideal for mountain use, the GoPlus relishes the challenge.
You get a very capable 250w motor with a 36v 8ah lithium battery. From that, you can expect a range between 15 to 30 miles!
Ok, the 30 miles is optimistic but not unrealistic providing the riding conditions are right.
If you're going to be doing 30 miles on a bike, you want to be comfortable which is why GoPlus has made it easy for you to adjust your riding position. A simple flip and fold lever allow you to make the adjustments you need.
Not many e-bikes come with headlights and this is the same for this model.
You do get reflectors so if night riding isn't something you'll be doing, then this could strike the perfect balance between visibility and budget. The reflectors as fitted to the pedals and the wheels.
To find alloy rims on electric bikes under $500 is a rare sight! And you know what? That's what you get on this folding electric bike!
The tires are made, as you expect from rubber, it's high-quality though so no corners cut here. The choice of rims and tires means that the bike will hold up well on wet roads.
Let's face it, if you're a commuter, you're going to find yourself cycling on wet roads now and then so it's nice to know your electric bicycle is more than capable!
Gears don't often get a mention with ebikes, as the motors tend to take care of themselves. This bike is different.
This model comes with a responsive 7-speed Shimano transmission system, allowing you to make the gearing decisions to allow you to scale those hills at the speed you want.
Here's a contender for the best electric bikes under $500!
The first major plus comes when this bike arrives, assembly is minimal.
Secondly, this bike is lightweight, especially considering the fact there's a high-performance motor onboard! It weighs in at 16.5kg and can hold up to 120kg.
There's more too...
Ensuring that other vehicles can see you on the road, there is a bright LED headlamp fitted to the front and you also get a horn to alert people of your presence. This is a nice safety touch, that I'm sure we all can appreciate!
You even get an LCD display so that you can monitor the range, battery and adjust the mode if need be.
A preference on an e-bike I like to have, which sadly this one doesn't feature a gear system. Sometimes having that ability to change down when the rider is faced with a hill and you just want to pedal harder.
Though there are other aspects of this electric bike that more than makes up for it, the disc braking system is a fine example! Durable and reliable braking is ideal for busy commuting territory.
As this is a folding electric bike, it has the huge advantage that you can pop it in your car when you need to take it to other places.
There are several working modes available, that can be changed within seconds from the handlebar.
Designed to go the distance, the Hiboy has a range capacity of 18.6 miles on a single charge - an impressive start!
The stats don't stop there, it's a 350w motor so quite a leap from others I've looked at. The icing on the cake is that it's a rear motor, meaning that hills (mountains if you're feeling ambitious) can be tackled more easily.
Hiboy claims that this ebike is capable of making it up a 15% climb. Now I didn't test that but any electric bike under 500 that can do that is remarkable!
The wheels on the Hiboy e-bike are 14 inches so a decent size, striking a balance between compact and useable!
Transportation of this electric bike is easy as it folds down to a manageable size.
Braking is solid with front and rear disc stoppers...did I mention that this bike is less than 500 dollars??
There are three riding modes so you have a good level of flexibility to choose the perfect one depending on your ride. This, of course, gives you the chance to maximize the battery too!
Maybe it's just me but the design and style of the bike does add to the riding experience, feeling good about what you're riding is important. The Hiboy bike is simple, elegant, and smart - ticking all the right boxes!
This e-bike is made with commuting in mind, where weather conditions can change more often than we like, with that these electric bikes come with both a head and tail light so you can make sure your visibility on the road is always good.
If I was looking for a downside, it would be that the battery cannot be removed. This can make charging the e-bikes battery is trickier. However, in this price range, I'm loathed to complain!
We're a little way into the best electric bikes under $500 reviews and maybe I'm saving one of the best to last?
This e-bike comes with a 5-speed gear shift system and 3 riding modes. All of this means you and your e-bike can reach a maximum speed of 15.5mph...almost like riding a motorcycle!
The great and exciting thing about having a choice of a 5-speed gear system, the electric assist mode will actually adjust the power needed based on your pedal frequency so you can have no worries about this e-bike taking you the distance.
You can use this e-bike as a regular bike, a feature that's always nice to have. It gives you the chance to take some exercise, it also takes away the worry of running out of power.
The lithium battery has a good capacity, coupled with the 250w brushless motor, you get everything you could want to ride through the city on your e-bike.
You could actually take this bike out of the city! The range with this bike is a staggering 37 miles on a single charge.
The charging duration is a very respectable 4 -5 hours.
Electric bikes need to be able to stop quickly. You can achieve higher speeds on an e-bike than you can on a regular bike (most of the time) so brakes are important items.
With the Macwheel electric bikes, you get a double braking system.
What does that mean for the rider?
It works on a combination of linear double disk brake and power-off brake - this reducing the braking distance, particularly on wet surfaces in not so pleasant weather conditions.
Despite this e-bike being on a budget, it still features front and rear lights so you're getting a lot of bicycle for your money!
You don't get a removable battery, this would inevitably hike the purchase price up beyond 500 dollars so that's no bad thing.
A lightweight e-bike, is due to the aluminum alloy frame, keeping the weight down.
Finally, you can track all the vital data from an LED display that shows data from the lithium battery and what mode you're currently in.
Before buying an electric bike, it's worth spending some time doing your research. Working out what features are important to you.
Here's something to get you started...
Not unsurprisingly brakes are important - they allow the rider to stop!
Disc brakes are the best choice, Shimano or SRAM are a worthy investment. They work well in the rain and wet conditions so ideal for commuters.
When I switched to disc brakes, I noticed a big difference and it meant I felt more confident about descending at greater speeds so they get my seal of approval.
Having said that...
If your bike will only be used in dry weather, then rim brakes are more than suitable.
As you may have discovered, not all electric bikes come with lights.
It probably shouldn't be the deciding factor or an issue when deciding the model of bike you choose but bear in mind that lights can be expensive (speaking from experience here).
Personally, I always ride with my lights on, even when the sun is shining.
Next time you see a cyclist with a light, note about how much sooner you noticed them because of their lights. I want to be the cyclist who gets noticed.
So whether your new electric bike does or doesn't come with lights, do yourself a favor and get some - there are plenty of types to choose from!
A little like mpg is listed on cars, the range is the given distance the manufacturer has supplied.
This figure is somewhat of an estimate and uses some basic assumptions based on assumed riders' weight, riding conditions, etc.
If I'm being honest, don't hold too much to this figure, unless you are planning on riding in perfect conditions on a flat road, you're unlikely to achieve the stated range.
You may not get far off that! It does depend on where and how you'll be riding.
Also do keep in mind that the range is likely factoring in that the rider will be using a pedal-assist system, which of course, may not be the case!
Many electric bikes have a PAS and the ability to use the full-electric mode and you will influence the power delivery.
What you may want to be mindful of is that some bikes only come with one of the options, not both. If that is the case you will need to decide if that is the setting you want.
Do remember, this could impact your overall range, battery, and mileage!
It is quite common these days for an electric mountain bike to come with a suspension, be that full or front shocks/fork.
For mountain biking, the addition of this is ideal, it takes things up another level for your ride!
The thing is, if you don't intend to spend much of your time on the trails or in fields, then it may not be needed. If you're wanting a bicycle for commuting, a suspension could be nice but not necessary. Sure, it'll enhance your comfort anywhere so if you can...go for it!
The addition of the front fork will take up more space and the bike won't be as easy to deal with when it comes to storage of it.
Feel ready to make a decision on the right bike?
Are you considering replacing your vehicle with an e-bike? Watch this!
As you can see, there is a good choice of electric bikes under $500. What is the best e-bike? That's up to you! Consider the type of adventure or ride you want to go on, what are the purposes of you wanting a bike?
Fancy one that can cover a good distance of say 30-mile range? Then I shall point you in the direction of the Macwheel Electric Bike.
What about an electric mountain bike? You'll want to check out GoPlus Folding Bike
My point is, it comes down to what features you want from e-bikes.
Brushless motor, lithium batteries, cruise control, weight, gears, designs, and gear system - the list genuinely goes on!
Fortunately for you, I've looked at the best electric bikes under $500 so you don't have to! You have a nice pre-made shortlist ready to hand.
More often than not, 500w is sufficient.
When deciding how much power you want/need, you need to think about the distance you need to cover and the type of terrain.
If we're talking about your average commute, a 250w motor will actually do the job perfectly happily.
However, if you'll be doing plenty of uphill climbing then a 500w motor will provide a means to do that with your electric bike.
It can be tempting to go for the biggest motor you can afford but if you don't need that power then you're just adding weight to your bike for no reason.
There are several variables on this but with a 500W motor, you're looking at a top speed of around 20 miles per hour.
This would require you to be at full throttle.
Want to know why you should look at electric bicycles? Here are 3 reasons!
That's was fun, wasn't it?
Do I have a favorite? Yes, I do 🙂
My gold star award goes to the Ancheer
These electric bikes are oozing with technology features and options, with the capability to connect to devices via Bluetooth.
Charging time is a cool 3 hours so there's no more hanging around with this one and that's my performance, as I'm sure it is with other readers!
Ancheer say that these models of e-bikes will still work, even after you've completely submerged them into water. Whilst, I like that claim, I'm not testing it! However, it does give you confidence in the durability and waterproof-ness of these e-bikes!
There are many more features I could add to the list but these e-bikes have plenty going for them.
With a top speed of 15 miles an hour, it will provide a means to get to work without the need for public transport.
For consumers looking for the best electric bikes under $500, I feel like you'd be hard-pushed to beat the Ancheer.
[Fancy splashing the cash a bit more? Check out Conrads' guide to e-bikes under $1000]