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Best Electric Bikes Under $500 To Add A Spark To Your Commute

Amy L

(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!

 

Our Best E-Bikes Under $500

Preview Bike Model Weight (KG) Range (miles) Battery Charge Time Top Speed (mph) Motor More Information
 Shaofu Folding e-bike Shaofu Folding e-bike  12 30 3 Hours 15 350w CHECK PRICE
 Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5  16.8 10 5 Hours 15.5 250w CHECK PRICE
 Ancheer Folding Bike Ancheer Folding Bike 12  15 3 Hours 15.5 350w CHECK PRICE
 GoPlus 20 GoPlus 20  14.5 30 8 Hours 15 250w CHECK PRICE
SAMEBIKE 14 inch Folding Electric Bike Samebike 250w  16.5 15 4 Hours 15.5 250w Check Price
 Hiboy P10 Folding eBike Hiboy P10 Folding eBike  16 21.6 4 Hours 15.5 350w CHECK PRICE
 Macwheel 16 Macwheel 16  18 37 4-5 Hours 15.5 250w CHECK PRICE

*Depending on the working model.

7 Of The Best Electric Bikes Under $500

1. Shaofu Folding e-bike

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!

Pros:

  • App and Bluetooth compatible
  • Headlight and rear light built-in
  • Disc brakes
  • Full one year warranty
  • Cruise Control setting
  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • Top speed of 15mph

Cons:

  • It's no mountain bike

2. Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5

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.

Best bit?

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.

Although...

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!

Pros:

  • Different power modes give you greater control
  • Becomes compact when folded
  • Auto-guard technology
  • Lithium batteries
  • Top speed of 15.5mph
  • V-brakes

Cons:

  • Battery life can be a little short
  • The rack has to be bought separately

3. Ancheer Folding Bike

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%.

Pros:

  • Full one-year warranty
  • Top speed of 15.5 miles an hour
  • 350-watt motor
  • Up to 15 miles range on a single charge
  • Can attach a smartphone to the handlebar

Cons:

  • Mileage can vary hugely depending on many factors

4. GoPlus 20'' Folding Bike

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.

However...

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.

Pros

  • Great tires for the money
  • Adjustable seat
  • Can cover impressive distances
  • Compatible with a Bluetooth app
  • Will take on a few mountains...and win!
  • 7-speed gear system
  • Top speed of 15 miles per hour
  • V-brakes
  • Full one year warranty

Cons

  • Manual pedaling can be a bit tough

5. Samebike 250w

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.

Pros

  • Can charge your phone through a USB connection
  • Removable lithium battery
  • Decent wheels
  • Many good safety features
  • Bluetooth and app connectivity
  • Top speed of 15.5mph
  • 3 working modes

Cons

  • Single-speed

6. Hiboy P10 Folding eBike

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!

Pros

  • Immensely comfortable seat
  • Really good battery design
  • Lots of features including
  • Top speed of 15.5 miles per hour
  • High-quality components

Cons

  • No removable battery

7. Macwheel 16'' Electric Bike

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.

Although...

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.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
  • Plenty of features for the budget
  • Pedaling only is an option
  • Top speed of 15.5mph
  • Pre-assembled
  • Over 30 miles range on a single charge

Cons

  • The battery isn't removable

Buyers' Guide: What To Look For When Buying An Electric Bike

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...

Brakes

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.

Lights

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.

Why?

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!

Range And Battery Life

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.

However...

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!

Pedal Assist System (PAS) Or Throttle

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!

Suspension

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!

FAQS

What is the best cheap electric bike?

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.

Is 500w enough for an ebike?

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.

Make sense?

How fast does a 500w electric bike go?

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!

Conclusion

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]

Amy L
About the Author
I'm Amy, A writer and when I'm not writing, I'm usually found on two wheels! I own several bikes; my favourite has to be my faithful Bianchi Infinito CV. We've been through a lot together - we've even been to Paris together...twice!. My first carbon bike. My first love. Cycling is my passion and climbing is my thing, so if there's a climb out there you think I should know about - let me know!
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