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5 Best Electric Bikes Under $500 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking for a way to commute without spending too much money or energy, then electric bikes may be the answer. 

Unlike regular bikes, electric ones made convenience a priority. You won’t need to pedal as much.

Meaning, you won’t come up all sweaty to wherever you’re going to. You also don’t have to worry about long rides. 

The issue of some, though, lies in the price. If you are one of them, then this article can help you.

We have provided five of the best electric bikes under $500 in the next sections.

Best Electric Bikes Under $500

What to Look for in an Electric Bike

Even if you’re working on a budget, you still have to be picky about the kind of electric bike that you’ll buy.

For reference, here are the factors that you should look at:

  • Portability
  • Maximum Speed
  • Maximum Range
  • Battery Life
  • Supported Weight

Of course, the right settings will depend on where you will use the electric bike. You have to take the places that you will frequently go to into account. 

1. Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5

 

For the first electric bike on our list, we have the Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5. This is probably one of the most hi-tech options that you can find.

This features a folding aluminum-made e-bike. Compared to others in this price range, you can expect a lot of exclusive functions. 

Here are the technical specs of this model:

  • Weight: 37lbs
  • Maximum Speed: 15 MPH
  • Maximum Range: 15.5 miles
  • Battery Life: Depends on speed; Runs out in a 15-mile distance
  • Max. Supported Weight: 264lbs
  • Wheel Size: 14-Inch

This also comes with additional boosting features to make it easier for the rider. For instance, you can turn the pedal-to-go feature on to increase the motor’s power, and thus, your speed.

On the flip side, if you want to fully be free from pedalling work, you can use the no-pedaling technology.

The brand also gave importance to breaking. The bike comes with autoguard technology.

This automatically disintegrates the motor so you can stop instantly even at full speed. This will prevent accidents.

What made the unit even better are the built-in USB ports. With this, you can charge your devices on the go.

One issue that you may find is the battery life. If you go continuously at full speed, the battery will last one hour at most.

You should consider buying a spare battery so you can easily swap it out in between rides.

2. Ancheer 12-Inch Folding Bike

 

Ancheer has pretty good offers for e-bikes under $500. Here, we are specifically going to focus on the Ancheer 12-Inch Folding Bike.

This folding aluminum-based bike is best for commuting. Despite its price, this supports almost all types of terrains, weather, and even country trails.

Below are the features offered by this unit:

  • Weight: 39.7lbs
  • Maximum Speed: 20 MPH
  • Maximum Range: 18-20 miles
  • Battery Life: Depends on speed; Runs out in a 20-mile distance
  • Max. Supported Weight: 265lbs
  • Wheel Size: 12-Inch

Ancheer focused on monitoring-based features. It comes with a Bluetooth system. You can connect this with your smartphone or tablet.

Doing so will give you access to the bike’s current stats like its battery, speed, ride time, and likes. This is also where you can switch the speed modes, and lock the bike when not in use.

The main asset of the model is its waterproof structure. This allows it to maintain its performance even during the rainy season. 

For the brakes, you can expect a dual-disc brake system. Not only will this assure easier stopping, but will also improve terrain climbing.

Compared to others, this already has an above-average speed and mileage. You may, however, find it lacking when it comes to the wheel size.

If you want a bigger one, you will need to pay a little more than $500.

3. Shaofu Electric Bike

shaofu Folding Electric Bike– 350W 36V Electric Bicycle Waterproof E-Bike with 15 Mile Range, Collapsible Frame, and APP Speed Setting

 

The next on our list is another folding electric bike. The Shaofu E-Bike is famous for being an eco-friendly option.

As this is fully electric-powered, you can expect this to be free of emissions. Aside from this, the model is also famous for having a dolphin-inspired design.

For reference, below is an overview of the electric bike’s specs:

  • Weight: 35.27lbs
  • Maximum Speed: 15.5 MPH
  • Maximum Range: 15 Miles
  • Battery Life: Depends on speed; Runs out in a 15-mile distance
  • Max. Supported Weight: 260lbs
  • Wheel Size: 12-Inch

The Shaofu Electric Bike comes with an app. This is compatible with both Android and iOS systems.

Here, you can choose your desired speed mode. This also allows motor locking, e-bike self-test, and mileage tracking.

Note that this comes with 7-speed modes for better flexibility. This is its main asset.

Like the former, this also has a waterproof design. This makes it suitable for all types of weather. 

Some riders had problems with using this on rough tracks, though. If your usual path involves this, then you may need to look for something with better specs.

Still, this is already a good choice for beginners.

4. Nakto 26″ 250W Cargo-Electric Bicycle

 

 

Nakto is one of the best brands of electric bikes. This model can give incredible performance as it has a 6-gear system.

Although the bike is commonly marketed for women, it really is great for anybody, even men.

The gear system offers speed control. The tires are also huge at 26 inches. What I like is the frame that is made with high-carbon steel. It works great even in rough terrains.

Here are the key features:

  • 250-watt motor; uses brushes motor
  • Uses 36-V lithium-ion battery; this battery is removable
  • Has Shimano system gears
  • The maximum speed of 25 miles per hour
  • A single charge can deliver 30 miles
  • Has front and back brakes

Overall, the bike can accommodate up to 250 pounds of weight. It has a shock absorber, plus you can attach a basket at the front.

The bike is lightweight, so it will not be difficult to carry around. Another thing that I want to emphasize is the removable battery. You can replace it with a new one if you want. the seat is also adjustable, and it has a quick-release system.

5. Sailnovo Y1-14 14″ Electric Bike

 

The Sailnovo is a bike that has 14 inches of wheels. It is small compared t the previous one, but it does pack power.

For one, the unit is made of durable aluminum, and this makes the bike lightweight. It only weighs 55 pounds.

The motor uses 350-watts, and the battery is a 36-V lithium-ion. With these two combined, the bike can peak at 30 kilometers per hour.

A single charge can deliver 28 miles of travel.

Here are the key features:

  • Mode selection – has three modes. These are electric bikes, pedal-assisted, and traditional.
  • Lithium-ion battery that has long mileage
  • LCD – you can read the battery life and your speed
  • Has brake on front and back plus horn and bright LED for added safety

The bike has a loading capacity of 264 pounds and can fit riders up to 5 feet in height. It has shock absorbers, and this feature will give you a comfortable riding experience.

The shocks make it easier for you as you ride on bumpy terrains.

Motor Power

The motor of the electric bike is a key component. It’s what makes your ride speed up and accelerate.

If it’s not powerful enough, then you’ll be stuck at low speeds for longer periods of time. We recommend going for anything that has 250 watts or more in power.

Battery & Mileage

The quality of the battery life determines how long you can ride your bike. The power and size of batteries determine what type of terrain it is able to overcome, as well as its speed and distance range.

The mileage of an electric bike can vary depending on the mode. If you’re riding in assist mode, then your battery will last longer and it’ll help you exercise as well.

Battery charging time varies among models but can take between 3 and 5 hours. Some bikes come with swappable batteries that can be purchased separately, allowing the user to ride around on one battery while another is being charged.

Brakes

Modern bikes have many different braking systems to choose from. Some of these, like the caliper-style system work well for preventing bike accidents and crashes but only if they are set properly which can be a hassle sometimes.

Modern e-bikes now incorporate regenerative braking technology that helps with stopping power by using some energy back in order to recharge your battery.

In order to stay safe, it’s important that you have both disc brakes on your bike. The majority of bikes these days are equipped with a newer braking system, some even come standard with the caliper-style brake which is great for stopping power and efficiency.

Modern e-bikes now include regenerative breaks in their design as well, which help provide additional stopping power while also helping charge up the battery.

Top Speed

Some electric bikes can go much faster than others. For those that simply don’t care about speed and instead prioritize cost or battery life, a cheaper model may work best for them.

Electric bikes under $500 usually max out at around 20 mph.

Lights

As a cyclist, you may have found that not all electric bikes come with lights. Lights are important and essential if you’re going to ride at night.

Lights also come in handy in the daytime since they provide extra visibility from pedestrians and oncoming traffic. For safety reasons, there are plenty of options out on the market that range in price depending on what type of lights you’re looking for.

There are 3 types of e-bike riding modes, including Full Electric Mode (the preferred mode), Pedal Assist Mode, and the more difficult but traditional ‘pedal only’ mode. If you’re looking to travel long distances with little effort, go for Pedal Assist.

Many electric bikes feature a pedal-assist system and the option to use full power. You should be aware that some models may not have both, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for your preferences.

This will impact how far you can go on each battery charge as well as mileage

Suspension

It’s common for electric mountain bikes to come with a suspension, but it isn’t necessary unless you’re planning on spending lots of time off-road. If you want an e-bike for commuting though, comfort is nice and having a suspension can enhance your experience anywhere.

If comfort and convenience are important factors in your purchasing decision, then a front or full shock/fork should definitely be considered.

Frame & Adjustability

When choosing a bike, it’s important to consider the durability of the frame. We recommend an aluminum alloy or high-grade carbon steel frame as they are durable and strong enough for carrying extra weight while biking.

As per wheels hubs and forks, we suggest you go with Carbon-metal material which is long-lasting so your ride remains smooth even after traveling on bumpy roads or trails over time.

It is important that you look for a bike with seat and handle height adjustments to ensure comfort. This adjustment feature allows the same bike to be enjoyed by more than one person, in case you need to share the bike with family or friends.

Portability

Whether you want to take your bike from place A to B or store it at home, there are many options. If the weight is an issue for you and traveling by a heavy bike isn’t fun, opt for one that’s under 40lbs (18kg). You could also look into foldable bikes because they’re compact and easy to store.

Technology

The majority of electric bikes will have Bluetooth connectivity and LCD monitors. These tools allow you to monitor your distance covered, speed, and battery level.

They can also connect with a USB cable so that you may charge your smartphone while riding. 

Bikes without LCD monitors can have their speed, distance traveled and battery life monitored using your smartphone. It is important to keep an eye on some crucial information while riding for safety purposes.

Modes of Riding

The best electric bikes have a minimum of three different modes which include throttle mode, assisted riding mode, and a normal bike mode. These different modes allow you to control the speed of your ride while also preserving battery power.

The addition of gears helps improve one’s biking experience as they can be shifted according to the terrain.

Weight Capacity

To determine which bike to go for, it is important to consider the weight of the rider. To be safe and have a great experience on your electric bicycle, look for one that has at least 220 pounds as its minimum capacity. Anything more than this will also be great. 

Storage Space

If you have a smaller storage space, it might be best to choose the foldable option. You’ll also want something lighter if your bike will need to go upstairs.

Terrain

When purchasing an electric bike, consider the terrain you intend to ride on. For people who are interested in biking on terrains that are hilly, it is important to purchase mountain bikes.

For those living or planning trips to places where the terrain is smooth and flat, road bikes may be more suitable for you.

Travel Distance

To make sure you have enough range, buy a bike with batteries that can last twice as long as the distance from your starting point to where you plan ongoing. This is so that when riding on hills or other strenuous conditions, there will still be enough battery to power back home.

Also consider checking reviews for different bikes to confirm the actual range advertised by the manufacturer. 

Budget

Some manufacturers and brands are known for having a good reputation but also come with high prices. It is best to find one that fits your budget and has an established great track record of producing quality products.

FAQ

How fast does a 500w electric bike go?

A 500-watt motor can get you to a top speed of around 20 miles per hour.

Are electric bikes worth it?

Electric bikes can be an effective way to save money, improve health and socialize with the community. The real advantage of electric bikes is their effectiveness in climbing hills or going against strong winds without sacrificing range.

If you are looking to save money on transportation, an electric bike might be the solution. The purchase price is slightly higher than a traditional bicycle but not as much of an investment compared to other vehicles like motorcycles and cars.

Electric bikes require little upkeep which can help keep costs down over time when considering maintenance or repairs versus gas consumption for more expensive modes of transport.

Do electric bikes charge when you pedal?

Some electric bikes are self-charging, but most aren’t. Yours might be a model that recharges itself when you pedal it.

If you are interested in getting an electric bike and want to preserve energy, help the environment, reduce wear on your brakes and extend battery life by capturing some of the braking energy, consider going for a model that offers this feature.

What are the advantages of electric bikes?

  • Enables seniors or those physically unable to travel longer distances
  • Allows you to travel faster than a regular bicycle and makes going uphill easier
  • Easy to maintain
  • You can cycle normally which may help with weight loss

What are the disadvantages of electric bikes?

  • With its heavy frame, it can be difficult to store away and hard to pedal up a hill if the battery runs out of power
  • Some models have shorter battery life and long charging time
  • They cost double the price of a standard bicycle

Are electric bikes Good for hills?

Electric bikes are perfect for powering over a variety of terrains and inclines. They’re even better if your bike has a mid-drive motor, which is optimal for managing steep hills quickly.

How long do electric bikes last?

An electric bike can last anywhere from 10 to over 20 years depending on how you take care of it. If you’re conscientious about maintenance, there’s no reason why it couldn’t live beyond a decade or more.

Are electric bikes good for exercise?

Riding an electric bike is still great for exercise because you still have to pedal and burn calories. It’s like riding a normal bicycle but it might be easier if the battery provides some assistance. 

Is it hard to pedal an electric bike?

Some electric bikes have a throttle, so you don’t need to pedal at all when riding. However, even if your bike has a throttle it’s more fun and beneficial for you to put in the effort needed to ride uphill as well instead of just using the motorized assistance.

Riding bikes is a great exercise that helps extend both the life of your battery and yourself too.

How often should I charge my electric bike?

You should recharge your electric bike’s battery as soon as you can after it runs out of power. We recommend charging every time before a ride so the bicycle is always ready to go

How fast does a 1000w electric bike go?

With the power of a 1000w electric motor, your new electric bike can go speeds up to 35 mph on flat ground.

Can electric bikes be used manually?

Electric bikes can be used manually without the electrics switched on. 

How long will an electric bike battery last before needing to be replaced?

An electric battery is expected to last between 2 and 4 years if it’s well maintained.

Are 500 watts enough for an electric bike?

500 watts is the minimum power required to surpass 20 mph.

Can electric bikes be used in the rain?

Yes, you can ride your electric bike in the rain. It is recommended that you check with your electric bike manufacturer to see if it has been rated for riding during wet conditions, as not all models are able to.

Electric bikes remain highly effective regardless of what weather they encounter while being used.

Can you ride an electric bike with a flat battery?

If your electric bike’s battery dies during a ride, you can still get home by pedaling it.

Do you need a license to drive an electric bike?

Some electric bikes are an affordable and eco-friendly alternative for drivers who have been disqualified from driving. These special types of electric bikes don’t need to be registered, insured, or taxed, nor do you even need a driver’s license.

Do electric bikes make you lazy?

There are so many benefits to riding an electric bicycle. If you have been wondering whether it makes you lazy, the good news is that E-bikes don’t and they’re a great way of exercising.

In fact, there are so many benefits to having one.

Can you overcharge an electric bike battery?

Electric bike’s battery life can be shortened by overcharging, which may cause overheating. Fortunately, modern electric bikes are built with a smart charging system that prevents this from happening and makes it impossible to damage the batteries by overcharging.

Can you leave an electric bike outside?

To protect your electric bike from the elements, we recommend bringing it in when you are not riding. Your frame can be stored wherever there is space such as a basement or shed.

However, remember to bring your battery inside on rainy days so that dew and moisture do not get into electrical components if they remain outside too long.

Summary

Having an electric bike is a big investment. It, however, doesn’t have to cost you a thousand dollars. Below is a summary of our best recommendations:

All of these are below $500. Still, you can expect them to have high quality. These are best for people who need to commute from time to time.

You can also use these for traveling to work or school. Note that you may need to invest in a pricier bike if you need better features.