Best Electric Bikes Under $500
Electric bikes are becoming a very popular means of transportation, saving fuel, time, money and offering possibilities that are not available using ordinary bikes.
Ebikes under $500 offer reasonable performances at acceptable prices, but with all the options and models, it can be somewhat difficult to find "the best" electric bike. Here is our list of the best electric bikes under $500, just be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Updated: October 2, 2021.
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Electric Bikes Intro
When looking for a new e-bike, there are many details to look for, but there are a few the most important ones, including:
Battery: electric bikes are powered via rechargeable lithium batteries, offering great range, fade-free power, acceptable weight, fast recharging, and similar.
When advertising their batteries, many brands focus on the battery voltage, but the more important feature is the total energy stored in the battery (voltage x capacity).
Larger voltages (24V, 36V, 48V, etc.) increase energy efficiency due to the lower currents required for the same output power, but when checking the batteries, be sure to check the volts, capacity, and in the end, total energy stored.
When replacing the battery, also be sure to check the maximum allowed current of the new battery pack - some battery packs are able to store large(r) amounts of energy, but they are unable to provide the required levels of power, required by some stronger e-bike models.
Some batteries also come with 1 or more USB charging ports, allowing the user to recharge the USB device directly from the e-bike's battery.
Battery Charging Time differs among the models, but it is generally between 3 and 5 hours. Some models use swappable batteries (a second battery often must be purchased separately), allowing the user to ride the bike using one battery, while another battery is being charged.
Bike's Weight: lighter bikes are easier to carry around (and they must be carried from time to time), so be sure to check the weight of the bike - it is not the same to carry around 35 or 70 (or even more) pounds.
User's Weight: maximum supported user weight varies and sometimes goes up to 300 pounds (~136 kg). However, it is not the same if the bike is being used on flat terrain or on hilly terrain.
Thus, some manufacturers state expected range depending on the user weight, maximum slope depending on the user weight, and similar.
Motor: electric bikes under $500 usually come with motors in the 250 and 400 watts range. Such motors are strong enough for most situations on flat terrain, even when being used in Full Electric Mode.
Riding Modes: there are three basic riding modes of e-bikes, including Full Electric Mode, Pedal Assist Mode, and Pedal-only (Normal Bike) Mode.
In most situations, the Pedal Assist Mode is the preferred mode, allowing the user to travel long distances with minimum effort.
Single Battery Charge Range: range of the e-bikes depend on the bike load, battery capacity, terrain type, bike speed, etc. and in ideal situations, it ranges from 10 to 40 miles in Full Electric Mode.
Maximum Speed is usually given for Full Electric Mode, on the flat terrain, and for most electric bikes in this class, it is ~15 mph (~24 km/h).
Frame Material: bikes can be made from metal (aluminum, steel) or from composite materials. The type of material dictates the bike's strength, robustness, and durability, but also its price and weight.
Folding Frame: some bikes feature folding frames, greatly helping with storage - such bikes can easily fit into the car trunks, can be even carried in a subway or on the bus, and similar. However, having additional joint may somewhat weaken the bike's structure and ability to support heavier users.
Wheels: most electric bikes under $500 come with wheels in the 10 - 16 inches (25.4 - 40.6 cm) range.
Larger wheels ensure a smoother and safer ride, especially over bumpy terrain, but e-bikes with smaller wheels are more compact, especially when combined with a folding frame.
Brakes: disc brakes on both wheels are essential for safety. There are still some models, even good ones (to say the least) with caliper-style brakes, which, when set properly do their job well.
App Support: some electric bikes feature WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity and support the use of smartphone apps for monitoring the bike's status, for locking the bike, and similar. Such feature is not absolutely required but can come in handy in many situations.
When looking for "the best" electric bike, there are other little details, but these details are often rather individual, for example, the color of the bike and similar.
Best Ebikes Under $500
With so many models on the market, it may be hard to pick the few best models. Here is our list of some of the best electric bikes under $500 with their features and specifications.
Note: their price was under $500 at the moment of writing this article. Other features and specifications may also change without prior notice. So, do your own due diligence and check the actual features, offers, and of course, the prices.
ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus Folding Electric Bike
ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus features 12-inch (30.5 cm) wheels, an aluminum alloy frame, a 350W hub electric motor, a 36V 6Ah battery, cruise control, dual disc brake system, IPX5 water protection level, etc.
Battery charging time is ~3h, which is one of the shortest charging times in its class.
The unit is rather compact with unfolded dimensions of 41.3 x 37.8 x 19.7 inches (~105 x 96 x 50 cm) and a weight of only 38.6 pounds (~17.5 kg), allowing the user to easily carry it around when required.
Recommended user height is ~5 - 6 feet (~1.5 - 1.83 m), with the maximum allowed user weight of 265 pounds (120 kg), which is excellent carrying capability for such unit.
Note: ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus doesn't feature bike pedals and can be used only in Full Electric Mode.
Maximum speed is ~15.5 mph (~25 km/h), although no-load speed (speed of the rear wheel while the wheel is in the air) goes up to ~20 mph.
The maximum range depends on the user weight, terrain, and similar, but on average:
- 132 pounds (60 kg) user: 15 miles (~24 km),
- 165 pounds (75 kg) user: 10.6 miles (~17 kg).
Also, according to the manufacturer, ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus is able to traverse slopes up to 10 degrees for 50 meters with user weight up to 160 pounds (72.5 kg) - if You need a stronger unit, have in mind that the ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus comes with 350 watts motor (some of the strongest in its price class) and electric bikes with stronger motors require larger batteries and even sturdier frames, increasing both weight and price of the e-bike.
ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus supports users up to 265 pounds, but since it lacks pedals and due to its compact size and design, it excels as long as the users are lighter than 160-165 pounds.
Note: performances of ALL electric bikes decrease significantly with the increase in the user weight and with the transition from the flat terrain to the hilly terrain.
So, if You are looking for an electric bike with Full Electric Mode only, consider this unit.
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the ANCHEER Dolphin AN-EB5 Plus Folding Electric Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Macwheel LNE-16 Electric Folding Bike
Macwheel LNE-16 is powered by a 250W hub electric motor and lithium 36V 7.5 Ah battery, ensuring a maximum speed of 15.5 mph (25 km/h) with a range from 18.6 to 37 miles (30 - 60 km) in the full-electric mode, depending on the terrain, battery condition, and user weight.
The battery is removable and replaceable if required.
Unit is foldable, but only the stem can be folded, similarly to many models in this class - this helps with the storage and increase the strength of the aluminum frame.
The dual disc brake system does its job well and increases the safety of the rider.
Macwheel LNE-16 features 16 inches (40.6 cm) wheels, keeping the ride relatively smooth even on uneven terrain.
The electric bike features an easy-to-read LCD display, showing all the relevant information to the rider.
Macwheel LNE-16 electric bike supports the full-electric mode, pedal-assist mode, and pedal-only mode.
If You are looking for an all-in-one electric bike that supports all three riding modes, consider Macwheel LNE-16 - although its motor is rated at 250 watts, even heavier users may enjoy it, especially using pedal-assist riding mode.
But generally, 250 watts motors, even if they are brushless, high-efficient motors, and 200+ pound people don't do well on slopes in full-electric riding modes.
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the Macwheel LNE-16 Electric Folding Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike
ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike is made out of steel and is somewhat heavier - it weighs 59 pounds (~26.7 kg).
However, the bike frame folds, making the folded bike very compact and easy to store away.
The unit features a 36V 8Ah lithium removable battery, ensuring a 15-28 miles (~24-45 km) range with 4-6 hours charging time.
The motor is rated at 250 watts and ensures a maximum speed of 15.5 mph (25 km/h). Maximum slope depends on the user weight, but generally, ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike can climb 10-15° slopes, even steeper when the pedal-assist mode is used instead of full-electric mode.
ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike comes with 16 inches (40.6 cm) wheels and a dual disc brake system.
Also, the unit supports the full-electric mode, pedal-assist mode, and normal bike ride.
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Sailnovo Y1-14 14" Electric Bike
Unit is made of aluminum, but it is not the lightest electric bike on the market - it weighs 55 pounds (~25 kg), for several reasons.
Sailnovo Y1-14 14" e-bike comes with a relatively strong 350 watts motor, powered by a large 36V 10.5Ah battery, allowing the bike to reach a maximum speed of 18.6 mph (~30 km/h), with the range of 25-28 miles (~40-45 km/h) and being able to climb slopes up to 15° in full-electric ride mode.
Recommended rider height is from 4'10" to 5'10" (~147 - 178 cm), with the maximum supported weight of 265 pounds (120 kg).
Another very interesting feature is a shock-absorber that in combination with air-filled tires, smooths out ride very well.
LCD display shows all relevant information to the user, especially the battery condition/remaining charge.
Sailnovo Y1-14 14" Electric Bike supports all three riding modes - full-electric mode, pedal-assist mode, and pedal-only mode.
This unit tends to be a little bit pricier than the other units on this list, but it has a strong motor, large battery, shock-absorber, etc...
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the Sailnovo 14" Electric Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro+ Lightweight & Aluminum Folding Ebike
It is powered by 250 watts motor and a replaceable lithium battery which recharges in 4-6 hours easily.
Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro+ comes with 14 inches (35.6 cm) wheels and air-filled tires.
The e-bike supports all three riding modes - full-electric bike, pedal-assist mode, and pedal-only mode.
Maximum speed in full-electric mode is 15.5 mph (25 km/h), with a range of 15-16 miles (24-26 km), depending on the user weight and terrain.
The maximum supported user weight is 265 pounds (120 kg), which sounds great, but in real life, like all similar e-bike models, recommended maximum user weight is <200 pounds.
Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro+ is recommended for 4'10" to 5'10" (~147 - 178 cm) tall users.
Unit comes with a pair of caliper brakes, but they do their job well.
Note: Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro+ differs from Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 in few important details, including integrated handle (comes with EB-5 Pro+), replaceable battery (EB-5 does NOT have a replaceable battery), and magnetic closure when folded (comes with EB-5 Pro+).
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro+ Lightweight & Aluminum Folding Ebike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Hiboy P10 Folding Electric Bike
Hiboy P10 comes with 350 watts electric hub motor and a dual brake system. The maximum speed provided by its motor and 7.5 Ah lithium battery is 15.5 mph (25 km/h) and the maximum range in full-electric mode is 15.5 - 21.6 miles (~25 - 35 km).
This electric bike supports all three riding modes - full-electric riding mode, pedal-assist riding mode, and pedal-only riding mode.
Hiboy P10 features 12 inches (25.4 cm) wheels ensuring a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but can be bumpy on uneven terrain.
Like all similar 250-350 watt electric bikes, maximum user weight is a little bit optimistic - this and similar bikes can provide <200 pounds users with a decent ride (especially under 150 pounds), but heavier users should go for much stronger and also more expensive models.
For the most up-to-date offers and prices, feel free to check the Hiboy P10 Folding Electric Bike Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Few Final Words
Whenever riding your bike, electric or not, safety first - respect others in traffic and wear required safety gear, which may differ from state to state and from country to country.
Electric bikes are environment-friendly means of transportation, but just like with everything in life, they have a certain lifetime - when the bike is "dead" recycle it properly, especially the battery.
Again, when picking up "the best" electric bike or scooter, choose according to your own needs and requirements.