Is it Worth it to Buy a Cheap E-Bike Priced Under $500?

When it comes to affordable two-wheeled transportation, it’s hard to beat an electric bicycle. The market has been saturated with a bevy e-bikes to choose from these days and what makes it even harder are the price points that a lot of them are being marketed at. For example, if you’re looking for one that can really go the distance in terms of electric range and power, then you’ll likely be spending $1,000 to $2,000. However, there are more affordable e-bikes under $500, but are they worth buying?

Cheaper E-bikes are usually almost pocket-sized

Are you a college student that just needs a zippier and easier way to get around campus and ensure that you’re not late for that economics class that you love so much? Or are you a city dweller that’s in need of a fun and flexible way to navigate the dense urban sprawl? Then an affordable e-bike could be the best option.

We say this because, among all of the sub-$500 bikes that are currently available on the market, most of them are foldable and smaller than the typical cruiser or mountain bike. They might look weird at first, but in the more affordable class of bikes, function beats form. As we can see in the following e-bikes that also listed.

Swagtron EB-5 Cycle
Swagtron EB-5 Cycle | Amazon

SwagCycle EB-5 Pro E-bike

If you’re looking for an affordable e-bike that doesn’t need any assembly once reaches your doorstep, then it doesn’t get much better than the SwagCycle EB-5 Pro by Swagtron. Some of the benefits of this model also include the fact that it’s lightweight, only 37 pounds, and it can be folded up to three different ways, so it’s really easy to transport, either by hand or by car. To get an idea of just how small this e-bike is, it’s wheel diameter is only 12-inches, as opposed to larger bikes with 15 to 17-inch wheels.

The SwagCycle EB-5 is also height adjustable as well as the handlebars and seat height can be easily adjusted to fit both kids and adults, and it can support up to 264 pounds as well. The 36-volt battery can be charged in just 4 to 5 hours and will provide up to 15.5 miles of cruising with a top speed of 15.5 mph. However, the cons are that the SwaCycle e-bike isn’t as sturdy as other more-expensive bikes nor is it as powerful.

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Ancheer Electric Folding Bicycle

The specs on the Ancheer bike are actually very similar to those found on the SwagCycle EB-5. It’s foldable, has a 36-volt battery, a 12 mph top speed, and a 15-mile range. However, it’s even lighter, weighing at 26.5 pounds, and can even connect to your smartphone via a Bluetooth-controlled app that allows you to lock in the speed capabilities or even the electric motor in order to prevent theft. It might look like we weird exercise bike on small 12-inch wheels, but the Ancheer e-bike is another easy way to get around town.

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Ancheer Folding E-Bike
Ancheer Folding E-Bike | Amazon

Shaofu electric bike

5Best actually voted the Shaofu folding electric bike as one of their favorites in the under-$500 categories. Other than its compact, lightweight design, the Shaofu folding bike is affordable, with a listed price of $389, comes with an app for theft protection, and it also has a short charge time of around 3 hours for its 350-watt motor. Additionally, it comes with a one-year warranty that covers the motor, charger, and the battery, which is an added plus if you’re wary of purchasing an e-bike in this segment.

Shaofu E-Bike |
Shaofu E-Bike | Amazon

Is buying an e-bike at this price point worth it?

Considering the few e-bikes listed here, as well as others that are comparable in the segment, are all capable of the same transportability and electric range and power capability, we would say that you can’t go wrong with any bike you choose. As far as whether or not they are worth the price, we would say that as long as your commute isn’t far, like having to ride around campus or just a few blocks, then an e-bike priced below $500 could be well worth the ease of not having to walk.

However, if you’re looking for an e-bike that has the power to traverse hills or will allow you to go farther than 15 miles or faster than 15 mph, then you will have to spend more than $500. However, if you just need something to get your from point A to B with relative ease, then one of these cheaper e-bikes could suit you well.