Jumping on the electric bike train used to be a costly affair.
To own a high-end model, you’d need nothing short of 4 or 6 grand. Now, anyone can own an electric bike, even for as low as $500 or less.
Certainly, you should not expect to get the same functionality out of a super cheap electric bike as the high-priced ones.
But many budget electric bikes can give the high-priced ones a run for their money.
Here in this article, I’ve rounded up the best electric bikes under $500 on the market.
The Best Budget Electric Bikes
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly common as they become more affordable. However, expensive electric bikes still exist on the market and more expensive ones are being manufactured. “But, why the disjoint in the price?” you may wonder.
For the more significant part, the high-end electric bikes have more excellent specifications and features than cheaper ones. Greater range per full charge, better and sleeker designs, as well as many other added functionalities, all result in the wide price divide you see around.
I know you must have other questions.
I have compiled some of the frequently asked questions about budget electric bikes under $500, and electric bikes in general, to help you make informed decisions when you purchase your electric bike, or just to satisfy your curiosity.
What Is The Normal Price Range For Electric Bikes?
There is no “normal” price range for electric bikes. Some electric bikes cost as much as $6000 while some sell for as low as $500 and a little bit less.
The pricing you get depends on as many features and functions as you require your electric bike to have. These features include such specs as battery life, range, and others.
Most electric bikes you come across will be priced between the $700 - $2000 range. Anything within this range may be a solid bargain, as you would get an average product with a reasonable range, speed, and battery life.
Also keep in mind that pricing will vary based on your location and the cost of materials in that location. What counts as an average price range around your locality may not be the same elsewhere.
What Is The Best Under $500 Electric Bike To Buy?
Simply put, there is no one superlative electric bike for the money. Electric bikes are made with different specifications, functions, and purposes at heart. Therefore, what’s best for urban dwellers may not hold up well for people who ply rough terrains.
Still, what makes a cheap electric bike good enough? Consider its accessories relative to its price and you can decide. Most electric bikes offered at $1000 and below feature a hub motor rather than a mid-drive motor as it is the more affordable of the two.
Cheap electric bikes usually come with anything between a 250-watt and 350-watt motor and a 20V to 30V Li-ion battery. This allows them a range of about 20-25 miles tops with their speed capped at 15-20 mph. Finally, cheap electric bikes favor mechanical disk brakes over the more expensive hydraulic brakes.
Any electric bike that comes with the above features’ upper range at less than $500 sounds like a good bargain to me.
Are Under $500 Electric Bikes Any Good?
While affordable electric bikes are made with more affordable parts, they’re in no way substandard vehicles. It merely means that consideration was given to parts of the bike where expensive materials could be substituted with cheaper ones without compromising your safety.
So, you need not worry. Obey traffic regulations, carry out proper maintenance, and you can ride your electric bike to the ends of the earth. (Actually, only as far as its range, but you get my drift.)
Should I Buy A Used Electric Bike?
While a used electric bike will be a cheaper alternative to a new one – more affordable purchasing fees, no processing and preparation fees, less insurance, and less tax –, it is not without its cons. They include:
- Shorter Lifespan
Used electric bikes have minimized durability owing to their previous owners’ period of use, and the maintenance and handling. Besides, not even electric bikes are immune to the law of diminishing returns. Thus, do not expect to get the same lifespan out of a used electric bike as you would from a new one.
- Zero Choices
When you purchase a used electric bike, you lose all control over options such as color and specifications. Of course, the purchasing decision is yours ultimately. However, when not many people are putting their electric bikes up for sale, you’re stuck with the next one that comes around.
- Higher Likelihood of Surprise Breakdowns
With less-than-stellar handling, anything will break down. The same goes for an electric bike. Your newly-acquired-old-bike may spring surprise breakdowns on you frequently, even worse if the bike is out of warranty. Then, you’ll have to bear the extra repair and maintenance costs.
Are Electric Bikes Worth The Expense?
Riding a bike is fun. And an electric bike, even better!
Feeling mild gusts of wind embracing your face for a brief moment and let go for the next gust, as you pedal away lightly and feel the tires beneath you turn and turn. Not many activities can let you top that feeling. No more arriving at your destination sweating like a professional boxer with the wind knocked out of you.
Besides, riding an electric bike will make you fit, contrary to popular belief. A study on ‘Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists’ indicates that electric bike users get more exercise than conventional bicycle users.
Electric bikes make exercising with a bicycle a whole lot easier and so much more fun that you want to get back to it the next chance you get. The same cannot be said of conventional bikes which can be discouraging for the sheer amount of work involved.
Finally, come on, whom am I kidding if I don’t get this out? Electric bikes are cool! Not to mention that they help protect the environment by providing a pollution-free alternative to diesel and gas engines.
There are numerous options available when you’re buying an electric bike under $500. When on a budget, simply consider your circumstances and needs and select one that would satisfy those needs and best suit those circumstances.