The layout of a modern megapolis doesn’t really invite car use. With hours spent in traffic jams and hundreds of dollars spent on gas and parking, you’re only getting poorer every minute as you use your car to commute to work.
When you’re sitting there in the traffic jam that won’t clear for another hour, you can’t but think, how much is an electric dirt bike right now, and would I not be better off using that? While you can’t deny driving a car is a necessity in winter or during rain, owning an electric bike is dirt-cheap.
Once you buy the best electric bike under $500, you won’t spend a dime more on transportation. Unlike the regular bike commuter, you won’t push yourself to the limit trying to get to work in time. You won’t get to work tired and sweaty like an Olympic athlete.
Ebikes assist you in pedaling, so you will both get plenty of exercise on your way to work, and be in the right shape to start a productive day. Charge up the battery at home, and you’re good to go. Sure, you won’t get anywhere near 60 mph, but unless you’re commuting from a suburban area, you don’t need that.
Some ebikes top up at 20 mph, and that’s 5 mph more than you really need for city traffic. The best part about electric bikes under $500 is that you don’t need to make the whole route from home to work pedaling.
All ebikes that you’ll see in this review are folding ebikes. This means you can ride one to the nearest subway station, fold it, take the subway, and do the last-mile commute on the ebike. You’re not really tied to the sub either.
Best Electric Bikes Under $500 in our opinion
$500 electric bikes you see on this list are powerful, but they’re small enough you can fit them in a crowded bus, or in the trunk of an Uber car you’re sharing.
Learn the other features the best electric bikes under $500 are packing in these reviews.
- Robust and foldable; the e bike’s sturdy frame can support up to 264 pounds and collapse its stem and handlebars for easy storage
- Extreme torque; tackle speeds up to 18 mph via app optimization and climb inclines up to 12 degrees on a powerful zero emission motor
Swagtron Pro is hands down one of the best electric bikes under $500 on the market. Every detail of the bike is made to perfection and ensures you have the best possible experience with it while you’re riding it.
You can see that the designers took note of every drawback of electric bikes under $500 and improved on each of them. Here’s what you can find in this 500 dollar ebike.
- Top speed. This ebike may seem tiny, but it’s packing a lot of power in its electric engine. Without ever needing to pedal, you can get this bike riding at the speed of 18 miles per hour. That’s about as fast as you can get a regular bike going, but on Swagtron, you put zero effort into it. You’ll be doing 18 miles per hour while your legs will be relaxing on the pegs instead of frantically pedaling to keep the speed up. The only thing you need to do on this ebike is to squeeze the throttle and lean to make a turn.
- Decent range. It’s hard to get more than 12 miles out of a battery as small as the one best electric bikes under $500 use. However, SwagCycle Pro manages to do just that. You can’t double the distance with the current technology, so Swagtron managed to get your ride 3 miles longer. That’s still a longer ride than many other ebikes under $500 can offer. Take this bike on a ride, and you can get 15 miles in one full charge.
- Stylish design. Does SwagCycle Pro look that good in comparison with some other bikes on the list of the best electric bikes under $500 that have a teardrop shape? While everybody has a taste of their own, there’s one thing about Swagtron’s rectangular design that stands out. It’s neutral. This type of design would look great if you ride it in your yoga pants or your business suit. It’s great because it’s universal. Take this ebike anywhere, and it will look amazing.
- Great pegs position. All pedal-free electric bikes under $500 have pegs that you can put your legs on to rest. In most models, these pegs are positioned where the pedals would generally be — closer to the rear wheel. But what this does is it puts your legs in an awkward position that can be hard on your knees if you sit that way for too long. SwagCycle changes that outdated design feature and puts the pegs right on the front wheel. This allows you to put your legs in a more relaxed position and enjoy the ride longer.
- Good for tall people. While you can’t adjust the seat that much in SwagCycle Pro, thanks to the protruded leg rests, you can fit on the ebike even if you’re a big guy. Naturally, riding such a small bike if you’re over 6’ may be a bit unwieldy, but with SwagCycle Pro, it’s possible. You won’t have to crouch in a fetal position to ride it — you’ll stretch your legs and enjoy the ride.
- A pair of disc brakes. While some of the best electric bikes under 500 have only one disc brake on the rear tire, SwagCycle Pro keeps the level of security up by providing you with two disc brakes. Having double the stopping power means you can react quickly and put your bike to a halt even if you’re going at the maximum speed. Practice braking to a full stop a couple of times, and you’ll be safe while riding this 500 dollar ebike.
- Lights. With this much speed and stopping power, you can travel anywhere, even at night. To make that happen, SwagCycle pro has a pair of lights. The headlights can be activated when you feel like the lighting level is too dark for you to react to obstacles in time. The light in the rear will activate automatically upon braking.
- App. Swagtron provides a custom app you can pair with your device to make constant checks on the condition of the ebike’s engine and battery and check your mileage and other stats. You can also set the speed limit on the electric bike if 18 mph seems too high for you.
- USB port. This is probably the smallest of SwagCycle’s many benefits, but it’s nice to have nonetheless. The charging port has a USB port connected to the battery so you can charge your phone or any other device on the go. It’s the small things like this that make SwagCycle truly special.
- Solid frame. There’s one major downside of SwagCycle Pro. It doesn’t fold in the middle, and only the handlebar is foldable. It reduces the height of the bike a lot, but it remains rather broad regardless. If you need to fit it inside of a car trunk, it may be impossible in smaller cars. However, if you own a regular-sized sedan, the electric bike will fit right in.
- 10 MPH & 10 MILE RANGE - The motorized bicycle uses a 36v battery & a 250-watt motor that charges in 2.5 hours.
- COLLAPSES FOR EASY STORAGE - The folding bike uses an aerospace grade aluminum frame & easily fits in trunks of all sizes.
Swagtron SwagCycle is one of the smallest $500 ebikes on the market. But despite its childish looks, it does pack a lot of power under its hood. This 29 lbs device can charge in 2.5 hours and take you up to 12 miles from home.
For most people, that’s not enough, and this is why this electric bike is foldable. Unscrew the screw that holds the handlebar in place and fold the bike in half. Due to the ebike’s short wheelbase, when you do fold it, it will fit in most trunks. You can even take the thing on the subway without folding it.
Is this ebike right for you? Let’s unpack all the pros and cons and see just that.
- Decent speed. You’d never think that a bike as small as Swagtron can show decent speed. After all, it looks more like a kids’ bike, how can it possibly pack any power in its 36v battery and 250-watt motor? It’s not going to break the world record, that’s for sure, but it will take you wherever you want to go at the top speed of 10 mph. Most new riders are going to be able to cruise at this speed just fine. If you’re not a good rider just yet, you can actually cap the top speed in the ebike app, and Swagtron won’t go any faster than you want it to go.
- Steady power output. If you’re someone who’s not very good at handling a bicycle at high speed, there’s good news for you. While Swagtron electric bike can be fast, it’s not overwhelmingly fast. Besides the control options that your ebike’s app gives you, it has one feature that beginner riders are going to love. The speed control on this bike doesn’t jerk and set you off flying before you know it. When you accelerate, this bike climbs up in speed gradually, giving you plenty of time to adjust.
- Disk brakes. When you do need to stop, Swagtron gives you the best option on the market. It supplies the SwagCycle ebike with a pair of disk brakes that are capable of stopping a vehicle going at much higher speeds than 10 mph. You will need to learn to use the brakes if you’re a new rider, but with these disk brakes, you know you’re going to stop in time to avoid an accident.
- No effort. Swagtron doesn’t have pedals. That’s right, you don’t have to put in any effort at all into the commute. Sit tight and enjoy the ride as the electric motor does all the job for you. This has downsides as well, but the obvious benefit is coming to work without tiring yourself even a little bit.
- Fits everywhere. While this ebike doesn’t fold in half as some larger models do, it has foldable handlebars. Since its wheel frame is only 37” long, it can fit right in most trunks. You won’t have to struggle when putting it into your car or the Uber you share. If you’re taking a bus or a subway with this electric bike, you can lead it by the handlebars, and it won’t disturb the other passengers a bit. Swagtron is tiny, and that allows you to get into the most crowded places with it.
- Smart handlebars. Swagtron SwagCycle has an app that lets you see how much charge you’ve got left, your average speed, and track your routes via GPS. But you don’t want to be looking at your phone when you’re cruising at 12 mph on a busy road, do you? This ebike has the solution to your problem. The indicators on the handlebars show you exactly how much charge there’s left on the go.
- Solid weight support. Swagtron may be small, but it’s not frail. It’s made out of aerospace-grade aluminum tubing that’s not going to bend after a drop or a collision. While crashing head-on into something while riding a bike is a bad idea and this electric bike’s disc brakes are going to prevent that, it’s not going to bend if you drop it while carrying it or smash it with a trunk. Another perk that having a durable frame gives you is the ability to support up to 264 pounds of weight. You shouldn’t carry a second passenger on this ebike, but if you’re a big guy with a heavy backpack, it should be able to carry you.
- Automatic checks. The best thing about Swagtron is that the company’s app will do regular checks on the condition of the electric motor and battery for improved safety. This makes sure your safety is at the highest level.
- No suspension. For all its excellent design, Swagtron forgot about one important thing, the suspension. The fat tires will absorb some shock from the rocky pavement but be prepared to ride around potholes.
- Bad for tall people. Being tiny has plenty of perks, but being comfortable for a 6” tall person isn’t one of them. If you’re that tall, you’ll find your knees touching your elbows, and your back will start to hurt.
- No pedaling. SwagCycle is essentially an electric scooter. This has a huge perk: you don’t need to put in the effort. On the downside, though, if you’re out of battery mid-ride, you’re essentially stuck.
- Pre-assembled; the electric bike already comes pre-assembled so you won't have to waste time with complicated assembly and foreign bike parts
- Height adjustable for adults and teens; easily adjust the bicycle seat and handlebar to find the perfect position for a comfortable ride
SWAGCYCLE EB5 Plus is your standard ebike. If you take a random person off the street and ask them what an electric bike looks like, they’re going to give you a description not far off from this SWAGCYCLE model.
It’s short but powerful, with a reinforced main tubing, and can be folded in half to get into most car trunks. SWAGCYCLE is reliable, simple, and foolproof. This is what makes it one of the best electric bikes under $500. If you’re intrigued, here’s a more detailed description of its good and bad sides.
- Fold it in half. SWAGCYCLE’ electric bike under $500 is nowhere near the small dimensions of the previous ebike. It stands at the height of 34.9 inches and is 49.2 inches long. However, it is constructed in such a way that it can quite literally fold in half to become a 26×23.6 inches package that you hold by the handlebars to transport. In the folded state, this electric bike will easily fit into most car trunks. You can also fit it into public transport, even though it becomes a bit unwieldy.
- Decent speed. SWAGCYCLE’ ebike operates in the assist mode, so you’re pedaling it with a bit of help from the battery. This lets you get to the top speed of 15 miles per hour with little to no effort. You don’t need to pedal like an athlete to keep up the pace as the electrical motor is going to be doing the bulk of the job for you. Keep on pedaling like you’re going on a lazy ride around the neighborhood, and you’ll be going at a steady 15mph like it’s nothing.
- Good reach. No battery lasts forever, but the one that SWAGCYCLE EB5 has lasts just enough to get you to the place you want to be, whether that’s your job or a grocery store. A full charge of the battery will take you a maximum of 15.5 miles from the starting point. This is one of the best figures you’re going to see in the electric bikes, so if you need a bit longer reach, SWAGCYCLE EB5 Plus is the way to go. Don’t forget that if the battery dies during the ride, you can still get to the destination by doing good old bike pedaling.
- Disk breaks. If you need to do an emergency stop at any point in your commute, you will do so with no problems, even if you’re doing the top speed. This ebike has a pair of responsive disk brakes that will slow you down for an evasive maneuver or stop you completely in no time. You can feel safe riding this bike since you know you have the stopping power you need. But don’t forget to wear a helmet.
- Seat adjustment. Most electric bikes seem like they’re made for 5’3” people. For the sake of portability, most ebikes are made rather small. This ebike is small as well, but it’s accessible to taller people too. You can adjust the seat rather high, and it will be just fine for anyone who’s up to 6” high. It may be a bit unwieldy for a tall person, but you can ride it. Just make sure you carry the key on you to fold the seat back when you have to put the bike into the trunk.
- Battery in the back. With this ebike, you don’t need to be worried about the battery being damaged due to falling. It’s positioned in the back of the bike, and will not hit the ground first if you trip over or drop the ebike.
- Cables. If you’re looking for a sleek looking ebike, this one can upset you. While the design on the thing is spot on, it’s the cables that spoil the perfect loo. They’re not managed in the frame and stick out quite a bit.
- Heavy option. While SWAGCYCLE EB5 Plus is a bike you can pedal on its own, you’d be better off riding it in the assist mode. It has no problems with gears or handling, nothing like that. It’s just the bike weighs 48 pounds. If you’re not a very good cyclist, it would be a pain to ride it with the battery dead.
- No headlights. If you plan on riding this bike at night, better grab a flashlight. SWAGCYCLE EB5 Plus is a great electric bike under 500 dollars, but it doesn’t have headlights. It can be dangerous at night, so gear up with a nice hi-viz vest and a flashlight.
- 350W POWERFUL MOTOR: ANCHEER folding electric bike is equipped with a 350W high speed motor achieving top speed of 15-17 MPH, powered by 36V battery, with a range of 15 mile means your e-bike commute just easier.
- LIGHTWEIGHT FOLDING FRAME: This e-bike is easy to fold and save more space for storage. It weighs a mere 36lbs, easy to carry with one hand. Provided with Both good anti-pressure ability and lightweight frame.
Ancheer is one of those folding ebikes under $500 that don’t need to be pedaled to get you places. You can just sit on it, rest your legs on the pegs, engage the throttle, and get to enjoy your ride.
The fact that this ebike is essentially a scooter as you can’t pedal it has both good and bad sides. You can get to know every detail about this ebike under $500 in this review.
- Compact size. If you’re looking for the best electric bike under $500 that is so tiny you can fit it inside any car trunk or will have no problems getting on public transport with it, Ancheer is an excellent choice. When it’s unfolded, it sits at a tiny 19” above the ground. When you fold the handlebars, you reduce the height down to a bit more than 8”, which is phenomenally small. The 40” wheelbase is not foldable, so you may have some trouble putting the electric bike in a very small trunk, but other than that, it’s great. If you’re using public transport, you can put this ebike on the rear wheel to make it fit when you’re in a crowd.
- Sleek design. Does your definition of the best electric bike under 500 dollars include amazing looks? If it does, Ancheer may be just what you need. For the low price tag it has, the looks are amazing. The ebike is made with custom welded tubing that curves in a teardrop shape that looks just gorgeous. With this ebike under $500, you will be getting intrigued looks from people you pass on the street and compliments from your friends.
- Decent cruising speed. If speed is what you’re looking for in the best ebike under $500, Ancheer is not the fastest of the bunch. It can’t go anywhere near 20mph, so you’ll probably be using it for short commutes that are not urgent. You can get from the look of it that it’s not a racing horse, it’s more of a pony that will get you where you need to be with comfort. The top cruising speed is 12 mph, and that’s as much as you can get from an ebike under $500 like this one. It won’t slow you down, but if you want a high-speed option, scroll down the list to read the other reviews.
- Disc brakes. While 12 mph is not a whole lot of speed, sometimes you need an emergency stop. If you ever happen to find yourself in that kind of situation on Ancheer, you can be sure that you’ll make it out unscathed. Ancheer ebike has disc brakes that will stop the bike even on the top speed. There’s only one disk brake, and it’s on the rear wheel. This means while you don’t get that much stopping power, you won’t accidentally slam on the front wheel brakes and trip over the electric bike.
- Mudguards. Do you live in a place where you get a lot of water, slush, and dirt in winter or spring? Then Ancheer has something to offer you. It’s one of the few ebikes under $500 that has a pair of custom mudguards on it.
- IPX5 Waterproof. Why would you need mudguards on the electric bike? Most people think that you can’t put your ebike anywhere near water. Even if it’s the best electric bike under $500, it would be a heavy toll on your wallet if you lost that $500 due to getting water in your ebike’s system. With Ancheer, this is not an issue. You can ride right through puddles because this electric bike is waterproof. It’s a good idea not to cycle through a puddle if you think there might be a pothole there, though.
- Head&tail Lights. This ebike under $500 has both headlights and taillights connected directly to the battery so you will be safe at night and while riding on the side of the road.
- App. Many vehicles on the list of the best ebikes under $500 have apps, and Ancheer is no exception. The app lets you do a test on the ebike to make sure it’s fit for riding, check your mileage, set the speed limit, or lock the motor. If you do lock it, don’t forget that you need to chain the ebike as well. Even though it won’t start, it can easily get carried away by a bike thief. If you’re tired of hitting the throttle, you can set the speed to a certain number in the app, and the ebike will keep up that speed. This feature is handy for long chunks of the road where there aren’t many obstacles you need to maneuver around.
- Doesn’t fold in half. If your best ebike under $500 needs to fold in half to fit into your car or the Uber, this one is not your best option. While Ancheer electric bike can be folded to be a height of 8”, it can’t fold in half so it will be 40” long regardless of what you do you with it.
- No seat adjustment. Are you a tall person looking for the best ebikes under $500? Ancheer can’t satisfy your needs. Due to the curvy design it has, its seat can’t be adjusted for more than a couple of inches. If you’re taller than 5’8”, you probably won’t enjoy riding this bike.
- Medium range. Being small pedal-free has a lot of benefits. The biggest downside, however, is that an electric bike like this can’t go that far. Ancheer ebike has a medium range and won’t get you farther than 15 miles per charge.
- Take charge: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Max Range 15 Miles: Explore your neighborhood or enjoy your commute all on a single battery charge.
Jetson Bolt Folding E-Bike is one of those ebikes that don’t need to be pedaled. Charge it up, adjust the seat, get into a comfortable position, and enjoy the ride. It operates like a mini scooter: you have a throttle to increase your speed and a brake clutch that will slow down or stop it. There are no pedals, and the electric motor does all the work.
If you don’t want to squeeze the throttle for too much time, you can get to the speed you want to maintain and hit the green cruise control button. The electric bike will keep that speed up until you press the button again.
Do you think this ebike under $500 looks great? Discover all the pros and cons of the bike in the following section to see if you want to buy it.
- Great speed. You can’t imagine the best bike under $500 that tops off at 10 mph? If you’re a person who needs their ebike to ride fast, Jetson has you covered. Its small but powerful electric engine will get you up to 17 miles per hour. That may be a bit less than the world record for bike speed, but for a small machine like this one, it’s a fantastic speed. Of course, since it is so small, there are a couple of limitations to the speed limit. It will only go 17 mph if you weigh around 2500 lbs or less; otherwise, it will be a bit slower. It also won’t show that speed when climbing a hill, only on flat ground. Despite the few limitations this ebike has, it has one of the best maximum speed limits in the 500 dollar bracket.
- Great design. When it comes to 500 dollar ebikes, many manufacturers compete in looks. Jetson has what it takes to be called a good-looking electric bike. Its curves look great on the road and provide plenty of support despite not being the standard form of a bike frame. They’re made from robust aluminum and are sturdy enough to carry up to 250 lbs of weight.
- Disc brakes. The frame may be sturdy enough to survive a couple of bad falls, but the odds are you don’t want to check that for yourself. The good news is, Jetson has disc brakes that will slow down or stop this $500 ebike to avoid the collision. You’re safe with Jetson, even if you’re doing the top speed of 17 miles per hour. There’s only one disc, however, so you may have a slightly bigger stopping power at top speed. On the plus side, you won’t accidentally engage the front brakes in panic and go flying across the handlebars.
- Rear tire shock absorption. Disc brakes are not the only thing that is special about Jetson E-Bike’s rear wheel. Unlike many other electric bikes under $500, it has good shock absorption qualities. This allows you to hit a small pothole without noticing the impact. On any other ebike, you’d feel the full force of impact.
- Suitable for taller people. Jetson E-Bike is small enough to be compact, but not as tiny as to prevent any person taller than 5’2” from riding it. It’s handlebars sit at 36” and the seat at 27”. If you adjust it just a bit to reach 30”, it will provide support for a 5’9” person.
- Lights. This electric bike under $500 has both headlights and taillights. You can engage the headlights whenever you want to get a decent field of vision in front of you at night. The taillights will light up automatically to inform anyone riding or driving behind you that you’re breaking. This will make sure you won’t get tailgated.
- Mudguards. This is a rare feature in ebikes under $500. Jetson has a pair of mudguards that will protect your backpack and the battery from dirt and water if you ride through a puddle at full speed. They’re raised quite high too, so you’re protected even if you’re doing 17 mph.
- IPX5. Jetson lets you ride in any conditions you want. If you don’t mind a drizzle, hop on this 500 dollar ebike and start riding. The grippy tires will make sure you won’t slip, and IPX5 waterproof protection will make sure both the battery and the electric motor are intact after a ride in the rain.
- Only handlebars fold. Are you looking for a folding ebike that will fold in half? Unfortunately, Jetson is not the best ebike under $500 you’re looking for. The only part that folds are the handlebars, so it will have a much lower height, while the width of the frame remains the same. It’s a pretty good tradeoff since the frame being stationary allows for a bigger battery and a more significant maximum speed. However, if you really need our electric bike to be foldable, this bike may disappoint you.
- Little seat adjustment. While you can ride this ebike even if you’re 5’9”, it gets really uncomfortable from that height on. You can’t adjust the seat more than 3” higher, so you’ll be kicking your chin with your knees if you’re 6’ or higher.
- Medium range. While the top speed on this ebike is 17 mph, you won’t be going at top speed for the whole hour. The maximum distance Jetson will take you is 15 miles. Keep in mind that not having pedals means you’ll need to drag the thing behind you as you walk home if it dies during the ride. That may be a bummer for some, but if you only need to use the ebike for a couple of miles of top speed riding, it’s a good distance.
How to choose an electric bike under 500 dollars
It’s easy to answer what an electric bike is. It’s more difficult to define what the best electric bike is. If the only thing you know about ebikes is the fact they’re bikes propelled by an electric engine, you’re going to be at a loss when trying to understand how to buy an electric bike.
There are so many factors at play that it’s easy to see how someone could get lost in the variety of choice and make a wrong decision. Since we’re discussing the best bikes under $500, the price of a wrong move would not be that high, but still, it’s something you want to avoid.
Make an informed choice with the help of this ebike buyer’s guide.
Regardless of how you’re going to ride your ebike, you need to make sure the materials it’s made of are safe. You’re going to need a sturdy frame with thick tubing that will not bend or deform on impact. The tubing has to be aluminum because if it were to be made of steel, it’d be too heavy for the battery to last that long.
While you’re checking the bike out, don’t forget about another essential factor, the handlebars. You’ll be touching those during the whole ride, and with the differences in design modern 500 dollar bikes have, it would be hard to get a custom solution installed. You want those handlebars to be just soft enough for you to feel comfortable when gripping them, but not as soft as to wear out quickly.
How much your ebike weighs is essential for the mileage and the top speed. You want to get the lightest electric bike with the most powerful battery and motor because it’s the difference between the two that defines how powerful your bike is. The more powerful the motor and the lighter the bike is, the farther and faster it will go.
Additionally, check for the maximum carry capacity to make sure the ebike is safe for you to ride. All ebikes on this list have that number well above 250 lbs, so it’s not an issue for most people.
If you live in an area where rain is frequent, you’re going to want to get a waterproof ebike. It would be a bad idea to ride one that is not waterproof through a puddle because even droplets of water can short circuit the electronics on the device, and it will be lost.
Some models on this list of the best ebikes under $500 have that feature, so you can be safe knowing your investment is not going to be spoiled by a sudden downpour.
There are two types of foldable ebikes, the ones with a foldable frame and the ones with foldable handlebars. The latter are typically smaller in size, far smaller than your average bike. They’re only 40” wide, although that number may get up to 50”. Even though the only part of the bike that folds is the handlebars, it’s quite small, and you can fit it in a regular-sized sedan trunk with no problems.
If you own a smaller car or need the bike to be less than 40” wide, you should opt for an electric bike that has a foldable frame. Unlock the lock, and you’ll fold it in two, reducing the width to about 27”.
Since many ebikes under $500 are so small, you need to take care of your comfort. If you’re 5’8” or taller, buying the first bike you see may be a wrong decision. Get a bike that doesn’t adjust to your height, and you’ll be crouching uncomfortably for the whole ride.
If you’re tall, go for an ebike that has a decent height, adjustable seat, or has footpegs on the front wheel. That would make sure you’ll be comfortable on your way to work or any other place you want to go to.
There’s no right answer for what top speed your ebike should have. If you’re going to be riding in heavy traffic, either car or pedestrian, you will need maneuverability more than momentum. The same goes for inexperienced users. If you already know how to ride an electric bike and are willing to push it to the limits, you’ll need a faster ride.
The top-speed figures, which you can reach with ebikes presented in this list, range from 12 to 19 mph. If you choose a faster one, you can always grab the app these ebikes are offering and tune down the speed to your preferred number.
Pedals or no pedals
This is one of the most important questions in the whole ebike debate. Just like ebikes may be folded in the frame or the handlebars, some ebikes have pedals while others don’t. Those that have pedals assist the rider and increase the speed while all you need to do is to pedal lightly. You’ll pedal like you’re going 5 miles per hour while doing a solid 15.
Then, there are the pedal free ebikes. Those operate like mini scooters: you have a throttle handlebar you need to squeeze to increase speed and a set of disc brakes that will stop your ebike in its tracks if you need it to. There are no pedals, and you don’t do any of the work required to move the bike forward. Just rest your legs on the footpegs and let the electric motor do it for you.
Q: What is an electric bike?
A: You must already know what a regular bike is and how convenient they are for transportation, especially in the crowded megalopolises where a car doesn’t get you anywhere and costs tens of dollars to park. An electric bike is just like that but better.
The big difference between the regular bikes and electric bikes is that in the ebikes, it’s the electric motor that propels the bike forward, not just you pedaling. You charge the battery at home, and it powers the motor that connects to the wheel. When you engage the motor by either pedaling faster or squeezing the throttle, the motor rotates faster, and the speed of the bike increases.
A common myth that people believe about ebikes is that you can’t ride in the rain on one. It’s easy to see why people think that might be true. An ebike relies on electronics to function, and if you pour water into an electronic device, it will break.
However, that’s not a problem that you will encounter with any of the ebikes from the list. Look for the ones that have IPX5 water protection so that the rain won’t hurt your bike.
Q: How to buy an electric bike?
A: Buying an ebike is nothing like shopping for groceries. It’s a $500 investment, and you can’t afford to spend that much money on a product you don’t absolutely love. This is why you need to consider every aspect of the ebike you’re buying before you make the final decision.
The most important things you need to consider are the materials the bike is made of, weight, top speed, the comfort with which you can ride it, and the waterproof qualities.
You should also make two critical decisions. The first one is whether you want a bike that folds in half or the one that only has folding handlebars. If you’re going for the latter, you need to make sure the ebike will fit in the trunk of your car. Most are around 40” wide, so the odds are it will fit, but you need to check just to make sure.
The next decision is whether you want an ebike with pedals or a pedal-free ebike. Both options are good, but pedal-free ebikes are more suitable for short-range exploration, and they’re not as forgiving. If you end up in the middle of the city with no charge left, it’s either a long walk home or getting a Lyft.
While you should pay attention to these core things to buy an electric bike, you shouldn’t forget about the other, less vital things. For instance, having an app or a USB port on your ebike can be an excellent addition to an otherwise perfect machine.
Q: How to ride an electric bike?
A: Riding an electric bike is easier than you may think. If you’re getting an ebike under $500 that has pedals, you already have the idea of how to ride it. You hop on and ride it like you would with any other bike. These ebikes only help the rider achieve a faster speed while pedaling rather slowly.
If you love regular bikes because they provide much-needed exercise but hate the fact that you need to work the pedals like an Olympic athlete to get to work, this is the right bike for you. You’ll get the daily exercise by the time you get to work, and you won’t get tired before you need to do anything productive.
Are you picking up a pedal-free ebike? Then the only thing you need to take from your bike practice is balance. You still need to lean to make a turn just like with any other two-wheeled transport. However, since the pedals are missing, you’re going to ride the thing more like a scooter, not a bike.
First, you need to start the bike. That’s easy enough, all you have to do is to press the “On” button you find on the handlebars, and the engine is running. Now, to make the bike accelerate, you need to put your right hand on the handle and turn it with your wrist, just like you would with a throttle on a motorcycle or a scooter. When you want to slow down or stop altogether, release the throttle and press the brake lever that connects to the disc brakes on the wheels.
Now, if you’re wondering how much is an electric dirt bike, there’s bad news for you. While you can use a 500 dollar ebike on rough terrain, it performs best on flat blacktop roads. An ebike that small and with only 350 watts in the engine will ride you around the city with no problems, but it will struggle to jump or climb hills.
That said, the last thing you need to do to ride your new ebike to make checks every time you hit the road. Check the tire pressure manually and check the state of the battery in the app. This will make sure you’re not riding a bike that is in bad condition and can potentially harm you.
Electric bikes under $500 are probably the best way to get around the busy city streets. Get a pedal-free bike, and you will be cruising the streets and roads of your city at a steady speed and with no effort. Get a pedal-assist bike, and you will do the same while getting your daily exercise in.
Read the buyer’s guide to make sure your choice is fully informed, and you’re buying the best electric bike under 500 dollars that fits all of your needs and checks all the boxes for you. If you do your research and buy the best ebike for you, it will become a wondrous investment that saves you time on the commutes and can take you on a small adventure as well.
Kevin Stard – professional sportsman in category MTB. Participant of the Downhill World Cup #1