Best electric bikes under 500

Electric bikes or e-bikes have been gaining a lot of popularity recently, well anything that you can mount a battery on for that matter! 

Electric bikes are super convenient, they are tremendously cheaper than cars, eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and they encourage a healthy lifestyle. In some cases you can fold them and charge them indoors just like a smartphone… and they can cost as much as a smartphone!

In this guide, we get into the best electric bikes under $500, featured in a quick and easy list with individual reviews for each bike. We have broken everything down, each bike’s features, specs, pros, and cons. Do yourself a favor and follow through!

Quick List for the Best Electric Bikes Under $500

  1. Best Overall: ANCHEER 26 Electric Bike MTB
  2. Best Value: Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Electric Bike
  3. Best Premium: VIVI Electric MTB
  4. Runner Up 1: ANCHEER Pro Electric MTB
  5. Best For Seniors: NAKTO Electric Bike
  6. Best For Youths: Sailnovo 14 Electric Bike 
  7. Most Compact: ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike

Top 7 Electric Bikes Under $500

Best Overall: ANCHEER 26 Electric Bike MTB

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 250/ 500W Brushless Motor
  • Range: 30 miles
  • Top Speed: 15-30 mph
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 26 in
  • Gears: 21 speeds
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc Brakes

This tremendous electric bike from ANCHEER is the best choice for tackling off-roads as well as commuting in urban environments. The 250W motor reaches a top speed of 15 mph and if you want to double it then you can always opt for the 500W motor. It has 3 power modes, pedal assist, motor only, and pedal only. 

The motor is a rear hub motor with good assist, although steep inclines aren’t as breezy as you’d hope. In true mountain bike fashion, it has a front fork suspension system that has decent travel so bumps, potholes, and drops will be easier on the body. Considering the disc brakes you will have great control for stopping power but they’re placed opposite, for some reason?

As far as pedal-assist goes, it takes half a rotation of the pedals to activate and you can adjust it to perfection. The battery has a range of 30 miles, and it’s removable, and convenient if you are commuting to work with it.


  • Motor variety
  • Tackles off-road environments
  • Convenient battery system
  • Sporty aesthetic design


  • The seat can be uncomfortable
  • Quirky brake placement

Best Value: Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Electric Bike

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 250W Motor
  • Range: 15.5-30 miles
  • Top Speed: 17 mph
  • Frame Material:  Aluminum
  • Weight: 35 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 14 in
  • Gears: Fixed
  • Brake: Rim Brakes

The Swagtron Swagcycle EB5 is a great folding electric bike with a great price tag. It’s lightweight, you can fold it and carry it by the carrying handle for convenience.

It has both pedal assist and a 250W throttle-operated rear hub motor. The bike will go 30 miles with pedal assist or 15 miles on throttle mode while having a top speed of 17 mph. Admittedly the wheels are only 14 inches which are small but they can handle 30-degree hills with no problem. The rim brakes are decent for the price that you pay. The battery is replaceable by pulling the battery out of the frame and you can have 2 or 3 maybe keep a spare at the office, and charge them indoors.

The bike’s frame, handlebars, and pedals can all fold, and the seat has enough adjustment to fit a variety of bodies, so even if you’re tall you’ll have optimal comfort. The bike is small enough to fit in the trunk of a car without even folding. Pack it on your next road trip to a beach town.


  • Compact 
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great for commuting 
  • USB port to charge your phone


  • The assist can be too strong for small riders

Best Premium: VIVI Electric MTB

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 350W Brushless Motor
  • Range: 22-50 miles
  • Top Speed: 20 mph
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 53 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 26 x 1.95 in
  • Gears: 21 speeds
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc Brakes

The Vivi Electric mountain bike can handle any terrain you’re thinking of riding on. Admittedly this electric bike is a bit over the price range but one thing is for sure it’s totally worth the bump. With a rear-hub 350W high-speed brushless motor, which produces about 37 pound-feet of torque it basically translates to you reaching speeds of 20 mph and more. 

It has 3 modes of pedal-assist settings or along with the throttle, the modes are there for contingency if you were to run out of battery mid-way. Like a mountain bike, it has 21-speed gears to help you go over inclines with ease, and when going on sharp declines the disc brakes will give you smooth control.

The lithium-ion battery of this bike gives you a range between 22-25-mile range in full throttle mode or 44-50 miles in pedal-assist mode. Once drained, it takes 4-6 hours to charge but you can hold an extra battery with you. The front fork suspension has decent travel so when off-roading you won’t feel the shock and bumps, even when being so cumbersome.


  • Great aesthetic design
  • Great range 
  • Fast top speed
  • Relatively fast charging times
  • Breezes through off-roads


  • Tad bit over $500

Runner Up 1: ANCHEER Pro Electric MTB

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 350W Brushless Motor
  • Range: 22-40 miles
  • Top Speed: 20 mph
  • Frame Material: Aluminum, Carbon-Steel
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 26 in
  • Gears: 21 speeds
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc Brakes

The ANCHEER 350W Sunshine electric mountain bike is an upgraded version of the 250-watt bike that we discussed earlier. These bikes are similar but have some upgrades.  

The biggest change is the conventional placements for the brake handles, which was a quirk on the previous version. It has Shimano Tourney components and a decent coil suspension fork. It has a 3×7 pedal driveline with 21 speeds.

It has a 350W rear hub motor which can go over 20 mph on flat and light loads. The upgraded battery can be charged on or off the bike and has a range of 40 miles which is 10 miles more than the first entry. It only has 2 modes, power and unpowered. In unpowered it is like a typical bike. In powered mode, it has both throttle control of the motor and pedal-assist active at the same time. This is a convenient feature kind of like riding automatic control on a car. 


  • Total upgrade
  • Improved range & top speed
  • Improved battery capacity
  • Automatic motor shift
  • Lighter weight


  • Tad bit pricey
  • User reported issues with tall riders

Best For Seniors: NAKTO Electric Bike

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 250W Brushless Motor
  • Range: 22-35 miles
  • Top Speed: 25 mph
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 26 in
  • Gears:  6 speeds
  • Brake: Rim Brakes

Senior citizens will love the NAKTO electric bike cruiser. It’s especially beneficial if you have arthritis or a back problem. The pedal-assist technology allows it to go faster with less effort while still being gentle on the joints.

It’s a good (and fun) option for individuals who want to use their bicycles as transportation. The upright Contour model with six gear speeds and a top speed of 25 miles per hour is plenty capable of going fast while remaining controlled.

The charging time is surprisingly quick, and the battery life is quite long. The Lithium-Ion Battery will last you a long time and takes very little effort to charge. It can travel up to 16 miles after 5 hours of charge. Because it can support 300 pounds, it’s another fantastic bike for overweight people.

The e-bike mode on this bike is fully automated, while the assisted bicycle mode requires some input from you. The tires are anti-slip and wear-resistant, ensuring that you have a secure grip on the bike. It’s especially enjoyable to ride! For a one-stop-shop, it also comes with a basket, rack, and bike lock.


  • Easy on the body
  • High carrying capacity 
  • Can reach fast speeds
  • Basket & carrying rack included
  • Ideal for commuting  


  •  You need to charge after 17 miles

Best For Youths: Sailnovo 14 Electric Bike 

best electric bikes under 500 - Sailnovo 14inches

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 450W Stable Brushless Motor
  • Range: 28-45 miles
  • Top Speed: 18.6 mph
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 14 in
  • Gears: Fixed
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc Brakes

The Sail Nova electric bike may be a fantastic choice for kids, as well as an excellent present option.It’s easy to transport because it takes up little room when folded. It can be carried on public transportation since it is barely weighty.

The bike’s lithium battery has a decent range of 28 miles in full-throttle mode or 45 miles using pedal assist.Although it has a 350W rear-hub electric motor, the top speed is only 18.6 mph due to the small wheels. 

It also comes with mechanical disc brakes, which are always welcome. Despite its tiny stature, this model is quite comfortable; it has a high-density sponge saddle and a rear shock absorber to soften the bumps. The LCD display is a great tool for keeping track of your speed, distance traveled, and battery life.


  • Great aesthetic design
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Helpful LCD screen
  • Compact & easy to store
  • Great gift idea


  • Small wheels limit speed 

Most Compact: ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike

Key Features and Specs:

  • Motor: 250W Brushless Motor
  • Range: 15-30 miles
  • Top Speed: 15 mph
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 35 lbs
  • Wheel & Tire Size: 16 x 1.95 in
  • Gears: 3 speeds
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc Brakes

The ANCHEER folding e-bike is a unique situation because of the tire and wheel dimensions. The wheels and tire are constructed from IPX5 waterproof technology, making riding in the rain a possibility. With a diameter of 16 x 1.95 inches, you’ll have excellent traction with the ground due to the large friction.

It’s a lightweight bike that can be carried with only one hand and pulled like a roller bag.It’s self-evident that it’ll fit in tiny trunks or that you may carry it with you to work, school, or anywhere else you go.The bike has a 15-mile full throttle range or a 30-mile pedal-assist range, and you can reach speeds of up to 15 mph.

The bike’s most distinctive feature is its Bluetooth connectivity capability. You may connect your smartphone to the bike and get a direct feed on speed, battery life, and distance traveled, as well as change the operating mode.It also has a tiny control panel if you don’t want to deal with connecting gadgets.


  • Highly compact 
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Bluetooth connectivity for Smartphones
  • Adjustable with a comfortable saddle 


  • Issues with steep inclines
  • Tad bit slow

Electric Bikes Buying Guide

It’s only natural to get a bit more familiar with the differences between electric bikes. This way you can have a better understanding. Ultimately it will help you choose the best bike and the most useful for your particular needs.

Bike Type

  • Road bikes. Are meant for riding on smooth flat surfaces. They have a crouched-down riding position with drop handlebars.
  • Commuter bikes. Are an offshoot of road bikes. They have flat handlebars and an upright seating position, meant for casual riding.
  • Mountain bikes. Are meant for riding off-road and on challenging terrains. They have flat handlebars and a more upright riding position. They either come with a front suspension or full suspension.
  • Hybrid bikes. Are a blend between mountain bikes and road bikes. They have a more upright riding position and flat handlebars similar to a mountain bike. They are lightweight with wheels meant for flat surfaces.
  • Gravel bikes. Are another blend between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have droopy handlebars with a crouched seating position. As the name suggests, these types of bikes are great for gravel, rocky, mud, or wet terrains.
  • Folding bikes. Are bikes that can fold in half to be more compact, if you didn’t already guess from the name.

E-bike Classification System

The US government has a classification system for electric bikes as an emerging form of transportation. Those are Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.

  1. Class 1 e-bikes have pedal-assist only with a max speed of 20 mph with no throttle. The electric motor is activated when you pedal. Class 1 e-bike riders are given permission to ride anywhere like any other bike. 
  2. Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle and max out at 20 mph. The throttle is activated either with a grip-twist or button and accelerates the bike without pedaling. The throttle is limited to a certain speed for safety and regulation reasons. You can ride the class 2 e-bikes anywhere like class 1.
  3. Class 3 e-bikes have pedal assist and can go over 28 mph. They are restricted from certain bike trails and bike paths because of the high motor power output. 

Operating Modes

Electric bikes have 3 major operating modes. They are motor-powered, pedal-assist, and unpowered. Electric bikes may operate in one or combinations of operating modes, it will all depend on the specific bike.

  1. Powered Bike. The motor powers the bike on its own without your pedaling input. These types of electric bikes may or may not have pedals. While they’re super convenient, they’re as good as the battery charge and become dead weight when you run out.
  1. Pedal Assist. Basically, the motor provides you with power only when you are pedaling. A sensor on the pedal detects when you’re pedaling and powers the motor to assist. This is easier on the body and lets you cover distances for as long as you have a charged battery.
  1. Unpowered bike. You are doing things old-fashioned, you pedal the bike with no electric assist or power, you’re the sole source of power. Obviously, you’ll experience more fatigue but improve your health markers.

Motor Power

When looking at an electric bike’s performance you need to look for wattage and torque. Think of wattage as horsepower in a car. A bicycle with a high-wattage motor will be better at climbing steep hills, and it’ll also produce less heat when going over mild inclines compared to a lower-wattage motor, which needs more effort for the same performance. 

If you like to get off the line quickly, then you’ll need an electric bike with plenty of torque. Having more torque comes in handy when going on rough terrains, as it makes it easier to accelerate quickly. The downside of having an electric bike with a lot of torque and a rear-wheel-drive motor is the occasional, unintentional wheelie from time to time. Unless that’s your thing.

Most electric bike motors have between 250 and 350 watts of power. For reference 1 horsepower is equal to 745.7 watts.

Battery Size

Most electric bikes have 36v lithium batteries. Naturally, the higher the battery capacity, the more range, and power output you will have. Higher capacity lithium cells can discharge at a higher current without degrading the cells. More capacity is better, no discussion. 

The downside to a higher battery capacity is the size and weight of the battery. After all, you can only mount so many batteries on a frame before it becomes counterintuitive. If you need to carry your electric bike, the battery weight is either useful or dead weight.


Electric bikes can come with a suspension system for a smoother riding experience. The front suspension or also known as the fork is available in a few electric bikes. There are 2 types of suspension, Coil and Air.  Longer suspension travel can absorb impacts, bumps, rocks, or curbs when you’re in an urban environment. To give you an idea, a travel suspension between 90-150 mm is optimal for any terrain.

Frame Material

  • For bike frames, aluminum is the original lightweight material. Unlike other materials, aluminum frames are more likely to ease the transfer of road vibrations while riding. Aluminum frames are the most popular choice for electric bikes. However, when it comes to a terrific all-around wheelset, aluminum wheels and forks still reign supreme. 
  • For decades, steel was the most used frame material. Almost all bikes were built of this sturdy, hard, and very cheap material. Because of the production costs, is still in the market after all these years. The weight and the fact that it may rust are two apparent disadvantages. It may, however, be reshaped and mended for further durability. It’s a common frame material to keep the cost of some e-bikes low.

Chainring & Groupset 

E-bikes use either 1X or 2X and also 3X shifting as well.

Electric bikes have a combination of chainrings and cogs. Depending on the ratio you might get better performance for climbing steep hills, or reaching a higher top speed faster.  The more gears a groupset has, the more versatile it makes the electric bike. If you’re riding up a hill and you have 21 gears to choose, you adjust appropriately As you go up in cost, bikes transition from a simple 3 x 7 system to a 3 x 10 system, 2 x 5, and 1 x 10, you get better performance though.

Wheels & Tires

Electric bikes either use 700C or 650B wheels which correspond with 29-inch and 27.5-inch wheels respectively.

  • 29 inches or 700c are big and narrow. They are your best choice for easy terrains and flat surfaces. Prolonged rides require 700C wheels because they allow your bike to cover longer distances with less effort than thicker tires.
  • 27.5 inches or 650b are small but wide. They’re ideal for bumpy roads, dirt, and woodland paths, among other things. You can bike over these terrains with ease thanks to their grip, however, they aren’t suitable for prolonged rides. The cushion effect eases shock absorption.


At this price point, you’ll only have a choice between two brake systems: Mechanical disc brakes and Rim brakes. 

Mechanical disc brakes have the best brake performance and they’re quite popular with electric bikes, although this system is a tad bit heavy. Considering the fact that with enough use, steel cables snap, you will have to do maintenance work and replace cables regularly.

Rim brakes are lighter and they either come in V or U configuration. The clamps sit above the wheel and when squeezed, apply friction to the surface and slow you down. V-brakes are less expensive and easier to maintain, meanwhile, U-brakes are more streamlined.

Frequently Asked Questions on Electric Bikes 

Q: Is it worth getting a $500 electric bike?

A: Right off the bat, electric bikes are totally worth the price if you’re trying to commute from the office, school, house, etc. They are a great alternative to cars, as you won’t have to worry about gas, insurance, parking and tickets, and best of all you won’t ever be caught in traffic. At a price range of $500, you can get a lot of bang for your buck out of an electric bike.

Q: What are the disadvantages of electric bikes?

A: Some disadvantages that come with using an electric bike are mostly tied to the battery with long charge times, reduced efficiency, and degradation. The whole battery technology still has these issues, and it’s not exclusive to electric bikes, it goes for cars as well. Almost anyone who has ridden an e-bike will agree that a lot of them are heavier than your typical bike. This is an issue when you exceed the overall range of 30 miles and all the extra weight will slow you down and fatigue you faster. Naturally, there are extra costs for maintenance, and since there are a lot of moving parts, you increase the chance for something to go wrong.

Q: How fast can a 500W e-bike go?

A: Let’s run the math: 500 watts equals 0.67 horsepower which means you’re looking at a 26.5 miles per hour acceleration on an electric bike. This speed is overall pretty standard for an electric bike. Everyone can safely ride at this speed, assuming they take measures to stay safe while riding around.

Q: How fast will a 1000w electric bike go?

A: Let’s run the math: 1000 watts equals 1.34 horsepower which means you’re looking at a 35.5 miles per hour acceleration on an electric bike. That is a lot of power for an electric bike, and you need to account for extra weight and road friction which lowered that top speed. Depending on the state you live in you might need a special permit or deal with regulations.

Q: How long does an e-bike last?

A: While no e-bike lasts forever, with proper care and maintenance your e-bike can last well over 10 years. Across the board, lithium batteries lose efficiency over the years, as you may have noticed with your smartphone. It’s very likely you might replace the battery for a second or third one before you need to replace the e-bike itself.

Q: How often should I charge my e-bike?

A: Generally, you should charge the battery when you reach 30-40% charge left. Lithium batteries or any type of rechargeable battery cannot be left discharged, it greatly decreases efficiency. We recommend charging after every ride, that way your electric bike is always ready for your next trip.

Q: Can you ride electric bikes in the rain?

A: Electric bikes are water-resistant. As long as you can see and ride safely in the rain, your electric bike will do just fine. The batteries are enclosed in water-resistant cases so you won’t need to wrap them with plastic wraps or bags.

Q: Can you ride an electric bike without a battery?

A: Yes you can ride an electric bike without a battery. As long as your electric bike has pedals you can still be on the move. Granted if your battery ran out then the motor and battery are dead weights.

Q: How hard is it to pedal an e-bike?

A: On the contrary, pedaling an e-bike is very easy! The electric motor assists your pedal and makes it easier to ride, faster, and reach longer distances while experiencing half the fatigue as you would from a typical bike.

Q: Do electric bikes charge when you pedal?

A: Some electric bikes will charge themselves while you pedal, or when you brake. The kinetic energy of your movement is transferred to electrical power from the motor and then saved on the battery. This feature is not a standard-issue but depends on the bike.

The Finish line

We would highly recommend the ANCHEER 26 Electric Bike MTB is the best overall because it has the most optimal blend of features, specs, and price. While highly affordable, the Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Electric Bike is our best value option if you are working with a budget and want to get the most. But if you want to step it up, then look no further than the VIVI Electric MTB as it offers you premium features. Fret not because we have included other options that might be more to your speed!

Electric bikes have surged (pun intended) in popularity in the recent decades. You don’t have to break the bank to get a decent electric bike and use it for daily commuting. With a fair budget of $500 you can be sure to find something that will suffice.

After all, we want you to spend less time researching and more time having fun biking and living to the fullest. 

Do be part of the pack and check out some more articles if you liked this one and found it helpful!