Best Folding Electric Bike Under $500. A Perfect Alternative to an Electric Scooter

Reading Time: 11 minutes

With US retail sales of e-bikes growing 90% year over year from the first quarter of 2019, we have managed to find the best folding electric bike for under $500.

Personal mobility devices, in general, are the ideal way to get around as people view public transportation as unsafe during the current pandemic.

Our favorite folding electric bike under $500 is the Ancheer commuter bike

CHECK PRICE

Ancheer Folding Electric Bike Review

The Ancheer folding e-bike is both reasonably priced and an excellent value. That is no surprise as Ancheer is a very popular brand in e-bikes. 

The Ancheer is a commuter bike with a respectable all-around performance, and this e-bike model with 12″ wheels is a folding e-bike, making it easy to transport or store.

The drivetrain is a single-speed setup and requires no adjustments and operates smoothly. 

Mechanical disc brakes will provide stopping power. You will be able to go from a pedal-assisted speed to a complete stop in 20 feet. 

A wide cushioned seat provides overall comfort with a capacity of 265 pounds for cargo and rider.

The 350 W brushless rear hub motor has a throttle for full-electric power without pedaling, and three pedal assist modes will support your pedaling effort. 

The Ancheer folding e-bike has a handlebar-mounted display unit that houses the bike’s controls. 

BEST FOLDING ELECTRIC BIKE UNDER $500. A PERFECT ALTERNATIVE TO AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER

Put the key in the battery and turn it to the on position and you will be able to view the display.

An intuitive set of controls in three buttons (power, + and – ) will allow you to shift between the bike’s pedal assist setting of 1, 2, and 3. 

These buttons and the display are located on the left side of the handlebars and are easy to reach while riding. 

Four LED lights will display battery life. All four lights being lit means that the battery is at full capacity. As battery power decreases, the light bars will turn off progressively. 

You will be able to charge the battery on the Ancheer folding e-bike via a charging cord that you will plug into a port on the side of the battery case. 

The Ancheer electric folding bicycle is a popular and highly rated model with an exceptional value. 

CHECK PRICE

Specs of Ancheer Folding Electric Bike:

Design: Dolphin Shape

Wheel size: 12”

Brakes: Dual Disc

Battery: 6AH Lithium Battery

Speed: 15mph

Range: 60KG(132lbs) / 15miles;75KG (165lbs)/ 10.6miles

Load capacity: 220 pounds

Weight of bike: 26.5 pounds

Frame: Innovative alloy frame

Charging time: <3 hours

Motor: 350 W brushless gear motor

Folding Electric Bicycle Buying Guide

When looking for the perfect folding e-bike, what should you take into consideration? Here are a few things to think about before purchasing. 

Where Will You Be Riding Your Folding E-bike?

First and foremost to consider is how you will be using it. What type of terrain will you be traversing? You will need less power on a flat ride than you would on a hilly commute in San Francisco. 

How Much Does the Folding E-bike Weigh?

Think, too, about whether or not you will have to carry the bike and under what circumstances. 

Your e-bike will get you comfortably to your destination, but you might have flights of stairs to get into the building. 

Being able to fold the bike helps transport it, but the weight will be a factor if you need to carry it up apartment stairs. 

How Will You Be Using Your Folding E-bike?

Will this be a last-mile form of transportation? If so, does the bike fold compact enough to fit in the trunk of your car? 

Once you are at your destination, will the bike fit under your desk or in a closet in your apartment?

What Is the Range of the Battery the Folding E-bike?

This is an essential factor to consider. If you are driving part way, parking, and using your e-bike for the last mile in, you will also need the bike to bring you the last mile back. 

Determine what your average commute will be and check it against the range of the e-bike you are interested in to make sure you get one that will be able to go the distance you need. 

What Kind of Battery Does the E-bike Have?

Most are lithium-ion batteries, which are the best kind to have. Check to see how long it takes to recharge the battery. This is good to know in case you get stuck somewhere and need to plug it in to charge.

A battery that you can detach from the bike is the way to go. You would be able to charge the battery in a handy outlet without having to have the entire bike present. 

Newer models require you to turn a key on the battery to start the e-bike. This is both an anti-theft and safety feature that is good to have. 

What Is The Speed of the Folding E-bike?

Most e-bikes will do at least 12 miles per hour. Others will have a speed of 18 miles per hour. However, the faster you go, the bigger the drain on the battery. 

It is also true that the incline of the roadway will impact your speed. So, if the e-bike can go 12 miles per hour, it may only be able to do nine mph on a hill. 

If you are using the e-bike on hilly commutes, it would be better to get an e-bike with faster mph to help on the hills.

Does the Folding E-bike Have Pedal or Throttle Assist?

A folding e-bike can be either pedal or throttle assist. If the e-bike is a pedal-assist, it will work by giving you additional power each time you pedal. 

If the e-bike is a throttle assist, it works by using the motor to turn the wheels when you engage the throttle lever on the handlebars. This type of e-bike does not require you to pedal.

Throttle Assist E-bikes

If you want to get around without putting extra effort into it, then the throttle assist is the way to go. 

Throttle assist e-bikes tend to have less range because they rely heavily on the battery.

Pedal Assist Folding E-bikes

If you choose a pedal-assist folding e-bike, you will need to use the pedal to make the e-bike move. 

You can control the level of pedal-assist on the LCD located on the e-bike’s handlebars. The range of the bike is greater when you use a lower setting of pedal assist. 

A pedal-assist e-bike will vary the amount of assistance in relation to how hard you are pedaling. 

Lower speeds will get you less power assistance and visa versa. The advantage of pedal power assist on a folding e-bike is that you will get a greater range out of your battery. 

What Type Of Sensor Does the Folding E-Bike Have?

If choosing a pedal-assist folding e-bike, check the type of sensor the bike has. A pedal-assist e-bike will have either a torque sensor or a cadence sensor. 

Torque sensors are more expensive, but they are also more sensitive to changes in how you are pedaling. This will give you smoother riding experience. 

A downside of a cadence sensor is that they are fine when you are at a constant speed, but will provide jolts of power from the motor, so the experience is not as smooth as a torque sensor provides. 

Where Is The Placement of The Motor on the Folding E-bike?

Front Hub Motor 

Folding e-bikes usually have the motors in one of three places: the front hub, the rear hub, or mid-drive. 

A front hub motor is on the front wheel and works by making the front wheel push the e-bike when the throttle is engaged. 

Most front hub motors are also throttle driven, and for the most part, not on pedal-assist e-bikes. 

It takes a bit of getting used to the feel of riding with a front hub motor as the majority of the weight of the e-bike is in front. 

They are, however, easier to install and less expensive. 

Rear Hub Motors

Rear hub motors are placed on the back wheel of an e-bike and make the rear wheel turn more quickly. 

They add more weight to the back of the e-bike, but it feels more natural than having the motor on the front wheel does. 

A rear hub motor can be either pedal or throttle assist. A hybrid e-bike primarily uses rear hub motors. 

Mid-Drive Motors

Placing the motor in the middle of a folding e-bike distributes the weight of the bike more evenly. 

Pedaling and cornering will feel more natural. The mid-motor is used primarily on pedal-assist ebikes. 

What Type of Brakes Does the Folding E-Bike Have?

There are two main types of brakes used on e-bikes. They are disc brakes or rim brakes, and they can be either cable or hydraulic. 

Experienced riders will pass up rim brakes in favor of disc. If the e-bike has cable brakes, pass it by too. 

These types of brakes don’t have the same stopping power as disc brakes. 

Hydraulic disc brakes will have the most stopping power in almost all weather conditions. 

Brakes are going to be a critically important feature on an e-bike. Be confident that you have the best type of brakes on the bike you choose. 

What Type of Folding Mechanism Does the E-bike have?

The folding mechanism will vary from model to model, but it should have a heavy-duty hinge along with a locking clamp at the center of the frame. 

The hinge should be made from the same material as the frame and be welded in place. The clamp on the bike is usually aluminum. 

When it is locked in place, the frame of the e-bike should be rigid and not have any flex at the hinge point. 

Don’t ever ride a folding e-bike that has any shimmying even though the bike’s clamp is engaged. Get it fixed before using. 

What Other Bells and Whistles Can You Get for an E-bike?

What if you want to deck your e-bike out? What are some of the accessories that would be helpful? 

It goes without saying that a helmet should be your top priority. There are differing opinions on wearing one, but it just makes sense to protect your noggin. 

Your skull is no competition for concrete should you take a spill.

A left-hand mirror will be a way to see cars approaching from behind you. It can be hard to hear with wind noise, so seeing them will be helpful. 

Some e-bikes have lights, but if your e-bike does not, consider adding one. You might not expect to be riding at night, but we all know about life and making other plans. 

There are lots of lights on the market with stand alone batteries.

There are also various types of baskets and cargo holders that you can get. Some of the cargo holders could carry your backpack so that you don’t have to wear it all the time while riding.

Depending on the model of your folding e-bike there are also ergonomic grips that you can get for your handlebars. Not only do they look good, but they are also easy on your hands.

A good majority of e-bikes will have a bell, but those are usually only loud enough for pedestrians or other bikers. You can add a louder vintage brass bell or one in your favorite color.

Which Is Best For You, An Electric Scooter, or a Foldable E-Bike?

E-scooter or folding e-bike? There are ardent supporters on both sides. 

If you are considering getting one or the other, it would be helpful to try them both out first. 

Both will get you where you want to go, but the ride will be different. 

One of the differences will be in the amount of comfort each offers when riding. You will be sitting with a foldable e-bike, and e-scooters can go either way: a standing or sitting vehicle.

With a foldable e-bike, you can ride it even when your battery runs out. An e-scooter will not offer the same option.

A foldable e-bike tucks under a desk or in a closet. At the same time, standing e-scooters don’t take up much space either.

And the list goes on! The decision will be determined using the vehicles and discovering which option best suits you. 

Perhaps this article will give you other aspects to consider when making a choice. Folding Electric Bicycle vs. Electric Scooter. You, the Commuter, Will Decide.

Tips For Folding Electric Bike Maintenance

Your foldable e-bike should come with an owner’s manual which will tell you about essential maintenance. 

If you don’t have one, look online at the manufacturer’s website for the model e-bike that you have.

Once you have purchased a folding electric bike, you want it to last you a good long time. One of the ways to accomplish this is to take care of your e-bike with regular maintenance. 

Start out by keeping your e-bike clean. It may seem easy, but keeping your folding e-bike clean will go a long way to keeping it on the road. 

If you ride your e-bike daily, try to clean your bike weekly. 

Don’t use a power washer as eclectic components won’t appreciate the pressure. A power washer could force water into the components. 

Use a mild dishwashing liquid and warm water to remove dirt, mud, and grime. Wipe dry when done. 

As you are cleaning off the e-bike, it is a good opportunity to check for worn, loose, cracked, rusty, or damaged parts on the bike. Fix whatever you find.

On a clean bike, lubricate the chain, levers, and derailleur. Apply the lubricant, let set and then wipe off excess.

Try not to leave the e-bike out in lousy weather. Store it somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight. Keeping your e-bike out of the sun will help keep the battery from overheating.

The motorized components of your folding e-bike should not need any regular maintenance. Just keep the outer casings clean and dry. 

The parts of the e-bike that are not electrical are usually standard bike parts. There are a few significant differences, though. 

Electric bikes are heavier, go faster, and riders tend to ride farther and longer on their bikes. All of that means that chains, brakes, and tires will wear out more quickly. 

Your folding electric bike is an investment worth taking care of so that it lasts you longer. If you are unsure how best to care for your e-bike, take it to the professionals. 

In Conclusion:

The Ancheer folding electric bike is a real value for under $500. It provides a comfortable ride to get you wherever you need to go.

In these days of social distancing, the Ancheer will provide you with a way to traverse your commute quickly, easily and with peace of mind. 

FAQ

What are the electric folding bike parts that tend to fail more often? 

On electric folding bikes with a twist throttle, the throttle can break because of misuse. Riders tend to pull the throttle back and then let it go. 
Doing so will eventually break it. The correct way is to pull the throttle back and then slowly and softly put it back in its place.

Can I carry my folding electric bicycle on the train?

Yes, you can. Amtrack allows for folded dimensions of 34” x 15” x 48”. It is always best to check with your rail line for their regulations before you plan your trip.

Is maintenance cheaper for an electric bike than for an electric scooter?

For the most part, it is less expensive to maintain an electric scooter. There are not as many “moving” parts on an electric scooter. 
An e-bike will have chains and gears and other parts that can go awry. 

Will my folding electric bicycle fit in my trunk?

Yes, it should. Most foldable e-bikes will fit in the trunk of a car, under your work desk or be compact enough to stow in a closet.

Leave a Comment

close

Copy and paste this code to display the image on your site