There’s nothing more enjoyable than a ride out and about on a bicycle. The bicycle has been a staple of human recreation since its creation in the early 1800s. It’s a convenient form of transportation, a wonderful form of exercise, and an enjoyable experience in many forms.
However, many people now enjoy a more modern form of the bicycle: the e-bike. Electronic bikes use powered motors to help cyclists get to top speeds and save their own physical energy.
You might not feel as if you have the budget for an electronic bike currently. However, a cheap electric bike might have caught your eyes. Is it a poor decision to buy an electronic bike at such a cheap price or is it still a good investment?
Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Why Might Electric Bike Prices Vary?
If you’ve been in the market for an electronic bike for some time now, you’ve likely recognized the fact that electronic bikes are being sold for a wide variety of prices. Some might seem astronomically high while others are suspiciously low.
The low end usually hovers somewhere around the $500 mark while the most expensive could be in the many thousands.
Why the great variety in price? Well, the reasons are very similar to why ‘normal’ bikes often have such a great discrepancy in the sales price. That is: they are made from different materials.
The individual components that an electric bike is made from might vary from model to model. Often, when looking between two electronic bikes, it might be difficult to determine what these differences are.
If you’re looking to compare electric bikes, you’ll want to give extra attention to the battery, motor, brakes, and wheels. The price of these individual parts could give you some information on their quality, as well as an inspection of their overall weight and durability.
In looking at each of the components of an electronic bike individually, we might be able to better understand the compromises one might take on when purchasing a cheap electronic bike. Keeping an eye out on different brand names will also help.
Electronic Bike Batteries
It should go without saying, but the battery is one of the key elements that distinguish an electronic bike from your ‘normal’ model. For this reason, the battery will often be one of the more expensive aspects of an electronic bike.
You can bet your bottom dollar that a more expensive electronic bike will likely have a nice battery. This will be one of the major reasons that they push the price upwards.
What decides the price of a battery?
Capacity is a major contributing factor. How much energy can a battery store?
The more energy a battery can store, the less the owner of an electronic bike would need to charge it. There’s a much lower chance that one might run out of battery while out and about.
As such, a higher capacity will lead to a higher price. The brand name of a battery is also a big part of it. You pay a little, always, for a brand name. With it comes a certain sense of reliability that many consumers value greatly.
Cheaper e-bikes are more likely to be sold with a generic battery and a lower capacity. However, even a brand name battery with the same capacity as a generic one is likely to sell at something close to double the price, or even more.
A generic battery, in theory, should run as well as a brand name but it’s hard to say so with reassurance. If you run into trouble with your battery there likely won’t be support as consistent as you would find with a brand name model.
However, replacing a generic battery with another should be fairly affordable.
Electronic Bike Motors
The other distinguishing aspect of an electronic bike is the motor. Motors come in all sorts of varieties and may provide different amounts of power and overall performance.
When it comes to price, power is the most important factor. The more power a particular motor has, the more the asking price for that motor is likely to be. A powerful and reliable motor could be a few hundred dollars all on its own.
Brand name plays into the equation here as well. A decently powerful generic brand motor might go for a price lower than $50. However, a comparable motor with a brand name attached could go for double or even triple that price.
Should You Buy a Cheap Electric Bike?
Is it worth buying a cheap electronic bike? As we discussed above, an electronic bike is likely to be more affordable if it features a less powerful motor and a battery with lower capacity.
These will ultimately have some impact on the overall performance of the bike. However, some of the reasons for the lower price may just be the absence of brand name components used in the creation of the bike.
Whether or not this possibly lessened performance is worth the amount of money you might save is a personal call at the end of the day. A cheap electronic bike should still run fine, even if you might run into more problems than you would if you purchased one higher up in price.
If you are looking into a cheaper model, the key is to look into the battery and motor and ensure that they provide a standard of service that you are happy with.
Buying an Electric Bicycle
It can be difficult to browse all the bicycle options out there and decide on getting a cheap electric bike or not. Are you selling yourself short if you do? It all depends on the standard of performance that you want out of your purchase.
Need to learn a bit more about electronic bikes before making your purchase? Check out some of our guides for more information.