Difference Between Cheap and Expensive e-Bikes
As with any type of bike, e-bike price tags can range from eye-popping cheap to eye-wateringly expensive. Why is this happening? What exactly is the difference between the two? If you’ve been on e-bikes for a while, no doubt these questions entered your mind at some point.
Well, it all boils down to the individual components used by a particular e-bike. You have to be willing to look at each one carefully and compare the EVs used by cheap EVs with more expensive EVs. Only then will the seemingly subtle line separating the two be highlighted. Usually, this is hard to spot by the average rider.
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So what’s the difference between cheap and expensive electric bikes? The difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes is largely determined by the quality of the materials used in each component. From batteries and motors to brakes and wheels, the prices of these parts vary widely based on factors such as weight, durability, and more.
Technically speaking, taking the time to understand the price of each e-bike is the only way you can get a firm grasp on the price of an e-bike. You have to have a specific reason to know the difference between cheap and expensive electric bikes.
Whatever it is, we’ll help you pinpoint that difference by digging into the cost of each part. In short, we’ll keep going into the details.
In turn, we’ll complement these facts by comparing cheap, mid-range and expensive models. With this comprehensive approach, we are confident that you will have all the information you need.
If you’re planning to make the most of your money, or just want to buy an e-bike that suits your specific needs and purposes, it will prove worthwhile to know the exact difference between these e-bikes and their respective components.
The big difference between cheap and expensive electric bikes
In this case, the word “huge” cannot be emphasized any more. That’s because the price range of ready-to-use e-bikes alone is enough to illustrate the difference.
Brand new low-end e-bikes can often be purchased for as little as $500, but prices can soar to twice as high. It is still considered “affordable”.
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Part of the reason behind this is that mid-range e-bikes can cost as much as $3,000. Any e-bike over the $1,000 limit is already considered a mid-range bike.
Electric bikes by price:
Under $1000 – Low-end electric bikes. Works fine for occasional and less demanding rides.
$1000 – $3000 – Mid-range electric bikes. A good option for frequent use, such as commuting or long-distance travel.
$3000+ – High-end electric bikes. Makes good sense for professional use, such as mountain e-bikes, long-distance travel or other special needs such as cargo.
Price breakdown for each major e-bike component
Now that you have a clear picture of the cost of a finished electric bike, you can now drill down to the price of each specific element. Get ready to see how complex this beautiful beast is, at least as far as its composition goes. By knowing this, you’ll immediately be able to pinpoint which e-bikes tend to scream “high quality” and which ones aren’t.
How much does a battery affect the cost of an e-bike?
The battery is a no-brainer element, because without it and the motor, your e-bike simply cannot run (at least as an e-bike). For this sole reason, expect this to be one of the more expensive parts of your e-bike.
When considering the price of an e-bike battery, capacity is often measured along with the brand that makes it. Inexpensive models usually include generic batteries that cost between $15-18.
Even if a higher-end e-bike uses a battery of the same capacity as a cheap battery, the cost of its brand could balloon to three times that amount. If it’s made by a brand like Samsung, LG, or Bosch, you can expect it to be worth anywhere from $40 to $200 and up.
How much does the electric motor contribute to the cost of an e-bike?
Another very expensive part of an e-bike is the motor. Power and overall performance often determine the cost of a motor. Of course, a powerful motor immediately shows quality, so it’s worth more overall.
Whether you have a mid-drive motor or a hub motor, price usually depends on power, as it immediately determines the riding experience. Brands also play a role.
For example, you might come across off-brand motors that cost as little as $15-$20 and still perform well. Chinese brands like Bafang usually cost an average of $100. By comparison, the production cost of motors from well-known brands such as Panasonic, Bosch or Shimano typically hovers between $150-200.
How much does a frame contribute to the cost of an e-bike?
Frames take up a large portion of an e-bike’s expense. And for good reason. Technically, it brings together all the major and minor elements of the bike.
For e-bikes, the heavier the frame, the lower the quality. After all, most heavy duty frames are pretty flimsy, so you can expect cheap e-bikes to use them. This is in stark contrast to lighter frames that are typically made of durable metal alloys.
You may find frames for as little as $100-200, usually made of iron or aluminum alloy. More resilient frames can typically cost $500-$900. You will find that they are usually composed of high-quality titanium or carbon. .
How much does electronics contribute to the cost of an e-bike?
The overall cost of an e-bike also largely depends on the electronic components included in the e-bike. This is different in each model. Circuit breakers, LCD displays, wires, and connectors make up most of the electronic components of an e-bike.
Cheap wiring (made of unshielded copper-aluminum) can be as low as 30-40 cents. However, in the case of shielded copper wires, expect them to cost around $5-6. As for circuit breakers, people can usually get them for $21-25, but there are also cheap circuit breakers for $10-11.
The price of LCD monitors is even more inconsistent due to other features that LCD monitors may have. Some cheap ones can be had for $13-24, while more expensive components are priced between $45-65. Note that the circuit breaker and LCD display prices mentioned here are also based on standard retail prices.
How much do brakes affect the cost of an e-bike?
While one of the less expensive components of an e-bike, the brakes are just as important for obvious reasons. Like the frame, you should pay attention to the materials used in the brakes.
Cheap e-bikes don’t hesitate to use poor-quality plastic levers, thin rotors, and less-than-ideal pads. These usually cost 80 cents each.
Buying medium quality brakes can cost around $9. High-quality ones, usually the ones you’d typically see at online stores, cost an average of $25 per brake. Most use Hall effect sensors supplemented by magnets for better performance.
How much do wheels contribute to the cost of an e-bike?
Materials, properties, and manufacturing sources determine the cost of an e-bike wheel. What materials are used in the body and tire components? What is its top speed? US-made parts usually cost more.
Not-so-great wheels for e-bikes can cost around $4. Although the mid-range price might be three times that price ($12 to be exact). For companies that settle for quality more than anything else, they’ll typically spend $40 to produce a premium wheel.
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Now, let’s compare cheap, mid-range and expensive electric bike models
To get a fuller picture of the price differences between e-bike models, you should also look at how each model differs from the other. In this installment, we’ll take a closer look at the aspects and features of low-cost, mid-priced, and downright high-priced e-bike models.
In addition to cost, we’ll talk more about basic factors like weight and durability. For example, does a certain model come with a warranty? How does ride range affect price—if anything? Stick with it, and you’ll soon know the answers to these questions. For sure, this will give you the most accurate answer to the main question above.
We know that certain e-bikes perform best in certain terrains and environments (ie commuting, urban riding, outdoor riding, etc.). While the models we selected excel in one or more of these specific areas, we did not use them as a factor when measuring their quality. We’ll focus more on the more basic elements that make up an electric bike.
That said, we’ve outlined each one for easier reference. Take a look at the three models below to see how they differ from these fundamental factors considered.
700c/36 Volt Hyper E-ride Electric Commuter Black Bike (Low End)
Weight and frame
The e-bike’s weight isn’t specifically listed on its product information page. However, many of its reviews say its heavier weight makes it more difficult to maneuver. This is the case even though the product claims to use a “lightweight” aluminum frame.
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As for range, its 36-volt lithium-ion battery promises 1 hour of total ride time, or about 20 miles. The top speed it can reach is 20 MPH and it includes three different speed modes namely: Low, Medium and Turbo.
Durability and Price
Its durability isn’t outstanding, as evidenced by its lack of mention in the top reviews. Due to its very cheap price, it’s no surprise that this model has no warranty at all.
$598 is a bargain for an e-bike if you consider its value for money. Many positive reviews indicate that this bike is capable of delivering a general e-bike experience. Longer-lasting batteries are lauded for their price.
Plus, if you like to commute a lot, this e-bike has everything you need. But the additional features are noticeably lacking. Whether the bike will last long is still a lingering question.
Its high-power 48-volt lithium-ion battery provides a wide riding range of 35-80 miles while reaching a top speed of 20 miles per hour. It combines driving modes with advanced pedal assist that automatically measures torque, speed and cadence.
Durability and Price
There isn’t much mention of its durability in user reviews. But since it’s made of aluminum alloy, it’s expected to last longer than lower-end e-bikes. A telltale sign is that it comes with a 1-year warranty.
If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.