Looking for a budget ebike for short commutes

bleta

New Member
Region
Europe
I am looking to buy my first ebike, as I would like to use it as my main commute to work which is around 9 miles (14 km) away. As I am currently a student, I am looking for something at around $600-$900. My only request is that the bike has enough range to get me to work and back (so more than 20 miles). I don't really have any other requirements, I just hope to buy something that won't have me do maintenance every week, but I know that at this pricepoint reliability can be an issue. I live in the Netherlands so everything is flat and the bike paths are pretty good. I weigh 66 kg or around 145 lbs.

Looking at my requirements, I realized that I would have to look at cheap Chinese foldable ebikes. However, there are countless companies that I came across so I do not really know what to choose. Some of the brands I have looked at are DYU, FIIDO, Samebike, Himo. However, there is that many reviews online or comparison so I wanted to ask for an opinion.

In short, I want an ebike that is:
  • As cheap as possible
  • Somewhat reliable
  • [Edit] Foldable
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
I am looking to buy my first ebike, as I would like to use it as my main commute to work which is around 9 miles (14 km) away. As I am currently a student, I am looking for something at around $600-$900. My only request is that the bike has enough range to get me to work and back (so more than 20 miles). I don't really have any other requirements, I just hope to buy something that won't have me do maintenance every week, but I know that at this pricepoint reliability can be an issue. I live in the Netherlands so everything is flat and the bike paths are pretty good. I weigh 66 kg or around 145 lbs.

Looking at my requirements, I realized that I would have to look at cheap Chinese foldable ebikes. However, there are countless companies that I came across so I do not really know what to choose. Some of the brands I have looked at are DYU, FIIDO, Samebike, Himo. However, there is that many reviews online or comparison so I wanted to ask for an opinion.

In short, I want an ebike that:
  • As cheap as possible
  • Somewhat reliable
since you said cheap as possible, are you willing to build your own?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
This is pretty fun to watch, if you're interested in cheap project.

There are two parts, I will post part 1 and 2.
 

bleta

New Member
Region
Europe
This is pretty fun to watch, if you're interested in cheap project.

There are two parts, I will post part 1 and 2.
Ofc this is also an option. However, since I am not so handy with building things, I was just thinking of buying it already made to avoid any problems I might make installing it.

Another problem that I forgot to mention in the main post, is that I want it to be foldable so I can take it up to my house (I live in an apartment building). Since bike theft (and especially ebike theft) is a big problem in the Netherlands, I cannot just leave it outside. I don't if you can convert a normal foldable bike to an electric one, I thought that it would probably cause a problem with the folding mechanism, what do you think?
 

bleta

New Member
Region
Europe
Why do you need an e-bike in the first place? Your budget is even low as for a good traditional bike...
I have an internship that is 15 km away. Getting there by public transport takes a lot of time, while an ebike can be quite quick. I get a monthly stipend for travel so I thought why not use it to buy an ebike rather than use it for train tickets. While my budget is low, I have seen quite some cheap ebikes that have relatively good reviews online in that price range so I wanted an opinion on which one to choose in case somebody had some experience with them.

I tried going by my normal bike to work once and it was too much, I cannot do it without being drenched in sweat. Not to mention that 15 km is not that small of a distance to do by normal bike, everyday, twice a day.
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
Sounds like a hubdrive will work just fine for your uses. I don’t know if Eunorau ships to your location but there’s this rear hub drive kit that includes a torque sensor instead of the more basic cadence sensor. If you have or can acquire a good donor bike, it might be a really great option.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I have an internship that is 15 km away. Getting there by public transport takes a lot of time, while an ebike can be quite quick. I get a monthly stipend for travel so I thought why not use it to buy an ebike rather than use it for train tickets. While my budget is low, I have seen quite some cheap ebikes that have relatively good reviews online in that price range so I wanted an opinion on which one to choose in case somebody had some experience with them.

I tried going by my normal bike to work once and it was too much, I cannot do it without being drenched in sweat. Not to mention that 15 km is not that small of a distance to do by normal bike, everyday, twice a day.
The Netherlands is a flat country full of bike paths. Many thousand of people mount their "omafiets" (traditional "granny e-bikes") and steadily pedal them to work/school and back at steady and moderate speed. All of them. E-bike in the Netherlands might be a choice for an elderly, ailing person bur not for a student.

Yes, I understand you are not used to be pedalling as the Dutch people are. Consider an electric scooter.

1648521149564.png

Xiaomi M365 costs about EUR399.

Mark my words: A 600-900 US$ e-bike in Europe is just a junk. Spend your money wisely, please.

P.S. The price of the least expensive traditional new Gazelle omafiets starts at EUR 529. The least expensive new Gazelle e-bike costs EUR 1899. I am talking about the most classic of Dutch bike brand.
 
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bleta

New Member
Region
Europe
The Netherlands is a flat country full of bike paths. Many thousand of people mount their "omafiets" (traditional "granny e-bikes") and steadily pedal them to work/school and back at steady and moderate speed. All of them. E-bike in the Netherlands might be a choice for an elderly, ailing person bur not for a student.

Yes, I understand you are not used to be pedalling as the Dutch people are. Consider an electric scooter.

View attachment 118161
Xiaomi M365 costs about EUR399.

Mark my words: A 600-900 US$ e-bike in Europe is just a junk. Spend your money wisely, please.

P.S. The price of the least expensive traditional new Gazelle omafiets starts at EUR 529. The least expensive new Gazelle e-bike costs EUR 1899. I am talking about the most classic of Dutch bike brand.
This was actually what I wanted to get and an ideal means of transportation for these short distances in my opinion. However, the government of the Netherlands does not have the same opinion and considers these illegal. If you are caught with one you get a fine of around 400 euros and they even confiscate the scooter, so unfortunately I cannot use one.

I am a proud owner of an omafiets and it has been my main mode of transportation since I moved to the Netherlands. However, I would consider 15 km too much to do every day two ways. My main problem is that I do not want to go to the office all sweaty from it, and honestly, it's a bit tiring.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
What's the used e-bike market in the Netherlands? Specifically, a used e-bike featuring a rock-solid reliable Bosch or Yamaha ebike drive? Brose? (if an early motor, ask if it's had the problematic inner belt serviced).

Stick around these forums long enough to take in the posts from folks who went with a cheap but brand spanking new ebike and you just might come to the conclusion that I did long ago that even a used premium ebike drive is more preferable for problem-free service than one of those off the wall brands that pop up like mushrooms overnight in the backyard. That's my solution for a budget ebike.

As @Stefan Mikes stated, one can't find a decent enough bicycle for the budget you set; let alone a decent enough ebike. The numbers just don't work. One can continue commuting in the manner they are currently doing; while setting money aside every month to save for that more reliable mid-drive bike.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
However, the government of the Netherlands does not have the same opinion and considers these illegal.
You need then to know that -- as I call them -- "Chinese junk e-bikes" are not readily available where you live as the EU blocks cheap Chinese imports.

The cheapest EU e-bike I am aware of is the Decathlon ELOPS 120E that sells for 800 EUR.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
Tough challenge Bleta. Low budget and getting a folding ebike up some stairs. Many of the budget folders are over 60 lbs (27 kg). Not so easy to wrestle up stairs.
While surfing around online the other day I saw this little ebike. Propellant Mini. Not a folder but it weighs 33 lbs (15 kg) and starts at $950. It might not be available in your area.


Please post what you find. 🚴🏾‍♂️
 

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Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I am looking to buy my first ebike, as I would like to use it as my main commute to work which is around 9 miles (14 km) away. As I am currently a student, I am looking for something at around $600-$900. My only request is that the bike has enough range to get me to work and back (so more than 20 miles). I don't really have any other requirements, I just hope to buy something that won't have me do maintenance every week, but I know that at this pricepoint reliability can be an issue. I live in the Netherlands so everything is flat and the bike paths are pretty good. I weigh 66 kg or around 145 lbs.

Looking at my requirements, I realized that I would have to look at cheap Chinese foldable ebikes. However, there are countless companies that I came across so I do not really know what to choose. Some of the brands I have looked at are DYU, FIIDO, Samebike, Himo. However, there is that many reviews online or comparison so I wanted to ask for an opinion.

In short, I want an ebike that is:
  • As cheap as possible
  • Somewhat reliable
  • [Edit] Foldable
The easy answer is a Lectric XP. Probably now about a $1000 US and sounds like it will check all your boxes...
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Tough challenge Bleta. Low budget and getting a folding ebike up some stairs. Many of the budget folders are over 60 lbs (27 kg). Not so easy to wrestle up stairs.
While surfing around online the other day I saw this little ebike. Propellant Mini. Not a folder but it weighs 33 lbs (15 kg) and starts at $950. It might not be available in your area.


Please post what you find. 🚴🏾‍♂️
Marci: is this available in the Netherlands?
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
Marci: is this available in the Netherlands?

Darn, looks like just US & Canada. From the Propella site:

WE CURRENTLY SHIP TO US AND CANADA ONLY.
I just happened to catch this little bike while surfing around. I was thinking it might fit inside my Acura suv. Most of the folders are just too heavy for my wimpy arms.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Tough challenge Bleta. Low budget and getting a folding ebike up some stairs. Many of the budget folders are over 60 lbs (27 kg). Not so easy to wrestle up stairs.
While surfing around online the other day I saw this little ebike. Propellant Mini. Not a folder but it weighs 33 lbs (15 kg) and starts at $950. It might not be available in your area.


Please post what you find. 🚴🏾‍♂️
Nice bike, with belt drive too. I can attest to the fun of a 33 pound bike, Trolls hate them.
P1650280.jpg
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
I think Swytch geared front hub kit is a European sourced product, it might eat up all of your budget for the kit (which is currently on backorder?) but it is supposed to be very easy to install if you can find a decent used folding bike that suits you. It supposedly weighs 3kg so a 33 - 35ish pound folding bike with the kit should be achievable. The battery is handlebar mounted and supposed to be easy to remove so that could be carried up separately if necessary. I have a 26" dahon Jack folder and a 24" dahon briza which are only a pound or two heavier than a 20" folder so you aren't stuck riding a 16" or 20" folder if you prefer a larger wheel bike.


 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Decathlon has just suspended its operations in Russia, so buying a Decathlon e-bike is not only wise but kosher, too :)