A 500 Watt motor should deliver a middling amount of power, right? Well, not quite — such a motor can provide similar amounts of torque to the best 250W mid-drive motors made by brands like Bosch and Yamaha.
Though a typical 500W motor might offer as much as 75-80 Newton meters of torque, it won’t compete with the 750-1000W beasts like those made by Bafang that can offer up to 120 Nm of torque. As such, they tend to be used as a more affordable means of producing more power on more accessible electric bikes.
Let’s take a look at three quality electric bikes that sit in the road, folding, and mountain bike spaces.
Best Overall 500W E-Bike
Surface604 has produced this ‘sports SUV’ e-bike with many compromises around its price point. Light, agile, and fun to ride, the Boar Explorer lacks a suspension fork. However, one is available as an optional add-on, though given the comfort of the fat tires, a suspension fork is not strictly necessary,
For bombing around the boonies, its 27.5 x 4.5” wheels and tires will handle sand and mud like a boss. At 50 lbs, it can be easily maneuvered as you hurl it around the track or trail. A torque sensor supports the 500W motor, so it is wonderfully responsive to your pedaling, and the thumb throttle can be used for that extra bit of go on tricky terrain.
It does carve a nice niche where electric bikes are concerned — a genuinely affordable yet tough and powerful fat tire e-bike. It isn’t as light as a Specialized trail beast or as well specced, but you can certainly have a lot of fun on it — off-road, it will be as much fun as you can have for $3,500 or so.
Best Foldable 500W E-Bike
The Gocycle G4i is the latest iteration of one of the world’s leading folding bike builders. Gocycle hasn’t the pedigree of archrivals Brompton but is nonetheless built for British multimodal travel where you may pack it into the car to get to the train station, carry it onto the train, then the subway for the third leg and then ride the final 3-5 miles to your office. It is very light at a shade over 37 lbs and folds down nicely, so you can carry it in one hand with your briefcase in the other.
With predictive automatic transmissions and other mad engineer-designed elements, this is arguably one of the best 500W folding electric bikes from anywhere in the world. Thanks to the Mag wheels and ultramodern looks, it has space-age looks that round off an e-bike designed and built for its purpose.
At well over $5,000, this is the pricier e-bike we look at here. It’s perfect for those complex commutes like getting from Connecticut living to the office in NYC by train.
Best Affordable 500W E-Bike
Aventon Pace 500.2
Where the Gocycle is about uncompromising style and design, the Aventon Pace 500.2 is all about affordability. At around $1,600, you’re getting a lot of Aventon’s hallmarks of quality at a reasonable price, with even a few thrills to hit the cost out of the ballpark.
One gadget we wish was on every e-bike is the brake lights that shine when you slow down — this element helps make the Pace 500.2 a handy road machine. It is otherwise relatively lightweight at 52 lbs and nimble with its 2.2” road tires.
You would choose this as a quality, no-frills electric bike that will zip you around the city streets with minimal fuss. Topping out at 28 mph with pedal assist and with the 614Wh in-tube battery, it could be used instead of a car for commutes from the suburbs.
Not showy but with a particular style, this e-bike succeeds without trying too hard, thanks to its components, looks, and gadgets. As a whole, not one to be passed over for the price!
Best Beach Cruiser 500W E-Bike
Around the Block 500W
Around the Block 500W women’s electric bike is pretty while packing a punch. It’s a great alternative to some of the beefier options in the e-bike world. The soft color and gentle curves make it a wonderfully feminine electric bike.
But don’t let it fool you. It has a powerful motor that will flatten hills out and enable quick acceleration. You’ll be able to sprint right up to 28 mph. It also had a moderate range. You’ll get 20 miles on the throttle and double that with pedal assist.
The Around the Block 500W is also built for comfort. It has a wide, spring saddle that’ll let you ride for miles without discomfort. It also has cable disc brakes that enable you to control your speed quickly without locking up, even in wet weather.
One big drawback to this e-bike is the 14-tooth smallest rear cog. Most of the time, you’ll have to pedal furiously to get up to that 28 mph top speed.
Best Foldable Fat Tire 500W E-Bike
The Engwe EP-2 Pro is your go-anywhere folding electric bike. It’s got a ton of benefits to offer, and it’s a great entry-level e-bike. It covers everything from general riding and commuting to camping and utility rides.
The 500W rear hub motor offers up to 55 Nm of torque to flatten out all by the worst hills. And thanks to its 20” x 4” tires, it can take most off-road stretches. It claims a range of 50 miles. But at full power doing its 28 mph top speed, you’re more likely looking at around 30.
Its two main selling points are price and storage. At just over $1,000, it’s incredibly affordable for an e-bike that packs this much punch. It also folds into 32H x 22 W x 39L dimensions, making it convenient for storage. Those features, plus its decent range and motor, make it a good choice for beginner e-bike riders.
The Engine EP-2 Pro’s only real drawback is its weight. At 74 lbs, carrying it around is hard, especially on a bus or train. Keep that in mind before choosing this one.
Best Foldable Step-Thru 500W E-Bike
Lectric XP Step-Thru 3.0
The Lectric XP Step-Thru 3.0 is a small but strong Class 3 e-bike. It’s a little machine that packs a big punch and has many features covering various uses. It’s also a fantastic bike for people with mobility issues, making it an ideal bike for seniors.
The main two features are its speed and range. Its 500W motor plus its 500Wh battery means up to 50 miles with pedal assist. Plus, it has a 672Wh battery option to go even further. Combing those with its fat tires, the Electric XP Step-Thru 3.0 can go almost anywhere.
It’s great for outdoor expeditions. It easily fits in your trunk or RV, allowing you to take it while RV-ing, camping, and exploring. You’re looking at a nice 10-15 miles of riding on that dirt or sand. Its lights are wired to the main battery, which will help you if you want to venture outside after dark for extra adventures.
One of its most unique features is its passenger-carrying option. That extra seat allows you to bring a friend, as long as you’re okay only going up to 10 mph. The XP Step-Thru 3.0 has a limiter to ensure things don’t get too wobbly. We’ll admit it’s a little heavy. That makes it not the best choice for a commuter bike. It’s better to keep this one by the beach or campsite.
500 Watts — Not an Afterthought
Given so many electric bikes have either a 250W or 750+W motor, the 500W motor still has its place ranging from a fun eMTB to a world-beating folding e-bike. Middle doesn’t need to be middling!
Get started on a new 500W e-bike today!