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There are countless reasons why someone might prefer the lightest electric bike over heavier models. While heavy e-bikes are known for providing more power to get riders through challenging terrain, a lightweight bike is easier to carry, which is handy if you live in an apartment building. They also offer a more effortless pedaling experience when you’re not relying on the motor assist function, and in some cases, can even be space savers if you opt for a folding e-bike.
Finally, you’ll also need to consider your riding style, the type of terrain you’ll most frequently traverse, and how often you want to recharge your battery. Thankfully, lightweight e-bikes have come a long way, making them a solid choice for people who still want access to an assistive ride but don’t want to haul a heavy bicycle around between uses.
Keep reading our lightest electric bike guide to learn more. And if you’ve just started your search for the best electric bike, our guide can walk you through the essentials.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This electric bike boasts a swappable battery, allowing users to extend its range easily. It reaches a top speed of 15mph and has a range of about 15.5 miles. A carry handle and foldable design enable space-saving storage.
The Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Pro Plus 14-inch electric bike achieves top speeds of up to 15mph on battery power. This bicycle ȧlso has a pedal-only mode for manual riding. It has premium parts with an aerodynamically sound design that stands out. With a range of up to 15.5 miles, this bicycle is ideal for commuting to school or work. It conquers hills of up to 30 degrees inclination without a hitch. However, this bicycle has a small seat.
This bike has a height-adjustable seat and handlebar, offering support to smaller and bigger riders. It comes pre-assembled, so users can start riding right away. With 14-inch air-filled tires, this bicycle offers a smooth ride even on rough roads. This bike has a swappable battery, so users can purchase a spare pack to extend the range. Thanks to its compact design, this bicycle is maneuverable and takes up little space during storage. It also has a carry handle and folds for storage.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This electric scooter has a compact, foldable design that is easy to maneuver and store. The bicycle features an LCD for monitoring the bike and a front light for enhancing visibility.
The Jetson Bolt 12-inch electric bike runs on a lithium-ion battery that has a runtime of up to 15 miles. This bike has a compact design that will appeal to children and adults. It has folding handlebars and a carry handle for hassle-free transportation. The bicycle has an LCD display to help users monitor various parameters. With a loading capacity of 250 lbs, this bicycle is suitable for men and women. However, this bike’s braking system is choppy.
A lightweight aluminum alloy frame provides sturdy durability. It runs on a 250W motor that provides adequate power for joyriding and commuting. The motor performs quietly for convenience. This model has an LED headlight to enhance visibility during nighttime riding. It also has a cruise control function, eliminating the need for the rider to engage the throttle in some conditions. This bike has footpegs, allowing users to rest their feet.
Award: BEST FOLDABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bicycle has a high-beam headlight and taillight to enhance safety when riding in low-light conditions. It boasts a range of up to 27.9 miles and folds for easy carrying.
Users seeking a bike with great range should check out the Xprit TDT1401Z 14-inch electric bike. This bicycle uses a 36V 10Ah battery to run for up to 27.9 miles on a single charge with pedal assist. It has a 250W brushless motor which provides adequate power for fast acceleration. The electric bike reaches a top speed of 15.5mph on battery power. A dual-disc braking system brings the bike to a halt fast and smoothly. However, this bicycle takes time to install.
This bicycle has a high-beam headlight to facilitate nighttime riding. It also has a tail light that enhances safety on the road. The bike has an aluminum alloy frame that provides structural integrity while keeping the weight low. It’s foldable to save space during storage and supports individuals weighing up to 264 lbs, so it’s ideal for children and adults. This model has an LCD with a battery level indicator.
Award: BEST FOR COMMUTING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bicycle has wide street tires and a seven-step gear system, providing excellent acceleration and stability. The bike has a removable battery, so users can swap out the packs.
Designed for commuters and fast riders, the Heybike Race 26-inch electric bike has a streamlined design. It has a lightweight frame and simple aesthetics that will appeal to a variety of people. A 36V 10Ah lithium-ion battery pack offers up to 25-40 miles on a single charge. This battery is detachable, so users can swap out the packs to enhance the bike’s range. A 350W brushless motor provides adequate power for fast riding. However, the seat height is too tall for some riders.
This bike hits a top speed of 20 mph. It comes with standard puncture resistant-tires built for street riding. Dual lights on this model enhance safety when riding in low light. This bicycle has a front fork suspension that offers durability. A Shimano 7-speed gear system allows tackling steep hills and flat grounds. This bike has an LCD, so users can monitor various riding parameters easily. It has a pedal assist function with three different levels for convenience.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bike’s removable battery is integrated into the frame, providing a neat appearance. The bike has five different levels of power assist, enabling customization.
The Hiland Rockshark 20-inch electric bike has a foldable design that allows easy storage. The bike easily fits into a car trunk in the folded state for easy transportation. It features a 250W brushless motor that offers five different power assist levels. This bicycle is quite fast, reaching a top speed of 17 mph. It has an IPX6-certified dustproof and waterproof design that supports riding in light rain. A 7-speed Shimano gear system is easy to operate. However, this e-bike is a bit heavy.
A 36V 7.8Ah lithium-ion battery powers the bike for up to 26 to 40 miles before requiring recharging. The battery is integrated into the frame, offering a sleek look. This battery is removable and has a quick-release system, so users can swap out the battery packs. Featuring an aluminum alloy frame, this bike is lightweight and durable. It has disc brakes with an automatic power-off function for effective braking.
Award: BEST FOR HILLS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bike has a seven-level Shimano shifting system and large tires that are useful on inclines and rough terrain. It hits 20 mph and is high enough for adult riders.
Equipped with a 350W high-speed rear-mounted brushless motor, this Vivi 26-inch electric bike has incredible acceleration. The bike hits a top speed of about 20 mph, so it’s a good choice for commuters. A Shimano seven-speed gear system allows users to ride comfortably on flat and hilly terrain. This electric bike features a 36V lithium-ion battery that supports pedal assist and full e-bike modes. Although integrated into the frame, this battery is removable for hassle-free replacement. However, this model doesn’t fold.
Front and rear mudguards come in handy when riding on wet roads. This e-bike has large 26-inch mountain bike-style tires that provide traction on and off the road. It’s capable of climbing inclines of up to 12 degrees. An LED display showcases the battery level and speed. This model features headlights for illumination. In addition to pedal assist and e-bike modes, this bicycle also supports manual riding. It has a loading capacity of 330 lbs, so it’s ideal for heavier individuals.
If the definition of a light electric bike is determined strictly by weight, then any bicycle that weighs roughly 35 pounds or less would qualify for this product category. These bikes are designed to be easier to handle physically. This makes them less of a burden if you need to carry your bike up a flight of stairs or over an obstruction in your path. For a comparative look at some great bikes, check out our Trek vs Giant article.
However, “light” is relative to the rider and what they view as being too heavy, as well as the ebike subcategory. Technically speaking, any type of electric bike can be defined as “lightest” if it weighs less than the average weight range for its category. This also applies to all-terrain electric bikes, as they’re meant to be light enough to tote while hiking.
For example, fat tires and mountain bikes are traditionally heavier options because of their oversized tires, more powerful motors, and higher-capacity batteries. The average weight range for these bikes (like the Luna Cycle ebike brand) is 50 to 70 pounds for fat tires and 40 to 80 pounds for mountain bikes. If you were to find a fat tire under 50 pounds or a mountain bike that weighed less than 40 pounds, that would qualify as the lightest electric bike for that niche.
Weight is the most obvious difference between a light electric bike and other types of e-bikes, but it doesn’t stop there. Usually, a truly lightweight electric bike will feature a lighter frame, a smaller motor, and a lighter battery.
All of those components impact the overall weight of the bike. Additionally, you might find that these bikes have lighter tires. And because of the lighter frame and parts, you’ll find that when you are riding without the motor-assist function, you don’t have to work as hard to move your bike forward.
That said, there are a few drawbacks to picking a lighter e-bike. In particular, lightweight electric bikes tend to be very expensive as manufacturers must streamline the design while minimizing any sacrifices to functionality. Two common drawbacks tend to center around a less powerful motor and a battery with a smaller capacity.
Additionally, people who want a true lightweight bike may find that the bike styles are limited. Since heavier options such as fat tire, mountain, and cruising bikes are historically heavier, they lose functionality when a lower weight class is prioritized. It’s also common to see lightweight bikes with batteries that can’t be removed.
And in terms of function, traditional lightweight bikes may also offer fewer gears, limiting them to in-town or commute rides. But primarily, they’re not designed for off-roading or powering riders over steep inclines. You may also lose additional protection, such as a battery case or built-in lock, as those features are often scrapped to reduce weight.
Lightweight electric bikes work just like other e-bikes. These models can also be found with pedal-assist or throttle motors, helping propel you as you ride. Typically, a lightweight e-bike will feature a hub motor, meaning that the motor is located either in the front or rear wheel hub.
For true lightweight electric bikes that weigh less than 35 pounds, you may find that many of the extra features like mudguards, racks, or even built-in lights may not be present as they have been sacrificed to reduce weight. Traditionally, lightweight e-bikes are known to have smaller batteries which means they hold a lower capacity.
But in recent years, many electric bike manufacturers have been incorporating streamlined batteries with commendable capacities and range extender system support. This means that you have the option of connecting extra batteries to the primary battery so that you can ride longer between charges.
Whether you’re a commuting fanatic or someone who just wants to ride without the extra weight, a light electric bike can be a smart investment. While there’s always a risk of sticker shock, if you’re serious about reducing your load, these bikes are a must-have.
As with any electric bike, your general mileage is dependent on a few factors. First, the bike frame can last indefinitely as long as you take care of your bike. Engaging in routine maintenance and not abusing it can go a long way towards protecting your investment.
The motor and battery, the two key components of an electric bike, usually have a lifespan ranging from three to five years. That figure assumes that an individual rides their bike regularly. Similar to the frame, if you don’t abuse these important parts, you should meet these benchmarks.
Electric bikes are one product category in particular where lighter doesn’t always equal better because you need to factor in your specific riding style and needs. A true lightweight e-bike will be ideal for a very specific customer. In contrast, it may better benefit other shoppers to look for the lightest e-bike within other parameters.
Are you shopping for a light bike because you frequently have to carry your current ride up and down the stairs? Or would you prefer a bike that’s a bit easier for you to ride when you haven’t activated the motor but is still powerful enough to achieve your riding goals?
Knowing the answer to those questions will make all the difference as this will impact the type of e-bike you’re looking to buy. Remember, not all e-bikes are equal when it comes to covering terrain or managing traction. And some categories may be harder to find in a true lightweight model.
If you’re shopping for a true lightweight e-bike, you’re looking for a bike that’s around 35 pounds or less. Historically, this is going to limit your choices to folding, commuter, and racing bikes. These bikes have plenty of options that are typically in the 30 to 50-pound range, and the modifications required to make them 35 pounds or less will be easier to achieve.
Conversely, if you have your heart set on a fat tire, cruiser, or mountain bike, then you won’t be shopping for a true lightweight bike. Instead, your focus is going to be on finding the lightest option within that product category. These bikes normally weigh between 50 to 70 pounds, with “lighter” versions being in the 40 to 50-pound range.
Typically, true lightweight electric bikes don’t feature extended-range batteries because they weigh more. But, it is possible to find some lightweight e-bikes with modified batteries that feature an extended range system. While the actual battery has a finite capacity, it can be connected to external batteries to help extend the distance you can ride between charges.
Your riding style is going to dictate the bike that’s best for you. If you frequently shift between level terrain and off-road conditions, you might be better served with a more heavy-duty option like a fat tire or mountain bike. Conversely, racing, commuter, and folding bikes might be ideal if you only ride in town or for commutes.
In no category is budget more important than when purchasing a lightweight electric bike. These bikes don’t come cheap, with many being as much as $8,000. While any electric bike can be viewed as an investment, it’s no truer than with lightweight e-bikes.
If the idea of spending a lot of money on a lightweight e-bike sounds painful, then there is an alternative. You can opt to modify an existing normal bike — one that’s human-powered — with a conversion kit. This might be a smart solution for someone who already has a nice lightweight bike but is ready to upgrade to a motor-powered solution. Most conversion kits are designed to be DIY-friendly and can often be installed in an hour or two.