How far can $600 get you when it comes to e-bikes these days? Well, surprisingly, damn far. While the technology surrounding powertrains and batteries has advanced over the years, the retail price of e-bikes continues to drop. The fact that manufacturers are focused on tapping into the entry-level market also helps a lot, and these days entry-level e-bikes costing no more than $1,000 cost a dime a dozen.
That said, don’t expect to find top-notch features when it comes to these specials. However, there’s no denying that these cheap bikes can be a lot of fun. Plus, the much-needed mobility they provide is definitely something that can’t be ignored. Speaking of budget-oriented e-bikes, Hyper, a brand we’ve covered a few times here, has been on a roll lately. Its latest offering is the E-Ride FS, a basic no-frills electric mountain bike that costs no more than $600 USD. The E-Ride FS uses a hardtail aluminum frame, core components and a 250W electric motor, to bring electric mobility to the masses.
Judging by the frame design alone, it’s clear that Hyper wanted to make this bike as accessible as possible. It gets a drop top tube with a prominent bend near the seat tube, making it a unisex frame. Additionally, a hub motor was chosen for this application to keep things simple, cheap and easy to maintain. As is the case with most e-bikes of this variety, the battery is housed in the downtube to lower the center of gravity and give the bike a sleek appearance.
Yes, the Hyper E-Ride FS is indeed an electric mountain bike. That said, as I’ve learned with every bike I’ve owned, “mountain” is subjective, and in the case of the E-Ride, light trails and gravel roads are likely to be all these budget-oriented e-MTBs might be able to do just that, that is, without risking damage to its running gear. That said, for $600, there’s plenty of fun to be had on this thing.
As mentioned, a 250W hub motor, no name mentioned here, propels this two-wheeler to a top speed of 20 miles per hour with assist. The bike’s battery is good for 20 miles of assisted range, which really isn’t that great, but for $600, who am I to complain? The other hardware is an unbranded front suspension fork that appears to have between 80 and 100mm of suspension travel. Plus, a low-cost Shimano groupset with just six rear gears provides some reassurance that the bike’s undercarriage can indeed stand the test of time.