Ancheer 250W review: Can you get a solid ebike for under $600 shipped? We tried and had a lot of fun
Amazon Link/ Code: AZBF7HCC at checkout $585.19+$10 <week ground shipping
I know a high-end ebike when I see one and this Ancheer 250W is absolutely not high-end. In fact, it would probably be a bit of a stretch to call this a mid-tier electric bike. Ancheer, a Chinese company that also sells USB peripherals, Fitness equipment and other knickknacks, took a bunch of base level components and put them on a Huffy-level all aluminum bike frame and out of this concoction got a good sub-$600 ebike. So how good/bad is it? Let me tell you…
This is a great bike for the <$600 price (especially when you include shipping!) but I would keep your expectations on component quality realistic. I (200+lber) get about 10 miles of pure throttle range or 20 miles with pedal assist – which will be fine for most commutes.
I think Ancheer made a lot of smart decisions getting the bike to this price while keeping the power and feature set useful. But low power and some questionable parts will always make more expensive bikes more appealing.
The Ancheer brand “makes” quite a few ebikes but this $600 bike is kind of the sweet spot in price/performance for a big swath of potential bike riders. We’ve got a special Amazon Link/ Code: AZBF7HCC at checkout for you that knocks $30 off the already low price. After applying the code you should get a final price of $585.19+$10 for 5-7 day shipping (mine came in 3 days from a warehouse in NJ).
Additionally, Amazon has some agreements with some local bike stores that will put it together for you for free, although it was super easy and took me about 15 minutes without looking at any instructions.
Shipping and Receiving
Ancheer offered us a free bike for this review but it came via Amazon order so I got to see that process first hand. One thing I noticed when researching this bike is that it looks very similar to other bikes coming from China with the same specs.
For instance this “Sheepfun” [not kidding] looks remarkably similar. Same with this “Ferty”, Tomsar, eshion, etc. So I’m pretty sure someone in China is OEMing this bike to a bunch of brands. But I got mine from Ancheer and you should too.
The bike came in a box that bad been roughed up a bit by the shipper but without any serious damage. Since it came from New Jersey, I’m going to assume Ancheer sent a few ship container’s worth of these over and is shipping them out via ground freight out of US port cities. Good way to save a few bucks and weeks vs. ordering directly from China and waiting a month or two. **ahem Sondors**
Putting the bike together was easy if you don’t want the free bike shop assembly option. It comes 90% assembled and all you have to do is put on the pedals, handlebars, seats, front tire and a few other minor components and you are ready to go.
In looking through reviews of this bike, I noticed that some people got backwards forks but mine was set up correctly. However my front brake was mapped to the right hand side which I’ve never seen before and would cause me some issues down the road. There were a few very small scratches from shipping.
The 36V, 8Ah lithium Ion bottle-shaped battery came about 2/3rds charged, so I plugged that in right away to make sure my 1st ride was fairly robust. This battery roughly costs $200-$250 on AliExpress so this is a big chunk of the cost right here. In the coming years, battery costs will fall, so a replacement for this one might be $100 in 5 years…if the bike lasts that long.
This is where things got a little hairy for me. The handlebars looked like they weren’t angled correctly but rather than try to correct it I figured I’d just go with it – and to my surprise, they weren’t a big turn off.
As I said before, the right brake handle was mapped to the front brake, which in my experience is backwards. I default brake with my right hand as it usually hits the rear brake which is better for not going over your handlebars. But using my normal default, I kept activating the front brake. Sure, I could switch these pretty easily but I’m trying to give an out of the box experience.
The problem here is that the front suspension fork is longitudinally loose so every time I used the disc brakes the front fork would shake slightly. It didn’t have the issue when using the rear brakes. Ancheer is pretty aggressive about fixing problems but I think for this level of bike, you could probably drop the suspension fork altogether (also this guy’s fork broke!). It would also save a few bucks. In any case, I’m not going to take this thing on any serious off-road trails where suspension is important.
The tires and wheels were pretty good for the price. Not true mountain biking level thickness, but good hybrid quality. The aluminum alloy frame wasn’t as heavy as I would have expected, but felt relatively stiff. The seat/saddle is something you’d find at Walmart for $10, but is certainly livable.
The battery is the “water bottle” form factor which means it isn’t integrated into the frame at all but it is easy to remove and lock in with the set of included keys. Under the seat adjacent to the rear wheel is the power controller. Neither of these things got in my way and both are mounted firmly to the bike.
The brakes are disc brakes but the front ones vibrate the front fork which is a problem for me. They do what they are supposed to do and stop the bike pretty quick, so I can’t complain too much.
This thing has a 250W rear hub motor which is about the smallest motor I would recommend for someone my size (6′ 200+lbs). For kids and dainty people like my wife, you could probably get away with less but for practical purposes I’d advice sticking above 250W.
Likewise, the “water bottle” form factor 36V/8Ah (288Wh) battery is about as low as I’d go. I didn’t measure specifically because I live in a very mountainous area, but I would guess you would get about 10 miles of flat land throttle alone or 20 miles of pedal assist depending on what mode you were in and how hard you pedaled.
On hills, the 250W motor provided admirable pedal assist but couldn’t get up the steeper hills on its own. On flat ground, the throttle only got me to around 20mph in about 20 seconds – not exactly whiplash, but absolutely fine for the average commuter.
Like most rear hub motors, the pedal assist would engage after a second of pedaling and disengage a second after stopping pedalling – which can be annoying if you are trying to stop and the motor is still propelling you. This delay is inherent in rear hub motors (torque changes have to travel through the chain) vs. mid-drives although it was more pronounced here than on bikes like the Pedego Ridge Rider.
Propulsion is controlled by a very basic controller on the left side. You have a power button and arrows that take you through 4 options. You begin on the lowest pedal assist and click to the right 2 steps to get from Low-Mid-High options.
Strangely the throttle option is achieved by clicking to the left once which has no LED indicator. Below the propulsion LEDs you have 5 LED “power” battery status indicators which I found vaguely accurate.
I live in either throttle or high power mode, but I suppose if you are trying for long battery life there could be a use case for low or middle, though I don’t think they could even get me up a small hill.
The gears and derailleur are very basic 3×6 18 speeds. I didn’t have any issues switching between gears but I don’t anticipate that these and the sprockets that go with them will last as long as name-brand bikes.
As snobby as I like to be however, I have to admit, this gear system worked without any slipping, even in high torque situations right out of the box. Once the battery dies, or if you are in it for the exercise, the bike rides like a $200 18 speed.
This is an easy ebike to enjoy. You hop on, flip a switch and off you go for 10-20 miles. Putting it together takes 15 minutes, charging is easy and only takes a few hours (meaning you could charge this at work, doubling your range). It even has a nice light and horn.
I think a lot of budget conscious people could really enjoy it. My concerns are with the quality of the components and specifically the front fork which is why I would recommend this only for street and path riding. Alternatively, you could swap out with a higher quality fork for a few extra bucks.
I think with the right care, this could last for years and replace a car for a lot of people’s commutes. For those looking for a serious step up with similar form factor, I would recommend the $2300 Trek Verve+ or $2700 Raleigh Redux
We’ve got a special Amazon Link/ Code: AZBF7HCC at checkout for you that knocks $30 off the already low price. After applying the code you should get a final price of $585.19+$10 for 5-7 day shipping (mine came in 3 days from a warehouse in NJ).