The concept of minimalist electric bike is not a new thing. Ever since the earlier version of e-bikes with big motors and bulky batteries came out engineers and designers have been looking for ways to make them lighter, using different materials and ditching all the parts that are not absolutely essential. The result was often less than impressive, with products that seriously lacked in quality, and still were significantly heavier than their non-electric counterparts.
With the lithium battery technology advancing, a lot has changed. Cycling culture in European countries like Holland or Germany, has spawned many great e-bike brands like Gazelle, or VanMoof that produce amazing stealth electric bikes. Unfortunately, many of these the companies do not ship to the US, and for those that do, the total price of the bike, shipping and all, is just too high.
If you have unlimited budget, you will probably have no problem finding an electric bike that is powerful, yet lightweight, made with quality materials like carbon fiber and top-shelf parts. But for most of us $5K+ is just too much to dish out on a bicycle, even the electric one. To be honest even the $2000 is a bit of a stretch. That is why we have made it out mission to find the best under 40lbs e-bike that can be put under “affordable” category. If your main concern is budget, you might consider expanding the weight limit, as there are plenty of excellent cheap bikes that weigh under 50 lbs, from brands like Ride1Up, Aventon or RadPower.