Today, we are finally dipping our toes into the water and checking out an Ancheer electric bicycle. So what has taken so long? Well, Ancheer is a bit of a complicated brand. Some sing praises for the fast shipping, its truly affordable price, and getting people outside again. Meanwhile, others in the community have blasted it for being unreliable, low quality, and un-supported. So which is it? Or maybe it is perhaps a little of both? If you are unfamiliar with Ancheer, they are an ebike brand sold online only and have gained much notoriety due to being one of the few brands shipped via Amazon Prime, as well has having a very low price point. Getting on Amazon Prime is not easy for a manufacturer of ebikes, mostly due to lithium-ion battery shipping regulations as well as box sizes and weight. Selling ebikes from $500-$800 is also not an easy feat, but Ancheer manages to do both. Most of the bikes save money by going with generic systems (both mechanical and electrical), and are brought over direct from China to Amazons warehouse with no real middle man, dealer, branding or marketing to get in the way.
So to get a closer look at Ancheer, we chose the Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike. At the time of this review, it is listed on Amazon for $625 while the Ancheer website has it listed for $799 normally. First off, it would seem on paper you get what you pay for; there are definitely a lot of compromises here. You might notice the water-bottle style battery, large separate controller mounted on the seat post, and a bunch of external wiring…. In all honesty, this looks like a conversion ebike. And that may be the best way to describe it, a mass produced bike converted to electric. But it may not be as bad as it seems. The tires here are 26” x 1.9” and have some good knobby tread to them. These are the foundation for the front suspension fork with 55mm of travel and it works great on casual rides or on the road. I know there are not many ebikes under $1,000 that have a suspension fork, so this is pretty neat. However, I would not really take this thing on the mountain trail despite the name. The tires don’t specifically excel on off-road terrain, and the fork felt like it kept bottoming out time and time again while testing on some technical trails. I was happy to see some nice details on this bike, like the rear mounted kickstand to eliminate annoying pedal lock, the electric horn, rear rack provisions, and my favorite, the comfy gel saddle. If you can believe it, it even has a battery integrated headlight! A nice addition for safety, just make sure to turn the rocker switch on the handle off when you are doing using it. I have seen other integrated lights with switches and if you forget to toggle it, it can leave you with a dead battery.
Driving the bike is a 250 watt rear hub motor. Many manufacturers say 250 watts for legal purposes when the bike in reality has a 350 or 500 watt peak rating. Electrically, the bike did not preform very well so I wouldn’t be surprised if that 250 watts was actually a peak rating. But you do have options to propel the bike. I like that it has a twist throttle and a sealed cadence sensor for pedal assist. I don’t know the exact magnet count, but I am pretty confident it is 6 or less. The top speed is limited to 15mph, which will still get you there faster than your average regular bike. Just be aware that competing brands have average systems for 20mph, 25mph, and 28mph. The mechanical aspects of this bike is where it really shines. It uses a Shimano Tourney 7 speed system with a 14-28 tooth cassette and a front gearing system with a 24,34, and 44 tooth chain ring. A 14-28 tooth cassette may not be the best for mountain biking (as I said before, this works best on roads), but the Shimano Tourney component level has come a long way. It was the entry level (and still is) line for Shimano, but in recent years, Shimano has made the setup more efficient and reliable. Ancheer has also added a derailleur guard to keep that Shimano system protected during shipping or if the bike takes a spill. Stopping the bike is a set of 160mm mechanical disc brakes from a generic company. These get the job done and even have motor inhibitors built in to cut power to the motor when braking. Mechanical brakes are easier to adjust and maintain which is a bonus too. My only gripes with the brakes are that the handles feel a little cheap and the brake position is switched…. Meaning to stop the rear wheel, you use the left handle while the right stops the front wheel. Not a big deal at all when you get used to it, but it
Powering the electrical motor system, display, and headlight is a 36v 8ah battery. As mentioned before, this is a water-bottle style battery as it is shaped as such and sits where some bikes place their bottle cage bosses. Some of the benefits of this battery are that it sits in a place that keeps the weight centered and also has a metal casing to keep it protected. The battery is secured via lock and key, and even has an on/off switch. It may not be the highest capacity battery, but it fits the price well. What I do worry about is the battery mounting hardware. After just one day of light riding, there was gunk and water built up into the plate-cup the battery sits on. This is not stuff you want around your battery connections, so really try to keep an eye on it and keep it clean. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life, and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.
Operating the bike is very simple and straight forward. Once the battery is charged, locked into position, and turned on, you can begin to turn on the display. The display is basic and uses a series of a few labeled LED lights to communicate information. Hold the M button to turn on the display. You will then see an LED indicator for battery level in 5 ticks (20% increments) below while the top will indicate what level (1-3) of pedal assist you are in. Press the + or – buttons to raise or decrease the level of pedal assist. Decreasing levels by pressing – in level 1 will turn off the light indicating you are in level 0, or to put it simply, the assist is off. When it is off (or in level 0, whichever you like to call it) you can then engage the throttle. The bike does not allow you to have throttle and pedal assist active, it is really just an either or scenario.
In closing, many of our followers know that EBR has advertising and service fees so it is easy to see us as part of the industry. With that, comes perhaps a bias you might perceive on us as negative towards a low cost disrupting bike. We do not feel this is the case. Rather than part of an industry, we sincerely feel we are part of a community. We review expensive brand name bikes as well as low cost no-name bikes and the Ancheer is just one of many of those. We strive to be fair, transparent, and honest. In that honesty, we must report that the Ancheer died during testing. Once our video review was done, we sent the bike to Ebike Test Lab for some in-depth testing that we typically post to the forums. Unfortunately, during this testing the controller failed in the middle of examination, with the motor going out shortly after. We have reached out to Ancheer to get replacement parts, we still have not confirmed yet if this is a possibility. It would be easy to dismiss the bike after this, but there are some positives to gain here. In 2015 or so, the average ebike price was over $3,500. Sure, there are still plenty like that today, but currently in 2019, there are so many value offerings at $1,500 and below. Thanks to value brands like Ancheer, these offerings brought prices down across the industry which in turn helped put more ebike riders on the road. I think the bike is fine if you have the right expectations and use it as such. But when comparing ebikes every day, imperfections are bound to show. Imagine if you will a nice home-cooked meal with all the trimmings and fixings. Everything made from scratch. After the desert course, you are stuffed and even looking forward to leftovers at work the next day. Now instead, imagine you are staring into the freezer at a frozen microwave meal. You know it is not the best food you ever had. The food at that moment may be more fuel than experience. But to your surprise, there is a savory moment or two during the meal and you saved a ton of money. You feel perplexed as to why some people look at this with shame when it gets the job done for less. We are correct in feeling those ways, and like that, the Ancheer is just one of the many options on the spectrum when choosing what is right for you at this time.
As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Ancheer ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe 🙂
- An extremely low cost ebike with surprising features like Shimano 7 speed system, front suspension, gets you outside and having fun again, and is one of few brands available with speedy Amazon Prime shipping
- The price is by far one of the greatest strengths of this bike, the bike we tested is $799 on their website and $625 on Amazon, at this cost, you could easily buy 2 or more for the price of other ebikes on the market
- The tires are 26” x 1.9” and have some good knobby tread to them, I love the machined sidewall look
- Most sub $1,000 ebikes wouldn’t dream of adding a suspension fork, surprisingly, Ancheer gives you one, it works great on casual rides or on the road and has 55mm of travel
- This low cost bike has great little details here and there like the rear mounted kickstand to eliminate annoying pedal lock, the electric horn, rear rack provisions, and my favorite, the comfy gel saddle
- A big win here (especially for the price) is that it even has a battery integrated headlight! A nice addition for safety, I really appreciate more and more bikes are adding these in
- 250 watt hub-motor that can be engaged either via a twist throttle, or this cadence based pedal assist, the cadence sensor is sealed which helps keep debris out, something I think is great
- Shimano Tourney 7 speed system with a 14-28 tooth cassette and a front gearing system with a 24,34, and 44 tooth chain ring, the Shimano Tourney component level has come a long way in recent years, Shimano has made the setup more efficient and reliable
- Ancheer has also added a derailleur guard to keep that Shimano system protected during shipping or if the bike takes a spill, another great feature that you don’t always see on competing bikes
- 36v 8ah battery is cased in protective metal and is mounted in a central position on the bike, helping to keep weight balanced
- The display may be more minimalist, but this makes the bike easy to hop on, understand, and teach others to ride too
- Ancheer has been around for years now and has helped curve the industry towards more competitive offerings, they have helped show just how much bike you can fit in a low cost package, inspiring many other brands over the years
- Some generic parts, for example, the brakes had handles that were switched and the handles them selves felt low quality and made noises
- I think the bike works fine on the street, and basic trails, but I wouldn’t advise doing any technical mountain biking with it, the electric system is not strong enough and will drag you down, literally, because of the added weight and low power
- I appreciated the front suspension, however, it felt like it kept bottoming out time and time again while testing on some decent bumps
- The top speed is limited to 15mph, which will still get you there faster than your average regular bike, just be aware that typical ebikes have average systems for 20mph, 25mph, and 28mph
- Due to the design of the battery mounting hardware, gunk and water can build up into the plate-cup the battery sits on, this is not stuff you want around your battery connections, so really try to keep an eye on it and keep it clean
- Minor gripe here, but a lot of bikes out there will try their best to ‘blend in’ and not look electric, due to the water-bottle style battery, large separate controller mounted on the seat post, and a bunch of external wiring, the Ancheer looks more like a conversion which may put off some
- The 250 watt motor again is fine around town, but the lower top speed, peak watt output, and minimal levels of pedal assist can make this a poor performer when you compare with other systems
- The rear motor does not have a direct disconnect, so if you take it in for service, the shop will either have it for a longer time than usual, or may charge you more money to have it serviced since they cannot remove the motor without cutting foundational wires
- Our bike sadly failed during testing, first the controller went out, then the motor fell shortly after, you can read more on the testing here, we are talking with Ancheer to see if it is possible to get a new motor and controller