E-bikes have enjoyed a huge amount of interest lately as an increasing number of commuters turn to cheaper and more efficient modes of transport. However, the addition of a motor, battery, and all the necessary electrical parts drove the price up, making e-bikes considerably more expensive than traditional bikes.
For the average commuter, an e-bike can be a real lifesaver. They are eco-friendly, convenient, versatile, perfect for long-distance touring, but for the most part, they can also be a great investment. And yes, most come with a relatively high price tag.
When you're on a budget, it can be difficult to find the right balance between an affordable e-bike and a quality e-bike - but it's not impossible. To help you discover the affordable gems of cheap lemons, the DigitalFlip team has compiled our list of the best electric bikes under $1000.
The Roadster V2 is well equipped ebike under 1000 dollars. There's a 350W pedal-assist motor that helps accelerate the bike to 24 mph and offers a whopping 20-35 miles of range! At just 33 lbs, it's really fast even with the single-speed (pedal-assist) transmission. Without forgetting one of the best-selling points: the clean, silent and maintenance-free transmission! Belt drive bikes are known for their longevity, quietness and of course the maintenance free belt itself!
Probably the only downside to the bike is the v-brakes, but hey, brakes are the death of speed anyway, so good luck picking out the color and size of this bike! Learn more about the Ride1Up brand to get a better idea of their motto and their 6 model bike range.
Pros: Light, affordable, available in different models, belt drive, fast wheels, great looks.
Cons: Weak motor and battery
The Lectric XP 2.0 is a 20-inch class 3 fat tire folding electric bike built around a 500W motor. The XP was designed with both on-road and off-road riding in mind and because of the its off-road capability, I see the XP 2.0 as the ultimate "fun" budget e-bike.
When we performed the full XP 2.0 review, we were blown away by the bike's capability.
Considering the battery size and the XP weighing in at 63 pounds, the results were pretty respectable. It's worth noting that the XP 2.0 uses a 48V, 9.6Ah battery, so the range might be a little shorter than its predecessor, but overall it still had a respectable range.
Regardless of how you decide to use it, the XP 2.0 offers a lively and vibrant experience thanks to its fat 3″ tires, 500W motor and unique handling characteristics. I see the Lectric XP as a great camping and road trip bike.
It's easy to store thanks to its collapsible frame, and it's ready for just about anything thanks to its sturdy tires and durable 6061 alloy frame.
This electric folding bike is a good option for those looking for electric mountain bikes under $1,000. The folding frame is made of 100% aluminum alloy, which makes it ultra-light, which means you can easily store it as it takes up minimal space. This type of electric bike is perfect if you want to travel or go to the mountains as you can put it in your trunk and it won't take up much space.
Who would have thought that you could get an e-hybrid from a well-known brand at such a low price?
Electric hybrid bikes seem to be gaining popularity again, and the price of mid-range models has fallen to three figures over the past few years. Before us is a super-cheap bike from a popular manufacturer! Let's take a look and see what to expect:
In conclusion, this is a very basic mountain bike that we really recommend for easy commuting on slightly uneven terrain. V-brakes and basic components are not suitable for all trail riding, but they may be suitable for those on a budget who want to buy a cheap electric bike.
Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1 is a class 2 commuter electric bike, with a 500W motor and single speed transmission. Our entire team really likes the RadMission 1 because it's proven itself time and time again in our review and it's definitely one of the best "bang for your buck" on our list.
The RadMission 1 is no slouch, hitting 37.22 miles in our range test with an average speed of 17.3 mph. Considering the fact that the RadMission only has one gear, an average speed of over 17 mph over nearly 40 miles is pretty impressive. Despite only having one gear, the RadMission 1 is a pretty decent climber.
The motor allowed me to tackle steep hills despite the bike being a single speed. The RadMission 1's motor really takes over when the going gets tough, which is good for commuters and casual riders who don't want to sweat or expend too much energy.
I think the RadMission 1 set the standard for what to expect in an e-bike around $1000.
If you are looking for a high performance e-bike to use for commuting, RV camping trips etc. The Engwe EP-2 Pro is a great all-around choice.
This bike features a large 614Wh battery with a range of up to over 50 miles to power the 750W motor. The EP-2 Pro also uses a 7-speed drivetrain to maximize range.
When you want to go all-terrain, the big 4″ tires and front fork suspension will let you do it in comfort. Finally, this folding bike has a rear rack and fenders that make travel more convenient.
750W high speed brushless gear motor.
Pros: Impressive engineering with a big punch.
Cons: Quite heavy and inconvenient for long trips.
An awesome bike for the daily commute or for anyone who loves the original electric wheels.
The Ride1UP Roadster is a class 3 electric bike built with a fixed gear and inspired by city riding. Even our hardcore fix riders at Electric Bike Report loved what the roadster brings to the table. The roadster uses a 350W Shengyi rear hub motor and a 36V, 7.0Ah battery; creating a pedal assist feel that compliments your pedal movements but never takes over from the rider.
The Ride1UP Roadster is definitely for those who already have some cycling experience. The aggressive stance, 700c tires and massive 64t chainring are great for maintaining speed and a sporty ride, but the roadster's setup isn't the most comfortable or ergonomic for the same reasons. The roadster's handling felt very natural to our team, as the total weight of 33 pounds isn't that far off the weight of a standard bike.
This folding e-bike from Swagtron uses a common straight-bar folding aluminum frame on two 20-inch wheels. It's a light little vehicle that doesn't feel particularly strong but will get you from A to B. However, the gear range isn't great, so when the battery is depleted, pedaling becomes difficult.
It has a small motor and battery like those typically found on low-cost e-bikes. The motor can reach speeds of 15 mph (24 km/h) and the battery will last approximately 15.5 miles (25 km) on a single charge. To go further, you can buy an extra battery to carry around and swap it out on your trip.
An electric bike is a rather expensive thing, and in order to choose it correctly, you need to understand the purpose of the components and their characteristics.
Before proceeding to the consideration of components, I would like to consider such a characteristic of an electric bike as its weight.
It is often preferred not to mention it, since the e-bike itself is heavier than a conventional bike due to the engine and battery, and indicating the weight can scare off the buyer.
However, it is worth paying attention to if you have to lift the bike up the stairs or load it into a car / public transport. Also, when traveling long distances, the battery may be discharged earlier than necessary, and you will have to ride exclusively on the pedals.
A good weight can be considered a range of 20-25 kg. Top models of full-fledged electric bikes can weigh 12-15 kg, but they are many times more expensive, and the weight of some bulky budget bikes can reach an incredible 40 kg.
The frames of modern e-bikes are made of aluminum, carbon fiber (carbon), and even titanium. Carbon frames are the lightest, but they are afraid of bumps. Aluminum frames are the most common and are used on most bikes.
The frame can be solid and folding. Solid frames are more rigid, lighter and more reliable, and folding frames allow you to conveniently transport and store the bike, since when folded, its dimensions are almost halved.
When inspecting a bicycle with an aluminum frame, pay attention to the quality of the welds, the presence of chips in the paintwork. Choose a bike according to your height, it should be comfortable to sit on it, at least ride around the trading floor.
The main two types of engines on bicycles are the central (carriage) motor and the wheel motor.
The central motor is located in the center of the bike, directly under the bottom bracket (under the pedal axle). Torque is transmitted to the rear wheel through the chain and transmission, i.e. cassette and rear derailleur. It provides good weight distribution as the wheels remain intact, but reduces ground clearance slightly in some cases.
By shifting gears, the cyclist changes the gear ratio between the motor and the wheel, due to which you can both climb steep hills and accelerate along the highway to high speeds.
The motor-wheel is when the engine is spoked into the rim in place of the hub. There are two types of motor-wheels: geared and gearless (direct drive).
Gear motor-wheels are quite light, weighing from 2 kg, have a built-in gearbox that allows you to achieve high torque.
Direct drive motors do not have a gearbox, they are able to operate at higher powers (3,000 W or more), but they are much heavier than geared ones (at times) - some increase the weight of the wheel by 12 kg.
Electric bicycles with all-wheel drive are equipped with two motor-wheels, and have increased cross-country ability. Although, they also have their drawbacks - a lot of weight and increased battery power consumption.
The battery determines the maximum speed and range, that is, the distance that can be traveled on one full charge. The higher the rated voltage, the higher the speed, as a rule.
The location of the battery affects the handling of the e-bike - the closer it is to the center and lower, the better the handling. In this sense, the location of the battery on the trunk is by no means the best solution.
It is reasonable to give preference to electric bikes with a removable battery - in this case, the bike can be left near the entrance to the office, and the battery can be taken with you for recharging.
Since the battery is the most expensive electrical component, it is good if the seller can provide a guarantee for it (or for the entire bike), preferably at least 2 years, and it will be an advantage if the company has its own service center for warranty and post-warranty repairs.
Most modern electric bikes have an engine assistance mode when pedaling - an assistant mode.
To implement it, a ring with magnets is installed on the front star, and a PAS (Pedal Assist System) sensor is installed on the frame. When pedaling, the magnets trigger the sensor, after which the controller turns on the motor. In this case, the power depends on the value selected on the display, most often on a scale from 1 to 5.
In addition to PAS, expensive bikes often use a Torque sensor, or torque sensor. It allows the controller to determine the force with which the cyclist presses on the pedals, and, depending on it, supply energy to the motor.
Both the PAS sensor and the torque sensor can significantly reduce battery consumption when pedaling, and increase the range by 2 times or more, so when choosing an electric bike, you should pay attention to the presence of an assistant mode.
On the one hand, the larger the diameter of the wheels, the better they go over bumps in the road. On the other hand, if this is a wheel motor, then it is easier for the engine to rotate wheels of a smaller diameter.
Fatbike wheels (with wide tires) look spectacular, somewhat reminiscent of motorcycle wheels, but also weigh more than usual (if we are not talking about top models with carbon rims), making an already heavy e-bike heavier.
Therefore, if you want to buy a fatbike, we advise you to think about how often you will ride it on a road with loose or soft soil, and if it is extremely rare, shouldn’t you prefer a lighter electric bike on ordinary wheels?
If you plan to ride mainly on dirt, on forest trails, then you need studded tires, but if on asphalt, then smoother ones, otherwise large spikes on asphalt will slow down the bike, reducing its range.
For a center motor bike, the ratio of chainring size to cassette chainring size will directly affect the gear ratio. If the front chainring mounted on the engine is too large, then the bike will be difficult to drive into steep hills.
For an ebike with a motorized wheel, the transmission has no effect on the gear ratio, so even if the chain breaks or the rear derailleur breaks, you can continue to ride on electric power.
For a center motor, the level of quality of the transmission is important, since the torque is transmitted through the chain and cassette, which means that they will have increased wear.
At the same time, an e-bike with a motor-wheel can have a very entry-level transmission - it does not participate in the operation of the engine, and the wear of the chain and cassette depends only on how actively you pedal.
Since an e-bike weighs more than a regular bike, the brakes are more demanding. Rim brakes (V-brakes) will wear out quickly, which is why most e-bikes are equipped with disc brakes.
They are divided into two types - with a mechanical (cable) drive and hydraulic, where the force is transmitted to the brake pads through a liquid, as in a car.
Hydraulic brakes are more efficient but more expensive. Mechanical ones are simpler and cheaper, both in cost and maintenance.
If you plan to ride in the evening, you will need lighting - so that not only you can see the road, but also that other road users can see you.
That's why you need headlights on an e-bike - they can be installed by the manufacturer and powered by the main battery. This is a better option than installing your own flashlights and monitoring the charge of their built-in battery.
On the other hand, a stand-alone headlight will continue to work if the bike's battery is dead, so consider which option is best for you.
If possible, it is worth evaluating the work of the headlight before buying - it should provide good lighting, and at the same time not blind people walking towards you.
Wings help protect the cyclist from water and dirt from under the wheels. They are full-size and console. Full-length fenders protect better but are harder to remove, while cantilever fenders can be quickly installed just before a ride.
If you are planning to transport cargo, you should pay attention to electric bikes with luggage racks. Some models are equipped with two luggage compartments at once - a basket on the steering wheel and a classic rear trunk.
Even if you like a bike without a rack, it can be subsequently installed in a custom workshop.
The Topeak roof rack has special skids to securely fasten the bag from the same manufacturer.
The footrest can also be installed after purchase, but if it is already present on the bike, this is only a plus. With it, the bike can be put where it is convenient for you, and not look for a place to lean against.