Long seen as a premium option, e-bikes are becoming more affordable as technology advances and trickles down, making it easier than ever to own one of the best electric bikes under £1,000 / $1,000.
It’s easy to see why electric bikes are so popular: they’re a wonderful alternative to driving on your commute, and that bit of battery power can make it much easier to ride than it would otherwise be on a non-electric bike. They can make riding more accessible to those who would normally steer clear of bikes, they can help you get uphill faster, and help you get around trails with ease.
A few short years ago, budget e-bikes weren’t a thing, but a booming market is changing things. As competition between brands increases and technology becomes more readily available, prices are tumbling. The best electric bikes are getting even better, trickle-down technology means it’s now possible to get some great electric bikes under £1,000 or $1,000, and while pandemic-induced shortages are still a problem, it’s possible to find occasional electric bike deals online.
What kind of bike you’re after depends on your priorities, so whether you want a bike to help you get around town, something you can take on the group rides, or one you can take on the trails, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a roundup of some of the best electric bikes you can get for under a thousand dollars or pounds.
If you’re not sure how to choose, skip ahead to our guide on how to choose the best cheap electric bike.
Best electric bikes under $1000
The RadMission Electric Metro bike is an e-hybrid designed for getting around town, to work, and taking on leisure rides at the weekend. With mounts galore for all the accessories you can think of – mudguards/fenders, a rear pannier rack, bottle cage and a basket, you can customise this bike to suit your needs.
With an internal hub motor and single-speed gearing, the RadMission is relatively low-maintenance, with fewer drivetrain components exposed to the elements. Having a single gearing reduces the complexity for those who aren’t used to using them, and the grip-twist throttle (making this a US Class 2 e-bike, see below for more on this) will make it easy to get up hills when you need to.
We know, it’s slightly more than $1,000, but if you can make the stretch, it’s well worth the extra money.
The Schwinn EC1 is a bike that will give you the joy of riding a classic cruiser but with little of the effort normally involved. Whilst the bike might not have any top-of-the-range components, it does have a 250W electric motor that offers fantastic value for money.
The bike will assist you up to 20mph in its top power mode, but if you use the motor in its eco mode, you’ll be able to get almost 30 miles of assisted riding. The bike comes with wide tyres for a plush ride on the road, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, they should handle some loose ground, should you wish to head down the bike path.
If you’re only looking for something to ride on occasional weekends throughout the summer then you shouldn’t need to demand much of your e-bike, making this sub-$800 Hyper bike from Walmart an excellent value for money choice.
While it doesn’t come with premium components, it is a cheap and cheerful, basic e-bike that will do what you want it to if you’re heading out on chilled, fairweather leisure rides.
It comes with three assistance modes – slow, medium and fast – and works with pedal-assist only, rather than having a throttle.
The NAKTO City Electric Bicycle is suitable for someone who wants a relaxed, fast and easy way of getting around town. The step-through frame makes it simple to get on and off the bike whilst the big saddle, front suspension and wide tyres mean you’ll be cycling in comfort. The bike also comes finished with a handy kickstand and a powerful front light to keep you safe. Front and rear mudguards will keep you dry on those wetter days and a front basket and rear pannier rack allow you to carry up to 250lbs of load.
On a normal bike carrying that amount might be a chore, but not here. The bike has six gears and a plenty-powerful motor to get you from A to B with ease. The 250W of power can be applied either through pedal assistance or a throttle, but the range is limited to between 20 and 25 miles.
If a mountain bike isn’t rugged enough for you, how about an electric fat bike? For just $949 you can get your hands on the NAKTO cruiser fat bike. Fat bikes are great for getting you to the places most bikes can’t, like snow-covered peaks and sandy beaches. The bike has a robust steel frame, a front suspension fork, six-speed drivetrain, disc brakes and huge 4-inch tyres, so it will handle anything you throw at it with ease. It also comes with lights pre-installed for visibility on darker rides.
Powering the bike is a whopping 300w motor, controlled by an LCD on the handlebars. You can apply this power with one of three levels either with pedal assist or using a throttle, and you can get up to 35-miles of use out of the battery. Alternatively, if speed is your thing, you can reach speeds of around 30mph on the flat!
Best electric bikes under £1,000
The Pure Flux One is an electric hybrid bike that looks like a regular bike frame with a hidden motor in the back wheel and a battery that sits where a bottle cage would normally be, helping it to blend in. If you don’t want to ride something that stands out as an electric bike, this could be the one for you.
Thanks to the Gates belt drive in place of the usual metal chain, there’s no oil or lubricant to worry about when you’re tinkering, meaning you won’t get your hands (or clothes) dirty.
Finally, at 17.5kg, the Pure Flux One is extremely lightweight for an e-bike at this price point, and represents excellent value for money.
This is as fantastically simple as it gets. If you’re after an easy to run and look after e-bike, look no further than the Gtech sports hybrid. Rather than having a chain, the bike is driven by a carbon belt, meaning no dirty chains and very little maintenance. Whilst the bike does only have one gear, the max and eco power settings will be plenty to get you around to get up hills or around town.
The bike comes equipped with a pair of 38mm tyres making the riding nice and comfortable. It’s also only 16kg, which considering the price, battery and motor, is very reasonable. Depending on the mode the battery will last between 10 and 30 miles, and it comes with a handy display so you can see how much power you have. The battery is simply removed to charge it, so you can charge it easily at home or the office.
If you have limited space for storing bikes in your office or need to take your bike on a train at any point, then this bike is an ideal choice for you. Getting a folding bike for under a thousand pounds is good value already, but when you consider that this has a motor and a host of great features, the value is incredible.
The rear hub motor kicks in once you start pedalling. It has a range of up to 30 miles and can push you up to speeds of 25km/h, which should make light work of any commute. The discreetly hidden battery has a recharge time of six hours, which will take longer than most here, but you can still fully charge it at the office before heading home again. Plus, it even has a USB port that can be used to power lights or even charge your phone. The motor is controlled by a mini LED display on the handlebars which allows you to choose from three assistance levels.
This traditionally styled town bike comes with a whole host of features that make it perfect for getting about town on. First and foremost, it comes with a removable battery that can power you for between 20- and 55km depending on how much assistance you choose to have. This is all controlled by a simple console on the bars which also shows you the remaining battery life. The power is intelligently pedal-assisted, so it’ll kick in naturally when you start to cycle and switch off when you come to a halt. There’s even a walk mode to help you push your bike when you need to do so.
It comes with six gears to keep you rolling both on the flat and uphill, and front and rear lights and mudguards already installed to keep you riding during the winter months. To finish it off, 45mm tyres and a wide saddle mean you’ll be as comfortable as possible when cycling.
The fact you can get a hardtail electric mountain bike for less than £1,000 is quite staggering. The Rockrider E-ST100 is a well-equipped trail bike with 100mm of front suspension travel in a Suntour fork and 2.2-inch all-terrain tyres. It comes complete with 720mm wide bars for close control on the bike, and 180mm disc brakes for impressive stopping power. Although it doesn’t come with tubeless tyres fitted, the wheels are tubeless compatible; a perfect upgrade to make should you wish to do so.
Alongside the eight-speed gears, electrical power is delivered via pedal assistant of up to 250w of power helping you to get to the top of trails with ease. The motor, which has three power modes, automatically stops when you stop pedalling, helping to keep you in control on the downhills. If there is a bit of trail you can’t pedal up, the walk-assist feature makes sure you can walk the bike uphill with ease. The average battery life of 2.25 hours means should get plenty of time out on the trails.
How to choose the best cheap electric bike
What kind of electric bike should I get?
The most important consideration for when buying a new bike is what kind of riding you want to do with it. If you’re hoping to hit the trails, perhaps a fold-up bike isn’t the one for you. Similarly, if you want to join in with long group rides, buy yourself an electric road bike, not a town bike. If you want to replace your car with a bike for your commute, you might want to consider a folding bike or at the very least a bike that comes fitted with pannier racks and mudguards, or, at least mounting points on the bike so you can install your own. Some bikes might also come with integrated lights pre-installed. However, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, as you can always invest in the best bike lights.
How long do electric bike batteries last?
The vast majority of electric bikes will use motors and batteries from a handful of brands. If your bike has a Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, or Brose setup, you know you’re in good hands, though when looking at the best electric bikes under £1,000 / $1,000 you’re less likely to get a branded motor like one of these.
Another important consideration is watt-hours (Wh) as this is a measure of the amount of power you’ll have for a period of time. It may seem complicated, but it’s simple really. If your battery is 300 watt-hours, you can either run at 300 watts for one hour, 150 watts for two hours or 75 watts for four hours.
How often should I charge my electric bike?
If you’re planning on doing long rides then you should look out for bikes with larger batteries, but if you’re keeping your rides under 30-miles, most bikes should have enough charge, and you can easily charge your battery between rides.
Bikes normally have graded power assistance, with the most economical modes offering the least assistance, but will keep you going for the longest time. Most batteries lock to the bikes and you’ll need a key to unlock and remove them which has the benefits of making them less likely to be stolen, easier to remove and charge up, and lighter to carry around if you need to do so.
Some electric bikes will be exclusively pedal assist – in the UK these are the only type that are legal on the roads, while in the US these are Class 1. Some, mainly in the US, might also have a throttle installed, making them Class 2. Whichever way they apply power, most have more than enough to keep you going at a decent speed, making battery range one of the most important factors when buying a new bike.
How can I keep my e-bike safe?
Once you’ve taken the plunge and invested in an all-new electric bike, the last thing you want to happen is for it to be stolen. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce this risk. We have an article dedicated to advising how to prevent bike theft, but the key takeaways are to ensure you choose the best bike lock, ensure you know how to lock a bike correctly, and shop around to compare bicycle insurance to ensure you are covered by the best bike insurance policy for your needs.