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So you’re ready to take the plunge and buy an electric bike? 

You won’t regret it! Whether you’re looking to make your morning cycle to work a little easier, or want an electric mountain bike for the weekend, the eBike revolution is well and truly underway. 

As a result, the amount of choice out there can be overwhelming… there’s been an explosion in the number of eBikes on the market so it can be hard to know what’s best.

Selecting a cheap electric bike is a good start to narrowing your options, but there’s still plenty of those available.

To help you make up your mind, we’ve rounded up 5 of the best affordable electric bikes available to buy in 2019.

First of all, let’s take a look at what you can expect from a cheap eBike

Best Cheap Electric Bike Comparison

Image Product
  • Great motor at a budget price
  • Quality manufacturer
  • Versatile, fast, easy to ride
  • Great motor at a budget price
  • Quality manufacturer
  • Versatile, fast, easy to ride
VIEW BEST PRICE
  • Best cheap mountain bike
  • 24 speed shifter
  • Heavy max load
  • Best cheap mountain bike
  • 24 speed shifter
  • Heavy max load
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Cheapest quality eBike
  • Folds down for easy storage
  • Great for zipping around the city
  • Cheapest quality eBike
  • Folds down for easy storage
  • Great for zipping around the city
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  • Fun to ride on most terrain
  • Good power
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Fun to ride on most terrain
  • Good power
  • Easy to fold and store
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  • Easily the best bike, but slightly higher price point
  • Front suspension and quality brakes
  • Lots of extra features and quality components
  • Easily the best bike, but slightly higher price point
  • Front suspension and quality brakes
  • Lots of extra features and quality components
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What You’ll Be Getting in a Budget eBike

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise that even the best low cost electric bike will have to strike a compromise in terms of components and performance. 

That’s not to say that’s a problem – if you’re planning on using your cheap eBike as your choice of commuter transport on a relatively flat journey – you probably won’t even notice. 

It’s a great idea to be aware of where those compromises will be made though – so let’s break it down a bit further.

best cheap electric bike by a river

Hub-Drive Motor, Rather Than Mid-Drive Motor 

If you’re looking for a relatively cheap eBike, then expect it to have a hub-drive motor, rather than a mid-drive motor. 

What’s the difference between the hub and mid motors, I hear you ask?

Hub motors, as you might have guessed, are mounted on the hub, or centre, of your bike wheel.

Most eBikes with a hub-drive motor will have it mounted on the rear wheel, and the great thing about hub motors is that they’re cost effective, meaning manufacturers can bring an inexpensive electric bike to the market using this type of motor. 

One downside is that it can take a while to get used to the feel of the additional weight over the rear of your e-bike, but you’ll soon get used to adapting your riding style.

Tackling steep hills with a hub motor can be a challenge, depending on the power of the motor. You might find yourself simply pedaling up these, rather than risk your motor overheating. 

Last of all, a flat tire with a hub motor means you’ll need to remove not only the wheel, but the integrated motor at the same time, so it’s a good idea to carry the right tools for this job with you, to avoid being caught on the side of the road. 

All the best price electric bikes included in our review have a rear hub motor, and you might also see these referred to as brushless – this means the motor uses a combination of magnets and coils to generate power. 

In contrast, more expensive electric bikes tend to use a mid motor, which is mounted between the pedals. Because the weight of the mid motor sits closer to the center of the bike, you hardly notice the additional weight.  

Cheaper eBike Components

The manufacturers of affordable electric bikes will cut their manufacturing costs by using either cheaper components, less features, or a combination of both of these.

This means you might have no suspension at all, or just front suspension, for example.

This isn’t too much of an issue for most road bikes used for commuters, but you might notice the difference between even the best budget electric mountain bike with only front suspension, and your standard mountain bike with a rear suspension fork as well. 

Hydraulic disc brakes are unlikely, with mechanical disc brakes being more common on cheaper eBikes. Mechanical disc brakes don’t have as much stopping power as hydraulic, but on the plus, they’re a lot easier to maintain. 

Your gearing system will likely be 7-speed, although two of the cheap electric bikes for adults which made it into our review did have 21-speed gear shifters (including our Top Pick). 

Most affordable eBikes will have either an aluminum frame, or an aluminum alloy frame, both of which offer a good combination of strength and lightness, while also being cost effective.

Learn More: Read our eBike insurance reviews.

Lower Battery Range and Integration 

Lithium-ion batteries are most commonly found in affordable electric bikes, and you can expect your battery to last for around three to five years. 

The range, and battery life of your lithium battery will depend in part on how well you look after it, so take care not to overcharge it, or allow it to drain fully.

The battery range of the eBikes in this review varies from 18 – 45 miles.

You’ll find that your battery range will decrease as it ages. Read our Guide to Electric Bike Batteries to find out more. 

The battery pack on your cheap electric bike is likely to look quite obvious. They’re usually simply bolted onto the down tube or seat tube frame.

The aesthetics of this doesn’t appeal to all users, but it’s a compromise which means standard, cheaper frames can be used.

Only one of the bikes we reviewed here includes an integrated battery, housed within the top tube of the frame. 

After buying your first inexpensive electric bike, you might decide to upgrade to a more expensive model. Many of these integrate the battery into the frame, which makes for a sleeker looking design. 

Type of eBike

There are two main types of eBike on the market: Class 1, and Class 2.

Class 1 eBikes are also known as Pedal Assist (PAS) or Pedelec bikes.

The motor on these bikes provides additional power while you’re still pedalling. This means cycling feels much easier, which is sometimes exactly what we want!

Many eBikes with pedal assist offer various levels of assistance, adjusted using a control panel on the handlebars. 

Class 2 eBikes, also called “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycles” or “power-on-demand” bikes have a throttle, which allows you to maintain speed while not using your pedals.

Many Class 2 eBikes also offer PAS. Certain countries prohibit the use of throttle eBikes, but they are common in the US. 

Both classes are subject to speed restrictions in certain states – usually 20 MPH using the throttle, and 28 MPH using PAS.

best cheap electric bike close up

How We Picked the Best Value Electric Bikes

We looked at dozens of the best price electric bikes available on the market today.

Comparing bike features including brakes, charging time, and wheel size is second nature to us.

That means we’re confident in our ability to assess the design and quality of each and every bike out there, and we’ll only ever include bikes that meet our own high standards.

That includes realistic weight restrictions (there’s no point buying a bike if it can’t take our weight!), and basic safety measures such as decent brakes, and good quality tires.

We also love eBikes with an intelligent design… so you can use it for commuting one day, and cruise down to the beach the next.

It goes without saying that there’s certain bikes we’d never include. Those which use poor quality components, or require excessive maintenance, don’t get a look-in.

But most importantly, we ride our own eBikes most days. So do our mates, and of course we ask their opinion on the best electric bike for the money. Once we’ve covered all that, we’ll write our review.

You can rely on us to provide the best bike reviews… after all, we live and breathe for biking!

Now that’s covered, let’s move on to the reviews… we can’t wait!

Reviews of the Best Cheap Electric Bikes

3 of our top five are the best electric bikes under $1000, but we’ve added 2 others, one which just misses the mark, and another which is just under $2000, but provides significantly more than the super cheap models.

Their combination of value for money, and awesome features mean we recommend them without hesitation.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

#1. Ride1Up CORE-5

ride1up core-5 cheap ebike

The Ride1Up CORE-5 is a fantastic, low-priced commuting eBike from an awesome company that we recommend throughout this site. The CORE-5 is their lowest-end option, but is highly functional and is made of fantastic components.

You can enjoy coasting to work using the thumb throttle, or choose one of the nine levels of pedal assist mode to find the perfect combination for any particular journey. 

The clear LCD panel on the handlebars means you can easily switch between modes, as well as keeping an eye on your battery level. 

If you’re keen to get on the road as soon as this bike is delivered (and we wouldn’t blame you!) the good news is that is comes 90% assembled. Front fork, front tire, seat, pedals, rack and fenders and crank arm need to be installed, but that takes only an hour or so.

Ride1Up provides a useful video and documentation to get you on your way ASAP.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Size28.5″ Frame
TypeThrottle and Pedal Assist Electric Bike
Power500 W
Motor and Battery48V500W Geared Hub Shengyi Motor, 48V10.4ah Reention Eel Pro LG Cells, Smart BMS
Top Speed28 mph pedal assist, 20 mph throttle
Max Distance20-40 miles (depending on throttle vs. pedal assist)
BrakesTektro 160mm Mechanical Disc, w/ Electric Cut Off Sensor
Max Load275 lbs
Weight with Battery48 lbs
Tires27.5″
Recommended Rider Height5’5″ – 6’4″
GearsShimano ASLTX30R 7-speed
AccessoriesLCD Display

What We Loved

While slightly over $1000, you get a very solid bike that comes in at a fairly light weight of under 50 pounds.

Getting a 500W motor with a 48V 10.4ah battery will give you significant speed and power compared to all other models on our list here, except #5, which is almost twice as expensive. So if you’re looking for a fast cheap ebike, this is the way to go.

We love that the company uses high quality name brand components, including the breaks, shifter, and motor.

Why It Might Not Work For You

This has no front or rear suspension, so it’s not very comfortable to take off-road, and provides less versatility than a mountain bike.

Compared to our Runner Up, below, you’re also getting significantly less gears (7 vs 24), which means you’re not able to dial it in quite as much.

Verdict on the Ride1Up CORE-5

The best overall cheap eBike that we’ve found, with a very good range of both features and affordability. If you can afford the just-over-$1000 price tag, we recommend this as the best one for regular commuting or leisure riding.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Ride1Up.com <<

BEST CHEAP ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE

#2. Ancheer 350/500W EMTB

ancheer 350 500w emtb

Out all of the inexpensive electric bike brands we reviewed, the Ancheer is our top eMTB.

Thanks to its combination of high-quality components, including a Professional 24-Speed shifter, high-speed motor, and front and rear disc brakes, the Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike strikes the perfect balance for an inexpensive electric bike.

The aluminum alloy frame is lightweight, but also robust thanks to the reinforced, high-strength carbon steel front fork. Combine this with the efficient shock absorbers, and you’ll be comfortable over any surface.

Enjoy selecting between three different pedal assist levels by using the handlebar controller. 

Or, if you’re commuting to work for an important meeting, and don’t want to arrive a hot mess, engage the pure electric mode to enjoy coasting along in style.

Simply twist the throttle to select your speed, and if you want to use this bike in non-electric mode, that’s totally possible too! 

The handlebar height and angle can be adjusted to the most comfortable position for you, and the seat height can be adjusted from 32.6” – 38”.

The battery casing is one of the best we’ve seen too, it’s designed to look more like a thermos than a battery pack, meaning this bike looks as good as it feels to ride. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Size26″ Frame
TypeThrottle and Pedal Assist Electric Mountain Bike
Power350 W
Motor and Battery350W Motor, 10.4 Ah lithium-ion battery
Top Speed28 mph pedal assist, 20 mph throttle
Max Distance25-43 miles (depending on throttle vs. pedal assist)
BrakesFront and rear dual-disc 
Max Load330 lbs
Charging time~ 4 Hours
Weight with Battery53 lbs
Tires27.5″
Recommended Rider Height5’1″ – 6’4″
GearsShimano 24-speed
AccessoriesLCD Display

What We Loved

We think it’s great that the Ancheer has a high maximum load, meaning eBiking is available to even more of us! 

It also looks like it’s possible to purchase spare batteries, which adds a great deal of flexibility.

The one year warranty on the electric motor, battery, and charger is great for providing peace of mind, too. 

But most of all, this eBike offers fantasic value for money, whether you want to use it for commuting, mountain biking, or trips out with your family. 

Why It Might Not Work For You

The charging time, from four to six hours, can be a bit of a pain. 

Verdict on the ANCHEER eMTB

If you’re looking for the best all-round e-Mountain Bike that money can buy, the Ancheer ticks all the boxes.

Highly recommended.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

CHEAPEST HIGH QUALITY FOLDING EBIKE

#3. Ecotric Starfish

ecotric starfish cheap folding ebike

This is the cheapest eBike on our list, coming in at just $699.

It’s also one of two folding eBikes on our list, which means it gives you insane versatility.

Not only that, but this unassuming eBike will take you up to 25mph, and can hold a charge for up to 33 miles depending on the conditions.

It’s a bit of a unique design, with an easy stepover and small 20″ wheels. The rear rack allows you to carry a bag easily, making it a perfect choice for city riding. The combination of small size, decent speed, maneuverability, and cargo space is really extraordinary for this price.

The only thing is that it’s a fairly small bike, which means if you’re taller than 5’10”, it may not be the one for you.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Size24.4″ Frame
TypePedal Assist On-Demand Throttle
Power350 W
Motor and BatteryRear Hub 36V 350W, 36V 10AH
Top Speed25 MPH
Max Distance33 miles
BrakesRear disc
Max Load220 lbs
Charging time5-8 Hours
Weight with Battery52 lbs
Tires20″
Recommended Rider Height4’8″ – 5’10”
Gears7-Speed SHIMANO
AccessoriesRear rack, front and rear fenders, Ecotric Smart LED

What We Loved

The price, first of all. You just can’t beat it, being one of the lowest priced ebikes we could find. And it’s actually worth buying, too!

Many cheap bikes don’t actually give you a lot of value, but this one is fantastic.

It’s easy to fold away, it folds down to a very small size, and is fairly easy to carry around (though the 50+ pound weight may make it a bit unruly for some).

You’re getting some nice components, including a 7-speed SHIMANO shifter, and the power to take you up to 25mph. The distance range is alright, definitely enough for some commuting or doing errands around the city.

Why It Might Not Work For You

Unfortunately it won’t work for larger riders (with 5’10” being the max advisable height).

It also takes quite a bit of time to charge the battery.

Verdict on the Ecotric Starfish

Though there are some downsides that will limit this to a smaller subset of riders, at this price point we had to include the Starfish in our roundup of the best affordable eBikes!

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Ecotric.com <<

BEST BUDGET FAT TIRE EBIKE

#4. Ecotric Fat Tire Portable

ecotric 20 inch fat tire portable cheap electric bike

This is a fun, slightly beefier version of our pick above, and gives you a few extra bells and whistles.

The 20 inch fat tires mean you can ride this comfortably in most terrain around town, and probably even on the beach. It doesn’t have suspension, which means no serious off-roading, but we love riding fat bikes and this one is no exception.

Oh, and it’s also a folding electric bike, which means it’s even more versatile and ready to take on the challenges of city living and commuting.

The 500W provides a decent amount of driving force, and is designed to power up hills with ease. There’s three levels of power assist to select from. 

Of course, you can also use this bike without any power assistance at all. Or select full electric mode, pretend you’re on a scooter, and charge along at speeds up to 20MPH. Choosing between manual, full electric and pedal assist mode is easy thanks to the slimline controller. 

The fat tires are perfect for a wide range of terrain, so if you fancy cruising along sand or snow, as well as concrete, these tires are the perfect all-rounder. 

You only need to pull out a couple of screws and fold the handlebar before the ECOTRIC folds into a compact 39” long by 28” high. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Size70” long, 45” handlebar to ground
TypePedal Assist On-Demand Throttle
Power500 W
Motor and BatteryRear Hub 36V 500W, 36V 12AH
Top Speed15 MPH
Max Distance18-23 miles
BrakesFront and rear disc
Max Load220 lbs
Charging time6-8 Hours
Weight with Battery52 lbs
Tires20″ x 4″ fat bike tires
Recommended Rider Height5’1” – 5’9”
GearsShimano 7-speed
AccessoriesFront and rear fenders, wheel reflectors, Ecotric Smart LED

What We Loved

The powerful 500W motor is designed with a good climbing ability, meaning this bike is well suited to hilly areas. 

The fat tires are awesome for soft terrain, meaning muddy trails won’t slow you down. 

The cruise control button is a great feature – set to a speed of 3.5 MPH and let your worries drift away. 

Why It Might Not Work For You

While this is a folding eBike, it’s not that light. 

It’s also at the mid end of our price bracket. While we still think it offers great value for money, it’s something to bear in mind. 

There’s also no suspension forks, so if you plan on using it over rough terrain it might be a bumpy ride. 

The box which houses the controller doesn’t have any drainage – a pretty major flaw.

If you’re riding in damp conditions like the beach, snow, or mud (which these tires are crying out for, by the way!) you might decide to modify the box. 

Verdict on the ECOTRIC Fat Tire eBike

Perfect for apartment living, or throwing in the back of your RV on vacation. Just fix that controller box first! 

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Ecotric.com <<

HUGE INCREASE IN QUALITY, MODERATE INCREASE IN PRICE

#5. Juiced Bikes RipCurrent

juiced bikes ripcurrent ebike

Alright, this bike is admittedly on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to the rest on this list, but compared to most other eBikes out there, it’s still a steal.

This is the baby brother of the hugely popular Juiced Bikes RipCurrent S. It takes everything they learned while building and riding that bike, cuts down a bit on power and features, and provides an amazing ride at a solid value.

It’s also a fat tire bike, but comes with front suspension and disc brakes, along with a way bigger motor, and it’s also useable for anyone from 5’4″ to 6’4″ and above.

This is definitely the overall best bike on this list, but we put it down here because it’s not technically keeping with the super budget theme.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

TypeThrottle and pedal assist
Power750 W
Motor and Battery750 Watt Bafang Geared Hub Motor (1,040 Watt Peak), 52 Volt /13Ah Battery Pack
Top Speed28 MPH
Max Distance20-45 miles
Brakes180 mm Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Max Load275 lbs
Charging time5-7 Hours
Weight with Battery70 lbs
Tires26″ x 4” Wide Kenda Tires
Recommended Rider Height5’4″ – 6’4″ +
Gears9 Speed Shimano
AccessoriesTorque Sensor and HD Cadence Pedal Sensor, LCD Advanced Matrix Display, Wide Saddle for Additional Support

What We Loved

Starting with the Bafang motor, this bad boy is equipped to thrill even the most serious eBike rider.

At 750 Watts, it’s much bigger than others on this list, and is also paired with a much larger battery than any of the other bikes we chose. Put those two things together, and you’ll be flying along at up to 28 mph for quite a long time.

The disc brakes are fantastic, you’re given a 9 speed, rather than a 7 speed SHIMANO shifter, the tires are so much fun, and we love the advanced features you get at this price point, including multiple sensors to help stabilize the ride and power usage.

It’s a really high quality bike that definitely outclasses our other top picks here, if you can afford the slight increase in price (it’s around $1900…which is still cheaper than many top models).

Why It Might Not Work For You

It’s heavy and it takes awhile to charge, which are the two biggest negatives compared to most of our other picks.

It’s also much more expensive…up to $1000 more expensive than some others on this list.

Verdict On The Juiced Bikes RipCurrent

We totally get that the price point may be unattainable for some, but if you can save up just that little bit extra, this blows away the rest of it’s cheaper competitors on quality, speed, and fun.

Highly recommended!

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on JuicedBikes.com <<

best cheap ebike riding on the road sunset

Choosing the Best Low Cost Electric Bike

Which of the best value electric bike brands we’ve rounded up here appeal to you the most? 

Choosing the best eBike for your individual needs is a key point – we’d always recommend selecting for the benefits a bike will bring you as an individual user. 

When you do go ahead and take your first ride on your shiny new eBike, leave us a comment! 

We’d love to know how you got on. 

Image Product
  • Great motor at a budget price
  • Quality manufacturer
  • Versatile, fast, easy to ride
  • Great motor at a budget price
  • Quality manufacturer
  • Versatile, fast, easy to ride
VIEW BEST PRICE
  • Best cheap mountain bike
  • 24 speed shifter
  • Heavy max load
  • Best cheap mountain bike
  • 24 speed shifter
  • Heavy max load
VIEW LATEST PRICE
  • Cheapest quality eBike
  • Folds down for easy storage
  • Great for zipping around the city
  • Cheapest quality eBike
  • Folds down for easy storage
  • Great for zipping around the city
VIEW BEST PRICE
  • Fun to ride on most terrain
  • Good power
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Fun to ride on most terrain
  • Good power
  • Easy to fold and store
VIEW BEST PRICE
  • Easily the best bike, but slightly higher price point
  • Front suspension and quality brakes
  • Lots of extra features and quality components
  • Easily the best bike, but slightly higher price point
  • Front suspension and quality brakes
  • Lots of extra features and quality components
VIEW BEST PRICE
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