The popularity of e-bikes is surging and it’s easy to see why. They’re a wonderful alternative to driving on your commute, and that bit of battery power can make it much easier work than it would otherwise be on a normal bike. They can make riding more accessible to those who would normally steer clear of bikes, they can help you get uphill faster on road rides, 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 better, trickle-down technology means it's now possible to get some great electric bikes under £1000 or $1000, and electric bike deals are becoming more and more available.
What kind of bike you’re after depends on your priorities, so whether you’re after 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.
Best electric bikes under $1000
Cruiser-style bike perfect for a trip to the shops or down the bike path
RRP: $1,098.00 | Gears: 1 x 7 | Assistance levels: 5
The Schwinn EC1 is a bike that will give you the joy of riding 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 20 mph in its top power mode, but if you decrease the motor to 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.
NAKTO City women's
Fender-fitted budget electric shopper
RRP: $699.00 | Gears: 1 x 6 | Assistance levels: 4
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 6 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.
Front-suspension sports mountain bike
RRP: $1,098.00 | Gears: 3 x 7 | Assistance levels: 5
Getting a fully capable hardtail mountain bike for less than $900 is a good deal but getting an electric motor within that cost is amazing. The bike’s 250W rear hub motor works through a pedal-assist system and gives you five levels of assistance to choose from. Depending on which level you choose you can get either 45 miles of assistance, or its most powerful level will get you going up to 20mph.
The Sidewinder comes with a lightweight aluminium frame, a front suspension fork and 21-speed gears, making it perfect for roads, bike paths, and off-road. When you do head off-road the 2.1-inch tyres, and front and rear disc brakes will keep you in complete control.
NAKTO Electric Fat Bike
For when the going gets tough
RRP: $949.00 | Gears: 1 x 6 | Assistance levels: 3
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 a 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, 6-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 30 mph on the flat!
Lectric XP folding bike
Folding fat-tyred electric bike
RRP: $999.00 | Gears: 1 x 7 | Assistance levels: 5
This folding, fat-tyre, electric bike is everything packed into one. This is currently on sale at $899, which screams value for money. It comes with a 500W rear hub motor and fat tyres mean you can get over just about any terrain. A lot of people may buy this bike for commuting or getting about town, and it excels here as well. The bike can get up to 20mph in either throttle or pedal-assist mode. Depending on what level of pedal-assist you use, you’ll get between 25 and 50 miles of range out of the 500Wh battery.
The bike comes with a large LCD screen which shows you a host of information including speed, distance travelled, and battery meter. The Shimano shifters and mechanical disc brakes are another great addition to a bike of this price. The rear rack and front and rear fenders finish off a great all-round package.
Best electric bikes under £1000
Gtech sports hybrid electric bike
Simple, done well
RRP: £995.00 | Gears: 1 | Assistance levels: 2
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.
Carrera Crossroad Electric Bike
The sub-£1000 disc-brake electric road bike
RRP: £999.00 | Gears: 1 x 9 | Assistance levels: 3
The concept of getting an electric road bike for less than £1000 was until recently unheard of. That was until cycling powerhouse Halfords stepped up with their in-house brand, Carrera, with the Crossroad. Now you’ll have no problem keeping up on hilly group rides and spend hours in the saddle with less fatigue than you could have hoped for.
It’s powered by a Suntour motor in the rear wheel, which can provide pedal assistance for up to 40 miles if you have it in its most economic mode. Whilst it’s not the lightest of bikes at 19kg, the Crossroad boasts a lightweight alloy frame and 9-speed Shimano gears, making it ideal for rolling on the flats and climbing steep hills. You’ll be fine on the descents as well, as it comes with a pair of Tektro disc brakes for great stopping power.
Elops 120 E Step Over Classic
Classy looking town bike with 35 miles of assistance
RRP: £699.99 | Gears: 1 x 6 | Assistance levels: 3
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 55 kilometres depending on how much assistance you choose to have. This is all controlled by a simple console on the bars which also shows you your 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 6 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.
Carrera Crosscity folding
The commute just got easier
RRP: £999.00 | Gears: 1 x 8 | Assistance levels: 3
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 25kph, 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.
Rockrider E-ST 100 Electric Mountain Bike
Front suspension 1x hardtail that makes your life easier on the uphills
RRP: £899.99 | Gears: 1 x 8 | Assistance levels: 3
The fact you can get a hardtail electric mountain bike for less than £1000 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 when the trails head downhill. 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.
Things to look out for
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 decent lights are relatively cheap and easy to install yourself.
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. The most important thing to look out for 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.
Some electric bikes will be exclusively pedal assist, whereas some, mainly in the US, might also have a throttle installed. 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. 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.
If you like the idea of running the boost on full, you can reach some pretty high speeds. Because of this, and as e-bikes tend to be a little heavier than their purely pedal-powered counterparts, you want as much control over the bike as possible. Wider tyres provide a greater degree of traction and comfort, as well as allowing you to leave perfectly paved roads behind for some gravel or dirt action. As even the electric bikes under £1000 / $1000 are a little heavy, we suggest getting a bike with disc brakes if possible, to help you slow as safely as possible.
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