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Electric bikes solve a lot of problems: they don’t require (expensive) gas, they can be parked anywhere, and they can move faster than traffic. Plus, the best electric bikes can take you much further than a regular bike —and you won’t arrive at your destination sweaty, tired, or late.
The downside with electric bikes is that they’re pricey. You’ll likely recuperate the investment by saving on gas and parking money, but many of us can’t spare thousands on a fancy new e-bike. Luckily, you don’t need to spend thousands: We combed online bike shops for the best electric bikes under $1,000, and realized that you can buy an e-bike on a budget.
If you’ve been considering an electric bike — whether for saving on gas money, skipping traffic, or just enjoying leisure cruises on the weekend — read on. Below are the best electric bikes under $1,000, as well as some buying tips for picking up your first e-bike.
Electric Bike Buying Guide
Electric bikes have some unique features, compared to regular bikes, that you’ll need to look at while shopping. Here are a few key specs to consider while shopping.
Range: First and foremost, your electric bike needs to get you from A to B without running out of battery. The best electric bikes under $1,000 typically have a range between 20 and 40 miles, but be aware that range depends on terrain and rider weight (i.e. a heavy rider on an incline will get less mileage than advertised).
Power: Wattage can give a rough idea of an electric bike’s power, with the best electric bikes under $1,000 putting out 250 to 750 watts. Lower-wattage motors are actually OK for most riders, giving a little boost to your normal peddling, but most high-wattage e-bikes don’t even require pedaling to move.
Style: Most electric bikes are either commuter e-bikes (a.k.a. city or hybrid bikes), mountain bikes, or cruiser bikes. Commuter electric bikes are the best bet for most people, offering comfort as well as agility in traffic.
Another term you’ll see is “step-thru.” This just means the bike has a lowered top tube (the upper bar in the frame), allowing you to easily step “through” the frame instead of swinging your leg around the back, making it easier to get on and off the bike.
Size: You’ll want to pick a properly-sized bike for optimal power transfer and comfort. Most brands list the suggested rider height for each bike, so be sure to check that before purchasing.
The Best Electric Bikes Under $1,000
It’s not too easy to find a sub-$1,000 electric bike, but they are out there. Below are some of the best electric bikes under $1,000 that we could find online. All can be shipped right to your doorstep and require minimal assembly — if any.
1. Lectric Bikes XP 2.0
This XP 2.0 from Lectric is shockingly good for its $999 price tag, easily beating out more expensive e-bikes to be the best electric bike under $1,000.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the XP bike is foldable. This is hugely convenient for storage, and for bringing your bike indoors (say, at the office or a restaurant). But the foldability is also very handy for shipping: While many electric bikes require up to an hour of assembly, the XP comes fully assembled. Just pump the tires and it’s ready to go.
In terms of specs, the XP punches way above its price class. Boasting up to 45 miles of range, you can easily commute or go for long cruises without running out of juice. This long-lasting battery powers an 850-watt motor, propelling the bike to a top speed of 28 miles per hour. 160-millimeter mechanical disc brakes ensure a safe stop, even when blasting at top speed.
2. Ancheer Electric Mountain Bike
If you plan on taking your electric bike off-roading, check out this Ancheer. With a 350-watt motor, it lends a welcome push up steep hills or a more leisurely cruise. Range is solid too with a battery that lasts 22 to 40 miles on a single charge. The battery and motor are also water-resistant, meaning you can rip through mud, puddles, or rain without worry.
Motor aside, the Ancheer is very similar to your typical mountain bike with a durable frame, rugged carbon steel front shocks, and a capable 21-speed gearbox. The bike also features mechanical disc brakes, ensuring plenty of stopping power on steep declines.
3. Heybike Cityscape Electric Bike
Cruiser e-bikes are great for easier pleasure rides (think, to the beach, the park, or brunch), but they also work well for commuting. This Heybike Cityscape is the best electric cruiser bike under $1,000, delivering plenty of boost from a 350-watt motor, up to 40 miles of range, and a comfortable frame.
Despite its sub-$1,000 price tag, the Cityscape has surprisingly solid components besides the motor and battery. A Shimano seven-Speed gearbox ensures smooth shifts, disc brakes offer safe stopping power, and front and rear lights let you ride in the dark. The bike also has an integrated rear rack that can be used for cargo space.
Overall, the Heybike is exactly what we want from a cruiser: comfortable, convenient, and good-looking enough to be seen around town.
4. Ride1Up Core-5
This Core-5 bike from Ride1Up does cost $1,095, as of writing, so we cheated a little by including it in our roundup. But it offers too much added value for so little extra cash to ignore.
For starters, the build quality is very impressive. Ride1Up uses a lightweight alloy that not only makes the bike faster and more agile, but also easier to maneuver around tight garages or storage spaces. Other components, such as the Shimano 7-speed transmission and Tektro 160-millimeter mechanical disc brakes, are equally well built.
The bike’s 750-watt motor is also very good, effortlessly launching the bike to 28 miles per hour with pedal assist. Without any pedaling, the bike can still reach 20 miles per hour with a thumb throttle. The battery, meantime, lasts 20 to 40 miles depending on rider weight and terrain.
If you can spare the extra ~$100, the Core-5 is well worth it.