The Best Budget Electric Bike
Electric bikes have been a revolution in the world of personal transportation! It comes as no surprise that many commuters today are making a switch from driving their cars to work to cruising on an electric bike.
While we cannot overstate the benefits that e-bikes come with, their biggest undoing, for most people, has to be their price. Some models can cost you as much as what you’d pay for a second-hand vehicle.
However, more and more bike brands are making their electric bikes more budget friendly, and in this list we’ll go over some of the best electric bikes you can buy for a small budget. Let’s begin with a quick buyer’s guide however.
Best Budget Electric Bicycles – Guide
Purchasing an electric bike is harder than it sounds. There are numerous brands in the market with unique offerings that you have to choose from. Finding the best e-bike in a sea of options can easily turn into a wild goose chase. To avoid getting caught up by the common pitfalls of first-time buying, be sure to consider the following:
What Type of Electric Bike Should I Get?
Just like their conventional siblings, electric bikes come in several variations. You can find battery-powered versions of mountain bikes, road bikes, cruisers, cargo bikes, as well as folding bikes.
The best choice for you will depend on your intended use for the bike. If you are looking for a practical vehicle to be your new transportation to work, then an electric road bike will work just fine.
However, if you want something to explore the rugged off-road terrains over the weekends while exploring the remote outdoors, you might want to consider investing in an eMTB.
The same applies to all the other types of e-bikes available on the market. So, before you step into a bike shop, remember to match your needs with what the e-bike model can offer to find the best choice for you.
How Much Does a Cheap E-bike Cost?
Generally speaking, a budget electric bike will cost you anything in the region of $500-$1000. The components used on these are relatively decent and can offer you a reliable performance. Some of the best brands for cheap e-bikes include Ancheer and Swagtron.
Their products are generally popular in the market thanks to their ability to offer quality without sacrificing the quality of components.
However, you can find even cheaper models to buy, in what can be considered as an ultra-budget range or simply bottom-of-the-barrel brands. These e-bikes can start for as low as $300, and are exclusively imported from China.
Xiaomi is one is among the big names that have recently joined the budget e-bike game, with two models retailing for $261 and $375 at home, although the price gets closer to $400-$500 in the local market.
Amazon is another brand with several scooter-style electric bikes that retail for about $399. While these bikes will offer you a typical electric biking experience, the only problem is that the quality of the components is relatively limited. This means you may not get to enjoy the benefits of riding an e-bike to the fullest.
What are the Benefits of Electric Bikes?
Electric bikes come with a range of benefits, and this is what has endeared them to many contemporary bike enthusiasts. For one, they offer a very convenient way to commute. Unlike vehicles, they are not prone to traffic snarl-ups, which means you get a direct route to and from work.
Furthermore, they are very cheap compared to cars. Charging an electric bike will cost you a fraction of the price of gas.
Another thing that will make you fall in love with e-bikes is that they take the strain out of cycling and make it a more manageable and fun activity. You don’t have to struggle too hard to power the bike ahead.
Despite this new-found comfort, you still get to exercise just as much as while riding a conventional bike. Not to mention that you’ll be able to sustain the ride for a longer period. Finally, electric bikes are environmentally friendly- a crucial aspect in an era witnessing the worst effects of global warming.
Best Affordable Electric Bikes – Reviews
Ancheer Electric Mountain Bike
This eMTB from Ancheer is just what you go for when you need some motor assistance to take on the rugged off-road trails. It comes with a stylish and imposing look highlighted by rich black colors that are bound to get your attention. Its 100% aluminum alloy frame construction makes for a durable yet lightweight bike that you can easily handle on the trail.
This is complemented by a high-strength carbon fork to make it more comfortable for you on bumpy terrains.
Despite its cheap under $1000 price, the bike integrates a range of cool specs to make the most of your e-bike experience. Firstly, it is powered by a strong 350W brushless motor that can push you to a maximum speed of 20mph.
The torque from the engine is punchy enough to make light work of hilly sections of the road on your way to work. Backing the battery is a high-capacity 36V 10.4Ah battery with enough juice to let you cover up to 40 miles on a full charge cycle.
This should be sufficient to take care of your commute and still have extra charge to run a few errands in between. However, you’ll require between 4 to 6 hours to fully recharge the battery, which may prove to be a long and frustrating wait.
The removable battery can be charged both on and off the bike, so you get to decide what’s more convenient for you. You can choose from three different modes when riding the bike.
Depending on the degree of difficulty, the Ancheer electric mountain bike can be set to full e-bike operation, assisted biking, or normal biking. A clear LCD on the handlebar allows you to tweak the settings to your preference while the throttle gives you the burst you need to get where you’re going on time. Additionally, the 21-speed transmission system makes it easy for you on different gradients on the road.
- Brake & Gear Shift Systeml : With front and rear disc brakes and 21-speed transmission system, 3-Speed Chainwheel, 7-Speed Freewheel, uphill and downhill, slow, constant speed, speed up, all can be satisfied. It can be a mountain bike, also suitable for urban cycling and commuting.
- Removable Battery & Mileage: Equipped with smart lithium battery charger for fast charging (4-6 hrs).36V/8AH li battery supports between 25 to 50 km(15.5-31miles).
- 3 Working Modes : Ebike & Assisted bicycle & Normal bike. With the LED 3-speed smart meter button, you can choose the electric assist power according to your needs. You can add a burst of speed with the throttle, which is ideal for pulling away from traffic lights. Combining three modes would be a better choice.
- Change Your Commute : Save time as you avoid traffic and cruise through the bike lane on your morning commute. Think of the money you’ll save, the electric bicycle is more cost efficient than the cars, trucks or Uber.
Meanwhile, front and rear disc brakes provide the necessary stopping power to stop the bike in its tracks. The manufacturer integrated an LED headlight into the bike’s design, which comes in handy when riding in low light situations.
Lastly, the bike comes 85% assembled, so you won’t have too much work to get it up and ready to hit the rugged backcountry trails. All these features help to make the Ancheer arguably the best affordable electric bike on the market.
The Nakto 250W is a high-quality electric cruiser that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It is equipped with a variety of exciting features that can easily rival other models at a higher cost category. High-strength carbon steel material is used on the frame and front fork to result in a formidable construction with the ability to comfortably accommodate users weighing up to 300 pounds. The bike’s dimensions are suitable for riders between 4’9′-6’6′.
Powering the battery is a 250W motor that is paired with a powerful 36v 10Ah lithium battery. The motor can propel you to a top speed of 18mph while the battery carries enough juice to sustain your ride for 4-6hrs when fully charged.
This translates to around 25 miles of riding range, which is sufficient to let you run all your errands around town. There are two modes that you can ride the e-bike on. Either you add a little peddling effort on the pedal-assist mode or enjoy your ride without moving a muscle on the e-bike mode.
The Nakto cruiser e-bike rolls on 26′ x 4′ CST tires, which thrive on tricky terrains. With these juggernauts, you’ll be able to plow through gravel roads, sandy trails, and even snowy paths without batting an eye. Meanwhile, stopping performance is provided by front V-brakes, as well as rear extension brakes.
Add to this a high-performance Shimano-6 speed gear and you can look forward to a smooth ride as you switch between different trails.
The manufacturer integrated practical urban-friendly features like a bright LED headlamp and a horn to allow for night riding. One thing that you may not like about this bike is that it will require assembly when delivered, which might prompt you to solicit expert help.
This is despite being 85% assembled. Overall, the Nakto 250W is a wonderful acquisition for those looking to get a taste of electric biking without breaking the bank!
Ancheer Folding Electric Commuter
This is another excellent product from the best-selling brand Ancheer. It is small enough to fit inside the trunk of your car, thanks to a collapsible design, and comes with all the essential bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-performance e-bike. The best part is that it will only cost you a fraction of the price.
Top on the list of quality features on the bike is a lightweight steel frame that folds down nicely to a packable size.
This should make it easy for you during storage when you’re not using it. Although lightweight, the steel frame is impressively strong for reliable performance on the road. The fast and easy folding mechanism allows you to collapse the bike in a matter of seconds, making the Ancheer a functional commuter vehicle and for camping trips. Powered by a 250W brushless motor, this bike can reach a top speed of 15.5mph.
The energy is provided by a 36V 8Ah lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to 30miles of range on a full charge cycle. This is removable and can be charged either on or off the bike at your convenience.
Depending on the nature of the terrain, you can use the e-bike or assisted mode provided by the bike. Also, front and rear disc brakes are fitted to offer reliable braking when necessary.
This bike is delivered 85% assembled, so you’ll need to fold up your sleeves to get it up and rolling. Luckily, you don’t require expert help to do this.
Another thing you’ll like on this bike is the integrated bell, as well as an LED meter, to make for practical use in an urban context. Overall, this is the go-to bike when you want a functional commuting partner that will be easy to manage.
Swagtron EB7 Plus Electric Bike
This nicely designed e-bike from Swagtron has the swag to suit just about any e-bike enthusiast. It comes with an appealing blend of black and orange colors, which should earn you admirers on the road. Unfortunately, it is a small bike that may prove uncomfortable for riders above 5’11′, which is a good chunk of the electric biking demographic.
The rest of the population will have a fun time riding this bike. It is equipped with a 7-speed Shimano transmission, a lockable battery for security, a headlight, as well as rear suspension.
Although not the best suspension system in the market, it is decent enough to make bumpy rides more bearable.
A modest 230Wh battery is used on the Swagtron EB7 Plus to provide a range of not more than 20 miles when using pedal-assist mode. However, the range is halved if you choose to use throttle mode. The small size of the wheels and chainring fitted on the bike mean that you won’t be able to ride faster than 12mph on pedal assist, but the throttle can power you to around 18mph.
Overall, the specs on this bike are relatively basic, but you shouldn’t expect much from a bike under $700. It is a practical e-city model for those looking for the convenience of a scooter mixed with the comfort of an electric bike. We would recommend it to riders trying to get their maiden electric biking experience.
Speedrid Fat Tire Electric Bike
If you’re in the market for a stable and comfortable e-bike in the budget price range, this fat tire two-wheeler will be a nice option for you. The Speedrid is propelled by a 500W high-speed brushless motor to make light work of any hilly sections of the trail and make it easy for you against persistent headwinds. Backing the motor is a 48V 10Ah battery that will sustain your experience for up to 22 miles when fully charged.
The removable battery allows you to secure your investment during charging. You can charge it on or off the bike depending on what’s more convenient.
A double-layer aluminium frame construction is complemented with strong carbon steel forks to deliver a durable design for an e-bike. This also means that you’ll have a less uncomfortable ride when the trail gets bumpy and unstable.
Mechanical brakes are fitted on both the front and rear wheels to bring your ride to a stop. Furthermore, chunky 26′ 4′ tires are used on the Speedrid e-bike to let you plow through muddy trails and gravel roads. They provide excellent shock absorbing performance to cater to your comfort on rugged terrains. Overall, this is a well-thought-out bike that is designed to offer power and stability.
A thumb throttle, light switch, and horn are positioned on the handlebar to make for fast access while leaving enough space for you to comfortably grip the handlebar.
You also get an LCD to display telemetry data like battery percentage, speed, mileage, as well as the three working modes. This means you can choose between pedal-assist, normal bike, or full e-bike modes.
On the downside, this bike is relatively weighty, so you don’t want the battery running out on you in the middle of the journey. It weighs 60Lbs, which is way more than the other bikes in this review. Otherwise, the Speedrid fat tire electric bike is something you can take a chance on!
It’s never too late to join the growing trend of electric biking, which is undeniably popular across the globe. All you need is a practical e-bike to get you started and any of the best affordable electric bikes discussed above will be the ideal starter pack for you!
Are Cheap Electric Bikes Worth it?
Considering how expensive electric bikes generally are, a cheap model is good news for anybody that wants to get the electric biking adventure. These come with all the features you’ll find on more premium models, although the quality is not up to par. For those who can’t afford to get a big-name brand electric bike, cheap e-bikes are very much worth it!
How Long Do Electric Bike Batteries Last?
If properly maintained and cared for, the battery on your electric bike can function for as long as 10 years. Manufacturers such as Bosch claim that their products can last this long, or an equivalent of 1500 cycles. However, you should note that as the battery ages over time, its capacity also reduces. This is to say that by the time it gets to its tenth year, the battery will barely be able to power your electric bike.
Can You Ride an Electric Bike in the Rain?
Yes! You can ride your e-bike in the rain without fear of damaging the electrical components. This is because most are designed to be rainproof. However, be sure to check with your manufacturer to know how much rain it can handle before you go cruising while it’s raining.
Some bikes come with a waterproof rating that’ll let you know if it’s safe to use in such conditions. For instance, an IPX4 water-resistant rating lets you park or ride the electric bike in the rain.
Do You Workout When Riding an Electric Bike?
According to experts, you get as much exercise when you ride an e-bike as when you ride a traditional bike. In fact, it could be more when you consider that you can sustain the ride for longer with the motor assistance you get.
The biggest misconception on e-bikes is that the motor does all the work. On the contrary, you have to pedal for your effort to be supplemented by the motor in equal measure.