Cheap Electric Bikes Guide (~$1,000 and Less)

Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle.

~$550: Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle.

Yes, I know cheap electric bikes is probably not the best title but it is a term that is commonly used to describe economical, inexpensive, or low cost electric bikes.

I have had a lot of requests to cover economical e-bikes because not everyone can afford $1,500-$4,000+ electric bikes.

Not only are there inexpensive e-bikes but there are also e-bike kits and e-trailers (pushes your bike) that could be a low cost option.  In addition, I have some tips for finding used electric bikes, kits, and trailers.

With this guide I hope to give you some ideas on ways to get into e-bikes without breaking the bank.

Please note that most of the lowest priced e-bikes, kits, and trailers come with lead acid batteries (lower cost) that are heavier and have a shorter lifespan when compared to lithium ion batteries.  Lead acid batteries are not bad, they just don’t have the same performance features of a lithium ion battery pack.

Some e-bikes and kits offer the ability to upgrade to a lithium ion pack.  You could start out with a lead acid battery pack and later upgrade to a lithium ion pack if you find that you would like a lighter battery with a longer life span.

Another option is to buy one of these entry level bikes, kits, or trailers to see if you like e-biking.  If you do enjoy it and want to upgrade, you could always sell your used e-bike and upgrade to a higher quality e-bike.

If you already have an e-bike, then please share this with someone you know who is interested in getting an economical e-bike.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Economical Electric Bikes

Less expensive bikes can work for you but you should be aware of some of their limitations.

Some of the least expensive bikes have lower quality electrical and bike components.  That is not necessarily a bad thing if you plan on only using the bike now and then.  These bikes can be a way to test the e-bike waters.  Just note that they probably won’t stand up to a lot of tough riding.

Also, lower quality components generally don’t perform as well as higher quality components.  The shifting is not as smooth, the brakes don’t work as well, etc.

I recommend going with a well known brand and a bike that gets good user reviews.  A lot of the links below go to Amazon and there are a number of user reviews available there.

Currie Technologies

Currie Technologies is one of the oldest electric bike companies in the US and they provide some economical e-bikes as well as a lot of high end e-bikes.

~$550: Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle.

The eZip Trailz is an economical e-bike with lead acid batteries that gets good reviews on Amazon.  You can add an additional battery on the other side of the rack for more range.

Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle.

~$550: Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Electric Bicycle.

 

They also make a step through version.

Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Step Thru Electric Bicycle.

~$550: Currie Technologies eZip Trailz Step Thru Electric Bicycle.

 

~$800: Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Electric Bicycle.

The eZip Skyline comes with a lithium ion battery pack and has good reviews on Amazon.

Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Electric Bicycle.

~$800: Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Electric Bicycle.

 

Also available in a step through version.

Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Step Thru Electric Bicycle.

~$800: Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Step Thru Electric Bicycle.

 

~$999: Currie Technologies IZIP E3 Vibe.  

The IZIP Vibe is equipped with a 250 watt geared rear hub motor and lead acid battery (with an option to upgrade to lithium).  The bike components on the Vibe are of better quality when compared to the eZip Skyline and Trailz.

Currie Technologies IZIP E3 Vibe

~$999: Currie Technologies IZIP E3 Vibe.

 

Also available in a step through version.

Currie Technologies IZIP E3 Vibe Step Thru.

~$999: Currie Technologies IZIP E3 Vibe Step Thru.

 

Prodeco Tech

Prodeco Tech is a company located near Miami Florida and they assemble their bikes at their headquarters.  Here is a report from my visit to Prodeco Tech.  Prodeco Tech offers a few low cost e-bikes as well as a wide range of mid to high end e-bikes.

~$999: Prodeco Tech Mariner Folding Electric Bicycle.

The Prodeco Tech Mariner comes with a 250 watt geared front hub motor and a LiFePO4 battery.  It is a folding bike that can be collapsed into a compact size for transport or storage.

ProdecoTech V3 Mariner Folding Electric Bicycle.

ProdecoTech V3 Mariner Folding Electric Bicycle.

 

~$1,099: Prodeco Mariner Sport Folding Electric Bicycle.

The Prodeco Tech Mariner Sport is very similar to the Mariner but it has a larger LiFePO4 battery for more range.

Prodeco V3 Mariner Sport Folding Electric Bicycle.

Prodeco V3 Mariner Sport Folding Electric Bicycle.

 

~$1,099: Prodeco Tech G Plus Stride Electric Bicycle.

The Prodeco Tech G Plus Stride has a 250 watt geared front hub motor with LiFePO4 battery and offers the ability to fold this full sized bike for transport or storage.

ProdecoTech G Plus Stride Electric Folding Bicycle.

~$1099: ProdecoTech G Plus Stride Electric Folding Bicycle.

 

Economical Electric Bike Kits

IMPORTANT: Make sure your current bike (or the bike that you buy) will work properly with the kit that you select.  If you buy a front hub motor kit, make sure that the fork of your bike will work with the kit.  Each e-bike kit company will have information on what to look for when installing their kit on your bike.

~$350 Currie Technologies Electro Drive Kit

The Currie Electro Drive Kit is a 26″ size rear wheel kit that includes a lead acid battery.  It is probably one of the most economical kits around.

Currie Technologies Electro Drive Kit

~$350: Currie Technologies Electro Drive Kit.

 

~$399+ Clean Republic Hill Topper Kit

The Clean Republic Hill Topper is a simple geared front hub motor kit that has the lower cost lead acid battery option as well as a lithium ion battery options (more $$).  Here is my review of the most economical Clean Republic Hill Topper kit.

clean-republic-hill-topper-electric-bike-kit-in-the-box

~$399+: The Clean Republic Hill Topper Electric Bike Kit.

 

~$585: Currie Tech Electro-Drive Conversion Kit 4

This kit comes with a 250 watt geared front hub motor and a lead acid battery.

Currie Technologies Electro-Drive Conversion Kit 4

~$585: Currie Technologies Electro-Drive Conversion Kit 4

 

~$670+ E-Bike Kit

E-Bike Kit offers both front and rear geared or direct drive motor options as well as lead acid or lithium ion batteries.  These kits also offer twist grip or thumb throttles and brake lever switches that stop the electric assist.  Here is my review of the most economical E-Bike Kit with a 350 watt geared front hub motor and a lead acid battery.

e-bike-kit-in-the-box

~$680+: The E-Bike Kit.

 

There are many other electric bike kits on the market.  These are just a few that I believe will provide you a good kit for an economical price.

For more ideas on kits, here is a guide to electric bike kits.

Economical Electric Trailers

~$699+ Ridekick offers a trailer that can easily and quickly add electric assist to your current bike.  The trailer is also quickly removable when you don’t want or need the assist.

Ridekick electric trailer

Used Electric Bikes, Kits, or Trailers

Buying a used electric bike/kit/trailer can be a great way to get a higher quality bike for a lower price.

Please keep in mind that it is important to determine how many miles or charge/discharge cycles have been put on the battery pack.  If the bike is well used it may need a battery replacement soon and that can be costly.

Craigslist and Ebay are good places to check for used electric bikes.

Also, check with your local bike shop to see if they have any customers looking to sell their bike.  Your local bike shop may also have rental e-bikes that they are looking to sell for a discount.

Conclusion

That’s it for now but I will be adding more economical e-bikes, kits, and trailers as I come across them.

I hope this guide was helpful.  If you already have an e-bike then maybe you know someone who would like to get an economical e-bike.  Please share this guide with them.

Thanks

-Pete

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!


Other Articles You Might Like!

Stores I recommend: Amazon, REI, Jenson USA, Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop, and Bike Kid Shop.

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11 Comments

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  1. citizenbfk May 25, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Thank you for this article. I was seriously considering getting an electric bike but prices of $3K-$4K were a turn-off; you can buy an electric moped or motorcycle for that; I wound up getting a ‘regular’ duel-sport style bike (and love it!). Of course now that I have one good bike, why not start a hobby collection? It was good for me to get rid of the ‘emergency need/desire’ for a good replacement bike…now I’ll continue to look at electric vehicles. Um…I also grew weary of reading about bikes coming out ‘some far off date in the future,’ — And what’s with this NYC ban on electric vehicles…and SOME forest service trail system don’t allow them; it added up to confusions I didn’t want — or need — to deal with. I also ride on the sidewalks a lot (near zero pedestrians on my small town sidewalks)…would that be allowed? Etc. Etc. But keep up your good work and I hope someday there will be an electric bike (with solar charging) that will be so ‘insanely great,’ I’ll have to get it.

  2. citizenbfk May 25, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    P.S. – I live in 320+ days of sunshine. I want solar recharging. I want the future, Now.

  3. Opus the Poet May 25, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    ebikes.ca has 9Continent conversion kits with lithium batteries for right at the $1K US price of your article that are perfect for converting an existing older bike with good components to assist.

  4. Michael K. May 25, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Ampedbike kits are heavy duty electric bike kits that have double walled rims and 10 gage spokes. I have yet to bend one of these rims driving over the rough mountain roads and trails around here. Complete geared kits front or back with sla batteries sell for currently at our shop for $565.00. I do have one geared rear kit from last year for $525.00.

    This is a great guide for lower priced ebikes and with the popularity of ebikes rising you will see more used ones for sale when people want to up grade.

  5. Don D May 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Any ebike under $1000 is garbage. Trust me! You will end up losing money because of the headaches of it always breaking down. Ever had to ship an ebike back to its maker? Its extremely difficult. Dont say I didnt warn you..

    • citizenbfk May 29, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      OK. Good Point. I felt good about just getting a high-quality, good reputation Brand name, good components, professionally assembled, high-tech mountain bike — so does Don D. have a specific recommendation; or tell us what ebike you ride and how you feel about it?

  6. AmidMany May 26, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Thank you so much for addressing this topic and I really appreciate it!

  7. Alroy June 8, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Spend the money and get a pedelec. The best ones to buy are made by Kalkoff and Emotion. I have a Kalkoff. It is well made; has very good components. As long as you don’t crash it or have it stolen, it will last a lifetime. That’s how you should amortize the cost. Kalkoff has a very good pedelec that will do 15mph easily and do 125 miles on a single charge. I truly believe it can do that. I usually do 60 mile rides and I still have 2 or 3 bars left on the battery indicator. Even if you ride into a strong headwind, that bike that does 125 miles on flat ground, no wind should handle 60 miles on a charge. Because it has very good components, I usually don’t need any assistance when riding with the wind behind me. I find I’m doing 15-18 mph without effort.

  8. Tessa Gooding October 13, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I live in Mauritius. What is the cheapest way I could get a decent e-bike here? Do you know any good suppliers in South Africa that do decent cheaper e-bikes please? (That would probably be the cheapest place I could get it shipped from.) The cheapest I’ve found so far is the FW4 Ride at 11000 Rand plus shipping. I was initially considering an electric moped but it won’t be able to manage some of the hills and it would be good to get some exercise when travelling around as well. Any advice anyone can give would be much appreciated!

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