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Best Electric Bikes Under $1,000
Feb 10, 2023
*Electric Bike Report aims to help consumers find the right electric bike for their needs. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
When on a budget, it can be tough to find the right balance between an affordable electric bike and a quality electric bike — but it’s not impossible. To help you sort out the affordable gems from the cheap lemons, the Electric Bike Report team has compiled our list of the best electric bikes under $1,000.
Now to be fair, it’s not easy to make a quality e-bike under $1,000, so we’ve resigned ourselves to raising that price cap a little here and there to include some that may be sitting above that price, but are near enough, or we’ve seen them on sale often enough to warrant inclusion on our list of the best electric bikes around $1,000.
With a majority of budget e-bikes being sold online, it can be difficult to truly tell if the bike you’re looking at is worth your money. Lucky for you, the experts at Electric Bike Report have ridden lots of e-bikes under $1,000 (or at least very close to the number). We are extremely familiar with all the bikes on this list, and we’re confident they’ll serve you well.
Here are our picks for the best electric bikes under $1,000:
Why we consider e-bikes around $1,000 “entry-level”
Buying an e-bike much cheaper than $1,000 can be likened to gambling. With costs cut so low — added to the high likelihood you’re ordering a bike that cheap off a website — you really don’t know what you’re going to get.
The truth is, e-bikes are not cheap machines. Quality e-bike motors and batteries are not inexpensive to make, so they’re not typically cheap to buy. There are companies that do a good job building safe and durable inexpensive e-bikes — you can find our favorites listed below — but some others do little to ensure that the products they sell will work as advertised. Amazon and AliExpress are the Pandora’s box of cheap e-bikes, so it’s wise to steer clear of them.
Our general rule of thumb is that $1,000 is your best starting point. That’s enough money to get you quality components and trustworthy manufacturing. It’s also the most common lowest price we see from reputable e-bike manufacturers.
A few things we advise consumers watch for when choosing an e-bike under $1,000:
Try to buy from a manufacturer with their own website, a warranty and customer service. If you’re thinking of buying an e-bike from the same place you’d order bulk toilet paper, you might want to look elsewhere.
Look for bikes that are simpler, like a single speed or an e-bike with no suspension. Drivetrains and suspension systems are expensive and cheap knock-offs of them are unreliable.
Know that good e-bikes aren’t always the most glitzy or chock-full of features. Look for reliability above all else.
How we picked these best e-bikes for under $1,000
Every bike on this list has been tested and reviewed by Electric Bike Report. And if you were wondering, no, there aren’t any random “filler bikes” found on Amazon or AliExpress. To determine which bikes made the cut we weighed the pros and cons of each model. We also looked at how good each bike was in the following categories:
Utility/Usefulness: -Just because an electric bike has two wheels and a motor doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be useful. We analyzed how useful each bike is and if it lives up to its claimed capabilities.
Quality to price ratio:– Regardless of how much you spend, the bike has to be worth the money you pay. The higher the price the more performance we expect out of the bike.
Longevity of the bike: -There are plenty of bikes you can purchase under $1,000 that probably aren’t going to last for more than a year or two. We made sure that wasn’t the case with the bikes we chose by looking into the componentry, frame and the company behind the bike.
Ride experience: -Is the bike worth riding? Five miles into a ride, are you still comfortable? We discussed the overall ride experience these bikes provided. We did this by comparing the comfort, handling, and componentry of each bike and how it all added up.
Lectric XP Lite
The Most Affordable Electric Bike Under $1,000
To put it simply, the Lectric XP Lite is the most affordable e-bike we’ve ever given our stamp of approval to. And if we’re being honest, we don’t just give it a thumbs-up, we give it two.
Lectric has come up with some creative ways to make this bike affordable. To save on costs, the XP Lite incorporates a modest 300W rear hub motor which has been limited to the Class 2 top speed of 20 mph. It also makes use of mechanical disc brakes instead of more expensive hydraulic brakes, and has a single-speed drivetrain instead of a multi-speed cassette.
While spec-wise, the XP Lite is a noticeably stripped-down version of the Lectric XP 2.0, it doesn’t perform that way. The Lite includes a smaller battery, but a more efficient motor/battery pairing than its bigger brother, while retaining a 48V system. This actually results in comparable range and impressive acceleration for the bike’s size. The Lite’s maintenance-free belt drive is a great feature that we typically see on higher-end models, though in those cases it’s often paired with a multi-speed internally geared system instead of the single-speed system here. Additionally, the Lite has narrower tires, which improve acceleration and handling, and are generally more energy efficient. Finally, the XP Lite lives up to its name in a different way by actually weighing significantly less than the 2.0, making it super easy to transport.
When pulling back from direct comparison and looking at the big picture, the Lectric XP Lite has good enough specs and performance that we consider it a solid option even when NOT including it on a budget list. The fact that it folds for storage or transit is just the icing on the cake.
Coming in solidly under $1,000, we can’t say enough how happy we are about the value this e-bike offers.
Even considering its name, the XP Lite is surprisingly lightweight. At 46 lbs with the battery, and 39 without, the bike has excellent handling and is incredibly easy to collapse and store.
The bike’s tires are relatively narrow for energy efficiency and good acceleration, but also have enough tread to allow for limited off-road play. The inclusion of slime in the tubes is appreciated too!
Considering its low weight, the fact that the XP Lite can handle a maximum load of 275 lbs is surprising!
The XP Lite is just super successful at walking the line between practicality and affordability, while also being really fun to ride.
It’s a minor critique, but we wish a key was not necessary to start and use the bike.
While it is an expected tradeoff, it’s worth pointing out that the Lite’s single-speed drivetrain isn’t going to be as flexible in dealing with steeper hills.
Lectric XP 3.0
Best Multi-Purpose Electric Bike Under $1,000
No this isn’t favoritism, no it isn’t a mistake. Yes, this us another Lectric e-bike on the list of best e-bikes under $1000 – it’s a testament to Lectric’s determination to make fun e-bikes that anybody can afford.
The folks at Lectric upped their game even further with the XP 3.0. They took everything that defined the previous design and improved it, while also adding even more. Most notably, the XP 3.0 has an integrated rear rack with an increased weight capacity of 150 lbs, which allows for expanded passenger capacity. The bike’s other spec improvements and additions really just make that functionality more relevant. It retains a 500W motor, but its peak output has been bumped up from 850W to a full 1000W and its torque jumped from 35Nm to 55Nm, giving it better acceleration and hill climbing ability. The ride quality has been improved as well, with a redesigned saddle for increased comfort, better gearing for more efficient pedaling, larger brake rotors for better responsiveness, and greater travel on the suspension fork for smoother travel. Lectric has also added a new safety feature specifically for adding an additional rider. The bike can be set to Passenger Mode, which tames its speed to prevent loss of control.
Plus, the XP 3.0 still folds, and comes in both a standard and step-thru frame design. All of that on an e-bike for around $1,000? Sign us up.
The fact that we have two Lectric models at the top of our list speaks volumes about their commitment to quality and value. In truth, we’ve never featured the same brand twice in a row before, but the brand has impressed us so consistently that we have to give them props. In general, it’s pretty common to see prices increase while quality either stays the same or declines, so we really appreciate Lectric’s trend of constant improvement and affordability.
Instead of improving the already solid XP 2.0 and raising their price, Lectric has both refined and added more to the XP 3.0 while keeping the price the same.
The 3.0’s motor is still rated at 500 Watts, but its peak output has jumped from 850W to 1000W, and it has a bump in torque from 35Nm to 55Nm. This makes for more easily attainable speed and more reliable hill climbing.
Lectric adjusted the gearing range on the XP 3.0 from 14-28 to 11-28, which improves pedaling efficiency.
Mechanical brakes help keep the cost down, and the XP 3.0’s larger 180mm rotors provide more responsiveness than the 160mm size on the XP 2.0
For smoother travel on bumpy roads, Lectric has increased the suspension fork travel from 40mm to 50mm.
Increased 150 lb weight capacity on the rear rack, a new Passenger Mode, and a line of optional accessories including a Thule Yepo Maxi Child Seat make it possible to carry an additional rider.
Like the XP 2.0 and XP Lite above, the XP 3.0 also requires a key to remain inserted while riding.
While the XP 3.0 does have improved grips, we still found them to be a little too firm for longer rides.
The Best Single-Speed Electric Bike Under $1,000
As the first full-size model on this list, the Aventon Soltera doesn’t immediately look like an e-bike. Its design is simple, lightweight, and highly reminiscent of a traditional fixed-gear urban traveler. In fact, the manufacturer is reaching back to its roots here; Aventon was known for its stylish fixies before earning their reputation as a powerhouse in the e-bike market.
The Soltera is admittedly a bit of a deceiver in the area of price as well as looks; the bike’s webpage immediately presents a cost above $1,000, but there is a lower-priced option available as well. For around a grand, the Soltera can be picked up with a single-speed configuration. For a bit more, a full 7-speed option is available too. We tested the more affordable option, and were impressed with what we saw.
As is common with e-bikes on the less expensive end of the spectrum, the Soltera has what would normally be considered lower-powered specs. It is built around a 36V, 350W motor and a 9.6 Ah battery. On paper, yes, these figures look low when compared to more powerful (and expensive) 500- or 750-Watt motors or higher capacity 13- or 14-Amp-hour batteries. But the Soltera balances these differences out in two ways. First, with its lightweight frame; the single-speed setup weighs in at just 41 lbs, meaning that the motor has less weight to compensate for from the outset. Second, without a range of gearing options, the bike naturally has to rely a bit more on rider input. This ultimately makes the Soltera pretty efficient, and results in commendable range, speed potential, and uphill capability (though the latter will require some work!)
While the Soltera doesn’t feature a ton of extra bells and whistles, it still brings a lot to the table. It’s a Class 2 e-bike with a throttle, a cool design, some flashy color options, a variety of quality components, and solid performance – all from a reputable brand with demonstrated reliability. You can’t go wrong.
While looks are subjective, we love the throwback design and the fact that the Soltera is not obviously an e-bike.
At just 41 lbs, the bike is not only efficient, but able to handle both hills and flat terrain with speed.
Compared to similarly economical city e-bikes, the Soltera actually boasts a relatively large battery, giving it great range.
For a small increase in price, the 7-speed version removes some of the tradeoffs with the single-speed setup, making it more appealing to a wider audience.
Even as a “budget” option, the Soltera has inherited some nicer features from its more expensive siblings like its full color display and inset tail lights.
The Soltera’s smaller motor provides a feel similar to a traditional non-electric bicycle, which we appreciate, but it may not satisfy some of those expecting more power.
The relatively spartan nature of the Soltera adds to its classic “fixie” feel, but also means that some common features like fenders or a cargo rack are not included.
The Best Class 3 Electric Bike Under $1,000
The Ride1UP Core-5 is a bit of a shocker on this list. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that the rest of the bikes on this list are Class 2s (to be fair, some can unlock to Class 3 speeds but don’t ship that way), and they’re lucky if they include a motor larger than 300W. For just a smidge above $1,000, the Core-5 is a straight-up Class 3 e-bike with a max assist speed of 28 mph. When we reviewed it, the bike was specced with a 48V, 500W Shengyi motor, but that has since been bumped up to a beastly 750W powerhouse.
And that’s hardly the biggest selling point with the Core-5. The bike is outfitted with a frankly shocking scope of quality, name-brand components. Usually, this is where manufacturers will skimp a little bit to shave off a few dollars, but we just don’t see many compromises on the Core-5’s spec sheet. From the Shengyi motor to the Tektro brakes and the Shimano drivetrain, these are well-established and thoroughly-proven brands that produce trusty parts.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few trade-offs – there HAVE to be on a bike this affordable – but in the grand scheme of things they’re pretty minor. First, the model we tested had a relatively small 10.4 Ah battery, though it still demonstrated a solid range in our testing. That’s no longer even a valid critique, as Ride1UP has since bumped up that spec too; the Core-5 now has a 12.8 Ah battery that should keep it moving even longer. On the more relevant side, the bike uses mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors, which still performed well for us despite not being hydraulics. We also weren’t the largest fans of the saddle or the over-the-bar shifter, but personal preference definitely played into that.
Ultimately, the Ride1UP Core-5 is an absolute steal at just over $1,000. It’s comfortable to ride, performs solidly, and it boasts some truly impressive specs that would usually be reflective of a much higher price tag. We’re not sure what Ride1UP is doing to be able to offer such insane value, but we love it!
As a Class 3 e-bike with a pretty light frame, the Core-5 is fast with or without pedal assistance from the motor.
Both the high-step and step-thru frame designs really caught our eye with their sleek, angular shapes. Such a well-integrated battery makes it hard to tell the Core-5 is even an e-bike!
The pedal assist system is tuned with intuitive jumps in power and speed between levels.
Handling is extra important at Class 3 speeds, and the Core-5 did not disappoint.
Despite being outfitted with mechanical disc brakes, the bike’s low weight makes them more efficient and effective.
The Core-5 provided great value when we reviewed it. Since then, its specs have only gotten better.
It’s a worthwhile compromise, but we found the motor to be a little noisy when using high assistance.
We felt that the Core-5’s cruiser-style saddle was a bit of a mismatch when considering the looks, specs, and performance of the bike. Fortunately, that’s an easy and affordable swap if desired.
Velotric Discover 1
The Best Electric Bike Around $1,000 for Commuters
When considering the best e-bikes around or under $1,000, the Velotric Discover 1 may seem like quite an outlier. Its list price is closer to $1,500, but we have found that it is commonly on sale for significantly less. Currently, at time of writing, the high-step version is on sale, while the step-thru frame is not. Either way, it’s still likely to exceed the $1,000 mark, but we feel that this flashy commuter / cruiser hybrid is worth the extra cost, and also worth including on this list.
The Discover 1 is Velotric’s flagship model, which they released after successfully raising start-up funding through an Indiegogo campaign in 2021. As a Class 2 e-bike with solid specs, the Discover 1 provides a well-rounded blend of comfort, functionality, and style. It displays upright, cruiser-like geometry that plays into the bike’s appealing visual design, and is available in some refreshing color options. It also hosts a respectable 500W motor with 65 Nm of torque as well as a 48V, 14.4 Ah battery.
While the Discover 1 didn’t perform quite as well as we expected with those specs on steep hills, it still has plenty of capability for handling more average-graded inclines. It also fell a bit short of Velotric’s advertised 65-mile range, but still did really well for us when compared to similar models at similar price points.
Like all of the e-bikes on this list, the Discover 1 makes some compromises to reduce its cost, but it still features genuine value in the areas of specs and performance. This makes it a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable, capable, and eye-catching daily ride.
The Discover 1 really shines with its visual design. It has clean, angular design that incorporates thoughtful ergonomics, and comes in a wide variety of colors.
While most e-bikes have 5 levels of adjustment in their pedal assist system, it’s not uncommon for some of the levels to feel redundant. The Discover 1 has its PAS dialed in to just 3 settings, making it a little easier to use.
Overall, the Discover 1 performs like a more expensive e-bike. This means solid value and a lot of bang for the buck.
The Discover 1 blends the best elements from comfortable cruisers and contemporary, eye-catching commuters.
As an e-bike made to share the road with other vehicles, the Discover 1’s integrated lights increase visibility both FOR and OF the rider, making for a safer experience.
We found that the suspension fork felt a bit less sturdy than the rest of the bike. The inclusion of a higher-end component would go a long way to making the Discover 1’s ride match its performance.
The 500W, 65 Nm motor didn’t quite live up to our expectations, though it can still handle hills and bring the bike up to speed effectively.
While the Discover 1 didn’t match Velotric’s claimed 65-mile range for us, the 50 miles we saw still proved pretty impressive.
The Best Micro Electric Bike Under $1,000
The JackRabbit is a seriously unique e-bike. When comparing it to our usual experiences on two wheels, we don’t quite know what to make of it, except that it’s super fun! But the bike – we say that lightly, as it’s technically more of an electric scooter – really isn’t meant to be compared, as it was clearly designed with hyper-focus on one specific aspect: portability.
There is an entire category of e-bikes that fold, collapse, slim down, etc. for storage and transport. Some of them even ring up under $1,000, and appear on this list. But none of the others weigh in at just 24 lbs or can be made as compact as the JackRabbit. This diminutive e-bike was made to fill a very specific niche, though it does have potential outside of that. The bike was designed for college students who needed to travel across a large campus in a small amount of time. In the grand scheme of bike trips, even a large college campus makes for short work, so the JackRabbit’s ability to sprint from place to nearby place allows it to cross over into more common applications – down the street to a friend’s house, around the corner to the convenience store, or a couple of blocks over to that really great deli.
The JackRabbit has no pedals, a completely absent drivetrain, and only one brake, but it does have folding pegs that serve as footrests, a 300W motor powered only by a throttle, and no need for a second brake due to its extremely compact wheelbase. That reduced wheelbase also makes the bike incredibly maneuverable, and the JackRabbit’s wheel size makes it infinitely more stable and bump-friendly than a scooter would be. While it can handle modest hills just fine, it struggles with steeper inclines, and more extreme descents might want to be avoided or slowed significantly with foot power. Additionally, it’s good to mention that the bike’s small 4.2 Ah battery isn’t going to result in range comparable to any other bike on this list (but it can be charged much quicker).
The JackRabbit’s departures from what we and many others consider “normal” is what makes this zippy little e-bike stand out, though. It wasn’t made to conquer massive mountains or travel the long distances between cities. Instead, the JackRabbit was made to cover relatively short distances over civilized terrain quickly, and be carried, stashed, and set back up just as efficiently.
The JackRabbit’s wheelbase can be shortened and its handlebars can repositioned, giving it a smaller footprint than even a folding bike.
The tiny wheelbase makes the JackRabbit incredibly maneuverable.
Weighing only 24 lbs, the bike is ultra-portable, and can even be carried over the shoulder with an optional sling.
Its 300W motor is notably zippy on flat ground, and can handle decent hills with some gathered momentum.
Surprisingly, the JackRabbit can handle both small and tall riders, all the way up to 6’2” and 240 lbs!
The bike honestly serves its purpose well – it’s great for short trips across campus or running errands.
The JackRabbit’s ride is completely unique and joyful, taking us right back to childhood.
A single brake might seem strange, but it prevents accidents caused by inertia. The tradeoff is that braking is a little slower, and might need to be aided by dragging your feet when stopping quicker.
Riders with larger feet may need to be wary of hitting the wheel when turning due to the short wheelbase.
Ride1UP Roadster V2
The Best Electric City Bike Under $1,000
Ride1UP’s Roadster is a Class 3 electric bike built with a clear fixed-gear and urban commuting inspiration and background. Even our most hardcore “fixie” riders at Electric Bike Report liked what the Roadster brings to the table. The Roadster uses a 350W Shengyi rear hub motor, and a 36V, 7.0Ah battery; creating a pedal assist feeling that complements your pedal strokes, but never takes over for the rider.
The Ride1UP Roadster definitely tailors to those who already have some experience riding bicycles. The aggressive riding position, 700c tires and massive 64t chainring are great for maintaining speed and riding athletically, however the Roadster’s setup isn’t the most comfortable or ergonomic for the same reasons. The handling of the Roadster felt very natural to our team, as the 33 lbs of total weight isn’t too far from that of a standard bicycle.
When we reviewed the Ride1UP Roadster V2 we could tell that Ride1UP put a lot of effort and time into the Roadster, and it really showed in the fine details of the bike. The belt drive makes for grease free riding and less maintenance than a typical cog and chain drivetrain. The 6061 alloy frame has mounting points for racks and fenders, the motor is quick to engage, and as a whole the Roadster doesn’t even look like an electric bike. If you’re looking for an electric bike that blurs the line between hardcore fixie bikes and electric bikes, then I would recommend looking at the Ride1UP Roadster V2.
The Ride1UP Roadster is surprisingly quick, and the motor is quick to engage. This makes for a very smooth pedal stroke.
The Ride1UP Roadster is fun to ride and has a stealthy design that doesn’t make it look like an e-bike.
The single speed belt drive is virtually maintenance free and will last longer than a standard bicycle chain.
Positioning may not be great for those who prefer a more upright riding placement.
64 x 20 Gearing may be a little bit tough for steep hills.
Bottom line: There is probably an electric bike for you under $1,000.
As I mentioned in our introduction, there are plenty of electric bikes available for under $1,000. However, when you take quality, style and availability into account that list gets a lot shorter.
It can be hard for companies to walk the fine line of making a budget friendly e-bike while still maintaining quality, and the truth is not all of them can.
With that in mind, every bike on our list is there for a reason. All of these bikes meet the qualifications for what we would look for in an electric bike under $1,000, and our team at Electric Bike Report hopes this list was helpful to you. Now get pedaling!
What did you think about our picks for the best electric bikes under $1,000? Are there ones we missed that you’d like us to review? Let us know in the comments below!