Cheap (Economical) Electric Bikes Guide (~$1,300 and Less)
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 some 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. You usually get what you pay for.
I recommend going with a well known brand and a bike that gets good user reviews. Some of the links below go to Amazon and there are a number of user reviews available there.
Populo Sport $999
The Populo Sport is a simple, stylish, and light (35.7 pounds) urban commuter style eBike for $999. It features a 250 watt geared rear hub motor, 36V 8.7ah lithium battery with Panasonic cells, 8 levels of pedal assist, and more. Here is the full review of the Populo Sport.
Propella 2.0 $949 to $1,199
The Propella 2.0 is a light urban commuter with a single speed option for $949 or a 7 speed option for $1,199. The 2.0 features a 250 watt geared Bafang rear hub motor, 36v 6.8ah lithium battery with Panasonic cells, disc brakes, and more. The claimed weight for the single speed is a light 34.5 pounds.
Find out more about the Propella 2.0.
Juiced Bikes Cross Current Air $1,095
The Juiced Bikes Cross Current AIR is a versatile commuter that can provide assist up to 28mph! Some of the highlights are a 500 watt geared rear hub motor, 48V 8.8ah lithium battery, Shimano 9 speed drivetrain, and Shimano disc brakes.
The Cross Current AIR starts at $1,095.
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.
ProdecoTech Mariner LD $1,299
The ProdecoTech Mariner LD comes with a 200 watt geared front hub motor and a 36V 10.4Ah Samsung cell lithium battery. It is a folding bike that can be collapsed into a compact size for transport or storage.
ProdecoTech Stride 400 $1,299
The ProdecoTech Stride 400 is a step thru commuter style eBike that has highlights like a 400 watt rear hub motor, Samsung 36V10.4Ah lithium battery, Avid hydraulic disc brakes, and an 8 speed SRAM drivetrain.
ProdecoTech Phantom 400 $1,299
The ProdecoTech Phantom 400 is a commuter style eBike that has highlights like a 400 watt rear hub motor, Samsung 36V10.4Ah lithium battery, Avid hydraulic disc brakes, and an 8 speed SRAM drivetrain.
Velomini+ Folding eBike $1,295
The VeloMini+ is one of the lightest (stated 29 pounds) and most portable eBikes around.
It can fit riders up to the 6 ft. range. The front hub motor provides assist up to 14 mph. There are 3 levels of pedal assist along with a throttle. It has built in headlights/tail lights, and a tracking system.
It folds down to a 2 ft. by 3 ft. package for easy storage and transport. The stated 29 lbs makes it easy to carry up and down stairs, and onto public transportation.
Learn more about the Velomini+.
Easy Motion Easy Go Street $1,199
Easy Motion offer the step thru commuter style Easy Go Street that is fully equipped for city riding at $1,199. It features a 250 watt rear hub motor, 216 Wh lithium battery (about half the size of most battery packs), and a Shimano drivetrain.
Easy Motion Easy Go Race $1,299
The Easy Go Race has that “fixie” style with a claimed weight of 34 pounds! It features a 250 watt rear hub motor, 216 Wh lithium battery (about half the size of most battery packs), and a single speed drivetrain.
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.
LEED Electric Bike Kits $479+
LEED offers a wide variety of electric bike kits with lithium batteries that start at the impressive price of $479. They offer 250 watt or 500 watt kits with front or rear wheel options.
In addition they have a wide variety options for:
- Wheel sizes
- Disc brake or rim brakes
- Color options for the motor, rim, and spokes
- Many additional accessories
Here is a full review of the 250 watt and 500 watt LEED electric bike kits.
Learn more about the LEED electric bike kits.
Clean Republic Hill Topper Kit ~$499+
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.
Currie Tech Electro-Drive Conversion Kit 2 ~$516
The Currie Electro-Drive kit comes with a 250 watt geared front hub motor and a lithium battery.
Electron Wheel $799
The Electron Wheel is an all-in-one electric bike kit that houses everything in the front wheel. The 250 watt motor, 24V 10.7ah lithium battery, and controller are all housed within the front wheel. It is a wireless system that uses a sensor on the cranks and has a smartphone app that can be used to provide ride information. You can use the Electron Wheel with or without the smartphone.
Learn more about the Electron Wheel.
E-Bike Kit $1116+
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.
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
~$799+ 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.
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.
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.
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!
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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.
P.S. – I live in 320+ days of sunshine. I want solar recharging. I want the future, Now.
You cannot carry enough solar cells to charge an E bike you would need at least 200 W of cells.
Opus the Poet says
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.
Michael K. says
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.
Michael K. says
UPDATE: Apparently Ampedbike has gone out of business so buyer beware I guess is the lesson. I have also closed my doors and in the process of selling off the last of the kits and other equipment. I still ride my dual drive ebike around town and have found another source for buying parts if needed.
DO DILIGENT RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING AN EBIKE OR EBIKE KIT.
Don D says
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..
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?
I’d love to be able to spend 5k on an ebike. Problem is I don’t have it. I bought a brand new e-Moto for $750.00 3 (2013) years ago and I ride it every day in the summer months. I have yet to have it break down (besides wearing out a seat) and it’s still going strong. (2016). I just do routine maintenance on it. I make sure the tires are properly inflated before every ride. Degrease and degrease the chain every month or so, keep it clean, store it out of the weather and take it to the bike shop once a year. I would do all this with a 5k bike anyways.
Thank you so much for addressing this topic and I really appreciate it!
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.
Tessa Gooding says
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!
Wanted to give my 2 cents about cheap electric bikes. Yes I fell for it. The $1500.00 or less electric. The 3rd time into the bikes store with two different cheap electric bikes, one returned for a supposedly better product, made me realize you get what you paid for. Especially when you are trying to pedal a 50 pound bike up a hill because of equipment failure.
My advise, bite the bullet or take the bus. Get a good bike with a solid name. Polaris, BMC, Stromer, Specialized, etc. These companies are sinking money into quality not quantity. The bike I ride now is great and is one of the previous listed.
I have 2 front wheel direct drive hub kits with 48v Lii ion Battery from Amped Bikes and they put out some serious power ! You gotta watch your dropouts baby ! I just got a front wheel geared hub kit from Amped – or I should say the guy that wholesales them to Amped bikes and am pretty stoaked on that too.. 3 Amped bike kits and 3 custom built mountain bikes – never had any problems, my dad got a rear geared hub from them for his recumbant ,, Just got a 4th fronmt wheel hub kit to go with a used rear wheel geared bike I got on ebay and making a 2 wheel drive mountain bike ! That build is gonnna be the Hummer of EBikes
Matt P says
Due to some injuries and the fact that i am getting older I am looking to do a conversion on either my cruiser or mtn bike and don’t have a lot of money to do so. Any advice.
buy box trailer says
Great guide for choosing bikes and it is not that expensive to buy at.
Phil Herzog says
Pete, great article on these entry level bikes. However, I would like to suggest that the low /entry level price point be defined as $750-$1499. Whoever is Don D is full of hot air, All the major manufacturers, Pedego, Accell, Specialized, Trek, etc–they’ve been missing the mark in the US by a country mile. The lion’s share of the consumer market is $1,000 to $1,500. I can’t figure out why so many smart CEOs are still so clueless about the buying public from California to New York. The marketing efforts by most manufacturers (except for a few) are still as bad as the ebike designs and quality from 15 years ago. Catch up, guys, get a grip.