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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ProdecoTech Stride 400 is a step thru commuter style eBike that has highlights like a 400 watt rear hub motor, Samsung36V10.4Ah lithium battery, Avid hydraulic disc brakes, and an 8 speed SRAM drivetrain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
~$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.