Here are our top picks for the best affordable electric bikes of 2020. These top five ebikes represent the best combination of features and value right now, but you can see all 187 of our detailed affordable ebike reviews listed by date here. Reviewing electric bikes is our primary focus, EBR has the industry’s most complete and objective reviews. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people find and choose the best ebike for their needs and budget. Let’s go!
Table of Contents:
- Best Premium Affordable Electric Bike
- Best Value Affordable Electric Bike
- Best Affordable Affordable Electric Bike
- Promoted Affordable Electric Bike
- Honorable Mention Affordable Electric Bike
Things to Consider:
- Intended Use. Affordable electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes, just because it’s cheap does not mean it’s right for your intended use. The solution is to explore all major categories of ebikes and narrow down based on your needs… we list an “affordable” category winner for each category on our best electric bikes page.
- Total Cost. Consider the added costs of accessories and assembly if you buy direct. Add-ons can be expensive… remember to focus on total cost. A fully equipped already assembled ebike might be cheaper. For assembly, paying the professionals at a local bike shop can save time and money vs. the tools and mistakes of DIY.
- Reliability. Low-end hardware doesn’t hold up to regular use, and repairs aren’t cheap. It’s hard to tell if low-grade battery cells and motors were used to keep costs down, but it is easy to see them fail under use. The solution is to buy from companies with proven reputations, using name-brand hardware for the most important parts of the bike.
- Support. Ebike owners ride more often, and eventually you will need service and support. The solution is to buy from companies with solid warranties and wide availability of parts shared across many models.
Priced the same as the RadCity model above, the Electric Bike Company Model Y (and high-step Model X), offer incredible value. If you’re okay with the cruiser style, which foregoes a suspension fork for sprung saddle and long swept-back handlebar, then this is an excellent choice. The battery pack is positioned in the base of the basket, which looks great and provides some hauling utility. Integrated lights and fenders, hydraulic disc brakes, puncture protected tires with reflective stripes! This ebike has it all, and is a worthy contender for best premium affordable electric bike. The company is smaller, they only offer one headquarter location (in Southern California), and they don’t have the service vans. Furthermore, the custom battery design is not interchangeable with the Model X, and the default drivetrain configuration is single-speed, so it’s not as versatile for riding up hills. Just like the Rad Power Bikes, this one has cadence sensing pedal assist and a trigger throttle, making starts very easy. It uses a powerful, reliable motor, and the company has invested a lot of time into their battery technology to keep it safe, reliable, and long-lasting. Their ebikes use parts that are made in Asia (since that’s basically the only source for most batteries and motors), but they hand assemble them in Newport Beach, employing Americans and creating jobs. They offer custom paint options, and even spoke the wheels in-house using very fancy high-quality equipment. There is a lot to love about the Electric Bike Company, they keep their offering pretty minimal (all cruiser style), but they do an amazing job on quality, customization, and price. Seriously, there is enormous value in the parts that they are using on these electric bicycles. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
Okay, so this is the cheapest affordable option… the lowest we would go in terms of price, while still getting a great ebike with decent customer support. With a relatively small team, no customization options, and no fenders or rack included, this ebike is able to save some money while still offering value because of the great design and standardized parts parts… namely, the semi-integrated downtube battery. The Ride1Up 500 Series does require more assembly effort, but not nearly as much as some others we’ve covered. It’s also not sold in any shops as of this writing. The 500 Series is fast and fun to ride, with slightly wider tires. The suspension fork is pretty basic, but does offer just a bit of adjustability to pre-load the springs for different body weights. While the cell quality is unknown, the LG name signals reliability and the open-source Reention Dorado battery pack format is replaceable and repack-able by companies like F2H Power. So, even if Ride1Up changes their design or goes away someday, the battery pack won’t be a primary point of failure. The frame design is approachable with the sloped downtube, but just like most of the other affordable picks, there’s no sizing options here. Pedal assist, throttle, and faster Class 3 performance make it great for students who might be riding to and from school daily. No hydraulic dis brakes here, this one goes with mechanical, just like the RadCity listed above. No lockout on the suspension fork, no chain guide, no rear light, and no reflective paint on the tires… but they are puncture resistant. For just over $1k, this ebike is fun and good looking from a team that cares and will jump to help you. The diamond frame (high-step) is stiff, and removable battery pack makes it easy to stow on car and bus racks vs. step-thru, but with the optional rear rack, mounting and dismounting could be challenging for short or joint-sensitive riders. I see this as a great option for younger riders, and appreciate the urban color scheme to not stand out at the racks. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
As mentioned above, Rad Power Bikes pays us to promote some of their products here, and the RadRunner is promoted in the Affordable category. With the price having been dropped all the way down to $1,199, this product comes with the same excellent customer support, cross compatible battery pack, and great resale value as all of their other models. The custom sized 3.3″ fat tires will help you traverse a wide variety of terrain… including dirt paths, railroad tracks, and soft sand. They also offer good comfort! The bike starts out as affordable, but doesn’t come with fenders. The company sells a unique cargo box for the middle of the frame, a seat pad for the rear, and a bunch of bags and baskets to make this thing into whatever you need it to be. I love the upright handlebars, that tip back towards the rider for comfort. Their patented seat raises up and down to help maximize pedal extension. It’s the same “one size fits all” that we see with most of the affordable ebikes on this list, but they’ve done a lot to optimize fit. You get the same high resolution cadence sensor and a reliable twist-throttle, just like you would on some of the higher priced models. I love that they included multiple bottle/accessory mounting points, and reflective tires with puncture protection. This model is sold in North America and Europe, where the throttle has been re-imagined as “twist pedal assist” that basically unlocks full power pedal assist when twisted… since actual throttles are not allowed in most of Europe, so you’ll have to keep moving the cranks as you twist in order to get power. The big trade-offs for me are the non-sliding non-tilting saddle mount, the mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic, and the lack of a suspension fork. Again, the wider high-volume tires help in this regard. For just a few hundred more dollars, you could choose from a wide range of Rad Power Bike products, so make sure you like this design and features before opting just to save money. Many people have buyer’s remorse with ebikes because they ride so often, and wish they would have spent more for the perfect bike for their actual needs. As it stands, the RadRunner is a fun product with lots of utility options from a great team. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
For the longest time, none of the big-three ebike manufacturers qualified as being “affordable” on EBR, because our cutoff is $1,500 USD. With the new Townie Go! 7D from Electra (which is owned by Trek), we are happy to see an electric bike that is available in hundreds of shops across North America. That means no assembly, help getting fitted and choosing accessories, and in-person customer support post-purchase. The technology used here has been downgraded a bit from their mostly-Bosch drive systems on the more expensive models, but it works well and I trust that it will be reliable. This is an ebike that friends and family have been calling to ask me about, because they can see it in person. if you don’t have a bike stand or tools, and don’t want to spend the time and effort setting up your ebike… but you are also on a budget, the Electra Townie Go! 7D is a great choice. It has seven gears, a responsive pedal assist drive mode, comfortable tires, and a large bumper saddle. The riser handlebar promotes an upright body position, they include a color-matched chain guard, and they offer the bike in seven frame colors and two frame styles (high-step and step-thru)!!! While you save money on the initial purchase, you may actually spend more in total because fenders and lights are not included. Furthermore, the tires don’t have reflective strips and are not puncture protected. Changing a rear flat tire with a hub motor may require the help of a shop, because it’s just more complicated than a traditional quick release wheel. For that, you have the dealers… many of which may only service bikes that they sold. So again, the local dealer thing is a big consideration for value. There’s a lot more that could be done with this bike to be on-par with some of the other value options listed above in terms of hardware, but none of them offer this many colors or outlets for assembly and service. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
Each product covered on ElectricBikeReview.com includes a full list of specs that we measure by hand, an extensive album of photographs, and a detailed video with ride footage. You can compare any of our reviews side by side using the “Add to Compare List” checkbox. We’re doing our best here to serve the community, covering hundreds of electric bikes each year! For more help, visit our independent electric bike forums and share your height, weight, budget, intended use, and other details, so our moderators and members can give you some personalized feedback.
If you’re completely new to electric bicycles, check out my introduction video, which explains why I started EBR back in 2012. I’ve also posted an informal interview with my uncle Greg, who has been riding a full suspension electric mountain bike to work in Colorado, rain or shine, for several years! EBR makes money by listing shops on our directory map, charging for a limited number of promoted bike slots that will get more visibility, charging a nominal fee for our reviews (to help cover the costs of travel and production), and getting some money from YouTube ads that play before our videos. We believe in transparency, and appreciate your visit here! Good luck, ride safe, and thanks for visiting :)