Best Affordable Electric Bikes
The following tips will help you choose the best affordable electric bike for your budget and lifestyle, please consider them carefully:
- Intended Use. Just because it’s cheap, does not mean it’s the correct platform for your intended use. Affordable electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes. It's best to explore the major categories of ebikes, narrow down based on your needs, then filter and sort by price.
- Total Cost. Consider the added costs of accessories such as fenders, racks, and lights. These items can be expensive, difficult to setup, work less reliably, and usually look worse than ones that come included with fully equipped ebikes. A big consideration for me has been integrated lights that run off of the main rechargeable ebike battery vs. ones that are temporarily mounted and run on their own smaller cells.
- Setup. Part of what makes ebikes online inexpensive is that unboxing and assembly must be handled by the customer. You may end up paying with your time, effort, new tools, or hiring a local shop or mobile bike mechanic. Some shops may only build and service brands they carry, they may also have a long waitlist, long turnaround time, and high build fee. Consider all of this when estimating the true cost of the bike. Many shops will include a free or discounted tuneup for the products they sell, but not ones purchased online
- Reliability. Low-end hardware doesn’t hold up as well to regular use, and repairs aren’t cheap. Furthermore, it's difficult to tell if low-grade battery cells and motors were used to keep costs down on a cheaper ebike. You may see them fail faster, but then it's too late. The solution is to buy from companies with proven reputations, using name-brand hardware for the most important parts of the bike. I look for companies with multi-year warranties and replacement parts listed on their websites.
- Support. Ebike owners tend to ride more often, and go farther on each trip. Eventually, you will need service and support. The solution is to buy from companies that use standardized parts, list replacements on their websites, and share the same electrical systems across multiple products. This means the battery, motor, and display. Some mainstream ebike systems include Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, Brose, MAHLE, and Bafang.
- Motor Type. You can generally save money by choosing an electric bike that uses a hub motor instead of a mid-drive. This type of motor tends to be less efficient, because it cannot benefit from your gear shifting. It may be less responsive because it measures fewer signals (generally just pedal cadence, but sometimes pedal torque as well). The upside is that it may work with a throttle as well as pedal assist, and can usually move the bike even if the chain breaks!
What follows is a dynamic list of affordable electric bikes that cost under $2,000 USD. The list will update over time as new models are added, so bookmark this page and check back often if you're about to buy! You can also add these ebikes to the comparison tool, and post and read comments at the bottom of the page :)
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