The elusive $1k quality E-bike... Coming this year?

cuwatra

Active Member
Most of us here know that electric bicycle sales are positively booming. Many electric bicycle companies are reporting record-breaking e-bike sales in 2020. My question for the masses to ponder here however is with electric bicycles ranging from budget e-bikes priced at a few hundred dollars to high-end brands costing many thousands of dollars, where does that leave budget-minded consumers that still want to find a quality e-bike?

Will the elusive $1k quality E-bike barrier that I've heard many experts talk about (our own Court Rye included) be breached by manufacturers this year? If so, who is likely to pull it off and what compromises will have to be made to get it to market?
 

cuwatra

Active Member
Define quality.

Easy to find in the dictionary..."the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something."

Probably compared to RAD Power Bikes; at least at this point in time. Value leader who still makes (and backs) products that stand the test of time and use.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
Easy to find in the dictionary..."the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something."

Probably compared to RAD Power Bikes; at least at this point in time. Value leader who still makes (and backs) products that stand the test of time and use.
Personally I think DJ-eBikes is the quality/value leader :) But RAD is more well known.
 

cuwatra

Active Member
Personally I think DJ-eBikes is the quality/value leader :) But RAD is more well known.
Thanks for that input. I know nothing about DJ and quite a lot about RAD since I am close to their HQ in Seattle.

Speaking of quality...how do people like the DJ stuff?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Quality is going to be subjective, that's why I was asking how you would define quality. If you are waiting for internet bloggers to proclaim the $1K quality ebike has arrived, I don't think you'll have to wait long judging by the trend of electrek et al fluff pieces. My opinion is you'll never see a legit quality ebike under $1K. Just add up the wholesale cost of quality components, including motor, and battery. Then add quality labor, shipping and profit margin. Sure, you might get there without suspension and "good enough" components.
 

cuwatra

Active Member
Quality is going to be subjective, that's why I was asking how you would define quality. If you are waiting for internet bloggers to proclaim the $1K quality ebike has arrived, I don't think you'll have to wait long judging by the trend of electrek et al fluff pieces. My opinion is you'll never see a legit quality ebike under $1K. Just add up the wholesale cost of quality components, including motor, and battery. Then add quality labor, shipping and profit margin. Sure, you might get there without suspension and "good enough" components.
I hear ya Tom. You don't think battery tech improvements going forward will lower that price bar? I think it's possible. It's all changing so fast.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
Battery technology is going to be the crux. Battery technology at the consumer level has not advanced in years. Batteries are stuck in the Li era.
Graphene was panned as the next holy grail in batteries and that has not panned out.

Even if there is some major break through in battery technology it wont show up on bikes for years and it will be expensive.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Imagine being able to ebike with a drive / battery that can draw power from a wireless charging power grid that is as commonplace as wifi or cell coverage today. Probably not in my lifetime but who knows. That would be a game changer. But back to reality, yeah, I don't see the current battery paradigm having significant weight or cost reductions.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Getting close and probably a good deal at that price point but obviously still not below that $1000 deck. I know it will happen but might be a year or two out still.
It has a 750wh battery that alone is worth 6-800$ now. In an year it could be much less with Solid state battery tech.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Frey quoted me $420 for a spare 48V 17.5Ah (840 Wh) internal battery. Of course, not all bikes need a 840 wh battery. Rad quotes $549 for a 48V 14 Ah (672 Wh) batttery. Let's say wholesale for that battery and 750W hub is ~$500. You don't have much room for quality components. Compare to bikee's pricing for their indiegogo campaign for just motor and battery:

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
I can't see a quality ebike selling for $1k. The last road bike I bought was just under $900, in the late 80's. It was about middle of the price range. Since I've purchased hybrids and MTB's. A quality Trek or Specialized fitness/cross bike or MTB is over a grand now. I consider quality to have hydraulic brakes, group set of at least Deore, XT or similar and a weight of 50 pounds or less. I think we are doing well having good quality ebikes in the range of $2 to 2.5 k.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
There are plenty of high-quality EBikes available new and used for under $1K... you just need to know where to look. ;)
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Asher

Well-Known Member
Honestly, who cares? A bike is so much cheaper than any other mode of transport that if you care that much you're just not using your e-bike enough, or are irrationally stingy (and I'm a pretty frugal person). I never get people complaining about bike prices when virtually anything else costs 5-20x as much.

Every product segment has its point of diminishing returns, bang for buck, etc, based on what you need. For direct to consumer hub drive e-bikes, I think that threshold is around $1500-2000. Spending less is penny wise pound foolish.
 

Rick53

Active Member
I've ridden many brands of Acoustics in the Major 3 Trek Specialized and Giant : IMO There's nothing that really companies to Trek: They just ride Smoother : That may offend some But it is what it is :
 

cuwatra

Active Member
Honestly, who cares? A bike is so much cheaper than any other mode of transport that if you care that much you're just not using your e-bike enough, or are irrationally stingy (and I'm a pretty frugal person). I never get people complaining about bike prices when virtually anything else costs 5-20x as much.

Every product segment has its point of diminishing returns, bang for buck, etc, based on what you need. For direct to consumer hub drive e-bikes, I think that threshold is around $1500-2000. Spending less is penny wise pound foolish.
Guess I do. I have a family, am on a budget, and need to buy two ebikes so my spouse can enjoy as well. They will never replace my car as I live in too rural of a location and long distances are the norm so I have no cause to compare the two.

For the average middle-aged person interested in returning to recreational cycling via ebike I think you are way out of touch. I don't personally know a single person in my family or circle of friends that wouldn't seriously balk at a bicycle costing $3k, much less 2 or 3Xs that.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Guess I do. I have a family, am on a budget, and need to buy two ebikes so my spouse can enjoy as well. They will never replace my car as I live in too rural of a location and long distances are the norm so I have no cause to compare the two.

For the average middle-aged person interested in returning to recreational cycling via ebike I think you are way out of touch. I don't personally know a single person in my family or circle of friends that wouldn't seriously balk at a bicycle costing $3k, much less 2 or 3Xs that.

Haha well toy versus tool, an e-bike is a cheap tool and a pricey toy.