Electric bikes are one of the fastest growing trends for commuters, cyclists, and just about anyone looking for a new form of transportation in 2021. Until recently, the cost of an e-bike was around the same price as a used car. This high price tag drove a lot of people interested in e-bikes to build their own customized setup using conversion kits. You can certainly save on the initial investment by installing a conversion kit on a bike you already own, but this requires a lot of time, effort and expertise. This type of project is not for everyone.
Thankfully, the increase in demand for electric bikes over the past few years has allowed some more affordable brands to enter the market and even the top brands are starting to develop less expensive options.
If you are looking for an e-bike on a low budget, it is important that you do your research before you purchase. Many electric bikes around $1000 are low quality and should be avoided at all costs. However, some brands make exceptional e-bikes in the $1000 to $1600 range that will last for years and they are absolutely worth the investment.
We created a list of the best cheap electric bikes available in 2021 to help you shop with confidence.
What is the best cheap electric bike?
The best affordable e-bike for you is going to depend on your budget and your needs for the bike. After thoroughly testing and reviewing many electric bikes, we believe the RadMission 1 from Rad Power Bikes is the best value for the price.
Overall Best Cheap Electric Bike in 2021
RadMission 1 by Rad Power Bikes
The RadMission 1 is a very high quality e-bike for the price. Rad Power Bikes is the most popular electric bike brand and they are known for building durable and reliable bikes at an affordable price point
Rad Power Bikes is able to create high quality e-bikes at an attractive price point because they only sell directly to consumers. This means they cut out retailers and resellers to avoid the typical 25% to 40% retail price markup. The direct-to-consumer business model allows them to keep their prices low and put that additional money towards higher quality bike parts.
The drawback of selling directly to consumers online is that most shoppers can’t actually go to a store and see the e-bike before they purchase it. Thankfully, Rad Power Bikes will ship the bikes anywhere in the United States with a free return policy. So if you don’t like the bike, you can easily send it back.
The RadMission 1 is the most affordable electric bike from Rad Power Bikes at $999.00. It can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge and hit a max speed of 20 mph without pedaling.
After testing and researching the best affordable electric bikes available in 2021, the RadMission 1 was a clear winner for overall best value.
Video Courtesy of Electric Bike Report on Youtube.com
Best Cheap Electric Mountain Bike
Charge XC Electric Bike
The Charge XC is a rugged off-road and street riding hybrid e-bike from the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn.
The Charge XC is a new electric bike company that only sells direct to consumers. A lot of unknown brands are entering the e-bike industry selling low-quality bikes on marketplaces like Amazon. You should avoid those bikes at all costs. Charge electric bikes were developed by two reputable bike brands: Cannondale and Schwinn.
The Charge XC is over double the price of the RadMission 1, so why did we include this on our most affordable e-bike list?
Well, electric bikes and mountain bikes are both very expensive with a lot more features than a single speed commuter bike. Some electric mountain bikes can cost up to $12,000.
The fact that Charge was able to make an 8-speed electric bike with a mid-drive motor and front suspension for $2499.00 is very impressive.
If you plan on taking your e-bike off-road on trails or gravel, the Charge XC is the best affordable option.Video Courtesy of Charge Bikes on Youtube.com
See more details on the Charge XC here.
Best Cheap Folding Electric Bike
Lectric XP 2.0
The Lectric XP is the most convenient and least expensive electric bike on our list.
Lectric has built up a great reputation for themselves since launching their first e-bike in 2018. Their newest electric bike, the XP 2.0, is packed full of features making it the most convenient electric bike.
Overall, this is a great bike but the convenience factors are really what make it stand out from the competition. It can fold down to a pretty small size for a bike, making it easy to transport in a vehicle or store in your home.
Lectric added some notable features with the XP 2.0, like front fork suspension, increased carrying capacity, and some nice ergonomic improvements to the design.
At a price tag of just $999.00, the Lectric XP 2.0 is the cheapest bike on our list of the best affordable e-bikes.Video Courtesy of Electric Bike Report on Youtube.com
Keep reading about the Lectric XP 2.0 here.
Best Cheap Fat Tire Electric Bike
RadRover 5 by Rad Power Bikes
The RadRover is a large, heavy, and fat-tired e-bike that can take on almost any terrain.
The RadRover 5 is a beast of an e-bike from Rad Power Bikes. The bike is heavy, weighing 69 pounds. Combining the bike weight with the powerful 750 watt Bafang motor, fat tires, and front fork suspension make this electric bike feel like a motorcycle or dirt-bike.
The fat wheels give you plenty of stability and the front suspension helps you take on tough terrain if you plan on taking it off-road.
The Rad Rover is a versatile e-bike that can be used for commuting or trail riding. This is the most popular e-bike from Rad Power Bike at just $1699.00Video Courtesy of Electric Bike Review on Youtube.com
Learn more about the RadRover 5 here.
Tips for buying a good cheap electric bike
- Do your own research
- Only buy from trusted brands
- Don’t let price be the only factor in your purchase decision
- Don’t buy from third-party sellers or marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart
- Read real customer reviews
- Check the return policy and warranty (Most brands offer a 1-year warranty)
Why are electric bikes so expensive?
Electric bikes are typically more expensive than traditional bikes because they have more expensive components and electronics in addition to the standard costs of a conventional bike. Also, because they have batteries and motors, e-bike manufacturers need to add additional safety precautions like waterproofing the electric components.
In addition to the high cost of manufacturing an e-bike, many retailers charge a significant markup when selling electric bikes. This can reach up to a 40% increase in the price.
While electric bikes have been very expensive in the past few years, most brands are starting to make high-quality bikes for the entry-level consumer. The demand for e-bikes has lowered production costs and most brands are moving to the direct-to-consumer sales model to cut out the middleman and lower prices.