Biking is a great way to stay in shape while also doing your due part for the environment. The bicycle is, without a doubt, one of the world’s favourite modes of transportation, going all the way back to its inception by a German inventor in the early 19th century. And with the general population beginning to care more and more about saving the planet, biking is making a resurgence once again.
Whether you’re popping over to your mate’s house or trading the tube in for a two-wheeler, biking is a smart, time-saving way to get a little workout while getting to your destination.
But let’s face it, not everyone wants to work out while they’re traveling. Some people struggle to pedal up and down hills, which are quite prevalent here in the UK, while others just can’t deal with heavier loads they might need to carry. And that’s not to mention older bikers who just don’t have the energy to do all that pedaling.
Thankfully, there’s a solution to all those problems – the electric bike!
The electric bike or e-bike industry is a burgeoning one, with over 50 million units projected to be sold in 2020. You might be picturing a motorbike or a scooter right now, but you’d be dead wrong. E-bikes look almost identical to regular bicycles, just with a few added electric elements, such as a motor and battery. The smart modern designs available on the market in today’s world bring the speed and convenience of a car together with the affordability and eco-friendliness of a regular bicycle.
Our Top Picks For The Best Electric Bikes Under £1000
Like any product, e-bikes also have a market filled with options and unique designs featuring different strengths and downsides. And picking out the best possible bike for yourself, especially on a budget, can easily become an overwhelming challenge.
After all, there are over 1,000 different designs out there from over 50 different mainstream manufacturers. So going through all of your options may take more time than you’re willing to put in. To help you save time on your buying journey, we’ve done all the research necessary and put together a comprehensive list of the top ten most affordable electric bikes on the market today along with an all-you-need-to-know buying guide to help you on your way.
1. ANCHEER Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike
Our first affordable electric bike option comes courtesy of ANCHEER, one of the most prominent players in the e-bike market. ANCHEER is known for being on the cutting edge of innovation and quality while also affording its customers with consistently cost-effective options. This specific power Plus model features a high-quality aluminium alloy frame, 36V 8Ah lithium-ion battery, and a strong 250W stable brushless motor.
The aluminium alloy frame is constructed with human body mechanics in mind, so you know it’ll be a comfortable ride. The front suspension fork also has shock-absorption to add even more comfort to a smooth ride with excellent handling. Not to mention it also comes fully equipped with a horn and bright LED headlamp, so you can feel safe if you decide to go out for a pleasant ride in the night.
This folding bike design from ANCHEER also has an LED smart meter button with several options. It allows you to choose how much electrical assistance power you want at any point during your ride, from the second you start pedalling to the moment you arrive at your destination. The throttle also allows you to add a burst of speed at any point, which is perfect for getting back up to speed after traffic lights.
What we liked – It has a 21-speed transmission system that allows for maximal customisation. You can ride the bike without pedalling, or you can get any level of workout you want depending on the amount of assistance you want while riding your e-bike. Its strong off-road capabilities and quiet motor also make it ideal for city or country riding.
What we didn’t like – It has only a one-year warranty, so it is under the standard of the market, which is two years. Reviewers online have also said that it takes a decent amount of adjusting to get the right comfortable fit for yourself.
2. ANCHEER AN-EB003 Folding Electric Mountain Bike
Here we have another folding entry from ANCHEER at the same affordable price as our first option. The range on this model is about 15-30 miles at top speed per charge, with the top speed on this design coming in at about 15mph. You can also take the battery off the bike to charge or to keep safe, so there’s no need to worry about the expensive tech on your e-bike getting nicked.
As with most ANCHEER products, this bike’s frame is also made from high-quality aluminium alloy, which makes it sturdy and straightforward to manoeuvre. The design of the double-walled rims makes them more durable while also giving you a speedier ride. The front and rear mechanical disc brakes also mean you can ride with confidence in any weather knowing you have brakes you can trust.
The 21-speed gear also gives the rider the ability to climb hills they usually wouldn’t dream of while offering supreme adaptability to whatever terrain you’re riding in. It also arrives almost fully assembled, with the final bit of construction easily achieved by following the clear and accessible instruction manual.
What we liked – First and foremost, the foldability. While this is certainly not the only foldable e-bike out there, we love that aspect of this particular model. It’s already a bike that can handle any terrain you put it through, so the added portability is right on brand. You can easily fold it up and toss it in your car so you can take it to any off-road trails you can dream up.
What we didn’t like – While it can handle a pretty hefty load, with a maximum capacity of 150 kilos, it’s a little bit heavy itself. This ANCHEER model weighs in at just under 30 kilos, which could become quite cumbersome if you do plan on carrying this bike to some off-road trails.
3. Cyclamatic Power Plus CX1 Electric Mountain Bike
We love this one, not only because of the tiny price tag but also because it’s the latest development in the widely popular Cyclamatic Power Plus series. First of all, the CX1 has a lovely design that features a glistening silver finish and elegant stripe patterns which make it seem much more expensive than it really is.
The CX1 also offers a great riding experience. Its 250W motor kicks in right when you start pedalling, so you don’t wobble around like a fool for the first few seconds. This e-bike is fitted with 26-inch tires, which means you can speed your way through many varying types of terrains. Not to mention the battery is also fully protected, so you can ride your bike through the rain or snow without worrying about your precious technology being affected.
This e-bike can take you up to 15 mph for about 28 miles before the battery requires a recharge, which is a pretty safe number for anyone’s daily commute.
What we liked – This electric bike is as convenient as they come. When creating the newest version of the Cyclamatic Power Plus series, the rider’s convenience was definitely a priority because everything is seemingly built for ease of use. Its ergonomic design leaves your body feeling relieved instead of tense after a ride, and there is also an easily removable battery pack. All of this combines to make riding the CX1 a simple and enjoyable pursuit.
What we didn’t like – It does not feature a throttle only mode. While it does come with a lot of bells and whistles you wouldn’t necessarily expect for an electric bike of this price, the CX1 can’t have it all, and one of the places the creators skimped on was the throttle. The absence of the throttle only mode means that you can’t sit back and coast, letting the motor work for you. You have to be pedalling (at least a little) at all times when riding to power the motor.
4. Bunao 26-Inch Wheel Electric Bike
There must be something we like about the number 679.99 because this is the third out of four options we’ve broken down so far priced at that exact number. But Bunao has definitely come with a completely unique electric bike here. The foldable design means the lightweight frame of this e-bike is even more portable, so prepare for an adventure.
This e-bike features a 36V 8Ah environmentally friendly lithium battery that gives you all the boost you could ask for while you’re out cycling. The battery also has a range of about 25 miles before the pedal support gives out and you have to bike without the help of electricity like you used to.
The shifting lever as well as the rear derailleur are both simple to use and are tough enough to make successful shifts even in the most severe weather conditions. A high-quality and robust suspension fork paired with the adjustable seat means any rider can make their trip on this Bunao e-bike a smooth one.
What we liked – Its smart mix of durability and portability. It’s not bulky at all, meaning you’ll want to take this around to a lot of different places, which is why the durability is so important. This e-bike can handle any type of weather or road condition nightmare you throw at it, from a snowy mountain trail adventure to a rain-soaked commute through the city streets.
What we didn’t like – You have to do some of the assembly yourself. Honestly, there isn’t much wrong with this electric bike from Bunao, so really the only qualm we could come up with was the fact that the rider has to do a little bit of leg work to actually put the bike together. Not ideal, but far from a deal-breaker as well.
5. ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike
Here we have by far our most affordable e-bike, with some of our other options costing more than three times this one. But as we all know, a low price has its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
Some of the advantages include the standard 36V 8Ah detachable lithium-ion battery and its ability to handle 150 kilos of capacity, as much as any of the other bikes out there. The foldable design also uses ultralight and durable aluminium alloys to give you the stability you need while riding. The handlebar is also ergonomic and anti-rust while tires are wear-resistant with a firm grip and impressive mobility.
This model also features a conveniently adjustable seat and damping technology to keep your rump comfortable and dry as you ride. It also has a 250W stable electric motor that can up to surprisingly fast speeds, topping out at just over 15mph, much like many of these other electric bikes that are priced around £700.
What we liked – While most of the other bikes on this list have three times more speed settings than this model, they also cost over three times more. If you’re not too serious about cycling, or you don’t get the chance to do it too often, this could be an excellent option for you to consider, so you’re not pouring too much money into a hobby you don’t usually undertake.
What we didn’t like – It just won’t last all too long. While this is a quality e-bike, the lower price means you get what you pay for. While the first year has shown nearly universally positive results, the electric components of this model start to falter pretty quickly after regular use for about a year. If you’re serious about cycling, you should look to pay a few more quid for a more durable option.
6. Bunao 36V 8Ah Lithium Battery Mountain Cycling Bicycle
This is a similar option to the Bunao product we mentioned earlier, but it comes with a special bonus: it’s fitted with an eco-conscious lithium battery. Electric bicycles don’t hurt the environment per se, but their batteries often end up in landfills, which is definitely wrong. With this battery, which is also 36V 8Ah, you can ride with a conscience as clean as your battery. This e-bike features aluminium alloy bead spoke wheels and thick tires with anti-slip technology as well.
This Bunao design is also very light, with the strength of a bike twice its weight. Its durable build and easy manoeuvrability also make this model a top choice. It’s very adjustable, which means this model is well-suited for a wide range of body types and sizes too. Thanks to those thick wheels and its quality construction, this model can be ridden in any conditions with confidence that you won’t be slipping and sliding around.
This is also an electric bike that folds with great convenience. You don’t need any tools to fold this e-bike away, and to make storage and transportation even more straightforward, the pedals, stem, frame, and saddle are all equally foldable.
What we liked – Its environmentally friendly lithium battery. While electric bikes don’t have a significantly negative effect on the environment, the batteries they use do. Using eco-friendly technology, such as the lithium battery featured in this model, is the kind of thing that is becoming more and more common for businesses in this day and age.
What we didn’t like – It only has seven speeds. While most of our other top choices give the rider ultimate customizability with 21 speeds, this one (which is similarly priced) has just a third of that.
7. ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike With Super Lightweight Magnesium Alloy
Yet another entry from ANCHEER here, as their super-lightweight magnesium alloy design simply demanded our attention. The frame features an ultra-lightweight sturdy aluminium build and is painted with anti-rust and anti-exposure material to make sure your bike always looks fresh no matter how many times you ride it.
Another impressive aspect of this e-bike is its ultra-strong wheels, which are 26 inches and made of magnesium alloy. The thick tires are also anti-resistant so you can ride around confidently no matter how much rain is pouring, and it tends to rain quite a bit around here. It’s also wholly foldable, which makes it easily portable for your travel or storage convenience.
The functionality is terrific on this electric bike as well. It features a professional grade 21-speed Shimano transmission system which offers ideal climbing capabilities. This ANCHEER model also has two working modes. In e-bike mode, you’re free to lay back and enjoy the ride, and with the assisted method you’re able (or forced) to get some exercise in. It’s as simple as hitting the M button whenever you want to switch modes.
What we liked – Its large capacity battery. This electric bicycle comes equipped with a 36V/8Ah lithium-ion battery. The neat thing about it is that it can support a 15.5-mile range when you’re in e-bike mode and up to just over 30 miles of range when you use the assisted mode. The bike also comes with a smart lithium battery charger that can get your battery juiced in just four to six hours.
What we didn’t like – This e-bike’s limited capacity for different terrains. While it’s great for cycling on mountains or city roads, we would not suggest it for any significant off-road trails or extreme sports.
8. Hiriyt 26” 3-Mode Electric Mountain Bike
Despite the fact that Hiriyt is a relatively unknown brand by comparison to giants like ANCHEER, their entry onto our list packs quite a punch. This model features an impressive large-capacity battery rated at 36V and 8aH respectively. It operates in 3 core modes – regular (unassisted), assisted as well as fully-electric, with the assisted mode featuring a 15.5-mile range and the fully-electric mode boasting just over 30 miles.
Despite being relatively less expensive than some of the models we’ve featured so far, this e-bike has lots to offer when it comes to durability and build quality. Starting with it’s carbon steel front fork, all the way over to the two layer aluminum alloy wheels it rides on. Simply put, it’s built to last while being designed with ultimate rider comfort in mind.
This feature kit is nicely topped off with a standard 21-speed selector and a wealth of comfort features like the ergonomic handle and anti-slip seat padding.
What we liked – Hiriyt’s customer service. While this model is a top tier bike matched up against nearly any opponent, it’s the people behind the bike that make us so excited about it. They are very passionate about their business and are very responsive to any inquiries. In addition to this, we’re absolutely in love with all the ease-of-life bells and whistles they’ve packed into this bike such as wear-resistant tires, anti-slip padding and super-comfortable ergonomic handles. These definitely set this bike apart from many other competitive models.
What we didn’t like – You do have to assemble this model yourself. While this isn’t necessarily a huge deterrent, the manufacturer doesn’t exactly provide the clearest instructions on how to go about the task.
9. Cyclamatic CX3 Pro Power Plus Alloy Frame eBike
While the CX1 model definitely has a lot to offer to the prospective owner – the CX3 deserves it’s rightful place on this list as the CX1’s improved, more expensive and slightly sportier looking counterpart.
This model features vastly improved acceleration over the previous models, alongside a far larger range. It runs on the same 250W brushless motor that is powered by a customized 36V battery that clocks in at 10.3aH by comparison to the standard 8aH you’d expect with most e-bikes. And that’s exactly why this model boasts an impressive range of over 37 miles. Wow!
In addition to this they’ve used a lighter alloy for the frame in this model, which adds to the portability of this bike as well as makes your riding experience that much more responsive and enjoyable.
What we liked – The lengthy range. For those of us working in the city, this bike is an excellent way to save some time commuting to and from our workplace, without the added hassle public transport. Generally 30 miles is right about enough to get anywhere you’d really like to go, and with an extra 7 miles on-top of that, you’re sure to have enough headroom for your commute or a comfortable urban cruise.
What we didn’t like – Due to the fact that Cyclamatic works closely with lawmakers to make sure their products are always in-line with regulatory measures, this model doesn’t feature a fully-electric mode. This means that if you’re looking to avoid pedaling altogether, this may not be the best option for you.
10. Basis Hunter Unisex Integrated Electric Mountain Bike
Here, Basis has brought us possibly the most ideal e-bike for casual beginners to ease themselves into the experience. It’s made with an integrated design that makes this e-bike as practical as it is functional. The battery is comprised of LG cells that clock in at 7.8aH, which while being marginally lower than the standard 8aH configurations, is just as functional. On the other hand, the motor for this model is your standard 250W rear-hub unit that runs at 36V.
The Hunter also caters to a more diverse rider-height range as the frame sits at a comfortable 17” which also adds to its portability. The gearing you’ll find here is a Shimano style 6-speed configuration, which delivers a little less precision control than the 21 speed models, but allows you to get into riding without over-complicating things from the get go.
What we liked – It comes per-assembled and packs everything you’ll need to hit the road. Three cheers for convenience! Coupled with the fact that this bike is also weatherproof and the battery is replaceable, it’s one of the best beginner options all in all.
What we didn’t like – The handlebars on this model can not be height-adjusted. However, one workaround that the manufacturer suggests is to fit the bike with an adjustable stem to house the handlebars. In addition to this, the battery isn’t upgradable while also being exclusively retailed by the manufacturer, so you don’t have any options when it comes to extending the range of this bike.
Things To Consider Before Buying An Electric Bike
Now that we’ve shared our favourite affordable electric bikes on the market, we feel it would be useful to share some essential factors to think about when making your purchasing decision. The main pros of e-bikes include wind resistance and climbing efficiency, which combine to save you energy, allowing you to bike for longer periods of time. People who suffer from joint pain or exercise-induced asthma see these e-bikes as a godsend that enable them to get back in the saddle.
Electric bikes offer these extra benefits while providing all the health, cost, and environmental benefits of the regular bicycle. To that end, here are seven of the most critical factors that you should consider while on your e-bike buying journey.
Primary Use For The BikeDifferent companies and designs are created to cater to a wide range of cyclists in the electric bike industry. Because of this, it’s useful to know what your primary activity on the bike will be so you can hone in your search on the right crop of bikes. Electric bikes can get a lot of different things done, so various models have even been specialised to serve particular purpose. These range from things such as transporting heavy cargo, regular riding, more expert trail and mountain biking, family transportation, commuting, and sand/snow, or “fat tire” riding. So, before you head to any e-bike sites or stores, make sure you know exactly what range of activities you’re planning on using the bike for.
Types Of E-Bikes
When it comes to electric bikes, there are two main types. The more popular of the two is commonly referred to as a “pedelec.” This system is kind of like smart-pedaling, as it offers motor assistance to the rider depending on their pedaling patterns or preferences. These kinds of e-bikes are generally capped at 250W with a max speed of just under 16mph. Unfortunately for you speed demons, if you cross the mph threshold on your bike, the motor simply switches itself off.
If you’re in the high-performance sector, however, you can find e-bikes that can get you near 30 mph. To ride these bikes, you are usually required to have a particular class of driver’s permit, alongside the right plates, and corresponding insurance. Specific requirements change depending on where you are, so it’s essential to get educated on the appropriate procedures in your region.
The last sort of electric bike is what some call the “twist-n-go.” The main difference here is that while the pedelec controls the motor to give you the ideal degree of help based on your performance or preference, the twist-n-go features a switch that the rider can flip to get their motor rumbling and send them on their way. These types of e-bikes are generally a little cheaper, but the technology of the pedelec is well worth the extra money.
Types Of E-Bike MotorsLike electric bikes in general, the motors you can use for them are also limited to two main categories. These categories are primarily determined by the type of mounting mechanism via which the motor is attached to your bike. Firstly, it can be mounted in one of the wheels, which is called a hub motor assist. Alternatively, it can be installed near the crank and pedal area along the lower part of the frame, which is called a crank motor assist.
Crank motor assistance means the electronic controls have a sensor that measures your pedaling, so that the unit knows how much motor assistance you need. This arrangement is most commonly found on the pedelec e-bikes mentioned above. These kinds of motors are thought to be ideal for steep hills but can be a tad irritating to get accustomed to if you get the wrong brand or type.
A hub motor, on the other hand, can be as quiet as a mouse by comparison. However, they don’t offer the same hill-ready motor assistance as crank motor variants. Good brands to look at for hub motors include Yamaha and Bosch.
Different Kinds Of E-Bike Batteries
Most electric bikes these days are powered by lithium-ion batteries, much like many other modern technological systems. Better batteries can often have a significant impact on price, with more expensive e-bikes boasting lightweight, long-lasting batteries with better tech equipped all-around.
When you think about the fact that batteries degrade over time, which means they stay charged for less time per cycle, the extra price seems far more worth it. The quality of your battery is not something you want to skimp on when buying an e-bike, so going for a battery made by a well-known, reputable company such as Sony or Samsung is the best way to go. And while we’re at it – getting yourself at least a two-year warranty on the battery, should things ever go wrong, is always smart as well.
These lithium-ion batteries last for around 800 full charges. This amounts to about three years’ worth of weekday commuting. They last longer if you’re careful with them, and inversely degrade faster if you’re not. But you can still expect your battery life to last at least several years before it’s time to get a replacement.
And when it comes to charging your battery, it usually takes anywhere from two to six hours to get a full charge, depending on the specifics of the battery you’ve got mounted on your bike.
The Range Of Your E-Bike
When you’re talking electric bikes, the range refers to the distance you can go with on one battery charge. Of course, this is considered to be one of the most critical elements of an e-bike, and is one of the most decisive factors in whether you should opt for one model versus the next. If the power isn’t working, an e-bike is really just a heftier version of your good old bicycle. So you want to make sure your battery isn’t going to give out on you when you’re powering up a hill on your way to work.
There’s a litany of components that can factor into your e-bike’s range, such as the type of battery and average speed, rider weight, commute profile, and the assistance level you use while you’re pedaling. For example, if you use your bike for only a short, 5-mile commute, it wouldn’t make much sense to pay top dollar for an e-bike with a big 60-mile range, would it? However, a slightly higher range than you need is always recommended because as the e-bike ages, its range will gradually decrease as well.
How An E-Bike Is PricedA proper electric bike will not come cheap, especially if you’re attempting to compare them to regular old cycles. You can always save a few quid by buying a more basic model, but it’s unlikely it will keep you satisfied for long. You will be forking over more money, mostly for the battery and motor, but that price means your bike will last you for a far longer period of time, saving you the hassle and money of having to go out and buy a new one every time your cheap model breaks down. E-bikes range in price from about £400 to over £8,000, and the average one retails for just under £1,000 to just shy of £3,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve done a deep dive into the world of electric bikes, but we suspect there are still burning questions some of you prospective e-bikers may just have. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions people have about electric bikes to put all of your e-bike worries to bed and get you the answers you need to make the best purchasing decision for yourself.
Why Can’t E-bikes Go Faster?
Electric bikes are most certainly not supposed to be a step towards motorcycles with e-bikers zipping between cars in traffic. Just imagine the sheer havoc!
These bikes are supposed to emulate a regular bicycle, with a handful of added features to make the ride easier on you. With that purpose in mind, they are generally speed-limited for your own safety, though some models do go up to rather breezy speeds.
The electric bikes that do have the capacity to go faster generally have to be regulated like scooters and motorcycles. You’d need to get special registration, licensing, insurance, and the whole deal, to get them on the road. And should the perception of e-bikes shift, you also wouldn’t be allowed to ride e-bikes in as diverse a range of places as you can now.
Does It Cost Money To Charge My E-Bike?
It does cost money to charge your e-bike battery, but it’s a relatively negligible expense by comparison to public transit or taking your car. Typically, it will set you back under 10p to get your battery fully juiced up, but it depends on your local electricity supplier’s rates. It’s a small battery, though, so most places of employment likely won’t mind if you charge your battery while at work.
Can My Pedaling Charge The Battery?
While most electric bikes will need you to plug your battery into a power source, there are some electric bikes out there that do allow you to charge your bike while you use it. These bikes are not for the faint of heart though, as the charging requires a lot more pedal power than you would want to give on a casual ride. Some of these e-bikes also feature regenerative braking similar to electric cars, which allows you to charge your battery while you brake.
After reading through our breakdowns of all the most important factors to consider when buying an electric bike, as well as the additional information we’ve supplied in our FAQ section, you should feel ready to head out and buy your very own e-bike.
We hope to have helped you narrow down your search by giving you our top ten affordable models under £1,000, including an overview as well as what we did and didn’t fancy about each e-bike.
They say knowledge is power, so after reading our buying guide, you should definitely feel the power to get out there and find the right e-bike for you! Feel free to let us know which model you’ve gone for in the comments below.