Updated March 3, 2021
With e-bikes now very much part of cycling's mainstream, more and more are becoming available at affordable prices as production ramps up and there are even plenty that now come in at around £1,000.
Just a few years ago e-bikes would have been out of the question if your budget was limited to around a grand, unless you were prepared to accept unknown brands of dubious quality. But an increasingly competitive market and a rise in popularity mean there is now quite a bit of choice when it comes to e-bikes for around or under £1,000 from companies you've actually heard of.
All that said, you're going to have to accept that there will be some trade-offs with an e-bike if you're spending a grand. If your budget stretches a little bit further, take a look at our buyer's guide to e-bikes from £1,000 to £2,000.
11 of the best e-bikes around £1,000
- Fiido D11 — £737.29
- Rad Power RadRunner – €1,199.00
- B’Twin Elops 900 E Step Over – £999.99
- Gtech Sport Electric Hybrid – £995.00
- Rockrider e-mountain bike E-ST500 – £1,199.99
- Falcon Serene – £899.00
- Carrera Subway E – £1,099.00
- Halfords Assist – £549.00
- BTwin Tilt 500 Folding – £899.99
- Dawes Arc II Folding 2020 – £1,199.00
An e-bike for about £1,000 will usually have an aluminium frame - when it comes to mass-production of affordable bikes, alloy reigns supreme nowadays. More expensive e-bikes might have carbon frames, and although steel-framed e-bikes are less common, they do exist and will usually cost more than a grand - the Dawes Falcon Serene (mentioned below) is an exception. That said, forks on budget bikes are sometimes made of chromoly steel (as on the Carrera Subway E pictured above) but alloy is still a common option.
Cheaper e-bikes (and their components) will also be heavier than lighter and more luxurious models. An electric hybrid or e-mountain bike will most likely weigh considerably more than 20kg, which is something to consider if you might have to carry your bike in and out of the house/wherever you store it regularly.
For maximum stopping power, hydraulic disc brakes are the golden ticket nowadays and are almost guaranteed to feature on any e-mountain bike or hybrid costing over £2,000. In our price bracket, you're going to have to compromise. The G Tech Sport Hybrid shown above features V-brakes - less hassle to adjust than a cantilever, and a cheaper option than all-in-one caliper rim brakes. Mechanical disc brakes feature on numerous e-mountain bikes and hybrids in Decathlon's B'Twin and Rockrider ranges and also on the Carrera Subway E and Crossroad E, but on super budget e-bikes you're invariably going to get rim braking. They're perfectly fine for most types of riding and have been the brake type of choice for years up until recently; they're just not as powerful as disc brakes which may come in handy if you enjoy ripping around trails.
On these e-bikes, you're guaranteed to find the motor in either the rear or front hub (usually the rear). Mid-motors are pricier, starting on e-bikes from around £1,500 up. As we're still governed by the EU laws on e-bike assistance (for now anyway) the maximum you're going to get is 250 watts of power that cuts out at 25km/h, regardless of how expensive your bike is. The motor might not feed your assistance in quite so smoothly as on more expensive variations when you pedal, but you're still technically getting the same assistance as you would get on e-bikes that cost ten times as much.
With pricier e-bikes lasting up to 100km before needing to be charged nowadays, you're looking at around half of that on e-bikes at this price point. The e-road bike shown above has a 310Wh battery, which will give you about two to three hours of riding at medium levels of assistance; although bear in mind for road and city riding you won't need the assistance so much, so you'll probably get quite a bit more out of it. On the trails you're going to be using that assistance a lot more, so bigger batteries are desirable. Decathlon's Rockrider E-ST 500 e-mtb has a 417Wh battery, which should keep you powered up on the trails for about two and a half hours.
Some higher end e-bikes are equipped with built-in lights, fancy displays and storage options, but if you're spending £1k you're not going to get as many extras, if any. All Halford's Carrera bikes in our recommendations come with mounting points for mudguards, while the Falcon Serene comes with a rear rack that has the battery housed underneath it.
Here is a selection of bikes we've found that come in at around £1,000. Where possible we've tried to list bikes we can fully recommend, backed up with a full review from an eBikeTips tester. The other bikes listed are from brands we know and trust to produce decent budget e-bikes.
Fiido’s D11 is a well-executed folder with some neat features. The removable battery means it’s more portable than many folders, and the fold itself is neat and well executed. The motor isn’t the most powerful, and the range is overstated, but this isn’t a bike for long journeys and for mixed-mode transport is a solid buy.
An extremely good package for the money, the Rad Power RadRunner is a great round-town runabout with the capacity to carry a big load of shopping, or a passenger, and lots more besides thanks to the wide range of accessories on offer.
It rolls on really fat 20inch tyres; at 3.3 inches across they look more like moped tyres than bicycle tyres, and make you feel like you can conquer anything in your path. The tall BMX-style handlebar gives a very upright, commanding ride position that’s perfect for city streets and with the none-more-black paint job you’ve a distinct air of a bike that means business.
This classy commuter provides you with assist for up to 70km, with seven gears to help you up steep city streets. Mudguards and a chainguard will keep you and your bike from getting too dirty, and a sturdy aluminium frame with a suspension for will provide you with plenty of extra comfort. Tan tyres, saddle and bar grips give the bike a classic look, and 28mm tyres with plenty of puncture protection should soften lumps and bumps. Overall, it's a pretty impressive package for the price.
One of the very few bikes to offer a Gates Carbon belt drive at this price point (which means no oil on your trousers) the Gtech Sport has a simple build and a reasonably powerful motor for your 995 quid. It misses out on a couple of essential things for a city e-bike such as mudguards and a kickstand, but as a casual runaround bike it's got most of the things you need. A single gear and motor support up to around 22km/h according to our reviewer means it's not perhaps as sporty as the name would suggest, but if your budget is limited and you want something simple, it’s certainly one to look at.
A proper hardtail e-mountain bike for under £1,000 was almost unheard of until Decathlon's Rockrider range surfaced, and despite having gone up in price (along with every other bike on the market) the E-ST500 still has everything you need to tear over the trails. A single chainring means no gearing confusion and there is plenty of range thanks to an 11-36 cassette with 9 speeds. The frame is aluminium and you get mechanical disc brakes with fat Hutchinson Cougar 27.5"/2.4" tyres, plus the assistance is torque-controlled to support smooth, natural pedalling.
The lines of the sturdy steel frame on the Falcon Serene are uninterrupted thanks to the rear-mounted battery pack, and as a bonus this is also underneath a pannier rack which is perfect for storing your stuff on for the commute. A 360Wh battery affords you plenty of range that should keep you going for up to 45km, and the step-through design makes it easy to hop on and off. An easy adjusting handlebar and saddle means it's suitable for anyone up to around 6ft, and the mudguards and chainguard will stop you from getting too muddy.
Our reviewer described the Subway E as the best sub-£1,000 urban bike he's tried*, and you only have to look at the spec to realise that it's seriously good value. Mechanical disc brakes, 27.5" wheels with big chamber Kenda moto tyres are great additions for varying terrain, and a torque-sensing motor system with a decent battery range are again excellent for the money. There's 9-speed transmission and three levels of assistance that should see you up any hill, and there's generally a lot to like. If you’re looking for a starter e-bike and you want to keep the spend below £1,000, this is a top-of-the-list candidate.
*Since publishing the Subway E now has a new RRP of £1,099... but as it was under the £1k point when we reviewed and we were so impressed, we've kept it in this guide.
As the most affordable e-bike on this list by some margin, you've got to expect some compromises on Halfords' compact Assist e-bike... but with up to 20 miles of range, an overall weight of 18kg and storage options, it could make a useful budget town/shopping bike. You get mudguards included and it's equipped with Promax v-brakes; and while there's only one gear, the front hub motor cranks out the standard 250 watts of assistance, which should be enough to get you up most hills you'd encounter in the city. A kickstand is included, the battery is removable and takes 2-3 hours to charge and there's also a walk assist mode.
One of the best value electric folders out there, the Tilt 500 has a sturdy aluminium frame that folds in as little as 15 seconds, six speeds and a battery range that will take you up to 35km in economy mode and 20km in sport mode. Tough tyres with puncture protection, mudguards and lights come as standard, and it weighs in at 18.6kg.
The Arc 2 not only has a 250W rear motor, it even has an additional port for charging mobile devices on the move. The sleek alloy frame sees the battery hidden inside the tubing, and you should get around 30-35km of range which should be plenty to last most commuters a week of riding to work and back. The 20" wheels make the bike compact enough to store in small spaces at home and on train luggage racks, and you also get powerful mechanical disc brakes with a Shimano 6 speed drivetrain.