A steady decline in e-bike pricing has flattened out and even reversed over the last year or so as a result of a host of industry-wide pressures. Nevertheless, there are still a number of decent quality electric bikes available for under £1,000.
8 of the best e-bikes for under £1,000
Our pick: Eskute Voyager - £999
Best bargain: E-Trends Trekker - £599.99
Best of the rest:
- Halfords Assist – £499
- Fiido D11 — £778.99
- B'Twin Tilt 500 Folding – £899.99
- Dawes Arc II Folding 2020 – £999
- B’Twin Elops 900 E Step Over – £999.99
- Your current bike fitted with an e-bike conversion kit
Not so many years ago an e-bike would have been pretty much out of the question if your budget was limited to around a grand. In those days you'd have been looking at unknown brands of dubious quality. However, 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 under £1,000 from companies you've actually heard of.
This is however the price point below which options really start to thin out. You will have to accept that there will be trade-offs with an e-bike of this price. If your budget stretches a little bit further still, take a look at our buyer's guide to e-bikes from £1,000 to £2,000.
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.
As a kind of e-MTB-cum trail bike, the Eskute Voyager is in many ways a superior, but significantly more expensive version of the E-Trends Trekker further up the page. It shares quite a number of components with Eskute's city e-bike, the Wayfarer (which we reviewed here) and that presumably helps keep the price down. You'll often find discounts and special offers too.
Back when we first reviewed the E-Trends Trekker, it was £1,199 and we concluded: "If it was a couple of hundred pounds less it would be a contender to go in the list of best budget e-bikes." Since then, it's been massively discounted on Amazon - so here it is. While its price seems to vary almost by the day, the Trekker definitely warrants consideration if you're looking for a budget bike with decent power and can live with the crude power delivery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
E-bikes are more expensive than unassisted bikes because you're effectively buying a whole ordinary bike and then a whole load of electrical componentry on top of that. Here's a thing though: you don't necessarily need to buy both together. If you've already got a bike you love and you're game for at least some amount of tinkering then you could instead invest in an e-bike conversion kit. Half of those included in our guide to the best e-bike conversion kits cost less than £1,000 so this could potentially get you a better e-bike at lower cost.
A few bob more
It is pretty tough for a manufacturer to keep the cost of an e-bike below £1,000. A fair few compromises have to be made, whether that's a lower battery capacity, a weaker motor or other bike components - lower quality brakes, gearing or whatever. The corollary of this is that you'll tend to see a pretty obvious rise in quality if you're willing to pay a little more. Take a look at our guide to the best e-bikes from £1,000 to £2,000 to get a feel what's on offer in this price bracket.