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9 of the best e-bikes for around £1,000 2020: Electric bikes on a budget

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Jack Sexty's picture

Jack Sexty

Jack is the news editor here at eBikeTips, and also edits the live blog and writes tech news over on our sister site road.cc. Jack first became fascinated with e-bikes when an elderly gentleman breezed past him without a care in the world up a big old hill in North Wales - thus realising e-bikes are the real deal! Although he genuinely enjoys time trials and lung-busting climbs without assistance, Jack likes nothing more than cruising round town on an e-bike during his days off.   

6 comments

5 months 15 hours ago

@Jack Sexty, great stuff and thanks for this.  I'm a long time road.cc reader and what I've always valued about it in addition to the great reviews and humour, is the honesty of the reviewers and their willingness to call out bad products. It's something many sites seem fearful to do.  Great to see ebiketips taking the same ethos and engaging when readers highlight additional information.

Jack Sexty's picture
5 months 6 days ago

Thanks for the comments here, just to answer a couple of the points made: to publish an article stating that there are widespread problems with a product would take months, possibly even years of feedback and testimony to demonstrate beyond doubt that was the case, resources we just don't have. The Suntour HESC system is produced on a very large scale, therefore it's likely a small number of customers will experience issues and/or faults. If the rate of failure was too great we're quite confident they wouldn't be producing it, this simply wouldn't be in anyone's interests. 
Our reviews are independent and we can only go off what our reviewiers have found during their test period - funnily enough we still have our Suntour-equipped Carrera Crossfire test bike that we reviewed in 2016 and it's worked fine with no problems ever since. The idea of an article about customer satisfaction/rate of returns is a good one, so we've emailed Halfords to get the ball rolling.

These guides are not advertorials, we'd have to mark it as such if it was. We accept there's more work to be done and are always trying to improve the site with the resources we have, but hopefully this guide will give new e-bikers and those on a budget an idea of their options with some bonus advice. There simply isn't many out there for under £1k at the moment, which is why this particular guide features a greater number of recommendations from larger retailers who have the buying power to offer e-bikes at these price points. Look through our reviews section, other guides and news articles and you'll find plenty of content about smaller manufacturers, start-ups etc. 

Cheers! 

5 months 2 weeks ago

@Sriracha I completely agree on all your points.  There's a great article in this somewhere, Halfords could talk about the challenges of the arrival of e-bikes, how they've trained their staff and stood by their customers and also give some insight into the actual percentages.  That would help inform the buying public and give us some interesting content we haven't seen elsewhere, whilst also fulfilling the journalism side of thing.  It would also allow buyers to put the bad reviews around the web into context.  Seems like a win for everyone.

5 months 2 weeks ago

@Tom W

Pertinent points. I think most of these review sites are little more than informed advertorial - it's where the money is and they can't work for free. Read them to get a (somewhat slanted) overview of where the market is at, much like the print magazines in their day. I have almost never seen the likes of the information you are talking about surfaced on these sites, other than in the comments.

The trouble is, for the enquiring mind, there is always a forum somewhere slating whichever product. It is very hard to know whether it is just an insignificant percentage of the market or not. Go looking for shit and of course on the internet you will find it. So yes, it would be great if sites like this could do some real sleuthing, but I suspect it would not pay their wages.

What is valuable to know is that Halfords stood by their customer. They will have the stats on returns and reliability.

5 months 2 weeks ago

The Halfords e-assist deluxe looks good value until you click the buy now for £398 link you have provided

This takes you to the Halfords website where there is no e-assist deluxe e bike just the normal e-assist version for £600

5 months 2 weeks ago

The Suntour HESC system on most of the less expensive Halfords (Carrerra, Voodoo) bikes proved completely unreliable for us.  Our first one (Crossfire E) was in for repair every couple of months and then Halfords replaced it with a newer one (with the terrible tiny charging connector) that proved just as unreliable.  In the end they refunded it out (fair play to them, this was two years after the initial purchase) and we traded up to a Raleigh Felix with the Bosch midmount motor which has been faultless.

There are countless threads on the ebike forums about this (and it still appears to be an ongoing issue https://ebikechoices.com/carrera-crossfire-electric-bike-review/), I really think you should be researching this and letting people know that there may be issues.  Or even better, do some investigative journalism, see how widespread this actually is.  A lot of people are getting into cycling now, so it would be good to provide them with really solid and well researched advice.