Even just a few years ago, you’d not have been able to find many decent e-bikes under £1,000. But with the advancement of technology, more and more bikes are being launched or reduced to this budget and the trickling-down of previously more premium tech is occurring.
There are still some trade-offs to be accepted at this price point, however, including battery size, motor quality and overall weight of the bike. If you’re wondering what spending a few quid more might get you, why not take a look at our guide to the best electric bikes under £2,000.
With electric bikes increasing in popularity and manufacturing catching up to the demands by expanding facilities, there’s now more choice than ever when it comes to bikes under £1,000. This includes brands you'll have heard of, and not just dubious looking things that don’t appear that they’d last more than a few months. As they typically have smaller batteries, there are lots of folding e-bikes at this price point, so if you’re looking for a cheap commuter e-bike, you’re in the right place.
Best electric bikes under £1,000
- Fiido D11 - best folder under £1,000 | Buy now for £844.99 from Geekbuying
- Eskute Wayfarer - best step-through bike under £1,000 | Buy now for £999 from Eskute
- B'Twin Elops 900e - best city e-bike under £1,000 | Buy now for £999 from Decathlon
- Mycle Compact - best e-folder for commuting under £1,000 | Buy now for £999 from Mycle
- B'Twin Tilt 500 Folding - best value folder under £1,000 | Buy now for £699.99 from Decathlon
- Halfords Assist - best under £600 | Buy now for £494.10 from Halfords
- Carrera Subway E - best all-rounder under £1,000 | Buy now for £989.10 from Halfords
- An e-bike conversion kit
It may be 19kg and thus not perhaps the most easily transportable on trains or buses, but the Fiido D11 is one of many value e-bikes from the firm. Our reviewer said the D11 felt more premium than some other models. It has a nicely designed single beam frame along with 20” wheels.
The bike folds at the middle of the frame, and to make it slightly more bearable than lugging 19kg around, the seatpost battery is removable, dropping the weight down to a far more manageable 13.5kg. The rear hub motor isn’t massively powerful, but does the job on flatter terrain.
For more detail, read our review of the Fiido D11.
The biggest compromise you’ll find on an otherwise reasonably attractive bike, is the sizing. One size most certainly doesn’t fit all, but Eskute has only produced one size of frame that they say will fit riders between 160cm to 200cm. (Our 189cm tall reviewer found it a bit stretched out.)
The overall performance stacks up reasonably well considering the price, with a rear hub motor and 360Wh battery. It also comes with a rack, lights and mudguards so you can pretty much ride it straight out of the box without worrying about accessories. It’s also one of the few e-bikes at this price point to come with a suspension fork, although whether that adds anything will be down to the riding you do.
For more detail, read our review of the Eskute Wayfarer.
The B’Twin Elops 900e is a rather stylish looking city bike, and at just shy of £1,000, it’s reasonably priced for the spec. It’s available in a diamond frame (as above) or as a step-through configuration, so it’s accessible to a wider audience.
Decathlon suggests a range of up to 70km, which for many would equate to at least a few days’ worth of commuting or errand running. A seven-speed drivetrain helps to make inclines a little less intimidating, although the motor could be slightly better to help riders really cope with hilly terrain.
For more detail, read our review of the B’Twin Elops 900e.
While we reviewed the slightly higher spec Mycle Compact Plus, the company has just lowered the prices across its range, including the plain old Compact, which has now dipped below £1,000. The difference between the two models (besides the frame) is in the addition of suspension forks and a larger battery in the Plus – so if that’s important, then it may be worth an extra £200.
The Compact, however, is as it says... compact. It folds quickly using a mid-frame hinge system, and comes with a 230Wh battery which Mycle suggests can offer a 30km range. It weighs 17.5kg so it’s not the lightest e-folder. It’s perhaps more a car boot bike than one you’re likely to be lifting onto public transport. It also comes with a rear rack and is compatible with a range of Mycle accessories, so it would make an ideal compact commuter.
For more detail, read our review of the Mycle Compact Plus.
With an estimated range of up to 35km, an easy to use folding mechanism and decent rear-hub motor, the B’Twin Tilt 500 Folding e-bike is great value at under £800. Again, it’s more suited to folding into a car boot than onto a train as it weighs 18.6kg including battery and motor, but you get a sturdy aluminium frame and tough tyres with puncture protection.
You also get a six-speed Shimano grip shifter operated drivetrain and a 52T chainring. To make it even more useful as a commuter or runaround, it’s compatible with several Decathlon bike accessories, including a child trailer and a rear rack.
For those shopping on a rather tight budget, you’re probably not going to find much worth spending your money on below £500. The closest decent bike we’ve found is the Halfords Assist, which costs £599 and comes with a front hub motor and external battery which sits under the rear rack.
You get 20” wheels, and a max range of roughly 20 miles. That isn't a lot, but if you only commute a few miles each way it may be enough for you.
A firm favourite at ebiketips, even if it’s been around for a few years now. At the time, our reviewer called it, “probably the best all-round bike I’ve tried that’s currently available for less than a thousand pounds.” Even when it’s not on sale, it only nudges above that price point at £1,099 – but if it’s not on sale and you’re keen, we’ve seen it drop in price multiple times a year so it’s worth holding out for.
The Subway E uses Suntour’s HESC 50Nm rear hub motor, which offers torque sensing – a rarity at this price. You’ll also get a 374Wh battery which our reviewer found could exceed the 40km stated range. Overall the Subway E is an excellent value proposition for commuting, leisure rides and everything in between.
For more detail, read our review of the Carrera Subway E.
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.
How to choose from the best electric bikes under £1,000
What kind of frame will an e-bike under £1,000 have?
At this tight of a budget you won’t have as much choice when it comes to frame type. There are unlikely to be any sporty mountain bikes, for example. Instead, you’ll find a lot of city bikes and folding bikes. Folding bikes are great for multi-modal commutes or for those who have less storage space, while city bikes are also great for commuting as well as running errands around town in a more relaxed riding position.
More expensive e-bikes might have carbon frames, and although steel-framed e-bikes are less common, they do exist, but will usually cost more than a grand. Cheaper e-bikes (and their components) will also tend to be heavier than 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.
Is an electric bike worth buying?
Absolutely! Although which bike you buy will depend on what you will be using it for. A cheap electric bike like the ones listed above can be good starting points for those on a very tight budget. As e-bike technology develops and e-bikes become more widely adopted, the price of them tends to drop.
Where a few years ago you’d be looking at a few thousand pounds minimum, you can now get some for under £1,000, as we’ve listed above. If you want something a bit more reliable and more premium, there’s plenty of options to choose from – have a read of our overall guide to the best electric bikes to see what's available across other categories and budgets.
Which company is best for buying an electric bike?
This depends on what bike you’re buying. If you are purchasing a direct to consumer bike from a brand like Canyon, then you can only buy from them directly. If you are buying an e-bike that is distributed through shops and online retailers, then it’s best to buy from somewhere reputable where you can go back if you have any problems.
This is why so many people advocate for their local bike shops. You may not be able to get the best deal on price, but for a little extra you get local customer service and often a discount on the first service for your bike.
What kind of brakes are on e-bikes under £1,000?
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. Some even feature V-brakes. These are 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 mostly 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 can be noticeable on a heavier bike.
What type of motor is most common on cheaper e-bikes?
On e-bikes under £1,000, you're all but 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. The maximum sized motor you're going to get is 250W of continuous 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 average amount of assistance as you would get on e-bikes that cost ten times as much.
How much battery range can I expect on an e-bike under £1,000?
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. For example, a 310Wh battery 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 may 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.
Can I expect many included accessories on an e-bike under £1,000?
Some higher end e-bikes are equipped with built-in lights, fancy displays and storage options, but if you're spending £1k you're probably not going to get as many extras, if any. Some of our suggested buys do include racks, mudguards and lights, but they’re more of an exception than the rule.