Best cheap e-bikes: electric bikes under £1000

Although previously quite expensive, the best cheap e-bikes are now more affordable than ever. We round up some of the best e-bikes that come in under £1,000

Included in this guide:

Best cheap e-bikes

There are now many high quality, cheap e-bikes that dip below the £1,000 mark as electric bike prices have come down and they surge in popularity.

The benefits of electric bikes are wide ranging. They open up cycling to a whole range of people who, whether from injury, illness, or age, would not be able to get out on a bike without some form of pedal assistance. For those with more cargo to carry, the added power can keep you out on your bike, rather than having to resort to a car.

An e-bike also benefits commuters who have too long a journey to be manageable with on a conventional bike. Even with a shorter commute, being able to cycle in without the need for a shower at the other end is a game changer for many.

To learn more about how e-bikes work, check out our guide to E-bikes: all you need to know. We've also got posts on the Best women's e-bikes and Best electric scooters.

Cheap e-bikes: how much should you spend?

Previously, e-bikes that were below £1,000 were few and far between, but now there’s an ever-growing number falling below that pivotal threshold. Like most things in life, e-bikes are subject to the law of diminishing returns: doubling the price does not double the performance.

Recently, there's been poor availability of all bikes and significant inflation in bike prices and that has spilled over into cheap e-bikes too. That means that it may be difficult to find an e-bike below the magic £1,000 mark, so be prepared to spend a little more if you're looking for a cheap e-bike.

That said, the step-up in performance from spending £2,000, as opposed to £1,000, is more significant than any other increases in price. You can expect higher tier groupsets, providing more gears and—on many models—even hydraulic disc brakes. 

It's also likely that you'll get a name brand motor from makes like Shimano or Bosch on a higher priced e-bike. Batteries are expensive and a more expensive e-bike may have higher battery capacity and longer range, while electric components may be more robust and more easily serviceable.  

The total weight of a higher priced e-bike can see stark reductions, with some only a handful of kilos heavier than a non-powered bike. And, in terms of aesthetics, some models have such cleanly integrated batteries and motors, that on first glance you might not realise they are e-bikes. For options in the sub £2,000 bracket, check out our best e-bikes page.

How much you should spend depends on what your priorities are. If having electric assistance at the lowest possible cost is the priority—and you already have a bike—an e-bike conversion kit represents the best value. These can be found for around £450 and can be no more complicated than replacing the front wheel and fitting a cadence sensor.

If you don’t already own a bike to fit a conversion kit to, there are reliable options for under £1,000. However, if you have a bit more cash to spare, there are some incredible e-bikes below £2,000 which will not leave you wanting in frame design or components.

Our pick of the best cheap e-bikes under £1,000

Here at Cycling Weekly we've grouped together some of the best and most affordable e-bikes on the market to make you more informed about which cheap e-bike is best to purchase.

Best cheap e-bikes under £1,000

best cheap e-bikes

Carrera Crosscity Electric Bike

Reasons to buy
+
Folding frame
+
Comes with rack and mudguards
Reasons to avoid
-
Limited range
-
Quite heavy

Coming in just below £1,000, this electric folding bike is a practical choice for commuters who take multiple forms of transport. Those who are tight on space, but need some e-assistance, would also benefit from the compact size the Crosscity folds down to.

Kitted with mudguards and a pannier rack, the practical points are certainly ticked. The range provided by the 313Wh battery is a maximum of 50km and the whole bike tips the scales at 18kg. It is worth bearing in mind that the rider weight limit is 85kg plus 15kg of luggage.

Sold via Halfords, it's easy to get support and service if you need it.

best cheap e-bikes

Elops 900 E Step Over Classic Electric Bike

Reasons to buy
+
Comfortable upright ride position
+
Comes with lights, mudguards, a rack and a kickstand
Reasons to avoid
-
Heavy at 24kg

Drawing heavily from the design cues of traditional Dutch bikes, this cheap e-bike from Decathlon presents a comfortable and composed option as a town bike. The battery is 418Wh and the range is up to 70km.

Fitted with mudguards, a pannier rack, a kickstand and integrated lights, there are seven derailleur gears that make up the transmission, while mechanical disc brakes offer consistent stopping power.

Coming in at 24kg, we won't file this one in our lightweight section. The added weight won’t present much of an issue when riding, but its heft might make wall mounted storage more difficult. The maximum weight for user and luggage is set at 125kg.

Ride1Up Roadster V2

(Image credit: Dan Gould)

Reasons to buy
+
Pared down design
+
Low maintenance belt drive
+
Quiet operation
Reasons to avoid
-
Single speed only
-
Only sold in North America

The Ride1Up Roadster has the neat look of a fixie, with its upright ride position, flat bars and its battery fully integrated into the frame, so there's no bulky battery box on show - a rarity on a cheap e-bike. 

It's driven via a single speed belt drive, adding to the clean looks. That means that there's little maintenance although you do need to use the five levels of assist to help get you up hills and the top level will drain the battery quickly.

The Roadster is sold direct by San Diego, California based Ride1Up and not currently available outside North America.

best value e-bikes

Carrera Crossroad Electric Bike

Reasons to buy
+
Drop bars for faster riding
+
Mechanical disc brakes
Reasons to avoid
-
Not currently available
-
No bottle cage mounts

Dropbar e-bikes below £1000 are a rarity, but the offering from Halford’s in-house brand just nudges under the threshold, although it's not currently showing availability on Halfords' site. A 310Wh battery provides a maximum range of 80km.

The transmission is 9-speed with mechanical disc brakes and the tyres are a plump 32c. Weighing 19.5kg, the bike’s maximum rider weight is 120kg.

best value e-bikes

Gtech Sports Hybrid Electric Bike

Reasons to buy
+
Low maintenance belt drive
+
Straightforward design
Reasons to avoid
-
Rim brakes only
-
Single speed only

A simple and fuss-free option. This paired down e-bike has only one gear driven by a carbon belt, meaning that oily or rusty chains and poorly adjusted gears will never be an issue. There are two power settings; max and eco, giving a range of about 50km and 25km, respectively.

The mechanical V-brakes are simple to maintain and the tyres measure 38mm. At 16kg, it is relatively light as far as e-bikes go. The maximum total weight is 110kg, including the bike. A step through frame is offered at the same price.

What to consider when buying an e-bike

Frame

The frame determines the style of riding the bike is suited for: whether a bike is more road- and speed-oriented, whether it has the mounting points for a rack and panniers, or whether it folds.

These are all design elements that are intrinsic to the frame. On more aesthetic grounds, the frame will dictate whether the battery nicely integrates with the downtube, or whether it protrudes noticeably. Downtube integration is a design point that is regularly included on higher-end bikes.

Brakes

In order to get the bike to hit the magic £1,000, compromises have to be made. One way brands save a significant amount of money is by going for rim brakes over disc brakes.

Although these don’t have the power or modulation of disc brakes - especially hydraulic disc brakes - they are still reliable stoppers. If the price is your main concern, being open to rim brakes will expand your choices.

Motor

In higher-end models, these tend to be mid-drive, with the motor situated at the bottom bracket. This keeps the weight low and centred in the bike and has minimal impact on its handling.

On lower-end models, you can expect to see the motor integrated into the front or rear hub as this reduces manufacturing costs. Some higher-end models also chose rear hub motors as these can be more discrete.

Battery capacity

Put simply: the greater the battery capacity, the further you’ll be able to cycle, although the caveat to that is that the bike will be heavier. This is a particular consequence for electric folding bikes, which often need to be carried. Greater compromises on range and weight are likely to be made in these cases.

Since batteries are expensive, it's somewhere where lower priced e-bikes are likely to be compromised, with smaller capacity batteries fitted. That's fine if you're just planning short rides around town or to commute and can plug the e-bike into a charger regularly, but if you want to go for longer weekend excursions or live somewhere hilly you don't want to run out of support mid-ride.

Accessories

Perhaps you know that you will be using mudguards and a pannier rack, in which case it can be cheaper and less of a hassle to buy a bike which already has these fitted.

Likewise, if you don’t think you’ll be needing those accessories, then it is likely you would be able to get a better deal on a bike without them. Careful consideration of the intended use is beneficial before committing to a model.

Stefan Abram
Stefan Abram

Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.


Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20. Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually, to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.


Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg