Electric bikes (also known as e bikes) are perfect for long-distance riding, or when you just don’t feel like giving your full effort.
What differentiates them from electric motorcycles is the ability for the rider to pedal the bike at any time, so if you’re riding along and your battery dies, you’re not going to stranded.
These are often very valuable bikes, but some models can be more affordable than you might expect, especially when you treat them as a form of transportation as opposed to thinking of the price in terms of regular bicycles.
We’ve curated the best budget electric bikes to get you off to a head start in your search for the perfect one to fit into your lifestyle and budget.
In a hurry? The test winner after 19 hours of research:
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Last Updated: February 12, 2021
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best e-bikes available for those who are interested in new technology combined with traditional bikes. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best electric bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
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Best Electric Mountain Bikes
Take a look at the summary of the top picks in our video below:
Electric mountain bikes have come a long way in recent years.
You can now find anything from light trail riders, to full-suspension versions that can handle the same rough terrain that an ordinary mountain bike would, but with an added boost of power and speed for longer rides.
1. Trek Powerfly 4
Trek Powerfly 4
The Trek Powerfly 4 is an advanced and highly affordable electric mountain bicycle that offers an astounding amount of versatility, thanks to an innovative design and high-end components.
The Powerfly 4 can certainly hold its own on advanced trails, challenging track, and off-road riding, while still providing excellent commuting or light weekend touring.
The bike’s frame is crafted from robust aluminum that protects the cabling system and the battery inside it. The suspension system features an SR Suntour XCM 34 fork with 80mm of travel with its drivetrain which makes it responsive and gives high performance.
It consists of a high-end Bosch e-MTB drive system with other components so that it is highly maneuverable on the trail.
The seating position is adjustable and complements the slightly more relaxed handlebar which is comfortable on any pavement.
The hydraulic disc brakes are made by TEKTRO, which are wholly capable of handling precise stop power in any number of situations, without feeling mushy or overly sensitive.
The bike’s wheels take a slightly larger approach-29-inch wheel on larger frames and 27.5-inch wheels on smaller ones. This gives the bike more clearance and allows for higher speeds as well.
The Bosch motor and its Purion controller forms a potent combination and provide up to 20 mph speed and is smaller, lighter, and more efficient.
Trek's Removable Integrated Battery (RIB) system protects the battery in the frame, which can be easily removed, and also giving you an amount for a water bottle cage.
The TREK Powerfly 4 is everything you want in an electric mountain bicycle. Its reliable and durable parts can transform your trail riding. It's worth every penny.
2. ANCHEER POWER PLUS
Not every quality electric mountain bike costs thousands of dollars. For those looking for a more affordable hardtail option, there is the Ancheer Power Plus.
While this is very much a viable mountain bike, it does have a sort of hybrid appeal that is reinforced by its powerful motor.
The Power Plus has a rugged look to it, hinting at its off-road capabilities. It uses an aluminum alloy frame, and combines that with a carbon steel suspension fork in the front.
The frame provides some give and flex, with the fork holding down the majority of the shock absorption, with satisfactory results.
The bike’s handlebars have a bit more curve than you usually see on a mountain bike, ensuring a little more of a relaxed feel that carries over to non-trail use. An instantly adjustable saddle allows you to quickly alter your riding stance for certain situations,
The Power Plus comes with a full 21-gear drivetrain, helping it retain the feel of a more conventional mountain bike. The shifting is quick and responsive, coming by the way of trigger shifters on each grip.
Disc brakes are used on the front and back for added stop power with a more controlled feel than you get with caliper brakes. The alloy discs are much better off handling the increased load an power bike provides.
Ancheer went with the traditional 26-inch size for their wheelset, which consists of Wanda King tires and Two Knives DX-3000 alloy rims. The tires have a less-prominent tread design then you see on other mountain bikes, which does help it have a softer ride on hard surfaces.
The Power Plus has a moderately-sized motor, offering up 250 watts located on the rear wheel hub. It has three different speeds available for pedal assisting, and also allows for full-throttle riding without pedaling when you need it.
A 36V lithium battery powers the motor for around 20 miles of pedal-less riding, and around 30 when using the assist modes. Recharging a an empty battery requires a wait of anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
Some of the bike’s more commuter-oriented features include an LED headlight, kickstand, and even an air horn.
You can have all of this for under $700. For a legitimate hardtail mountain bike complete with engine, that’s more than economical, especially when considering its versatile commuter appeal.
This durable bike offers great quality at a low cost, check out our Ancheer Power Plus review for a deeper dive into some of the great features,like the brushless hub motor.
And Here Are The Folding Options:
Electric folding bikes are becoming a force all on their own.
These e bikes represent the most versatile and convenient class of these bikes, giving you a bike that can be a good for commuting to work , with the added benefits of being both compact, and motor-powered.
1. ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike
Ancheer Folding Electric Bike
The Ancheer Folding Bike , is a best electric bike under $500 if you are looking a bike for short commutes. It can power up your commute, folds down do a small, portable size, and is fully capable of riding all on its own. It’s hard to think of what else you can ask out of a bike.
The bike’s frame is crafted from carbon steel, and allows for easy folding, which makes this bike great for camping or just keeping in your car.
A cushioned and easily-adjusted seat post gives the rider a perfect bike position, which is complimented by a handlebar design
The Front and Rear brakes help with the stopping part. The bike’s 250W rear hub motor includes pedal assist speeds, ling with a throttle that can let the bike do the pedaling for you. This helps on flatter portions for sure, but really helps makes the bike good for urban commuting as well.
Their Folding mini ebike consist of high quality folding bike components like aluminium alloy folding pedals, integrated bell with a LED Meter (Battery Power Indicator).
The bike can reach maximum of 30 miles , made possible by a 36V lithium battery that can power the bike for 15 miles on its own, and 30 miles with pedal-assist. They even threw in a headlight to top it all off.
Our full in-depth review of The Ancheer Folding Electric Mountain Bike Review goes over the range, frame, breakset and other features this bike offers.
2. CYRUSHER XF770
Cyrusher XF770 Folding Electric Mountain Bikes
The Cyrusher XF770 is another bicycle brands that have a full-suspension folding electric mountain bike that can offer a ton of versatility without forsaking its off-road intentions. From trails to sidewalks, the XF770 is a force in any environment.
The XF770 has a solid aluminum frame design available in numerous bold colors.
To fold the bike, you simply unlock the frame in the center, swing the tires towards each other, and unhinge the seat post to collapse.
One of the cooler aspects of the frame’s design is the battery’s sort of hidden compartment within the tube itself. To access the battery, you unlock the frame, reach in, and slide it out. If you were a passerby who didn’t know any better, you would never know the XF770 is an electric bike at all.
The saddle has a little more cushioning than you usually see on a mountain bike, which is actually a good thing. The saddle’s design ensures a more comfortable ride, along with a gently-curved handlebar with a longer stem for a more relaxed position for your arms and back.
The drivetrain uses quality Shimano parts, and gives you 21 gear choices for maximum versatility during all types of riding. Shifting is fast and responsive, avoiding that annoying lag some shift systems have on these bikes. Bumps and drops on trails don’t interfere with the shifting either.
Disc brakes hold down the stopping power, and you even get cushioned brake levers that help prevent slippage. Three spoke alloy rims give the bike a blackout look, while saving on weight and adding some aerodynamics as well. 26-inch tires with slight tread are great for any surface.
The motor is a brushless version located on the rear hub. It has 250 watts of power, which is great for the bike’s size and drivetrain. You can reach speeds up to 20 mph with pedal assistance, or just let the bike ride on its own. This can all be controlled with a twist throttle on the handlebar grip.
A 36V lithium battery powers the motor for around 20 miles when in throttle modes, and 25 miles when using a pedal assist speed. The charging time for the battery is fairly average, taking about 4-6 hours from a fully depleted state.
The XF770 includes a very helpful and informative computer mounted on the handlebars, keeping you up to speed on your, well...speed. You can also keep track of your battery’s charge, trip distance, and more. An LED headlight is equipped for night riding.
The Cyrusher XF770 is on the higher end price-wise, but it is there for a reason. This bike represents the top tier of electric folding mountain bike capabilities, sparing no details in the process.
Best Electric Fat Bike
Fat bikes are made to go many places ordinary bikes can’t, thanks to their rugged build and wide, oversized tires. Adding an engine to the equation makes them virtually unstoppable, and even enables them to be used for commuting and nearby travel.
1. ADDMOTOR MOTAN
The Addmotor Motan has the right idea: Start off by building an excellent fat bike, making sure it has the right components and design in the process. When that’s done, figure out a way to fit a motor in there somewhere, and call it good. It is the best electric bike under $1000.
This logical approach results in a fat bike that conquers almost anything in its path, with the option to switch a motor on for the times you need a little boost, or want to feel like you’re on a dirt bike for a little while.
The controller and battery pack actually give the Motan a beefier look, with the assembly situated on the bottom frame tube. The uninformed may just assume you have some kind of cargo case, or a large water bottle.
The Motan’s frame is made from aluminum, and has an impressive front fork that helps to absorb bumps on the trail. The frame also has some give to it, and of course the fat tires help with the shock absorption as well.
Maneuvering the Motan is very easy thanks to a well-designed saddle and handlebar combination, placing the rider in an ideal position to both relax and steer without putting added strain on their arms and back.
The Motan’s drivetrain includes 7 different gears, with a spread out ratio that is perfect for the bike’s size and build. Shimano TX55 parts make up the drivetrain and the shifter, for a seamless speed changing feel that works in tune with the motor.
Fat bikes need some extra braking power, and that’s exactly what its TEKTRO disc brakes provide on each end. Not too sensitive, and not too much effort required for a full stop.
The tires of the Motan stand out. 26 x 4-inch Kenda tires give it the right amount of coverage, letting the bike easily ride over snow, sand, and any other terrain that smaller tires may not be able to deal with.
A 500W motor powers the bike, whether you are needing pedal assistance, or want to let the bike propel itself while you simply steer. The motor is operated with a twist-shift throttle, and offers different speed and assistance settings to perfectly match your riding environment in any given moment.
The Samsung lithium battery uses 48 volts, and can keep the bike running for 30-55 miles, which is one of the longer ranges you’ll see on these bike. It’s not uncommon to expect speeds of around 23 mph on flatter portions of road. The battery needs 4 hours for a full recharge.
The Addmotor Motan is a true force of a bike, letting you ride through inclement weather conditions, shifting soil and dirt, and pretty much anything else it can get traction on. The motor is a perfect match for the bike’s grit and stature, giving you all that’s needed for getting around wherever the road or path leads.
Our in-depth review of the Addmotor MOTAN covers the benefits of an electric motor on a fat-tire bike, along with the rest of this bike's features.
2. ENGWE Fat Tire Electric Bike
ENGWE Fat Tire Electric Bike
The Swagtron electric fat bike is just behind the Motan in our opinion. This is a very solid fat bike that provides enhanced off-road mobility.
The design is fairly standard for a fat bike, but it looks great. The frame is made from aluminum alloy and its full suspension system supports the average riders of around 330 lbs and can ride smoothly on unpaved roads.
The wheelset includes the standard durable rubber 4- inch fat tires on the 20-inch wheel the 26 x 4-inch tires giving enough traction to remain stable on snow, sand, mud, and any rough and uneven roads.
This bike is perfect for outdoor and nature enthusiasts as it offers zero noise, zero odor, and zero-emission from the starting to the end.
Like the Motan, this bike uses Shimano Transmission System for a 7-speed drivetrain. The shifting is precise and quick, and the gear ratio is spread out enough to cover all the ranges you’d need on a bike like this without any electric assistance activated.
The brakes are installed at both front and rear for amazing stopping power so that you can enjoy a fast riding experience.
Powered by a high-torque 48V 500W motor and swappable 48V/12.5ALi-ion battery, the ENGWE can travel more than 25 miles at 22 MPH on electric power alone.
The bike is designed with a soft leather bike seat post to make you feel comfortable while long rides. You have a headlight and taillights for night riding visibility.
The design is very convenient and easy to fold while camping or storing in your car.
If you want an economical fat bike that can help you get around on several different paths and surfaces, ENGWE Fat Tire Electric Bike is your best choice.
Best Electric Hybrid Bike
Hybrids and electric motors are a great duo.
The best hybrid bicycles are largely considered commuter bikes after all, and they are good for exercise and leisurely riding as well. An efficient motor can both improve your pedaling and trip distance, or just take over all by itself when you need a break.
1. Schwinn Sycamore Mountain/Hybrid Electric Bicycle
Schwinn Sycamore 350 Watt hub-Drive, Mountain/Hybrid, Electric Bicycle, 8 speeds, Mens Size
Form, functions and style were the clear goals for the Schwinn Sycamore, and we’d like to think they succeeded. This dual-sport hybrid bike manages to hit down the trails and can use it on and off-road.
The bike manages to do all of this while seamlessly integrating a full electric motor drive that provides a large amount of pedal assistance power thats last for miles on end.
Combine that with an already efficient bike with a top-tier drivetrain, and you have a commuting machine that provides endless versatility.
A comfortable saddle with Schwinn Ergo comfort grips gives the rider a more aggressive feel.
The Schwinn doesn’t go all out with the speed choices, but it makes the most of a well-ratioed 8-speed Shimano Alivo drivetrain, which includes a Shimano Altus trigger shifter to provide smooth and easy shifting .
The alloy mechanical disc brakes components make up the front and rear disc brake system. This gives the Schwinn a very measured and precise amount of braking, making it much easier to control the bike at high speeds, or when weaving around traffic.
The Schwinn has a very efficient 350W rear hub motor that can carry the bike up to 45 miles and requires a very less maintenance. There are 5 different levels of pedal assistance settings that riders can use to better match certain riding scenarios.
You can also check Magnum UI6 review that is an electric bike that explores the core feat bike, along with some of the extra features, such as the LCD info screen, fenders and kickstand.
Best Electric Cruiser Bike
Cruiser bikes may not be the first thing that you visualize when thinking about electric bikes, but it makes perfect sense.
Cruisers are made for relaxed riding in casual settings, and what better way to make that goal fully realized with an engine helping to make pedaling easier?
1. SOHOO Beach Cruiser Electric Bicycle
SOHOO Beach Cruiser Electric Bicycle
The SOHOO Beach Cruiser Electric Bicycle is one of our favorite electric bicycles for quite a few reasons. It has the classic cruiser style, and uses some modern components and features to give it more comfort and efficiency. It’s already a great bike designed for long rides down the coast
A Shimano 7S drivetrain ensures a smooth shifting and a safer travel. Attractive design with extra features like 8H LCD color Display, Battery Life, Temperature Gauge, Trip Distance, makes SOHOO a superior bike.
This beach cruiser bike works in 3 modes: Variable speed throttle mode; in which you dont have to ride much. The Pedal-helped mode and PAS mode allows you to do some exercise and PAS mode. You can also turn off the power and can use it a a normal bike
The aluminum frame gives it a more nimble feel, The saddle is your basic cruiser saddle, and that’s a good thing. The handlebars have a perfect curve to them, allowing you to steer with your arms and shoulder more relaxed.
If you’re used to cruisers having one gear, you'll welcome the SOHOO 7-speed drivetrain, featuring Shimano Tourney components. You get a wider variety of speeds and gear ratios to help you get up inclines, or get some extra speed when the need arises.
The SOHOO uses 180 mm Double disc brakes, which is another rarity for cruiser bikes, as they often have caliper-style brakes with pads instead. But, this is an electric bike, so the extra stop power is definitely more than welcome.
For the wheelset, it uses tires, measuring 26 x2.235 inches. The motor of this bike is 500 watts, and is located on the rear hub. You can use the twist grip control on the right side of the handlebar to cycle through various pedal assist levels, or just let the bike ride on its own.
A 48V Lithium battery can be recharged at home or office, and it helps to powers the motor to allow the bike to reach a max speed of 25 mph, with ease miles on a full charge.
You can also check in-depth review for the X-Treme Malibu Electric Beach Cruiser goes over the core features of this bike, including array of features that ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.
Why You Need to choose your Best Electric Bikes carefully
Folding bikes are a little more complicated than ordinary bikes, mainly due to the presence of a motor, and maybe a throttle as well. This affects the bike in a few ways, so you need to be sure of what to expect beforehand so you don’t end up disappointed.
And, of course, whether you’re getting an electric bike or not, it’s always good to be sure you’re getting the right type of bike for what your riding intentions are in the first place. Also, electric bikes aren’t cheap, so you don’t want to waste your money on the wrong one.
important aspects to consider Before You Make The Purchase
Below are the main points to go over prior to choosing an e bike. Think of this as an unofficial checklist.
STYLE electric bike
This is still the number one thing to decide on first, regardless of whether you’re using an electric version of the bike or not. Just because there is a motor on a cruiser bike doesn't mean you can now take it on a mountain bike trail, you know?
Electric mountain bicycle were a little late to catch on, but now they are more viable than ever before. These electric bicycles can take on advanced off-road trails, and some moderate downhilling as well.
Electric mountain bicycle offer a few major targeted advantages. For one, they can allow the rider to go on longer rides by saving stamina and energy thanks to pedal assistance. They can also make long climbs easier, and ensure a more efficient ride altogether, while boosting speed.
Ordinary mountain bicycles are decent for commuting and in-town travel, but an electric mountain bike can make it much more suited for getting around off the trails as well.
HYBRID e bike
Electric hybrids are true commuting machines, offering improved speed and efficiency that can let you get from home to work without even breaking a sweat. If you are wanting an electric bike as a main way to get around, these are the best choices.
FOLDING electric bicycle
Folding bikes can collapse to almost a third of their size, making them easy to store, haul around, or bring with you when using public transportation as part of your commute.
An electric version of a folding bike equates to what may be the most versatile and useful of them all.
They can unlock endless possibilities thanks to both pedal assistance and increased portability. Plus, they are just really cool in general.
CRUISER e bike
Cruisers are the most relaxed bikes of them all. Simple, stylish, and easy to ride, cruisers define what fun, casual bicycling should be. With an electric motor to help move things along, they become even more of an embodiment of their name.
ELECTRIC BIKE MOTOR CLASSES
Electric bikes have three distinct categories that refer to how the motor operates.
Pedelecs are electric bikes that offer pedal assistance up to a certain speed, usually around 20 mph. They can’t offer assistance beyond that, and they cannot run on their own. Pedelecs often have a few different assistance settings.
The majority of electric bikes fall into this category.
An S-pedelec also offers pedal assistance, but there is no cap on when the motor cuts off. These can help riders achieve faster speeds, and are more common on hybrids and mountain.
VARIABLE SPEED THROTTLE
Sometimes called “power on-demand” electric bikes, models with an actual throttle enable the e bike to be propelled by just the motor, and no pedal assistance. 25 mph is usually the cap on a full-throttle electric bike, as any faster would require a license.
While these motors are able to move the bike by themselves, they can also be used for just pedal assistance.
There are generally two main classifications for electric bike motors in terms of where they are installed.
Hub motors are located either on the front or rear wheel hub. This type of motor involves a rotor on the hub that turns when the motor is engaged. These are most often found on the rear wheel, and remain the most popular type of motor choice.
A mid-drive motor in installed onto the bike’s actual drivetrain and crank. Instead of turning a wheel, these motors turn the crank that are connected to your pedals.
They also help give the bike a lower center of gravity. Mid-drive motors are found on higher-end electric bikes, and require more moving parts, but are generally favored by most electric bike enthusiasts. Still, they are not near as common.
Electric bike batteries have come a long way since the old lead acid versions. Lithium batteries are the new standard, as they are both easier to recharge, and lighter.
The battery pack also determines how long the bike can use its motor. Always pay attention to the projected range of the bike’s battery, and the charging time.
Not all electric bike batteries are detachable, so if it can’t be removed to charge, you’ll have to move the whole bike to an electrical outlet.
ANCHEER POWER PLUS: Best affordable electric bike
For those looking for a more affordable hardtail option, there is the Ancheer Power Plus.
Addmotor Motan: Best overall electric bike
The Addmotor Motan is a true force of a bike, letting you ride through inclement weather conditions, shifting soil and dirt, and pretty much anything else it can get traction on.
An electric bike can help you save a lot of money. These bikes are slightly more pricey than a standard bike, however, it is not a sure thing.
E-bikes are expensive to maintain.
Here are a few things you should look for when choosing the best electric bikes:
- Playground: bikes are different for different people
- Type of drive
- Motor mount
- Battery life
- Costs of the bike
- Always take a test ride
With regular use, the electric bike's battery becomes less effective after 3 to 5 years.
We hope this guide has given you a better idea of where to start when looking for the best electric bike for your own personal needs. We recommend any of e-bikes on the list, and we’ll also encourage you to look at some of our more in-depth reviews.
Before you make a purchase, always be sure of what your main use of the bike will be, so you end up with the right type that can do what you need it to.
The electric bike market is bigger than ever, so there are obviously some models that we haven't covered here. Have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear!
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