Here on Electrician, I’ve gotten to test literally hundreds of electric bikes over the past few years (okay, okay, it’s a lot of fun). I saw everything from bargain basement models to several ultra high end electric bikes with advanced materials and advanced manufacturing processes.
Sometimes the cheapest e-bikes leave me wanting more, while super-expensive e-bikes offer more than the average rider can afford. As usual, the sweet spot is usually somewhere in the middle. Here’s a list of what I consider to be the best quality electric bikes on the market today that are still under the coveted $1,000 mark.
Rad Power Bikes RadMission
The Rad Power Bikes RadMission is the epitome of a simple urban electric bike. It offers (almost) everything you need and nothing you don’t.
From the 500W motor to the 500Wh battery, the performance specs are plenty for the average rider looking for a 20 mph (32 km/h) electric bike.
The city-focused e-bike may lack fancy options like suspension or an LCD screen, but it’s well-made and will get you in the door with the support and peace of mind of the largest electric bike company in the US.
It even comes in two frame styles, mid-grade and high-grade. I’m a fan of the middle step, partly because it’s easier to install, and partly because I think the orange color (which only comes on the middle step) is the best of them all.
Although the RadMission often costs around $1,200, it is currently on sale for an impressive $899. At this price, it’s a steal of a deal.
Departure my full review if you want all the nerdy details of this gorgeous model.
Or watch my quick review video below for a quick dive into this popular model.
Lectric XP Lite
If the RadMission above is a bigger bike than you’re looking for, then small and compact Electrician XP Lite may be a better fit. This bike can origami itself into a much tighter package by placing it in the trunk of your car or in the back of a closet.
However, it still offers some pretty useful features for suburban commuting, such as a peak power of 720W and a top speed of 20mph (32km/h).
It even comes with built-in LED lights, although it lacks features like fenders or a rear rack that need to be added as optional accessories. However, you get the free anti-puncture Slime compound pre-installed in the tires, which means you won’t even notice that one day you don’t have a flat tire that you would have suffered without the pre-installed Slime.
Even without the included accessories I’d like to see on a commuter bike The price is 799 dollars makes this a great deal for a solid folding electric bike that combines good power output with modest range.
Be sure to check it out my first driving experience on this e-bike to see what makes it such a powerful yet affordable commuter e-bike.
Lectric XP 2.0
For those who still want a compact electric bike, but need more power and speed, the best option is to upgrade from the Lectric XP Lite to the Lectric XP 2.0.
This fat tire folding e-bike offers a 750W motor with even more power, a larger battery and, most importantly, reaches Class 3 speeds of up to 45 km/h (28 mph).
You’ll pay for the higher performance in extra weight (and extra dollars, since the price is 999 dollars), but you also get a lot more. You even get a rear rack and all-metal fenders included, which are often optional accessories on most e-bikes.
Lectric eBikes recently released a new, larger battery this increases the capacity from 460 watt-hours to 672 watt-hours, but it also raises the price by a couple of hundred bucks. In my humble opinion, it’s worth it. But if you stick with a stock battery, you can keep the price under $1,000.
See my review of the Lectric XP 2.0 to understand what this e-bike is capable of.
This one is a little off, but stick with me, you’ll find it cool. The JackRabbit is something of a hybrid between an e-bike and an electric scooter.
It has 20-inch bicycle wheels and chunky bicycle handlebars that help it ride like a bicycle. But the smaller wheelbase makes it look more like a scooter.
And, of course, the absence of pedals is another mark in the column of scooters.
It may not have a very large battery, boasting only 10-12 miles (16-20 km). But it can still reach speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h), making it great for city trips. It also weighs only 25 pounds (11 kg) and is easy to pick up and throw in the trunk of a car or carry on a subway train.
This is the perfect solution if you are looking for something small and convenient for a short trip around town and you need an e-bike that takes up a very small part of your apartment or garage.
Yes, I know it seems strange. But it works so well that you avoid looking weird pretty quickly.
At $999it’s more expensive per watt or per mile, but it’s also the lightest and most comfortable model on this list.
See my detailed review to learn more about the JackRabbit or watch my video below to understand the proportions of this strange but awesome model.
Featuring 20-inch wheels and a minimalist frame, Propella’s smallest electric bike weighs just 33 pounds (15 kg).
It has a single-speed transmission, so don’t expect to turn it into a San Francisco rock climber, but the smaller wheels actually provide better torque and help it handle climbs better than you’d think.
A Bafang motor with a maximum power of 400 W gives it a truly dizzying top speed of 18 mph (30 km/h), and a 250 Wh battery provides a range of 15-25 miles (25-56 km).
This is excellent performance for an e-bike now on sale for $849!
There is no throttle, making this electric bike pedal friendly. Unless you’re looking for a class 1 e-bike that requires pedaling, you should look elsewhere. But if you want to do some of the work yourself, the Propella Mini is a great option for a light and efficient urban electric bike.
For more information check my full review of the Propella Mini.
Ride1Up Roadster V2
I know this list is supposed to only include electric bikes under $1,000, but I hope you’ll forgive me for including the Ride1Up Roadster V2. It begins for only $1,045 (although it goes up to $1,095 for most color options and frame sizes). Still, for the price it’s a very efficient commuter e-bike with serious bang for your buck.
I had to put this bike on the list because I just love this bike!
Not only is it the only belt drive e-bike on the list, it’s also the only one that can go up to 25 mph (40 km/h) without weighing in at 33 pounds (15 kg).
The rim brakes may seem old school, but having tested the bike myself, I can confirm that they are of high quality and bring the bike to a stop quickly. And you can always upgrade to the gravel version of the bike if you want real disc brakes.
With 500W of maximum rated power in a lightweight urban electric bike, the Ride1Up Roadster is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a Class 3 throttleless electric bike.
You can read my review of the Ride1Up Roadster is hereor watch the video below.
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