It’s that time of the year again, stimulus check time! Now, I want to be very clear up front: if you’re struggling to make rent or buy food, obviously those priorities come first. But for those who have their necessities met and now are prepared to put the “stimulus” in stimulus check, these are our favorite sub-$1,400 electric bicycles that you can buy from American-based direct-to-consumer companies right now (though don’t forget that if you have a local e-bike shop, you can stimulate your local economy by shopping there).
Rolling your stimulus check into alternative transportation like an electric bicycle won’t just stimulate the economy and help US businesses. It will also help you commute to work or ride for pleasure on a fun, environmentally conscious two-wheeled electric vehicle that could ultimately save you a lot of money down the road compared to car ownership or public transportation.
I’ve been an avid believer in the power of electric bicycles as alternative transportation vehicles for over a decade now. E-bikes are one of the best car substitutes around for their low environmental impact, high utility, ease of operation, and vast health benefits.
Putting your stimulus check to work by supporting American-run companies and ALSO getting yourself on a healthy, sustainable alternative form of transportation is a big win.
These are some of our favorite options to help you do just that.
Best low-cost Rad Power Bikes options
Two of my favorite high-value e-bikes come from Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes.
Not only is Rad Power Bikes the largest e-bike company in the US by far, but they’re also leaders in service and support.
For a direct-to-consumer e-bike company, that’s an amazing benefit. You get nearly bike shop experience without paying bike shop prices.
The first e-bike I always recommend for budget-conscious shoppers looking at Rad Power Bikes is the RadMission. At just $1,099, this metro-style commuter e-bike is a smoking deal. You get a 20 mph (32 km/h) e-bike with around 20-40 miles (32-64 km) of range.
It has both throttle and pedal assist, a 500 W motor and a 500 Wh battery. It’s a single-speed, but the motor assist definitely helps with the lack of a low gear for starts. And in a way, I like not having to think about what gear I should be in – I’m always in the correct gear on a single speed!
Another high-value single-speed e-bike from Rad is the RadRunner. This one sports a 750W motor, making the single-speed even more of an afterthought. For just $1,199, you get a larger 674 Wh battery and a totally unique frame design that offers step-through utility with room for cargo or passengers.
I call it a mini cargo e-bike, since most electric cargo bikes are fairly huge. In the size of a regular bike, you get a two-passenger EV (or three passenger, as I found with my two nephews) that has incredible utility.
Massive props to Rad Power Bikes for designing something totally new with this one. They really went back to the drawing board, and it shows with how useful the RadRunner is.
This is an e-bike that can fit just about every rider and for just about every task. Seriously consider this one.
While both the RadRunner and RadMission fit within the $1,400 stimulus check, it’s probably a good idea to peruse the rest of Rad’s lineup as well. For just a few hundred bucks more, you’ll find some great options for folding e-bikes, fat tire e-bikes, cargo e-bikes and commuter e-bikes.
They all build on the awesome base of the RadRunner and RadMission in terms of good components standardized across the line, but add more features, bigger batteries, or more capabilities, depending on the bike models. Definitely worth checking out.
Three low-cost e-bikes from Ride1Up
San Diego-based Ride1Up has three awesome electric bikes that all fit nicely within our $1,400 limit.
The first is the $1,095 Roadster V2. This is the most affordable belt-drive e-bike I’ve ever tried that I would actually recommend. It gets up to around 24 mph (38.6 km/h), sports a 500W rear hub motor and 250 Wh of battery, which still gets good range of around 20-40 miles (32-64 km) thanks to it being a pedal assist only e-bike.
But the real gem here is the belt drive. It makes the bike so quiet and smooth that you’d never realize you only paid a grand for it. The other thing most people won’t realize is that its even an electric bike, thanks to the ultra stealthy design complete with hidden battery.
The only downside to me is that the bike is a single-speed. It doesn’t bother me too much though since I mostly ride in flat areas and I also have that motor power to help, but if you want to upgrade a bit and get multiple gears, Ride1Up has two other e-bikes you should check out.
The Ride1Up 500 Series is a classic urban mountain bike-style e-bike. You get a 7-speed derailleur in addition to a front suspension fork and a fast 28 mph (45 km/h) top speed. A 624 Wh battery gives awesome range and you also get a throttle on this e-bike.
For just $1,295, the Ride1Up 500 Series is a killer deal. Oh and it;s available in both a step-through and a step-over frame. Pretty cool!
Sitting in between those two e-bikes is the Ride1Up Core-5. This e-bike loses the front suspension fork but retains the 7-speed transmission.
It still gets that fast 28 mph (45 km/h) top speed, but has a slightly smaller 500 Wh battery. At just $1,195 though, the trade-offs have definitely helped make this e-bike ultra affordable.
Check out the Juiced Scorpion and Scrambler
I know this list is supposed to be just $1,400 e-bikes, but follow me on the math here. The $1,699 Juiced Scorpion is currently on sale for just $1,499. And if you use the coupon code ELECTREK, you can take $99 off the price for a cool $1,400!
The Juiced Scorpion is the epitome of the moped-style e-bike craze.
It offers a 750W motor in awesome mag wheels, grippy moto-style tires, a giant headlight, and an ultra-rugged frame.
Full-suspension and hydraulic disc brakes are two premium features rarely found at this price point.
And the bike also comes expertly packaged to prevent damage – something we see all too often in the budget e-bike market.
The top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) that I experienced feels a bit slow considering how aggressive this e-bike looks, but it’s still objectively fast for an e-bike and makes this ride a lot of fun. I think I just expected this thing to be a rocket because it looks so fast. At 25 mph, it’s got plenty of speed.
Cornering on the Scorpion is an absolute blast, and it’s actually pedalable too. I wouldn’t want to have to pedal the heavy bike with a dead battery, but on pedal assist it actually works quite well.
If you’re after more of a mini-bike style frame as opposed to a step-through moped frame, you’ll want to check out the Juiced Scrambler e-bikes. These are normally $1,799 and are currently on sale for $1,499. But again, use that ELECTREK discount code to drop the price to just $1,400! The code is good until the end of April and works on the Scrambler and the Scorpion.
For the Scrambler, you can choose from either the City Scrambler (spoked wheels and street tires) or the Camp Scrambler (mag wheels and off-road tires).
Both get massive 1 kWh batteries and powerful 750W motors that blast the e-bikes up to 28 mph (45 km/h).
These are some seriously fun e-bikes with a seriously cool retro vibe. And $1,400 is a more than fair price!
Lectric XP folding fat-tire e-bike
At just $899, the Lectric XP will leave you with plenty of cash left over from your stimulus check.
Lectric Bikes is only a couple of years old, but the Phoenix-based company has shown meteoric growth thanks to the popularity of this e-bike.
The Lectric XP is a fat-tire folding e-bike with a 500W motor and 500Wh battery. It’s one of the fastest e-bikes on this list, reaching a maximum of 28 mph (45 km/h).
The bike also includes lights, a rear rack, and full-metal fenders – parts often not found on such low-cost e-bikes.
It’s not fancy, but it’s exactly what so many people are looking for: a highly capable e-bike with good enough quality for a few years of riding yet not so fancy that the price rockets sky high.
This is an e-bike built for performance. It doesn’t carry many fancy bells or whistles, but that’s also why it is so affordable.
Ariel Rider has an awesome new low-cost electric bike
Seattle-based Ariel Rider is probably better known for its high-performance electric bikes.
But the company’s newest model is an ultra affordable electric commuter bike that is priced at just $999.
The Ariel Rider Rideal features a 20 mph (32 km/h) top speed from a 750W rear hub motor, a 672 Wh battery for long range, and even includes lights and a 7-speed transmission for the price.
The bike gives off some definite RadMission vibes and appears to be designed to compete directly against the popular metro e-bike.
Aventon has a great urban commuter e-bike
But don’t fret! Aventon has another awesome e-bike that fits our budget: the $1,399 Aventon Pace 500.
This e-bike was actually my first experience with Aventon, and it showed me just how high quality these e-bikes are, especially for the modest price.
The Aventon Pace 500 is a fast 28 mph (45 km/h) e-bike with a 750W peak rear motor. It includes a 550 Wh battery, hydraulic disc brakes, and even comes in three sizes to give a proper fit to a wider range of riders.
The only downside is that it lacks suspension, though the comfortable saddle is at least a small amount of solace on that front.
I just can’t believe that you get these parts at this price. Good on you guys, Aventon!
Super73 Z1 e-bike offers affordable style
Super73 has plenty of higher-priced electric mopeds, but the company’s entry-level Super73-Z1 is a pretty awesome ride too, at just $1,260.
The bike has that long banana seat and mini-bike frame that harkens back to the 1980s, yet is loaded with today’s electric bike tech.
The bike can travel at speeds up to 20 mph (32 km/h) with a 900W peak rear hub motor. I tested this e-bike out in the hills of LA and that motor powered me around just fine.
The battery isn’t huge at 416 Wh, but that will still get you around 20 miles (32 km) of range. Some sacrifices have to be made when searching for budget-friendly e-bikes, and so a somewhat smaller battery helps bring the price of this stylish e-bike down to fit within a $1,400 stimulus check.
The only other downside to this one is that it wasn’t super comfortable for me to pedal. It worked, but it’s not as pedal-optimized. As a true moped though, it flies!
Wing Bikes offers some nice-looking affordable e-bikes
They may owe VanMoof a sizable debt of gratitude for the design inspiration, but NYC-based Wing Bikes offers some nice-looking and nice-performing e-bikes that won’t break the bank.
In fact, nearly every single e-bike in Wing’s lineup can fit within the $1,400 stimulus check.
I’ve tested the previous version of the Wing Freedom, though the company has since released a new and improved version.
The lightweight 39 lb (17.7 kg) e-bike comes with a variety of battery capacity options and can reach speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h).
You can also choose to have it ship with or without a throttle, meaning you can have either a Class 1 or Class 2 e-bike. Since some areas don’t allow throttle e-bikes, this is a great way to ensure you can take your e-bike pretty much anywhere.
Propella’s got an awesome lightweight e-bike
Here’s yet another Seattle-based e-bike company. Propella offers a lightweight, fixie-lookin’ e-bike known as the Propella V4.0.
It is available in either a single-speed or 7-speed option and starts at just $1,099.
The 35 lb (15.8 kg) e-bike is super lightweight compared to the rest of the industry, yet still offers pretty good performance specs despite the lower power 400W peak-rated rear hub motor.
The 250 Wh battery offers between 20-40 miles (32-64 km) of range depending on how hard you want to pedal. There’s no throttle on this one; these are e-bikes that were meant to be pedaled! That might be a bummer for my throttle lovers out there, but at least it gives better range!
The pedal assist gives a nice solid boost and adds to the old-school fixie-like experience. Of course you aren’t stuck with the downsides of a fixie, since even the single-speed still has a freewheel. But you can still ride around with all the hipster swagger you can muster at the bike’s top speed of 18.5 mph (30 km/h).
SONDORS has a pile of affordable options
The SONDORS X is about as original as it comes, drawing its roots from SONDORS’s first fat-tire e-bike back in 2015. The updated version boasts a 500W motor and 20 mph (32 km/h) speeds with a massive 48V 17.5Ah battery boasting 840 Wh of capacity. All of that costs just $1,199, which is pretty darn sweet.
If you’re in the market for a folder, check out the SONDORS Fold X.
The same price gets you similar performance specs, though the battery is a tad smaller at 672 Wh. That’s understandable though, as they managed to stuff the battery completely inside the frame, hiding it away and giving the e-bike a slick look.
An old-school Schwinn with new-school electric assist
The Schwinn EC1 electric cruiser bike is priced at just $898, making it one of the most affordable on this list.
In my review of this e-bike, it definitely had that old-school Schwinn feel to it. The cruiser bike just floats along on those nice wide balloon tires and the classic lines make feel like I’m riding through 1950s suburbia.
The bike isn’t overly powerful, but it still provides a nice assist for leisurely rides.
The 250W rear hub motor will pull you up to 20 mph (32 km/h) and the low power means you’ll get great range of up to 40 miles (64 km) in the lowest pedal assist mode. Because it’s not very powerful, it will take longer to reach that top speed than other more powerful e-bikes. But this e-bike is all about relaxing joy rides anyway.
I just hope you like powder blue, because that’s the only color it comes in.
Good luck in your e-bike hunt!
As I mentioned at the start of this post, priorities like the basic necessities obviously come first. But if you’ve got your bases covered and are now searching for a good e-bike, I hope this article helps guide your stimulus check.
All of these companies know e-bikes and are passionate about creating true alternative transportation that is both fun and efficient.
Ultimately the best e-bike is the one you’re riding today. No matter your budget, there’s likely an e-bike out there for you. And if gets you out of a car and onto much more sustainable transport, then it’s a good thing for everyone!
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