Electric bicycles are fun and effective tools for both recreation and transportation, but they don’t have to cost thousands of dollars. We’ve tested plenty of great e-bikes that don’t break the bank, and would be perfect for cruising around this summer!
Rad Power Bikes RadMission
Ever since I first threw a leg over the RadMission, I fell in love with it. I own several e-bikes, but the RadMission is one of my main go-to bikes. I use it for both city-style riding and even light-duty off-roading for nature trails and dirt paths. The bang for buck with this e-bike is incredible because it offers so much utility for such a low price.
In fact, this past December my wife and I bought five RadMission e-bikes and donated them to people in need of transportation – that’s how effective I think this model is. Shoutout to Rad Power Bikes for donating another five bikes along with us!
And that price is a steal. Not only do you get great performance (20 mph, 500W motor and 500Wh battery), but you get a lightweight, easy-to-ride e-bike backed by the largest e-bike company in the US.
Rad Power Bikes is known for excellent customer service. Last time I checked they had something like 50 full-time employees on customer service and support, but that number is probably outdated now because they keep growing so quickly. The company also operates its Rad Mobile service that can arrive right at customers’ driveways with a mobile bike shop in a van.
The RadMission brings the type of quality and performance you’d expect from Rad’s $1,300-$1,900 e-bikes and packages it in a simplified, stripped-down e-bike for under a thousand bucks. That’s a deal, folks.
Check out my video review of the RadMission below to see it in action.
Lectric eBikes’ Lectric XP 2.0
Unlike the RadMission above, the Lectric XP 2.0 is a totally different format of e-bike, sporting a folding frame, wider yet smaller diameter tires, front suspension, and a built-in utility rack.
The Lectric XP 2.0 was just released a few weeks ago by Lectric eBikes, and is a follow-up to the popular low-cost Lectric XP e-bike.
The price rose by $100 to $999 for the Lectric XP 2.0, but riders get a pile of upgrades for that price.
The new version of the bike drops the tires from 4-inch fat tires 3-inch balloon tires. These are closer to what you’d expect to find on a moped or utility bike and make the bike more nimble.
A hydraulic suspension fork was added, which is a nice improvement over the rigid fork found on the original Lectric XP, and is also much nicer than the typical cheap spring forks that many low-cost e-bikes include.
A heavier-duty rear rack was included on the new model of the bike, and there is now a mounting point for a front rack or basket as well.
Perhaps most importantly though, the Lectric XP 2.0 sports seriously good performance. The 800W peak motor propels the e-bike up to 28 mph (45 km/h) with pedal assist or 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle-only.
The removable battery, which gets hidden inside the frame, offers a range of around 25 miles (40 km), though that can increase or decrease depending on how you ride.
Check out my video below showing off the many upgrades on the new Lectric XP 2.0.
Ariel Rider Rideal
Ariel Rider is perhaps best known for its high-power electric mopeds. The last e-bike I tested from Ariel Rider was the 52V X-Class, which reached speeds of around 35 mph (56 km/h).
But the company recently released a low-cost and more reasonably performing commuter e-bike known as the Ariel Rider Rideal.
The $999 Rideal fits into a similar class as the RadMission above, and in fact sports many similar parts.
However, it replaces the single-speed drivetrain with a 7-speed transmission and also upgrades the power with a 750W rear motor.
The bike includes lights, fenders, and a kickstand, making it a great 20 mph (32 km/h) commuter e-bike right out of the box.
I’m currently testing one for an upcoming review, and it’s definitely one of the strongest contenders in the affordable commuter e-bike category.
Metakoo Cybertrack 100
The Metakoo Cybertrack 100 is an Amazon e-bike that fits in the electric mountain bike class, but is probably better described as a trail bike.
The front suspension is decent, but it isn’t designed for any extreme mountain bike adventures – it’s more of a fun nature trail e-bike. That’s exactly how I rode it in my test rides.
The 350W motor and 375 Wh battery can’t be accused of being overly large, but they work together nicely to create an e-bike with moderate boost that adds to a fun pedal assist ride.
There’s a half-twist throttle on the right bar that sends the bike up to 20 mph (32 km/h) without any pedaling, but it drains the battery quicker than sticking to the pedal assist.
The Cybertrack 100 is fairly well made and doesn’t cut too many corners on cheap parts like plastic pedals or junky brakes. The parts it gives you are just fine for a $799 e-bike, and it seems to get the job done for leisurely riding. Just don’t expect to bomb any major downhill trails on this bike.
Check out my Metakoo Cybertrack 100 video review below
Ride1Up Roadster V2
I’m going to sneak the Ride1Up Roadster V2 into this list even though it’s technically priced at $1,045, up from its original promotional price of $999. But it deserves to be here because it is such an awesome ride and still offers an insanely low price for a belt-drive e-bike.
The Ride1Up Roadster is a hipster-looking metro e-bike with skinny tires and a single-speed drivetrain. It can handle medium hills with its 350W motor but is better for mostly flat ground riding, in my experience.
The bike sports a silent and maintenance-free belt drive that gets powered by its hidden 250 Wh internal battery. The whole thing looks like a typical bike – you almost can’t even tell it’s an electric bike.
The power is on point though, and helped me get close to 25 mph (40 km/h) in the highest pedal assist mode. The lower modes are great for fitness riding, which is mostly how I rode it.
The lightweight e-bike is an excellent exercise bike that doesn’t make a statement. It just looks like any other bike out on the road, yet is so much fun to ride when the variable assist kicks in.
I also love how the bars are so clean and uncluttered. There’s just a tiny display and two brake levers – that’s it. No throttle, no shifters, no lights, no anything.
It’s a simple, easy-going e-bike that packs more power than you’d expect in a pretty little package. Oh, and that awesome belt drive. All for barely $1K!
MacWheel Wrangler and Cruiser
MacWheel is another one of the Amazon e-bike brands, but it’s a bit higher quality than I normally see with Amazon e-bikes.
The Wrangler is more of an electric trail bike and packs more power from a 500W motor and 480 Wh battery.
The Cruiser is a bit more laidback and easy-going with a 350W motor and 360Wh battery. It’s also the better option if you’re commuting since it comes with lights and fenders already. Though if you commute in a hilly area, you might prefer the extra power in the Wrangler.
The MacWheel Wrangler is currently priced at $899 while the Cruiser is a bit more affordable at $849. Both are priced around $50-$100 higher than their original introductory prices, but we’ve seen prices rising all around the e-bike industry lately.
Ecotric fat tire bike
Last but not least is the good ol’ Ecotric 500W fat tire e-bike.
Ecotric is another one of those Amazon brands with no-thrills e-bikes. Heck, they didn’t even give this e-bike a real name, it’s just called the Ecotric 500W fat tire e-bike. But at just $949 for a full-size fat tire electric bike, I can forgive the lack of a name.
The bike’s only real downside is the lack of suspension, but that can be mitigated with moderate tire pressure in those giant tires.
Other than that, it’s a powerful and fast e-bike that can get up to around 23 mph (37 km/h) and works equally well on and off-road.
I tested one in the Los Angeles hills and found that it could actually climb moderate hills decently well, but did need some help when the inclines got steeper.
While the bike doesn’t offer any fancy features, it is built well and offers one of the best prices around on a full-size fat tire e-bike.
Check out my video review of the Ecotric below.
Time for some summer riding!
With e-bike adoption rates soaring and companies scrambling to keep up, this summer should be a great time to hit the trails and even make some new e-bike friends.
Just be sure to act quick – parts and e-bikes are in short supply due to the increased demand, so you could end up with a lengthy wait for some e-bikes.
Are there any good e-bikes we missed that are under $1K? Let us know what you think we should check out next in the comments section below.
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