With assisted riding increasing in popularity across a whole range of riding categories, e-bikes are trickling down to increasingly competitive price points. Whilst they’re still a considered purchase, these days, e-bikes can be had for as little as $1,000. For the purpose of this article, however, we’re deeming affordable as anything under $2,000 to open up a wider variety of bikes and bike categories.
What to Expect
E-Bikes at this price range will typically be entry-level in their component specification, however, this is by no means a compromise. We’ve had first-hand experience with most of the bikes listed here and have found them to be more than adequate at performing their intended purpose of effortlessly and reliably ferrying riders from A-B.
Aluminium is the frameset material of choice at this price-point thanks to its relatively low cost, the ability to manipulate the metal into a range of frame shapes, and it’s durability. Aluminium framesets also have the added benefit of being rust-free, and more lightweight than CroMoly steel, keeping the overall weight of the bikes down.
Components will also be similar to what’s found on Hybrid, Urban, and Flatbar bikes around the $750 mark. Expect groupsets to offer between seven and nine speeds, with a mix of internal and derailleur type gears offered.
Moving to drive systems and hub-drive systems mounted at either the front or rear wheel is the overwhelming option, however, mid-mounted pedelec options do exist at the top end of the price bracket. Hub drive motors are favoured thanks to their simplified design, while pedelec motors are slightly more complex to incorporate into a bike frame, yet offer a more realistic ride feel. Battery systems will generally be smaller in output compared to more expensive options, with quoted range figured typically falling between 30 - 50 miles per charge.
Once scarcely found at this price point, additional accessories are becoming increasingly common, with many of the bikes on this list featuring provisions for racks, mudguards and kickstand if they aren’t included as standard.
So as you can see, the entry-level e-bike market is more robust than ever and only looks to become more competitive. So join us as we take you through a handful of our picks of the best entry-level e-bikes to be had in the coming year.
- Related Reading: E-Bike Buyer's Guide
Sitting as the entry-level assisted riding option in the value-packed Reid e-bike range, the Pulse has all the making of a super commuter at a wallet-friendly price point. In our review of the Reid Pulse, we were impressed by the “impressive value for money with little trade-off in terms of quality. With a quality aluminium frame matched with a rigid alloy fork, the frameset surprises with its rugged durability and internal cable routing. The drivetrain is courtesy of Shimano, in the form of its 7-speed Tourney groupset, while stopping power is handled by mechanical Tektro disc brakes. The additional features are where the real value is, with the Pulse featuring a bottom bracket mounted kickstand, mudguards front and rear, and a rear rack with a 50lb limit. Additionally, an integrated lighting solution in the form of front and rear LED lights also feature, something not typically seen on bikes in this price range.
- Price: AU$1,499
Despite carrying the highest price on this list, the XDS E-Cruz is arguably the most competitive option featured here. Complete with a lightweight alloy frame, a superb and powerful mid-mounted pedelec drive system and quality components, it’s clear to see the additional value that an increased budget affords.
A Bafang MAX pedelec motor effortlessly wafts riders along with its 250watts of power, while the Panasonic battery system is said to offer around 70km of range. Shimano is once again the drivetrain supplier of choice, providing the E-Cruz with its 8-speed Acera groupset. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes, mudguards front and rear, and a sturdy rear rack round out this value-packed steed.
- Price: AU$1,999
Firmly ensconced at the affordable end of the e-bike market, the Lekker X is arguably the most stylish and versatile bike on this list. With a one size fits most frame, this is one bike that will suit multiple family members or is easily passed amongst friends to enjoy. The Lekker X makes use of a Bafang hub drive motor mounted to the front wheel and a Samsung semi-integrated battery system.
Shifting comes courtesy of a quality and dependable Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal geared hub mated to a single 42T chainring up front. The three-speed unit is an excellent match for the drive unit and provides an ample gear range for the relatively flat urban sprawl.
Brakes come courtesy of Tektro, in the form of a hydraulic E-350 brakeset complete with electric cut-off. This e-brake features a sensor mounted to the front brake that disengages the drive unit when pulling the brake lever. An in house aluminium finishing kit and a comfortable vinyl-covered perch round out the build.
- Price: AU$1,998
Standing for “The Electric Bike Company”, Tebco seeks to offer its buyers a range of e-bikes that have an emphasis on value for money. The Discovery Elite model listed here makes this list not only for its sharp price point but for the integrated accessories offered. Much like the Lekker listed above, the Discovery Elite makes use of a one size fits most step-through frame manufactured from aluminium and is mated to a rigid aluminium fork. Buyers have the option of either a 200W throttle assist, or 250W pedal-assist drive unit mounted to the rear hub, with an integrated Samsung Lithium ION battery system serving as the fuel source.
The groupset is another entry-level affair that makes use of Shimano components and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. A durable double-walled aluminium wheelset wrapped in 2.1” wide puncture-resistant tyres finish off this versatile offering.
- Price: AU$1,999
Designed for commuting, the C1 features a considered build kit, perfect for a wide variety of terrain, from light off-road trails to inner-city bike paths.
A Bafang hub drive pedal-assist motor located at the rear wheel powers the bike, whilst Samsung once again provides the juice. The range is pegged at 35 miles via pedal-assist or 22 miles using the throttle assist.
A seven-speed Shimano gear set handles the going whilst Tektro again provides the mechanical disc brakes. Finishing kit including the bars, stem and adjustable seat-post all come courtesy of Zoom. A double-walled aluminium wheelset wrapped in off-road-ready 2.1” Kenda tires completes the build.
- Price: AU$1,749
Browse the full range of e-bikes right here at Amemrica's number one online bicycle marketplace, BikeExchange.