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We look at the best electric bikes on the market under £1000
We’ve already done the best electric bikes under £500 and the best electric bike conversion kit, now it is time to step it up a gear and look at the best e-bikes under a grand. You can still get better, but this is the price range in which you really start to get electric bikes without any major compromises, making the e-bikes we will look at perfect for commuters and everyone but the most hardcore of enthusiasts.
In this list we will look at ten of the electric bikes you can find on the market. We will then provide you with some useful information about them, giving you everything you need to decide which e-bike is the best for you.
Cyclamatic Power Plus CX1: The best e-bike under £1000
Cyclamatic are one of the biggest electric bike brands in Europe and with the Power Plus CX1 it’s easy to see why. The e-bike is powerful, yet affordable, with a stylish design and great build quality. Whether you want to cycle down the road or up a mountain trail, with 21-speed gears the Power Plus CX1 will get you where you want to go with a smile on your face.
- Pedal-assist is optional so this can be used as a normal mountain bike if you run out of battery or just feel like stretching your legs.
- Quick-release battery and front wheel for easy charging and maintenance. The battery is easily replaceable for an additional cost.
- Comfort is key with a padded saddle and 21 speed Shimano gears provide a smooth ride no matter the situation.
- Easy to replace components
- Can be used as a normal mountain bike
- Light for size
- Some questions about battery longevity
- Low handlebar positioning
DAPHOME FIIDO D2: A commuter’s dream
If you want an electric bike that can fold, it’s tough to find a better option than the FIIDO D2. While it may not be the most powerful bike on the market, it more than makes up for this with its fast charging, built-in front lights and huge practicality. While we can’t recommend the bike for trails, the bike is perfect for the city due to its powerful-enough motor and diminutive size.
- An adjustable handlebar allows people of all heights to ride in comfort. An integrated LED light lets you ride in the night safely.
- Three modes available: Pedal mode, moped mode and pure electric mode. You have the option to cycle how you wish, when you wish.
- 250W motor takes you up to 15mph and 30-degree gradient, giving you speed and flexibility on your journey.
- Easy to stow and carry
- Inbuilt LED front light
- Multiple riding modes
- Fast to charge
- Small wheels may make uneven surfaces tricky
- Not the most powerful
ANCHEER 2019: Budget mountain e-bike that packs a punch
Ancheer may be a relative newcomer to the electric bike market but they have managed to create a great bike here. It is splash resistant and features a long-range, powerful (but quiet) motor and 21-speed transmission all for a reasonable price.
- 12Ah large-capacity lithium-ion battery takes you up to 30 miles on a charge (depending on the gradient and weight of rider)
- Front and rear mechanical disc brakes give you powerful braking no matter the weather
- Front suspension fork provides excellent handling, smoother riding and unparalleled shock absorption for a smooth riding experience.
- Nippy motor
- Front light included
- Good build quality
- Takes a while to charge
- Heavier than we’d like
DAPHOME FIIDO D1: The older folder
This has been replaced by the FIIDO D2 (which took our #2 spot) but this is still a good electric bike. While it isn’t as refined as its successor – with an inferior suspension, folding mechanism and lights, the FIIDO D1 is still a perfectly capable bike for commuting. It even has a larger battery to keep you moving for longer.
- Powerful 10.4Ah Lithium-ion battery gives you 25 miles of range and connects to a built-in USB phone holder so you don’t have to worry about power on the go.
- Three-step folding lets you carry and store your bike with minimal fuss, saving you time and increasing practicality.
- An adjustable saddle and handlebar let you find a comfortable riding experience no matter your height.
- Balanced design
- Large battery
- Small size
- Newer model available
- You can really feel vibrations
Cyclamatic CX2: Great commuter bike, with a few flaws
Cyclamatic have done it again with the CX2, this e-bike provides a comfortable ride with its relatively large 20” wheels and is easy to assemble and fold. The range is also good at 28 miles although unfortunately the same can’t be said for the weight which, at 26kg is heavier than many people would be comfortable with. You also need to remove the seat to remove the battery which can be inconvenient as this means you need to readjust your seat every time you unlock the battery.
- Fully waterproof to make riding safe on rainy days.
- Easy folding for easy travelling in boots and trains. The e-bike folds quickly with a unique quick-lock-release mechanism into an extremely compact size.
- Front and rear mudguards to minimise mess on your clothes when you’re out in the city in bad weather.
- Simple folding mechanism
- Rides well for a folding bike
- Rather heavy
- You have to remove the seat to access the battery
Windgoo B-15: A pocket rocket
If you’re after the most compact electric bike on the market, then you’re probably going to want the Windgoo B-15. The wheels, at 12” are the smallest on our list and make the B-15 easy to store just about anywhere when folded, useful if you live in an apartment. This bike is suitable for children and adults alike and is perfect if you’re low on space but want to cycle with a bit of extra oomph.
- Powerful disc brake included for maximum stopping capability, additionally, the integrated smart taillight will activate upon braking.
- IP54 resistance protects your bike from dust and rain, letting you ride without worry.
- Built-in storage within the dolphin shape design for the included charge. You can always charge your bike wherever you end up.
- Tiny dimensions
- Fast charging
- 350W motor
- Disc brakes
- Low range
- Horn not very effective
ECOSMO 20AF09BL: Lightweight wonder
Not only is the 20AF09BL the lightest e-bike on our list, but it’s also even the cheapest. The 20” wheels are larger than all but the Cyclamatic CX2 so you don’t need to worry about bumps on the road. The main issue with the bike is the questionable build quality, the frame is solid but the folding pedals are quite loose and there are have been some complaints of them breaking over time.
- Lightweight Aluminium frame means the bike is only 12kg. The CX2 is sturdy, yet easy to carry up stairs.
- 95% assembled – only the pedals, handlebar and seat need attachment on arrival, making this easier to set up than most competitors.
- Patented folding lock makes folding secure. Folding is simple and can be completed in less than a minute.
- Only 12kg!
- Great value
- Compact when folded
- Comes nearly completely assembled
- Questionable build quality
- Fiddly to fold
Gebuter C20: Great electric bike for those with range anxiety
Lasting 50 miles, you’ll never be worried about the electric range of the Gebuter C20. This model is a rebrand of the recent Xiaomi C20 and is great for those who want to mainly use electric power on their commute. The only major issue we can see is the fact that there are only six gears, making it harder to ride on varied inclines.
- A 10Ah battery gives this bike a class-leading 50-mile range on a single charge. The battery recharges in under six hours.
- Integrated LCD display lets you know your remaining charge, distance travelled, speed and level of motor assistance.
- Concealed pump in saddle lets you pump up the tyre whenever you need and giving you the helping hand you need when you are feeling deflated.
- Extremely long range
- Folding design
- Integrated battery
- Attractive design
- Could have more gears
- Rear light requires AA battery
Basis Hunter: Basic e-bike for those who love mountains
The Basis hunter is a discreet e-bike with a hidden battery inside its large frame. The frame size makes it more likely to be suited for men (or women over 5’6”). The 25-mile range, off-road tyres and 26” wheel size would make this a perfect mountain bike, but unfortunately there are only 6 gears which don’t give you a lot of options. Even so this is a great choice for the price.
- Discreet styling means that the bike will only ever be seen as a normal mountain bike, for those of you who want both technology and simplicity.
- The 250w 36V brushless motor and off-road tyres make all but the hardest of inclines painless for the rider.
- 25 miles of assistance is possible from the 7.8Ah LG battery, which can be replaced when worn.
- Modest styling
- Off-road tyres included
- Clear display
- Support for mudguards
- No electric-only function
- Frame too large for shorter people
Hitpro Electric Bicycle: The off-road champion
This UK built e-bike is one of the best you can get if off-road cycling is your primary concern. With some of the thickest tyres available, disc brakes and strong suspension there isn’t much you won’t be able to traverse, sand and snow included. There’s also a pure electric mode, it’s just a shame about the range which is only 15 miles, although at least it charges quickly at 2-3 hours.
- Rugged 4” tyres give you the ability to ride over any and every terrain you can think of without issue.
- Z.STAR Aluminium Mechanical Disc brakes at the front and rear let you stop quickly, even in adverse conditions.
- Aluminium frame and suspension fork absorb shocks and let you to ride in comfort over difficult terrains.
- Heavy-duty tyres
- High-quality disc brakes
- Simple assembly
- Has an electric-only mode
- Short range
- Difficult to store
It was hard to decide our number one bike on this list, all the bikes have their advantages/disadvantages and are good for different use cases. There did have to be a winner however, and when weighing it all up, it had to be the Cyclamatic CX1. While this e-bike wasn’t the best in any one category, it was close in a few and we found that it was the best balance of features and price. The CX1 is comfortable, light and able to ride anywhere with ease, which is what we all most people need in a bike. If that wasn’t enough, the bike is also stylish and the 28-mile electric range is nice to have, we can’t see anyone being disappointed if this bike ended up under the tree at Christmas!
What is an electric bike?
They’re often on the news and your mate Dave constantly natters on about them, but what exactly is an electric bike anyway? Thankfully, it’s rather simple to understand.
Electric bikes (often known as e-bikes) are just conventional bikes with a motor and battery added on to take the edge off pedalling, or power you along if you’re feeling really keen. They come in lots of configurations but fundamentally they are the same shapes and sizes as ordinary bikes, with similar target users.
Legally speaking, e-bikes can be up to 250W in the UK and are only allowed to go 15.5mph on motor power (although you can go faster without a motor if you wish).
What are the benefits of electric bikes?
Due to their myriad of benefits, electric bikes are potentially the future of short-range transportation. By combining the simplicity and freedom of cycling with an electric motor, you gain the ability to ride the same number of miles with much less sweat. With an electric bike, worrying about steep hills is a thing of the past and you can cut your commute time drastically. If you aren’t convinced, some more benefits of e-bikes are:
- They are eco-friendly. E-bikes may not be as environmentally friendly as normal bikes but they’re not far off. They’re also miles better than cars as they only use your body or electricity to run (most of which is made by renewable sources in this country anyway).
- You can now ride with your gran – cycling with people of any age and fitness is a breeze with electric bikes. The pedal assist function means that nobody is ever left behind, so you can spend quality time with your loved ones without stress.
- They improve your fitness. We’ll look at this benefit in more detail later but despite being partially motor-powered, e-bikes are great at helping you get that beach bod ready. By removing the hassle of hills, people on electric bikes tend to cycle for longer.
- There are lots of designs. As electric bikes become more mainstream, more options are available, allowing you to find the perfect bike to suit your needs and taste. Whether you want a maroon mountain bike or a compact commuter bike, the market has you covered.
- You can travel faster. With the electric motor assisting while you pedal, journey times can be cut dramatically with far less effort. Additionally, unlike other forms of powered transport, e-bikes do not require a license so if you’re over 14 anyone can hop on and go.
Which features should I look out for?
There are so many electric bikes on the market that it may be hard to decide which one to get, thankfully you have this guide to help you make your decision! If you want to understand which features are important, we’ve compiled a list of things you should always look at before buying an electric bike:
- Range – We suggest people go for bikes with a range of 25+ miles as unless you know that you’ll only be doing short trips; This is the minimum range we see to be useful for most journeys.
- Weight – The motor and battery of electric bikes mean they are often heavier than their purely mechanical counterparts. Riding (or lifting!) a heavy bike is never fun so the lighter the bike you can find, the better.
- Brakes – Most bikes come with v-brakes. These are a tried and tested technology which are usually fine but due to the increased speed/weight of e-bikes, disc brakes are preferable because of their improved stopping power.
- Top Speed – While you may be tempted to make your e-bike go faster, it’s easier to get one that goes fast in the first place. It should be noted that e-bikes are only allowed to go up to 15 miles an hour on roads in the UK, so if you do go faster it has to be on private land!
- Wheel size – Small wheels (<17”) are better for children or commuter bikes (as they are easier to store), while large wheels (26”+) are common on mountain bikes. In general, larger wheels provide more traction and are more comfortable on bumpy surfaces, but they also reduce handling so may not be good in busy traffic.
Are electric bikes still healthy?
It goes without saying that cycling is healthy, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing if electric bikes are as well. Thankfully, plenty of research has been done in this area and the answer scientists have come up with is that yes, they definitely are.
Although e-bikes are not as effective a form of exercise as normal cycling, using an e-bike turned out to be more strenuous than walking in a range of studies so they are effective at increasing heart rate and building cardiorespiratory endurance. Since they can be used with different assistance levels, you can change how much help the bike gives you and build your stamina gradually over time.
E-bikes have been shown to be especially good for use by the elderly who may not be able to ride conventional bikes for extended periods of time.
Type of motor
There are thousands of e-bikes on sale in the UK but no matter the model, an important consideration is the position of the motor on the bike. There are two main types to look at:
- Crank driven motors are in the middle of the frame and use the gears of the rear wheel to move the bike. This is a highly efficient system and allows the bike to climb steep hills more easily at the cost of requiring the rider to pedal at all times for assistance.
- Hub driven: The motor is located inside the hub, propelling the wheel separately from the chain so power can be added on demand. While this configuration means that pedalling is optional, hills can be harder to handle and you feel less connected to the bike as a result.
Honestly, the type of motor you get won’t matter too much for most people but it’s worth trying at least one of each type before you decide on an electric bike. Crank driven motors are generally more liked by enthusiasts and they are more aerodynamic and intuitive than hub driven motors. Hub driven motors on the other hand, are cheaper and good for riders who don’t want any undue exertion in electric mode.
Are electric bikes safe to use?
Cycling of all kinds is booming in the UK and for good reason, it helps you do your bit for the environment and get fit at the same time. Even so, safety will always be an issue when cycling and is something you need to consider before purchasing a bike. Investing in safety fear like lights/reflectors at night and a good cycle helmet is highly recommended.
There are some theoretical risks of e-bikes compared to normal bikes, they are often heavier due to the added battery/motor and they also go much faster. Despite these differences, electric bikes have been found to be just as safe as traditional bikes. It’s useful to know that people in the UK are obliged to follow the same rules if they are using an e-bike or a normal bicycle. That means that as long as you familiarise yourself with the highway code and take care, you shouldn’t have any problems getting around on an electric bike. Since 99% of road accidents are caused by cars, the increased uptake of electric bikes may even make roads safer in the long run.
How much does an electric bike cost?
It wasn’t that long ago that electric bikes costed a fortune but thankfully, as always happens with technology, costs have gone down massively over time. Most e-bikes these days cost between £500 and £3000. While this isn’t cheap, it’s a lot cheaper than the first electric bikes from the late 1800s which were luxury items for the wealthy, or the fanciest electric bikes which can set you back over £5000!
However much you spend on your e-bike, you still save money on fuel or increasingly expensive and unreliable public transport. If you’re worried about the cost of charging the bike, then don’t be. The average cost of changing an electric bike is only 5-10p. The biggest cost of an e-bike is the eventual battery replacement (if you don’t upgrade) from wear of the lithium-ion batteries, this is a painless operation on most modern bikes but it can set you back £200-300 depending on the brand. Thankfully, replacement only usually needs to be done after years of normal use and you can still use the bike the traditional way if you don’t want to change it.
Although you don’t need to get insurance for your e-bike, it is recommended that you do. You need to check with your provider to see if your current household or bike insurance covers electric bikes.
Maintaining an electric bike
Most of the maintenance on an e-bike is the normal cleaning/lubrication/tyre inflation you would have to do on an ordinary bike. Since the motor is sealed, they do not need to be touched at all, although this has the disadvantage of meaning they need to be replaced if they go wrong. The battery is another issue however.
As mentioned in the previous section, the batteries in e-bikes wear over time much like the ones in your mobile phone. To decrease battery wear, it is good to follow some simple rules such as keeping them topped up, dry and cool. The batteries in e-bikes can be very temperature sensitive so leaving them out in the sun is a sure-fire way of undue wear. If you keep your e-bike in a somewhat cold location that is protected from the weather, you shouldn’t need to worry about it too much. Just try to remember to charge it every 5-10 weeks if you can.