Best Cheap Electric Bike: Value for Money E-Bikes Reviewed

July 10, 2022

Buying an electric bike today may cost you as much as what you pay for some second-hand vehicles and this tends to be a turn-off for some people. But you shouldn’t be too quick to make up your mind; when you consider the annual fueling cost, insurance, and maintenance, owning an e-bike turns out to be a far more economical option.

Not to mention that it offers you good exercise and an effortless way to get around! The electric bikes in the market today come in all shapes and sizes, with improved features and other sophistication that make the e-bike experience all the more glorious. And this only drives up the cost.

Luckily, you don’t always have to break the bank to get a cheap e-bike. We’ve done extensive testing and research on cheap electric bikes.

In a hurry, after 37 hours of research we recommend:
Ride1Up Core5 Black

Our Top Pick

Ride1Up Core 5

The Ride1UpCore-5 is a price-friendly city bike that does not sacrifice on all the good features. It would be a great option for someone looking for their first e-bike or those looking to upgrade without blowing their budget.

Nakto 250W

Our Budget Pick

Nakto 350W Beach Cruiser

The Nakto 350W is a high-performing and quality e-bike choice that you can acquire for a budget price. It comes bearing exciting features that will rival other bikes at a higher price category to provide you with a fun and convenient cruising experience.

Swagcycle EB-5 review

Best Folding Option

Swagcycle EB-5 Pro

The Swagcycle EB-5 Pro is among the best folding e-bikes available today. It is compact, powerful and boasts useful features on its lightweight aluminum frame; a rare find on the folding e-bike market.

Quick Comparison Table

Before we proceed to important considerations and product reviews here is the short comparison table of the best products we covered for all of you who feel impatient.

Our Budget Pick
Nakto 250W

Nakto 250W

One of the cheapest Electric Bikes that still performs quite well

  • 350W motor and high-quality Shimano 6-speed gears
  • 18mph on electricity only or 25 mph with pedal assistance
  • Best for beginners
Best Folding Option
Swagcycle EB-5 Pro 
Swagcycle EB-5 review

Best Folding Option

 
  • Powerful 500W Motor!
  • Up to 23mph and a range of around 10 miles
  • A bit small and very budget-friendly folding bike

These were the entries we’ve had no problem recommending to our friends and family. And now, let’s dive deeper into the topic.

Benefits of Electric Bikes

Assisted Biking

Electric bikes are equipped with what is known as battery-operated “pedal assist”. This is basically a motor that is integrated within the bicycle to aid your pedaling. This serves to reduce the stress on your joints and muscles, making the experience more fun.

We also have e-bike hunting models that feature specific boosting technology that will help you to scale hills and steep inclines with relative ease. People in all age brackets can comfortably ride e-bikes for longer periods without much hassle. And there’s no more worrying about getting to your destination all sweaty and smelly!

Improves Fitness

According to a study from the University of Basel, cycling an e-bike is just as effective as riding traditional non-electric bikes as far as fitness is concerned. Despite the pedal assistance, you still get to exercise for a sustained period, which is beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

Furthermore, If you’re a fitness junky, you can still order customizable models that will be suitable for your fitness regime.

Saves you expenses

If you substitute your car with an e-bike as the primary mode of your daily commute, you’ll be surprised to find out just how much you’re saving in the long run. Considering the constant fluctuation of gas prices, occasional rises can really impact your budget.

There is also the issue of insurance, as well as overall car maintenance. But with an e-bike, the batteries can be acquired cheaply, there is minimal maintenance required, and the cost of insurance is totally incomparable.

Environmentally Friendly

Reports of increasing global warming and climate change have led to more nature-friendly attitudes, with people making the adjustment to protect the environment. E-bikes offer a better option for getting by; they have a lower pollution rate than both cars and motorcycles.

The use of energy is at an average of 100-150 watts which is just a fraction of the 15,000W for a car. Consequently, an e-bike can greatly improve the quality of air.

Fast and Flexible

The technology used in electric bikes provides you with the extra impetus necessary to cover several miles with little effort. And if you reside in a busy metropolis, you are still in the position to make the most of cycling lanes to avoid the traffic jams and shorten the commute time.

The advantage is that these machines are gaining prominence in major cities by the day, thanks to government incentives that are encouraging citizens to leave behind their cars. Besides, these bikes keep on improving over the years, with some looking like the conventional bikes you’ve always known.

Aside from the subtle noise they produce, nobody will be able to tell you’re pedaling is being aided.

Variety of Designs

Thanks to technology, e-bike makers have been able to come up with all manner of designs that consumers are asking for… you’ll learn about this in a minute. You can find an e-bike that meets all your preferences and one that can even match your personality in the market today.

If you haven’t found one that perfectly suits your needs, then you haven’t looked in the right places.

Top 5 Cheap E-Bikes for 2022


1. Ride1Up Core-5 - Our Top Pick

Simple, clean, price-friendly, efficient, -these are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe the Core-5. It has a weight of around 49lbs and will carry people weighing up to 275 lbs. It has a black finish that complements its cool design to offer you a stylish and practical electric bike.

The Core-5 is a typical Ride1Up, you get the same aluminum alloy frame that’s been used on all of its predecessors. There are two frame designs available, a step-through and a cross-over frame, depending on what you fancy more.

Ride1Up Core5 Black

Ride1Up Core-5

While you can expect trade-offs when buying a budget-priced e-bike, Ride1Up went against the grain by slapping the Core-5 with a generally impressive engine. The bike boasts a 500W 48V Geared Hub Shengyi Motor that peaks at 750W, which leaves a lot to be desired from its peers in the market such as the Aventon Pace 350 (300W motor). 

Similar to the motor, the 500Wh battery does not disappoint, and the LG cells inside it are quality you can rely on. Because of this, you'll be able to squeeze up to 40 miles of range, which should be enough to cover all your day-to-day urban escapades.

I love the overall feel of the bike, with its frame designed in such a way to keep you upright while riding, the plush saddle also ensures that you don’t feel the strain on longer rides, the slanting top tube on the high-step frame allows for easy mounting and dismounting.

You also get the 2.2” wide Kenda Kwick tires are suited for both road biking and off-road adventures. Whether you want to use the Core-5 primarily for your daily commute or adopt it as an adventure bike in the back-country trails, the K-shield protection ensures it won’t let you down. 

One of the best value for money Electric Bikes.

The 500W motor is an upgrade for an e-bike in this price range. It can produce 60Nm of torque, so you won’t need to struggle on climbing lanes. Another great thing about this bike is that the battery requires a maximum of three hours to fully recharge. This is among the fastest times in the industry.

Overall, the bike is equipped with more-than-decent features at this price that should suffice the needs of a daily commuter.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a convenient commuter tool to ride to work daily or a versatile vehicle that you can use to run errands around town, the Ride1Up has the feel and profile to match. 

From its attractive looks and its powerful battery to its comfortable riding position, the Core-5 delivers a pleasant riding experience that urban e-bike enthusiasts will appreciate. 

It is the kind of product you go for when you want a great bang for your buck!

E-bike Specifications

  • Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame
  • Weight: 49 Lbs
  • Load capacity: 275 lbs
  • Range: 20-40 Miles
  • Maximum speed: 28mph
  • Tires: Kenda Kwick Seven.5 27.5”X2.2
  • Charging time: 2.5 to 3 hours
  • Battery: 48V 10.4ah 500Wh Reention Eel Pro LG Cells
  • Motor: 48V 500W Geared Hub Shengyi Motor

PROS

  • Good top speed
  • Charming color options
  • Good value for money
  • Fast charging time, all-terrain wheels
  • Powerful motor and torque
  • Manageable weight, heavy-duty kickstand

Cons

  • Long assembly required
  • No accessories (rack and lights)
Ride1Up Core5 Black

Ride1Up Core-5


2. Nakto 350W - Our Budget E-Bike Pick

The Nakto 350W Beach Cruiser is a high-performing and quality e-bike choice that you can acquire at a very cheap price. It comes bearing exciting features that will rival other bikes at a higher price category to provide you with a fun and convenient cruising experience.

This bike has a formidable construction that includes a high-strength carbon steel frame and a front fork made of the same. This ensures that it can comfortably support weights of up to 300 pounds and will ideally suit people between the heights of 4’9” to 6’6”.

But before we get into the thick of things, let us take a look at the various features on this bike.

Nakto 250W

Nakto 350W Beach e-Cruiser

The Nakto 350W comes with a 36V 250W motor with 350W peak mode, that is backed with a respectable 36V 10AH lithium battery. This gives it enough power to get you to speeds of 18mph on the trail. The battery has a range of about 25miles or 4-6 hrs when it is fully charged, which is more than enough time for you to run a few errands or enjoy the ride to your destination.

You’ll have a blast using the two modes available on this bike; you can either use the pedal assist or make the most of the e-bike option by taking it easy and enjoying the wind in your hair without moving a single muscle.

The Nakto 350W was designed for the city commuter or beach cruiser on a tight budget

It has 26”by4” CST fat tires that are perfectly suited for unforgiving terrain. These juggernauts with allow you to plow through sandy trails, gravel roads, and snowy paths with little effort.

The front V brakes and rear extension brakes give you enough stopping power to bring your ride to a stop on a dime. And a top quality Shimano-6 speed gear ensures that you have the smoothest ride you can ever dream of. In addition, you still get a horn and bright LED headlamp to enable you to ride in the night hassle-free.

The only negative, I might say, is that assembling it the first time you make an order might require that you get an expert. This is despite being delivered when it’s already 85% assembled. But then again, this is merely a drop in the ocean that shouldn’t necessarily give you a hard time.

Conclusion

The Nakto 350W is a remarkable acquisition that with at a price tag of just under $700, you can’t afford to pass on the opportunity! It offers high-grade features that you’re bound to enjoy, especially if you are trying to taste the waters of e-bike riding. 

You can get more information on it by checking out our Nakto 350W e-bike review, where we go deeper into the nitty-gritty.

E-bike Specifications

  • Maximum speed:    18 mph
  • Battery:     36V*10/12AH Lightweight, Durable Lithium Cell Battery
  • Tires:    CST fat tires 26"*4.0" Tire Inflate To 30 PSI 200 KPA/2.0BAR
  • Motor:    250W/350W high-speed brushless gear motors
  • Gears:    SHIMANO Push-Button 6 speed
  • Brakes:   High-quality Front V Brake, Rear Expansion Brake

PROS

  • Sturdy construction
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to ride
  • Comfortable geometry
  • Cute design

Cons

  • Heavy for some
  • Rear tire not easy to replace
  • Confusing manuals
Nakto 250W

Nakto 250W


3. Swagcycle EB-5 Pro - Best Folding Option

The Swagcycle EB-5 Pro is among the best folding e-bikes available today. It is compact, powerful and boasts useful features on its lightweight aluminum frame; a rare find on the folding e-bike market.

This bike was designed for your daily commute. Whether it is going to school or work, you won’t go wrong with this pocket Hercules. It has the looks to go with superior features that match your personality and commuting requirements. It can accommodate riders of up to 264 pounds.

The Swagcycle EB-5 Mini Bike comes with a small 250W motor, as well as a small 36V, 4.4 lithium-ion battery that allows you to ride for about 10 miles before running out of charge. That’s why it is the perfect vehicle for shorter rides like a daily commute.

Swagcycle EB-5 review

Swagcycle EB-5 Pro Folding Ebike - Best Folding Option

The battery only needs around 2.5hrs to fully charge, which is among the shortest charging times you’ll find in the industry.  The battery is also weather-resistant, giving you the luxury of riding it whether it rains or shines.

The 250W motor will get you to a maximum speed of 15mph, which is quite decent, although not the fastest out there. So you might find it a bit of a challenge to scale steep inclines and hilly regions. Nevertheless, I had a fun and stable ride biking on all kinds of terrain with this machine, thanks to its 14” front wheel and 10” rear wheels.

I was also impressed by the fact that this e-bike is emission-free. Being a believer of “Green Practices”, it felt good knowing that I wasn’t harming the environment in any way. Another feature you’ll find on it is a micro USB charging interface that enables you to charge your smartphone on the move. That’s why it has proven to be quite a hit with teenagers. Although charging your digital devices might shorten the battery life.

The foldability of the Swagcycle is a convenient quality for those who don’t fancy leaving the bikes outside their places of work. It folds three times, allowing you to fit it inside your car trunk with ease and keep it safe from would-be thieves or vandals.

The biggest drawback on the Swagcycle must be the slow top speed and the short range it offers. This means it may not be the best bike to ride on steep regions and for a long commute.

Conclusion

The Swagcycle EB-5 Pro is a one of the best folding e-bikes that comes with a cool design for both the young and the old folks. If you are planning to use it on your short commutes to work or around the neighborhood, I don’t see it failing you in any shape or form.

The best part is that at a price of around $400, getting one will barely dent your account balance. Find out more about this amazing bike on our Swagtron Swagcycle EB-5 Review.

E-Bike Specifications

  • Frame:   Aluminum alloy
  • Folded Size:    26 x 15.6 x 23.6 inches
  • Open Size:    49.2 x 21.7 x 34.9 inches
  • Weight:    37 lbs / 16.8 kg
  • Wheel Size:    14-inch front/rear
  • Tires:    PSI 40-65, 2.8-4.5 BAR
  • Motor:    250 watts
  • Battery:   36V 7.8Ah
  • Charging Time:    2.5 -hours
  • Range:    10miles
  • Maximum Speed:    15.5 mph / 25 km/h (throttle only)
  • Maximum Load:    264 lbs/120 kg

PROS

  • USB charging port
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Night riding possible
  • Great design

Cons

  • Short range
  • Low top speed
  • Unusual placement of brakes
Swagcycle EB-5 review

Swagcycle EB-5 Pro  - Best Folding Option


4. Gen3 The Flex Electric Bike

We have to admit; The Flex really lives up to its name. You’re getting all the perks of a powerful e-bike for daily commuting - but with the option to paddle unassisted and squeeze in a workout whenever you feel like it. 

The Flex weighs only 55.6 pounds, which is quite impressive - especially when you consider the maximum payload of 270 pounds, and it has 26" x 1.95" tires are essentially mountain bike tires but with a road-friendly twist - the best of both worlds, as they say. 

Gen3 The Flex

Gen3 The Flex Electric Bike

This e-bike is fitted with a potent rear hub motor manufactured by Bafang - a well-known name and an industry leader as far as electric bike motors go - boasting 500 Watts of power, with the peak power rating clocking in at 900 Watts and the bike's fitted with a 500Wh 48V/10.4Ah rechargeable battery, promising a range of up to 40 miles.

The perfect balance of value and performance

We have to admit; The Flex really lives up to its name. You’re getting all the perks of a powerful e-bike for daily commuting - but with the option to paddle unassisted and squeeze in a workout whenever you feel like it. And the all-terrain tires further contribute to that flexibility.

If you want an electric bike that can do it all, The Flex is a safe bet.

Conclusion

Gen3 is a relatively new name in the game, but if The Flex is anything to go by, this electric bike manufacturer might just be the next best thing on the market. Their e-bike’s design looks great on the road, they are fun but safe to ride, and they don’t seem to cut corners in terms of quality and construction, nailing the perfect balance of value and performance.

Gen3’s The Flex is the jack of all trades and can be used in countless situations - and in almost any environment.

E-bike Specifications

  • Motor: Bafang 500W Rated / 1000W Peak Rear Hub Motor With 1:5 Planetary Gears
  • Speed: up to 20 mph
  • Frame: 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum
  • Brakes: GEN3 DB-330 Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Charging time: about 6 hours
  • Battery: 500Wh In-Frame, 48V/10.4Ah (UL Certified)
  • Bike Weight: 55.6 lbs
  • Tires: CST All Terrain, 26" X 1.95"
  • Shifter: Shimano 21-Speed

PROS

  • The range is up to 40 miles
  • Powerful Bafang motor
  • Five levels of pedal assist
  • A strong but lightweight frame
  • Comfortable saddle paired with excellent brakes and tires

Cons

  • No options when choosing the bike’s color
  • The brakes are mechanical
Gen3 The Flex

Gen3 The Flex Electric Bike


5. Ancheer Power Plus

The Ancheer Power Plus e-bike boasts a stylish look that complements its rich black colors and rugged construction. The frame is made of 100% aluminum alloy to go with high-strength carbon steel for the front forks. This formidable design promises to take on any challenging terrain with ease.

It has cool features that you’ll find very useful in your e-bike experience. And this is despite selling an entry-level price of e-bikes for less than $1000 on Amazon. Let us take a closer look at the features it offers.

The Ancheer Power Plus runs on 250W brushless gear motors that will see you achieve maximum speeds of 25mph. It also comes with a 36V 12Ah lithium-ion battery that has an easy charge port system. The battery will last you around 40-60 km or 4-6 hrs before running out of power.

Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike2

Ancheer Power Plus

This bike has a 21-speed transmission system, as well as front and rear disc brakes that give you efficient stopping power when you are hitting top speeds. This ensures better control of the ride, and alongside the LED headlight available to you, you’ll feel reassured riding in the night.

I also like the general ergonomics of the Ancheer Power Plus. The aluminum and carbon steel keep the bike lightweight, and this is aided by the fact that other parts like wheels, pedals, and saddle tube are also made of aluminum alloy. It implies that you’ll be able to scale inclines and barrage through rugged territory with relative ease.

The pedal assist feature also allows you to use the e-bike like a regular bicycle, whereby you only use the power in your legs to move it. Alternatively, you can decide to let the motor do all the work and enjoy the ride without breaking a sweat. This is thanks to the option to turn the pedal assist to low, medium, or high speed depending on your preferences.

On the downside, the Ancheer e-bike has a long battery charging time which may require you to charge the bike more frequently. This bike is also a little bulkier and given that it is not foldable, storing or transporting it may be a challenge when there is little space available.

Conclusion

If you are willing to overlook the few issues with this e-bike and focus more on the positives available to you, the Ancheer Power Plus is a good buy that will prove to be worthwhile in the long run.

It offers great quality given its affordable price and will serve you well if you are not looking for something too fast.

PROS

  • Long range
  • 21-speed gear system
  • Strong aluminum frame
  • LED headlamp

Cons

  • Average specs
  • Heavy
  • Long charging time
Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike Review

Ancheer Power Plus


Conclusion

Electric bikes are becoming an integral part of today’s transportation system. And this has seen manufacturers produce various models with sophisticated features that appeal to the modern consumer.

The implication here is that you get a wide range of choices to satisfy your e-biking needs. While it is true that price will influence your eventual selection, I should also remind you to always go for quality.

A good electric bike is one that offers you comfort, durability, good speed, long battery life, as well as general practicality on a number of terrains. So before you go shopping around for a bike for your daily commute or off-road adventure, be sure to consider the above.

Best  E-bike

It has a small and compact design that you can easily carry in your car and comes with a host of interesting features that will be great for your e-bike experience.

Best On A Tight Budget

The Aceshin has a cool and durable design that will enable you to take on any off-road adventure tests. It is a great buy considering its budget price.

Interesting Option

The Ecotric Fat Tire Electric Beach Bike provides you with a fun way to enjoy a cruise on the beach. The fat tires ensure that you enjoy a stable ride on the shifty ground even at high speeds generated by its powerful motor.

Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.

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