Best Value Electric Bikes: Top 5 Affordable Picks

Last updated: May 14, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Fast, Comfortable and Ergonomic
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable, Durable and Well-Made
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BEST FOLDING
Adjustable, Practical and Portable
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BEST ELECTRIC MTB
Great Range, Versatile and Rugged
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REMOVABLE BATTERY
Powerful Motor, Great Handling and Tires
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Your guide

Electric bikes incorporate a set of components that are difficult to manufacture, and which add an entirely new layer of complexity to making a bike. As a relatively new phenomenon, and because of these new components, electric bikes are also more expensive – but even so, a lot of them are worth every penny.

A high-quality electric bike is an investment – so making an informed decision counts. We’ve selected five great e-bikes, all of which fit different niches – and we’re going to review them in-depth.

Best Value Electric Bikes: Top 5 Picks

E-bikes don’t come cheap – with all the necessary new components, you’re looking at a larger price tag for an equivalent level of performance – at any price range.

three electric bikes

This doesn’t mean that all e-bikes are prohibitively expensive, and it definitely doesn’t mean that many of them aren’t worth the price. But if you’re footing a larger bill, you want to make it count – and we’re here to help.

We’ve factored in price, materials, components, performance, comfort, durability, and ergonomics to bring you a review of the five best value electric bikes available online. Our top picks cover quite a wide range, and vary in price – so take a closer look – one of them could be just perfect for you.

1. Best Overall - Aventon Pace 350

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 7 speeds
  • Wheel size → 27.5 inches
  • Weight capacity → 250 lbs
  • Weight → 46 lbs

Key Features:

  • 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain
  • 350W 36V brushless rear hub motor
  • Tektro MD-M280 mechanical disc brakes
  • 25 – 40 miles of range

Aventon Pace 350 Review

Being limited by a budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on quality. There are a ton of fantastic e-bikes on the market – and plenty of them are fairly priced too.

But if you want to maximize the quality and performance that you’ll get from your purchase, Aventon’s Pace 350 e-bike – a fantastic, affordable all-rounder – is hard to beat

Frame and Ergonomics

The Pace 350 is available in three size options, which will fit riders from 5’1” to 6’4” tall. The bike’s frame is made from a high-quality double-butted 6061 aluminum alloy. The frame has a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs, and the weight of the entire bike is 46 lbs.

The bike also features a tapered head tube, as well as a set of rack mounts. Most of the bike’s cables are internally routed, giving it a neat, clean-cut appearance. The 15-degree sweptback aluminum handlebars are quite wide and feature a pair of comfortable, ergonomic rubber grips.

The saddle is a comfortable 245mm wide Aventon Velo, which has plenty of padding, as well as a quick-release seat clamp.  The 9/16’ alloy platform pedals are quite satisfactory, providing a good amount of solid footing.

The bike’s removable battery is semi-integrated – meaning that a part of it is located inside the downtube. The 36V 11.6Ah battery weighs about 7 pounds and can provide 25 – 40 miles of range on a full charge. Fully charging the battery takes between 3 and 4 hours.

A large, backlit, and easy to read LCD display allows you to check your current speed, battery level, and assist level at any time.

Motor, Drivetrain, and Tires

The Pace 350 uses a high-power 350W 36V brushless rear hub motor that allows it to achieve speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. The motor is reliable, and also manages to be almost completely silent, despite how powerful it is. The bike has 5 levels of pedal assist, allowing you to tailor just how much assistance you need.

The Pace 350 uses a 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain, giving it a commendable amount of versatility. The trigger shifters change gears quite quickly, and the gear range is wide enough to handle most commuting challenges with ease.

A pair of durable double-walled aluminum rims support the 27.5 x 2.2-inch Kenda Kwick Seven Sport tires. At 27 inches in size, they offer a good balance of acceleration, shock absorption, and top speed, and retaining high speeds is a breeze with the 350.

The Tektro MD-M280 mechanical disc brakes feature 180mm rotors and provide plenty of stopping power. The brakes are also connected to a sensor system – when you engage the brakes, motor assistance is automatically switched off.

Pros
  • Versatile drivetrain
  • High-quality electric components
  • Removable battery
  • Powerful brakes
Cons
  • Lacks a suspension
  • Lacks a water bottle cage

2. Best Budget - NAKTO Camel

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 6 speeds
  • Wheel size → 26  inches
  • Weight capacity → 275 lbs
  • Weight → 60 lbs

Key Features:

  • Front suspension fork
  • 250 watt rear hub motor
  • 6-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain
  • Racks and fenders

NAKTO Camel Review

Even if you happen to be on a really tight budget, a high-quality electric bike isn’t out of your reach. We’re seeing more and more well-made entry-level e-bikes that are very affordable – and in that crowd, the NAKTO 26” Camel stands out.

It offers a great balance of top speed and range and incorporates quite a few high-quality components. Reliable, robust, and with plenty of great features on top of all that, NAKTO’s bike is a high-value package at an affordable price.

Impressive Frame, High-Quality Materials

NAKTO’s 26-inch electric bike is a sleek step-over cruiser with a clean-cut, minimalist look to it. The bike’s frame is constructed from sturdy, durable high-carbon steel that provides plenty of stiffness while riding, and with proper upkeep, it can last for a lifetime.

The fully assembled bike weighs 60 lbs – heavy, but nothing out of the ordinary for an electric cruiser. Speaking of assembly, the bike comes 95% assembled – you just have to install the front wheel and the handlebar.

The robust frame has a maximum weight capacity of 275 lbs and has plenty of useful accessories, such as a rear rack, a basket, fenders, a kickstand, and a bright headlight.

The bike’s handlebar is 600mm wide and has a 40-degree back sweep. The steel stem that supports the bar is quite durable, but the grips and a tad too hard for our liking.

On the other hand, the plush saddle, which features a quick-release collar and a folding snatch, is quite comfortable at 8 inches wide. The saddle goes a long way in countering the effects of the rather average plastic platform pedals.

The bike’s 36V 10.4Ah lithium-ion battery is seat tube mounted and weighs 7.25 lbs. The battery can be locked and removed and takes between 4 and 6 hours to charge. It offers an average range of 22 – 28 miles, and that increases to 28 – 35 miles if you use the pedaling assist mode.

Solid Electronics, Solid Performance

The Camel uses a powerful, 250 watt rear hub motor that allows it to reach speeds of up to 25 mph. The bike can be used in three modes – pedal assist, full electric, and pedal only.

The 6-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain gives the bike a good gear range, and the 1×6 setup is intuitive and uncomplicated. The thumb shifters provide crisp, reliable shifting, and the bike is quite adaptable overall.

The bike’s 26-inch tires are 1.75 inches wide and prioritize rolling speed over traction. They’re decent, but quite run of the mill, so we suggest finding a set of high-quality tires to upgrade that side of the bike’s performance.

The front rim brake and the rear drum brake are decent but are also candidates for an upgrade. The weight of the bike provides both a stable ride and tempers the acceleration of the electric motor somewhat, meaning that you’re unlikely to encounter a situation where you need to suddenly brake – but you can never be too careful.

However, the bike’s handling isn’t lackluster – the steel front suspension fork has 55mm of travel and manages to absorb quite a lot of vibrations. It’s still a cruiser – one that’s geared toward urban areas, but it can handle the occasional pothole or sidewalk bump just fine.

Pros
  • Sturdy, high-quality frame
  • Plenty of accessories
  • Comfortable
  • Front suspension fork
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Average brakes and pedals

3. Best Folding - ANCHEER

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 7 speeds
  • Tire size →  20 inches
  • Weight capacity → 330 lbs
  • Weight → 41.8 lbs

Key Features:

  • Removable battery
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • 250W high-speed brushless gear motor
  • 15-30 miles of range

ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike Review

Most folding bikes are quite affordable – but there has been a large influx of mass-produced, low-quality bikes into the market. So, if you want to maximize the value that you’ll be getting, it pays to invest just a little more money upfront – the payoff is well worth it.

ANCHEER’s folding electric bike might be small, but it packs a lot of punch – with a wide gear range and plenty of power to spare.

Materials and Design

ANCHEER’s folding bike uses a lightweight yet durable aluminum alloy frame. The fully assembled bike weighs 41.8 lbs, and it has an IPX4 waterproof rating.

The frame also provides a lot of stiffness – which meshes well with the high-strength carbon steel front suspension fork. Despite its small stature, the bike has a maximum weight capacity of 330 lbs.

The small size of the bike might easily lead you to assume that it isn’t really comfortable – but the ANCHEER is full of surprises. The 22.2-inches wide aluminum alloy handlebars sport a pair of comfortable grips, and the height of the saddle can be adjusted from 27.3 to 44.1 inches. That’s quite a wide range – allowing you to easily achieve a perfect fit.

The saddle itself is decent enough – and the same goes for the pedals. Nothing too spectacular, so we’d suggest finding a better set of pedals.

One of the bike’s key selling points is the fact that it can be folded up to a width of 32 inches and a height of 21.8 inches. A handy armrest allows you to more easily carry the bike, making it even more portable. At 41.8 lbs, it isn’t the lightest folding e-bike out there – but that’s still on the lighter side of things.

High-Performance, High Convenience

ANCHEER’s folding bike uses a powerful, high-quality 250W high-speed brushless gear motor. The stable rear hub motor operates quietly and provides a top speed of 15 miles per hour.

On a single full charge, the 36-volt 8AH lithium-ion battery will provide between 15 and 30 miles of range, depending on a variety of factors. The battery weighs about 4.8 lbs, and can easily be removed. The Easy Charge Port System allows you to charge the battery both on and off the bike, and charging the battery takes between 4 and 6 hours.

The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain gives the bike’s performance some much-needed versatility. With a small 20-inch wheel size, the ANCHEER can’t overcome many obstacles – but a reliable drivetrain and a powerful electric motor allow it to easily handle inclines.

The front and rear disc brakes provide plenty of control, and the 20 x 1.95-inch anti-slip tires are quite forgiving.  If you do come across any unexpected bumps, the front suspension fork will take the brunt of the impact.

The bike can be ridden in two modes – just using the electric motor or pedaling assist. Both of these options have three speed settings, which can easily be changed using the small meter on the right side of the handlebar.

Pros
  • Foldable and portable
  • Adjustable saddle height
  • Good gear range
  • Has a front suspension fork
Cons
  • Average pedals
  • Unremarkable saddle

4. Best Electric MTB - NCM Prague

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 21 speeds
  • Wheel size → 26 / 27.5 / 29 inches
  • Weight capacity → 275 lbs
  • Weight → 55 lbs

Key Features:

  • 350W Das-Kit X15 brushless rear drive motor
  • SR Suntour XCT  front suspension fork
  • 6061 aluminum alloy frame
  • Mechanical disc brakes

NCM Prague Review

High-performance electric mountain bikes have only recently appeared.  If you want to experience some offroading or take on a couple of mountain trails with some added power to back you up, an electric mountain bike could be just the thing for you.

But high performance equals a high price – so you’d better make your purchase count – and the NCM Prague is worth every penny.

Design and Build Quality

The NCM Prague features a stiff, durable frame that is made from a 6061 aluminum alloy. The sturdy frame has a weight capacity of 275 lbs, and the fully assembled bike weighs 55 lbs – although it doesn’t feel heavy – as the battery, which weighs quite a bit, is well-placed.

The bike has a Promax 90mm MA-471 aluminum stem, as well as an ergonomic Promax riser bar that features comfortable lock-on Velo grips.

The handlebar also houses the easy to read Das-Kit L6B LCD screen, which displays battery life, assist level, and functions as a speedometer and odometer. The NCM Prague has 6 levels of pedal assistance, along with the level 0 feature that doesn’t engage the electric motor at all.

An aluminum alloy seatpost supports the comfortable Velo saddle, while the CNC machined aluminum alloy Wellgo B087 flat pedals feature front and rear reflectors, as well as protruding pegs that help you achieve a more solid footing.

The removable 36V 13Ah468WH DeHawk lithium-ion battery is secured to the bike with a built-in lock. It features a 5V USB port that you can use to charge your mobile devices and charging the battery itself takes about 6 hours.

In return, the battery provides a generous 20-40 mile range, and can even last for 60 miles if you use the motor sparingly, or the eco mode generously.

Rugged, Versatile, High-Performance

The most impressive feature of the NCM Prague is the high-quality 3x7 Shimano drivetrain. The 21-speed drivetrain is incredibly versatile, and the derailleurs and Shimano Altus Rapid Fire shifters change gears smoothly and reliably.

The range of the gears allows you to conquer many a hill, and the SR Suntour XCT  front suspension fork does an admirable job of absorbing road shock. The fork has 100mm of travel as well as a preload adjustment feature.

The bike features a pair of 26, 27.5, or 29-inch Schwalbe Smart Sam tires. These fast-rolling tires are as great a choice for the pavement as they are for offroading. The Prague’s wheels are also quick-release, making it easy to change tires – whether for maintenance or for an upgrade.

The Tektro M280 mechanical disc brakes feature forged aluminum calipers and ceramic compound brake pads, and they allow you to easily adjust your speed or bring the bike to a complete standstill.

The 36V 350W Das-Kit X15 brushless rear drive motor provides plenty of power, allowing the bike to reach speeds of up to 20mph with ease, and further helps with crossing obstacles and handling inclines.

Pros
  • Powerful brakes
  • Front suspension fork
  • Wide gear range
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Heavier than most
  • Overall entry-level mountain bike performance

5. Best With Removable Battery - ECOTRIC

Specifications:

  • Gearing → 7 speed
  • Wheel size →  20 inches
  • Weight capacity → 270 lbs
  • Weight → 51 lbs

Key Features:

  • Removable 36V 12AH lithium battery
  • Adjustable saddle height
  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • 500W rear hub brushless gear motor

ECOTRIC 20” Fat Tire Electric Bike Review

Electric bikes are great – but the issue of battery capacity always causes some anxiety. These bikes can be ridden without any assistance from the electric motor – but the added weight of the electrical components makes this an uncomfortable option for longer distances.

For our pick in the best value e-bike with a removable battery category, we’ve chosen ECOTRIC’s updated 20” electric bike. It sports a powerful motor, solid ergonomics, and a set of rugged, versatile fat tires – so let’s take a closer look.

Materials, Ergonomics, Comfort

ECOTRIC’s electric fat tire folding bike can accommodate riders from 5’2” to 6’1” tall. The bike’s frame is made from a durable and lightweight aluminum alloy, and the fully assembled bike weighs 51 lbs. The maximum weight capacity of the bike is 270 lbs.

Ergonomics are always a chief concern when it comes to small bikes such as this one. The handlebar is wide enough, although the grips could stand to be slightly more comfortable.

The handlebar rests 1150mm off the ground, while the entire bike is 1768mm long. This might lead you to believe that comfort will be an issue – thankfully, the height of the saddle is adjustable from 840 to 990mm off the ground – almost an entire 6 inches of travel.

Speaking of the saddle, the ECOTRIC fat tire folding bike has a rather large, wide, and well-cushioned saddle – which provides the bike with a surprising level of comfort.

The 36V 12AH lithium battery allows for 18 – 23 miles of range, and it takes between 6 and 8 hours to fully recharge. The battery features a lock and power lock function, and it weighs 7.7 lbs.

The battery is placed in a way that doesn’t upset the balance of the bike, and removing it is quite easy. Carrying a spare is a piece of cake – with the battery being both small and light enough to fit into a backpack.

Plenty of Power and Versatility

ECOTRIC’s small bike uses a high-power 500W rear hub brushless gear motor that allows it to reach top speeds of up to 20 mph. The bike has a twist throttle and pedal assist mode, and can also be ridden without engaging the electric motor.

The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain is pretty straightforward and easy to use. It’s very reliable, the gear range is wide enough for anything you’ll encounter in urban conditions, and the shifting is quite responsive.

The drivetrain goes a long way in achieving good handling, but the stars of the show are the 20 x 4-inch anti-skidding fat tires.

The electric motor gives them quite a bit of acceleration, and the amount of traction they provide makes it easy to overcome even quite difficult and challenging weather conditions and terrain – even snow or sand.

To counteract the powerful electric motor and supplement the tires’ impressive handling, the bike also incorporates both front and rear mechanical disc brakes. The Tektro Novela brakes have powerful 160mm rotors and provide an appropriate amount of stopping power.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable
  • Solid handling
  • Powerful electric motor
Cons
  • Could benefit from better brakes
  • Slightly heavier tires

Best Value Electric Bikes: Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Important Components That I Should Focus on When Getting an E-Bike?

This depends in large part on your priorities - whether you need a utilitarian bike for urban commuting, a mountain bike, something completely different.

The electric components of an e-bike are by far the most expensive to replace - so prioritize a good motor and a battery. We also recommend finding a durable, high-quality frame with a solid frame geometry, as well as a good drivetrain - in that order.

Is Riding an Electric Bike Harder Than Riding a Regular Bike?

No - riding an electric bike isn’t any more difficult, but it is different. The torque of the electric motor, and the acceleration and the top speed that it enables do take some time to get used to.

But all of the rules of the road stay the same, as do the basic safety principles of cycling. Make sure to wear proper protection, stay aware of the road at all times, and you’ll have no issues.

How Do I Properly Charge and Store an Electric Bike Battery?

Charge your bike regularly, preferably once it’s at 30 - 60 % capacity. You can do a full discharge once every two to three months, but it isn’t necessary.

Before you take your new bike out for the first time, let the battery charge for 12 hours. This allows the current to reach all the cells in the battery and prolongs service life. Don’t overcharge your battery, avoid temperature extremes, and if you plan on removing a battery to store it, make sure that it’s charged to at least 40%.

Why Does the Range of an E-Bike Vary so Much?

Depending on how often you engage the electric motor, and at what level of pedaling assist, an e-bike’s battery can last for quite a bit longer than the lower-end prediction.

The rider’s weight, as well as a couple of other factors, such as average speed, tire pressure, and even wind and temperature, can affect the actual range that you can achieve.

Best Value Electric Bikes: Top 5 Affordable Picks — Bike Hacks