There Are Now Quite A Few Choices When It Comes To Budget e-Bikes.
Electric bikes are capable of doing just about everything a regular bike can do and more. So it's possible extend what can be achieved through cycling, whether it be touring, leisure riding or daily commuting and chores, and gain a whole new experience in the process. Even e-bike sceptics often come back with a smile on their faces and appreciative words once they have actually been persuaded to step astride an assisted machine.
Now with electric bikes starting to enter the mainstream, they are becoming available at more affordable prices. As the ranges of electric bike in UK markets becomes wider and wider, production increases and at present there are now plenty of good quality electric bikes for under 1000 pounds to choose from.
There are many commendable makes and models of electric bikes to tempt us to "don the lycra", but each of us have different preferences and expectations when it comes to e-cycling and it would be very easy to get the wrong bike for our needs.
So, which is the best electric bike for under 1000 pounds?
The Best Electric Bike For Under 1000 (Updated 2020):
The Eelo 1885 Disc Folding Electric Bike (Editors Choice).
With a weight of just 16.5kg the Eelo 1885 folding electric bike has a simple, almost minimalist design. Without a cross bar or back panier rack, this bike is exactly what it says it is: A commuter bike.
Using quick release clamps on the seat pillar, handlebars and front post, the Eelo folding electric bike is very quickly stowed away. Even the pedals fold flat, while main cross frame also folds on itself, making this bicycle truly compact and extremely easy to store in a relatively small space.
The Eelo 1885 owes its lightness to an all aluminium alloy construction with impressive welding of all the joins, as opposed to the usual budget brazing that many bikes in this niche have.
With its LG branded 36V, 7.8Ah rechargeable lithium ion battery located inside the low slung crossbar of this electric bike, giving the cell greater protection from the elements, the Eelo's 1885 rear axle mounted brushless electric motor has a range of 40 miles at a maximum speed of 15.0 miles/hour. While other bikes may have a higher maximum speed, it must be remembered that the UK legal speed limit for an electric bike is 15.5mph.
As with all electric bikes' batteries, the recharge time is over 4 hours, and the Eelo 1885's battery will take 4-5 hours to fully recharge. The battery charger for this electric bike is included. To avoid unnecessary battery damage while in use, as well as when charging, Eelo includes a battery management system.
The Eelo 1885 is a designed as a commuter bike, and has some features which will show it to be just that, namely the size of its wheels. At just 14" some may feel that the wheel size is far too small. However, the small wheels give this electric bike great manoeuvrability, a distinct advantage when cycling through a busy town or city.
Cycling's biggest bug bear is the constant risk of having a puncture, and with there being so much more shattered glass and sharp objects on the road than ever before, it really is a case of "when", rather than "if". Spare inner tubes, casings, and pumps etc are a very necessary cost. Generally speaking, the larger the tyre size the more expensive the casings and inner tubes will be.
One great advantage of the Eelo 1885 e-bike having 14" wheels is that spares are very common, and because of the 14" size very often cheaper than larger wheel sizes.
Staying with wheels, the Eelo 1885 electric bike is equipped with axle mounted mechanical disc brakes at both front and rear ends. Disc brakes on a bike work in exactly the same way as car brake, ensuring greater control and reliability than the traditional rubber block brakes, which often need replacement, and are affected by rain and wet conditions.
Keeping track of speed, and battery charge level as well as distance covered is all taken care of by the waterproof LCD display on the handlebars. Electric speed is controlled by a thumb operated throttle on the right hand side.
As standard the Eelo 1885 foldable bike has a very bright rear and front lights to use in bad weather conditions or at night, and when not folded up or in use this e-bike has a fitted kick stand.
The Eelo 1885 carries a standard 1 year warranty, provided that the e-bike is registered online within 28 days of purchase.
The maximum weight that the Eelo 1885 is able to accommodate is 100kg.
Eelo argue that as the 1885 is a commuter bike and designed for on road conditions the need to have front and rear suspension is not required. More puzzlingly, the 1885 bike does not have any gears for when in manual use, nor does it have any working modes.
While assuming that city streets and roads do not necessitate suspension, the decision to have a complete lack of gears is strange, as starting off on any incline on this electric bike is extremely hard work.
The Eelo does have well designed clean lines however, it the overall look this electric foldable bike is spoilt slightly by thick cables just tacked onto the frame. This is a small criticism and while it may spoil the overall look of the bike it doesn't affect the performance of this machine in any way.
For the sheer quality of the build as well as its foldability, the Eelo 1885 really is the best e-bike under 1000 pounds. There are no gimmicks on this machine, and there are no cheap and nasty parts to it either.
- Comparatively lightweight, weighing only 16.5kg.
- Folds down to a compact size, making it easily storable in tight places.
- Made from aluminium alloy (5052) which means excellent strength and high corrosion resistance.
- High quality construction as seen by proper welding and finish of all joins, not the usual brazing that is very common.
- Simple assembly (unfolding).
- Good availability of spare parts at usual prices, namely tyre casings and inner tubes.
- Use of LG lithium ion power cell.
- Battery positioned inside the main frame, protecting it from the elements.
- Waterproof LCD display.
- LCD lights supplied for front and rear.
- Excellent range of 40 miles.
- No gimmicks included.
- No gears or working modes incorporated into the design.
- Cables not discreet on the frame.
The Acreny Folding Electric Mountain Bicycle.
One of the greatest pains for urban living mountain biking enthusiasts is how to get to the countryside with your mountain bike. It usually means trying to put one mode of transport (the bike) into another mode of transport (the car) and hoping it all fits!
Acreny seemed to come up with the ideal solution, by designing a foldable electric mountain bike. At first sight this electric bike with its rugged looks looks the ideal solution to the problem of access to the great outdoors. Making it electric as well is an added bonus for those of us who may not be as fit as we like to think we are, or for the older more stubborn mountain biker who won't give into age.
As for electric bikes under 1000 pounds go, the Acreny Electric mountain bike does offer quite a few features for the price. Sturdily built from aluminium alloy (5052)this bike offers strength and lightness with a good corrosion resistance. However the joins of the components have been brazed together and not very well finished, leaving lumps in corners.
The 48V 10Ah rechargeable battery is found in the main cross bar section of the bike, giving the power cell good protection from the elements, while driving a 350W hub mounted 350W brushless motor, with a maximum speed of 15.5 miles/hour.
Initially the range of this electric mountain bike seemed incredible, with claimed distances of up to 62 miles. However there must be a couple of caveats that need to be taken on board, before reading the figures. With minimal pedal assist and maximum gearing of the motor coupled with the top gear of its 12 speed shimano gear system, then yes, the maximum distance that this Acreny mountain bike can cover is up to 62 miles. However with full electric drive, this mountain bike has a range of between 22 to 28 miles.
The Acreny folding electric mountain bike has a top speed of 15.5 mph, which can be enhanced by using partial pedal power with a traditional 21 speed Shimano derailleur gear while the bike's motor uses the high range of its own gearing system.
As is the case with very nearly all off road and mountain bike, this Acreny folding bike has both front fork and rear suspension, making for a more comfortable ride.
Battery charging takes from 4 to 6 hours for a full charge, and this can be done while the battery is either on or off the bike. Acreny also includes a tool kit for minor repairs if and whenever needed.
While some new owners have complained that this electric mountain bike comes without mudguards, it is important to note that very nearly every mountain bike will not have them. However, unlike every other model of mountain bike on the market, the Acreny e-mountain bike comes with a kickstand for easy parking!
The LCD display, found on the handlebars displays battery level, speed, and distance covered (useful information when battery range is important). There is also another "feature" on the handlebars, which is nothing more than an extremely dangerous and next to useless gimmick: a cell phone charger.
It is highly irresponsible to put such a device on a bike, let alone an electric bike. Wearing headphones while cycling has clearly been shown to be dangerous, as the cyclist can not hear the surrounding traffic, and will be less aware of any immediate dangers, this is also true for off road mountain biking.
The Acreny electric mountain bike has a maximum weight capacity of 90kg, Which given its rugged design and purpose is a little on the low side.
Acreny's warranty is for 1 year.
While looking the part, and having an adequate performance, the Acreny foldable electric mountain bike could be a little better built and perhaps a greater range. The absolute no-no that put paid to this mountain bike not being the best e-bike for under 1000 pounds was the non-sensical inclusion of a cell phone charger!
- Sturdy but relatively strong aluminium frame construct.
- Front and rear suspension.
- LCD lights fitted as standard.
- Bright LCD display.
- 21 gear Shimano derailleur gearing.
- On board cell phone charger. A gimmick and highly dangerous.
- Despite lithium battery power, the range is not very far.
- Despite sturdy frame, maximum weight capacity is only 90kg.
Hyuhome Electric Mountain/Commute Bike.
The Hyuhome e-bike is a traditionally designed non-folding bike aimed at both the mountain biker and the urban commuter. With a choice of five colour schemes, this electric bike is well constructed with quality brazed joins. However, the aluminium alloy frame is made with 6061 aluminium alloy, while still having a passable corrosion resistance is not quite as high a quality of the usual 5052 alloy.
Fitted with a removeable Samsung 48V 17Ah rechargeable lithium ion battery, the Hyuhome electric bike has a range of between 52 to 77 miles, on motor assist mode which means that pedalling is involved to achieve this sort of performance. However, the real disadvantage of such a high power lithium ion battery is that the charging time can be up to 7 hours.
The power is provided by a 350W brushless motor, which can achieve a maximum speed of 21.7 mph. However, it must be stressed that the legal speed limit in the UK for an electric bike is 15.5mph on paved roads, so some police forces will consider this electric mountain/ commuter bike as illegal. However it can be ridden off road legally.
One very positive, and probably the best feature of the Hyuhome electric mountain/commute bike is that it is able to climb gradients of up to 1:4.
For pedal only mode, the 21 speed derailleur gearing is provided by Shimano. While the motor has a 5 gear differential gearing system which allows a great deal of control by the rider. Both the motor speed and derailleur gear shift are on the handlebars, with the motor control being a twist grip throttle, and the derailleur being a thumb shift system.
As is now the norm, all electric bikes are ready fitted with front and rear LCD lights for greater visibility at night time. and this Hyuhome e-bike is no exception. There is also a very easy to read LCD display for speed, battery level and distance covered, positioned in the middle of the handlebars. While boasting that the handlebar display is waterproof, it is actually rated as IP54, which means that the display is only splash proof and dustproof.
For a more comfortable ride, Hyuhome has included front fork suspension, but as an alternative to rear suspension this e-bike has a very well padded saddle.
Safer braking has also been included by having mechanical disc brakes fitted to both rear and front axles.
For its purpose, the Hyuhome Electric Mountain/Commute Bike is not too heavy, weighing in at 22kg. While certainly not the lightest of the bikes under test, its weight does give it the frame strength to be able to carry a maximum load of 150kg.
This e-bike is covered by a 2 year warranty.
While the Hyuhome Electric Mountain/Commute Bike is a robust bike with some undeniably great features, there are some aspects of this electric bike that really let the side down. So, while being one of the best electric bikes for under 1000 pounds, it is NOT the best.
- Quality brazed joins, giving good build quality.
- Powerful 350W brushless motor and differential gearing allowing effective hill climbing.
- Branded Samsung 48V 17.5 lithium ion battery included.
- Shimano 21 speed derailleur gears included.
- High range.
- 2 year warranty.
- Poor choice of aluminium alloy used for frame construction. This is a serious disadvantage.
- Very long battery recharge time.
- Not foldable, a disadvantage if viewed as a commute e-bike.
- Can be classified as illegal by some police forces as its maximum speed is 21.7mph, while the maximum speed for electric bikes in the UK is 15.5mph. This is a very serious disadvantage.
- LCD handlebar display is NOT waterproof, but actually dustproof and splash proof.
The Ancheer 27.5" Electric Mountain Bike (e-MB)
The 27.5" in this electric mountain bike's "name" immediately rang a couple of alarm bells. While Ancheer argues that larger wheels more stability, their choice of wheel size for their e-mountain bike has a couple of drawbacks. It is a well proven fact that larger wheels, like smaller ones actually cause less stability, especially when the bike will be top heavy when being ridden, an extreme example of which is the "Penny Farthing".
Secondly, 27.5" is not a common size for a bicycle wheel, so spares such as inner tubes and casings will be both difficult to find, as well as being more expensive than the more usual 26" size.
A 36V 10Ah rechargeable lithium ion battery powers a 250W brushless motor which provides maximum ranges of between 35 to 60kms (up to just over 30 miles maximum range) depending on which level of assistance is used, The motor gearing has 5 speeds while the pedalling is fitted with a 21 speed Shimano derailleur gearing system.
Overall the Ancheer e-MB has a top speed of 15mph, as well as LCD front and rear lights, making this electric bike fully legal to be ridden on British roads.
Electric motor acceleration is by a twist grip on the left hand side of the handle bars, while the derailleur gears are managed by thumb shift levers on both sides of the handlebars. This Ancheer e-bike has an extremely clear and easy to read LCD display showing, distance covered, battery level and speed.
The front and rear fitted disc brakes use a unique progressive braking system similar to the ABS system used in most modern cars, allowing for safe and more controllable braking. This feature is probably this electric bikes best feature and it really is quite impressive.
Weighing 23kgs, the Ancheer e-Mountain Bike is one of the heavier electric bikes in the review, but the heavier aluminium alloy frame does allow the bike to carry a maximum load of 150kg. However, due to the motor only having 250W of power plus the weight of the e-bike itself means that it finds any form of hill climbing a struggle, and the manufacturer does advise against any sustained hill climbing.
The Ancheer e-Mountain Bike is covered by a standard 1 year warranty.
in itself, the Ancheer e-Mountain Bike is a well constructed electric bike which meets all the UK legal requirements. However, the odd choice of 27.5" wheels, a relatively heavy frame and subsequently under powered motor means that while it is one of the best electric bikes under 1000 pounds, it really can not claim to be the best.
- Progressive braking system similar to the ABS system used in modern cars.
- Clear and easy to read LCD display.
- Maximum weight capacity of 150kg.
- Shimano derailleur gears fitted.
- Its weight.
- Under powered motor, making it unsuitable for hill climbing.
- 27.5" wheels. Not a very common size and therefore inner tubes and casings will be hard to find and relatively expensive.
- Comparatively short range compared to other electric bikes.
- This is not a folding bike
The Macwheel 700C Electric Bike.
The Macwheel 700C is a step through, "sit up and beg" unisex e-bike that on first appearances would not be out of place in the film "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie". However, underneath the somewhat retro-style look lurks a very modern e-bike complete with front fork suspension..
With a rear axle mounted 250W brushless motor, powered by a 36V 10Ah rechargeable lithium ion battery, this e-bike is most certainly a a short haul urban commute bike.
This e-bike is the heaviest bike by far in this review, weighing in at a very hefty 28kg, the weight does ultimately affect the range of the bike as well as its hill climbing performance, and this can be borne out by the fact that the ranges for pedal assist and full motor motor mode are between 37 to 50 miles and 19 to 25 miles respectively. While the manufacturer also plainly advises against any sustained climbing of sloes above 12%.
It can be quite clearly seen that the Macwheel 700C is under powered.
Macwheel have selected quite an uncommon wheel size of 28", which is not only hard to find inner tubes and casings for, but also more costly. However, the 700C is fitted with anti-puncture tyres and quick release hubs..
The Lithium ion rechargeable battery is completely enclosed within the bike's frame along with the wiring, making for a sleek and pleasing appearance, as well as prolonged component life.
As is the standard for most electric bikes, the Macwheel 700C is fitted with disc brakes on both front and rear wheels.
The handlebars play host to all controls for motor gearing in the form of a twist grip throttle while the 7 speed Shimano gear derailleur ensemble is controlled by a thumb shift lever. Speed, distance covered and battery level are all given by an LCD display that is both clear and easy to read.
For night riding, and poor weather conditions, the 700C is fitted with LCD lights for front and rear.
As legally required the Macwheel 700C is covered by a 1 year warranty.
Despite its clean lines and the Macwhell 700C electric bike may be one of the best electric bikes under 1000 pounds on the market, bikes on the market, but because of its seriously poor power to weight ratio and the strange wheel size, it really cannot be considered to be the best e-bike for under 1000 pounds.
- Battery and wiring enclosed within the bike frame for added protection.
- Anti-puncture tyres fitted as standard.
- Seriously underpowered.
- Its weight, weighing 28kg, this is the heaviest electric bike under test.
- 7 gear derailleur gear set, making hill starts and hill climbing difficult.
- Poor hill climbing capability.
- Relatively rare 28" wheel size, making spares and casings difficult to find as well as being expensive.
Why Choose an Electric Bike?
While the Eelo 1885 Electric Bike is this review's choice for the best electric bike under 1000 pounds, the question of why choose an electric bike is one that is often asked when most of us would think of a bike to be used as a form of exercise.
Electric bikes are in a very privileged position legally speaking, as under the relevant UK law they are in exactly the same legal position as non-powered bikes, so they possess the well-known advantages of bikes but without any of the red tape normally associated with motor power.
There are downsides compared to regular bikes; extra weight is the most obvious (although newer systems just emerging promise lighter machines in the future). Modern motors are generally very reliable but today’s batteries should really be regarded as consumables if the e-bike is to be ridden regularly and kept for a number of years.
Rechargeable batteries inevitably degrade over time and even more so with heavy use (and much more so with abuse), with a likely replacement cost of several hundred pounds. A good quality e-bike is a sizeable investment – but is that really a downside if the bike is used to its maximum potential, which is considerable?
Facts About Batteries
The very first e-bikes were fitted with traditional lead acid accumulators, similar to a motorbike's battery. However, due to its weight, incredibly short range and very long recharge time, the lead acid battery made the early electric bikes more of a gimmick rather than a new form of transport
With further research into new battery types, the lead acid accumulator was first superseded by nickel cadmium and nickel hydride power cells. while being far more efficient than their predecessor, their lack green credentials and high toxicity meant that a greener more efficient battery had to found (cadmium is a "heavy metal which is highly toxic, which can cause birth defects. It is also very difficult to dispose of safely). Finally the more eco-friendly, lightweight, more efficient lithium ion battery was developed, and with it, the growth of the e-bike.
Battery range is not always a constant value. Weather conditions, terrain, as well as whether the the e-bike is ridden on paved roads or rough track will affect the range of the battery.
However, around 20 miles would be a minimum range expectation from a standard size battery of around 10Ah capacity ridden on full power over extreme terrain. , spare batteries are available and can be carried to extend range.
E-bikes are more difficult to ride without power assist than traditional bikes, due to the added weight of the motor and battery, so battery levels as well as distance covered should always be taken notice of, to avoid a hard ride home! Some take a spare battery with them just in case, but additional batteries are very expensive.
Battery charging can take up to 6.5 to 7 hours, depending on the age and condition of the battery, as well as how much of the existing charge has been used.
To prolong a battery's life, a few simple things should be done. Avoid exposing a lithium ion battery to low temperatures, remove the power cell from the e-bike when not in use, and take care not to drop or knock the battery itself.