Let’s face it - ebike aren’t cheap. Don’t you agree?
Is there an affordable ebike on the market today that not a piece of junk? Should you look for a cheap electric bike?
Most of them start at over $1,000, and prices go up from there. Top-of-the-line ebikes can retail for over $15,000. So it’s no surprise that people want to know which are the best ebikes for the money.
So which is the best value electric bike?
In this article, we’re going to expose some secrets of the ebike industry, and reveal 5 of the best ebikes for the money. Our focus here is on the best electric bikes under $2000.
The ebike industry in the US is fragmented, with many small competing companies and no single dominant player. This is good for consumers, since it results in a larger diversity of products on the market, and more competition. This also helps in controlling prices to some extent.
But each of these companies has its own unique business structure, and their costs of production, distribution and marketing can vary widely. And many of these brands sell their bikes through dealers - online and brick & mortar - who themselves might offer things of value such as free shipping, coupon codes, and other marketing incentives.
But here’s the kicker: You may find two nearly identical ebikes from different companies, priced several hundred dollars apart. The bikes may have the same value, but their prices can vary greatly.
So in this article we are going to look at where to shop for your next ebike, and we’re going to review some of the best ebikes for the money.
Let’s dive in!
Where you shop for your ebike can have a big impact on how much you pay, and the value you receive. It’s important to keep in mind that the value you receive is not just the price of your ebike, but the customer service and support you can expect to receive, especially if there is a warranty issue.
The current market for electric bicycles is made up of five broad channels, including:
Brick and mortar stores. Traditional bike shops hold inventory and sell bikes exclusively from their physical store or warehouse. These businesses have the overhead costs of rent, insurance and staff, which can impact how much they charge customers.
Click and mortar stores. These are bike shops that hold inventory and sell their ebikes from a physical store/warehouse location and through their website. These businesses have the same expenses as traditional bike shops, but also the challenge of managing sales through multiple channels. Like other bike shops, they have bike techs on staff that can help you find the best fitting bike, and provide after-sales service.
Ecommerce sites. Online stores that do not have a physical presence sell via websites and fulfill orders directly from the warehouses of their brand suppliers. These sites do not have to pay rent, but they still have expenses such as maintaining their website and online advertising. The prices advertised on these sites are usually set by the brand, but they are more likely to offer discounts than physical retailers. The level of customer service can vary substantially from one online retailer to the next. Really Good Ebikes (RGE), the site you're on now, is a leader in this category!
Ecommerce platforms. Ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target allow third-party sellers to use their platforms to make sales, and often provide warehousing and fulfillment services to these sellers. These platforms are known for selling budget brands from China. These may be cheap ebikes (often under $1,000) not known for being high-quality or a true value.
Direct from China. It is hardly news that most ebikes are built in China. And now you can buy ebikes directly from China, through websites like Aliexpress. The prices can be very attractive when compared to ebikes sold in the US, but delivery times can be well over a month, and you should not expect anything but the bare minimum of customer support.
For rear hub fat tire ebikes, there are still a lot of options to choose from, but which is the value for the money? Our first choice would be the E-Fat-Step from Eunorau, which retails for $1,299. The E-Fat-Step is a folding fat tire bike with a low-step frame design for easy mounting and dismounting. It sports a 500W rear hub motor, which will give you a powerful boost when climbing hills or riding through soft surfaces such as sand or snow.
The E-Fat-Step is often compared to the more expensive RadMini Step-Thru 2, which retails for $1,499. While it’s true that the Radmini has a 750W motor and 2Ah more battery capacity than the E-Fat-Step, we do not think these features are worth an extra $200. Another bike that is comparable to the E-Fat-Step is the Ram SS from Emojo, which retails for $1,899. The Ram SS also has a 750W motor, but it’s battery capacity is less than both the E-Fat-Step and the RadMini.
Next up, let’s check out a few mid-drive fat tire electric mountain bikes, and see which one is the best value electric bike. This is a very popular category with many options to choose from, so let’s dive in.
First, it’s important to know that the mid-drive ebikes are at the high end of the price range. There are a number of reasons for this. Mid-drive motors are more expensive than rear hub motors, the batteries paired with them are often of higher capacity and longer-range, and the bikes typically have heavy-duty frames that are ideal for hunting applications.
The #1 most popular mid-drive fat tire electric mountain bike among bowhunters is the Bakcou Mule. Retailing with a base price of $5,147, this is anything but a budget ebike. And yet, it might be one of the best ebikes for the money.
The Mule was designed and engineered around the unparalleled power and performance of Bafang's Ultra mid-drive motor. The Ultra motor is widely recognized as the “diesel engine” of mid-drive motors! It’s all metal, heavy-duty gearing, combined with the intelligence of an integrated torque sensor, make the Ultra motor the most capable, durable, and efficient motor on the market today.
Don’t be fooled by the 1,000W nominal badge on this mid-motor. Under the hood, the Bafang Ultra is capable of pulling 1,600W from the battery using only its stock settings.
The Bafang Ultra torque rating is also crazy good. At 160 Nm, this motor is far and above the best mid-drive on the market. The best and latest models from other industry leaders, including Bosch, Brose and Panasonic, are only now reaching 90 Nm. That translates into wheelie popping, seat-of-the-pants thrill riding that most people have never experienced before on an ebike.
For comparison purposes, you could check out the Rambo R1000XPC. This bike is similar to the Bakcou Mule in several ways, but features a 1000W Bafang BBSHD mid-drive motor. The BBSHD is also an excellent motor, with 160Nm torque rating, but at $4,499, the R1000XPC is hardly a bargain.
From the perspective of value, we think the Eunorau Fat-HD fat tire electric mountain bike is a winner. At $2,399, the 1000W Fat-HD is one of the least expensive mid-drive fat tire ebikes on the market.
It features the same Bafang BBSHD mid-drive motor found on the R1000XPC, as well as a 48V/15.6Ah downtube-integrated battery. There are also options to get a second battery at very good prices ($470 for the 48V/16Ah option, and $670 for the 48V/21Ah option).
The Eunorau Fat-HD comes with hydraulic disk brakes, a left-side thumb throttle, 5 levels of pedal assist, RST Spring suspension fork with lockouts and 100mm of travel, fenders and a rear rack.
Folding electric bikes are another very popular category in the world of ebikes. They are designed to fold into a compact form, making it ideal for transport and storage.
Folding bikes have a hinge and clamp mechanism in the middle of the frame, which allows the frame to be folded in half. Some folding bikes also have a folding tiller - the part which the handlebars connect to - which allows for an even more compact folded dimensions.
As mentioned above, the E-Fat-Step is a great fat tire ebike for the money. It’s also a great folding ebike, and at $1,299, it’s a pretty good value.
The City Premium folding ebike from Green Bike Electric Motion is a real winner in this category. It’s built for comfort and style, but is also quite affordable and a good value at $1,699.
The City Premium has a 6-speed derailleur and can be ridden like a conventional bike. It was a comfortable upright riding posture, and you will really enjoy the large, spring-loaded gel saddle and suspension seat post. The ergonomic grips are a pleasure to hold, and all the controls are laid out nicely on the handlebar for easy operation.
When you’re ready for a boost, the City Premium will help get you to your destination in style without breaking a sweat. It features a 350W rear hub motor, and a long-range 48V/15.6Ah battery. The battery is removable, so you can charge it while on or off the bike.
Other features of the City Premium that make a premium ebike are the magnesium alloy rims, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, a rear rack and bright headlight.
At $1,699, the City Premium might not seem like a bargain. But when compared to some of the other premium folders on the market, it is. The Pedego Latch folding ebike retails for $2,795, and the Evelo Dash, also a 350W folder, starts at $2,899.
The last bike in our roundup is the Big Dog from Green Bike. This beast of a folder sports a 750W rear hub motor, and is perfect for hilly rides on rutted and rocky trails. Not only will the fat tires absorb bumps in the road, but with a full-suspension frame, the Big Dog Off-Road is going to give you more comfort than a hardtail ride.
The fat tire folding ebike category is very popular, and there are tons of models to choose from. So why do we consider the Big Dog to be a good ebike for the money? Well, check out some of the competition. There is the Quietkat Bandit, which also has a 750W rear hub motor, but no rear suspension. It retails for $2,699. And the Maxfoot MF19 goes for $2,599.
So when it comes to fat tire folders that are a good price for the money, there’s no beating the Big Dog Off-Road.
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