The Best Cheap Electric Bikes Under $2000

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Best Overall

Propella 9S Pro V2

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Aventon Soltera.2

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The Best Name Brand Bike

Cannondale Adventure Neo Allroad Step Thru

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A Fully Loaded Ebike

Heybike Tyson

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Electric bikes reduce car congestion, get you moving, and reduce your carbon footprint. Also, they’re just really fun. I’ve never met anyone who has tried an electric bike and not wanted one; in the Netherlands, ebikes currently outsell regular bikes. However, that four-figure price tag induces sticker shock. Many states are considering incentive programs, but how does that help you if you want or need an ebike now?

Many factors drive up the price of an ebike, including expensive components, sophisticated computers, big batteries, and fancy frames. Thankfully, a handful of direct-to-consumer companies are making affordable ebikes so everyone can participate in the fun. Below, you’ll find the best cheap ebikes we tested. Got a bike we should know about? Leave a comment! Don’t forget to check out our Best Electric Bikes, Best Family Bikes, and Best Bike Accessories guides for more recommendations.

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  • Photograph: Will Matsuda

    Best Overall

    Propella 9S Pro V2

    I’ve only been riding the 9S Pro V2 for a short time, but we’ve tested enough Propella bikes that I can confidently recommend this one as the best for most people. At 43.5 pounds with an aluminum frame, it’s light enough for me, a smaller person, to lift out of the bike box and assemble without requiring a forklift. It comes about 85 percent assembled, so I can put it together in about 15 minutes. (The company suggests going to a shop if you don’t feel comfortable.)

    It’s a class 1 ebike, which means it assists up to 20 mph and it doesn’t have a throttle, so you will have to pedal and shift through each of the 9 gears. The display is tiny but bright and intuitive. It’s easy to navigate while riding, with just a button on the top and the side to turn it on, and a simple thumb toggle to scroll through 5 assist levels. This is Propella’s second version of this bike, which is now lighter and has a torque sensor so that the assistance feels even more natural. I also particularly like the clean frame with the integrated battery, which makes it less of a target for thieves; however, if you want a removable battery because you lock your bike up in a garage, Propella also still sells its cheaper 7-speed. This is the best first bike for everyone who already likes bikes and just wants or needs a little boost to make it the last few miles home.

  • Photograph: Aventon


    Aventon Soltera.2

    This Aventon is a pleasure to pedal, and you should plan on spinning your feet on this sleek e-bike. Like the Propella, the rear motor puts out just 350 watts, meaning you’re not going to zoom fast by just using the throttle button. The battery—which is so thin and discreet that many won’t notice it’s there—holds just 9.6 amp hours meaning you won’t zoom far either. This second-generation Soltera also now has a new torque sensor, which performed flawlessly in our testing and mostly eliminated that jerkiness when cheap electric motors offer imperfectly calibrated assistance.

    At 46 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than the Propella 9S Pro V2, but it still maneuvers better than many budget ebikes we’ve tried. The components all feel solid if not bombproof, and this bike’s great looks and performance on pedal assist mean it’s ideally suited to keeping up with a crowd of fit cyclists even if you’re a schlub. —Martin Cizmar

  • Photograph: REI

    The Best Name Brand Bike

    Cannondale Adventure Neo Allroad Step Thru

    Enough friends have asked me to help them assemble their new ebike that I now recommend that everyone go to a shop. Going to a shop in person means you can try a bunch of bikes to find out what style you like and get sized properly. Shops usually include free assembly and a service program for 30 days or a year so you don’t have to tinker in your driveway or garage. If you’re the kind of person who would pay an extra $250 for assembly from a company like Velofix, then going to a shop is worth it.

    We’ve had great experiences with Cannondale’s Adventure Neo line (8/10, WIRED Recommends). With the latest Adventure Neo Allroad, Cannondale has switched out some of the components to make the bike more accessible. It’s a class 2 ebike with a 250-watt Bafang motor with a Bafang sensor and a thumb throttle, which makes it a class 2 ebike even though it tops out at 20 mph assist. It’s essentially a Rad Power Bike (see below) you can have assembled and tuned for you in a shop, but it’s versatile and nimble on both roads, trails, and gravel, and small enough to fit my 5’2″ height. I rode this for over a week on roads and dirt and gravel paths near my house. It’s not the most powerful bike I’ve tested, but it’s a perfectly serviceable bike that did get me up the 15 percent hill I’ve nicknamed “Battery Killer.”

  • Photograph: Will Matsuda

    A Fully Loaded Ebike

    Heybike Tyson

    Changing your lifestyle from a car-oriented one to a bike-oriented one can be a big transition. An ebike isn’t going to change your life if it spends most of its time in your garage because you forgot to buy lights or you don’t feel safe riding it around. At 77 pounds, the Heybike Tyson (6/10, WIRED Review) is incredibly heavy and some of the components are fragile—I did crack the screen after I accidentally knocked it over from a standstill in my garage.

    However, if you want to try out an ebike lifestyle in a super fast, comfortable, and convenient way, I still say this is a decent pick. In addition to an enormously powerful 750-watt motor, this class 3 ebike has dual suspension, enormous tires, and a plush seat for a comfy ride. It also has the most extensive ebike dashboard I’ve ever seen, with turn signals, multiple buttons, and a throttle. A proprietary app also tells you the bike’s location and warns you if it’s been stolen. The battery range is less than advertised, especially if you lean heavily on the throttle. Still, it’s a good-looking bike that will have you riding at night and in the rain in no time (you will still have to buy an additional lock though).

  • Photograph: Rad Power Bikes

    The Best Utility Bike

    Rad Power Bikes RadRunner 2

    The RadRunner is Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes’ flagship utility bike; I tried the first version, and WIRED commerce director Martin Cizmar tested the RadRunner 3 Plus ($2,099). The company also sells a RadRunner Plus ($1,799). The Plus denotes the tricked-out version with the passenger package and wheel guards; the third version has a few upgrades, like a slightly more powerful motor and the newer battery style that is integrated into the downtube. We have to note here that Rad Power was the focus of several lawsuits for a few years; however, these latest bikes are UL-certified.

    Overall, the RadRunner series is one of the most common direct-to-consumer e-bikes I see in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. The RadRunner 2 is a class 2 ebike, and Cizmar notes the bike feels burly and stable enough to support the weight of a grade schooler on the back seat. Rad’s signature lights are blindingly bright, and the knobby tires and suspension are great for rougher city sidewalks or hopping low curbs. It’s a little difficult to lock up at the thicker part of the frame, but the bike’s design includes thinner tubes that will work.

  • Photograph: Gotrax

    Best Folding Bike

    GoTrax F2 V2

    I’ve had a hit-or-miss track record testing Gotrax’s electric kick scooters, but I’m pretty happy with its F2 electric bike. Considering the sub-1,000 price, this fat-tire ebike had enough range to take me from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, to Pier 57 in Manhattan, a roughly 20-mile roundtrip with some pitstops, and it had juice to spare. (I tested the original F2, but a new “V2” model adds slight improvements, like a stronger rear rack, hydraulic brakes, and a comfier seat.) At 58 pounds, it’s not as lightweight as the Lectric XP Lite (which costs $799), but it can go further. The thick tires make bumps on the road a piece of cake. It has a 500-watt motor, and I averaged around 12 mph on the third pedal assistance level (there’s a throttle you can twist too). You get a seven-speed Shimano shifter, which makes it more versatile to ride.

    The usual faults of any fat-tire folding ebike apply. It’s cumbersome to fold up and heavy. The original model required a key to be plugged in on the underside of the bike to start it, but that has since been remedied in the V2 model—now you just need the key to unlock and remove the battery. The rear hub motor does keep running for a second after you stop pedaling, so just be careful when you’re coming to a traffic light. Direct-to-consumer bikes usually have some kind of damage from shipping in my experience, and on the F2, it was a broken reflector (which is frankly much better than the damage I’ve seen on Lectrics). Still, you get all the amenities you want including a rear cargo rack, bell, headlight, and tail light. It’s hard to beat that value. —Julian Chokkattu

  • Photograph: Wing

    The VanMoof Alternative

    Wing Freedom X

    Last year, the Dutch company VanMoof—long referred to as “the Tesla of ebikes”—went bankrupt. That was unfortunate, as we very much liked the affordable, good-looking bikes. If you want a Euro-style VanMoof alternative that’s light, stylish, and affordable, you might want to try the Wing Freedom X (7/10, WIRED Review). WIRED reviewer Matt Jancer notes it’s an awful lot of bike for $1,500. It’s a class 1 ebike with a 350-watt Bafang motor (you can purchase a throttle separately), seven gears, and five levels of assist. Jancer says it has strong acceleration and comfy grips and seat; it does, however, have a bit of a laggy throttle and only so-so cable brakes.

  • Photograph: Electra

    Best Comfy Cruiser

    Electra Loft Go! 7D EQ

    We’re currently testing a few more sit-up cruisers, which is this particular style of bike meant for comfortable, slow riding around your neighborhood. If you need a bike for running errands in your sundress this summer, I recommend the Electra Loft Go! (7/10, WIRED Review). It’s almost 20 pounds lighter than the last Electra I tested, thanks to a new lightweight drivetrain system made by Hyena. It’s a class 1 ebike with a 250-watt rear hub motor and an integrated 250-Wh battery.

    This isn’t a bike meant for a rigorous daily commute. The range is only about 25 miles, there’s no suspension, and the curved handlebars are meant to be comfortable, not to steer around lots of rocks and potholes. However, it let me do what it’s meant to do perfectly, which to me, meant breeze effortlessly next to my husband with a straw purse tucked under my arm as we went to go get patio cocktails in the afternoon.

  • Photograph: Aventon

    The Best All-Terrain Bike

    Aventon Aventure.2

    One of my favorite electric bikes is the Specialized Turbo Tero (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which I called the quiver-killer—that one bike that can go anywhere, at any time, and do anything. The affordable version of that is this fat-tire ebike from Aventon. WIRED associate reviews editor Parker Hall used the Aventure.2 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) for everything from riding on trails to going to the store. It ships as a class 2 ebike, but you can unlock it to be a class 3, because, as Hall says, “more power rules.”

    This is an ebike that feels a lot like hopping on a superlight motorcycle, but Hall does not consider that a bad thing. He rode it all summer and it felt remarkably powerful and stable, with big fat tires, front suspension, and components like a Shimano gearset. The price includes the built-in lights and fenders. As a non-bike-mechanic, he did have some trouble adjusting the hydraulic brakes (I’ll say it again: take your bike to a shop!) but he rode it for an entire summer of versatile commuting and park visits.

  • Photograph: Lectric Bikes

    The Best Cargo Bike

    Lectric XPedition Cargo Bike

    It is simply preposterous that the Lectric XPedition only costs this much. Several of my friends own it; my spouse prefers it to my much more expensive Tern GSD (8/10, WIRED Recommends). For the price, the build quality and the components are remarkable. You can set it to ride as a class 1, 2, or 3 ebike with five different levels of assist and throttle; the 750-watt motor has a peak of 1,310W as well, so it will have no trouble carrying heavy loads.

    I am 115 pounds and my husband is 170 pounds; while I can get up the steep Battery Killer hill in Portland, Oregon on my Tern GSD while carrying two kids, he cannot. He’s much heavier and needs the throttle on the Lectric to give him the juice when he needs it. It’s adjustable and has a low center of gravity, so both of us can use it, and the rear rack holds up to 300 pounds. Lectric also has an enormous amount of high-quality accessories, and you can customize it pretty easily. The dual kickstand is not that stable and the motor is kind of loud, but that’s about the only flaws. It’s the easiest bike I’ve assembled out of the box too. This is the only cheap ebike I will regularly ride as a passenger, and it feels great.

  • Photograph: SixThreeZero Bike Co.

    The Best Bike for Elderly Riders

    SixThreeZero EvryJourney Tricycle

    As WIRED contributor Stephanie Pearson notes, an electric bike keeps people healthy and moving long after they might have had to set down an analog bike. But older adults might require a bike with a step-through frame or other accommodations to help them keep it from tipping over.

    The solution is an electric tricycle, and this class 2 trike from SixThreeZero fits the bill. The 250W motor is in the front hub, which gives it a speed of 15 mph in full-throttle mode. It has a range of up to 60 miles, and there’s even a rear basket where your elderly loved one can put their small dog or a basket of library books. It’s not easy to lift, but it comes in a wide array of colors and it’s very, very cute. As long as your loved one has a garage that they can roll it into, he or she can keep pedaling for as long as they want.

  • Photograph: Jackrabbit

    My Favorite Tiny Ebike

    Jackrabbit XG

    Ebikes come and ebikes go, but the one bike that I always want to have on hand is a JackRabbit. You might call it a microbike. This is the most useful electric bike I have for what city planners call trip-chaining, or putting multiple trips together. This is a bike that you can easily throw into a trunk and zip off to the grocery store while your kids are at the park, or if you want to drop off your car at Les Schwab and zip home for 2 to 3 hours.

    The cheaper OG rings in at $1,000 but the new XG has a slightly longer frame, a 500-watt motor, and two swappable battery slots. More power and more range make it much more useful than the original JackRabbit, even if it is a little bigger. (I do have to admit that it was funny forcing my much larger spouse to ride up and down the street on a quarter-sized electric bike.) I enjoy puttering around my neighborhood and startling my neighbors when I zip around a corner on something that looks like what their child should be riding. It is a cute and capable last-mile solution.

  • Photograph: Ride 1 Up

    Honorable Mentions

    Other Bikes We Like

    Not every bike we’ve tested is a top pick, but here are a few more options if nothing above suits you:

    • The Lectric XP 3.0 for $1,437: This is the bike I see the most often in my neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. WIRED senior reviews editor Julian Chokkattu also found that it offered great value for the price, with suspension, a throttle, reliable range, and a host of affordable accessories. He also tested Lectric’s XP Lite, which honestly wasn’t that much lighter and was frustrating to use.
    • The Lectric XP Trike for $1,715: This is a slightly more affordable option than the Sixthreezero trike above. WIRED senior reviews editor Julian Chokkattu tested it and enjoyed the range and power of this trike, but he also had some difficulties maneuvering it around and keeping it maintained.
    • The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser for $1,595: I’m always surprised that 65-pound behemoths are always advertised as entry-level electric bikes. Nevertheless, I found that Ride1Up’s version offers a lot of power and comfort for the money, with big thick wheels, a plushy seat, and a long-lived battery.
  • Photograph: Johner Images/Getty Images

    Keep It Fire Free

    What Is UL Certification?

    Even cheap ebikes are vehicles, not toys. In our years of testing electric bikes, we’ve had components snap on us at 20 miles per hour; we had pedals break off, kicked fenders as we rode, and even had drive trains arc on us as we were assembling them. It’s important that we recommend a safe bike.

    The most important factor we look for as we test ebikes is UL certification. As ebikes have boomed in popularity, so have the number of deadly fires from charging poorly-regulated lithium-ion batteries. Starting on September 16, 2023, New York City requires that all battery-operated mobility devices sold, rented, or leased in New York City be certified by an accredited testing laboratory to comply with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety standards.

    You don’t have to let safety considerations deter you from buying a cheap ebike, but we would urge you to consider a few basic safety rules. As a general rule of thumb, treat your bike like you would any other giant battery. Do not leave it charging overnight. Do not use a third-party charger. If it gets smashed, starts leaking, or looks weird, leave it alone and call the fire department. And as always, do not let your children ride it or play with it unattended.

Adrienne So is a senior associate reviews editor for WIRED, where she reviews consumer technology. She graduated from the University of Virginia with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, and she previously worked as a freelance writer for Cool Hunting, Paste, Slate, and other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.