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Best Electric Bikes for Sale Under $1,500 in 2023

eBike by the mountains
E-bikes can get expensive fast. But don't worry. Below, we've compiled a list of the best high-quality e-bikes that don't break the bank.
eBike by the mountains
Written by Toby Hill
E-Bike Reviewer

A wonderful benefit of technological advancements at the top end of the electric bicycle industry is the trickle-down effect of lower price points. An e-bike that may be listed at $1,500 or less would have cost nearly two or three times that amount just a few years earlier.

In the price band we look at here — e-bikes under $1,500 — you’re almost always looking at an electric equipped with a hub motor rather than a pricer and more sophisticated mid-drive motor. Components won’t be any brand’s ‘halo’ offering, either, but reliable, serviceable, and downright solid-performing parts are have become much more common.

So let’s look at six of the best e-bikes you can find in different categories, from commuting to cargo hauling.

Best Commuter E-Bike Under $1,500

Aventon E-Bikes logo

Aventon Soltera Step-Through

aventon-soltera-step-thru

41 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

43 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

41 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

43 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Seniors
Approx. Price:
$899
Model Year:
Ideal For
• Family rides with the kids
• Seeing friends
• Commuting
• Going to business meetings
• Utility runs

Highlights

  • Diamond or step-through frame
  • Lightweight
  • Integrated lighting

Bottom Line

The entry-level model in Aventon’s broad line of hub-drive e-bikes, the Soltera city bike comes in step-through and step-over frame options — with two sizes for each — to fit riders 4’11” to 6’1” and 5’3” to 6’4” respectively. That’s a wide fit range ensuring a comfortable riding position for all but the tallest and shortest customers. It offers Class 2 pedal and throttle assist up to 20 mph via a 350W brushless rear hub motor with cadence sensing, powered by a 346Wh battery integrated into the downtube of its aluminum frame.

You get a lot of bang for a relatively small ‘buck’ with the Soltera: a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors, grippy and fast-rolling 700x35c Kenda tires, integrated front and rear lighting (the rear lights house in the frame’s seat stays are particularly slick), and a comfy Selle Royal comfort saddle.

Things to Consider

While the Soltera boasts considerable acceleration, its electric assist tops out at 20 mph, rather than the Class 3 (pedal assist only) standard of 28 mph. To hit that higher speed, you’ll need to increase your price point for a model like Aventon’s Level.2 commuter at $1,799 and tune it to Class 3 status through Aventon’s smartphone app.

Best Folding E-Bike Under $1,500

Engwe Bikes logo

Engwe EP-2 Pro

engwe-ep-2-pro

50 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

75 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

50 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

75 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Men, Seniors, Women
Approx. Price:
$1,099
Model Year:
2022
Ideal For
• Small Space Living
• Commuting
• Camping/RVing/Boating
• Utility Rides
• General Riding

Highlights

  • 750W sustained/960W peak motor
  • 20 x 4” tires
  • Compact storage

Bottom Line

A folder that’s no lightweight commuter, this 74-pound beast seeks the roads and trails less traveled. It’s outfitted with meaty 20 x 4” fat tires to float over sand, gravel, and a bit of snow, and packs plenty of power with its 750W rear hub motor putting out 55Nm of torque. And Engwe claims the 624Wh battery will get you up to 74.5 miles of range using pedal assist and as much as 31 miles relying on the bike’s throttle alone.

The Engwe EP-2 Pro comes equipped with a rear rack and has a total payload capacity (rider included) of 330 pounds. In three steps, it folds down to dimensions of 38.9 x 29.9 x 21.6” for carrying in your car’s trunk, but keep in mind you’ll need to hoist 74 pounds of mass to make that happen.

Things to Consider

The EP-2 fits a wide range of riders (5’2” to 6’3”). Still, at almost 75 pounds, it might be a lot of bikes for smaller and lighter riders to manage — especially if it needs to be lifted into a trunk or hatchback.

Best Cargo E-Bike Under $1,500

Lectric logo

Lectric XPedition Cargo

lectric-xpedition-cargo

150 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

8 hrs

CHARGE TIME

68 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

150 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

8 hrs

CHARGE TIME

68 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Men, Women
Approx. Price:
$1,699
Model Year:
2023
Ideal For
• Family Car Alternative
• Delivery Bikes for Shops or Couriers
• Long-Distance Touring
• Utility Bike Riding

Highlights

  • Dual-Battery Option
  • 450-lb Payload Capacity
  • Longtail Design
  • Powerful Hub Motor
  • Variety of Accessories Available

Bottom Line

Lectric endorses the XPedition cargo e-bike to carry up to 450 pounds (including rider) — more specifically, 300 pounds max on the included rear rack and as much as 35 pounds on a front rack should you add one to bolt onto the frame’s headtube mounts.

It’s a cargo hauler that comes ready to accessorize, and Lectric offers packages and individual add-ons galore for carrying cargo, kids, or even an adult passenger. A muscular 750W sustained/1310W peak rear hub motor with 85Nm of torque helps propel that load, and a second battery (a $300 add-on) can be run simultaneously with the base power pack to double the XPedition’s range.

Things to Consider

You’ll need space to store this longtail e-cargo bike. The handlebar mast folds to save more than a foot of vertical space, but you’re still left with six full feet of length to fit somewhere. Unlike pricier mid-motor cargo e-bikes such as the Yuba FastRack or Tern HSD, the XPedition cannot be stood up on its back end to eat up less floor space in your garage or home.

Best Beach Cruiser E-Bike Under $1,500

Denago logo

Denago Cruiser Model 1 Top-Tube

denago-model-one

53 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

3 hrs

CHARGE TIME

55 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

53 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

3 hrs

CHARGE TIME

55 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Men, Women
Approx. Price:
$1,099
Model Year:
2022
Ideal For
• Beach Cruising
• Pub Crawls
• Light Utility Riding
• Cafe Hopping
• Visiting Friends in the Neighborhood

Highlights

  • Oozes Classic Style
  • Ultra-Relaxed Riding Position
  • Integrated Battery
  • High-Step and Low-Step Options

Bottom Line

Does this bike look the part or what? Those arcing twin frame tubes, wide, swept-back chrome handlebars, a sprung comfort saddle, and classic aluminum chain guard will no doubt pluck at the heartstrings of riders of a certain age. Just a classic-looking beach cruiser, with seamless integration of a 396Wh battery into the frame’s downtube and a discreet 350W rear hub motor barely betraying that this is even an e-bike. She’s a head-turner, for sure.

You get Class 2 pedal and throttle assist up to 20 mph, mechanical disc brakes with motor cutoff switches, a 7-speed drivetrain, front and rear fenders, and frame mounting points for front and rear racks. The Cruiser Model 1 also comes in a low-step frame version to fit riders down to 5’1”, while the Cruiser Model 1 Top-Tube fits riders 5’4” to 6’3”.

Things to Consider

If you have other bikes, they will start feeling lonely and neglected. The Cruiser Model 1 is just too delicious-looking to resist taking out for a spin over any alternative.

Best Fat Tire E-Bike Under $1,500

Velotric logo

Velotric Nomad 1

velotric-nomad-one-3

55 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

8 hrs

CHARGE TIME

73 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

55 mi

RANGE

20 mph

TOP SPEED

8 hrs

CHARGE TIME

73 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Men, Seniors, Women
Approx. Price:
$1,799
Model Year:
2022
Ideal For
• Taking the long way home from work
• Shopping
• Commuting
• RVing
• Day Long Rides

Highlights

  • 4”-wide fat tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Suspension fork
  • Full-coverage fenders

Bottom Line

Deflate the Nomad 1’s 4”-wide tires to single-digit psi for riding sand, gravel, and snow, or firm them up for faster bike path and road riding. You’ve got that versatility with Velotric’s fat tire offering. It’s also rated to carry up to 33 pounds on a front and 55 pounds on a rear rack, should you add those to the bike. The frame has mounting provisions for both.

Velotric equips the Nomad 1 with a high-capacity 691Wh semi-integrated battery and says the bike gets up to 55 miles of range on pedal assist and 52 miles on throttle alone (hmmm). It comes in both high- and low-step frame versions, fitting riders 5’1” to 6’9”.

Things to Consider

This is another heavy bike, so it’s a lot to manage. This is part of the tradeoff at this end of the price spectrum. As mountain bike legend Keith Bontrager aptly put it ages ago,  “Strong, light, cheap: pick two.”

Best Low-Step Leisure E-Bike Under $1,500

HOVSCO HOVCity 27.5″ Step-Thru

hovsco-hovcity-275

45 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

54 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

45 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

54 lbs

WEIGHT

Best For: Adults, Seniors, Women
Approx. Price:
$1,499
Model Year:
2022
Ideal For
• Commuting
• Visiting Friends
• Shopping
• Cafe Hopping
• RVing
• Exploring the Countryside

Highlights

  • Smooth-Welded Frame
  • Adjustable Top Assisted Speed
  • 540Wh Samsung/LG Battery With Flashlight

Bottom Line

Hovsco builds the HovCity 27.5” Step-Thru Cruiser on a smooth-welded aluminum low-step frame with components including a suspension fork with 75mm of bump-absorbing travel, cable-actuated disc brakes with 180mm rotors, a 7-speed drivetrain with a Shimano shifter, and front and rear fenders.

The heart of the HovCity is a 500W brushless rear hub motor that delivers pedal and throttle assist up to 20 mph, making it a Class 2 e-bike out of the box. However, customers can dial up the pedal assist to 28 mph through Hovsco’s app if they wish. Of course, that extra speed will reduce the bike’s range, which Hovsco claims to be up to 60 miles on pedal assist or 40 miles relying on the throttle.

Things to Consider

The e-bike does not come with any lights except for a strip of LEDs on the side of the frame-integrated battery. You’ll need to add a headlight and taillight for front and rear visibility. Hovsco offers a $19 add-on taillight but no headlight accessory. However, aftermarket options for both can be found in any bike shop or online.

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About Our Editorial Team

Toby Hill
Written by Toby Hill
E-Bike Reviewer
A trained journalist with 30 years of print and online experience, Toby Hill is an avid cyclist who has fully embraced the exciting new ride experiences that e-bikes have brought to his favorite pastime. He's ridden and tested dozens of e-bikes of all styles and technologies.

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