The Best Commuter E-Bike Under $2,000 in 2024

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A note from Tyler: This post has now updated for 2024 🙌🏻

What is the best commuter e-bike under $2,000?

An e-bike is an expensive purchase, with some e-bikes going for upward of $8,000. If you are looking for an e-bike for commuting but don’t want to buy a high-end e-bike, rest assured that there are many e-bikes that are reliable, sturdy, great for commuting, and under $2,000. We’ve compiled an updated list for 2024 of the best e-bikes out there for under $2,000. In this list we’ve outlined what we like, where they fall short, and what we’ve heard around town about each of the e-bikes. Our top pick for 2024 is the Tenways CGO800S. Keep reading for all the details!

Our Pick

Tenways CGO800S

What we like about it

The Tenways CGO800S is an excellent quality e-bike from the Netherlands. One of its best aspects is the Gate Carbon belt drive, providing a smooth pedaling experience and greater durability than chain drives. I switched from a chain drive to a belt drive last year and have been very happy with the upgrade. Traditionally reserved for higher end e-bikes, it’s exciting to see a belt drive on an e-bike that costs less than $2,000. This was our top pick for this category in 2023 and it continues to be our top pick for 2024.

The CGO800S also comes with a torque sensor instead of the typical cadence sensor seen in this price range. This allows for more nuanced power from the motor, adapting to your pedaling style. This can come in handy when you are navigating a crowded path or road. Often I find myself in a situation where I only need to apply a little bit of power, with a cadence sensor the motor will kick in too much (unless I adjust the PAS setting). But with a torque sensor, all I do is pedal softer and it gives me a little bit of power.

The combination of the belt drive and torque sensor ensures an exceptionally smooth ride on the CGO800S.

It’s equipped with a 350-watt hub motor which offers decent power without being excessive. Additionally, it has a removable battery that provides up to 53 miles of range – another great feature. Hydraulic disc brakes enhance performance and safety.

The step-thru frame makes the CGO800S fit a variety of rider heights. Tenways recommends it for riders ranging in height from 5’1″ to 6’3″. At 51 lbs, this is a relatively light e-bike.

A unique aspect of this e-bike is its rear turn flashing indicators or turn signals – adding both fun and practicality.

Overall, this well-rounded e-bike has very few downsides and offers excellent value for money. I had a blast riding this e-bike around the streets of Seattle last summer. It was so smooth to pedal and it had a nice bit of pep accelerating quickly after the stop signs.

Where it falls short

The 350-watt hub motor with 40 Nm of torque is not the strongest out there. This makes it a bit slower on hilly routes. It is also a single speed drivetrain, so you can’t get a very high cadence on the hills. If you are typically commuting on flat roads, this won’t be an issue. If you have a lot of hills on your commute you might find the CGO800S to not be the best fit for you.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Love the integrated LCD monitor”
  • “I get so many compliments on this bike!”
  • “This belt drive is amazing”
  • “Massively impressed with it. It copes well with rolling terrain
  • “Tenways has a good support team”

You can read our in-depth review of the TenwaysCGO800s here.

Runner Up

Vvolt Alpha

The Vvolt Alpha e-bike in the color Slate on a sandy river bank

What we like about it

When I first laid eyes on the Vvolt Alpha e-bike, priced attractively at $1,199, I was initially skeptical. Could a bike this affordable offer the full features of its more expensive counterparts? My experience as an e-bike reviewer has often led me to e-bikes double or even triple this price, but the Alpha pleasantly surprised me. It proved to be a superb blend of affordability and quality, providing exceptional value without feeling “cheap.”

Living in the city, I’ve often had to lug my e-bike up flights of stairs, a task where the Alpha’s nimble 43-pound frame would have been a godsend. Its agility and ease of maneuverability stood out during my test rides.

The Alpha’s Gates Carbon belt drive is another highlight. If you’re tired of chain noise and messy lubrication, you’ll love this. Riding the Alpha, I was enveloped in a serene calm, undisturbed by mechanical clatter, and fully immersed in my surroundings.

While the hydraulic disc brakes required a brief breaking-in period, their stopping power, particularly in wet conditions, was impressive. The process of conditioning the brakes, as suggested by Vvolt, significantly improved their responsiveness.

The bike’s nearly 2-inch wide tires were reliable across various terrains, offering stability and grip, whether on paved roads or light off-road paths. This versatility was particularly appreciated during my exploratory rides.

Another commendable aspect is Vvolt’s comprehensive three-year warranty, reflecting their confidence in the product and offering peace of mind. Their responsive customer service has also been a valuable resource during my time with the e-bike.

Finally, it’s nice that the battery is removable. Useful when you need to charge while out and about.

Where it falls short

Its 45 Nm torque rear hub motor struggles on steep inclines, indicating a design more suited for flat urban commutes. The use of a cadence sensor, rather than a torque sensor, sometimes led to jerky acceleration. Additionally, the absence of front suspension was noticeable on longer rides over uneven terrain.

The lack of a throttle and integrated lights was a drawback for me. As someone who often forgets to charge portable lights, integrated lighting would be a significant convenience.

Despite these shortcomings, the Vvolt Alpha stands out in the budget e-bike segment. Its thoughtful design, from the belt drive to the removable battery, showcases Vvolt’s understanding of urban and casual riders’ needs. While it may falter in steep terrains, its strengths make it an excellent choice for those new to e-biking, offering much value at its price point.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Love the bigger tires…they give it a comfortable ride.”
  • “The seamless and quiet ride from the belt drive system is a stark and welcome contrast to my old chain bike.”
  • “For someone new to e-bikes, the Alpha strikes the perfect balance of affordability and functionality
  • “This bike feels custom-built for city living”

You can read our in-depth review of the Vvolt Alpha here.

All of the Rest

Rad Power RadRover 6 Plus

What we like about it

Okay, I know I’m cheating a bit by including an e-bike that is $2,099, I know that’s $99 over, but Rad often has sales so you can sometimes pick up the RadRover for less than $2k. In fact for the last 6 months of 2023 they have had the Rover listed with a $600 discount.

The RadRover’s most distinctive feature is its large fat tires, which provide a remarkably smooth ride. These tires make short work of potholes and speed bumps, offering a comfortable commute no matter the terrain. However, the larger tires do slightly reduce the maximum range compared to the RadCity model, with a maximum range of 45 miles versus the RadCity’s 50-mile range. This difference is primarily due to increased rolling resistance from the larger tires, but it’s minimal.

The RadRover 6 Plus comes with hydraulic brakes, ensuring smooth and responsive braking. This is an upgrade from previous models which had mechanical disc brakes.

Rad has also upgraded the rear hub 750-watt motor. It’s now a geared hub motor. This means it can provide more torque at lower speeds. This makes a noticeable difference on the hills. While some riders (myself included) may prefer a mid-drive motor for a more natural pedaling feel, the RadRover’s rear-hub motor still provides ample power for a fun ride.

The battery on the RadRover 6 Plus is well-integrated, and the LCD screen is easy to read, displaying essential information such as speed, power output, odometer, and time of day. With a throttle and 25-45 mile range, the RadRover 6 Plus is a versatile option for various riding scenarios.

I love this e-bike for commuting in all sorts of increment weather because its rain fenders provide excellent coverage. Since Rad Power hails from rainy Seattle, they designed this bike to handle rainy commutes. 🙂🌧️

Rad Power also has an extensive accessories collection. If you plan to commute with a kid in the backseat, I’d recommend getting a front cargo rack or front-wheel panniers because a backpack will come close to hitting your kiddo in the face and rear-wheel panniers interfere with the kid seat. The front rack gives me room to stop off at the grocery store on the way home from work or daycare pickup.

Rad Power Bikes also backs their products with a 1-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Overall the RadRover 6 Plus is a versatile and reliable e-bike for commuting.

Where it falls short

Some drawbacks of the RadRover 6 Plus include the lack of an integrated rear rack, although an add-on option is available. The front-suspension fork is of lower quality and feels very stiff. Even adjusting the suspension damping didn’t change it much.

Also, the RadRover 6 Plus is relatively heavy at 73 pounds, which may be challenging for those needing to carry the bike up flights of stairs.

If you are on the shorter side the high-step frame can feel big and hard to step over. If this is the case then the step-thru frame that they offer for this e-bike is a great option.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “The essentials are built-in: lights, rear rack, bell”
  • “The big tires make it super fun to ride!”
  • “Easy to assemble”
  • “Issues with the throttle, but their service department was friendly and responsive”
  • “This bike handles the rough city roads like a champ!”

You can read our in-depth review of the RadRover 6 Plus here.

Ride1UP 700

Ride1Up in black

What we like about it

Ride1UP’s 700 series e-bike is an excellent balance of quality e-bike components and a reasonable price. The majority of this e-bike’s parts are from name brand trusted manufacturers, such as Bafang Motor, Shimano, and Samsung. I’m impressed that they are able to deliver these solid components at the $1,695 price point.

The hydraulic disc brakes, suspension front fork, and thick 2.4” wide tires will make the 700 a smooth and comfortable ride on your daily commute.

The 700 series is a Class 3, so it can go up to 28mph. This is fun if your commute includes some nice straight roads where you can really push the speed.

Their handlebar mounted 2.2″ color LCD display shows more stats about your e-bike than a display screen you’d find on the average e-bike. This is useful when you need to monitor your battery levels and power usage on a longer commute.

Where it falls short

One issue we’ve encountered with the 700 is that because it can go 28mph, the battery power can be used up quicker than expected. Ride1UP lists a range of 30 to 50 miles, but you may find it to be less than that if you spend most of your time using it on max power.

If you are planning to add a kid’s seat to the back rack and want to add Ride1UP’s front rack for additional cargo capacity, then you may be disappointed with the carrying capacity of the rack. The front rack attaches to the front fork rather than being directly bolted to the frame, meaning it has a smaller load capacity.

I would have liked them to make the rain and mud guards come down further to provide better coverage. The current length will leave you with wet feet if there is any water on the road. But, an easy enough fix is to add an extender flap to the front guard.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Great price for what you get”
  • “Solid ride for not a lot of cash”
  • “Feels a bit bulky”
  • “It’s so fast, it will put a smile on your face!”
  • “Rain guards don’t work that well”

You can read our in-depth review of the X here.

Rad Power RadRunner

Green Rad Runner e-bike with step thru frame

What we like about it

The RadRunner can accommodate a wide range of rider heights, ranging from 4’11” to 6’2.” What makes it especially great for shorter or petite people is its low step-over frame. Very helpful if you plan to share it with your spouse or roommate. The RadRunner has been great in our house because my wife is 5’3’’ and I’m 6’2” and we can both use it comfortably (whereas she struggles to comfortably ride my RadCity). We have attached the Thule kid seat to it, and can both use it to drop off or pick up our 2yo son from daycare.

We are big fans of its overall esthetic. The step-thru frame and upright positioned handlebars give it a cruiser-casual-feel that makes my wife want to ride it around town for errands or wherever else as her default mode of transportation.

Its reinforced rear bench can also be converted to a bench seat that can hold a full-sized adult. Great for going out on a date and avoiding the traffic.

Where it falls short

It’s still a pretty heavy bike (65 lbs), so while it’s great for petite or smaller people overall, they may still struggle to maneuver it when not riding it. My wife hasn’t had any issues maneuvering or steering it while riding, but sometimes she does find it challenging to shift it to parked position in the garage.

Additionally, I’m not a fan of the seat. It’s not very ergonomic – it’s almost a square shape – making it uncomfortable to ride on for more than a few miles.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “It comes on hard accelerating out of corners”
  • “I like the look of the bike”
  • “It is a good bike for its price
  • “My only advice is to get a second battery”

Juiced CrossCurrent S2

Juiced CrossCurrent e-bike in black

What we like about it

The Juiced CrossCurrent S2 has a pot of power and speed. The 52-volt battery and 750 watt rear hub motor combine to give you speeds of up to 28mph, which is faster than most other e-bikes which cap out at 20mph. It also boasts a 65+ mile range, which is longer than most e-bikes in this price range.

It comes in three different sizes which makes it good for riders of all sizes.

I really like that even though this bike is $1,599 it still has hydraulic disc brakes because they are much smoother and more responsive than cable disc brakes.

Interestingly, S2 uses torque and cadence sensor technology to give a more responsive assist when you pedal so there is less of a lag from when you first pedal and the motor assist kicks in. This quick acceleration is a noticeable improvement from other e-bikes.

Where it falls short

The tires on the S2 are only 1.75” wide which is narrower than we’d like on a commuter e-bike. While narrower tires are faster, we find that slightly wider and thicker tires are better at handling the bumps in the road and keeping you upright on a wet day.

Rain guards don’t come by default, a red flag for any commuter bike.

The S2 boasts a long range, but because the pedal assist goes up to 28mph, it’s easy to forget how much power you are using and run out of battery. We recommend keeping a close eye on your charge when you have it in full power mode.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “I weigh 220 lbs and it gets me up all the hills”
  • “Bike seems well built but quality control is horrible”
  • “Excellent power and speed”
  • “Doesn’t feel like very high quality”

Wing Freedom 2

Wing Freedom 2 e-bike in black

What we like about it

The Wing Freedom 2 has a very nice design. E-bike enthusiasts will notice that the design is very similar to the more expensive e-bike from VanMoof, the S3. At 39 lbs, it’s one of the lightest e-bike out there. You can select between three battery size options. The mid-sized 10.4AH battery will give you about 45 miles for range.

It comes with a 550w Bafang motor with a max speed of 25 mph.

The Freedom 2 has high-quality Shimano parts, which make changing gears smooth. It also comes with a removable battery, which is useful if where you store your bike and charge your battery is different.

It has a few cool anti-theft characteristics that we really like. The first is an anti-theft tamper detection and really loud alarm that will deter someone from messing with this e-bike. If they do cut your lock and make off with the bike, well then use Wing’s location tracking that leverages Apple’s airtag technology. You’ll need to pay an additional $80 to add location tracking to your e-bike and we think that is definitely worth it.

Overall a stylish looking e-bike perfect for urban commuting.

Where it falls short

The rear hub motor will make it a bit tougher on steep hills. If you are a larger rider (over 250lbs), you may find that it feels under-powered.

It has mechanical brakes, instead of hydraulic, making it slightly less responsive when you pull the brake to when it actually stops.

This isn’t a great e-bike if you’ll be commuting with kids and want to attach a Thule seat to the rear rack. The optional rear rack sold by Wing can only support 20 to 25 pounds, which doesn’t give us confidence when it comes to putting our toddler on the back in a Child Seat. If you are looking for a bike that can also be used to tote your kid to school, this wouldn’t be the bike for you.

What we’ve heard around town

  • “Sleek looking”
  • “Can easily pick it up”
  • “Alarm is shockingly loud”
  • “The detachable battery with a key is a good feature”
  • “Died with little warning”
  • The components (derailleur, brakes, etc) are all very average”

Common Questions

How much should I pay for a good electric bike?

The answer to this question really depends on what you’ll be using the e-bike for. If you are looking for a “bakfiets” style cargo bike, you’ll likely end up spending $7,000+, but if you’re looking for a commuter e-bike for a short commute, or an e-bike to run a few errands, then you can buy a good e-bike for $1000-$2000.

There are three price tiers or ranges of e-bikes: Inexpensive (less than $1,000), Mid-range ($1,000 to $3,000), and High-end ($3,000+). For an overview of the price ranges for e-bikes and what to expect in each price range, read our Buyer’s Guide.

What are the 3 classes of e-bikes?

The three classes of e-bikes are Class 1: Max speed of 20mph with a pedal assist that only provides power when pedaling, Class 2: Max speed of 20mph with pedal assist or a throttle, and Class 3: Max speed of 28mph with a pedal assist, depending on the state you may not be able to have a throttle on a Class 3 e-bike.

For more on the various types of options on e-bikes and what to consider when buying one, read our Buyer’s Guide.

What is the best commuter electric bike for under $1,000?

The Lectric XP Lite is $799 and it’s one of our favorite inexpensive e-bikes. It’s a great one for commuting if you’re on a budget. It’s a light and foldable e-bike that comes fully assembled. Even though it’s under $1,000, it does have a throttle and multiple levels of pedal assist (but note that it is a single speed e-bike). It also has an LCD screen to display the pedal assist and battery charge, and it has a max speed of 20mph. All in all, it’s a solid e-bike for commuting. The one downside: it doesn’t come with mud guards.

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