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The Cheapest E-Bikes – Worth the Investment? 

By Christopher Ashley

E-bikes are fun and they’re here to stay.  Motor and battery tech improvements mean retailers are offering lower prices – but where are these great deals, and what’s the catch?

Zinc Electric BMX, less than £250

Argos offers a pretty tasty-looking urban whip.  The 20” wheeled dirt-mobile is probably a little heavy to perform an x-up – it weighs in at over 16.2kg.  All that additional weight is due to the 24v lithium battery and enough wattage to get you up to 20mph (limited to 15mph in the UK).  So what’s the catch?

Argos recommend that riders are aged 13 years and over, which doesn’t give you very long before you’ve grown out of the bike.  Some people ride BMX well into adulthood, but these aren’t the guys looking for motored assistance.  If you add an adult’s weight to a 16kg bike, the battery will wear down quickly – this bike may have limited appeal.

Coyote Connect Folding Electric Bike, £500

A folding bike AND an electric bike, rolled into one.  This is your urban commuter’s dream.  House to train station – train station to office, without annoying your fellow travellers.  This bike has front wheel drive to assist your 6-speed Shimano rear wheel gearing.  Superb.  So what’s the catch?

Let’s face it – you’re not going to win a beauty contest any time soon on this machine.  And the front wheel motor really is an assistance to the rear wheel drive, rather than an augmentation of the power you’re putting into the rear wheel.  That said, you still get a pretty good piece of tech for your money.


I confess – this is the one bike in this list I’ve not seen in person, but I really wanted to include it.  Check it out, they didn’t even want to remove the wrapping from the seat.  So there must be a catch?  Well, the bike is from India – a country you don’t exactly link with big cycling brands.

On the other hand, India has a growing reputation for cycling innovation, and this may be one of those breakthrough brands.  LIMITLESS are serious, and they’ve just been commissioned by an Indian authority to supply a state government with a fleet of electric bikes…

Your own bike, £378

Looking at my collection of bikes, there are a few I don’t ride and I’m looking to try the electric bike experience.  I can’t bear to sell bikes that have great geometry, a smooth ride, and badass upgraded tyres, so why not simply use what I got and fit one of these bad boys?

You may balk at the idea of paying that just for a wheel, motor, and battery – but you’re getting 1000 W of power, which means you can glide up hills with no effort, even if you’re packing serious weight.  And you get two-wheel drive for a whole new off-road experience.  Now, which of your bikes do you want to breathe new life into?