Always Ride with a Tailwind on Trek’s Latest Domane. Trek electric road bike

Always Ride with a Tailwind on Trek’s Latest Domane

The lightweight and quiet Domane SLR proves that less can be more for e-road bikes.

Takeaway: Trek’s Domane SLR is a different type of road bike. And it’s a different type of e-bike. The Domane SLR combines lightweight, comfort, and pedal assist into the look and feel of a traditional road bike. The Domane’s TQ motor system delivers assistance smoothly and runs quietly, making for a bike that feels at home on any kind of road ride. The bike’s biggest downside is the very high price tag.

Weight: 26.7 lbs (size 52cm)Price: 13,000

Trek Domane SLR 9 AXS

A Different Type of E-Bike

It’s important to distinguish between Trek’s latest, third-generation Domane and most other e-bikes currently on the market. E-bikes in the commuter and mountain categories are usually termed full-power e-bikes. These bikes have large-capacity (and thus heavy) batteries paired with powerful motors. Many of these full-power e-bikes hit peak power outputs of 700w and have up to 80 Nm of torque. And the motors on these bikes are designed to push as much power as fast as possible to get you to maximum regulated speeds of 20 or 28mph.

Trek’s Domane SLR is not like that at all. Riding the Domane SLR is an experience much closer to that of riding a traditional road bike, except that you have a sweet tailwind where ever you go.

While no agreed-upon standard naming exists for this e-bike category, bikes like the Domane are often called lightweight e-bikes. Its TQ HPR-50 motor is far less powerful than something you find on full-power e-bikes made for commuting or cargo duties. For instance, at 700W, the Specialized Globe Haul ST has more than double the peak power output of the Domane.

For the TQ HRP-Motor, max torque is capped at 50 Nm, and the most power a ride will ever get from it is 300W. The most obvious benefit of this huge weight saving in the motor and battery itself allows the rest of the bike to be built lighter. Both of these things combine to make the Domane genuinely one of the lightest production e-bikes on the market (26.7 pounds for the 52cm size).

A 360 Wh battery housed inside the downtube powers the new motor. Trek claims the battery is good for up to a 90-mile range in Eco mode. Riders can add an optional range extender (which takes up a water bottle cage mount) for an extra 160 Wh capacity. As with any e-bike range estimates, your mileage will vary based on rider weight, elevation gain, and what assist mode is used.

Three levels of e-assist are available via the handy buttons tucked in near the shifters. The modes are customizable in the Trek mobile app to suit your riding style and preferences. The central top tube display offers a variety of display pages with things like battery life, your current power output, the motor’s current power output, speed, and distance. When you are charging the system, the display shows a countdown to when the battery will be fully charged.

Honestly, it was the remote buttons that stole the show for me. So many road e-bikes will rip you out of the familiar ride experience by forcing you to use cumbersome mode controls. By comparison, the Trek system felt natural and easy—similar to the auxiliary shift buttons on high-end road bikes.

always, ride, tailwind, trek

While the various e-bike features of the Domane SLR are impressive, it’s worth noting that Trek also nailed the regular bike bits. First, they bumped the official tire clearance from 35mm to 40mm. The wider rubber gives the Domane a bit more versatility or comfort, depending on the tires you use. There are also hidden fender mounts in case rain is a common feature of your rides.

As is expected on a high-priced road bike, the Domane’s cables are fully-internal. But Trek goes about it in a way that doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out. Brake lines run externally on the handlebar and under the stem before disappearing into dedicated ports on the headset cover. A small plastic cover attaches to the stem to hide the lines from view. This allows for easy handlebar and stem swaps for fit adjustments if needed.

Geometry

The Domane frame geometry is nearly identical to the standard, non-assist Domane. The only change is a 10mm increase in chainstay length (needed to fit the TQ motor). As with the standard Domane, the stack and reach numbers are much more relaxed than Trek’s race bikes like the Madone or Emonda but are still relatively sporty overall.

Pricing and Models

Trek offers the Domane with the TQ motor in six different builds. All of these options use the same frameset, battery, and motor. None of them are cheap. Our test bike equipped with SRAM Red eTap AXS and Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37V carbon wheels sells for an eye-watering 13,000.

The most affordable model in the lineup—equipped with SRAM’s Rival eTap AXS and slightly heavier Bontrager carbon wheels—still retails for 9,000.

The “value” Trek offers with the Domane is almost entirely in the TQ motor system, which has a unique ride experience but commands an enormous price premium. A Pinarello Nytro E9 e-road bike with the same TQ motor will also set you back 13,000

As a brand, Trek doesn’t generally shy away from premium-priced bikes, and in that respect, the Domane is priced similarly to its non-assisted version. Hopefully, as the technology develops, Trek will offer the TQ system on more affordable bikes and models.

Trek can point to the Domane AL 5 as perhaps a more reasonably priced e-road bike model at 3,500. But, there are some key differences between the AL 5 and the significantly more premium Domane models. The alloy versus carbon frame is the obvious one, but I argue the more crucial difference is that the AL 5 uses a hub-based motor instead of the mid-drive TQ motor. This change (accompanied by a lower maximum-assisted speed of just 20mph) eliminates the AL 5 as an option for riders who want to participate in faster-paced group rides (where speeds are often above 20mph).

Ride Impressions

Trek designed the Domane SLR to feel and ride similarly to a traditional, non-electric assist road bike, and I think they came exceptionally close. Riding the Domane feels much more like you’re having an amazing day on the bike, instead of a typical e-bike ride.

The first thing you notice with the TQ motor is its incredibly subtle power delivery. There’s no sudden jolt or kick when the motor kicks in, versus the feel of many full-power e-bikes. The Domane SLR feels much more like a slowly gathering tailwind that’s helping you get up to speed.

Adding to this feeling is how clever the whole system is at figuring out how much assistance you need. It’s not a simple linear relationship of effort to assist. For example, when starting from a stop, the Domane will give you a brief bit of extra boost to get you moving that gradually tapers off as you settle into your pace. Similarly, once you’re up to speed, you need to actually put in effort to get the motor to kick out some extra boost. The whole system does a remarkable job of making you feel great on the bike without constantly reminding you that you are on an e-bike. But riders that want more boost could always tune the system to their preferences via the Trek mobile app.

The TQ motor is so danged quiet that you will sometimes forget you’re riding an e-bike. If you don’t spend much time riding e-bikes, this might be hard to appreciate, but some electric motors can sound pretty loud. This is especially true on powerful commuter e-bikes where the motor noise can distract from the cycling experience.

The Domane SLR’s motor is practically silent. There is some noise, but it is so minor that you must listen closely to hear it. Otherwise, the noise fades into the background sounds of riding a bike, along with wind, tire, and drivetrain sounds.

The ride quality of the Domane is somewhat of a mixed bag. As on other Trek models with IsoSpeed (the suspension feature at the seat and top tube junction), the system works very well and provides compliance. But the front end of the Domane is incredibly stiff by comparison. This is due to the overbuilt downtube of the frame (designed to accommodate the motor and battery), which results in increased harshness up front. Fortunately, Trek equips the Domane with 40mm wide Bontrager GR1 tires. At first, I thought putting gravel tires on a road bike was a bit weird, but the added comfort of the wider tire helped counteract the harsh-feeling front end.

The Domane is so good at blending its e-bike characteristics into the background of your ride that I sometimes began asking, “Why don’t I just ride an assisted bike all the time?” I spent plenty of time thinking about that while riding this bike back to back with non-assisted bikes. Simply put, the Domane SLR is fun—It is fun to go out and experience what riding with an extra 300 watts feels like (without being something that feels more like an electric scooter). While my inner, grumpy bike racer might scoff at the “unearned speed” that the Domane provides access to, the rider in me thinks the joy of going fast on a bike is worth sharing instead of being a curmudgeon about it.

Given the Domane SLR’s high price point and the unique motor and ride feel the bike best suits the rider that prizes the feel, sound, and experience of riding a non-assisted road bike over the power output of a full-powered e-bike. Typically, bicycle brands market e-bikes like the Domane to riders who cannot keep up with faster riders. Lightweight e-bikes are often sold as bikes only for aging racers or significant others. This marketing approach feels dated and non-inclusive. I know folks who have given up on riding due to health issues but have gotten back into riding regularly, thanks to e-bikes. The bottom line is that e-bikes are for anyone that wants one.

Test Editor Dan Chabanov got his start in cycling as a New York City bike messenger but quickly found his way into road and cyclocross racing, competing in professional cyclocross races from 2009 to 2019 and winning a Master’s National Championship title in 2018. Prior to joining Bicycling in 2021, Dan worked as part of the race organization for the Red Hook Crit, as a coach with EnduranceWERX, as well as a freelance writer and photographer.

Best electric bikes | 15 top-rated ebikes for every type of rider

The best electric bike for you will depend on the type of riding you want to do, so in this guide we’ll cover the whole range of different electric bike types and recommend some of the best we’ve tested.

Electric bikes – or ebikes as they’re commonly known – are bicycles with an electric motor and battery that provides assistance as you pedal. There are many benefits to riding an electric bike. Electric bikes make riding up hills easier and will enable most riders to travel at a higher speed over longer distances without arriving at their destination covered in sweat.

Despite common misconceptions, you can still ride an electric bike for fitness. Electric bike laws limit the power of an ebike’s motor, so you still need to pedal – there’s no twist-and-go throttle here. There is an electric bike for every type of riding. Electric folding bikes and electric hybrid bikes are great choices for cycling to work, the best electric mountain bikes will help you get to the top of the next trail so you can enjoy more descending and the best electric road bikes and electric gravel bikes will enable you to take on longer adventures. Making sense of how an electric bike works and how to choose the right one for you is a daunting task. Luckily for you, BikeRadar’s team of expert testers have put in hundreds of hours riding more than 175 electric bikes across all categories. Our testing is 100 per cent editorially independent, so you can always trust our recommendations. In this in-depth buyer’s guide to choosing the best electric bike for any rider, we’ll talk you through the things you need to consider for each category of ebike. We also highlight the best bikes we have reviewed, as selected by BikeRadar’s expert team of tech editors, for each type of ebike, with links to our detailed buyer’s guide for each category. We also have a general buyer’s guide to electric bike tech at the bottom of this article that answers common questions. For even more information, take a look at our ebike FAQs. There’s a lot to cover here, so use the links below to skip to the section you need, or read on for every detail.

Best electric hybrid bikes

Like a non-assisted hybrid bike, electric hybrid bikes feature an upright riding position, flat bars and stable handling. They’re often the least expensive entry point into ebikes.

With lots of mounting points for accessories such as pannier bags and mudguards, electric hybrids are great if you’re planning to commute to work by bike, ride around town or want to go for leisurely rides on bike trails or through parks.

Electric hybrid bikes can be quite heavy because they tend to use less sophisticated motor systems and the bikes are built for robustness. This is worth bearing in mind if you need to carry them up stairs.

Below is a selection of four of the very best electric hybrid bikes as tested by our senior road technical editor, Warren Rossiter. For more recommendations, check out our full round-up of the best electric hybrid bikes.

Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0

  • £2,600 / €2,999 / 3,500 as tested
  • Pros: Well-tuned power delivery; low weight
  • Cons: Lower-torque motor means you have to put in more work

Specialized makes two electric hybrid bike ranges. Whereas the standard Turbo Vado is a heavy-duty ebike, the Vado SL uses a less powerful motor with 35Nm of torque. This reduces the weight to under 15kg, but the flip side is that you have less assistance than with the Turbo Vado, which could be a problem on hills.

The other advantage of the lower output is clean looks, with the concealed battery giving a sporty appearance. Specialized fits lights to all models and includes mudguards and a luggage rack on pricier models.

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Canyon Pathlite:ON 5

  • £2,499 / €2,699, as tested
  • Pros: Great handling and confident off-road
  • Cons: Heavy versus its rivals

The Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 is a powerful electric hybrid bike that handles and rides commendably. Our testing found the Canyon’s 100km claimed range to be true, but there’s no denying the bike is heavy at 23.5kg.

Where the Pathlite:ON 5 truly stands out is off the tarmac, where it rivals electric mountain bikes with confidence-inspiring chunky tyres and a shock-absorbing suspension fork.

always, ride, tailwind, trek

Tern Quick Haul P9

  • £3,100 / 3,299 / AU4995 as tested
  • Pros: Great fun to ride and versatile
  • Cons: Official add-ons are fairly pricey

The Tern Quick Haul P9 looks like a cargo bike at first glance, but its compact design means it isn’t much longer than a typical electric hybrid.

With the option to fit a huge array of useful add-on accessories both front and back, our tester described the Quick Haul P9 as a “genuinely viable car replacement”.

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Best electric folding bikes

Commuters who travel by public transport or are short on space are catered for too. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media

If you want to cycle to work or are just pressed for space to store your ride, a compact electric folding bike could be the answer.

Folding ebikes often have the battery hidden in their frames, or they may come with a removable battery to make carrying them on and off public transport a bit easier.

A removable battery also means you can take it somewhere where it’s easier to charge (at your desk, for example, if you use the bike to ride to work).

But the extra weight of the motor and battery means carrying a folding ebike on and off public transport, and up and down stairs, will be harder. The available range can be quite limited in some models too.

For more product recommendations, check out our round-up of the best folding electric bikes.

Brompton Electric

The Brompton Electric adds a front-hub motor to the iconic folder. Russell Burton / Immediate Media

  • £2,725 as tested
  • Pros: Very compact fold; smooth power delivery
  • Cons: Quite heavy; two pieces to carry

A front-hub motor adds electric power to the classic Brompton folding bike, giving you a range of around 40km. The battery sits in a separate pack, which can be removed from the bike for carrying.

Since we tested the Brompton Electric, the standard bike has been redesignated the C Line Explore. It’s been joined by the P Line, which uses lighter frame materials and components to chop almost 2kg off the C Line’s 17.4kg claimed weight.

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GoCycle G4

  • £3,999 as tested
  • Pros: Larger wheels ride more smoothly; stylish design
  • Cons: Expensive; doesn’t fold as small as some ebikes

While pricey, the GoCycle G4 is a folder, commuter and electric bike in one. The ride and handling are far more assured than most folding bikes on- and off-road, thanks to the meaty tyres and larger wheels.

The bike folds in half at its centre, making it easier to roll than to carry and the removable battery in the front of the frame is accessed via the fold. At over 17kg, it’s quite heavy though.

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MiRider One GB3

The GB3 is an upgrade on the original MiRider One, with an accompanying price rise. David Caudery / Our Media

  • £2,495 as tested
  • Pros: Very compact
  • Cons: Price has increased significantly from the original bike

The MiRider One GB3 is an upgrade from the original model we tested a few years ago. Unfortunately, that’s resulted in a significant price hike, but the ebike is still a compact, nippy city commuter.

The belt drive is cleaner and lower-maintenance than a chain, there’s good adjustability, and built-in rear suspension and wide tyres add comfort.

The GB3 design has three speeds, adding flexibility over the singlespeed predecessor, and you can change gear while stationary. We achieved a range of up to 50km.

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Best electric mountain bikes

Electric mountain bikes can be great on the climbs, but handling on the descents can take a bit of getting used to. Ian Linton

An electric mountain bike will get you to the top quicker, particularly on technical, steeper climbs, and with more energy to enjoy the descents. Plus, getting up the ups more easily will give you extra range to explore further.

Recent improvements in eMTB performance mean handling is approaching that of the best mountain bikes without a motor, providing heaps of flat-out riding fun.

But, nevertheless, the extra weight can make handling more tricky on particularly technical sections, so it’s a good idea to ease off a bit until you’ve got the feel of the bike

This is a small selection of the best electric mountain bikes we have tested, as selected by our expert team of mountain bike tech editors, Alex Evans, Robin Weaver and Tom Marvin.

Vitus E-Sommet VRX

For the money, the E-Sommet has to be one of the best electric mountain bikes out there. Ian Linton / Our Media

  • £5,499 as tested
  • Pros: Quality spec; great geometry and suspension
  • Cons: Awkward cable routing and bottle placement

The Vitus E-Sommet adds a powerful Shimano EP8 motor and large-capacity battery to Vitus’ enduro platform. It rolls on a 29in front and 27.5in rear wheel mullet build and is impressively specced for its price, with a 170mm RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork, a Super Deluxe Select RT shock and Shimano’s XT groupset.

The E-Sommet descends and climbs impressively, with both comfort and great grip, making it fun, engaging and highly capable.

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Marin Rift Zone E2

  • £5,895 / 6,299 / €6,899 as tested
  • Pros: Lively; great spec
  • Cons: Slightly over-geared; less powerful motor than its competitors

The Marin Rift Zone E2 is a classy, comfortable full-suspension electric mountain bike with 140mm travel. It can take you beyond its trail riding mandate, handling more technical descents well.

The Rift Zone ebike is well specced for its price, although the Shimano EP801 motor’s 85Nm torque is a little less than competitors. We’d have preferred a smaller chainring than the 38t fitted for easier climbing.

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Whyte E-160 RSX

  • £7,999 as tested
  • Pros: Calm and composed handling; hides its weight well
  • Cons: Some chain slap; seat tube too slack for optimal climbing

The Whyte E-160 RSX is a well-equipped enduro bike, with its battery mounted below the Bosch motor to lower its centre of gravity.

Whyte says the full down tube this allows improves torsional rigidity as well. Lower-spec E-160s are available in both 29in and ‘mullet’ form, so you can pick your preferred wheel configuration, although this top-spec model is 29in only.

Despite its 26kg-plus weight, we found the low centre of gravity made for impressive downhill performance, although we’d have liked to see a slightly steeper seat tube for better climbing.

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Best electric road bikes

It’s often hard to tell many electric road bikes from their unassisted counterparts. Russell Burton / Immediate Media

If you enjoy road cycling, but want a bit of help to keep your speed up or to get you up hills, an electric road bike could be the right choice for you.

Most e-road bikes use lightweight motor systems that provide less power than the motors used on electric hybrid or mountain bikes. This means they’re typically a bit lighter too, with the very lightest models tipping the scales at around 11kg.

However, with many road riders achieving speeds on the flat of 15mph or above, you may feel you’re carrying dead weight around, with the motor cutting out at that top-assisted speed, although assistance can continue to 20mph, or even in some cases 28mph in much of the USA.

Below are three of the very best electric road bikes senior road technical editor Warren Rossiter has tested to date.

BMC Roadmachine AMP One

  • £7,600 / €7,999 as tested
  • Pros: Smooth ride; compact motor; impressive range
  • Cons: Tyres may need a swap-out for colder, wetter conditions

The BMC Roadmachine AMP One doesn’t look much different from its non-assisted sibling; it’s only the slightly expanded down tube, hiding a 350Wh battery, that shows there’s extra assistance. The Mahle X20 motor is so compact it hides between the largest cassette sprocket and the disc rotor.

The ride feels like the non-assisted Roadmachine as well, despite the 12kg weight. Range is impressive, heading up to 160km, depending on the conditions. We’d swap out the tyres for winter use though.

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Scott Addict eRide Premium

The Scott Addict eRide Premium looks and rides like a racy road bike. Russell Burton / Immediate Media

  • £8,349 / 9,299 as tested
  • Pros: Great looks; top-spec build; lovely handling
  • Cons: Non-removable battery

The Scott Addict eRide Premium has similar geometry to the Scott Addict RC Disc and the same carbon frame. The result is a possible sub-11kg build powered by the consistent ebikemotion rear-hub motor.

Neatly concealed in the down tube, the battery managed 100km and 2,000m elevation in testing. The 2022 version of the bike has been renamed as the Scott Addict eRide Ultimate.

Best electric road bikes of 2023: Go farther, faster

Electric bikes are incredibly popular and a huge part of the cycling market these days. They can make cycling more accessible to a wider range of riders over different applications and terrains and are just downright fun to use. The best electric bikes can be used over a range of uses, including e-bike commuting and gravel riding. We will be taking a look a the best electric road bikes here, a category that has come a long way with the best models being very close to the best road bikes in terms of ride quality and looks whilst offering heaps of extra power when needed.

Electric road bikes can almost go unnoticed these days, so discreet they now look. They utilise a lot of the same components regular road bikes do, like the best road bike wheels and best road bike tyres most of which are rated for e-bike use these days.

E-bikes are now nearly universally accepted, the ‘cheating’ argument has fallen by the wayside as people have acknowledged how useful and varied e-bike uses can be. Whether that be aiding sustainable travel or helping groups of riders with varying fitness ride together.

We’ve gathered the best electric road bikes into this list, helping you analyse specifications and tech to help you make a more informed buying decision. If you still need a little more help, head to the bottom of the page to see our buying guide pointers.

Best electric road bikes available today

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Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Reasons to avoid

The Trek Domane SLR is the newest e-road bike from the US-based brand. Available in six different spec options but all based around a superlight weight Trek OCLV 800 carbon frame, this is the lightest e-road bike trek has ever produced.

The Domane SLR is aimed at performance road riders who want a little extra zip, it has a discreet motor and battery from German specialist TQ which offers a super smooth and quiet e-riding experience. The Domane SLR is lighter than the Trek Domane LT and has a non-removable battery whereas the LT’s is removable

You get a neatly integrated LCD display in the top tube, mode toggle buttons custom built into the shifters, and the lights and eTap charging can be wired in to run from the battery to simplify things. If you want a high-end lightweight electric road bike, the Domane SLR is one we’d be happy to recommend.

Reasons to avoid

Claimed to weigh 11kg, the Ribble Endurance SL e is one of the lightest e-road bikes currently available and, visually, the frame is almost identical to its non-assisted sibling, including the aggressive geometry.

Using the Mahle Ebikemotion system, the Endurance SL e doesn’t get a control unit, instead opting for a button on the top tube that cycles through the three levels of assistance. Hidden inside the downtube is a Panasonic 250Wh battery, which is connected to a rear hub-based motor said to provide 40Nm of torque. There is an accompanying app, too, which will provide additional information such as remaining battery life.

As Ribble is consumer direct, the pricing is competitive with the Tiagra build starting at £2,799, and the 105 build starting at £3,299 — every component can be upgraded through the brand’s ‘BikeBuilder’ program.

Reasons to avoid

Using the C64 as the backbone, Colnago has adapted its carbon racer into a pedal-assist roadie. Claimed to tip the scales at 12kg including the battery, Colnago says the rear hub-based motor only adds 3.7kg and it’s capable of delivering 250 watts of assistance.

With the battery housed in the downtube, the E64 doesn’t get a built-in head unit; instead, there is a button on the top tube that controls the electronics. The battery is stored in the downtube and is not removable, but Colnago says there is an auxiliary battery on the horizon which can be stored in one of the bottle cages to add range.

Although the E64 appears to be a carbon-lugged frame, it’s a visual illusion with these details being added in the paint shop. The bike comes with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, Deda finishing kit and Mavic Aksium Elite EVO UST wheels.

Reasons to avoid

With the IsoSpeed decoupler in the seat tube and room in the frame for 38c tyres, Trek’s Domane LT is probably the best electric road bike for comfort.

It comes with a 250w motor and 250Wh battery, so in terms of power and range, it’s on a par with many of the ‘secret e-bikes’ featured here, however, instead of having a battery permanently hidden inside the down tube, the Domane uses a removable battery. Batteries do degrade over time, so the option to replace them will be positive when it comes to long-term ownership or resale value.

The Domane LT features all the niceties of the pedal-powered Domane, including fender mounts, Blendr accessories, and endurance geometry. The carbon frame is fitted with a Shimano Ultegra 2×11 groupset, with a 50/34 chainset and 11-34 cassette.

Reasons to avoid

On the surface, the Nytro looks like any other Pinarello frame, complete with a wavy fork and aero tubing but hidden in the downtube are a Fazua drive unit and battery. The Nytro is claimed to have up to 250w of power and 55Nm of torque, and the battery can be dropped out of the downtube to make it just a normal road bike, weighing in at around 9kg without the battery.

The frame uses the brand’s F10 frameset as a starting point and adds a bit of length to the wheelbase and height to the head tube. Rest assured, Pinarello hasn’t forgotten to give the Nytro its trademark asymmetric tube treatment.

Built with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed drivetrain, the bike gets hydraulic disc brakes and rolls on Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels. It also comes with a Pinarello-sized price tag.

Reasons to avoid

Launched during the 2019 Tour de France is the latest addition to Specialized’s line-up of Turbo bikes, the Creo SL, is designed to be a high-performance e-road bike that’s powered by the brand’s own SL 1.1 drive system, it also uses the brand’s Futureshock 2.0 at the front. Instead of an aftermarket solution from Bosch, Fazua or Shimano, Specialized designed its own, which is claimed to weigh just 1.96kg.

The 320Wh battery itself weighs 1.8kg, and Specialized is also offering 60Wh extender packs which fit in a bottle cage — the extender packs are included with the S-Works and Founders edition, but not the Expert build.

With the Mission Control app, you can run diagnostics and customise the assistance levels. Specialized says you can customise them on the fly, which means in theory, you could tailor the wattage to help you keep up with friends on the climb while still getting a workout.

The Turbo Creo features a full carbon frame and is only available as a 1x setup, with the Expert edition using a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed Di2/XT Di2 mix drivetrain with Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes and Roval carbon wheels.

Reasons to avoid

The SuperSix EVO Neo features a ebike motion X35 motor, which offers 250w of assistance and up to 40Nm of torque (in the highest mode).

According to Cannondale, the 250Wh removable battery will take you around 75km on a single charge. The bike comes with 28mm slick Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres, and the frame features an integrated seat binder combined with a 27 KNØT seat post, designed to work together to absorb road bumps. The frame also features SAVE micro-suspension to smooth out most rides for added comfort.

It’s powered by a respectable Shimano 105 R7000 hydraulic groupset, with 2×11 gearing. Up front the FSA crank features 50/34 chainrings, paired with an 11-34 cassette at the rear, offering a massive range of gears.

As part of Cannondale’s e-bike range, the SuperSix Evo Neo 3 Disc benefits from the brand’s integrated wheel sensor, which delivers accurate speed, route and distance information, registers your bike, reminds you when you need service, and more.

Reasons to avoid

There’s no denying that the Revolt E carries more of an electric bike aesthetic than some others here, but within its oversized down tube comes a large battery and a motor with a lot of torque.

Powering it is the Shimano EP8-powered SyncDrive Pro pedal-assist system, which promises smooth acceleration (thanks to its 85Nm of maximum torque). Meanwhile, the Shimano GRX Di2 1×11 electronic groupset and 40mm tyres make it all-road ready if you plan to mix things up a bit. There are also mounts for mudguards and racks.

The system is simple to use, and the motor comes with a SmartAssist mode that automatically adapts to your cadence and ride style, tuning the amount of assistance to the levels you actually need. This means you don’t need to think about anything and can pedal without thinking about it.

How to choose the best electric road bike for you

Your riding demands will dictate which e-road bike is best for you. Hopefully, this guide should have given you an idea of what’s out there. Next, You should consider how you may want to use your e-bike: are you commuting to work, adventuring and discovering new terrain or simply adding a new bike to your fleet? Your requirements will dictate weight, gearing, range, prince point etc. Test ride a bike if you can and chat with manufacturers about which e-bike is best for you.

What do I need to know about the drive system?

With the electric bike market continually growing, more and more brands are getting on board and developing newer and better technology all the time. The best electric road bike will likely come with a powerful and reliable drive system, including one of the best e-bike motors from the likes of Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano, while some feature integrated units from Ebikemotion and Fazua.

These systems place the motor either at the bottom bracket or the rear hub and vary in weight. In fact, some of the integrated systems are surprisingly light. The power they offer is an important factor, and most hover between 250w and 500w.

What’s the best wattage for an electric bike battery?

How long is a piece of string? It all depends on how much you’re riding, and how much you care about your electric road bike’s aesthetic.

When e-bikes started to gain popularity, the batteries were bulbous, and almost appeared to be haphazardly bolted on wherever there was space. Now we are seeing brands working to integrate them into the frame seamlessly.

Unfortunately, the smaller the battery, the smaller the capacity. which is measured in watt-hours (Wh). While some brands are quick to make claims about how far certain Wh batteries will take their bikes, these figures can vary greatly depending on the level of boost, the terrain and even the weight of the rider. Bosch has put together a handy Range Assistant, which can provide a good idea of how much mileage you can expect to achieve, depending on your riding habits.

While some bikes have removable batteries which allow you to keep a spare, others with hidden battery packs look much cleaner.

Are electric road bikes unisex?

As a general rule of thumb, most e-road bikes are made to be unisex, while having multiple size options that should work for most people. The saddle, which is the key contact area that needs some tailoring to fit the users, is easily swapped out for one of the best women’s road bike saddles if need be.

If you would prefer a women’s specific model, be sure to check out our list of the best women’s electric bikes.

Regional restrictions

Most e-bikes use one of three e-bike systems, however, depending on where you live, the level of assistance as well as whether you need a license and insurance will vary. Here’s a breakdown of all the e-bike restrictions in place in the UK, US and Australia.

The UK adopted a lot of the EU’s regulations regarding e-bikes but with Brexit, it’s hard to say if that may change.

All of the bikes featured here fall under ‘The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EPAC) Amendment Regulations’ mandates; electric assistance can only provide 250 watts of aid and must cut out at 25kph. It also stipulates the rider must be in motion for the motor to kick in and be at least 14 years old.

Electric bikes (and riders) that meet these standards have the same legal standing as regular bicycles and are allowed on roads and bike paths.

In Europe, a new class of speed-pedelecs or s-pedelecs are gaining popularity that are capable of providing assistance up to 45kph. You still need to pedal for the motor to kick in, however, under UK law these are considered two-wheel mopeds and require insurance, a legally certified helmet and a qualifying driver’s license.

In the US, rules for e-bikes vary from state to state; 30 states classify e-bikes as ordinary bicycles, while the remaining 20 label e-bikes as mopeds, scooters or something else altogether.

Federal law defines an electric bicycle as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of fewer than 750 watts, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20mph.’

It’s worth noting this statute defines the maximum assisted speed of the bike when being only powered by the motor, not when it’s being pedalled. To make things more confusing, state regulations can supersede the federal statute.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has proposed a three-class system which divides electric bikes up based on their maximum assisted speed:

Class 1: the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling and cuts out a 20mph

Class 2: the motor can contribute regardless of pedalling but is governed to 20mph

Class 3: the motor provides assistance when the rider is pedalling but cuts out at 28mph and must be equipped with a speedometer.

For all three classes, the motor can only put out a max of 750 watts, and the class needs to be clearly labelled. This system also defines where the bikes can be ridden; classes 1 and 2 are permitted anywhere bikes are allowed, while class 3 can be ridden on roads and bike lanes but not multi-use paths, and may be subject to minimum user age and helmet requirements.

So far, 22 states have legislation creating a class system and our friends over at People for Bikes has put together a full state-by-state run down.

In Australia, e-bikes are split into throttle-operated and pedal-assist. Both systems must be limited to 25kph, and the throttle-operated motors can only output 200 watts while pedal assist is legal up to 250 watts. Anything that exceeds these figures is considered a motorbike and must be licensed and insured.

Electric bikes will change your life

Haven’t ridden in a while? The smooth, powerful boost helps you get out for exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and feel that kid-like freedom you only get while riding a bike.

Fly up hills and tough terrain

Whether you’re on pavement or dirt, the extra power helps you make short work of any climb, leaving you with more energy to enjoy the ride.

Say goodbye to your car

Take on longer commutes, carry more groceries, and pedal across town quickly. All while getting exercise, enjoying fresh air, and avoiding traffic jams!

Discover more possibilities

Go ahead. Take the hard route home or explore that road or trail you’ve never ridden before. E-bikes amplify your ability to go farther and faster than ever before.

Electric bike anatomy

1 Electric bike motors

All of our e-bikes are designed with mid-drive pedal-assist motors that are located in the same area as your pedals. They feel natural while pedaling, are easy to shift on hills, and provide a boost of smooth, consistent power with every pedal stroke you take.

2 Electric bike displays

E-bike displays (also known as controllers) are what you use to see and control your e-bike’s settings. You can change your level of assist, see your speed and distance, and check out how much battery power you have left. Our e-bike displays are super intuitive to use, and are conveniently mounted right at your fingertips.

3 Electric bike batteries

E-bike batteries are the biggest contributing factor to how far your e-bike can go. The higher watt hour (Wh) your battery is, the more power capacity it has. Batteries can be mounted in lots of different places, but those mounted on the downtube or integrated into the downtube itself provide the best center of gravity for better balance.

How pedal assist motors work

Electric bikes work by using an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike. On pedal assist e-bikes, you can control the amount of power the drive system provides and the assist only kicks in when you pedal. The motor amplifies the power behind each of your pedal strokes, providing a natural riding feeling that makes it seem like your legs are supercharged!

Some manufactures make e-bikes that use a twist throttle to engage that drive system. With these bikes, you don’t have to be pedaling for the motor to be engaged. This can be dangerous, since it’s easy to get out of control if you’re not paying attention. We only make pedal assist e-bikes, because they feel the most like a regular bike and help riders feel more in command of their ride.

Pedal assist motor

Depending on the model, your e-bike’s electric motor has a power output between 250 and 350 watts, and assists up to 20 or 28 mph. And you can go faster than that without feeling much resistance from the motor.

Integrated battery

You can charge your battery on or off the bike using a charging cable that functions just like your laptop’s. Plus, our Removable Integrated Battery (RIB) system makes it easy to take your battery with you for on-the-go charging.

Easy to use display

All of our displays show you critical ride info like range, assist mode, speed, and battery level. Select displays take things to a step further by integrating with your phone for on-bike access to music, apps, turn-by-turn directions, and more.

How do electric bikes work?

Electric bikes work by using an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike. The battery powers the motor, and you control the amount of power the system outputs using the controller. There are two main methods by which power is transferred from the drive system to your bike, and those are pedal assist and throttle control.

Pedal assist electric bikes On pedal assist electric bikes, you control the amount of assist the system gives you and the assist only kicks in when you pedal. The motor amplifies the power behind each of your pedal strokes, providing a natural riding feeling that makes it seem like your legs are supercharged!

Electric bikes with throttles These bikes let you use a twist throttle to engage the drive system. When the bike is in this mode you don’t have to be pedaling to be powered by the electric motor. Throttle bikes can be dangerous, as it’s easy to get out of control if you’re not paying attention. E-bikes with throttles are only allowed in certain areas, so be sure to check your local regulations before purchasing one.

How fast are electric bikes?

Electric bike speed is dependent on the capability and construction of the motor, and maximum electric bike speeds are regulated by law. Most e-bikes in the US will assist up to 20 mph. You can go faster than that, like when you’re zipping down a hill, but the motor will stop assisting once you reach 20 mph. At speeds lower than 20 mph, your speed is dependent on what gear you’re in, how much you’re pedaling, and what level of assist you choose. Different levels of assist will help you move faster by providing more power. For example, turbo mode provides the highest level of assist, and would help you go your fastest.

Fast electric bikes Speed electric bikes or speed pedelecs have special motors that assist up to 28 mph in the US. These bikes are favored by commuters and avid riders who want to go a long distance in a short amount of time. This kind of e-bike is only allowed in certain areas.

What are electric bike classes?

Electric bikes are divided into three main types or classes based on what sort of motor they have, whether or not they have a throttle, and how fast they go. It’s important to know which classes of e-bikes are legal in the areas where you’ll ride.

Class 1 electric bikes (low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 2 electric bikes (low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 3 electric bikes (speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.

Trek makes only Class 1 and Class 3 electric bikes (no throttle) as they provide the most natural ride feel, promote exercise, and help to keep you in control while you’re riding. See local electric bike laws regulations

How far can e-bikes go?

Electric bike range is dependent on several factors and can be very complicated to calculate. Some factors you can control, and some you can’t. Controllable factors include the size of your battery, the efficiency of your motor, the level of motor assist you select, and how much weight you’re carrying. Uncontrollable factors include wind, weather, temperature, and terrain.

How batteries affect range The bigger your battery, the more capacity you have to go farther or go faster. Battery power is measured in watt hours (Wh), the higher the Wh the bigger the battery capacity.

How motor efficiency affects range The efficiency of your e-bike’s electric motor impacts how much of your battery’s energy it uses. A high-quality, efficient motor will draw less energy from your battery, while an inefficient motor will draw more energy and reduce your overall range.

always, ride, tailwind, trek

How level of pedal assist affects range What assist mode you select directly affects your range. For example, eco mode provides the least amount of assist, and draws the least amount of power from the battery. Turbo mode provides the most assist, and draws the most power from your battery. Therefore your range in eco mode is longer than in turbo mode since turbo will drain the battery more quickly.

Long range electric bikes Long range e-bikes are e-bikes designed for long-distance rides and trips. They typically have large capacity batteries, such as 500Wh or 625Wh, and efficient motors that help you maximize your range. Some electric bike companies offer the ability to add on a second battery so you can double your range.

The general range estimate for an e-bike varies from 20-100 miles on a single charge. Yes, it’s really wide! That’s because there are so many factors that can determine your range. We recommend using Bosch’s range finder tool to help you figure out a more accurate range estimate for your e-bike.

What kinds of electric bikes are there?

There’s an e-bike for almost any type of riding you want to do, including mountain biking, road riding, touring, commuting, city riding, and more.

always, ride, tailwind, trek

Electric bikes will change your life

Haven’t ridden in a while? The smooth, powerful boost helps you get out for exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and feel that kid-like freedom you only get while riding a bike.

Fly up hills and tough terrain

Whether you’re on pavement or dirt, the extra power helps you make short work of any climb, leaving you with more energy to enjoy the ride.

Say goodbye to your car

Take on longer commutes, carry more groceries, and pedal across town quickly. All while getting exercise, enjoying fresh air, and avoiding traffic jams!

Discover more possibilities

Go ahead. Take the hard route home or explore that road or trail you’ve never ridden before. E-bikes amplify your ability to go farther and faster than ever before.

Electric bike anatomy

1 Electric bike motors

All of our e-bikes are designed with mid-drive pedal-assist motors that are located in the same area as your pedals. They feel natural while pedaling, are easy to shift on hills, and provide a boost of smooth, consistent power with every pedal stroke you take.

2 Electric bike displays

E-bike displays (also known as controllers) are what you use to see and control your e-bike’s settings. You can change your level of assist, see your speed and distance, and check out how much battery power you have left. Our e-bike displays are super intuitive to use, and are conveniently mounted right at your fingertips.

3 Electric bike batteries

E-bike batteries are the biggest contributing factor to how far your e-bike can go. The higher watt hour (Wh) your battery is, the more power capacity it has. Batteries can be mounted in lots of different places, but those mounted on the downtube or integrated into the downtube itself provide the best center of gravity for better balance.

How pedal assist motors work

Electric bikes work by using an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike. On pedal assist e-bikes, you can control the amount of power the drive system provides and the assist only kicks in when you pedal. The motor amplifies the power behind each of your pedal strokes, providing a natural riding feeling that makes it seem like your legs are supercharged!

Some manufactures make e-bikes that use a twist throttle to engage that drive system. With these bikes, you don’t have to be pedaling for the motor to be engaged. This can be dangerous, since it’s easy to get out of control if you’re not paying attention. We only make pedal assist e-bikes, because they feel the most like a regular bike and help riders feel more in command of their ride.

Pedal assist motor

Depending on the model, your e-bike’s electric motor has a power output between 250 and 350 watts, and assists up to 20 or 28 mph. And you can go faster than that without feeling much resistance from the motor.

Integrated battery

You can charge your battery on or off the bike using a charging cable that functions just like your laptop’s. Plus, our Removable Integrated Battery (RIB) system makes it easy to take your battery with you for on-the-go charging.

Easy to use display

All of our displays show you critical ride info like range, assist mode, speed, and battery level. Select displays take things to a step further by integrating with your phone for on-bike access to music, apps, turn-by-turn directions, and more.

How do electric bikes work?

Electric bikes work by using an electric motor and battery to help you power your bike. The battery powers the motor, and you control the amount of power the system outputs using the controller. There are two main methods by which power is transferred from the drive system to your bike, and those are pedal assist and throttle control.

Pedal assist electric bikes On pedal assist electric bikes, you control the amount of assist the system gives you and the assist only kicks in when you pedal. The motor amplifies the power behind each of your pedal strokes, providing a natural riding feeling that makes it seem like your legs are supercharged!

Electric bikes with throttles These bikes let you use a twist throttle to engage the drive system. When the bike is in this mode you don’t have to be pedaling to be powered by the electric motor. Throttle bikes can be dangerous, as it’s easy to get out of control if you’re not paying attention. E-bikes with throttles are only allowed in certain areas, so be sure to check your local regulations before purchasing one.

How fast are electric bikes?

Electric bike speed is dependent on the capability and construction of the motor, and maximum electric bike speeds are regulated by law. Most e-bikes in the US will assist up to 20 mph. You can go faster than that, like when you’re zipping down a hill, but the motor will stop assisting once you reach 20 mph. At speeds lower than 20 mph, your speed is dependent on what gear you’re in, how much you’re pedaling, and what level of assist you choose. Different levels of assist will help you move faster by providing more power. For example, turbo mode provides the highest level of assist, and would help you go your fastest.

Fast electric bikes Speed electric bikes or speed pedelecs have special motors that assist up to 28 mph in the US. These bikes are favored by commuters and avid riders who want to go a long distance in a short amount of time. This kind of e-bike is only allowed in certain areas.

What are electric bike classes?

Electric bikes are divided into three main types or classes based on what sort of motor they have, whether or not they have a throttle, and how fast they go. It’s important to know which classes of e-bikes are legal in the areas where you’ll ride.

Class 1 electric bikes (low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 2 electric bikes (low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches 20 mph.

Class 3 electric bikes (speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle) A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph.

Trek makes only Class 1 and Class 3 electric bikes (no throttle) as they provide the most natural ride feel, promote exercise, and help to keep you in control while you’re riding. See local electric bike laws regulations

How far can e-bikes go?

Electric bike range is dependent on several factors and can be very complicated to calculate. Some factors you can control, and some you can’t. Controllable factors include the size of your battery, the efficiency of your motor, the level of motor assist you select, and how much weight you’re carrying. Uncontrollable factors include wind, weather, temperature, and terrain.

How batteries affect range The bigger your battery, the more capacity you have to go farther or go faster. Battery power is measured in watt hours (Wh), the higher the Wh the bigger the battery capacity.

How motor efficiency affects range The efficiency of your e-bike’s electric motor impacts how much of your battery’s energy it uses. A high-quality, efficient motor will draw less energy from your battery, while an inefficient motor will draw more energy and reduce your overall range.

How level of pedal assist affects range What assist mode you select directly affects your range. For example, eco mode provides the least amount of assist, and draws the least amount of power from the battery. Turbo mode provides the most assist, and draws the most power from your battery. Therefore your range in eco mode is longer than in turbo mode since turbo will drain the battery more quickly.

Long range electric bikes Long range e-bikes are e-bikes designed for long-distance rides and trips. They typically have large capacity batteries, such as 500Wh or 625Wh, and efficient motors that help you maximize your range. Some electric bike companies offer the ability to add on a second battery so you can double your range.

The general range estimate for an e-bike varies from 20-100 miles on a single charge. Yes, it’s really wide! That’s because there are so many factors that can determine your range. We recommend using Bosch’s range finder tool to help you figure out a more accurate range estimate for your e-bike.

What kinds of electric bikes are there?

There’s an e-bike for almost any type of riding you want to do, including mountain biking, road riding, touring, commuting, city riding, and more.

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