Aventon Aventure Ebike Review. Consumer reports electric bikes

E-Bike Facts Statistics for 2023

In 2023, electric bicycles are becoming more and more common on the streets. The technology that goes into them has never been as cheap or as accessible. They’ve become popular with commuters, leisure cyclists, and even roadies and mountain bikers.

The number of e-bikes is rising worldwide as an answer to people becoming more focused on their health and fitness, but also the environment. People in urban areas are now willing to ditch their cars and replace them with an e-bike, which was not the case just a few years ago.

Let’s dive into some interesting and up-to-date stats and facts about:

  • The history of e-bikes.
  • The growth of the worldwide market.
  • Usage statistics.
  • Health research related to e-bike usage.
  • Potential risks that come with electric bikes.
  • Laws governing the use of e-bikes around the world.
  • Environmental impact of electric bikes.
  • Costs and financial effects of e-biking compared to other modes of transportation.
  • And more!

History of E-Bikes: Key Facts and Moments

Contrary to popular belief, electric bikes are not a new thing. Even though they have become popular and widely available only in the last two decades, the concept of an e-bike has been known for more than 120 years.

  • The first patent for an e-bike was granted on December 31, 1895, to Ogden Bolton Jr. He invented a battery-powered electric bicycle with a “6-pole brush-and-commutator direct current (DC) hub motor mounted in the rear wheel.”
  • In 1897, Hosea W. Libbey was granted the second patent for an e-bike propelled by a double electric motor. The motor was placed inside the crankset axle hub, which is a popular solution today as well.
  • One year later, in 1898, a patent was granted to Matthew J. Steffens who invented a rear-wheel drive electric bicycle, which used a driving belt along the outside edge of the wheel.
  • Yet another year after that, John Schnepf invented a rear-wheel friction “roller-wheel” style drive electric bicycle.

Quite surprisingly, the first patent for an e-bike was granted in 1895, well over a century ago! A few other e-bike-related breakthroughs followed before the end of the 19th century.

Big Breakthroughs Came in the 20th Century

Even though these electric bicycle concepts and inventions were rudimental, they created a starting point. Future inventors to refine them and make them readily available for consumers. The story behind e-bikes was put on hold for almost a century until big companies became interested in electric bicycles again in the 1990s.

  • In 1989, Yamaha built one of the first prototypes of electric bicycles and later also invented the pedal-assist system in 1993.
  • The worldwide production of e-bikes grew by 35% between 1993 and 2004.
  • In 1997, Lee Iacocca founded EV Global Motors and produced E-Bike SX, which was one of the first electric bicycles to become widely popular in the US.
  • affordable early e-bikes used clunky lead-acid batteries, whereas more expensive models relied on NiMH, NiCd, or Li-ion batteries.

After the first e-bike patent was granted at the end of the 19th century, significant successive efforts did not take place until the end of the 20th century.

The E-Bike Market Continues to Grow

The electric bicycle market has never stopped growing, ever since e-bikes first gained popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s. By 2007, e-bikes were estimated to make up 10 to 20% of all two-wheeled vehicles in Chinese cities. Today those numbers are even higher everywhere around the world.

  • In 2019, the electric bicycle market was estimated at 15.42 billion and is expected to achieve a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7.49% between 2020-2025.
  • The same year, pedal-assisted electric bicycles dominated the market by propulsion type. They accounted for 88.36% of the worldwide market. Urban e-bikes dominated the market by application type.
  • Between 2020 and 2023, upwards of 130 million electric bicycles (using all battery technologies) are expected to be sold worldwide.
  • In 2023, e-bike sales are estimated to reach 40 million units worldwide, generating about US20 billion in revenue.

The global electric bicycle market is expected to skyrocket in the following decade, achieving massive growth in Europe, Asia, and North America.

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The growing number of global sales means that there are going to be more and more e-bikes on the streets worldwide. Therefore, by 2023, it is expected that the total number of electric bikes in circulation around the world will reach 300 million. That is a 50 percent increase compared to 2019’s 200 million.

China Is Leading the Front

Of all the regions in the world, China is leading the pack when it comes to the annual and total numbers of manufactured e-bikes, sold e-bikes, and the number of e-bikes on the streets.

  • Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global market in the future period, with China at the top.
  • China has been the leader in the number of annual electric bicycle sales for quite some time. In 2013, 37 million e-bikes were manufactured in the country, 32 million of which were sold that same year.
  • That same year, only 1.8 million e-bikes were sold in Europe, 440,000 in Japan, and just 185,000 in the United States.

The production cost of lead-acid batteries is much lower compared to Li-ion. That is how China is staying competitive, as most e-bikes sold in North America and Europe are equipped with Li-ion batteries.

How Is China Staying Competitive?

Electric bicycles are more accessible in China because they are equipped with lead-acid batteries, which are cheaper than other types, bringing the final price of the e-bike down.

By using lead-acid batteries, an electric bicycle costs 167 in China on average. In comparison, e-bikes cost on average 815 in North America, and those in Western Europe cost an average of 1,546, according to Pike Research.

  • The Global market is dominated by China, as estimates show that 85% of all e-bikes are sold in this Asian country.
  • Estimates created by Macquarie show that there were 180 million e-bikes on the streets in China in 2013, which is substantially more than elsewhere around the world.

Electric Bicycle Market in Europe

The number of electric bicycles is rising in Europe as well. The leading countries include Germany, France, and Italy. But the trends can be seen elsewhere as well, such as in the Netherlands, Denmark, and the other Scandinavian countries.

  • After the Asia-Pacific region, the European region accounts for around 20% of the market. That is huge when we compare the number of people living in both regions.
  • In 2009, only around 500,000 electric bikes were sold in Europe. That number jumped to 2.6 million in 2018, which is more than a 500% increase in just 9 years.
  • In Germany, e-bike sales rose by 36%, reaching 1 million units.
  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), Germany and The Netherlands are the two leading e-bike markets in Europe, accounting for 44% and 21% of all European sales, respectively.
  • In 2019, electric bicycle sales in Germany accounted for 25% of the entire bicycle market. Most Germans ride electric bicycles for leisure and sports, but also as a clean, quiet, and space-saving means of transportation.
  • Of all sales, 99.5% of e-bikes sold in Germany are 250W models that reach 25 kph speeds. The other 0.5% are speed pedelecs with a 45 kph maximum speed, which require insurance and a helmet.

E-Bike Numbers on the Rise in All of Europe

Even though Germany is the European leader when it comes to the annual number of e-bikes sold, other European countries are following along.

  • In 2018, more than half of all adult bikes sold in the Netherlands were electric.
  • Similarly, Spain witnessed a 55% annual increase in e-bike sales in 2018, selling a total of 111,297 e-bikes for an average price of 2,165 euros each.
  • In the UK, e-bikes have taken longer to be regarded as a major mode of transport, although the number of bikes now being sold has risen to around 50,000 per year and is expected to increase further.
  • over, one study found that 5% of all UK residents said that they are ‘likely’ to purchase an e-bike in the following year. It is equating to around 2.5 million people.

Germany is the European leader in the number of e-bikes on the street, but the Netherlands and Denmark are close behind.

and Electric Bicycles on the US Streets

Of all the global markets (except for Africa), the USA was the slowest to accept the electric bicycle as a viable means of transportation. Even today, the USA is considered to have a medium growth rate, which is much lower than the European and Asia-Pacific regions.

The global electric bicycle market is fragmented, without a clear leader in the industry. Still, the most influential companies are Giant, Merida, Trek, Riese Muller, and M1 Sporttechnik.

Nonetheless, the USA is picking up the pace and seeing higher and higher growths every year.

  • For example, between 2006 and 2012, electric bicycles accounted for less than 1% of all annual bicycle sales in the US.
  • The year 2013 is considered to be the inflection point in the US, with 185,000 electric bicycles sold in the US, according to INSG.
  • The number of sold e-bikes in the USA continued to rise, reaching 263,000 units sold in 2017. The following year, in 2018, those numbers surpassed 400,000.

The Electric Bicycle Market Is Fragmented

The electric bicycle market is highly fragmented.

That means that the market is not dominated by a few major players who have a monopoly over the manufacturing and the sales of the product. Instead, the market is highly competitive without any dominant players.

That said, there are still a few major players that lead the pack and make more sales than others. The biggest ones are Giant Bicycles, Merida, Trek Bikes, Riese Muller, and M1 Sporttechnik.

In the future, however, Giant Bicycles is expected to become the most dominant player in the e-bike market. The company is located in Taiwan, which gives it easy access to China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. These are the biggest global e-bike markets at the moment.

But, Why Do People Use Electric Bicycles?

People around the world love riding electric bicycles for very different reasons. Some struggle with injuries that e-bikes help them overcome, some need the pedal-assist system due to old age, and others simply don’t want to work too hard when cycling.

People use electric bicycles for different reasons, the biggest ones of which are related to speed, fitness, money, and the environment.

  • According to a survey conducted by Transport of London, 20% of London residents who don’t ride a bicycle say that they don’t do it because they are too old or unfit to do so.
  • According to the same survey, 28% of e-bike riders bought their e-bike as a substitute for a car.
  • A study found that completing a journey on an electric bicycle was 21% faster than on a traditional bike on average. The median speed was 23.1 km/h for E-bike and 18.4 km/h for a traditional bicycle.
  • A government survey in Copenhagen—where 62% of people ride a bike to work, school, or university—found that 49 percent of people said that their main reason for cycling was because it was faster.
  • According to Mordor Intelligence, some of the most common reasons for embracing e-bikes are the health and environmental benefits, reduction in costs, avoidance of traffic jams, and the increase in demand for e-bikes as sports equipment among youth.

A Wealth of Reasons

Numerous studies, research, and surveys conducted around the world show that people in different countries have similar reasons for purchasing and riding e-bikes. They allow them to commute faster and with less effort, as well as continue riding well into old age.

  • Halfords reported that it sells 65% of its electric bikes to those aged over 55. It means old age is one of the primary reasons why people consider riding an e-bike.
  • Another study found that replacing car trips was mentioned by almost 65% of respondents as one of the main reasons for purchasing an electric bike.
  • The same North American study of e-bike owners found that 60% of respondents felt safer riding an electric bike compared to a traditional bike and further 42% said that the e-bike had helped them avoid collisions.
  • Similarly, an Australian study concluded that 60% of respondents to an online survey said that replacing some car trips was the main reason for purchasing an electric bike. This was followed by 49% of respondents who said that they were motivated by being able to ride with less effort.

Major reasons for riding electric bicycles include replacing a car, riding over hills, saving energy, improving fitness and health, and spending time with friends and family.

Companies Are Jumping on the Bandwagon

The reasons for adopting electric bikes are not strong only for individuals—companies have numerous reasons to electrify their fleet as well. Delivery and courier services are turning to e-bikes more often than ever before because they allow them to cut costs, reduce delivery times, and receive better reviews from customers.

  • For example, electric cargo bikes are expected to become a preferred answer for last-mile deliveries in cities. They have zero carbon emissions and need far less road space than cars when parked or in use. Logistics companies are using data to find out when using electric cargo bikes instead of cars or vans improves delivery times and reduces costs.
  • In 2018, the UK government announced a new program that would subsidize the purchase of e-cargo bikes. It allowed companies to save 20% on each new bike they add to their fleet.
  • One Dutch study concluded that electric cargo bikes are a great alternative for around 20% of deliveries. That means that e-cargo bikes could replace millions of deliveries conducted by cars and vans in big cities.

E-bikes are expected to become the preferred vehicle for making deliveries in big cities. That’s not just in crowded European cities, but in the United States as well.

  • In the USA, the number of deliveries is rising by 20% every year, with forecast of 285 billion shipments in 2021. This shows how important it is to replace conventional delivery methods with e-bikes.
  • In the near future, standard-sized delivery trucks are expected to get replaced by electric cargo bikes. For example, UPS is trying out electric tricycles that can carry up to 181 kilograms, with a capacity of 2.7 cubic meters.
  • Likewise, Domino’s Pizza concluded that e-bike deliveries were not only faster than car deliveries, but also led to higher customer service ratings.

Bikesharing Programs Are Getting Electrified

Bikesharing programs are a growing trend in big cities around the world. However, they are not always successful because of the impracticality of traditional shared bikes—they’re big, slow, and heavy.

and more cities are adding electric bikes to their bikesharing fleets and seeing great responses from users and surges in the number of rides. people want to use shared bikes instead of cars if they have the pedal-assist feature to help them out when they get tired.

  • At the moment, more than 1,000 bikesharing programs exist worldwide, with tens of millions of shareable bikes.
  • Electric bikes are expected to make bikesharing programs more appealing in the future. They’ll do so by neutralizing one of its major drawbacks: the weight and clunkiness of bikes.
  • Shared bicycles are designed to be up to three times heavier than traditional bikes, to make them more robust and able to withstand heavy use, as well as to make them less appealing to potential thieves.
  • Of the 192 cities in the United States that offer bikesharing programs, more than 50 cities include e-bikes in their fleet.
  • For example, Madison, Wisconsin converted all of the bikes in its bikesharing program to electric bikes in June 2019.
  • In tests, the e-bikes in Madison had led to up to five times as many trips as traditional bikes; since the move to electric bikes, the number of riders has risen by a factor of 1.5 to 4.
  • Similarly, Hello Bike, a Chinese shared mobility company that started offering shared electric bikes in 2017, has stated that e-bikes are its most profitable branch.

E-Bike Battery Technology is Changing

E-bikes are built with batteries that use different chemical compositions to store power and increase the power provided by the rider. The most common types are:

The three most common types of batteries in the e-bike industry are lead-acid, NiMH, and Li-ion. In recent years, most manufacturers use Li-ion batteries almost exclusively.

One of the reasons that China has seen such a major surge in e-bike sales is that the production costs have been much lower than elsewhere. According to INSG, this was partly achieved through the usage of cheaper and heavier lead-acid batteries. However, the trends have recently been shifting in favor of more refined lithium-ion batteries (LIB).

  • In 2016, more than 80% of all e-bikes manufactured and sold worldwide were using lead-acid batteries.
  • Since the of Li-on batteries have been falling dramatically. It is expected that two-fifths of all e-bikes sold worldwide will come with LIBs.
  • In 2020, it is expected that 25% of electric bikes will be powered by Li-ons. Whereas that number is estimated to reach 60% by 2023.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are now produced for various applications in electric bicycles. Different models are designed for commuting, hauling cargo, or mountain biking.

of Li-Ion Batteries Are Dropping

As mentioned above, many manufacturers (especially on the Chinese market) are using lead-acid batteries because of their low price. The cost of batteries is usually expressed in terms of USD per kilowatt-hour (kWh), so let’s make a comparison.

In 2013, estimates showed that lead-acid batteries cost just 35/kWh, NiMH cost around 350/kWh, and lithium-ion go up to 700/kWh. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries were the least cost-effective option of the three as they were 20 times more expensive than the lead-acid type.

However, according to Statista, the price of lithium-ion batteries was 156/kWh. It is expected to drop to 135/kWh by the end of 2020.




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Aventon Aventure Ebike Review

I’m PCMag’s expert on fitness and Smart home technology, and I’ve written more than 6,000 articles and reviews in the 10-plus years I’ve been here. I unbox, set up, test, and review a wide range of consumer tech products from my home in Florida, often with the help of my pitbull Bradley. I’m also a yoga instructor, and have been actively teaching group and private classes for nearly a decade.

The Bottom Line

The versatile and powerful Aventon Aventure fat-tire e-bike sports a rugged build that is well suited for off-road riding on just about any terrain.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.


  • Supports pedal assist and throttle operation
  • 28mph maximum assisted speed
  • All-terrain and water-resistant build
  • Built-in display shows speed and battery status
  • Companion app tracks rides
  • Integrated front and rear lights


  • Big and heavy
  • Abrupt pedal assist acceleration
  • On-demand throttle requires extreme caution

If you yearn to bike beyond paved roads, ride fast, and feel the wind on your face, the aptly named Aventure Ebike from Aventon might be your ideal companion. The 1,999 Aventure is an all-weather fat-tire e-bike with five pedal assist levels and an on-demand throttle for speedy getaways at up to 28mph. Its powerful 750W rear hub electric motor has a range of up to 45 miles, while its suspension and fenders make it well suited for rides on the beach or trails. A built-in display includes Bluetooth connectivity and can keep your phone charged, while a companion app tracks your rides and lets you customize bike settings. The Aventure is a powerful bike, and you definitely need to exercise caution when using it, but it makes for a very fun ride.

Aventon’s Most Versatile E-Bike

Based in Ontario, Calif., Aventon makes several different types of e-bikes, including cruisers, commuters, foldables, and fat-tire models. The full-sized Aventure is the company’s most expensive model to date, but also the most versatile; it’s designed to handle any terrain, including city streets, hiking trails, mud, gravel, snow, and sand.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)

The company offers the Aventure in traditional and step-through frame options, in three sizes to accommodate riders between around 5’1” to 6’4”, and four colors (black, green, red, or sand). Step-through frames are easier to get on and off, as well as better for riding while wearing a skirt. Traditional step-over frames are more durable and safer for off-roading, one of the primary uses of the Aventure.

For this review, Aventon sent me the sand-colored model with a traditional frame in the small size (I’m 5’6”). The company also sent me front and rear racks, which it sells for 39.99 and 49.99, respectively.

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At a weight of 73 pounds and with 26-by-4-inch front and rear fat tires (HW), the Aventure is a beast of an e-bike. It features a backlit color LCD (Aventon doesn’t specify the resolution, but it looks sharp) that shows your speed, battery charge, power assist level (0 to 5), distance traveled, and other metrics as you ride. It also syncs your mileage and other metrics to the Aventon app (available for Android and iOS), and provides a standard USB-A port so that you can charge your phone while you ride.

The Aventure ships as a Class 2 e-bike with a 750W (sustained) brushless rear hub motor with five pedal assist levels. The throttle is capable of propelling the bike at up to 20mph even when you’re not pedaling. With pedal assist, the motor only engages when the pedals are turning. When you hold down the throttle on the left handlebar, the motor engages and the bike takes off, whether you’re pedaling or not (more on this in a bit).

In the Aventon app, you can increase the bike’s speed limit to 28mph with pedal assist, effectively turning it into a Class 3 e-bike. With the speed limit turned all the way up, the throttle still maxes out at 20mph.

Alternatively, if you want to ride it in an area that prohibits throttles, you can unplug and remove it; in that case, the Aventure operates as a Class 1 pedal-assist-only e-bike. Class 3 e-bikes are restricted from certain bike trails and paths, so pay attention to the rules and regulations where you ride. Aventon has a helpful article on the differences between Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes (Opens in a new window) on its site if you want to learn more.

The bike features a removable 48V, 720Wh lithium-ion battery that offers an average range of 45 miles per charge. The battery sits inside the frame, and you can remove it with a key for security or charging indoors.

Your range will vary depending on the outside temperature; your weight; the wind speed; road and terrain conditions; the pedal assist level; and your use of the throttle. On pedal assist level 1, Aventon says the bike offers around 53 miles of range. On level 5, it can go around 19 miles. On throttle alone, it should last around 27 miles. Aventon calculated those estimates using a rider weight of 180 pounds on 80% flat terrain.

You shouldn’t experience much range anxiety on the Aventure, but if you’re going for distance, it’s not your best bet. For comparison, the 2,198 VanMoof X3, a Class 1 pedal-assist-only e-bike meant exclusively for city riding, delivers up to 93 miles of range on a charge.

As for other specs and features, the Aventure has a wide, comfortable seat and an aluminum alloy frame that supports riders up to 300 pounds. Levers on the left and right handlebars let you control its front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, respectively. The brake levers are easy to engage, even with a single finger. Its front suspension fork offers 80mm of travel to absorb bumps on rough terrain. For safety, it has built-in fenders as well as integrated front and rear lights that you can control via the display or app. The Aventure has an IPX4 water-resistance rating, which means it’s fine to ride and park in the rain.

Assembling the Aventure

The Aventure arrives only partially assembled but neatly packaged in a large box. Any storage racks you order arrive in separate boxes.

In the box with the Aventure, you get two keys for removing the battery, a 48V 3-amp fast charger, a user manual, and all the tools needed to finish assembling the bike. You may want to use your own 15mm ratchet, because the one Aventon provides doesn’t feel too solid.

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The assembly process involves installing the handlebar, front wheel, front fender, pedals, and seat. Aventon offers detailed instructions in the bike’s user manual and in a step-by-step assembly video (Opens in a new window) on YouTube.

After watching the YouTube assembly video, a handy friend of mine put the bike together on his own, without looking at the manual, but sustained a minor cut in the process due to Aventon’s subpar tools. From start to finish, the assembly process took an hour and 40 minutes.

I’m not very handy, and doubt I would be able to assemble the bike on my own. For an extra fee, one of Aventon‘s dealers or a mobile service provider such as Velo Fix can assemble the bike for you (Opens in a new window).

The Aventure doesn’t come with an air pump, so you may need to purchase one. Aventon recommends that you use a pump with a Schrader valve and pressure gauge to inflate each tire between 5 and 30psi.

After putting the Aventure together, the only remaining steps were to inflate the tires and adjust the seat height. I was eager to test it right away, and, fortunately, its battery arrived partially charged. I read the user manual front to back the night before, so I felt comfortable powering it up and taking it for a test ride.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the Aventure isn’t a toy. Taking the time to read the user manual is of the utmost importance. Pay special attention to the safety warnings and battery instructions to avoid injury and unnecessary wear to the charging components.

Easy to Operate

Powering the bike on requires a few steps: slide the battery into the bike and push it into place, press the power button on the battery twice until it turns blue, and hold down the power button on the left handlebar for three seconds to turn on the display.

In addition to the power button, the display controller on the left handlebar has plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease your pedal assist level; a light button to turn the front and rear lights on or off; and an information button to access the main menu and scroll through various riding metrics. With the buttons on the handlebar, you can switch the pedal assist level while the bike is in motion or stationary.

The LCD shows your light status, battery charge percentage, speed, and power assist level at all times when it’s on. Tap the information button to scroll through other data, such as your trip distance, odometer reading, average speed, max speed, trip time, and calories burned. The screen also shows the amount of carbon emission and the number of trees you saved during that trip by riding instead of driving.

To enter the main bike settings menu, press and hold the information button. Here, you can clear trip data, set the screen brightness, change your speed units (miles or kilometers per hour), access system information, and connect the bike to the app. According to the user manual, you should be able to adjust the bike’s speed limit from the main menu of the LCD, but this option isn’t available on my unit. I can, however, still adjust the speed limit in the app.

In testing, I had no problem connecting the bike to the Aventon app. After you download the app and set up an account, press Pair, turn on the bike’s display, long-press the information button, select Connect to App, use your phone to scan the QR code shown on the bike’s display, and finally give your bike a nickname. When the app asks for permission to use Bluetooth to connect to the bike’s display, press OK to complete the pairing process.

From that point forward, when you turn on the bike’s display, it should automatically connect to the Aventon app (as long as your phone is within Bluetooth range). You can check the connection status in the top left corner of the app; it will say Connected in yellow or Disconnected in gray.

To automatically record your rides, you must pair your bike with the Aventon app. Alternatively, you can manually track a ride by tapping the yellow Go button at the bottom of the app. At the bottom, the app also shows a few other tabs: Ebike, Record, Discover, and Me.

In the Ebike tab, you can view your riding data; turn the bike’s lights on or off; and access additional settings via the gear icon in the top right corner. Tap the gear icon to adjust your bike’s LCD brightness, auto power-off time (up to 100 minutes), speed limit, speed units, and pedal assist level.

One small gripe: Even though I have my speed unit set to mph, the app shows the speed limit in km/h. When I press the plus and minus buttons, the app lets me adjust the speed limit from 20 to 51km/h (around 12 to 31mph).

In Record, you can view your riding data by month and see how you stack up against other users on daily, weekly, monthly, and all-time leaderboards. Aventon ranks the leaderboards based on the distance you ride. The top rider at the time of this writing had logged more than 250 miles in a month.

In the Discover section, you can scroll through a social feed of posts from other Aventon riders and create your own. In the Me tab, you can view any virtual medals you have earned (Aventon awards them for 10 miles, 100 miles, and 1,000 miles, for example), locate dealers for service needs, access Help content, chat with Aventon’s support representatives, change your password, and more.

Battery Balancing and Charging

Aventon recommends fully charging the (large and heavy) battery after each use so it’s ready to go the next time you want to ride. It typically takes between three and seven hours to fully charge the battery.

You can charge the battery while it’s on or off the bike, but make sure it’s powered off (the indicator light should be off). Aventon stresses the order of the charging process: Plug the charger into the battery’s port before plugging it into a power outlet. When it’s finished charging, unplug it from the outlet, and then remove the wire from the battery’s port.

The indicator light shines red while the battery is charging and turns green when the process is complete. Aventon recommends removing the charger from the battery within one hour of the green light.

For space reasons, I store the Aventure outside on my covered patio. However, I always store and charge the battery indoors, as Aventon recommends in the user guide.

The procedure for the first three times you charge the bike is different than subsequent ones, because you need to balance the battery. Aventon also recommends repeating the battery balancing procedure after a period of long-term storage if you experience a noticeable range decline, or up to once a month as a proactive battery maintenance measure for frequent users.

To balance the battery, Aventon says to charge it for just under 12 hours (but never exceeding the 12-hour mark), regardless of the distance you ride or the amount of battery that remains. For the balancing process, it’s fine to keep everything plugged in after the indicator light turns green. After balancing the battery, you can go back to the normal charging procedure.

Familiarizing yourself with the battery charging and balancing procedures takes a bit of time, but it’s part of your responsibility as an e-bike owner—think of it like getting your car inspected or changing its oil. I store the user manual near the battery for easy reference.

My Experience With the Aventure

The Aventure looks slick and attracts attention; people always compliment the bike when I’m out riding it. With its integrated battery, the Aventon looks sleeker than its main competitors, the RadRover 5 and Himiway Cruiser, both of which cost 1,699.

The Aventure can feel a bit jerky when you start pedaling or tap the throttle, but gets more comfortable as you spend time riding it. That said, be sure to brace yourself for speedy acceleration before you start to pedal or tap the throttle.

In response to customer feedback, Aventon reduced the acceleration rate of pedal assist levels one and two to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride. Models that shipped since March 22, 2021 (including my review unit) incorporate these changes, but I still feel a bit of a jolt when the pedal assist function kicks in.

At the same time it modified pedal assist levels one and two for a smoother acceleration transition, Aventon made a major change to the throttle function. Based on user feedback, the company removed a safety feature that prevented the throttle from activating until you pedaled at least a quarter rotation.

As the company explains in a blog post (Opens in a new window). While this safety feature is something we stood by, it has become clear to us through the amount of feedback we’ve received … that while this feature is appreciated, it prevents people from using the throttle in some of the ways they’d like to; for instance, the need for some assistance while starting on a steep hill since that quarter rotation may prove to be too difficult on such a steep incline or forgetting to gear down when hitting continuous stop signs.

This means models shipped since March 22, 2021 feature an on-demand throttle, so you can activate the throttle from a complete stop. The company acknowledges that this change brings forth the possibility that you may accidentally hit the throttle switch, in which case your ebike will accelerate, whether you’re sitting or standing next to it, and will continue accelerating until the throttle switch is released.

(Note that Aventon sells a retrofit display and controller bundle (Opens in a new window) for 179.99 that addresses the abrupt pedal assist acceleration issue and provides on-demand throttle functionality for models sold before March 22, 2021.)

One time, while walking the bike in a crowded parking lot before hopping on, I either accidentally tapped the throttle or the pedal, because the bike quickly accelerated. It was a bit scary, but I didn’t lose control of it. As I mentioned, it takes time to master the Aventure, and you should use it with the utmost caution because it can be dangerous. It’s far more powerful than the VanMoof X3 I’m used to riding.

Safety concerns aside, the Aventure is very fun for off-roading, and I especially enjoy riding it on the beach. After I ride past the crowded areas and hit a deserted strip of sand, I love switching it to pedal assist level five and riding fast. When set to maximum brightness, the LCD is easy to read, even in the sunlight.

Though some might claim riding an e-bike is pointless for fitness, it can still give you a good workout. As mentioned, the Aventure is a heavy bike. Without the motor, I can barely pedal it. On sand, I definitely can’t ride it without the help of pedal assist or the throttle, but on pedal assist level one or two, it still offers a good workout—my legs were sore for days after a long beach ride.

A Fun Off-Road Companion

The 1,999 Aventon Aventure is a rugged fat-tire e-bike that transitions well from paved road to dirt, gravel, sand, snow, or mud. With an average range of 45 miles, a maximum pedal-assisted speed of 28mph, and a throttle that propels you up to 20mph with zero effort, it can take you far and get you there fast. We also like its app-based and onboard connectivity. The bike’s pedal assist acceleration isn’t always the smoothest and the throttle requires caution, but it makes for a fun, thrilling ride. If you like adventure, the Aventure is sure to please.

Best electric bikes 2023 for every kind of rider

If you’re looking for the best electric bikes, there are a lot to choose from, with electric motors and batteries added to a wide range of bikes to add extra power.

Electric road bikes will come with dropped handlebars and favour low weight, whilst electric hybrid bikes will come with flat bars, wider tyres and accessories to aid commuters – such as mudguards and lights. Electric folding bikes are useful if part of your journey involves train travel or you’re short on space.

Here at Cycling Weekly, we’ve reviewed bikes from these three categories and there are links to our more detailed reviews for each bike in this guide. Our testing involves a range of routes and ride lengths and our highly experienced team of testers understands what makes a good bike and what to look for in the best electric bikes.

Electric bikes can be expensive, but there are options too if you’re looking to keep costs low with starting from around 1,000: check out the best budget electric bikes. If you’re into tinkering with your bike, you might also want to look at the best electric bike conversion kits as an alternative to buying a completely new electric bike.

Women may benefit from female specific components on the best women’s electric bikes, and if you’re venturing off-road, check out the best electric gravel bikes.

If you’re looking for the best electric mountain bike though, follow this link to head over to our sister publication MBR which specialises in mountain biking.

Top picks

Here’s a quick look at our top choices from the best electric bikes, including a folding option.

The Specialized Turbo Vado is designed for fast urban riding but with its suspension fork and wider tires it can also handle rougher roads.

There’s a lot of clever tech in the aviation-inspired Gocycle G4i, with a neat folding mechanism, lightweight frame and decent mileage from its internal battery.

The Giant Fastride’s neatly integrated battery and quality spec make it a great option for the commute, with wide gear range and hydraulic disc brakes.

If your e-bike riding heads off-road, the Neo Carbon Lefty has front and rear suspension and a powerful Bosch motor to help you up the hills.

The Cento1 Hybrid takes Wilier’s race bike pedigree and inserts a rear hub motor in a stealth package that keeps the bike’s performance and doesn’t add too much weight.

The classic Brompton with the same folding mechanism, but with a front hub motor and battery housed in a neat removeable bag.

Our pick of the best electric bikes

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Best Electric Hybrid bikes

Electric hybrid bikes are the fastest selling style. Their flat bars, usually wide tyre, and commute friendly fittings. such as mudguard mounts and rack mounts. make them extremely practical machines.

The motor can be housed in the rear hub, or at the cranks, and the torque will vary. low torque models offer a natural pedalling assistance, but high torque versions will move off the lights more quickly.

Reasons to avoid

The Ribble Hybrid AL e is a road-going hybrid bike that’s equally at home on gravel paths and trails, with a comfortable and confidence-inspiring upright riding position, so great for returning or newbie riders.

For us, we think the bike is one of the best looking hybrids we’ve ever come across, with the design hiding away the motor incredibly well, although we were a little sad that adjusting the seat post left behind scratch marks. The fully loaded package includes fenders (mudguards), lights and a rear rack making it perfect as a daily commuter or for ditching the car when going to the store, although we did find these a little rattily on test.

The Ebikemotion motor delivers its power smoothly and efficiently and offers long-range in between charges, making the Ribble far more than just an A to B bike.

Understandably it doesn’t perform in the same way as the Canyon Grail:ON in terms of fast and tight torque, but tap along and it will tick over nicely, taking the top off any strenuous rides.

With all the added extras as standard and classy looks, the Ribble Hybrid AL e is a great electric bike for the money.

Reasons to avoid

A fun ride that’s great in urban environments but also provides a confidence-inspiring ride on rougher terrain is what the Specialized Turbo Vado is all about.

If you’re after a bike that is fully integrated with lights, fenders and rack (27kg capacity) as well as security (on the App removable battery using a key), then this represents a straight forward choice. Only the weight, and to a lesser degree cost, need consideration.

We found the 70Nm/250W custom-tuned motor applies power seamlessly and powerfully as soon as you push down on the pedals. Range is excellent too. 95-130km / 60-80 miles should be easily attainable using the default settings of Sport’ and ‘50% power’. There is an Eco mode as well as Turbo, so if you’re careful you can expect much greater range.

It is a heavy machine at 60lbs/ 27kg, so not easy to lift, so anyone needing to navigate steps in or out of the bike’s storage place will need to take this into consideration, but aside from that we found the Specialized Vado Turbo to be a joy to ride.

Reasons to avoid

We absolutely loved zooming around on the speedy Ride1Up Roadster V2 with its five levels of power assist. If you’re anything like us and are more used to training and racing on standard road bikes it can easily become your guilty pleasure. it’s fantastic fun to ride.

The bike was so quiet, even on level 5, convincing onlookers that our tester had to be some kind of super Hero to ride so fast up 15 per cent climbs. The only downside. in common with other e-bikes that only assist when you’re pedalling. was where there was a requirement for a hill start, the cranks had to be turned over in order to get the motor to engage, creating a pregnant pause at the lights, before vavavooming off.

The claimed 24mph maximum assisted speed (in the US) needs input from the pedals to reach on the flats, but without a doubt it’s noticeable downhill, where other bikes, such as the Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike auto assist would cut out and slow you down.

This extra speed also puts the bike into a class 3 e-bike, meaning that it doesn’t meet EAPC rules in the UK, but that’s by the by as US brand Ride1Up doesn’t currently ship there.

If you are in a country lucky enough to be shipped to: the US, Canada and Mexico, then it’s a great option and one that has a very high fun-to-dollar ratio.

Ride1Up is a direct-to-consumer brand. check out the Roadster V2 on its website here.

Reasons to avoid

The Canyon Precede:ON is an efficient automatic transmission city bike that performs well in multi-terrain settings whether for utility or for leisure purposes thanks to a powerful motor and control panel.

With built-in accessories such as lights, mudguards, rack and kickstand all the trappings are there to make for a comfortable ride with style straight out the box. All these add ons however do make it one of the heaviest e-bikes on the market, even heavier than the Specialized Turbo Vado.

We really loved the Canyon Grail: On and it’s great to see the Precede:ON also be kitted with the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, although ideally we would love to see a little more juice in the battery to support the other impressive spec.

With everything you need straight out the box, including navigation system and lights, it’s the easiest way to swap driving/ public transport for a bike, but it is at the higher end price tag wise. There are a couple of models to choose from, which also takes the cost down a touch, but with a six year guarantee, it could be a savvy investment.

The only other point to note is that Canyon has a direct sales model, so you’ll have to buy directly from the brand here.

Reasons to avoid

The Giant Fastroad E Pro is another road-going hybrid bike with flat handlebars to promote a comfortable ride position for even the rustiest of riders, in fact we enjoyed riding this great electric hybrid road bike so much we gave it a Cycling Weekly Editor’s Choice Award.

The tyres provide plenty of squish and the ability to go lightly off-road. However on test we found the aluminium frame and fork quite stiff, which will suit those used to a traditional road bike’s feel and riders looking for a speedy commute, but worth bearing in mind if you’re used to a softer hybrid feel.

We really liked the bike’s integration of the battery, which can often be a design factor forgotten about on hybrid bikes. We were also really impressed to see the spec on the FastRoad, with hydraulic disc brakes and quality Shimano shifting, with a compact chainset and wide range cassette at the rear to provide plenty of gears for the hills all making an appearance.

A great electric hybrid bike for a fair price that will have a lot of appeal to lots of different riders.

Reasons to avoid

With its 36V battery, which should give around 70 miles of juice, hooked up to a mid-drive motor, we found that the Volt Infinity electric bike gave a nice balanced feel to the bike.

Shimano provides the power in the form of 8-speed Alfine Di2 hub Shimano Steps, the highly regarded motor and e-bike specific groupset.

Three different assistance modes will let you get the most out of that battery and the display mounted on the front will make it easy to keep track and we loved that the torque sensor picked up when we were flagging and gave us a little boost to help us along our way.

Previously similar to the Carrera Subway E, it’s had a bit of a make over and it’s now much more visually integrated than the previous model that we tested, although it’s still without a quick release rear wheel, making investing in the best puncture-proof tyres or inner tubes a shrewd investment.

The only real downside is the one size fits all. Great if it does fit you, not so much if it doesn’t.

Best Electric Folding Bikes

Folding electric bikes are practical if you have a train journey forming part of your trip or are low on space. Being small, the battery and motor can represent a large percentage of the weight, so the FOCUS is often on reducing this as much as possible.

Mileage on folding bikes is often low, since they’re typically used to ride to and from train stations, so battery range isn’t always a major consideration.

If you are considering going for a folder, you might find our buying guide page dedicated to helping you find the best folding bikes a useful read.

Reasons to avoid

We absolutely loved the Brompton Electric bike when we took it out for a spin, finding it to be the perfect bike for commuting in traffic and then stowing well out of the way post-ride.

The brand is considered by many as the gold standard of folding bikes, and the Brompton Electric is clearly cast from the same mould.

As typical with any Brompton bike, the brand has taken full control of the engineering, so everything from frame to motor has been designed in house. Brompton however has called upon the experiences of Williams Advanced Engineering when it comes to the motor, developing a bespoke lightweight removable battery and motor.

As you would expect when a team of Formula One engineers get under the bonnet of the Brompton Electric, the small, but perfectly formed motor has excelled, delivering power smoothly, safely and exactly when you need it.

The frame is the usual Brompton high standard, and while one size, keeps the ability to choose handlebars, seatpost heights and even saddle widths. There are six speeds, giving you plenty to play with when you hit a hill.

Whatever your final set up, you can rest assured as to the bike’s foldability, which is one of the reasons why Brompton stands out from the folding bike crowd. Its folded footprint is one of the smallest out there: 565mm high x 585mm wide x 270mm long (22.2 x 23 x 10.6). This means it’s highly portable and capable of stowing in the smallest of spaces, although be warned, due to the independent motor and battery pack, you’ll find yourself with two hands full, so best to invest in a rucksack for your other belongings.

On test we felt this was an absolute dream of a bike, in fact, we went as far as calling it a transport gamechanger. If you’re worried by the 17kg-plus weight, there’s now the Brompton Electric P Line bike, which uses lighter frame materials to drop the claimed weight down to 15.6kg.

Reasons to avoid

The G4i is a solid choice for a commuter, with the option to add many accessories such as mudguards (fenders), a front and rear pannier rack, integrated lights, lock holster and a travel case.

The design folds in half, so that you can push it on its wheels rather than needing to carry it, or you can fully fold it into a compact package. There’s built-in rear suspension, concealed cabling and a fully enclosed drivetrain.

It features a discreetly integrated USB port on the handlebar, enabling owners to charge their phone or other small devices from the bike’s battery when not in use. although we found the quality of the integrated phone mount didn’t quite match that of the bike itself. The same goes for the LED display, which we found to be rather basic. although the information it provides is useful.

It’s also likely to be pretty low-maintenance given that the drivetrain is completely enclosed. This makes sense, given that commuting year round usually means cycling in the wet at some point. The G4i utilizes a Shimano Nexus 3 speed internally geared hub. With 1” of elastomer suspension and 2.35” wide tyres, it is one of the more comfortable small wheelers. Single-sided wheel attachment means you don’t even have to remove the wheel, should you puncture one of the 20” wheels.

The 500W (250W in the UK/EU) G4 electric motor and 375Wh Lithium-ion battery is claimed to provide a range of up to 80km (50mi), but the most we managed to get out of it was just 44km (27mi). To be fair, that was in one of the more ‘assisted’ modes and I always had the daytime running lights on. and the city of Bath is well known for its brutally steep hills.

The bike is available from 17.6kg / 38.8lbs. However, as the weight is centred low on the frame, this at least makes the ride more stable. The folding mechanism has been improved since previous versions and can be quickly collapsed into a small package. Gocycle says this can be done in as little as ten seconds; we found it was closer to 20.

The Swft Volt lacks some niceties, but it’s a pretty good electric bike for less than a grand

Tom’s Guide Verdict

The Swft Volt is a good electric bike that costs less than 1,000.


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Size: 69.7 x 39.4 x 24.6 inches Weight: 44.1 pounds Motor: 350W Battery: 10Ah, 36V Range: 32 miles Max speed: 19.8 MPH Max rider weight: 220 pounds Tire size: 27 x 1.1

The Swft Volt looks to break down one of the biggest barriers to electric bike adoption: They’re just too expensive. With a starting price of 999, the Volt is a lot cheaper than most other ebikes, which can easily start at twice the price, yet delivers a solid ride for the price. However, with a lower price comes a few compromises. Read the rest of our Swft Volt review to see if those tradeoffs are worth it for you, and how it compares to some of the best budget electric bikes we’ve tested.

Swft Volt review: Price and availability

The Swft Volt went on sale in the fall of 2021, and costs 999, though you can find it for less during the holiday season.

Swft Volt review: Design

The Volt is designed as a road bike, with the rider in a forward-leaning position. The company also says that it’s best for people who are 5’ 10” and taller. If you’d prefer a more laid-back bike — or if you’re not as leggy — the Swft Fleet (also 999) is built in the beach-cruiser style, and is meant for riders 5’7” and up. That’s still pretty tall, though.

From the outside, the Volt looks like any other bike, albeit one with a much thicker downtube; the bike’s battery is hidden there, but unlike the Fleet and some other electric bikes (including the Swft Fleet), it’s not removable. Swft keeps the Volt’s wires hidden fairly well; you wouldn’t necessarily know this is an e-bike just by a quick glance. The Volt’s throttle is a simple grip-twist built into the right handlebar.

The Volt’s display, while functional, is much smaller than you’ll find on other ebikes. Still, you get the basics: Speed, distance traveled, and battery life remaining, plus, it lights up automatically in the dark. Buttons let you adjust the level of pedal assistance you want, and turn the bike’s headlight on and off.

The Volt is a fixed-gear bike — no shifting here — which is one of the compromises you’ll need to make. Unlike pricier electric bikes, such as the Rad City Rad 5 Power, which have a 7-gear shifter, you’re going to struggle to get the Volt going uphill without pedal assist or the throttle.

Swft Volt review: Assembly

Unlike other electric bikes I’ve tested, the Volt needed a bit more work to get up and running. For one, the front brakes were misaligned, and the wheel was also slightly out of balance. I have a bit of experience adjusting these things, but those unfamiliar with bikes may need to bring it to a shop to get it fine-tuned.

From there, it was just a matter of charging the battery (it takes 6 hours to go from empty to full), strapping on one of the best bike helmets, and then off I went.

Swft Volt review: Performance

Unlike pricier electric bikes which use cadence sensors to incrementally adjust the level of assistance, the Volt merely senses when the crank is turning, and applies power. It definitely took a little more work at the outset than other electric bikes I’ve tested, but once I got going, the Volt provided steady power throughout my ride.

For the most part, I used pedal assist, but would activate the throttle when starting, going through intersections, or heading uphill. The Volt’s 350W rear hub motor was up for most tasks, but struggled a bit on inclines, where I would slow down to around 6-7 miles per hour.

Contrast that with the Van Moof S3 and Rad Power RadCity 5, which powered me up hills with aplomb. The Volt’s motor was also a bit noisier than on pricier ebikes; while it’s not obnoxious, you do hear a whine when using the throttle.

Overall, though, I found the Volt to be a pretty enjoyable ride. There’s no shock absorbers, and coupled with the bike’s relatively thin tires, you’ll definitely feel the bumps. Still, my only real gripe was with the handlebar grips, which dug into my palms a bit too much for my liking. That’s easily resolved, though.

Swft Volt: Battery life and range

The Swft Volt has a 10 Ah, 36V battery that the company says is good for up to 32 miles of range — not spectacular, but not horrible given the bike’s price. I rode the bike at the top power-assist level and used the throttle on bigger hills and when starting, and estimate that in my use, I’d get around 20 miles before needing to recharge it.

Swft Volt: Competition

On Amazon, you can find a number of electric bikes that cost less than 1,000, but the majority are from no-name companies and have somewhat clunky designs.

Among more reputable brands, the Rad Power RadMission 1 also costs 999, comes in a variety of colors, and has a removable battery. It also has a larger, 48V, 10.5 Ah battery, and a 500W geared hub motor; like the Swft Volt, it’s also a single-gear bike.

If you’re looking for something more compact, the Lectric XP 2.0 also comes in under 1,000, and can fold up; however, it’s pretty heavy for its size.

Swft Volt review: Verdict

It’s only a matter of time before ebikes become more affordable, but the Swft Volt is one of the first to break the 1,000 barrier. Like the Lectric XP 2.0, the Volt is made for budget-conscious riders, so you won’t get niceties like hydraulic brakes, full suspension, and color displays. But for the price, who cares so long as it delivers a good ride?

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When Swft offered to send me one of its bikes to test, I opted for the Volt, as it looked sleeker. However, I think a majority of riders may prefer the Swft Fleet as it has a longer range (37 miles), removable battery, and a more powerful 500W motor. Plus, its beach cruiser configuration, which lets you sit up straighter, will make it more enjoyable while you’re pedaling around town.

The Best Electric Bikes: Upgrade Your Commute For A Sustainable Ride

At Luxe Digital, we independently research, review, and recommend products we love and that we think you will love, too. Learn more about how we curate the best products for you.

We’ve been lucky over the past four years to test and review some of the best electric bikes on the market. From the top electric commuter bike to fat tire e-bike, folding bikes, and eMBX — if you can name it, we’ve most probably tried it. When testing the most popular electric bike brands, we follow strict testing guidelines to make sure that we can compare e-bikes objectively (more on that below).

What does it mean for you?

Well, if you’re here, I’m guessing you want to understand the different ebike options available today and figure out which electric bike is best for your particular use case.

If that’s you, you’re in the right place.

This is the fourth year in a row that we update our ranking of the best electric bikes. We’ve organized our list by bike category (e.g., city bike, cruiser, mountain bike, etc.). We’ve also shortlisted the top three overall best ebikes that we think will be great options for most people.

In a rush? No problem! Here’s our shortlist of the absolute best options available right now:

Why you can trust Luxe Digital? We’ve been regularly updating our ranking of the best electric bikes since 2019. We started by testing only high-end ebikes. Those were expensive, premium options at the time. But since then, we’ve broadened our ranking to also include more affordable ebikes across multiple categories as the market itself has evolved.

We personally ride as many of the bikes in this ranking as possible to give you our unique point of view and hands-on experience. If we were unable to get our hands on a particular model but thought it was worth being included on our list for your consideration, we performed detailed online research to give you the best recommendations possible.

The 11 best electric bikes of this year

Here’s the full list of the best ebikes of the year. You can directly click on the category that you’re most interested in:

  • Overall best electric bike:Ride1Up-LMTD
  • Best premium ebike:LeMond Prolog
  • Best value electric bike:Ancheer Commuter
  • Best foldable ebike:Lectric XP 3.0
  • Best cargo utility ebike:Specialized Haul ST
  • Best city commuter electric bike:RadCity 5 Plus
  • Best electric cruiser bike:Flyer Cruiser
  • Best mountain bike:Specialized Turbo Levo Expert
  • Best fat tire electric bike:Ride1Up RIFT
  • Best road electric bike:Specialized Turbo Creo
  • Best electric trike:Lectric XP Trike

Methodology: Our approach to testing and ranking the best electric bikes

At Luxe Digital, we rate every product against the values that are important to us:

  • Craftsmanship: How is it made? Is the brand using high-quality materials and expertise?
  • Design: How does it look and feel? Is it aesthetic and timeless?
  • Function and purpose: How well does it perform? Does it achieve its stated claims?
  • Impact: Does the brand have a positive impact on your daily life and the planet?
  • Value for money: Is it worth its retail price? Is the price justifiable?

Things you should pay attention to when buying an electric bike

Let’s quickly go through the things you should take into consideration when shopping online for an electric bike.

There are really only two factors to consider when comparing electric bikes: What you’ll do with your ebike and how much you’re ready to spend on it.

We told you it would be quick

Okay, there’s a little bit more to it once you get into the details, but these are the two important questions you should start with to keep your search for the best ebike focused and relevant.

Once you’ve defined your use case and budget, you can start comparing technical specs and features for the different electric bikes that are most relevant to your needs.

We’ll do that in a second, but first, let’s briefly talk about the three different types of electric bikes available today. There are categorized into three classes.

The three legal classes of e-bikes

First thing first, you should understand the class of ebike you want. There are three legal classes of electric bikes on the market in the US:

  • Class 1 electric bikes: The easiest and safest to start with, class 1 ebikes use a pedal-assist motor to support your ride. You need to pedal in order to engage the electric motor. The motor will disengage as soon as you reach 20 mph.
  • Class 2 electric bikes: These ebikes are equipped with a throttle motor that you can engage without pedaling. The throttle is usually a grip-twist or a button. Type 2 ebikes are also limited to 20 mph.
  • Class 3 electric bikes: This is the fastest class of e-bikes with a pedal-assist motor that can reach a top speed of 28 mph. While you don’t need a license to ride them, it’s highly recommended.

Check our dedicated guide to electric bike classes to learn more about the system and see examples for each type. Check also your local rules and regulations to know where and how you can ride each class of ebike. For example, the city of New York enacted a law in 2023 prohibiting the sale, lease, or rental of electric bikes that fail the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard 2849.

Next, let’s see what you want to use the bike for.

The eight categories of electric bikes

Based on our experience riding electric bikes for several years, we’ve broken down this guide into eight categories of ebikes. These categories are based on different use cases and terrains. It’s important to choose a bike that suits how and where you want to ride to get the best experience possible.

Here are the eight different categories of electric bikes you should consider:

  • Folding electric bikes: They are designed for portability and can be stored in small spaces. Folding bikes are ideal for travelers, RVers, city dwellers, and office workers who want to easily store their bikes. Just keep in mind that their design usually makes for a less stable ride.
  • Utility cargo electric bikes: These bikes offer a large cargo capacity and can be customized to your needs, which makes them perfect to replace your car for most trips. Cargo ebikes are heavier, however, and thus best suited for riding out straight from your garage to school to drop your kids or to the store.
  • City commuter electric bikes: These are great if you primarily want to ride to and from work. Commuter bikes are designed for city use and can replace your car. They have quick power output, higher speeds, and features like brake lights to improve your visibility on the road.
  • Cruiser ebikes: This type of bike is built for comfort and ease of use. They are perfect for long slow rides on dedicated bike lanes or by the beach.
  • Mountain electric bikes: Purposefully built for off-road use with rugged suspension systems, light frames, strong tires, and frame geometry that make them well-suited to riding trails.
  • Fat tire electric bikes: Specially designed for off-road and rough terrain. They have wide tires that provide traction and stability, and a powerful motor that helps you to move quickly over different surfaces.
  • Road electric bikes: Ideal for riders who want to go faster and farther on well-paved roads. Road ebikes are lighter and come with narrow tires to improve traction and speed.
  • Electric trikes: These three-wheelers are a category on their own. They offer additional cargo space (ideal for children or groceries) with a comfortable and stable ride.

We’ve selected a winner for each category in our ranking below.

Now let’s look at the technical specifications to consider when comparing ebikes.

Technical specs to consider when comparing ebikes

You’ll see a lot of technical jargon on manufacturers’ websites when comparing electric bikes online. But really, we think you can narrow it down to only two essential elements:

Motor power output: The speed and electric assistance you need.

The electric motor determines how fast you can go and how much electrical assistance you will get while pedaling. Electric bike motors are measured in Watts and typically range from 250W to 750W—the higher the number, the most powerful the motor. Powerful electric motors will deliver more torque to carry heavier weights. They also accelerate faster and can reach higher speeds (although your top speed will be limited depending on your bike’s class).

Another thing to consider with the electric motor is its placement on the bike. There are two common options on the market: hub-drive motors, delivering power to one of the wheels, and mid-drive motors, delivering power to the pedal crank.

Hub-drive motors are cheaper and easier to maintain, but they’re less efficient and make tire replacement more complicated. On the other hand, mid-drive motors are more expensive but also more efficient and offer a more balanced weight distribution.

Battery capacity: The distance and duration of you ride.

Your ebike’s battery determines how far and how long you can ride. Batteries are measured in watts per hour (Wh)—the higher the Wh number, the more power storage. Higher Wh batteries are generally also heavier, however, so you’ll need to find the right balance between the overall bike’s weight, your own weight, and what you want to do with your bike.

Another thing to look out for is the option to remove (or not) your ebike’s battery. Some models offer a removable battery, which might be more convenient for you to recharge or store. Removable batteries are also easier to change if your battery gets old.

Now that you understand the two most important technical specifications related to electric bikes, let’s look at a few extra elements to consider:

  • Weight: the battery and motor can add significant weight to your bike. Understand how that might affect your ride quality, speed, and distance.
  • Tires: depending on your use case, you’ll want appropriate tires for the terrain.
  • Step-over vs step-through: this refers to the height of the bar in the middle of the frame. Step-over bikes have a high bar that provides more balance and rigidity to your ride. Step-through bikes have a lower bar that makes it easier to get on the bike. I generally recommend step-over for most scenarios, but a step-through is a good option short distance commuting.
  • Safety features: look for options such as integrated lights and capable breaks. Break lights are especially important if you want a city bike to ride in the traffic.
  • Warranty: we only recommend ebikes from reputable manufacturers, but you should always check what the warranty is like and the quality of the brand’s customer service.
  • Additional features: a few extra things to consider depending on your use case is the type of suspensions and the electric bike’s interface (for example, does it come with an app).
  • Payment plan: there are so many options available on the market this year that you’re bound to find an electric bike that suits your budget. Many states and brands offer attractive financing plans, vehicle loan programs, or cash incentives to help support your purchase. We’ll mention them in our review below whenever possible.

One more thing before we get to the main course: you should check our selection of the best electric motorcycles if you want more speed and comfort while riding. And if you’re looking for a cheaper and lighter alternative, we have a detailed guide to the best electric scooters too.

Now, let’s get to the most interesting part of this article: our ranking of the best electric bikes of the year!

Overall best electric bike: Ride1Up LMTD

Ebike category Class 3
Motor 750W rear hub with 95Nm of torque
Battery 672Wh
Top Speed 28mph pedal assist and 20mph throttle
Range Up to 50 miles
Weight 53 lbs

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