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.
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.
Best electric mountain bikes: top-rated eMTBs to tame the trails
The best electric mountain bikes make ascents a lot easier while providing all the performance and handling you want on the way back down. They add some extra power on the flat too.
You can turn your FOCUS to climbing the steepest, most technical slopes you can find – or just go longer and faster with a grin from ear-to-ear. The ability to cover ground quickly means you can go out and explore places you wouldn’t otherwise consider. These bikes also enable you to ride in ways you usually couldn’t. As designs become more refined, their handling increasingly rivals – and in some cases exceeds – that of non-assisted mountain bikes.
For more on what to look for when buying an e-MTB, read our buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article. Otherwise, check out our guide to the best electric bikes for advice on choosing the right ebike for you. If your riding will not be exclusively off-road, then the best electric gravel bikes are worth considering instead. What’s more, motor-assisted miles on tarmac call for the best electric road bikes.
Best electric mountain bikes in 2023
Marin Alpine Trail E2
Slack geometry and Shimano’s EP8 motor make the Alpine Trail E2 a formidable bike. Andy Lloyd / Marin Bikes
- £5,695 / €6,199 / 5,999 as tested
- Marin’s first full-suspension e-MTB
- Capable, fun and comfortable
Marin launched the Alpine Trail E at the end of 2020 and it’s the Californian brand’s first full-suspension electric mountain bike.
Luckily, it’s been worth the wait because the Alpine Trail E is a capable, fun and comfortable e-MTB with a well-thought-out spec that offers good value for money including top-spec dampers, Shimano drivetrains and branded components.
You get an aluminium frame with 150mm of travel, with aggressive, descent-focused geometry, while Shimano’s EP8 motor provides the power.
The Alpine Trail E2 is at home on a broad spectrum of trails and lives up to Marin’s promise as a bike that will put a smile on your face.
The range also includes the cheaper Alpine Trail E1 at £4,295 / 4,499 / €4,899.
Nukeproof Megawatt 297 Factory
Nukeproof also took the top step in our inagural eMTB Bike of the Year test. Steve Behr / Our Media
- £7,000 / €8,200 as tested
- Comfortable, efficient climbing
- Good balance of motor power and range
The winner of our first ever eMTB category in Bike of the Year, the Nukeproof Megawatt scores on geometry, spec and suspension and, with its 170mm rear travel and mullet wheels, is designed for enduro riding.
The top-drawer spec includes a Fox Factory 38 fork and Float X2 shock, Shimano XT drivetrain and four-piston brakes, DT Swiss H 1700 Spline 30 wheels and Maxxis tyres.
Power comes from a Shimano EP8 85Nm motor with three customisable assistance levels and a 630Wh battery supplying the juice. We got over 2,000m vertical in Eco mode and up to 1,400m in Boost.
We loved the downhill performance, a mix of fun and stability that’s hard for bike designers to get right. The super-smooth rear suspension with balanced geometry makes it easy to ride quickly with little effort.
Orbea Rise H10
- £6,623 / 8,000 / €7,100 / AU12,600 as tested
- Well-finished alloy frame
- Throttled-down Shimano EP8 motor gives natural ride feel
The Orbea Rise H10 is an alloy version of the original carbon Rise. It’s a stripped-back ‘eMTB Lite’, with less power and weight than a fully assisted eMTB, that Orbea says is “less e, more bike”.
The Rise H10 gets a larger battery than the original, at 540Wh, and is powered by a 60Nm Shimano EP8 motor that’s throttled down to limit its usual 85Nm torque and extend range. You can add a 252Wh range extender.
The H10’s frame has nicely smoothed welds at the top tube junctions that could fool you into thinking it’s carbon, and side-on it’s not obvious there’s a battery in the down tube either. Geometry is trail-oriented and modern but not cutting-edge.
With its higher-torque motor than the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, the Rise feels more powerful on climbs. It can handle rougher, steeper trails, although it’s not as sure-footed as more enduro-oriented ebikes. It’s happiest on rollercoaster singletrack and berms though.
Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL
- £12,500 / 15,000 / €14,500 / AU24,200 as tested
- Top-drawer spec to match the price
- Highly tunable geometry
- Lower-powered assistance leads to more rider input to keep up pace
First in our line-up of very spendy Specialized electric bikes, the enduro-focused Turbo Kenevo SL mixes a 19kg weight with 170mm travel.
It’s built from FACT 11m carbon fibre, with the tunable Specialized Turbo SL 1.1 motor meting out 35Nm of torque – about half that of most eMTB motors. That’s powered by a 320Wh integrated battery. You can buy a separate range extender to add another 160Wh.
The geometry is tunable, with 2 degrees of head tube angle adjustment via angled headset cups and flip chips in the suspension pivot. In the low setting, climbing is smooth and composed with subtle assistance. Handling feels more like a pedal-powered bike than an eMTB, with impressive composure on rougher trails.
Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo
- £13,000 / 15,000 / €13,999 / AU24,200 as tested
- Great frame, motor, battery life and power delivery
- Crazy price, tyres not robust enough to keep up
We really liked the Turbo Levo’s frame and motor when we reviewed the base model, but were underwhelmed by its components and their effect on handling. We’ve also reviewed the Turbo Levo Comp Alloy more recently, again with mixed results, in this case raising issues with the suspension damper, tyres and the bike’s value for money.
The range-topping carbon S-Works model rectifies all that – although at a price. Our reviewer rated it the “best bike he’d ever ridden”.
The Brose motor pushes out up to 565 watts and 90Nm for impressive climbing with smooth power delivery and there’s battery capacity to stay the course. The rest of the spec is as top-drawer as you’d expect.
With 150mm of suspension travel and variable geometry, the bike can be fine-tuned to whatever you want to ride, although we swapped out the tyres to something better able to keep up with the rest of the bike’s capabilities.
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
- Draped in high-end components at a reasonable price
- Impressive geometry and suspension
Rolling on a ‘mullet’ setup and featuring up-to-date geometry (boasting a 64-degree head tube angle), the E-Sommet is Vitus’ top-spec eMTB designed for enduro with 167mm of rear travel.
It’s powered by Shimano’s EP8 motor capable of 85nm peak torque and 250W of peak power combined with a 650Wh battery. We achieved 1,800m to 2,000m of ascent in the Eco mode from a single charge. This figure dropped in Turbo mode to 1,200m.
With Vitus being a direct-to-customer brand, the E-Sommet is adorned with top spec for its very reasonable price. It features a 170mm RockShox ZEB Ultimate fork, a Super Deluxe Select RT shock and Shimano’s XT groupset.
Whyte E-160 RSX
- £7,999 as tested
- Calm and composed, hides its weight well
- One of the best-handling electric mountain bikes tested
Available in 29in or ‘mullet’ form, the E-160 RSX is a 150mm do-it-all electric enduro bike.
It comes well equipped with Fox Performance Elite 38 forks and Float X rear shock, SRAM GX Eagle AXS and DT Swiss wheels. Power comes from a 250W Bosch Performance Line CX motor with a 750Wh PowerTube battery.
Whyte has positioned the battery partially beneath the motor to lower the bike’s centre of gravity, giving it a well-balanced geometry and truly special handling characteristics for a bike of its weight.
We managed to get 2,000m of ascent in Tour mode, and regularly hit 1,500m in eMTB mode. The 26.32kg weight (size large) was masked on the descents thanks to the low centre of gravity, making the bike easy to lean from one side to the other.
Whyte E-180 RS
A mix of stability at speed with agile handling makes for great descending on the Whyte E-180 RS v3. Andy Lloyd / Our Media
- £7,699 as tested
- Geometry and motor/battery positioning designed for stability
- Near-perfect descending performance
With 27.5in wheels and 170mm rear/180mm front travel, the downhill-oriented, alloy Whyte E-180 RS v3 sits at the top of the brand’s range.
There’s a quality spec with Fox Factory fork and shock, DT Swiss wheels and SRAM X01/GX Eagle drivetrain. Assistance comes in the form of an 85Nm Bosch Performance Line CX motor with a 625Wh battery and a Purion display.
The layout of the motor and battery is designed to give a low centre of gravity and there’s a flip chip to adjust geometry, dropping the head tube angle by one degree. Even in the high setting, it’s quite slack.
We managed 2,300m of climbing with the motor in Eco mode, although that dropped to 1,200m with higher assistance. Descending was near-perfect, with great stability over rough ground and the agility to handle complex trail features.
Yeti 160E T1
Yeti’s first eMTB is an impressive ride, but feels under-specced for its price. Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
- £11,899 / 12,700 / €13,790 as tested
- Superb suspension, balance and handling
- Very expensive, without top-spec kit all-round
The Yeti is an expensive proposition, but we reckon its 160mm-travel six-bar suspension sets a new benchmark for enduro eMTBs and its downhill capabilities are second to none.
It’s powered by a Shimano EP8 motor with a 630Wh battery. The TURQ-series carbon frame is decked out in Shimano XT with DT Swiss EX 1700 alloy wheels and Fox 38 Factory fork and Float X2 rear shock; there’s also a less expensive C1 spec of the 160E.
There’s loads of grip on bumpy or rough terrain, with the rear tyre giving up before the suspension. Downhill needed a little tuning to raise the bars, but once done the controlled suspension and well-chosen geometry led to incredible, fast-descending performance.
Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7.0
Although it hasn’t got the most progressive geometry, it’s still a good-looking and top-performing bike. Ian Linton / Immediate Media
- £4,299 / 6,299 / €4,497 as tested
- Carbon main frame
- Playful handling when ridden fast
Redesigned in March 2020, the Canyon Spectral:ON’s main frame is now carbon with an alloy rear triangle, instead of all alloy, and its 504Wh battery is now internal.
Like its predecessor, it has mullet wheel sizes, with a 29in front and 27.5in rear wheel. On this CF 7.0 model, there’s 150mm of travel at the rear and a RockShox Deluxe Select shock, while power comes from a Shimano Steps E8000 motor, running through a 12-speed Shimano XT derailleur.
The motor provides plenty of power to get up steep climbs, while the feel when riding fast is more playful than planted.
We’ve also tested the top-spec, £7,599 / 9,000 Spectral:ON CF 9.0. Its components are better, but we reckon there’s little other reason to choose it over the 7.0.
Focus JAM2 7.0
- £7,499 / €7,999 as tested
- Tunable geometry and 150mm travel
- Responsive, agile handling despite a 25kg weight
The Focus JAM2 7.0 rolls on 29er wheels with 150mm of linear-progressive suspension travel, while power comes from the Shimano EP8 85Nm motor, with a high-capacity 720Wh battery from Focus.
A flip chip enables you to tune the geometry and the JAM2 has Focus’s CIS system with cables and hoses threaded through the stem. There’s a built-in USB-C charge port on the top tube and another neat touch is the custom tool bag that sits under the front of the down tube.
We rated the rear-wheel grip when climbing, and the geometry adds playfulness on flowy trails, with direct, responsive handling despite the 25kg weight.
Merida eONE-SIXTY 10k
- £9,000 / 9,799 / €9,799 / AU11,999 as tested
- Smooth-riding over choppy trails, high-value spec
- Geometry is a bit short and high
Powered by the Shimano EP8 motor system, this top spec of Merida’s enduro-oriented eOne-Sixty has a carbon front triangle and single-pivot alloy rear. The ride is smooth over obstacles and on fast, choppy trails, although the reach is slightly shorter and the front end a bit higher than we’d prefer.
This top-spec model has everything you could desire, including Shimano XTR gearing and brakes, and DT Swiss carbon wheels with Maxxis rubber, along with a Fox Float X2 Factory fork and shock, and a RockShox Reverb AXS wireless dropper seatpost.
Mondraker Level R
The Mondraker Level R electric mountain bike sits in the brand’s ‘super enduro’ category, where the FOCUS of performance is on the downhills. Andy Lloyd / Out Media
- £5,999 / 8,499 / €5,799 as tested
- Composed climbing and descending
- 27kg weight limits climbing range, but isn’t an issue on descents
Mondraker sets the alloy Level R 29er in its ‘super enduro’ category, with the brand’s Forward Geometry and 170mm travel from a Fox DHX2 coil-spring shock and dual-link suspension system.
Power is provided by a Bosch Performance Line CX motor with four assistance levels, 85Nm of torque, a 750Wh battery and Kiox 300 colour display that can link to your phone, enabling ride recording and motor tuning.
You sit centrally on the bike, which leads to calm climbing with little tendency to front-wheel lift. We weighed the Level R at 27kg, which we found limited ascending capacity to around 1,300m. Weight was less of an issue on descents though, with the Level R feeling planted and well behaved.
Santa Cruz Bullit CC X01 RSV
- £10,499 / €11,699 / 11,499 as tested
- Exceptionally fast and capable bike
- Possible to overwhelm the forks and brakes on steeper trails
The Santa Cruz Bullit is a name that goes back to 1998, but the reimagined bike is a far cry from the original – the Bullit is now a 170mm-travel e-MTB with a carbon frame and mixed wheel sizes.
The bike’s climbing ability impressed most during testing – it feels unstoppable going uphill, thanks in part to the Shimano EP8 motor.
The Bullit is also extremely capable downhill, particularly on faster and rougher trails, but slower, tighter and steeper sections need a bit more care.
There are four models in the range, with starting at £6,899 / 7,499 / €7,699 for the Bullit CC R, which uses Shimano’s Steps E7000 motor, and rising to £10,499 / 11,499 / €11,699 for the top-of-the-range Bullit CC X01 RSV featured here.
These bikes scored fewer than 4 out of 5 in our reviews but are still worth considering.
Giant Reign E 1
- £6,299 / €6,399 / AU9,799 as tested
- Good spec and powerful Yamaha motor
- Low motor efficiency and sometimes harsh ride
The mullet-wheeled Reign E 1 has 160mm of travel with slack geometry that was overhauled in 2021. There’s a Giant SyncDrive Pro motor (built by Yamaha) with 85Nm torque and a 625Wh battery, along with Shimano XT components, a Fox 38 Performance Elite fork and Float X2 Performance Elite shock.
Climbing performance is well balanced and capable due to the central position, but the motor’s on/off power delivery limited us to 1,700m climbing on a charge. When descending, there’s a direct, taut feeling, but that can translate to a stiff, harsh ride over bumpy terrain.
Lapierre Overvolt GLP 2 Elite
Lapierre designed the Overvolt GLP to compete in the emerging ebike racing scene. Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
- £5,399 as tested
- Agile, eager to turn and easy to hop up and over obstacles
- Can be tricky to control on climbs
Nico Vouilloz and Yannick Pontal have both won ebike races on the Lapierre Overvolt GLP 2 Elite, designed for the emerging motor-assisted racing scene.
The carbon frame makes this better value than some of its rivals and, out on the trails, the Overvolt is agile and eager to please.
The relatively small battery limits range against the competition, though, and the front end can be tricky to keep in check on climbs.
Merida eOne-Forty 9000
- £7,000 / €7,199 as tested
- Nimble handling
- Suspension holds it back on technical terrain
Merida uses the same carbon frame with alloy rear end on the eOne-Forty as its longer-travel eOne-Sixty, but kits it out with a 133mm-travel shock and steepens the head and seat tube angles.
It uses a Shimano Steps E8000 motor with an integrated 504Wh battery in the down tube for plenty of power and range.
The eOne-Forty is nimble on flowy trails, but the short suspension and front-end geometry make it nervous on steep descents. The top-spec bike internationally is now the 8000, with the UK range topping off with the 700 spec.
Mondraker Crafty R 29
The Mondraker Crafty R 29 full-suspension e-MTB has plenty of composure for more aggressive riders. Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media
- £5,899 / 7,199 as tested
- Super-stable and excellent cornering grip
- Powerful motor with good weight distribution
While the Crafty is never going to be described as lively, weighing in at 25.1kg for our test build and with a long wheelbase, it is very composed, feeling super-stable when riding fast and with excellent cornering grip.
Our tester noted, however, that while taller, more aggressive riders will enjoy the Crafty for its ability to handle technical terrain flat-out, smaller or more timid riders may find it hard to muscle the bike around and ride it dynamically.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite
Saracen’s Ariel 50E Elite is the brand’s only electric mountain bike and is aimed squarely at the all-mountain and enduro categories. Andy Lloyd / Our Media
- £6,500 as tested
- High-quality spec
- Geometry, battery capacity and tyre choice let the bike down
With 150mm travel from a Fox DHX2 Factory shock and a 160mm-travel Fox 38 Factory fork, a Shimano M8100 XT drivetrain, DT Swiss wheels and Shimano EP8 motor, the Saracen’s spec is impressive.
The 504Wh battery limits range though and we’d like to see a slacker head angle than the 65 degrees on offer, which limited performance on steep sections. Traction from the dual-compound Maxxis tyres wasn’t that great on rocks or roots when climbing, although the low bike weight made for a nimble ride.
Scott Ransom eRide 910
Scott’s enduro-ready Ransom eRide 910 eMTB gives you 170mm of travel, but we found the ride a bit harsher than its rivals. Andy Lloyd / Out Media
- £6,499 / N/A / €7,190 / AU14,500 as tested
- Good motor and spec for the price
- Raw-feeling downhill ride
Another enduro-oriented eMTB, the Scott Ransom eRide has 180mm of travel and runs on 29in wheels. There’s adjustable geometry and some quality parts, including a Fox 38 Performance Elite fork and Float X2 Performance shock, with a SRAM X01/NX Eagle drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes and a Bosch Performance Line CX motor. We reckon it’s reasonable value for money.
We found the ride wasn’t quite as calm or controlled as some rivals though. The rear tyre choice led to slipping on climbs and the downhill ride felt raw and un-smoothed. A tyre swap-out might remedy much of this.
Thok TK01 R
The TK01 R is a striking-looking bike with its bold moto-style graphics. Ian Linton / Immediate Media
- £5,900 / €6,490 as tested
- Good motor and spec for the price
- Awkward setup and geometry, poor tyre choice
Italian ebike specialist Thok gives you 170mm travel with its enduro-oriented, alloy-framed TK01 R. It’s powered by a Shimano EP8 motor, which along with the bike’s geometry makes for great climbing. Descending is more of a mixed bag though, and required quite a bit of fettling for handling confidence.
The spec’s good value for the bike’s price, although we didn’t find the tyres quite up to the job. The Thok is a good cruiser, just don’t press it to its limits.
YT Decoy Core 4 MX
The YT Decoy Core 4 MX has a quality spec, but is held back by its rather outdated geometry. Andy Lloyd / Out Media
- £7,000 / 8,000 / €7,500 / AU12,000 as tested
- Good motor and spec for the price
- Awkward setup and geometry, poor tyre choice
YT gives you 165mm of travel from its mullet-wheeled, carbon Decoy Core 4 MX. There’s top-drawer kit including a Fox Factory fork and shock, Crankbrothers Synthesis alloy wheels and a Shimano XT M8100 drivetrain.
Assistance comes from a Shimano EP8 motor and 540Wh custom battery, which YT says has high energy density. We found the range lower than with the stock Shimano battery though and were only getting around 1,000m of climbing in Boost mode.
There’s a rearward-biased seated position, which means care is needed to prevent front-wheel lift on climbs. Performance downhill is poppy and fun, encouraging flicking across the trail and confidence in corners, although on steeps a slacker head tube would lead to improved handling.
Buyer’s guide to electric mountain bikes
Electric mountain bike types
You can now find capable electric bikes for all types of mountain biking. Mathieu Echeverri / Lapierre
Whereas first-generation e-MTBs tended to be trail-oriented with around 150mm of travel, there’s now an increasing range of mountain bike disciplines covered.
That includes overbuilt models designed for downhill use at one end of the spectrum, including the Specialized Turbo Kenevo and the Cannondale Moterra Neo.
At the other end, there are lighter machines such as the Specialized Turbo Levo SL and the Lapierre eZesty that use lighter, less powerful motors and smaller batteries similar to electric road bikes. That drops the bike’s weight and ups agility over more heavily built machines.
You’ll find e-MTBs with either 29in or 27.5in wheels, but ‘mullet builds’ with a 29in wheel up front and a 27.5in rear are becoming increasingly common. This setup gives good stability at the front and better agility from the smaller rear wheel. Examples include the Canyon Spectral:ON and the Vitus E-Escarpe.
Most e-MTBs are full-suspension bikes, but you can also find trail-oriented electric hardtails, such as the Canyon Grand Canyon:ON and Kinesis Rise.
Electric mountain bike motors
Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha motors are popular for electric mountain bikes. Mathieu Echeverri / Lapierre
Popular choices for electric mountain bike motors are Bosch, Shimano Steps and Yamaha, while Fazua’s lightweight motor is increasingly making an appearance on weight-focused bikes.
Bosch Performance Line CX motors provide 600Wh peak power and 85Nm of torque for fuss-free climbing. There’s a natural ride feel and good battery management that gets impressive range out of the system’s battery.
Shimano’s Steps E-8000 and E-7000 systems are still found on some eMTBs, although they’ve started to show their age, with lower power output and torque than newer rivals. Its smaller batteries give you less range too, but still boast low weight and a compact design, along with the ability to tune the output.
However, Shimano has added the EP8 motor to its range. This boosts torque to 85Nm while reducing weight by around 200g, lowering pedalling drag, increasing range and lowering Q-Factor. The EP8’s launch coincided with Shimano increasing battery capacity to 630Wh. and more, you’ll find it being specced on newer electric mountain bikes, including many of our picks above of the best electric mountain bikes.
Meanwhile, Giant uses the Yamaha Syncdrive Pro motor on its e-MTBs. Its Smart Assist mode uses an array of six sensors, including a gradient sensor, to work out how much power to deliver in any given situation.
A popular choice on road-going ebikes, the Fazua motor system is to be found on some lighter-weight e-MTBs, such as the Lapierre eZesty. It’s lighter, less powerful and has a smaller battery. That means you typically need to put in more of your own pedalling effort, but it drops the bike’s weight down closer to non-assisted models. Plus, you can remove the battery completely and ride the bike without it.
Specialized has its own motor units, which it specs on the majority of its electric bikes. Its Turbo Levo SL trail bike uses the low-torque SL 1.1 motor and a 320Wh battery for less assistance and lighter weight.
Electric mountain bike battery capacity
Some bikes allow range to be extended with an additional battery. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
To get you up hills, produce enough power and provide adequate range, most electric mountain bikes will have battery capacities of around 500Wh to 700Wh.
An internal battery in the down tube makes for clean lines, but there are also e-MTBs with external batteries. These typically lower the weight and, in models such as the Lapierre Overvolt, mean the battery can be placed lower and more centrally.
But, as mentioned above, e-MTBs with smaller-capacity batteries down to 250Wh are appearing. These trade a more limited range for lighter weight and the potential for improved handling.
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Eurobike 2021: Here are the top 20 coolest electric bikes we saw at the show!
After skipping a year due to the pandemic, Eurobike 2021 returned to Friedrichshafen, Germany, nearly two years to the day after the previous rendition of one of the world’s largest and most important bicycle trade shows. The show was immeasurably different (much like the world itself over the last 18 months), but it still hosted some of the most interesting new updates to bicycle tech we’ve seen in years.
And as e-bikes have exploded in popularity since the pandemic, so too has the proportion of e-bike companies to pedal bikes at the show. While 2019 saw closer to an even mix between electric and acoustic bikes, Eurobike 2021 was absolutely the year of the e-bike as electrically-powered two-wheelers dominated the show.
Eurobike 2021 returns to Friedrichshafen
Interestingly, one of the biggest changes other than the increased dominance of electric bicycles was the growing number of cargo e-bikes.
Perhaps buoyed by a larger number of commuters seeking to replace more car trips than ever with alternative transportation, the sheer volume and diversity of cargo bicycles was immediately apparent throughout the show.
Other notable standouts included new electric bicycle drive systems, increasingly bizarre forms of electric bicycles and a host of accessories designed to make e-bikes even more useful for various daily uses.
You can see all of these and more in our Eurobike 2021 compilation video, where you’ll follow the Electrek team around the show floor and test grounds as we check out all of the coolest e-bike tech.
I covered the system in detail last week, and it’s definitely worth a closer look.
I also had the chance to take a spin on an electric cargo bike outfitted with the Free Drive system, and I’ll have a complete first ride write-up along with a video of the experience coming to Electrek soon.
Greyp unveiled new G6 e-bikes
Greyp took advantage of the Eurobike 2021 show to unveil a series of new ultra-premium carbon-fiber electric mountain bikes as part of the G6 full-suspension line.
I tested out the original G6 e-bikes when they were first unveiled. Even two years ago, they were high-tech, and now they’ve only gotten better.
The new models include the G6.4, G6.5 and G6.6 full suspension electric mountain bikes.
The bikes include large 700Wh batteries, mid-drive motors with 90Nm of torque for powerful hill climbing, embedded tech include built-in eSim cards and 1080p front/rear cameras capable of live-streaming rides, high-end components like Fox Float suspension and of course Greyp’s signature carbon-fiber frames.
We’ll have a deep dive into these new e-bikes coming up soon, so consider this a teaser for some of the most tech-savvy premium electric mountain bikes on the market.
Rayvolt’s beautiful (and high tech) electric bikes
Barcelona-based Rayvolt had on display the latest update to their beautiful electric bike line. From the Catalonian leatherwork to the steampunk brass accents, these e-bikes are second to none when it comes to class.
Rayvolt isn’t just about building attractive bikes, though. They design all of their tech in-house, from modified motors to custom software. That allows them to add interesting features that you won’t find elsewhere.
For example, one of the innovations found in all Rayvolt bikes is variable regenerative braking based on reverse pedaling speed. Instead of pulling the brake levers when you want to stop, you can just pedal backwards. A slight backwards turn of the pedals gives light regenerative braking, but a quicker spin activates stronger regenerative braking in proportion with the reverse pedaling speed. It’s the equivalent of one-pedal driving in an electric car, except with bike pedals and almost no need for hand brake levers.
That same technology also allows for another cool feature called RegenFit. You can put your e-bike on a roller or trainer and pedal it like an exercise bike, with the motor providing regenerative braking resistance to charge the battery.
CEO Mat Rauzier explained that in a half-hour fitness session, he can add around 23% charge to his battery.
The system was developed by Rayvolt’s CTO, Jaime Pla. When I last saw Jaime over two years ago, he was a bigger guy. Now seeing him for the first time after the pandemic began, he’s 17 kg (37 lb) slimmer. As it turns out, it’s largely from developing the RegenFit system.
He had to use the feature in order to test and debug it over several months, which led to him shedding those extra pounds along the way! He admits that a healthier diet played a role, but daily fitness riding on an electric bicycle charging a battery was a big part of this weight loss success.
Tern shows off highly capable e-bikes and accessories
Bicycle maker Tern showed off their line of bicycles, including two of my favorites, the GSD and HSD electric cargo bikes. Both offer serious cargo-hauling capacity but in a smaller package that resembles the size of a typical bike.
The two cargo bikes can also be parked standing up on their tail, making them great for apartment dwellers with limited space.
Tern also showed off the company’s latest accessory line, including a neat rear rack accessory that allows riders to transport their kids inside of a waterproof canopy. That way, moms and dads can take their kids to school on the bike, rain or shine, without the little ones getting wet (or sunburned!).
Bosch electric bike Smart System
Bosch took to Eurobike to show off its Smart System, which is the latest update to its extensive line of electric bicycle drive systems.
Unlike in previous years, where we’ve seen incremental updates to motors, the Smart System offers a new software approach that allows Bosch to implement several new features.
Part of the system is Bosch’s new Flow App. The app is designed to digitize the e-bike ownership experience. Instead of needing to bring the bike into an authorized Bosch dealer for minor updates, riders can now perform over-the-air (OTA) updates themselves via the app.
That will allow riders to take advantage of new Bosch features as they are continuously developed and deployed.
The app is also useful for customizing riding modes, recording riding activities automatically, and integrating with fitness apps. The automatic riding activity recording is particularly convenient as it uses the bike’s sensors to begin the activity recording automatically, meaning riders won’t need to pull out their phones and manually click “record” to track each ride.
Bosch also plans to integrate Bike-to-X communication as part of the internet-of-things (IoT) framework, which would allow for interesting features to be added. By connecting with other cars and trucks, the e-bikes could give early warning signals that help to better protect riders.
Along with the new software, Bosch also rolled out a larger 750 Wh PowerTube battery that hides away inside a bike’s downtube, plus a new Kiox 300 display with updated remote.
We also had the chance to see the Bosch Smart System installed on several of BULLS’ new electric bicycles. BULLS came prepared with a giant booth complete with dozens of models of e-bikes.
Few companies can match the sheer breadth of models, and it’s quite impressive to see so many different types of e-bikes all under one roof.
Coleen electric bicycle
This is the first time I’ve ever seen this bicycle, and it’s an absolute beauty. The Coleen electric bike does a stunning job of incorporating old-school design features like rotary switches into a retro-modern-looking electric bicycle.
The exposed chrome accents and the sleek full-carbon frame play well together, especially combined with the leather saddle and bar grips.
The 250W and 25 km/h (15.5 mph) EU version doesn’t seem to do the beautiful bike justice, but they also have a 750W and 45 km/h (28 mph) model, which seems much more up to speed for a bike that looks this good.
The French-designed and built electric bicycle is hand-made, with over 50 hours of labor going into the manufacturing of each bike.
There wasn’t a price listed on the bike, but I’m guessing it’s one of those “If you have to ask…” situations.
Super73 moped-style e-bikes
Super73 had an awesome booth decked out exactly how you’d expect, with retro-themed motorbike awesomeness.
On display were their three main models, the Z, S and R lines.
The company recently launched a new Super73-ZX e-bike to update the most affordable e-bike in the lineup. And shortly before that, the R and RX lines were released with better suspension, higher-spec components and more power than most people would ever need. Or perhaps the perfect amount of power, depending on who you ask.
Super73 let us borrow a couple of their e-bikes to zip around Germany on. We’ve since taken them to Munich for the IAA Mobility show, where they became our main rides around the city. The bikes turn heads everywhere we go and are instant conversation starters. They also happen to be our favorite way around the city (and usually the fastest way around the city too).
We’ll have more on that experience coming up soon!
Manta5 hydrofoil water bike
I’ve covered the Manta5 hydrofoil electric water bike before, but that was several years ago, and I’ve never seen it in person.
Now, the team at Manta5 has returned to Eurobike with an updated model, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Seriously, just watch the first three seconds of the video below.
Electric bike startup section
There was a fascinating section with all sorts of bike-related startups, each with an interesting idea to show off.
Some were more prototype-y, while others were already in production. Below are the neatest ideas we saw.
Hopper Mobility electric bike car
The Hopper Mobility bike car was one of those larger-than-life entries that grabs your eye from across the exhibit hall.
The German-made electric tricycle is shaped like a car but uses an electric bicycle drive-system to provide a more efficient alternative to conventional cars or even electric cars. It’s also a lot more nimble than cars, thanks to a rear-wheel steering mechanism that gives it a tiny turning radius of just 2 meters (6.5 feet).
It can legally travel in bike lanes, though I’m not sure you’ll make a lot of friends that way.
An included solar panel in the roof offers 5 km of range for every hour of sunlight. That means riders likely won’t even have to plug it in to charge most of the year, assuming they park outside.
Speaking of solar power, the Sunbike team showed off solar panel wheels that could be used to charge an electric bicycle in motion. The DC-DC system uses an MPPT setup for the highest efficiency charging system.
The design was still quite early stage, but the idea could be promising. Plus, it gives you some awesome bling in your spokes!
The Sunbike team claims a max power of 120W, counting 30W on each side of the wheel. Considering you’re not likely to see the same amount of sun on both sides of the bike at the same time, I’m not sure the 120W is really doable. But they also quote a max daily charge of around 500 Wh on a sunny day or 250 Wh on a cloudy day. Those figures sound a bit more realistic.
This one technically isn’t an e-bike product specifically but could apply to any bicycle. The Rain Rider cover is an easily installed and removed canopy and shield that can protect bike riders from the rain.
It pops on and off in just a few seconds and can also quickly fold in half to take up less space in your garage or at work. If you have a minute and want it to take up even less space when not in use, you can disassemble it down into something the size of an umbrella.
There are plenty of rain canopy concepts out there, but the execution of this one just seems really slick in how easily it mounts and dismounts from the bike.
Arosno E-Trace snow bike
There are electric snowmobiles out there already, but this is something a bit different.
It has tracks like a snowmobile, but the Arosno E-Trace is more of a snow bike. It’s not for blasting around like a snowbound motorcycle, but rather for a more leisurely ride like a bicycle.
It uses an electric bicycle drive system tied to an Enviolo bike transmission to regulate the “gears” to create what I’d call more of a snow transporter. It’s not particularly fast, but it does look like a fun way to get around. And if you actually had a cabin in the Arctic circle somewhere, it might even be a realistic way to get down to the local trading post or last remaining Blockbuster video rental.
Gleam tilting cargo trike
The Gleam tilting cargo electric trike has two major things going for it: It features a modular cargo system for swapping in various boxes and flatbeds, and it actually tilts at the rear so you can ride it harder into turns without flipping over like a typical trike would.
They’ve got a slick system to quickly remove and swap various cargo accessories on the back, making this an interesting option for commercial customers.
The electric trikes are made in Europe, which should already clue you in to their high prices. Starting at around €7,000, these aren’t cheap options. But they’re also quite sophisticated electric trikes, so you’re getting a lot for your money.
We’ve only begun covering OKAI recently, but we’ve actually seen plenty of their vehicles in disguise. That’s because until recently, the company mostly supplied other micromobility companies like Bird and Lime with products such as e-bikes and e-scooters.
Now, the company is branching out into its own lines of electric rideables while still continuing to supply the major shared electric mobility companies.
That means we’re likely to see several new OKAI-branded products, some of which may share similarities with common electric scooters and bikes already cruising around the world’s major cities.
The order of advancements in motorized transportation has always been cars first, then motorcycles, and eventually bicycles. The trend can be traced across components like tires, batteries, lights and more — basically just about any other shared component. Now we can add anti-lock brakes to the list.
Blubrake makes anti-lock brakes specifically designed for bicycles. While they can be mounted on traditional pedal bicycles, electric bicycles are prime candidates due to their onboard power to run the electronics and the lack of a weight penalty for the added mass of the hydraulic actuator.
We had the chance to check out Blubrake’s braking system that is neatly hidden away in the top tube of an electric bicycle and interfaces directly with the hydraulic braking system on pretty much any e-bike. It doesn’t even require its own proprietary brakes. Instead, it can be installed inline with brakes like those from Shimano, Tektro and Magura, to name a few.
While it might sound like overkill to some, the few times people have locked up a front tire and lead to a crash on an e-bike (I can, unfortunately, count myself in that group) are a few too many. Anti-lock brakes could save some skin the next time someone grabs a little too much brake.
eChecker e-bike testing equipment
Call me a nerd, but I think this is really cool (and I proudly wear the ‘e-bike nerd’ designation). The eChecker diagnostic tool suite is a line of electric bicycle testing equipment that can basically simulate a rider and run all sorts of performance tests on any e-bike.
Throttle-enabled e-bikes can easily be tested on nearly any dynamometer. That’s simple. But the eChecker can run the same tests on pedal-assist e-bikes, which is a much harder feat. It does it by using a robot to activate the pedals and simulate a rider.
That simulation means the tool can be used to compare various electric bicycles in a uniform fashion.
My first thought was, “Great! Finally, a tool that can perform accurate range tests to compare different e-bikes against each other and determine real-world range ratings!” As it turns out, that is possible but not a common use. That would require some testing agency to invest the approximately €40,000 for the machines and run the tests. Instead, most of eChecker’s customers are e-bike manufacturers that want to verify their own e-bikes and run tests on competitors’ e-bikes to benchmark their performance.
Oh well, maybe someone will step up and buy one of these to start publishing real range data for each e-bike. I’d do it myself if I could afford it.
Nicolai Motors Eboxx Ultra electric motorbike
This one is going to be divisive, but let’s check it out anyway.
Nicolai has built what is, for all intents and purposes, an electric motorcycle with pedals. There’s a footpeg version for realists, but the pedal-version was on display at the show and looks as ridiculous as it sounds.
If you forget the pedals and FOCUS on the electronics, you’ll find a 15 kW continuous and 35 kW peak motor. That’s fairly comparable to a Zero FXE electric motorcycle, to put that in perspective.
It’s so powerful that they used two Gates carbon belt drives in parallel. That also seems a bit silly, especially since Gates makes motorcycles belts. They have Gates motorcycle belts installed on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire and Zero SR/F electric motorcycles, each of which puts out around 80 kW of peak power. So I’m not sure why Nicolai went with a pair of belts, but at least it adds to the overall ridiculousness of the bike!
Flyer Tandem e-bike
This was a fun one that we actually got to test out.
The Flyer electric tandem bike offers a pair of batteries, a pair of belt drives and a pair of seats.
My publisher Seth took the driver’s seat, and I performed the role of back seat driver slash dead weight.
The ride went surprisingly well, though, like all tandem bikes, it can be weird riding back seat and having no control over anything other than propulsion.
It could be a great couple activity — depending on the couple. If you’ve got the kind of relationship that can survive two people hurtling through traffic while only one gets to makes all the decisions, then I can definitely recommend the Flyer tandem as a well-made and sufficiently powerful e-bike with plenty of battery for a long and surely argument-free ride.
Electric mobility sharing company was on the scene at Eurobike as well. While they’re best known for their shared electric scooters, it was actually the company’s new consumer-focused electric bicycle that was on prime display.
The company showed off the new e-bike in both frame styles (step-over and step-through), where we got our first chance to see it in person.
There’s no dancing around the fact that the bike obviously looks like it was heavily inspired by popular Dutch bicycle company VanMoof. And Bird’s reps didn’t shy away from it either, suggesting that the design has differences but conceding that VanMoof’s signature bicycle frame design is not patented.
Ducati’s e-bikes were also on display, but not in a Ducati booth. Instead, they were shown off at the THOK booth.
To anyone in the know, that makes good sense. THOK is the actual producer of Ducati’s e-bikes, as the pair have operated a partnership for several years now.
This isn’t just a sticker bike, though, and Ducati’s electric mountain bikes actually have several unique features compared to other THOK MIG-R electric bikes.
But the similarities are also glaring, including those underslung batteries that are a favorite of THOK.
THIMM bicycle packaging
Alright, so technically, this one isn’t an e-bike. And it’s not even a bicycle. But this bike packaging is pretty darn cool.
Nearly every e-bike I’ve ever unboxed and re-boxed for reviews (and I’m talking literally hundreds of them over several years) has had some level of foam packaging. I don’t have to tell you how bad unrecyclable and non-biodegradable foams are for the planet.
And that’s exactly why THIMM’s foam-free bike packaging is so cool to me. They’ve designed these boxes to use only cardboard, which can be produced from recycled material and also recycled itself.
This is the way I hope all e-bikes get packaged in the future.
What was your favorite thing at Eurobike 2021?
So that’s it, folks! Those are the coolest e-bikes, accessories and other assorted bicycle-industry innovations we found at Eurobike 2021.
Let’s hear what you enjoyed the most. Either let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below or vote in the poll at the top of this article. Or both!
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Retro style electric bikes
Retro style electric bikes are convenient, easy to park, and cheap to operate and are arguably cleaner to use than a gas engine, especially at the ‘tailpipe’.
If more people were riding e-bikes we would have an effective pollution and climate solution, but most existing transportation infrastructure and regulations aren’t really encouraging their adoption yet.
Just because it’s modern and high tech doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice design, and I love everything retro and nostalgic as you might know, so I have found some of the coolest looking retro vintage e-bikes out there for you.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see the full disclosure policy for details.
CIVIBIKES Cheetah retro style bike
retro style electric bikes best pick
CIVIBIKES Cheetah (the coolest retro e-bike in the world) is my first e-bike, I took things easy on my first ride and kept it at PAS level 1. It definitely takes some getting used to, has a completely different feel vs. the Cannondale Quick 3 that I had been riding. It’s big, it’s heavy, and like a motorbike, it needs to be leaned into the turns. But man, is it fun!
I wanted this bike mainly to commute. It’s only about 13 miles round trip, but the hilly streets of Seattle are tough. E-bikes are a great way to get some exercise while making biking a practical option every day of the week. And no, it’s not ‘cheating’, I’m not trying to win the Tour De France, I’m just trying to get to work and back quickly and efficiently.
Battery life is decent given the weight and speed of this bike (I usually get home with about 30-40% remaining, and charge overnight for the next day).
Commuting on this bike is fun, fast, and comfortable. I set the speed limit to 20 mph so I can use it on bike paths (with that setting, it meets all of the requirements of a Class 2 e-bike), but that’s still plenty fast and usually gets me to work in about the same time as driving.
But overall this bike is totally badass, and it turns heads everywhere I go. I love the retro styling that’s curiously slick and modern at the same time. I love the details like the stitching on the handlebar grips, and how the wiring and electronics are cleanly hidden in the frame and ‘gas tank’.
If I’m stopped at a red light, someone inevitably makes a comment like “that’s the coolest bike I’ve ever seen”. Indeed it is. And it’s the coolest bike I’ve ever ridden, too.
I can’t recommend the CIVIBIKES Cheetah enough if you want something retro looking, that really pops out.
The Best E-Bikes of 2023
Whether you’re looking to improve your commute, save gas money, or get more fresh air, we’ve reviewed the best e-bikes to get you on the road emission-free.
The e-bike industry experienced meteoric growth following the pandemic, leading to plenty of options for the modern commuter. While the industry initially focused on electric assist cargo bikes, now you’re just as likely to see electric cruisers, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, fat bikes, and folding bikes cruising local roads and trails.
Our team spent 3 months and 5,000 collective miles putting 20 different e-bikes to the test, with 12 making the cut for our list of recommendations. We’re confident our time and effort will help you narrow your search and choose the right e-bike for your unique needs.
Listed here are our favorite bikes of the bunch. Each entry has been thoroughly ridden and tested, with special attention to fit and feel, maintenance, and build difficulty. We highlight the key aspects you need to consider when purchasing an e-bike, including range, top speed, and carrying capacity.
We also list the appropriate surfaces for each bike based on our experience. Use the links below to jump to the type of e-bike that piques your interest or scroll along and take in the full breadth of our review. Use our comparison chart for a side-by-side look at specs and features and be sure to read our buyer’s guide so you know what to look for when considering an e-bike.
- Best Overall E-Bike: Specialized Turbo Vado SL
- Best Budget E-Bike: Schwinn Coston CE Step Thru
- Best Mountain E-Bike: Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Alloy
- Best Folding E-Bike: ET Cycle F1000 Electric Fat Tire Bike
- Best Single-Speed E-Bike: State 6061 eBike Commuter
- Best E-Gravel Bike: Alchemy Bikes eRonin Electric Gravel Bike
- Best E-Bike for Kids: Woom UP E-Bike
- Best of the Rest: Biktrix Juggernaut Hub Duo Step Over
- Xtra Cycle Swoop
- The Ride Radiant Carbon Electric Bike
- Yuba Kombi E5 Bike
- FREY AM1000 V6
Specialized Turbo Vado SL
- Range 80 miles (120 with range extender)
- Class III (top speed of 28 mph)
- Throttle No
- Drivetrain 11-speed
- Carrying Capacity 55 lbs. on bike rack/250 lbs. on the bike frame
- Weight 33 lbs.
- Surfaces Pavement, gravel, some dirt
The motto “innovate or die” has been guiding Specialized’s ship for the past three decades. So it’s no wonder their e-bikes are some of the best, sleekest, and most inventive in the industry.
Most commuter bikes are clunky, heavy, and cumbersome. The Vado SL (3,750), however, is built to get on and go — and then get off again and carry up and down stairs, get on a subway, and go again. Weighing in at a mere 33 pounds, it’s one of the lightest e-commuters on the market.
The ride experience is smooth, fun, and zippy, seamlessly blending your power with the bike’s custom Specialized SL 1.1 custom motor. Some bikes give you bursts of acceleration that interfere with your pedaling — not so with the Vado. It gives you boosts that keep your cadence smooth and steady. Every ride feels like at least a bit of a workout as the system just amplifies the power the rider is putting in. Proper gear selection on steep climbs is still essential — it just feels like you have stronger legs!
The components consist of Sram and Praxis, which are all high quality. The Tektro brakes stopped us smoothly and effectively. The chain is protected by a minimal chain guard, minimizing the need to oil it. At night we felt safe and seen thanks to the bright front and rear light. The front light was bright enough to let us see on some very dark gravel roads. While the rack is nice and slim, the carrying capacity is only rated for 50 pounds, but it handled a few days of groceries just fine.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell this is an e-bike, as everything is internal and streamlined. With a push of the button on the top tube, the bars light up and tell you how much power you have left. On the left handlebar, there is an up and down button that lets you scroll through the three different power modes: eco, sport, and turbo mode. On the right, you can easily shift through 12 different gears.
On the website, it says the Vado SL can go up to 28 mph for 80 miles. While we didn’t test this specifically, we rode it every day for an average of 8 miles and went between all of the modes depending on how fast we needed to get somewhere or how we were feeling that day. On a single charge, it lasted 5 days. If you need more range, there is an option to get a range extender. To charge it back to full capacity, it only took 2 and a half hours, which is on the faster end.
All Specialized bikes come with a handy and easy-to-use app called Mission Control. The app tells you all the usual information (range, power, and total trip miles), but what we loved the most was it told us how efficiently we were using the motor. People who live in big cities will love the security measure. Through this, you can activate an alarm if the bike is moved that only the owner can disable and you can also disable the motor so that it does not function at all.
Maintenance-wise, this bike is low-key. Besides oiling the chain and updating the battery through the app, it requires little upkeep. This bike is perfect for running quick errands and commuting to and from work and or school. We think it’s the best e-bike available.