Best Electric Bikes 2023
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There’s never been more options to choose from in the world of e-bikes, but which are the best electric bikes of 2023?
The team at Electric Bike Report put our heads together and chose 16 e-bikes we’ve deemed the Best Electric Bikes of 2023. Some of these e-bikes are new for this year, but some are ol’ reliables that are tried, tested and still hold true as the best in their class.
As with every list of best e-bikes, ours has some nuance as to why a specific bike was picked — ranging from value and componentry to overall ride feel. We’ve also leaned heavily on e-bikes we’ve tested in-house, though there are a few e-bikes here that were picked based on merit and reputation alone.
Whether you’re looking for the best e-bike for older riders, the best electric commuter bike or the best electric beach cruiser, this list will point you towards what we think are the best in each category.
How we picked the best electric bikes
In a fast-growing sea of products, how did we make our picks for the best e-bikes? The answer to this question varies depending on the bike and category. But in every case, these e-bikes were picked through consensus among our team of expert e-bike testers.
Some bikes, such as the Aventon Aventure 2 electric fat bike, leapt out as obvious frontrunners during testing. While others, like the Blix Aveny Skyline and Ride1UP 700 Series, were sleeper contenders chosen for very specific reasons. But in all cases, we evaluated the bikes based on a few key criteria, mainly:
- Value: How much e-bike are you getting for your dollar? The e-bike market has grown flush with overpriced and under-spec’d electric bikes that don’t offer much value. Every bike on this list we’d call fairly priced.
- Components and extras: What else comes with the e-bike? Does it come with racks, bags, lights and fenders, and do those accessories make sense? Is there anything else that should be included but isn’t?
- Does it offer something unique?: In a market chock-full of options, what’s unique about this bike that sets it apart from the competition? There are many categories of e-bike — particularly at the more affordable end of the spectrum — that are flush with copycat brands and e-bikes that just aren’t that special. We’re looking for the ones that are.
- What does the manufacturer say it was built for?: What was this bike designed to do, and how well does it execute that purpose? Of course you can choose to use your bike however you’d like, but we want to make sure the e-bikes on this list function as advertised.
- How does it actually ride?: Last but not least, the most important question: Does the e-bike ride well? Most of these e-bikes we know intimately through rigorous testing.
Aventon Aventure 2
The Best Fat Tire Electric Bike, 2023
One of our favorite e-bikes since 2021, the newly-updated Aventon Aventure 2 electric fat bike truly is something to write home about.
It has all the typical accouterments you’d expect from a sub-2,000 electric fat bike: A 750W motor, a suspension fork and a solid component package — but where the Aventure sets itself apart are in its little details. Details like its full-color LCD display, metal fenders, hydraulic disk brakes and integrated tail lights that function as turn signals. Or the fact that this is one of the few e-bikes in this category and at this price point with a fully integrated battery that blends seamlessly into the frame, and sports a torque sensor for more responsive motor engagement.
All these small things add up into an e-bike that feels much more expensive than it is. It rides stable and inspires confidence in rougher terrain, and did we mention it’s really quick? Electric Bike Report has reviewed both the standard Aventure and the Aventure Step-Through and both put up some of the quickest times we’ve recorded on our test hill and our test circuit.
The Aventure series has retained the top billing on our list of the best electric bikes for over two years, and it’s continued to be one of our go-to e-bikes on filming days for hauling all gear and camera equipment. Its overall performance and utility has so far stood the test of time.
Aventon may not have reinvented the affordable electric fat bike, but they sure did raise the bar for what we expect from any sub-2,000 e-bike.
This bike can be anything you need it to be whether that’s your daily commuter, weekend plaything, or leisure ride. It’s mix of versatility and downright fun have kept it among the highest ranks of our choices for the best electric bikes of 2023.
- This is a surprisingly quick e-bike. The motor is powerful and smooth and likely to be a hit with new and experiend riders alike.
- The full-color LCD display features big numbers and a very helpful battery life indicator that gives the percentage of charge the battery has.
- Improved battery range on the newest model thanks to the efficiency / more responsive torque sensor that engages motor power as needed
- Metal fenders don’t wiggle as much as plastic ones and they have a quality look to them
- This is a distinctive e-bike with a stylish look and does a great job of integrating the battery
- The Aventure 2 improved over the Aventure 1 in small and large ways, but the Shimano Altus it now uses is technically a downgrade from the previously equipped Shimano Acera (although we saw no performance issues in our 160 miles of testing).
The Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus
One of the most confidence inspiring affordable e-bikes on the market, with good power, good componentry and the backing of one of the most reputable e-bike brands.
Lectric XP 3.0
The Best Folding Electric Commuter Bike, 2023
It may not be the fanciest or highest-spec’d folding electric bike on the market, but by golly it’s hard to deny the popularity and value of the Lectric XP 3.0.
The Electric Bike Report staff is always watching for e-bike sightings out in the wild. We like to know what people are riding and why, and Lectric XP series is arguably our most frequent sighting. It’s popular for very good reasons: Not only is it remarkably cheap (in terms of price, not feel) at just about 1,000, it’s actually a terrifically fun e-bike.
This is Lectric’s third iteration of their XP folding fat tire e-bike. This new version, released in 2022, comes with a 500W motor, a suspension fork, mechanical disk brakes on 180mm rotors and a 48V, 10.4Ah battery that has a pretty decent range (for its size). Toss in recent editions like a rack that can support 150lbs (and a buddy with the right accessory package), revamped contact point’s that are softer and more.
That spec sheet on its own is quite value packed at this price, but we’re not recognizing this bike for its components — we like it for its ride. The XP 3.0 is a meaty little folding bike that reminds me of those old Honda three-wheelers popular back in the late 80’s. It’s not super fast or overly nimble, but it romps around like no other and feels like it won’t let you down.
The Lectric XP 3.0 stole our hearts for its sheer affordability and fun factor. To be clear: There are more premium folding bikes that cater to different needs, but this one seems like the people’s Champion for affordable folding e-bikes. Of all the e-bikes listed on this best electric bikes list, there may not be a more affordable and versatile one of the bunch.
- It’s hard to find as full-featured an e-bike at such an affordable price
- The XP 3.0 has a terrific motor that provides spirited acceleration and a very fun ride
- As folding bikes go, this shrinks to a very manageable package, making it easy to stow away once folded
- Having such a large LCD screen makes it easy to read and serves up all the helpful ride data
- Not only is this an affordable e-bike, it includes a number of features we think of as premium, like front suspension, rack, fenders and lights
- The 3-in. tires are knobby and give the XP 3.0 the ability to take in some off-road riding
- Moving a 60-lb. e-bike isn’t easy, even when folded; we suggest removing the battery before picking it up
- We wish the key didn’t have to remain in the bike to operate it since it’s under the frame and easy to forget
The Aventon Sinch
With its low step-thru frame, big tires and suspension fork, this is a comfortable and easy to ride e-bike perfect for commuters or anyone short on storage space
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus
Best Utility Electric Bike, 2023
The Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus exists somewhere between a small cargo e-bike and a peppy commuter, and frankly, we’re in love with it.
Its moped-style seat, small wheels, built-in rear rack and semi-ridiculous BMX handlebars give the Runner Plus a quirky style that takes a little getting used to. But when you’re on the bike, it all just makes sense. It handles quick despite its 74.3 lb heft, and its funky frame design is actually functional: Rad’s built booko accessory options that either attach to the rear pannier-style rack and they make a big tank-style box that fits between your legs.
It’s powered by a 750W rear hub motor and a 672Wh battery that’s situated below the seat, which offer plenty of oomph for carrying people, cargo or just quickly getting around town. There’s also a twist throttle and the Runner Plus comes with a bench seat mounted to the rear rack and foldable foot pegs that make it pretty comfortable to take a friend.
It’s not just one of our favorite e-bikes, but it feels hands down like one of the year’s best electric bikes. We think the RadRunner Plus is a spectacular option for anyone looking for one bike that can do a little of everything.
- This is an unusually adaptable e-bike that can serve well for commuting, errand running or just cruising for fun
- The number of accessories that can be used to customize the RadRunner is larger than we typically see
- The 750W hub motor provides the power necessary to carry loads (including kids) and get around quickly as well as conquer hills
- 20-in. wheels and a low-slung frame make this a very well-balanced bike that handles with easy
- Because this isn’t an especially heavy e-bike, the 672Wh battery provides plenty of range
- We would prefer to see a more traditional saddle; the one included can rub the inside of the rider’s thighs
- Because this e-bike has 20-in. wheels, the mechanical disc brakes provide adequate stopping power, but hydraulic discs modulate better and would be more befitting of a “plus” model.
The Blix Dubbel
With the ability to carry up to 200 lbs. And a longer-than-usual rack, the Blix Dubbel is a utility bike that can double as a child carrier. Riders with long commutes will love that it can be ordered with two batteries.
Ride1UP 700 Series
The Best Class 3 Electric Commuter Bike, 2023
So Class 2 speeds aren’t your thing? Well, say hello to a top-notch Class 3 commuter that will keep pace with traffic without breaking the bank.
Ride1UP’s 700 series found its way to our best electric bikes list because we’re still scratching our heads how they packed this much value into an electric commuter bike.
Notice some of the names and numbers that jumped off the spec sheet to us: a 720Wh Samsung battery, 750W motor with 60 nm of torque, Tektro dual-piston hydraulic brakes, 100mm travel suspension fork, Schwalbe SUPER MOTO X 27.5×2.4” tires, and an 8-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain.
Not to mention they toss in all the typical trappings one hopes to find on a commuter with integrated lights, fenders, and a sturdy rear rack for your panniers.
The real kicker though? It feels like a bit of a steal considering that most affordable full-package commuters cost 200-300 more. The value here is off the charts as is the fun factor.
- It may not look like a commuter, but with its parts package, it offers all the features of a proper commuter at a great price
- This is a pretty speedy e-bike but never feels overly powerful
- The balloon tires have a great feel and roll easily
- The 720Wh battery offers enough range for multiple days of commuting without a rush to charge
- The 100mm suspension fork is more than many commuters offer making it a chushier ride
- It has a little more assembly than some other DTC e-bikes, but the instructions are pretty detailed and easy to follow
- It’s a mighty fine hill climber on PAS, but throttle only power may struggle on steeper hills.
The Vvolt Proxima
A long-reigning favorite among our staff, the Level looks nice, is appropriately outfitted and is just plain fast. Featuring an Enviolo continuously variable gearing drivetrain, a Gates belt drive and a powerful MPF mid-drive motor, this is a very versatile e-bike.
Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus
The Best Class 2 Electric Commuter Bike, 2023
Rad Power Bikes really overhauled the latest iteration of their uber-popular commuter. The RadCity 5 Plus came equipped with a host of new parts on top of a freshly redesigned look. We were such fans of how the new RadCity came together that it easily sprang to our minds to be included on our list of best electric bikes.
The aesthetics upgrade is apparent: Rad swapped an exterior battery pack for a semi-integrated, frame-mounted battery. The modern paint job on a classic dutch-styled bike is a marriage that works quite well too. Rad also employed the use of a dual display set-up we rarely see which breaks up the information in a good way.
Powering the bike is a 672Wh battery and a 750W geared rear hub motor. Rad has dialed in the electronics to smoothly engage while riding and keep the rider comfortable and in control.
Not only does it roll well, but it stops well too. We tested both the step-through and high-step versions of the RadCity Plus’ frame and in both brake tests the RadCity was among the top performers in bikes we’ve ever tested. The NUTT hydraulic disk brakes with 180mm rotors perform very well and seem like the right spec choice.
Add in the 59.5 lbs capacity rear rack, 50 mm suspension fork, fenders and front and rear integrated lights and this e-bike will check nearly all the boxes on your commuter wishlist.
- 672Wh is plenty of battery for commutes, and it looks great on the bike.
- The handling is stable and predictable.
- It’s currently in the top-tier of our brake tests.
- The 750W motor will get the job done for you day in and day out.
- The Rad Power Bikes branded tires also performed well.
- For as much as the looks were upgraded, we feel some tidier cable management would have been nice.
- We like the functionality of two displays, but the LEDs on the left-hand display are hard to read in sunlight.
The Aventon Level 2
This is a very full-featured commuter with great lines, a powerful motor, front suspension and includes a commute-ready package with fenders, lights and rear rack.
The Best Electric Bike for Big and Tall Riders, 2023
Most e-bike companies produce a wide array of models. They may have a cruiser, a commuter, an all-terrain model and may even have a cargo e-bike. Himiway has gone a little different direction. Every one of their e-bikes sports fat tires at least 4 in. wide, making the cushy ride of a fat bike a signature part of their appeal.
Himiway delivers in four key areas on nearly all of the bike in their lineup: the bikes are big, fast, provide all-day battery life, and they don’t break the bank. So what makes them so good for big and tall riders? Well, the heavier a bike’s payload (rider load) the more power is required to move the rider. Having an exceptionally sizable battery offers a rider some reassurance that they can do a full commute and not worry about running out of battery. And an 840Wh battery is uncommon on bikes going for less than 2000.
The hallmark of a Himiway bike is the motor hits the pavement fast and hard. The larger batteries enable the programming to hold little back as there is plenty of battery to draw from, so when the bike promises class three speeds it will get there regardless of how heavy a rider or payload on the bike is. It’s quicker than most on hills too.
With wider tires you find more stability and comfort, and the 26 X 4.0″ tires are plenty wide. As Griffin the 6′ 1″, 230 lbs. rider from our team puts it, “I’m a bigger dude and there’s just something I like about what a bigger tire does for me.”
We like that they include lights and a rear rack to make the Himiway Cruiser as versatile as possible. It makes for a pretty killer value on the bike all around.
You don’t have to be a bigger or taller rider to appreciate what the Himway Cruiser can do, but it definitely checks that particular box on our list of the best electric bikes.
- Very powerful e-bike – many e-bikes can get you to the same speeds, but this one has a lot of acceleration off the line.
- The bike feels pretty stable all around – it handles well especially for the higher speeds it produces.
- 840Wh battery makes for very long rides, even in higher PAS riding.
- 350lb rider weigh limit is much higher than we typically see bikes rated for – and the motor still seems to work well for larger riders too.
- While speedy bikes can be fun, we wish we saw a little more dialed back speeds in lower PAS settings.
- It’s not the least responsive cadence sensor we’ve had, but it’s not the best either. It may take a couple of cranks on the pedals for PAS to kick in – especially after engaging the motor cutoff on the brakes.
The Mokwheel Basalt
400 lbs of payload capacity alone make it a compelling option, but the bike offers much, much more. The motor and battery life are inviting for all day fun on the Mokwheel Basalt.
Lectric XP Lite
The Best Affordable Electric Bike, 2023
Shopping for an e-bike that retails for less than 1000 can be a mixed bag. We understand people wanting to stretch a dollar as far as possible, especially with inflation being what it is. However, there’s a point of diminishing returns where the sacrifices made to reach the low price have eroded the e-bike’s quality to a point we don’t feel good recommending. The Lectric XP Lite bucks that trend by offering one of the most affordable e-bikes we’ve ever given a thumbs up.
Rather than design an e-bike from the ground up to be affordable, Lectric took the approach of putting their very successful XP 2.0 on a diet. Lectric eliminated the suspension fork, rack, fenders and multi-gear drivetrain to achieve a price anyone in the market for an e-bike can afford.
In removing those elements, the XP Lite lost weight and Lectric was able to capitalize on that by spec’ing a 300W motor and 374Wh battery, which gives it nearly the same range as the XP 2.0. Its 46-lb. weight makes it one of the easiest-to-fold e-bikes we’ve encountered.
When looking for the best blend of light weight and affordability, the XP Lite is tough to beat. A 70-lb. e-bike can be difficult for smaller riders to manage as well as elderly riders who may have lost strength; we appreciate an e-bike with such a broad appeal.
- We don’t often recommend e-bikes that retail for less than 1000, but this one gets a solid thumbs up
- With a weight of just 46 lbs., this e-bike has terrific handling
- By removing the battery before folding it, riders can cut the e-bike’s weight by 7 lbs., making it easier to manage
- To cut the chance for flats, the tubes come with Slime sealant installed
- The 20 x 3-in. tires feature knobs for unpaved surfaces
- Most sub-50-lb. e-bikes can’t carry as much weight as the XP Lite’s 275-lb. payload capacity
- There really isn’t much you could do differently with this bike without increasing cost. It fits the bill for being a fun, practical folder for riders on a budget
- The XP Lite strikes an amazing balance of features vs. affordability; any upgrades would increase its cost
- We would prefer to be able to remove the key after turning the e-bike on
- The single-speed drivetrain was a key part of hitting this price, but it will make hills a bigger challenge and practically necessitates PAS 5 usage on steeper grades
The Ride1UP Core-5
We don’t often see Class 3 e-bikes that are unquestionably affordable, and even with the powerful Shengyi motor, the bike is spec’d with quality parts.
Blix Aveny Skyline
The Best Step-Through Electric Bike, 2023
The Blix Aveny Skyline isn’t the lowest step-over height of any bike we’ve tested. So why is it taking the crown on the step-through category of our best e-bikes list? Because it balances frame rigidity with ease of access. The top tube is low enough for most but the fact that it’s still there is important for the bike’s ride quality. You won’t notice the wallowy or flexy ride that so often plagues step-through e-bikes, which is confidence-inspiring in corners and when you’re looking to ride it for years to come.
Aside from being easily accessible, this e-bike it’s beautifully simplistic to ride too. It resides within the small category of e-bikes that feel remarkable to ride without any motor assistance.
But make no mistake, we’re fans of the electrical components too. The 500W motor and 614Wh battery pair nicely with the 7-speed drivetrain.
Thanks to it’s comfortable orientation, the Blix Aveny Skyline is inviting and approachable for those who may be concerned with throwing a leg over a traditional diamond frame.You’ll also turn a few heads with its classic car-esque paint job.
- Keeping the top tube while making it a step-through frame gives you the best of both worlds: easy access and good frame integrity.
- Regardless of the color you pick, they all seem to look great with classic car color choices.
- The 500W motor and seven gear range is a good combo for you to find your ideal cruising speed.
- Overall it’s a very poised-feeling ride. It handles predictably and comfortably.
- For a bike with no suspension (which always adds price), it felt notably smooth.
- It’s a one-size-fits-all bike that should accommodate between 5’1” – 6’2”. Our main reviewer is 6’2” and felt a tiny bit cramped.
- There is some rattle noise in the metal fenders. It’s not a deal-breaker for us, but notable if you’re searching for a silent ride.
The Aventon Pace 500 ST
With its combination of affordability and super-low standover height, this is one e-bike that is always easy to recommend. It ships as a Class 2 e-bike, but can be unlocked to achieve a Class 3 max speed of 28 mph.
Aventon Pace 500.3 ST
The Best Electric Bike For Seniors, 2023
Seniors often have someone different priorities than younger folks when shopping for an e-bike. The concerns we hear repeatedly are: something that has a step-thru frame with low standover to make getting on and off the e-bike easy; an upright seated position that is easy on an old neck; and calm handling for reflexes that aren’t quite so quick as they used to be. Of course, it never hurts to find all this in an affordable package, which is why we named the Aventon Pace 500 in its step-thru design as our favorite e-bike for seniors.
Among the many things we appreciate about the Aventon Pace 500.3 ST is the fact that this e-bike weighs less than many comparable models. Suspension forks, big tires, racks, baskets and fenders all add weight to a bike and at 52 lbs., the Aventon Pace 500.3 ST is an e-bike that’s easy to manage.
Its 500W brushless hub motor is surprisingly powerful and does a great job of delivering a rider up to 20 mph either with pedal assist or throttle. It can also be “unlocked” in the smartphone app to achieve Class 3 performance, something its 8-speed Shimano drivetrain can handle.
The Aventon Pace 500.3 comes in two different frame designs, both a traditional frame and a step-thru and both versions are available in two sizes. For seniors who have lost flexibility, finding a bike that is comfortable is important and with four choices, they are more likely to find a size that is comfortable. The adjustable stem is a great touch for dialing in the reach.
Few bikes we have reviewed has exceeded their range estimates as impressively as the Aventon Pace 500.3 ST. They claim a range of roughly 30-60 Mi., but in our test we achieved 68 Mi. in PAS 1 and 35 Mi. in PAS 5.
- The updates to the Pace 500.3 ST, like the reduced weight, torque sensor and integrated taillights (which function as turn signals), make a great e-bike even better.
- The battery is crazy efficient delivering up to 68 miles in our testing.
- The color display and accompanying app make for a rich experience
- Name-brand components from Shimano and Tektro reinforce the quality presentation
- The rider position is very comfortable, combining the upright position of a cruiser and the easy pedaling of a commuter
- At 52 lbs. it is relatively light for an e-bike, and works on most any hitch rack
- Bigger riders may find the short reach to the handlebar to feel a bit cramped; although it can be adjusted
The Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus ST
This very practical bike comes in two frame designs and is outfitted to allow a rider to leave their car in the garage. Its upright position is very comfortable and it includes a throttle to save tired legs.
Ride1UP Revv 1
The Best Moped/Moto-Styled Electric Bike, 2023
Moped-style e-bikes are all the rage these days, and the market is packed full of models spanning every imaginable price point and power level. We’ve tested our fair share of them, and found the Ride1UP Revv 1 to be a cut above the rest!
This smash hit of an e-bike is freaky fast, ferociously fun, and fully functional as an electric vehicle. It’s a Class 2 e-bike with a 750W rear-hub motor and a throttle to carry you up to 20 miles per hour, but with some help from Ride1UP, it can be loosened up to Class 3 mode for faster pedal-assisted travel on the streets, and fully unlocked for even greater speeds on private property. On top of that, it comes equipped with lights, turn signals, fenders, and even an electronic horn.
We acknowledge that many riders will opt to near-exclusively use the bike’s throttle, but the Revv 1 surprised us by the (relative) ease with which it can be pedaled. Regardless of how much speed and motor input you desire, the bike uses a cadence sensor for a smooth and casual ride that just needs the pedals to be in motion for the motor to pump out its power. We loved how stable the bike felt when braking or traveling at high speeds!
To top it off, this bike comes in two trim packages with different price points to meet your needs and budget – both under 2,500. With so much packed into such an affordable e-bike, it’s no wonder the Ride1UP Revv 1 was our top choice for the best moped-style e-bike of the year!
- The Revv 1 nails the moto-inspired ethos: it looks cool, and is an absolute blast to ride
- Hallmark Ride1UP value. Great value in terms of the dollar you pay and the spec you receive
- The handling is superb. Few, if any, e-bikes we’ve tested feel so stable at speeds up to 28 mph
- Solid range going between 30-60 miles in our testing, and we hear a dual battery option is on the way too
- The tires offer good puncture-resistance, but if the rear gets a flat it’s more labor-intensive than most to fix it
Electric Bike Company Model S
The Best Electric Bike for Customization, 2023
What feels permanently fixed on our wishlist for changes in the wider electric bike marketplace would be giving customers more options on the look and ride of their desired e-bike. Far too often you pick a step-thru or step-over frame, the frame size, the color, and…. that’s it. But one e-bike company stands alone in giving riders near-infinite possibilities to craft an e-bike of their liking.
The Electric Bike Company assembles classic beach cruiser-styled e-bikes out of Califonia where they are able to put together the custom cruiser of an e-bikers dreams. Let’s start with the looks: you can pick out the color of the frame, fork, chainguard, fenders, battery case, rims, basket and more. Choose one color. Choose two colors. Heck make everything different colors, it’s totally up to you. You can even get a bike helmet painted to match while you’re at it (yup, they do those too).
It’s not just about the pain job though, you get a lot of options in hardware too. You get to pick your option of grips, wheel size, tires, fork, drivetrain, throttle, size of battery you want and more. You can even throw on a security system as well.
Now all that customization is true for nearly all of Electric Bike Company’s models, so why did we pick the Model S? It had a rock-solid ride quality that perfectly captured the beach cruiser ethos: we felt like we were at the boardwalk even when we’re riding around our desert streets. It glides well about town, keeps the rider comfortable at all times, and helped convert even our most eMTB-inclined riders to find reasons to bust out the beach cruiser. It’s a fun ride that you can make exactly yours which is why it gets our nod for the best e-bike for customization.
- Staggering amount of customization options
- The quintessential beach cruiser experience. The Model S glides about town while keeping the rider very comfortable
- Weight capacity 420 lbs, welcomes most riders, regardless of weight.
- Since all the bikes are assembled in California, EBC has industry-leading warranties on the frame, motor, and battery.
Blix Sol Eclipse
The Best Cruiser Electric Bike, 2023
The cruiser vibe has always been about a bike that is easy to ride, comfortable to sit on and relaxed enough in its handling that the rider can look around and see the sights. The Blix Sol Eclipse is a cruiser that respects all that and then adds some oomph. We hadn’t really ever asked the question, “How do you make a cruiser even easier to ride?” but that’s exactly what the Blix Sol Eclipse does for riders.
With a 750W hub motor, a 614Wh battery and a 7-speed drivetrain, the Blix Sol Eclipse makes the riding just as easy on hills as it does on a flat bike path. And while most people don’t go for long rides on a cruiser, with the speed it propels riders to, making use of its 45-Mi. range doesn’t seem like too much fun in the sun.
The LCD display is large and easy to read at a glance. And the scale for the battery charge looked like a ruler and offers a finer sense than something with four or five bars. Having the display mounted at the stem also helps its readability. The backswept cruiser bar is very comfortable and we love the twist shifter; we prefer it to many other shifters we encounter.
We often criticize e-bikes that fit tall riders, but not smaller riders. The Blix Sol Eclipse has a low (17-in.) standover height and an even shorter reach to the bar (15.5 in.), making this e-bike ideal for riders who might not fit on most other bikes.
This is a Class 2 e-bike with a throttle and a maximum assist speed of 20 mph. While we like hydraulic disc brakes for their feel and power, the Tektro mechanical discs with 160mm rotors do a great job of keeping the Blix Sol Eclipse under control. It’s easy to see why this is our favorite electric cruiser bike of 2023.
- With 7 speeds and a 750W motor, even a hill doesn’t disrupt this cruiser’s easy vibe
- The relaxed position of this cruiser made for more than 100 miles of comfortable riding for our testers
- Few things get our attention as quickly as an e-bike loaded with features that doesn’t break the bank and the Sol Eclipse has everything needed for a fun day out
- The appeal of a cruiser is rarely about speed, but we found the Blix Sol Eclipse to be a very capable climber that also has terrific acceleration
- Most e-bikes we review come a two, maybe three colors; we were pleased to see that Blix offers the Sol Eclipse in four different colors
- PAS 1 and PAS 2 don’t assist the rider very much; we’d like to see the wattage increased on those to give riders an appreciable level of assist
The Electric Bike Co. Model S
This is a remarkable cruiser for its sheer customizability. Buyers have extraordinary ability to choose from a broad color palette, different batteries, suspension a GPS tracker and plenty more.
The Best All-Terrain/Hunting Electric Bike, 2023
This fat bike takes the idea of a an all-terrain e-bike and bolts on a turbo unit. The QuietKat Apex is the company’s top-shelf all-terrain e-bike, featuring a Bafang mid-drive motor for a more responsive ride and better performance on hills. This e-bike has the power necessary to take riders into the backcountry and the range to bring them back out.
The QuietKat Apex sports an excellent parts pick including Tektro 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, a SRAM 9-speed drivetrain and a 150mm-travel suspension fork. Add in fat 26 x 4.5-in. tires, and it’s ready to head into the forest.
Getting the most out of an e-bike offroad will be most likely if the e-bike fits the rider. To their credit, QuietKat offers the Apex in three sizes to fit a broad range of rider heights. QuietKat offers buyers a number of choices, including a motor upgrade and extended warranties, not to mention a vast selection of different accessories.
With a 325-lb. payload capacity, it is a terrific option for the hunter or angler who wants to bring home dinner, and with a 768Wh battery, it has the range to go where the game is.
- Choose between a 750W mid-drive Bafang motor (standard) or upgrade to a 1000W motor
- The 150mm suspension fork can handle the rigors of challenging terrain
- Tektro’s 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes are a Smart choice for riding in steep terrain, especially if pulling a load or if the rack is loaded
- Hunters and anglers will appreciate the forethought QuietKat put into its array of accessories
- At 70 lbs., this e-bike may be dificult for smaller riders to manage
- Riders looking for an e-bike for super-technical terrain may not find the Apex suitable for their needs; we consider it more all-terrain than eMTB
The Himiway Cobra
This full-suspension all-terrain e-bike offers riders terrific control, a smooth ride and the ability to go a very long way, thanks to its 960Wh battery, which powers a very torquey 750W brushless hub motor.
The Best Electric Cargo Bike, 2023
Electric cargo bikes are undergoing a revolution in 2023, and the Aventon Abound is amongst the most impressive of the bunch.
Cargo e-bikes are all about utility. They offer a practical solution for those trying to ditch car dependence, or who want to get out and about more with the kids. So reliability is key for riders looking to tote gear or people along.
The Aventon Abound is one heck of a well spec’d machine, with uncommon good looks in the cargo e-bike style. It starts with an impressive 750W rear hub motor that functions with a torque sensor instead of a cadence one. The result is better motor control depending on how much of your own effort goes through the pedals.
The torque sensor also makes for great battery efficiency. The 720 Wh battery isn’t class leading, but it squeezes more mileage out of that battery than a cadence sensor could.
What we really appreciated with the Abound is it gives you more out of the box than most cargo e-bikes. When shopping in this frame style, one almost automatically expects a few ‘add item to cart’ accessories to fully take advantage of a cargo bike. It could be pannier bags, passenger cushions or more. But Aventon does equip the Abound with more than most with the standard runner boards, storage compartment, and quick-adjust seatpost that offers a little suspension for the rider.
With terrific ride quality, gorgeous and thoughtful design, and a few more usable accessories than most, the Abound found its way on our mentions of the best electric bikes of 2023
- Hills are no problem. While the Aventure 2 has the reputation for a powerful motor, but the Abound actually put up better hill test results!
- 440 lbs payload capacity means you can really stack a lot on the Abound from people to pets and a week’s worth of groceries
- It’s subjective, but most cargo bikes don’t have the style the Abound does.
- The torque sensor/hub motor combo gives a good pedal experience, but a good kick of acceleration in higher PAS.
- The folding stem is designed to make storage and transport easier, but it adds a slight rattle to the ride at higher speed.
The Best Affordable Electric Cargo Bike, 2023
Given that this is our list of the top overall e-bikes of 2023, it’s no surprise to say every e-bike listed here gave us lasting memories. However, possibly no other bike gave us a bigger “WOW” moment this year than Lectric did with the sheer value of their first-ever cargo bike.
The XPedition has one of the highest weight ratings of any cargo rack at 300 lbs (total payload of 450 lbs), and Lectric made sure you could tow all that weight around by making their 750W motor the torquiest one to date to match any hill you’d come across. Oh, and it has hydraulic brakes, a custom stem for quick adjusting and folding for storing in compact paces, pre-slimed 20″ x 3″ tires, lights, fenders, and wheel guards all included.
Sounds great, right? But here’s the brain-busting part of the XPedition: we typically see quality cargo e-bikes selling around the 2000 mark. Lectric debuted the XPedition more than 500 below that level while boasting all those features listed above. For another 300 you can run a dual battery setup that will get you up to 120 miles range (in our testing) and you’re still not bumping against that 2000 line where most cargo e-bikes start.
The “WOW” factor isn’t done yet though. Almost every cargo e-bike rider we’ve known has accessories for either kids or gear. Looking to replace your car on grocery trips? Need a space for your little one? You can add two XL cargo pannier bags, or seat cushions and grab bars to the dual-battery XPedition and STILL not cross the typical 2000 mark.
It’s not a bike without its warts. The cable management isn’t the best we’ve seen, and the LCD display is pretty dated, but you throw all those features on top of rock-solid ride quality and remember you’re a fully loaded model can be had for under the starting price of nearly all other cargo options, and the decision to name it te best affordable e-bike of 2023 seems pretty clear.
- Simply among the best values of any e-bike regardless of frame style. You get a ton for what you pay for, and you don’t pay much
- Among the highest weight capacity ratings we’ve seen. 300 lbs on the rear rack, and 450 total payload
- Thanks to a low setp-over height and a custom stem it can fit riders 4’11” – 6’5″
- Makes light work of most any hill even when hauling a lot of cargo
- The folding stem can start to feel a bit wobbly when traveling at top speed
- We strongly recommend the dual battery model, but know you’ll have to buy a separate second charger to charge both at one time
The Blix Packa Genie
Hundreds of accessory combos, dual battery optional, quality design, and even a nice paint job help the Blix Packa Genie standout as an affordable cargo e-bike option.
Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5
The Best E-Bike For Smaller Riders
When we consider the needs of smaller riders, we look at three factors, all of which the Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5 addresses nicely. We want to see a step-thru frame for a low standover height, a short seat tube so that the saddle can be adjusted to the rider’s height and a reasonable reach to the handlebar with some amount of adjustability for the handlebar or stem in order to shorten that reach some.
Smaller riders, particularly those riders less than 5 feet 5 inches tall face a real challenge when shopping for an e-bike. Most e-bikes are built in a size well-suited to someone 5 feet 10 inches, but the quality of that fit drops the more someone deviates from that height. The high-rise handlebar of the RadExpand can be turned back toward the rider more than most, making the reach easier and its step-thru design not only makes it easy to fold, it’s easy to mount and get rolling.
The RadExpand 5’s versatility is part of what makes it so great. It’s a capable commuter, thanks to lights, fenders and a rear rack, and with its wide tires, it gives a smooth ride even on rough roads.
The 750W brushless hub motor is more powerful than we see on some folding e-bikes. For riders who have to deal with hills or consistently rough roads, having this much power will be welcome, especially for smaller riders who might not be as strong, which is why this is our favorite choice for small riders.
- The new handlebar setup is a game changer. The bars are wider, it feels less flexy and it still folds to boot.
- At over 62 lbs it’s still hefty, but the bike folds down to a convenient size for storing in an RV, a corner of the garage or in the trunk of most sedans.
- Rad’s rear hub motors have proven time and again to be some of the most reliable on the market.
- The spec sheet is solid for the price. A 7-speed drivetrain, nice working mechanical disk brakes and a sizeable battery for about 1,599 MSRP is a good deal.
- The handling is spot-on. Neutral, balanced, predictable — riding this will be intuitive even for e-bike newbies.
- Rad’s bikes have a distinct power profile that starts gentle and grows stronger as you pick up speed. Never once does it feel like it’ll jump out from under you.
- I don’t mind the lack of front suspension fork, but some people will not like it. You can really feel some bumps in the road.
- It’s surprising to see Rad move away from the LCD display. Unlike its predecessor the RadMini 4, this bike has no screen.
The Aventon Pace 500 ST
A low standover height, adjustable stem and powerful 500W brushless motor make this a terrific option for smaller riders. It can be unlocked to reach a Class 3 top speed of 28 mph, which makes it a fun way to commute or just get around.
Specialized Turbo Vado
The Best High-Performance Electric Bike. 2023
For over three decades, Specialized has had the same mantra: “Innovate or Die.”
They opted for the former.
The Specialized Turbo Vado is the result of world-class engineering with a high level of detail. The specially tuned 250W mid-drive motor is as responsive as any we’ve ever pedaled, delivering the right amount of assistance needed from the moment your shoes turn the cranks.
Doubters of smaller wattage bikes should make no mistake here, this bike can absolutely move if it wants to. The Turbo Vado has three different assist levels in ECO, SPORT, and TURBO mode. Each one provides a distinctly different feel from the others and the bike handles well in all three.
The motor alone is something we could wax poetic on for pages, but the bike doesn’t stop there. High-level componentry is found throughout the bike from the SRAM hydraulic brakes, SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain, and the generous 710Wh battery powering the bike (on the 4.0 model we tested).
Typically when a bike is in the “high-performance” category that might mean it runs a little pricier than it needs to. We don’t actually feel that’s the case here. Considering the componentry package, engineering investment, performance, and top tier customer support you’re getting in this bike it feels like you get every penny of what you pay for.
- Simply put: it’s one of the best feeling motors we’ve ever experienced.
- The new looks of the Turbo Vado are great – it delivers a traditional bike feel.
- Specialized’s global network of dealers and nearly unparallelled customer service.
- This is a cruiser that could easily double as a commuter or city bike. It’s built to be very versatile
- One of our only complaints is that the magnetic charger can be difficult to seat correctly when the battery is installed in the frame.
The Ride1UP Prodigy
E-bikes with mid-drive motors like the Brose in the Prodigy are rare in this price range. Its combination of Class 3 speed, step-thru and traditional frame designs as well as an off-road configuration makes it ideal for high performance on a budget.
The Best Camping Electric Bike, 2023
Half the fun of camping is exploring the area visited. E-bikes offer campers the opportunity to go farther, see more and not be wiped out at the end of the day. The Mokwheel Basalt is unusual among e-bikes in that it is well-suited to not just to off-road exploring, but it can serve as a valuable resource thanks to some of its unusual accessories. As a Class 3 e-bike with a maximum speed of 28 mph, it is terrific for getting around most anywhere.
The Mokwheel Basalt may not look all that unusual at first glance. It features a 750W brushless hub motor that can turn 90Nm of torque, making it suitable to riding steep hills, whether paved or not. The 110mm-travel suspension fork improves control on bumpy terrain and the 7-speed Shimano drivetrain helps both uphill and down. Hydraulic disc brakes offer terrific power even on steep downhills and Chaoyang 26 x 4-in. tires provide the necessary cushion and traction for exploring the backcountry.
What really sets the Mokwheel Basalt apart is its massive 940Wh battery that can power a 100W power inverter that has the ability to run such essentials as phone chargers, coffee makers, electric grills and laptops. Planning to be gone more than a day or two? Mokwheel also offers a solar charger to keep the juice running to those essentials.
Riders can also choose between a traditional frame and a step-thru design. Because it has a 450-lb. payload capacity, campers who want to go bag dinner can carry it back to camp as well. This is ideal for anyone planning to go camping but still wants electricity.
- 750W brushless hub motor has the power and torque necessary to climb hills and deliver riders to a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph for spirited riding
- Comes in both a traditional frame and a step-thru to fit a broad range of riders
- Can power a number of electric appliances while camping with the help of the optional 1000W power inverter
- 4-in.-wide tires and a front suspension fork make for a very comfortable ride
- 450-lb. payload capacity makes it terrific for hunters wanting to bring home their game
The Lectric XP 3.0
We love the Lectric XP 3.0 because it is versatile, easy to store and thanks to its 3-in.-wide, knobby tires, it can go places commuters and cruisers can’t reach.
The Best City/Urban Electric Bike, 2023
One of the biggest challenges of e-bike design is that the bigger the motor, the more it weighs. The same goes for batteries. That creates a challenge for a bike designer; a more powerful motor gives up some of the value of its wattage by virtue of the fact that the increased weight negates it. Similarly, a more powerful battery weighs more and therefore cuts an e-bike’s range. Rather than beefing up both motor and battery, for the Aventon Soltera, the e-bike’s designer went in the other direction: Spec’d with a 350W brushless motor and a 360Wh battery, the Soltera tips the scales at just 41 lbs.
The Aventon Soltera is modeled on single-speed, flat-bar road bikes known as fixies. It features skinnier tires than we often see, which give the bike a more agile feeling, increases its efficiency, which makes it easier to accelerate and uses less energy at speed, and the 700C wheels roll over bumps more easily, not to mention offering a stable ride at speed.
Because seven speeds is often preferable to one, Aventon sells the Soltera in a 7-speed version for anyone who wants to make hills a bit easier. Single-speed e-bikes face a challenge in that if the gear is good at low speeds, like when starting, it won’t be great at 20 mph. And if it’s great at 20 mph, getting started won’t be easy. We suggest spending the extra dough to get six more speeds.
This is one of a vanishingly small number of e-bikes we’ve reviewed that feature traditional rim brakes. These brakes are plenty powerful for the kind of riding buyers will do on this bike; these rim brakes are nothing like the ones on the bikes we rode as kids. And while the tires on the Aventon Soltera are narrower than we often see on e-bikes, these aren’t as skinny as the tires we see on racing bikes; they will still offer a comfortable ride, even on rough roads.
- The riser bar, skinny tires and hidden battery gives the Soltera the look of a fixie
- At 41 lbs., the Soltera is a surprisingly light e-bike and as a result it has a zippy feel on the road that is refreshing
- Most similar e-bikes are spec’d with a battery smaller than the 360Wh battery found on the Soltera, which gives it a surprisingly long range
- The market for a single-speed e-bike is limited, but Aventon offers an optional 7-speed drivetrain that will increase its appeal to a much broader range of buyers
- Even though this is a budget-oriented model, Aventon doesn’t go cheap; the Soltera is equipped with the full-color LCD display, companion app and inset taillight
- Riders looking for an e-bike with a powerful motor might not appreciate this bike’s balance of power vs. weight; this bike is meant to make use of a smaller motor in a lighter bike
- Given the fixie-like styling of the Soltera, it’s not surprising that it comes without fenders or a rear rack
The Ride1UP Roadster V2
This budget-minded flat-bar road e-bike also uses a smaller motor and battery for Class 3 performance, making it one of the most affordable e-bikes we’ve encountered with a 28 mph top speed.
The Best Lightweight Electric Folding Bike, 2023
It’s obvious the GoCycle G4 is the brainchild of a former supercar designer.
Nearly all of the bike is made of carbon fiber, including the super sexy one-piece spoked carbon wheels and the entirety of the sleek-looking folding frame. The bike almost has a minimalist design with smooth curves and few obvious frills, but beneath that carbon facade is one of the most feature-rich and smartly-integrated e-bikes we’ve ever tested.
The G4 family of GoCycles is the fourth iteration of the British fast folder. Not only does this bike have more carbon and a more integrated cockpit than its predecessor, GoCycle managed to double the torque produced by the front hub motor. Don’t let this bike’s small stature fool you; it’s remarkably quick and climbs hills with the best of them. The new G4i also has predictive electric shifting and a set of very nice hydraulic disk brakes that are unbranded but bear a striking resemblance to a high-end Magura design.
All in, the GoCycle G4 weighs in the ballpark of 36 lbs, making this one of the most lightweight folding e-bikes on the market today. Add in its quirky cool looks, beautiful folding mechanism and feature-rich build, and it’s undeniably one of the best lightweight folding e-bikes of 2023.
- The design is bar-none. It’s amazing how many features have been crammed into such a little frame.
- Folding the G4 is very easy and, with a little practice, can be done in just a few seconds.
- The carbon rims on the G4i may seem like overkill on a folding commuter, but man do they make a noticeable difference. Plus they’re just ultra cool.
- Electric shifting is ultra cool and works great. Did we mention it’s a system made special for GoCycle?
- The lightweight plus convenient folding make the G4 lineup very realistic for dedicated bike commuters who are low on space.
- The predictive shifting is a nice touch, but it may take a little getting used to for experienced riders.
The Blix Vika Flex
Part of the challenge of making a great folding e-bike is keeping it light enough to be stowed. At 55 lbs., this folder is easy to manage, while still offering enough power to get up hills and enough range to get across town and back.
BULLS Alpine Hawk EVO
The Best Road Electric Bike, 2023
Road bikes are known for racing, and for lycra-clad cycling enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to use plenty of leg power when attempting a casual 30-60 miles on a weekend ride. Surely it doesn’t sound like the crowd that would see the appeal of having a motor-equipped bike doing some of the work for you.
So how do you get this crowd interested in e-bikes? By constructing a wonderfully subtle enhancement to the road biking experience.
The BULLS Alpine Hawk really captured the feel of a true road bike – so much so that we often forgot it was an e-bike. The 33.5 lb weight is a tad high for a performance road bike, but it’s a featherweight compared to most e-bikes. So with a small amount of assist, delivered beautifully from the Fazua motor I might add, you actually see modest speed increases that offset the weight of the bike and then some.
At no point does the bike take over for you, instead, it makes it so you get home a little quicker, manage headwinds better, and feel a little less of a sting when taking on a hill. If all of that subtlety isn’t enough, BULLS even made it so you can entirely remove the motor and battery out of the Alpine Hawk.
It’s a well-thought-out bike that is perfect for the e-bike curious road crowd.
- We’ve been very impressed with the Fazua drivepack. It’s relatively light, quiet and is incredibly responsive.
- This bike is incredibly compliant over rough roads; BULLS clearly had comfort in mind and built a bike that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for performance.
- The full Ultegra 11-speed groupset (plus the matching hydraulic disc brakes) works spectacularly well and compliments the do-it-all, ride-it-anywhere spirit of this bike.
- The Fazua drivepack (which includes the motor and battery) is removable and can be replaced with a blank cover, so you can ride this e-bike as a traditional road bike and shave over 10 lbs off the weight.
- The Alpine Hawk is only available in two sizes — a 54 cm frame and 58 cm, which is pretty limited in the road bike world. It would be great to see more sizes so riders can more finely tune their fits.
Bottom line: The best electric bikes
They say the best e-bike is the one you’re most excited to ride, and we couldn’t agree more.
While we’re sure there’s going to be lots of opinions and questions about why this or that bike didn’t land on our list, these are the 14 e-bikes we’re most excited about right now. This is not a comprehensive list, nor were we able to consider each and every e-bike use case, but we do think all the bikes on this list are a good representation of what’s out there right now.
Have a bike that you think would be a good contender for our best electric bikes of 2023 page? Let us know in the comment section below. At the very least, we always want to know what our readers are riding.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
I have to comment that so many of the bikes you picked have the WORST customer service when something goes wrong! Aventon has nothing but complaints in their Комментарии и мнения владельцев online. Rad isnt much better. AT least you picked a few bikes that are brands supported by actual bike shops.
This article and almost all product articles of late are missing the huge elephants in the room, 1) product availability. 2)parts interchangeability, supply chains that are a disaster and in no ones best interest. You keep writing articles on thebbn products and innovation. But meanwhile Ive had an ebike on order for a year, there is no word on when it will be available, and when it is finally ready no one can tell me if it will be a 2020, a 2021 or a 2022 model. That, is absurd and a disaster no one is talking about in these articles and reviews. Lastly, the dirty little secret… bike companies stop talking about new stuff, and start by fixing lack of parts and interchangeability in the bike designs. Ok when you had a 300 schwinn and you needed stuff for it, you maybe fixed it, or often. simply bought a new bikeNow? The bike is worth several grand. And the bike companies are laying back and running the same old sloppy business, taking our money but not giving us flexibility to extend life, reduce long term cost, ensured Parts avail, and fix the asset. Lastly related to the above, it took me 12 months to get a shimano part… really. Turns out they were playing favorites. This shits gotta change or the lower end of scooters, motorcycle mfgs, etc are going to eat your lunch, just watch… they can do it because they already do, only needs new products and we know bv now that product is the simple piece.
I think it all depends on what you are ordering and from who. I placed my order online with free delivery and had it at my doorstep 29 hours later.
I agree, Rich. These bikes sound great. I would buy a Specialized Turbo Vado this afternoon if I could. BUT I CAN’T. What about the part where few if any of these bikes can actually be purchased? And won’t be available this year, and maybe not even in 2023. It might be helpful if these lust-inducing reviews included helpful information like wait times.
- Griffin Hales says October 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm
Thank you so much, this is what I’m looking for! Now I need a ramp that I can use to get the trike onto a truck bed, any suggestions?
I do find it peculiar that you haven’t included the Priority Current in your reviews, or at least a “best belt drive” ebike category. Priority does not seem to need ongoing advertising to consistently sell all the Currents they can produce. It would appear that Ebikes with the capability of enabling a 28 mph top speed for the U.S. Market are hot sellers! Their lack of a front suspension in their design is somewhat offset by the combination of the low-maintenance Gates Carbon Belt drive and the Enviolo rear hub. The only thing lacking is a theft-proof system to lock the entire bike via phone, or perhaps, a key fob. I’m talking about a total locking of the bike so that it couldn’t even be walked away. With the high cost of replacement, ebikes may never be truly practical until such safeguards are part of the total package.
Some very nice ebikes for sure and the Aventon’s look very attractive compared to many of these pricey models. (my sister has the Aventon Level and I’m impressed with its quality and components). BUT, I just can’t see paying 4000 for ebikes with chain derailleur drivetrains unless it’s a mountain bike. Many casual riders (and those without any “10 speed” history) rarely shift gears on an ebike. So, if I’m going to pay the big bucks, I don’t want to explain to my wife that she has to gear down at every stop sign (and she’ll have to continue peddling to accomplish this). That is why we’ve sold all our previous ebikes and now own Evelo ebikes with Gates belt drive and the Enviolo automatic hub.
I also have to say that I wouldn’t consider any ebike without a throttle! You shouldn’t have to stand up on the peddles to get the motor to kick in. And if you’re stuck in a high gear (and have cadence sensors) this can be awkward if you want to make a quick get-away. This is certainly a common occurrence, but I don’t want to deal with it after spending thousands of dollars.
Your comment appears to be from someone who has never ridden a mid drive bike. Mid drives are superior in smoothness and get to actually use the mechanical advantage of gears on a hill. I’m guessing you dont know about downshifting when you come to a stop either.
To answer about other bike manufactures no being reviewed, the folks at EBR do not review any bikes that are not sent to them for review. EBR is cutting edge company but lacks true diversity. ITS apparent that sometimes you have to purchase a bike for review, one of the companies that I like is juiced bikes, they make their city bike in three colors (red my favorite) awesome battery duration more powerful 52 volt on top of that. I am a proud owner of a 2019 rad city with more than 10,000 miles, never a problem with getting parts in timely manner, but they are pushing me to buy a bit more expensive juiced bike over the model 5 rad city! WHY! 1ST. and biggest pev…the same old color in traditional bike style dull black, WANT ANOTHER RAD BUT NOT SAME COLOR. 2ND love the new 5 but now I have to buy a different battery, to use on my old rad city instead of swapping. so now I will have to buy 2 batteries at 550 each shipping not included, instead of 1. Do not get me wrong, the upgrade to motor and brakes is awesome and truly reliable bike company.
A couple of days ago, I found the Gazelle Easyflow. It enables the rider to place both feet on the ground when at rest, yet still ride with legs stretched out to save the knees. A very clever design, and not extortionate when you think of Riese and Mueller!
Wow a race to even less exercise and more accidents by a lot of persons who have no bike handling skills or desire to get their heart pumping over 85 bpm
Replying to counselors rude comment, not to Groucho. Groucho is cool and having a good time on his e-bike.
Unless you’ve spent your entire life riding bikes, and loving it, almost more than anything and then got lung damage from Covid and the only way to keep riding is an electric bike
I’m curious why the “E-Cells”Monarch 1500 LE AWD all train Fat tire bike isn’t mentioned? It has dual 750 Watt motors in front and rear wheels,dual batteries,dual suspension. Torque sensor, it has front,rear and all wheel options. It even has a USB charging port- both batteries are connected and work together and both charge the same time. Rock Shock moto style front and rear suspension – This really should have the Jeep logo on it. Lol- the Jeep Fat tire ebike is only rear wheel drive. That really makes no sense. I have this bike and it’s an amazing piece of machinery – it’s at 92lbs- but is a non issue with the power of the AWD- and it can handle up to 420lbs of load. Check it out!!
Hi, Hoping to get some feedback about two different bikes. First, we are only just trying them out for the first time, not investing for longevity yet. If our height matters in terms of your advice, my husband is 6’5″and I am a giant at 5′ 2″! Other things you may want to know is that we aren’t looking for high speed. Battery life would be of more interest to us if we are weighing specs. We also will not be using these bikes in the city – at all! We currently live in a small town and although we have vehicles most anywhere we go, traffic is not part of our life. We also have lots of trails intended for this type of activity and they would likely become our choice of destinations. Although we own a truck and car (and rails intended for my husband’s 4×4 and snowmobile), we’d like this hobby to be ‘easy’. The two bikes I’m looking at are as follows (Please don’t curse me out if you’re an avid rider who has invested thousands of dollars! We’re talking “baby steps” here): ~ Veltoric Discover 1 Class 2 Step-through ~ Heybike Ranger Step-through Any help/advice you would be willing to offer would be greatly appreciated! Linda
Really provide very deep information about best ebike with pro cons ,price ,features in 2022.very appreciate for your research and blog.Thanks for sharing great report.My favorite one is urban e bike.
To answer about other bike brands not being reviewed, my experience with Addmotor E-43 long-range ebike is excellent! It features thin tires and a 48V20Ah battery and 500W gear motor, which can reach 125miles on a single charge (PAS1), a perfect choice for city commuting.
Can’t get most of these bikes if you are in Canada. Aventon I can get locally but only a few models and none I like. I would have to travel 1,500 km to get to a bike shop to test anything out since locals don’t allow that. Buying a “pig in a poke” based on a review is something I won’t do. Or did you just go down to the car lot, pick out a car, pay your money and drive it right off the lot without a test drive? Nice reviews and gives me more info but as of today, that’s about all I have…
Have you ever evaluated the BeeCool bikes? I have an Adventurer and an Explorer. There are so many features I love about the bikes themselves. Like so many of the other brands above it sounds like most have customer service that’s less than desirable, but based on bike features and price they are worth looking at.
My hubster and I ride Espin Sports that we have had for about 18 months now and have over 2500 miles on them as of today. We love them and Espin’s service was great. Mine came with a slightly bent controller and it was replaced very quickly when it probably could have been easily fixed. The pedals also had a weird knock and they replaced those quickly as well. Both were very minor issues. We ride on paved and gravel roads that have some good hills. The tires could have been better than what they shipped with but bought Maxxis replacements and no flats since. The value for the money was why I bought them. Came with lights, brake and head, fenders and a rack when you had to pay extra for that stuff on an equal Aveton or Rad at the time. We have been very satisfied with the Espin bikes and I would buy another.
Is this a list of the best bikes you could get your hands on at the time? A lot of these are pretty low end and not powerful in the real world. And only 2 non-chinese motor systems? Seriously?
Ok enough about all the bikes mentioned is asomtom mountain e bikes worth 1700.00. Just bought one hoping on the first ride it’ll make me smile ear to ear. Any Комментарии и мнения владельцев from previous owners have a take about it.
Thank you for this content! I am currently waiting for the arrival of a “MagiCycle”. Having some issues getting it here it seems but would be interested in reading a review by you at some time in the future. All the videos I’ve seen of it are very positive. Thanks!
- Griffin Hales says August 5, 2022 at 12:27 pm
We haven’t tested very many and wanted to make a list comprised of things we’ve gotten to know well. We’re working on getting more eMTB coverage though!
Hi I would like to see your reviews of the asomtom mountain bike 26” 4” tires bangfang 1000w w hydronic brakes and tork front suspension It’s a head turner and a beast Fast and rock solid.
- Griffin Hales says August 8, 2022 at 12:24 pm
This appears to be a troll question about a bike that is not legal on public roads and paths. The description sounds like just another cheap fat tire bike with no redeeming value.
to reply to your comment that you’ve obviously have not looked into the reviews of this bike or anything about it says a lot. For a 1999.00 “troll” bike it in my opinion looks badass compare to others. And decided to get one anyway because it’s a new version 2022 asomtom Q7 mountain bike with A 6061 aluminum frame 1000 W brushless gear hub bafang motor up to 28mph 85nm of torque 48 v 15a lithium battery that’ll take you 45-60 miles per charge 7 speed shimano gear shift which is leagal to go on or off roads. snow. beach Tug a fat ass up to 400 lbs So I’m very happy I got it. The ride is awesome and pedal assist is great for hills which in its type 3 road rating it performs really great. So don’t be to judge mental on things you know little about.
This article represents all that is wrong with our industry. It very well could have been written in The 90’s! Nearly all the top recommended bikes sport dramatically outdated designs and components. Why are we still promoting heavy front suspensions as a comfort feature? All listed were poorly designed for off road control. They failed even at that in The 90’s. If tuned to absorb road irregularities they would dive dangerously and encourage squirm in handling. That’s dangerous! Look at any traditional touring bike, from the cheapest to the most expensive. They are designed for long hours in the saddle and for days on end. Not one has a suspension fork. Good geometry, materials and components make a bike comfy, reliable and efficient, not gimmicks. Today, not one of the hub drive models listed cannot be gotten with a mid-drive for the same or less money. Hub drives and cadence sensors are The 90’s. A best of list needs to at least be from the current century. I get it. Some can get by just fine with a hub drive. They have few and small hills or don’t care if they have to slow. They may not even need the additional range of a torque sensing mid-drive. They are still a huge pain on which to change a flat and heavy as heck to lift or handle in tight situations. It is time to change. What a shame that a quality product like The Aventon is still saddled with this antiquated technology. Every bike listed uses heavy, dull and buzzy straight gauge aluminum. That is even in the few that have better hydroformed tubes! Why, we have had more responsive, less buzzy, butted and hydroformed tubing on almost all traditional bikes since the turn of the century. Weight kills range. It makes a good bike hard for a smaller person to handle. Some even have square tubing. This takes a rough ride to a whole new level. What sense is there, for on-road riding, to having a comfort fork, bars and seat, with an extra stiff rear triangle? The same xan be said for the square tube necessary to accommodate the proprietary battery in the down tube. I don’t want to be negative. I want to promote great alternatives. Good enough just isn’t good enough anymore. These good enough bikes should be at least half their price and available only through places like department stores. We can do better and without breaking the bank. I do it daily in my tiny shop. I am no one special and am not particularly talented. I just have 50 years cycling experience. If I can do it, mfg’s can do it too. Let’s start demanding more for our money.
MARK!! You get it. This silly list popped up again in April 23, with what looks like the same old crap from the same old “heavy advertisers.” There is nothing in that list of bikes I would ever buy. None of them are the “best” in any way. I’m disappointed about what this publisher has become. It looks just like car ads and sories in the newspaper that has the unwritten…Dont talk bad about our product or we will cancel the advertising budget that keeps you afloat! I was hoping for better.
Absolutely out standing service from the company and from the bike itself It’s built extremely well and looks amazing.
E-Bikes Certification: Testing to UL 2849
Explore UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for eBikes, which provides fire safety certification by examining the electrical drive train, battery, and charger system combinations in e-bikes.
Testing to e-bike Standard UL 2849
Investigating potential hazards is a fundamental part of building consumer trust and protecting brand reputation. With that said, new strategies and protective circuitry will be required for safe operation as e-bike technology evolves.
To help assess the safety of e-bikes and electrically power-assisted cycles (EPACs), we involved industry leaders in developing next-generation e-bike safety requirements for UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for eBikes. This Standard offers electrical and fire safety certification by examining e-bikes’ electrical drive train system, battery system and charger system combinations.
- e-Bikes (typically sit-to-operate and over-the-road use) and pedal-assisted electric (pedelec) cycles
- The risk of electric shock during charging over the life of the product, as well as other potential electrocution hazards
The Standard does not evaluate for the operator’s ability to maintain control while riding.
UL Solutions is recognized by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) to certify micromobility products to UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for eBikes.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Micromobility Safety Guidance
On December 20, 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) has called on manufacturers, retailers, importers, and distributors of micromobility devices to comply with established UL safety standards. This includes products covered by UL 2272 and UL 2849, which address electrical systems in personal e-mobility devices (such as hoverboards) and eBikes, respectively. Click here to access the release from CPSC.
New York City Council’s law on micromobility devices and batteries
In a move to strengthen fire safety of e-bikes, e-scooters, and the lithium-ion batteries that power such devices, on March 2, 2023, the New York City Council passed Initiative 663-A, mandating e-bikes, e-scooters, e-mobility devices, and light electric vehicle (EV) battery packs to be third-party certified. On March 20, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed this into law. With this new law, any company selling, leasing or distributing micromobility devices, such as e-bikes or e-scooters, has until August 29, 2023, to obtain certification from an accredited testing laboratory to:
- UL 2849, the Standard for Electrical Systems for e-Bikes, for the electrical system of any powered bicycle sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
- UL 2272, the Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices, for all powered mobility devices, including e-scooters, sold, distributed, leased, or rented in New York City.
- UL 2271, the Standard for Batteries for Use in Light Electric Vehicle Applications, of any storage battery for a powered bicycle or mobility device sold, distributed, leased or rented in New York City.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) statement to retailers and industry on UL 2849 certification
The NBDA has been educating retailers and the industry at large about the growing safety concerns inherent in the surge in consumer purchases of electric bicycles and scooters that utilize lithium-ion batteries as the power source for electric propulsion systems.
On July 15, 2022, the NBDA advises all retailers to encourage their vendors and suppliers to certify their e-bikes or e-bike systems installed on e-bikes to UL 2849. They will provide retailers a letter to send to their e-bike suppliers notifying them of this request for certification to UL 2849.
“The bicycle industry needs to take immediate action. After extensive consultations with experts in the field, e-bike and e-scooter lithium-ion battery safety is a large and immediate subject that we need to act on now. The advisement statement we have prepared for retailers takes the interest of e-bike continued growth within the industry and safety for all. If we do not address the core issue, we may see this propel to something beyond our control,”
EN 15194 for e-bike safety and other European market standards
We support the following standards for e-bikes within the European market:
- EN 15194 for e-bikes is the only specific published standard. At this time, EN 15194 does not cover the safety of electrical systems utilizing battery packs in the same manner that UL 2849 covers this subject.
- EN 50604-1 for light electric vehicle (LEV) batteries and/or EN 62133-2 for portable or auxiliary system batteries
- 2014/30/EU for EMC
- 2011/65/EU/ for RoHS
- 2014/53/EU (RED) – If the device uses radio technologies
- Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC for Product Safety
- ISO 4210-10 (in development) for e-bikes could become an EN standard in a few years.
Benefits of e-bike certification
Making sure that your products comply with the appropriate standards can prove challenging. Fortunately, we’re here to simplify the process for you. UL Solutions contributed to UL 2849, the Standard developed by UL Standards Engagement, and is familiar with the technical requirements for testing and certification. By tapping into our technical expertise and testing capabilities, we can help you increase your regulatory acceptance and brand recognition. importantly, however, is the fact that we can help you get safer products to market — a critical responsibility of all e-bike manufacturers. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical and related hazards, have advised consumers to “only purchase e-bikes and e-scooters that are listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and labeled accordingly” (such as UL Solutions). Learn more about NFPA’s tips for e-bike safety here.
UL certification is a valuable marketing tool that tells your customers that your product, process, service or company has successfully met stringent requirements. Communicating this achievement can help you win in the market by strengthening your product’s presence and differentiating it from competitors.
Why UL Solutions for e-bike certification
We can serve as your single source of answers by offering a comprehensive range of testing services for your e-bikes and EPACs. Our team of experts will help you achieve the electrical and fire safety certification you need to meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards for safety, enabling you to sell your products in the global marketplace. Plus, our familiarity with the Standard allows us to help you cut your costs and accelerate your time to market. That’s how we’ll help you achieve what’s possible, and that’s what makes us different.
First of all, the most common and popular voltage for high-end e-bikes and ebike kits is 48V or 52V. This is different then most lower-cost ebikes and ebike kits which run off 36V. This can also differ by sales region since in the United States 48V 52V is the standard while in Europe 36V is the standard. Lower voltage batteries are cheaper but the main difference between lower and higher voltage batteries are that the higher the voltage the better the power and performance!
Note: Our Mid Drive motors are compatible with with both 48V or 52V batteries however our Front hub motors only work with 48V batteries.
Why would you choose a 52V battery over a 48V battery?
range. 52V batteries when compared against 48V batteries with the same rated Ah will have more range as they have a larger battery capacity (Watt-hours rating).
Power. 52V batteries can provide more power to a motor when the motor needs it. 52V batteries also provide a better voltage range for the motor to operate in when compared with 48V battery.
Efficient. 52V Batteries can allow your motor to run at a lower current (amp) draw when operating at the same conditions when compared to a 48V battery. This can help reduce the amount of heat being built up in the motor and reduce overheating and premature failure
Versatile. 52V batteries will provide better performance than a 48V battery when used in cold weather
Why you may not need 52V battery and a 48V battery maybe enough?
You are not needing any additional power for offroading or climbing steep hills and you are just looking to do city riding and commuting.
The 52V is more effective, meaning better performance.
The reason is that a 52V e-bike battery provides greater efficiency using fewer amps generating the same or better power for your bike.
A 52V e-bike battery provides a faster speed to the motor than a 48V.
One of the most important differences is related to the range, a 52V e-bike battery offers a range wider than a 48V.
A 52V battery fresh off the charger will produce almost 59 V while a 48V battery will produce around 54.5V.
Putting Together Battery Voltage and Motor Operation
Keep in mind that BBS02 and BBSHD Mid Drive motor controllers can take a range of voltages from 40V to 59V, so clearly these units perform better at the higher end of the range however if the voltage drops so will the power.
As a battery drains and the voltage drops a rider will experience that they are no longer be getting the same power from the motor which will also be noticeable with the throttle lag. This difference in power will be more noticeable with a 48V battery than with a 52V battery.
Which is the best battery to get?Unfortunately, it is not that easy as ebike battery packs are in no way a one size fits all item which is why we offer so many different battery options! In order to see the estimated range based on the motor and battery pack that you are looking at we recommend clicking the button below to learn more about our range estimates!
Types of Electric Bikes: E-Bike Buyer’s Guide
E-bikes offer an environmentally friendly, affordable, efficient, and fun way to get around. When it comes to choosing an e-bike, you have a number of designs to consider. This guide outlines all of the types of electric bikes available to help you choose which design is best for your style of riding.
In this guide, I explain the benefits and drawbacks of pedal assist (pedelec) vs throttle-controlled e-bikes as well as mid-drive vs hub drive e-bikes. I’ll also talk about battery capacity, placement, and range and more.
A Bit of Info About Electric Bikes
Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are bicycles with integrated electric motors and batteries which are used for propulsion. Most e-bikes are governed to a top speed of 20 miles per hour (32 km/h). They get a range of 20-35 miles (32-56 km) per charge on average.
E-bikes have been around for over 100 years. Only in the past 20 years have they really taken off in popularity. These days, e-bikes make up the fastest-growing sector in the cycling industry according to the NPD group.
No matter what type of cyclist you are, you can find an e-bike to fit your needs. Folding bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, fat bikes, hybrids, commuters, and more are all available in electric versions.
If you’re undecided as to whether or not electric bikes are for you, check out my pros and cons list.
Table of Contents- Types of Electric Bikes
When choosing an e-bike, you have a number of choices to make. A few of the most important considerations include:
- E-bike classes and controls- Pedal assist (pedelec) Vs throttle
- Pedal-assist sensors-Torque sensors Vs cadence sensors
- E-bike motors- Hub-drive Vs mid-drive, motor sizes, motor placement
- Batteries- Battery capacity, specs, placement, range, and technology
- Building your own e-bike- Choosing and installing a conversion kit, DIY batteries
- E-bike costs- Pricing and maintenance cost
Pedal Assist Vs Throttle Controlled E-Bikes
These systems determine how you control the power on your electric bicycle. In this section, I’ll outline the three classes of e-bikes and their power delivery systems. For more in-depth info, check out my complete guide to pedal assist vs throttle ebikes.
Class 1: Pedal Assist (Pedelec) E-bikes
Pedal-assist, also called Pedelec, only provides propulsion when you pedal. When you stop pedaling, the power shuts off. With this system, you pedal normally and the motor transmits power to the rear wheel to make the pedaling easier. Pedal-assist allows you to ride in high gears and up steep hills almost effortlessly. This is the most common type of electric bike.
Most class 1 e-bikes allow you to control the amount of assistance. For example, you may be able to push a button on the handlebar-mounted display to change between low, medium, and high assist. The higher the setting, the more assistance that the motor gives you.
In many jurisdictions, pedal-assist is the only type of e-bike that is permitted without a license. This is the case in much of Europe where pedal-assist bikes can’t provide power when you’re traveling over 25 kph (about 15 mph). In the US, most pedal-assist e-bikes can’t provide power over 32 kph (20 mph). Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes are generally permitted anywhere that standard non-powered bikes are.
Pedal Assist Pros and Cons
Pedal-assist offers a number of benefits over throttle-controlled e-bikes. First, pedal-assist gets better range because your pedaling helps to power the bike along with the battery. Your battery will drain more slowly because it isn’t providing all of the power by itself. Pedal-assist also gives you more exercise because you have to pedal.
Another big benefit is that pedal-assist e-bikes are legal in more places. These bikes are usually treated the same as non-powered bikes.
Finally, pedal-assist feels more intuitive to most riders. There is a smaller learning curve. You just pedal and go. When you stop pedaling, the motor stops. You don’t have to learn how to use any new controls. Your hands are also free because you don’t have to hold the throttle. For this reason, pedal-assist is better for beginner e-bike riders.
The only real drawback to pedal-assist is that you have to pedal if you want to ride. You can’t just let the bike do all of the work for you.
Class 2: Throttle Controlled E-Bikes
Throttle controlled e-bikes work just like a motorcycle or scooter. When you engage the throttle, the motor propels the bike forward. You don’t have to pedal at all if you don’t want to. The throttle allows you to control the amount of power that the motor sends to the rear wheel. Many e-bikes have a throttle feature in addition to pedal assist.
In many places, including much of Europe, throttle-controlled e-bikes are not permitted. Sometimes they are only permitted with a license. For this reason, they are much less common than pedal-assist e-bikes. Throttle controlled e-bikes are more common in the US and Asia where the regulations are less strict.
Three styles of e-bike throttles include:
- Twist throttle- These work the same as a motorcycle or scooter throttle. You just twist a part of the grip toward you to increase power and twist it back to decrease power.
- Thumb throttle- This is a small paddle mounted near the handlebar grip that you push down with your thumb. The further you push it, the more power you get.
- Push-button throttle- This is a simple on/off switch. When you push the button, the electric motor gives a constant amount of power. When you let go, the power cuts off. You can’t control the amount of power with this type of throttle.
There are a couple of drawbacks to throttle-controlled e-bikes. First, it doesn’t feel as natural to most riders because you don’t have to pedal. The controls are more like a motorcycle than a bicycle. One of your hands is occupied by operating the throttle. There is a bit of a learning curve.
The range is usually shorter as well because you are relying only on the battery to move you along. You aren’t helping the motor by pedaling. You’ll also get less exercise because you don’t have to pedal.
Some e-bikes come equipped with both a throttle and pedal assist. In some cases, you might have to push a button to switch from one mode to the other. Sometimes you can use the throttle while riding with pedal assist to give yourself an extra bit of power.
Class 3: Speed Pedelec E-Bikes
This class e-bike works just like class 1 pedal assist e-bikes. The only difference is the top speed. Class 3 speed Pedelec e-bikes can reach a maximum speed of 45 kph or 28 mph.
In many places, this class of e-bike is considered to be a motor vehicle. In this case, you’ll need some type of license to legally ride it on the road. Some places, there are no restrictions. Before buying a class 3 e-bike, be sure to check the laws where you plan to ride.
Torque Sensor Vs Cadence Sensor Pedal Assist
E-bikes equipped with pedal assist have sensors that tell the pedal-assist system when to engage the motor and how much power to apply to the rear wheel. There are two different pedal assistance sensor systems available: torque sensors and cadence sensors. Most e-bikes have either one or the other. Some have both. In this section, I’ll explain the difference between the two and share some pros and cons.
Torque Sensor Pedal Assist
Torque sensors use a precision strain gauge to measure if you are pedaling and how hard you are pedaling. They measure the force that you are applying to the pedals up to 1000 times per second.
The sensor relays this information to the bike’s control system or computer. The computer then adjusts the amount of electric assist for you based on your pedaling power.
When you pedal harder, the motor’s output increases. When you pedal softer, the system reduces the motor’s power output. If you stop pedaling, the motor stops providing assistance.
Pros and Cons
This system feels very intuitive and smooth while riding. The reason is that torque sensors react more quickly to changes in the rider’s pedaling power. They almost change in real-time. The connection between the rider and the motor feels much more direct because of this.
Torque sensors are often found on higher-end e-bikes. In some parts of the world, torque sensors are required. The main drawback of torque sensors is the cost. The technology is much more advanced than cadence sensors.
Cadence Sensor Pedal Assist
Cadence sensors tell the motor to engage when you begin pedaling. The system works with a magnet mounted on the crank. Some cadence sensors can only tell if you are pedaling. Some can count the revolutions to determine how fast you’re pedaling. Cadence sensors cannot tell how hard you’re pedaling. This system is often found on lower-end e-bikes.
There are a number of different cadence sensor systems available. The most simple systems work like an on/off switch. When the magnet moves, the sensor tells the motor to engage. When the magnet stops, the motor cuts off.
advanced cadence sensor systems can vary the power automatically based on the rate of pedal revolutions. For example, when you’re first starting out, the system might work at 100% power. Once you reach a certain pre-defined threshold the system may cut down to 50% power.
Many cadence sensor pedal-assist e-bikes offer several settings that allow you to adjust the amount of assistance. You can usually adjust this setting manually on the handlebar-mounted display.
Pros and Cons
The main benefit to cadence sensor pedal assist is that it is inexpensive. The technology is pretty simple. This allows manufacturers to offer pedal-assist on low-end e-bikes. This system also works well for people with knee problems because it takes very little pressure on the pedals to engage the system.
The main disadvantage of cadence sensors is that they make the pedal-assist feel less intuitive. The ride might feel a bit jerky or rough. This happens because the system can’t adjust as quickly to changes in your pedaling speed. Some systems cant adjust at all. They just provide a constant amount of power.
E-Bike Motors: Hub Drive Vs Mid Drive
Hub-drive e-bikes place the motor in one of the bike’s hubs. The motor propels the bike by spinning the wheel where it is mounted. This was the most common design when e-bikes were first introduced. It is also common on lower-end e-bikes. Most e-bike conversion kits use hub motors as well.
Mid-drive e-bikes place the motor in the center of the bike near the crank at the bottom bracket. These transfer power from the motor to the bike’s rear-wheel through the chain. This design is becoming increasingly more popular. You find mid-drive motors on all high-end e-bikes.
In this section, I list the pros and cons of hub drive motors (including front and rear hub motors), as well as mid-drive motors.
Hub Drive Pros
- Less maintenance- All of the motor components are sealed inside of the hub. Because the system is enclosed, there is nothing for you to maintain. Hub motors don’t connect to the bike’s drive system so they don’t put any additional stress on the chain or shifters.
- Redundancy- Hub motors work independently from the drive system on your bicycle. This means you could still ride home even if your chain broke. If your hub motor fails, you can still ride normally by pedaling. You basically have a backup drive system if one fails.
- Less mechanically complex- There are two types of hub motors: geared and gearless. Gearless hub motors have no moving parts inside other than the bearings. There is really nothing mechanical that can wear out. Rust or worn out bearings are the only things to look out for. Other than that, these motors can last pretty much forever. Geared hub motors, on the other hand, use internal planetary gears to reduce the RPMs of the motor. Over time, the gears can wear down and eventually strip. These are a weak spot that will eventually cause the motor to fail. Having said this, geared hub motors are still less mechanically complex than mid-drive motors.
- Easy to replace- When the motor eventually dies, you can easily swap it out for a new one.
- Cheaper- Hub motors are mass-produced. The designs have also remained unchanged. They are also not bike specific. Any hub motor works on pretty much any bike. For these reasons, are low.
- Can be retrofitted to most bikes- You can convert pretty much any bike into an electric bike by installing an e-bike conversion kit. These almost always use a hub motor.
- Your drive system may last longer- If you’re using a throttle, your drive system will sit idle while you use the motor. Your chain, cassette, and chainrings don’t wear while they’re not being used.
Hub Drive Cons
- Hub motors only have one gear ratio- This means you can’t change the motor’s gearing to help you up a steep hill or cruise faster on flat surfaces. Ideally, you would choose a higher torque gear for climbing and a faster gear for cruising on flat roads. This is is the case with almost all hub motors.
- Less efficient- Because of the lack of gears, you don’t have as much control over the RPM of your motor. You can’t shift to a higher torque gear to climb a hill. You end up depleting your battery faster.
- Harder to change tires or repair flats- To remove the wheel, you’ll need to disconnect the motor. The wheel is slightly harder to work with due to the added weight of the hub motor. It’s also more fragile.
- Heavier- Hub motors typically weigh more than mid-drive motors.
- The ride may be rougher- The weight of the motor is unsprung. By that, I mean that your bike’s suspension system doesn’t hold the weight of the motor. This can reduce the efficacy of your bike’s suspension system. The added weight of the motor in the wheel can make bumps in the road feel a bit rougher as well.
- Can limit component choices- Due to the added width of hub motors, you limit your choices of cassettes. Usually, 7 speed is the largest you can fit. Hub motors usually use cadence sensors or a throttle instead of torque sensors- When it comes to controlling the power to the wheel, cadence sensors are a bit less intuitive than torque sensors. They often feel jerky and a bit rough.
- The bike can become unbalanced- Hub motors put a lot of weight on either the front or rear of your bike. This can make the bike front or rear heavy.
Front Vs Rear Hub Motors: Pros and Cons
Hub motors can be installed in either the front or rear hub. Each setup has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this section, I’ll list the pros and cons. For more in-depth info, check out my guide to front vs rear hub motors.
Front Hub Motor Pros
- Front hub motors help distribute weight better- Most bikes naturally have more weight on the rear. Installing the motor in the front hub can help balance the bike. This can improve ride quality.
- Front tires generally get fewer flats- You won’t have to disconnect the motor and remove the wheel as often. Repairing a rear flat will be easier without the added weight and complexity of the motor.
- Better parts compatibility- The motor is completely separate from the drive system. This reduces the likelihood of encountering compatibility issues. Particularly with the cassette.
Front Hub Motor Cons
- Usually limited to throttle-controlled- Because they aren’t connected to the drivetrain, front hub motors usually don’t offer pedal assist. There are exceptions to this. For example, the Brompton folding e-bike has a front hub motor that offers pedal assist.
- Problems with traction- Because most of a bicycle’s weight sits on the rear wheel, you can easily lose traction on some surfaces. You might burn out if you give it too much power.
- Can damage the fork and headset over time-Forks aren’t quite as robust as rear dropouts. A front hub motor can put additional stress on the forks and can damage them over time. For this reason, it’s best to limit the front hub to 750 watts or less. The constant pulling can also put more stress on the headset. You might need to grease or replace it more often.
Rear Hub Motor Pros
- Better traction- weight sits on the back of the bike. You won’t burn out while accelerating hard.
- Compatible with pedal assist and throttle- Rear hub motors often offer both drive systems. You can usually switch between the two with a button.
- sporty ride feel- For whatever reason, it feels better to be pushed by the rear wheel rather than pulled by the front wheel. Maybe this is why almost all sports cars are rear wheel drive.
- Easier on the frame- The rear dropouts are much stronger than the fork. You don’t have to worry about wear and tear on the fork and headset.
Rear Hub Motor Cons
- Slightly harder to fix flats- The rear hub ties in with the bike’s drivetrain. This can make repairing flats a bit more complicated because you have to deal with the chain and motor.
- Compatibility issues- Due to the width of the hub, you limit your cassette options with most models.
- Worse handling- Rear hub motors unevenly distribute weight in the rear of the bike. Particularly if the battery is mounted on the rear rack.
Mid Drive Pros
- You can use the bike’s gears- This is the biggest benefit of mid-drive motors. The motor sends power to the rear wheel through the same chain that you use to pedal. This means you can gear down to climb a hill and gear up for speed on flat surfaces. This allows you to tackle more varied terrain more easily. For this reason, mid-drive motors are better for off-road use.
- efficient- Having the ability to change the gear ratio means you can keep the bike in the ideal gear for the terrain you’re riding. This helps you save power and improves range. For example, it doesn’t make sense to run at a high RPM on a flat surface. You can gear up so your motor isn’t working so hard.
- torque- Shifting into a low gear allows you to power up steep hills or accelerate quickly from a stop.
- Longer lasting- Mid-drive motors don’t have to work as hard because they can take advantage of the bike’s gears. This means they are less likely to overheat on steep hills or burn out from extended use.
- Better weight distribution- Having the motor mounted in the middle of the bike distributes weight more evenly over the front and rear wheels.
- Smaller and Lighter- Generally speaking, a mid-drive motor weighs less than a hub drive motor. They are physically smaller as well.
- Easier to change and repair tires- You don’t’ have to deal with a heavy and fragile motor in your hubs when removing your wheels to change the tires or repair a flat. You don’t have to disconnect the motor either.
- Greater parts compatibility- You can use whatever rims, hubs, spokes, brakes, and tires that you want. You aren’t limited by the odd-sized hub motor.
- Most mid-drive motors use torque sensors- This makes your pedal assist smoother and faster to respond.
- Stealthier- Because the motors are smaller and lighter, they can be integrated into the e bike’s frame. This way, many people won’t even realize that your bike is electric when you speed by.
Mid Drive Cons
- Mid-drive motors are hard on your bike’s drivetrain- While casually cycling, the average person puts out about 100-150 watts of power. During a hard sprint, you might put out 250-300 watts. A mid-drive motor can run at 250-750 watts continuously. That’s the equivalent of having a pro cyclist hammer on your pedals as hard as they possibly can all day. Cheap cassettes and chains can’t put up with that much stress. You’ll probably end up going through more drive parts. Most e-bikes come with premium chains that are built for strength. Belt drive e-bikes are also available. This solves the problem but comes at an added cost.
- expensive- Mid-drive motors are mostly found on higher-end electric bikes. One of the reasons is that they can’t be mass-produced as easily because they are generally designed for specific bike frames. Often times the motor is built into the frame. The technology is also a bit newer than hub motors.
- complex- Mid-drive e-bike motors have more moving parts than hub drives. This means there are more points of possible failure. The added complexity can reduce reliability.
- Mid-drive e-bike motors are usually built into the frame- This looks cool but makes the motors harder and more expensive to repair or replace if something fails. You can’t easily swap out the motor like you can with a hub drive.
- You can’t shift gears while under power- The torque of the engine will damage or break the chain. Some e-bikes have a button on the handlebars that momentarily disconnects the motor so you can shift. Otherwise, you’ll have to let off the throttle and pedal when you want to shift gears.
A Note About E-Bike Motor Size
Electric bike motor sizes are measured in watts. The more watts, the more powerful the motor. The most common sizes are 200w, 250w, 350w, 500w, 750w, and 1000w. Larger motors in the 1100-1500 watt range are also available. One thing to remember when choosing a motor is the bigger the motor, the bigger battery you’ll need to power it.
Before choosing a motor size, you’ll also want to read up on the local laws regarding electric bikes to find out if there is a motor size limit where you live. For example, in much of Europe, China, and Japan, e-bikes are limited to 250w motors if you want to ride without a license. In the United States, most places limit e-bike motor size to 750w.
Having said this, in many places laws regarding e-bikes aren’t really enforced. If you obey the rules of the road, your chances of getting pulled over and ticketed for riding an overpowered bike are slim. Most police officers couldn’t identify the size of an e-bike motor by looking at it unless they look at the sticker on the side. Of course, it’s always best to obey the law.
Below, I’ll outline a few of the benefits and drawbacks of the more common motor sizes.
- 250-watt motors- These are the standard in much of the world. 250-watt e-bike motors work great for shorter rides of 10-15 miles. On a flat surface, they reach a top speed of around 20 mph. These work great with pedal assist but are a bit underpowered for throttle control. Steep hills can be a challenge due to the lack of power. One benefit of having a smaller motor is that they use less power. You can get away with a smaller, cheaper, and lighter battery. This motor size works great for exercise bikes because they don’t do all of the work for you.
- 350-watt motors- This motor size offers a nice extra boost of power over 250w e-bikes. The extra power helps greatly with climbing hills. This size is also a good choice for heavier riders. 350w e-bikes are still a bit underpowered for throttle control. You’ll have to pedal when climbing hills.
- 500-watt motors- This motor size is a great choice for longer journeys of 20-40 miles where you plan to encounter some serious hills. They also work well for commuting. You’ll still have to pedal uphill but you probably won’t break a sweat. Heavy riders will also benefit from the extra power. A 500-watt motor should be able to reach a top speed of around 28 mph. These work great with pedal-assist or throttle controls. The drawback is that you’ll need a bigger and more expensive battery if you want a decent range.
- 750-watt motors- This motor size provides some serious power. Enough power to haul you up most hills without pedaling. These are great for those who need performance. They are also powerful enough for off-road riding.
- 1000 watt motors- These usually require some type of license to ride. In many parts of the world, they are illegal. With over 1000 watts of power, you can ride your bike basically like a moped. You don’t have to pedal if you don’t want to. These are great for riding at high speeds or riding through very hilly places.
One thing to remember is that you don’t need to use all of your bike’s power all the time. It’s nice to have some extra get up and go when you need it. Your motor will probably last longer as well because you aren’t running it at full speed all the time.
Electric Bicycle Batteries
The battery is probably the most expensive component of your e-bike. In some cases, the battery alone costs as much as the rest of the bike. There are two types of e-bike battery technologies available: lithium and lead-acid. When selecting a battery, you will want to consider the capacity, cost, lifespan, weight, and time it takes to charge. In this section, I’ll outline each to help you decide.
Lithium Vs Lead Acid Electric Bike Batteries
- Lithium E-Bike Batteries-These days, almost all e-bikes use lithium-ion (Li-Ion) or Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. These are the same battery technologies that are used in phones. The battery packs are made up of many cells. Lithium e-bike batteries usually last 500-2000 charge cycles before they need to be replaced. Charge times usually range from 4-6 hours. Some lithium batteries offer a quick charge option where they reach 80% of capacity in just over an hour. Lithium batteries are pretty light at just 5-8 pounds. Expect a range of about 20 miles (32 km) from a battery of this size. Unfortunately, lithium batteries expensive at around 500-800. They often cost as much as the rest of the bike.
- Lead-Acid E-Bike Batteries- Some lower end or older e-bikes use lead-acid batteries. This is the same battery technology that is used in car batteries. These batteries are significantly larger than lithium options at around 30-40 pounds. Lead-acid batteries also don’t last nearly as long. Most need to be replaced after 200-300 charge cycles. Charge times range form 5-8 hours. No quick charge option is available. Lead-acid e-bike batteries cost around 150. Even though lead-acid batteries cost much less than lithium, they can cost more in the long run because they need to be replaced about 4 times as often.
E-Bike Battery Capacity
One of the most important e-bike battery specifications to consider is battery capacity. This determines the range you can get out of your e-bike. The best way to measure battery capacity is in watt-hours (Wh). Watt-hours basically tells you how much energy your e-bike battery can hold. This allows you to compare different batteries apples to apples.
Usually, the battery’s watt-hours will be listed in the bike’s specifications. If you need to calculate the watt-hours by yourself, simply multiply the volts by the amp hours (Ah). These measurements are always given. For example, you have a 24-volt battery with 20 Ah, you get 24 x 20=480 Watt-hours.
Once you know the battery’s watt-hours, you can compare different batteries directly. For example, maybe one bike has a 500 Wh battery and another has a 200 Wh battery. You know that the 500 Wh battery will offer more range because it holds more energy, assuming everything else is equal.
A good way to think about watt-hours is the number of watts that the battery can run at continuously for 1 hour. For example, a 500 Wh battery can run at 500 watts for 1 hour. The same battery could run at 250 watts for 2 hours. This will give you an idea of how long your battery will last depending on the size of your e bike’s motor.
Voltage is described as the ‘force’ or ‘pressure’ of electricity. Electric bike motors are designed to work within a specific voltage range. Common e-bike voltages include 24v, 36v, and 48v. 52v is now available. Higher voltage e-bikes have better performance. Your battery needs to deliver power in the voltage range of your motor.
For more technical info on e-bike batteries, check out this excellent guide from ebikekit.com.
Amps and Amp Hours (Ah)
Amps are a measurement of electrical current. Amp-hours is the number of amps your battery can sustain for 1 hour. Most e-bike batteries are either 6, 10, or 20 amp-hours. This number will be listed in your battery’s specs.
To make sure a particular battery is compatible with your bike, you’ll need to look at the specs of your bike’s controller. This component controls the amps that are allowed to travel between your bike’s battery to the motor. It essentially limits the max power and speed of your bike.
One of the most important specifications to consider when shopping for an e-bike is the range you can get out of the battery. This is the distance you can travel on a full charge. Most e-bikes have a range of 20-35 miles before they need to be recharged.
E-bike manufacturers love to exaggerate the range. In the marketing material, they often tell you the range you can expect under ideal conditions. In the real world, your range will be significantly lower. E-bike range depends on the following factors:
- Battery capacity- The more energy that the battery can hold, the longer the range.
- Motor size- Larger motors use more energy to power. The average e-bike motor is 250 watts. Motors over 1000 watts are available. A 500w motor will deplete a 500 Wh battery in 1 hour if it is run at full power. Of course, you don’t have to use all of the power available. Higher voltage motors use more power than lower voltage motors.
- The weight of the rider, bike, and gear- The lighter the payload, the longer range you’ll get.
- Age of the battery- Batteries degrade over time. A brand new battery offers a better range than a battery that has been charged and drained 1000 times. Because of this, you need to be careful when buying used batteries.
- The speed you want to travel- The faster you go, the shorter your range will be. This happens because wind resistance increases as your speed increases. For example, your range might be 30 miles if you limit yourself to 10 mph. If you want to ride 20 mph, you might only get 15 miles of range.
- Tire type and pressure- Hard and narrow road tires have less rolling resistance. They offer better range. Wide off-road tires have more rolling resistance. They take more energy to keep them rolling.
- Grade of hills and road conditions- Rough roads and steep hills will reduce your range. They take more energy to ride.
- Temperature- Batteries drain faster in cold weather. If the outside temperature is below freezing, you’ll probably see a reduction in range. During the winter, it’s a good idea to take your battery indoors with you so it doesn’t get too cold.
- Wind- A headwind creates more air resistance that your motor has to overcome. You’ll use more power and your range will decline.
- Bike geometry and your riding position- An aerodynamic riding position allows you to achieve a greater range because your body creates less drag. An upright riding position causes more drag and reduces range. Your riding position is particularly important at speeds above 15-20 mph. This is when aerodynamics really start to matter.
- Whether you’re using pedal-assist or a throttle- Pedal-assist e-bikes have greater range because the motor isn’t doing all of the work. Your legs are helping as well. With a throttle, the motor and battery do all of the work. This takes more energy and reduces your range.
- The mode that the bike is set in- Most e-bikes offer a range of settings. For example, maybe a sport mode offers faster acceleration. An energy savings mode could limit speed and acceleration to save power.
E-Bike Battery Placement Options
The battery is probably the most expensive and most fragile component on your e-bike. It’s also heavy. You want to mount your battery in the safest place where it is unlikely to be damaged during an accident. You also want to consider the weight. The bike should be balanced so handling doesn’t suffer. A few options include:
- Down tube mounted battery pack- These batteries mount to the water bottle attachment points on the down tube. It places the weight centrally and fairly low to the ground. This keeps the bike balanced and keeps the center of gravity low. The frame and cranks provide some protection for the battery in the event of an accident. Down tube mounted battery packs are also visually appealing. This is probably the most common e-bike battery placement location these days. Particularly on mid to high-end e-bikes. Some manufacturers partially integrate the battery into the down tube.
- Rear cargo rack-mounted battery- This is a common mounting point on lower-end e-bikes. Probably because it’s easy and there is plenty of space for a large lead-acid battery. The drawback is that cargo rack mounted batteries raise your center of gravity and make the rear of the bike very heavy. This can hurt handling and make lifting the bike awkward. The battery also takes up much of your luggage space. Some e-bikes have a welded-on rear rack for the battery.
- Triangle bag mounted battery- Inside the triangle is probably the best place to mount your battery. A simple option is to simply store your battery in a bikepacking style triangle bag. These attach to your bike’s triangle tubes with velcro or straps. The battery simply sits inside. The bag closes with a zipper.
- Seat tube mounted battery pack- The battery mounts to the water bottle attachment points on the seat tube. This is very similar to mounting the battery to the down tube. The weight of the battery sits near the center of the bike. This helps with balance and handling.
- Backpack- With this option, you simply carry the battery on your back in a backpack. A wire runs from the backpack to the bike. This works well if you ride a full suspension e-bike that can’t accommodate a battery in the triangle because of the shock absorber in the middle of the bike. The biggest drawback to this system is that you have to wear a backpack. This gets uncomfortable fast. The battery can also get hot which will cause you to sweat. In my opinion, this is the worst e-bike battery placement option.
A Note About Electric Bike Conversion Kits
If you’re on a tight budget, your best option is to install an electric bike conversion kit on your existing bike. This way, you’re not buying a whole new bike, just the components that you need.
Several different styles of e-bike conversion kits are available. You can choose from front or rear hub motors as well as mid-drive. You can choose from pedal assist and throttle versions as well.
After deciding on the design you want, the easiest option is to buy a complete kit. These usually cost about 200-300 and include everything you need to make the conversion with the exception of the battery.
Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits Include:
- Electric bike motor- Hub motors usually come fully built into a wheel. Sometimes a tire is included. Mid-drive motors usually come with crank arms and pedals.
- Motor controller- This is the e-bike’s computer. It tells the motor what to do based on the input from all of the bike’s electric components as well as your inputs from the handlebar-mounted display. It also controls the power from the battery to the motor.
- Handlebar-mounted display- This is the screen that tells you information about your battery status, speed, and settings. They are usually LED or LCD screens.
- Throttle- This will be a twist or thumb style throttle that you mount to your handlebars to control the power to the motor. If the kit only has pedal assist, you won’t have a throttle.
- Pedal-assist sensor- This piece mounts near the crank. It tells the motor your cadence so it knows how much to assist you. Not all e-bike conversion kits offer pedal assist. Some just have a throttle.
- Freewheel or cassette- If you’re buying a rear hub motor, a compatible freewheel or cassette is usually included. If you’re buying a front hub or mid-drive motor kit, you can use your existing freewheel or cassette that is already on the bike.
- Brake levers with safety switches- Most e-bike kits come with a new set of brake levers that include switches that automatically shut the motor of when you apply the brakes. This is a nice safety feature. You don’t need these to use the bike but they are legally required in some places.
- Torque arm- This is basically a brace for your dropouts to protect them from the additional torque that the motor produces. It’s a metal piece that just bolts on. You need this because e-bike motors apply much more torque than normal cycling.
- Installation hardware- Complete kits include all of the bolts, washers, nuts, zip ties, etc. that you’ll need to install everything.
- Manual- This includes installation instructions.
These kits are fairly easy to install. The job takes just a couple of hours if you’re comfortable working on bikes. For the most part, it’s just a matter of mounting the parts and plugging everything in. If you’re like me and you’re not much of a mechanic, the job will probably take most of an afternoon.
A Note About Batteries for Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits
Most e-bike conversion kits don’t include the battery. The reason is that many riders want to choose their own battery size for the range they desire. A battery costs an additional 200-500 depending on the size and quality.
E-bike motors have a voltage range that they are designed to work within. powerful motors require higher voltage batteries. Make sure you buy a battery with the proper voltage. The most common e-bike voltages are 36 V and 48 V but you’ll find batteries with everything from 24-72 volts. You’ll want to consider the amp hours as well to make sure your battery is compatible with the controller. The e-bike conversion kit manual will usually tell you the specifications you need to look for in a battery.
Building Your Own E-Bike Battery
If you’re comfortable working with electronics, you can build your own lithium e-bike battery. If you already have the required tools, you could save a considerable amount of money this way. You could probably build an average-sized battery for around 150. That’s around half the price of a pre-built battery. As an added benefit, you know your battery is built right and with high-quality components if you build it yourself.
Building an e-bike battery involves connecting individual 18650 lithium-ion cells into a large battery pack. These are the same cells that are used in electric cars like Teslas as well as many laptops and other electronic devices.
Things You’ll Need to Build Your Own E-Bike Battery Include:
- 18650 cells- These cost 3-4 apiece. You’ll need around 30 for an average-sized battery. Try to choose cells from name brands like Samsung or Panasonic. They are the safest, longest-lasting, and most reliable.
- Nickel strip- This is the material that connects the batteries. Make sure you get pure nickel strip, not steel coated nickel strip.
- Spot welder- This machine welds the nickel tape to the batteries. You can buy a low-end Chinese made spot welder for around 100-200. Battery management system (BMS)- This is an electronic device that you connect to your battery that protects the battery cells and your charger.
- Voltmeter- To measure the voltage of each battery to ensure that they are up to spec.
- Hot glue gun and glue- To glue the batteries together so they stay in place.
- Soldering iron and solder- To solder on BMS wires.
- Electrical connectors- For connecting wires.
- Shrinkwrap and foam padding- For protecting the battery once it’s finished.
- Heat gun or hairdryer- For applying the shrink wrap.
To help you out, check out this guide to building a DIY Electric bike battery from Ebikeschool.com.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Cost?
These days, there are dozens of companies manufacturing e-bikes all around the world. Between the increase in popularity and competition over the past decade, have decreased considerably. These days, you can find an e-bike on almost any budget.
The cheapest option is to build your own e-bike from a conversion kit. You can buy a decent hub drive kit for around 200 and build a battery for about another 150-200. If you don’t already have a bike, you could pick up a decent used one for around 100 or less.
If you’re willing to put in some work, you could build yourself a quality e-bike for around 500. The problem is that you can really only hit this price point if you already have the tools you need.
If you want to buy a pre-built e-bike, there are three main price tiers to consider:
- Low-end e-bikes start around 600- These models are usually made by Chinese companies and are sold online. They use mass-produced hub motors. These work well and are fairly reliable. The problem is that the components used on these bikes are low end. Performance and reliability can suffer because of this. The battery quality might also be questionable. If you’re looking for an e-bike for casual use, these low-end models work just fine.
- Mid-range e-bikes go for around 1200-2000- This is the sweet spot in terms of value. In this price range, you’ll get a mid-range bike with reliable components that will perform well and last. Most mid-range e-bikes use a chain drive and derailleur drive train with a hub motor. E-bikes in this price range make excellent commuters. They are reliable enough for heavy use and affordable enough for most commuters’ transportation budget.
- High-end e-bike options start around 3000 and from there the sky is the limit- In this price range, you can get all the bells and whistles you want including an internal gear hub, a mid-drive motor, belt drive, built-in lights, large high-quality battery, and more.
A Note About E-Bike Maintenance Cost
Maintaining an electric bicycle is significantly more expensive than a non-powered bike. For the most part, e-bike maintenance is the same as a regular bicycle in terms of the type of labor involved. The difference is the frequency of maintenance and the type of parts you have to buy.
The biggest expense you need to factor in is a new battery every 1-3 years. This will cost you 250-800 every time depending on the size and type of battery your bike uses. Exactly how often you need to replace your battery depends on how often you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how well you care for your battery.
Most e-bike batteries last between 500 and 1000 charge cycles before the performance begins to decline. Assuming a new battery costs you 500 and lasts 2 years, you end up paying 250 per year or about 20.83 per month.
Another added expense of e-bikes is that you’ll probably have to do standard maintenance and replace consumable parts slightly more often. The reason for this is that people tend to ride further, faster, and rack up more miles on their electric bikes than they do on non-powered bikes. The higher average speed of e-bikes also causes faster wear and tear on certain components like tires, chains, and brake pads. This equates to more frequent maintenance.
Yet another added cost is that you’ll need to use higher-quality replacement parts. For example, e-bikes usually require stronger, higher-end chains due to the added torque of the motor.
Cheap chains work find under human power but a 750-watt motor will break them quickly. You’ll also need tires that are rated for high-speed use. The manufacturer will usually indicate if tires are suitable for e-bikes. These tires cost a bit more.
You can do the maintenance work yourself with a few simple tools and a bit of time or pay someone to do it for you. If you take your e-bike to a bike shop, expect to spend 75-100 in labor every 1000-2000 miles that you ride. You’ll also have to consider the cost of parts.
Final Thoughts About The Types of Electric Bikes
Electric bikes are becoming a major part of the cycling industry. In some parts of the world, they account for up to 50% of new bikes sold. E-bikes are incredibly popular among commuters, casual riders, older riders, and those who ride for exercise.
When it comes to choosing an e-bike for your style of riding, you have a number of decisions to make including hub drive vs mid-drive, pedal-assist vs throttle, motor size, battery size, and more. The options are overwhelming. Hopefully, this guide helps you with your decision.
If you’re still not sure if e-bikes are for you, check out my pros and cons list.
Do you ride an electric bike? Share your experience in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
from Where The Road Forks