Top Ebike Brands of 2023: Our Favorites List
We started as a family of two, looking to ditch the second car, as we entered the world of ebikes. A few years later, now a family of four, we have quite a few trusty ebikes and still only a single car. Through our extensive time riding, my wife and I have our favorites when it comes to ebike brands. Each of our top ebike brands offers a quality ebike, good customer service, and a variety of models to select from to suit your needs. Browse our favorite brands below. This page will continue to be updated as we experience more brands of electric bikes.
Rad Power Bikes
Rad Power Bikes is the largest ebike brand in North America. Based out of Seattle, Washington, this company is growing extremely quickly and announced in February 2021 that they had raised a 150 million minority of investment to further its brand. If you want to learn more about the origins of Rad Power Bikes, I recommend NPR’s How I Built This podcast with Mike Radenbaugh, the company’s founder.
The upside and downside to this brand are that it is a direct consumer company. This means they cut out the middleman by selling directly to consumers instead of through bike dealers. However, if you are looking for that bike dealer experience, Rad has begun to open its own “Rad owned” stores in order to be able to provide service and test riding to its customers.
The RadWagon was my family’s first ebike. It is still our most consistently used ebike. Before our child, my wife and I rode on it together. We also use it for hauling groceries, rummage sale finds, and now a child. Since that first Rad ebike we have had the opportunity to try out their entire line-up of bikes. So if there is a model you are interested in, we have a review for it. We talk about this brand so often that we made the most frequently asked questions post for Rad Power Bikes. We also have created a Rad Owners Forum so we can hear from other Rad lovers.
Rad Power Bikes will forever be our first (ebike) love.
For related Rad Power Bikes ebike model reviews, see:
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Lectric ebikes makes just one electric bike model offered in both high step and step-thru variations. The Lectric XP 2.0 comes in at just 999 offers a large-enough-for-most 9.6 Ah battery with a 800-watt peak motor. We like that the frame design makes this ebike accessible to a variety of riders regardless of height or biking ability. New for 2021 is the optional accessories including front and rear racks, a more comfortable seat (plus seatpost), folding bike lock, and premium headlight. Did we mention it folds? Suffice to say we believe the Lectric XP 2.0 packs a lot of value at 999 and is perfect for those who just want to cruise around without breaking the bank.
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Aventon solidly fits in the value-priced ebike space. Their go head to head with some of the biggest names in electric bikes. On top of their great prices, there are Aventon dealers across the United States which means you can test a bike out for yourself before purchasing. Plus many of their models come in various frame sizes meaning you don’t have to compromise on the one-size-fits-all approach that many ebikebrands take.
For Aventon electric bike coverage check out the following:
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If you are looking for a down-to-earth company with a heart for getting more people on bikes and less in cars, then look no further than Ride1Up. I was blown away by the generosity that the founder, Kevin Duggar showed by welcoming an interview with me (see it here). He spent a crazy amount of time talking with me about his ebikes even though I know he is an extremely busy brand owner. His passion for creating a quality and affordable ebike lineup was extremely evident during our conversation. This is a company whose leadership shines through in everything they make.
Ride1Up offers six models to choose from with a clear FOCUS on commuter style electric bikes. You won’t find any fat tire models on their website. One of their most unique models, the Roadster V2, doesn’t even look like an ebike. With its slim, lightweight design and built in battery, this ebike masquerades as a low-tech commuter bike in disguise. Ride1Up is sending us this model to test ride. We will add the video review link once we have one.
I love this brand for its passion for not just selling a product, but getting people excited about moving more and driving less. This company is incredible to work with and I have loved every bike I have test-ridden and owned. Ride1Up is a quality, direct consumer company like Rad Power Bikes which means less cost to the consumer.
For related Ride1Up articles and resources, see:
For related Ride1Up ebike model reviews, see:
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Founded by two brothers, Ariel Rider is a quiet achiever in electric bikes. Their sweet spot as of late has been moped style electric bikes which provide incredible performance for the price. If you’re in the market for a moped-style electric bike you’ll be able to find something that suits your specific needs. Here is the current lineup:
- Rideal: traditional frame design at an incredible price (999)
- C-Class: Fully-outfitted mid-drive ebike for the daily commute (1,799)
- M-Class: Urban electric bike with a mid-drive motor (1,649)
- X-Class: Moped-style electric bike that packs a punch (1,699) Also available in 52V variation (2,099.00)
- D-Class: Dual motor moped-style electric bike that packs a bigger punch (2,399.00)
- Grizzly: The ultimate moped-style electric bike: dual suspension, dual motor, dual battery (2,999.00)
For related Ariel Rider articles, see:
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Juiced Bikes biggest differentiator is their batteries. It is rare to find a direct-to-consumer ebike company in 2022 offering 52-volt batteries. On top of the 52-volt batteries are the 19.2 Ah batteries offered as an option (or included) on some models. The nearly 1000 watt-hour capacity will surely cure your range anxiety.
As of late Juiced Bikes has been focusing on moped style electric bikes with the introduction of the Scorpion, HyperScorpion, and the new dual-battery HyperScrambler 2. They continue to offer a commuter model called the CrossCurrent and a fat tire electric bike called the RipCurrent.
For related Juiced Bikes articles, see:
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Originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign, this Canadian company has expanded its direct-to-consumer ebike company into a wide range of ebike models that ships worldwide.
The ultimate selling point for Biktrix: you can CUSTOMIZE your heart out. Customizable options include color, frame size, battery, wheels, forks, brakes and more. You can truly purchase the ebike of your dreams.
Biktrix has many models to select from in four series/categories:
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Blix Bikes was founded all the way back in 2014 in Santa Cruz California. That alone comes with some street cred, but the company backs that up with great ebikes. Previously Blix has offered city-oriented ebikes including folding and cargo ebike models. For 2022, they have expanded further into fat tire ebikes with the Ultra and a model designed for urban environments, the Dubbel.
We came away impressed with the quality during our Blix Packa Genie review and can’t wait to get our hands on their other models as well. Not only do we feel like they offer a great value proposition but their customer support is US based making them an easy brand for us to recommend.
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Electric Bike Company
There aren’t many ebike brands that can claim their ebikes are built in the United States. Electric Bike Company or EBC for short is one exception. Because of this, their ebikes have a certain quality about them, and it’s something you can’t fully appreciate until you see them in person.
Most of their models are cruisers or beach-style ebikes, meaning an upright riding position with swept-back handlebars. Paired with the seats, their ebikes are among the most comfortable to ride. Another unique thing, EBC ebikes are shipped via freight. While shipping isn’t free, their ebikes arrive at your home more fully assembled than most brands, and best of all – they arrive in pristine condition!
For related EBC articles, see:
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Super73 is a motorcycle-inspired ebike brand founded in 2016 in Southern California. They have a dedicated community, and they have carved out their niche in the moped-style electric bike space. They have, for the lack of a better comparison, evolved into the Apple of ebike brands. Part of this is their excellent marketing which has been buoyed by celebrity endorsements. I typically don’t get excited about buying a product because it’s “cool” but I have to give Super73 credit – their ebikes look incredible.
Planning to buy a Super73 electric bike? Using my link will get you 100 off your purchase.
7S and were hard pressed to find something we didn’t like about it. While the small motor and battery (250w motor and 7ah battery)are not going to fit everyone’s use case. The lightweight (37lbs total weight), and simple styling make this a great city or short distance commuter bike. Propella does offer the option to purchase a second battery, to help fight that range anxiety.
The upcoming 9S Pro is likely to fit the bill for more riders. The 9S pro comes equipped with a larger battery and a more powerful motor (350w motor and a 9.7ah battery). But sticks to the “elegant, lightweight and affordable” mission of Propella. (41lbs and 1699 MSRP) We are excited for the 9S Pro to release in August 2022. But cannot speak highly enough of the 7S and the other great offerings that Propella has. We cannot wait to see what this US based company has in store for the future.
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Top Ebike Brands Wrap Up
If you are shopping for an electric bike you can’t go wrong with any brands in our top ebike brands list. They all are reputable ebike brands with an established history in the electric bike space. It’s going to be exciting to see the new models coming out of these brands.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Hi. I live in Santa Fe, NM. What’s your recommendation for a good mountain/trail bike, some flat terrain, and some up the mountain trails. Thanks!
Depends on your price range. There are so many great E-MTBs on the market today! Depending on the trails something like the Vvolt Sirius might be an option: https://ebikeescape.com/vvolt-e-mobility-ebikes-launches-with-four-belt-drive-models/
I moved to mexico but cannot find a Mex E bike. Can you suggest a company or some company that ships to mexico
Thank you for all the great information you provide for the e-bikes. However I am running into a problem finding e-bikes for 300-380lb person. As I like to bike as much as anyone else. Are there any e-bike companies out there that accommodate this. It would be for all around use, Pavements concrete, mild dirt road etc… Thank you.
Hi Paw, Vvolt’s framesets have a weight limit of 440 lbs but they say to contact them regarding modifications: https://bit.ly/2VPMy8q The other company that comes to mind is Biktrix, weight limits depend on model but they have higher capacities than most: https://lddy.no/wzo3 Hope this helps!
I highly recommend Benno Bikes. The Boost is a fantastic bike. Very reliable. Strong. They are powered by Bosch. Practically Bullitt proof and fun to ride!!
Hi Ryan, I love your YouTube channel, great job! My husband and I will be purchasing e bikes (through your affiliate link, of course). We are looking to spend around 2000 per bike. He is 6’1 and I am 5’3 so I’m thinking Aventon might be our best option because of different frame size. I would like something with good range and comfort. I have found that my current hybrid trek bike gives me Wrist pain, also without any suspension it is a bumpy ride. We will be moving to Florida so I hope to find something that can go on paved trail as well as the sandy. crushed shell paths that can find in Florida Do you think aventon is our best choice? I also really like the Rad bike company. We do not require a folding bike, by the way. Thanks for your help!
Hi Ryan! Thank you for all of this information. I am 5’2”, 105#, 48 yo female in good physical shape and am stumped between the Aventon Level and the Ride1Up 700. I haven’t ridden the R1U but Комментарии и мнения владельцев from owners are making me lean that way. The one thing about the Level is that I don’t think I will get the exercise that I would like bc the PAS is so strong on #1. I like how the Pace 500 felt but the NexGen does not allow one to have a back fenderbasket. I really want both. I’m scared to get a bike that depends on ME to put it together. Plus, what if I don’t even like it? Can you help me decide??
Both great options! Call around to see if they will assemble your ebike. Perhaps you live near an Aventon dealer.
Hello, I noticed you actually reply to every, thank you! My gf is 4″8 is there an e bike that would fit her?
Hello, What we really need to know is what her inseam measurement is? Really any step-thru design bike will fit her for stand over height. However figuring out the most comfortable pedaling bike, inseam measurement is going to be really important here. Will keep an eye out for your reply. Best, JT
Hi! I live in San Diego and although most of the terrain is flat, I’d like to use to commute to work (3mi with some up hill). Mostly going to be used as a cruiser…any recommendations? Is there a brand that you’d recommend over another?
Hard to narrow it down to just one. The market has so many great options right now. Some of out favorite brands have to be Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, or Ride1up. They all offer great cruiser style bikes, just comes down to some personal preferences at that point. Take a look into those brands, and let us know if you have any specific questions about any models.
I’m a long-time experienced rider who has been off the bike for a while. I don’t know much about ebikes but am learning fast. This article is great! Thank you! I’m 6’1″, 235 lbs., and looking at a ride home from work that includes a 5-mile, 1400-foot ascent. Any specific recommendations? Thanks!
I would honestly recommend a Mid-Drive ebike for you. Being that you have experience riding a bike, the Mid-drive option will feel more natural for you to ride. Ride1up Prodigy is a great option or maybe even a VVolt Sirus. We have video reviews on both if you are curious about them. Ebike Escape YouTube Channel Hope that helps.
Just watched your video on the Propella 7S v4. I’ve never watch a bike being built; very entertaining! I have the Propella. Wanted a light weight low priced good bike. And that is what I got. Tell me, if I want more power and a longer ride ….and insist on Light Weight, have you found anything comparable to the Propella? I did notice that Propella was not included on your list of favorites. Tell me more
Hello John. For the price, there is not anything else we have found. If you are willing to spend a bit more GT makes a bike called the eGrade and there are a couple of other “big box” brands that have similar offerings. But for the budget-minded, Propella takes the cake. Thank you for pointing out the “Top Ebike Brands” Page. They are actually listed on there, I just forgot to add them to the “Jump to” section at the top. Will fix that now. We are very excited to try out the 9Pro in the near future.
Hello, can i ask why lectric ebikes are so low on the list? Does it have to do with quality? Thank you
Their placement on this list has nothing to do with quality. The list is just written in the order of us “discovering” and adding the brands. It is not in descending order or anything of that nature.
My wife is 5’0 and watched your video on the Velotric Discover 1 Commuter Bike. Her inseam is around 26″. She prefers a ST frame. Is there a different Bike that you would recommend in a similar price range?
The Aventon Pace 350 or Ride1up Core-5 are both options. Really for any ebike I think she will not be able to be stopped and sit on the seat. But she should still be able to pedal them all with little issue.
Hello! What a wealth of information you provide! Thanks! Here are my specifics; 70 years old, live on a dirt/gravel road with hills around me. Don’t have the storage space for a 4×4 plus years ago, when living in the city I had a Trek road bike that I loved! So.with all this being said and with all the brand’s available could you filter out what brands you would recommend? I know this might be a tall job given my needs so any help you can give would be appreciated!
There are quite a few brands that fit your needs. But I think I need a bit more information based upon some things you said. Are you looking for an ebike that can replace a 4×4? Do you need a step-through frame? Is the weight of the ebike an issue? What are you looking to do with it? Ride it to town to do errands?
70 year old 5’10”, 175#. Want to ride but have neck injury so need to reduce up and down jerky movements, need step thru, upright position. Ideally would like folding, but comfort most important. Any ideas for me? Whatever I buy I will do thru your links, your site is fantastic!
I would hate to recommend something for you and have it irritate your neck injury. What I would really recommend for you would be to go to a riding center or find a dealer near you for ebikes. That way you could try out some ebikes before making any purchases.
Ryan, I’m interested in a folding eBike with a mid motor and carbon belt drive, and would love to see you do a review of the Evelo DASH. I want to compare it with the Electric Bike Company model F and get your opinion about the comparison between the two. Thanks
We will definitely add that to our “wish” list of ebikes to review. It looks like an awesome-ly spec’d ebike.
I’ve been watching a lot of your videos and I say you are doing a superb job of helping every type of rider!! I’m a 71 year old female who is on the look for my 1st ebike. I think I need 2! A small, lightweight for camping and a better one for around town. I’m leaning towards Lectric for camping and Rad for home. However, there’s a Pedego dealer very close to me. I’m very mechanical, but the idea of having support nearby is tugging at my heartstrings. I better visit Pedego. Don’t you agree? And of course, I’ll purchase through you, to repay you for all your help!
Completely agree. Having local service and availability of parts is hard to pass up. We wouldn’t fault you for following your heart on that one.
Hoping to get an opinion on my quest to find an e-bike that meets my needs. Here are my wants. Need bike with enough power to handle moderate/steep hills. Need to be able to carry a passenger, my 6yo son. I am around 250lbs and son is 44 lbs. Prefer fat tire type bike with step thru or lower top post. Needs to be configurable for class 3. Can’t spend more than 2500 or so. Here is where I’m at in the process. I first tried Radrunner plus. Good support for hauling kid on back but very unpowered. Had a tough time getting up fairly steep hilll had to pedal really hard. So retuned that. Then bought juiced bikes rip current s due to powerful motor. Bike was damaged on arrival and they took too long to replace so I moved on. Now I’m looking at Blix Utra. It seems to have the right mix. Nice hefty rear rack that can support 150lbs. 750 watt motor with peak output around 1300 watts. Any issues with Blix in general? I also like the aventon aventure but rear rack not as solid and they have throttle lag issue that I don’t like. I would rather have a 1000 watt motor but prob don’t really need it. Any others I should look at? Thanks in advance for any info.
We recently reviewed the Blix Packa and have nothing but good things to say about it. It might even replace Ryan’s current kid hauler, the Radwagon 4. I think the Blix Dubbel might actually fit what you are looking for a bit more. Currently in Pre-Order, but should be shipping in November: https://bit.ly/3ye1VaO (affiliate link)
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I like the form factor and versatility (off road, etc)of the Ultra. The Dubbel has a similar form factor to the Radrunner Plus, which I felt was too small for me, being 6’1″. One other question for you. My only remaining concern about the Ultra is use of the Shengyi motor over the more common Bafang, which appears to be the gold standard for e-bike motors. Any concerns there?
Not really. Hub motors have been around for a long time, and are really a proven component. Shengyi looks to have been making motors for close to 20 years (established in 2003). Blix also has a 1 year warranty on motors and frames (which is standard, but always nice to see).
Love your YouTube videos! I am interested in the Priority Current. Have you ridden one and do you have an opinion on this model. Do you have an alternative recommendation to the Current? Thanks and keep up the good work!
We have not ridden any Priority ebikes. They look like some nice spec’d models. We are big fans of mid-drive ebikes. Ride1Up has the Prodigy ST or XR and we are fans of the Vvolt ebikes. Both of those ebikes we have video reviews on.
To be honest I have 2 Focus bikes, a 29ner hardtail and a full suspension, know my bikes, work on them and do Centuries, I’m 74. Bought a Rad and Lectric bike and sold them, didn’t like mechanical brakes and too slow. Recenty bought a Magic Cycle Oscelot Pro and couldn’t be happier. Techtro hydrolic brakes, the best and up to 80 mile range with pedal assist. Have gone 75 miles with partial throttle. Army Green, in my opinion the welds are fantastic and components are great. Too bad they are not on your list, far superior to your #1 Rad bike. And they have only been in business for 2 years. Will purchase the Cruiser Pro upon the sale of one of my Focus bikes. Just my opinion. Also the best packaging upon receipt!
Which ebike are you talking about? If you are just getting something fixed up on the mechanical side of the bike, most local shops should be able to help.
I am so torn between Rad Rover plus 6 steps-through and Aventon Aventure 2 step-through. What’s your recommendation.
They are both great bikes. The Aventure offers a different look and a slightly more powerful motor. Is there something specific that is holding you back from one vs the other?
Thank you so much for your fast response! The weight of the bike, and the customer service. I am not sure which customer service is better. I would like to not have issues and can’t reach anybody. I wish it was a Walmart product. Do you think purchasing it online is the same as a dealer’s? I would like to purchase online. I don’t want to pay almost 2000 for a piece of metal that can’t be ridden.
Best Electric Bikes for Seniors 2023
48 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Electric Bike Report aims to help consumers find the right electric bike for their needs. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
Whether you’re looking to get back on a bicycle for the first time in years or you’re just looking for a forgiving way to get back in shape, the number of seniors getting into e-bikes has exploded over the past several years.
The team at Electric Bike Report is often asked for our opinion on the best electric bikes for seniors, enough so that we put our heads together and came up with this list of our favorites.
Electric bikes have fast emerged as one of the most low-impact and most senior-friendly modes of exercise. While the small motor helps take the edge off obstacles — like hills — that may have kept some seniors off traditional pedal bikes in the past, they still require enough physical effort to make for a great workout. They’ve also been proven to help maintain cognitive and mental health among older riders — the light assist from an e-bike, according to one study, can inspire confidence and improve self-esteem in older people who may feel limited by mobility issues.
Thanks to the assistance of a motor and battery, there’s a laundry list of e-bikes that work well for seniors. This list is a selection of our favorites.
How we picked the best e-bikes for seniors
There are undoubtedly many seniors who read the above list and scoff because the bikes we chose are too laid back or aren’t fast enough.
That’s fine, we’ve got recommendations for other e-bikes (like electric fat bikes and high-speed commuters) that might suit your tastes better. But while what makes someone a “senior” is nothing more than their age, there are certain considerations that often come up when we get asked for our opinion on the best e-bikes for older riders. Those considerations often involve mobility constraints, concerns over balance and flexibility and whether a bike’s riding position is too aggressive. Oftentimes, on top of any one of those considerations, this is that person’s first time back on a bicycle in a long, long time.
This list was made with those seniors in mind.
We used a few key criteria to compile this list, mainly:
- Stability and comfort: Comfort and how stable they feel on the bike is often high on the mind of older riders. Bikes that earn a spot on this list shouldn’t just be supportive, they should invoke a feeling of confidence in corners and over varying terrain.
- Quality and components: We evaluate each bike’s spec sheet to make sure manufacturers are making good component choices; a good bike is much more than its frame.
- Value: What are you getting for your money? Are the components better than average and is the craftsmanship on par? We also account for things more intangible than parts bolted to the bike, such as quality customer support, brand reputation and the availability of good in-person service.
- Power and range: How fast does the bike go and how far can I ride on a single charge? These questions are often the first on the mind of someone shopping for a new e-bike so they’re at the top of our mind, too.
- Was it built specifically with seniors in mind?: This may seem like an obvious one, but we tried to find e-bikes built specifically for older generations of riders. Do these design characteristics make sense and are they executed well?
This list does not cover every single bike on the market today that would be a good option for seniors and older riders. In fact, I think most of the EBR staff would argue that almost any e-bike would be a good option for seniors. But, based on a plethora of reader questions (we get TONS of questions about e-bikes for seniors), we compiled this list of our recommendations that we feel are suited best for the fast-growing demographic of older e-bike enthusiasts.
Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus ST
When considering our list of the Best Electric Bikes for Seniors, the Dutch-inspired RadCity 5 ST (step-through), has the “whole enchilada.” This user-friendly e-bike from Rad Power Bikes has the main features and components – comfort, stability, power and quality – that are preferred by older riders.
Classic design and exceptional performance are two distinctions not always found on electric bikes. The classic Dutch style provides a posture for comfortable riding, and the step-through frame produces rider stability. Powered by a 750-watt rear hub motor, the RadCity 5 ST cruises with distinction, and never feels like it wants to jump out from under you.
Energizing the sleekly integrated 12.3-amp hour battery, sleekly integrated into the frame bottom tube, to help you travel up to 50 miles between charges. Helping you maintain good looks while in a logjam, the half-twist grip throttle gives you the quick acceleration you need to dart ahead.
As this bike makes you look good as you go, it also confers an air of eminence as you stop. The hydraulic brakes perform well and the suspension forks keep you in control. The medium size aluminum frame can accommodate riders ranging in height from 4’8” to 6’0”. The tires are 27.5” x 2” puncture-resistant tires and you get riding experience that makes you feel in full control.
With its 15-inch seat post tube, this bike is sure to be a hit with shorter riders. The 275 lbs capacity allows for heavier riders or riding with cargo, using one or more of the optional rack accessories.
Looking at all the features this e-bike includes, the RadCity 5 ST is a great deal.
- Stable, comfortable posture makes it easy to climb aboard and ride for miles.
- Predictable handling, the power from the 750W motor is nice and moderate at low speed with plenty of torque for climbing.
- Rad’s reputation in the affordable customer service
- The NUTT hydraulic disk brakes are spectacular under hard braking. This bike set a new record for the best stopping distance of any e-bike we’ve reviewed.
- Rear rack capable of carrying lbs of cargo.
- The cable tidiness from the handlebars can be better. Instead of shortening cables where needed, they’re managed in zip-tied clumps that detract from the overall finish of the bike.
- The dual display setup is a unique and useful design, but the left-hand display can be tough to read in direct sunlight.
Blix Sol Eclipse
Many senior riders will appreciate the Blix Sol Eclipse as a classic step-thru beach cruiser. It’s comfort, control and stability will make you want to ride it often. Its stylish looks are enhanced by its powerful 750-watt motor that can really climb hills.
This Class 2 e-bike has a throttle that gives you that extra oomph when you need it. The motor is managed by the pedal assist system (PAS) featuring 5 levels that will take you up to 20 mph. Energy is provided by the 48-volt, 12.8 amp-hour battery that will take you up to 45 miles between charges. The 17.8” medium/large frame accommodates riders between the height of 5-1 to 6-2. Enhancing riding comfort is the comfy wide seat.
Designed to provide an upright riding position, this bike is great for casual cruising down any street, path, or trail. The Sol Eclipse comes with a front cargo rack (50 lbs capacity) and a rear rack (55 lbs capacity) that will help carry groceries, or a little one in style. The total capacity is 270 lbs, and most child bike seats can be mounted on the rear rack. Total weight of this e-bike is 56 lbs, which makes lifting a little easier than other cruiser e-bikes.
A great feature is the USB charging port you can use to charge your smartphone or other electronic accessory. The Blix Sol Eclipse is a quality bike at a budget-friendly price, so if you’re looking for a simple e-bike that is easy to ride and will provide you tons of fun, then you should consider this as your next e-bike.
Blix sells and ships their bikes directly to consumers. Some final assembly is required after the bike is delivered to you. They offer assistance with in-home assembly.
- Great for easy, leisurely rides – you’ll want to ride this e-bike a lot!
- RetroShift makes it easy to change gears.
- Good gear range with the 14-28T cassette and 48T chainring.
- Powerful 750w motor, great hill climber.
- Quality components, competitively price
- Comfortable seat ergonomics during our 100-plus mile series of test rides.
- Stylish looking beach cruiser, available in 4 colors.
- Throttle still active at PAS 1, safer to have auto shut off.
- PAS 1 and 2 are underpowered, mostly used PAS 3 – 5.
Aventon Pace 500 Step-Through
Seniors looking for a casual cruising bike that packs power will like this e-bike. With its upright cruiser frame, this Class 3 (throttle and PAS up to 28 mph) e-bike offers a good balance of comfort and power. The 500w motor dishes out power when you need it, and the 48-volt 12.8-amp hour battery will take you up to 60 miles.
The Pace 500 ST’s 500-watt rear hub motor, 5-level pedal assist system and throttle offer a great mix of cruising speed and acceleration – when you need it. We never felt like the bike wanted to storm ahead and shake us out of our seats – something less experienced riders will definitely like. The Zoom hydraulic disc brake system
The upright positioning and nimble handling made this bike feel more like a city commuter as we maneuvered around sharp corners and obstacles. The Shimano Acera 8-speed makes pedaling pretty pleasant in every gear. Stylish but simple looking, the Pace 500 ST has two frame sizes – medium and large, in four available colors.
Rolling this 53 lbs lightweight down the road on 27.5” x 2.2” Kenda multi-purpose tires, stopping is managed with the help of Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, which automatically shut of the motor when in use. Also keeping you safe are the integrated headlight and taillight.
This e-bike satisfies the needs of most senior riders with its reliable performance, good design and a comfortable ride. Whether you’re an experienced rider looking for something more casual, or someone getting back into riding after a long hiatus, we think you will have fun riding this e-bike. Aventon has dealers throughout the US and also ships bikes to buyer’s homes. Some assembly is required.
- Powerful 500w motor engages smoothly with the rider’s pedaling
- Upgraded 12.8 Ah battery can take you up to 65 miles on a single charge.
- Great ergonomics providing a comfortable ride.
- Adjustable stem makes sizing a snap for different size riders.
- Zoom hydraulic brakes provide safe stopping power.
- Shimano Acera 8-speed gives good range with no ghost pedaling.
- Rear rack can carry 55 lbs of cargo.
- Pedaling in turns might cause the pedal to scrape the ground, due to the low bottom bracket and 170mm long crank.
- Suspension forks and seat post would be nice to round out rider comfort.
Lectric XP 3.0 ST
Lectric’s XP 3.0 is a great e-bike for seniors due to it’s comfort, stability, and value, But it also has a feature most other e-bikes don’t have – it’s a folding e-bike. The folding frame is convenient for storing, whether it be an RV, car trunk or small apartment, and is convenient to transport, which is great for seniors who want to take their e-bike when they travel. This e-bike has a simple design, is easy to ride, and very affordable.
The XP 3.0 is a Class 2 e-bike, which means the throttle and pedal assist system (PAS) will help this bike reach a top speed of 20 mph. It’s a little heavy for its size at 64 lbs, but it can carry 150 lbs of cargo on its rear rack, which means you can carry a passenger larger than a small child. The overall capacity for this e-bike is 330 lbs.
The 500-watt motor has more than enough power to move this bike, and the 48-volt, 10.4 amp-hour battery offers a range of up to 45 miles on a single charge. Rolling on 20” x 3” all-terrain tires, the short wheel base and low profile provides good handling and good overall control. This e-bike can accommodate rider heights from 4’10 to 6’1.”
This e-bike is well-suited for senior riders in its ease at shifting, thanks to the Shimano Tourney 7-speed shifter, and the easy pedaling provided by the efficient gear range. With this being a more affordable ebike, the XP 3.0 uses mechanical brakes that stop almost as well as hydraulic brakes. One of the benefits of having less expensive brakes is the lower cost in fixing and replacing them as well.
Considering all the options that come on this bike, such as folding frame, good power and range, and cargo capacity, the XP 3.0 is competitively priced. Selling for under 1400, this is the most affordable e-bike on our Seniors list.
- Great hill climbing from the 500.2w motor’s peak output of 1000w and 55Nm of torque.
- Gearing range from the 11-28T cassette is in balance with motor engagement and no awkward pedaling.
- 180mm rotors and mechanical brakes stop superb, while keeping costs down.
- Coil spring fork, with 50mm travel, absorbs bumps well.
- Rear rack has 150-lb capacity, accommodates a child passenger heavier than the 55 lb average on other e-bikes.
- Can’t remove the battery key when riding, which increases the risk of losing the key when parked.
Rad Power Bikes RadTrike
Rad Power Bikes’ new RadTrike made our list of Best e-Bike for Seniors because it is the most stable and well constructed trike that’s available at an affordable price. Also consider Rad has been around since 2007, is an authority in e-bike manufacturing and is one of the leading e-bike distributors in the U.S., and you can see why we picked their e-trike for our list.
The RadTrike’s load capacity is 415 lbs, which includes 325 lbs for the rider, 60 lbs for the rear rack, and 30 lbs on the front rack. The frame dimensions can hit a wide variety of rider heights, with its low 13.4” bottom tube, 28″ – 35.4″ seat height, and 18.1″ handlebar reach riders as short as 4 ’10” to as tall as 6′ 4″ can adjust the Trike to accommodate their size.
RadTrike is designed to be stable and allow the rider to be in control at all times. Its maximum speed is capped at 14 mph. The 750-watt front hub motor climbs hills exceptionally well. The pedal assist system (PAS) has five levels, 1 – 5, and comes with a throttle when you need quick bursts of power when starting from a stop.
The 10 amp-hour battery can take you up to 50 miles between charges. The drive train consists of one single 16T gear rear axle and only distributes power to the right wheel. The left wheel spins freely. That allows for both rear wheels to spin at the speed they need to spin at to make safe turns. Trikes that had mid-drive or rear hub motors make both rear wheels spin at the same speed, which can make the bike tip over or crash.
Stopping is provided by the reverse pedal activated coaster brake on the rear wheels, and the front mechanical disc brake. The Trikecan folded and transported in the back of most SUVs. The strong steel frame gives it a total weight of 82 lbs, which means for most, lifting the RadTrike. is a two-person task.
Rad has a good shipping and customer service history as a direct-to-consumer seller. They can ship your RadTrike to your home or mailing address, with only minimal assembly required. If you aren’t sure you can do the necessary finishing work to make your RadTrike. road ready, then be sure to find someone local who will either come to your house to complete, or have the RadTrike. delivered to a shop that will do the work. Rad offers buyers a 14-day trial, so you can make sure this e-bike is for you. Purchase includes a limited 1-year warranty.
- One of the most affordable, quality electric trikes on the market.
- Designed with safety in mind, capping top speed at 14 mph.
- Unique free wheel design makes this trike handle better and much safer in turns.
- Great ergonomics: seat, back rest, grips, handlebar reach, leg extension to the pedals – all designed for max comfort.
- Powerful 750w motor overtook every hill we needed to climb.
- Depending on your speed and reliance on the motor, range is between 25-59 miles.
- Size convenient for getting through doorways and storing at home or in car.
- Folding design makes it easier to transport and store when not using
- This trike deserves a torque sensor to better manage motor engagement with the pedaling, and efficiently manage battery use.
Specialized Turbo Como 3.0
The Specialized Turbo Como IGH 3.0 is among the best as a high quality top performing commuter e-bike. With its comfortable geometry, sleek and stylish design, and lightweight aluminum frame, this e-bike is perfect for the senior rider looking for a bike that needs less maintenance and can better withstand outdoor conditions.
Propelling this Como 3.0 is the Specialized proprietary Rx Street Tune 250-watt mid-drive motor. With its smooth, silent running, free of vibrations, this throttle-less Class 3 motor has a pedal assist system (PAS) that will take you to a top speed of 28 mph. Rather than using a cassette and derailleur like most bikes, Specialized uses the Enviolo CVP Multi-Turn internal gear hub [IGH], which provides smooth, trouble-free shifting.
Powering the motor is the 10.4 amp-hour battery, frame integrated and removable for re-charging and storage.
The 2.2-inch LCD display has a USB port for you to recharge your smartphone. The 27.5” x 2.3” Pathfinder Sport Reflect tires handle great and keep you in control. You can use this e-bike for commuting and for cargo. Front and rear cargo baskets can enable you to carry up 75 lbs (30 lbs front, 45 lbs rear) for a total of 275 lbs.
The Specialized Como 3.0 IGH is like the Cadillac of commuter e-bikes for seniors. That means the quality build and components are reflected in the total price. But you know you’re getting a high quality e-bike when you buy from them, which says a lot about the overall value.
- High quality design, build and components from a top bike company.
- 250w proprietary mid-drive motor produces great power, and 50Nm of torque while economizing on energy.
- Ergonomically designed for ride comfort will keep you on the seat longer than you thought.
- Custom frame-integrated 48v, 10.4Ah battery will take you up to 90 miles on a single charge.
- High quality gearing with internal gear hub to withstand elements, no greasy sprocket
- Awesome stopping power with the Shimano BR-MT200, hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors.
- Built-in lift handle for easy maneuvering.
- High quality comes at a price, the price on this e-bike is around 3400.
- Most American riders will encounter a learning curve when first riding on the internal gear hub.
Blix Packa Genie
The Blix Pack Genie e-bike is a one-of-a-kind, built to carry cargo like no other cargo e-bike we’ve tested, which is why it’s on our list of Best e-bikes for Seniors. The stability and control this bike offers is surprising when considering its size. The rear cargo capacity allows you to carry 150 lbs, which could be groceries and a grandchild – amazing!
The step-through frame and 23“ height between the ground and step-over point makes it easy to climb on and off the bike (if you need a boost up, there are inexpensive folding step stools you can use and carry on one of the racks). Riders ranging in height from 5’1” to 6’3” will find they fit this cargo bike very well.
You get a lot of power from the 750-watt rear hub, which really matters when you’re carrying the extra passenger or cargo. Energy for the motor comes from the 48-volt, 12.8 amp-hour battery.
Stopping ability is provided by the Bengal hydraulic disk brakes. Changing gears is through the Shimano Acera 7-speed, making pedaling easier and the ride more fun. The 24” x 2.4” puncture-resistant tires cushion you from the bumps and rough parts of the road. This bike can take a 250 lbs rider weight, and its total weight is 75 lbs.
But aside from that, the Blix Packa Genie really offers a lot of value for your money, especially when you consider the basic one-battery e-bike which sells for under 2000.
- Good quality, value-priced e-cargo bike that lets you carry up to 400 lbs (up to 200 lbs of cargo)
- Great handling for an e-cargo bike. Riding around I easily forgot that the bike is 81” long
- Lots of accessories, making it easy to load the bike up with cargo and/or kids
- Very long range with dual battery setup (up to nearly 80 miles in our real-world range test)
- Powerful climbing hills, even when loaded up with weight
- Good, quality components (hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano drivetrain)
- Easy to get on/off thanks to 24” wheels and low, 19.4” step-over frame
- This is me being super nit-picky, but I’d like to see a slightly larger front chainring. On PAS 5 you really don’t have to pedal much at all to get the bike cruising at 20 MPH.
- You can do so much with this bike, and there are a ton of accessories already. I just want more – specifically some type of large cargo basket for the rear rack.
Denago Commute Model 1 ST
Denago Commute Model 1 ST makes our list of best step-through e-bikes for seniors based on its user-friendly acceleration, riding comfort, and overall value. The Shengyi 500w motor makes this a Class 3 e-bike (throttle and PAS limited at 28 mph). The motor is calibrated to give the senior rider a happy medium with its tempered acceleration. This bike will make you feel like you’re in control at all times.
Power to the motor comes from the 48v 13.6 Ah battery which will take you up to 45 miles between charges. Using the Microshift 8-speed, this bike has a gearing setup that is senior-friendly, providing gear options that work with your pedaling efforts and the road conditions. Whether you’re going uphill, or using PAS 5 on a straight away, this e-bike won’t leave you feeling under-powered or out of control.
The Commute is 66 lbs, a little heavier than similar style e-bikes, but the Zoom hydraulic disc brakes work well bringing it to a stop. The Zoom suspension seatpost and suspension forks do a good job absorbing the bumps. Riding atop 27.5” x 2.6” puncture resistant tires gives you positive traction and good overall handling in pavement, gravel and dirt roads.
Denago has priced the Commuter 1 for under 2000. When looking at the quality components and overall design, this bike has a lot of value with its price. Taking into account its stability, comfort and reliability, it is also a good e-bike option for seniors.
- Good mid and top end power from 500.2w Shengyi hub motor Class 3 (PAS limit 28 mph).
- 48-volt, 13.6Ah integrated battery has a low-key look and provided 27 Mi. of range in PAS 5.
- 8-speed gearing great for top speed and climbing hills.
- Good traction from 27.5 x 2.6-in.-wide tires.
- Frame size and reach well-suited for taller riders, too.
- Theft protection provided by PIN lock.
Rad Power Bikes – RadRunner 3 Plus
Whether you’re a senior looking for an alternative to your car, a good small cargo bike or an electric bike that will seat another person, the RadRunner 3 Plus, from Rad Power Bikes, could be the e-bike you’re looking for. This Class 2 e-bike features a well thought out frame design and a powerful 750-watt motor that will power you and your goodies all around town.
The RadRunner 3 Plus has a newly designed frame with a hauling capacity of 350 lbs. There is tons of versatility with what you can carry when using the optional rear passenger seat, front and rear racks with plenty of optional accessories, and an optional trailer.
The 750-watt motor is also newly designed and really wowed us with its performance. Distributing power from the bike chain is the 7-speed Shimano Altus shifter/derailleur, which worked well with the motor when pedaling in low gears, on hills, and flat straightaways. This bike has a right grip twist throttle. Providing greater safety and sure-footed stopping power is the upgraded hydraulic brake system. The brakes worked well for us when carrying cargo.
Considering all the features on the RadRunner 3 Plus, you definitely get a great bang for your e-bike buck. To learn more about this e-bike, or for information on price and availability, please click the link below.
- Thanks to its weight capacity, frame style, and 350-lb weight capacity, the RadRunner 3 Plus is hugely versatile e-bike.
- Tons of optional accessories, like additional seats, lockable hard-shell panniers, and even the new Rad Trailer, allow the bike to carry kids and pets, or haul just about anything.
- With a cargo rack significantly longer than previous models, the RadRunner 3 Plus has plenty of room for passengers or gear.
- Compared to earlier models, the bike’s frame is stronger and more maneuverable, while still accommodating riders between 4′-10″ and 6′-2″.
- The RadRunner 3 Plus feels great and handles well thanks to its improved motor, 3.3″ tires, and BMX-style handlebars.
- The bike’s PAS system offers a wide range of assistance levels to match the preferences of a wider range of riders.
- Comfort is at the forefront, with the bike’s upright positioning, improved saddle, suspension fork with 60mm of travel, and 17″ standover height.
- Currently in development, a second battery will be available soon to double the RadRunner 3 Plus’ range!
- The bike’s updated frame design and semi-integrated battery are welcome sights that also look great!
- We love the overall visual redesign, but still wish the bike had better cable management and came in more than just one color – but these things are pretty minor when considering all of the Pros!
- The single-leg kickstand is a bit of a downgrade from previous models that used a dual-leg one. This version is easier to use, but isn’t quite as effective when loading cargo.
Electric Bike Company Model S
The Model S, from the Electric Bike Company, is great for seniors, combining a classic look with quality components on a bike virtually anyone can ride. Its welded rear rack, with a 55 lbs capacity, is great for carrying groceries, picnic goodies, and even a bike seat for the grandchild. Add an optional front rack, and you can carry another 45 lbs of fun.
Powering you along with goodies at hand is a powerful 500-watt motor, claimed to be the best e-bike motor in the world. It has a 10-year warranty, which is the best in the industry, and gives the buyer greater value. The 12 amp-hour battery can provide enough energy for 60 miles of riding in between charges.
Designed to offer great ergonomics for comfortable posture, the 27” wide handlebars are easy to reach. The super comfy seat is great for longer rides, and the 7-speed shifting and pedal assist adjustments on the LCD display safely control your speed. The aluminum frame will accommodate a rider height range of 5’2” to 6’ 10” and the total weight capacity is 420 lbs, making this bike very inviting to almost anyone.
Optional anti-theft alarm is available, as well as numerous accessories, including a suspension seat post for smoother rides, and a variety of cargo carrying items. The Electric Bike Company sells directly to consumers, which means this bike arrives fully built, making it convenient for seniors who aren’t comfortable using tools.
All in all, you get a lot of value with this superbly built e-bike.
- 10-year warranty on motor – great value.
- Great riding control and stability for new and returning riders.
- Smooth, reliable power from the 500w motor.
- Impressive 65 mile range from the 48v 18Ah battery.
- Color LCD display was easy to see while riding, giving pertinent details.
- Good stopping power from Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes.
- Weight capacity 420 lbs, welcomes most riders, regardless of weight.
- Optional suspension seat post smooths the bumps, and many accessories for customizing rider needs.
- We would like to see an optional suspension fork for smoother rides.
- High priced bike (but it does feature high quality components.)
Evelo Galaxy SL
Senior riders who are more active and who want an e-bike with innovative features will really like the Evelo Galaxy SL. Featuring its state of the art Enviolo gear hub and 500-watt Dapu mid-drive motor, the Galaxy comes packaged with nifty components that provide unique riding experiences and add value to your purchase.
The Enviolo continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a new take on the old internal gear hub that you see on Dutch bikes. With a manual twist shifter, you can change gears when you’re not moving and the unit needs very little maintenance throughout the life of the bike.
The Dapu 500-watt mid-drive motor is of higher quality than most motors you see elsewhere, and it complements your pedaling, rather than replacing it. When climbing hills you will appreciate the 95 Newton-meters of torque it generates – something mid-drive motors are known for. This e-bike comes with a throttle and is chain-driven.
The rear rack-mounted 36V, 13Ah battery allows for the shorter step-through frame, and is super easy to remove for charging and security. The battery should last for 50 miles between charges, depending on your shifting and pedaling.
The SL has rigid suspension, which helps keep the weight down, and the Zoom hydraulic brakes provide good stopping power. Complementing the shorter frame height are the 24” x 2.4” wheels, providing good traction and handling on pavement and gravel roads. The 350 lbs capacity allows you to take advantage of the cargo-carrying accessories that are available. But if you just want to ride this e-bike as is, then you will appreciate its light 52-lb weight.
So, in conclusion, the Evelo Galaxy SL is a unique e-bike more suited to active senior riders. But the technological features can help elevate your riding experiences to new levels. Evelo sells and ships e-bikes directly to consumers, and their bikes are delivered with some final assembly required. Shipping is included in the price of the bike, and they offer a 21-day at home trial offer, allowing you to make sure this is the e-bike for you.
- Enviolo’s continuously variable planetary transmission provides effortless gear changes and low maintenance.
- Peppy 500-watt mid-drive motor still provides a traditional riding experience.
- Low step-over makes it easy to hop on.
- Lightweight build, easy to maneuver, transport and store.
- Quality components give added value, especially Evelo’s 4-year, 20K mile warranty.
- Smooth, predictable motor engagement with pedaling, enables safe speed selections.
- Classic styling harkins to an earlier era of bicycling, but with modern amenities.
- expensive, but you’re getting a higher quality electric bike.
- Riders unfamiliar with CVT gear hubs may face a learning curve; plus upshifting is difficult in the first 500 miles.
Summary: Electric Bikes Keep Seniors Active, Happy And Healthy
I’ve spent most of my life riding bicycles, and I like knowing that electric bikes are there to keep me riding no matter my age.
E-bikes are sometimes called the great equalizer of cycling. Cycling, as a sport and a mode of transportation, was formerly reserved for the (relatively) young and fit; those unfazed by hills and long durations of physical exertion. But e-bikes, thanks to their small motor and battery, make it so that anyone — no matter their age, fitness level or ability — can enjoy going for a bike ride. E-bikes make hills feel flatter, accelerations easier and give riders the power to choose exactly how much they want to ask of their bodies when riding a bike.
I like to think of it as the democratization of bikes.
Few demographics have been more impacted by e-bikes than the older generations of riders. Not only do they give existing cyclists the power to continue riding at any age, it’s helping people who haven’t ridden a bike in years rediscover the sport. They’re less intimidating, more forgiving and can give you the sensation of turning back the clock to a version of you that used to do laps around the neighborhood on a one-speed bicycle.
We’ve spent hours testing with many of the bikes on this list, testing their braking, handling and acceleration to demonstrate how they handle in the real world. So if you’re a senior on the hunt for an e-bike, you’ve come to the right place.
Now you’ve seen all our picks for the best electric bike for seniors in 2023. Are there others you think should make the list? Let us know down in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
One crappy bike after another. If your goal is to get a bike that breaks down then by all means, buy one of these. If your goal is to get a bike that lurches when you start to pedal, get one of these. If you want a super unstable trike that wants to tip over in turns, get the one they list here. If your goal is a reliable, safe and easy to ride, then go to your local IBD that sells quality bikes and listen to their recommendations. This list represents nothing more than paid advertising. Look elsewhere for advice
Nope, several solid and better bikes were left out including the fact that none of the Gazelle bikes were listed all of which are better made and will last longer than any of these bikes.
Unfortunately, Gazelle does not make an e-bike that will better accommodate a petite person. Petite people are not necessarily lightweight people but those of us less than 62 inches tall have trouble with Gazelle e-bikes. My good friends have two Gazelle e-bikes and let me ride from time to time – while I love the experience overall, it’s frightening when I have to immediately stop or dismount. I’m too far up off the ground. Because of the quality of the Gazelle e-bikes is outstanding, I keep communicating with them about creating a customized version with 20 inch wheels and/or a compact frame. Gazelle bikes, in every other aspect, are my favorite. The only reason I have not purchased, as I get older (yes, I am a senior), the higher bikes are more daunting.
I could not miss that you did not mention your qualifications and were completely negative in your Комментарии и мнения владельцев while providing a solution of your own. When I followed the link attached to your name it took me to Freedom Folding Bikes. I submit Sir that your motives are not in the best interests of the target audience of this article. I am a senior who purchased an ebike for several reasons not the least of which is my reduced capacity to ride a traditional bike. I found the article well written and with seniors in mind. Every potential purchaser has their own criteria that needs to be met. My advice to those investigating is to talk with people who have purchased an ebike, take some out for a test ride, and to remember that only you can decide if it is right for you.
Bryan ……. I’m a 79 senior. Riding a Pedego Stretch (cargo bike) for almost 6 years with over 10k miles. Your Комментарии и мнения владельцев regarding hands on consideration and test and trial of what’s good way to decide on an e-bike are very good. Especially for seniors, who may be less interested in being their own mechanic than younger generations, finding a dealer nearby with a track record of service and being in business for a while is especially important. Also, consider that with e-bike assist, some added weight is not particularly a burden. Especially with regard to wheels and tires, because skinner tires and rough trails or streets potential for flats are something that seniors want to stay away from. Invest time in shopping and talking to experience will pay off. Being on 2 wheels is so much liberation and fun for seniors …….
And the price point on the Freedom Folding bikes is substantially higher than those in scope for this article, too. Another important point about the critical comment.
I don’t know anything about freedom bikes but cost per mile is more important to most seniors than initial price.
Couldn’t agree more. Seniors want low/no maintenance. A lot of seniors have an above average budget to spend. You only have one belt drive bike on your list. Where are the Reise Muller and Gazelle e-bikes that feature belt drives and internal gear hubs for maintenance free riding?
Agreed, lifetime costs, cost per mile and no grief are the most important factor. I have a Gazelle with 4k miles in 18 months and zero issues. From the Schwalbe Marathon tires that have never had a flat to the Bosch drive system everything is built to last.
At just 68 years old I have found my Radcity to be very reliable, safe, and easy to ride. Extremely smooth and quiet-VERY relaxing to ride.
In my case one of the most important decisions for seniors like myself when considering an e-bike is “WEIGHT”. It affects all aspects of riding and also transporting. I’ve been riding e-bikes since 2013 and I could not recommend any bike that approaches 60 pounds to a senior.
David, likewise. I’m a 50 year cyclist; road, mountain, folding (Brompton) and now e-bike (Pedego Stretch). Pedego offers many model options. The nationwide independent dealer network is especially important, unless one has the ability, tools and a lack of arthritic joints to be a bicycle mechanic. As we age, good dealer service is increasingly important consideration.
As a 69 year old senior that migrated to an e-bike two years ago due to health reasons, I find that one key item is not addressed in your recommendations. The weight of e-bikes is a significant factor to understand when buying a bike. While I understand not everyone has a need to transport their e-bike on their vehicle, those that do need to understand the following: If you want to transport your bike on a car rack, you have be strong enough to lift it up onto the rack and take it off. (with or without your battery installed). You also have to have a car bike rack made to handle the weight of e-bikes. The only e-bike rated car racks I have seen require a car hitch, so that might limit your ability to have a bike rack if you do not have a hitch on your vehicle. You analysis and recommendations should include the weight of the e-bike.
Hi Gary! Saris makes an electric bike rack for ebikes! Check out: https://www.saris.com/product/door-county
I am 78 and ride a recumbent trike with a super pedestrian wheel on the hills of upstate New York. Excellent for seniors. Did you consider recumbent trikes in your research?
Don a great comment. Not only are recumbents more comfortable to ride, but much more attractive than the bikes in this article.
I am 85 and have been riding a three wheel Bionx assist recumbent for the past five years. My wife and I switched to recumbent trikes after crashing our mountain bikes three times each while touting on the GAP with panniers. I tried switching back to an ebike about a year ago and found them to be heaver than my trike and very short front to back. I felt very cramped and unstable.
I’m a 69 yr. Old senior with hip and knee issues. I bought a Aventon Aventure Step Thru. Other than its a little heavy as expected ,its great, especially on hills. My area is not very bike friendly, riding on the road mostly. One of my rides I can ride approx. 12 miles in 40 minutes with approx 30% hills, that’s riding on level 3 of 5. Need to work my way up to lower levels, less power, better workout,when. I want. I rode the same area. shorter rides,20 yrs ago on a Mtn bike. So much easier and more fun on ebike at almost 70 vs 50. My backside is the most limiting factor. Looking at new seat,maybe suspension seat post and tougher backside.
The saddle is crucial! It doesn’t have to be expensive. A suspension seat post is a real bonus. Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. You appear to be my age with the same problems. I built my own bike as there is nothing on the market with the features I want. (That I can afford).
Thanks for a nice report. Some of the negative Комментарии и мнения владельцев by readers are not true. I recommend that a customer test ride 3 different types of E-Bikes from 3 manufacturers before they buy a bike.
I’m 69 with some hip and knee issues riding a Aventon Aventure. I’m new to ebikes. 20 yrs ago I rode a Mtn bike. No hip or knee issues then. The ebike is much easier to ride and I can ride much further. Ebike is a lifesaver on hills or when my knee is hurting. My backside is my limit so far doesn’t last as long as the battery. The bike is a bit heavy. But I’m also a big man. 6 ft 1″, 255 lbs.
Out of all of these, the RadCity is my favourite. I suppose I am a Senior now – no escaping the fact. I wanted a bike with the things that were important to me. It had to have: Central battery,low step frame, disc brakes, hub gears, hub motor, steering stabiliser, proper centre stand, proper luggage racks, suspension forks and suspension seat post. I almost achieved what I wanted by building my own for about £800, but the frame was the limiting factor. Out of all these bikes for review, you can cross-off anything with the battery hanging off the back, central motor or fat tyres. The trike I’m not sure of, but I may have to have one in the future – who knows? I will be honest and admit I have ordered a Rad Runner as it has most of the things I/we wanted, although I’m not keen on the tyres. It is supposed to be for my wife. Time will tell.
Its true the RAD City is a well made and excellent bike. I was 81 when I rode my purchase bike 29 Miles total and fell standing still in my garage at 29 Miles dismounting. Determined bike was too heavy and sold it. I broke 3 ribs and had rehab for 3 months. I still ride a 1999 Curie kit at the beach 24V 600W MAC Chain rear Drive with 12,000 miles. The stock Kollmorgen lasted 8k miles before Hurricane rise of 5 ft in my garage where bike was hanging. Blew the controller with an audible Pop. My experience before the 90s was a kit from Mobility Co in NJ Mounted over front tire. Was friction setup with 12v tractor battery between your legs. Starter Motor with a bench Grinder disk mounted to the shaft. The mechanics was a break lever that went thru a block and tackle arrangement under the fiberglass housing which had a standard old starter switch that started the motor on contact with tire. It worked if adjusted correctly and your were moving else you grinder a hole in the tire! It was called Pedal Power Kit. From a company that pioneered Mobility Handicap Scooters in Swell NJ. Frank Flowers was the designer. For 99 it came with kit wires and battery with charger 1979. Ive narrows my new bike down to 2 Blix models. Both Step thru The Food up and Beach Cruiser light weight step thru. That’s my experience of many years peddling with Power. Bob
I was shocked that you did not list one recumbent or one trike with a body. All of the bikes listed were ugly. We older folks are still interested in riding an attractive vehicle.
Don a great comment. Not only are recumbents more comfortable to ride, but much more attractive than the bikes in this article.
Hi I’m a senior in my middle 70” always enjoyed bicycles, hiking. I have been shopping for a Trike. EBR Court give the Raleigh Tristarie IE the Izip Tristar Plus a High Rating. It was a few years ago. The price on this Trikes is 3000. The Evelo Compass Trike is at present time 4,299.00 Oct. 2021 Worth ones time, to check them out. All are good quality. Take Care Carmen
- Griffin Hales says October 11, 2021 at 5:02 pm
Thanks Carmen! We did take a look at the Compass earlier this year and enjoyed it. https://electricbikereport.com/evelo-compass-review/
I didnt get to see this article when it came out much earlier, but found it today and gave it a read. SOrry, but Chucks initial reply rings true to my own experiences dealing with older customers who still want to ride. Reliability is a HUGE factor when choosing a bike. When a bike breaks down for most people its just an inconvenience, but when that bike is a mobility device, a break down can turn a fun afternoon into a survival problem. Weight is another. I laughed when I saw the 70 pound aventure on the list! This is NOT a bike for seniors. Choose wisely from an actual bike shop and not from review shills on a website, and god forbid you pick ANYTHING from amazon! I’ve also found out that 2000 seems to be the price point to having a repaired often bike to a reliable AND supported one.
I just turned 60 and my wife and I have owned our eBikes since early 2019. We love it! We test rode several brands before we landed on the RadCity 5. No complaints. As to reliability, I’ve got over 700 miles on it and it’s going strong. It just works. No need for service yet. It’s well built and has decent components. Check the reviews… they are solid and have thousands of satisfied customers. And an amazing value at under 2K. The only negative is that it is a bit heavy. Not an issue for me but could be a bit much to handle for a smaller or older person. The big bike manufacturers (Giant, Trek, Specialized, etc.) have eBike models as well. Even Harley Davidson has entered the eBike foray (check out Serial1.com). I’m sure they are great (integrated batteries, high quality components, sleeker look more like a traditional bike, etc.) but you are well over 3K with this option. If money is no option, then check them out but I’m sure any of the options listed here will serve you well. I recommend that you test drive as many models within your price range, talk to owners/check the reviews, and go for it… you won’t regret it!
I am the 88 year old founder and President of North Bay Elder Ebikers in northern San Francisco Bay and my overall assessment of your list is that it is geared more for your advertisers and general readers than for potential older eBike riders. In a nutshell, they should want to buy the best quality bike they can afford from the closest eBike store that has a full service operation run by knowledgeable people. Also, I don’t believe value should be an issue if one plans to go down any hills, off road or in traffic. Ease of access and operation, proper fit, quality components, stability and, above all, safety should be their main concerns. In my opinion, any list for older riders that leaves off the Gazelle and Riese Muller step through eBikes is, at best, incomplete.
I own a Rad rover step, through I have almost 1900 miles on it and love it. I am 79 yrs young ride almost daily. I have added a brooks saddle and double actuated brakes.
I have not read anything about hand comfort for those of us with arthritis in our hands. Squeezing a hand brake after an hour or so becomes painful. Same with a thumb throttle. The throttle twist is better, but not ideal either. I would love to have coast brakes where I don’t have to use my hands at all. I am a small 71 yr. old woman. Do not want to give up bike riding, dang it.
I’m sure it’s possible to fit a rear wheel with a coaster brake to a bike with a front motor or even a mid-motor. Would that solve your problem? (Partially).
Make sure you check bikes with hydraulic brakes before trying to get someone to install a coaster brake, which would be an unsafe option, especially for the typical heavy ebike.
TOWNIE GO by Electra bikes. I am a senior and have 3500 mile on my Townie. This bike has the FLAT FOOT design with the pedals moved about 6 inches forward is extremely comfortable and easier to control. I commute about 6 miles roundtrip on most nice days and have enjoyed this bike. It has a Bosch mid engine and is fine for the hills in our city. I believe Trek bought this company to be able to use the patented design. The bike has been durable and held up well.
You identify the Ride-1-UP 500 Series (which I ride), but a number of the Комментарии и мнения владельцев you give are about the Core 5. Which model are you really trying to describe and recommend for (us) seniors?
- Griffin Hales says April 6, 2022 at 10:17 am
Thanks for the catch, Lou. We updated our recommendation from the Core-5 to the 500 series. Looks like the page had an error when updating.
For those whose ability to lift and/or carry heavy loads, weight of the bike is everything. I’m a woman aged 62, and I’ve had my Electric Bike Company Model S for 2 years. It’s lovely–the envy of all the neighbors (that custom paint is gorgeous!)–but it has become too big and heavy. When I purchased it, the weight wasn’t that big an issue (I was 60 at the time). But now I’m older (and an inch shorter!), and I do lift weights, but apparently it’s not enough for me to handle this bike. At 63 pounds in weight (including the basket and battery), it’s just too heavy to handle when I stop to cross at an intersection, for example. At this point, I’m afraid to ride it. I will try to sell it and get something lighter so I can ride without worrying if it’ll tip over and hurt me. Before you choose a bike, TAKE IT FOR A TEST RIDE. See if it’s too heavy, because you’re only going to get older (and likely: weaker) as you age. If you want to ride it for a couple of years, make sure it’s easy to handle now.
It was a great article, thanks for covering such a great piece of information about the best electric bikes for seniors.
Still riding Bionx since 2010. Since 2013 I have accrued over 30,000 miles On both bikes. My PL350 motors no problem. My Cruiser is a Townie 26″Schawble Marathon e-bike tires.21 Spd. Bike. Equipped with front shock forks, suspension seat post, Textro Rear Mag. Brake Lever,11.5 Amp 48 V. Battery. Range 45 miles. My Other Bike is a KHS 700cc Schawble Marathon e-bike tires Touring Bike PL350 Freewheel Motor Equipped with front shock forks, suspension seat post, Textro Rear Mag. Brake Lever,8.5 Amp 48 V. Battery. Range 45 miles. Both Bike batteries have been Rebuilt by Jhonathan Nethers. BionX Has Regenerative Braking and Regen Charging at 10 MPH.
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The best e-mountainbike of 2023 – The biggest group test yet: 30 e-mountainbikes head-to-head
30 hot and trendy e-mountainbikes, 26 brands and 12 motor systems go head-to-head in our biggest e-mountainbike group test yet. Our search for the best e-mountainbike of 2023 held many surprises, providing exciting insights and an unprecedented market overview. We cover everything you need to know about buying an ebike and finding out which is the best e-mountainbike for you.
Table of content
- What must the best e-mountainbike of 2023 be capable of?
- What type of e-mountainbiker are you?
- Our expansive e-mountainbike test field: 30 of the most exciting e-mountainbikes on the market
- The motor systems of the e-mountainbikes on test, their features, and functions at a glance
- How and where did we test the e-mountainbikes?
- Our e-mountainbike group test in numbers
- What should you look for when buying an e-mountainbike?
- Tops and flops from our 2023 e-mountainbike group test
- An overview of all e-mountainbikes in our huge 2023 group test
- The best eMTB of 2023: the Orbea Wild
- Our Best Buy tip: the Radon Deft
- exciting recommendations
Have you ever thought about the countless dials and gauges in the cockpit of an aircraft when you last flew away on holiday? The current e-mountainbike market is similarly complex with its sheer mass of products, misleading promises and supposed innovations. Before you know it, you’ll have lost your bearings, and making the right purchase decision is almost impossible – if you make one at all. Finding the right e-mountainbike to suit your needs is more challenging than ever. And nothing is more frustrating than investing your hard-earned money in the wrong bike, which may look good or seem like a bargain but doesn’t meet your own demands and intended use, or simply doesn’t perform reliably.
Long story short: we literally worked our a off for months on end to conduct and compile the biggest and most diverse e-mountainbike group test ever. The result is a comprehensive and detailed market overview containing all the most important information, exciting insights and, above all, clear buyer’s advice. As you read these lines, we’re not just toasting on the completion of this huge project – spanning 202 A4 pages – but also celebrating our 10th anniversary as E-MOUNTAINBIKE magazine. And if we’ve learned one thing during these last 10 years, then it’s the fact that data from spec sheets and geometry tables can’t be taken at face value, revealing little about the overall performance and functionality of the bike. Ultimately, it is the cohesive performance of the bike as a whole that really counts out on the trail.
For this group test, we had a clear goal in mind: to create an all-encompassing market overview and comprehensive buyer’s guide, not just to make comparisons of similar models, but also to open the doors to a broad classification. To this end, we had 30 e-mountainbikes with 12 different motor systems compete against each other, once again demonstrating the variety and vast number of combination possibilities offered by today’s eMTB market. Different battery concepts, range extenders, custom software solutions and specially developed apps, accessory integration, myriad geometries and components… we could go on forever. But instead, we’ll FOCUS on the essentials and tell you what to look for when buying an e-mountainbike, what really counts, and how to find the right bike for you.
What must the best e-mountainbike of 2023 be capable of?
There are many misconceptions, false assumptions, and misunderstandings about what makes a good e-mountainbike. Those who aren’t properly equipped with the right information will shop according to criteria like the best motor, the largest battery, and fall for seductive marketing hype without asking themselves what it is they actually need. In our annual reader survey – which is considered the largest and most representative survey in the e-mountainbike industry – over 12,000 loyal readers answer up to 90 questions, providing us with hard facts and figures about what it is that you really want. Thanks to this data, we don’t just know how, what, and how long you ride, but also what your experiences have been, what you’re interested in, and what makes you tick. This allows us to tailor our test field as well as our test criteria perfectly to your needs. By the way, it just so happens to be time for our 2023 reader survey and we would appreciate your feedback very much! It allows us to continue driving the industry forward and not just know exactly what you want to read, but also ride in the future.
The best e-mountainbike is made up of a combination of good components, geometry, and kinematics, with a suitable motor and software ecosystem. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – and this also applies to e-mountainbikes. It’s not isolated parameters but the harmonious interaction of all components that matters. Of course, the design, practical accessories, available service network, and detailed solutions also play a key role. Many reviewers will judge a bike based on a short test ride or on spec sheets and geometry tables. But not us, which is why the future of our jobs is secure: AI can’t test bikes and fit them into the overall context – or have you seen ChatGPT ride the trails?
The best e-mountainbike of 2023 can cater to supposedly contradicting use cases and needs, making it the ultimate all-rounder for every type of trail and riding style. It must excel on the trails with intuitive handling, providing a balanced combination of agility and composure, while being a blast to ride. It must perform equally well on epic rides and long climbs, providing sufficient long-distance comfort, efficient yet comfortable suspension, as well as easy-to-modulate yet powerful electronic assistance. The best all-rounder also provides a pleasant user experience with high-quality details. This includes a wide range of software and connectivity solutions, and guided help with the setup or service. Variable battery concepts and the option of configuring the motor output to your needs also provides obvious advantages. Does it sound utopian to combine all this into one bike? It does. Fortunately, however, there are a few e-mountainbikes that can do all this, making them great investments that we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to our best friends. It also goes without saying that while the best overall e-mountainbike of 2023 is the best choice for the majority of our readers, some of you have very specific requirements, which is why you might be better off with one of the specialists in our test field. Not to worry, though, thanks to our holistic approach and personalised buyer’s guide everyone will find a bike that suits them and their requirements in this group test.
What type of e-mountainbiker are you?
Before we dive into this group test in Turbo mode, it’s important to know what you need and demand. If you need help with that, you should check out our interactive buyer’s guide. By answering a few simple questions, it will help you make the right decision, providing you with specific bike recommendations along with a selection of other articles that you might find interesting and helpful.
Our expansive e-mountainbike test field: 30 of the most exciting e-mountainbikes on the market
As part of our mega group test, we had 30 current e-mountainbikes from 26 different brands compete head-to-head in a direct comparison. The test field includes as many as 12 different motor systems, some of which provide double the torque compared to other candidates – at least on paper ;). We’ve got everything from 40 to 95 Nm, packaged in vastly different concepts. But don’t fall for the trap of being blinded by the figures. There are enormous differences between how the power is delivered, in which situations, and whether all the power can be transferred to the trail! The differences in battery capacity are just as big, ranging from just 250 Wh to a whopping 800 Wh. However, more capacity doesn’t automatically mean more range. As with EVs, different motors consume electricity at different rates and their respective efficiency must also be considered, which in turn depends on the rider, their riding style, and cadence. Among the 30 e-mountainbikes, we also included 9 of the latest generation Light-eMTBs to shake up the field. This also explains the massive weight difference of over 11 kg between the heaviest and lightest bike on test. The lightest ones tip the scales at just 16 kg, but whether they perform well on the trail is a different matter.
The brands aren’t shy about charging for the Rapid pace of e-mountainbike development with the most expensive bike on the test costing a staggering € 15,999. That’s easily the same as a new compact car. Therefore, it’s all the more important to know whether you’re investing your money in the right place. But don’t worry, the test field includes a wide price range, starting at € 6,699. The best part is that certain bikes are on par with more expensive models in terms of riding fun and performance, though some cost twice as much. However, if you find the are still too high, don’t stop reading, because most findings and tips are universally applicable and we’re already back on the trails, conducting our budget eMTB group test, which will be coming soon.
|Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD||Polini E-P3 MX||90||720||21.8||€ 12,199|
|BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1||Shimano EP801||85||750||22.1||€ 6,699|
|Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||26.0||€ 8,999|
|FLYER Uproc X 9.50||Panasonic GX Ultimate Pro FIT||95||750||24.8||€ 11,299|
|FOCUS SAM² 6.9||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||27.1||€ 7,899|
|FOCUS JAM² 6.9||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||26.0||€ 7,399|
|FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9||FAZUA Ride 60||60||430||19.36||€ 8,499|
|Forestal Siryon Diōde||BAFANG EonDrive||60||360||19.24||€ 14,899|
|GIANT Trance X Advance E LTD||GIANT SyncDrive Pro 2||85||800||23.5||€ 12,799|
|Haibike LYKE CF SE||FAZUA Ride 60||60||430||18.6||€ 10,999|
|Ibis Oso||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||24.3||€ 12,498|
|KTM Macina Prowler Exonic||Bosch Performance Line CX-R||85||750||25.2||€ 11,999|
|MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975||Shimano EP8||85||750||25.3||€ 7,249|
|Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD||Bosch Performance Line CX-R||85||750||23.4||€ 11,999|
|Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||24.5||€ 9,299|
|Orbea Rise M-Team||Shimano EP801 RS||60||540||18.8||€ 9,497|
|Orbea WILD M-LTD||Bosch Performance Line CX-R||85||625||22.5||€ 11,229|
|Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01||FAZUA Ride 60||60||430||18.7||€ 10,999|
|Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR||Shimano EP8||85||756||22.9||€ 12,199|
|RADON DEFT 10.0||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||24.7||€ 6,799|
|ROTWILD R.X735 ULTRA||Shimano EP8||85||720||21.2||€ 12,499|
|Santa Cruz Heckler MX X01 AXS RSV||Shimano EP8||85||720||22.1||€ 12,999|
|SCOTT Lumen eRIDE 900 SL||TQ HPR 50||50||360||16.0||€ 15,999|
|SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ||TQ HPR 50||50||360||19.4||€ 12,999|
|Specialized Turbo Levo Expert||Specialized 2.2 Custom Rx Trail Tuned||90||700||22.9||€ 10,700|
|Transition Repeater AXS Carbon||Shimano EP8||85||630||22.5||€ 12,399|
|Thömus Lightrider E Ultimaten||Maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR||40||250||16.1||€ 11,690|
|Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS||TQ HPR 50||50||360||18.9||€ 14,499|
|UNNO Mith Race||Bosch Performance Line CX||85||750||22.7||€ 10,795|
|Yeti 160E T1||Shimano EP8||85||630||23.5||€ 14,490|
Isolated specs and figures say little about the character and stand-out traits of an e-mountainbike. As such, we’ll give you a brief introduction to every bike in this group test along with the table above, providing a rough overview of our test field. Let’s start with a classic among e-mountainbikes: The Specialized Turbo Levo Expert is undoubtedly one of the most popular e-mountainbikes on the market, pioneering integration and holistic development since the first generation was introduced in 2015. This hasn’t changed with the latest generation, which was launched in 2021. Specialized consider the bike as whole, not just developing a frame, but also their own motor and software to go with it, which offers clear advantages in their interaction. That said, the competition doesn’t sleep. The young and still relatively unknown boutique brand Forestal have a similarly holistic approach to development. If you haven’t heard of the Andorran brand, you’ll know what’s up the moment you catch a glimpse of the futuristic looking Forestal Siryon Diōde at the latest. The Light-eMTB relies on a custom BAFANG EonDrive motor and in-house software. On top of that, they’ve integrated a touch display – yes, you read that right – into the top tube. Is this what the future of e-mountainbikes looks like?
The test field includes numerous e-mountainbikes featuring exclusive or unique motor systems. GIANT also rely on their own GIANT SyncDrive Pro 2 motor for the Trance X Advanced E LTD, which is based on the Yamaha PW-X3 and combined with an 800 Wh battery – the largest in the test field. over, GIANT resort to the electronic FOX Live Valve suspension, but does it offer any advantages on an e-mountainbike? Without a doubt, the Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD is one of the underdogs on test. The golden e-mountainbike of the Spanish brand is the only contestant to rely on the exotic Polini E-P3 MX motor, producing a hefty 90 Nm of torque and paired with a large display in the top tube. But does the overall concept work and can it transfer all that power to the trail? Only the Panasonic GX Ultimate motor in the FLYER Uproc X 9.50 can put out even more torque with a peak of 95 Nm. In addition, it relies on the so-called FIT system, which offers countless connectivity features. Off to a good start for a good test result?
Most of the e-mountainbikes on test hedge their bets on the proven Bosch Smart System. Bosch don’t just offer one of the world’s best service networks, but they’ve recently also started offering bike companies different combinations of displays, remotes, and batteries. The Orbea WILD M-LTD takes full advantage of this, not just allowing you to customise the componentry spec in Orbea’s MyO configurator, but also letting you choose between two battery sizes. We opted for the smaller 625 Wh version. In addition, the WILD relies on the limited edition CX Race motor, which predominantly offers advantages on technical climbs due to the way it’s tuned. The KTM Macina Prowler Exonic – which is KTMs big hitting e-mountainbike – and the Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD also rely on the more powerful Race motor. Check out the individual reviews to find what advantages this offers, if any, and whether it allows them to pull away from the competition.
While the Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 relies on the proven Bosch system, the company developed their own shock, promising magical levels of grip and a ride like a flying carpet. The RADON DEFT 10.0 doesn’t claim to be a flying carpet, but it can come right to your front door, nonetheless. At just € 6,799, the direct-to-consumer brand offer a well-specced package that surprised us all in the group test. The UNNO Mith Race will let you stand out from the crowd with its extravagant look. However, it doesn’t just look like a designer piece, the integration of the Bosch system is equally refined. Thanks to the large swingarm and asymmetrical design, the Ibis Oso features an equally striking and unique look. It also comes with practical features such as an integrated light. The Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 combines the best of both worlds, specced with a coil shock as well as practical accessories such as lights. The two newly introduced FOCUS siblings, the FOCUS SAM² 6.9 and the FOCUS JAM² 6.9, also took part in the group test. Besides many similarities such as the removable batteries and integration, they’re targeted at very different use cases due to their geometries and spec. However, being overweight seems to run in the family as they’re both on the heavier end of the spectrum, weighing in at 27.1 and 26 kg respectively. Does that matter?
The two FOCUS representatives have brought light reinforcement, because the German bike brand can fall back on a new Light-eMTB in their portfolio. The slender FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 weighs 19.3 kg and produces 60 Nm of torque via its FAZUA Ride 60 motor. FOCUS entered the Light-eMTB segment many years ago and are considered pioneers in this field. We found out whether this has resulted in a mature product. The ebike pioneers Haibike also rely on the FAZUA drive system for their new Haibike LYKE CF SE. The popular brand aim to take on the competition with the bike’s sporty look and innovative approach to the integration of the motor. Will they succeed? American brand Pivot have also chosen to integrate the FAZUA system into their Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01. In doing so, they weren’t just early to the party, theirs was the first Light-eMTB available on the market with this motor. For our group test, we chose the model configured for trail performance instead of the top-end version. As usual, it relies on the firm DW-Link rear suspension and high-end components.
The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate isn’t just specced with the weakest motor on test at 40 Nm, but also the smallest battery with a capacity of 250 Wh. But it lives up to its name with a weight of just 16.1 kg, and there’s no denying its cross-country genes. For obvious reasons, the prize for integration goes to the SCOTT Lumen eRIDE 900 SL. It doesn’t break the scales with its featherweight 16 kg, but its € 15,999 price point might just break the bank. This makes it both the lightest and most expensive bike on test, relying on the inconspicuous TQ HPR 50 motor. As the name suggests, the SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ features the same system, but it’s packed into a long travel frame with a FOCUS on the descents. Its analogue sibling has already shown what the platform is capable of, having been crowned the best enduro bike of 2022 by our sister magazine ENDURO. The Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS also relies on the 50 Nm TQ system, but the EXe is less gravity-oriented than the SIMPLON. The US mega-brand were the exclusive launch partner of the TQ HPR 50 motor, and they were significantly involved in its development. In doing so, Trek have garnered some advantages that the competition has no access to. Does that make it better? As you can see, very different concepts rely on the same motor system. This raises an interesting question: does the motor suit all concepts equally well?
The Orbea Rise M-Team is considered a bridge between the Light- and full-power e-mountainbikes because it has a conventional Shimano EP801 motor that’s been throttled from 85 Nm to 60 Nm, as indicated by the RS suffix. In addition, the Rise has a large 540 Wh internal battery, which you can increase to a whopping 792 Wh with the optional range extender. This is the second largest battery capacity in the entire test field, and that’s in combination with a more economical motor compared to the standard EP8!
All other Shimano powered bikes in the group test come with the standard EP8 model, but Shimano leave it up to the respective brands to decide which battery they want to use, which allows them to take very different approaches. The Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR subscribes to the “more travel, more battery and more fun” school of thought. With a generous 756 Wh, it has the largest internal battery of the Shimano driven bikes, promising a long range. The ROTWILD R.X735 ULTRA has a slightly smaller yet still big 720 Wh battery, and thanks to their convenient removal system, you can swap it out in the blink of an eye. Does that make it the trail king?
The Santa Cruz Heckler MX X01 AXS RSV features the usual high-quality workmanship, look, and VPP rear end. It promises to be more agile on the trail thanks to the smaller 27.5″ rear wheel. But does it have what it takes to be an all-rounder? The Transition Repeater AXS Carbon and the Yeti 160E T1 are the first e-mountainbikes of the two American brands. Both bikes are designed to perform on the trail and are specced accordingly. Nevertheless, the Yeti was crowned the best all-rounder in last year’s group test. Can it build on that success and defend its title, or will it be toppled from the throne this year? The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 comes factory fitted with a headlight and other practical accessories. Its build spec is very promising and it’s fairly priced, too, so it’s no wonder that it’s already secured several titles in previous group tests. The final opponent to roll into our group test is the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1. At € 6,699, it’s the most affordable bike on test, pairing the new EP801 motor with an automatic Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain. We put the setup to the test to find out whether it provides any advantages over conventional shifting.
The motor systems of the e-mountainbikes on test, their features, and functions at a glance
When buying an e-mountainbike, you don’t just decide on a bike, i.e. the frame, but also on a motor ecosystem and software, which has a significant influence on the performance and handling of your bike. Nevertheless, the drive unit can only be as good as the bike it’s in, and how well it suits your specific requirements. Do you want the battery to be permanently integrated or removable, should it be as big as possible, or would you rather a smaller capacity with the option of an external range extender? Besides that, there are numerous aspects that go far beyond the hardware of the motor, with many systems now providing a vast array of options. These include customisable or progressive support modes, additional features such as digital immobilisers with an alarm, GPS tracking, range-based navigation, assistance that’s linked to your heart rate, or gamified ride data that tracks things like airtime. There are countless options available, and they will continue to grow, so it’s good to have an overview and be aware of what you want from your bike. While newly introduced technologies are state-of-the-art, they often suffer from teething issues. Large established brands usually have a reliable and well-established service network, so you can easily get help when you’ve got trouble with your motor, but they often take fewer risks during development than smaller or more agile players might do. Fortunately, software updates can be used to expand the range of functions or remedy bugs in retrospect, even when the bike’s been in your possession for a long time.
The products offered by large, established brands are usually aimed at the masses, so they don’t necessarily meet your individual requirements. The same applies to custom solutions such as the touch display in the Forestal or the charging port integrations on the Specialized. Practical and individual solutions such as these are usually reserved for bike companies that are involved in the development of the motor instead of sourcing closed systems with technical limitations. However, custom solutions can cause durability issues or lead to difficulty in procuring spare parts. Manufacturers of bikes, components and motors must work hand in hand to offer a complete package. Due to the wide range of systems that are now available on the market, this aspect has improved greatly, increasingly allowing brands to tailor bikes to your individual needs. Nevertheless, the development of an ebike is vastly more complex than that of its analogue counterpart. The large selection of components and rapidly developing industry only serve to complicate matters even more.
That’s why it’s vital to not just consider an e-mountainbikes performance and functionality on the trail, but also its secondary aspects.
Note: with such Rapid development, the market is constantly being flooded with new software updates and accessories such as range extenders. Much of it solves problems or extends the field of application. However, as we’ve seen in the past, this can also create new problems. So, we wrote this article for you based on current information as it stands in March 2023.
Below, you will find an overview of all the motor systems featured in this group test.
Smart System and CX Race – The 2023 Bosch Performance Line CX motor system
The Bosch Performance Line CX system is the top dog among the motors in our group test, featured in 10 of the 30 bikes on test. All of them rely on the Smart System, introduced in 2021, which lends the proven Performance Line CX motor a smarter infrastructure and provides a basis for upcoming features and developments. While the motor has remained largely the same, apart from a few minor hardware adjustments, the ecosystem consisting of the remotes and displays has been completely revised and the old wiring harness also gave way to a new, optimised version. Unfortunately, the Smart System upgrade isn’t backwards compatible with your old Bosch motor, though it’s become standard on new bikes.
The motor still produces 85 Nm of torque with a maximum assistance of 340% in TURBO mode. But beware: some of the bikes on test rely on the CX Race motor. It’s the twin brother of the Performance Line CX motor, just with a gym membership. Thanks to adapted software, the CX Race motor provides assistance of up to 400% with the same 85 Nm of torque. But nothing on the hardware has changed, except for slightly optimised internals.
Bosch give manufacturers the option to combine their motor with the new Bosch PowerTube battery with capacities of 750 Wh, 625 Wh or 500 Wh. All the Bosch powered bikes in our group test come with the largest battery – except the Orbea, which you’re free to configure as you please. We opted to go with a 625 Wh battery on our Orbea Wild test bike. Depending on the bike, some of the batteries are more or less easy to remove while others are permanently integrated. At 4.38 Kg, the 750 Wh PowerTube battery is one of the heaviest on test, and pushes up the system’s overall weight despite the rather light 2.79 kg motor.
The Smart System gives bike companies access to new accessories and combination options. Starting with the Bosch LED remote on the left-hand side of the handlebar. It’s quite large and exposed, and it indicates the battery level in comparatively fine 10% increments by means of classy looking illuminated bars. The colour around the Bosch logo indicates the selected support level. The buttons all offer pleasant haptics, but they could be a little bigger or further apart, because it’s easy to push the wrong button while riding.
For brands who opt against the feature-rich LED remote, Bosch offer the System Controller and Mini Remote combination. The Bosch System Controller is an LED display that integrates into the top tube, indicating the battery and support level via illuminated bars and a colourful, illuminated ring, similar to the LED remote. The Mini Remote provides a cleaner cockpit, with functionality limited to the minimum. Thanks to the few large buttons, you can reliably hit the right button, even as you’re ploughing through a rock garden shortly before a punchy climb.
Bosch also have a fitting solution for riders who don’t want to limit communication with their bike to a few LEDs. The high-quality Kiox 300 display can be mounted in different positions next to the stem, and is controlled via one of the two remotes. The new menu navigation is user friendly, and the display is easy to read while riding. There are some additional functions, too, such as navigation or location tracking by means of the Bosch ConnectModule in the motor. However, the only bike on test with the ConnectModule is the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic. over, using it requires a paid subscription. On the other hand, all Bosch Smart System bikes have the eBike Lock function as standard, which allows you to lock all motor functions temporarily via the eBike Flow app as an anti-theft measure.
The Bosch eBike Flow app also provides a good overview of all functions and is intuitive to operate. In addition to a wealth of information about the system, it lets you tune the support modes according to your own preferences. If you want to use the app, you must first create an account, after which connecting it with the bike is easy to do. It gets a little trickier if several users want to access the same bike via the app. Once the bike has been registered with one account, it can no longer be accessed by another account.
Depending on the bike, you’ve got access to different support modes on the trail. With the TOUR and eMTB modes, Bosch have two dynamic modes that adapt the support to match the riding situation on the trail. The TOUR mode is the more efficient variant and is great for maximising your range, or as a less aggressive alternative to the eMTB mode for light riders. As you might have guessed, the CX Race variant also has a RACE mode. In general, the Bosch motor is one of the best, most efficient, and most powerful on test despite putting out “just” 85 Nm on paper. Thanks to its smooth characteristics and wide cadence range, it provides a shuttle-like feeling on the climbs and leaves the Shimano EP-8 behind despite also being rated at 85 Nm. The Panasonic, Specialized, and Polini motors can all keep up with the CX motor, but they can’t compete with its big, even more powerful CX Race sibling. On the other hand, Bosch are yet to address the annoying metallic knocking noise that the motor produces. This only occurs when the motor isn’t providing any assistance and the chain isn’t pulling on the chainring – during big compressions or when the chain is bouncing around through a rock garden, for example. While this doesn’t detract from its performance, it can get on your nerves in the long run, especially on rough trails.
The Polini E-P3 MX motor system
The Polini E-P3 MX system is an exotic powerhouse. In our test field, the Italian motor features in the no less exotic Berria Mako Hybrid GT, and the list of bikes that Polini supply with their system reads like a guide on the exotic plants of Borneo. With a torque output of 90 Nm, the Italian motor is one of the most powerful in the test field, capable of matching your own input by up to 400%. And all that from a motor that weighs just 2.9 kg. For those who don’t need that much power, Polini offer the 75 Nm E-P3 motor.
For the Mako Hybrid GT on test, Berria combine the Polini motor with a custom 720 Wh Portapower battery. Polini also have two batteries of their own, one with a capacity of 550 Wh and the other with 880 Wh. Nevertheless, the Italian brand leave it to the bike companies to choose where they want to source their batteries. The integrated Portapower battery in the Berria is secured with a lock and can be easily removed. If you don’t find the battery capacity to be sufficient, you can combine it with Polini’s 252 Wh range extender, which mounts onto the bottle cage bosses. Together with the integrated 720 Wh battery, this gives you a total of 972 Wh! Unfortunately, the range extender wasn’t available for our review.
Despite its impressive power output, the Polini E-P3 MX doesn’t make a big show of it on the Berria Mako Hybrid GT. The motor is relatively compact and the down tube housing the battery is rather slender for a full-power ebike. Berria decided to do their own thing with the large Polini colour display, integrating it into the top tube instead of attaching it to the handlebar. Although this looks nice at first glance, it’s a little rough around the edges with the two exposed screws and uneven gaps. The display isn’t quite as large as the touch display on the Forestal, though it’s much larger than the mastermind display in the Specialized Levo. Polini tried to take full advantage of the display size and squeezed in as much information as possible. However, displaying the support level, battery level, distance covered, speed, and motor map each with dynamic bars on one screen is slightly too much of a good thing.
Besides this information overload, the menu navigation isn’t the most intuitive. It doesn’t help that Polini offer 3 predefined support modes as well as two customisable modes, each of which are divided into 5 sub-modes – it will leave you scratching your head! In total, that’s 25 support modes to choose from. The custom modes can be tuned in Polini’s E-Bike app, via which you can also access the display information on your smartphone or retrieve all kinds of data about your rides and the motor. To scroll through the different support modes on the bike, you will have to get accustomed to the very peculiar remote, which makes do with just two buttons. On our Berria test bike, it’s mounted between the grip and the dropper remote, pointing downwards. To reach the button on the back, you’ve got to take your index finger from the front brake (rear brake in the UK). This results in unwanted thrills on the trail and even on forest service roads when shifting modes. Even if the remote is mounted pointing upwards, you’ve got the same problem. In general, the operation of the system isn’t exactly user-friendly with its two buttons. To switch between certain menu items, you must push both buttons simultaneously, which requires accurate timing. It’s a good thing that Polini also offer a remote with four buttons.
Riding the bike, the Polini E-P3 MX motor is a little unpredictable, changing character depending on the support mode. In Touring mode, the motor is very restrained, unleashing its power very predictably and gently. In race mode, the motor flexes its muscles and turns from sensitive to schoolyard bully. It’s very harsh and direct as it kicks in, giving it an unnatural ride feel. The power output is relatively independent of your cadence, always providing plenty of assistance. We were also struck by how loud it is in the higher support modes.
The Panasonic GX Ultimate motor system
The Panasonic GX Ultimate is the bodybuilder amongst the motors in the test field – it’s the undisputed powerhouse of the bunch, with a peak torque output of 95 nm. It only comes specced on the FLYER Uproc X in our test field. Despite its power, the Panasonic motor doesn’t stand out from the crowd of full-power motors in terms of weight, tipping the scales at a mere 2.95 kg. In the FLYER Uproc X, it’s paired with a 750 Wh battery. Panasonic deliberately allow bike companies to use batteries from third-party suppliers.
On our test bike, the Panasonic GX Ultimate motor is controlled via components from the ebike systems suppliers FIT. Compared to most other remotes in the test field, the FIT Basic Remote on the handlebar is rather chunky and the small joystick requires some getting used to. The first time you use it, you could get a little fright from the unusual vibration feedback it provides. You can switch it off, though it certainly doesn’t leave you guessing whether you’ve pushed the button. Alternatively, Panasonic also offer in-house remotes. The Panasonic Side Colour Display Remote has a small display integrated into the remote, as the name suggests. However, this makes it slightly bigger than the not-exactly-dainty FIT Basic Remote. The display on the FLYER is also supplied by FIT and mounted in front of the stem where it’s very exposed. It has a ton of functions and display options, including some more unique features like an inclinometer and an ice warning. In combination with the FIT E-Bike Control app, the display can be adjusted according to your preferences, and even has a navigation function.
When riding the bike, the Panasonic GX Ultimate motor offers four levels of support. In addition to three classic modes, it also has a dynamic Auto mode, which claims to adjust the assistance according to the riding situation. In the highest support mode, the motor provides a good deal of support. Its power output doesn’t decrease significantly at a low cadence, giving you that shuttle feeling on forest road climbs. Due to the sustained assistance, you can easily let it push you over ledges or other obstacles in technical terrain, but it also means you’ve got to brake hard when stopping in a hurry. The Auto mode feels somewhat abrupt and unnatural on level terrain, but it comes into its own on uphill trails. Here, it offers even more precise and sensitive assistance than the highest mode, making it easier to harness its power.
The GIANT SyncDrive Pro 2 motor system
As the name suggests, the Giant SyncDrive Pro 2 motor is exclusive to GIANT and represented by a single bike in the test field, the Giant Trance X Advanced E Ltd. Based on the Yamaha PW-X3 motor, the GIANT drive unit delivers 85 Nm of torque with up to 400% support. The 2.75 kg motor is combined with a massive 800 Wh battery – the biggest in our test. If that still isn’t enough for you, there’s the option of a 250 Wh range extender. It mounts to the bottle cage bosses and pushes the total battery capacity to an incredible 1,050 Wh! With an internal battery capacity of 800 Wh, however, we could skip the range extender for the purposes of our review.
The interface between man and machine is taken care of by the Giant RideControl GO control unit in the top tube, paired with the minimalist RideControl Ergo 3 remote on the handlebar. The control unit isn’t a display as such, indicating the support mode as well as the battery level via 5 illuminated bars. GIANT refrain from installing an additional display on the handlebar. The inconspicuous remote sits flush against the left grip, where it’s within easy reach of your thumb. In general, the operation of the Giant SyncDrivePro2 system is quite straightforward. You’ve got three buttons to shift through the 5 support modes from Eco to Power or activate the progressive Smart Assist mode. Due to the minimalist display in the top tube, you don’t get much information, but it also saves you from having to navigate a maze of menus – the pared down functions of the remote are entirely sufficient. Those who want a little more information can access it via GIANT’s Ride Control app. The app also lets you assign the functions of the remote buttons.
On the bike, you immediately get a sense of the Giant SyncDrive Pro 2 motor’s power. While it feels significantly more powerful than the Shimano EP8, it can’t quite match the punch of the Bosch CX. It kicks in very directly in Power mode. This allows you to get back going after coming to a stop on a steep incline, but you’ve got to brace yourself in anticipation of the motor pushing you forward. In general, the drive unit doesn’t hold back and could be described as more of a ruffian amongst motors. The dynamic Smart Assist mode is significantly more hesitant, holding back longer than the comparable eMTB mode from Bosch. As a result, the Giant motor is clearly slower than Bosch powered bikes when using their dynamic modes to pull away at traffic lights, easily leaving you behind. The automatic mode also lacked the necessary grunt for technical climbs, in which case we preferred using Power mode.
The Specialized 2.2 motor system
The Specialized 2.2 system was developed in collaboration with mechatronics specialists Brose, based on the Brose Drive Mag S motor. Compared to most other brands, Specialized have acquired in-depth motor expertise over the years and want full control over the drive system. They pursue a holistic approach, developing as much as possible in house to ensure the best possible interaction of components, a better user experience, and minimal dependence on the motor manufacturers and their development pace or cycles. The Californian company go to great lengths to achieve this, employing a team of around 70 people in Cham, Switzerland, dedicated to their ebike department! Numerous reviews have shown that their efforts pay off, and the Specialized Levo is amongst the lead pack with its 2.2 motor system this year once again, but more on that later. After two years on the market, the system is now considered one of the old-timers of the test, which is particularly noticeable when looking at the proportions of the hardware – especially the area around the bottom bracket, which is relatively bulky. With a torque output of 90 Nm, the motor of the Californian brand is amongst the more powerful on test, trumped only by the 95 Nm Panasonic GX Ultimate. All that power is produced by a unit weighing 2.98 kg. With a capacity of 700 Wh, the removable battery is neither particularly large nor small. To remove it, you must loosen just one screw with the SWAT tool, which is conveniently integrated into the head tube, and you can pull the battery out of the down tube.
Specialized offer an entire ecosystem around the 2.2 motor, providing harmonious integration. The bike’s brain is integrated into the top tube and goes by the name of Mastermind. Specialized were one of the first manufacturers to integrate a display into the top tube, pioneering a whole range of bikes that have now followed suit. The small and slender colour display gives you all the relevant information you need on a ride, as well as a few fun gimmicks like your current elevation, GPS data, or the number of jumps and airtime generated – rather than big stories about your latest heroics, you get the bare facts! The Specialized Mission Control app also lets you customise the layout and data fields of the Mastermind display to suit your own preferences. Furthermore, you’re able to configure the support, maximum power and acceleration of Eco, Trail, and Turbo mode via the app. You can link the Mastermind up to a heart rate monitor or an additional bicycle computer, too. Doing so would allow you to use the Smart Control function, for example, which adjusts the support level based on your heart rate. The app is very clearly structured and using it doesn’t require a degree in computer science. The remote with which you control the system while riding is quite minimalistic, but it has all the functions you need on the trail. It is easy to use with the left thumb and provides good haptic feedback.
As already mentioned, you’ve got three support modes to choose from on the trail: Eco, Trail, and Turbo – all of which you can customise in the app. The Micro Adjust function is super practical, frequently used, and easy to activate, allowing you to fine tune the support in 10% increments. It’s great for saving battery, or keeping your effort at the perfect, sustainable level. On the way to the trailhead, the Specialized 2.2 system feels like an integrated shuttle service with its 90 Nm torque output. The motor is just as powerful as the Bosch CX Race, though a little less punchy. The support doesn’t kick in too brusquely and the power is easy to modulate. It isn’t bothered by fluctuating pedalling cadences and the generous sustained assistance, i.e. the assistance offered after you stop pedalling, is a fantastic help in getting cleanly over ledges and obstacles. This makes easy work of technical climbs. It’s positively inconspicuous on the descents, too, remaining absolutely quiet!
The maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR motor system
The BIKEDRIVE AIR motor system is maxon’s debut to the ebike market. Before the Swiss brand started supplying bike brands with motors, they helped Mars rovers cruise along on the red planet. In our group test back on planet earth, the maxon system can only be found in the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate Light-eMTB. The relatively light 1.9 kg motor is generally still a rarity, featuring on just a handful of bikes. With a torque output of merely 40 Nm, it’s the weakest motor in the test field. The battery is permanently integrated into the down tube. Depending on your personal preference or requirements, you have the choice between a battery capacity of 250, 360 or 426 Wh. The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate on test had a 250 Wh battery installed, for which maxon indicate 3.5 hours for a full charge. It can be paired with a 250 Wh range extender, which weighs 1.4 kg and can be mounted in the supplied maxon bottle cage. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available for our test.
The slender battery and compact, lightweight motor allow the system to be integrated relatively inconspicuously. The only thing giving the Lightrider E Ultimate away as an e-mountainbike is the hockey stick silhouette of its downtube. The motor is controlled via a minimalistic aluminium remote that matches the system’s overall look and feel well. It’s beautifully finished and one of the most inconspicuous remotes in the test field. Like the FAZUA Ring Control remote, it’s a ring-shaped control that can be pushed up and down. It’s intuitive to use and fulfils its purpose. The control unit integrated into the top tube, on the other hand, is slightly more striking than the remote. It indicates both the battery level and support mode via illuminated bars, using 8 increments for the battery. It’s not quite as refined as the TQ display, though not as rudimentary as the FAZUA LED HUB either. The control unit also provides an interface for most common bicycle computers and the maxon Connect app via Bluetooth and ANT LEV connectivity. This allows you to have information such as the battery level displayed on your bike computer while riding, or customise the three support modes to suit your preferences in the app.
On the bike, you’ve got three support modes to choose from: Cruise, Push, and Blast. They all offer a very natural ride feel and you can quickly forget that you’re even riding an ebike. The motor engages instantaneously as you apply pressure to the pedals, avoiding any unnatural feeling delays. over, the maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR system is virtually silent – all you can hear are cowbells ringing in the distance and the crunch of your tires. Compared to the Eco mode on a full-power e-mountainbike, Blast (maxon’s highest mode) is more like a sparkler than a full-blown firework. Nevertheless, you’ll be surprised at how much assistance the motor provides on steep climbs, especially if you’ve briefly forgotten about it, which is apt to happen. That said, it’s noticeably weaker than the competition from TQ or FAZUA. Don’t think you’ll make the summit without breaking a sweat with the maxon motor – it’s more of a tailwind on steep climbs. As such, it’s really aimed at fit and active riders, not at leisurely weekend warriors with a phobia of sweat.
The TQ HPR 50 system
The TQ HPR 50 is the Bavarian tech company’s first minimal assist motor, though not their first ebike motor, and it relies on their patented harmonic pin-ring technology. It was developed in collaboration with Trek, which gave the bike brand the exclusive right to the motor for 3 months before other manufacturers such as SCOTT and SIMPLON were given the green light. At first glance, it seems like Trek use the same display as the competition, but they developed their own software and app. All HPR 50 motors are capable of putting out 50 Nm of torque with a 300-watt peak, and they’re exclusively compatible with the 360 Wh TQ battery. In the case of Trek, the battery can be removed, whereas all other brands have chosen to keep the 1800 g battery firmly integrated in the frame. Due to the compact design of the battery, bike designers can keep the downtube slender too. As a result, bikes such as the SIMPLON and Trek are difficult to distinguish from their analogue siblings, easily boasting the most discreetly integrated mid-mounted systems on test with the motor equally well hidden in the bottom bracket. If you want more range, you can stick the optional 160 Wh range extender in the bottle cage, upping the total battery capacity to 520 Wh.
The 2″ TQ display is designed to be integrated into the top tube where it is inconspicuous but clearly visible. It uses monochrome dots and rings to indicate the chosen support mode, which isn’t the most intuitive at first. The battery status is displayed via 10 small bars, each representing 10% charge. By double clicking on the button below the display, you can scroll through various data points, or switch the system on/off. You have the following data points to choose from:
- current speed in km/h
- battery level in percen
- remaining range in the current support mode
- current power output of the rider and motor in watts
The system can be controlled via a small remote, which is always attached to the left side of the handlebar. It is very unobtrusive and intuitive to use, with just two buttons. It will let you choose the support mode, activate walk mode, or turn off the assistance altogether. The remote has a pleasant feel and ergonomics due to its rubberised coating, and it provides clear feedback thanks to a distinct click. You can also adjust the motor settings and access more data via the TQ app.
Trek, on the other hand, have integrated these functions into their own app, which, above the regular scope of TQ functions, gives suggestions for the suspension setup, lets you connect to third-party sensors like the TyreWiz via Bluetooth, and has a map-based range calculator. All in one – cool! The display of the Trek is a bit more intuitive, too, showing you the support levels with 3 large bars and the battery level in %. Alternatively, you can switch the view to see your average speed and remaining range, with the range displayed in minutes or kilometres.
You have three support levels to choose from on the trail: ECO, MID and HIGH, and there’s a Walk mode too. The HPR 50 motor is by far the quietest and most natural feeling in the test field. Due to its slightly lower power output and the inconspicuous way it engages and disengages, it feels more like you’re extremely fit rather than being assisted by an electric motor. It’s only when the support is switched off that you become aware of how much help the motor has been. To unleash its full power, the motor requires a relatively high cadence, making it more likely that you’ll break into a sweat, but it suits the motor’s character. This makes it better suited to gravel road climbs than technical singletrack ascents, taking the burden out of the uphills when you ride while still keeping you fit. Compared to the rest of the test field, technical climbs require much more physical effort and conscious gear selection to maintain the required cadence for optimal power delivery. If you’re looking for something that will push you up the mountain without putting in any effort yourself, you won’t like the TQ. However, if you like sweating at least a little on the uphills and want a quiet and natural feeling bike, this might just be the perfect companion. Unfortunately, the display became defective during the test, though it’s super easy for anyone to replace once you can track down a spare.
The FAZUA Ride 60 system
The FAZUA ride 60 motor system is the second minimal assist option to come from the Munich-based company, which was recently acquired by Porsche. While the first generation from 2017 consisted of a single unit made up of the battery and motor, which you could remove from the bike, FAZUA parted ways with that design for the latest iteration, increasing the power output while they were at it. As the name suggests, the new Ride 60 delivers 60 Nm of torque, with a peak output of up to 450 watts. FAZUA also supply their own battery, which can either be permanently integrated or removable. It weighs in at 1960 grams and has a capacity of 430 Wh. While FAZUA have announced a range extender, it wasn’t yet available at the time of the test. Due to the elongated shape of the motor and the fairly wide battery, the down tubes of many of the FAZUA powered bikes on test are shaped like a hockey stick, quickly betraying them as ebikes. Haibike are the only brand that tilt the motor horizontally into the seat tube, allowing for neater integration, though this method also comes with certain compromises.
Like most brands, FAZUA integrate their LED HUB display into the top tube where it’s clearly visible. It indicates the support mode and the battery level via 5 small LEDs. As such, the battery level is divided into 5 large 20% increments, and the different colours of the support modes are difficult to read in direct sunlight. By pulling up the LED HUB you get access to a USB-C charging port.
On the left side of the handlebar, you’ll find FAZUA’s Ring Control remote. Unfortunately, it’s unlabelled, and due to the cheap feel and looks, it isn’t on par with the competition. The different functions can be controlled by pressing up, down, or inwards, towards the stem. This lets you control the support modes and activate the Walk or Boost mode.
To no-one’s surprise, FAZUA also have an app with which you can configure the support modes. They’ve tried to optimise the user experience: after an extensive questionnaire, the app will recommend the ideal support mode settings, tailored specifically to the rider. This is great for ebike beginners and all those who don’t want to waste their time by playing with the settings! If you don’t trust computers or don’t always ride in the same kind of terrain, you can also configure the support modes yourself and save them as pre-sets. You could save them as “the early bird gets the dirt”, “fetch beer” or “power hour”, for example, and call them up as needed.
For trail riding, FAZUA have already taken the creative liberty of naming the three pre-configured support modes: Breeze, River, and Rocket. They’ve also got an afterburner, officially called Boost mode, providing a brief power surge when needed. However, it takes a moment to kick in, and the duration depends on the battery status and the temperature of the motor. In ideal conditions, you’ll get up to 12 seconds of additional thrust to pass your buddies. The motor assists noticeably in Rocket mode, pushing you forward even at low cadence. The FAZUA motor is powerful enough to let you conquer technical climbs, but the Ride 60 system has a software-related issue that needs sorting out, restarting after every time you stop pedalling. So, if you stop pedalling on a climb, you’ll have a brief moment of sustained assistance before coming to a stop, or you’ll be pedalling on your own for about 1-2 seconds thereafter as it restarts. This can quickly throw you off balance in tricky terrain and is very annoying to say the least! If you find this to be a problem, you can use the app to make the motor more dynamic, which makes it kick in rather abruptly but seems to shorten the dip in power. FAZUA are already working on a solution and promise to release a software update that fixes this as soon as possible. The motor is perfectly quiet on the descents, but it is audible when pedalling, similar to the noise level of Shimano EP8 motor. Only the BAFANG motor in the Forestal is louder. The character of the FAZUA Ride 60 is much closer to a full-power system and can make easy work of the climbs. Active riders also get their money’s worth, as long as they don’t spend too much time on technical climbs, in which case the above-mentioned software bug can get frustrating. Besides that issue, we encountered several instances during our tests where the FAZUA bikes didn’t switch on. If that happens, it helps to shake the bike, recharge the battery, unplug it, or wait… Unfortunately, one of the bikes remained defective. We hope that FAZUA will get to grips with these problems soon and issue a software update to fix things. As it stands (March 2023), purchasing a FAZUA powered ebike is a gamble.
The Shimano EP8 system
The Shimano EP8 system from the Japanese component giant has been on the market since 2020 and it features on a whole range of bikes in our group test. With a torque output of 85 Nm, it isn’t the most powerful unit, though it is amongst the lightest with a motor weight of just 2.6 kg. Shimano offer two batteries for the EP8 system: one with a capacity of 504 Wh and one with 630 Wh. However, bike brands are free to work with third-party suppliers. It’s thanks to this that some of the EP8 bikes in the test field come equipped with battery capacities beyond 700 Wh.
In our test field, the EP8 motor is universally combined with Shimano’s compact SC-EM800 display. Clamped to the handlebar next to the stem, the colour display shows the battery level in 20% increments and is easy to read even in direct sunlight. It also visualises the motor’s dynamics via a moving bar, along with the speed and the current support mode. The layout in the display is very tidy with the data fields reduced to the minimum, which is very pleasant. Alternatively, you could also get a small black and white display for the EP8 motor, which is integrated into the somewhat bulky SC-E5003 remote. The solution on our test bikes with the minimalist SW-EM800-L remote is a lot more elegant. This makes for a tidy looking cockpit while offering pleasant ergonomics and haptics. In general, the EP8 motor is also compatible with other display and remote options from the old Shimano steps E8000 ecosystem. However, you might require certain adapters.
The Shimano E-TUBE PROJECT app serves as the interface to the motor. It lets you set up two distinct rider profiles, each allowing you to configure the three Eco, Trail, and Boost support modes individually. For each mode, you can adjust the power, support level and response behaviour. You can then choose your preferred rider profile via the display on the bike. The app is clearly structured and intuitive to use, which makes the adjustments and configurations easy to do. Connecting it to the bike is just as quick and easy.
In practice, the Shimano EP8 motor performs convincingly thanks to its good-natured characteristics. It remains easy to modulate even in Boost mode, whether you’re pulling away or on a steep incline. As a result, it doesn’t feel like you get a kick in the backside as you start pedalling, like with other less sensitive motors. Although it’s technically on par with the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which also produces 85 Nm, it feels noticeably less powerful in practice. You must provide more input and power of your own to get the peak output and support from the EP8 system. Therefore, it feels less like a shuttle, offering a more sporty and natural riding experience. While it emits a restrained hum on the climbs and isn’t conspicuously loud, that isn’t the case on the descents. Instead, it rattles loudly, especially in rough terrain, making it the loudest motor in the test field when riding downhill. Even though the Shimano EP8 motors we’ve tested have proven to be very reliable for the most part, it’s reassuring to know that you can fall back on an extensive dealer and service network in case you do run into any issues.
The Shimano EP801 and EP801 RS systems
The Shimano EP801 is an EP8 motor with slightly modified hard- and software. With the 01 suffix, the motor is capable of offering support at a wider cadence range and has a FINE TUNE mode to further adapt it to your needs. Apart from that, you get a wider range of remotes, and the possibility of linking the system up with the new XT Di2 groupset, which allows for automatic shifting when touring, as on the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1. In addition to the EP801, we also got to test the EP801 RS on the Orbea Rise. Contrary to what you might think, however, the RS added by Orbea means that the motor’s power output is limited at 60 Nm instead of producing the usual 85 Nm. As with the EP8, bike companies aren’t limited to Shimano’s two in-house batteries, able to combine the 801 with options from third party suppliers. Orbea take full advantage of this, offering the Rise either with a 360 Wh or a 540 Wh internal battery. Bike brands can also pair the system with range extenders, which wouldn’t be possible with a Bosch system, for example.
Along with the standard options available to the EP8, the Shimano EP 801 can be combined with a wider range of displays and remotes. For the EVO EN-SL 1, BULLS rely on the same combination of the minimalist SW-EM800-L remote and SC-EM800 display as all bikes on test featuring the EP8 motor. Orbea deviate slightly, fitting the Shimano EN-600L remote and no display. It uses an LED to indicate the 3 support modes, Walk mode, or an error code via 5 different colours. A second LED flashes red, green, or lights up permanently to show you the battery status. However, it’s somewhat confusing and thus serves more as an emergency signal. If it flashes red, you know that it’s time to head back. Of course, the remote can also shift the support modes up or down, activate walk mode, and switch the system on or off.
With the E-TUBE PROJECT app from Shimano, you can create different profiles for the Eco, Trail, and Boost modes, just like the EP8. What’s new on the EP801 is FINE TUNE mode. This lets you activate and configure up to 15 different support modes. The app also shows you the battery status in percentage points, in case you need more accurate information than the LED on the remote or the 20% bars in the display.
On the trail, the EP801 lets you select from Eco, Trail, Boost or any of the additionally created support modes, same as the EP801 RS. The basic characteristics of both motors are the same, which doesn’t come as a surprise since the EP 801 RS is the same motor but with a throttled maximum output. They’re both easy to modulate in the highest mode, letting you pull away safely even in difficult conditions. They continue delivering noticeable power at low cadences, proving to have a wider power Band compared to the EP8 motor. As such, they will both let you reach the summit in a relaxed manner, even if you must pedal a bit harder with the EP801 RS, especially when things get steep. Technical climbs are a cinch with the power and characteristics of the Shimano EP801, but you will reach your limits noticeably sooner with the throttled RS version. Under partial load, the EP801 emits little noise, but it drowns out the FAZUA under full load. The metallic rattling on the descents is a big shortcoming that still affects the EP801.
The BAFANG EonDrive system
The BAFANG EonDrive motor in the Forestal represents a rather unique solution. It’s manufactured and supplied by BAFANG, but a significant part of its development was carried out by Forestal, who combine it with in-house accessories and software. It’s a daring and impressive achievement when you consider that it’s the debut product of the fledgling Andorran bike brand. The EonDrive motor delivers 60 Nm of torque and is powered by a 360 Wh BAFANG battery. Forestal have announced that they’ll be releasing a 250 Wh range extender, though it was yet to be released at the time of our group test. The Forestal is the only bike on test with a 3.2″ touch display, which is beautifully integrated into the top tube. The display sensitivity can’t keep up with the level of modern smartphones, but it works surprisingly well and is intuitive to use. Just don’t get mud or water on the display, as that seems to confuse it, going back and forth until you wipe it clean. It’s best to lock the display before you ride to prevent that from happening. The display provides an immense wealth of beautifully displayed metrics, such as the battery level percentage, distance travelled, altitude difference and current time. It also has a large navigation map. You can track your rides, too, because the Forestal comes equipped with a GPS antenna disguised as a stem spacer, which doubles as theft protection and works with an integrated eSIM card – cool!
Many of these features require you to connect the bike to the Forestal app, however. This provides additional information about the motor, battery, and your activities. In addition to that, it lets you track your bike and get in touch with Forestal. No other bike on test can match the wealth functions of the Forestal system.
As with most systems, the BAFANG remote can be found on the left-hand side of the handlebar, which has an additional battery indicator in 25% increments. The remote has two buttons to shift between support modes, and a third button to switch the bike on/off or activate walk mode. Unfortunately, the rubber buttons provide zero haptic feedback, and they seem misplaced on the otherwise premium looking Forestal.
On the trail, the BAFANG system has three support modes to choose from, as well as a Walk mode. Unfortunately, the BAFANG proved to be the loudest motor on test, almost whistling like a turbo when put under strain. That said, it’s also the most powerful amongst the Light-eMTB motors, kicking in with quite a lot of force as you pull away. However, the assistance provided is heavily dependent on the cadence. The motor isn’t capable of unleashing much power at cadences below 60 rpm or above 100 rpm. Fortunately, the display shows you your cadence, which takes out the guesswork and helps you stay in the optimal range. In that case, the motor keeps chugging along even on technical climbs, though it feels like the power gradually reduces the longer the climb – you have to increase your own effort as you approach the summit, making the final bit the hardest. The sustained assistance after you stop pedalling is dynamic. This means that the harder you pedal, the longer the sustained assistance. Although this results in a natural ride feel, it can be a hindrance on technical climbs, as you often need the motor to keep pushing even if you’ve only put in a light pedal stroke. The motor is silent on the descents and there’s enough free movement in the cranks to avoid any unwanted thrust. We didn’t run into any issues with the BAFANG system, but the after sales service could be an issue considering the very small production run and the wealth of custom solutions. Also, the BAFANG system has a very high battery consumption, draining the battery noticeably just from being switched on.
How and where did we test the e-mountainbikes
We admit it: this group test didn’t just consist of superlatives (30 hot bikes!), but also of lived dreams, not to mention blood, tired legs, late-night debates, intensive repairs, and charging until the solar grid collapsed and the generator gave up. And what for? For all-day epics, for putting the bikes through the wringer, and simply because it’s fun! For the core of the test session, we spent a full two weeks with ten riders on a secluded finca with a stunning view of the trails, sun, and sea on the horizon. The fact that we didn’t want to kill each other during those 14 days with such a high concentration of testosterone is a miracle on its own, and it’s a testament to the crew – certainly, the daily test rides until sunset and cooking and dining together every evening also helped. If we didn’t test bikes full-time, we could probably open a restaurant – yum!
If you’re wondering where we were: about an hour’s drive northeast of Barcelona, in Santa Coloma de Farners, where we found the perfect conditions to conduct a group test as big as this. The town has a huge and still rather unknown trail centre – at least in the international scene – with countless trails. Dry, sandy, and peppered with rock slabs and roots, it was the perfect place to push the bikes to their limits. Our chosen test track – a combination of “Dragon Khan” and “La Llosa” – features rock slabs with a sandpaper like surface, roots, flowing berms, and loose, sandy corners. The climb to the trailhead almost had a bit of everything you can possibly expect: wide gravel paths with potholes that would almost catapult you over the bars if you weren’t alert because your caffeine level had dropped. Flowing sections alternating with rough and sandy routes, to technical climbs that our bikes only just got up. So, if you feel like going somewhere other than Italy for a change and are looking for fine trails without shuttles, you will find everything your heart desires at Santa Coloma de Farners.
Our e-mountainbike group test in numbers
Although numbers don’t have feelings, they can give you a good feeling for tendencies and trends. Here are some exciting, interesting, and fun facts, figures, and statistics.
Things that broke during our tests:
- 1 derailleur hanger torn off
- 1 display broke
- 3 chains snapped
- 3 tires punctured
- 1 Shimano brake lever broke
- 3 FAZUA bikes had difficulties starting up
- 1 FAZUA bike was defective
- 1 Shimano bike was defective
- 1 TQ display gave up
- 3 skid plates broke
- 1 aluminium crank bent
- 1 brake lever broke
- 5 charging ports torn off
- 2 grips broke
The e-mountainbikes on test:
- 30 bikes in the test field
- € 15,999: the most expensive bike on test, the SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL
- € 6,699: the most affordable bike on test, the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL1
- 23 of the bikes roll on 29″ wheels
- 7 of the bikes roll on 29″/27.5″ mullet wheels
- the bikes weigh 22.1 kg on average
- the lightest bike weighs 16.0 kg, and it’s also the most expensive bike
- the heaviest bike weighs 27.1 kg
- the smallest battery is 250 Wh
- the biggest battery is 800 Wh
- the weakest motor produces 40 Nm of torque
- the most powerful motor puts out 95 Nm
What should you look for when buying an e-mountainbike?
Before you splash out your hard-earned cash on a new e-mountainbike only to realise that you made the wrong choice, you should ask yourself a few basic questions. Most bikes can only live up to their full potential if they’re used as intended and, by default, you’ll only be happy if you find a bike that suits your needs and riding style.
It all comes down to the overall concept
Many prospective buyers want to know which is the right e-mountainbike or the best motor, but this is just like the 29” vs 27.5” wheel size debate (just slightly more complex): the best motor is only as good as the e-mountainbike it is part of. Conversely, an e-mountainbike is only as good as the way the motor supports and complements the bike’s character. Compared to analogue mountain bikes, this makes matters much more complex, because manufacturers have to take into account more factors, like the integration of the battery and motor, and the weight distribution of heavy components, which must harmonise with one another in order to offer a coherent package with supposedly contradictory characteristics.
New possibilities on the horizon
Spending all day in nature? Exploring new areas and trails? Tired after a long day at the office? Or simply want to take your kids for a spin in the trailer without spitting out your lungs on the first climb? An e-mountainbike might be exactly what you’re looking for, and at the same time ensures top riding fun on the trail.
A massive battery doesn’t necessarily mean more range!
Just because an e-mountainbike has a big battery, it doesn’t mean that it will take you further than one with a smaller battery. Battery capacity must always be considered in relation to the motor’s power, and as such its power consumption. You may get just as far or even further from a less powerful bike with a smaller battery, though with less support, so it’ll take longer or require more effort on your part.
torque ≠ more power on the trail!
While many of the e-mountainbikes in this test field share similar torque values, they’re totally different on the trail in terms of power delivery. Simply put, an e-mountainbike is far more than sheer numbers and torque values, which, unfortunately, say very little about a bike’s performance when considered in isolation. The Bosch Performance Line CX-Race is the perfect example, showing how much difference a simple software tweak can make on the trail. While technically it’s almost identical to the conventional Performance Line CX motor, churning out 85 Nm torque, the tweaked software ensures a stronger, more abrupt power delivery, transferring more power to the ground at lower and lighter rider inputs. The Shimano EP8 motor also has 85 Nm torque, but can’t keep up with either version of the Bosch CX motor despite sharing the same values on paper. The same goes for the limited Shimano EP801 RS, FAZUA Ride 60 and Bafang EonDrive, all of which deliver 60 Nm of torque, but behave completely differently on the trail. The optimal cadence range – i.e. the range at which the motor delivers its power most efficiently – varies enormously from drive to drive, and on top of that many of the motors in this test don’t cope well with pedalling cadences below 60 rpm, at which they deliver very little power while at the same time consuming huge amounts of energy. As you can see, there’s much more to e-mountainbikes than sheer numbers, and the overall performance can only be determined on the trail.
What questions should you ask yourself before buying an emountainbike?
How much battery capacity do you really need?
If you tend to go for short rides with minimal support, big batteries only mean extra weight, which usually comes at the cost of trail performance. Furthermore, lightweight riders consume significantly less battery, and the topography of the trail also has a major influence on range. On the other hand, if you love to pile up the miles and vertical metres, you’ll probably do well with a big battery capacity. Tackling technical climbs, pedalling with high support modes and at low cadences drains the battery quicker too. Fortunately, some manufacturers offer their bikes with different battery options: with the Orbea Wild, for example, you can choose between a 625 Wh and 750 Wh battery to suit your needs and preferences. over, most manufacturers offer range extenders, allowing you to adjust the capacity depending on the planned route. Removable batteries, such as those found on the FOCUS and Rotwild are an option, too. You’ll just have to budget for the cost of a spare battery, and go back to the car to switch out batteries.
How hard do you have to work?
This depends entirely on the support level you choose and the goals you set yourself. With modern full-fat e-mountainbikes, it takes a massive ride to drain the battery in the lowest support mode, and you’ll still have a fairly relaxed time, because many full-power e-mountainbikes cope well with low pedalling cadences, pushing you up the mountain willingly without requiring too much effort from your side. However, it’s a whole different story with Light-eMTBs, which require a relatively high cadence, calling for considerably more input from the rider, even in the lowest support modes – which can be exhausting in the long run. That said, many manufactures allow you to customise the motor settings and adjust the support level to your needs and preferences, basically allowing you to decide for yourself how hard you want to work.
What additional features should an e-mountainbike have?
In a nutshell, the possibilities are endless! Most manufacturers offer countless options for displays and remotes as well as accessories at the time of purchase. But what do you really need? What is helpful and what is simply superfluous? The good thing is that you can retrofit most accessories at a later stage and there’s a constant stream of software updates and extensions entering the market. Before buying, however, you should still have an idea of what you want from your display, whether you need a navigation function or you’re happy with a flashing LED. An integrated light or GPS tracker doesn’t hurt and doesn’t limit the bike’s performance on the trail, but keeps you and your bike a whole lot safer, regardless of whether that’s on your daily commute to and from work or after a post-ride pint in Finale. So, when buying, be aware of what you need or might want to retrofit in the future and find out about compatible options.
Are you planning to use your e-mountainbike for everyday riding?
If you already know that you’ll be using your new e-mountainbike for everyday riding, for example to commute to work, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, you should look for a high level of touring comfort if you don’t want to end up pedalling to work in an aggressive pedalling position, looking like Lance Armstrong crossing the finish line at the Tour de France. over, it’s a great idea to look for a bike that comes standard with a navigation function and integrated light set that draws its power directly from the bike’s main battery. Both bring huge advantages in everyday riding scenarios without getting in your way on leisurely weekend rides. Another key criterion is the charging infrastructures you have at your disposal. Is there a plug in the garage or bike storage room at work, or do you have to constantly remove the battery – or possibly even have to lock the battery inside the bike frame? Needless to say, the battery capacity also plays a crucial role, because if you can’t charge it at work you might run out of juice half way when pedalling home after a strenuous day at the office. However, if your commute doesn’t exceed 20-30 km, you should be fine with most bikes in this test, which should achieve that sort of range even when riding in the highest support level.
What should you consider when handling an e-mountainbike?
When developing e-mountainbikes, manufacturers often have to make compromises in order to create a bike that is as light, clean and slender as possible. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can make things tricky for you depending on the situation. For example, if you don’t have a power outlet where you park your bike, you’ll want to be able to remove the battery for external charging. Or imagine you take your e-mountainbike on a cycling holiday only to find out that there’s no plug in the garage – and what now? Conversely, it can be annoying if you have to remove the battery after each ride to charge it, even though you’ve got a plug right there. The trend of routing the cables through the headset ensures a clean look but also makes servicing a whole lot more frustrating. Inexperienced or impatient mechanics should get a bike with classic internal cable routing with cable ports in the top or down tube or, better yet, good old external cable routing.
What should you consider regarding the components of a Light-eMTB?
While it’s true that there’s no such thing as the perfect, one-size-fits-all build, some components have a much greater influence on a bike’s trail performance and, above all, on your safety. Big brake rotors, for example, are only marginally heavier but ensure a more reliable, powerful braking performance. In this regard, the following applies: big brake rotors are far better than lightweight top-of-the-range brakes. The suspension has a huge influence on your bike’s trail performance as well as on its long-distance comfort and climbing efficiency. You don’t need the fancy Kashima coating on your fork, and should rather pay attention to the damping technology it uses. We recommend the GRIP2 damper for FOX forks, or the Charger 2.1 and Charger 3.0 dampers for RockShox models. With the shock, a piggy-back reservoir is a useful feature to get the best performance from the rear end. At the risk of repeating ourselves, we must emphasise that any component can only work as well as it does in combination with the bike as a whole.
Do most of your riding buddies ride full-fat eMTB all-rounders?
If that’s the case, a powerful motor with plenty of torque is a decisive factor. You don’t want to be that guy holding everyone up! As a rule of thumb, the highest support mode of a Light-eMTB corresponds to roughly the intermediate support mode of a full-power ebike. If your mates with full-power e-mountainbikes ride primarily in the weakest support mode, you can still keep up with a Light-eMTB in one of the higher support levels. But remember: more power also consumes more battery. However, if you want to play it safe, you should opt for a full-fat eMTB all-rounder.
Do you ride lots in groups with analogue mountain bikes
Then pretty much every Light-eMTB or motor system is suitable for you because you can always go slower. In most cases, you can fine-tune the weakest eco mode and adjust the amount of support according to your needs – or turn off assistance altogether. The range shouldn’t be a limiting factor either when using minimal support and if you have extremely fit colleagues, most Light-eMTBs have the option of a range extender. From our experience, you should easily keep up in the lowest and medium support modes and still have enough reserves for the occasional overtaking manoeuvre. With full-fat e-mountainbikes, on the other hand, you’ll have an easy life, because even the weakest ECO mode gives you a huge advantage over your analogue mates – sometimes you might even get bored!
An overview of all e-mountainbikes in our huge 2023 group test
|Berria||Mako Hybrid GT LTD||Hit the link for the full review|
|BULLS||SONIC EVO EN-SL 1||Hit the link for the full review|
|Cannondale||Moterra Neo Carbon LT1||Hit the link for the full review|
|FLYER||Uproc X 9.50||Hit the link for the full review|
|FOCUS||SAM² 6.9||Hit the link for the full review|
|FOCUS||JAM² 6.9||Hit the link for the full review|
|FOCUS||JAM² SL 9.9||Hit the link for the full review|
|Forestal||Siryon Diōde||Hit the link for the full review|
|GIANT||Trance X Advance E LTD||Hit the link for the full review|
|Haibike||LYKE CF SE||Hit the link for the full review|
|Ibis||Oso||Hit the link for the full review|
|KTM||Macina Prowler Exonic||Hit the link for the full review|
|MERIDA||eONE-SIXTY 975||Hit the link for the full review|
|Mondraker||Crafty Carbon XR LTD||Hit the link for the full review|
|Moustache||Samedi 29 Game 11||Hit the link for the full review|
|Orbea||Rise M-Team||Hit the link for the full review|
|Orbea||WILD M-LTD||Hit the link for the full review|
|Pivot||Shuttle SL Pro X01||Hit the link for the full review|
|Pivot||Shuttle LT Team XTR||Hit the link for the full review|
|RADON||DEFT 10.0||Hit the link for the full review|
|ROTWILD||R.X735 ULTRA||Hit the link for the full review|
|Santa Cruz||Heckler MX X01 AXS RSV||Hit the link for the full review|
|SCOTT||Lumen eRIDE 900 SL||Hit the link for the full review|
|SIMPLON||Rapcon Pmax TQ||Hit the link for the full review|
|Specialized||Turbo Levo Expert||Hit the link for the full review|
|Transition||Repeater AXS Carbon||Hit the link for the full review|
|Thömus||Lightrider E Ultimate||Hit the link for the full review|
|Trek||Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS||Hit the link for the full review|
|UNNO||Mith Race||Hit the link for the full review|
|Yeti||160E T1||Hit the link for the full review|
Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD
The Berria Mako GT LTD is guaranteed to turn heads outside the pub when you stop for a well deserved post-ride pint. The eye-catching look and countless fancy components are topped off by an exotic Polini E-P3 MX motor, which employs a big display integrated into the top tube. On the trail, however, the Berria doesn’t do justice to its tremendous looks, revealing several weaknesses. On steep, technical climbs, it struggles to transfer the motor’s massive power onto the trail, while downhill, it’s slowed down by its inconsistent spec. That said, the Berria is a comfortable and powerful tourer that doesn’t shy away from the occasional trail stint.
BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1
Despite being the cheapest bike in the entire test field, the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 is the only contestant to feature Shimano’s automatic Di2 drivetrain. While the feature in itself is extremely exciting, it doesn’t bring any advantages on technical climbs. However, the clever mix of everyday features and good touring comfort makes the BULLS a great option for the price conscious rider who rarely turns off the beaten track. Offroad, it’s strongly limited by its nervous character.
FLYER Uproc X 9.50
The FLYER Uproc X 9.50 is a great companion for extended peak expeditions with tricky climbing sections. The Uproc plays out its strengths on long tours with plenty of elevation gain, where it takes the edge off technical climbs with the strongest motor in the entire test field, the Panasonic GX Ultimate. In addition, it offers FIT system integration and shines with strong connectivity features. Downhill, however, it shows some weaknesses and quickly reaches its limits, especially in the hands of experienced riders.
FOCUS SAM² 6.9
With its imposing frame silhouette and aggressive-looking coil shock, the FOCUS SAM² 6.9 looks as if it eats rock gardens for breakfast, which makes it the undisputed daredevil in FOCUS’ e-mountainbike lineup. While tours and moderate climbs are only a means to an end, the SAM² still manages them fairly easily. Downhill, it shines with stoic composure and potent suspension. Tipping the scales at a very proud 27 kg, it’s the heaviest bike in the entire test field. Overall, the FOCUS SAM² 6.9 comes with a great spec at a reasonable price.
FOCUS JAM² 6.9
By contrast, its slimmer sibling, the FOCUS JAM² 6.9, is far more relaxed. In FOCUS’ portfolio, it stands right between the JAM² SL Light-eMTB and the corpulent SAM². It impresses with beginner-friendly handling both on tours and as a do-it-all bike, without standing out for anything in particular – neither in a good nor a bad way. Only on rough trails, we wish it could feel a bit more like the SAM². That said, the two bikes are similar in terms of weight: The FOCUS JAM² 6.9 tips the scales at a considerable 26 kilograms, which becomes evident on the trail.
FOCUS Jam² SL 9.9
Not only is the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 extremely understated with its black paint finish, but also rather unspectacular on the trail. However, this is by no means a bad thing, because the JAM² SL is just a discreet all-rounder for sporty riders which combines strong trail performance with comfortable touring characteristics. The rock-solid spec, potent suspension and predictable handling make it a workhorse for beginners and experts alike.
Forestal Siryon Diōde
The Forestal Siryon Diōde is without a doubt one of the most futuristic looking e-mountainbikes in the entire test field. The young Andorran manufacturer has knocked it out of the park with their very first bike, showing a level of development competence that even some of the most established bike brands struggle to achieve – chapeau! In other words, Forestal are showing in which direction the future of ebikes could be heading. The motor system is the result of a close collaboration between BAFANG and the Andorran bike manufacturer, and is complemented by a well-functioning in-house touch display neatly integrated into the top tube and a comprehensive app, which includes a hidden GPS antenna for theft protection. In addition, the Siryon shows how it’s done on the trail, proving one of the most potent bikes in this test. Unfortunately, the battery drains quickly, the motor is annoyingly loud and the service resources are still a big question mark.
GIANT Trance X Advance E LTD
If you’re fond of simplicity, the GIANT Trance X Advanced E LTD might not be the bike for you. The high-tech Taiwanese steed features plenty of electronic gimmicks, including FOX Live Valve, which controls the suspension fully automatically. However, to fully exploit the wide range of functions you’ll have to manage three separate apps on your smartphone. In our 2023 group test, the Giant is the only bike that employs the powerful GIANT SyncDrivePro2 motor, which is paired with a huge 800 Wh battery – the biggest one in this test! While the peculiar geometry with a very low front-end doesn’t really work downhill, the Giant convinces as a true climbing monster, combining tons of traction, good directional stability and a massive battery.
Haibike LYKE CF SE
German ebike pioneers Haibike have taken their time to release a Light-eMTB and weren’t all that present in the more aggressive mountain bike sector until now. However, with the LYKE CF SE, they’ve made a great Light-eMTB debut featuring some clever solutions. They’re the only manufacturer to integrate the FAZUA Ride 60 motor vertically into the frame, cleverly hiding it in the seat tube. Unfortunately, the innovative concept comes at the expense of the seat post’s insertion depth. Despite its aggressive look, the LYKE struggles to deliver on the trail. Unlike the better competitors in this test, it’s difficult to control on technical trails and quickly feels overwhelmed.
Californian cult brand IBIS has finally overcome its e-scepticism and joined the electric party with their green shredding machine, the Ibis Oso. With its striking, self-assured design language, it appears to love every minute of its eMTB debut, heading straight to the dance floor. Except for the extravagant look, however, Ibis played it safe, employing a proven Bosch CX Performance Line motor and their classic DW-Link suspension design, which has been tweaked and fine-tuned over many years. At fancy dress parties, the Oso would always turn up in the same costume, because it’s only available in one spec variant. On the dance floor, however, it’s incredibly versatile, boogying away in great style. Only when the John Travoltas among e-mountainbikes hit the dance floor, such as…, the Oso starts sweating a little.
KTM Macina Prowler Exonic
Issued in a limited edition with a savage Bosch CX-Race motor and 180 mm travel at the front, the KTM Macina Prowler Exonic is the Austrian manufacturer’s e-mountainbike for the rough stuff. On the trail however, it doesn’t do justice to its beefy, confident appearance, quickly reaching its limits with its nervous, vague handling – partly due to some major inconsistencies in the spec. Uphill, it’s significantly more difficult to control than the other competitors with Bosch’s CX Race motor. On the other hand, the KTM cuts a fine figure as a monster truck for touring and everyday use. Cool feature: The Bosch Connect tracking module.
MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975
As the proud winner of our 2022 budget e-mountainbike group test under € 6,500, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 takes on a test field that includes bikes more than twice as expensive. While the current model retails at € 7,249, the eONE-SIXTY 975 hasn’t changed in its essence. At first glance, the plain alloy silhouette is rather unexciting but upon closer inspection you’ll come across several clever features at a very fair price. On the trail, the MERIDA keeps up with most of its pricey competitors and impressed several of our test riders, delivering a solid riding performance with predictable, intuitive handling. Clever features such as the standard headlight broaden its range of applications enormously and make it a strong all-rounder in all situations, from cheeky trail sessions to everyday use. If you’re looking for a bike with a consistent spec and a fair price, the MERIDA might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD
Straight, elongated lines, sharp edges and confident branding: it’s got to be a Spaniard! The Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD is well aware of its roots, proudly rocking Mondraker’s distinctive frame silhouette and a Bosch CX Race motor. Add the fancy spec including bling Öhlins suspension, and you’re guaranteed a very coherent overall package. On the trail, the Spanish stallion rides as if on rails – provided you shred your way back into the valley in a straight line. If you like to stuff yourself with tapas, we’ve got good news: the Crafty Carbon XR LTD has the highest permissible total weight in the entire test field – go on then, knock yourself out!
Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11
The Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 enters the race with an old-school look and high-quality spec. The French manufacturer has fully committed itself to the electric cause. The undisputed highlight of their top spec model is the in-house Magic Grip Control shock, which didn’t quite manage to deliver the performance we hoped for in this test. In a nutshell, the rear suspension lacks support and feels rather spongy downhill, struggling to negotiate fast consecutive hits. In return, the Moustache cuts a fine figure as a touring companion, where the powerful Bosch motor and comfortable rear suspension work a treat.
Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01
The Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 was the first Light-eMTB with FAZUA Ride 60 motor available on the market. In typical Pivot fashion, the firm DW-Link rear suspension ensures an excellent riding performance, both up and downhill, while the poppy rear end provides shed-loads of fun, especially on flowing trails. The precise steering behaviour and fast-looking paint finish ensure a nerve-tickling BMX sensation. Technical trails, however, call for decent riding skills to keep the Shuttle SL under control.
Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR
The third iteration of the Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR drifts into our group test with the “more travel, more battery, more fun” mantra. With a whopping 756 Wh capacity, it has the biggest Shimano battery in the entire test field, while the comfortable pedalling position and efficient suspension ensure excellent touring qualities. Downhill, it’s reassuringly intuitive to ride and only falls slightly behind the best bikes in this test field, proving one of the best all-rounders on review.
ROTWILD R.X735 ULTRA
As one of the models in the German manufacturer’s “Aggressive Series”, the ROTWILD R.X735 ULTRA is aimed primarily at sporty riders. Its orientation is underlined by the sleek frame silhouette and clever detail solutions, like the battery’s quick-release function. The latter makes the Rotwild the bike with the fastest and most intuitive battery removal system! The agile, nimble handling slaps a massive grin on the face of experienced riders, but the somewhat inconsistent spec holds the Rotwild back on technical trails. As soon as you leave the trail to embark on longer rides, the pedalling position is a tad too aggressive, making the Rotwild less suitable for touring.
Santa Cruz Heckler MX X01 AXS RSV
The Santa Cruz Heckler MX X01 AXS RSV came all the way from sunny California to no less sunny Cataluña to take part in our huge group test, promising to be lots of fun with its small rear wheel. And indeed, the Heckler keeps its promise on the trail, providing balanced handling and excellent support. At the same time, it inspires huge amounts of confidence, even when riding at high speeds, while the sensitive rear suspension makes you feel as if you were constantly gliding through a freshly-built trail. Not only is the Santa Cruz an excellent all-rounder, but also a comfortable tourer, albeit with some weaknesses on technical climbs.
SCOTT Lumen eRIDE 900 SL
The SCOTT Lumen eRIDE 900 SL features a TQ HPR 50 motor and is the undisputed master of integration in our 2023 e-mountainbike group test. Not only did the Swiss development team conceal the motor and shock inside the frame, but also integrated countless features and tools in places you wouldn’t think of. In harmony with its XC genes and streamlined appearance, the Lumen grinds its way up the mountain without batting an eyelid and yet delivers an impressive performance downhill. That said, the eye-watering € 15,999 price tag only makes it an option for a handful of people and on top of that, the field of application is extremely narrow considering the price.
Specialized Turbo Levo Expert
Already in its third iteration, the Specialized Turbo Levo Expert remains one of the most popular e-mountainbikes on the market. Thanks to Specialized’s unique do-it-all approach, developing both the motor and software around the bike, the Levo caused a stir right from its first generation and still goes strong after several years, holding up rather well against a test field of modern and rather shrewd competitors. Both the display integration and battery removal system are cleverly implemented into the overall concept and have effectively served as a benchmark for many competitors. On the trail, the Levo impresses with great versatility and intuitive handling, which ensure excellent all rounder qualities and make it suitable for both beginners and seasoned shredders.
Transition Repeater AXS Carbon
With the Transition Repeater AXS Carbon, the Bellingham-based manufacturer has finally jumped on the electric wagon. For their eMTB debut, Transition rely on proven (albeit slightly unexciting) Shimano motor integration and a sleek paint finish, delivering an excellent overall concept with a spec that perfectly suits its intended use. As a result, the Repeater encourages you to take your finger off the brakes and take full advantage of its extraordinary downhill potential. When descending, it inspires huge amounts of confidence and impresses with supportive suspension, which makes it one of the best and most discreet trail rippers in the entire test field.
Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate
While the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate is the epitome of Helvetic pride, it’s far from being the Swiss army knife among e-mountainbikes. In our 2023 e-mountainbike test field, it combines the smallest battery (250 Wh) and weakest motor, which churns out a rather conservative 40 Nm torque. That said, the mellow character of the motor fits in well with the bike’s XC genes. As a result, the Thömus Lightrider requires more physical effort to get to the trailhead, but at the same time ensures a very natural riding experience. In keeping with its strong XC DNA, the Lightrider places you in a sporty, stretched pedalling position that isn’t overly comfortable on climbs. Downhill, the Thömus is held back by its own spec, though this can be customised using Thömus’ online configurator. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to personalise our test bike.
Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS
The Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS has a clear edge over the other TQ competitors in this test. The motor was developed in close collaboration with the American bike manufacturer and relies on Trek’s proprietary software and app, which brings several practical advantages. These include more intuitive display operation and a wider range of functions in Trek’s in-house app – although the latter only offers added value off the trails. On the trail, the Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS is capable of pretty much everything but doesn’t excel at anything in particular, discreetly cruising along the rest of the test field with beginner-friendly handling.
UNNO Mith Race
Radical and extravagant are perhaps the best words to describe the UNNO Mith Race. With its striking seat dome and metallic paint finish with golden accents, the Catalan steed is a real head turner, both on the trail and outside the pub. Upon closer inspection, you’ll come across countless captivating details, including the seamless Bosch system integration and elegant design features – the elaborate chain and seat stay protector being just one of them. Unfortunately, the peculiar frame design with enclosed shock makes it hard to set up the suspension. On the trail, the UNNO provides tons of support and impresses with direct, precise handling, but also requires an experienced rider who knows how to handle the direct feedback. Overall, the UNNO cuts a fine figure both in your living room and on the trail, where it proves a mean downhill machine for trail veterans.
Yeti 160E T1
Not only is the Yeti 160E T1 the Colorado-based cult brand’s eMTB debut, but also the defending Champion in this group test. It employs Yeti’s proprietary and rather fascinating six-bar suspension system, which knocks it out of the park on the trail and is rounded off by a top-notch spec. Needless to say, all of this comes at a rather eye-watering price. Although the electric snow monster can’t secure victory for the second year in a row, it still delivers a mind boggling trail performance for all types of riders and in a huge range of applications.
The best eMTB of 2023: the Orbea Wild
The Orbea WILD M-LTD 2023 is the Basque manufacturer’s e-mountainbike for the rough stuff. It comes equipped with a new Bosch Performance Line CX Race motor, which can be configured with either a 625 Wh or 750 Wh battery and customised down to the smallest detail using Orbea’s MyO online configurator. Orbea’s € 11,299 eMTB turns the volume to eleven on the trail and at the same time convinces with excellent all-round qualities.
Our Best Buy tip: the Radon Deft
With the RADON DEFT 10.0 750 2023, the German direct-to-consumer brand entered the competition with a thoroughbred eMTB bruiser, which generates a whopping 170 mm of travel and retails at € 6,799. The Bosch Performance CX Smart System and 750 Wh battery are neatly packed into a carbon frame with alloy swingarm. Together with the high-quality spec, this makes the DEFT an very interesting option, not only for its reasonable price.
Both our test winner and Best Buy tip, the Orbea WILD M-LTD and Radon Deft 10.0 750, have secured their titles for a reason and should be the ideal companion for most eMTBers. That said, every rider has their own needs and requirements, so depending on your situation, you might be better off buying a touring or Light-eMTB. Here are some recommendations from our editorial team, which should include a suitable bike for everyone.
The best touring and everyday e-mountainbike in our group test: Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1
The Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 wants to strike the optimal balance between trail artist and everyday Hero, but fails to achieve its goal. However, this isn’t all that bad, because if you shift your FOCUS slightly, the Moterra convinces as a strong tourer and an awesome everyday companion. The excellent riding comfort and countless everyday features, like the battery lock and lighting system, make it the best tourer in the entire test field – and at a fair price! Unfortunately, sporty riders who are looking for trail performance won’t cope well with its passive, sluggish character.
The best Light-eMTB in our huge 2023 group test: SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax TQ
Winning genes? Indeed! The SIMPLON Rapcon PMAX TQ is based on its analogue counterpart, which already secured the “Best enduro bike” title two years ago. Now the Austrian brand has seamlessly integrated the TQ motor into the frame, putting together a tremendous overall package. The bike’s character suits the motor to a tee and despite its low power output, the Rapcon pulls away from most of its competitors thanks to its efficient rear suspension. The SIMPLON begs you to get rowdy downhill and encourages you to push your limits with its predictable handling, stoic composure, and unmatched suspension while inspiring tons of confidence in the process. The SIMPLON Rapcon PMAX TQ is without a doubt the best Light-eMTB of 2023!
Full-fat or Light-eMTB? Or both? Orbea Rise M-Team
With the new Orbea Rise M-LTD, you can customise both the spec and look of your new bike using Orbea’s extensive MyO online configurator. Furthermore, the Basque manufacturer lets you choose between a 360 Wh and 540 Wh battery, which is permanently integrated into the downtube regardless of the size. If you add the optional range extender, the Rise has more capacity than most full-power eMTB all rounders. Speaking of power: the Shimano EP801 is tuned to reduce the maximum torque provided from 85 to 60 Nm and therefore uses less power than other Shimano motors – which translates into even more range! However, the Rise is a strong climber despite the limited motor and cuts a fine figure downhill, where it convinces with intuitive, predictable handling. The perfect compromise between Light-eMTBs and full-fat all rounders.
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Words: Peter Walker, Felix Rauch Photos: Peter Walker, Mike Hunger
The Top-Rated Electric Bike of 2022
The start of a new year is always an opportunity for reflection, and here at Charge, we’ve been evaluating our efforts and looking back at our accomplishments in 2021.
One thing that tells us we’re on the right road is the fact our bikes are consistently rated as some of the best in the industry by independent experts. We’re especially proud of honors we racked up last year, such as being named the “Best E-Bike for Small Spaces” by Gear Patrol and the “Best Lightweight Electric Bike for Women” by Woman’s World.
When it comes to these types of objective reviews, our bikes are regularly in the top ranks. That fuels our determination to keep doing what we’re doing and to do it even better as we grow.
As we look forward to 2022, we’re excited to the best electric bikes on (and off) the road. Whether you’re looking for electric commuter bikes, electric mountain or cargo bikes, or electric recreational bikes, all Charge electric bicycles are made to move you—in every way. With three dynamic models to choose from, there’s one that’s just right for your lifestyle and cycling needs.
So, what makes Charge bikes the best electric bikes on the market, and what has everyone from the folks over at Forbes to MSN to CNET raving?
Well, after years of work to perfect the ideal e-bikes, we’re delivering a small-but-mighty lineup of bikes that checks all the boxes. Our bikes are stylish, comfortable, affordable, and durable. They offer a superiorly smooth ride, and we’ve we’ve made it so owning and operating one is super easy, and super fun. Customers and reviewers alike agree, which is why we’re the top-rated electric bike company of 2022 on (and off!) the road.
The Charge Difference
We get it: there are a lot of electric bike manufacturers out there to choose from and a lot of people trying to buy electric bikes. In 2021 alone, an Americans bought an e-bike every 52 seconds. With so much activity in the market and so many options out there, you may be wondering what sets Charge apart.
Let’s start from the beginning. When we first started crafting bikes back in 2004, our mission was simple: to bring the joy and freedom of cycling to more people than ever before. For the next several years, we produced an assortment of affordable and durable traditional bikes, but we never stopped thinking about how we could make the biking experience even better and more accessible. As a team of like-minded, big-hearted individuals, supported by the technical expertise of Schwinn and Cannondale, we wanted to make bikes for real people’s actual lives.
That’s why, when electric bike technology first emerged, we immediately recognized it was a game changer. With the addition of an electric, rear-wheel motor, many of the barriers to cycling virtually disappear. Suddenly, hills aren’t a problem, and you can use your e-bike to move through your life daily while enjoying all the little moments during the ride. With the ability to choose between multiple levels of pedal assistance, you can travel safely at high speeds, and get where you need to go faster and easier.
So, after a lot of research and consideration, we decided to FOCUS solely on creating the ideal electric bike. We moved forward with a mission to eliminate the frustrations we’ve experienced ourselves and seen others face when looking for a bike—things like intimidating jargon, an overwhelming number of product choices, and oftentimes, brands that only seem to care about men or competitive cyclists.
Fast forward to 2022, and we’re proud to offer three models of e-bikes that aren’t only nice to look at, but also come equipped with premium features that truly elevate the electric-bike-riding experience. They’re bikes made to celebrate real life, not chase an ideal version of it, and they’re a pleasure to ride.
We certainly don’t take your business for granted, and we’re committed to being an electric bike company you can trust. It’s been the Charge way for nearly 20 years, and it always will be.
Which Charge Electric Bike is Right for my Lifestyle and Cycling Needs?
Before we discuss what sets our models apart from each other—and which electric bike is best for your lifestyle and cycling needs—let’s first review what they have in common.
All Charge E-Bikes are Classified as Class 2 Electric Bikes
Due to rules and regulations, electric bicycles are divided into three classes, which indicate their level of motor assistance and dictate where they can be ridden:
Class 1 Electric Bikes are the most common introduction to e-bikes, since they’re affordable and accepted on all city streets and bike paths. The motor on a Class 1 electric bicycle will only start once the rider begins to pedal, and it will stop providing assistance once a top speed of 20 mph is reached.
Class 2 Electric Bikes are also allowed on most city streets and bike paths. Unlike a Class 1 e-bike, however, the motor on a Class 2 e-bike can be activated without any pedal assistance from the rider—meaning you can cruise effortlessly, if you’d like—and the motor assistance will continue until a max speed of 20 mph is reached.
Class 3 Electric Bikes are the most powerful—and therefore, also the most expensive—of the three classes of electric bicycles. Like a Class 2 e-bike, the motor on a Class 3 e-bike can be powered without any pedal assistance by the rider. The difference between a Class 2 and Class 3 e-bike is that the motor assistance on a Class 3 can continue until a top speed of 28 mph is reached (versus a max speed of 20 mph on a Class 2 e-bike). As a result, Class 3 electric bikes are not allowed on most bike paths or mountain bike trails.
Every Charge e-bike is classified as a Class 2 Electric Bike. We FOCUS on these bikes because they offer the most freedom and flexibility while still delivering significant speed and distance capacity.
All Charge E-Bikes Come Equipped with Premium Features—Standard
Here at Charge, we’re all about empowering riders with a superior riding experience. We also are committed to making, buying and owning an electric bike more accessible and affordable. That’s why our bikes come equipped with everything you need, and nothing you don’t, including these premium features—standard:
✹ High-quality, aluminum frame that’s lightweight, but built to last and ready to ride in any weather.
✹ Powerful, rear-hub motor, which provides electric assist up to 20 mph.
✹ Locking, removable battery that gives you up to 50 miles on a single charge and can easily be recharged on or off the bike.
✹ Folding handlebar and pedals that open and close in seconds—meaning you need less space to store or transport your bike.
✹ Comfortable seats and grips, so you can get there and back with ease.
✹ Puncture-resistant Goodyear tires that offer unsurpassed, all-weather traction and robust flat protection.
✹ Automatic tire pressure sensors that take out the guesswork and show red when you need air, or green if you’re good to go.
✹ High-powered, integrated front and rear lights and reflective tire walls that ensure you can see and be seen, day or night.
✹ A sturdy rear rack that makes it easy to attach baskets, crates, or bins for all your daily essentials.
Find the Right Charge E-Bike for Your Lifestyle Cycling Needs
At Charge, we like to keep things simple. We offer three, high-quality models of electric bikes, all of which deliver a superiorly smooth ride with less fatigue. So, what’s the difference between them, and how do you know which is the right Charge e-bike for you?
It really comes down to two things: 1) Where you plan to ride your bike most; and 2) how you prefer to cycle.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Charge e-bike lineup:
The City, designed for urban commuting.
The Comfort, made for leisurely, upright rides.
The XC, ready for on- and off-road adventures.
Want to learn more? Keep reading for specifics on each bike and to find out which Charge e-bike fits your lifestyle and cycling needs.
For Daily Commuting: City Electric Bike
From the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn bikes, the City Electric Bike is an electric commuter bike that brings ease to urban life. It’s easy to store (even in tight places like a studio apartment) and transport (think: a subway car or bus) thanks to folding handlebars and a lightweight design. But don’t let the slim profile fool you; the City was expertly designed for city living. It has tough Goodyear tires to provide a smooth ride on any terrain, offers five levels of pedal assist with a convenient, push-button throttle at your fingertips, and is equipped with built-in lights to keep you safe. It’s all about getting you where you want to go, how you want to get there. Available with a standard or low-step frame, with the City Electric Bike, your daily route is about to get a whole lot more fun.
For Recreational Riding: Comfort Electric Bike
The Comfort Electric Bike is our everyday, electric recreational bike that’s all about keeping things easy and upright, even on hills. With a low-step frame, bump-proof shocks, and super-comfy seat, the Comfort makes cycling a total breeze—and so much fun. Plus, the easy-to-use thumb throttle lets you choose between five levels of pedal assist, so you’re in complete control of how much you want to pedal… or not pedal. The Comfort is built for leisurely rides that will keep you active and leave you feeling empowered and exhilarated, not exhausted.
For On and Off-Roading: XC Electric Bike
When adventure calls, the XC Electric Bike—our rugged, electric mountain bike from the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn—is ready to take on any terrain. With fat, Goodyear tires, tough shocks, and front suspension fork, the XC e-bike can handle gravel roads and dusty trails, and it keeps you comfortable all day long. Thanks to a powerful, mid-drive motor that can flatten steep hills, plus an integrated battery that provides up to 50 miles on a single charge, you’re set for long adventures on- or off-road with the XC Electric Bike.
Why Go Electric with Charge?
When we first started making bikes in 2004, we produced an assortment of well-priced and durable, traditional bikes that were both easy and fun to ride. We quickly grew in popularity, but we couldn’t help but wonder how we could reach even more riders. So, in addition to deciding to FOCUS solely on crafting electric bikes, our team also took the opportunity to reimagine and redesign every aspect of the electric bike experience—from buying and assembly to storage and ownership—looking for Smart solutions to the pain points they had witnessed over the decades building and riding bikes.
Keep reading to learn how Charge has reinvented the electric bike experience, and why choosing a Charge e-bike can make your life—in a word—easier.
Still not sold on electric bikes? We get it, especially if you haven’t ridden one or any kind of bike in years for that matter. The fact is, however, that offer endless possibilities potential and are equipped with solutions for most of the problems you might think they present. Here are a few to consider.
PROBLEM: BIKES ARE HARD TO STORE, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR APARTMENT IS ALSO YOUR BIKE GARAGE.
Solution: Folding handlebars and pedals save space, and they make it easier to move and store your bike.
PROBLEM: YOU NEVER KNOW IF THERE IS ENOUGH AIR IN YOUR BIKE TIRES.
Solution: Automated tire pressure sensors take out the guesswork by turning red when you need air, or green if you’re good to go.
PROBLEM: YOU NEVER KNOW IF YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH BATTERY CHARGE TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN.
Solution: Powerful battery provides up to 50 miles in range, and the display shows range in miles to go—not just as a percentage.
PROBLEM: YOU WANT TO FEEL SAFER ON THE ROAD.
Solution: Integrated front and rear lights and reflective tires provide better visibility in all light conditions, ensuring you can see and be seen, day or night.
PROBLEM: YOU NEED YOUR BIKE TO WITHSTAND DAILY COMMUTES ON POTHOLED STREETS.
Solution: High-quality, aluminum frame is lightweight yet durable, and puncture-resistant Goodyear tires offer unsurpassed all-weather protection and robust flat protection, meaning you’re ready to ride no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
PROBLEM: THERE ISN’T AN ELECTRIC OUTLET NEAR WHERE YOU KEEP YOUR BIKE.
Solution: Removable (yet lockable) batteries make it easy to safely recharge at home, work, or wherever you have power.
We’re glad you asked! We’ve also made the process of buying an electric bike online and assembling it yourself simpler and easier. Most bike manufacturers today ship their bikes in pieces, and it takes numerous, complicated steps—and not to mention, a bunch of tools—to put them together. To solve this problem, we designed a box that allows us to ship our e-bikes nearly fully assembled. Once a Charge bike arrives, it can quickly (we’re talking under 10 minutes) be put together by following four simple steps and using just one tool.
In addition to being cycling fanatics and outdoor enthusiasts, we’re also deeply committed to helping to protect our environment. By choosing a Charge electric bike, you are reducing your carbon footprint every time you go out for a bike ride instead of starting up your car, and our packaging has been intentionally designed to minimize waste by eliminating all foam and plastic wrap and using only 100% recyclable materials. Meaning you’ll be doing good for the environment before you even get out the door!
Hit the Road with the Top-Rated Electric Bike of 2022!
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why Charge is the top-rated electric bike of 2022. From premium features that come standard on all our models to a customer service team that’s here to answer all your questions, plus so much more, we’re making life easier, one electric bicycle at a time.
Don’t just take out word for it, though. Take one out for a spin and see for yourself. A test ride lets you experience a Charge electric bicycle without commitment, and with a growing network of dealers and test-ride locations, we’ve made it easier to find one near you.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and ELECTRIC 2022!