Best Electric Commuter Bikes: 5 Top E-commuters Reviewed. E bike wirecutter

Best Electric Commuter Bikes: 5 Top E-commuters Reviewed

Great electric commuter bikes can make getting to and from work a less stressful and more enjoyable experience while excluding the effort that’s involved in riding a standard bike so that you can expect to arrive at your destination in a fresher state.

Your daily commute may well take less time than by public transport or car as you’ll most likely find quicker routes that you can only be taken by bike. Once the up-front cost of the e-bike has been discounted, your daily commute is likely to be cheaper too.

You’ll want an electric bike that’s reliable, comfortable, and safe in all weathers. It needs to be easy to live with, give you enough range, and provide confidence on busy city streets.

What type of electric commuter bike you pick is based on the demands of your commute, what bike type you feel comfortable and safe on, and, of course, how much you’re willing to spend.

Choosing a perfect commuter e-bike can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of what we think are the best commuter e-bikes out there.

In A Hurry? The Test Winner After 15 Hours Of Research: The Best Electric Bike For Commuting

Rad Power RadCity Step-Thru

What We Like:

  • 750W motor with regenerative braking
  • Affordable price point
  • Fun, commuter-styled frame
  • Throttle adds extra manual power
  • The battery is lockable and removable

Juiced Bikes Hyperscrambler 2

What To Look For When Shopping For An Commuter E-bike

Below are important factors to take into consideration when shopping for an e-bike.

Battery

When it comes to the battery of an electric bike, one of the most important things to consider is whether the bike comes with a removable or integrated battery. The removable battery can come in handy if you need to lock up your bike somewhere outside so you can just take it off and bring it with you. And when it comes to the size of a bike’s battery, think about how much power you want to use and more importantly, how far you want to go. The distance you intend on riding will dictate how big of a battery you need.

Motor

There are two main types of motors used on electric bikes: the mid-drive and hub motors. The mid-drive motors generally apply force to the chainrings or chains. Hub motors on the other hand apply force to the front or rear axle. Hub motors can be ‘direct-drive’ or ‘geared’. Hub motors can also be brushed or brushless. Confused yet?

Some considerations about e-bike motors are as follows:

  • Mid-drive motors generally have more torque for a given sized motor
  • A geared hub motor will usually have more torque and range than the equivalent-sized direct drive hub motor
  • A direct drive motor is often quieter than a geared hub motor or a mid-drive motor
  • The simpler a motor is, the less there is to go wrong with it
  • Front vs. rear hub motor position is really down to personal preference
  • A bigger motor will usually have more power but have a lower range

Weight

There aren’t many truly light e-bikes around, and those that are indeed light typically sacrifice power and range. Full-sized electric bicycles currently usually weigh approximately 50 to 60 pounds, with the weight of the motor and battery included. If the weight of an electric bike is a concern, you might want to consider a smaller style of the e-bike such as a folding electric bike.

Tires

Even though a fat tire e-bike is generally good for rough terrains, you won’t need such a bike if you intend on riding your e-bike around the town. Thin tires are generally lighter and best for paved streets. However, you can consider getting puncture-resistant tires to avoid flats if you want that extra safety.

Brakes

Electric bikes are generally equipped either with mechanical or hydraulic brakes. Usually, mechanical brakes are cheaper and require less maintenance but sacrifice performance. On the other hand, hydraulic brakes feel nicer and are more responsive. but you can expect higher maintenance.

Best Overall: Rad Power RadCity Step-Thru

When it comes to Rad Power Bikes, The RadCity Step-thru is one fun, zippy e-bike.

While this bike doesn’t have some of the most upgraded features, it offers a great components combination that keeps this e-bike comfortable and sturdy while fun to ride.

The twist throttle is conveniently placed on the right handlebar grip, and it gives you a bit more control so you can add that extra kick when needed.

Pedal assistance supports a rider’s cadence with additional speed. The amount of added speed is based on a preset pedal assist mode.

Rad Power RadCity Step-Thru

Key Specs

750W Brushless Shengyi Direct Drive Hub Motor

48V, 14 Ah (672 Wh) With Lithium NMC Samsung 35E Cells

Bike Weight

When it comes to Rad Power Bikes, The RadCity Step-thru is one fun, zippy e-bike. While this bike doesn’t have some of the most upgraded features, it offers a great components combination that keeps this e-bike comfortable and sturdy while fun to ride.

The twist throttle is conveniently placed on the right handlebar grip, and it gives you a bit more control so you can add that extra kick when needed. Pedal assistance supports a rider’s cadence with additional speed. The amount of added speed is based on a preset pedal assist mode.

While this bike comes with a 750W electric motor which is on the more powerful side, it’s generally hard to get a rear hub motor to actually produce 750 watts. In addition, the 40Nm of torque should be more than enough for flat unweighted rides but may feel underwhelming with a heavier rider, transporting cargo, or riding on an incline.

The 48v battery on the RadCity gives you 14Ah and 672Wh, so it has a respectable range of up to 50 miles. The estimated time is around 6 hours until the battery is fully charged.

The battery can also be removed if you wish to charge it in a wall outlet.

The RadCity comes with Tektro Aries Brakes with Tektro 180 mm front and rear rotors that provide responsive and powerful stopping force.

Since these are single piston mechanical brakes, it requires a bit more grip strength to engage the brakes.

Additionally, this e-bike’s frame is constructed out of 6061 aluminum alloy. Even though RadCity might look like one of those cargo bikes, it is actually a great commuter that features a front suspension fork with 100mm fork length and 80mm of travel. You also get front and rear lights that serve to make you more visible to others in low-light situations.

With its step-through design, RadCity leaves plenty of space for a standard bottle cage mount and mounting points that let you install the rear rack.

The 26” puncture-resistant tires lift the wheelbase just enough for good clearance and help limit flats. Also, these tires have a bit more tread which is great if you’re riding on rougher roads.

Top Value For Money: Aventon Level E-Bike

Featuring a 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor, Aventon Level is capable of a 750W of peak power.

Because of this, the Level can reach 20mph and even more with ease. This brushless rear hub performs especially well on tough hill climbs, and it’s pretty quick to accelerate on flat roads.

A good quality battery is a crucial component in an e-bike because not only does it power the motor and but it can dictate how far your ride is.

The internally integrated Lithium-ion 48V 14Ah battery is a long-lasting one as it offers around 40 miles of range and is also visually appealing due to its integrated design.

The Level comes with five pedal assist modes. Aventon has created a nice tune for the pedal-assist levels, as they are easily distinguishable from each other.

Key Specs

500W, 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor

Lithium-Ion 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) With Samsung Cells

Bike Weight

Constructed out of 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum Alloy, this e-bike’s frame features an internal battery storage compartment and also sports a rear rack. While this frame is heavier than most standard bicycles, the weight is located where it feels natural when riding.

Since the Level is a rear hub motorbike and usually bikes of this design have the majority of their weight on the rear part of the bike, this makes Level particularly impressive.

This electric commuter bike also comes with an 8-speed Shimano Acera Drivetrain and a Rapid-fire shifter. While other electric bikes in this price range may have the same amount of gears, the way Level shifts is what speaks for its quality.

For any electric commuter bike, tires are also important to the overall experience. The 27.5″ x 2.2″ Kenda Kwick Drumlin tires showcased on the Level have reflective sidewalls that guarantee visibility to others. These tires have a tread pattern that provides plenty of traction on the road, ensuring extra safety and stability. Also, the Bengal Ares 3 are powerful hydraulic disc brakes and have no problem slowing or stopping this heavyweight bike in a hurry.

Longest Range Commuter: Juiced Bikes Hyperscrambler 2

Hyperscrambler 2’s motor comes from the Bafang company.

With 1000W nominal and 1800W peak power, this is definitely a powerful motor making Hyperscrambler 2 a fast electric commuter bike.

If you manage to bypass the speed limit, you can make 30-31 mph on the throttle, and you won’t have issues handling most of the hills.

The magnesium cast wheels on this electric bike provide lots of advantages as you won’t have to worry about the spoke adjustment and so on.

Juiced Bikes Hyperscrambler 2

Key Specs

Bike Weight

However, you’ll have to be careful not to drop the bike if you don’t want to damage the wheels because in that case, you won’t be able to repair them. This is just something you’ll need to keep in mind if you decide on getting this bike, so just pay attention when lifting the Hyperscrambler 2.

The dual battery showcased on Hyperscrambler 2 has a capacity of 2000Wh whcih also powers the integrated lights.

Admittedly, this capacity is one of the biggest a stock e-bike can have.

With a battery pack like this one, you can expect to get 100 miles of range, which is by far more than any other bike in this price category.

The drivetrain in this electric commuter bike is also better than on most bikes at this level. It offers 8 speed Shimano drivetrain. The very-responsive Tektro hydraulic disc brakes on the Hyperscrambler 2 provide more than enough stopping power to this electric bicycle. The Hyperscrambler 2 comes with puncture-resistant 20” x 4” tires, which are big enough to absorb vibrations on more bumpy roads and give you a smooth ride feel.

Coolest Design: Izip Vibe 2

The Izip Vibe 2 comes with the Bosch Active Line 40Nm Torque which is your standard-fare mid-range unit.

While this motor may not be the best available one on the market, it’s more than enough for your city commuting.

Additionally, the motor on this bike is capable of climbing reasonable inclines without issues.

Once you’ve selected one of the 4 assistance levels, the motor will measure the torque you deliver to the pedals, crank cadence, and speed after which it will provide the power assistance you have chosen.

Key Specs

Bosch Active Line, 40Nm Torque, 20 Mph

Bike Weight

Much like the motor, the battery on the Vibe 2 also comes from Bosch which isn’t a bad thing at all.

The battery pack on this bike features a solid 400Wh, which is more than enough for up to 35 miles of range.

When it comes to the brakes, Vibe 2 utilizes a popular mid-range choice in the form of Tektro Mechanical Disc brakes with 160mm Rotors.

From hot city streets to windy hill descents, this bike’s brakes will never fail to stop the Vibe 2 within some reasonable braking distance.

Kenda Smooth Rolling City tires featured on the Vibe 2 have plenty of good things going for them.

Firstly, they are pretty wide and showcase detailed thread patterns, which translates into fantastic traction in all sorts of conditions. In addition, the materials used for the production of these tires are very durable making them withstand plenty of beating before they finally wear out.

Budget Pick: Ride1Up 500 Series

The motor on The 500 Series’ has a nice and predictable power delivery, giving the bike a more relaxing feel that doesn’t hinder a rider’s ability to fully take advantage of the 500W motor.

The 500 Series’ motor will still get you up to its maximum speed pretty quickly without you having to white-knuckle the grips.

The 48V 13Ah Reention Dorado ID Plus battery has a Smart management system that keeps the cells balanced and working properly and safely.

That battery has 624Wh of energy which gives this electric commuter bike a pretty good range of up to 45 miles.

Key Specs

48V Geared Hub Shengyi Motor

48V 13AH Reention Dorado ID Plus With LG Cells

best, electric, commuter, bikes

Bike Weight

The motor on The 500 Series’ has a nice and predictable power delivery, giving the bike a more relaxing feel that doesn’t hinder a rider’s ability to fully take advantage of the 500W motor. The 500 Series’ motor will still get you up to its maximum speed pretty quickly without you having to white-knuckle the grips.

The 48V 13Ah Reention Dorado ID Plus battery has a Smart management system that keeps the cells balanced and working properly and safely. That battery has 624Wh of energy which gives this electric commuter bike a pretty good range of up to 45 miles.

The Shimano Acera groupset featured on this bike is a decent mid-level drivetrain created to withstand the rigors of light mountain biking, so it’s a durable choice for a commuter like this one. The gearing options are [retty broad and will get you up any hill.

The tires on the Series 500 are a pair of Kenda Kwick Seven.5 tires that grip very well. They have puncture protection that’ll aid in preventing flats. On the sidewall, they also have a strip of reflective tape that will make you stand out in low-light conditions.

The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes on this bike provide a decent stopping force, which is extremely important if you take into consideration that the 500 Series can easily reach its top speed of 28 mph.

Keep in mind that mechanical brakes are generally harder to tune correctly, so we suggest taking this electric bike to your local bike shop to get it tuned when it shows up at your door if you decide to get the Series 500.

Electric Commuter Bikes. Frequently Asked Questions

Is An E-Bike Good For Commuting?

An electric bicycle can make your daily commute much more comfortable and enjoyable. It can make stops and starts a lot easier, provide assistance on steep hills and increase your overall speed while reducing the effort you need to put in, so you should arrive less tired than on a non-electric bike.

Riding an e-bike is also likely to be a lot more comfortable than using public transport, and you can pick your own time to travel.

What Material Should Frame Be Made Of?

The three most commonly used materials for e-bike frames are aluminum, steel, and carbon, although you can occasionally come across a bike that has its frame made out of titanium.

Due to its low weight and high stiffness, carbon is usually used in the best road bikes. However, carbon can be quite fragile, and accidental bumps could cause pretty pricey damage. Therefore, if you’re locking your e-bike up somewhere outside, we recommend you stay away.

Most electric bikes for commuting are most commonly made from aluminum and for good reason. Aluminum is fairly cheap, is pretty durable, and it can’t corrode.

You can come across some cheaper bikes that have their frames made out of steel. While the steal is tough making it resilient to bumps and bruises, it’s relatively heavy and can also be subject to corrosion.

best, electric, commuter, bikes

What Kind Of Motor Should I Look For?

If you’re using your bike for a commute on a flat road and you’re fairly fit, a motor with 40Nm to 50Nm torque will likely suit you. However, if you’re riding somewhere more demanding or expect to be carrying some cargo, then a bike with a motor that provides more torque will be a better choice. Some motors can offer up to 80Nm or more.

A mid-drive motor will most likely keep your electric bike most stable due to it being low down and central on the bike. However, a rear hub motor won’t have any significant impact on handling and stability either and as your weight is over the rear wheel grip isn’t likely to be an issue.

Front hub motors are a bit more tricky because there’s less weight on the wheel which can affect the bike’s stability if it’s not been carefully designed.

How Much Battery Capacity Do I Need?

Generally, the smaller the physical size of the bike’s battery, the lower its capacity, meaning the fewer miles you’ll get out of it. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people since even small batteries have enough power to get you to work where you can charge up again.

best, electric, commuter, bikes

Battery size is typically expressed in watt-hours (Wh), and the amount of assistance you’ll get from it is based on how much you ask of it. For instance, a 300Wh battery can offer 300 watts of assistance for one hour.

A battery can make up a significant proportion of an e-bike’s weight. For example, that’s perfectly fine in a non-folding bike, even though it can make moving the e-bike to a storage area quite harder.

Bottom Line

There’s a saying in the bicycle world that there’s no one bike that’s perfect for everyone, but there is the perfect bike for each person. Remember that when you go looking around for the best commuter electric bikes.

With that said, we hope we’ve helped you decide which bike to go for if you’re looking for a more convenient way of daily commuting.

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