Best electric bikes | 17 top-rated ebikes for every type of rider
The best electric bike for you will depend on the type of riding you want to do, so in this guide we’ll cover the whole range of different electric bike types and recommend some of the best we’ve tested.
Electric bikes – or ebikes as they’re commonly known – are bicycles with an electric motor and battery that provides assistance as you pedal. There are many benefits to riding an electric bike. Electric bikes make riding up hills easier and will enable most riders to travel at a higher speed over longer distances without arriving at their destination covered in sweat.
Despite common misconceptions, you can still ride an electric bike for fitness. Electric bike laws limit the power of an ebike motor, so you still need to pedal – there’s no twist-and-go throttle here. There is an electric bike for every type of riding. Electric folding bikes and electric hybrid bikes are great choices for cycling to work, the best electric mountain bikes will help you get to the top of the next trail so you can enjoy more descending and the best electric road bikes and electric gravel bikes will enable you to take on longer adventures. Making sense of how an electric bike works and how to choose the right one for you is a daunting task. Luckily for you, BikeRadar’s team of expert testers have put in hundreds of hours riding more than 175 of the best ebikes across all categories. Our testing is 100 per cent editorially independent, so you can always trust our recommendations. In this in-depth buyer’s guide to choosing the best electric bike for any rider, we’ll talk you through the things you need to consider for each category of ebike. We also highlight the best ebikes we have reviewed, as selected by BikeRadar’s expert team of tech editors, for each type of ebike, with links to our detailed buyer’s guide for each category. We also have a general buyer’s guide to electric bike tech at the bottom of this article that answers common questions. For even more information, take a look at our ebike FAQs. There’s a lot to cover here, so use the links below to skip to the section you need, or read on for every detail.
Best electric hybrid bikes
Like a non-assisted hybrid bike, electric hybrid bikes feature an upright riding position, flat bars and stable handling. They’re often the least expensive entry point into ebikes.
With lots of mounting points for accessories such as pannier bags and mudguards, electric hybrids are great if you’re planning to commute to work by bike, ride around town or want to go for leisurely rides on bike trails or through parks.
Electric hybrid bikes can be quite heavy because they tend to use less sophisticated motor systems and the bikes are built for robustness. This is worth bearing in mind if you need to carry them up stairs.
Below is a selection of four of the very best electric hybrid bikes as tested by our senior road technical editor, Warren Rossiter. For more recommendations, check out our full round-up of the best electric hybrid bikes.
Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0
- £2,600 / €2,999 / 3,500 as tested
- Pros: Well-tuned power delivery; low weight
- Cons: Lower-torque motor means you have to put in more work
Specialized makes two electric hybrid bike ranges. Whereas the standard Turbo Vado is a heavy-duty ebike, the Vado SL uses a less powerful motor with 35Nm of torque. This reduces the weight to under 15kg, but the flip side is that you have less assistance than with the Turbo Vado, which could be a problem on hills.
The other advantage of the lower output is clean looks, with the concealed battery giving a sporty appearance. Specialized fits lights to all models and includes mudguards and a luggage rack on pricier models.
Canyon Pathlite:ON 5
- £2,499 / €2,699, as tested
- Pros: Great handling and confident off-road
- Cons: Heavy versus its rivals
The Canyon Pathlite:ON 5 is a powerful electric hybrid bike that handles and rides commendably. Our testing found the Canyon’s 100km claimed range to be true, but there’s no denying the bike is heavy at 23.5kg.
Where the Pathlite:ON 5 truly stands out is off the tarmac, where it rivals electric mountain bikes with confidence-inspiring chunky tyres and a shock-absorbing suspension fork.
Tern Quick Haul P9
- £3,100 / 3,299 / AU4995 as tested
- Pros: Great fun to ride and versatile
- Cons: Official add-ons are fairly pricey
The Tern Quick Haul P9 looks like a cargo bike at first glance, but its compact design means it isn’t much longer than a typical electric hybrid.
With the option to fit a huge array of useful add-on accessories both front and back, our tester described the Quick Haul P9 as a “genuinely viable car replacement”.
Best electric folding bikes
Commuters who travel by public transport or are short on space are catered for too. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
If you want to cycle to work or are just pressed for space to store your ride, a compact electric folding bike could be the answer.
Folding ebikes often have the battery hidden in their frames, or they may come with a removable battery to make carrying them on and off public transport a bit easier.
A removable battery also means you can take it somewhere where it’s easier to charge (at your desk, for example, if you use the bike to ride to work).
But the extra weight of the motor and battery means carrying a folding ebike on and off public transport, and up and down stairs, will be harder. The available range can be quite limited in some models too.
For more product recommendations, check out our round-up of the best folding electric bikes.
The Brompton Electric adds a front-hub motor to the iconic folder. Russell Burton / Immediate Media
- £2,725 as tested
- Pros: Very compact fold; smooth power delivery
- Cons: Quite heavy; two pieces to carry
A front-hub motor adds electric power to the classic Brompton folding bike, giving you a range of around 40km. The battery sits in a separate pack, which can be removed from the bike for carrying.
Since we tested the Brompton Electric, the standard bike has been redesignated the C Line Explore. It’s been joined by the P Line, which uses lighter frame materials and components to chop almost 2kg off the C Line’s 17.4kg claimed weight.
- £3,999 as tested
- Pros: Larger wheels ride more smoothly; stylish design
- Cons: Expensive; doesn’t fold as small as some ebikes
While pricey, the GoCycle G4 is a folder, commuter and electric bike in one. The ride and handling are far more assured than most folding bikes on- and off-road, thanks to the meaty tyres and larger wheels.
The bike folds in half at its centre, making it easier to roll than to carry and the removable battery in the front of the frame is accessed via the fold. At over 17kg, it’s quite heavy though.
MiRider One GB3
The GB3 is an upgrade on the original MiRider One, with an accompanying price rise. David Caudery / Our Media
- £2,495 as tested
- Pros: Very compact
- Cons: Price has increased significantly from the original bike
The MiRider One GB3 is an upgrade from the original model we tested a few years ago. Unfortunately, that’s resulted in a significant price hike, but the ebike is still a compact, nippy city commuter.
The belt drive is cleaner and lower-maintenance than a chain, there’s good adjustability, and built-in rear suspension and wide tyres add comfort.
The GB3 design has three speeds, adding flexibility over the singlespeed predecessor, and you can change gear while stationary. We achieved a range of up to 50km.
Ebikemotion X35 M1 review
The Ebikemotion X35 M1 is aiming to be one of the most innovative E-road bike systems around! The brand relies on Apple-esque design with a single button to use the system. You can find out whether concept works in our detailed test here.
The Ebikemotion X35 M1 hub motor provides support with a torque of up to 40 Nm. In contrast to the other concepts we’ve looked at, the motor doesn’t assist you based on your cadence or power input, but instead outputs power based on how quickly the cassette is turning relative to the hub. This design means the Ebikemotion drive can be tricked into riding with basically no input from the rider. As long as you keep the cassette and hub turning together, the motor continues to push forward – there’s no torque sensor to detect your lack of pedalling input as the system operates based on the speed of your cassette in relation to how quickly the wheel is turning.
At the 25 km/h assistance limit, the M1 motor reduces its assistance linearly and ensures a smooth transition to purely muscle powered riding. Below the limit, the motor reengages softly and without any stuttering. Does that mean that the Ebikemotion motor is the smoothest riding in the test field? It’s hard to make a general statement, but we do feel that because the motor requires more input to reach the same speed, your muscles are also more ready to take over when the assistance disappears, allowing you to pedal smoothly onwards.
The Ebikemotion motor continues pushing for a significant amount of time after you stop pedalling. As discussed, as long as the cassette turns sufficiently fast with respect to the hub, the motor stays on. Stop putting pressure on the pedals, but continue to turn the cranks sufficiently quickly and the motor will continue to push you forward. It’s particularly in tight and slow corners, or whilst riding in a group that this can become an issue. Stop pedalling altogether and the problem can be avoided. One additional issue which can’t be so easily resolved is the lacking support on steep slopes. On gradients larger than 10%, the Ebikemotion motor lacks significant power in comparison with its competitors. Our testing also found that the X35 system is most efficient at speeds between 15 and 25 km/h, rather than having an optimum rpm range like other motors. That’s because the motor drives the rear wheel directly and doesn’t benefit from being geared down or up through the drivetrain like mid motor drives are.
Depending on the frame and rims, the Ebikemotion hub motor produces anything from very little to a somewhat present amount of noise. Its handling likewise depend on how manufacturers choose to tune the motor parameters. However during our testing, we were able to identify several defining characteristics.The lower support levels, depending on the setup, offer similar levels of support, while only the third (red) level provides a noticeable boost. To change modes, you have to take your hand off the bars as the iWoc ONE remote is mounted in the top tube. The illuminated ring around the button provides information about the selected assistance mode as well as the battery level. However, depending on how bright it is, the LED ring can be harder or easier to see.
As a rider, you also have the opportunity to use the great Ebikemotion App to display ride data, or even to use a heart rate monitor to define zones when the motor should kick in and offer support. Zone 1 training on a hill? No problem! The app also allows you to configure the support offered by the different assistance modes too. One other benefit of the system is the standard bottom bracket and associated narrow Q-Factor.
The minimal design of the Ebikemotion X35 is easily integrated in any E-road bike. If you’re looking for a partner to accompany you for your base training or want a post-work ride with a permanent tail wind, this is the system for you! Unfortunately, when the road points up, the motor quickly runs out of steam and the 250 Wh battery capacity is one of the smallest in our test.The optional range-extender battery can help here though.
Torque 40 Nm Motor weight 2.1 kg Support modes 3 App control Yes
This article is from GRAN FONDO issue #012
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Words: Benjamin Topf, Felix Stix Photos: Robin Schmitt
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Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4
Price tag: 450,999
Range: 50 miles
One of the best electric cargo bikes available on the market now is the Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 4. It has a large cargo rack that you can use for groceries or your other belongings. With its 350 lbs payload capacity, the Radwagon is the perfect tool for hauling around things that you need. It also has a large battery that can give you up to 50 miles of range and is powered by a 750W motor, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 20 mph. The RadWagon 4 comes equipped with Tektro 180mm mechanical disc brakes for powerful high-performance stopping power. If you are looking for a powerful, inexpensive e-bike that can carry cargo and passengers, then you should strongly consider the RadWagon 4 by Rad Power Bikes. For less than 5000,000, the Wagon’s value and durability are hard to beat.
Price tag: 450,999
Range: 45 miles
The all-new Aventon Aventure is one of the best electric fat bikes that you can get. It has a stylish design that looks like it’s ready for any terrain. With its powerful 750-watt motor, this e-bike is able to reach speeds of up to 20 mph with an impressive range of 45 miles. It comes with all the features you’d expect from an electric fat bike for under 5000,000. It has a full-color LCD display that shows you your speed, battery charge, pedal assist level, distance traveled, and more. With its built-in fenders, you can ride the bike rain or shine without worrying about your clothes getting dirty or damaged from debris flying up from the tires. Whether you’re buying the standard Aventure or Aventure Step-Through, both of these e-bikes are very quick and easy to ride for any rider.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Neo 1
Price tag: 10,000
Range: 62 miles
If you want a luxurious e-bike that comes with all the benefits of an electric drive, then look no further than the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo 1. Its sleek profile gives it a modern, agile feel. Its Shimano components offer a smooth and quiet riding experience. The SuperSix Evo Neo line-up features three disc-brake models for powerful stopping ability in any condition. Riders can select assist levels and monitor battery charge on the go thanks to an integrated top tube control button. This an e mountain bike that offers riders a new way to connect with their bike and the world around them.
Price tag: 3,299
Weight: 39.2 lbs
Motor: 500W US / 250W EU
Range: 40 miles
For a stylish folding electric bike, opt-in for the GoCycle GX. This electric bike has hydraulic disc brakes, magnesium spoked wheels, an enclosed chaincase, and a tiny front hub motor to give you speed that you’ll love. It boasts a stylish fuel gauge incorporated into the handlebars, as well as five LED lights that count down as you ride. Gocycle features an excellent app for speedometer, odometer, and fitness monitoring information that can be mounted to the handlebars. You can fold this e-bike for a couple of seconds, to make it easier for you to store and carry. The weight of the bike is under 40 lbs, which means that you’ll be able to put it in your car trunk with ease. The GoCycle GX boasts a sleek design that’s been thoughtfully planned with commuters in mind.
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