Electric bike motors explained: comparing Bosch, Shimano, Fazua, Yamaha, Specialized…

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

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

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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Ride1Up

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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Ariel Rider

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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electric, bike, motors, explained

Juiced Bikes

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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Biktrix

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

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

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.

Propella

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/

electric, bike, motors, explained

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)

electric, bike, motors, explained

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.

Electric bike motors explained: comparing Bosch, Shimano, Fazua, Yamaha, Specialized and ebikemotion systems

Do you know your Bosch from your Shimano Steps? Your Fazua from your Yahama?

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Published: November 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm

There’s a range of different motor systems out there from different brands, all of which will help you enjoy the benefits of riding an electric bike. While there are a few big-name electric bike motor brands that dominate the market, such as Bosch and Shimano, there are also a number of smaller emerging brands that are gaining traction and market share.

Many bike makers mix and match motors from different brands across their range. Canyon, for example, uses motors from Shimano Steps, Bosch and Fazua in its ebike line-up, depending on the demands of the bike. Each motor tends to be selected for its performance characteristics and how well it fits with the intended use of each ebike model. Read our test of the best electric mountain bike motors for an in-depth look at the most popular systems used on eMTBs. Before you do that, you may want to check out our in-depth beginner’s guide, where we answer the question, what is an electric bike?

Electric bike motor and battery placement explained

Front-hub motors

Front-hub motors tend to be the preserve of electric bikes designed for commuting, such as electric hybrids and electric folding bikes. They’re also a common feature on cheap electric bikes. Many electric bike conversion kits also use front-hub motors.

Mid-mounted motors

Mid-mounted motors sit in the area where the bottom bracket is usually found. Mid-mounted motors are found across all different types of electric bikes. They work particularly well for electric mountain bikes because the weight is central and low down

Rear-hub motors

Rear-hub motors are usually found on hybrids and some of the best electric road bikes. Rear-hub motors look very sleek and, at first glance, it’s often hard to tell the bike they’re fitted to is an electric bike.

Battery placement

Batteries are usually mounted on the down or seat tube, or integrated into the bike. Russell Burton / Our Media

Batteries, meanwhile, might be mounted on top of the down tube or along the front of the seat tube. Internal batteries housed in the down tube that are either removable or fixed in place are also a popular option, particularly on mountain bikes. Some city hybrids often have the battery mounted under the luggage rack. A removable battery has the advantage that you can take it indoors to charge it, whereas you’ll need an electrical socket close to your bike to charge it otherwise. On the other hand, a non-removable battery may look neater, is better protected and less prone to theft.

Electric bike motor power and torque explained

Electric mountain bikes typically have high-torque motors to help riders tackle steep off-road climbs. Ian Linton

Electric bike motor power output is normally measured in watts. Electric bike laws in most countries state a motor’s continuous power output has to be limited to 250 watts. The majority of motors can put out over the 250 watts maximum power allowed, providing considerably higher peak power over short time periods. A motor’s maximum torque is the more important performance figure. The peak torque a motor is able to deliver also varies more between motor systems. Denoted in Newton metres, or Nm, this measures how much turning force the motor gives out. On an electric mountain bike, you’ll find situations where it’s important to have plenty of torque on hand to help you quickly get over obstacles and up steep gradients. The best electric mountain bikes typically come with higher-spec motor systems with higher torque output, and the same is true of electric cargo bikes. Electric gravel bikes or road bikes may not require as much oomph, or a manufacturer may choose to spec a less powerful motor to provide a more natural ride feel.

Assistance levels and displays

Bosch’s Kiox head unit gives a full-colour display with multiple screens and tons of information. Warren Rossiter / Immediate media

Electric bike motor systems typically come with a separate controller so you can set the assistance level you want. There are usually between three and five assistance levels, offering an increasing amount of power, as well as the option to pedal without assistance, useful if you’re trying to get fit on your electric bike. As you’d expect, the less assistance you dial in, the longer the ebike’s battery will last. It’s a good idea to dial it up when you hit obstacles such as a hill or for stop/start riding, and drop it down again when the terrain is easier. Some systems have an option called ‘boost’ or ‘turbo’ mode. This gives you extra power above 250 watts to help with quick starts or steep climbs.

An ebike display will tell you what mode you’re in, how fast you’re going and how much battery power you have left. Ian Linton / Immediate Media

The controller usually sits on the bike’s handlebar, although some are set into the top tube. Designs vary from those that give you a screen with loads of stats, sometimes including navigation, through to a minimalist single button and LEDs to show battery and assistance levels. Most electric bike motor systems come with an app, which you can use to monitor their status and battery life. Some allow you to change settings such as the amount of assistance you get at each level, and some use your smartphone as the controller for the ebike. Many apps give you navigation, ride stats and other data too.

Mid-drive motor systems

The key electric motor brands using mid-drive motor placement are Bosch, Shimano Steps and Fazua. It’s an option chosen by other brands who produce their own motor systems, such as Giant and Specialized.

Bosch electric bike motors explained

Bosch has six different variants of its mid-drive motor unit, with some having hub gear and derailleur gear variants. Most are limited to 25kph (the legal limit for electric assistance in the UK, the EU and Australia). The Performance Line Speed motor is limited to 45kph for use in speed pedelec bikes. All offer four levels of assistance, with the maximum torque on offer ranging from 40Nm for the Active Line units up to 85Nm for the Performance Line CX. Motor weights are between 2.9kg and 3.2kg. You’re more likely to see the Performance Line CX motors on electric mountain bikes and electric gravel bikes, which demand plenty of torque. Bosch Active Line motors are more commonly seen on electric hybrid bikes. Bosch has packaged together its Performance Line CX motor, Flow app, remote control, Kiox 300 head unit and batteries with up to 725Wh capacity into what it calls its Smart System. This is designed to offer chronic tinkerers the greatest level of customisation possible.

Bosch’s PowerPack batteries are designed to be mounted on top of the bike’s down tube or under a rear rack. Bosch PowerTube batteries are housed inside the frame. There’s the option to add a second battery in some cases, to boost range. The six controller options are designed to be mounted either on the bike’s handlebars or, in the case of the System Controller, integrated into the top tube and include LED displays. Three apps enable you to use your smartphone to control and monitor the motor. You can find Bosch motors fitted to ebikes from many brands, including Cannondale, Canyon and Cube.

Bosch electric bike motor specs

Bosch Performance Line CX 2.9kg 250 watts 85Nm
Bosch Performance Line Speed 2.9kg 250 watts 85Nm
Bosch Performance Line 3.2kg 250 watts 75Nm
Bosch Cargo Line 2.9kg 250 watts 85Nm
Bosch Active Line Plus 3.2kg 250 watts 50Nm
Bosch Active Line 2.9kg 250 watts 40Nm

Shimano Steps electric bike motors explained

Shimano has targeted its Steps motor system at urban and eMTB riders, although it’s now expanding its support to e-road and e-gravel bikes too, offering integration with its Di2 electronic groupset shifters.

There are five motors available. The mountain bike-oriented E7000 and latest EP6 and EP8 models come with 60Nm or 85Nm torque and a large-capacity battery of up to 630Wh. This can be mounted either externally on the down tube or within the frame.

The EP801 motor (more commonly known as EP8) replaced Shimano’s original EP8000 motor. This matches the 85Nm torque output of Bosch’s highest-output Performance Line CX, while dropping the weight from the other MTB-oriented Steps motors.

The Q-factor (the distance between the pedals) is also narrower for better ergonomics. Maximum range has also been upped by 20 per cent.

Shimano says the new EP6 motor provides the output of the EP8 in a more affordable package. It’s slightly heavier though. Both the EP6 and EP8 motors offer features such as automatic shifting when paired with an electronic groupset, and a system to allow shifting without needing to pedal.

Meanwhile, the E6100 motor is aimed at hybrid ebikes. Weighing 2.8kg, it gives 60Nm torque and can offer automatic gear shifting when paired to a Di2 groupset. Like the MTB units, it can be powered by batteries with between 418Wh and 630Wh capacity. Thse can be mounted on a pannier rack, or on external or internal frame mounting.

The EP8 Cargo, EP6 Cargo and E6100 Cargo are – as the name suggests – designed for use on cargo bikes. These give higher torque from lower speeds compared to the standard units.

Shimano offers connectivity with third-party batteries for higher capacity heading up to 1,000Wh or more for electric cargo bike use.

Finally, the E5000 motor, with lower torque, is designed for use on electric hybrid bikes.

Shimano Steps motors specs

Shimano Steps EP8 (EP801) 2.7kg 250 watts 85Nm
Shimano Steps EP6 (EP600) 3.0kg 250 watts 85Nm
Shimano Steps E7000 2.8kg 250 watts 60Nm
Shimano Steps E6100 2.8kg 250 watts 60Nm
Shimano Steps E5000 2.4kg 250 watts 40Nm

Fazua electric bike motors explained

Fazua’s lightweight motor is most commonly found on electric road and hybrid bikes. Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Fazua currently offers a range of three motors. The German brand’s kit is used on a number of top-drawer ebikes, from the likes of Pinarello, Look and Trek.

Their low weight, internal placement and small profile make them a popular choice for electric road bikes. The Fazua system’s progressive assistance is often cited as replicating the sensation of riding a non-assisted road bike. They can also be found on some hybrids and electric mountain bikes.

The motor sits at the bottom end of the down tube, with the battery housed further up the tube. Both are removable as a single unit in the original Evation and Ride 50, so you can potentially ride your ebike like a non-assisted bike too.

The motor supplies power via a proprietary bottom bracket that provides two-sided torque and cadence measurement.

Fazua offers both bar-mounted and top-tube integrated controllers. There’s also a Boost button that lets the unit hit 450 watts while it’s held down.

Fazua’s latest motor is the Ride 60. This offers 60Nm torque from a motor weighing 1.96kg paired with a 432Wh battery weighing 2.3kg.

Unlike the Evation and Ride 50, the bottom bracket and motor unit are a single piece, so there’s no option to remove the motor.

The Fazua Ride 50 has 58Nm torque and the motor weighs 1.8kg. It’s powered by a 252Wh battery weighing 1.4kg. There are two versions, the Trail and Street, which are tuned differently for the different needs in these two environments.

Finally, there’s the original Fazua Evation motor and battery with 55Nm torque and weighing 4.6kg for the motor, battery and drive pack. We’re likely to see this replaced over time by Fazua’s newer units, because these have the same form factor but offer improved output characteristics.

Fazua specs

Ride 60 2.0kg 450 watts 60Nm 430Wh 2.3kg
Ride 50 Trail/Street 1.8kg (plus 1.2kg for the bottom bracket) 350 watts 58Nm 252Wh 1.4kg
Evation 1.9kg (plus 1.3kg for the bottom bracket) 450 watts 55Nm 252Wh 1.4kg

Yamaha electric bike motors explained

Yamaha makes five different motor systems, with Giant and Haibike being the major users of its motors (though Giant rebrands the motors as its own).

Torque output ranges from 85Nm for its PW-X3 motor, which is geared towards eMTBs, through to 50Nm for the PWseries CE.

There’s also the 45kph PW-X2, which offers 500 watts maximum power.

Yamaha’s electric bike motors are paired with a range of batteries with between 400Wh and 600Wh capacity. These can be mounted internally or externally.

There are three controller options with bar-mounted displays, two of which have a separate bar-mounted remote. This can be sited closer to the handlebar grips for ease of use when riding.

Yamaha electric bike motor specs

Yamaha PW-X3 2.8kg 250 watts 85Nm
Yamaha PW-X2 45 3.1kg 500 watts 80Nm
Yamaha PWseries TE 3.4kg 250 watts 60Nm
Yamaha PWseries CE 3kg 250 watts 50Nm
PWseries S2 2.9kg 250 watts 75Nm

Specialized electric bike motors explained

Specialized’s own-brand Turbo SL 1.1 motor is considerably lighter than most other designs. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Specialized uses its own-brand motors in its ebikes. The motors are manufactured by German brand, Brose. They come in two flavours.

electric, bike, motors, explained

The more powerful range of motors is used in Specialized ‘4x You’ ebikes.

The lighter-weight, less powerful motor is used in its Turbo SL ebikes, which Specialized calls 2x You to reflect the lower level of assistance on offer.

The lighter-weight SL 1,2 motor has a torque output of 35Nm and is powered by a 320Wh battery.

Specializes says the latest-generation, heavier-duty 2.2 motor is 15 per cent smaller and 11 per cent lighter than its predecessor. It can put out 565W peak power (250W continuously rated) and 90Nm peak torque. Specialized also uses the slightly less powerful 2.0 motor in some of its ebikes, including the Turbo Tero urban/mountain bike, which has 70Nm peak torque.

The more powerful models are paired with batteries between 500Wh and 710Wh. Quoted ranges are around 130km for hybrid and road bikes, and around five hours ride time for eMTBs. According to Specialized, the range of its e-road bikes can be extended up to 195km or more with its Range Extender, which sits in the bottle cage.

Specialized has its own displays too, along with Bluetooth and ANT connectivity for fine-tuning via the brand’s Mission Control smartphone app.

Specialized Turbo specs

Specialized Turbo 1.1 2.0kg 240W 35Nm 320Wh (internal), 160Wh (Range Extender) 1.8kg (internal), 1kg (range extender)
Specialized Turbo 2.0/2.2 3.4kg 565W 70/85Nm 500. 710Wh 2.5-3.6kg

TQ electric bike motors explained

TQ is a new entrant in the electric bike motor game. Its background is in robotics and aerospace.

The motor system debuted on the Trek Fuel EXe trail mountain bike. This was followed by the Domane SLR and AL road bikes. It’s also used by BMC on the Fourstroke AMP LT.

The TQ HPR50 motor uses a one-step direct drive speed reduction system rather than the more usual multi-stage gears or belts. TQ says this makes its motor lighter and quieter, and less prone to wear.

TQ quotes a motor weight of 1,850g, with a narrow 135mm bottom bracket width. Peak power is 300W and peak torque 50Nm. It’s powered by a 360Wh battery weighing 1,950g for a total system weight of 3.9kg.

TQ has a control panel integrated into the top tube and you choose between the three assistance levels via small buttons mounted on the handlebars. As usual, there’s a smartphone app, or you can use Trek’s own Trek Central app to control its ebikes.

Rear-hub motor systems

Positioning a motor in the rear hub works well on road and hybrid ebikes, where there’s not as much need to shift your weight around compared to riding an eMTB.

Because much of the rider’s weight sits over the rear wheel, there’s plenty of traction. Since the motor’s power isn’t going through the drivetrain, there’s also no extra wear and no need to beef it up to deal with the motor’s torque.

The Q-factor of some mid-mounted motors can be quite wide (although motor makers have worked to reduce it to normal bike measures), so drivetrain alignment and rider fit can be an issue too. Placing the motor inside the hub gets around this issue because they work with standard cranksets.

Mahle ebikemotion motors explained

The Mahle ebikemotion system has a rear-hub motor, powered by an internal battery in the down tube.

Mahle now has two ebikemotion rear-hub motors – the original X35 and the newer, more compact X20.

The original X35 motor has 40Nm power output, while the new X20 ups that to 55Nm. Both systems have batteries of around 250Wh, while the X20 also has a 350Wh option.

The total system weight for the X20 is claimed to be 3.2kg. The X35 comes in at a claimed weight of 3.5kg. This low weight sees it specced on some of the lightest ebikes on the market.

Its compact size makes for a bike profile that’s not that different from a regular pedal-powered bike. There’s the option to add a bottle cage battery to double the range.

There are quite a few bike brands using the Mahle ebikemotion rear-hub motor in their road bikes, including Orbea, Wilier, Colnago and Ribble. It’s also used on hybrids such as the Cannondale Quick Neo, Lapierre E-Sensium and Wilier Urta Hybrid mountain bike.

The iWoc controller options from the brand include a low-profile button mounted on the top tube, as well as bar-mounted units. There’s BLE and ANT connectivity and an app that enables you to tune the motor, and has an option to control output based on your heart rate.

Mahle ebikemotion specs

Mahle ebikemotion X20 1.4kg 250W 55Nm 250Wh/350Wh 1.8kg
Mahle ebikemotion X35 1.5kg 250 watts 40Nm 250Wh 2.0kg
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Paul Norman

Paul has been writing about bike tech and reviewing all things cycling for almost a decade. He had a five-year stint at Cycling Weekly and has also written for titles including CyclingNews, Cyclist and BikePerfect, as well as being a regular contributor to BikeRadar. Tech-wise, he’s covered everything from rim width to the latest cycling computers. He reviewed some of the first electric bikes for Cycling Weekly and has covered their development into the sophisticated machines they are today, on the way becoming an expert on all things electric. Paul was into gravel before it was even invented, riding a cyclocross bike across the South Downs and along muddy paths through the Chilterns. He dabbled in cross-country mountain biking too. He’s most proud of having covered the length of the South Downs Way on a crosser and fulfilling his long-time ambition to climb Monte Grappa on a road bike

Juiced Bikes Review: Are Juiced E-Bikes Actually Any Good?

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If you’ve been looking through the internet to find an electric bike, chances are you may have come across he San Diego based electric bike brand, Juiced Bikes.

This company prides itself on the affordability as well as the impressive range and power that their bikes produce.

Thus allowing you to go further on your bike, making them a solid option for anyone wanting to look for a car replacement.

Are Juiced E-Bikes Good?

Founded back in 2009 by U.S. Olympic high jumper Tora Harris, who just happened to attain a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, this brand has been really well thought out.

If you like long range e-bikes that often feature fat tyres then this brand is really good. Not only that but their motors are powerful than the average e-bike too.

Not only that, but their fatter tyres and robust build make them great for heavier riders.

Is Juiced a Good Brand?

Juiced is a good brand if you are looking for an electric bike that is well specced and a little on the quirky side with regards to design.

over, A lot of bikes have more of an off-road vibe making them a great option for outdoor lovers. They also double up as a fab commuter option too.

Their website is also really easy to use, making the customer experience that much better even when it’s online.

Where Are Juiced Bikes Made?

The bikes are made, as well as assembled, in China, as with the vast majority of bikes. However, they are all designed, engineered, and supported by the Juiced team in San Diego.

Therefore you can rest assured you’ll be getting a great and well thought out bike that will stand the test of time: an important factor to consider when purchasing a new set of wheels.

Juiced Bikes Review

Fortunately, Juiced bikes always do well when it comes to reviews. Customers are happy which is unsurprisingly given U.S. attitudes towards customer service.

The pricing and very impressive range that their bikes offer being a big talking point throughout their reviews.

Electric bikes from Juiced can also be a great alternative to the brand Super73, thanks to them being famed for their reasonable price which is of course a big selling point among customers.

Best Juiced Electric Bikes

Given Juiced bikes offer a wide range of styles to suit a plethora of needs and tastes, we felt it was only right to make a run down of their best electric bikes to make the buying process that little bit easier, enjoy!

An all round great option for those wanting a semi-mountain bike with fat tyres that can also perform well as an off-road hybrid, complete with added features like pannier rack

Similar to the previous offering but more suited towards city endeavours thanks to it’s slick fat tyres for less rolling resistant along tarmac roads and bikes paths

Think classic delivery style moped, but an electric bike and with an easy to get on and off step-through design and that’s this bike summed up

An electric bike that offers a relaxed riding position complete with fat off-road tyres for added grip and stability on a range of terrain

MATE X Review – The Jack Of All Trades, Or A Bust?

The MATE X was a crowdfunded project back in 2018, grossing over 10 million on Indiegogo, thus becoming the largest ever e-bike crowdfunded project.

I’m not going to lie; this is quite a fun machine. but while trying to hit all niches at once makes for an exciting and compelling story, it doesn’t necessarily make for the best and most practical e-bike for your day-to-day use.

Frame

The frame is made out of standard 6061 aluminum. nothing out of the ordinary. At first glance, MATE X looks pretty good. The battery is hidden in its frame, giving it a clean, sleek look.

This electric bike features a folding frame. it’s meant to be carried on a train or stored under your desk when you get to your office.

However, MATE X is a pretty hefty e-bike, if I’m being frank. weighing 62.8 pounds or 28.5kg, this electric bike can be pretty hard to carry for most people.

The front chainring looks to be of decent quality. The folding pedals are from Wellgo and they are metal, not plastic.

The chain and derailleur also look cheap. you’d expect much more from such a popular, crowdfunded electric bike.

I’ve found that quite a few people complained that they’d received their MATE X with the front fork broken, so that’s something to consider if you intend on getting this electric bike.

Thanks to its long seatpost, the MATE X will accommodate a range of rider sizes. up to 6.2 feet or 1.89m. The bar height is also adjustable through a telescopic steerer.

The bike might be on the long side for shorter riders, but they’d be able to ride MATE X just fine.

The rear shock absorber is pretty bad, so you’d probably want to change it if you’re a bit heavier rider. Also, if you get the MATE X, be sure to check the folding mechanism as some came loose on arrival, according to some people.

I should also mention that the keyhole is located in a rather inconvenient place underneath the frame, making it somewhat harder to reach.

Motor

For a motor that purports to be a 250W unit, that digit spends plenty of time well north of 500W, especially when you’re climbing. With that being said, even though this motor belongs to the more powerful end of the hub motors, it’s not as strong.

The motor has five assistance modes, and this isn’t an e-bike you’d want to be riding with the motor turned off.

The problem with the engine is that it takes a second or two to kick in. you need to be in a low gear when you stop, as pedaling the MATE X away in the top gear without the motor assisting you isn’t much fun.

Brake Type

The MATE X comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and to be honest, they aren’t the best hydraulic brakes out there, but they get the job done if you’re just riding the MATE X around the town on flat terrain. I wouldn’t test their capabilities in more challenging terrain.

Battery

The advertised range of the internal battery is up to 75 miles. The reality is quite different. you can expect up to 30 miles of range from MATE X. If you ride it with just pedal assist, you might squeeze 50 miles out of it.

This battery isn’t as good as some which come with lighter e-bikes with torque-sensing motors, but it gets the job done for your daily commuting. Again, the range depends on the type of terrain you’re riding and your weight as well.

Interestingly enough, the battery charger comes with a European charging plug, so if you live in the US or anywhere where that type of plug isn’t standard, you can’t charge your MATE X.

On top of that, the cord isn’t removable from the charger, so the only way to charge MATE X is to buy a charger from a different company or use a US/EU wall socket adapter.

Another problem with the battery is that the charger port doesn’t align up to the bike’s frame hole. So when you plug in your charger, there’s a chance of it to spark for a split second.

That’s because the charging port is so close to the metal frame, and when you plug it in to charge it, it will short out against the frame. This isn’t just a bad design; this is downright dangerous that you can short out your battery just by trying to plug it in.

Rims

The rims of the MATE X match the fat tires at 20 inches which is a bit odd, considering the width of the tires and the bike’s advertisement as being “off-road.”

Tires

The MATE X comes with 20 x 4 inches tires which are relatively wide. You should be able to ride the MATE X on sand or snow without any problems, but I personally wouldn’t dare to test it on more challenging terrains due to the size of the wheels.

Post Test Summary: MATE X Pros And Cons

For 2900, this electric bike isn’t worth the money, even if this price tag falls in the lower end of the price spectrum when it comes to electric bikes.

Don’t get me wrong, the MATE X will get its job done without a doubt, but the question is, how good?

Apart from its design, some parts of the MATE X aren’t of the best quality. When considering that this bike is crowdfunded (the campaign was one of the most successful), the results are quite disappointing.

The MATE X certainly doesn’t match the high-end electric bikes I’ve ridden. Instead, this electric bike is a compromise. as the saying goes: jack of all trades, master of none. the MATE X will provide you with a decent ride, but nothing about it makes it unique.

What I Like About The MATE X

This foldable electric bike looks pretty good. the style the company went with is sleek and nice.

For me, this is a kind of electric bike that you could ride around the town for recreational purposes. It has a decent range and provides a comfortable ride. You could even take it off-road.

This electric bike shifts itself, and I’m not sure how: Evelo Omega Review

The Evelo Omega is the most technologically advanced electric bicycle I’ve tried in over 10 years. Other bikes are faster, throw out more power, or load up with IoT gadgets, but the Evelo Omega pushes the boundaries of eBike tech by removing the gear shifter from the handlebars entirely.

At first glance I wasn’t completely comfortable with this idea, but some 10 miles later, I began to love it. While I can’t for certain say I’d buy this bike for myself, I can say that I know people who would.

The cooks at Evelo have made a fantastic dish, with some very ambitious ingredients, but it comes together in a wonderful finished product. Many other companies wouldn’t dare make a bike without a shifter, but Evelo has the gumption to take a risk, and experience to make it pay off. As an overview, Evelo has combined a custom programmed 750w torque-sensing mid drive motor with an automatic shifting rear hub that maintains a preset pedal rotation speed. After turning on the bike one only needs to pedal and brake, and the motor power and automatic transmission will do the rest all on its own.

Automatic shifting

At the heart of the matter is the rear hub made by Enviolo – a model called the Automatiq. Finally, we can say there is a fully automatic transmission for a bicycle. For some years we’ve heard bikes that “feel” like they shift themselves, including other products from Enviolo, but this time the training wheels come off, and the system is ready to operate like an automatic car transmission, axing the shifter entirely. Here’s how it works.

The rear hub connects to a smartphone app where the user can set their desired pedal rotation speed (cadence), and the transmission will do the rest. Furthermore, it will remember this setting, so that after a few rides and testing, the user can hone in on the most comfortable number and never need to change it again. Uphill, downhill, stop or start, the rear hub will automatically adjust to the conditions and maintain the pedal speed that was set.

Driving the automatic bike

My first few miles on the bike were familiar in some ways. I had to put aside my many years of shifting habits, and train myself to “let go.” I’ve had this feeling before, when my first car was a stick shift, and my next was an automatic. In a very similar fashion, I held onto my pride saying to myself “I can shift better than this doggone car can,” telling myself that I had more fun with a stick, and got better fuel efficiency. While this was true, it wasn’t until later in my life that I realized what I was missing: The peace and comfort of an automatic frames the world in a new way.

The Evelo Omega is very similar. While approaching a stop, I would let off the pedaling, and the transmission would work internally, sensing the speed. When I started up again, the gearing was ready for me, and as I pedaled the first few yards it kept up with the perfect tension to maintain my desired cadence. Not having to shift, I put bike riding skills aside and just began to soak in the surroundings. My mind would drift from the peace of the river trail, the wind across the trees, what I was having for dinner, or the social and religious cycles that sprout from ancient and modern cultures across the globe.

Right! Of course! The bike!

So far we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the pedaling movement, but there is a lot to be said about the way it flows with the rest of the bike, particularly, the motor. Between the geared hub and motor the Omega is using a gates carbon belt drive to make things smooth, strong, clean, and maintenance free. We’ve talked about belt drives a lot on this site, and in brief they make a bike much more classy and nice of a ride, and are usually found on high end bikes, like the Omega.

The Gears are automatic, but the motor isn’t

Right in the center of it all is the motor that really checks all the boxes. The 750w torque sensing mid-drive motor has torque sensing engagement, and a throttle option for smooth pedaling power on the flats, and a jolt of power for the hills. With so many options and power, all smooth as silk, you’d be hard pressed to find a place this bike doesn’t feel like your personal magic Cloud.

The pedal assist levels can be changed on the fly, and don’t affect the Automatiq transmission, excepting for increased speed making the gears internally change faster. The Automatiq can really keep up with high speed starts and sharp brakes. I tried to “trick” the system a few times, but found it was always ready.

Omega doesn’t disappoint, except the seat

The rest of the bike deserves some credit, too, as Evelo is one of the OG electric bike companies in the US, and they have been making amazing builds like this that other import companies can’t touch with a 10-foot pole. The tire and wheel combo is super plush, with tons of air volume in the eBike-specific 26” x 2.8” tires. The riding position is relaxed and comfortable, in part thanks to Evelo custom building their own high rise stem. In line with their astrology theme, it’s called the Star Gazer Stem. Complementing the full coverage fenders is a set of integrated front and rear lights. The rear light also functions as a tail light, flashing when the handles are squeezed.

One thing that wasn’t all that great was the seat. Since the Omega puts riders in a relaxed position, more of the rider’s weight rests on the seat, and it was uncharacteristically stiff. After some more time it might wear in, but the hard seat was in contrast to the otherwise comfortable bike. Fortunately, bike seats are one of the easiest things to change.

Evelo Omega price

The Omega is coming in at 4,699, a hefty price for a comfort commuter electric bike. There are other electric bikes using the same automatic gearing, however they are nearly 2x the price, take months to ship, and use a 250w motor. If you wanted to spring for the plug-and-play dual battery rack, that will cost you an extra 400. By the way, you can enter this coupon code for 100 off an Evelo order: REF-4Q1DYKZ39397O5

Electrek’s Take

If you’re getting into cycling for the first time in a few decades, and you just want the power and simplicity of riding with 10-year-old legs, this is the bike for you. The ease of use, the power delivery and relaxing riding is simply the best I’ve ever tried.

If you’re a seasoned cyclist, then this bike would be an incredible experience worth trying out, but the benefits are most felt by the newcomer. Other parts on the bike are really good, but the automatic shifting/motor combo is the standout reason for getting this bike.

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