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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Why is it so comfortable?
Juiced Bikes City Scrambler. I found myself scooting all the way back on that seat for the greatest comfort, but isn’t necessary with the Scorpion, because its high handlebars and pedals allow an upright riding position that’s naturally comfortable. Sitting upright without a windshield will wear you out quickly at highway speeds on a motorcycle, but the Scorpion’s 28mph-ish top end, while perky for an e-bike, doesn’t cause wind-resistance fatigue.
The Scorpion also has front and rear suspensions. I left the adjustable front fork coil suspension with a hydraulic lockout in the default position. Many e-bikes have similar front forks, but rear suspensions are less common. The Scorpion’s spring-loaded swingarm rear suspension absorbed the jolts from curbs, driveway aprons, and speed bumps with aplomb.
Finally, the Scorpion’s puncture-resistant fat tires mounted on standard mag wheels have a 35-pounds-per-inch air pressure maximum, which I routinely dropped to about 26 to 28 pounds for riding mostly on smoothly paved streets. If you were going to ride the Scorpion on rougher terrain and take jumps, as shown in early Scorpion ads, it would be better to dial in the front suspension and run the tires hard. But I wasn’t jumping or going off the pavement (other than a few lawns), and I didn’t change the suspension settings or top off the tires.
I weigh 175 pounds. The Scorpion’s capacity, including rider and luggage, is 275 pounds, so different riders would likely adjust the suspension to suit their weight, riding style, and preferences. It’s good that the Scorpion has front and rear suspension, and even better, the suspension is adjustable.
Pedal assistance with the Scorpion works via a 16-magnet cadence sensor and adds power proportional to the speed with which you pedal. There are several assistance modes selected via the Scorpion’s Matrix LCD. The top R mode unleashes the full electric assistance power even if you pedal very slowly — as long as you keep the pedals moving. The Scorpion has a twist-grip throttle similar to a motorcycle. You do need to pay attention that you don’t twist it accidentally when pushing the bike slowly — walking it into your garage, for example — because, like most electric vehicles, full torque kicks in immediately.
The Scorpion is equipped with 180mm hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, fenders, and a small luggage rack. In addition to side reflectors on the frame, the e-bike has a 2,000-lumen motorcycle-style LED headlamp plus an integrated LED rear light with brake lighting. A handy USB port near the left-hand grip allows you to plug in to charge a smartphone. Juiced Bikes doesn’t include mirrors on the Scorpion, so I added a set I keep for that purpose while testing. Mirrors are the only item not standard that I wish were included on the Scorpion, but Juice Bikes sells a pair the fits the bike for just 12. If I were to buy a Scorpion, I’d also pick up a set of panniers to carry extra gear and groceries or other purchases while running errands in town. The standard seat height is 30.9 inches, but Juiced Bikes also has a 49 tall seat option that raises the heat to 33.5 inches.
Is there a better alternative?
Moped-style e-bikes are a relatively new category, the first of which was Rad Power Bikes’ RadRunner. The RadRunner is smaller, lighter, and slower, but at 450,199, it’s significantly less costly than the Scorpion. If you like the Scorpion’s retro look but would prefer a minibike frame format, Juiced Bikes’ City Scrambler (450,799) is a good choice, as is the Super 73 S1 (450,995). Neither the RadRunner nor the Super 73-S1 has front and rear suspensions.
If you like the Scorpion’s style but want a little more “juice,” the performance-upgraded HyperScorpion version (3,499) has a custom 1,000-watt (1,700-watt peak) custom Bafang electric motor, 19.2 Ah battery, and a 33-amp controller. The HyperScorpion also includes mirrors, turn signals, and a combination cadence and torque sensor for pedal assist mode.
How long will it last?
The Juiced Bikes Scorpion’s aluminum alloy frame and name-brand components lend assurance this bike will last for years. Juiced Bikes has a one-year warranty on electrical and mechanical components. During the first 30 days of the warranty period, the company pays shipping both ways for defective parts, but after 30 days, the customer pays for return shipping.
If you are looking for a sturdy Class 3 e-bike that’s exceptionally comfortable to ride, Juiced Bikes’ Scorpion is a speedy, versatile ride ready to serve as daily transportation.
Add mirrors and panniers, and the smooth-riding Juiced Bikes Scorpion is ready to be your primary around-town transportation.
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses Smart devices…
When I reviewed the Propella 2.2 ebike earlier in the year, I thought it was a fun commuter. While I wasn’t overly impressed with its range and component set, I did feel that the 2.2 was a lightweight and affordable option for those looking to jump into the ebike market.
Fast forward a few months, and Propella has introduced an updated 3.0 version, which brings some nice refinements to a solid product.
Chula Vista, California-based Juiced Bikes announced the Scorpion, a retro moped-style e-bike with a 28 mph top speed and a riding range of 45 to 75 miles. Equipped with front and rear suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and puncture-resistant 20 x 4-inch fat street tires, the Scorpion is available for pre-order beginning today.
All New SCORPION from Juiced Bikes
New Zealand-based UBCO Bikes has revealed the UBCO FRX1 Freeride Trail Bike, the latest newcomer to the e-bike market. This is the first new EV from UBCO since its 2X2 Electric Farm Bike, and it won’t be the last. The official launch for the FRX1 will be at the AIMExpo on September 26 in Columbus, Ohio.
What makes the FRX1 unique is its almost motorcycle-level performance. The motor reaches 20 horsepower (15 kilowatts) at its peak, and is liquid-cooled and mid-drive. The motor can be controlled either by the twist throttle or via pedal assist. UBCO claims the FRX1 comes with a nine-speed gearbox for pedaling, which makes it more pedal-friendly than other e-bikes.
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Mechanical Quality. 7/10
The Juiced Scorpion gets a seven overall on this. If you look, they do have very premium hydraulic brakes. Brakes are critical on an e-bike because without them you’re having to do a lot of adjusting every hundred miles or so. Good hydraulic brakes are very nice to have.
This bike has excellent suspension. It’s got both front and rear shocks. That’s great from a mechanical perspective because things tend to break down less when there’s not so much vibration on everything else.
They do use a pretty cheap derailleur on this bike and they have a free freewheel in there instead of a cassette type sprocket. Those are both signs of reliance on cheaper components, which won’t hold us as well over time. So they do go cheap on some of the parts, but overall they invested wisely on the critical components so they still get a pretty good mechanical quality score from us, a seven.
Low Maintenance – 6/10
We give the Juiced Scorpion eBike a six on this on the low maintenance rating. While the tires are non-branded, they do seem to have significant flat resistant built in. That’s the number one maintenance problem you’re going to get on e-bikes. getting a flat tire. And if you get a flat tire on the rear of an e-bike with all of the cables you’ve got to disconnect, they’re just a nightmare to change for most consumers. Even in our shop to get this rear tire swapped out, it was about a hundred dollar repair fee because these electric bikes are so heavy that they have to be treated like a motorcycle.
The fact that they installed premium hydraulic brakes, that’s going to translate into their customers doing a lot less maintenance. So that’s an incredible thing in that they’ve address the two biggest issues – flat tires and brake adjustments. Overall though, the components besides the hydraulic brakes on here aren’t the highest quality. In fact they’re pretty low quality. So you’re going to have some issues.
There seems to be a fairly rustproof bike as it’s aluminum and has the mag wheels. You’ve got gears paired with a cheap derailleur, so you’re going to have issues with your derailleurs. The freewheel sprocket isn’t the best choice on a high power eBike like this, so that’s more potential problems long term.
Hill Climbing Ability – 9/10
The Juiced Scorpion eBike gets a strong score here on hill climbing ability. It’s got a pretty powerful motor on this bike, a 750 watt rear hub motor but it seems more tuned for speed than torque. At 750 watts it’s going to give you both, but whenever you see a high speed eBike they tend to FOCUS on speed over torque which is at the expense of hill climbing ability. They do have gears, so with pedal assist and shifting down you can go up pretty much anything.
It’s a 52 volt system on this bike, which is a pretty strong system. You can find 36 volt systems on a lot of bikes and those are pretty weak when you’re in throttle only. 48 volt systems is pretty much the standard on most powerful electric bikes. And then some of these ones that are high performance, like this Juiced Scorpion, they bump that up to 52 volts.
So overall the hill climbing is quite good.
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Range – 7/10
They do put a pretty good sized 13Ah 52V battery on here with quality cells paired it with the 750 watt motor. They didn’t cheap out on that. You’re going to get pretty good range here. We gave it a range here of 7.
On comfort this bike gets a perfect 10. That’s as good as you can get on this rating.
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You have a pretty nice upright sitting position, you’ve got front and rear shocks, and you’ve got a pretty comfortable seat. Match that with a significant pedal forward design and it’s just sort of a nice way to sit. The handlebars are adjustable back and forward so they’re pretty easy to reach. Overall this is a pretty comfortable electric bike that you’re going to be able to ride comfortably for long periods of time.
It’s also looks a lot like a motorcycle, and there’s a reason motorcycles and moped are made like that. You travel much longer distances on a moped than you do on a bike, so they’re built with comfort in mind. In the broader e-bike market, that’s actually a very rare take. Even though we feel pretty strongly it’s a very important thing.
The good news is if you get this bike, you’re not going to be constantly miserable from riding an uncomfortable electric bike.
Pirelli Scorpion “Race” EN/DH mountain bike tires get F1-level development
Pirelli’s new “Race Level” DH and Enduro tires, in development for almost two years, were the secret to getting more resources poured into the Velo division, and it shows.
Internally, their reps told me that if it has to do with racing at the World Cup level, then Pirelli wants to win. From F1 to Moto, if the tires are going to the top teams and athletes, they must be tires that are produced with their top technology for the sole purpose of winning.
Now, fortunately for us, that mindset comes to their new Race EN and DH tires…
Pirelli’s standard models are designed to balance performance with durability, and an approachable ride quality for the average enthusiast rider. Nothing wrong with that.
The new Race models FOCUS on all-out race-level performance; maximizing grip, compliance, and cornering with less FOCUS on long-term durability.
Pirelli Race EN/DH tire models
These Race models get four new aggressive tread designs, but use the same naming scheme of M/T/S/Mud so you know their intended use. Only in 2.5” width, for 29er and 27.5”
EN vs DH The EN and DH tires have the same tread pattern and both are tubeless ready, but they differ in casing and compound. The EN’s DUAL WALL is a more supple 2-ply 120tpi casing with a standard folding bead.
The DH tires gets rigid beads with a 2-ply 60tpi casing, plus a third DUAL WALL sidewall layer. That extra textile layer on the DH adds more lateral stiffness, too. All that adds about 150g more than the EN version.
DH Race tire weights range from 1310g to 1450g. EN Race tires weigh from 1210g to 1260g.
M for… All Around? The M model is the “All-Around Racing Performance” tire. Its side knobs have recesses to improve grip on hardpack and rock faces, but are softer throughout because the intermediate knobs are closely spaced between the center and side knobs, so it’s more about using the rubber itself for grip as opposed to punching into the ground.
T for Traction T side knobs are more separated from the center knobs, so their inside edge is sharper and the firmer underlying compound has a spike into the middle of the knob so it’s better supported.
The center knob can be cut out for front tire use or in softer conditions where you need more bite. Or leave it there for more braking performance in the rear or faster rolling on smoother, harder terrain.
S for Soft/Loose S knobs are widely spaced to stab into soft or loose surfaces and grip the firmer ground underneath. The side knobs look smaller from the top down, but they’re buttressed quite well to stand up to hard cornering.
Mud for…yep, Mud The Mud tire only comes in a DH model, and only in a narrower 2.4 width, intended to be a front tire for racing in really sloppy conditions where the treads need to bite into the ground to find grip. Smaller caps on each tread block are designed to be cut off in conditions warrant, like for more precision steering on firmer wet surfaces like roots and hardpack.
Pirelli Race EN/DH rubber compounds
Pirelli’s reps said compounds are not just about the Shore (durometer) rating, which is about compression. It’s also about hysteresis, which is the rebound, and they say that’s super important to prevent losing grip and giving the rider proper feedback.
The Race tires get a new dual-compound design puts a harder rubber underneath the tread blocks, and a softer compound for the knobs. The outer compound is the same across the tire, for both center and side knobs, because they wanted the grip and feel to remain consistent at all angles.
Meaning, the feel doesn’t shift as you go into a corner. They say this is standard in motorsports, so why wouldn’t they do it to bicycle tires, too?
This dual compound isn’t used on their standard tires, where many riders will ride the tires for a long time, even after the edges of the knobs have worn down. There, a single compound maintains more consistent performance even as the tires wear down.
Pirelli lists both the EN and DH tires as using the same 42a SmartEVO DH compound, however they seemed to wear quite differently during the press event we attended.
Above, the EN tires are shown on left, DH on the right. Both are shown after three full days of bike park riding under various riders, and the DH tire’s knobs are noticeably more chewed up on the braking edge. Could be the way the DH bikes were being ridden, but the differences seemed consistent across multiple bikes.
Pirelli makes no apologies for this – the goal is maximum performance. If you want a longer-lasting tire, get the standard versions. But also take solace that the EN versions seem like maybe they’ll last longer than the DH versions.
Pricing and availability TBA, we’ll update as soon as we have that info.
As with any test, riding a new tire on a new bike on new trails means there’s a lot of inputs to filter, but my first impressions are really good.
I rode the Race EN M-series tires on a Canyon Strive (170mm front and rear travel) and was very impressed with both the tires and the bike. Grip was phenomenal, and they felt extremely supple for a dual-play tire meant to withstand the abuses of enduro racing on varied terrains.
From hardpacked jump lines and berms to the loamy softness of some side trails, they went where I pointed them. Beyond that, there was something extra about the way they felt…maybe it was the “tuned” rubber with low rebound or the extra soft outer rubber layer grabbing hold of the ground.
Whatever it was, I’m looking forward to testing a set out on my own bikes on more familiar trails.
All Pirelli Scorpion Race Enduro and Race DH tires of the M, S and T tread patterns, in 27.5″ x 2.5″ and 29″ x 2.5″, retail at 99.90 USD. In Europe, pricing varies between the Race Enduro and DH lines, the former priced at 89,90 € and the latter at 84,90 €. Stock is due for both markets in early 2023.