Best Electric Bikes: Ultimate Buying Guide

Electronic bikes, or e-bikes, are quickly become a popular choice of transport for both urban commuting and weekend adventures. It’s a more environmentally friendly way to get to work, and it’s a fun and freeing recreational activity. Just like regular bicycles, there’s a world of styles and designs available, as well as a choice on how much help you get. You can choose a bike with a throttle for minimal effort, or stick to pedal-assist for a little boost when you need it most. From sporty speed bikes and mountain-taming beasts to stylish coastal cruisers and convenient folding designs, there’s an electronic bike to suit everyone’s needs.

Best Electric Bikes

1. Trek Rail 9.8

Spend a day among nature with the Rail 9.8 from Trek. This long-range electric mountain bike guarantees fun and adventure. It’s built with the same tech as Trek’s regular trail bikes but is enhanced with a powerful Bosch drive system. The fork and dropper have been upgraded for even better performance, while the carbon frame keeps the unit light and simple to handle. Plus, you can easily access and remove the battery, which is housed in the frame, to make changing and charging more straightforward.

2. Specialized Turbo Levo

Take a ride on the wild side with this celebrated electric mountain bike. Inspired by Specialized’s original Stuntjumper design, the Turbo Levo takes mountain biking to another level. It’s lighter, more efficient, and more powerful, therefore making it infinitely more fun. The 565-watt Specialized 2.1 motor system is fully integrated into the frame for a sleek look and is the most powerful system available in electric mountain bikes. It quadruples your effort, allowing you to travel further and faster. The range is up to five hours, and charging to full only takes four hours. Plus, you can keep connected with the Mission Control app, which lest you control your range, record rides, and get status updates on the go.

3. The Merida eONE-SIXTY 9000

The Merida eONE-SIXTY 9000 is a rugged off-road e-bike. Highlights of this design include the carbon front triangle frame, with integrated battery control for a sleeker appearance and better durability. Plus, this makes room for water bottle cage fixing points. The internal location of the 504W Shimano E8035 battery does risk overheating. However, there is a thermo-gate with specially located openings in the head tube to vent warm air. There are also two different kinds of tires, which allow for more precise steering, better rolling, and maximum traction. There’s a larger 29er front wheel with a 2.5-inch tire and a smaller 650B rear wheel, which has a slightly thicker tire. You’ll also avoid damage from the fork crown impacting the frame in the event of rough terrain or a crash, thanks to Merida’s unique internal block.

4. Norco Range VLT C2

Experience elite engineering in every journey on this Norco Range VLT C2 e-Enduro bike. It uses the legendary Ride Aligned design system, which assesses how each individual rider’s center of gravity affects performance and designs the carbon frame around that. Consequently, it lets you take better advantage of the fit and geometry of the frame for the ultimate big mountain fun. When it comes to power, this e-bike has a Shimano STEPS E8000 with a 630W in-tube battery. Plus, you can stay out in the wild for longer with an optional 360W extender, which adds up to 70% extra capacity. Enjoy 180mm of suspension travel in the front fork and 170mm in the back coil shock, to help you tackle the burliest trails and slippery rockfaces. Lastly, keep your speed in check with the 200mm SRAM Code R 4-piston brakes.

5. Focus JAM² 6.7 NINE

Head out into the wild and conquer mountains on this e-bike from Focus. The JAM² 6.7 NINE features a perfectly integrated Bosch Powertube battery, with 625w capacity, so you can go all day. Plus, it’s easily removable for charging. Reach speeds up to 15mph, and enjoy the convenience of an auto-adjusting motor that supports your riding power. The proprietary Focus Optimised Linkage Design (F.O.L.D.) chassis has two-phase kinematics for optimal suspension. This ensures the highest level of performance across all circumstances, keeping the rider always in control. It’s perfect for both smooth and rough terrain. Lastly, the aluminum frame is hydroformed, creating a strong yet lightweight unit.

6. Giant Trance E + Pro

Ride smarter, not harder, on the Giant Trance E+ Pro. You’ll be able to extend your trail-riding adventures for even longer. The high-performance SyncDrive Pro motor with tunable support and Giant EnergyPak 500 battery will have you traveling anywhere from 31-99 miles in a single charge, depending on the riding conditions. It’s smoothly integrated into the downtube for both protection and aesthetics. Best of all, you can control it through the Giant E-bike App. Other smart features include navigation, and health, and fitness tracking capabilities through the RideControl ONE center. There’s also 140mm of smooth Maestro suspension travel in the rear and 150mm in the front for excellent control and a comfortable journey.

7. Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SLT

Take it off-road with the Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SLT. This ultimate performance machine delivers an incredible ride across mixed terrain. It features a premium C:26 carbon frame which is 25% lighter and much more agile. Plus, the speed sensor is incorporated into the rear dropout, leaving a cleaner silhouette and keeping it safe. SRAM AXS wireless technology is an integration system that connects you to the wide-ratio 12-speed cassette and Reverb AXS dropper post. This means you can assign custom controls and actions using the app for precise and rapid gear shifts. When it comes to power, the fourth-generation Bosch CX drive unit provides a massive 85Nm of torque. Finally, the carbon wheels are exceptionally durable, with extra traction thanks to the Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Betty SuperTrail 2.4-inch tires.

8. Norco Range VLT C1

If you want to smash out the gnarliest mountain trails, then this monster electric bike from Norco is for you. It’s on the more expensive end of the price range, but it’s worth it for the ultimate adventure riding. The Range VLT 1 ‘s design promotes a forward weight distribution but has a longer wheelbase for premium performance. Shock absorbers on the front fork and back tube, as well as four-piston brakes, makes navigating down steep, rocky hills comfortable and safe. The motor is a Shimano STEPS with an in-tube battery, but you can upgrade with a range extender to increase your fun capacity. Lastly, the 27.5-inch wheels are strong and durable, with extra sidewall support to protect against blowouts at a critical moment.

9. Giant Explore E+ 2 GTS

It’s all about the journey with the Giant Explore E+ 2 GTS electric bike. The step-through ALUXX aluminum frame is easy to mount, and exceptionally stable. Next, the SyncDrive Sport motor and integrated EnergyPak ensure you’ll be able to cover longer distances and steeper terrains while barely breaking a sweat. Finally, mix and match your carrying capacity with the integrated rack mounts. Everything comes together perfectly for you to get the most joy out of your ride, whether its an extended adventure or a quick errand.

10. Rad Power Bikes RadRunner1

Create your ultimate cargo e-bike with this fully customizable design from Rad Power Bikes. There are over 300 accessory combinations, so regardless of how you plan to ride, you can build your ideal setup. You can even add a bench seat and take your friends along for a ride! The specs of the base model include a single-speed drivetrain, 750-watt Bafang Geared motor hub, twist-grip throttle, and LED control panel. The low-profile step-through frame also makes it a great choice if you need easier access to get on the bike. Enjoy 25-45 miles of riding for each charge, as well as four levels of pedal assistance. The RadRunner1 is also award-winning. It took home Editor’s Choice for Best Value Cargo Bike from Bicycling Magazine and Winner of Best Electic Minibike of 2020 by ElectricBikeReview.com.

11. Merida eSpresso City 300 EQ

Ride in style on your Merida eSpresso City 300 EQ. Weekend and city cruising are at the front of mind in the design. The eSpresso City frame allows for an upright riding position, with a low battery mount adding to the bike’s stable center of gravity. It also boasts one of the lowest step-through heights on the market, because of the mid-mount motor position. As such, it’s easy to get on and off without needing to throw a leg over. Shimano brakes keep you safe, while the drive unit, battery, and derailleur are also the same brand. Lastly, the fast-rolling 700c wheels are designed for smooth roads and lanes to get you to your destination quickly and comfortably.

12. Focus Aventura² 6.7

Awake your inner explorer with the Focus Aventura² 6.7. This electronic bike is the ultimate choice for a bikepacking adventure, or even just traveling locally around your town. It features plenty of capacity for carrying and storage. You can also mount a second battery, increasing your range for long trips. The battery itself is discreetly sealed in the down tube for a sleek shape, yet is easily removable. Choose from nine gears to tackles hills or flats with equal ease. The motor is a Bosch Performance Line 250 watt, so you can confidently push your journey to its limits. Finally, all riders are covered, regardless of height, thanks to five different size units ranging from extra small to extra large, with two other wheel options as well.

13. Priority Embark E-Bike

Ditch your car and ride to work in style on the Priority Embark E-Bike. This bike is low maintenance and durable, featuring a Bosch mid-drive system for a smooth ride. The specs are impressive, with a 50-mile range, four-pedal assist modes, aluminum frame, front lamp, and rear flashing light for safety. Plus, you get seven days a week customer service should you have any inquiries. Choose from three different sizes to get the perfect height, and two different colors for your favorite aesthetic. On your days off, it’s also excellent for taking out for a recreational cruise along beachside paths or country bikeways.

14. Stromer ST5

Stromer’s ST5 is a sleek, fully integrated design, free of chunky battery packs or motors. It won the Design and Innovation award for 2020, further cementing its reputation for excellence. This electric commuter bike has a range of up to 110 miles thanks to the rear hub 850W SYNO Sport motor, which also allows you to reach top speeds of 28mph. The technology is advanced with anti-theft protection and 3G connectivity. This means you can hook your phone up via the Strommer OMNI app, and lock it, select motor settings, and check an overview of your statistics. Its high-end design and materials make it a stylish, fun, and fast way for movers and shakers to zip about the city.

15. Gocycle GX

Fully embrace the urban lifestyle with a folding electric bike to get you around town. Not only is it great for taking on public transport and storing at the office, but it’s also perfect for limited apartment space. Amazingly, it folds down in just 10 seconds. The powerful battery has a range up to 40 miles and is neatly tucked away in the hydroformed aluminum frame. A simple dash sits across the ergonomic handlebars and gives you all the information you need for a smooth, fast journey. You’ll be rolling like a winner with the Gocycle PitstopWheels, with six bolts fastening it side-mounted to the frame. Doing this gives your easy access if you get a flat, and makes folding simpler.

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