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.
16. Bianchi Aria E-Road Ultegra 11SP Compact
If you’re a serious rider, then break out the lycra, because the Bianchi Aria E-Road Ultegra 11SP Compact e-bike is for you. Your ride will look and feel like pure, high-performance cycling, yet with powerful assistance for when you need it. The carbon frame, combined with the X35 V.2 motor system, which weighs in at just over seven pounds, makes the unit exceptionally light. It’s sleek, clean look minimizes drag. The battery is 250-watt and is tucked away in the downtube, with a discreet charge-port that connects easily to household mains. Experience total technological integration, with the iWOC One flush-fit power and battery level controls sitting smoothly along the top tube. You can download and connect the Ebikemotion app, which has data and fitness functions to monitor both yourself and the bike.
17. Vintage Electric Bikes Cafe
Classic style meets ultimate performance with the Cafe from Vintage Electric Bikes. It uses the 2020 VintorqueTM Drivetrain Technology and a 750-watt rear hub motor. Reaching speeds of up to 28mph, with a range of 20-60 miles, it’s perfect for exploring or gadding about town. Choose how much you want to work, with five levels of intuitive pedal assist and ten-speeds, so you can go hard, or take it easy. The design is versatile, finding a balance between function and beauty, with a removable battery for easy two-hour charging, as well as three different heights. Plus, you can match your aesthetic with a choice of Golden Gate Red or Skyline Grey.
18. VanMoof S3
The VanMoof S3 is an edgy and modern electric bike. It features an intelligent motor that runs almost silently even at its top speed of 15mph. It also features theft-defense technology, and an industry-first electronic shift taking you through four gears for the smoothest ride. Tap into the brains of the bike using the VanMoof App to configure your journey from unlocking to takeoff. The 504-watt battery also gives you a range of 37-93 miles and uses the onboard tech to ensure maximum coverage and effective power usage. It’s the ideal choice for living your best urban life.
19. Gazelle Ultimate T10+
Enjoy a smooth ride with the Gazelle Ultimate T10+. The clean styling is simple yet striking and features comfort additions such as ergonomic handlebars, puncture-resistant tires, and a suspension front fork. You’ll have all the power you need with the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor that has 75nm of torque to reach speeds up to 28mph. Plus, it’s only just over six pounds so that it won’t weigh you down. Get all your information quickly at the touch of a button on the simple handlebar display, and choose from one of the five support modes easily. It’s an agile and sporty commuter e-bike that’s ideal for the city or out exploring the countryside.
20. Vallkree The Drifter 500W
If style is your number one priority for an electric bike, then you can’t go past The Drifter from Vallkree. It oozes appeal. Inspired by vintage designs, this e-bike is just as powerful as is it is sophisticated. Choose from a 250 or 500 watt rear hub motor, depending on if you want an on or off-road experience. The purpose-built alloy frame easily hides the battery compartment for an unimpeded aesthetic. You can also keep on top of your ride with the LED display that shows speed, diagnostics, distance, and battery. This is also where you’ll find your headlight button and even a USB charging socket. Lastly, you get to choose from five fashionable colors — Planet Green, Very Black, White Gloss, Red Gloss, or Blue Grey Gloss.
21. Yamaha Wabash
Tackle gravel roads with ease on your Yamaha Wabash. It’s tough, rugged, and ready to get muddy. The design combines elements of traditional road bikes with off-road technology, so you get the best of both worlds. Flared handlebars provide stability, and Maxxis Speed Terrane tires ensure excellent traction. Meanwhile, the SRAM Apex 1×11 drivetrain adds to your pedal power, shifting smoothly through the gears, even on bumpy terrain. You’ll also appreciate the seamless power assist, as Yahama’s patented speed sensors detect the slightest change and adjust accordingly. Finally, if you’re out riding late, light your way home with the built-in powerful LED headlight.
22. Bulls Bushmaster SL 29
The Bushmaster SL 29 features an entirely revised carbon frame that makes this e-bike lighter and faster. The saddle tube has been shortened, the cockpit tidied, and the top tube flattened for comfort and function. Its hardtail design transfers your pedal power to the back wheel more efficiently for better acceleration. This also makes it suitable for maintaining higher speeds over a longer distance, which is perfect for cross-country or marathon riding days.
23. GreyP G6
You’ll be riding fly with the G6 from GreyP. This electric mountain bike is excellent for exploring the wild — both natural and urban. While it’s more expensive than some options, it certainly has all the bells and whistles. Starting with the battery, it’s 700-watt and can be replaced in seconds so that you can pack a spare on your next adventure for even more juice. Next is the built-in camera. Share every experience and relive each sick trick thanks to the front and rear-facing wide-angle cameras. The GreyP app lets you lock your bike remotely, track it if it’s stolen, log your rides, and share notifications. Finally, when it comes to the bike itself, the frame is reinforced carbon fiber for durability, the suspension is from Rock Shox, and the derailleur is an eight-speed SRAM EX1 for smooth gear shifting.
24. Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3 Lefty Electric Bike
Put the fun back in riding with this gravel electric bike from Cannondale. It’s high performance with a 250-watt Bosch Performance Line Speed motor, and 500-watt removable battery with a range of up to 75 miles. It’s best for road cycling, but you can use it for the daily commute. Enjoy a comfortable journey with revolution Kingpin rear suspension, refined geometry, and plenty of equipment mounts. Reach a top speed of 28mph and choose from 11 gears for the most efficient ride. This e-bike lets you ride faster and further than you’ve ever ridden before.
25. Cell Bikes Ultimo E2.0 Classic Urban E-Bike
The Ultimate E2.0 is the perfect bike for daily use. Upgraded components ensure durability for commuting and recreational weekend excursions. The nine-speed Shimano drivetrain works in harmony with the Entity E200 system. This system is known for its powerful motor, extended battery life, and technological integration with the Entity Ride App. You’ll enjoy the ultimate in comfort, too, with a suspension seat post for better cushioning, and ergonomic handle grips. It’s a stylish, well-priced, and reliable option to suit the modern urbanite.
26. Gazelle Medeo T10
If you’re looking for a stylish and versatile e-bike to complement your cosmopolitan lifestyle, then the Gazelle Medeo T10 is the ideal solution. It has a superior frame geometry, wide tires for better balance, and front fork suspension and ergonomic handlebars for stable handling. The motor is a Bosch Performance Line Gen 3, with a top speed of 20mph. Meanwhile, the brakes are Shimano, featuring a lever designed explicitly for smaller hands. Choose the dust-gloss color, with a high-step frame, or opt for a low-step frame in ivory or jean gloss. Last but not least, the Bosch Purion onboard computer has a minimal display to keep the handlebars neat, yet still provides all your essential info at the touch of a button.
27. Blix Vika+
Timeless design meets versatility with Blix’s Vika+ folding electronic bike. The small size is convenient and easy to store, yet can accommodate riders from 4 foot 10, to 6 foot 2. Fold it up in just three easy steps, while magnets hold it together in the folded position. The e-bike comes with five levels of pedal assist as well as a throttle, so you can choose to pedal or just cruise. Either way, the top speed is 20mph. The power comes from the 500-watt rear-wheel motor, running on a 48 volt Samsung lithium-ion battery that conveniently sits under the seat, where you can easily remove it for charging. Check your speed, assist level, and the odometer on the display, where you can also charge USB devices. Safety is also a significant feature in the Vika+. There are LED front and rear lights, including brake lights at the back, puncture-resistant tires, and safety disc brakes.
28. Trek Verve+ 2
The Trek Verve+ 2 is a hybrid style that combines the best elements of off and on-road bicycle styles into one multi-purpose unit. Regardless if you’re riding to work, for exercise, or just cruising, you can give yourself a boost with the pedal-assist that can reach up to 15mph. Your comfort and safety are assured with a suspension seat, wide tires, hydraulic disc brakes, and LED lights at both the front and back. The battery that powers it all is the Bosch Powerpack 400 and the motor is a Bosch Active Line. Next, the backlit display shows your speed, battery range, and support levels. The last thing to consider is the frame — you can choose a traditional frame in matte blue, or opt for the low-step design in metallic gunmetal.
29. Leitner Venice Cruiser
Weekends should be laidback, and that’s precisely what you’ll get with the Leitner Venice Cruiser. It’s easy to use, with a low-step frame for simple mounting. You can ride for 12-31 miles with five levels of pedal assist mode at speeds up to 15mph. If you don’t feel like pedaling, it comes with a throttle so the bike can do all the work for you, while you sit back and relax. The motor that keeps you powered is a 250W XOFO, while the battery comes from Samsung. In terms of style, it’s also a winner. The classic vibe will turn heads and make your friends envious.
30. FIIDO D2S Folding EBike
Scoot around town on your folding FIIDO D2S e-bike. The lightweight, compact design is great for apartment living and makes storage a breeze. Choose from three riding modes — throttle cruising, pedal-assist, or pedal power. There are also six speeds to help find efficiencies when you’re in the pedal or assist modes. It runs on a 250-watt motor powered by the removable battery, giving you top speeds of 15mph and a range of 31 miles. Safety is paramount with disc-brakes, LED headlights, and LED instrument display. Finally, it’s also a comfortable ride, with 16-inch tires and rear shock absorber, as well as an adjustable seat, and a light, rust-proof alloy frame making it easy to maneuver and carry. This electronic bike is the perfect match for any inner-urban lifestyle.
An urban bike can also be referred to as a commuter bike. They’re very popular and ideal for inner-city use and on flat paths. Style-wise, they generally have a step-through frame, covers over the chain to prevent grease transfer, and pedals that you can use with regular shoes. As such, they’re perfect for getting to and from the office without needing to change or shower. Other features generally include disc-brakes for the constant stopping and starting, wide puncture-proof tires, and accessories like kickstands and storage. They’re an excellent option for replacing the car on the commute to work.
Electric mountain bikes are also known as eMTBs. These styles are big, gutsy, and pack a lot of power for all your off-road adventures. Like regular MTBs, they feature either dual suspension or hardtail designs, with long suspension travel of at least 100mm, but up to 180mm to absorb the impact of big drops. They’ll also have thick tires for extra trail grip, pedal-activated power, and aluminum or carbon fiber frames to offset the weight of the motor. The benefit of an eMTB is that it takes much of the effort out of riding to the top, so you get there much quicker. However, the extra weight can make handling a little more difficult, so it can take a bit to get used to.
Ride like the wind on an electric road bike. These feature aerodynamic frames and better rolling, just like a traditional road bike. However, it’s combined with a powerful drive unit (often pedal-assist style) that makes it easier and more accessible for cyclists of all abilities to hit the road. These bikes are built for long distances, with either aluminum or carbon fiber frames, hydraulic brakes, and extra spokes for added strength. You’ll be able to enjoy a long, comfortable day in the saddle, with a bit of extra help when needed.
Cargo bikes are the workhorses of the electric bike industry. They’re an excellent option for inner-city living that lets you transport the kids, dogs, or groceries with ease. They’re also a great alternative to a car for commuting, and businesses even use them as an alternate delivery method for moving goods. Often, they’ll feature a longer wheelbase for stability when carrying additional weight and helpful accessories such as racks, baskets, or flatbeds. While the motor makes getting around effortless, the added weight combined with whatever load you’re carrying can be slightly more challenging to balance.
If you only have limited space at home or your office doesn’t have bike storage, a city or folding bike is the ideal option. These have smaller wheels, a smaller frame, and most of them fold in half. As such, they can tuck away easily in a corner or under your desk. They’re also great if you want to combine commuting by train or bus with riding a bike. Folding bikes are best suited for short distances on smooth, flat roads and won’t have vast amounts of extra accessories in the interest of staying compact.
The laws that surround e-bike usage vary from country to country. Australia and many countries in Europe have limits on the power that an electric bike can have and the maximum speed. This is capped at 200w or 250w on pedelec bicycles, plus a speed limit of 25 kilometers per hour. However, in the United States, they have various classes of bike that are regulated differently; however, the upper limits for most are higher at 750w. When it comes to road rules, rides must comply with the bike road rules of their country, which can dictate where and how bicycles can be ridden. Again, this can vary between countries and even between states within countries, so it’s essential to do your research before purchasing. Most retailers in your country will be able to help advise you in this area also.
There are two main styles of motor for e-bikes. The first is a hub-driven motor. This attaches to the rear (or occasionally front) wheel hub and uses the torque to spin the tire. It’s generally a less expensive option and can even be installed on specific designs of traditional bikes to convert them to electric. The second style of motor is centrally mounted in the bottom bracket between the cranks. This is a Pedelec motor and turns the crank rather than the wheels. It offers a smoother, more efficient ride and comes with sensors that help regulate the assistance modes. However, it is the more expensive option.
Most electric bikes will give you the option of how much help you want, and you can switch between modes as you ride. That way, when you’re fresh and energetic, you can keep it low or take out a lot of the effort with high-level assistance when tired or facing steep hills. Generally, most bikes have between three and five options. These range from stand-by, where you can use the bike like a traditional one, to high, which increases your pedaling effort by up to 200% and will make short work of hills. Eco mode is ideal for extending the range and is great on flat terrain, where it’s pretty easy sailing. Then normal mode has increased torque, taking your efforts up over 100%. You’ll be able to take off faster and conquer most terrain; however, it will reduce your range by about half.
Batteries and Charging
You’re not going to have a great ride on your electric bike if you have no power. The energy comes from battery packs. Most designs come with one already fitted, and it could be integrated into the frame, so you don’t see it or fixed externally. To charge them, you either plug your bike into an electrical outlet, or some bikes have removable batteries that can make charging easier. Watts or watt-hours will give you an estimation of the range it will provide on a ride and varies from 200w to 600w. Obviously, the bigger the battery, the more expensive, but also the longer the range. Lithium-ion is the leading choice, and one of these will last you for three to five years before requiring replacement.
The range is the distance your bike will go while powered. That number depends on a few factors, including battery size, assistance level, motor style, load, and where you’re riding. Manufacturers will generally give an estimate on the range, which depends on the installed battery. This can vary from 20 to 60 miles. Pedelec style motors can help extend the distance by monitoring your pedal power and evening out the assistance because the more help you get, the more energy consumed. Meanwhile, riding on smooth flat terrain will also require less power than up hills or off-road. Finally, the amount of weight on the bike can also reduce the range, so heavier riders or anyone carrying a load might not get quite as far.
Electric bikes can be a pricey investment. Entry-level models sit between $1000-$2000. These will generally be hub-drive, simple in design, with more basic components, and are commonly commuter or urban styles. Mid-range bikes will usually use bigger name manufacturers, have pedelec motors, larger batteries, and more accessories. Finally, high-end bikes will cost from $5000 to $12000. However, these are the top-of-the-line sporty models such as road bikes and eMTBs, with all the bells and whistles. You’ll find carbon fiber frames, big batteries, dual suspension, lots of tech, and better motors with more grunt in this range.
E-Bike Glossary Terms
The assist level is how much help your bike gives you. Generally, you’ll be able to select different assist levels depending on your journey, the terrain, your energy levels, and how much you need to conserve the battery. The more assistance you have, the more power it uses.
A watt is a unit of power, so in the context of e-bikes, it’s the amount of power the motor has. Depending on where you live, there might be an upper limit on the watts available in an electric bike.
Watt-hours indicate the capacity of the battery. Theoretically, a 250-watt motor running at full capacity on a 250-watt battery would drain in an hour. In reality, your motor won’t run at full capacity most of the time and will last longer than an hour.
Torque is a measure of force on a rotational axis and provides acceleration. The more torque, the faster you accelerate. This is a particularly important measurement in e-mountain bikes, as it allows for assistance when climbing hills.
A pedelec is an abbreviation of “pedal-assist electric bicycle.” It’s a type of electric bike where the rider needs to be pedaling for the motor to run, as it’s attached to the bottom bracket between the cranks.
The range is how far you can travel with assistance. Most manufactures will give an estimate of the range, with averages between 20 to 60 miles.
Walk mode assists when you need to walk your bike anywhere, making it more manageable. It’s handy because electric bikes tend to be heavier than regular bicycles.
Support levels are another name for assistance levels. It’s the amount of help you get from the motor while riding, and you can often select between different levels depending on your needs and circumstance at the time.
What Type of Electric Bike Should I Get?
The two major things to consider when looking for an electric bike is what you'll use it for, and how much you want to spend. E-bikes generally fall into one of six categories: commuter, road, mountain, cargo, cruiser, and folding bikes. Each has its pros and cons, so have a chat with your local retailer about how you want to use your new bicycle. In terms of price, it can vary with both the bicycle components, including frame and tires, as well as electronics. Similar to most things, you'll get what you pay for with electric bikes.
How Do Electric Bikes Work?
The built-in motor on an electric bike adds extra power to your pedaling so you can travel longer and faster. Similar to regular cycling, you still need to pedal, steer, and brake; however, it's just a bit easier with a little bit of help. Most bikes allow you to adjust how much assistance you're getting, so you can adapt it to the conditions.
What's the Difference Between Pedal Assist and Throttle Mode?
The most significant difference is the level of help you receive as a rider. The pedal-assist function senses when the pedals are in motion and begins to work with you. On the other hand, throttle mode will get you going without pedaling, similar to a moped or scooter. Both provide a different riding experience, and what you choose will depend on how you use your bike, and how much control you want. You'll also need to check if bikes with a throttle are legal in your area.
How Long Do Electric Bike Batteries Last?
Most e-bikes run on lithium-ion batteries. It will vary with how long they last before needing recharging, depending on the battery size, type of bike, rider's weight, weather conditions, and how much you pedal. Many manufacturers suggest between 30 and 120 kilometers.
Are Front or Rear-drive Electric Bikes Better?
Unfortunately, there's no one rule for the location of the motor on an electric bike. The position can change the feel of the ride and the maintenance requirements. Ideally, however, you want the weight balanced across the whole frame. Front-drive is best for city riders spending the most time on flat, smooth surfaces. On the other hand, rear-drive is suitable for mountain bikers, so the weight is at the back, allowing maximum maneuverability of the front wheel.
Do Electric Bikes Charge When You Pedal?
The best way to charge your electric bike battery is to plug it into a power outlet for four to eight hours. You can remove some batteries to make it easier, though many need to plug-in from the bike. The technology exists in some models for regenerative braking, where the motor recapture kinetic energy to restore charge while you pedal. However, this is limited and not particularly efficient.
How Long Do Electric Bikes Last?
Just like regular bicycles, electric bikes can last for years with good care. The frames are normally very sturdy, and made of carbon, alloy, or aluminum, and are therefore very durable. In terms of a battery's lifetime, depending on how well you look after it, and how often you use the bike, you can expect between 2 and 4 years before you need to replace it. Keep in mind that you will also need to regularly service your bike with a professional, and store it out of the elements.
Do You Need Gears on an Electric Bike?
You don't need gears on an electric bike, but they can be helpful. New riders may benefit from the ease of single-speed cruisers, which are easier to get used to. However, if you're off-road, live somewhere hilly, or are doing long rides, gears can be useful. They work much the same as gears on a regular bicycle. It allows you to have better control over your speed and effort, plus it conserves the battery as well.
Do you Get Exercise on an Electric Bike?
Riding an electric bike totally counts as exercise. Even when you've got the assistance turned on, you still have to be pedaling, and therefore burning calories. Plus, e-bikes encourage riders to head out for longer, more challenging rides than they would typically choose. It also improves your core strength and balance, so you don't fall off. Lastly, electric bicycles are an inclusive option for people with lower mobility, special abilities, or injuries that may not otherwise be able to ride.
Alexandra Linde is an experienced writer holding a bachelor's degree in Journalism. She is the owner of Alexandra McKiterick Creative and has expertise in travel, fashion, fitness and lifestyle. Alex has previously written for Flightcenter, Travello, and Backpacker Deals.
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