Best Electric Bikes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Looking for ways to travel faster, farther, and with less effort? Electric bikes have been a rising trend with added features that will shock you. But are you struggling to find the right one for you?
Well, let me tell you you’re not alone.
While they are more expensive, they might cut down costs for you in traveling since they are so efficient while still giving you the thrill of riding a regular bike. Most can be used with or without electricity, but they sure make commutes and recreational rides that much quicker.
However, finding a high-quality electric bike that won’t break your bank can be quite a challenge. With so many to choose from and factors to consider like material, style, components, performance, it can be challenging to know what to look for.
But don’t let that put you off.
To make things easier for you, I have spent 6 hours hunting down my top 8 picks of the best electric bikes for you. I have factored in all the key factors like affordability, quality, weight, gearing when researching these bikes to make sure you’re getting the very best product.
Stay tuned; these are my best options for you!
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
the best selling electric bikes for the money
Ribble CGR AL e Electric Bike
Coming in at the number 1 spot is The Ribble CGR AL e is designed for versatility, especially for an electric bike. Along with being a fast option for on-road biking, offering a smooth ride off-road along with a very controlled power assistance system.
The battery has been made very light and hidden in the frames, which reduces drag and means it cannot be distinguished from a regular bike. Its steering is nimble but not as nimble as road bikes to offer control along with stable geometry.
This bike is made from market-leading e-bike technology at a press of a button and especially when you need it the most. It comes with three power settings to choose from, so you can select the right one for the terrain or type of ride you’re looking to achieve.
The carefully designed tube profiles and geometry provide superior stability, controlled handling, and comfort over multiple terrains. Plus, this sleek design of the hidden battery gives the illusion of a traditional bike frame.
But wait, I’m not finished.
The lightweight hub-driven motor system provides smooth and reliable power assistance levels and near-zero drag. This bike isn’t like any ol’ electric bike; it feels more natural and more like a traditional bike. It can provide 60 miles of assistance over variable terrain.
It also comes with Ribble’s customizability and attached mudguards and rackmounts to assist you in off-road biking. Plus, with the choice of 700c or 650lb wheelsets and monster tire clearance, no terrain will ever seem difficult again!
- 2’’ wheel clearance
- Ribble offers customization
- Comfortable for long journeys
- Great battery life
- Relatively heavy
Latest deal: Ribble CGR AL e Electric Bike
TREK Powerfly 4 Electric Bike
Coming in at number two is a pretty exciting electric mountain bike by TREK. The Powerfly 4 is the most affordable electric mountain bike they offer; with the smooth-shifting Shimano drivetrain and powerful Bosch motor, this bike was built for the rugged terrain.
If you’re sold on the idea of the e-bike revolution and want the capability and versatility of a mountain bike at a price that doesn’t break your bank or cost as much as your car did, then the Powerfly 4 is the one for you. It offers bigger and better off-road adventures that you never knew you could achieve from an e-bike.
Trek’s removable integrated battery system keeps the design looking sleek, and it is completely user-friendly. It completely hides the battery within the frame for protection while also being easily removable without any tools so that you can mount a water bottle cage!
If you do not want to use the e-bike capabilities 24/7, this is the bike for you!
The tough yet refined aluminum frame fully encases this long-range 500Wh battery along with the Bosch Performance CX motor that assists up to 20mph or 32 km/h– this bike is designed to push the boundaries with this top-notch Bosch.
The Powerfly 4 even comes with a Purion controller, which has a walk-assist and intelligent eMTB mode that delivers the right amount of power based on the terrain you’re riding on, which I thought was a super handy feature. It even has a charging port!
Let me tell you this, though:
All this, paired with the 1×10 speed drivetrain and a suspension fork with a lockout, makes this bike the perfect pair for any kind of rider. It even has smart wheel sizing, so every rider gets the best fit; it makes riding smooth and easy with every pedal stroke.
If you’re looking for a bike that’s great for commuting, tackling the trails, and taking recreational rides, then the Powerfly 4 is unbeatable.
- Seat post collar is quick release
- Great battery life
- Can maintain 28 miles per hour
- Designed to ease long rides
- Relatively heavy
Latest deal: TREK Powerfly 4 Electric Bike
Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Electric Bike
Want to feel like you quads of steel as you flatten hills, get the adrenaline rush from rush hour rides, and even hit the dirt roads on camping trips? Well, let me introduce you to the nimble Co-op cycles CTY e2.2 eclectic bike; it’s built for anything.
You may have heard of the renowned CTY 2.1, but the CTY 2.2 is a serious upgrade and an e-bike that keeps on giving. With the powerful motor, new and improved acceleration, hill-climbing, better battery, and increased range and fenders.
The low stand-over height also makes the bike easy to get on and off and is easy to stabilize when standing at a stop sign or red light. This upright position also offers greater visibility, while the adjustable stem allows you to fine-tune the cockpit to suit you.
I love this bike; it’s a real gem for the price; if you can sometimes be a tad bit on the lazy side like me, then this bike will give you just enough power to help you up hills and make biking much more enjoyable. It is my trusty companion that I take on all city commutes.
FYI it’s also crazy sturdy and comfortable too.
The CTY 2.2 is paired with the Shimano e6100 motor, which is super strong, and when I tell you it’s almost silent, IT IS ALMOST SILENT. This motor also offers more torque than the CTY2.1 and offers a whopping 3 pedal assist modes and a walk mode.
It even has a Shimano E8010 504Wh battery which extends your range and is equipped with an ABUS lock so you can feel confident parking around town; these are one of the best locks you can find for your e-bike battery.
What about the suspension fork? This bike is equipped with a Suntour front suspension fork that easily smooths out city roads with 75mm of travel. This electric bike even comes with hydraulic disc brakes for reliable braking power you can depend on.
To top it all off, this bike comes with some pretty incredible features such as the integrated rear rack, included front and rear light, battery charger making this bike ideal for cruising around town, commuting to work and back, and can even facilitate a kid carrier!
All this and this bike only weigh 300lbs; it is one of the best budget-friendly electric bikes on the market.
- Smooth gear shifting
- 3-pedal assist modes plus a walk mode
- The battery comes with a lock for security
- Comes with hydraulic disc brakes
Latest deal: Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2
Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 Electric Fat Bike
Coming in at number four is this real hidden gem by RadRover Bikes with their honorable e-bike that’s not only budget-friendly but is also packed with high-end components that you’d expect from bikes 3x the price.
It is the number one winner on my best cheap electric bike guide, thanks to the impressive design and over 3000 glowing reviews. It is rated a whopping 4.8/5, and for an electric mountain bike that is under $2000, the RadRover 5 is unstoppable.
Unlike the Powerfly 5, designed for the trails, the RadRover 5 seamlessly blends rugged capabilities with exceptional comfort. These 4-inch fat bike tires offer a massive amount of stability, and they’re perfect for all kinds of off-road adventures.
You’ll be living in luxury with this electric fat bike.
Made with puncture-resistant tires made from a layer of aramid and ceramic particles inside the tire under the tread. The Kendra k-shield integrated tire liner adds a line of defense. These tires provide extra protection against punctures from thorns and rubble.
Plus, the 7-speed, 11-34 tooth freewheel offers a wider range of gearing at your disposal, means more torque for treacherous uphill climbs, and maintains pedal authority at top speed. So you’ll have gear for all kinds of terrain, climbs, wherever the trails take you.
The RadRover 5 comes with a front suspension fork with 80mm of travel, preload adjustment, and lockout in shock absorption. The throttle also offers 750w of power-on-demand and 8-Nm of torque, making it brilliant for conquering rugged, loose terrain and steep climbs.
Talking about cool added features, the RadRover 5 even comes with integrated tail lights to ensure you’re seen and safe down the trails. It is even activated whenever the brake is applied. Pretty cool, right?
But wait, here’s the kicker.
The words ‘comfort’ and ‘fun’ hardly ever go hand in hand, but the Rad Rove manages to check off all those boxes with complete ease; it is a quality, and after reading this, any person would agree for under 2000 bucks it is a real gem.
Everyone who sees this bike wants it, and customers even said it was a ‘life changer’ when riding.
- Strong Braking
- Very reliable company
- Fast Charging
- Internal Battery
- Slower on city roads than some other electric bikes in the same range
Latest deal: Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5
QuietKat Jeep E-Bike
Now I know you’ve probably all heard of the brand Jeep; they sell the top-of-the-range off-road vehicles, but what about their electric bikes? Jeep has teamed up with QuietKat to create an iconic electric bike built for the rugged trail rippers and I’ve got to admit, they’re pretty impressive.
The Jeep E-bike is the most capable e-bike on the planet, which is guaranteed to add a touch of fun to your ride.
Most e-bikes are known for getting ‘too tired’ or ‘hot’ after long hours of riding but not this one; you can take it on the most punishing inclines and the most intense trails, and this bike will keep on giving. You definitely get top-of-the-range components for the price.
This bike is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
With the 750w Motor or 1000w unrestricted upgrade kit, depending on how much power you need. This will make riding the most technical terrain a breeze. This, paired with the hydraulic disc brakes, offers superior stopping power in all conditions.
With the custom QuietKat air fork and RockShox RL suspension, Jeep is a rugged bike that rolls over all kinds of terrain almost silently; you will have the power of an e-bike but the silent feel of a pedal bike.
If you’re on the hunt for a rugged electric mountain bike to tackle technical terrain, you need to check out what this one is capable of.
- 750W or 1000W motor
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- QuietKat air fork and RockShox RL suspension
- Ideal for rugged terrain
Latest deal: QuietKat Jeep E-Bike
Vitus E-Sommet 297 VR Mountain Bike
Want another top-of-the-range electric mountain bike that can be used both on the road and on the trails? Vitus E-Sommet is a bike to get excited about; it provides top trail-taming performance while remaining within an honorable budget.
This award-winning bike will be your new favorite companion for when you go down the sharpest descents; its enduring geometry offers balance and comfort. The Shimano E7000 electronic motor with Shimano Deore 11 speed gear transmission is a perfect fit for the trails.
This bike provides easy and quick-rolling on the mountain trails because of the Tubeless-ready Maxxis tires wrapped around DT Swiss H1900 rims. The E-Sommet provides exceptional pace, agility, and control while remaining super lightweight.
The aluminum frame is paired with Alloy-Framed, Full Suspension E-MTB X-Fusion suspension, which provides 170mm of impact-eating travel. Plus, this bike is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes for ultimate braking power, which is a little confidence booster.
This bike is engineered to provide exceptional pace, agility, and control wherever and whenever. It has been designed and equipped for all-terrain riding with h Maxxis tires and Brand-X Ascend dropper seat post.
The E-Sommet 297 even features a 29-inch wheel at the front, and 27.5 wheels at the back, meaning the rear chainstays can remain shorter for superior control, while the 29” front wheel enables the Sommet to retain exceptional pace and control wherever.
Here’s the best bit…
When creating the E-Sommet, Vitus has two goals: to improve their design even better with an internal battery frame, updated geometry, and improved suspension kinematics and make the E-Sommet frame the most capable E-MTB on the market with an accessible price.
They’ve knocked it out of the park with this design; you’ll love the added features you get.
- Extremely smooth ride
- Long lasting battery
- Three assistance modes for all terrains
- Vitus gives great customer service
- Outdated battery location
Latest deal: Vitus E-Sommet 297 VR Mountain Bike
Liked the sound of the RadRover 5 but want something a little cheaper? Well, the RadRunner 1 is another pretty incredible bike worth your time. It is the best electric bike designed for utility and customizability making it the best electric cargo bike on the market.
You will never see a bike more customizable than this one.
With a total of 330 accessory combinations, you can make this RadRunner completely yours. It is compatible with their full suite of racks and platforms; it even comes with a patent-pending passenger package and center console so you can customize it to your heart’s content.
But wait, get this, you can even use this bike as a scooter, awesome, right?
The RadRunner is the first bike/scooter to have an adjustable driver’s seat that can either be completely flush with a passenger’s seat or adjusted higher than the standard bike. Wherever the customization, RadRunner is ready to take you there.
But it gets even better; RadRunner is kitted with puncture-resistant tires made from a layer of aramid and ceramic particles inside the tire, under the tread. Plus, the Kenda K-Shield integrated tire liner provides extra protection against punctures from thorns, glass, and any other pesky materials that would get you down.
Looking for simplicity that will get you from a to b with ease? No problem either with the implied single-speed drivetrain, which makes easy riding and low maintenance ideal for new riders or just those looking to cruise around town.
So I said that this bike is completely customizable and a brilliant cargo bike, but how? Well, despite being able to customize your ride completely, this bike comes with an integrated rear rack that allows you to attach panniers, platforms, baskets, kid bike seats, you name it.
But let’s talk about the power you get too; RadRunner 1 comes with 750W of Rad Power Bikes motor, which offers 80Nm of torque, allowing you to conquer hills and loose terrain like never before; it even comes with a twist grip throttle for power on demand.
To top it all off in terms of comfort, you can’t beat it; it comes with a low-step frame design and upright handlebar riding position, which offers the best form of comfort for riding all day on trail routes or throughout town. Plus, with a 14-day trial and 1-year warranty, as well as 2000 glowing reviews, you’re guaranteed luxury for an amazing price!
- Single-speed drivetrain
- Completely customizable
- Puncture-resistant tires
- 80Nm of torque
Latest deal: RadRunner 1
Ride1Up – Prodigy XC
Looking for a recreational electric mountain bike? The Prodigy XC is a brilliant e-bike that comes at an affordable price point; it has a great setup and has all the cool features that you’d expect from an electric bike twice the price.
You can master the trails with a bike that weighs under 50lbs! This lightweight and agile bike are powerful, fast, grippy, yet completely silent; you will fly past your competition without even breaking a sweat.
With the Brose control system, the progeny will take your riding to the next level! This bike offers a pedal-assisted max speed of 28mp/h and throttle-powered speed of 20mp/h runs on a 500W motor. This, paired with hydro disc brakes, offers ultimate control and power.
This bike offers true class!
It’s got a 9-speed ‘transmission’ by Shimano Alivio, and sporty yet comfortable Selle Royal Viento saddle offers ultimate comfort and stability, as well as having gear for every kind of terrain. It feels comfortable on a lighter trail and ideal for recreational riders.
This bike even has cool features LCD TFT display with 2.2″ screen 0-9 levels of PAS and advanced metrics, super lightweight bike light for ultimate visibility, and heavy aim adjustable arm-mounted kickstand, which is a nice touch.
For the price and features, you get this bike is brilliant for any recreational mountain biker.
- Offers 28mph of pedal assistance
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Ideal for beginners
- Fast, grippy, lightweight and silent
- Not ideal for extremely rugged terrains
Latest deal: Ride1Up – Prodigy XC
Cannondale Synapse Neo SE Electric Bike
Damn, you’ve made it to the 10th product on my page? Well, don’t worry, just because it’s at the number 10 spot doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time; I have only selected the very best electric bikes, don’t you worry, and the Cannondale Synapse Neo SE. Is one of them!
The Neo SE is your ticket to endurance, efficiency, comfort and offers a super fun hill-leveling adventure.
With the Bosch Active Line Plus drive system and long-range battery, it delivers a quiet, light, and drag-free performance with a whopping range of up to 93 miles– you heard me, 93 miles!
It offers a classic endurance position with the road-smoothing 650B x 47mm tires and bump-insulating SAVE micro-suspension, which keeps you comfortable and in control even on the roughest days and roughest terrain.
This race geometry position allows you to position yourself forward enough for an intense ride but upright enough for the long haul. This bike was geared up for adventure with the 1×11 SRAM Apex drivetrain, which offers great chain retention and elegant simplicity for tackling bumpy country roads.
Want to hear the best bit?
The integrated wheel sensor delivers accurate speed, route, and distance info; it even reminds you when your bike needs a surface with the Cannondale app. Plus, this bike comes with a seat stay bridge and hidden fender mounts to keep you riding no matter the weather.
My only issue with Cannondale bikes is that the pedals are not included, but this all more reason to check out my best bike pedal guide to ensure you’re getting the very best product for you. Other than that, this bike is yet another winner.
- Bump-insulating micro-suspension
- A long-range battery of up to 93 miles
- Integrated wheel sensor
- Super comfortable
- No pedals included
Latest deal: Cannondale Synapse Neo SE
Marin Nail Trail E2 Bike
Here is another brilliant electric trail bike that is the full package if you’re looking for a fun and speedy e-bike. The Marin Nail Trail E2 is durable, lightweight, and has some pretty incredible features.
The hydroformed 6061 aluminum alloy frame features compliance-enhancing chainstays, internal dropper post routing 148x12mm boost spacing, and low trail geometry. This makes this trail bike speedy, agile, and playful on the technical terrain.
In terms of suspension, the Marin Nail Trail E2 offers 140mm of suspension up front making it ready to take on any outdoor adventure with complete confidence. The wide range 10-speed drivetrain also makes this bike ready for long climbs and daring descents.
But that’s not all…
The RockShox Revelation RC fork provides a supple and smooth ride, plus the drivetrain provides all the gears you’ll need to make it up the steep climbs. This, paired with the Shimano hydraulic 4-piston brakes, provide superior control and confident stopping power no matter the terrain or weather.
Fewer flats, more fun. The Marin Nail Trail comes with tubeless-ready wheels that provide fewer flats and incredible traction on the most uneven terrains. You can storm down the trail and charge back up with complete control and speed.
This bike will give you the confidence you never knew you had before.
- Fast, agile, and lightweight
- Hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame
- 10-speed drivetrain and wide gear range
- Hydraulic disc brakes and tubeless ready tires
Latest deal: Marin Nail Trail E2 Bike
TREK Townie Go! 7D Step-Over
Coming in last but certainly, not least is another budget-friendly option by TREK. The Townie Go! 7D is an easy-to-use and electric bike that comes at a fairly cheap price point, one of the cheapest options I have selected for you!
The Hydrive system provides confidence and control through the three modes of power support with a rear hub motor. This bike features a LED display that shows battery charge as well as a support level.
Looking for superior stopping power?
The 7D is packed with mechanical disc brakes, which provide smooth and powerful stopping power no matter the weather condition. Plus, by rolling on 27.5-inch tires, you’re guaranteed a smooth rolling experience and easy stopping power every time.
In terms of the battery, the 7D will go anywhere from 20 to 50 miles! For uphill rides against the wind, I found it did around 20 miles on level 3, but this bike will do 50 miles with no issues on level 1!
This is one of the best pedal-assisted bikes, ideal for all ages, sizes, heights; you name it.
- Fast, agile, and lightweight
- Hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame
- 10-speed drivetrain and wide gear range
- Hydraulic disc brakes and tubeless ready tires
Latest deal: TREK Townie Go! 7D Step-Over
Best Electric Bikes Buyers Guide
Now we’ve gone through my top selection of the best electric bikes for the money, you may not have found the one that’s right for you, and that’s fine. Everyone is different, and the hunting process of finding an electric bike can be quite tricky, especially for someone new to cycling.
Electric bikes have taken the world by storm; they are the vision of the future. Not only are electric bikes an effective way to get around, but they’re also very environmentally friendly. The world is becoming more and more bike-friendly as more and more people buy bikes.
Adding a bit more oomph to your ride with an electric bike will open up a whole world of riding like never before; it makes riding a breeze and can bring a massive amount of fun and joy to any kind of cyclist, whether you’re a newbie, commuter, or just looking for that little extra support.
It’s not as easy as choosing any old electric bike; there are some key things to consider and the budget. But don’t you worry, I’m here to help, I’m here to break down everything you need to know about electric bikes and how to get the very best product.
What Is An Electric Bike?
First things first, you may be asking yourself what even is an electric bike? Electric bikes are also known as e-bikes. They are conventional bikes with a rechargeable battery and motor. They provide you with power and take most of the energy out of pedaling.
They were invented to replace fossil fuel-powered mo-peds, and they are an environmentally friendly way to get around. Generally speaking, e-bikes are battery-powered assist bikes that ‘assist’ in pedaling.
If you pedal a little bit, the motor will engage and give you a boost; they take the hassle out of climbing up hills; you also control your speed with your feet, just like with a regular bike. There are many laws and regulations around e-bikes, but as they become more common, the laws have changed and adapted, making them easier to use than ever.
You may be asking do you need to pedal with an electric bike?
Yes, you do; even for e-bikes that have a throttle, you will still need to pedal when going up long, steep hills; you won’t need to pedal as hard as you would on a regular pedal bike but to extend your battery range and extend the life of your motor.
Different Types Of Electric Bikes:
You may have noticed there are a few different types of electric bikes you’ll find on the market, from Pedelec or pedal-assist to twist and go models. Let’s break them down in more detail.
Pedelec/pedal-assist bikes: Pedelec bikes monitor the rider’s output and assist as much as possible up to the region-specific top speed. The pedal assist mode have a more natural feel to the throttle mode as it only provide power when you’re pedalling.
Twist-n-Go: Twist-nGo models allow riders to operate the motor’s input from a switch like a throttle. Most states require a license to operate these kinds of bikes as well asi insurance and a full helmet but they have become more common in recent years.
Twist and go bikes have a fully integrated battery enabling it to reach speeds like 15.5mph without needing to pedal, they’re also entirely legal in most states.
Best Type Of Electric Bikes For Specific Riding Styles:
When hunting for an electric bike, you should also consider the riding you’ll be using it for.
Electric hybrid bikes: Electric bikes are most commonly used for commuting; it makes commuting much easier and opens up commuting bikes as an option for those who aren’t as confident in the biking field. The best bikes for hybrid biking are pedal-assisted bikes as they offer a natural feel.
The major benefit of using electric bikes for commuting is that they require less effort and less sweat. You can haul heavy luggage and also keep up the pace, and feel more comfortable in traffic. Hybrid e-bikes come with rack and fenders, and they’re super practical.
It is super easy to replace an unnecessary car trip, run late on public transport, and spend hundreds of dollars on gas and parking every year. Getting a hybrid bike allows you to tackle commutes with ease and ride a recreational ride on weekends.
Electric mountain bikes: Electric mountain bikes have become more and more popular in recent years, and they offer immense fun; they allow you to get up to the top of mountains with speed and without getting out of breath.
You will have more time doing the fun stuff like descending and tackling the more technical bits of the trail. You can shred the trails with confidence and let loose on the rough technical terrain. There are three main types of electric mountain bikes such as e-trail, downhill, and hardtail.
If you’re interested in getting an electric mountain bike, then check out my full guide here.
Electric road bikes: Electirc road bikes are the most common type of e-bikes on the market; many bike brands like TREK, Cannondale, Specialised have created beautiful models that use top-of-the-end components.
Electric road bikes have drop handlebars and offer a more sporty riding position than a hybrid bike, non-assisted road and gravel bikes have wider gears to ride faster and narrower tires for rapid speed, and e-bikes follow a similar design.
Affordable options are becoming more and more accessible, especially from bigger brands like Ribble and Marin; there are even some pretty cool ones on Amazon.
Laws Around E-Bikes In The States
Since electric bikes are pedal-assisted, they do come with some laws and regulations around riding them. Just like in other countries, e-bikes have become increasingly popular around the states; they can be ridden recreationally or to get you from a to b with ease.
For daily commutes to work, people opt-out from pollution and drive the motor vehicle every day for a more eco-friendly option such as an e-bike to help support them from A to B. An electric bicycle is also a brilliant alternative for those on a budget; nowadays, there are often bike storage areas at work to encourage employees to bike to work rather than driving.
Most states adopt a three-class system for e-bikes, but this is not the case in all states, sadly. This three-class system across the US regarding e-bikes has been long and far between as there no set federal regulations.
This essentially means that each state or local government can set up its own laws regarding electric bicycles. The best thing I would recommend is to check the local laws for your area as they differ from state to state.
- For example, in California, the law is clear that no driving license is required to operate class 1, 2, or 3 e-bikes, and a helmet is not required for class 1 and 2 e-bikes but is required for class 3 users.
- However, in Maine, e-bikes are not as popular or well defined, and they have much stricter laws when it comes to where they can ride to comply with the law.
An organization called ‘PeopleForBikes’ has risen as a national advocacy group and has been pushing for more transparency regarding e-bike laws across the US. They have already pushed the three-class system implemented in 2016, but it is still not used in every state.
PeopleForBikes continue to push for other states to follow suit regarding this three-class system until e-bikes are legal in all states.
So What Is The Three-Class System?
To modernize the electric bicycle law in the United States, PeopleForBikes have designed a three-class system to categorize electric bikes and regulate them based on their maximum assisted speed:
- Class 1 electric bike: This is an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that assists only while the rider is pedaling. It can reach maximum speed limits of 20mph and has a power output of 750W.
- Class 2 electric bicycle: This is an e-bike equipped with a motor used exclusively to propel the bicycle; it doesn’t assist when the bicycle reaches 20mph.
- Class 3 electric bike: This e-bike is equipped with a motor that assists only while the rider is pedaling. It stops assisting when the bicycle reaches 28mph, and it is equipped with a speedometer.
The three-class system creates rules that govern e-bikes, focusing on safety as the top priority. Class 1 and 2 electric bicycles can travel anywhere where traditional bikes are allowed to go.
Class 3 electric bikes can only be ridden on streets and roads where traditional bikes are permitted, such as bike lanes but are restricted to speed limits and slower speed areas in areas such as multi-use paths.
Class 3 electric bikes are also subject to additional requirements such as minimum user age, helmet requirement; electric bikes do not require licensing, registration, and insurance.
All e-bikes in the US should familiarize themselves with the cycling laws for their area; if you’re ever unsure about the laws regarding electric bikes, then you can contact your local law enforcement for peace of mind. Many electric bikes are now allowed on local bike trails, which are designed for e-bikes.
If you’re still wondering about the laws and regulations in other countries and/or if you’re looking to cycle overseas, then I spoke about the laws in more detail in a separate article here. Some of the rules change slightly or are enforced differently.
There has also been a massive increase in the number of e-bikes you can rent in big cities such as NYC, and these are often called ‘Citi Bikes’ you can pay to use them, and they’re found all around the city, it is a way of getting people to use bikes rather than using a taxi or car.
They usually cost around 18cent a minute or $3.50 for half an hour; it is a brilliant way to introduce environmentally friendly ways to commute around cities.
What to look for when buying an Electric Bike:
Price: Electric Bike prices vary a lot depending on their purposes. For cheaper rates, you can find bikes that will work for the commute. As the prices go up, you move to MTBs, hybrids, gravel bikes, and finally road bikes.
I do not recommend the far-end bikes unless you plan to go on extremely rough terrain or compete professionally.
Quality: We buy an electric bike for assistance pedaling, which means the motor and battery are the most important quality components. Luckily, many reliable companies have produced electric bikes, so you need not worry about false advertising if you buy from them.
The rest depends on the purpose you are buying the bike for, so, e.g., if you are buying an MTB, make sure it has at least similar features to a traditional MTB.
Ratings: As always, ratings are significant in buying anything. For electric bikes, focus particularly on the battery time, how much maintenance needs to be done, and whether the assistance provided is consistent despite the battery time.
Many professionals have reviewed the higher-end bikes in case you are confused about which one to buy.
Material: Most of the bikes mentioned above in the article are aluminum alloy, making them lightweight and sturdy. There can be many choices for frame material such as steel, carbon, or aluminum. If you want to get a high-price and quality bike, it would have a carbon material, but if you want an affordable e-bike, you’ll get other materials like aluminum.
Aluminum is still a great choice compared to cheap e-bikes as it makes the frameset of the bike lightweight and reliable. The product mentioned above can be a good choice for you to get a cheap and quality e-bike.
Most aluminum options come with a carbon fork which helps with the shock absorption while keeping the price low. So you can still get similar quality features of a carbon frame but without the hefty price on top.
Charging: In some of the bikes, you can change the battery, and in others, you can recharge it. You can use batteries of both types and can get the one that suits your requirements and preferences.
Some of the products mentioned above come with rechargeable batteries that provide a long-running time, while others come with the battery-changing one, which also provides a good service life. I personally love a removable battery so you can take it inside and charge overnight rather than having to bring your bike in constantly to charge the battery.
On average, for an e-bike, around $1000 will do you around 25-50 miles in one battery life, some offer more, and some offer less, but that amount of battery life should allow you to have a full day of riding with no issues.
Some higher-end batteries, such as the Cannondale Synapse NEO bike, have long-range battery lives, and they can do an average of 93 miles before they need recharging, which is ideal if you have a long commute or love spending long days down the trails.
Cost: If you want to buy an affordable or cheap bike that would be of good quality but in your budget, then the cost factor matters a lot. You should go for the products that lie in your range and start searching for the best in those products.
I wouldn’t recommend spending much less than $1000 on an e-bike but for those on a budget, between $1000-$2500 is a respectable price to pay for an e-bike that will still give you top-quality components.
If you’re looking for something more higher-end, I recommend spending around $2500 to around the $6000 mark; you will be guaranteed to have a carbon frame and superior shock absorption; this is ideal for those serious trail shredders or those that ride on rugged city roads.
Ratings and Reviews: While buying an affordable or cheap electric bike, one must be more careful. One should read the reviews of different people to know what people experienced about the product. The ratings and reviews will help you to get the best product in your range.
Before I buy any product, I always read the reviews, but I always take what they say with a pinch of salt, sometimes it could be down to issue during the delivery process rather than the company itself, such as if parts as missing.
Motor: Hub motors are either located at the front or on the rear wheel; they are the more affordable of the two; however, mid-drive motors tend to be much more popular thanks to their natural maneuverability as they don’t have weight concentrated at the front or rear of the bike like hub motors.
Mid-drive motors are also much more lightweight and targetted over the bottom bracket; this results m better control and offer a more feel; it also gives more of a natural feel like riding a regular bike.
Components: Cheaper electric bikes don’t tend to have all the components you see in the regular road or mountain bikes, such as disc brakes, a quality e-system, or quality tires. I would recommend going for bikes that use renowned brands like Shimano or Bosch.
As you go up in the price range, you’ll notice that the type of Shimano or Bosch being used is different, so the more you pay, the higher quality components you get.
Frequently asked Questions
Why would I need an electric bike?
Essentially, an electric bike is the same as a regular bike. However, it will provide you with assistance in pedaling, which can be extremely useful for longer rides or if you do not want to expend as much energy in cycling or ride for leisure.
If you’re a daily commuter or love a good trail shred but want your rides to feel just that little bit easier, then electric bikes are designed to do that. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg nowadays to get one either; you can even get an electric bike for under $1000!
How fast are electric bikes?
Most electric bikes can maintain speeds up to 20 mph. However, this can go up to 28 mph and sometimes even beyond for some bikes if you put enough effort. Some throttles can legally support you up to 15mph without pedal assistance, but they require a license and helmet.
The legal amount in the US is 15.5mph of pedal-assistance, but in the UK and other countries, electric bikes are allowed up to 28mph of pedal assistance. Some can go faster in the UK but not legally.
How fast the electric bike goes depends on the power output and your pedaling output; if you pedal at a fast pace, some electric bikes can get up to a whopping speed of 25mph; you heard me 25mph.
How far can ebikes go?
This depends on the bike you buy and the conditions you are driving in. Usually, the limit goes up with a price. However, most will comfortably last twenty miles, but it can go up to a hundred miles.
Some long-range e-bikes such as the Cannondale Synapse NEO can assist for up to 83 miles which is more than enough for a fun-packed day trip or even two-day trips with a push. As a general rule of thumb, the more you spend, the more you get.
How long does it take for the battery to charge?
This also depends on your model, but most batteries take three to six hours to charge completely. Some bikes on this list can charge faster than that. A lithium-ion ebike battery will take an average of 3.5 to 6 hours to recharge when completely flat.
If your battery still has some power in, it will take less time; it depends on the battery you are using. I find that removable batteries are super helpful as a safety thing and convenience; you can take the battery out and charge it inside rather than haul the whole bike to your nearest charging port.
How much does one charge cost?
Again, this depends on where you live but usually will cost 0.03 to 0.1 dollars for a complete charge which is cheaper than constantly filling your tank up with gas, in my personal opinion.
What is the best electric bike kit on the market?
Now, this is all down to personal preference and opinion as well as riding style. There are some pretty amazing electric bikes on the market to buy, and what may work for one person may be completely wrong for another.
This is also why I have spent time hunting down 12 of the best electric bikes for all kinds of riding, so choose any of the ones I have selected for you, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
This guide went through a lot of electric bikes. What is important to remember is these bikes are extremely diverse and can fit any purpose you want. Other than a motor that assists pedaling, they are the same as traditional bikes and, in some cases, can even exceed their performance.
They started with a unique niche in the market but have spread extremely fast in popularity, and we are sure you can find an electric bike for yourself. We hope that your decision is smart and allows you a fast, long, and leisurely ride with your fellow bikers.
Electric bikes have taken the world by storm and will continue to do so for the many years to come; they’re an environmentally friendly way to rid, commute, or add a touch of fun to your trail adventures. There are some seriously cool e-bikes out there.
Choose any of the ones I have selected for you today, and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, take the time to review each bike’s components and make sure they’re 100% right for you.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.