Best Electric Bikes: Don’t Strain Yourself Enjoying the Outdoors or Your Commute

Get pedaling.

byJonathon Klein|
Best Electric Bikes: Don’t Strain Yourself Enjoying the Outdoors or Your Commute


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Two wheels are my preferred method of travel but, sometimes, pedaling sucks. Yes, it’s good for your physical and mental health. That doesn’t mean I like being winded all the damn time. Thankfully, someone who’s just as indignant about pedaling came up with strapping electric motors to bicycles, and the electric bicycle was invented. 
But since that initial bike, thousands have flooded the market from all corners of the globe. That makes selecting one incredibly difficult. At least it does if you don’t listen to the writers at The Drive. We’ve put together this awesome list of great electric bikes so you can skip the BS and get the right electric bike for you. Take a gander.

Best Overall

Ride1Up 700 Series

A great electric bicycle that’ll do just about anything for most riders.
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Works on both road and gravel
  • Great accessories
  • 30-50 miles of range
  • Limited warranty
  • Limited color options
Best Budget

Schwinn 700c Bay Ridge Hybrid

The most inexpensive entry point into quality e-bikes you can find.
  • Inexpensive
  • Pedal assist
  • Up to 20mph
  • Frame fit riders between 5’7” - 6’2” tall
  • Glitches reported
  • Smaller battery

Summary List

Our Methodology

While riding bicycles isn’t my normal two-wheeled method of transportation, I have done a lot of it. I’ve ridden bicycles both in town, through major cities (Chicago and Los Angeles), and in the backcountry of Utah. I’ve done road bikes, mountain bikes, and all manner of electric bicycles over the years, which helped me narrow down the list you have here. 

I didn’t get to test every single bike, but did put miles on a few. I do reserve the right to change my mind, my answers, and this buying guide as more come into my possession or I get to test others. As always, everything is up for debate. 

Best Electric Bikes: Reviews & Recommendations 

Best Overall: Ride1Up 700 Series


Relatively inexpensive

Works on both road and gravel

Great accessories

30-50 miles of range


Limited warranty

Limited color options

Though Ride1Up isn’t the most well-known of bicycle manufacturers, the 700 Series from the brands claims our top spot for a variety of reasons. First of which, it’s well-built, reasonably affordable, and comes with solid range for the money, and a good group of accessories. 

Centered around a 750-watt hub motor, the 700 Series can hit speeds of up to 28 mph with pedal assist, or 20 mph with just the throttle. And it has between 30-50 miles of range, depending on the surface and type of riding you’re doing. Additionally, the frame is a lightweight aluminum alloy for increased strength, but lightness, and the brakes are Tektro Dual Piston 180mm Hydraulic units for great stopping power. 

My only issues with the Ride1Up are the limited 1-year warranty—I would’ve liked to have seen something backed a little longer given its price—and the lack of colorways. Only three are offered: gray, white, and blue. But other than that, it’s a perfect addition for nearly any rider.  

Best Budget: Schwinn 700c Bay Ridge Hybrid



Pedal assist

Up to 20mph

Frame fit riders between 5’7” - 6’2” tall


Glitches reported

Smaller battery

Schwinn’s been in the bicycling game for, what, over a century? And it shows. Though the brand’s been dethroned as the bicycling king by most newcomers and those who’ve pumped millions of dollars into R&D, Schwinn still has great offerings for most riders. And that includes this 700c Bay Ridge Hybrid electric bicycle.

Powered by a 250-watt motor, the bicycle can hit up to 20 mph using pedal assist, has multiple riding and assist modes to dial in your preferred action, and can fit riders that are between 5’7” and all the way up to lanky 6’2” folks like myself. The bike has a 7-speed transmission, a front suspension fork for better ride quality, and dual disc brakes front and rear for great stopping power. 

It’s also incredibly affordable, as at the time of writing, you can pick it up for just $698 from Walmart. That’s a helluva deal. 

Best Mountain Bike: Trek Fuel EXe 8 XT 


Trek brand quality

Fox Shocks

Shimano XT 12-speed

360Wh removable battery



Not as high-powered as others

I’ve had Treks off and on throughout my life, starting from when I was eight years old. I’ve been a massive fan of the brand, but this Fuel EXe 8 XT looks to be the best of the bunch. 

Yes, it’s not the top-of-the-line e-mountain bike that Trek makes, but those are for crazy people. Not you and me. What we want is a mountain bike that we can rail on and not feel too bad when it gets dirty or we eat dirt ourselves. And that’s this bicycle. 

The Fuel EXe 8 XT is powered by a 360-watt removable battery and sent through Shimano’s XT 12-speed. Fox Shocks both front and rear keep you moving across whoops, through rhythm sections, and whatever mud you happen to cross without slowing you down. And you have Trek’s legendary quality backing everything. It’s the best of all worlds. 

There are just two small things I’d bring up, and those are price (it’s expensive, but not unreasonable for an e-mountain bike of this caliber) and that the pedal assist isn’t as powerful as others. But if you can overlook that, and pony up the cash, you’re golden. 

Best Two-Wheel Drive: Ubco 2x2 Special Edition


No pedaling needed

Large battery

Lots of cargo room



No pedals when run out of juice

Brakes could be slightly more robust

How do I describe the Ubco 2x2? Hysterical fun, that’s how. This is a two-wheel-drive electric bike built for adventuring. Designed to go literally anywhere, most folks who grab an Ubco use it for exploring the woods, adventuring into the backcountry, or hunting. But you can use it literally anywhere. 

The Special Edition I received to test came with a rear parcel bag, but also the integrated central pouch, too. There’s also a front rack to store whatever you want. I also especially like the integrated Peak Design phone mount, which keeps my phone stationary throughout whatever scrub brush I go through. And the 3.1kWh battery is good for up to 75 miles of range, at 30 miles per hour. More than enough for just about any use. 

There are two issues I’ve arrived at with the Ubco 2x2, and that’s that the rear brakes can wear somewhat under hard terrain and repeated use. Which is a pretty easy fix from Ubco, and just more even braking application from the user. As well as it doesn’t have pedals, which puts you SOL if you run out of juice. That said, it’s not designed to have pedals, so it’s up to you to plan. 

Best Cruiser: QuietKat Lynx


Comes pre-charged

Easy assembly


Comes with toolkit


Headlight could be more condensed

Design absolutely matters. Whether it’s sleek, boxy, utilitarian, or post-modern, everyone has their preferences for how their stuff looks. And QuietKat’s Lynx definitely has the looks of a high-end electric bicycle. 

The Lynx is QuietKat’s latest offering, as is more in line with a cafe style. A 1,000-watt hub motor can propel the Lynx either through pedal-assist or strictly driving the rear wheel, and can go up to 60 miles on one charge. Brakes are handled by 2-piston Gemma units front and rear, and assembly is incredibly easy as QuietKat provides all the tools you need in the box. That said, a ratchet and/or impact driver will make assembly that much easier and faster. 

Two colors are available from QuietKat (silver and black), and the Lynx also features a great rear parcel shelf that’ll help you attach whatever cargo you have. Other accessories include travel panniers, a cargo cooler, and even a single-wheel trailer. I will say that the one thing I think QuietKat could improve is the headlight design. Yes, it hides all the wires, but it could be more fluidly integrated and look less like a dinner plate around the headlight surround. 

Best Cargo: Lectric XPedition Dual-Battery Cargo eBike


Cargo space galore

Great range

Relatively inexpensive


Shipping damage can occur

Not everyone needs a fast AF mountain bike or pavement-decimating road racer. Sometimes, all you need is trunk space. Well, bikes don’t have trunks, but they can have cargo room and that’s where Lectric’s Xpedition Cargo bike shines. 

This e-bike has a truly massive rear cargo shelf that can be transformed in multiple ways in order to suit your needs. Do you need a bags for groceries? Lectric has you covered. Two seats for your twin toddlers? You got it. How about a single seat for your kid and parcel space? Done and done. There’s even a rack that can be attached to the front fork to increase your cargo space more!

The XPedition is powered by a 1,310-watt motor connected to either one or two 48V, 14Ah lithium batteries that give the bicycle a combined range of 150 miles. That’s good for just about any type of exploration or run to the grocery store. There are also five levels of pedal assist to dial in your preferred power, and the rear rack alone can hold up to 300 pounds of payload. An incredible feat. 

Our Verdict

You absolutely cannot beat the Ride1Up for ease of use, affordability, and range in terms of electric bicycles. It’s perfect for just about everyone. However, when your use case is somewhat different, i.e. mountain biking, hunting, etc., any of our other picks would be great in your garage. 

Things You Should Know Before Buying an Electric Bike

Here’s everything you need to know.


There are a number of different types of electric bicycles, including e-mountain bikes, e-commuting bikes, e-road bikes, and even e-cargo bikes. You’ll want to pick the right type of electric bicycle for your application, i.e. you don’t need an e-mountain bike if you live in a city, and likewise, you wouldn’t want an e-road bike if you lived on a mountain. Pick the right one for you.


Range will depend on what powerpack comes with your chosen electric bike, but most have between 20 and 60 miles of range per charge. 


Price ranges wildly. Some electric bicycles cost under $1,000, while others clip into the $20,000 range depending on all the features, construction, and motors that come with it. I tried to stick to a more affordable set with the guide above. 


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers. 

Do you still have to pedal electric bikes?

Depends on the type of e-bike you get. For most of those on this list you have the option of pedaling. However, the Ubco doesn’t have pedals. 

Can you turn off an electric bicycle?

You can on some models, but not all of them. Some use passive motors and are only activated when you start pedaling, while others have on/off switches. 

What happens if you run out of power on your electric bicycle?

Start pedaling, my friend. Unless it’s the Ubco. 

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