Best Electric Bicycles: Enjoy Speedy, Eco-Conscious Commutes
Change the way you travel—and reduce your carbon footprint—with one of these top e-bikes.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON March 12, 2021
Bicycles have been a form of transport since 1817. As transportation has evolved, so have bikes. Electrical innovation has led to the creation of electric cars, trains, and even bikes. An electric bicycle, or an e-bike, gives you the opportunity to avoid traffic and plays a big role in reducing your carbon footprint. This buying guide features the best electric bicycles to help you make an informed buying decision.
This bike provides you with three modes: electric, assisted, and normal. These let you maximize its riding potential. You can cover up to 30 miles while still staying within the 15-mile-per-hour speed limit.
- Sturdy carbon steel fork and aluminum handlebars make the bike both strong and lightweight
- Horn and bright LED lamp keep you visible and safe
- Removable battery can be charged whether it’s on or off the bike
- Manufacturer doesn’t give clear information about the average number of cycles the battery can take
- Acceleration gets harder as you approach load capacity
This folding ebike has a 350-watt motor and 36V 6aH battery. It comes in 12-inch and 14-inch versions. It has a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and a 15-mile range.
- This affordable ebike comes with cruise control, which is convenient and easy to engage
- Brakes are strong
- Tackles little hills without any issues
- Charging the battery takes some time, and you can't remove it or replace it
- The seat isn't too comfortable
This bike is powered by a 500W motor and a 36V battery and covers about 23 miles in e-mode. The twist throttle and pedal assist ensure you pedal easier and move faster.
- Lightweight aluminum frame helps you to easily gather momentum as you ride
- Bike is weatherproof and has thick tires (20 by 4 inches) for enhanced stability and shock absorption
- Tires are also designed to reduce skidding
- Bike does not perform well on steep terrain
- Controller is placed in a bad spot
- Bike easily shuts down if it comes into contact with shallow puddles
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Benefits of Electric Bicycles
- Suitable for long-distance traveling. Compared to the manual commuter bicycles, the best electric bike will help you cover the longest distance. The best e-bikes come with high-power motors that enhance speed. They also come with reliable hydraulic disc brakes for safety and long-lasting batteries that extend your cycling distance.
- Environmentally friendly. Unlike most automobiles, electric bicycles are friendly to the environment. They move on an electric motor that does not emit radiations or fumes that would hurt the environment. Also, they are powered by cell batteries that are environmentally friendly.
- Faster in operation. Electric bikes will save you time since they cover long distances in a very short time. They come with top speed turbo motors that run at more than 15-20 miles per hour. You can also change gears on the bicycles to navigate mountains and slopes with ease.
- Affordability. Apart from their high speed, these commuter e-bikes also save you money. With an electric bike, you can escape traffic and get to work faster without having to pay for a bus ticket. Most electric bikes come at a discount from most of the high-end shops, which makes them suitable for those on a tight budget.
- Easy to use. You don’t need any special skills to change the gears and ride on an electric bicycle. The basic skills for cycling an ordinary bike are just enough to get you going. Plus, they come with a user manual that helps you understand how to operate them.
Types of Electric Bicycles
This is the lowest grade of bikes you will find, even on a constrained budget. This category of e-bike includes all the pedal assist bikes. They come with pedal assist that you will use to cycle. They also come in different varieties and sizes suitable for both children and adults.
This is another category of high-end electric bikes. They are cargo bikes and come with a battery-powered motor that enhances their speed and cycling efficiency. They are faster than pedal assist e-bikes but more expensive. If you like traveling for longer distances, then this is the best category of a road bike to shop for. They save you on power and time. However, they need little maintenance to stay on the road.
This is the third class of commuter e-bikes that comes with a more efficient bike motor and engine drive system. They are more expensive than throttle and pedelec e-bike. The e-bikes in this category come with a more sophisticated technology that boosts their speed and reduces their fuel consumption. The unit comes with more features and tools that make it a bit bulkier and technical to operate by beginners. If you want a faster and more efficient e-bike to take you places, then this is the best category of bikes to go for.
Mid-Drive vs. Hub Motors
This last category of e-bikes includes those that have hub motors and mid-drive motors. E-bikes with rear hub motors are convenient for climbing steep roads. They do not overheat and consume little power. Mid-drive e-bikes are lightweight and best on plain roads. If you want a motor that lasts longer or is suitable for everyday use, then go for mid-drive e-bikes.
Ancheer is a fitness and technology company that has been in operation for more than five years. They have their headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif. The company makes a variety of high quality products, including fitness bikes, e-bikes, and all bike-related accessories. All of its products and accessories are durable and rust-resistant. Some of its best products include the Ancheer Pro Electric Mountain Bike and the Ancheer Electric Mountain Bike 350W E-bike.
Ecotric is a famous technology company established by Miller Evans in 2010. The company has offices in San Francisco, Calif. It specializes in the provision of hybrid electric bicycles for outdoor cycling. The company also provides replacement parts and accessories, such as rear racks, rear wheels, and front wheels. Ecotric provides warranty and technical support for all its customers. The company’s best products include the Ecotric Electric Bike and the Motorcycle Scooter Dirt Bike Carrier Hauler Hitch Mount Steel Rack.
Nakto is another leading manufacturer of commuter e-bikes. The company, which has its headquarters in Placentia, Calif., was established in 1983. Since its establishment, it has improved its products and services to include hybrid bike accessories and replacement parts. The company provides free shipping and a one-year warranty on its best-selling products such as the NAKTO 26” 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle and the NAKTO 6 Speed City Electric Bikes for Adults. These products come with durable parts and a user-friendly design.
Best Electric Bicycles Pricing
- Under $1000: These are the most affordable types of e-bikes you will find. Most of the e-bikes here are pedelec and throttle types. In most cases, they come with a removable lithium-ion battery. They have a low cargo capacity and come with a toolkit that makes them easy to maintain.
- $1000 - $1500: This category of e-bikes come with more sophisticated motors and pedelec systems. They cover the longest distance and have efficient gears and long-lasting batteries.
- $1500 and up: These are the high-tech commuter e-bikes that come with GPS features for easy tracking. The electric bikes in this range have long-lasting batteries, suspension fork systems, and a sharp braking system for enhanced riding. You can monitor the number of calories you have burned and the battery level using the GPS tracking on the bikes.
The reason for buying a commuter e-bike is to save time and escape traffic. A quality e-bike comes with a high-power motor that runs at a great speed (15 miles per hour and above). The e-bike should have a quality pedelec system to make it easy and comfortable to cycle on steep hills. When buying an e-bike, you should opt for models that come with more gears and a high-speed system.
The electric components of an e-bike, such as the lights and the wiring, should be durable and well-insulated. Since you will be using the bike outdoors, these components should be waterproof and reliable. Before purchasing the e-bike, you should confirm that all the electronic components are intact and functioning well.
A high-quality e-bike should come with more added features that enhance comfort and ease of riding. For instance, it should have an easy-to-adjust seat post and hydraulic disc braking system. The cushions, front wheels, and lights should be on point. Most electric bikes come with keys and sensors that make it more convenient to start the motor.
- Power Sources. Nearly all electric bikes use batteries to run their motors. That means you must find an e-bike with a high-quality and long-lasting battery. The battery should last at least six hours and be powerful enough to start the motor. If your best choice commuter e-bike has a high-powered motor, then ensure the battery type can power the motor for long-distance rides.
- Comfort. Comfort is very important when it comes to e-bikes. You want an easy-to-adjust seat post and heights in your e-bike. Also, the gears on the bike should be more reliable and flexible on your hands. The bike should have a full suspension system and hydraulic disc brakes to guarantee you some comfort and safety if you are cycling on rough terrain.
- Brand and Type. Before you can place your order for an e-bike, you want to confirm if it’s the best brand and type. Depending on where you want to use the e-bike, you can pick either speed pedelecs or classic bikes. To ensure you make the right choice of a bike, know your taste, budget, and expectations.
Best Electric Bicycles Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- E-bikes have different technical details. Some bikes have the motor in the wheel, especially low-cost ones. If you can afford one, consider a premium brand such as Bosch or Shimano, which have centered motors in which the power is transferred to the wheel through the chain. These bikes also have gears and better balance systems.
- If you like to ride on challenging surfaces—such as wet or steep terrain—get a motor between 500W and 750W. Features such as mechanical disc brakes and anti-skid tires also make your ride safer and more comfortable. Longer rides may require double battery systems that surpass the recommended miles per charge for each battery.
- Check state and city laws to confirm the legal parameters of e-biking. There are 22 states that have a three-class bike system with instructions on locations and time limits governing the use of e-bikes—depending on the class. These rules cover everything, from the throttle to speed limits. Some cities also have laws on the use of e-bikes on single lane trails.
Q: Do I need keys to operate an electric bicycle?
Yes, you may need keys. Electric bikes can either be turned on by sensors or by keys. Keys are used for the battery and motor. They also provide added security for the bike and battery.
Q: How long does an electric bike’s battery take to charge?
Most electric bikes use a 12V 8Ah Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. These batteries take six to eight hours to charge to full capacity. It is also recommended that you pre-charge the battery to full capacity before using it the first time. The charging time will depend on cell size.
Q: What’s the maximum speed of an electric bike?
Electric bike speeds are determined by the motor capacity. In ideal conditions, speeds can reach up to 20 miles per hour. However, a type of e-bike known as a pedelec can attain speeds of up to 28 miles per hour. It is worth noting that speeding also affects the battery, navigation, and the distance covered.
The Ancheer Pro Electric Mountain Bike can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge. With its powerful construction and large tires, you are assured of quicker, smoother rides. We love the handlebar’s height adjustment ability. The bike also adheres to more state speed limits.
However, if you are looking to minimize costs and still get value for money, the Cyclamatic Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike is a great option. It can reach 28 miles on a full charge.