While the idea of electric bikes has been around for a long time, they’ve really started capturing the imagination of bike riders in the past decade or so. Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the best electric bikes to give you an idea of what’s available.
Best Electric Bikes 2020
The Batch E-Commuter Bike’s purpose is right in the name: it’s for commuting. It’s a class 1 bike, with a Bosch 250W motor that will assist you up to 20 mph. And you can get around 55 miles between charges, which should be good for a couple days’ worth of city commuting or weeks of zipping the dog around your neighborhood. Pro Tip: Keep the Batch E-Commuter in ECO mode and the bike can hold a charge for even longer, or don’t even use the pedal assist at all for great workout. This is one of the best electric bikes for the price on the market today.
And it’s a great value, pricewise. You make a few sacrifices with the price tag, like an 8-speed drivetrain instead of a 10- or 11-speed. But in general, you get everything you need: 27.5″ wheels, a rear rack, disc brakes, and fenders. Available in 3 sizes a Small 15″, Medium 17.5″ and Large 20″ frame. Best of all it comes with an easy to use Bosch Purion on-board computer display that makes shifting between the e-bike modes a ton of fun.
Batch aimed to make this an ebike with wide appeal that lots of people could afford. They nailed it. (The Batch E-Commuter is the bike we use here at the Mountain Weekly News office on a daily basis for running errands.)
The Yuba Boda Boda is a capable cargo bike without a motor—but when you add some power, you have an even better around-town machine. Shimano’s new STEPS E6100 motor is a great choice and provides 20% more travel range than the previous version.
Beyond the motor, you get what Yuba Boda Boda always delivers: an extremely versatile cargo bike. You can haul almost 250 lbs. worth of stuff on this cargo carrier, and with a 9-speed Shimano drivetrain, you’ll do it efficiently.
Plus this Yuba Electric Bike comes with a bell, fenders and wheelskirts, lights, a chainguard, and sideloader cargo supports (that also double as footrests when you’re hauling kids). And there’s a cool step-through version if you want to make it easier to get on and off (pictured above; there’s a non-step-through version, too).
The thing that stands out about the Tern GSD is its a compact ebike. Most cargo bikes are big, and electric versions can be even bigger. But the GSD is the length of a regular bike. It even folds up so you can store it easily. And it’s highly adjustable—your whole family can use it.
But don’t be fooled; you can absolutely pack this thing. 400 lbs. worth of gear, two child seats, panniers, and a bunch more accessories are all options. And with Bosch’s dual-battery system, you can use two batteries for up to 155 miles of travel.
Tern obviously paid attention to details here, too. Magura brakes, 36mm-wide rims, Boost hubs, built-in racks, and lights mean you have just about everything you need to stop driving your car in the city.
Raleigh has their ebike game dialed. This class 3 machine has a 500Wh Bosch battery and motor that assists you up to 28 mph. It has a 35-mile range, which is plenty for most people’s needs on this high speed ebike.
A 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain will help you pedal efficiently, and the 27.5 x 2.4″ tires are a great compromise between fast road tires and trail-capable rubber. Fenders, a rack, and a set of lights complete this solid all-rounder.
Many ebikes are eye-wateringly expensive. The more affordable ones are just in “that’s really expensive” territory. Aventon wants to change that, and they start with the Pace range. This is an affordable ebike that’s perfect for commuting.
Its slightly smaller battery has enough juice for about 30 miles of pedal-assisted riding, and it’ll help you up to 20 mph. The rest of the bike is built on a similar spec; mechanical disc brakes instead of hydraulic, Shimano Tourney gives you seven speeds, and the other components are basically house-brand.
But if you want an ebike, and you don’t want to spend a fortune, you can’t go wrong with the Pace 350. Most ebikes cost a lot, this one does not.
Like Aventon, Rad Power is bringing ebikes to the masses. The RadCity is their urban commuting model, and it’s very competitively priced. Part of what makes this possible is a hub motor, instead of the now-more-common integrated bottom bracket motor.
But it still gives you plenty of power, and will get you up to 20 mph with its pedal assist. It’ll take you around 25 miles per charge.
The price is balanced out by components made by companies that I have, frankly, never heard of. But this bike has quality where it counts. A Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain, Rad Power branded Kenda tires, and Tektro brakes make for a great deal on this commuter.
Haibike’s Trekking series is all about getting out on the adventures you want to take, and the 9.0 model will help you get anywhere you want. One of the nice features of this model is the 27.5″ tires; they help the motor deliver powerful acceleration on any terrain.
The 1×11 drivetrain puts the Haibike SDURO Trekking squarely in mountain bike territory and complements the 650b wheels nicely. But the powerhouse of this bike is the 500Wh Bosch motor, a step up from what’s included in the rest of the Trekking line. It’ll keep you going up to about 15 mph.
The SDURO Trekking 9.0 is definitely ready for bikepacking. It has a built-in 300-lumen light, along with a rack, fenders, and mounts for all the things you need to bring with you.
Trek has jumped into ebikes at full speed, and the Allant+ 8 is a great example of how they’ve brought their expertise into the space. It’s all built around a 500Wh Bosch battery and a pedal assist motor that will help you up to 20 mph.
You can also attach a secondary battery for Trek’s Range Boost feature, which gives you double the capacity for commuting or longer weekend rides. A 10-speed drivetrain gives you some options when you run the battery out, too.
And, of course, you get the full package with the TREK Allant+8: lights, a smartphone hub controller (it can even charge your phone!), and a mix of Bontrager and Shimano components.
The REI Electra Townie Go! 8i is a class 2 e-bike, so the pedal-assist motor will help you up to 20 mph (it’s worth noting that many bike paths only allow class 1 and 2 e-bikes). And with four different assist modes, you can choose how many assists you want.
Depending on the mode and terrain, you can get up to 100 miles of pedaling assistance—that’s tough to beat.
Another great feature is the REI Townie Go! 8i Electric Bike offers an internally geared hub. There’s no external derailleur or cassette, so there’s a lot less maintenance. This would also make for a great commuter bike.
Combined with a rear rack, fenders, and lights, and the REI Townie Electric Bike is a heck of an all-around e-bike. Whether you’re commuting, running to the store, or just cruising around your neighborhood, the Townie Go! is a great choice. And at $2,699, it’s not a bank-breaker, our pick for the best ebike for the money.
Like most mountain bike manufacturers, GHOST has broken into the ebike market. The Hybrid SL AMR provides the same versatile platform as the SL AMR but with a class 1 pedal-assist motor for when you can use a little help. The Shimano Steps motor is a popular one among electric riders, as its intuitive power application makes for more natural riding experience found on this Ghost ebike.
There are a few changes from the standard SL AMR. This is a 27.5″ bike, not a 29er. And there’s 10mm more travel, making 140mm on both front and back (likely because of the extra weight added by the battery and motor). The Ghost Hybride Slamr s1 7 Electric Mountain Bike is built to tackle any terrain.
The E3 Dash is a class 3 e-bike, which means it can provide pedal-assistance power up to 28 mph. And with a large battery, you can get assistance for up to 16 miles. This makes the Dash a great commuter for people who need a little help keeping their speed up.
With a standard rear rack, fenders, kickstand, 50c tires, and a suspension fork, this bike can handle anything from paved city streets to light gravel paths.
IZIP’s lithium-ion batteries charge up in a couple of hours (or longer for very large batteries), and you can plug them into a regular outlet.
And every IZIP E3 Dash Bike comes with a digital screen that shows you the battery charge, so you have an idea of how long you can go before you need to charge it up.
With an MSRP of $2,300, it’s definitely more expensive than your standard non-electric commuter. But if it’s going to get you out on your bike and let you use your car less, that’s a steal on one of the best value electric bikes on this list.
Electric Bike Price Comparison
- Batch E-Commuter – ($1,999)
- Yuba Electric Boda Boda – ($3,200)
- Tern GSD – ($3,999)
- Raleigh Redux iE – ($3,499)
- Aventon Pace 350 – ($1,099)
- Rad Power RadCity – ($1,499)
- Haibike SDURO Trekking 9.0 – ($4,699)
- Trek Allant+ 8 – ($3,999)
- REI Electra Townie Go! 8i – ($2,699)
- Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ – ($4,999)
- IZIP E3 Dash – ($2,300)
Just because these bikes are electric doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout. In fact, e-bikes are great for exercise.
Benefits of Electric Bikes
During travels to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, these bikes were simply everywhere. They were on dirt trails, on multi-use paths, we witnessed them bike-touring on hardpack, on challenging road climbs and in the cities. These days electric bikes are great for exercise with sacrificing performance. We saw electric mountain bikes, electric full suspension bikes, cruisers, utilitarian commuter bikes, road bikes, and even gravel bikes.
It is oft said, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ but this is not about acquiescence, this is a clear-conscience choice.
I call myself an athlete. I own a road bike, a gravel bike, a mountain bike, and a couple of urban bikes. I qualified for the Boston Marathon on my first attempt and then qualified again. I swim, I hike, I stand-up paddle, and I kitesurf. And I am also hopelessly in love with my Civia Parkway ebike. Each journey I finish is punctuated with, why wouldn’t you own one? While I believe everyone can benefit from ebikes, here are a few reasons why ebikes fit into the athlete’s life.
You’ve just finished a long bike ride; you’ve showered and you need to eat – now. Under the best of energetic circumstances, you’d take your city bike but the thought of one more pedal stroke has you sinking further into to the couch. And really, who wants to drive anywhere on the weekend for short trips? You will never again not go if you have the ebike option.
Electric Bikes for Exercise
To that end, the ebike is the perfect way to spin out your legs after a long hard ride or run or hike while simultaneously getting an errand done, or meeting up with friends for dinner. There’s nothing worse than doing nothing after strenuous activity.
Just because you consider yourself fit or because you define yourself as an athlete, doesn’t mean you’re exempt from exhaustion. It also doesn’t mean that using an ebike for commuting to and from work or to the gym doesn’t fit your lifestyle. It doesn’t make you any less of an athlete. To the contrary, if you own an ebike, you are more likely to consistently use your bike for commuting and in place of car trips. Ebikes can literally be ‘an addition to’ whatever other training is part of your weekly schedule.
It’s fun. The truth of the matter is that ebikes are fun and no matter who you are, you’ll ride more often and you’ll ride longer. Even if your goal is to get to the store and back and get your legs up and rested before the following day’s long run, hike or ride, you are likely to add an extra trip around the block if you’re on an ebike. It’s difficult to shut the door on fun.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to ride an ebike, visit your local bike shop to take one for a test ride. We’ve been riding the Civia Parkway because it’s lighter than your average electric bike at 43 lbs, is less expensive than your average e-bike at $2799 and it‘s powered by Bosch – the premiere name in bike batteries. The Parkway’s lighter weight makes it nimble and a quick and the Bosch Powerback 400 means it’ll span 30-110 miles on one charge (depending on conditions). Take one for a ride. Our best guess is that you’ll soon have a mental list of all the reasons why adding an ebike’s to your current stable of bikes makes good sense.
At the most basic level, the Civia Cycles line is compelling and relevant because of backing by Quality Bicycle Products, which is the largest distributor of bicycles in the United States. This offers both availability—nearly any reputable bike shop in the US could get a Civia bike for a customer—and an incredible support network for the bikes should there ever be a question or technical issue.