Ebikes are awesome. They take the edge out of long cycling trips, especially if you live in a hilly city, they’re exponentially better than cars for the environment, and they’re just fun to ride. Contrary to popular belief, they’re even comparable to regular bikes for exercise.
But with an ever-increasing number of options in the market, it can be hard to sift through what’s actually good and what’s junk.
Fret no more, young cycling padawan: this guide offers our selections of some of our favorite ebikes to help you choose your ride.
Before we get started…
Because people can have vastly different budgets, we’ve tried to keep a mix of affordable (by ebike standards) and premium options. Keep in mind that as a general rule, price doesn’t closely correlate with power or performance in the ebike world. If you see a hefty price tag, don’t assume it’ll be faster or have longer range than a cheaper option.
Instead, what you’re theoretically paying for with more expensive options are quality-of-life upgrades: better components, brand reputation, dealer support, longer warranties, manufacturing consistency, and ride quality.
Still, all of the cheaper options on this list are products we stand by. Just keep your expectations in check. Everything on this list is a bike we’ve actually ridden, so while we may not cover all the possible options, know that our recommendations come from real experience.
Lastly, we’ll update this list regularly so be sure to bookmark it and check back in for our latest recommendations.
An excellent balance of smoothness, power, and quality: Priority Current
We tend to value ebikes that actually feel good to pedal around here. It just feels nicer to ride, more like you’re engaged with your environment.
But while some of the smoothest ebikes we’ve tested tend to be low on power, that’s certainly not the case with the $3,299 Priority Current.
The bike’s 500W motor offers up to 140 Nm of torque (40-80 Nm is the standard) and can get you up to 45 km/h (28 mph) in its highest power modes. As the bike uses a mid-drive motor, it’s better at handling hills than most hub-bike options as well.
Pedaling smoothness aside, the bike comes with plush balloon tires that soften bumps in the road without the mushy feeling of cheap suspension. Yet these tires are still lighter and more nimble than the fat tires on many popular ebikes. It also offers the option for a silky-smooth stepless internal gear hub, as well as a silent and extremely durable Gates carbon belt drive. Add a good suspension seatpost, and it’s like riding on a cloud.
The bike recently got a big upgrade too: Priority now sells a range-extender battery that can double the range to beyond 100 miles.
Light, smooth, and stealthy: Tenways CGO600
If you want an ebike that mostly feels like riding a regular bike after your legs have been injected with steroids, it’s hard to beat the Tenways CGO600.
At $1,829, it’s one of the most well-rounded lightweight ebikes we’ve tested at TNW. Though its price has gone up significantly since our initial review, the single-speed bike is good enough to remain one of our favorite ebikes. It weighs just 15 kg (33 lbs) — very light by ebike standards — offers a super-durable Gates carbon belt drive, and features a stealthy aesthetic in multiple color options that most people will mistake for a regular bike.
More impressive is just how smooth the ebike is. It’s one of the relatively few ebikes to offer a torque sensor at this price point, and it’s a great one at that. Despite being a brand new company, Tenways offers a smooth and natural pedaling experience that straight-up outperforms some ebikes from big-name brands we’ve tested up to its speed limit of 32 km/h (20mph).
Its range isn’t too shabby either, at about 30-50 miles, and though the battery can’t be swapped on the fly, it’s at least removable for theoretical long-term repair. It also makes for a surprisingly good ride even with the motor off, should the battery run out or you want to work up a sweat.
Light, smooth, and cheap: The Ride1Up Roadster V2
The Ride1Up Roadster is a very similar bike to the Tenways CGO600 on the surface, but at $1,045, it’s the better budget pick — plus it comes from a company with a more established reputation.
Once again, you have a lightweight (15kg/33lb) ebike with a stealthy appearance; the main difference here is that Ride1Up doesn’t offer built-in lighting or a torque sensor, opting for a cheaper cadence sensor that just feels a little less smooth to pedal. It also uses a generic belt drive, and rim brakes instead of disc brakes (an upcoming Gravel Edition adds these two features for a $200 price bump).
Don’t let that dissuade you though, this is still a quality ride that has a few advantages over the Tenways option. Its motor actually offers a bit more power, for one, and you can easily double the range down the line by purchasing a range extender battery. It also goes up to 39 km/h (24mph), making it a zippy stealthy option.
The premium lightweight speedster: Specialized Turbo Vado SL
The Specialized Turbo Vado SL is the sportscar of this list. It is first and foremost just a good bike that feels excellent to pedal without electricity. It also comes in at 15kg (33lbs) — light enough to carry up or down a flight of stairs with ease.
It features a bit of front suspension to help smooth out bumps on the road, and has premium components throughout for an already nimble cycling experience. It can also be configured with a carbon fork for that extra bit of weight savings and ride cushion.
Despite having ‘just’ a 250 W motor, it reaches a top speed of 45 km/h (28mph), and the efficiency of the lightweight motor means the 320Wh battery is good for 80 miles at lower assist settings. Better yet, you can add a range extender for an extra 40 miles.
The tiny folding eBike you can take almost anywhere: The Brompton Electric
The Brompton Electric is a masterclass in versatility. The bike’s legendary folding design — it’s barely changed since the 80s — allows it to become significantly smaller than any other ebike on the market.
It’s the difference between having to lock your bike outside or bringing it indoors, and you pretty much never have to worry about it being stolen (a good thing, considering it costs $3,800).
Despite being absolutely tiny, the Brompton Electric is also one of the best cargo bikes on this list, with the purchase of a few accessories like a larger front bag and a rear rack.
It’s also worth noting Brompton bikes are handmade in the UK, and as such the company has built a reputation for build quality – as backed up by its 7-year transferable warranty. That build quality, coupled with high demand, has helped the bike maintain tremendous resale value — used bikes often sell for nearly as much as new ones.
An affordable do-it-all utility bike: The Rad Power Bikes RadRunner
The $1,500 Rad Power Bikes RadRunner is an easy-peasy recommendation for people buying an ebike to get stuff done.
It offers a highly customizable design that allows for everything from a passenger seat, to front and rear baskets, and even a center console for storage. It comes with a 750W motor that can reach 32 km/h (20mph), and there’s even a throttle for those times you don’t feel like pedaling. The bike also comes with fat 20-inch tires that are cushy while remaining decently nimble.
You can find a variety of accessories and parts on Rad Power Bikes’ site, and the company’s popularity and track record so far mean you’ll likely be able to access repair parts for years to come.
A budget folding pickup truck: Lectric XP 2.0
For only $999, the Lectric XP 2.0 nets you a lot of value for your dollar.
It comes with beefy fat tires, a decent suspension fork, a 45 km/h (28mph) top speed, and a solid 480 Wh battery. It’s built like a tank, has a throttle (you’ll use it a lot for this bike), and comes pre-installed with a sturdy rear rack. Lectric sells a range of compatible cargo and comfort accessories too.
The Lectric XP isn’t going to blow your mind with its features or the smoothest pedal assist, but it offers tremendous value in a beefy build that belies its price. As long as low weight and the most natural pedaling experience aren’t high on your priority list, the Lectric XP 2.0 strikes me as one of the best bargains in the ebike market.
Gotta’ go fast (and far): Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent X
While several bikes on this list can reach speeds of 45 km/h (28mph), none do so with quite the verve as the $2,399 Juiced CrossCurrent X. Like the Priority Current, the bike offers an excellent balance of smoothness and power, but leans more on the power side of the equation — plus it comes stock with a throttle and a massive 998 Wh battery that can take you roughly 160 km (100 mi) on lower power settings.
The Juiced CrossCurrent X may not be the lightest bike or have the most features, but its use of standard components means it’s easy to upgrade like a regular bike. Juiced bikes include some thoughtful touches like nearly puncture-proof Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. Its balance of power, agility, range, included fenders, and durability makes it a great choice for commuters in particular, as long as you don’t have to bring it up a flight of stairs.
An ultra-customizable cruiser meant to last: Electric Bike Company Model Y
Unlike some of the other options on this list that have an emphasis on speed and agility, the Electric Bike Company Model Y is meant to be the coziest bike you’ve ever ridden. It has a luxuriously oversized saddle, swept-back cruiser handlebars, powerful disc brakes, and comes with a sturdy basket for carrying your groceries or chihuahua around town.
The bike’s custom motor has oodles of power and is backed by an exceedingly rare 10-year warranty; there’s an equally rare 5-year warranty on the battery. Couple that with stainless steel components throughout, and it’s clear this bike is built to last.
Better yet, the Model Y can be ordered with custom paint jobs that cover all colors under the sun — and it’s a pretty darn nice bike too. Starting at $1,949 it’s a solid value, especially if you opt to customize it in your personal rainbow of colors.
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