Table of Contents: Masthead StickySummary List Placement
Over the last several years, electric bikes (referred to as e-bikes) have taken the cycling industry by storm. By attaching a motor and a battery to a bike, companies were able to innovate on the tried-and-true design of a bicycle and transformed two-wheel transportation. Benefiting commuters, mountain bikers, road bikers, and city cruisers alike, e-bikes shifted the way people get from point A to point B.
Despite criticism from traditional cyclists, there’s no denying the positive impact e-bikes have on the environment as more people now ditch gas-guzzling cars in favor of battery-powered bikes. Because of this, it appears as though this new mode of transportation hasn’t just arrived but is here to stay.
Thanks to its dramatic rise in popularity, there are hundreds of e-bike models a simple Google search away. To help sort through what’s available, we’ve done months of pedal-testing to find the best of the bunch — no matter if you prefer ripping down singletrack mountain bike trails or a leisure weekend ride around town.
Since all e-bikes have their own advantages and disadvantages, we tested a crop of the latest models from brands like Priority, Specialized, and Trek to see who stood out from the pack. From short trips to the store to longer, battery-killing rides around the city, we pushed these bikes to their limit — all in the name of finding the best.
Here are the best e-bikes:
- Best e-bike overall: Priority Current
- Best throttle-assist e-bike: Juiced HyperScorpion
- Best budget e-bike: Charge City
- Best folding e-bike: GoCycle GX
- Best cargo e-bike: Yuba Electric Supermarché
- Best hub motor e-bike: Gogoro Eeyo 1s
- Best electric mountain bike: Trek Powerfly FS4
- Best electric road bike: Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL
The best overall
The Priority Current rides great, requires almost no maintenance, and would make a perfect car replacement.
Pros: Low maintenance and reliable motor system, smooth ride
Cons: The fenders sometimes rub, 50-mile range isn’t suitable for longer commutes
Of each bike tested, Priority’s Current shocked me the most. It’s a mid-drive commuter built with practicality in mind. Thanks to wide, grippy tires and hydraulic disc brakes, I was tempted to take it off-road, and although it likely would’ve been fine, the Current is meant for pavement.
If someone asked me to build the ideal e-bike, this is the model I’d come up with. For starters, maintenance is a breeze (and largely non-existent). Thanks to low-maintenance hydraulic disc brakes, the clever use of internal gears which takes away a derailleur, and a grease-free carbon belt drive, there’s little else to go wrong other than a potential flat tire.
If you intend to use an e-bike as a car replacement, the Current is a great solution for that, too, as it’s a joy to ride. The comfortable saddle, wide handlebar, and upright geometry make for a smooth, nimble ride no matter if you’re navigating city traffic or taking the scenic route through the park.
Component-wise, the Current uses a Bosch motor, Bosch head unit, and Bosch battery. Unlike bikes that mix components, using one system means that warranties and servicing are (mostly) simple. Its 50-mile range isn’t as much as others in this guide but I still found it to satisfy my commuting needs — though I did mostly use the second and third of the four assist settings, which helped preserve some battery. If you’re intent on using the fourth, or live in a hilly area, you likely won’t get the full 50 miles between charges.
This bike allowed me to do nearly everything a car would at a much lower cost. Perhaps the lone nitpicks are that the included front light could be better and its fenders sometimes rub. If I was looking for an urban mobility solution, I wouldn’t think twice about buying the Current.
The best throttle-assist
The HyperScorpion from Juiced combines the best of both a throttle- and pedal-assist ebike, and the finished product is a fast e-bike that covers plenty of ground and is just plain fun to ride.
Pros: Throttle-only makes it so you don’t have to always be pedaling, design is reminiscent of a small motorcycle, can travel at speeds up to 30 mph, has 70 miles of range on a single charge
Cons: Very heavy, might be too much bike for novice riders
If you’re in the market for an e-bike that doesn’t always require you to pedal, the Juiced HyperScorpion is what you seek. Outfit with a twist throttle, the HyperScorpion almost feels as if you’re riding a moped or small motorcycle — I include the latter example because it’s about that much fun to ride.
The bike also features a pedal-assist mode, with both motor options allowing it to reach assisted speeds of up to 30 mph. While that is an impressive amount of speed offered, it can be a little too much for anyone just getting into e-bikes or who hasn’t ridden one that much. With that said, you should always wear protective gear like a helmet when you’re on a bike, and jumping on the HyperScorpion is no different.
Juiced also outfit the bike with a 1,000W motor and a 52V/19.2Ah battery that allows for up around 70 miles of range on a single charge (depending on the terrain and how hard you ride it). Fully charging the battery does take a few hours, but I tended to just throw it on the charger every time I got home and it was always ready when I needed it.
Other features I found useful were its included headlight (which, again, gives off serious motorcycle vibes), a rear-mounted rack capable of hauling up to 50 lbs of gear, and its included mirrors which help provide more spatial awareness. It also comes with a rear taillight and an LCD display that shows battery life and current speed.
Though the HyperScorpion is a bike, it often felt so much more than that — and is a whole hell of a lot to ride. It’s fast, robust, easy to control, and has one of the best bike designs I’ve seen on an e-bike yet. Better yet, its price is often around $2,700 which puts it at about the middle of the pack compared to other bikes on this list — and those don’t come with a throttle. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor
The best on a budget
At just under $1,700, the City e-bike from Charge is lighter on the wallet than most of its peers and still offers a reliable, pedal-assisted ride that’s great for city commutes.
Pros: Folding pedals and handlebars make it easy to store and carry, inexpensive price tag for an e-bike, 50 miles of available range, and has a lockable battery
Cons: Splash guards take some tinkering to get them not to rub on the tires, can be a jolty take-off if you’re not used to the motor
E-bikes aren’t cheap. When you slap an electric-assist onto something that’s already running several hundred dollars, it’s hard to keep the price tag to something that’s manageable for everyone and producing a bike that’s worthy of owning. Thankfully, a few brands have figured out a way to do both: Keep the bike relatively cheap while still offering an industry-standard ride quality and dependability.
One such company is Charge, a bike manufacturer that specializes in e-bikes, particularly the wallet-friendly, commuter-centric (and aptly named) City bike. What the city offers is a reliable, pedal-assisted mode of transportation that delivers 50 miles of available range, a handy thumb throttle, and modern design at a price less than $1,700 — for e-bikes, that’s great.
The Charge comes in two different sizes, Standard and Low Step, and is available in either a basic silver finish or a more popping blue finish. The bike features an onboard battery that helps power it and has folding handlebars and pedals for easy transport and storage.
What sets the bike apart is that even with a price that undercuts much of its competition, it still offers a similar ride experience to its peers. That 50 miles of range is on par with many e-bikes on the market (almost all of which are more expensive) and its design is great for the city rider who wants to get a little exercise, needs to run to the store, or just wants to head out for a leisurely ride. And it’s a lot of fun to ride, too. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor
The best folding
GoCycle’s GX folding bike is a compact, easy-to-store option that cruises at speeds of up to 20 mph with a battery that delivers 40 miles of range.
Pros: Easy to store in small homes or apartments, has daytime running lights for added safety and visibility, fast top speed for a folding bike
Folding e-bikes make a lot of sense. They’re easy to store in small urban apartments, they integrate well with mass transit, and unlike regular folding bikes, they aren’t a disaster to ride uphill.
The problem with folding e-bikes is that so many of them are awful. They’re either underpowered, overweight, totally impractical, or a mix of all three. Thankfully, the GX from GoCycle eschews these typical drawbacks and offers a smooth, comfortable ride in a compact and easy-to-store package.
Featuring hydraulic disc brakes, all-weather tires, a 20 mph top speed, and a 40-mile range, the GX is designed as a city commuter. Throughout testing, I kept coming back to the word “easy,” too — it’s easy to ride, easy to haul, and easy to store.
The GX folds down small enough to store either in a large locker or closet and, thanks to a clever design, it rolls on its rear wheel when folded. Given its 40-pound weight, this was incredibly helpful.
With a front hub motor and variable pedal assist, the GX tops out at speeds up to 20mph but doesn’t feel overly jumpy. GoCycle has plenty of experience designing e-bikes, allowing the GX to avoid suffering from the design flaws and engineering of other folding models. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor
The best cargo
There is no mistaking Yuba’s Electric Supermarché for your average push bike, as it’s designed to do things a standard pedal-powered bike just won’t be able to do.
Pros: Incredibly practical for large loads and families
Cons: Heavy and awkward to carry (especially up a flight of stairs)
Though Yuba’s Electric Supermarché might cost as much as a dingy minivan, it can do almost as much. From running to school or the office to taking care of shopping or picking up a keg for a get-together, there’s no task the Supermarché isn’t a fit for.
The Supermarché gets its odd look from Dutch barrow bike design which puts what you’re hauling in front of you. This lowers the center of gravity and allows you to keep whatever cargo you’re hauling under a watchful eye as you commute. The clever step-through design allows you to mount and dismount without having to balance the bike’s load, too.
With a Bosch motor and a 55-mile range, as well as hydraulic brakes and a useful walk mode to help you push the bike, you should be able to get through just about any daily errand. The folks at Yuba have even thought about many of the issues that commuters face. Do you live somewhere wet? There’s a rain canopy available. Need to strap in your kids? There’s a seat kit.
Its cleverly designed cable steering, quality construction, and well thought out accessories make it stand out in a crowded field of electric cargo bikes. Riding the Supermarché was much more fun than expected. Thanks to the long-range and huge hauling capacity, I was able to almost entirely ditch my car while testing.
The Supermaché does everything a small car does except pollute and get stuck in traffic and, for me, that makes it the best choice for families.
The best hub motor
The Gogoro Eeyo 1s is a gorgeous, full-carbon fiber e-bike that offers a smooth, pedal-assisted ride thanks to its rear-wheel hub motor.
Pros: Full carbon fiber frame, fork, and seat post, smooth pedal-assisted ride thanks to a rear hub motor, companion app is intuitive to use, extremely lightweight for an e-bike
Cons: Expensive, hub motor turns off when you reach 25 mph and won’t kick back on until you get all the way down to 7 mph
Gogoro’s hub motor Eeyo 1s differs from the other bikes on this list as it’s propelled via a single smartwheel hub located on its rear wheel. This means that all of the bike’s electrical components are stored in the inconspicuous hub and it’s solely responsible (aside from your own pedaling) for pushing the bike forward.
The bike features a full carbon fiber frame and fork, as well as a carbon fiber seat post and handlebars, making it not only durable as hell but extremely light — it checks in at just 26.4 lbs with the hub. Most e-bikes weigh closer to 30, 40, or even 50 lbs, so the light weight of the Eeyo 1s is a huge benefit and one that made it incredibly easy to haul up and down the stairs of my apartment building.
A companion smartphone application helps render the bike between a battery-conserving, mellow pedal-assist mode called Eco and the faster, sportier Sport mode. With Eco, a quick pedal gives the bike a faint boost that helps teeter between getting a workout but still helping you quickly scoot uphill while Sport is the “I don’t want to break a sweat” option that gets you cruising along at a suitable speed before you’re able to pedal about one or two full revolutions.
There are a few drawbacks, however. First is its $4,600 price tag. While e-bikes certainly aren’t cheap (and $4,600 isn’t the most expensive e-bike on the market), it’s certainly a substantial investment. The other nitpick I had was that whenever the bike cruises at a speed over 25 mph, the hub’s assistance turns off and won’t kick on again until the bike slows down to less than 7 mph. It’s a minor annoyance but slowing down to that speed does tend to throw off any rhythm you’re establishing while riding.
Aside from these faults, the Gogoro Eeyo 1s is an absolute blast to ride and remains one of my favorite e-bikes I’ve yet tested. It’s finished in a gorgeous matte white finish, it’s incredibly smooth to ride, and its light weight makes it easy to haul while also allowing it to not feel like you’re pedaling a tank when the hub turns off.
It’s a hefty investment but if you live in an area where a bike serves as your main source of transportation, it’s worth the splurge. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor
The best e-mountain bike
Trek’s Powerfly FS4 has the travel necessary to get down the gnarliest of trails and thanks to a powerful Bosch motor, more than enough power to get back up.
Pros: Responsive geometry and real off-road components
Cons: Its 50-pound weight makes it hard to ride if the battery ever runs out and you lose power
The problem with long-travel mountain bikes is that they’re always a compromise on bigger days, forcing you to pick between the travel you need to get down a trail and a bike that’s lightweight enough to get back up again. This is where long-travel e-bikes really shine, affording you the ability to ride down technical trails while making it easy to ride up.
Trek’s Powerfly FS4 is a mountain bike with a motor, as opposed to a refashioned and underpowered motocross bike. With 150mm of travel in the rear and 160mm in the front, it’s a highly capable bike built to tackle black diamond trails. With semi-fat tires, a big travel e-bike specific fork, and downhill disc brakes, this bike goes anywhere and lets you feel comfortable and in control.
The bike weighs 54lbs, which I easily felt while riding, but after a few runs, I grew accustomed to it and enjoyed how nice of a ride it delivered (the motor made climbing hills incredibly easy, too).
Trek’s side-loading battery is less exposed to mud than other down tube batteries, which is a real bonus for anyone riding in extremely muddy areas. Some bikes can get so encased with mud that the battery is nearly impossible to remove.
The Powerfly offers a wide range of available mileage, depending on which mode you choose. Its lowest mode (Eco mode) offers a range of up to 100 miles, while its Turbo mode tops out at 37 miles. Depending on how much switching you do between each mode ultimately determines the range you’re able to expect.
Thankfully, this model takes much of the thinking out of motor management as it seems to always give you the right amount of assist without lurching on the flat or creeping on the climbs. At first, I found it annoying that I couldn’t easily adjust the motor but I ended up just leaving the bike in Bosch’s eMTB setting most of the time and never felt too disadvantaged.
The best e-road bike
The Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL offers incredible range and the promise to bring true road bike feel and performance to an e-bike.
Pros: Feels and rides like a racing bike, motor is designed specifically by Specialized
Specialized launched its top-end S-Works Creo SL by having its Tour de France pros ride it on their rest day — and that’s exactly the market it’s aimed at. The Creo SL is designed to look and feel like a very high-end road bike ridden by a fit rider. It features up to 240 watts and 35Nm of both peak and sustained power up to 28mph, as well as a range of up to 80 miles.
Unlike other brands, Specialized designed its own motor, along with a built-in proprietary battery and controller. This means you should be good for warranty issues during the two-year coverage period, so long as you’re near a Specialized dealer.
An external 160Wh Range Extender, which fits in any normal water bottle cage, offers an additional 40 miles of range, and comes with all S-Works builds of the Creo SL. Other intriguing features include its 26-pound weight (which is extremely light for an e-bike), a companion app that allows the bike to adjust to your ride style, and a future shock damper (carried over from the Roubaix line for a comfy ride).
The ease of use of the above-mentioned range extender is a game-changer, too. Simply dropping the extender into a water bottle cage to gain 40 additional miles of range would allow Creo users to take on long training rides, or up to a 60 mile each way commute.
How to shop for an e-bike
Though the term e-bike refers to an entire industry, you’ll notice variation when shopping for specific models. Some are built for commuting while others are designed for mountain or road biking. Nearly all have one thing in common: pedal-assisted power.
After freely pedaling two to three revolutions, most bike’s motors kick in with a soft(ish) push, accelerating the bike and adding to the power output by the rider. Depending on its selected level of assistance — some offer everything from minimal to extreme pedal-assistance — the bike’s ultimate top speed may vary from roughly 8 to 10 miles per hour on up to around 30 miles per hour.
Some models even feature a throttle option, giving riders the ability to ride the bike in a similar fashion as a motorcycle; just not as fast. As is the case with any bicycle, moped, or motorcycle, however, wearing a protective helmet is highly recommended no matter the use case.
There are also a few terms you’ll want to know before buying an e-bike. First, hub-drive bikes have the motor in the hub whereas mid-drive bikes house the motor in its frame. Mid-drive bikes have a few advantages over hub drive versions, as well. Those advantages are:
- They apply power through the chain, so they feel and steer like a standard bike.
- They utilize the bike’s gears similarly to how a rider would, applying power when needed.
- These kinds of bikes also require a lower absolute power since they have the ability to use gearing to climb hills (whereas hub drive bikes deliver power at the hub and can’t use the bike’s gearing. This means they tend to have high-powered motors in order to generate enough torque to climb hills).
Power, or wattage, is also something you’ll notice often when shopping for an ebike. These refer to the amount of force a motor is able to put out over time. Think of it like a car’s horsepower rating.
A bike’s range is the total distance a bike can travel on a single battery charge. Do keep in mind that any range displayed either on the bike itself or via a companion app is a general estimate.
There are many factors capable of impacting an e-bike’s range, including the amount of power exerted by the bike, whether it needs to climb steep hills, and other ride-specific variables. Most (if not all) ebikes are still able to function without the motor running, though due to the weight of the onboard battery, they’ll feel extremely heavy.
How we test e-bikes
Each e-bike in this guide went through a series of on-bike tests to assess a number of categories, consisting of: Range, ride experience, portability, and value. We wanted to see how each held up not just in a variety of ride conditions and use cases, but also a long-term solution to commuting, fitness, and leisure. Here’s how each category factored into our final picks:
Range: The available range offered by an e-bike should be enough, at the very least, to get you from point A to point B without having to worry about going into battery saver mode or pedaling with a dead motor. Of course, this means that rides of 70, 80, or even 100 miles are likely out of the question (save for e-bikes with dual batteries). However, a bike with a range of less than 40 miles is unlikely to make the cut here.
Ride experience: Riding an e-bike is an experience in itself but it should be one that’s enjoyable, intuitive, and safe. How well we were able to pick up and ride these bikes was a major factor, as was the learning curve, and if it allowed us to continuously ride within our comfort zone.
Portability: Not everyone has access to a garage or large closet to store their bikes, so portability is a huge deciding factor (especially for those living in apartments). Most standard e-bikes are heavy (think in the 40 lbs and heavier range) but a clever design of folding handlebars or pedals, or even the use of lightweight materials, make some of the bikes on this list far more portable and easier to stow.
Value: Value is relative to a number of variables including (of course) its price but also how well it rides, if its versatile enough for a variety of use cases, and whether it’s something that can take the place of owning a car or taking the bus or subway. The bikes featured in this guide are all featured in their own specific category but possess unique value to that subset, as well.