Picking out the Best Electric bike
If you’re just discovering electric bikes and are weighing your options, or you’re a seasoned veteran of the electric biking, the following information was created to help you sift through the best electric bikes and find one that fits your lifestyle and wallet. There are 4 classes of electric bikes to consider. In other words, what do you want the bike to do for you? These classes exist to help determine the legal difference between an electric bike and a motor vehicle.
Class 1: Pedal Assist–This means you need to pedal to activate the electric drive and its maximum speed is 20 mph. You can use this class of bike anywhere a normal bike would go including on the street and bike paths.
Class 2: Throttle On Demand–This class uses a throttle or triggers to activate the electric drive and reaches a top speed of 20 mph. Since this class can be operated without pedaling, there may be riding restrictions. Check with the BPSA (Bicycle Products Suppliers Association) for their map of where you can ride which class. Also, check local laws and restrictions.
Class 3: Speed Pedelec–This class uses the pedals to engage the electric drive system. If you pedal this type of bike faster than 20 mph (28 mph max), you can have even more riding restriction. Class 3 is often combined with Class to get the pedal and throttle benefits. Again, Check with BPSA (Bicycle Products Suppliers Association) on riding restrictions.
Class 4: Moped or Motorcycle–Since this class has the electric drive activated by pedaling or throttle and its top speed is above 28 mph, this actually considered a motor vehicle. Because of that distinction, you would need appropriate licensing and insurance like any other motor vehicle.
Related Article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide
City and Commuting Electric Bikes
Trek Dual Sport
- An electric bike that’s road worthy and trail savvy. Tires are puncture resistant with super knobby tread traction. Larger air volume allows the tires to be stable and resistant tires with tight knobby tread offer traction, stability, and comfort.
- The spring suspension fork can adjust on the fly to compensate for level surfaces and rocky trails. The brakes are easy to use with an adjustable hand lever.
- The drive train has 10 adjustable speeds and a clutch keeps the bike from dropping the chain. The chain guard protects clothing, and the pedals come with custom grips and safety reflectors.
- Lantern-style headlight for maximum visibility that turns with you. There is also an 11-LED backlight. This bike also comes with the options to add high-quality extras like bottles, rear rack, fenders, and locks. An extended warranty is also provided.
Budget-friendly Electric Bikes
- Budget-conscious yet stylish, this folding electric bike has 4 colour choices, as well as a housed battery with cables that stay tucked away as well. It also has points for adding extras like a rear rack or fenders.
- A 350 watt motor with 12-magnet cadence sensor plus smaller wheelbase gets you moving through 6 levels of pedal assist. A trigger throttle gives power when you want it.
- The Shimano 6-speed drive train helps keep costs down but still gives climbing capability. The shifter is easy and comfortable to use.
- Nice extras include a plastic chain guide, steel derailleur to protect shifter and power cables. A magnetic clasp helps secure the bike when folded. An easy read LCD display and ergonomic grips with gel saddle round this bike’s amenities.
Electric Mountain/”Fat” Electric Bikes
IZIP E3 Peak DS
- A true trail style electric bike with full suspension and frame built just for trail riding. It also boasts two frame size choices, custom motor, and internal cables.
- 2.6 inch “fat tires” offer balance, comfort, and control. The 11 speed SRAM NX drive train gets you across the terrain of your choice.
- The Bosch motor generates 120 rpm pedal power on demand instead of at a preset level.
- IZIP boasts black accents for the motor and battery on the light frame background. The pulley system limits kickback with the top of the line Magura hydraulic disc brakes.
Full Suspension Electric Bikes
Riese & Müller Culture GT Vario
- * Full suspension made for the city, the electric bike touts a Bosch mid-motor, gel saddle and urban commuter electric bike with high-torque Bosch CX mid-motor, comfortable gel saddle, superior Ergon grips on swept back handlebars.
- A 500-watt-hour battery powers the LED headlight that moves with you. Another safety feature is reflective tire package that allows for a greater vision of the rider.
- This bike also comes with an alarm clock, extra wide fenders, protective chain cover and powerful hydraulic disc brakes.
- Rear rack for passengers or cargo, extra heft added to the frame with 3 size options available.
Cruiser Electric Bikes
Raleigh Retroglide iE
- A comfy and stylish cruiser that features oversized wheels, handy rear rack, impressive pedals, and kickstand.
- Both step over and step through bodies are available with the Retroglide along with 4 color options the will match the saddle and grips.
- This electric bike comes with a 7-speed drive train for the local commute but is equipped with 11-32 Raleigh racing cassette for climbing with quick release wheels and mechanical brakes.
- The display is simplistic but allows for USB port accessibility.
Folding Electric Bikes
EVELO Quest Max
- This folding electric bike features an extendable stem and adjustable seat height with centered weight distribution.
- The Bafang Max mid-motor and NuVinci CVT Hub allow for pedal speed change on the fly.
- Available in light blue and metallic grey this Evelo is a heavier electric bike than its predecessor, the Evelo Quest One, but has unsurpassed power and versatility.
- Nice perks included are a double-leg kickstand for added stability and ease of folding, padded saddle, and grips, premium fat Schwalbe tires and 2 USB ports.
Electric Cargo Bikes
- An electric cargo bike with cruiser style versatile enough to use the extending cargo tube supports as a backrest or accommodation for a second rider
- Two battery options long distances ad pedal assist or throttle capabilities.
- Front and rear racks for generous cargo space, “fat” tires, cushy saddle with seat shock, protective chain guard and disc brakes make cargo hauling a joy
Light Electric bikes
Haibike XDURO Race
- Speedy, well balanced, a light electric bike with the unusual addition of drop handlebars.
- The Bosch center drive motor produces 28 mph and 65 miles before recharge.
- Adding to the lightness of this bike is a Petscher self-retracting kickstand and two sets of controls for the mechanical disc brakes. Paired down front and rear LED lights to complete the package.
- The Haibike offers deep set, quick release wheels and an 11 speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain
- This electric trike offers ample forward and aft cargo baskets for shopping or supply toting.
- Full-length fenders for protection and headlight and generous reflectors for safety.
- A 500-watt front wheel hub motor plus 48 volt 12 amp battery for handling and distance as well as drum brakes for stopping power.
Electric Recumbent Bike
- Sliding, adjustable seat, and handlebar features make this recumbent electric bike perfect for almost any rider.
- Saddle and backrest plus ergonomic hand grips add to the comfort of this bike. Plastic fenders cover the chain and protect the rider.
- The E-Azteca comes in maroon and white and with a stout year long warranty. Canadian trike builder Travel and bike manufacturer Velec have combined to produce this electric bike.
- The large LCD screen, snappy pedal response, fine stopping power and twist throttle round out perks of this recumbent electric bike
As you can see, electric bikes offer a wide range of options for your lifestyle and budget. There are few things to keep in mind when considering an electric bike:
- Decide what you want the bike for. Are you going to use it for transportation to and from work, running errands or trail riding?
- Decide what you’re willing to spend and what you expect for your investment. The price range on electric bikes can start at less $1,000 and top out at over $7,000 or more.
- Check what class the bike you’re interested in belongs to. You might want to check with your local motor vehicle department to see what, if any, special licensing or training you would need to operate the bike where you live.
Finally, just remember that the electric bike is an eco-friendly way to get fresh air and a little exercise. So, what are you waiting for?