Electric bikes (also known as e bikes) are perfect for long-distance riding, or when you just don’t feel like giving your full effort. What differentiates them from electric motorcycles is the ability for the rider to pedal the bike at any time, so if you’re riding along and your battery dies, you’re not going to stranded. These are often very valuable bikes, but some models can be more affordable than you might expect, especially when you treat them as a form of transportation as opposed to thinking of the price in terms of regular bicycles.
We’ve curated the best electric bikes to get you off to a head start in your search for the perfect one to fit into your lifestyle and budget.
In a hurry? The test winner after 19 hours of research:
NAKTO Electric Cruiser
Why is it better?
Last Updated: January 9, 2019
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best e-bikes available for those who are interested in new technology combined with traditional bikes. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best electric bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
NAKTO ELECTRIC CRUISER
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Best Electric Mountain Bikes
Electric mountain bikes have come a long way in recent years.
You can now find anything from light trail riders, to full-suspension versions that can handle the same rough terrain that an ordinary mountain bike would, but with an added boost of power and speed for longer rides.
1. ADDMOTOR HITHOT
The Addmotor HITHOT is an advanced electric mountain bike that offers an astounding amount of versatility, thanks to an innovative design and high-end components.
The HITHOT can certainly hold its own on advanced trails and off-road riding, while still providing excellent commuter and fitness qualities as well.
The bike’s frame boasts a full-suspension design, and is crafted from aluminum alloy. This gives it a bit of added shock absorption, while helping to keep the weight to about 52 pounds. Yes, that’s heavy for a mountain bike, but the motor aspect helps erase and lagging you might otherwise have.
The suspension system features a SR Suntour XCT front fork with 100mm of travel, and a coil King Shock rear shock holding up the back end. They are both responsive, and easily absorb big impacts from obstacles and jumps.
The seating position is very adjustable, and compliments the slightly more relaxed handlebar and stem design, making it highly maneuverable on the trail, and comfortable when on the pavement. This is definitely a high-end mountain bike through and through, but Addmotor tweaked it a bit to allow for casual city riding with the motor when needed.
Shimano components make up the drivetrain, which totals 7 gears. The shifter and the twist-n-go motor throttle are right by each other on the grip for better convenience when using both as the same time.
The HITHOT’s alloy disc brakes are made by TEKTRO, which are wholly capable of handling precise stopping power in any number of situations, without feeling mushy or overly sensitive.
The bike’s wheels takes a slightly larger approach than the standard 26-inch wheels you still see a lot, opting for a 27.5-inch size instead. This gives the bike more clearance, and allows for higher speeds as well.
Durable Kenda tires and alloy rims form a potent combination that gives the HITHOT an aggressive feel with an adequate amount of grip on off-road surfaces, while avoiding tan overly knobby design that would otherwise cause a rough ride.
The bike’s motor is the real star. The 500W brushless rear hub motor operates off of 47 volts, providing up to 25 mph of speed when using just the throttle alone. There are six different setting for pedal assistance, helping you fine-tune for any given situation. The lithium battery ensures around 60 miles on one charge.
The Addmotor HITHOT is everything you want in an electric mountain bike. It’s rugged, tough, and nimble, while still allowing for plenty of leeway in terms of pedal assistance, with a full-throttle mode for the times you just want to coast. This can transform your trail riding. It’s worth every penny.
Read our in-depth review by clicking here.
2. ANCHEER POWER PLUS
Not every quality electric mountain bike costs thousands of dollars. For those looking for a more affordable hardtail option, there is the Ancheer Power Plus.
While this is very much a viable mountain bike, it does have a sort of hybrid appeal that is reinforced by its powerful motor.
The Power Plus has a rugged look to it, hinting at its off-road capabilities. It uses an aluminum alloy frame, and combines that with a carbon steel suspension fork in the front.
The frame provides some give and flex, with the fork holding down the majority of the shock absorption, with satisfactory results.
The bike’s handlebars have a bit more curve than you usually see on a mountain bike, ensuring a little more of a relaxed feel that carries over to non-trail use. An instantly adjustable saddle allows you to quickly alter your riding stance for certain situations,
The Power Plus comes with a full 21-gear drivetrain, helping it retain the feel of a more conventional mountain bike. The shifting is quick and responsive, coming by the way of trigger shifters on each grip.
Disc brakes are used on the front and back for added stopping power with a more controlled feel than you get with caliper brakes. The alloy discs are much better off handling the increased load an electric bike provides.
Ancheer went with the traditional 26-inch size for their wheelset, which consists of Wanda King tires and Two Knives DX-3000 alloy rims. The tires have a less-prominent tread design then you see on other mountain bikes, which does help it have a softer ride on hard surfaces.
The Power Plus has a moderately-sized motor, offering up 250 watts located on the rear wheel hub. It has three different speeds available for pedal assisting, and also allows for full-throttle riding without pedaling when you need it.
A 36V lithium battery powers the motor for around 20 miles of pedal-less riding, and around 30 when using the assist modes. Recharging a an empty battery requires a wait of anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
Some of the bike’s more commuter-oriented features include an LED headlight, kickstand, and even an air horn.
You can have all of this for under $700. For a legitimate hardtail mountain bike complete with engine, that’s more than economical, especially when considering its versatile commuter appeal.
Want to learn more? Read our review.
And Here Are The Folding Options:
Electric folding mountain bikes are becoming a force all on their own.
These e bikes represent the most versatile and convenient class of electric bikes, giving you a bike that can handle more abuse and rough terrain, with the added benefits of being both compact, and motor-powered.
1. ANCHEER FOLDING ELECTRIC MTB
The Ancheer Folding Electric Mountain Bike can pretty much do everything. It takes on trails with ease, folds down do a small, portable size, and is fully capable of riding all on its own. It’s hard to think of what else you can ask out of a bike.
The design catches a lot of looks on and off the trail. Although it’s a folding bike, it still has a full-suspension frame, and rugged features and components to go along with its tank-like aesthetic.
The bike’s frame is crafted from aluminum alloy, and utilizes a single-tube design to allow for easy folding, and to cut down the weight to around 60 pounds.
Front and rear shocks offer plenty of travel to eat up any bumps and drops in your way. A simple lock on the folding mechanism allows for a full breakdown in just a matter of seconds.
A cushioned and easily-adjusted seat places the rider in an aggressive mountain bike stance, which is complimented by a handlebar design that avoids that mini-bike feel some other folding bikes give off.
The drivetrain is another good aspect to this bike. 21 gears and a motor on a folding bike? You bet. Shinano components comprise the entire shifting system, giving the bike an array of speed settings to better match your riding environment.
Alloy disc brakes help with the stopping part, and are coupled with magnesium alloy rims with a flat spoke design, and 26-inch tires with a hybrid-like tread.
The bike’s 250W rear hub motor includes three different pedal assist speeds, ling with a throttle that can let the bike do the pedaling for you. This helps on flatter portions for sure, but really helps makes the bike good for urban commuting as well.
The bike can reach 17 mph when using the throttle, made possible by a 36V lithium battery that can power the bike for 15 miles on its own, and 31 miles with pedal-assist. They even threw in a headlight and kickstand to top it all off.
Lie we said, this bike does it all, for under $800.
Read our in-depth review here.
2. CYRUSHER XF700
The Cyrusher XF700 is another great example of a full-suspension folding electric mountain bike that can offer a ton of versatility without forsaking its off-road intentions. From trails to sidewalks, the XF700 is a force in any environment.
The XF700 has a solid aluminum frame design available in numerous bold colors.
To fold the bike, you simply unlock the frame in the center, swing the tires towards each other, and unhinge the seat to collapse.
One of the cooler aspects of the frame’s design is the battery’s sort of hidden compartment within the tube itself. To access the battery, you unlock the frame, reach in, and slide it out. If you were a passerby who didn’t know any better, you would never know the XF700 is an electric bike at all.
The saddle has a little more cushioning than you usually see on a mountain bike, which is actually a good thing. The saddle’s design ensures a more comfortable ride, along with a gently-curved handlebar with a longer stem for a more relaxed position for your arms and back.
The drivetrain uses quality Shimano parts, and gives you 21 gear choices for maximum versatility during all types of riding. Shifting is fast and responsive, avoiding that annoying lag some shift systems have on electric bikes. Bumps and drops on trails don’t interfere with the shifting either.
Disc brakes hold down the stopping power, and you even get cushioned brake levers that help prevent slippage. Three spoke alloy rims give the bike a blackout look, while saving on weight and adding some aerodynamics as well. 26-inch tires with slight tread are great for any surface.
The motor is a brushless version located on the rear hub. It has 250 watts of power, which is great for the bike’s size and drivetrain. You can reach speeds up to 20 mph with pedal assistance, or just let the bike ride on its own. This can all be controlled with a twist throttle on the handlebar grip.
A 36V lithium battery powers the motor for around 20 miles when in throttle modes, and 25 miles when using a pedal assist speed. The charging time for the battery is fairly average, taking about 4-6 hours from a fully depleted state.
The XF700 includes a very helpful and informative computer mounted on the handlebars, keeping you up to speed on your, well...speed. You can also keep track of your battery’s charge, trip distance, and more. An LED headlight is equipped for night riding.
The Cyrusher XF700 is on the higher end price-wise, but it is there for a reason. This bike represents the top tier of electric folding mountain bike capabilities, sparing no details in the process.
Best Electric Fat Bike
Fat bikes are made to go many places ordinary bikes can’t, thanks to their rugged build and wide, oversized tires. Adding an engine to the equation makes them virtually unstoppable, and even enables them to be used for commuting and nearby travel.
1. ADDMOTOR MOTAN
The Addmotor Motan has the right idea: Start off by building an excellent fat bike, making sure it has the right components and design in the process. When that’s done, figure out a way to fit a motor in there somewhere, and call it good.
This logical approach results in a fat bike that conquers almost anything in its path, with the option to switch a motor on for the times you need a little boost, or want to feel like you’re on a dirt bike for a little while.
The controller and battery pack actually give the Motan a beefier look, with the assembly situated on the bottom frame tube. The uninformed may just assume you have some kind of cargo case, or a large water bottle.
The Motan’s frame is made from aluminum, and has an impressive front fork that helps to absorb bumps on the trail. The frame also has some give to it, and of course the fat tires help with the shock absorption as well.
Maneuvering the Motan is very easy thanks to a well-designed saddle and handlebar combination, placing the rider in an ideal position to both relax and steer without putting added strain on their arms and back.
The Motan’s drivetrain includes 7 different gears, with a spread out ratio that is perfect for the bike’s size and build. Shimano TX55 parts make up the drivetrain and the shifter, for a seamless speed changing feel that works in tune with the motor.
Fat bikes need some extra braking power, and that’s exactly what its TEKTRO disc brakes provide on each end. Not too sensitive, and not too much effort required for a full stop.
The tires of the Motan stand out. 26 x 4-inch Kenda tires give it the right amount of coverage, letting the bike easily ride over snow, sand, and any other terrain that smaller tires may not be able to deal with.
A 500W motor powers the Motan, whether you are needing pedal assistance, or want to let the bike propel itself while you simply steer. The motor is operated with a twist-shift throttle, and offers different speed and assistance settings to perfectly match your riding environment in any given moment.
The Samsung lithium battery uses 48 volts, and can keep the bike running for 30-55 miles, which is one of the longer ranges you’ll see on an electric bike. It’s not uncommon to expect speeds of around 23 mph on flatter portions of road. The battery needs 4 hours for a full recharge.
The Addmotor Motan is a true force of a bike, letting you ride through inclement weather conditions, shifting soil and dirt, and pretty much anything else it can get traction on. The motor is a perfect match for the bike’s grit and stature, giving you all that’s needed for getting around wherever the road or path leads.
Read our review by clicking here.
2. ecO ELECTRIC FAT BIKE
The Ego electric fat bike is just behind the Motan in our opinion, but not by much. The slightly different build and price may be preferred by some even due to its hardnose fork.
This is a very solid fat bike that uses a motor to really push it to another level, literally and figuratively.
The Ego’s design is fairly standard for a fat bike, but it looks great. The black color is simple and clean, and has just enough detailing to give it some depth. The frame is made from aluminum, which contributes to it staying around the average range of 54 pounds.
The motor and battery assembly are integrated in a way that doesn’t draw too much attention, but the bike doesn’t shy away from being an electric version either.
The Ego’s saddle has a cruiser look and feel to it, so if you are a fan of plush cruiser seats, you’re in luck. We don’t know why more bike manufacturers don’t do this. It even has the springs on the underside.
Combine this with a raised, curved handlebar and stem assembly, and you have an aggressive fat bike that feels relaxed and comfortable as you make your way over rougher terrain. When the motor is kicking, it’s a rather luxurious ride.
Like the Motan, this bike uses Shimano parts for a 7-speed drivetrain. The shifting is precise and quick, and the gear ratio is spread out enough to cover all the ranges you’d need on a bike like this.
The disc brakes come as no surprise, as that should be the norm with the wider wheels and tires of a fat bike. Still, the levers and brake mechanism are fluid and easy to use, and give you a better sense of control when slowing or stopping.
The Ego’s wheelset includes the standard fat bike size, with the 26 x 4-inch tires giving enough coverage to remain stable on snow, sand, mud, and more. The tread design offers some grip, but also lets you have a smooth ride on the pavement.
A powerful 500 watt motor propels the bike all on its own when needed, but it’s at its best when you're getting pedal assistance from it, especially when you’re dealing with inclines and tough riding surfaces. The bike can each about 20 mph on flat surfaces when using just the motor.
The motor’s variable speeds are controlled with a twist-n-go shift on the handlebar. A 36V lithium battery keeps it all going for around 35 miles on a full charge, and needs about 6 hours to recharge.
If front suspension isn’t an issue for you, and you want an economical fat bike that can help you get around on several different paths and surfaces, Ego’s electric fat bike is your best choice.
Best Electric Hybrid Bike
Hybrids and electric motors are a great duo.
The best hybrid bicycles are largely considered commuter bikes after all, and they are good for exercise and leisurely riding as well. An efficient motor can both improve your pedaling and trip distance, or just take over all by itself when you need a break.
1. MAGNUM UI5
Form, function, and style were the clear goals for the Magnum UI5, and we’d like to think they succeeded. The bike manages to avoid the kind of dorky look that some hybrids have, giving off a more sleek, hip vibe that is a reflection of its performance.
The bike manages to do all of this while seamlessly integrating a full electric motor drive that may be a little discreet, but provides a large amount of pedal power thats last for miles on end.
Combine that with an already efficient bike with a top-tier drivetrain, and you have a commuting machine that provides endless versatility
A saddle more similar to a road bike style gives the rider a more aggressive feel, which is actually tempered a little with the relaxed arm stance the handlebar design provides. The upwards curve and longer stem allows the rider to sit more upright, without giving up any steering ability.
The UI5 doesn’t go all out with the speed choices, but it makes the most of a well-ratioed 7 speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain, which includes a matching shifter as well. There’s enough low and high spread in between for any riding situation, especially when aided by the motor.
High-end TEKTRO brake components make up the front and rear disc brake system. This gives the UI5 a very measured and precise amount of braking, making it much easier to control the bike at high speeds, or when weaving around traffic.
The bike’s wheelset includes 26-inch, double-walled aluminum rims, coupled with some very stylish Schwalbe Big Ben 2.5-inch wide tires with a vibrant brown color. The tires are a little wider than usual hybrid tires, but they are a good match for the bike’s motor aspect.
The UI5 has a very efficient 350W rear hub motor that can carry the bike up to 22 mph. There are three different pedal assistance settings that riders can use to better match certain riding scenarios. The highest setting makes pedaling a breeze, requiring very little effort.
The Magnum includes some great extra features on the UI5 as well. The bike comes with an LCD info screen, fenders, a kickstand, a rear rack, and lights on the front and tail end for safer night riding.
This bike is everything a hybrid needs to be in order to be an efficient commuter and leisure bike. High-end components, an innovative design, powerful motor, and overall ease of use makes the Magnum UI5 an incredible electric hybrid bike value, and easily our favorite.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review, click here.
Best Electric Cruiser Bike
Cruiser bikes may not be the first thing that you visualize when thinking about electric bikes, but it makes perfect sense.
Cruisers are made for relaxed riding in casual settings, and what better way to make that goal fully realized with an engine helping to make pedaling easier?
1. MALIBU BEACH CRUISER
The Malibu Beach Cruiser from X-Treme is easily one of our favorite electric bikes for quite a few reasons. It has the classic cruiser style, and uses some modern components and features to give it more comfort and efficiency. It’s already a great bike without a motor.
Some electric bikes tend to center everything around the motor first, but it’s clear the Malibu aims to be a top-level pedaled bike first.
Attractive design, a multi-ger drivetrain, extra features, and multiple color options all help the Malibu to be a superior bike.
The aluminum frame gives it a more nimble feel, The Malibu’s saddle is your basic cruiser saddle, and that’s a good thing. Lots of cushioning, lots of coverage, and a plush feel. The handlebars have a perfect curve to them, allowing you to steer with your arms and shoulder more relaxed.
If you’re used to cruisers having one gear, you'll welcome the Malibu’s 7-speed drivetrain, featuring Shimano Tourney components. You get a wider variety of speeds and gear ratios to help you get up inclines, or get some extra speed when the need arises.
The Malibu uses disc brakes, which is another rarity for cruiser bikes, as they often have caliper-style brakes with pads instead. But, this is an electric bike, so the extra stopping power is definitely more than welcome.
For the wheelset, the Malibu uses Kenda balloon-style tires, measuring 26 inches. You get some added shock absorption, a nice white wall look, and some extra grip thanks to a smart tread design. Changing tubes is easy thanks to quick-release hub systems in the front and back.
The motor of the Malibu is 300 watts, and is located on the rear hub. You can use the twist grip control on the right side of the handlebar to cycle through various pedal assist levels, or just let the bike ride on its own.
A 24V battery seems a little inadequate, but somehow powers the motor to allow the bike to reach a max speed of 20 mph, for 20 miles on a full charge. If you need a recharge, you’ll only need to wait about 4 hours.
Extra features really polish the Malibu off. There’s a removable luggage rack, a headlight, a kickstand, and even a water bottle thrown in for good measure. Purchase a Malibu, and you’re all set.
For under $1,000, you can have one of the more unique e-bikes on the road, with an array of features to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride, whether you’re on a boardwalk, or a sidewalk. The X-Treme Malibu Electric Beach Cruiser is truly an awesome buy.
Click here to read our in-depth review.
Why You Need to choose your E-bike carefully
Folding bikes are a little more complicated than ordinary bikes, mainly due to the presence of a motor, and maybe a throttle as well. This affects the bike in a few ways, so you need to be sure of what to expect beforehand so you don’t end up disappointed.
And, of course, whether you’re getting an electric bike or not, it’s always good to be sure you’re getting the right type of bike for what your riding intentions are in the first place. Also, electric bikes aren’t cheap, so you don’t want to waste your money on the wrong one.
important aspects to consider Before You Make The Purchase
Below are the main points to go over prior to choosing an e bike. Think of this as an unofficial checklist.
STYLE electric bike
This is still the number one thing to decide on first, regardless of whether you’re using an electric version of the bike or not. Just because there is a motor on a cruiser bike doesn't mean you can now take it on a mountain bike trail, you know?
Electric mountain bikes were a little late to catch on, but now they are more viable than ever before. These electric bicycles can take on advanced off-road trails, and some moderate downhilling as well.
Electric mountain bikes offer a few major targeted advantages. For one, they can allow the rider to go on longer rides by saving stamina and energy thanks to pedal assistance. They can also make long climbs easier, and ensure a more efficient ride altogether, while boosting speed.
Ordinary mountain bikes are decent for commuting and in-town travel, but an electric mountain bike can make it much more suited for getting around off the trails as well.
HYBRID e bike
Hybrids are sort of a cross between a mountain and road bike. They are the commuter bike of choice, and are great for fitness and leisure riding as well.
Electric hybrids are true commuting machines, offering improved speed and efficiency that can let you get from home to work without even breaking a sweat. If you are wanting an electric bike as a main way to get around, these are the best choices.
FOLDING electric bicycle
Folding bikes can collapse to almost a third of their size, making them easy to store, haul around, or bring with you when using public transportation as part of your commute.
An electric version of a folding bike equates to what may be the most versatile and useful of them all.
They can unlock endless possibilities thanks to both pedal assistance and increased portability. Plus, they are just really cool in general.
CRUISER e bike
Cruisers are the most relaxed bikes of them all. Simple, stylish, and easy to ride, cruisers define what fun, casual bicycling should be. With an electric motor to help move things along, they become even more of an embodiment of their name.
ELECTRIC BIKE MOTOR CLASSES
Electric bikes have three distinct categories that refer to how the motor operates.
Pedelecs are electric bikes that offer pedal assistance up to a certain speed, usually around 20 mph. They can’t offer assistance beyond that, and they cannot run on their own. Pedelecs often have a few different assistance settings.
The majority of electric bikes fall into this category.
An S-pedelec also offers pedal assistance, but there is no cap on when the motor cuts off. These can help riders achieve faster speeds, and are more common on hybrids and mountain bikes.
Sometimes called “power on-demand” electric bikes, models with an actual throttle enable the e bike to be propelled by just the motor, and no pedal assistance. 25 mph is usually the cap on a full-throttle electric bike, as any faster would require a license.
While these motors are able to move the bike by themselves, they can also be used for just pedal assistance.
There are generally two main classifications for electric bike motors in terms of where they are installed.
Hub motors are located either on the front or rear wheel hub. This type of motor involves a rotor on the hub that turns when the motor is engaged. These are most often found on the rear wheel, and remain the most popular type of motor choice.
A mid-drive motor in installed onto the bike’s actual drivetrain and crank. Instead of turning a wheel, these motors turn the crank that are connected to your pedals.
They also help give the bike a lower center of gravity. Mid-drive motors are found on higher-end electric bikes, and require more moving parts, but are generally favored by most electric bike enthusiasts. Still, they are not near as common.
Electric bike batteries have come a long way since the old lead acid versions. Lithium batteries are the new standard, as they are both easier to recharge, and lighter.
The battery pack also determines how long the bike can use its motor. Always pay attention to the projected range of the bike’s battery, and the charging time.
Not all electric bike batteries are detachable, so if it can’t be removed to charge, you’ll have to move the whole bike to an electrical outlet.
We hope this guide has given you a better idea of where to start when looking for the best e bike for your own personal needs. We recommend any of e-bikes on the list, and we’ll also encourage you to look at some of our more in-depth reviews.
Before you make a purchase, always be sure of what your main use of the bike will be, so you end up with the right type that can do what you need it to.
The electric bike market is bigger than ever, so there are obviously some models that we haven't covered here. Have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear!
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