Tested: The Best Electric Bikes, as Chosen by Experts

best e bikes best electric bicycles
The Best E-Bikes For 2024Trevor Raab, Bicycling; Aventon

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The push toward automotive electrification has set forth a wave of research and development into battery and charging technology. A byproduct of all of this R&D has been a trickle-down of some of this technology into other modes of transport, perhaps most notably the humble bicycle. The market for electric bicycles has exploded, which has led new manufacturers as well as some established cycle makers to produce their own electric bicycles.

The Gear Team knows that the interests of our car and truck-loving readers sometimes extend to things like watches and alternate forms of transportation. As we set out to assemble a list of the best electric bicycles on the market, however, we were humbled by the dizzying amount of information about them.


Conveniently, our colleagues at Bicycling magazine released their list of the best e-bikes earlier this year, so we reached out to the head of Bicycling's product test team, Tara Seplavy, to find out what we need to know and what to look out for when shopping for electric bicycles.

Things to Consider about Electric Bikes

Road & Track readers know jumping into the deep end of car shopping without any of the requisite knowledge is a bad idea. Likewise, there is a lot to know about electric bicycles with all the latest tech, gadgets, and features they offer. So before you purchase one of these (not inexpensive) shiny new vehicles, take a moment to consider a few things:

Purpose and Use: First determine what you will primarily use your electric bicycle for. Different models are tailored to specific purposes, such as commuting, recreation, off-road, and cargo hauling or deliveries.

Type of E-Bike: Electric bicycles come in various types, including road, mountain, hybrid, folding, and cargo bikes. Each type caters to different riding conditions and needs.

Battery Capacity and Range: Battery capacity, usually measured in watt-hours (Wh), influences how long you can ride and how far you can go on a single charge. An e-bike’s range also depends on factors including the rider and bike weight, the terrain ridden, and the level of assistance used. Consider your typical ride length and whether the battery range meets your needs.

Weight and Portability: Electric bicycles are generally heavier than traditional bikes due to the motor and battery. Consider the bike's weight if you need to carry it upstairs or lift it frequently. Folding e-bikes offer added portability but are usually still heavier than unassisted bicycles (those without motors).

Security: Some electric bicycles require a key or key fob to operate, adding to their security. Moreover, numerous electric bicycle manufacturers design integrated batteries to be lockable and removable, offering several advantages: off-bike charging, theft deterrence, ease of transport on racks, and lighter weight for carrying upstairs.

All that said, there's nothing wrong with picking up a heavy chain lock or good quality U-lock if you plan to keep your bike in any theft-prone or outside area.

Pedal Assist vs. Throttle: Some electric bicycles offer pedal assist, which provides power only when you are pedaling, while others have a throttle mode that can propel the bike without pedaling. Decide which mode or combination of modes suits your riding style.

Fit and Comfort: Like most bicycles, electric bicycles usually offer sizing options via seat and handlebar adjustment. But these tweaks will only get you so far. Ensure the height, weight, and frame size fit your body. Test ride different models to check for comfortable seating position, handlebar height, and ease of mounting and dismounting.

Warranty and Service: Check the warranty coverage for the bike, battery, and components. Consider the manufacturer's reputation and the availability of service and parts.

Legal Restrictions: Be aware of local regulations regarding electric bicycle use, such as speed limits, motor power limits, and where e-bikes are allowed to be ridden.

E-Bike Classes: Electric bicycles are broken down into three distinct classes based on the type of assist and how fast the motor can propel you; classes one and three are the most common.

  • Class 1 supports pedaling up to 20 mph with a max power output of 750 watts;

  • Class 2 e-bikes feature a throttle and can reach up to 20 mph without pedaling. Some models, like Aventon's Pace 500, mix features, reaching 28 mph with pedal assist and 20 mph with just the throttle;

  • Class 3 (often known as "speed pedelec") offers assistance up to 28 mph with the same maximum power output.

The Best E-Bikes You Can Buy

Level.2 Commuter

The Level.2 from Aventon builds on the solid success of its first-generation Level commuter bikes. The Level.2 is a Class 2 e-bike, featuring both pedal assist and a throttle that can reach speeds of up to 20 mph. However, it has the capability to be unlocked to a Class 3 e-bike, allowing for pedal-assisted speeds of up to 28 mph.

This second-generation version of the Level includes a new torque sensor, integrated lights, and a smaller user-friendly display. The testers at Bicycling noted that the Level.2 bested their expectations in every situation, saying "the Aventon Level remains the best commuter electric bicycle you can purchase for less than $2000 and one of the best commuter bikes you can buy overall."

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Level.2 Commuter</p><p></p><p>$1699.00</p><span class="copyright">Bestbuy</span>

Generation e1.1

The Generation e1.1 is a solid bike for short trips, city dwellers, and around town. Its rigid aluminum frame, SR Suntour fork, and hydraulic disc brakes help to provide a smooth and compliant ride, the sort that those riding around cities will surely appreciate. You can choose between either blue or black, but whichever you choose, you'll also get a rack, lights, and tough Schwalbe Super-Moto-X tires.

Being the house brand of outdoor retailer REI, Co-op Cycles benefits from the established infrastructure. This means that you can get your bike serviced, warrantied, and even assembled at REI stores. Further, if you are an REI member (just $30 for life!), the bike comes with free flat-tire repair and two years of free adjustments.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Generation e1.1 </p><p></p><p>$898.93</p><span class="copyright">REI</span>


Aventon updated its popular Aventure electric bicycle, resulting in significant improvements that enhance the riding experience. A new torque sensor provides better control over the bike's rear hub motor, addressing the issue of excessive torque that reviewers had with the previous iteration. This is especially helpful for those new to e-bicycles.

Other upgrades include an updated head unit interface, integrated turn signals, a front light, a rear rack, and fenders, making the bike more versatile for commuting in various conditions. While the folks at Bicycling found that the bike works well on snowy days and gravel pathways, its weight and components limit its performance on challenging trails.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Aventure.2</p><p></p><p>$1799.00</p><span class="copyright">Bestbuy</span>

RadRover 6 Plus

The 6 Plus is a versatile fat-tire electric bicycle designed for comfort across various terrains, including urban and off-road environments. Testers at Bicycling said improvements such as an updated display and hydraulic disc brakes, enhancing the overall riding experience when compared to its predecessor.

The bike's big drawback is its weight, which will be a limiting factor if you'd like to navigate it around a congested city. While the weight may make the bike cumbersome, the powerful 750-watt rear hub motor ensures that you'll have the torque needed to push the bike's heft around.

There is also a step-through version, and buyers can opt for either charcoal or white paint schemes.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>RadRover 6 Plus</p><p></p><p>$1599.00</p><span class="copyright">Rad Power Bikes </span>

Turbo Tero 3.0

Specialized Turbo-series mountain bikes are among the favorites of the staff at Bicycling. If you're a mountain biker and want to dip your toes into the world of e-bicycles, the Turbo Tero 3.0 is a great place to start.