Electric bikes, e-bikes; no matter what you want to call them, they are nothing if not revolutionary. The first time someone decided to put an electric motor on a bike was in 1895, which was mounted on the rear hub and had a 10 volt battery. Though it wasn’t until the 21st century that the words electric and bike even came together, and the technology of today has seen electric bikes become pedal assist versions of every kind of bike, so think of them as a kind of electric hybrid.
Considered the future of cycling, electric bike sales jumped up 145 per cent in 2019 alone and if you are looking for the kind of ride that allows you to go faster and further without much effort, then they are the bike for you. Doesn’t matter if you are mountain biking or riding the roads, there are electric bikes to power every type of rider.
Why You Need An Electric Bike
To put it simply, the best electric bikes enhance the riding experience. They might look like a regular bike and ride like a regular bike, but when you push the pedals on electric bikes an electric motor engages and gives you a boost, assisting you up hills and over rough terrain without gassing yourself. Like the gears on a regular bike, you can adjust the level of pedal assist.
If you are someone who is looking for an alternative to driving your car to work and getting stuck in traffic jams, for example, electric bikes are a great commuter option, as the motor assisted ride won’t leave you sweaty even over long distances. If you enjoy more of an off road ride, electric bikes can help you power through the trails like it’s nothing.
Features Of The Best Electric Bikes
The most important feature of the best electric bikes is the motor and they can be found in different parts of the bike. A hub motor is located at the rear of the bike, usually inside the hub of the rear wheel. While the mid drive motor is found in the bottom bracket where the pedal arms attach to the frame. The hub drive motor sends power straight to the rear wheel, giving you the feeling of being pushed along. Mid drive motors are the most common and give the pedal assist a more natural feel.
To power the motor, the best electric bike has a battery that will ensure a longer ride range. The battery can often be located on the down tube of a bike frame and this is commonly a removable battery as well. On a higher end, more expensive model, the battery can also be integrated into the frame, making the bike less bulky. The battery also needs to be charged and the larger the watt capacity, the longer the battery takes to charge.
The power of the battery also determines the ride range based on their watt hours (Wh) which is a common term you will come across. This means the number of hours a battery can sustain 1 watt of power before reaching zero power. This also directly applies to the power of the motor, as a 750 watt motor paired with a common 300 Wh battery will give you a ride range of over 50 kilometres.
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We’ve curated the best electric bikes that are the best in motor, battery, and electric performance that will have you reaching top speed with as little effort as possible, so take a look below.
Only using the best e-bike motor systems, Trek's electric bikes set a high standard for reliability and effortless performance. Every single electric bike has been put to the test at their R&D Performance Centre where they perform cutting-edge experiments on bike physics. Their range has an electric bike for all kinds of rides, including electric mountain bikes that feature a powerful electric motor and a 250 watt battery that can achieve a top speed of 20 mph and a range of up to 12 hours meaning you can bike with ease, for longer.
If we had to pick the best of the best electric bikes from Devinci, it would have to be their electric mountain bike. Given their history with designing championship winning mountain bikes, the electric bike version takes it a step further. Featuring dual suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and a powerful motor and battery across all of their bikes. The very best electric bike comes with the 'GX 11S' bike, featuring a Shimano Steps lithium battery to power a 500 watt motor.
There is one thing that makes these the best electric bikes in terms of speed and that is the battery and motor combination. The Specialized Turbo bikes feature a 240 watt motor that will power increased performance between 60 and 100 RPM. That achieves a high speed equivalent of two riders on the same electric bike and when you combine the 500 watt battery that boasts a range of up to 195km, you'll be riding with effortless ease.
Delivering extra power to every pedal, Schwinn's best electric bikes will help you ride further, take on bigger hills and enjoy your ride even more. Though no matter what kind of e bike you are riding, their bikes come with alloy or aluminium frame support. If you are looking for a bike designed for commuters and weekend explorers, the 'Vantage FXe' electric bike comes with a Bosch Performance Line mid drive motor, hydraulic disc brakes, electric battery and an 11-speed drivetrain that offers multiple levels of pedal assist.
With electric bikes being the latest innovation for bikes, Cannondale have labelled the range of their best electric bikes as 'Neo' meaning new. Their road bike, mountain bike, cruiser bike models have all been given the e bike treatment, so the best has been made even better. The 'Topstone Neo Carbon 3' electric bike is a great to go anywhere, ride of any kind of bike, with a Bosch Performance Line motor, wide range 500 watt battery and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
To create the best electric mountain bike, Santa Cruz wanted to bring a whole new feel to a ride on the trails with the very best in pedal assist technology. The 'Bullet MX Carbon' electric bike exemplifies this, with a powerful Shimano E7000 motor, 650 watt battery and fat tires that makes for an aggressive mountain machine built for the steepest downhills.
BMC ventured into electric bikes in 2019 and now have an e-bike for every type of ride, whether it's the speed of a race bike or the active lifestyle that a road bike gives you. The 'Alpenchallenge AMP City' electric bike features a centre mounted battery, 600 watt Shimano motor and rounded out by a full carbon frame and integrated lights.
Their best electric bikes are built to take you further than you thought possible that at first glance, don't appear to look like an electric bike. Their e bikes maintain their sleek and graceful look by proportioning the battery with the frame and using a rear hub motor to shed any excess bulk. One of the best among them, the 'Aria Ultegra' electric bike features a powerful motor and a 250 watt battery that even includes a visual battery life indicator along the handlebars.
All of their electric bikes champion their term, 'ePerformance', which defines their focus on creating sporty, performance-oriented electric bikes. The defining features of an 'ePerformance' electric bike include an integrated battery and electric front suspension. The 'Trekking S 10' electric bike is a great commuter bike with it's Bosh Performance mid drive motor that supports speeds of up to 45km/h and a 625 watt battery to ensure a smooth ride.
To earn such an award, their best electric bikes have integrated the power of a pedal assist motor with the minimalist look and lightweight feel of non e bikes. The 'Cento1HY Ultegra' electric bike was their first and is one of the lightest e bikes weighing in at just 11.9 kgs. It also features an impressive drivetrain, with a carbon monocoque frame, hydraulic disc brakes, internal hub motor and a long battery life.