The 3 best ebike for all types of riding
It's hard not to feel helpless in the midst of multiple global crises like the coronavirus pandemic and climate change all at once. If you're an adult who can't figure out what to do to make things better, then I have a simple suggestion that might make things better for you: ride a ebike. It seems that millions of Americans agree with this, whether they rent from a bike-sharing company or buy their own.
For years, e-bikes were bulky, inconvenient, expensive machines with limited battery life. Slowly, that's changing. E-bikes are now lighter, more attractive and more powerful than ever before. You don't need to be physically fit to ride. They get you outside, reduce traffic congestion, and reduce your carbon footprint. And they're fun!
Over the past few years, my colleagues and I have tried just about every kind of e-bike, from the best heavy-duty cargo bikes to high-end mountain bikes. We're always testing new ones, so if you don't see what you're looking for, check back later (or drop me a line!). After you buy an e-bike, check out our favorite bike accessories, bike locks and gear for a bike backpack adventure.
October 2022 update: We've added new bikes we like, removed older options, and edited information about invest ebike.
How much will it cost now?
How to invest your bike
Whenever I talk to anyone about a possible e-bike purchase, the biggest deterrent - by far - is price. It doesn't help that bike prices have skyrocketed in recent years. A number of factors, including the pandemic, have complicated the global supply chain. Also the exemption from the 25% tariff on all e-bike imports has expired.
We've done our best to offer less expensive options, but we consider them to be vehicles, not toys. When you're taking your kids to school or flying down a hill at 25 mph with only a helmet for protection, you need a ride you can trust.
Reasonable auto financing options are the only reason a $2,000 electric bike can feel very expensive while a $6,000 gas-powered car is an easy monthly payment. Many bike manufacturers and retailers do offer financing through companies like Affirm or PayPal. Your bank may be able to pay for an e-bike under its vehicle loan program. Besides that, some utilities even offer cash incentives to purchase an e-bike. You may have more options than you think.
Best ebike for most people
The price of a direct-to-consumer bike is very attractive, but if you won't let your kids ride down the hill on a wobbly skateboard, I wouldn't recommend doing the same thing yourself. If this is your first bike, I highly recommend working with a reputable manufacturer that has a large network of affiliated retailers and store support so you can test some out without having to assemble or repair it yourself.
Almost every major bike manufacturer now makes entry level commuter e-bikes, and the most reasonably priced one right now is the BRE300O. i'm currently using it. 50 lbs and it's light! It rides much like the light utility hybrids I rode throughout college. It has a 350W Slotted Gear Motor, 48V 10Ah Samsung/LG lithium battery, SUGEK 10-SPEED MTB FLYWHEEL , fast road bike wheels and hydraulic disc brakes, and some interesting extras built in like integrated lights, bells, rear rack, fenders and brackets. All in all, it's a shockingly affordable package for everything you need to start your 30-mile city commute.
The best mountain ebike
There is some tension about the presence of electric bikes on the trails. However, if you love the sport but are getting older, e-MTB is the best way to keep doing what you love.
BreezeRiderEbike: The BRE300B is a fun ride with more 27.5-inch front and rear wheels on a frame with front and rear suspension. Your choice of 350W battery electric mountain bike with a rideable range of about 50 miles. the BRE300B is fast, powerful and happy on single track for 35 to 50 miles. As always, be sure to test your new electric mountain bike to make sure you know how it feels before trying electric assist on any super rough terrain.
The best value fat tire ebike
Unless you're already an e-bike enthusiast, you probably want a less expensive electric fat tire bike, which means as close to $1,500 as possible. If you want a reliable motor and a frame that won't bend at 25 mph, this is a tough proposition.
BreezeRiderEbike's V8 is the best value electric fat tire bike we've found. Reviewer Parker notes that it has trustworthy components like a Samsung battery and Shimano disc brakes, as well as nice accessories like a cool suspension seat. It ships directly to you, which is handy if you want to avoid bike stores. breezeRiderEbike updates the bike every few months. Since it is a direct-to-consumer bike.
Recommendations to consider
Know the e-bike specifications
You've seen the bikes near you. They look like fun! You want one! But electric bikes come in many different sizes and price points. Here's what I would consider in your location.
Can I build my own bike?
These days, many affordable bikes are direct-to-consumer, which means they come pre-tuned or partially assembled in a box. Unless you are already very familiar with building bikes, I recommend working with a reputable manufacturer with a dealer network or one that offers mobile repair services like Breeze Rider Ebike.
Why are some bikes more expensive?
Motors and batteries are more powerful. Batteries and motors from premium brands like Bosch and Shimano are often more powerful and cover more distance with a range of 90 or 120 miles, compared to the 15-20 miles you see on more affordable bikes. However, if you have a short commute, this may not matter.
What kind of terrain do you live on?
If you live in a flat area, you may be fine with a 250 watt motor, which is the European speed standard. However, if you live near a mountain or haul a lot of stuff, I would splurge on a 500 or 750 watt motor and some additional features like hydraulic disc brakes that will help keep you from sliding into traffic.
I would also look for a mid-drive motor rather than a hub drive motor. A mid-drive motor sits in the center of the bike and feels more natural. The wheel drive sits on your rear axle and shifts your center of gravity backwards, which takes some getting used to. It can throw you off balance when you climb steep hills.
Ebike classifications and rules
Check your local laws
Before you buy an ebike, make sure you can actually use it! Many cities and states have laws that govern when and where you can ride an e-bike. Check out our guide on the three types of e-bikes. At least 22 states now use this three-tier system, and they may restrict when and where you can use different categories of e-bikes, depending on whether they have throttles or can assist more than 20 miles per hour. Cities may also have laws regarding whether mountain electric bikes are allowed on single-track trails.
If your state classifies e-bikes under the same laws that govern motorcycles and mopeds, you may need to obtain a permit to ride a motorcycle. By all means, always wear a helmet. You know it.