Why You Should Trust Us
Our electric bike test was led by Jeremy Benson. Benson is the Senior Mountain Bike Review Editor for OutdoorGearLab and has years of experience testing mountain, gravel, and electric bikes. He is an obsessive cyclist and racer competing in endurance gravel and mountain bike events in the professional class. While he loves to ride using only his own power, he doesn’t discriminate and can often be found riding e-MTBs on the trails and electric bikes around town. His years of experience testing and riding bikes for fun and training have given him the ability to sense the nuanced and often subtle differences between the products he tests while out on the road or trail. Benson is also the author of two guidebooks, Mountain Bike Tahoe, and Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes California, published by Mountaineers Books in 2017.
After researching the best, most popular, and most highly regarded affordable electric bikes on the market, we purchased thirteen for our side-by-side test. We ran each model through the same rigorous testing process while focusing on several key performance attributes. We did our distance range testing on the same course with the same rider using the throttle only to see how far each model could travel on a full charge. We also tested our other key performance metrics, discussed below.
five rating metrics
- Interface tests
What Happens To My Battery When It Needs Replacing
An EU directive requires that all batteries must be recycled. In the case of Lithium-Ion e-bike batteries, this involves recovering as much of the materials as possible for reuse. However, this is a complex and expensive process, and the amount of materials that can be recovered varies hugely between recycling plants.
Why Does My Motor Still Turn When I Stop Pedaling
Some motors, most notably the Brose, continue to give assistance briefly when you stop pedalling. Usually this is most obvious in full-power mode, and can be useful to get up stepped climbs, rock gardens or over patches of roots where you need to coast in order to prevent pedal strikes. Officially under EU law this assistance cannot last for more than 2m, although weve experienced considerably more than that in the real world.
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The Best Electric Bike For Seniors 2022
Seniors often have someone different priorities than younger folks when shopping for an e-bike. The concerns we hear repeatedly are: something that has a step-thru frame with low standover to make getting on and off the e-bike easy an upright seated position that is easy on an old neck and calm handling for reflexes that arent quite so quick as they used to be. Of course, it never hurts to find all this in an affordable package, which is why we named the Aventon Pace 500 in its step-thru design as our favorite e-bike for seniors.
Among the many things we appreciate about the Aventon Pace 500 is the fact that this e-bike weighs less than many comparable models. Suspension forks, big tires, racks, baskets and fenders all add weight to a bike and at 52 lbs., the Aventon Pace 500 is an e-bike thats easy to manage.
Its 500W brushless hub motor is surprisingly powerful and does a great job of delivering a rider up to 20 mph either with pedal assist or throttle. It can also be unlocked in the smartphone app to achieve Class 3 performance, something its 8-speed Shimano drivetrain can handle.
The Aventon Pace 500 comes in two different frame designs, both a traditional frame and a step-thru and both versions are available in two sizes. For seniors who have lost flexibility, finding a bike that is comfortable is important and with four choices, they are more likely to find a size that is comfortable. The adjustable stem is a great touch for dialing in the reach.
Quietkat X Jeep: Best Snow Electric Bike
Jeep is one of the first names that comes to mind when picturing an off-road vehicle that can drive through the toughest terrains, including snow. So when we heard of an exclusive partnership between QuietKat and Jeep to design a brand new e-bike, our interest was immediately piqued.
The objective was simple: to create the most capable eBike on the planet.
Were happy to report that they succeeded. The QuietKat x Jeep electric bike is built to conquer the roughest and most difficult terrain. This is a bike that you can trust all year long.
The Jeep E-Bike features an advanced, torque-sensor motor system that delivers either 750 or 1000W of nominal power, with a peak output of 1500 watts. The wide-range 9-speed drivetrain features an 11-42T cassette for maximum torque range to climb the steepest hills, while the 4-Piston Tektro brakes keep everything in control while descending. The full-suspension frame and inverted suspension fork are designed to maximize traction and comfort when the trail gets rough.
Best for: smooth off-road experience, even in the winter.
|Up to 58 miles per charge|
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How We Tested These Cheaper E
Our team of experienced testers spent many hours and miles using most of these bikes for their intended purposes. Ive personally ridden and tested many of them to and from work, used them to stock up on groceries and beer, tested their passenger-hauling capability, ridden them on questionable terrain to see how they handle, and run their batteries down to officially see how long they last on one charge. The Bicycling gear team evaluated every model on performance, price, comfort, handling, value, reliability, fun, and overall e-factor to come up with these recommendations that we believe will best serve the needs of anyone looking to add a little pedal assist to their ride.
The Best Folding Electric Commuter Bike 2022
It may not be the fanciest or highest-specd folding electric bike on the market, but by golly its hard to deny the popularity and value of the Lectric XP 3.0.
The Electric Bike Report staff is always watching for e-bike sightings out in the wild. We like to know what people are riding and why, and Lectric XP series is arguably our most frequent sighting. Its popular for very good reasons: Not only is it remarkably cheap at just about $1,000, its actually a terrifically fun e-bike.
This is Lectrics third iteration of their XP folding fat tire e-bike. This new version, released in 2022, comes with a 500W motor, a suspension fork, mechanical disk brakes on 180mm rotors and a 48V, 10.4Ah battery that has a pretty decent range . Toss in recent editions like a rack that can support 150lbs , revamped contact points that are softer and more.
That spec sheet on its own is quite value packed at this price, but were not recognizing this bike for its components we like it for its ride. The XP 3.0 is a meaty little folding bike that reminds me of those old Honda three-wheelers popular back in the late 80s. Its not super fast or overly nimble, but it romps around like no other and feels like it wont let you down.
- Moving a 60-lb. e-bike isnt easy, even when folded we suggest removing the battery before picking it up
- We wish the key didnt have to remain in the bike to operate it since its under the frame and easy to forget
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Trek Domane+: Fastest Electric Bike
If youre all about speed and want an electric bike that can rival the fastest cars in the world, look no further than the Trek Domane+. Entirely built from high-end carbon, this electric bike is designed for riders who seek the purest form of road cycling experience with an extra boost.
Just the look of the bike gives it away. The sleek and efficient design of the Trek Domane+ focuses exclusively on speed and riding experience. Its designed from the ground up to look like a traditional road bike, with all the electronics and battery hidden away and connecting wirelessly. The electric drive system thats so lightweight and efficient you almost wont notice it until you flip the switch for a strategic boost of power.
But when you do switch it on, what a boost youll get. The Fazua Evation Ride 50 motor comes with a 250Wh battery that assists up to 20 mph.
Best for: absolute speed on the road.
How Much Does A Road Bike Usually Weigh
Road bikes are almost synonymous with the idea of lightweight bikes. The less your road bike weighs, the less weight you have to carry up hills. One thing that many people dont know about road bikes is there is a minimum weight for them.
The UCI set a minimum weight of 6.8 kg . If you get a bike that weighs less than that, you wont be allowed to race it. All of the high-end bikes are trying to just stay on the correct side of that rule.
At around the $500 you will be looking at around double that weight. The good $500 bikes will be around 30 lbs. As you get closer to the $1000 mark, youll find bikes start to weigh 20- 25 lbs., and after that, the weight starts to come down at a much slower rate.
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The Laws Around Electric Bikes
Under UK law, the motor can only kick in while you’re pedalling and it must switch off when you hit 15.5mph. Riders must be over the age of 14.
As with a standard bike, youll need to use lights and reflectors if riding in the dark. Third-party insurance isnt a legal requirement but it can be a good idea to join an organisation such as Cycling UK to take advantage of their cover, just in case you are ever involved in an accident.
Best Class 3 Electric Bikes Of 2022
Class 3 Electric bikes are a specific regulatory classification of ebikes in the US and Europe. A class 3 electric bike provides motor assist while the rider pedals up to a speed of 28mph, which is close to the speed a fit cyclist can achieve without assistance. Class 3 electric bikes are increasing in popularity with riders who prefer a faster ride to keep up with traffic, reduce commuting time, and to expand their traveling range. Due to their increased speed, class 3 ebikes are restricted some bike trails and bike paths. They are sometimes referred to as speed pedelecs, because they rely on pedal assist to achieve the higher top speeds. See all the details and even more winners on our best Class 3 electric bikes page.
One of the best ebikes I’ve ever reviewed. Relatively light weight at 36.9lbs including integrated lights, a rear rack, and custom designed tubular fenders with extra long rubberized flaps to keep your feet dry. Reasonably priced for outstanding motor and battery technology. Class 3 speed-pedelec performance offers 28mph assisted speeds for fun, respect from automobiles, and overall faster commutes. Boost hub spacing provides sturdier spoke bracing angle, 12mm thru-axles provide stiffness and control at…
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Shaofu Folding Electric Bike
Shaofu has been making electric bikes for a while now, and if you are looking to buy one without breaking the bank, then this model with a 350-watt motor is the solution you have been looking for. With a practical foldable design made to make commuting easy and storage even easier, this electric bike features a smart dolphin-shaped frame made out of a strong and lightweight aluminium alloy.
Not only does it perform well, but it also looks great! This is a smart bike with features that will not make you regret the price you spend. With all the safety features intact, you must consider this electric bike if you love adventure, but also dont want to spend a bomb.
The SWAGTRON Swagcycle EB5 Series Aluminum Folding Ebike is the ideal electric bike for teens and adults, this is a foldable electric bike that pushes your limits and gives you the added incentive to step out into nature. When you order this electric bike, you not only save money as this is a very reasonable bike to buy, but you also get to completely pre-assembled.
This means that you dont have to spend any time trying to fix it up, once it arrives, youre ready to go! Adjust the seat and the handlebars as per your requirement and take it out for a spin! A perfect blend of performance and aesthetics, this is an electric bike that does not disappoint. Its reasonable pricing also has helped it make its way to the best electric bikes under the $500 list.
Spending Time On The Aventon Pace
We spent two weeks riding the Pace 500, mainly on city streets around town, on paved bike paths, and gravel rail trails. For a comfort-oriented bike, the Pace 500 has a peppy ride, shedding the notion that foot-forward style cruisers are all chill and no thrill. The 500-watt motor has a noticeable amount of torque and can get up to its 28 mph max assisted speed without issue.
That jumpy torque was perhaps the only downside we found with the Pace 500. The motor assistance comes on strong when starting from a stop or slow-rolling speed. On most other e-bikes the motor engagement is less noticeable, and it has been barely perceptible on some of the mid-motor e-bikes we have tested.
That immediate and sometimes jarring application of power is related to pedaling cadence. Aventons motor gives you more boost when you pedal faster. So the feeling was more pronounced when any of our half-dozen test riders started in a low gear. Once we adjusted to it it felt more manageable. But for riders new to e-bikes, or not expecting the power curve of this motor, it can be surprising and even jarring.In every other way, the Pace 500 proved to be a problem-free and easy bike with which to live and ride. It has a comfortable, upright position that gives you a clear view of the road or path ahead without any neck strain. And its wide, well-cushioned Selle Royal saddle adds a plush, relaxed feeling.
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Ancheer 2: Best Budget Electric Bike For Commuting
If youre looking for the absolute cheapest electric bike on the market without compromising on quality, look no further than the Ancheer 26. This ebike comes in at a far more accessible price point than most on the market. But its low price should all but be ignored when it comes to the quality and versatility of this e-bike, which boasts a lightweight frame and robust design.
No wonder its currently the best-selling electric bike for sale on Amazon!
The Ancheer 26 Ebike is built with daily commuting in mind. This commuting electric bike is easy to handle, lightweight yet sturdy to navigate through the traffic, and extra-safe with bright lights back and front. We think its the perfect companion for your urban life.
The entire bike is made of high-quality Aluminum Alloy. The frame is lightweight and easy to maneuver yet solid and durable. The rims are made of double-walled Aluminum Alloy to offer greater durability and a faster ride with less drag. On the front wheel, youll find a powerful suspension fork to ensure riding comfort across all terrain.
Check our Ancheer electric bikes review to learn more about the brand.
Best for: a sweat-free daily commuting companion.
|Up to 40 miles per charge|
Nukeproof Megawatt 297 Factory
Steve Behr / Our Media
- £7,000 / 8,200 as tested
- Pros: A comfortable and efficient climber that offers a good balance of motor power and range
- Cons: Low bottom bracket height results in regular pedal strikes
The Nukeproof Megawatt 297 is an exceptionally good bike that won our inaugural eMTB Bike of the Year title for 2022. The top-drawer spec leaves little to be desired and the geometry is absolutely sorted, offering a fun and stable ride paired with super-smooth rear suspension.
The E Sommet VRX from sister brand, Vitus, offers a very similar ride quality, and is well worth considering if you dont mind missing out on shop-bought aftersales service.
Ian Linton / Immediate Media
- £13,000 / $15,000 / 13,999 / AU$24,200 as tested
- Pros: Amazing handling and virtually un-upgradable spec
- Cons: Eyewatering price tag and lightweight trail tyres arent appropriate for the bike
The Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo excels on the trails thanks to its brilliant frame, motor and battery range. The powerful Brose motor dispenses assistance smoothly. Theres 150mm of suspension travel and tunable geometry.
The bike is so good that senior technical editor, Alex Evans, described it as the best bike Ive ridden to date, full stop. In the months since then, the only bike that has come close to knocking the S-Works Turbo Levo off the top spot is the Whyte E-160 RSX. Praise indeed!
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
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Best Hardtail Electric Mountain Bikes Of 2022
Hardtail electric mountain bikes offer an affordable entry to riding on gravel and less demanding trails. More like SUVs than Jeeps, they can take you many places and are lighter, easier to maintain, and cost thousands less than full-suspension ebikes. The front suspension fork absorbs off-road jolts and makes urban riding more comfortable. An affordable solution for those who are content on moderate trails or are seeking more comfort in town. For heavier off-road use, look for mid-drive motors and upgraded components to improve performance and durability. The hardtail frame is great for cross country riding or weekend warrior types who want one bike platform to commute and ride off-road. For more details, including why we chose each model, check out our full list of the best hardtail electric mountain bikes.
A value-priced hardtail cross country style electric mountain bike with 9-speed SRAM 11-34 tooth cassette, plus sized tires, higher top speed of 28 mph, super-responsive torque + cadence sensing bottom bracket, quiet motor, and trigger throttle that overrides assist for full power. Available in two frame sizes for improved fit and comfort, optional 14 amp hour battery…