This is a list of the best performing, best value electric bikes for 2018 / 2019. For each category I list two models, the first recommendation is based on performance and the second is based on affordability. As you explore the list and get to know EBR, check out the ebike community forum for more personalized feedback. Share your height, weight, budget and intended use (along with bikes you like) to get advice from actual owners and moderators.
One of the primary purposes of an e-bike is transferring power from the motor to the drivetrain to "support" your regular pedal stroke. All of the different drive units do this in relatively the same way, although subtle differences in their power output make them all feel slightly different. It is important to note that all of these systems work pretty well; the differences between them are relatively subtle but noticeable. We tested this metric primarily based on feel, as opposed to any sort of scientific measurement, and our testers could all notice the differences between the various models. All of the e-bikes we tested have several support modes offering varying levels of pedal assist support.
The Best in Test and Best Value tips do not result from the sum of star ratings, but by the assessment of the entire test team, taking into account the overall concept of the bike. It would be methodologically wrong to only add up the star ratings to make a final judgment in a scoring system – saying that something is “good” will not help anyone if they don’t know what it is for and for whom it is “good.” For this reason, we give a clear recommendation in every test result for which type of rider and purpose the bike is suitable and which not. The bikes themselves are as individual as the riders are – we just want to provide you with all the information you need to make a well-informed decision before buying. Here’s to long-lasting fun!
Having a motor bolted to the bottom of a mountain bike that provides pedal assistance is an amazing leveller. The constant torque it applies to the chain rounds out the squarest of pedalling actions, which in turn helps stabilizes the rear suspension and counter pedal induced bob, seamlessly shifting your focus from pedalling efficiency to battery life.
We rode the Vado through some of the steepest hills in Palo Alto, and it easily handled everything we threw at it, maintaining a steady 20 miles per hour even on the most daunting of ascents. The bike also handles well downhill and is both nimble and quick on city streets and paved trails. It’s even comfortable to ride for extended distances, which is vitally important for any bike built for urban settings.
You can explore the pleasure of mountain biking with the three levels of pedal assistance – High, Medium, and Low – and you can select them from the handlebar controls. The 21-speed Shimano shifters will help you to dominate various trails but it would be better to have 24 gears because it’s hard to keep up with the pedaling at the 15mph maximum speed.
The frame itself incorporates a series of mounts allowing you to easily trick-out the Road E+1 with a rack, fenders, or panniers to more aptly meet your touring requirements. Again, most touring purists will certainly scoff at the mere notion of pedal-assistance, however, individuals looking for more of a guided tour and less of a tour de force will swoon over the Road E+1.
You are now assured of smooth rides on all surfaces including the bumpy surfaces by getting this elegant e-bike. The electric bike features lightweight 26-inch alloy frames plus sturdy suspension fork, which enables it to deliver a smooth ride. Second, to this, it is very stable and able to support up to 260 lbs of weight. The durable electric bike is powered by 350W high-speed motor to ensure that you achieve a higher speed.
For two months I had fun with the bike and loved it until it stopped working. The controls lid up but no power with a full charge. At this point I was about to write a 4 star review but with the breakdown I decided not to. Long story short I sent the bike for repair. They promised 3 days to repair and return or replace if they can’t fix it. They could not fix it so I received another new bike – after another week of waiting.
The Riese & Müller bills its Load Touring HS as “the ultimate minivan of e-bikes” and the claim holds up. With a low center of gravity (aided by the 20-inch front and 26-inch rear wheels), the Load is easy to handle. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes add control, and front and rear suspension provide comfort. The Bosch motor offers an assist up to 275 percent of your effort until you hit 28 mph, when it cuts out. Two 500Wh batteries give you 12 hours or more of range at full power. It’s capable of toting up to 220 pounds of pets, people, and less-animate cargo. R&M also sells a double child seat for kids up to age 6 and a child-seat fastener for your youngest passengers.
Yes, there are less expensive ebikes on the market but most come with a few serious caveats. The Espin Sport delivers on the full promise of an electric bike, but in a more affordable fashion. This bike isn’t going to tow you around for a 60-mile round-trip endeavor but those seeking their first ebike will get plenty of return on their investment with this model.
The Super Commuter is aptly named. The 350w Bosch motor sustains speeds up to 28mph, and the burly, 2.4-inch-wide Schwalbe Super Moto-X 650b tires keep you secure on even the roughest city streets. Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes provide ample stopping power. Fenders protect you from road spray so you arrive at your destination fresh. Integrated lights are critical for post-sunset riding, and a side-view mirror hanging on the left side of the handlebar gives a great view of traffic around you. Best of all, you can ride at the speed of urban traffic on the Super Commuter.
If you have a lot of hunting gear or you need an easy way to bring that trophy home, then the FatKat cargo trailer will help you get the job done. This trailer has a 14”x 24” carrying space which can hold a lot of items. It quickly attaches to the rear axle and has a single wheel design that adds stability and maneuverability. Purposely built to be no wider than the eBike itself so this single wheeled trailer with rear suspension and quick attachment/release only adds to the hunt.
The original Power Plus model was one of the most popular in its class, introducing the joy and practicalities of e-bikes to a huge audience around the world. The CX1 builds on that success, adding a NEW more powerful brushless motor, a NEW upgraded battery, a 21-speed gear system, and improved reliability. The steel frame, strong brakes, suspension and quick-shift gears offer all the qualities of a premium mountain bike with the added feature of three pedal assist modes.
The newest electric mountain bike from Ancheer provides the joy of mountain biking with some advanced features that make it more enjoyable and let the riders to have the control of their rides. At less than $800 price and with mid-range features, it may not compete with the XF800 or BAFAG models, but it provides good value for the money, nonetheless.
The NAKTO Electric Mountain Bike is one powerful bike that delivers great speed. It has the Shimano 6-speed system to allow for easy shifting of the breaks. Secondly, the bike also features the powerful 350W high-speed motor, which ensures that it delivers top-notch speed. You can always adjust the speed from 20-24 MPH. The elegant and body friendly design of the bike makes it suitable for all users. It is a more refined and humanized bike recommended by both experts and riders.
The Surly Big Easy is the Cadillac of the bike lane. The company’s new longtail e-cargo bike exudes a “they don’t make ’em like this anymore” stature, thanks to a beefed-up chromoly steel frame rolling on tough 26x2.5-inch tires. And because it’s a class 1 e-bike, you can actually ride it in the bike lane, too. The 7-foot-long, 67-pound bike won’t play well with your third-floor walk-up, so it’s best to think of it as a car supplement or replacement—that’s what Surly intended, anyway, as evidenced by the $5,000 price tag. However, if you’re ready to commit to the cargo bike life, you’ll struggle to find a stronger platform for achieving bike commuter nirvana.
We carry the full line of Specialized Electric Bikes. Specialized focuses on the science of perfection and every ebike they make embodies this. No matter your motivation or discipline, you’ll benefit from their attention to detail and innovative spirit. Specialized has several models including their flagship Turbo model available in several trims including the standard, X and the S. In 2016 Specialized introduced their eMTB line named Levo. The Levo is available in many different styles to fit practically any riding style you’d like. For 2017 Specialized introduced the Vado line making all of their bikes mid-drives.
I continued to have issues with the rear brakes. The rear disc brake was bending when I braked and I could not figure out how to get it from rubbing on the pads. I eventually took the bike over to REI and paid for a tune-up. Fantastic work by them, the bike has a better top speed by a couple mph now and shifting/braking are much smoother. I was also having issues with the chain jumping off the front derailleur on high torque (high gear from standstill). Looks like I just needed the experts to give it the tune.
In the end, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp proved to be the tester favorite, offering the most versatile downhill performance that felt the "most like a mountain bike" that the other models couldn't match. The Specialized proved to be the most nimble and agile by far, yet still managed to be confident and stable at speed. We were also thoroughly impressed by the versatility and confidence-inspiring manners of our Best Buy winner, the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro. The Trance's modern geometry and quality component spec are the primary factors that help it outperform some of the competition. The Bulls E-Stream has a more one dimensional downhill performance, a stable and planted feel that absolutely charges downhill and excels as the speeds increase. The enduro-oriented YT Decoy CF Pro is also very impressive on the descents. The modern geometry, low bottom bracket, generous travel, and quality component spec all combine to make this a hard-charging beast on the descents. The Decoy can't match the versatility or well-rounded nature of the Levo, but it crushes downhill with authority.
It is not a off-road motorbike with an electric engine and a throttle. Electric mountain bikes have motors that only work when you’re pedalling. The motor tops-up your pedalling input. It’s called ‘pedal assist’. There are differing levels of assistance (called things like ‘eco’ and ‘turbo’) that you select via a handlebar-mounted control unit. The motor also cuts out once you reach 25km/ph (or faster). There are strict limits on the power of electric mountain bikes; 250w is the maximum nominal power. More powerful than that and the bike requires tax and insurance (like a car/motorbike) and is also not allowed on bridleways at all.
Received the Ancheer 250watt bike and my friend (bike fan and repair guy) has been riding it on flats and moderate hills here in So Cal. He made some initial adjustments, but so far … so good, 2 months in. I have no idea how long the battery will last (lifetime recharge 500 times ?) but hoping it will keep going. I have read many reviews on this ebike … and there is nothing consistent here. Everyone belongs to the good, bad, or ugly … category. I am looking for buyer reviews that have had the bike for more than 6 months. And there is really not much anyone can do except to ride it and see what happens. I have learned a lot on the way … for sure. My buddy now has a 350 watt Mtn ebike he is also testing out. Initially he was very happy with 250 watt, and did not want to buy a 350. But he is enjoying the wee bit more power … esp up hills. Thanks for your write up … as I can appreciate y,all input !!!
With different degrees of assistance at your fingertips, riders of varying fitness levels are easily accommodated on the same ride too. Which, depending on who’s setting the pace, can bring a social aspect back to big days out, because you can all ride together and the assistance from the motor makes it that much easier to string a coherent sentence together even on the steepest climbs. How do you ride an electric mountain bike?