By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best e-bikes available for those who are interested in new technology combined with traditional bikes. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best electric bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Trek Bicycle Corporation is one of the worlds largest bicycle manufacturers operating in North America, Europe and Asia. The company was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Waterloo Wisconsin USA and includes multiple subsidiary brands (Electra, Gary Fisher, Diamant and the Bontrager parts label). Trek offers an industry leading warranty and provides service through more than 1,700 dealers in North America making them one of the easier brands to test ride and get ongoing service for. They were one of the first big brands to offer an ebike in the US relying on BionX drive systems and have since expanded their lineup using Shimano and Bosch systems.
When it comes to the distance it can cover at a single charge, it really depends. For instance, if you live 13 miles from work and ride on a smooth, flat pavement, the bike has enough power to get you home. The battery level does decrease when the motor is under increased stress—like when you’re riding up a hilly terrain—but it quickly levels itself when you go back riding on a flat road surface.
Bottom Line The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp returns to our e-bike test with a well rounded performance that earns it our Editor's Choice Award, again. The Bulls E-Stream Evo AM 4 is a brawler on the descents with an impressive distance range thanks to its large battery storage capacity. The YT Decoy is an aggressive e-bike with an enduro attitude. The Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro is well rounded and reasonably priced earning it our Best Buy Award. The Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 is close to greatness but is held back by its controls and components.
Visit Adventure Electric Bicycles of Arlington and join the new revolution of electric bicycles. We combine twice fun, at 10% of the effort and a fraction of the cost of other forms of transportation. Whether you’re a daily bike commuter or just ride for fun & fitness you’ll love the feeling of riding your electric bike. If you talk to many eBike riders they will tell you that today’s eBikes are “Fun. Fast & Convenient”. Adventure Electric Bicycles has many models that offer great range, charge quickly and are extremely reliable. eBikes are absolutely the most cost-efficient form of personal power-assisted transportation available.
This utilitarian Class 3 (28 mph) road e-bike is smooth and torquey thanks to its Bosch Performance Speed motor. With a drop bar and traditional road-bike position and handling, the CrossRip+ is more suited to long rides on mixed terrain than navigating congested city streets. It comes with a rear rack—for mounting bags, not for attaching cargo directly—full fenders, a kickstand, and integrated front and rear lights (which are powered by the Bosch 500Wh battery). It features a SRAM Force 1x11 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and wide 700x38mm tires.
Specialized has e-bikes figured out. Its e-bikes are better looking and better sorted than almost anything else. This Turbo Levo has a clean interface: just a mode switch and a few LEDs for status. To dig deeper, you use Specialized’s Misson Control app, which lets the user customize the motor’s tune, and has a clever Smart Control mode. This mode lets the rider set and time or distance, and the amount of reserve they want to be left over. The app then automatically adjusts the motor’s output to meet those settings, reducing battery anxiety. The custom motor is extremely smooth and quiet, with awesome torque. We found the highest mode too powerful for finesse riding, but great for flying up smooth climbs and cutting time off transfers. The e-bike tuned RockShox fork is somewhat harsh, but the rest of the parts are excellent and suit the bike’s capabilities—something we can’t say that about every e-bike.
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.
In our head to head range test, the Rocky Mountain took the win by traveling 20 miles and 4,297 vertical feet. It is worth mentioning that our tester felt that he worked a little harder while range testing the Rocky Mountain than the other bikes we tested. The Giant wasn't far behind at 19.02 miles and 4,000 vertical feet, and the YT Decoy almost tied that with 19.01 miles and 4,039 vertical feet. The Specialized was nipping at their heels with 18.71 miles and 3,949 feet. The Ghost Hybride SL AMR was the least impressive with a range of just 16.75 miles and 3,559 vertical feet. The outlier in this comparison is the Bulls E-Stream with a 650Wh battery. We were not able to test the Bulls directly against these other competitors, but we did notice that you can ride it significantly farther than any of these other contenders. During one of our test rides, we rode the Bulls 24 miles and 4,500 vertical feet, and the battery still wasn't depleted. More battery storage equals longer rides; it's just that simple.
The only ancheer has done right with this bike is take it off the market. This was my third e-bike purchased on Amazon. Thought I would take a chance with ancheer since most reviews seemed positive. I should have looked more closely at the negative ones. It appears that since the first of the year there were a lot of problems with the motor not performing properly. That's exactly what happened to me. The throttle actually works, but the PAS is useless. It takes 10 to 12 peddle revolutions before the motor engages and when you stop the motor starts to drag. Tried to return but ancheer balked, I finally settled for a 250.00 "adjustment" after amazon got involved. I have a cyclamatic CX1 that I keep in Florida, and my wife rides a city E bike so we know what to expect in an electric bike. I ordered another cyclamatic last week. Should have done it in the first place. 365.00 lesson on my part.
Scott’s Genius eRIDE 920 is another bike with Shimano’s excellent Steps E8000 motor. The narrow width of this motor—same as a standard Shimano mountain bike crank—is a nice feature, as is the support and customization offered by Shimano’s e-Tube apps. Boost mode lets you cruise comfortably at up to 20 miles per hour on pavement, while Trail mode doles out torque more smoothly and increases range. But compared to the Bosch in e-mtb mode (comparable to Shimano's Trail mode), Shimano’s faster and harder-hitting torque is less desirable for navigating technical terrain. The 29-inch wheels and 150mm of travel provide the ability to straight-line some really gnarly stuff. This bike is meant for riding big and riding hard. The big travel, long trail, and slack head angle give you a bike that loves to go straight and gobble up rowdy trails. And despite being such a long bike, it still handles technical terrain well.
The Vilano Core electric bike is the perfect bike for both cities and villages. The assist technology that is built-in the bike will help to conquer wind and hills. The Vilano core electric bike has a powerful 10.4AH Samsung Lithium-Ion Battery. With a single charge of this battery, you can reach 15- 25 miles. It has an aluminum frame, but at the same time, the bike is lightweight. The 5-speed setting would help you to choose the right speed you want to go. This electric bike is not only stylish but sturdy as well.
Nearly anyone can ride them any time, anywhere: Most states allow an electric bike of 750w’s or below to be ridden without a license, whereas most areas won’t allow riders below 18 and/or without a motorcycle license to ride dirt bikes on trails. The fewer riders in your group the more work it is for you, so the ability for any hunter of nearly any age and license to use an electric-bike comes in handy.
Many years of experience have clearly shown that it isn’t possible to make a universal and realistic estimate of an ebike’s range. The range of an eMTB depends on countless factors such as the support level, terrain, rider weight, environmental conditions, and cadence. Those who demand a lot of power from the motor consume a lot of electricity. If you want to travel far, you’ll have to save battery power. Read more about this topic in our article The truth about lab tests.
The Bulls motor is claimed to have 90Nm of torque, but it was so smooth and quiet that it didn't feel outrageously powerful. The assistance came on smooth and strong thanks to the belt-driven system. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 uses a drive system that claims to have up to 108Nm of torque. While their system felt quite powerful, it didn't feel stronger than the Bulls, and we noticed that it seemed to modulate its output in a way that the others didn't. The Rocky Mountain makes you work for it a little more than the rest. The Trek, Giant, and the Specialized motor systems felt slightly less powerful, still offering plenty of pedal-assist support mind you, but that also resulted in efficient motors and longer distance ranges than the models with more brute power. Despite having the same Shimano Steps E8000 pedal-assist motor, the Ghost felt less powerful than the YT Decoy. The YT felt as if it delivered more power more consistently and smoothly than the Ghost could.
In our view, e-bikes are approaching a crossroads in concept and design. Heading off in one direction are longer travel, enduro-style e-bikes, which are largely designed for cruising up and then blasting back down. Plotting a slightly different course is the idea of a lightweight model that rides much more like a normal mountain bike, but requires more work from the rider. Of the two approaches, both have their benefits, but it’s the latter that gets us the most excited. Once the overall weight falls into the 16-17kg range (the lightest bikes are currently19-20kg) it’s going to be really hard to tell the difference between an e-bike and a regular trail bike on the descents and the flat, but you get the benefit of a gentle push up the climbs.
All the models we tested are full suspension all mountain/trail bike models with relatively similar amounts of suspension travel, geometry, and wheel/tire size. The addition of a large battery and a small motor adds significant weight to an e-bike, and they generally weigh in the neighborhood of 50 lbs, approximately 20 pounds heavier than non-e-bikes, and the heavy weight of these bikes makes them more difficult to ride without the support of the pedal-assist motor.
Let’s face it, at this price you likely won’t get a bike that hides its battery with any sort of elegance. Except for the Blix Vika+ folding e-bike on this list that tucks its battery behind the seat tube and the Propella that passes its battery off as a water bottle, most are stuck to the top of the down tube. Don’t expect to ride across the state on these, either. The highest range in this list is 50 miles, but most average about 30 to 35. Check the bike’s battery range before you buy to make sure it fits your daily needs.
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