More and more people are switching to electric bikes for a lot of practical reasons. It provides convenience because you do not have to wait in traffic or look for the perfect parking spot. That saves you time and money for gas. As for health benefits, you can squeeze in some exercise and manually pedal your way to work then switch to the electric motor when you get tired.
The RideControl Evo display features a button control on the grip and a readout on the stem, giving you control over ride time, distance and cadence. Best of all, it gives you as very accurate percentage readout of how much battery is remaining, so no excuses for running out of juice! The five rides mode are Eco, Basic, Active, Sport and Power and there’s also a walk assist button.
While most bikes have a range of around 20 miles, the Prowler has a battery range of 30 miles and a max carrying capacity of 330 lbs. Add a rack to this bike and you can carry equipment and a healthy catch to and from camp- no sweat. And of course it’s equipped with Tektro hydraulic brakes, suspension fork, and 4” wide tires to keep you riding steadily on even the trickiest trails.
The 150mm (fork) and 140mm (shock) suspension allows you to hit double-track ruts without veering from your line and are tuned for the added weight of the motor and battery. That makes the bike easier to handle than a bike this heavy might otherwise. The motor is powerful and torquey meaning you can stay in the lower two assist levels of the five available to save battery and still get enough kick to ascend just slightly faster than on a regular bike. The highest setting really has some oomph, with a little too much power to use on tight or technical trails. It’s better for fire road climbs or cruising on pavement to the trail head or back home after a ride.
Another important element is the primary user interface or the controls. It should be user-friendly so that the rider can navigate the features easily. A straightforward control panel should not include anything more than a small, digital display with clear readings, ergonomic thumb shifters, and a charging connection. In fact, a thumb shifter is even better than electronic buttons, although some riders may disagree.
Both the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay and the Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro fell short of the bar set by the competition with their all-in-one shifter/display units. The Giant outperforms the Rocky Mountain here, but both attempts at LED displays integrated into the control unit are more challenging to read than digital displays. Our Editor's Choice Award winner, the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp scored the lowest in this rating due to the lack of a handlebar-mounted display and a less user-friendly charging connection.
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.
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