The 250W motor and the 36V battery is built into a frame that also includes 26 inches wheels, anti-slip power-off brake, and Shimano 21-speed shifters. An integrated LCD screen shows power, speed, battery charge, and a few other statistics. It is suitable for adults as it can carry up to 360 lbs weight. However, the bike itself is almost 51 pounds, so keep that in mind.
Every e-bike here uses a hub motor rather than a mid-drive motor. Hub motors (the original industry standard and the lower-cost of the two) can be located on either the front or, more commonly, the rear wheel. Hub motors typically don’t offer the same natural maneuverability as today’s increasingly more common mid-drive motors because their weight is concentrated in the front or rear of the bike. In contrast, a mid-drive motor’s weight is low and centered over the bottom bracket, resulting in better control and a more balanced ride feel, much like a traditional bike. A hub motor’s top speed typically maxes out at 20 mph.
The Moterra Neo is one of the shorter travel e-bikes we've tested. It has a 140mm Rockshox Pike fork and 130mm of rear travel. That was enough travel to handle everything we encountered on the trail and the shorter travel was welcomed on less technical terrain. It uses a Bosch Performance Line CX motor with 500 Wh battery integrated into the downtube. In testing, we've found Bosch's E-MTB mode works very well, offering a quick and hearty kick when you need to accelerate quickly, but gentle assistance in tricky sections. The lower travel stopped the bike from bogging down in technical uphill rock gardens, making them easier to ride through, and the 160mm cranks also help to reduce pedal strikes so you can keep the power on. The agile handling and stable ride make it one of the easier e-bikes to adapt to, and one of the most versatile.
Imagine all the fun you had on your cruiser bike as a kid, and then slap a motor on that bike: That’s what online retailer Bikes Direct has done with the Gravity X-Rod 8-Speed E, and it’s a lovely combination. We’ve been pedaling one of these bikes for nearby errands, and the wide saddle and riser handlebar make for a comfortable, upright riding position. The LED display is easy to read and the 250-watt Bafang rear hub motor is powerful enough to—on the highest e-assist setting—keep you at a steady 20mph in a headwind without much effort from your legs. The 27.5x2.4-inch WTB Riddler Comp tires smooth out bumps in the road, and the Shimano hydraulic discs are a high-value inclusion at this price. And despite the fact that it’s a beach cruiser, the 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain makes it capable on hilly terrain, too.
All Cannondale E-bikes have one thing in common — pure, visceral cycling performance. Our goal is to create bikes that are so rider-focused, so seamlessly integrated and so much damn fun to ride, that you forget you've got power assist, forget you're on an electric bike, forget everything except how good it feels to be on that bike, in that moment. If that sounds like your cup of tea, power up. Let's Ride.
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.
So it's time to get yourself one of those fancy new electric bikes that are passing you by on your morning commute. To help you find the latest in E-Vehicle technology and make sure you spend your hard-earned money on the best model, we purchased and tested the top 40 electric bikes on the market today. During our tests, we measured things like motor power, maximum range, top speed and overall weight limit. We also looked at more subtle things like comfort and additional features like removable batteries and charging times.
The Ranger is the only rear hub motor that made the list. I wanted to include one rear hub as not everyone is looking for the best hill climbing bike out there. If you want an ebike that is built tough, reliable and has a good Bafang 750 rear hub motor, the Ranger is the best for you. It performs well on moderate terrain with some hills but performs better on lower gradient inclines.
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.
A thumb throttle is also included with this amazing model. Just like all the eBikes on this list, the Rambo 750 24" has a maximum load capacity of 300 pounds which will let you move around lots of gear. A durable Aluminum Alloy 6061 will easily hold up to wet conditions without the need to worry about rusting. This will allow you to cross streams and ride in the rain.
The motor is powerful enough to allow you to hit up to 35kmh on a 10.4ah battery that stays alive for 50km. With the fat Kenda tires and suspension fork, the bike does not need any pedal assistance to smoothly roll on even surfaces. The PAS provides five levels of assistance and even the first level is quite powerful. The fifth level will just blow you away with speed and torque and there is no way that you can pedal fast enough to meet any resistance.
The bikes we tested all use a different e-bike motor system, and the controls, the primary user interface, are an important element we rated but didn't weight as heavily as some of the others. Each motor system and its associated controls are slightly different. Our primary interest is in how user-friendly is it to interact with the system, how intuitive and ergonomic are the shifters, how good and easy to read is the display, and how easy is it to charge the battery? Each drive system also has a smartphone app that is intended to allow the user to fine-tune the motor's support settings, create custom settings, monitor battery charge and health, and a whole lot more. We don't feel the apps are necessary for the use of any of these e-MTB's, but those with an affinity for technology or personalizing your ride may be inclined to use them.