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.
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.
Built by a company that’s made cycling equipment for more than four decades, the Vado feels more like a traditional bicycle than almost any other ebike. Its frame and components have been tuned to provide a familiar experience, making it easy for new and long-time cyclists to jump on and start pedaling. Specialized’s heritage shines through nicely, helping separate itself from the competition in an increasingly crowded ebike market.
If you’re a fan of e-bikes, your relationship with Cannondale’s Synapse NEO will be love at first sight. If you’ve already claimed your disapproval of these zippy machines, whatever you do, do not take this bike for a test ride—you may just change your mind. Bosch’s Active Line Plus motor delivers up to 250 watts of pedal assist to a maximum speed of 20 mph. It does so in such a smooth, seamless way you can allow yourself to forget that you’re getting a little help. Of course, if you crank it up to turbo mode, the boost will be hard to ignore. But to cruise in eco mode is to get a sneak peak at what it feels like to be really, really fit. The motor kicks in nicely to provide a little extra boost, but has minimal drag so you can easily ride past the 20mph limit without feeling like you’ve hit a wall as soon as you cross that threshold.
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 welcome 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.
A $1,500, fully loaded e-cargo bike seemed too good to be true, so we borrowed the RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes to see if it could stand up to competitors that cost thousands more. In short: it does. A 750-watt Shengyi direct-drive hub motor provides powerful pedal assist at a much quieter hum than the mid-drive motors used on most e-cargo bikes; its only disadvantage is there’s not quite as much torque, but you’ll only notice on steep hills. A throttle lets you ride the bike like a scooter, and we had no problems with the 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain or the Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Lights, fenders, and a kickstand are standard. Despite its length, the RadWagon isn’t difficult to maneuver: We thrashed it around an abandoned golf car path and didn’t scrape the rear foot platforms against the ground, a good sign for low-speed handling. It’s a lot easier to charge $5,000 or more for an e-cargo bike when you market it as a car replacement, but the RadWagon proves you can render your car mostly obsolete for the price of an e-bike, not another car.
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.
As electric bike options continue to expand, brands are integrating the batteries more seamlessly. That makes them look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Batteries are expensive, so make sure there’s a good way to lock the battery to your bike if you’ll be keeping it outside. Overall weight is important. Some battery and motors can add 15 pounds or more to the bike. With assist, you won’t feel that much when you’re riding, but you will if you have to carry your bike up stairs or lift it onto a bike rack.
Propel offers the full line of Cannondale Electric Bikes. Widely regarded as the bike industry’s leading innovator with game-changing technologies, Cannondale and its handcrafted bicycles continue to be recognized by organizations from both inside and outside the industry. We offer many types of Cannondale Electric Bikes including electric urban bikes, electric mountain bikes, and electric comfort bikes.
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.
Testers found the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay to perform relatively well on the climbs. The steep seat tube made for a comfortable climbing position and the powerful pedal-assist drive unit felt dialed. Its traction could be improved with beefier tires, and the weight of the bike feels centered a little higher than the competition resulting in some awkward handling at lower speeds. The Giant Trance E+ is also a competent climber, with ground-hugging Maestro suspension, comfortable geometry, and plenty of power on tap when you need it. The YT Decoy CF Pro has plenty of power, but it seems clear that this bike was designed for the descents. The Decoy still climbs relatively well, but testers found the low bottom bracket height made it more prone to pedal strikes than other competitors. Our least favorite bike on the climbs was the Ghost Hybride SL AMR. The Ghost has solid geometry numbers, but the pedal assistance felt less powerful and was definitely less consistent than the competition.
This is a question the designers and engineers of the FOCUS and BULLS bikes of this group test asked themselves. Instead of speccing them with the standard 500 Wh batteries, both have developed a sophisticated alternative. The idea: instead of riding around with unnecessarily large batteries and unnecessary weight on short tours, they integrated a smaller 375 Wh or 378 Wh battery into the bike. If you don’t have enough power for long loops, you can double the range of both bikes with an additional battery for up to a full 750 Wh. While the second battery is mounted in the front triangle of the FOCUS, it disappears sideways in the downtube of the BULLS. In practice, you’ll need the second battery relatively often with both bikes, and in either case, you should consider the additional € 499 investment in a second battery pack when you buy the bike.
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.
Mountain biking is fun and full of adventures. When riding on rough terrains, it is important to use the best and cheap electric mountain bikes for your riding needs, as they offer full suspension and make mountain terrains easier for the rider. If you are a bike enthusiast, you have likely of electric mountain bikes, which are gaining lots of popularity in the market today. These electric mountain bikes are great for providing extra assistance to the rider on steeper and more challenging terrains.
After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider the class. In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to a 750w motor, but it can assist you up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without requiring a license. Class 2 models have throttles that don’t require the rider to pedal in order to get a boost. They’re allowed on most streets, bike lanes, and paths, but are less popular than the other classes and not covered much here (because not only do we still love to pedal, we also prefer the greater distances that pedal-assist bikes can cover). What are the best electric mountain bikes?