While falling gas prices have temporarily halted years of gains in the number of bicycle commuters, more and more of us are using the bicycle to get around. It’s economical, provides good exercise, and is much cheaper than owning a car. But unless you’re in really good shape, you aren’t going to get very far. Enter the electric bike: a glorious new contraption that lets you get around without having to worry about arriving at your destinations a sweaty mess.
The downhill performance is our most highly weighted rating metric because we feel that the most important element of an e-bike is how well it performs out on the trail, especially when bombing down the hill. Each tester rode every bike numerous times and formulated their own opinions of each model, considering how factors like the component spec, geometry, and frame design play a role in its downhill performance. All of the e-bikes we tested were fun to ride, but they all had a different demeanor and trail manners. To test this, we rode the bikes downhill, a lot, and took them down a variety of terrain, from fast and flowing open trails to tight low-speed technical, and everything in between.
All the electric bikes need to have the best braking system to keep them safe for all users. With this quality E-bike, you are assured of a safe ride thanks to the front and rear disk brakes. This makes it easier to stop the bike even when at a higher speed. Besides this, the bike also lasts for years due to the high-strength carbon steel used in the construction. This makes it a great investment for anyone looking for the best electric bike.
Electric bikes are generally heavier than normal bikes. This is due to the battery packs and additional motors which usually makes them about 20 pounds heavier. The weight of the bike can mean better traction in downhill and better stability to the ground, while on the other end, they can make them hard to maneuver with on flat grounds. Therefore, the weight of the bike you get should be based on how and where you intend to use it. The best one to get should be one that is heavy yet have a motor that is powerful enough to support the weight.
As long as you can do without some of the perks that pricier models offer—like a detailed display unit, integrated lights, and a torque-sensor motor—the August Live! LS is a solid, stable, comfortable, and really freakin’ cute (have you seen those polka-dot fenders?) e-bike. Its 8-speed twist shifter, chopper-style handlebar, Touch Down Geometry (for a more laid-back ride), and three levels of assist keep this bike within the realm of “cruiser.” But with a 250-watt Bafang rear-hub motor, a top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph, and reliable disc brakes, the August is no joke. It’ll get you to the top of relatively steep climbs without forcing you out of the saddle, and it feels super stable on the way back down, too. It has a battery range of 20 miles, but that’s enough to take it where it’s happiest: tooling along at the beach, around town, and through the park.
Pros versatile, fits water bottle, least e-bike looking, good battery life, low center of gravity Good controls, huge distance range, confidence inspiring at speed, good component spec Very nice build, stealthy looks, hard-charging downhill performance Reasonably priced, good distance range, well rounded performance, solid component spec Smooth and consistent power output, modern geometry,
So I think that we can agree that e-bikes are definitely not cheap. Why not just go for an electric scooter then? Well electric bikes do have a lot of advantages. First, most of the people have been familiar with the concept of riding a bicycle since they were kids. So there is basically no learning curve with electric bikes. And you don’t have to worry about looking stupid, or getting pulled over just so the policeman could see what the heck you are riding. Second, you can ride electric bike just like a regular bike, just turn off the electric motor/assistance. Third, unlike many electric scooters that are designed for flat surfaces, quality electric bicycles are often created with tires that can withstand a higher amount of roughness, for example electric dirt bikes.
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.
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.
There are various kinds and classifications of electric bikes on the market, but the most common type is the Class 1, or pedal assist, bikes which have motor units that are activated by pedaling and are limited to lower speeds. In the US, Class 1 electric bikes, the type tested and reviewed here, are limited to a top speed of 20 mph, and their motors are designed with a speed governor to regulate this. These types of e-bikes resemble modern mountain bikes, but they have significant battery packs, and small motor units integrated onto and into the frame design. The e-MTB pedal-assist motor is typically built around the bottom bracket and provides varying levels of pedaling "support" directly into the drivetrain while the cranks are turning. Most drive unit systems offer several support settings that provide pedal assistance between 25% and 100% of the user's pedaling input.
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 unit system is likely to have several options to choose various levels of pedal assistance, which is between 25% and 100% of the pedaling input of the rider. The drive system is most likely to have a smartphone app with features to control various settings including setting up the engine’s support settings, modifying the controls according to the rider’s preference, monitoring the health and charge status of the battery, and more functions.
As I said before, going up hills might require some pedaling, but it is SO MUCH EASIER with the motor running. I feel like a higher voltage is used on level 3 pedal assist than can be gotten just using the hand turn, though. It takes a few pedals for the pedal assist to kick in which can be annoying, but it does save some battery on initial acceleration. You also have to be careful pedaling around to park the bike or at a street corner waiting for traffic because you DO NOT want the motor to kick in and send you into a workbench or worse ... oncoming traffic.
Unlike other hunting bikes, the Juggernaut comes equipped with both a twist throttle (most have thumb throttles) and a pedal-assist feature. When you need to pedal long distances the pedal assist will read the cadence of your ride and kick in to help you ride smoother without tiring yourself. After a long day of fishing or having fun, just pull back the throttle and head back to camp. Trust us: the BikTrix 750W Juggernaut Classic Electric Mountain Bike will come in handy on your next fishing trip.
All the electric bikes need to have the best braking system to keep them safe for all users. With this quality E-bike, you are assured of a safe ride thanks to the front and rear disk brakes. This makes it easier to stop the bike even when at a higher speed. Besides this, the bike also lasts for years due to the high-strength carbon steel used in the construction. This makes it a great investment for anyone looking for the best electric bike. What's the best electric mountain bike?