Tested: The Best Electric Bikes, as Chosen by Experts

best electric bicycles
The Best E-Bikes For 2024Trevor Raab, Bicycling; Aventon

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The push toward automotive electrification has set forth a wave of research and development into battery and charging technology. A byproduct of all of this R&D has been a trickle-down of some of this technology into other modes of transport, perhaps most notably the humble bicycle. The market for electric bicycles has exploded, which has led new manufacturers as well as some established cycle makers to produce their own electric bicycles.

The Gear Team knows that the interests of our car and truck-loving readers sometimes extend to things like watches and alternate forms of transportation. As we set out to assemble a list of the best electric bicycles on the market, however, we were humbled by the dizzying amount of information about them.

Conveniently, our colleagues at Bicycling magazine released their list of the best e-bikes earlier this year, so we reached out to the head of Bicycling's product test team, Tara Seplavy, to find out what we need to know and what to look out for when shopping for electric bicycles.

Things to Consider about Electric Bikes

Road & Track readers know jumping into the deep end of car shopping without any of the requisite knowledge is a bad idea. Likewise, there is a lot to know about electric bicycles with all the latest tech, gadgets, and features they offer. So before you purchase one of these (not inexpensive) shiny new vehicles, take a moment to consider a few things:

Purpose and Use: First determine what you will primarily use your electric bicycle for. Different models are tailored to specific purposes, such as commuting, recreation, off-road, and cargo hauling or deliveries.

Type of E-Bike: Electric bicycles come in various types, including road, mountain, hybrid, folding, and cargo bikes. Each type caters to different riding conditions and needs.

Battery Capacity and Range: Battery capacity, usually measured in watt-hours (Wh), influences how long you can ride and how far you can go on a single charge. An e-bike’s range also depends on factors including the rider and bike weight, the terrain ridden, and the level of assistance used. Consider your typical ride length and whether the battery range meets your needs.

Weight and Portability: Electric bicycles are generally heavier than traditional bikes due to the motor and battery. Consider the bike's weight if you need to carry it upstairs or lift it frequently. Folding e-bikes offer added portability but are usually still heavier than unassisted bicycles (those without motors).

Security: Some electric bicycles require a key or key fob to operate, adding to their security. Moreover, numerous electric bicycle manufacturers design integrated batteries to be lockable and removable, offering several advantages: off-bike charging, theft deterrence, ease of transport on racks, and lighter weight for carrying upstairs.

All that said, there's nothing wrong with picking up a heavy chain lock or good quality U-lock if you plan to keep your bike in any theft-prone or outside area.

Pedal Assist vs. Throttle: Some electric bicycles offer pedal assist, which provides power only when you are pedaling, while others have a throttle mode that can propel the bike without pedaling. Decide which mode or combination of modes suits your riding style.

Fit and Comfort: Like most bicycles, electric bicycles usually offer sizing options via seat and handlebar adjustment. But these tweaks will only get you so far. Ensure the height, weight, and frame size fit your body. Test ride different models to check for comfortable seating position, handlebar height, and ease of mounting and dismounting.

Warranty and Service: Check the warranty coverage for the bike, battery, and components. Consider the manufacturer's reputation and the availability of service and parts.

Legal Restrictions: Be aware of local regulations regarding electric bicycle use, such as speed limits, motor power limits, and where e-bikes are allowed to be ridden.

E-Bike Classes: Electric bicycles are broken down into three distinct classes based on the type of assist and how fast the motor can propel you; classes one and three are the most common.

  • Class 1 supports pedaling up to 20 mph with a max power output of 750 watts;

  • Class 2 e-bikes feature a throttle and can reach up to 20 mph without pedaling. Some models, like Aventon's Pace 500, mix features, reaching 28 mph with pedal assist and 20 mph with just the throttle;

  • Class 3 (often known as "speed pedelec") offers assistance up to 28 mph with the same maximum power output.

The Best E-Bikes You Can Buy

Level.2 Commuter

The Level.2 from Aventon builds on the solid success of its first-generation Level commuter bikes. The Level.2 is a Class 2 e-bike, featuring both pedal assist and a throttle that can reach speeds of up to 20 mph. However, it has the capability to be unlocked to a Class 3 e-bike, allowing for pedal-assisted speeds of up to 28 mph.

This second-generation version of the Level includes a new torque sensor, integrated lights, and a smaller user-friendly display. The testers at Bicycling noted that the Level.2 bested their expectations in every situation, saying "the Aventon Level remains the best commuter electric bicycle you can purchase for less than $2000 and one of the best commuter bikes you can buy overall."

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aventon.com%2Fproducts%2Faventon-level-commuter-ebike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Level.2 Commuter</p><p>aventon.com</p><p>$1699.00</p><span class="copyright">Bestbuy</span>

Generation e1.1

The Generation e1.1 is a solid bike for short trips, city dwellers, and around town. Its rigid aluminum frame, SR Suntour fork, and hydraulic disc brakes help to provide a smooth and compliant ride, the sort that those riding around cities will surely appreciate. You can choose between either blue or black, but whichever you choose, you'll also get a rack, lights, and tough Schwalbe Super-Moto-X tires.

Being the house brand of outdoor retailer REI, Co-op Cycles benefits from the established infrastructure. This means that you can get your bike serviced, warrantied, and even assembled at REI stores. Further, if you are an REI member (just $30 for life!), the bike comes with free flat-tire repair and two years of free adjustments.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F189967&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Generation e1.1 </p><p>rei.com</p><p>$898.93</p><span class="copyright">REI</span>


Aventon updated its popular Aventure electric bicycle, resulting in significant improvements that enhance the riding experience. A new torque sensor provides better control over the bike's rear hub motor, addressing the issue of excessive torque that reviewers had with the previous iteration. This is especially helpful for those new to e-bicycles.

Other upgrades include an updated head unit interface, integrated turn signals, a front light, a rear rack, and fenders, making the bike more versatile for commuting in various conditions. While the folks at Bicycling found that the bike works well on snowy days and gravel pathways, its weight and components limit its performance on challenging trails.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aventon.com%2Fproducts%2Faventure2-ebike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Aventure.2</p><p>aventon.com</p><p>$1799.00</p><span class="copyright">Bestbuy</span>

RadRover 6 Plus

The 6 Plus is a versatile fat-tire electric bicycle designed for comfort across various terrains, including urban and off-road environments. Testers at Bicycling said improvements such as an updated display and hydraulic disc brakes, enhancing the overall riding experience when compared to its predecessor.

The bike's big drawback is its weight, which will be a limiting factor if you'd like to navigate it around a congested city. While the weight may make the bike cumbersome, the powerful 750-watt rear hub motor ensures that you'll have the torque needed to push the bike's heft around.

There is also a step-through version, and buyers can opt for either charcoal or white paint schemes.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.radpowerbikes.com%2Fproducts%2Fradrover-plus-electric-fat-tire-bike&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>RadRover 6 Plus</p><p>radpowerbikes.com</p><p>$1599.00</p><span class="copyright">Rad Power Bikes </span>

Turbo Tero 3.0

Specialized Turbo-series mountain bikes are among the favorites of the staff at Bicycling. If you're a mountain biker and want to dip your toes into the world of e-bicycles, the Turbo Tero 3.0 is a great place to start.

With 2.4-inch-wide tires, hydraulic disc brakes, and a 110-mm travel suspension fork, this bike is capable but takes some getting used to on the trail, according to one test rider. The components are durable enough for off-road conditions, and their standard sizing facilitates easy upgrades and replacements, enhancing the bike's appeal for entry-level trail riders.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.specialized.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fturbo-tero-30%2Fp%2F188110%3Fcolor%3D317404-188110%26ranMID%3D49187%26ranEAID%3DTnL5HPStwNw%26ranSiteID%3DTnL5HPStwNw-sWV50tjyc9cyczciGpvUoA&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Turbo Tero 3.0</p><p>specialized.com</p><p>$3250.00</p><span class="copyright">Specialized </span>


The Portola from Ride1Up offers a compelling package for city dwellers or anyone low on storage space, and it does so while providing good bang for your buck. It can be folded down to fit easily into the trunk of most cars and the back of just about any hatchback or SUV.

Though it's compact, the Portola comes with a handsome list of features including a powerful 750-watt motor, hydraulic disc brakes, an eight-speed drivetrain, and an integrated rear rack capable of carrying up to 130 pounds. An optional extended-range battery can be selected for additional cost and there are a few cool accessories you can snag, like a basket, phone mount, and passenger's seat.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fride1up.com%2Fproduct%2Fportola%2F%3Favad%3D55097_a373aac5d&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Portola</p><p>ride1up.com</p><p>$995.00</p><span class="copyright">Ride1up</span>

Haul ST

As its name implies, the Haul ST is probably the best bike on this list for moving big loads, making it ideal for delivery workers or just running errands. This compact bike can carry an impressive 419 pounds and features a 750-watt motor, strong brakes, meaty 3.5-inch tires, and a bunch of intuitive features. For all of these reasons and more, the Haul ST was named Bicycling's 2023 Bike of the Year.

If you need even greater carrying capacity, you can opt for the larger Haul LT, which includes many of the same features as the ST with more space for hauling.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.specialized.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fhaul-st%2Fp%2F200057%3FsearchText%3D91022-8100%26color%3D323201-200057%26ranMID%3D49187%26ranEAID%3DTnL5HPStwNw%26ranSiteID%3DTnL5HPStwNw-SmnJN8yZw4Fpz6N6hugHWg&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Haul ST</p><p>specialized.com</p><p>$2800.00</p><span class="copyright">Specialized </span>

Treadwell Neo 2

For casual riders looking to take a ride in the park or along the boardwalk, the Treadwell Neo 2 from Cannondale stands out for its classic good looks and comfortable riding position. The leisurely character of the Treadwell is enhanced in the Neo 2 thanks to the addition of electric power.

You'll never be overworked again thanks to an adequate 250-watt rear hub motor assisting pedaling. The package is only sweetened by a pair of Maxxis 650b tires, a seven-speed drivetrain, and a wide-range cassette for conquering inclines.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F190164&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Treadwell Neo 2 </p><p>rei.com</p><p>$1925.00</p><span class="copyright">REI</span>

Turbo Vado 4.0 Step-Through

Road & Track readers know: If you want the best, it's going to cost you. The Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 stands out for its exceptional design, seamless integration of components, and superior ride quality, making it an excellent choice for both seasoned cyclists and first-time e-bicycle users.

The folks at Bicycling heaped on the praise by adding, "We have ridden a lot of e-bikes over the years, and the Specialized Turbo models consistently test among the best in all categories. The brand puts a ton of development time into its Turbo series e-bikes.... This work pays off with best-in-class ride quality."

There are lots of options available for the Turbo Vado, including several colors, traditional or step-through frames, and a few drivetrain configurations. A full-spec Turbo Vado 4.0 can top out at over $5500, so choose your options carefully.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.specialized.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fturbo-vado-40-step-through%2Fp%2F206161%3Fcolor%3D348393-206161&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Turbo Vado 4.0 Step-Through</p><p>specialized.com</p><p>$3249.99</p><span class="copyright">Specialized </span>

Cafe Cruiser

Classic motorcycle style and comfortable practicality are combined to create a relaxed cruiser with a casual ride. The smooth ride is provided by a torquey 750-watt motor, relaxed geometry, 3.0-inch wide tires, and a bit of heft. Bicycling testers found the big cruiser comfortable while offering enough oomph to get you over whatever small inclines block your way.

A version with a step-through frame is also available, and we recommend opting for the passenger kit as this bike is well suited for two-up cruising.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fride1up.com%2Fproduct%2Fcruiser%2F%3Favad%3D55097_e3738a919&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2Fgear%2Flifestyle%2Fg46464030%2Fbest-electric-bikes%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Cafe Cruiser</p><p>ride1up.com</p><p>$1245.00</p><span class="copyright">Ride1up</span>


What is an electric bicycle?

An electric bicycle, or e-bike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor that can provide assistance to the rider. This assistance can come in the form of pedaling support or, in some models, a throttle that can power the bike without pedaling.

Are electric bicycles legal to ride everywhere?

E-bike laws vary by country and, in the United States, by state. Generally, e-bicycles are allowed where traditional bicycles are allowed, but there may be restrictions based on the e-bike's top speed and whether it has a throttle. It's important to check local laws.

Do I need a license to ride electric bicycles?

In most jurisdictions, you do not need a license to ride an e-bicycle if it meets certain criteria, typically regarding its maximum speed and power output. However, regulations can vary, so it's important to verify local laws.

How far can electric bicycles go on a single charge?

The range of an e-bike depends on a variety of factors, including battery capacity, level of pedal assist, rider's weight, terrain, and riding conditions. E-bikes can typically travel between 25 to 70 miles on a single charge, but these numbers may increase or decrease depending on the above-mentioned factors.

How long do electric bicycle batteries last?

E-bike battery lifespan is typically measured in charge cycles, with many batteries rated for 500 to 1000 cycles before their capacity significantly diminishes. This can translate to several years of use, depending on the frequency of charging.

Do electric bicycles require maintenance?

E-bikes require similar maintenance to regular bicycles, such as tire-pressure checks, brake adjustments, and drivetrain lubrication. The electrical components, however, should be serviced by professionals or according to the manufacturer's instructions.

best electric bicycles
Bicycling, Maegan Gindi

Why Trust Us?

Road & Track and its sibling publications at Hearst Autos represent three of the most influential automotive publications in the world. We rely on decades of experience in the automotive and gear spaces to help readers make informed purchasing choices. Read more about our testing process here.

For this article, we reached out to our Hearst colleagues at Bicycling magazine. Bicycling provides expert reviews and advice on everything cycling, including gear, accessories, and fitness. Deputy editor Tara Seplavy leads Bicycling's product test team. Having led product development and sourcing for multiple bike brands, run world championship–winning mountain bike teams, and wrenched at some of the best-known bike shops in NYC, Tara is among the best at what she does, and we appreciate her cooperation for this piece.

With the legacies of Autoweek, Car and Driver, and Road & Track behind us, the Hearst Autos Gear Team is more concerned with the trust our readers have in us than our bottom line. We won't tell you to buy something if we wouldn't buy it ourselves or recommend it to our friends, and we'll never claim to have used or tested something we haven't.

We've evaluated dozens of product categories, from heated steering wheel covers to traction boards and radar detectors. Our picks and recommendations of products and gear are based on testing and knowledge, not hype.

best ebikes
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