Electric bikes are one of the fastest growing products in the world of transportation, with sales of battery-powered bikes more than tripling during the pandemic alone. While electric bikes used to get a bad rap for being unaffordable and difficult to operate, innovation in the industry is rapidly changing with what’s now referred to as the “e-bike boom.” The best electric bikes give a smooth ride, have long range, and offer competitive features.
“Social distancing demands, the quest for safe and more accessible public transportation and sustainable travel measures have forged a growing adoption of e-bikes among travelers as well as local residents,” The New York Times writes.
And good news for all of us: just because they’re electric doesn’t mean that e-bikes aren’t a great workout. While battery-powered bikes will surely get you to your destination more quickly and without as much effort, research shows that the journey is still enough to elevate your heart rate and get your body moving. When it comes to biking in general, researchers from Concordia University found that commuting to work via bike helped lower stress levels for employees before they even arrive at the office. The authors of the study said that coming to work calm and collected can prove quite valuable in terms of productivity.
“Riding an e-bike met the intensity level associated with healthy physical activity recommended by the World Health Organization and the ACSM. Positive perceptions toward e-bike riding occurred in most participants, and qualitative analyses included perceptions of commuting with an e-bike as ‘easier’ and ‘fun,’ among other positive terms. Together, these results imply that e-bikes are viable options for active transportation that can benefit individual health and reduce congestion and pollution from gas-powered vehicles,” The American College of Sports Medicine writes.
Investing in an electric bike can set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 (on average), making it critical that you do your research before purchasing the perfect e-bike for your needs. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see electric bikes were rated the best. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended e-bikes across these sites.
The List: Best E-Bikes, According To Experts
1. VanMoof S3
Stylish, customizable, and perfect for cruising, the VanMoof S3 is an all-star in the world of electric bikes.
“The VanMoof S3 feels like one of the most advanced, innovative and elegant bikes around. It features an automatic electronic gear shifter that’s remarkably smooth under almost all shifting conditions. The motor is very quiet, delivers a top speed of 20mph, and has a push-button turbo boost,” Forbes writes.
The bike will set you back over $2,000, but riders say it’s worth the price with top-notch features and a range of 37 to 93 miles (depending on your ride).
“Once you connect the bike to your phone via Bluetooth, you get a bunch of other features, too: You can change when the bike shifts gears, change the sound of its electronic horn, and more. Best of all, you can lock the bike using your phone, and get an alert if someone tries to make off with it,” Tom’s Guide writes.
2. Radrover 6 Plus
Designed for paved and unpaved roads and highly rated for its durability and safety features, the Radrover 6 Plus is a great choice, no matter what your biking needs are.
“With the Radrover 6 Plus, Rad Power has made a fat tire e-bike that is comfortable to ride on pretty much any terrain, from urban streets riddled with potholes to off-road paths riddled with rocks or snow. Updated display and hydraulic disc brakes make the RadRover 6 Plus substantially nicer to ride than its predecessor,” Bicycling writes.
The bike can go up to 45+ miles per charge and carry a total of 275 lbs.
“Fat tires and plenty of juice: RadRover 6 Plus is the next generation of personal transportation,” Rolling Stone writes.
3. Aventon Aventure
A great value and highly-rated for its durability and power, the Aventon Aventure gives riders a smooth and comfortable ride, regardless of where you’re going.
“Need a powerful e-bike that you can take out on rugged roads, rain or shine? Aventon Aventure’s 4-inch fat tire wheels cruised over potholes, gravel and uneven terrain with ease in our tests. It’s built with a suspension fork that helps absorb some of the shock when riding over imperfections in the road,” Good Housekeeping writes.
The bike also features built in fenders and integrated front and rear lights for added visibility and protection.
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“If you’re looking for a fat-tire electric bike that’s less than $2,000, the Aventon Aventure is hard to beat. It’s as good off-road as it is on pavement, has a beefy battery and a clear color display, as well as fenders that’ll save your clothes from getting too muddy,” Tom’s Guide writes.
4. Trek Domane+
Specifically designed for city commuters, the Trek Domane+ is a high-end e-road bike that makes getting from point A to B (and everything in between) a breeze.
“The Trek Domane+ ALR is a standout as an e-road bike. Made for city commuters and road enthusiasts alike, this bike will assist you through your commute or provide a little extra oomph to keep you from getting dropped on a morning group ride. The 300 Series Alpha Aluminum makes for a sturdy and durable frame, giving you the feel of a true road bike that will get you efficiently over hills,” Sports Illustrated writes.
The model comes in six sizes and fits a variety of sizes and weights.
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“For longer rides, a range extender battery can be added to double the range. The AL5 model features a Shimano 105 2×11-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes,” Bicycling writes.
5. Lectric XP 2.0
Engineered with award-winning features and a remarkably affordable price, the Lectric XP 2.0 lands on our list as the top budget pick.
“Electric bike prices tend to bottom out around $1,000—it just isn’t practical to make an ebike for much less. Lectric’s XP 2.0 might be among the cheapest bikes you can buy (it lists for $1100, but seems to be permanently on sale for $1000), but it’s so thoughtfully designed that it’s a genuinely good choice for city riders on a budget, not some sort of reluctant consolation prize,” Forbes writes.
The model’s folded design also guarantees your ride will fit into virtually any compact space.
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“The newer Lectric XP 2.0 doesn’t change the motor or battery but improves ride comfort. That includes a front-wheel suspension, mounting points for racks, wider handlebars, and IP65 water resistance. At $999, that’s not a bad deal at all,” Wired writes.
Other honorable mentions include:
- Ride1Up 700 Series
- Aventon Soltera
- RadPower RadRunner
- Tom’s Guide
- Tech Radar
- Good Housekeeping
- Sports Illustrated
- New York Magazine
- Outdoor Gear Lab
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.
Very informative helpful article
Am over 60, new to ebikes, want to buy two for use on streets or paved paths
Price not an issue
Would like to finds ones that fold up for car travel
Thought for any places to look as you may not recommend a particular brand or model
3.0 better choice than 2.0. Same price. Photo is not a 2.00. It’s the xp lite.
It’s nice that you have a collection of well balanced recommendations, so thank you for that! I’m a former marathon cyclist who lost my ability to ride, and an e-bike helped me recover to the point where I can ride my touring bike again. 7000 miles in two years, and I’m loving it 😊
Sorry Meaghan, Ariel Rider’s Kepler is the one to beat in the sub $2k category, currently at $1,899. 1,320 watt hub motor (advertised 1,000 watt 2,000 watt peak). 26″ by 4″ fat tire, 52V 20ah LG battery, Hydraulic brakes, huge 77 lb capacity rear rack. It hauls my 224 lb body and 8 lb chain lock at 38.5 mph top speed throttle only, easily averaging 30-35 mph. 108Nm of torque (important spec missing from other listings…).
I agree. I bought the Ariel Kepler 4 months ago and it is an AWESOME BEAST!!
Look at Lectric xp3 folding ebike newest model long range or regular battery . Super great budget e bike with many features u won’t regret! Michael
Nice article and I appreciate the update. One concern, none of the listing indicate type of sensing.