10 Best Electric Bikes | March 2017

10 Best Electric Bikes
Best Mid-Range
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Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Today's amazing electric bicycles offer reliable batteries and powerful motors capable of any uphill challenge, and can provide a valid alternative to other forms of transportation for daily commuting. Of course, e-bikes are also great for any riders who wants to extend their range with a little battery assistance. Just make sure that they're legal on your local streets. Skip to the best electric bike on Amazon.
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The X-Treme Folding X-Cursion features a removable 24-volt battery with seven variable speed controls, including the option to pedal assist or to cut the juice entirely and work those muscles. Hard chromed bolts in the frame help ensure life longevity.
  • fairly lightweight at just 50 pounds
  • includes a luggage rack and tool kit
  • handlebars are not adjustable
Brand X-Treme Electric Bicycl
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
9
The Yukon Trails Xplorer boasts a wide leather seat that evenly distributes pressure on your rear during long rides. Also, the switch for the headlight is on the handlebar, so you can turn it on with ease as the sun sets. It's available in men's and women's sizes.
  • sturdy frame is built to last
  • removable battery
  • heavy and difficult to stop
Brand Yukon Trail Bicycles
Model MS-EBLIM26-P
Weight pending
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
8
The Watseka XP features a center-mounted battery pack that makes for superior balance. It also comes with two ignition keys, which are necessary to remove the battery or to start the motor, helping to prevent theft. An easy-shift six-speed gear reaches up to 14 mph.
  • plenty of cargo room
  • kickstand locks in place
  • does not fit well in a bike rack
Brand Watseka Bikes
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
7
Go old school with the Newport Beach Cruiser and its classic design that features an extra-wide handlebar. It also has Kenda balloon tires with wide treads that make riding over slippery terrain safer. A cushioned seat will comfortably carry you through its 20-mile range.
  • 4-hour battery recharge time
  • rear rack great for holding a cooler
  • very easy to assemble
Brand X-treme Bike
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
The e-Mazing Innovations BOB has a unique pull-up folding design that is great for travel. It also has small wheels that make it easy to fit onto packed public transportation, and it fully charges in under five hours, or you can turn off the battery for joy riding.
  • weighs just 35 pounds
  • handles wet asphalt streets well
  • not very attractive
Brand e-Mazing Innovations
Model BOB-S
Weight 47.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
5
The Ancheer Power Plus is not only produced with durable aluminum alloy and carbon steel, but also features a 7-speed transmission system for increased customization. Ride it without working the pedals, or choose to assist for an added workout.
  • lithium ion battery lasts 35 miles
  • fully adjustable seat
  • bright led lamp mounted in the front
Brand ANCHEER
Model pending
Weight 50.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
4
The Big Cat Cruiser is the ultimate beach lover's model. It has a design that lets you sit upright comfortably, rather than bending over the handlebars. Vibrant colors ensure visibility at night, and an LCD shows battery life and distance traveled.
  • ergonomic grips
  • 15-30 mile range
  • balloon tires for smooth riding
Brand Big Cat Electric Bikes
Model BCLBCBW
Weight 56 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
3
The Onway 26-Inch 750W 7 Speed has a battery that's guaranteed to last at least three years. It is a seven-speed machine that can easily reach 20 mph and run for up to 46 miles. Its all-terrain tires are effective on- and off-road.
  • 4-6 hour charging time
  • 750-watt central drive motor
  • 276-pound capacity
Brand ONWAY
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
2
With recharge times as short as 2.5 hours, the Swagtron SwagCycle E-Bike is ideal for getting to and from work or class, especially if you have the ability to plug it in while you're away from it. Its convenient handlebar display provides battery feedback information.
  • micro-usb power port
  • folds down for easy storage
  • 1-year warranty
Brand Swagtron
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
The 500-watt motor on the Addmotor MOTAN can reach speeds up to 25 mph, fast enough to allow for safe maneuvers in traffic, and its battery can provide ranges nearing 45 miles. It can also carry adults weighing close to 350 lbs., making it an ideal option for larger riders
  • fat tires for tough terrain
  • 6061 aluminum alloy frame
  • tektro disc brake set
Brand Addmotor
Model pending
Weight 75 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Electric Motors And Bicycles Make A Perfect Pair

The first regularly produced device resembling the modern bicycle was unveiled in 1818. It was called the Dandy Horse. The two-wheeled ride-on Dandy Horse was the brainchild of German inventor Baron Karl Drais, and it featured a handle bar, a padded seat, and two inline wheels of nearly equal size. What it did not feature were pedals; this was a "running machine," thus its name in German, Laufmachine. The Dandy Horse saw only a flicker of popularity, and was largely an historical footnote within a handful of years, though its design is nearly mimicked in the child's balance bike of today.

Bicycles featuring pedal power were developed during the subsequent decades of the 19th century, with the most emblematic example being the bicycle we know today as the Penny-Farthing. The bike was named based on the substantial difference in its wheel size resembling the larger and smaller Penny and Farthing coins, respectively. These bicycles were wildly popular among the well heeled upper classes of Europe and America despite their penchant for launching riders head first over the large wheel, not to mention their relative difficulty to mount and dismount.

In the year 1885, a British man named J.K. Stanley introduced what can fairly be described as the first modern bicycle. His Rover bike had wheels of equal size in the front and back and used a chain connecting the pedals and the rear wheel as a propulsion system. It was often marketed as a safety bike in contrast with the unstable Penny Farthing, and was a smashing success. The company went on to develop motorcycles and automobiles, remaining in business until the year 2005.

The first functioning electric motor was displayed in the early 19th century, though the device constructed by British scientist Michael Faraday did little more than swirl a wire around a magnet when an electric charge was introduced. Still, the concept proved that electricity could do work. Functional electric motors would follow in many forms after that achievement in 1821. Soon scientists and tinkerers around the world, including visionaries such as Nikola Tesla, were experimenting with all manner of electric motors -- some worked with DC power, others with AC. By the end of the century, myriad electric motors had been produced, capable of exerting enough force with enough reliable control that they were practical for use in myriad applications.

While the first functional battery was developed in the year 1800 by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, a practical battery would not be seen for several decades yet. By the end of the 19th century, practical and portable batteries were more widely available, this finally freeing the electric motor to be used in a wide new array of applications. It might come as a surprise, but the electric motor, battery, and a bicycle were first paired as far back as the 1890s. It would be approximately 100 years later that electric bicycle development finally entered the mainstream, but the technology and concept behind the electric bike were all in place generations ago.

Choosing Your New Electric Bike

There are two basic categories of electric bike, and their uses don't offer equal crossover value. The first category is essentially a normal bicycle that has been outfitted with an electric motor. These bikes are the same size as a standard bicycle, and handle almost identically, save for the obvious benefit of added motive power thanks to a motor and battery.

Many such bikes are suitable for long distance rides, and some can even handle the same terrain as a rugged mountain bike. Other full-sized electric bikes come in the beach cruiser design and allow for comfortable longer distance rides in relatively accommodating conditions such as on sidewalks, paved paths, or roadways.

The second type of electric bike is a much smaller, often foldable unit designed for convenient urban (or suburban) commuting and for easy storage in minimal space. These compact electric bikes are perfect for trips of a few miles, and many are small and lightweight enough to be carried onto trains or buses, allowing their rider to make use of multiple types of transportation in a single trip, and to store their bike in a closet or even under a desk at work, at school, or at home.

These bikes, while convenient in most ways, are not suitable for longer use and can rarely handle unpaved surfaces. They are also inferior vehicles when driven solely by pedal power, thus it is inadvisable to ride them for distances longer than their batteries can last.

If you are a regular bicyclist who wants to add some excitement to your rides or wants some help with those hills, a full sized electric bike is the way to go. If you are considering a bike as a means of transportation more than an outlet for amusement, then a smaller, folding electric bike is the convenient choice. In each category, consider the speed and range you want, as these factors impact price.

Electric Bike Safety And Maintenance

While riding an electric bike is essentially the same experience as using a pedal-powered bicycle, accidents can occur more easily as a rider familiarizes himself or herself with the new bike. Many of these units can easily achieve speeds greater than twenty miles per hour, which is faster than most people ride their bikes.

The dangers can often come when an electric bike is used around conventional bicycles, as the other riders around you will not be expecting your added speed. Your reaction times also must increase to compensate for your velocity. Therefore, as with riding any bike, always wear a helmet when atop your electric bicycle.

Unlike with many older batteries, where best practices are to drain the battery as much as possible prior to recharging it, an electric bike's battery will serve you well if you charge it to capacity as often as possible. Doing so will also reduce your risk of being left without movement power, other than your legs.

Make sure to keep your bike's chain and gears lubricated, its tires properly inflated, and its brakes clean and clear of debris. The better the bike is working overall, the less work the motor has to do, and that means a longer operating life of the motor and of the whole bicycle in general.



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Last updated on March 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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