The 10 Best Electric Bikes

Updated May 09, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Electric Bikes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. With rechargeable battery-powered pedaling assistance, electric bicycles offer an increasingly viable alternative to fossil-fueled commuting, and e-bikes enable riders of various abilities to extend their range. But the street-legality of these hybrid machines remains a contentious issue, so be sure to check current state and local laws governing their operation before you hit the road. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electric bike on Amazon.

10. Addmotor Fat Tire Foldable

The Addmotor Fat Tire Foldable brings together the handiest features from both ends of the powered cycling spectrum: a portable design compact enough to squeeze into a commuter train and a pair of extra-wide tires for tackling whatever terrain you're inclined to explore.
  • set up and break down in 10 seconds
  • multiple color options
  • heavy to lug around
Brand Addmotor
Model pending
Weight 68.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Razor Rocket

Motocross enthusiasts can revel in the authentic dirt-bike frame and neighborhood-friendly quiet operation of the Razor Rocket. Its 36v SLA batteries need a good eight hours to reach full capacity for about 40 minutes worth of kicking up dust on the city streets.
  • supercross inspired design
  • no pedaling required
  • 220-pound weight limit
Brand Razor
Model 15165090
Weight 114.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Joulvert Stealth

Offering five different pedal-assistance settings, the Joulvert Stealth is a midrange solution to cut back on fossil fuel emissions during your everyday commute, and with a frame that breaks down in a snap to a packable size, you can also take it on spontaneous road trips.
  • rear-mounted brushless hub motor
  • weighs less than other models
  • takes up to 6 hrs to charge fully
Brand Joulvert
Model JT00A-20
Weight 56 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Big Cat Fat Cat

With extra-wide 26-inch all-terrain balloon tires and a durable aluminum frame, the Big Cat Fat Cat is value-priced and built tough for off-roading, whether you're out to tackle snow, sand, crushed gravel or an uncharted stretch of rugged trails.
  • mechanical disc brakes
  • 15-30 miles of range
  • powertrain has only one speed
Brand Big Cat Electric Bikes
Model BCFC
Weight 56 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Juiced CrossCurrent Air

A class-3 pedelec powered by a 650w Motor to max out at 28 mph, the Juiced CrossCurrent Air will get you from A to B in record time without breaking a sweat, steamy weather notwithstanding. It can even operate in throttle-only mode when your legs need a complete rest.
  • weighs just 46 lbs without battery
  • very affordably priced
  • optional step-through frame
Brand Juiced Bikes
Model pending
Weight 67 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Schwinn Sycamore

From a name practically synonymous with cycling, the 8-speed Schwinn Sycamore features an easy-to-use thumb pad controller for choosing just the right level of pedaling support, whether you're cruising the neighborhood at full throttle or scaling hills at a snail's pace.
  • offered in a range of sizes
  • shimano alivio drivetrain
  • 2-year warranty on electronics
Brand Schwinn
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. DJ City

For the speed, range and basic features of a higher-end ride in an easygoing step-through model that won't completely blow your budget, the DJ City is the way to go. The power pack fastens securely just below the seat, and there's a rear rack for strapping down some gear.
  • 48v dc 625wh battery
  • shock-absorbing cushioned saddle
  • great entry-level option
Brand DJ Bikes
Model pending
Weight 75.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. T4B Greaser

Take your ride back to the future with the sleek vintage stylings of a T4B Greaser, which not only gives off pretty badass vibes but also features a Bafang 500w brushless hub-drive motor and 36-volt, 13Ah Li-ion power supply to cover as many as 37 miles on a full charge.
  • aerodynamic central motor placement
  • retro cafe motorcycle look
  • 8 color combinations available
Brand T4B
Model 1-373-BK-BK
Weight 92.6 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Enzo eBikes

Lightweight, compact and foldable Enzo eBikes are ideal for last-mile transportation on your daily commute. They come fully assembled in several high-visibility finishes, and pack neatly away in a zippered bag for carrying onto public transit or loading into a car trunk.
  • aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame
  • fat luminescent-sidewall tires
  • 7-speed shimano derailleur gears
Brand Enzo Ebike
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Prodeco Tech Phantom X2

The Prodeco Tech Phantom X2 features a rigid downtube aluminum frame with a rear-mounted direct-drive motor that delivers up to 25 miles of range at a top speed of 20 mph. A RockShox suspension minimizes the bruising effects of bumps in the road.
  • 8-speed shifter
  • adjustable handlebars
  • 36v samsung battery
Brand ProdecoTech
Model BI.BA.V5.PX.14
Weight 83.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 May 09, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with a broad constellation of interests, Lydia Chipman has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts. Bearing the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience—with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order or becoming an artist—she still can’t resist the temptation to learn something new.

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