Christmas is just around the corner and you still haven’t bought that e-bike you’ve been pining for!
Is it because there are just so many great bikes out there for you to choose from?
If so, let me help you separate the wheat from the chaff! In the past year I have ridden and tested more bikes than I can list off of the top of my head, so take a moment to check out this list.
These are the e-bikes that really stood out to me as being excellent e-bikes to own, for various reasons. I’m breaking this down into three different categories for different levels of riders and also for different budgets.
Beginner Electric Bike: Rad Power Radrover
If you’ve been around any bike scene for the past couple of years, you can’t have helped but notice those fat tired cruisers all over the place.
Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the style just because of the added weight that those gigantic oversized tires brought with them – that make all but the flattest of roads and trails too difficult to pedal through unless you had a great gear set combined with hulking muscles from the waist down.
That opinion changed once e-bike manufacturers decided to electrify these beasts. The fat tires allowed for a certain level of comfort on bikes that may not have a lot in terms of suspension and shock absorption. There are a lot of bikes out there like this available now, but the one that caught my attention most in terms of value, quality construction and materials is the Rad Power Radrover.
Featuring a 750W Bafang motor powered by a 48V Panasonic Lithium Ion Battery pack this bike will take you far and fast. Rad Power bikes are also known for their excellent customer service, so if something goes wrong, you won’t be hanging from a limb. Here are some of the more interesting specs from the Radrover.
- 20 mph top speed
- 20-40+ mile range
- Half twist throttle and intelligent 5 level pedal assist
- Full LCD display including speedometer, wattmeter, and odometer
- Integrated headlight
- Front suspension fork with rebound adjustment and lockout
- 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain
- Total Payload Capacity: 275 lbs
While the bike is not exactly a bargain, you get a lot for your money and the odds of you being stranded on the side of the road because of material failure are very low.
Runner Up: The Ancheer Power Plus Mountain Bike
I know what you are thinking, that price isn’t a typo. Ancheer is another bike straight out of China. Where the Radrover inspires confidence, this one inspires thrift and may just be the perfect bike for you to spark your e-bike appetite, if you aren’t sure you want to commit a lot of cash to the cause.
Currently this bike is on sale from Walmart’s website. I usually try to keep out of the bargain basement bikes for various reasons, but this time, I’m going there because it is being sold by a reputable retailer. In addition to a generous return policy, Walmart also offers protection plans for the Ancheer Mountain Bike.
Honestly the quality of an e-bike at this price point makes me nervous, but if you get the protection plan, you won’t find yourself stuck with something that may not work ort that you aren’t happy with.
Intermediate: Trek Super Commuter 8S
Moving up in price and quality we find ourselves looking at the Trek Super Commuter 8S.
While it is not the most cost-efficient bike on the list of products that I’ve reviewed this year, in my opinion it is the front-runner for replacing a car.
The 500w Bosch powered mid-drive beast tops out at 28 miles without even trying. Besides the effortless acceleration, one of my favorite things about this bike is that it is available in a shade of red usually reserved for Italian sports cars. The only change I would make on this e-bike would be adding suspension rather than just relying on the fat tires for shock duty. Other than that, it is just about as sexy as a bike can be, from the color to the smooth integration of the battery and controls into the frame. If for no other reason, you should consider this bike simply because it is appealing on every level.
Here are some of the more interesting stats on the Commuter 8S
Frame High-performance e-bike frame w/integrated battery Fork Rigid carbon w/15mm thru axle
Shifters Shimano SLX M7000, 11 speed Rear derailleur Shimano SLX M7000, Shadow Plus Crank Miranda Delta, 20T w/chain guard Bottom bracket Bosch Performance Speed, 350watt, 28mphCassetteShimano SLX M7000, 11-42, 11 speed
Saddle Bontrager H1SeatpostBontrager alloy, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, 8mm offset Handlebar Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise Grips Bontrager Satellite Elite, lock-on, ergonomic Stem Bontrager Elite Blendr, w/mount for Supernova M99 light
Battery Bosch Power pack Performance 500wH, frame mount Controller Bosch Purion Performance Motor Bosch Performance Speed, 350 watt, 65Nm, 28 mph
Runner up: Pedego Ridge Rider
To paraphrase Henry ford regarding the Model T, “You can have it in any color as long as it’s black.”
And so it is with the Pedego Ridge Rider.
Despite not being on the same level of refinement in terms of style and engineering, it is a great bike, and in some ways I like it more than the Super Commuter 8S. And at roughly $1500 less you couldn’t be blamed for considering this bike.
Advanced: Giant Road E+1
I love cycling, but the truth of it is that sometimes a purist may look at e-bikers in a negative light, as if pedal assist is a bad thing!
It can really help a rider that may want to extend training times or simply to help in avoiding fatigue or injury. All of those are good reasons and they are also the reason I’ve chosen the Giant Road E+1 as my advanced rider e-bike.
It really does enhance the riding experience.
Like a lot of the other high-powered e-bikes, this one has a top speed of 28 mph, utilizing three different power modes and a pedal sense system that is so smooth you may not even notice it while it amplifies your input.
Another feature on this bike that I believe riders will love is the EVO Command Station. Rather than the standard bar mounted ride computer, this one is integrated into the bars allowing for better balance and stability at higher speeds because your hands never have to lift in order to access the controls.
That is freaking epic!
If you don’t believe me go schedule a test ride. You will be impressed.
While appealing to the e-bike crowd is pretty easy (we like our gadgets and gizmos after all), Giant didn’t lose sight of the more traditional rider’s preferences. The E+ is equipped with a lightweight aluminum aggressively-stanced frame and an 11-speed crankset supplied by Shimano. The bike has plenty of mount points that will allow you to convert this bike from straight road bike to touring duty if the rider chooses.