Best electric bikes for every kind of rider

The best electric bikes for every kind of rider to open up your world of cycling

Best Electric bikes in the image is a road bike that doesn't look like it has a motor, being ridden by a rider out of the saddle with hills in the background.
Electric road bikes are lightweight with natural feeling motors, whilst those for commuting tend to be more utilitarian

The best electric bikes make cycling easier, but not so easy that the exercise element is removed: they help to take the strain out of riding, making cycling more accessible and a much more viable commuting option. 

Whether you're a returning rider, a newbie cyclist, or just looking for a bit of extra support to keep up every now and then, there will be an electric bike perfect for you.

As one of the fastest-growing bike categories, it can be tricky to determine which electric bike is best for you. We've divided our guide into the best electric road bikes, the best electric hybrid bikes, and the best electric folding bikes.

Electric road bikes will come with dropped handlebars and favour low weight, whilst electric hybrid bikes will come with flat bars, wider tyres and accessories to aid commuters; electric folding bikes are useful if part of your journey involves train travel, or, you're short on space.

Choose from the category tabs above if you know what style of bike you're after, or, click 'buying advice', for more detailed information before you progress in your journey.

We do have a web of electric bike buying advice, if you're looking to keep costs low, check out the best cheap electric bikes, women may benefit from female specific components on the best women's electric bikes, and if you're venturing off-road, check out the best electric gravel bikes.

Our pick of the best electric bikes

Best Electric Road Bikes

The best electric road bikes will favour low weight, the expectation is that at times you might exceed the 25kph legal e-bike limit stipulated by many countries, and at that point, you'll want a lightweight bike. The motor will often be low torque, which makes the assistance feel more natural. 

Hub based motors are becoming increasingly common in this category, they keep the weight low, and also allow the chassis to look almost completely identical to a non-assisted bike. 

Ribble Endurance SL e electric road bike is pictured in this image side on with the handle bars to the right as you look at the bike.

(Image credit: Ribble)

Best lightweight electric bike

Motor/ Battery: MAHLE Ebikemotion X35+ M1, 250W/ Panasonic 36V/250Wh
Frame/ Fork : Full Carbon
Groupset: Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brake 11sp
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrim a 25
Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport III 28c
Sizes: XS - XL
Colours : Anthracite/ Custom
Weight: 27.34lbs/ 12.4kg (claimed)
Reasons to buy
+Easy and comfortable to ride+Very subtle e-bike looks +Natural feeling power assistance+Very lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Charging point in a venerable position-Power button in awkward postion

With geometry matching that of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc, the Ribble Endurance SL e gains a motor and battery, making it a great option for riders looking for subtle performance enhancement.

As with it's non-electric brethren, the Ribble Endurance SL e was also awarded a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice award. Mostly due to it's low overall weight, spec and incredibly subtle integration of the motor and battery. 

On hill's the bike was fantastic at giving the rider a much needed boost in a natural and smooth linier delivery, but on the flat the legal e-bike speed limit of 15mph for the UK (where the bike was tested) did hold this otherwise great electronic bike back.

We felt that the location of the charge point on top of the bottom bracket was a little vulnerable, so important to double check it's covered up. 

The other slight gripe was the position of the power on button on the top tube, once it's on it's on, but trying to locate it does meant taking your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds, which isn't ideal. 

With a similar profile to the Wilier Cento1HY Ultegra Di2 e-bike, but kitted out with the lower price point, yet highly respected, Shimano 105 groupset, the Ribble Endurance SL e could save you half the money. 

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creole SL in the image is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creole SL

(Image credit: Specialized)

Best electric bike for looking good with an excellent ride feel

Motor/ Battery: Specialized SL 1.1 motor, Specialized SL1320Wh
Frame/ Fork: Carbon
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Hydraulic disc, 46t chainset, 11-42t cassette
Wheels: Roval CLX Tubeless-ready Carbon 50mm
Tyres: S-Work Turbo 28mm
Sizes: S - XXL
Colours: Gloss blue, satin blue, carbon
Weight: 26.89lb/ 12.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Smooth and natural system+Integration of tech+Battery life is long ranging. +Low weight of bike 
Reasons to avoid
-Extremely expensive when compared to other e-bikes-‘Turbo Connect Unit’ position

This is Specialized S-works Turbo Creo is  the brand's first venture into the world of road e-bikes and it is not a disappointing one. If you're able to look past the eye-watering price tag, you will be getting all the pros of a road bike but with a bit of, as Specialized puts it, 'oomph'.

This beautiful bike gets the same FACT 11r frame as the S-Works Roubaix, which means it already has a naturally racy feel, and thanks to it's super lightweight construction, means that it's happy to be ridden without any assistance at all. 

When taking advantage of the power, Specialized's own SL1.1 motor delivers smooth assistance to your ride and doesn't have the usual surges of acceleration you may find in some other e-bikes. That and its impressive battery life, which we found to be one of the longest on test, means that you do get a truly excellent e-bike. 

It's a bit like the F1 of E-bike's as it comes with a lot of technical integration, such as the ability to connect to it's own app and dial in the motor for your style of riding. This is really helpful when using the bike to help with training and ensuring that the motor only kicked in once the tester was at a certain speed/ wattage. 

The good news is that there is a spectrum of the Specialized Turbo Creo with the SL Comp E5 available for nearly a third of the price, you do loose some of the spec of course, but both are still great options. 

Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3

Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3 Lefty

(Image credit: Cannondale)

Best electric bike for out right fun off road

Motor/Battery: Bosch Performance Line CX, Bosch Powertube 500Wh
Frame: BallisTec Carbon
Fork: Lefty Oliver 30mm travel
Drivetrain: FSA Bosch chainset 42t, Shimano GRX
Brakes: Shimano GRX (160mm rotors)
Wheels: WTB/ Formula
Tyres: WTB Resolute TCS 650x42c
Sizes : SM - XL
Colours : Black/grey
Weight: 38.27lb/ 17.36kg
Reasons to buy
+Great confidence inspiring handling+Impressive traction and power put down+Long ranging battery
Reasons to avoid
-Almost too much torque-Wheel specification low end-Looks won't be to everyone's taste

The  Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3 is an electric gravel bike - that means it blends drop handlebars with burly tyres and suspension, so it's designed for on and off-road riding. 

When Cannondale's highly regarded Topstone gravel  model gained a motor to become the Topstone Neo, it turned one of the most capable bikes into a pedal-assisted monster truck.

Running on 650b wheels keeps the rear end tight and nimble for almost any terrain, although this is an area where you might consider a future upgrade as the WTB's ST i23 rim's don't quite match the monster truck ability of the rest of the bike. It'll still  shock you with its power delivery (hold on to your hats), but the looks are best described as an acquired taste.

It'll leave you in a similar giggly mess as the Canyon Grail:On CF 8 eTap does, just pure grin inducing fun on any ride. In fact, on test it proved to be a bit of a handful, and possibly provides too wild a ride for a lot of riders. 

If you can learn to love the looks, and tame the beast of the torque you honestly will struggle for more fun on two wheels.  

This bike is unrivalled in its class in terms of motor performance and the grin-inducing ride. The suspension adds another layer of capability to the package and blurs the gravel/MTB divide even further.

There are a few in the range to choose from, both up and down price brackets, so worth checking out to find the exact model to meet your needs. 

For more options like this one, check out our best electric gravel bike page

Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike in the image is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Wilier Cento1 Hybrid Ultegra Road E-Bike

(Image credit: Competitive Cyclist )

Best electric bike for getting up the hills fast

Motor/Battery: Ebikemotion Hub Motor 250wh
Frame/Fork: Carbon
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc 50/34t, 11-30
Wheels: Miche Race Axy WP DX
Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 28mm
Size : XS - XL
Colours: Black/red, blue/black
Weight: 26.6lb/ 12.07kg
Reasons to buy
+Good looking e-bike+Torque assistance powerful+One-button interface+Ride feel is racy and precise +Supporting software easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Almost too much torque-Auto-assist not to everyone’s liking

Gaining a much-deserved Editors Choice award, the Wilier Cento1Hy  is the e-bike for the road riders who still want the feel of a race bike. The Cento1 is a good looking  lightweight machine, which will assist you up those tough climbs, with plenty of power on tap.

On test, we found the supporting ebikemotion system, which is smartphone and PC app friendly, a doddle to use, with automatic syncing to Strava

For some riders, they will love the automatic assistance, as it will immediately kick in when the going gets tough. However, this can be a Pro or a Con - depending on your ride assistance preference. If you would rather be the master of your own electrical deployment, then you might find the auto-assist a tad frustrating and just a little over torqued. 

It's not the cheapest of bikes by any stretch, and the Ribble SL e could almost go toe to toe, but the Wilier is the no compromise option, which is reflected in the price tag.

Focus Paralane2 9.8 e-bike in the image is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Focus Paralane2 9.8 e-bike

(Image credit: Focus)

Best electric bike with removable battery

Motor/Battery: Fazua 250Wh, up to 50km range
Frame/Fork: Carbon
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra Di2, hydraulic disc, FSA Octalink Carbon arm
Chainset: 50-34T / 11-34 cassette
Wheels: DT Swiss RR521
Tyres: Continental GP4000 S11 28mm
Sizes: S - XL
Colour: Bronze, Silver
Weight: 29.1lbs/ 13.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Low weight package+Motor well-integrated+Rider can switch motor assist on/off 
Reasons to avoid
-Battery security not the best-Rear wheel upgrade choices limited

Another of the new breed of performance-focused electric road bikes, the Focus Paralane2 (that’s ‘squared’ not ‘two’) dropped in on our scales at 29.1lbs/ 13.2kg in a size medium, that's not to bad when you factor in that the lightest electric bike, the Ribble Endurance SL e comes in at 27.34lbs/ 12.4kg. 

The 7.2lbs/ 3.3kg , 250Wh battery clips into the downtube, offering 250-watts of support, for a maximum of ten hours in the lowest mode.

The carbon frame sees an endurance-focused geometry, with a carbon seat post for added comfort. You get a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes and road-going 28mm Continental GP 4000 S II tires, making it a ideal electronic road bike to compare against the Wilier Cento1HY option. 

What really stands the Paralane2 apart though is that the motor doesn't take over your ride, allowing you still to feel the burn, and there's even the ability to remove and ride without the battery should you choose too, just be mindful that with no lock, you might want to get in the habit of always removing it when not with the bike encase someone else wants to. 

The only other point to note is that the brand has opted for it's own custom wheels to deal with the forces of e-biking. Great for drivetrain geometry, less so for after market wheel options. 

With several models to choose from, the range varies in price and spec, meaning there should be a Paralane2 to suit most e-bike budgets.

Best Electric Hybrid bikes

Electric hybrid bikes are the fastest selling style. Their flat bars, usually wide tyre, and commute friendly fittings - such as mudguard mounts and rack mounts - make them extremely practical machines. 

The motor can be housed in the rear hub, or at the cranks, and the torque will vary - low torque models offer a natural pedalling assistance, but high torque versions will move off the lights more quickly.

Ride1Up Roadster V2 in the image is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Ride1Up Roadster V2

(Image credit: Dan Gould)

Best electric bike for work and play

Motor/ Battery: Shengyi 350w motor/ Samsung 36V
Frame/ fork: 6061 Alloy
Groupset: Singlespeed Belt drive/ Tektro dual-pivot caliper brakes
Wheels: unbranded alloy
Tyres: Kenda Kwest 28c
Sizes: S - L
Colours : Red, black, silver
Weight: 33lb/ 14.96kg
Reasons to buy
+Great fun to ride+Silent ride due to belt drive+Very powerful motor+Subtle e-bike looks
Reasons to avoid
-Tough to ride without pedal assist-Hill starts hard before motor kicks in

We absolutely loved zooming around on the speedy Ride1Up Roadster V2 with its five levels of power assist. If you're anything like us and are more used to training and racing on standard road bikes it can easily become your guilty pleasure - it's fantastic fun to ride. 

The bike was so quiet, even on level 5, convincing onlookers that our tester had to be some kind of super hero to ride so fast up 15 per cent climbs. The only downside - in common with other e-bikes that only assist when you're pedalling - was where there was a requirement for a hill start, the cranks had to be turned over in order to get the motor to engage, creating a pregnant pause at the lights, before vavavooming off.

The claimed 24mph needs input from the pedals to reach on the flats, but without a doubt it's noticeable downhill, where other bikes, such as the Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike auto assist would cut in and slow you down. 

This extra speed also puts the bike in to a class 3 e-bike, meaning that it doesn't meet EAPC rules in the UK , but that's by the by as US brand Ride1Up doesn't currently ship there. 

If you are in a country lucky enough to be shipped to, then it's a great option, and one that has a very high fun-to-dollar ratio. 

Ride1Up is a direct-to-consumer brand - check out the Roadster V2 on its website here.

Giant FastRoad E+ Pro 2 electric bike is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Giant FastRoad E+ Pro 2 electric bike

(Image credit: Giant )

Best electric hybrid bike for top end components at an entry level price

Battery/Motor: Giant EnergyPak 375 36V/ Giant SyncDriv Pro Integrated Lithium-Ion
Frame/Fork: Aluminium
Groupset: Shimano Tiagra 10sp hydraulic disc
Chainset: Giant Custom 50-34T
Wheels: Giant GX Disc
Tyres: Maxxis Re-Fuse 32c
Sizes: S - XL
Colours : Grey
Weight: 41.9lb/ 19kg
Reasons to buy
+Slick road style hybrid+Integrated battery+Top-end components+Great price 
Reasons to avoid
-Frame not the most comfortable

The Giant Fastroad E+ Pro is another road-going hybrid bike with flat handlebars to promote a comfortable ride position for even the rustiest of riders, in fact we enjoyed riding this great electric hybrid road bike so much we gave it a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice Award. 

The tires provide plenty of squish and the ability to go lightly off-road. However on test we found the aluminium frame and fork quite stiff, which will suit those used to a traditional road bike’s feel and riders looking for a speedy commute, but worth bearing in mind if you’re used to a softer hybrid feel.

We really liked the bike's integration of the battery, which can often be an design factor forgotten about on hybrid bikes. We were also really impressed to see the spec on the FastRoad, with hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano quality shifting, with a compact chainset and wide cassette at the rear to provide plenty of gears for the hills all making an appearance. 

A great electric hybrid bike for a fair price that will have a lot of appeal to lots of different riders.  

best electric bikes - Ribble Hybrid AL e in the image is side on with the bars pointing to the right

Ribble Hybrid AL e

Best electric hybrid bike for looking stylish at an affordable price

Motor/Battery: Ebikemotion X35 Smart System
Frame/ Fork : Aluminium frame/ Carbon fork
Groupset: SRAM NX, 42T, 11-42 cassette, SRAM Level hydraulic disc
Wheels : Mavic Aksium Elite EVO wheels
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Rigid 700x35c
Sizes : S - XL
Colours : Blue, copper, custom
Weight: 32.2lbs/ 14.61kg
Reasons to buy
+Stable and comfortable ride position+Smooth and unobtrusive motor+Good looking bike
Reasons to avoid
-Alloy seatpost prone to scuffs and scratches.-Rattily fenders/ mudguards.   

The Ribble Hybrid AL e is a road-going hybrid bike that’s equally at home on gravel paths and trails, with a comfortable and confidence-inspiring upright riding position, so great for returning or newbie riders.

For us, we think the bike is one of the best looking hybrids we've ever come across, with the design hiding away the motor incredibly well, although we were a little sad that adjusting the seat post left behind scratch marks. The fully loaded package includes fenders (mudguards), lights and a rear rack making it perfect as a daily commuter or for ditching the car when going to the store, although we did find these a little rattily on test.

The Ebikemotion motor delivers its power smoothly and efficiently and offers long-range in between charges, making the Ribble far more than just an A to B bike. 

Understandably it doesn't perform in the same way as the Canyon Grail:ON in terms of fast and tight torque, but tap along and it will tickle over nicely, taking the top off any strenuous rides. 

With all the added extras as standard and classy looks, the Ribble Hybrid AL e is a great electric bike for the money.

Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

Best electric hybrid bike for carrying weight and range

Battery/Motor: Specialized 1.2E custom 250w, Specialized U1-460Wh, 145km range (claimed)
Frame/Fork: aluminum/aluminum 50mm suspension fork
Brakes: Tektro HD-T275 hydraulic disc (180/160mm)
Drivetrain: Shimano Alivio 40T single chainring, 11-36 rear cassette
Wheels: Specialized Double-wall alloy
Tyres: Trigger Sport Reflect 47mm
Sizes : S - XL
Colours : Blue/ black, Grey/black
Weight: 48.5lbs/ 23kg
Reasons to buy
+Versatile bike+Powerful motor+Removable and easy to charge integrated long-lasting battery
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy weight when compared to other e-bikes 

A fun ride that’s great in urban environments but also provides a confidence-inspiring ride on rougher terrain is what the Specialized Turbo Vado is all about.

It was a real hoot to ride with a four year old on a mounted bike seat, and tick off a 50km hilly bike ride, turning heads of car drivers upon speedy get away's at lights and even challenging the non-power assisted rider in the group to keep up on the steeper inclines. 

It is a heavy machine at 48.5lbs/ 23kg, so not easy to lift, so anyone needing to navigate steps in or out of the bike's storage place will need to take this in to consideration, but aside from that we found the Specialized Vado Turbo to be a joy to ride.

The 250w Specialized 1.2 battery has a range from 25 miles in ‘turbo’ mode to 93 miles in ‘economy’ mode, based on a rider that weighs 15.5 stone, 217lbs or 98.5kg.

It's not quite as nimble as the Giant Fastroad E+ Pro 2 electric bike above, but if you're on the look out for something that can do a bit of most things, than the Vado is a great e-bike option. 

Canyon Precede:ON CF 9 ST in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

Canyon Precede:ON CF 9 ST

(Image credit: Canyon)

Best electric hybrid bike for everyday local rides

Motor/Battery: Bosch Performance Line CX (Gen4)/ Bosch PowerTube 500Wh
Frame/Fork: Carbon
Groupset: Gates CDX belt, Miranda Delta Crank, Canyon GP0164
Brakes: TRP Tektro rotors
Wheels: Alexrims
Tyres: TY Schwalbe G-ONE
Sizes: M-XL
Colours : Grey, Champagne
Weight: 51.14lbs/ 23.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Stylish finish+Efficient motor+Automatic gear changes+Integrated lights
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy weight when compared to other electric bikes -Limited travel range (distance)

The  Canyon Precede:ON is an efficient automatic transmission city bike that performs well in multi-terrain settings whether for utility or for leisure purposes thanks to a powerful motor and control panel. 

With built-in accessories such as lights, mudguards, rack and kick-stand all the trappings are there to make for a comfortable ride with style straight out the box.  All these add on's however do make it one of the heaviest e-bike's on the market, even heavier than the Specialized Turbo Vado. 

We really loved the Canyon Grail: On (above) and it's great to see the Precede:ON also be kitted with the Bosh Performance Line CX motor, although ideally we would love to see a little more juice in the battery to support the other impressive spec. 

With everything you need straight out the box, including navigation system and lights, it's the easiest way to swop driving/ public transport for a bike, but it is at the higher end price tag wise.  There are a couple of models to chose from, which also takes the cost down a touch, but with a six year guarantee, it could be a savvy investment. 

The only other point to note is that Canyon have a direct sales model, so you'll have to buy directly from the brand here

Ampler Curt e-bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

Ampler Curt e-bike

Best lightweight electric hybrid bike

Motor/Battery: 250Wh, 45 to 100km range
Frame/Fork: aluminum frame/ carbon fork
Groupset: Shimano Deore 11sp with hydraulic disc or Gates carbon drive singlespeed
Wheels : 28" Asymmetrical 28 mm rims
Tyres: Continental 32mm
Sizes: S - L
Colours: Black only
Weight: 28-33lbs/13-15kg
Reasons to buy
+Light for an e-bike with a responsive ride
Reasons to avoid
-Battery is fixed-Harder to charged

An aluminum frame with flat bars for a comfortable, upright position, and a seat tube-mounted battery which is slim and unobtrusive. The bike weighs in at 15kg / 33lbs with 10-speed Deore gears, or 14kg / 30.8lbs if you opt for a single speed.

The battery itself packs 336Wh and provides 250w of assistance, lasting between 45km / 28mi and 100km / 60mi depending upon the mode. 

The disc brakes wheels are shod with 32c Continental tires, offering plenty of comfort. It's fair to say that we loved the agile and nimble ride, although do realise that unless you're blessed with power in the place where the bike is kept, it's going to be a challenge to charge with it's fixed battery. 

It's a beautiful bike, and would appeal to a lot of city riders, but hard to challenge the Ribble Hybrid AL E on the bang for buck, meaning that you have to truly value it's form over function. 

Like some of the other brands here, Ampler bikes is a direct sales brand which you can see here, unless you happen to be passing it's sores in Berlin, Cologne or Tallinn. 

VOLT Infinity Electric Bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

VOLT Infinity Electric Bike

(Image credit: Volt)

Best electric hybrid bike for comfortable ride feel

Motor/Battery: Shimano STEPS Motor/ 418Wh, 112km range
Frame/Fork: aluminum/ Suntour NCX D-LO Coil fork
Groupset: Shimano 11 Speed Alfine Di2, hydraulic disc
Wheels : Aluminium Double Wall Reinforced Alex Rim DP20
Tyres: 28mm
Sizes: One size (19")
Colours: Silver only
Weight: 53.35lbs/24.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Efficient and natural feeling Shimano steps system+Torque sensor to judge when you are fatiguing and need a battery powered boost
Reasons to avoid
-Rear wheel uses Allen key bolt-One size only 

With it's 36V battery, which should give around 70 miles of juice, hooked up to a mid-drive motor, we found that the Volt Infinity electric bike gave a nice balanced feel to the bike. 

Shimano provides the power in the form of 8-speed Alfine Di2 hub Shimano Steps, the highly regarded motor and e-bike specific groupset.

Three different assistance modes will let you get the most out of that battery and the display mounted on the front will make it easy to keep track and we loved that the torque sensor picked up when we were flagging and give us a little boost to help us along our way. 

Previously similar to the Carrera Subway E, it's had a bit of a make over and it's now much more visually integrated than the previous model that we tested, although it's still without a quick release rear wheel, making investing in the best puncture-proof tyres or innertubes a shrewd investment. 

The only real downside is the one size fits all. Great if it does fit you, not so much if it doesn't. 

Best Electric Folding Bikes

Folding electric bikes are practical if you have a train journey forming part of your trip, or, are low on space. Being small, the battery and motor can represent a large percentage of the weight, so the focus is often on reducing this as much as possible. 

Mileage on folding bikes is often low, since they're typically used to ride to and from train stations, so battery range isn't always a major consideration. 

If you are considering going for a folder, it you might find our buying guide page dedicated to helping you find the best folding bikes a useful read. 

Gocycle G4 folding e-bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

Gocycle G4 folding e-bike

(Image credit: GoCycle)

Best electric folding bike for portability when off the bike

Motor/Battery: GoCycle Proprietary front hub/ fork, 300Wh, up to 65km range (claimed)
Frame/Fork: Aluminum / Carbon folding
Groupset : Shimano Nexus hub gears, hydraulic disc
Wheels: Magnesium
Tyres: Gocycle All Weather 20″
Sizes: One size - adjustable seat post, (Minimum saddle height 880mm / 34.5")
Colours : Black, blue, white
Weight: TBC (36.6lbs/16.6.8kg(claimed)
Reasons to buy
+Compact package when folded+Ability to roll-along folded+Carbon fork for lightweight nimble ride feel+USP phone charge port
Reasons to avoid
-One size only -Bit tricky to fold and unfold-Not all models have adjustable handlebar height

Capable of packing into a small wheelable package, the GoCycle G4 folding e-bike is all about portability. We really enjoyed the carbon and aluminium mixed frame and fork package, which works to help keep the bike relatively lightweight. 

You get hydraulic disc brakes and 20-inch wheels with 2-inch tires that roll well and provide ample comfort. The single sided carbon fork, which incidentally houses the GoCycle propriety motor, also assists in the comfortable ride. 

The power comes from a motor in the front hub, which offers 250-watts of assistance, and lasts for a claimed 65km / 40mi on eco mode. The 300Wh lithium battery takes around seven hours to charge, with even enough to charge your smart phone along the way.

What we really loved was the amount of practicality build in, making it one of the best folding bikes full stop. The folding and folding is a little tricky, but once you nail that the folded down package is really compact. We really appreciated the ability to wheel the bike around once folded too, a big feature for anyone who has to tackle a long section of walking, such as manoeuvring train stations. 

The one size only is common for folding bikes, but still can be frustrating, especially as not all the GoCycle models come with adjustable handlebars. Assuming that you can making the size work for you it's a brilliant folding e-bike option. 

Tern Vektron S10 electric folding bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right

Tern  Vektron S10 electric folding bike

(Image credit: Tern)

Tern Verge X11 electric folding bike

Best folding electric bike for extra luggage

Motor/Battery: Bosch Active Line Plus 250W/ 400Wh
Frame/Fork: Aluminum
Groupset : Shimano Deore 1x10, hydraulic disc brakes
Wheels: Kinetix Comp/ Novatech, 20″
Tyres: Schwalbe Big Apple
Sizes: One size
Colours: Black, silver
Weight: 48.7lb/22.1kg (claimed)
Reasons to buy
+Built in racks as standard+Regular bike ride feel thanks to gear ratio+Resizable saddle and handle bar height+High specification drivetrain and hydraulic brakes +Great weight distribution
Reasons to avoid
-Cumbersome when folded-Not a perfect fold up design-Heavy for a folding bike

Tern has numerous folding bike options, with the electric model options also growing in the fleet. The Tern Vektron S10 features 20-inch wheels and a 400-watt battery that can power you for 40 to 90 miles, depending on how much you use the assist.

We Haven't tested this version, but highly rated the non-electric Tern Verge X11 and believe that you won't be disappointed in this electric cargo model. 

To help the rider find the perfect fit, the stem and saddle are adjustable, making it a good interchangeable option for the whole family, from 4'10" to 6'5". Coming with an integrated rack, compatibility with child seats is a breeze as no additional adaptors are required.

It's integrated rack will be fantastically useful, but will add to the already limited folded down package size,  so if it's stowaway capabilities you're after, you might be better off with the Brompton Electric Folding bike option. 

The bike boasts dynamo powered lights, alongside hydraulic disc brakes and highly regarded Shimano Deore groupset. The high spec does push the price up though, and weighing 22.5kg /48.7Ibs makes it a fairly hefty folder, and a limited one at that. 

Brompton Electric Folding Bike in the image is side on with the handle bars pointing to the right with the battery pack mounted on the front of the forks

Brompton Electric Folding Bike

(Image credit: Brompton)

Brompton Electric Folding Bike

Best folding electric bike for compact storage

Motor/Battery: Brompton Willams Advance Engineering collaboration, Samsung battery 300W
Frame/ fork: Steel
Groupset: Brompton own, 2-speed/ 6-speed options
Wheels: Brompton 16" (349mm)
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Racer
Sizes: One size, Seat post height options, handle bar options saddle width choice
Colours : Black, green, clear lacquer
Weight: 2-speed: 36.59lb/ 16.6 kg, 6-speed: 38.36lbs/ 17.4 kg
Reasons to buy
+Excellent folding credentials in terms of mechanisms and size +Very portable when not riding+ Smooth but powerful motor assist+Predicable power deployment +2 versions for flat or hills
Reasons to avoid
-Challenging to carry much else unless in a rucksack when off bike.

We absolutely loved the Brompton Electric bike when we took it out for a spin, finding it to be the perfect bike for commuting in traffic and then stowing well out of the way post ride. 

The brand is considered by many as the gold standard of folding bikes, and the Brompton Electric is clearly cast from the same mould.

 As typical with any Brompton bike, the brand has taken full control of the engineering, so everything from frame to motor has been designed in house. Brompton however has called upon the experiences of Williams Advanced Engineering when it come to the motor, developing a bespoke lightweight removable battery and motor. 

As you would expect when a team of Formula One engineers get under the bonnet of the Brompton Electric, the small, but perfectly formed motor has excelled. Delivering power smoothly, safely and exactly when you need it. 

The frame is the usual Brompton high standard, and while one size, keeps the ability to choose handle bars, seatpost heights and even saddle widths. The other choice is in number of gears, with the standard 'town' version coming with two, while folk with a hill or two to tackle would be better off paying a small surcharge and going with the 6-speed option. 

Whatever your final set up, you can rest assure as to the bike's foldability, which is on of the reasons why Brompton stands out from the folding bike crowd. It's folded footprint is one of the smallest out there, 565mm high x 585mm wide x 270mm long (22.2" x 23" x 10.6"). This means it's highly portable and capable of stowing in the smallest of spaces, although be warned; due to the independent motor and battery pack, you'll find yourself with two hands full, so best to invest in a rucksack for your other belongings. 

On test we felt this was an absolutely dream of a bike, in fact, we went as far as calling it  a transport gamechanger. 

Electric bike buying advice

Why would you buy an electric bike?

There are a whole host of reasons why you might want some pedaling assistance in your life from the best electric bike.

Perhaps you have to travel with lots of cargo, and the added power can mean the difference between using a car or still spinning your two legs.

Or maybe you want to start commuting to work, and an electric hybrid could be a great option for helping you cover the miles, without turning up at work in a sweaty and in need of a shower.

You might be recovering from injury or illness and the added boost of a motor might help you get back out there again. Or it might simply be the case that you're not as young as you once were.

It is absolute hearsay that electric bikes don't provide an exercise benefit, you do still get a workout when riding an electric bike.

Is it worth getting an electric bike?

The biggest bonus of the best electric bike is gaining Pedal-assisted riding, making commuting much more of an option for many people.

Scott hybrid electric bike is pictured in this image.

The benefit is obvious: less effort = less sweat. Hauling heavy luggage is an option, and you can often even keep pace and feel more comfortable in traffic. A hybrid e-bike with a rack and fenders and you've got a seriously practical bike that can replace many a car trip or having to use public transport.

The biggest difference between an electric bike and a motorbike is that the e-bike can only assist its rider, its motor cannot be the sole source of power for the bike. To clarify, in order for an electric bike to be legal, in many countries it can only assist a rider up to 25kmh (that's roughly 15.5mph). This applies for most of Europe and Australia — if you live in the US, keep reading.

Outside the US the motor inside the bike can only be a maximum of 250w and cannot be operated by a throttle like you'd find on a motorbike. Which, sadly, does mean you'll have to use your legs!

The rules in the US are a bit more difficult to follow as the laws can vary state to state, and federal law surrounding e-bikes may say something different again.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has sought to clear up some of the confusion slotting e-bikes into a three-class system, all of which are limited to 750-watt motors.

  • Class 1: the motor only kicks in when the rider is pedaling and is limited to 20mph
  • Class 2: The motor is limited to 20mph and can provide assistance whether or not the rider is pedaling
  • Class 3: the motor provides pedal assist, is limited to 28mph and must be equipped with a speedometer.

The laws surrounding where and who can ride which class of e-bikes also varies state to state, but the TL:DR version is class 1 and 2 are permitted anywhere bikes are allowed, and class 3 are okay on roads and in bike lanes, but not multi-use paths, and have rules surrounding helmet use and minimum rider age. Thankfully the lovely folks over at People for Bikes have a handy guide that breaks the rules up by state.

What to look for in an electric bike

Most e-bikes come in the form of a Pedelec or pedal-assist, which monitors the input of a rider and assists as much as possible up to the region-specific top speed.

Less common are Twist-n-Go models, which allow riders to operate the input of the motor from a switch (or even a throttle). Most places classify these as a moped and may need a license, insurance, and a full helmet to ride them.

Where should the motor be placed on the best electric bike?

There are really only three options for e-bike motor placement: either on the front wheel, the back wheel or the cranks.

best electric bikes - A hub mounted motor is pictured on a bike

A hub mounted motor

Placing the motor at the cranks offers much better weight distribution, which makes the bike more stable — a key consideration for both road and mountain bikes.

Hub based motors, found in the rear wheel, are usually lighter, so you're more likely to find them on electric road bikes. Motors in the front wheel are a lot less common.

best electric bikes - A bosch motor placed around a bottom bracket

Most motors are now placed around the bottom bracket for a better distribution of weight

How far do the best electric bikes go?

Another consideration worth thinking about is electric bike batteries.

Generally speaking, like motors, you get what you pay for. No battery will have infinite power, or be totally invisible, even on the best electric bike - but the more you spend the longer the range/ the more subtle its placement.

Ebike battery is shown here in a rider's hands.

Here, a 9ah battery is hidden in the seat

(Image credit: Future)

Battery capacity is measured in both watts (watt-hours, WH) or amps (amp-hours, AH). In most cases, an e-bike's battery capacity lies between 7-10ah.

Typically, you should get around 800 charge cycles from the best electric bike Lithium-ion battery before you'll need to replace it.

Expect a riding range of anywhere between 25 and 75 miles of run time on a full charge. Although be warned, the more assistance the bike gives, the more power it will draw from the battery.

What components do the best electric bikes have?

E-bikes do have slightly different components to standard bikes, the obvious ones are the battery and motor.

In terms of motors, the big names are Bosch and Shimano. Shimano Steps was the first e-bike specific groupset from the Japanese giant and it features a mid-drive electric motor, as well as integrated electric shifters and a torque sensor to smooth out the ride a little.

A bosch motor on a bike is pictured here

Bosch is becoming a big name in the e-bike world

Bosch has really embraced the electric bike market and their range of eleven different motors offers a variety of power assistance depending on how much you're willing to spend and the type of riding you're doing. Their models have motors geared to more leisurely riding, more performance-oriented cycling or cargo moving applications.

Newer brands such as Fazua and Ebikemotion are common on lightweight e-road bikes, and these systems have done well when reviewed, so come recommended. 

best electric bikes can come with a standard road or gravel groupset. This is an image of the component parts that makes up Shimano Ultegra groupset

Most electric road bikes will come with a normal groupset

The best electric bikes are likely to come specc'ed with some form of hydraulic disc brakes. The added speed and weight of an e-bike will definitely warrant the extra stopping power.

Other areas that can differ are, tires, which tend to be fatter, even on the road bike options, anywhere between 32mm and 40mm of rubber is most common on the hybrid options. The extra wide tires will helpabsorb the impacts of heavier frame as well as providing more grip and stopping power to balance the extra weight and speed.

The more expensive, lightweight carbon road electric bikes do now come with leaner 28m tires, perfect for keeping up on the club run.

Hannah Bussey
Hannah Bussey

Hannah Bussey is Cycling Weekly’s longest serving Tech writer, having started with the Magazine back in 2011.

She's specialises on the technical side of all things cycling, including Pro Peloton Team kit having covered multiple seasons of the Spring Classics, and Grand Tours for both print and websites. Prior to joining Cycling Weekly, Hannah was a successful road and track racer, competing in UCI races across the world, and has raced in most of Europe, China, Pakistan and New Zealand. For fun, she's ridden LEJoG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, win 24 hour mountain bike race and tackle famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.