Quick Answer: 10 Best Electric Commuter Bikes
- Trek Super Commuter+ 7 ($3,299) Class 1 Best All-Round Bike:
- Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 ($5,150) Class 3 Best Integrated Frame:
- Rad Power Bikes – Rad City ($1,499) Class 2 Best Value Bike:
- Haibike SDURO Trekking S 9.0 ($4,299) Class Best Trekking Bike:
- Bulls Sturmvogel EVO Street ($3,699) Class 1 Best Quietest Bike:
- OHM Discover ($2,899) Class 1 Best Intermodal Bike:
- Riese & Muller Multicharger GT Touringd ($6,059) Class 1 Best Heavy Hauler:
- Pedego City Commuter Black Edition ($4,195) Class 2 Most Comfortable:
- Tern GSD S10 ($3,999) Class 1 Best Cargo Bike:
- Magnum BIkes Cruiser ($2,499) Class 1, 2 or 3 Best Beach Cruiser:
Trek Super Commuter+ 7 (Class 1 – Pedal Assist up to 20mph)
Award: Best All-Round Bike
For all-round functionality and style, you can’t beat the Trek Super Commuter+ 7. We selected a Class 1 bike as our top pick because this is the most common class of e-bike. This zippy bike has a sleek design, solid frame and upgraded components. The integrated engineering keeps it simple and sporty. This is a bike sure to impress your friends!
The Commuter+ 7 is powered by an integrated 250-watt Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor and a removable Bosch PowerPack 500Wh battery. As a Class 1 bike, the Commuter+ 7 motor provides pedal-assist up to 20mph and does not have a throttle. The Bosch PowerPack yields 500 watts per hour (which translates to 1000 watts for 30 minutes or 250 watts for two hours, etc.) Battery is removable and can be recharged in any household outlet. The accompanying Bosch Purion backlit computer displays speed, distance and battery range. A 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain provides plenty of options for both hills and flats while Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes facilitate smooth braking to safely manage your speed.
The Super Commuter+ 7 frame maintains stability with a rigid carbon fork and 15mm thru axle, while the 2.4” Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires will take you smoothly over all but the most extreme road surfaces. Seamless integration of both motor and battery give the Commuter+ 7 a sleek look. Its urbane styling and matte black color make it pop. This is not your grandmother’s step-through city bike!
There is cargo capacity via a one-piece storage rack that flanks the rear fender. It does not have a shelf, but it is wide enough to hold mounted panniers. The Supernova mini headlight is 205 lumens with daytime running functionality for safety, and a rear LED tail light makes you visible from behind. Accessories such as front and rear fenders, nice Bontrager saddle and ergo grips all work to keep you clean and comfortable while riding.
The Trek Super Commuter+ 7 is the ultimate combination of performance and affordability. This bike is priced roughly mid-range for commuter ebike; it’s not as expensive as some, and there are certainly cheaper options, but it offers impressive high-end features on a stylish, sturdy frame while holding the cost under $3500. Class 1 designation also keeps it street legal in most cities. This is a great all-round e-bike for light-cargo commuting or recreational riding.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Bosch Performance Line, 250 watt, 63Nm, 20 mph
- Battery- Bosch PowerPack 500Wh, integrated in frame and removable
- Components- Bosch Purion Controller, 2A Bosch Charger
- Wheels- 27.5” x 2.40” tires
- Brakes- Shimano M315, hydraulic disc
- Frame- Hydroformed frame w/integrated battery and Motor Armor
- Lights- (f) Supernova Mini 2, 205 lumen w/daytime running light (r)Supernova E3 rear light, LED
- Range- Up to 92 miles
- Weight- 52lbs
- Sporty and well engineered
- High-end Shimano components
- Powerful Bosch mid-drive motor provides smooth pedal assist up to 20mph
- Large Schwalbe tires will tackle uneven street terrain
- Removable battery so you can charge it during work or overnight
- Good mix of power, components and style for reasonable price
- Street legal in most cities (check your local laws for specifics)
- 300lb max rider weight
- Limited cargo space. No shelf on the back or basket on the front.
- Rigid suspension may not provide enough shock-absorption for some riders
Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 (Class 3 – S-Pedelec up to 28mph)
Award: Best Integrated Frame
The Specialized Turbo Vado has stylish integration and powerful functionality, making it our pick for Best Integrated Frame. This sleek e-bike blends high-end components with a robust drivetrain for impressive speed and handling. The whopping 660Wh battery and Brose S ALU motor provide pedal-assist up to 28mph. Check out the Vado’s expansive spec-sheet today, you’ll be impressed!
Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 comes in high-step or step-through frame design, both in black/liquid silver color. The Specialized 1.3 motor (Brose S ALU) provides 90Nm of torque and has a nominal output of 250watts, with a peak output of 550watts. Specialized claims this is the “most advanced motor ever found on an urban e-bike,” and it certainly feels like it. The mid-mounted motor is quiet but sporty and will support cadence up to 120+rpm, so you can drop gears, increase speed and still enjoy a bit of assist. Front fork suspension offers 50mm of travel, which is just enough to absorb shock from uneven roads or light trails. A plastic skid plate protects the motor and crank arms are slightly shorter at 165mm to avoid pedal strikes when suspension is compressed.
Battery integration is fluid along the downtube. The 36v 16.8ah battery is lockable and removable, so you can take it out to charge overnight or while at work. A Turbo Connect Display (TCD-w) shows ride metrics and will connect with the Mission Control app for additional features including customizable range and motor parameters.
Drivetrain components include the impressive 11-speed Shimano XL/SLX cassette and levers, Shimano derailleur, and custom alloy chainset and rings. Four-piston Deore hydraulic brakes, 180mm on the front and 160mm at rear, counterbalance the powerful motor with quick, responsive braking.
In all, the Turbo Vado is a sporty ride that is assertive and fun. Extra-long front and rear fenders wrap down to protect both you and the tires while riding. A narrow rack hovers over the rear fender, so you can secure cargo here or hang panniers. Both headlights and tail lights are battery-integrated for safety and there is a convenient rear-mounted kickstand.
The Turbo Vado 5.0 is a high-end bike, designed for riders who value quality and power. It sits on the higher-end pricewise, but this reflects the impressive components and integrated design. Be aware, this e-bike is considered an S-Pedelec, with speeds reaching 28mph, so you may have some street legality issues depending on your local laws. Always verify how and where you can ride S-Pedelecs. Overall, the combination of functionality and speed on the Turbo Vado 5.0 makes it a joy to ride — and that extra speed is a blast! It is ideal for light-cargo commuting, recreational riding, and fashionably zipping around town.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Specialized 1.3 street-tuned, 250W nominal
- Battery- Specialized U1-600, 600Wh
- Components- Turbo Connect Display (TCD-w), 42v 4amp charger
- Wheels- Specialized Trigger Sport 700x47mm (28 x 1.85”)
- Brakes- Shimano Deore XT T8000 hydraulic discs, 180mm(f) 160mm(r)
- Frame- Turbo Aluminum bottom bracket mount, Fitness/Transport geometry
- Lights- (f) Supernova V521s, 205 lumen mount to fork arch (r) Supernova E3, 3-LED 250-degree visibility, fender mount
- Range- 30miles min // 75miles max
- Weight- 52.6lb
- Powerful motor and battery combo create a fun, speedy ride
- 11-speed gearing system gives you lots of options to tackle fast flats or hearty uphills while sparing knees and joints
- Front fork suspension adds comfort and shock absorption
- Lockable and removable battery for safety and convenience
- Sleek, integrated design keeps this ebike minimalist and stealthy
- 120+ cadence support makes it so the motor won’t fade out when riding quick and light
- Both high-step and mid-step frame options for multiple sized riders, men/women.
- Extra-long fenders keep pants and shoes clean
- Limited storage. Excellent for light-cargo; doesn’t have extensive cargo features
- Some complaints with Mission Control app navigability
- Higher price point
- Forward-leaning geometry and flat handlebar reduce wind-resistance while riding, but this position may be uncomfortable for some riders
RadCity Electric Commuter (Class 2 – Throttle on Demand)
Award: Best Value Commuter Bike
We’ve awarded the RadCity Commuter bike our Best Value award because it provides sturdy construction and respectable e-power on a very affordable bike. RadCity thoughtfully engineers their bikes so you get functional components that make your ride enjoyable and fun. With frame sizes designed to fit anyone from 5’ 4” to 6’ 6” there is a RadCity bike for everyone!
We have chosen the RadCity Commuter bike to round out our top three. This bike is the least-expensive on our list and consequently one of the most popular! As a Class 2 bike, the RadCity Commuter does have a throttle in addition to pedal assist. Each of our top three represent a different class of ebike for a reason — they each offer unique features that will be attractive to different riders. In addition to moderated pedal-assist, the RadCity throttle allows you to augment motor power as needed. The RadCity motor tops out at 20mph, so even with full throttle, you’ll be able to keep the speed under control.
RadCity bikes are designed for cyclists who want a solid bike at an affordable price. While some components like the Shimano Acera 7 speed drivetrain are only entry level, it is still spec’d with a pretty wide cassette ratio of 11-34 to give you some range. Add to that the 750w Direct Drive Hub motor with its 40Nm of torque which will help you power up hills without hurting your knees or burning out those quads. RadBikes are popular because of this combination of affordability and functionality.
A 672Wh battery is impressive and offers a range of 25-45 miles. Bike frame is more upright, which enables you to sit up, torso erect, rather than leaning over in an aero-position. While this creates a bit more wind-drag while riding, it is usually more comfortable. 80mm of front suspension also increases comfort as the bike absorbs impact shock rather than the rider. The back rack has a capacity of 60 lbs, and there are lugs in the headtube for mounting a basket if you want more carrying capacity. The RadCity Commuter has an impressive cargo capacity of 275 lbs, which is plenty for most city riders.
E-bikes really shine when they show true systems integration. RadCity knows that little additions such as water bottle mounts on the downtube, front-mounted bell, and battery-integrated lights are useful and valuable when heading for a ride through town. The RadCity Commuter also includes a functional brake light — which is hugely beneficial when dodging through traffic! The RadCity Commuter is a perky bike ideal for first-time owners, college students on a budget, or riders who want to enjoy an e-bike without breaking the bank. (Always check local laws for Class 2 restrictions and requirements.)
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- 750W gearless direct drive hub motor 20 mph pedal assist
- Battery- 48 volt 14Ah lithium ion battery
- Components- Half twist throttle and intelligent 5 level pedal assist 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain Regenerative braking Full LCD display including speedometer, wattmeter, and odometer Adjustable height stem
- Wheels- 26” w/ Kenda K-rad 26” x 2.3” tires
- Brakes- 180 mm Tektro mechanical disc brakes
- Frame- Alloy w/ 80mm suspension fork
- Lights- Battery integrated headlight and rear light/brake light
- Range- 25-45+ miles
- Weight- 63 lbs
- Low price
- Integrated headlight and brake light
- Heavy 275lb cargo capacity
- Front mounted bell
- 80mm front suspension fork
- Multiple size frame options for every rider
- Regenerative braking
- Throttle gives rider a little more control over motor power
- Rear wheel heavy like all hub motors
- Regenerative braking in this gearless hub adds some extra bulk
- Mechanical disk brakes are not as powerful as hydraulic
Haibike SDURO Trekking S 9.0 (Class 3 – S-Pedelec up to 28mph)
Award: Best Trekking Bike
Trekking bikes are designed for longer-distance and off-road riding, so they tend to sport a rugged frame and aggressive styling while still maintaining commuter comfort. The Haibike SDURO Trekking S 9.0 is our Best Trekking Bike because it combines the powerful Bosch Performance Speed motor — usually reserved for e-mountain bikes — with a 500Wh battery for longevity, wide tires, and an 80mm suspension fork to mitigate shock. This solid design creates the ultimate riding experience whether you are navigating trails or traffic!
Admittedly, we have a little crush on the Haibike SDURO S 9.0. Frame design is a combination of the rugged XDURO Allmtn bike and the upright comfort of the now-retired Urban Plus. Haibike is well-known for building quality e-bikes and they have hit a high point with the solid German engineering on the SDURO 9.0.
The SDURO 9.0 frame is hydroformed to snugly house the battery inside the downtube. Haibike calls this feature “Internal Battery Concept.” The Bosch Performance Line Speed motor boasts 63Nm and 575 peak watts (350 nom), which when combined with the PowerTube 500 battery, gives the SDURO a range of 30-110 miles on one charge. Previously, the Haibike Urban Plus used the occasionally glitchy TransX motor, so the Bosch system is a substantial upgrade. The corresponding Bosch Intuvia display clips on and off the handle mount for convenience. The motor also features 120+ cadence assist, so you can keep reps high and still enjoy supplemental power.
Shimano Deore XT derailleur holds the chain secure while the Shadow Plus clutch allows for slight tension modification as needed. With 11 speeds, a respectable 11-46 tooth rear cassette and 18 tooth chainring in the front, gear transitions are smooth and abundant. 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with four quad pistons offer quick and responsive braking.
The hearty Schwalbe Super Moto X tires are 2.4” wide for off-road navigability but a lighter tread keeps them street ready for city riding. Comfort has not been ignored as frame geometry keeps riders more upright than you would initially expect based on the rugged look. As a trekking bike, the SDURO is designed for long rides, so comfort is paramount. Symmetrical cockpit layout with a centered display, XLC sport grips, front and rear lights, and Haibike’s branded seat, “The Saddle” create a pleasant riding experience.
Sitting at the top end of the price range, the Haibike SDURO Trekking S 9.0 is a luxury choice. It is well-suited for riders who value Haibike’s experience building e-bikes, are looking for exceptional design, and are willing to invest in a quality e-bike. There is a rear mounted cargo rack on the bike, so it works well for light-commuting and recreational riding. Look into the Haibike SDURO Trekking S 9.0 — we think maybe you’ll develop a crush too.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Bosch Performance Speed, 350W, 60Nm, 45km/h
- Battery- Bosch PowerTube, 500 Wh
- Components- Shimano Deore XT Derailleur M8000 Shadow Plus, 11 speed Bosch Intuvia display Front Fork SR Suntour Mobie 45 Lockout, air, Travel: 80mm Shimano SLX M7000, Rapidfire shifters
- Wheels- Schwalbe Super Moto X, 27.5″ x 2.4″
- Brakes- Magura MT4 180mm (F&R) hydraulic brakes
- Frame- Aluminum 6061, InTube battery concept (IBC),
- Lights- Haibike eHeadlight, Skybeamer 50, AXA Blueline 80mm
- Range- 30 – 110miles
- Weight- 59.3lbs
- Cool, rugged frame with upright comfort for extended trips or city riding
- Integrated battery is safe and unobtrusive
- An extra battery can be mounted on the outside of the downpost for additional range. (Additional battery is $$, but maybe worth it for long trips.)
- Combination of Bosch Power Line Speed motor and 500Wh battery provide plenty of power
- This is a Speed-Pedelec bike, so it will reach speeds of 28mph. Super fun and fast!
- A lot of functional overlap — this bike is good for both on or off-road riding with lights, a bell, and a bit of cargo space as needed
- Higher price
- Speed Pedelec may not be legal in all cities — verify your local laws
- This is a new model. All the glitches may not have been worked out yet
- Not the quietest motor
Bulls Sturmvogel EVO Street (Class 1 – Pedal Assist to 20mph)
Award: Quietest Motor
Outfitted with the Brose T mid-drive motor, the BULLS Sturmvogel EVO Street is a smooth, quiet ride. This is why we have awarded it the Quietest Motor Award. Brose is known for quality motor engineering and the combination of the Sturmvogel EVO’s classic, minimalist frame design, progressive motor, and hearty battery provides good power and a fluid ride on an eye-catching bike.
The Bulls Sturmvogel EVO Street takes a modern approach on the stylistic simplicity of a commuter e-bike. It is one of the cleanest looking designs currently available. All control cables are internally routed, a centrally placed 250 watt motor integrates into the bottom bracket, and a large 37v 650 Wh battery gives you extra long range. Bulls does a great job with their batteries across their range of bikes. BULLS claims the Street has up to a 137 mile range depending on speed and terrain.
While Brose is a slightly less-ubiquitous motor brand than Bosch or Yamaha, they are well-known for their quiet, German-engineered motors. The mid-drive motor on the Sturmvogel Street keeps weight centered and low, balanced between the crank and pedals. The Sturmvogel Street taps out at 20mph, which is perfect for normal commutes and keeps it street legal in most cities. The 8 speed drivetrain is not as large as some, but riders looking for more than an 8 speeds are most likely long distance commuters who ride lots of steep hills and mountains. While a range of 307% is good, it is not quite up to the range of some of the newer cassettes. However, the real draw of the Sturmvogel Street is simplicity in both design and function. It looks clean, runs quiet, and is eye-catchingly minimalist.
A leather seat, matching grips and brown-walled tires give the bike a classic feel. There is a solid basket with wood platform and integrated headlight attached at the head tube that is both convenient and fun. Since the basket is fixed, it does not turn with the wheel, adding a greater sense of stability while also putting weight on the front wheel. The whole package is rather like a shaved lowrider with its smooth lines and lack of extraneous cables. This is a sporty bike you’ll want to take for a joyride along the boardwalk on a crisp Spring day! Add to that some e-bike speed that will power you around town and you have the perfect recipe for fun
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Brose 250W 90Nm torque 20mph
- Battery- 37V/17.5Ah/650Wh integrated and removeable ~5 hr charge time 0-100%
- Components- Internal 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub Rigid aluminum fork, Internal cable routing 4 level adjustable pedal assist: Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo
- Wheels- 26” w/ 2.35” Schwalbe Fat Frank tires
- Brakes- Shimano BR-M365, hydraulic disc 180/160mm
- Frame- 7005 Aluminum w/ battery integrated into the frame
- Lights- Integrated Front and Rear Lights
- Range- 137miles
- Weight- 52.6 lbs
- Stylish, simple design is eye-catching and sprightly
- Large battery provides extra-long range
- Fairly lightweight at just 52.6 lbs
- Battery, motor and all wiring is internal so the bike looks clean and streamlined
- Basket on the front is convenient
- Headlight attached to basket
- Quiet Brose motor
- Two frame colors: white and platinum, both with leather accents and wheels
- 8 speed internal gear hub limits aftermarket choices for upgrades
- Does not include a rear rack
- Slightly higher price point for an 8-speed
OHM Discover (Class 1 – Pedal Assist)
Award: Best Transmodal Bike
The OHM Discover is a city commuter bike with upgraded components, a streamlined design, and respectable reputation. This bike features a high-end powered drivetrain but only weighs about 48 lbs, so it is the lightest of our contenders. This makes it an excellent option for those who use intermodal transportation and need to put their bike on a bus, subway or other type of transport in their daily commute.
Intermodal transportation is a reality for many commuters. While it would be ideal to be able to ride exclusively to and from the city, some commuters also have to frequently use a car, bus, subway or other system. While many e-bikes do fold up and will even fit in your trunk, some stability is lost in this design. We prefer a solid non-folding frame that is still lightweight so you can lift and move your bike when needed, but you maintain structural integrity when riding. The OHM Discover provides excellent durability and power without adding extra weight.
One thing we love about the Discover is the sleek, integrated frame. Similar to more expensive models such as the Specialized Turbo Vado, the Discover’s hydroformed frame integrates the battery in the downtube so it is unobtrusive. This makes it easy to lift and move your bike when needed — since you don’t have to navigate around an obstructive battery. The OHM Discover also comes in two different colors (graphite gray, pacific blue) and four different frame sizes, so you can find the right bike for you.
The Discover uses a Shimano E6100, 50Nm motor with 250watts of nominal and 500watts of max power. The 504Wh lithium battery gives the bike a range of 60-120 miles, making it ideal for long-distance commuters. A battery-integrated Lezyne 210 lumen headlight and 12 lumen tail light also help you to see and be seen. Double-wall aluminum front and rear fenders and a rear mounted storage rack complete the package for busy city commuters.
Shimano Deore dual piston brakes and hydraulic lever enable gentle — or immediate — braking. These brakes are responsive in various types of weather, so you don’t have to adjust commuting plans if it rains. OHM is a Canadian company, and they know how to build bikes that tolerate riding in the rain. High-quality Shimano derailleur, shifters and 10-speed cassette round out this well-built bike.
We are impressed with the quality components, responsive brakes and light frame design on the OHM Discovery. It is a great, well-rounded option that isn’t too heavy to lift onto your bike rack or a bus. Priced at under $3000, this bike is a great option for both quality and functionality.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Shimano E6100, 50Nm motor with 250watts of nominal power
- Battery- 504Wh lithium battery
- Components- Shimano derailleur, shifters and 10-speed cassette ADVANCE aluminum rigid suspension, 12×100 thru-axle Shimano E7000 LCD black-white display with handlebar mount 42v 4A Smart Charger
- Wheels- 27.5 x 2.0″ Schwalbe BIG BEN, K Guard, 50 EPI, 35-70 psi
- Brakes- Shimano Deore dual piston brakes 180mm
- Frame- Premium Hyrdroformed Aluminum
- Lights- Lezyne integrated 210 lumen headlight and 12 lumen tail light
- Range- 60 – 120 miles
- Weight- 48 pounds
- Lighter-weight than bikes with comparable specs
- Handles well in various weather conditions due to responsive brakes and wide tires
- Sleek, integrated design with two colors and four frame sizes
- 405Wh Lithium-ion battery and Shimano E6100 mid-mount motor with increased range
- Mid-mounted motor keeps the weight distributed low and centered
- A versatile, quality bike in the $2000 – $3000 range
- Charging port on the bike is near the crank arm which can be a problem when charging
- Basic Shimano display doesn’t feature some functionality of more expensive brands
- No suspension, rigid front and rear forks
- It is great for intermodal commuting, but if you need something that collapses smaller, look into a folding bike. This is a great lightweight but non-folding option.
Riese & Muller Multicharger GT Touring (Class 1 – Pedal Assist)
Award: Best Touring Bike
The Riese & Muller Multicharger GT Touring is a heavy-duty, solidly-built German bike. It is bigger, heavier and has more power than any other bike on our list. With a rear passenger option and 125lb of added cargo capacity, this bike will easily carry you, your gear, and maybe even a friend as you head out on your cross-country tour. This is why we have awarded it our Best Touring Bike.
This bike boasts a 2nd generation Bosch Performance Line CX, which is a motor frequently seen on e-mountain bikes. Combined with a 500Wh Bosch battery pack, the Multicharger can generate 600watts of peak power and 75Nm to offer a 160mile maximum range. 70mm of front air suspension and a hard tail create the right balance of travel and strength. A suspension seat post also adds comfort to the rider without compromising stability in the rear.
You can order an optional seat attachment with rear handlebars and foot pegs off the rear wheel for passengers. A supplemental battery pack is available on the high-step frame which will take battery longevity to 1000Watt hours. Advanced pedal assist measures both cadence and torque, so the motor responds to the rider’s pedal force and will supplement power accordingly so you can drop gears and increase cadence when fully loaded or heading uphill.
The Multicharger has 26” wheels rather than 27.5” which increases stability by lowering the wheelbase. Moderately wide 2.15” Schwalbe tires also provide plenty of cushion and should handle rough road and light trails with ease.
The Multicharger is the SUV of e-commuter bikes. It is rugged, solid, heavy, and designed with real power to haul both you and your gear. As a Class 1 bike, there is no throttle, and pedal assist will take you up to 20mph, which means this bike will be legal in most cities. This is the ideal touring bike. The Multicharger carries a higher price point than our other bikes, but you get what you pay for. Everything here is top of the line.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Shimano E6100, 50Nm motor with 250watts of nominal power
- Battery- Bosch PowerPack 500 Performance, 36 V, 13,4 Ah with optional 500Wh*; Bosch PowerTube 500 as an add-on
- Components- Bosch Purion; Bosch SmartphoneHub* display Shimano SLX 11-speed, 11-42 cassette Shifting system Shimano Deore XT Shadow+, 11-speed
- Wheels- 26” Schwalbe Big Ben Plus 55-559 Reflex; Schwalbe Smart Sam 57-559*
- Brakes- Magura MT4, disc brake; Magura MT5, disc brake
- Frame- Aluminum Alloy with both high-step and low-step options
- Lights- Front light Supernova E3 E-Bike; Supernova mini 2 E-Bike* Tail lightBusch & Müller Toplight 2C LED*
- Range- 30 – 160 miles
- Weight- 75 lbs
- Big and solid enough for you, a friend, and all your gear
- Stately design with integrated battery and internal wiring
- Front and rear cargo capacity
- Rear seat capacity with post grips and foot pegs optional
- Slightly lower wheelbase increases stability
- Wide tires take you over multiple types of terrain
- Solid, powerful and well-built
- Most expensive bike on our list
- Added lead-time due to being hand built in Germany
- Some components may be expensive to repair
Pedego City Commuter Black Edition (Class 2 – Throttle on Demand)
Award: Most Comfortable Commuter
Comfort is the goal with the Pedego City Commuter. With an ergonomic padded seat, upright design, wide handlebars and easy step-though design, the City Commuter is wins the award for Most Comfortable Bike. This bike is designed to feel and ride smooth. It is hefty and stable with a cargo rack on the back and fenders to protect clothing and shoes. This is one comfortable ride!
These days, many e-commuter bikes blend chic frame design with a few MTB features to create a look that is functional and sporty. The Pedego City Commuter, however, is a traditional style bike. The frame doesn’t betray any signs of being anything other than a commuter bike until you look at the back and notice the hub mounted motor. Look a little closer and you will see the battery hiding under the rear rack with a black-on-black stealth vibe.
It is also more of a traditional commuter bike as well with 2.0 wide slick tires and a small amount of suspension travel in the front coupled with a suspension seat-post with adjustable preload. The drivetrain is Shimano SLX 10 speed, while this is a reasonable and quality component choice, it may be a little low spec for an e-bike at this price point.
The City Commuter is offered in 3 different frames. The step through has 26” wheels or 28” wheels and the Classic has 28” wheels and a traditional front triangle. On all of these frames they use the same 500W brushless motor. Remember wattage is not everything though and this 500W hub motor offers a relatively low 45Nm of torque over 5 different assist levels and an electric only with the use of a twist throttle.
This is a Class 2 bike, so throttle will support pedal assist up to 20mph. The addition of a throttle gives riders more control and can be especially useful when you want to ride home without pedalling. The City Commuter has a max range of about 70 miles depending on speed and load, but of all our bikes, it is likely the most comfortable way to get there. A wide seat and ergonomic pedals are an added luxury.
All in all the Pedego City Commuter has a lot of options and includes good integration with front and rear lights connected to the main battery. They even offer two different size batteries so you can decide what is best for your needs and price range. The Pedego City Commuter is a great option for those with joint issues who may be looking for a comfortable step-though design and a cushioned seat. The standard frame design, while not as sexy as some, keeps it sturdy, simple, and comfortable.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Hub mounted 48V Brushless motor; 500W, 45Nm torque
- Battery- 48V 10 or 15 amp lithium ion battery
- Components- 50 or 60mm travel suspension fork, 40mm travel seat-pot Shimano SLX 10 speed drivetrain w/ 11-36 cassette
- Wheels- 26” or 28” w/ 2.0” Schwalbe tires
- Brakes- Tectro hydraulic disk brakes w/ 180mm rotors
- Frame- Alloy w/ reinforced rear triangle and rack
- Lights- (f) 200 lumen led (r) led both integrated into the main battery electrical system
- Range- Up to 60 miles
- Weight- 65 lbs
- Multiple frame options
- Front suspension and suspension seat-post for smoother rides and less fatigue on your commute
- Reinforced frame to handle carrying loads
- Relatively heavy
- Battery and hub mounted motor are both over the rear end of the bike
- Not as good of a price to value as the others
Tern GSD S10 (Class 1 – Pedal Assist to 20mph)
Award: Best Cargo Bike
The Tern GSD S10 is a low-profile folding bike with a 440lb maximum weight capacity! This bike only weighs 59lbs itself and can fold down to fit in your vehicle. The rear rack will comfortably carry one adult passenger or two child seats! The GSD S10 has a heavy-duty frame with integrated rack, and comes in five different colors and four battery options to fit your lifestyle. This is why it is our pick for Best Cargo Bike.
The S10 has a 36v 250w Bosch Performance motor with a max speed of 20mph and max torque at 63Nm. You can select a battery size of: 400wh, 500wh, or 600wh depending on your commuting and cargo needs. Larger battery will support longer range and/or heavier cargo.
An expansive wheel base supports the elongated frame and 20” wheels keep your center of gravity low for enhanced stability. This low design also makes it easy to load children or cargo and Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires help offset bumps in the road. Tern offers extensive cargo add ons, including everything from panniers, rear handlebars, a seat pad, rear short bed tray and front transporter rack.
Shimano Deore shifters and derailleur are smooth with 10-speed options and a 11-36 tooth cassette. Hydraulic Magura 4-piston brakes with 180mm rotor on both front and back offer clean braking. Many of the components are proprietary to Tern, so they are well-built, but can be expensive to repair or replace.
The bike starts at a slightly higher price point and goes up from there depending on battery and add-ons. But this cargo bike is intended to replace or supplement motorized commuter vehicles, so it’s best to think of it more as a quiet, sidewalk-friendly motorcycle. If you are looking for a superior cargo bike, check out the Tern GSD S10!
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- Bosch Performance 36v 250w, max speed 20mph, torque 65Nm
- Battery- Bosch Dual Battery system (400wh/500Wh/600Wh)
- Components- Bosch Purion 4-mode display with walk assist Shimano Deore 10-speed shifter Shadow+ derailleur and 11-36T cassette
- Wheels- Schwalbe Super Moto-X 62-406, Puncture Resistant tires
- Brakes- Magura MT5, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes 180mm rotor
- Frame- Tern GSD, 7005-Al, patented MultiTruss design
- Lights- (f)Tern Valo Direct, integrated, 41 lux/150 lumens (r)Herrmans H-Trace, for eBike
- Range- 400 Wh: 31-68 mi // 500 Wh: 37-87 mi // 900 Wh: 68-155 mi
- Weight- 59lb (unweighted with one battery)
- Low profile, elongated frame with easy step-over height
- Extensive cargo weight capacity with additional add-ons
- Multiple battery sizes
- Five color options
- Integrated battery and motor keep frame compact and functional
- Integrated front and rear lights for safety
- Hydraulic brakes
- Folding design drops handlebars down to fit in a trunk or vehicle
- Slightly expensive base price around $5000
- Many components are proprietary so they may be more expensive to fix or replace
- Low profile tires not meant for rough riding
Magnum Cruiser (Can be modified as Class 1, 2, or 3)
Award: Best Beach Cruiser
Rounding out our top 10 electric commuter bikes is the Magnum Cruiser. We have awarded this bike our Best Beach Cruiser. The Magnum Cruiser is perfect for beach-goers who want the performance of an e-bike on a classic upright design with leather accessories and integrated rear rack. It is the ultimate combination of high-power and a laid-back vibe.
Underneath that laid back style, the Magnum Cruiser hides some solid performance from its 500 Watt hub mounted motor. It offers 6 levels of pedal assist power to 25 mph as well as the option of up to 20 mph of throttle-only power. This kind of power and speed will get you quickly where you need to go!
The Magnum Cruiser also makes some concessions to being an effective commuter. The rear rack is integrated by following the lines of the rear fender, which keeps it clean and simple. A wide, cushioned leather seat can be set as low as 26” or as high as 31”. Saddle sits slightly aft of the pedal crank, which increases both stability and comfort. While this is listed as a high-step frame, standover height is just 27” and total length is 76” with a 49” wheelbase. The upright design and aft saddle position makes it easy to set your feet down at stop signs and lights. The rear rack is not as cargo-friendly as others, but it will hold a beach bag or backpack and max load capacity is still 265lbs, which is pretty good..
The battery is integrated along the downtube, but it is not as sleek as some. However, the battery is both lockable and removable for safety and convenience. In all, the Magnum Cruiser is a classic beach cruiser with plenty of power, a bit of cargo space, and lots of points for style.
Bike Specs & Features
- Motor- 500W 48 volt Das-Kit R4 Rear Geared Hub Motor
- Battery- 16-48V / 13AH / 624WH / with USB Port
- Components- Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist 6 levels Paddle Throttle / 25mph with pedal assist 20mph throttle only, Shimano 8 speed drivetrain Sprung suspension cruiser style seat
- Wheels- 26” with 2.15” Schwalbe Big Ben tires
- Brakes- Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes with brake sensor
- Frame- 6061 Aluminum Alloy
- Lights- Independent Front Headlight, Independent Rear Light
- Range- 30-60 miles
- Weight- 59 lbs
- Classic Cruiser style
- Up to 25 mph pedal assist with electric power only option
- Stylish design
- Leather seat, handlebars and brown sidewall tires for cohesive design
- Rear rack will hold light cargo
- Hydraulic Disc brakes
- Multiple power/throttle options
- Not the most efficient design
- E-bikes with electric only modes are subject to different regulation is some areas
- 8 speed drivetrain offers limited gear range
- Headlight and tail light are not integrated with bike battery
- Heavy with limited cargo rack and no additional cargo add-ons via manufacturer website
Criteria used in ranking commuter e-bikes
There is a lot to take into account when ranking commuter e-bikes. The diversity of the segment makes this a more difficult job as some of the comparisons are more apples to oranges than apples to apples. No matter what the design there are some key components that they all have in common.
In reviewing these commuter e-bikes the following components and attributes have been considered. Just because a e-bike ranks high on our list does not mean it is the right one for you. Only you know your style, and how you want to use your e-bike. For some pedal assist might seem like the only logical way to go, it’s like a normal bike with a boost. Others will want the ability to be all electric with no need to pedal to get power out of the motor and to the ground.
It is really just a case of matching your personality, style and budget with the e-bike that you feel will do the best job of getting you and your stuff where you need to go and back again.
Motors- This is a no brainer right? You are buying the e-bike to commute and get around with added boost, and greater ease. You need a motor who’s manners and function match your unique circumstances. How much power does it produce? How does it work, is it only pedal assist or is there an electric only throttle option? These are some of the motor questions that we ask, and of course a motor cannot function alone, so next we consider…
Power and Torque- These are functions of the motor and battery as a unit. The power of the electric motor and the level that it is used at has everything to do with range. Torque gives you that “Hand of God” feeling, like you are being pushed up the hills with little or no effort. The higher the torque numbers, the harder and faster you can climb.
Weight- All things being equal, less weight will get you there with less energy, and handling will be more nimble. This is probably not as important of a criteria for you on your commuter e-bike unless you need to be able to pick it up to store it, or have lots of curvy roads in you commute.
Components- This is probably the hardest part to grade in this group. The parts spec and types of components are highly diverse in this group. The component grade is based heavily on the total integration of the package. They must ideally all complement each other.
Frame- This is the parts that holds everything together and gives it definition and character. A good frame will make all of the other component integrate together better.
Price- Price is everything for many consumers. While we are testing the top of the line offered by different manufacturers, we do not pretend that price is no object. An e-bike I would take on a long distance commute then store in a secure office would probably be different than the one I would commute downtown on and leave locked up on the street.
Style- Is in the eye of the beholder, and you may want something that makes you feel like it speaks to your personality. This is a less important criteria to the pragmatist than it is to aspiring and current fashion icons. Where some riders may be fine with a less exciting looking e-bike that does its job well, others are going to look at the whole package, and want it to look well put together and exciting.
Cargo Capacity Any commuter vehicle has to not just get you there, it has to get your stuff there with you. This is another criteria that is highly personal where one rider needs nothing more than a backpack others may want to be able to haul more.