While it’s still early in 2022, from where we sit, 2022 is a terrific year to be a buyer of an e-bike, probably the best year yet. If you’re looking for the best e-bike out there then you’ve come to the right place, our team of experts have listed our picks for the 15 best electric bikes of 2022.
Mid-drive technology is maturing and is increasingly found on more price-conscious bikes while hub motor-equipped bikes have never been more affordable. And while seeing e-bikes become more affordable due to maturing tech is wonderful, it isn’t worth much if the bikes aren’t available and we are pleased to say that the supply-chain issues that have plagued every industry on earth are finally easing for the bike industry. Bikes are often shipping in days or weeks as opposed to months.
Whether you’re looking for an efficient way to get to work, the perfect electric bike to drop the kids at school and go grocery shopping or something that makes weekends more fun, we’ve assembled the top 15 e-bikes. They run the gamut from as affordable as we can recommend to high-tech and flashy to workhorses that are the two-wheeled equivalent to a minivan. Whatever your need, there’s an e-bike out there to fit it.
Quick Answer: The 15 Best E-Bikes of 2022
- Aventon Aventure
- Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus
- Ride1UP 700 Series
- Aventon Pace 500
- Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus
- Lectric XP 2.0
- Himiway Cruiser
- Blix Aveny Skyline
- Electric Bike Company Model S
- Blix Packa Genie
- Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus
- Ride1up Cafe Cruiser
- Specialized Turbo Vado
- GoCycle G4
- Tern HSD
A massive electric bike that doesn’t feel like it? That’s a good reason for being listed among the best e-bikes of 2022.
Fat tire bikes are known for being heavy thanks to their large wheels and ginormous tires. It gives them a terrific, floaty feel, but they are difficult to make go more than a walking pace. Aventon’s Aventure pairs a powerful 750w motor with a well-balanced design that yields all the fun of a fat tire bike along with the easy pedaling of an e-bike.
This electric bike is equipped with a wide-ranging, eight-speed drivetrain for use both off-road and on, plus a suspension fork to improve handling, comfort and confidence. We also like that the traditional frame comes in three sizes and a step-through version comes in two sizes; being on the right-sized bike is important not just for comfort, but for balance and handling as well.
More and more e-bikes are integrating the battery into the frame, even at this affordable price point, but Aventon chose to do this in a way that goes beyond looks; riders benefit because with the battery sitting lower in the frame, the bike feels more stable and turns more nimbly. The same isn’t true for batteries located over rear wheels as this throws off weight distribution.
For a bike to truly be useful for daily errand-running, fenders are an indispensable part of all-season riding and we were glad to see that they were included, not an add-on. With a top speed of 28 mph and a pedal-assist range of 19-53 miles (from the testing done at our friends at Electric Bike Report), this bike will take a rider to the middle of nowhere and back in a single afternoon.
- Available in three sizes as well as traditional and step-through frames
- 750w motor makes the bike feel light and maneuverable
- Smooth acceleration to 28 mph max speed won’t surprise new riders
- Ships as a Class 2 bike but can be unlocked to be ridden as Class 3 in pedal-assist mode, depending on need and local laws
- Pedal-assist range of 19-53-miles for all-day adventures
- Hydraulic disc brakes for confident stopping
- For off-road use, we’d like to see even lower gears
- Getting the battery to turn on seemed to require the right amount of pressure and time on the button
Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus
When someone chooses to commute to work by an electric bike, there’s more to the endeavor than just buying the bike and a helmet. With many commuter e-bikes, you get nothing more than the bike. With the Rad Power Bikes RadCity 5 Plus, novice commuters can avoid the learning curve while astride one of the best e-bikes around..
What makes the RadCity 5 Plus so great is that they start with a terrific city e-bike—a nice, upright position for comfort and visibility, a 750W brushless hub motor that provides smooth acceleration and a top speed of 20mph. A wide-range, 7-speed drivetrain tames the hills, while a 50mm suspension fork and 2-in.-wide tires make for a comfortable ride on city streets.
Commuting requires a bike that will get you home after dark or when it’s raining, as well as carrying a change of clothes and other necessities like a laptop or groceries. So Rad included a rack for bags, fenders for rain, lights for the dark and a kickstand for parking. And for anyone with hills where they live, this bike features the stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes.
Supply chain issues are one of the biggest issues in buying electric bikes (or almost anything), and because Rad Power Bikes is one of the biggest e-bike brands, their ability to deliver a bike when they say they will is a key piece of consumer respect for the brand. If they say the bike will ship in X business days, we trust that figure.
If that’s not enough to convince you that the RadCity 5 Plus is one of 2022’s best electric bikes, Rad is legendary for its customer service. This means if for any reason you aren’t thrilled with the bike, they’ll be there to problem solve it.
- Includes fenders for riding in the rain
- 2-in.-wide tires offer a comfortable ride with great traction
- Includes lights for being seen at dusk and at night
- Suspension fork for more comfort and better handling on rough roads
- A seven-speed drivetrain makes hills simpler
- A powerful battery gives riders at least 28-miles of range each charge
- Only comes in one size per frame style. Riders outside the 25″-37.5″ inseam recommendation won’t quite fit.
Ride1UP 700 Series
In urban riding a Class 1 or 2 e-bike (up to 20 mph) can do a pretty good job of keeping up with traffic. But in suburban riding where there are greater distances between lights, they can seem not quite quick enough. That’s where having a Class 3 electric bike can come in handy. With a max speed of 28 mph, getting from light to light can be done at near traffic speeds.
The Ride1UP 700 Series brings all the amenities of a good commuter bike with the prompt arrival time of a car. That Ride1UP chose to go with so many name-brand components like Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano shifter, derailleur and cassette, and a Selle Royal saddle is a clear demonstration that quality matters to them.
A great commuter bike needs heavy-duty tires, lights for night-time riding, fenders to stay dry when on wet streets, and a rack to carry things like a computer and extra clothes. Ride1UP didn’t stop there; they integrated the battery into the frame for better handling and a cleaner look, as well as a 100mm suspension fork for better control and comfort.
What sets the Ride1UP 700 Series apart from other bikes that can claim similar performance and specs is the fact that it costs $100-200 less than most of its peers. A good ride for a good price earns it serious consideration as one of the year’s best electric bikes.
- 750W motor quickly powers riders to 28 mph max speed
- Range of up to 50 miles per charge
- LED lights make it easy to see and be seen at night
- The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide great stopping power
- Integrated battery looks good and improves handling
- At around $1700, the value is tremendous
- The cadence sensor can be a little slow to detect pedaling, causing a lag before power kicks in
Aventon Pace 500
The Aventon Pace 500 combines the capability of a Class 3 e-bike (though it ships as class 2) that allows the rider to go up to 28 mph with the comfort afforded by a traditional cruiser design. Get where you’re going a little faster with this bike.
With larger, 27.5-in. wheels and wide, 2.2-in. tires, the Pace 500 offers the comfort of a cruiser and the speed of a racing bike for getting around town or suburb. One of the beauties of this bike is it’s leisurely while being built for performance. You can have your cake and eat it to; keep it in the class 2 settings it is shipped as for comfort cruising, or make this your main mode of transport with the higher Class 3 speeds.
There are several notable features that are included on the Pace 500. Aventon produces its own app that allows riders to control many aspects of their bike’s operation in an easy-to-follow visual format. The 500W rear-hub motor offers as much as 48-miles range per charge thanks to the battery which is integrated into the frame for superior handling and a more attractive appearance.
The Pace 500’s ability to feel remarkable as either a city bike or cruiser is what garnered it a spot amongst our selections for the best electric bikes.
- Combines the easy riding of a cruiser with the balance and handling of a commuter
- With the battery integrated into frame, the bike handles better thanks to a lower center of gravity
- Thumb throttle to help pooped legs
- 8-speed drivetrain for wide gear range
- Big 27.5 x 2.2” tires for a fast, smooth ride
- 36-spoke wheels for reliability
- Power can come on suddenly due to the cadence sensor
- Rigid forks keep weight down and weigh less, but a suspension fork would offer a smoother ride
RadRover 6 Plus
Getting around town by bike shouldn’t feel like a substitute for going to the gym. With its easy step-thru design and 750W motor, the RadRover 6 Plus is a fat-tire bike capable of off-roading but feels great in city riding. Thanks to a semi-integrated battery, this bike has a lower center of gravity than many similar bikes, making handling calmer and yet more nimble.
Riders can choose between five levels of pedal assist to right-size the assistance they get. A simple user interface makes choosing on the fly easy as well as reading the display while pedaling. Fat-tire electric bikes, like this one with 4-in.-wide tires, offer a very comfortable ride and traction like a cat’s claws. Extras include integrated head and tail lights and even brake lights when a rider pulls the brake levers. Riders can choose between a traditional frame and a step-thru design for easier starts.
What sets this apart from some other fat tire e-bikes we’ve got on our best e-bikes list is how smoothly the RadRover 6 Plus delivers from the motor. Many fat tire e-bikes are aggressively set up, but the Rover emphasizes comfort and stability, while still being capable to romp around on some massive tires.
- 750W motor for smooth acceleration and 28 mph maximum speed
- Hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors provide excellent stopping power in all conditions
- 26×4 in. tires for a cushy ride with terrific traction
- Lights and fenders for riding at any time of the day and in all conditions
- Two displays means riders can see more info
- Suspension fork for better control and increased comfort
- Spring-style suspension forks don’t offer much adjustment range which means for some riders they may be too stiff or too soft
- Does not include a rack
Lectric XP 2.0
Looking for one of the best electric bikes but you don’t want to break the bank? Then say hello to this quirky folding fat tire e-bike.
Storing an electric bike can be an issue, but a folding e-bike side-steps some of that problem by reducing the amount of space the bike takes up when it’s not in use. The Lectric XP 2.0 combines the efficiency of a folding bike with the fun and practicality of an e-bike.
The XP 2.0 features big 3-in. tires for a cushy ride and the smaller 20-in. wheels not only make storing the bike easier, but also make the bike easier to accelerate and more nimble in city conditions. The mechanical disc brakes include 160mm rotors for decent stopping power. The bike is surprisingly practical in use; it comes with a rear rack as well as integrated lights.
Lectric spec’d the bike with a 500W motor powerful enough to allow the bike to be used as a Class 3 (28 mph max speed) ride. Those who want the convenience of a throttle after a long day can rest and let the motor carry them home. And for those who still want to pedal, there are five levels of pedal assist. The backlit display is easy to read even on the brightest days.
This is a seriously feature-packed bike in the $1000-range. It makes it our recommendation for the budget-conscious who are looking for their best electric bike.
- No bike is easier to store than a folding bike
- Small wheels make it easy to turn
- 3-in.-wide tires offer a cushy ride even on rough roads
- Feels sturdy and doesn’t ride like a folding bike
- 7-speed drivetrain offers enough range for both uphill and downhill riding
- It’s a feature-packed bike for just under $1000
- Range is modest, running from 15-35 mi.
- Mechanical disc brakes don’t offer as much stopping power as hydraulic brakes; larger rotors (i.e., 180mm or more) could make up for this
Prices continue to come down on e-bikes while quality continues to climb. There’s never been a better time to be in the market for an e-bike. Himiway’s Cruiser presents a terrific value, thanks to its 750W motor, fat tires and nearly 60-mi. range. With a 350-lb. maximum payload capacity it can accommodate riders that some e-bikes might not fully support. A seven-speed drivetrain helps not just on hills but on trails and other soft surfaces.
Integrated front and rear lights; a rear rack; cushy, 4-in.-wide tires and a suspension fork make this a value-laden electric bike. Fat bikes can be heavy and while at 72-lbs. this is no lightweight, the fact that it is built around an aluminum frame, rather than steel, gives it durability without sacrificing even more weight.
For fans of pure power and speed, this might be the personification of the best e-bike in your eyes. The Himiway Cruiser is notorious for its unbridled motor that can get riders up to speed in a serious hurry. You’ll enjoy flying around roads at a rapid pace while astride the Cruiser.
- Up to 60 miles per charge
- 350-lb. payload capacity
- 26×4-in. tires for terrific comfort and superior traction
- Half-twist throttle makes it easy to give tired legs a break
- Suspension fork increases control and comfort
- Two frame designs (traditional and step-thru) allow riders from 5-feet-3 up to 6-feet-2 to fit comfortably
- At 72 lbs. this is heavier than most similar bikes
- Given the weight of this bike, hydraulic disc brakes would have been a better choice
Blix Aveny Skyline
Not all of the best e-bikes are built for blazing through traffic, or boast more features than you know what to do with. Some of the best e-bikes just feature a solid, enjoyable ride for taking in leisure time.
The Blix Aveny Skyline is not only affordable, it looks and feels like a traditional cruiser. With its step-thru frame, plus fenders and rack it looks like the sort of bike many people grew up riding. The comfortable seated position and backswept bar lend a very natural feel and inspire confidence. But this isn’t an old 3-speed. Modern touches include a 500W motor with between 17 and 45 miles of range; a Shimano 7-speed drivetrain to get you over hills without walking; wider, more comfortable tires and disc brakes that stop quickly.
This Class 2 bike includes a throttle that can take over for tired legs. As with any good city bike, the Aveny Skyline includes a rear rack, front and rear lights, as well as a kickstand. The handlebar-mounted display allows riders to toggle through important info like battery life, speed, trip distance and assist level. Though the bike comes in only one size, it features an adjustable stem that can raise or lower the bar to a rider’s comfort.
- Classic design and looks
- Range of up to 45 miles
- 2.25-in.-wide, puncture-resistant tires for greater comfort and fewer flats
- An aluminum frame for less weight and better handling
- Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors for controlled stopping
- Front and rear lights to keep the rider visible to drivers
- One size bike for 5’1” -6’2” riders, but those at the spectrum points will still lack ideal fit.
- The metal fenders look great but clatter a bit on all but the smoothest roads
Electric Bike Company Model S
This step-thru cruiser features the styling that shouts gorgeous summer day, but adds the bonus of being one of the best e-bikes, making every ride easy.
What puts the Model S on our list for the best electric bikes is how much the Electric Bike Company allows you to customize this bike. From the color of the bike to whether it has a suspension fork or fenders, riders can specify a number of details. Not only can a buyer specify the bike color, trim colors, like for the basket and chain guard can be specified as well. The most interesting option among these is the buyer’s choice of battery—with ranges of 60, 100, 140 or up to 200 miles per charge.
A turbo package option adds an extra motor, battery and throttle, an option that is almost unheard of. With all that power available, it’s good that they chose Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors for serious stopping power.
With so much power available, some riders might go for the single-speed version, but a choice of a 7-speed drivetrain is available for those with hills to scale. Though the bike comes in a single size, sharp-eyed consumers will notice that more diminutive riders can order the bike with 24, rather than 26-in. wheels, which effectively makes the bike 2-in. smaller. The a la carte menu offers as many options as a Toyota Corolla, though Sirius XM isn’t among them.
- Choice of battery can extend range to as much as 190 miles on a single charge
- Optional GPS tracker for increased safety
- Ability to customize the look of the bike with custom paint options – choose the color of the frame, fenders, basket, and more
- Classic cruiser styling and handling
- Two wheel sizes means two different sizes of bike, accommodating from 5-feet-1 to more than 6-feet.
- Turbo option adds another motor and battery – something you rarely see e-bike companies offering
- 12-ga. spokes on the rear wheel would provide greater strength than 13-ga., which could make the bike last longer with the turbo option
- More than one gear results in an upcharge
Blix Packa Genie
For anyone looking to replace their car with a bike, an electric cargo bike is a practical solution. Whether you’re constantly hauling merchandise, or taking the littles along, searching for one of the best electric bikes for your needs is key.
The Blix Packa Genie is our favorite choice in this category. The long-tail design presents the option for carrying kids or groceries, or kids and groceries, depending on how it’s outfitted. A bike of this sort wouldn’t be practical in the suburbs, but with the addition of a motor, it gets around quickly and capably, even when loaded up with shopping and a small-fry. The 750W motor has the power to make hills manageable, even with a load of groceries.
An e-bike like this is a bit heavier and can seem a bit awkward before rolling out. A step-thru frame design and 24-in. wheels make this bike easy to board, and while power isn’t instantaneous due to the cadence sensor, the bike is well-balanced and easy to get going. A 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain eases changes in terrain. With an option for a second battery, the range can be extended all the way to Timbuktu.
- Cargo bikes are notoriously sluggish in handling but the Packa Genie doesn’t feel cumbersome
- The weight of a loaded cargo bike makes flats easier, so puncture-resistant tires make a big difference
- 750W hub motor accelerates a full load to speed quickly
- Range of up to 80 miles with the addition of a second battery
- Hydraulic disc brakes combined with 180mm rotors stop even a heavy load
- Modular racks allow riders to configure the bike to their needs
- A la carte ordering can run up the tab
- Motor assistance can be slow to come on due to the cadence sensor
Not everyone needs an e-bike that can carry a load of groceries or a sheet of plywood, but being able to take a kid along never goes out of fashion. Thanks to its step-thru design, the RadRunner Plus isconvenient for errands as simple as dropping a kid off at school. The 750W motor gives smooth acceleration and stable power, with a range of up to 45 miles per charge. Included extras like lights and fenders make for a versatile bike that can be used rain or shine, night or day.
A wide-range, 7-speed drivetrain gives plenty of gears for climbing a hill and getting back down the other side. Disc brakes lend confidence for city riding; they will stop on a dime, and leave you five cents change. While small wheels make a bike easier to turn, they can result in a bumpier ride; thanks to 3.3-in.-wide tires, the Radrunner Plus will give the rider a cushy ride. Rider comfort is further enhanced with an 80-mm travel suspension fork.
The Plus model of the RadRunner gets our recommendation as we know e-biking is popular to do with kids, a partner, or a friend. The included buddy package of a rear seat and pegs makes this one of the best e-bikes when riding for two.
With a plethora of good componentry and a lot of versatility of what you can do with this bike, it’s a no-brainer pick on our best e-bike list.
- 16.5-in. standover height is terrific for riders with limited flexibility
- Rear platform seat is great for taking a kid along
- Half-twist throttle can be easier on your hand than a lever throttle, and the throttle saves tired legs
- 3.3-in-wide tires include an integrated puncture-resistant layer to avoid flats
- Fits riders with inseams between 26 and 38 inches
- Optional front rack is great for grocery-getting
- The saddle looks comfy but is more appropriate to something that doesn’t require the rider to pedal
- 20-in. wheels present a bumpier ride on rough streets
Ride1up Cafe Cruiser
For suburban riding, where the distances between stoplights can be a half mile or more, Class 3 e-bikes, which can achieve a top speed of 28 mph, help to shrink those distances thanks to the increased pep they offer over Class 1 and 2 electric bikes.
A powerful 750W motor provides smooth acceleration and consistent power even when carrying a load. With more speed available, Ride1UP gave their controller up to nine levels of assist to make it easier to find the perfect pace. Hydraulic disc brakes make stopping easy, even when carrying a load.
Not only does the Cafe Cruiser have a stylish frame design, but Ride1UP integrated the rack into the frame, welding the rack in place, rather than securing it with bolts, which both provide a weaker attachment and can loosen. It’s one of the sturdiest racks we’ve encountered, which helps it to achieve its 300-lb. weight capacity.
Extras like a heavy-duty kickstand, front and rear LED lights and a rack make the Cafe Cruiser a versatile option to driving a car for errands. This is a bike that is every bit as functional as it is stylish which is why it earned a spot as of the best electric bikes.
- Class 3 e-bikes can go 28 mph thanks to powerful 750W motor
- Eight-speed drivetrain from Shimano
- Thumb throttle lets tired legs rest
- Nine levels of pedal assist for the perfect amount of help
- Integrated battery gives a clean look and improves handling
- Lots of extras to customize the bike
- Cadence sensor can be slow to add power
- Can’t fit riders smaller than 5-feet-5
Specialized Turbo Vado
The Specialized Turbo Vado shows the kind of combination of performance, handling and convenience that come with buying a bike from one of the best-respected bike makers in the world. With an unbeatable range of up to 90 mi. per charge, and a maximum speed of 28 mph, the Turbo Vado presents a terrific solution to life with less driving. Thanks to its lockable battery and motor kill switch in the Mission Control app, it is arguably one of the most secure e-bikes on the market.
While with many bikes, there are few choices other than frame style and accessories, Specialized offers the Turbo Vado in a number of configurations ranging from $3250 to $5500 in order to right-size both price and performance. The brakes and drivetrain come from name brands like Shimano and SRAM and are renowned for their reliability and consistent performance.
With 2.3-in.-wide tires, an 80mm suspension fork and a 40mm suspension seatpost, the Turbo Vado doesn’t leave comfort to chance. Specialized further simplifies riding with automatic shifting, making riding as simple as pedaling and steering. An 11-speed drivetrain gives riders a greater ability to find the right gear for any terrain. Easy shiting and great battery life don’t mean much if you can only ride on sunny days. The Turbo Vado includes lights, a rack, fenders and the ability to add a child seat or trailer. Think of it as a station wagon without the wood paneling.
The Specialized Turbo Vado is more of a premium option compared to others we’ve listed as 2022’s best electric bikes, but it’s able to deliver the type of wonderful ride experience one would expect from such a price tag.
- Up to 90 miles in range on a single charge
- Four sizes of frame give riders a more dialed fit
- Choice of planetary gears or 11-speed drivetrain
- Lights, fenders a rack and kickstand come standard
- Instant power thanks to mid-drive motor
- High performance 80mm suspension fork for control and comfort
- Charger can be difficult to seat properly
The GoCycle G4 takes a novel approach to e-bikes design by putting the motor in the front hub. That’s what happens when your chief engineer used to design cars for McLaren. The single-sided fork and frame aren’t just novel looking; they simplify the frame in a way that makes folding the bike up easier; it reduces weight as well, making the bike easier to manage when folded and simplifies maintenance, especially fixing flats as it is no longer necessary to remove a wheel to change a flat. It has a truly unique design unlike any other of the years best electric bikes.
Sometimes the best clue to how well an electric bike is made can be telegraphed in a tiny detail. The G4’s kickstand is one such clue. When the bike is folded for storage, the motorcycle-style kickstand (with two arms) holds the bike upright so that it needn’t be leaned against a wall to keep it out of the way. Given how minimal in size many of the G4’s components are, like the brake rotors, mechanical disc brakes would have resulted in poor brake performance, so GoCycle went with hydraulic disc brakes to make the bike easy to control.
- 500W front-drive motor
- 25mm of rear suspension smoothes bumps in the road
- Lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber frame and fork
- Single-sided fork simplifies bike and looks stylish
- Bike folds up in 10 seconds
- Small wheels make it easy to store
- Accessories like fenders, rack and lights are expensive add-ons, not included
The Tern HSD is a versatile electric bike for anyone hoping to park their car more. From grocery runs to dropping a child at school, the HSD is a workhorse that is as fun as it is practical. And while the HSD isn’t a true folding bike in the classic sense, it does partially fold and can be parked vertically in order to reduce its footprint in a garage, home or office; the rear rack doubles as a kickstand, allowing the bike to be tipped upright without needing to be leaned against a wall, minimizing its footprint and simplifying storage.
Thanks to a step-through frame and low center of gravity, the HSD is easy to ride even when loaded up with a kid or groceries—or both. Hydraulic disc brakes give superior stopping power in wet or dry conditions to give riders the confidence to carry a load. As a Class 1 bike with a maximum speed of 20 mph, the HSD is legal to ride on most bike paths and roads as other bikes.
Even amongst a list of the best electric bikes you’ll find in 2022, the Tern HSD is a high mark for engineering that not many others can claim.
- Exceptionally versatile design makes it well-suited to errands of all sorts
- 374-lb. carrying capacity
- Lights, lock and rack are included
- Belt drive eliminates the need for chain lube
- Automatic shifting cleans up the handlebar and means riders are always in the right gear
- Telescoping seat tube helps to accommodate a wide range of rider heights, from 4-feet-11 to 6-feet-5
- 20-in. wheels can give a bumpy ride
Criteria We Used To Rank The Best Electric Bikes of 2022
For this best electric bikes of 2022 list, we consulted the reviews from our sister site, ElectricBikeReport.com for hard data on the range, braking, and motor speeds, and cross-referenced our own experience with these e-bikes as well as our combined 50+ years in the bike industry. Points that were considered (in rough order of importance) included:
- How well does the e-bike fulfill its stated mission? An e-bike meant for commuting should have fenders, lights and a rack. A cargo bike should have solid cargo capacity and a low center of gravity. Budget-oriented bikes must make careful choices to balance that price tag against the need to offer a reliable electric bike.
- Is the price fair for what comes on your electric bike? We have tilted this best e-bikes list toward bikes for the first-time buyer of an e-bike and those new to cycling. A low price doesn’t mean much if the bike isn’t user-friendly; that means that it can’t be complicated to use or require constant maintenance. We didn’t only choose inexpensive bikes; some, like the Specialized Turbo Vado or GoCycle G4 are rather expensive, but present such a terrific combination of performance and reliability and solid design that they are worth every penny.
- Is it a comfortable e-bike? We’ve been doing this long enough, and have ridden some of the harshest, most performance-oriented bikes on the planet, that we can tell whether a manufacturer really thought about the rider’s comfort or just chose a few cheap components to make the marketing copy good. When we say these are amongst the best electric bikes, we know it won’t feel like the 10-speeds so many of us grew up riding.
- Is the range sufficient for its intended use? As e-bike owners ourselves, we can attest that an electric bike’s stated maximum range number is essentially meaningless. We only use our bike’s eco mode when the battery is nearly dead and home is still a mile away. We look at whether an e-bike can handle a few days of round trips with some grocery or school stops thrown in while riding at full power or near full power.
- Is the bike safe? Disc brakes are the industry standard these days, but not all disc brakes are created equal. Some are more equal than others, to quote George Orwell. Hydraulic brakes are better than mechanical ones for a host of reasons, and bigger rotors increase braking power. A mechanical brake with 160mm rotors isn’t something I want to see on a Class 3 e-bike because at 28 mph, that brake will need some time to do its job.
And while we didn’t judge bikes based on the following question, we always ask ourselves:
- Can it replace a car? We don’t know too many people who have the commitment and sold their car for an e-bike. However, us and many of our friends and colleagues have an e-bike that allows us all to leave the car parked for days at a time. Some e-bikes really haven’t fulfilled their promise if it isn’t a substitute for a car. To do that, it needs things like a rack or basket, lights, fenders and maybe a place to seat a kid or two.
Everyone’s priorities will differ, finding the best electric bike is a bit subjective, but in being transparent about what we look for we hope to help buyers consider what they need and whether an electric bike is a fit for their needs. Some of our considerations may raise flags that buyers hadn’t previously considered, like whether or not those brakes will stop a loaded bike in less than 20 feet once it has groceries and two kids aboard.
The good news is that there are terrific e-bikes at nearly every price point. The team here at BestElectricBikes will keep riding and reviewing all the latest e-bikes, so even if you have your eye on an e-bike not found on this best electric bike’s list make sure to check out our most recent reviews.
What did you think of our picks for the best electric bikes of 2022? Are there any that we missed that we should consider? Let us know down in the comments below!