The electric bike craze has started to boom, and that’s to no surprise, seeing as they make peddling to your destination that much easier. They work by providing additional power as you peddle, allowing you to reach speeds of up to 15 mph. While the power doesn’t kick in when you’re coasting along (as in, you do have to peddle up those hills still!), they’re still a great way to get to your destination quicker. So what is the best electric bike, and which one is best for you?
Electric bikes come in all shapes and sizes. For example, their are electric road bikes for those who ride to work, electric mountain bikes if you’re looking for some assistance off road, and there’s even electric fold up bikes if you like to mix up your commute (opens in new tab) between the train and riding.
The only differences you’ll really need to consider when looking for an electric bike are the weight of it - they’re much heavier than regular bikes due to all the electrical gear and heavy duty parts; the power it delivers- although the max speed in the UK is 15 mph, more power means potentially quicker acceleration;and battery life - because you don’t want to find your battery runs out of juice when you’re halfway up your local equivalent of Ben Nevis.
Understandable, electric bikes are much more expensive than the average road bike. For an entry level electric bike, such as our GTECH EBIKE SPORTS pick, you’ll need to look at spending in the region of £1000. Those after an ultra high tech electric bike may need to stretch to near on the £4000 mark, so it’s up to you to decide on your needs, your priorities and your budget and go from there.
Those looking for the ideal entry-level bike will probably find the Gtech eBike meets their requirements. With both a city and sports bike model available, you can make sure that your frame suits your required comfort level. With the capacity to power you up to speeds of 15 mph, its output is just as good as any other bike on our list. It’s also worth pointing out that this bike weighs just 16kg, with Gtech suggesting that you can ride this bike with the power off just as well as the power on- great if you find the battery cuts out.
Offering a pretty impressive 500W of power, DiamondBack promise that the Ranger will allow you to shred uphill just as fast as you shred downhill. Offering up to 75 miles worth of battery life, it’ll certainly keep you going through an entire day up the hill, and with 11 speed gearing, you’ll have plenty of control with or without the extra boost. The design of this electric bike has been optimised for the mountain, with a quality suspension fork, hydraulic brakes and MTB tyres, just some of its incredibly attractive features.
This bike sits firmly in the middle when it comes to road and trail. When it comes to the road, its relaxed cycling position should make for a good level of comfort; whether you’re commuting or popping out to the shops. While heavier than our first pick, the battery life is much longer, and with another 50W of power, too, there’s no reason why should require manual mode. This hybrid electric bike can be supplied with MTB essentials, so if you happen to vear cross-country on the weekend, you can hit the trails with comfort- perhaps consider our previous pick if you’re looking to take on anything more than the greens, though.
Offering up to 78 miles worth of power, the battery on the Ridgeback Electron Plus should be able to see you through even the most hilliest of routes - just bear in mind that 24.4kg of weight is a heck of a lot if you happen to run out of charge up a particularly steep incline. With features including Walk Assist Mode, puncture resistant tyres and just a 4 hour charge time, this electric bike is certainly a reliable one for everyday use, but if you’re looking to mix up manual and electric riding, perhaps our first pick would be a better option.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to settle for anything less than the best, then we present to you this turbo electric bike from Specialized. Everything about this bike has been designed for the hill; from it’s suspension to its frame, right down to the inner workings of its motor and battery, which promise a whole days’ worth of riding. If you’re looking to hit up the intermediate trails and above, this is certainly one to consider, as the 530W of power will get you up the hill in no time for the ride down. With users commending the quietness of the motor, when money is no object for you, this electric bike certainly oozes finesse.
If your commute usually involves a combination of an automotive plus cycling, you could cut down on your commuting time (and arrive less sweaty to the office) by investing in this folding electric bike. While only a couple of hundred pounds more expensive than our first pick, it offers up twice the distance, and it features a handy LCD display so you can keep an eye on your battery power, speed and mileage. It’s not quite as lightweight, but it should be convenient enough to carry; and when storage space is on the small side, tucking it neatly away inside shouldn’t be a problem either.
If you prefer to pound the pavement rather than the peddles, check out our round-ups of the best women's running shoes (opens in new tab) and the best men's running shoes (opens in new tab) for jogging inspiration.