The 9 Best E-Bikes of 2021

Top electric-assist bikes for commuters and leisure cyclists

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Rad Power Bikes RadRunner1 at Rad Power Bikes

"With over 300 accessory combinations, the RadRunner1 has the makings of a go-anywhere, do-anything e-bike."

Best Value: Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through Ebike at Aventon

"The Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through Ebike offers quality features and reliability at a value price."

Best Mountain Bike: Specialized Turbo Levo Comp at Specialized

"Specialized made this e-mountain bike a standout by prioritizing trail bike design."

Best Cargo Bike: Tern GSD S10 at REI

"The Tern GSD S10 is the minivan of e-bikes—it’s built to carry two kids plus groceries."

Best Cruiser Bike: Townie Path Go! 10D EQ Step-Through at Trek

"This stylish bike has the vintage look and feel that cruiser bike fans love with the pedal-assist power of an e-bike."

Best Versatile: Cannondale Quick Neo SL 2 Remixte at Cannondale

"With a just-right price and a design that suits fitness rides, commuting, or leisure rides, this bike suits a variety of cyclists."

Best for Teens: Tomasar Folding Electric Bike at Amazon

"If you’re daydreaming of family e-bike rides, this bike is a sturdy and affordable option for teens."

Best for Families: Urban Arrow Family at Propel Bikes

"This bike is made from the outset with a kid-friendly bike trailer as part of the design."

Best Folding: Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2 at Rad Power Bikes

"This bike offers some of the top-reviewed features of e-bikes in a compact design."

Whether you’re commuting to work, taking a casual ride around a resort, or pedaling the streets of Amsterdam, e-bikes are a fast, safe, and all-around fun way to get around. These bikes have an electrical power boost that’s offered either by increasing your pedaling cadence or fully powered propulsion—like a motorcycle or scooter. These days, there are models for every purpose, from short work commutes to fitness to hauling cargo and even bike-packing trips.

Here are our favorite e-bikes for your next ride.

Best Overall: Rad Power Bikes RadRunner1

Rad Power Bikes Rad Runner

Courtesy of Rad Power Bikes

What We Like
  • Up to 45 miles per charge

  • Puncture-resistant tires

  • Customizable

What We Don't Like
  • Not recommended for longer commutes

With over 300 accessory combinations, the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner1 has the makings of a go-anywhere, do-anything e-bike. The bike features a top-of-the-line lithium-ion battery with up to 45 miles per charge. Because of the cargo-focus, the bike is good for running errands or taking a scenic ride. Sturdy puncture-resistant tires will keep annoying flats at bay. And the bike’s single-speed drivetrain and LED control panel make for easy riding and a very approachable bike, even for new cyclists. Where this bike really excels, however, is its ability to be customized. It’s the first e-bike to have a fully adjustable driver’s seat that can either sit flush with the passenger’s seat or be raised higher (like on a standard bike) for full extension pedaling. The integrated rear rack also allows you to attach a variety of panniers, platforms, baskets for cargo, or even a child seat. And all this comes in a relatively affordable package.

Best Value: Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through Ebike

Aveton Pace 350 Step-Thru Bike

Courtesy of Aveton

What We Like
  • Has pedal-assist and throttle

  • Up to 35 miles per charge

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Not recommended for longer commutes

Affordability is all relative. In e-bikes, where batteries quickly make prices climb, finding a quality bike around $1,000 is a major win. The Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through Ebike offers quality features and reliability at a value price. Coming in multiple sizes and featuring five pedal-assist options or throttle on-demand, the Pace 350 is especially versatile for the price. This e-bike allows riders to go up to 20 miles an hour—fairly standard for an e-bike—but has a relatively meager average range of 35 miles. It will be a comfy 35 miles, however, with a cushy, wide saddle. An easy-to-read display on the handlebars helps you track speed, distance, and battery level. Plus, weighing in at 46 pounds, this bike is lighter than other models—it’s possible to load this bike onto a car rack or carry it upstairs.

Best Mountain Bike: Specialized Turbo Levo Comp

Turbo Levo Comp

Courtesy of Specialized

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Multiple speeds

  • Removable battery

  • Great size range

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Specialized made this e-mountain bike a standout by prioritizing trail bike design. It has all the features of a hardy mountain bike—an aluminum frame, full-suspension with 150 millimeters of travel, 29-inch alloy wheels, and a dropper seatpost—with an e-assist. The Turbo Levo has the 1 x 11-speed SRAM components and easily conquers hills and technical challenges, alike. The Rx Trail-tuned motor, complete with a rock guard, helps you get more pedal power. The battery has a 500-wattage hour capacity, and it seamlessly integrates into the frame. It’s also easily removable.

Best Cargo Bike: Tern GSD S10

Tern GSD S10

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Large weight capacity

  • Provides high visibility

  • Up to 53 miles per charge

  • Has pedal-assist

What We Don't Like
  • Cargo accessories sold separately

The Tern GSD S10 is the minivan of e-bikes. It’s built to carry two kids plus groceries and can handle up to 440 pounds, making it a hauling heavy hitter. Since you may be carrying precious cargo, safety is a must. The bike also has a headlight that helps you see and be seen, and an always-on RearStop brake light helps you signal your stops to other drivers and cyclists. The GSD S10 maxes at 20 miles per hour with pedal assist, and has a range of 26 to 53 miles, depending on battery usage. Take note: While this bike is made for hauling, you’ll need to purchase all cargo accessories, such as children’s seats, separately. So, keep that in mind when price planning as the bike isn't exactly cheap at just over $5,000.

Best Cruiser Bike: Townie Path Go! 7D Step-Through

Townie Path Go

Courtesy of Electra Bicycle Co

What We Like
  • Has pedal-assist

  • Comes in various colors

  • Flat foot technology

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have throttle

The stylish Townie Path Go! has the vintage look and feel that cruiser-bike fans love with the pedal-assist power of an e-bike. Made for e-bike beginners and easy-going riders of all levels, this bike is perfect for beach cruises or rides to the farmers' market. Many cyclists appreciate the security of the e-bike’s Flat Foot Technology, which places riders in an upright position while enjoying full leg extension and an easy dismount. That stopping power is further enhanced with disc brakes. A cushy saddle and grips keep cyclists comfortable even on longer rides.

Best Versatile: Cannondale Quick Neo SL 2 Remixte

Cannondale Quick Neo SL

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Has pedal-assist

  • Provides high visibility

  • Up to 40 miles per charge

What We Don't Like
  • Cannondale app required for speed, battery monitoring

With a just-right price and a design that suits fitness rides, commuting, or leisure rides, the Cannondale Quick Neo SL 2 Remixte suits a variety of cyclists. The pedal-assist bike offers a step-through design that’s comfortable for most cyclists, yet it can take a sporty turn when you’re looking for harder riding. If you do dial it up, the SAVE micro-suspension will absorb shocks and keep riding smooth, easy, and efficient. Details like reflective accents and mounts for racks make this a great choice for city riding also. The e-bike can reach speeds of 20 miles an hour and has a range of 40 miles. 

Best for Teens: Tomasar Folding Electric Bike

Tomasar Folding Electric Bike

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Affordable

  • Has pedal-assist and throttle

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

If you’re daydreaming of family e-bike rides, the Tomasar Folding Electric Bike is a sturdy and affordable option for teens. This may also be a solid solution if you’re looking to get out of the carpool business. The bike offers both throttle-powered and pedal-assist modes. It has a range of 15 miles with fully mechanized riding and 30 miles with pedal-assist. In terms of safety features, the Tomasar offers mechanical front and rear disc brakes with an LED headlamp for night riding. The anti-slip, wear-resistant tires deliver smooth riding even in rainy or snowy conditions. This bike generally fits teens 14 years and older. 

Best for Families: Urban Arrow Family

Urban Arrow Family

Courtesy of Propel Bikes

What We Like
  • Large weight capacity

  • Up to 50 miles per charge

  • Limited warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The Urban Arrow Family bike is made from the outset with a kid-friendly bike trailer as part of the design. Of course, with this design, kid-hauling could easily turn into cargo-hauling of any kind, from groceries to dry cleaning. This bike is also a standout because it matches its motor to its purpose, offering a Cargo or Performance motor. With its Cargo Line Gen 4 Bosch motor, the Urban Arrow Family offers 400 percent more power than similar bikes.

Best Folding: Rad Power Bikes RadMini Step-Thru 2

RadMini Step-Thru 2

Courtesy of Rad Power Bikes

What We Like
  • Adjustable handlebars

  • Multiple speeds

  • Up to 45+ miles per charge

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

The RadMini Step-Thru 2 offers some of the top-reviewed features of e-bikes in a compact design. The RadMini has the lowest step-through height of any of the Rad Power Bikes, which makes it feel more like a scooter than a bike—and fits a variety of riders. The adjustable handlebar stem also makes this a suitable choice for a wide range of cyclists under 275 pounds. It features seven speeds for more torque when climbing and to maintain pedal authority when traveling at top speeds. Its twist-grip throttle keeps speed at the tip of your fingers. A best-in-class folding mechanism helps pack down all these features into a tidy package. Bonus: The folding mechanism has multiple safety redundancies to prevent unlatching and ensure the e-bike feels sure while riding. At more than 45 miles per charge, it boasts one of the longest ranges on the list.

Final Verdict

We love the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner1 (view at Rad Power Bikes) for its overall versatility and ability to be customized. If you’re a first-time e-bike owner, this bike is a great starter thanks to its ease of use and (relatively) affordable price. Once you’re out on the road, you may find yourself drawn to a more specialized bike—and there are plenty of options waiting if you are.

What to Look for in an E-Bike

Purpose

Ritchie Rozzelle, co-owner and chief marketing officer at The Flying Bike e-bike tour and rental company in Asheville, North Carolina, advises that you should think about how you’d like to use your bike before purchasing. From Rozzelle: “Do you want to bike like you used to when you were younger? Use it instead of a car for errands? Get off-road on mountain bike trails or gravel roads? Or... go for a zippy but clean and quiet ride like a motorcycle-lite?” Your intended purposes will influence the style of bike you choose.

Type of Assistance

There are two broad categories of electronic assistance. A pedal-assist e-bike provides assistance only when you push the pedals and engage the motor. Pedal-assist bikes allow you to designate how much assistance you want from low to high. With a throttle e-bike, you propel the bike with throttle controls and there’s no need to pedal (unless you want to). For this type, propulsion is similar to riding a motorcycle.

Ride Distance

The distance you intend to ride regularly affects the recommended battery type for your bike. Because the battery accounts for a great deal of the price, it’s helpful to know the type you’ll need from the start.

Warranty

E-bikes’ batteries, wiring, and motor controls can quickly surpass the maintenance abilities of casual tinkerers. “While you can do the basic maintenance of oiling chains and fixing flats on your own, it's best to look for e-bikes that are backed by warranties, and even better, local and knowledgeable service,” Rozzelle says. Always look for the warranty options before purchasing your bike.

FAQs

Why choose an e-bike over a regular bike?

E-bikes have several benefits over regular pedal bikes. E-bikes allow most to arrive at your destination faster and with less exertion than a regular bike. It’s easier to climb hills with less huffing and puffing on your part, and it’s easier on your hip and knee joints. Plus, they're a lot of fun. But, particularly, if you're carrying children, pets, groceries, or other heavy items, an e-bike is definitely an upgrade over your grandparents' ride.

Do I need a license to ride an e-bike?

No, as long as the motor is smaller than 750 watts (which wouldn’t allow it to go more than 20 mph).

How can you ensure a proper fit on an e-bike?

From Rozzelle: “To get the best fit, it’s a good idea to work with a local shop or consult an online seller's sizing chart. The great news is that the perfect e-bike fit is a little less critical than with regular bikes. With e-bikes, the hardest exertion is done by the bike, so as long as the range of your movement is comfortable you won't need to worry about the damage of extreme force on muscles and joints.”

How do I maintain an e-bike?

Bryan Dean, a salesman from The eBike Store, in Portland, Oregon, recommends keeping a clean and lubricated chain and proper air pressure in the tires to ensure the bike is running efficiently. Additionally, he recommends keeping the battery between 20 and 80 percent at all times. Topping up the battery to 100 percent stresses it and decreases longevity. So, unless you’re planning an all-day trip where a full battery is required, keeping the battery in this sweet spot is best for your e-bike long-term.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Freelance travel journalist Ashley M. Biggers has taken e-bike tours from the mountains of Arizona to the shores of Florida, and everywhere in between.

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