The simultaneous crises of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have caused many of us to rethink our daily lives. For millions of Americans, this included switching to an ebike, whether we bought one ourselves or rented one from a bike rental company.
For years, electric bikes were inconvenient, bulky, and expensive devices whose utility (and battery life) was limited. That has gradually changed. Ebikes are now more attractive, more powerful and lighter. You don’t have to be physically fit to ride one. It reduces congestion, gets you out in the fresh air, is fun and reduces fossil fuels.
Best for Most People
Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ
If you’re looking for a commuter bike with all the whistles and bells that you don’t have to build yourself, the Cannondale Adventure Neo 3 EQ is a great choice. Cannondale is a prominent manufacturer, so its bikes come with an extensive support network of shops and affiliated retailers.
This model comes with a rack, fenders and built-in lights. It also has a lighter aluminum frame, reliable Bosch 250-watt mid-drive motor and a built-in seat suspension for a comfy ride. However, it might be a little underpowered in comparison to cruisers. But it’s also remarkably quiet and it has no problem going up hills or along rough roads.
Best Utility Bike
Rad Power Bikes Radrunner
The Rad Power Bikes bike runner is a seemingly magical blend of utility and affordability. Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes delivers directly to consumers. The bikes feature a special hub motor drive, a luggage rack with a 120-pound load capacity and large, sturdy Kenda tires. It is suitable as a comfortable beach cruiser as well as a commuter bike for children.
Best Affordable Ebike
Propella 7-Speed (V3.4)
If you’re not already an ebike lover, you probably want one that’s not too expensive, meaning as close to $1,000 as possible. If you want a frame that won’t buckle at 15mph and a reliable motor, that’s a hard proposition.
Propella’s 7-speed is the best cheap bike we’ve found. Reviewer Parker Hall notes that it has reliable components like a Shimano disc brakes and Samsung battery as well as nifty accessories like a cool suspension seat. It ships directly to you, which is convenient if you want to avoid a bike store. Propella updates its bikes every few months. Since it’s a direct-to-consumer bike, we’re just warning you that your local store might have trouble fixing it.
The Hot New Bike
Lemond Bikes Prolog
The bike that has attracted the most interest this year is Greg LeMond’s all-carbon electric bike series. The Prolog is his daily commuter bike. With its stunning matte finish, fancy custom-designed fenders and insanely lightweight frame, you’d think it was a luxury bike.
This is a working bike. It has reliable components made by well-known manufacturers – a one-button Mahle drive system, a Shimano gravel-specific gearing system, Panaracer gravel tires – that make it durable, versatile and easy to repair. And you can move screamingly fast when your electric bike is lighter than an acoustic bike.
Best Cargo Bike
Rad Power Bikes Radwagon 4
The latest version of the RadWagon has been redesigned from tip to tail so it’s much lower to the ground and easier to use with fatter, smaller tires designed by Rad Power Bikes and Vee Tire Co. themselves (they’re awesome, frankly). It’s fairly-priced and one of the few bikes with a throttle which comes in handy when you have to quickly haul bike, baby and gear across a street.
Best Luxe Cargo Bike
Tern GSD S00 LX
Tern’s GSD series might make you wonder why you put your children on any other bike. This is the bike you spend your money on and ride every day. The top-of-the-line Bosch Cargo Line motor surges forward effortlessly, controlled by an Enviolo shifter that lets you change gears even at a standstill. It can fit riders as short as 4′ 9″, and the rack is low to the ground. It has a weatherproof belt drive, a cushy suspension seat post, an integrated Abus wheel lock and a locking kickstand.
Let us know in the comment section if you plan on buying an ebike.