There has been a veritable explosion in the number of e bikes on the market within recent years. This is largely due to advancements in battery technology that have enabled electric bikes to have much better power-to-weight ratios than was previously possible. This, in turn, has made modern e bikes extremely popular.
What is an e bike?
Most e bikes, or electric bikes, look much like a traditional bike but include a battery pack and motor. They can be pedaled just like a normal bike but the rider can also choose to engage the electric drive to provide assistance when necessary or desirable.
The motor may be located at the rear hub or near the pedals, and the bike frame itself may be very traditional or quite custom. Many e bikes support two distinct modes, a pedal-assist mode in which the drive system augments the pedaling of the rider, and a full-electric mode in which the rider isn’t pedaling at all. Since the batteries only contain some much power on a full charge, it should go without saying the the range of an e bike will be significantly greater in pedal-assist mode than in full-electric mode.
Electric bikes have numerous advantages over electric scooters or gas-powered scooters. Generally, they do not require a drivers license or insurance. In many places they can be used legally on sidewalks and bicycle paths. They are lighter than electric scooters and cleaner than gas-powered scooters. E bikes are also generally easier to park than a scooter because they fit into a normal bike rack. Because of their traditional bike frames and wheel sizes, they are also compatible with bicycle-friendly public transportation such as busses, light rail, and trains.
There are also health benefits, as electric bikes can motivate people who aren’t as fit to get out and get some exercise. See this New York Times article: The Surprising Health Benefits of an Electric Bike.
Not surprisingly, electric bikes aren’t cheap. Therefore, keep in mind that the bikes recommended below aren’t inexpensive but rather just relatively inexpensive when compared to many other e bikes. In other words, they represent an excellent value (good quality for a reasonable price).
In order to find the best price for any of the bikes in our recommended bike tables below, just click the name of the bike. That should open a pop-up window with additional information. (If clicking the name of the bike doesn’t open a pop-up window, please submit a comment on the Contact Us page telling us which page and which bike and we’ll get it fixed ASAP. Thanks!). In the pop-up window, click on the Comparison tab to see recommended retailers and their current prices. Please refer to Cheap Bikes’ Price Categories for a more detailed explanation of what the number of dollar signs means.
The Best e Bikes ($ – $$$ Cheap to Moderately Cheap Bikes)
|Product Name||Number of Gears||Type of Gearing||Wheel Size||Front Suspension Travel||Price|
|Electra Townie Go!||8||internally-geared hub||26"||none||$2729|
|Electra Townie Go! Step-Through Women's Bike||8||internally-geared hub||26"||none||$2729|
|Orbea Keram 27 10||11||rear derailleur||27.5"||100 mm||$3299|
|Orbea Keram 29 10||11||rear derailleur||29"||100 mm||$3299|
|Cannondale Mavaro||10||rear derailleur||700c||50 mm||$4189|
|Cannondale Mavaro Step-Thru Bike||10||rear derailleur||700c||50 mm||$4189|