The best electric bikes

The best electric bikes discussed and recommended

Family riding electric Bikes

by Myles Warwood |
Updated on

Purchasing a new electric bike can be a bit daunting; there are so many options to choose from, hybrid, mountain, city, urban, road, folding… the list goes on, and where does it end? Well, thankfully for you, we’ve broken it down, and below, we have a list of all the best electric bikes you can buy today.

An electric bike can be a real asset to have. They enable you to zip about town, carry more weight on the bike and get out and ride more over a standard bike. They’re fun to ride, get you up hills and give you a chance to get out and get fresh air. Or, they can streamline your commute. They’re truly magnificent things.

At What’s The Best, we have looked at the best types of eBikes and what each category is for to help you make a more informed choice about your electric bike purchase and hopefully choose the best eBike for you. So, what are the categories, and what is each electric bike for? Let’s take a look.

The best electric bikes at a glance

Best overall hybrid eBike: Ribble Hybrid AL e Fully Loaded Edition - View on

Best mountain eBike: Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Alloy Electric Mountain Bike 2023 - View on

Best road eBike: Orbea Gain D50 Electric Road Bike 2022 - View on

Let’s break this down into categories and work through the best electric bikes on the market today.

The best hybrid eBikes

Best overall hybrid eBike

This Ribble Hybrid is a super clean, super cool inner-city bike that’ll handle a bit of soft-roading with mudguards and a beautiful pannier rack already mounted to the bike. The 6061 aluminium frame rolls on Mavic Allroad alloy wheels with hydraulic disc brakes attached with an SRAM NX 1x11 Groupset. The decision for a single gear on the crank comes from a wide range of gears on the cassette and also the extra boost of an electric motor to get you up the climbs.
You can turn the battery and motor on at a touch of a button, which offers three levels of assistance from the rear hub Ebikemotion motor. The flat handlebars add comfort and stability with matching grippers and saddle to complete the look.


  • Looks so good
  • Well respected brand
  • Easy shift gears


  • Cost is starting to creep up, but there is so much spec
Battery:Panasonic I250 36V/250Wh, 18650GA-10S/2P
Motor:MAHLE SmartBike Systems X35+, M1, 36V/250W
Range:up to 100 kilometres
Gearing:SRAM PC-1130 11-Speed 11-42T
Brakes:Tektro HD-R280 Hydraulic Disc
Integrated accessories: Mudguards, Pannier Rack, front and rear lights
  • 6061-T6 Heat-Treated Aluminium
  • Mavic Allroad Disc Alloy wheels
  • Lightweight alloy saddle
  • Ribble 46mm, Gloss Black mudguards
  • Ribble UT300/R25, 300W Front/25W Rear lights

Best for efficiency

You get monster range from this Turbo Vado bike. With its super efficient motor and big battery back, you can have up to 80 miles of range as standard, and with the addition of the optional extender pack, you can get up to 120 miles of range. That'll keep you cycling all week on a single charge.

Great for commuting, buzzing about town and weekend rides on the trails with the family, this could be all the bike you ever need. We love it.


  • Well respected brand
  • Integrated accessories
  • Huge range, especially with an extender


  • High price but a good spec
Battery:Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
Motor:Specialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motor
Range:Up to 80 miles with an optional range extender for up to 120 miles
Gearing: Shimano Deore, 10-speed, 11-42t
Brakes:Tektro HD-R290, hydraulic disc, 160mm
Integrated accessories:Mudguards, Front and rear lights, Pannier rack
  • Fully integrated Specialized 320Wh downtube battery, optional Range Extender compatibility for up to 120 miles of range
  • Specialized SL 1.1 custom lightweight motor, peak 240W, assist up to 25kph
  • Turbo SL mounted rear and DryTech mudguards
  • Premium lightweight E5 Aluminium frame
  • Clean internal cable routing, mudguard and rack mounts, reflective graphics
  • Premium hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bright, integrated front and rear lighting
  • 10-speed Shimano Deore components
  • Durable, lightweight alloy wheels, fast-rolling, high-grip, Nimbus II Sport Reflect 700 tyres with BlackBelt flat protection and reflective accents

The best City / Urban bikes

Best city eBike

This stunning traditional-looking Raleigh Array Crossbar bike is one you’ll be desperate to ride, but if the weather turns, you won’t want to get those beautiful white tyres muddy! You needn’t fear, though, as bikes don’t mind the rain, plus the mudguards on these will help keep anything splashing up on the road to a minimum.

Not only will the 47mm tyres help keep your ride super comfortable, but with the Suntour suspension up front, you’ll enjoy a Rolls Royce-like ride as you cruise along. The Tekto mechanical disc brakes offer all the stopping power you need, and the discreet Suntour motor helps keep the bike looking super clean.


  • Looks fantastic
  • Nice design
  • Nice tech packed in


  • A Bosch motor would make this sing
Motor:Suntour Canbus E25
Batteries:Suntour Canbus 400Wh
Range:Up to 60 miles
Brakes:Tektro MD-M280 Mechanical disc brakes
Gearing:Shimano HG200, 7-speed, 12-28T
Integrated accessories:Mudguards, lights, kick stand
  • Boasting a range of 60 miles on a single charge depending on level of assistance selected.
  • 400Wh removable battery pack
  • The super-quiet and discreet Suntour motor delivers all the oomph you need
  • Four power levels of electrical assistance
  • OLED Suntour control panel shows all the stats you could ever need
  • Easily flick between the three different assistance modes at the push of a button on the handlebar.

Best buy city bike

The current 23% saving shrinks the price of this glorious Cannondale Adventure Neo 4 city bike to just under £2,000, and it comes with hydraulic disc brakes, mounts for pannier racks and mudguards, and a powerful Bosch motor. With up to 120km of range, you have an excellent comfortable geometry with a step-through frame, making runs around town super easy, and the 9-speed Shimano gears give you an excellent wide range with the added assist from the motor.

With the batteries hidden in the downtube, the Cannondale Adventure Neo 4 keeps things simple for ultimate enjoyment.


  • Quite the saving!
  • Nice simple design
  • Comfy tyres and powerful brakes


  • Perhaps a little too essential for its original price, we’d expect mudguards and racks as standard
Motor:Bosch Active Line Plus 250W
Batteries:Bosch PowerTube 400Wh
Range:Up to 120km
Brakes:Riderever hydraulic disc
Gearing:Shimano HG200 11-36, 9-speed
Integrated accessories:Kickstand
  • SmartForm C3 Alloy step-thru frame
  • Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400Wh battery
  • Shimano Altus 9-speed groupset
  • Riderever hydraulic disc brakes
  • 27.5” Kenda Kwick Seven.5 tyres

Best Gravel eBikes

Best brand gravel eBike

The Cannondale Topstone uses the lightweight and powerful Mahle Ebikemotion X35+ motor system, which fits snuggling in the rear wheel hub and offers different levels of assistance maxing out at 250 watts of pedal assist. These are controlled by a button on the bike’s top tube.

The upside to these systems is that they’re lightweight and very discrete. The downside is they don’t have that much range in them; this will be good for 47 miles depending on which power mode you use – the higher the assist level, the more it will reduce battery life.

The endurance-focused frame comprises aluminium with carbon forks – it can accommodate up to 42mm wide tyres and uses a Shimano GRX 2 x 10-speed gearing system. Hydraulic disc brakes provide confidence-inducing stopping power over muddy trails or soaked tarmac.


  • Well known brand
  • Strong rear hub motor
  • Nice Groupset


  • High Price but justifiable by the spec
Motor:Mahle ebikemotion X35 250W
Batteries:Mahle ebikemotion X35 250Wh
Range:47 miles / 75km (depending on rider weight, conditions and power assist level)
Brakes:Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc, 160mm RT56 rotor
Gearing:Shimano HG500, 11-34, 10-speed
Integrated accessories:None
  • A lightweight, capable, and versatile gravel electric bike, capable of exploring across any terrain
  • Mahle ebikemotion X35+ rear hub motor donates powerful pedalling assistance and is light
  • The Mahle ebikemotion X35 battery is concealed in the downtube and charges in just 3.5 hours from flat
  • The iWoc ONE motor controller is integrated into the top tube, selects between three motor assistance levels and displays the battery charge remaining 
  • An aluminium frame and carbon fork give a smooth and responsive ride and are durable
  • The frameset includes multiple mounts for water bottles, racks and storage
  • Frame and fork clearance for up to 42mm wide 700c tyres ensures excellent cushioning and grip 
  • The endurance inspired fit is upright enough for comfort and control, yet low and forward enough for speed and efficiency. 
  • Strong and dependable wheels handle rough terrain with aplomb
  • Shimano GRX 2 x 10-speed gears are smooth, accurate and dependable
  • Hydraulic disc brakes promote reliable stopping power in all conditions

Best alternative brand gravel eBike

Niner RLT E9 RDO Gravel E-Bike
Price: £3,399.00 (Was 5,899.00)

Providing a bit of balance between the two is the Niner RLT E9 RDO Gravel eBike; while it has more of a road bike set-up, the downtube holds a 500Wh Bosch battery pack with the Bosch GEN4 Performance Line CX giving you ample assists on the climbs.

The slightly knobbly Schwalbe G-One Bite Evo TLE tyres will give you some grip if it gets muddy but are much better suited to tarmac and slightly loose gravel tracks. Shimano GRX gears are adequate, but what you’re paying the money for here is a full carbon frame - which will be okay over the slightly bumpier stuff due to its flexion – and the powerful Bosch motor.


  • Big battery pack
  • Nice strong motor
  • Nice groupset


  • The tyres are best for tarmac than gravel, so you may need to update these
Motor:Bosch GEN4 Performance Line CX
Batteries:Bosch Powertube 500Wh
Range:Not Given
Brakes:Shimano GRX RX400 Hydrualic disc
Gearing: Shimano SLX M7000 - 11/42T
  • Niner Custom Cro-Mo saddle
  • Easton EA50 AX handlebars
  • Stans NoTubes Arch - 700c wheels

The Best eMTBs

Best budget eMTB

Haibike Hardnine 4 Electric Mountain Bike 2022
Price: £2,199.00

While the Haibike Hardnine 4 is a ‘budget’ bike, it does not compromise on what you need – it has a super powerful and very responsive Bosch Performance line motor situation where the bottom bracket is, giving you direct power to your pedals where you feel the boost. It’ll provide you with 65Nm of torque to help you over the boulders and tree roots with a maximum of 250watts to help you up the hills.

The 400Wh battery is situated in the downtube, and on the bike, you get an 11-36t Sunrace cassette with entry-level Shimano Alivio M3100 9-speed gears. Two-piston hydraulic disc brakes and Suntour XCM32 Boost DS front forks with 120mm of travel will make tree roots a thing to wheelie over and not wince.


  • Strong BOSCH motor
  • 400Wh battery for long life on the trails
  • 65Nm of torque from the motor


  • Entry-level gearing, but at least it’s from a very reputable manufacturer
Motor:Bosch, Performance Line, 250W, 65 Nm, 25 km/h
Batteries:Bosch PowerTube 400Wh
Range:Not Given
Brakes:Tektro M275, 180mm, 2-piston, hydraulic disc
Gearing:SunRace CSM90, 11-36t
Integrated accessories:None
  • Reliable Bosch Performance Line motor system with 65Nm of torque, 25km/h maximum assistance
  • The robust and durable aluminium frame is lightweight and stiff
  • Bosch PowerTube 400Wh battery sees a high-capacity for increased mileage
  • SR Suntour XCM32 Boost DS with 120mm of supple suspension travel
  • Shimano Alivio drivetrain offers reliable 9-speed performance
  • Powerful Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • 29” wheels offer fast rolling speeds and provide additional traction on loose terrain

Best mountain eBike

Specialized has combined an M5 alloy chassis with one of the most powerful and smoothest running motors to bring you the Turbo Levo Comp. It has four assist modes and a massive 700Wh battery pack to give you up to five hours of riding time, depending on the use and conditions.

With a middle-range SRAM GX Groupset, things start getting serious, giving you 12 gears and a 10-52t range – massive for the inclines. Four-piston calliper hydraulic disc brakes offer modulated and mighty stopping power with just a couple of fingers on the brake lever. An internal cable-routed dropper seat post allows you to move the saddle out of the way for the steep drops. 150mm of rear suspension travel and 150-160mm in the fork efficient shock absorption gives you the confidence to attack the descents and jumps.


  • Nice Groupset
  • Large range of gears
  • Huge battery life


  • The cost is higher, but it has great specs
Motor:Specialized Turbo Full Power System 2.2 Motor
Batteries:Specialized M3-700, integrated battery, 700Wh
Range:Up to 5 hours of riding time
Brakes:SRAM Code R, 4-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, rotor - S1-S3 - 200mm, S4-S6 - 220mm
Gearing:SRAM XG-1275, 12-speed, 10-52t
Integrated accessories:None
  • Assistance up to a maximum speed of 15.5 mph / 25 km/h
  • Levo’s fully integrated Turbo Full Power 2.2 motor, 700Wh battery, and advanced MasterMind Turbo Control Unit deliver a category-leading 90Nm of torque and 565 watts of power for up to five hours of ride time, empowering you to ride further and faster than ever before
  • The Levo’s Turbo Connect Unit (TCU) is more than an “On-Off” button, it’s the brains of the bike. The TCU shows your battery level and power-assist mode. It also communicates, via ANT+/Bluetooth®, with our optional handlebar display to show even more information about your ride
  • A dedicated mixed-wheel size design with a 27.5” wheel in the back and 29” up front delivers a nimble ride that carves circles around other full-power e-MTBs
  • A generous cockpit centres you on the bike, optimising traction and cornering control
  • The low bottom bracket, slack head tube angle and reduced fork offset keep things stable in the rough
  • Levo offers six distinct geometry settings, allowing you to easily dial in its performance for any riding style and any terrain
  • The head tube angle can be adjusted between 63- and 65.5-degrees 
  • The bottom bracket height can be fine-tuned up or down by 7mm
  • Levo’s 150mm of rear travel is supple on small bumps, devours square-edged hits without a twitch, eats massive G-outs for breakfast, yet still offers amazing pedal response and delivers your power to the ground with total efficiency
  • The Levo S-Sizing is based on what matters—rider size and style, not inseam. Six sizes, all with similar head tube lengths and standover, allow you to choose the size that best suits your individual style. Smaller S-Size numbers are going to be nimble and more flickable, while bigger S-Sizes deliver more stability and a roomier ride
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain
  • SRAM Code R hydraulic disc brakes

The Best Road eBikes

Best road eBike

This is the entry point in the Orbea road eBike product line-up; the low price of the D50 makes it ideal for casual road cyclists and features many technologies usually found within high-end models.

The Ebikemotion X35 Plus motor is housed in the rear wheel axel, not in the bottom bracket which you may be used to seeing; this will give you an electronic boost, not as instant and powerful as a bottom bracket motor but without resistance if you’re riding with the motor switched off. Battery display and assistance level are shown to you by the iWoc ONE interface with the 248Wh battery housed in the downtube.

Made of hydroformed aluminium and carbon forks to help reduce road buzz, it’s a bike with a geometry layout for all-day comfort in the saddle.


  • Powerful disc brakes
  • Internal cabling
  • 30c tyres allow for good grip levels and a comfortable ride
  • Solid and straightforward Shimano Claris groupset
  • Integrated rear light, which runs off the bike’s battery


  • While internal cabling makes a nice sleek look, they’re difficult to maintain
  • Disc brakes offer up more stopping power but bring up high maintenance costs
  • A rear axel motor doesn’t give as much instant power as a bottom bracket motor
Motor:Ebikemotion X35 Plus, 250W, 40Nm
Batteries:Ebikemotion 36V/6.9A 248Wh ANT+
Range:Not Given
Brakes:Shimano BR-RS305, mechanical disc
Gearing:Shimano HG50, 11-32t, 8-speed
Integrated Accessories:Rear light
  • The Ebikemotion X35 Plus motor improves your rides rather than dominates them
  • The motor is located on the wheel axle, not the bottom bracket, so you’ll enjoy pedalling without resistance when the power assist is off
  • ICR internal cable routing keeps the cockpit clean looking
  • The integrated rear light draws power from the battery
  • An Ebikemotion 248Wh battery is neatly housed in the downtube
  • The Ebikemotion iWoc ONE interface displays battery and the assistance level as you ride
  • Hydroformed Aluminium frame lightweight and robust
  • Endurance geometry is perfect for all-day rides
  • The Shimano Claris groupset is robust and simple to use
  • Wide Hutchinson tyres are plush and grippy on the tarmac

Best alternative road eBike

Looking at the Ribble Endurance SL e-Enthusiast, you’d struggle to see it was, in fact, an eBike; the battery is well hidden in the down tube, and the MAHLE SmartBike Systems X35+ drive system is hidden in the rear axle. The iWoc ONE controller is on the top tube to turn the motor on and cycle through three different assist modes.

The only problem with this system is that there is no indication on the bike of how much battery you have left. You can pair this to your smartphone via a third-party app that will give you this information - this does mean either mounting your phone on your handlebars or checking it regularly in your back pocket.

The groupset with hydraulic disc brakes gives you precision gear changes and mighty stopping power with Ksyrium S Disc wheels on 28mm tyres to help keep rolling resistance low and weight down. The full carbon frame and forks help this bike achieve a weight of around 11kg, depending on your size. That’s enough to make some standard road bikes jealous.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong reliable groupset
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Very reputable brand name
  • Good quality carbon frame


  • iWoc ONE system is sound, but difficult to tell battery life at a glance
  • While internal cabling makes a nice sleek look, they’re difficult to maintain
  • Hydraulic disc brakes offer up more stopping power but high maintenance costs
  • A rear axle motor doesn’t give as much instant power as a bottom bracket motor
Motor:MAHLE SmartBike Systems X35+
Batteries:Panasonic I250, 36V/250Wh, 18650GA-10S/2P
Range:Up to 83 Miles
Brakes:Shimano Hydraulic Disc
Gearing:Shimano 105 Di2 R7150 2x12 Speed
Integrated accessories:None
  • Shimano 105 Di2 R7150 groupset
  • Mavic Ksyrium S Disc Alloy wheels
  • SL carbon seat post
  • Toray T1000/T800 Carbon Monocoque material

Best cargo eBike

Best cargo eBike

The Tern HSD is a well know long-tail cargo bike which offers accessories which will help you make the Tern your own and tailor it to your needs. It features an ultra-durable and lightweight alloy frame with a secure and easy-to-use locking system that folds down in five seconds. Plus, it's armed with a Bosch Active Line Plus (Gen 3) electric motor drive, a Shimano 1x9-Speed drivetrain and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. It's fitted with lights, a carrier rack and mudguards.

With smaller wheels and all the weight kept down low, it's a very stable and capable cargo bike. It’ll feel much more like your regular bike than you might think.


  • It rides and feels like a regular bike
  • Powerful Bosch motor
  • Can carry up to two children


  • It can be very heavy when fully loaded
  • Getting a child seat at the rear can be tricky if transporting kids
Motor:Bosch Active Line Plus (Gen 3), maximum speed 25kph
Batteries:Bosch PowerPack 400Wh
Range:Up to 69 miles
Brakes:Shimano, hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
Gearing:Shimano 11-32T, 9-speed
Integrated accessories:Mudgaurds, Cargo rack
  • Bosch® Active Line Plus motor with Purion display
  • 400 Wh battery for a range of up to 110 km (69 mi)
  • Custom Suntour suspension fork
  • 9-speed Shimano® Alivio Shadow RD derailleur
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
  • Abus® keyed-alike frame lock
  • Fits riders from 150 to 195 cm (4’11” – 6’5”)
  • Fits one Thule® Yepp Maxi, Yepp Nexxt Maxi, or Bobike® GO Maxi child seat—no adapters needed

Best all-around cargo eBike

Raleigh Stride 2 Electric Cargo Bike
Price: £3,735.00 (Was £4,395.00)

With a low centre of gravity but in a Long John layout, the Raleigh Stride 2 Electric Cargo Bike is an excellent option for those who want to ditch the car whenever possible. A practical, elegant choice, the Stride 2 has a big carrying load - up to 80kg - and is well suited to shopping, kids and pets.

The electrical assistance means riding won't become a slog. A Bosch 500Wh battery provides a range of up to 40 miles before a recharge is necessary, and it's paired with a Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor. The Purion display allows you to monitor your journey. The bike has several accessories, including integrated front and rear lights, mudguards, a rear carrier, a stand and a lock. You'll be well-prepared for all conditions and rides.

The Stepless shifting is perfect for a loaded-up cargo bike and allows you to maintain a consistent cadence regardless of going up or down. Hub gears are low maintenance to provide a fuss-free experience. The robust wheel and tyre combination is up to the challenge of everyday heavy loads, and disc brakes ensure safe stopping is possible in all conditions.

Read the full Raleigh Stride 2 eCargo Bike review


  • Easy to ride
  • Comfortable
  • Up to 40 miles from one battery


  • Can feel slightly unstable at speed
Motor:Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line
Batteries:Bosch, external, 500Wh
Range:Upto 40 miles
Brakes:Magura CT disc brake, 160mm rotor
Gearing:CVT Hub gears
Integrated accessories:Mudguards, pannier rack, front and rear lights, stand
  • The Bosch Performance CX Cargo Line motor, designed to perform with heavier loads, adapts accordingly to weight onboard. With powerful output from standstill, you get extra assistance when needed most
  • With a range of 40 miles on a single charge, the Stride delivers peace of mind, undertaking multiple short journeys with plenty left ‘in the tank’
  • Integrated lights mean you can keep ‘cargo-ing’ in lower light and keep you and your precious cargo more visible in traffic. British weather won’t hold you back either, thanks to built-in mudguards
  • Enviolo stepless shifting system
  • One-size fits all design

The best folding eBikes

Best folding eBike

Brompton has produced this C Line Explore eBike, which utilises a front hub motor and a battery pack that you can carry like a briefcase, probably the most recognisable name in folding bikes. Brompton claims this 300Wh battery pack and the motor would be capable of delivering a range of 20-45 miles depending on how you use the motor, and it will take four hours to charge from the flat.

Bromptons own six-speed drivetrain gives you what you need to get you about town, then up the hills with rim brakes offering the stopping power and integrates lights and mudguards. This could be the bike you buy if you’re going from home to the train station to the office.


  • Incredibly well-known brand
  • Large battery pack
  • Integrates lights and mudguards


  • The rim brakes aren’t the best
Motor:Brompton designed front hub motor
Batteries:36V 300Wh
Range:20-45 miles
Brakes:Rim Brakes
Gearing:Brompton wide-range 6-speed drivetrain (2 x 3-speed), 300% range
Integrated accessories:Mudguards, front and rear light
  • Steel frame construction
  • 6-speed gearing
  • 40 Lux Busch & Müller AVY LED front lamp and rear lamp powered by the main battery
  • Battery Range: 20-45 miles (30-70km) 
  • Includes Essential bag

Best big-budget folding eBike

Tern Vektron S10 2021 - Electric Folding Bike
Price: £4,100.00

Tern probably isn’t very well known for folding bikes. However, they make some fantastic electric cargo bikes. The American brand has, though, designed the Vektron S10, and it carries over some of its siblings’ cargo ability.

The Bosch Performance motor sits on the bottom bracket, giving you high torque levels and smooth and reliable assistance up hills or carrying any additional weight. While the Bosch 400Wh battery pack delivers, which is handy considering the bike weighs around 22kg. Not light. Thankfully hydraulic disc brakes are on hand to bring all that weight to a stop, and a 10-speed Shimano cassette to get you back up to speed again.


  • Powerful motor
  • Powerful hydraulic disc brakes
  • Well-respected brand


  • Very heavy
Motor:Bosch Performance
Batteries:Bosch PowerPack 400 Wh
Range:Not Given
Brakes:Magura MT4, hydraulic disc
Gearing:Shimano 11-36T, 10 spd
Integrated accessories:Mudguards, pannier rack, front and rear lights, kickstand
  • Tern Vektron, hydroformed 7005-AL, OCL+ joint, 3 patented technologies frame
  • Tern Tarsus, 6061-Al, hydroformed forks
  • Shimano Deore 10-speed gives you the range to do anything
  • Magura brakes offer all-weather-stopping power
  • Schwalbe Big Apple help keep you rubber side down
  • Sizes: 20w
  • Colours: Blac, Silver

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many myths around eBikes still, and many of the same questions keep getting asked, allowing us to bust some of those myths and deliver the facts.

Are electric bikes legal?

In the UK, for an eBike to be legal, the motor must stop assisting you at 15.5mph and have a limit of 250 watts of assistance. Which, in this article, all of the bikes comply with. There is a thought that eBikes are like a twist-and-go moped, which is not true. You have to put power into the pedals for the motor to work.

How are electric bikes charged?

eBikes charge by plugging the battery into a power source – some allow you to remove the battery. For others, you will have to plug into the bike if the batteries are inside the frame. Every eBike you can purchase will come with a charger so that you can do this.

Are electric bikes good for workouts?

The great thing about an eBike is that you can always dial the motor up or down or turn it off altogether. eBikes can be very heavy, so you’ll soon realise why the motor is there if you do this. They’re fantastic ways of getting exercise, and you’ll likely find yourself riding your bike more often with an eBike.

The effort you put into the pedal determines how much the motor works – more effort into the pedal, less motor assist, less effort into the pedal, more motor assist.

An electric bike or conversion kit?

We always think it’s best to buy something built for a purpose – some bike frames will not take the extra stress and power that an electric motor can bring, certainly if it’s fitted to the crank. This will end up costing you money in the long run. There is, of course, a time and a place for eBike conversion kits, but if you’re doing some hard miles on the bike, we’d recommend buying something built for a purpose.

Are electric bikes waterproof?

To an extent, yes. You can ride them in the rain and through puddles, but we wouldn’t recommend fishing them out of the canal and trying to ride one. They will also handle a good clean – just make sure if you have to plug your charging cable directly into your bike that the rubber bung is secure before riding in the rain and cleaning.

Hybrid bikes

These are for when the type of terrain you ride across is mixed; they can ride on gravel, do a bit of soft roading and wooded paths and perform on tarmac – basically a jack of all terrains but a master of none. So if your commute is mixed or you go off on a gravel adventure at the weekend, a hybrid bike might be what you’re looking for.

City / Urban bikes

These sometimes get bundled in with the hybrids, and we can understand why - however, these are more for zipping about town, nice comfy tyres and low step frames to make getting on and off easier, often with the space for a pannier rack to help you get shopping home.

Gravel bikes

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of gravel bikes, essentially, these look like road bikes but have a slightly different geometry and gearing set-up to help you deal with the loose and fast terrain of gravel riding. The handlebars are often flared to give you more control over the terrain, and the tyres are usually knobbly and slightly wider.

Mountain Bikes

We’re likely getting into familiar territory for people now, designed to go downhill fast with enough gears to get you back up the wooded, rocky paths on mountain bike routes. These can be a hardtail with no suspension, front suspension or entire front and rear suspension.

Road bikes

Drop handlebars, built for speed and endurance on the tarmac. You can get slightly different geometry on road bikes. Ones tailored to speed tend to be more compact, and those for longer days in the saddle have a somewhat longer wheelbase offering a bit more comfort on the bike.

Cargo bikes

The Estate car or SUV of the biking world – built for carrying large loads around town, be it dropping your kids off at school, picking up shopping or just getting stuff done – these bikes are excellent for completing all these tasks.

Folding bikes

Yes, you can even get folding eBikes. Many of these will be hub motors to try and keep the weight down, and batteries will likely be concealed in the bike’s frame – don’t expect an all-day range on these, however. The best ones will be good for up to 45 miles at the maximum, depending on how you use the motor.

Batteries and Motors

To ensure you get something right for you, you'll need to pick between two different motors - hub or crank.

Hub motors are mounted in the rear hub and help the wheel to rotate and are often for lighter use of an eBike.

Crank motors help the pedals turn. Having a motor house in the cranks is generally heavier, but they give you more assistance when riding, and you feel their effects much more than a hub motor.

Batteries will either be mounted in the frame or an external battery which can be taken off the bike and charged. There are many different types of batteries, and we’ll go through that in the product descriptions, and we recognise how good they are by using Watt-hours.

Torque and Watt-hour (Wh)

The torque on an eBike is very similar to a car; the higher the torque a motor can produce, the more weight it can shift. It's not uncommon to find pedal-assist motors that can produce up to 80Nm of torque, and this is plenty to get you off the mark and up the hills.

The difference between a Watt and a Watt-hour (Wh) is that a Watt is a power unit, and Wh is a unit of energy. So, Watt-hours measure the amount of energy for a specific period and Watts measure rates of power at the moment in time. So if you have a 250Wh battery, it will give you 250 watts of power for one hour.

Use this as a rough guide, though, as when you're in the most assisting mode (which usually gives you 250 watts of power), the run time depends on how hard you're working, the steepness of inclines, the amount of weight the bike is carrying and environmental factors, like temperature and wind.

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Myles is an Autos & Fitness Product Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.

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