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Here are the top electric bikes whether you're off-roading or commuting

What is the best electric bike? The Electric Bike Company Model R is ZDNET's top choice based on our testing. We researched and compared features as well as performance, value, and cost to determine our No. 1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Electric Bike Company Model R | Best electric bike overall
Electric Bike Company Model R review | Best electric bike | Best ebike
Electric Bike Company Model R
Best electric bike overall
View now View now
Ariel Rider Grizzly | Best off-road electric bike
Ariel Rider Grizzly review | Best electric bike | Best ebike
Ariel Rider Grizzly
Best off-road electric bike
View now View at Arielrider
Aventon Sinch | Best foldable electric bike
Aventon Sinch review | Best electric bike | Best ebike
Aventon Sinch
Best foldable electric bike
View now View at Aventon
Ride1Up Core 5 | Best affordable commuter electric bike
Ride1Up Core 5 review | Best electric bike | Best ebike
Ride1Up Core 5
Best affordable commuter electric bike
View now View at Ride1UP
Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0 | Best electric bike for fitness
Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0 review | Best electric bike | Best ebike
Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0
Best electric bike for fitness
View now View at Specialized

Today, it is hard to go anywhere without seeing an electric bike (e-bike) on the road, and it is easy to see why. They are affordable, fitness-forward, and best of all, fun. At ZDNET, we had the opportunity to test out today's best electric bikes to see which one really is the best. After hours of testing, this is what we found.

Also: The 5 best electric cars: Plus, the cheapest EV available

Features:

  • Top speed:  28 mph
  • Range:  150 miles
  • Warranty: 10-year limited
  • Size: 4'6″ - 6'8″/ 380 lbs

The Electric Bike Company Model R (Rugged Enduro) takes a fun approach to electric bikes, prioritizing customization without sacrificing performance. Its 750-watt motor is capable of reaching 20 miles per hour using the throttle or as high as 28 miles per hour with pedal assist. With a 380-pound load capacity, it is comfortable with a variety of different terrain, too, with strong off-road performance. 

The Model R features Tektro E-530 hydraulic disc brakes with brake levers and a direct or optional 7-speed. The range is incredible - this electric bike can go an astounding 150 miles before needing a charge. When it is time to charge, the 3.5 Amp super-charger uses Smart charging technology to quickly and efficiently charge your bike. Even better? Your bike arrives fully built, so you can just hop on and go.

Pros:

  • Optional GPS
  • Fantastic range
  • Highly customizable

Cons:

  • Customizations can get pricey
  • On the heavier side

Features:

  • Top speed:  33 mph
  • Range:  75 miles
  • Size: 300 lbs maximum
  • Warranty:  1 year limited

The Ariel Rider Grizzly is a rugged, outdoorsy version of the electric bike, offering all-wheel drive for your on- and off-roading needs. It puts the power in your hands by offering dual motor technology, which means you can singularly use your rear or front motor or even both at the same time. Either way, you have two 1,000-watt geared hub motors to use. The 52-volt, 35Ah batteries feature an extra-long battery life, doubled from previous models, with up to 75 miles per charge. 

The design also incorporates a full-suspension frame with puncture-resistant tires, plus industry-leading shocks with suspension front fork and motocross level rear suspension. Plus, there is room for two when you add on the optional long saddle and standard foot pegs. 

Pros:

  • Fastest speeds on our list
  • Dual Motor technology
  • USB ports

Cons:

  • The throttle can be jumpy
  • Requires caution

Features:

  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 40 miles
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Aventon Sinch features oversized tires that are great on gravel and other types of terrain with an LCD Smart Easy Read Display and backlight for nighttime riding. There is a 750W 48V brushless motor and two sensors, including a cadence sensor and a speed sensor. The throttle works from a complete stop to get you going, but be careful because this electric bike is incredibly responsive, even though its maximum speed is the lowest on our list. It does have the smallest range on our list, so it is best for short distances and more occasional use, as it will require a charge rather quickly. 

However, the foldable design makes it extremely convenient, making it perfect for those with apartments, small garages, or other limited space. You do not have to sacrifice style, either, with an attractive design sure to turn more than a few heads. 

Pros:

  • Foldable 
  • Dual sensors
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Sensitive throttle
  • Short range

Features:

  • Top speed:  28 mph
  • Range:  45 miles
  • Size: 5'6"-6'4"
  • Warranty: Limited 1-year

When you are looking for an everyday commuter bike, the Ride1Up Core 5 is a fantastic fit. As a Class 3 bike, it reaches speeds of up to 28 miles per hour, thanks to a 750-watt 48-volt motor with a controller and integrated cadence sensor. Featuring a seven-speed shifter, you receive built-in Customizable Pedal Assist (PAS) and Intelligent Riding Feedback for a stronger performance. 

The 45-mile range is just decent, not much more than the Aventon Sinch, but the 48-volt two-amp charger has an LED indicator that will keep you tuned in to charging status. There is an alloy frame that makes it lightweight and easier to handle than most other electric bikes, but there is also a weight limit of 275 pounds, ruling it out for some riders. Your bike arrives 85% complete, giving you a headstart on setup, but be sure to check out the free 30-day trial before you buy. 

Pros:

  • Dual sensors
  • Affordable
  • 30-day trial

Cons:

  • Low weight capacity
  • Limited range

Features:

  • Top speed:  28 mph
  • Range:  Not published
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

The Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0 boasts 2.3" Ground Control tires for excellent traction, an SRAM disc for an instant response, and 110mm of front suspension for smooth performance. It is my husband's favorite bike, one he says is great for fitness and can keep up on trails as a high-performing electric mountain bike. It features a Turbo Full Power 2.2 Motor with a 710 Wh battery and electric pedal assist. 

There are three power modes with a Turbo System Lock that will disable the motor and activate the motion sensor alarm when you use the Mission Control App. Although we could not find the range for this bike. However, the specs are strong, with additional features not shown in other bikes. The frame comes ready for child seats if your child wants to come along, and the frame is even rated to tow a trailer if that is where the day takes you. 

Pros:

  • Turbo System Lock
  • Oversized tires
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • No range published
  • Expensive

What is the best electric bike?

Based on our rigorous testing, the Electric Bike Company Model R is our pick for the best overall electric bike. The ride is smooth, and performance is consistent. It is also customizable to fit any preference and budget, a feature we cannot love enough.

To see how it stacks up, here is a look at the best electric bikes.

Best Electric Bike

Cost

Top Speed

Range

Electric Bike Company Model R

$2,499.00+

28 mph

150 miles

Ariel Rider Grizzly

$3,299.00

33 mph

75 miles

Aventon Sinch 

$1,799.00

20 mph

40 miles

Ride1Up Core 5

$1,195.00

28 mph

45 miles

Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0

$5,000.00

28 mph

Not available

Which is the right electric bike for you?

After a while, all electric bikes can start to feel the same, so consider our expert recommendations to help you find the best electric bike for your needs.

Choose this best electric bike...

If you want...

Electric Bike Company Model R

A highly customizable bike with a smooth ride

Ariel Rider Grizzly

An electric bike to take on all types of terrain

Aventon Sinch 

A storage-friendly option

Ride1Up Core 5

An affordable everyday bike

Specialized Turbo Tero 5.0

A great workout

How did we choose these electric bikes?

We were fortunate enough to test these electric bikes ourselves. While we were testing, we took several factors into consideration.

  • Design: We look for an electric bike with an aesthetically pleasing design, such as the Model R with its color customization.  
  • Range: An electric bike must have a long range, allowing it to last for miles before you have to worry about a charge.  
  • Weight: Some e-bikes are very heavy, so we considered the weight of a bike during our study to see how it affects performance.
  • Pedal assist: This determines how much help you get from your e-bike when pedaling. 

Be sure also to consider the type of tires, number of gears, brakes and suspension to ensure that you will have a secure, comfortable ride.  

What is an electric bike?

An e-bike is a new type of bicycle that uses an electric motor to offer pedal assist. You can still bike like a traditional bike, but you have the option of a little extra help when you need it. 

How much does an electric bike cost?

The cost of an electric bike can vary significantly, depending on the brand and model that you choose. Our picks for the best electric bike range from $1,200 to $5,000 and more based on factors like features and manufacturer. 

What are the class types of electric bikes?

There are three classes of electric bikes. This helps determine how fast each bike will go.

Electric bike class type

Description

Class 1

Up to 20 mph

Usually offer pedal assist

Class 2

Up to 20 mph pedaling

20 mph+ throttle

Class 3

Up to 28 mph 

Are there alternative electric bikes to consider?

In addition to the electric bikes we tested, these are some additional e-bikes that may be worth your attention.

Be sure to check out the best fitness deals, as well as the best bike desks and the best Peloton alternatives for your home or office!

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