Electric Bike: Electric Nomad 1 Electric Bike Review: Tackle Any Terrain In Comfort?

Electric Bike: Electric Nomad 1 Electric Bike Review: Tackle Any Terrain In Comfort


  • Fat tires built for the trail
  • Powerful 750W motor with throttle
  • Ergonomic handlebars for comfort
  • The big, easily visible display
  • Attractive color options
  • Affordable


  • Heavy
  • Battery-powered rear light

Electric Bike: As I was preparing to head down to the Denver area to visit my oldest daughter for a couple of weeks, Velotric reached out about evaluating its new Nomad 1 fat-tire e-bike. The trails and bike paths all over this area of Colorado are perfect for testing a fat-tire e-bike, so I’ve been enjoying the fall bliss of Colorado on the Nomad 1.

The Nomad 1 is available now for $1,399 (down from $1,599) in the Step-Thru and High Step models.

It’s a joy to ride and could inspire you to get out and ride off the beaten path.

In order to test a bike that could work for everyone, I spent time with the Step-Thru model, which is designed for people with heights between 5 feet, 1 inch, and 6 feet, 4 inches.

The High Step option, for taller riders, has a crossbar positioned between the seat post and front forks.

Electric offers the Step-Thru model in four color options: Mango, Cyan, Sky Blue, and Spring. I tested out the Cyan model since I already tested out the Veloctric Discover 1 in the Mango color in early summer and wanted to check out another color. This is the first fat-tire bike I have tested for ZDNET, and it exceeded my expectations.

Review: Electric Discover 1 e-bike review: Accessible build, attractive price

Specifications Frame Aluminum alloy and 80mm hydraulic suspension front fork Motor size 750-watt (peak 1,200W) with 75N-m, rear hub Pedal assist 5 levels Range Pedal to assist: 55 miles. Throttle: 52 miles Top speed 20 mph Battery capacity 48V 692Wh Display 3.5-inch backlit LCD Lights Integrated front LED, battery-operated rear light Payload capacity 440 pounds Seat Urban comfort ergonomic, 220mm wide Brakes Hydraulic disc Fenders Front and rear provided Drivetrain 8-speed Shimano Tires 26×4-inch puncture-resistant Bike weight 73 pounds Unboxing and design See also The best electric bikes: Top e-bikes for commuting

What is the best electric bike? ZDNet recommends the RadCity Step-Thru 3. Due to their low environmental impact and other advantages, electric bikes are rising in popularity, so we’ve come up with the top picks.

Read now

  • The bike arrived in a very large cardboard box with the words Ride Today stamped on the side. Attach the front wheel, secure the handlebars, attach the pedals, and you truly can be off and riding within 30 minutes.
  • By the way, shipping in the US is free for the bike, which is a rather incredible value.
  • The package includes an owner’s manual, quick-start guide, pedals, rear light, front and rear reflectors, a bell, and all of the tools you need to assemble and maintain your bike.
  • The tail light is battery-powered and independent of the bike system, so don’t forget to turn it off when you are done riding.
  • Fat tire, fender, battery, and frame.

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

For some reason, the front fork was installed backward, so I had to loosen three screws and rotate them before installing the handlebars. It was an easy adjustment to make, and if you are not comfortable working on a bike, you can order assembly service through Velo Tooler on the Electric website.

The aluminum frame and battery have the same color with a good-quality matte finish. The welding looks perfect and substantial on the intersection pieces, and the bike has a sturdy feel with no movement or flex.

Kickstand, seat, and rear hub motor.

The only visible wires come out from the handlebars and then feed into the tube of the frame halfway up the front above the forks. The wires then run into the frame and back to the hub motor, gears, and rear brakes. It helps give the bike a very clean look and also matches what we see in much more expensive bikes.


The Electric Nomad 1 is powered by a 750W rear hub motor with 1,200W peak performance, and if you have the assist set to Level 5, then hang on and enjoy the ride. There are five levels and a walk mode, provided on the Nomad 1 with the assist level also matching the highest speed provided with throttle-only action. When riding on a gravel trail, I achieved 9.5 mph at Level 1, 11.5 mph at Level 2, 14.5 mph at Level 3, 16-17 mph at Level 4, and 20 mph at Level 5. The bike is a Class 2 bike with a 20-mph limit for throttle mode.

Controls, throttle, shifter, brakes, and large display.

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

It has been rare for me to stay on an electric bike and make it to the top of hills that match the one in my neighborhood, even with me cranking on the pedals. The Nomad 1 has the power to assist me on steep hills and beats the Discover 1 in that scenario. The walk mode is also helpful with this large and heavy bike, so I found myself using it more than with any other e-bike I have tested in the past.

Also: You need 2 locks for your e-bike. Here’s why and which ones to buy.Electric Bike

Wide fenders are provided and preinstalled to match the tires. If you ride the bike on trails or in other inclement weather conditions, then you will appreciate the fenders keeping sand, gravel, mud, and rain off you and your face. The bike is also designed to achieve IPX6 water resistance, so you can use it when the weather sours.

To test out the bike for more types of riders, I asked my daughter to ride it on the trails in Colorado. While the bike is large and heavy, she loved the comfort, power, and ease of operation of the bike. The Step-Thru design made it easy to get on the seat, while the throttle was very useful for getting off the line from a stopped position. The battery also has a handy, accessible USB-A port, so you can charge up your phone if it dies, which is a nice touch for safety concerns if you happen to break down or need assistance.

Veloctric Nomad 1 electric bike

$1,399 at Electric

Bottom line

After thoroughly enjoying everything about the Velotric Discover 1, I was very excited to hear the company was releasing its next model. I was not sure what to expect, though, after hearing it was a fat-tire bike because I didn’t consider this type of bike for commuting. However, the Electric Nomad 1 is perfect for getting around town and also enjoying the hundreds of miles of gravel, dirt, and concrete trails and roads in the Denver area.

The ride is very smooth and comfortable, and the large tires have ample traction. It snowed lightly one day while I was testing the bike, so I was able to power through some light frozen snow, over crunchy dry grass fields, and through fallen dry leaves. The front shocks helped soften the pounding of traversing fields with bumps and ditches, while the powerful 750W motor provided confidence that I could get through any terrain.

Review: The Charge Comfort 2 is a smooth ride that fits in tight spaces

Electric has released another high-quality e-bike at an affordable price, with a few improvements over the Discover 1 as well. It’s a joy to ride and could inspire you to get out and ride off the beaten path, with the confidence and power you need to make it over all terrains and in unfavorable weather conditions.

Alternatives to consider: RadRover 6 Plus

$1,999 at Rad Power Bikes

Lectric premium

$1,599 at Lectric eBikes

Aventon Aventure

$1,999 at Aventon

The Hummer EV E-bike Is Just As Over The Top And Ridiculous As The Electric Truck It’s Based On

The Hummer EV e-bike was inevitable.

GMC joined forces with the world’s largest supplier of e-bikes for law enforcement to produce an over-the-top, dual-motor, fat tire electric bike to complement its equally over-the-top, dual-motor, fat tire Hummer EV truck. It’s the latest sign that automakers are trying to seize on the popularity of e-bikes to help promote the shift to electric vehicles.

The Hummer EV all-wheel drive e-bike (as it’s referred to in its press release) features twin 750W hub motors with a peak output of 2,400W, a 48-volt / 17 amp-hour LG-made battery (with an option to upgrade to a 21Ah version) and will be available to purchase either online at gmcebike.Com or at GMC dealerships for the price of $3,999. (A little expensive for an e-bike, but significantly cheaper than the $112,595 Hummer EV Edition 1.)

Unsurprisingly, GMC isn’t building the e-bike itself

Unsurprisingly, GMC isn’t building the e-bike itself. Much like it did in the early 2000s, the automaker is licensing the Hummer brand to Fort Wayne-based Recon, a major supplier of rugged, fat-tired e-bikes to local police departments and even federal agencies. (According to WANE 15, the company was hyping a “partnership with a major automotive manufacturer” just last month as a way to break into the consumer e-bike market. I guess this is what they were talking about!)

“We are honored to partner with GMC on this unique world-class AWD Ebike that parallels HUMMER EV’s unrivaled reputation as the leader in EV off-road adventure,” Jeff Fuze, president of Recon, said in a statement.

The twin Bafang motors provide up to 160Nm of torque (or 80Nm each) and enable the bike to travel at speeds of up to 28mph, making this a Class 3 e-bike. Four-piston hydraulic brakes will help bring this speedster to a comfortable stop.

The gearing is supplied by Shimano, and the front suspension is adjustable. And the bike comes with three drive modes: Cruise for rear-wheel drive, Traction for front-wheel drive, and Adrenaline for “maximum all-wheel drive performance.”

E-bikes are fast becoming a popular side project for many automakers, with varying degrees of success. The CEO of Rivian recently confirmed that the company is working on its own models that will likely fit in nicely with the company’s specific brand of outdoor adventure vehicles.

But often, when you hear about car companies releasing their own electric bikes, it’s just a brand licensing deal. (Think Jeep’s e-bike or Hummer’s first attempt at putting its logo on a folding bike.) Other times, it’s a much-hyped project that ends up falling victim to corporate cost-cutting, like General Motors’ Ariv e-bikes.

The Hummer EV e-bike will start deliveries to customers in early December.

Best Electric Bikes 2022 For Every Kind Of Rider

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If you’re looking for the best electric bikes, there’s a lot to choose from, with electric motors and batteries added to a wide range of bikes to add extra power.

That gives you some extra power for starts and when you have a hill to climb, making riding an e-bike a lot easier for many more people, while not removing the exercise component that’s an important part of cycling for many riders.

Electric bikes can be divided into four categories: electric road bikes, electric hybrid bikes with flat bars, electric folding bikes, and electric mountain bikes. We’ve covered the first three in this guide, but if you’re looking for the best electric mountain bike, follow this link to head over to our sister publication MBR which specializes in mountain biking.


Electric road bikes will come with dropped handlebars and favor low weight, whilst electric hybrid bikes will come with flat bars, wider tires, and accessories to aid commuters – such as mudguards and lights – electric folding bikes are useful if part of your journey involves train travel or you’re short on space.

We do have a great deal of additional electric bike buying advice available for you; if you’re looking to keep costs low, check out the best cheap electric bikes, women may benefit from female-specific components on the best women’s electric bikes, and if you’re venturing off-road, check out the best electric gravel bikes.

If you’re into tinkering with your bike, you might also want to look at the best electric bike conversion kits as an alternative to buying a completely new electric bike.

Our pick of the best electric bikes Best Electric Road Bikes

The best electric road bikes will favor low weight. The expectation is that at times you might exceed the 25kph legal e-bike limit stipulated by many countries, and at that point, you’ll want a lightweight bike. The motor will often be low torque, which makes the assistance feel more natural.

Hub-based motors are becoming increasingly common in this category. They keep the weight low and also allow the chassis to look almost identical to a non-assisted bike.

With geometry matching that of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc, the Ribble Endurance SL e gains a motor and battery, making it a great option for riders looking for subtle performance enhancement.

As with its non-electric equivalent, the Ribble Endurance SL e was also awarded a Cycling Weekly Editor’s Choice award, mostly due to its low overall weight, spec, and incredibly subtle integration of the motor and battery.

On hills, the bike was fantastic at giving the rider a much-needed boost in a natural and smooth linear delivery, but on the flat, the legal e-bike speed limit of 15mph for the UK (where the bike was tested) did hold this otherwise great electronic bike back.

We felt that the location of the charge point on top of the bottom bracket was a little vulnerable, so it’s important to double check it’s covered up, particularly in wet conditions

The other slight gripe was the position of the power button on the top tube. Once it’s on, but trying to locate it does mean taking your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds, which isn’t ideal.

With a similar profile to the Wilier Cento1HY Ultegra Di2 e-bike, but kitted out with the lower price point, yet highly respected, Shimano 105 groupset, the Ribble Endurance SL e could save you half the money.

Read more: Ribble Endurance SL e full review

The Specialized S-works Turbo Creo is the brand’s first venture into the world of road e-bikes and it is not a disappointing one. If you’re able to look past the eye-watering price tag, you will be getting all the pros of a road bike but with a bit of, as Specialized puts it, ‘oomph’.

This beautiful bike gets the same FACT 11r frame as the S-Works Roubaix, which means it already has a naturally racy feel, and thanks to its super lightweight construction, means that it’s happy to be ridden without any assistance at all.

When taking advantage of the power, Specialized’s own SL1.1 motor delivers smooth assistance to your ride and doesn’t have the surges of acceleration you may find in some other e-bikes. That and its impressive battery life, which we found to be one of the longest on the test, means that you do get a truly excellent e-bike.

It’s a bit like the F1 of e-bikes as it comes with a lot of technical integration, such as the ability to connect to its own app and dial in the motor for your style of riding. This is really helpful when using the bike to help with training and ensuring that the motor only kicked in once the tester was at a certain speed/ wattage.

The good news is that there is a spectrum of the Specialized Turbo Creo with the SL Comp E5 available for nearly a third of the price. You do lose some of the specs of course, but both are still great options.

Read more: Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL full review

The  Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3 is an electric gravel bike – that means it blends drop handlebars with burly tires and suspension, so it’s designed for on and off-road riding.

When Cannondale’s highly regarded Topstone gravel model gained a motor to become the Topstone Neo, it turned one of the most capable gravel bikes into a pedal-assisted monster truck.

Running on 650b wheels keeps the rear end tight and nimble for almost any terrain, although this is an area where you might consider a future upgrade as the WTB ST i23 rims don’t quite match the capability of the rest of the bike. It’ll still shock you with its power delivery (hold on to your hats), but the looks are best described as an acquired taste.

It’ll leave you in a similar giggly mess as the Canyon Grail: On CF 8 eTap does, just pure grin-inducing fun on any ride. In fact, on the test, it proved to be a bit of a handful and possibly provides too wild a ride for a lot of riders. If you can learn to love the looks and tame the beast of the torque you honestly will struggle for more fun on two wheels.

This bike is unrivaled in its class in terms of motor performance and the grin-inducing ride. The suspension adds another layer of capability to the package and blurs the gravel/MTB divide even further.

There are a few bikes in the range to choose from, both up and down price brackets, so worth checking out to find the exact model to meet your needs.

For more options like this one, check out our best electric gravel bike page.

Read more: Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3 full review

Gaining a much-deserved Editor’s Choice award, the Wilier Cento1 Hybrid is the e-bike for road riders who still want the feel of a race bike. The Cento1 Hybrid is a good-looking lightweight machine, which will assist you up those tough climbs, with plenty of power on tap.

On test, we found the supporting bike motion system, which is smartphone and PC app friendly, a doddle to use, with automatic syncing to Strava.

Some riders will love the automatic assistance, as it will immediately kick in when the going gets tough. However, this can be a Pro or a Con, depending on your ride assistance preference. If you would rather be the master of your own electrical deployment, then you might find the auto-assist a tad frustrating and just a little over-torqued.

It’s not the cheapest of bikes by any stretch, and the Ribble SL e could almost go toe to toe, but the Wilier is the no-compromise option, which is reflected in the price tag.

Read more: Wilier Cento1 Hybrid Ultegra Di2 e-bike full review

Another of the new breed of performance-focused electric road bikes, the Focus Paralane2 (that’s ‘squared’ not ‘two’) dropped in on our scales at 29.1lbs/ 13.2kg in a size medium. That’s not too bad when you factor in that the lightest electric bike, the Ribble Endurance SL e comes in at 27.34lbs/ 12.4kg.

The 7.2lbs/ 3.3kg, 250Wh battery clips into the downtube, offering 250 watts of support, for a maximum of ten hours in the lowest mode.

The carbon frame sees an endurance-focused geometry, with a carbon Seatpost for added comfort. You get a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and road-going 28mm Continental GP 4000 S II tires, making it an ideal electronic road bike to compare against the Wilier Cento1 Hybrid option.

What really stands the Paralane2 apart though is that the motor doesn’t take over your ride, allowing you still to feel the burn, and there’s even the ability to remove and ride without the battery should you choose to. Just be mindful that with no lock, you might want to get in the habit of always removing it when not with the bike in case someone else wants it.

The only other point to note is that the brand has opted for its own custom wheels to deal with the forces of e-biking. Great for drivetrain geometry, less so for aftermarket wheel options.

With several models to choose from, the range varies in price and spec, meaning there should be a Paralane2 to suit most e-bike budgets.

Read more: Focus Paralane2 9.8 e-bike full review

Best Electric Hybrid bikes

Electric hybrid bikes are the fastest-selling style. Their flat bars, usually wide tires, and commute-friendly fittings – such as mudguard mounts and rack mounts – make them extremely practical machines.

The motor can be housed in the rear hub, or at the cranks, and the torque will vary – low torque models offer natural pedaling assistance, but high torque versions will move off the lights more quickly.

A fun ride that’s great in urban environments but also provides a confidence-inspiring ride on rougher terrain is what the Specialized Turbo Vado is all about.

It was a real hoot to ride with a four-year-old on a mounted bike seat, and tick off a 50km hilly bike ride, turning heads of car drivers upon speedy getaways at lights and even challenging the non-power assisted rider in the group to keep up on the steeper inclines.

It is a heavy machine at 48.5lbs/ 23kg, so not easy to lift, so anyone needing to navigate steps in or out of the bike’s storage place will need to take this into consideration, but aside from that, we found the Specialized Vado Turbo to be a joy to ride.

The 460Wh Specialized 1.2 battery has a range from 25 miles in ‘turbo’ mode to 93 miles in ‘economy’ mode, based on a rider that weighs 15.5 stone, 217lbs, or 98.5kg.

It’s not quite as nimble as the Giant Fast road E+ Pro 2 electric bike above, but if you’re on the lookout for something that can do a bit of most things, then the Vado is a great e-bike option.

Read more: Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 electric bike full review

We absolutely loved zooming around on the speedy Ride1Up Roadster V2 with its five levels of power assist. If you’re anything like us and are more used to training and racing on standard road bikes it can easily become your guilty pleasure – it’s fantastic fun to ride.

The bike was so quiet, even on level 5, convincing onlookers that our tester had to be some kind of superhero to ride so fast up 15 percent climbs. The only downside – in common with other e-bikes that only assist when you’re pedaling – was where there was a requirement for a hill start, the cranks had to be turned over in order to get the motor to engage, creating a pregnant pause at the lights, before vavavooming off.

The claimed 24mph maximum assisted speed (in the US) needs input from the pedals to reach the flats, but without a doubt, it’s noticeable downhill, where other bikes, such as the Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike auto assist would cut out and slow you down.

This extra speed also puts the bike into a class 3 e-bike, meaning that it doesn’t meet EAPC rules in the UK, but that’s by the by as US brand Ride1Up doesn’t currently ship there.

If you are in a country lucky enough to be shipped to the US, Canada, and Mexico, then it’s a great option and one that has a very high fun-to-dollar ratio.

Ride1Up is a direct-to-consumer brand – check out the Roadster V2 on its website here.

Read more: Ride1Up Roadster V2 full review

The Giant Fast road E+ Pro is another road-going hybrid bike with flat handlebars to promote a comfortable ride position for even the rustiest of riders, in fact, we enjoyed riding this great electric hybrid road bike so much that we gave it a Cycling Weekly Editor’s Choice Award.

The tires provide plenty of squishes and the ability to go lightly off-road. However on the test, we found the aluminum frame and fork quite stiff, which will suit those used to a traditional road bike’s feel and riders looking for a speedy commute, but worth bearing in mind if you’re used to a softer hybrid feel.

We really liked the bike’s integration of the battery, which can often be a design factor forgotten about on hybrid bikes. We were also really impressed to see the spec on the FastRoad, with hydraulic disc brakes and quality Shimano shifting, with a compact chainset and wide range cassette at the rear to provide plenty of gears for the hills all making an appearance.

A great electric hybrid bike for a fair price that will have a lot of appeal to lots of different riders.

Read more: Giant FastRoad E+ Pro 2 electric bike full review

The Ribble Hybrid AL e is a road-going hybrid bike that’s equally at home on gravel paths and trails, with a comfortable and confidence-inspiring upright riding position, so great for returning or newbie riders.

For us, we think the bike is one of the best-looking hybrids we’ve ever come across, with the design hiding away the motor incredibly well, although we were a little sad that adjusting the seat post left behind scratch marks. The fully loaded package includes fenders (mudguards), lights, and a rear rack making it perfect as a daily commuter or for ditching the car when going to the store, although we did find these a little rattily on the test.

The Ebikemotion motor delivers its power smoothly and efficiently and offers long-range in-between charges, making the Ribble far more than just an A to B bike.

Understandably it doesn’t perform in the same way as the Canyon Grail: ON in terms of fast and tight torque, but tap along and it will tick over nicely, taking the top off any strenuous rides.

With all the added extras as standard and classy looks, the Ribble Hybrid AL e is a great electric bike for the money.

Read more: Ribble Hybrid AL e electric bike full review

The  Canyon Precede: ON is an efficient automatic transmission city bike that performs well in multi-terrain settings whether for a utility or for leisure purposes thanks to a powerful motor and control panel.

With built-in accessories such as lights, mudguards, rack, and kickstand all the trappings are there to make for a comfortable ride with style straight out of the box.  All these add ons however do make it one of the heaviest e-bikes on the market, even heavier than the Specialized Turbo Vado.

We really loved the Canyon Grail: On and it’s great to see the Precede: ON also be kitted with the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, although ideally, we would love to see a little more juice in the battery to support the other impressive spec.

With everything you need straight out of the box, including a navigation system and lights, it’s the easiest way to swap driving/ public transport for a bike, but it is at the higher end price tag-wise.  There are a couple of models to choose from, which also takes the cost down a touch, but with a six-year guarantee, it could be a savvy investment.

The only other point to note is that Canyon has a direct sales model, so you’ll have to buy directly from the brand here.

Read more: Canyon Precede: ON CF 9 ST electric bike full review

An aluminum frame with flat bars for a comfortable, upright position, and a seat tube-mounted battery which is slim and unobtrusive. The bike weighs in at 15kg / 33lbs with 10-speed Deore gears, or 14kg / 30.8lbs if you opt for a single speed.

The battery itself packs 336Wh and provides 250w of assistance, lasting between 45km / 28mi and 100km / 60mi depending upon the mode.

The disc brake wheels are shod with 32c Continental tires, offering plenty of comfort. It’s fair to say that we loved the agile and nimble ride, although do realize that unless you’re blessed with power in the place where the bike is kept, it’s going to be a challenge to charge with its fixed battery.

It’s a beautiful bike and would appeal to a lot of city riders, but hard to challenge the Ribble Hybrid AL E on the bang for the buck, meaning that you have to truly value its form over function.

Like some of the other brands here, Ampler bikes is a direct sales brand which you can see here unless you happen to be passing its stores in Berlin, Cologne, or Tallinn.

Read more: Ampler Curt e-bike full review

With its 36V battery, which should give around 70 miles of juice, hooked up to a mid-drive motor, we found that the Volt Infinity electric bike gave a nice balanced feel to the bike.

Shimano provides the power in the form of an 8-speed Alfine Di2 hub Shimano Steps, the highly regarded motor, and an e-bike-specific groupset.

Three different assistance modes will let you get the most out of that battery and the display mounted on the front will make it easy to keep track we loved that the torque sensor picked up when we were flagging and gave us a little boost to help us along our way.

Previously similar to the Carrera Subway E, it’s had a bit of a makeover and it’s now much more visually integrated than the previous model that we tested, although it’s still without a quick-release rear wheel, making investing in the best puncture-proof tires or inner tubes a shrewd investment.

The only real downside is the one size fits. Great if it does fit you, not so much if it doesn’t.

Read more: VOLT Infinity Electric Bike full review

Best Electric Folding Bikes

Folding electric bikes are practical if you have a train journey forming part of your trip or are low on space. Being small, the battery and motor can represent a large percentage of the weight, so the focus is often on reducing this as much as possible.

Mileage on folding bikes is often low since they’re typically used to ride to and from train stations, so battery range isn’t always a major consideration.

If you are considering going for a folder, you might find our buying guide page dedicated to helping you find the best folding bikes a useful read.

Capable of packing into a small wheelable package, the GoCycle G4 folding e-bike is all about portability. We really enjoyed the carbon and aluminum mixed frame and fork package, which works to help keep the bike relatively lightweight.

You get hydraulic disc brakes and 20-inch wheels with 2-inch tires that roll well and provide ample comfort. The single-sided carbon fork, which incidentally houses the GoCycle propriety motor, also assists in the comfortable ride.

The power comes from a motor in the front hub, which offers 250 watts of assistance, and lasts for a claimed 65km / 40mi on eco mode. The 300Wh lithium battery takes around seven hours to charge, with even enough to charge your smartphone along the way.

What we really loved was the amount of practicality built-in, making it one of the best folding bikes full stop. The folding and unfolding are a little tricky, but once you nail that the folded-down package is really compact. We really appreciated the ability to wheel the bike around once folded too, a big feature for anyone who has to tackle a long section of walking, such as maneuvering train stations.

The one size only is common for folding bikes, but still can be frustrating, especially as not all the GoCycle models come with adjustable handlebars. Assuming that you can make the size work for you it’s a brilliant folding e-bike option.

Tern has numerous folding bike options, with the electric model options also growing in the fleet. The Tern Vektron S10 features 20-inch wheels and a 400-watt battery that can power you for 40 to 90 miles, depending on how much you use the assist.

We haven’t tested this version, but highly rated the non-electric Tern Verge X11 and believe that you won’t be disappointed in this electric cargo model.

To help the rider find the perfect fit, the stem and saddle are adjustable, making it a good interchangeable option for the whole family, from 4’10” to 6’5″. Coming with an integrated rack, compatibility with child seats is a breeze as no additional adaptors are required.

Its integrated rack will be fantastically useful but will add to the already quite large folded-down package size, so if it’s stowaway capabilities you’re after, you might be better off with the Brompton Electric Folding bike option.

The bike boasts dynamo-powered lights, alongside hydraulic disc brakes and a highly regarded Shimano Deore groupset. The high spec does push the price up though, and weighing 22.5kg /48.7Ibs makes it a fairly hefty folder, and a limited one at that.

We absolutely loved the Brompton Electric bike when we took it out for a spin, finding it to be the perfect bike for commuting in traffic and then stowing well out of the way post-ride.

The brand is considered by many as the gold standard of folding bikes, and the Brompton Electric is clearly cast from the same mold.

As typical with any Brompton bike, the brand has taken full control of the engineering, so everything from the frame to the motor has been designed in-house. Brompton however has called upon the experiences of Williams Advanced Engineering when it comes to the motor, developing a bespoke lightweight removable battery and motor.

As you would expect when a team of Formula One engineers gets under the bonnet of the Brompton Electric, the small, but the perfectly formed motor has excelled, delivering power smoothly, safely, and exactly when you need it.

The frame is the usual Brompton high standard, and while one size, keeps the ability to choose handlebars, Seatpost heights, and even saddle widths. There are six speeds, giving you plenty to play with when you hit a hill.

Whatever your final setup, you can rest assured as to the bike’s foldability, which is one of the reasons why Brompton stands out from the folding bike crowd. Its folded footprint is one of the smallest out there: 565mm high x 585mm wide x 270mm long (22.2″ x 23″ x 10.6″). This means it’s highly portable and capable of stowing in the smallest of spaces, although be warned, due to the independent motor and battery pack, you’ll find yourself with two hands full, so best to invest in a rucksack for your other belongings.

On test we felt this was an absolute dream of a bike, in fact, we went as far as calling it a transport gamechanger.

Electric bike buying advice Why would you buy an electric bike?

There are a whole host of reasons why you might want some pedaling assistance in your life from the best electric bike.

Perhaps you have to travel with lots of cargo, and the added power can mean the difference between using a car or still spinning your two legs.

Or maybe you want to start commuting to work, and an electric hybrid could be a great option for helping you cover the miles, without turning up at work in a sweaty mess and in need of a shower.

The benefit is obvious: less effort = less sweat. Hauling heavy luggage is an option, and you can often even keep pace and feel more comfortable in traffic. A hybrid e-bike with a rack and fenders and you’ve got a seriously practical bike that can replace many a car trip or having to use public transport.

You might be recovering from injury or illness and the added boost of a motor might help you get back out there again. Or it might simply be the case that you’re not as young as you once were.

It is absolute hearsay that electric bikes don’t provide an exercise benefit, but you do still get a workout when riding an electric bike.

Are electric bikes legal?

The biggest difference between an electric bike and a motorbike is that the e-bike can only assist its rider, its motor cannot be the sole source of power for the bike. To clarify, in order for an electric bike to be legal, in many countries it can only assist a rider up to 25km/h (that’s roughly 15.5mph). This applies to most of Europe and Australia — if you live in the US, keep reading.

Outside the US the motor inside the bike can only be a maximum of 250w and cannot be operated by a throttle as you’d find on a motorbike. Which, sadly, does mean you’ll have to use your legs!

The rules in the US are a bit more difficult to follow as the laws can vary from state to state, and federal law surrounding e-bikes may say something different again.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has sought to clear up some of the confusion, slotting e-bikes into a three-class system, all of which are limited to 750-watt motors.

The laws surrounding where and who can ride which class of e-bikes also varies from state to state, but the TL: DR version is classes 1 and 2 are permitted anywhere bikes are allowed, and class 3 are okay on roads and in bike lanes, but not multi-use paths, and have rules surrounding helmet use and minimum rider age. Thankfully the lovely folks over at People for Bikes have a handy guide that breaks the rules up by the state.

  • Class 1: the motor only kicks in when the rider is pedaling and is limited to 20mph
  • Class 2: The motor is limited to 20mph and can provide assistance whether or not the rider is pedaling
  • Class 3: the motor provides pedal assist, is limited to 28mph, and must be equipped with a speedometer.

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What types of electric bikes are available?

Most e-bikes come in the form of a Pedelec or pedal-assist, which monitors the input of a rider and assists as much as possible up to the region-specific top speed.

Less common are Twist-n-Go models, which allow riders to operate the input of the motor from a switch (or even a throttle). Most places classify these as mopeds and you may need a license, insurance, and a full helmet to ride them.

Where should the motor be placed on the best electric bike?

There are really only three options for e-bike motor placement: either on the front wheel, the back wheel, or the cranks.

Placing the motor at the cranks offers much better weight distribution, which makes the bike more stable — a key consideration for both road and mountain bikes.

Hub-based motors, found in the rear wheel, are usually lighter, so you’re more likely to find them on electric road bikes. Motors in the front wheel are a lot less common, but you may find them on some hybrid e-bikes and folders.

How far do the best electric bikes go?

Another consideration worth thinking about is electric bike batteries.

Generally speaking, like motors, you get what you pay for. No battery will have infinite power, or be totally invisible, even on the best electric bike – but the more you spend the longer the range/ the more subtle its placement.

Battery capacity is measured in both watts (watt-hours, Wh) or amps (amp-hours, Ah). In most cases, an e-bike’s battery capacity lies between 250Wh-600Wh or 7-10Ah.

Typically, you should get around 800 charge cycles from the best electric bike lithium-ion battery before you’ll need to replace it.

Expect a riding range of anywhere between 25 and 75 miles of run time on a full charge. Although be warned, the more assistance the bike gives, the more power it will draw from the battery.

What components do the best electric bikes have?

E-bikes do have slightly different components to standard bikes, the obvious ones are the battery and motor.

In terms of motors, the big names are Bosch and Shimano. Shimano Steps was the first e-bike-specific groupset from the Japanese giant and it features a mid-drive electric motor, as well as integrated electric shifters and a torque sensor to smooth out the ride a little.

Bosch has really embraced the electric bike market and its range of eleven different motors offers a variety of power assistance depending on how much you’re willing to spend and the type of riding you’re doing. Its models have motors geared to more leisurely riding, more performance-oriented cycling, or cargo moving applications.

Other brands such as Fazua and Mahle bike motion are common on lightweight e-road bikes, and these systems have done well when reviewed, so come recommended.

The best electric bikes are likely to come specced with some form of hydraulic disc brakes. The added speed and weight of an e-bike will definitely warrant the extra stopping power.

Other areas that can differ are tires, which tend to be fatter, and even on-the-road bike options, anywhere between 32mm and 40mm of rubber is most common on the hybrid options. The extra wide tires will help absorb the impacts of the heavier frame as well as provide more grip and stopping power to balance the extra weight and speed.

The more expensive, lightweight carbon road electric bikes do now come with leaner 28m tires, perfect for keeping up on the club run.

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