best e-bikes

Pedal power: The best e-bikes in which to invest

24 Oct 2023 | |By Hitanshi Kamdar

Sign up to the benefits of biking without breaking a sweat with the best e-bikes

Historically, electric bicycles have been bulky and inconvenient. But e-bikes have undergone a significant evolution. They’re lighter, faster and more aesthetically appealing. Whether you’re commuting to work or biking across the countryside on a weekend, the best e-bikes can make your cycling experience infinitely more enjoyable.

The idea of an e-bike might feel a bit like cheating, but that’s not quite the whole story. Sure, e-bikes are a powerful assistant, but they don’t take all the effort out of cycling. They’re designed to help you pedal, but the motor can only assist you up to the legal limit of 15.5 mph, which means you’ll have to put in some effort to go faster. You can also choose from a range of assistance modes to control the effort applied, from battery-saving modes to intense turbo modes. So, while they can help keep you from breaking a sweat on your morning commute, and make a steep incline feel like flat terrain, you can still build cardio fitness.

E-bikes, in case you hadn’t noticed, are big business right now. As a result, there are a lot of options on the market. The kind of e-bike you need depends on what you’ll be using it for. If you’re mainly commuting through the city, an electric hybrid bike with flat bars, an upright ride position and practical accessories like mudguards and lights is the ideal option. Electric road bikes with dropped handlebars and lighter builds would be great for biking across rough country lanes; while folding bikes can be a priority for those short on storage space.

Since e-bikes are considerably more expensive than regular bicycles, consider them investments – like a classic watch or a timeless suit. And sorting through the plethora of options can get a bit intimidating. Happily, we’ve curated an edit of the best e-bikes on the market right now to help you make the right investment.

Cowboy Cruiser ST

The Cowboy Cruiser ST prioritises a clean, appealing space-age aesthetic, but not at the cost of a compromised riding experience. As intuitive as they come, the e-bike strips down to the bare essentials with no gears or external cabling. Fret, not, the lack of motors doesn’t interfere with the bike’s assistance abilities as the on-board motor seamlessly delivers the exact amount of power you require – a powerful boost as you start that levels out gently until you need an extra kick to get up inclines. The compact battery neatly slides in and out of the frame, while the upright seating and curved raised handlebars make it a great hybrid bike. You can make your commute easier with the handlebar mount that wirelessly charges your phone as you ride and the Cowboy app which can calculate the fastest cycle routes to work and estimate your remaining battery life so you never run out of juice.

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Gocycle G4i

Designed by a former McLaren engineer, the Gocycle G4i is a great folding bike. The full-integrated battery powers a motor that is well-equipped to propel you through the city with ease. While the intuitive motor has a great range, Gocycle’s smartphone app can easily tweak the bike’s performance to suit your specific needs. With internally routed cabling,  predictive electronic gear shifting, and mudguards and patented automotive-inspired Daytime Running Lights installed as standard, the e-bike ensures peak performance and safety on the road. The bike’s small wheels are more stable than they appear and aided by a shock-absorber under the seat for those pesky pot holes. The lightweight bike can be wheeled around using the saddle as a handle, making it truly portable.

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Estarli eCargo Longtail

Weave through traffic with the Estarli eCargo Longtail. The e-bike’s powerful Bafang M400 mid-motor delivers 80nm torque while the hydraulic brakes and stepless shifting ensure a smooth ride. But its most compelling feature is undoubtedly the impressive 210kg load capacity making it perfect for transporting goods and cargo. The e-bike comes alongside additional accessories which include padded seats and steps along the rear axle to make the e-bike appealing for families looking to drive the kids around.

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Brompton Electric P Line Bike

The British-built Brompton P Line is the perfect electric bike to replace the rush-hour tube. The super lightweight folding e-bike comes with a four-speed gear system and a custom-built derailleur. With an easily-removable battery pack and a dual locking seatpost that allows you to steer the bike in the folded position, the Brompton P Line is a great choice for city travel. What’s more, you can fold the bike up in as little as 20 seconds.

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Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0

The Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is the e-bike that doesn’t feel like one. Super lightweight with an aluminium alloy frame, its high-capacity battery is built into its downtube and offers multiple assistance options to the motor placed between the pedals. The bike’s crossbar display allows you to view all information on the go. The Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is an excellent option for those easing their way into electric bikes.

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Canyon Spectral: ON CFR

The Canyon Spectral: ON CFR is the perfect companion for exploring rough terrain. The exceptional build is crafted with durable carbon fibres and comes equipped with a powerful 900wh battery or a 720wh battery on the smaller frame (although make sure to avoid riding it on the city roads as it greatly surpasses the legal limits). The perfect mountain bike, it has a whopping 85nm of torque meaning quicker and easier acceleration. Fly up and down steep trails on the compact and sturdy e-bike as you log in all your miles with the bike’s GPS function.

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Montague M-E1

When it comes to convenience, the Montague M-E1 tops the charts. The full-size bike with 700c wheels, front suspension and a Shimano Steps E6100 mid-drive motor is ideal for taking on both the city and countryside. What’s more, it can also be easily folded to be stored and carried around. Choose between Eco, Normal and High Power assist modes on your rides, or try the Walk assist mode to push your bike uphill.

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LeMond Dutch

Created by former professional road-racing cyclist Greg LeMond, the LeMond Dutch is the perfect bike for casual lazy rides around town. The lightweight frame is crafted from carbon fibre and rendered in an appealing matte finish. The Dutch comes equipped with an 11-speed Shimano GRX drivetrain to help you take on any terrain. Turn your bike on with one press of a button and rediscover the joys of cycling for pleasure.

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Volt London

The Volt London draws inspiration from its namesake city to present a bike that’s perfect for riders navigating the urban landscape. Offering a resolutely upright position for views of the traffic ahead, the single-speed and torque-sensitive motor takes the hassle out of gear changes on busy roads. Use the detachable porteur rack above the front wheel to carry important documents for your meetings, or lug your groceries along on an additional pannier rack on the back.

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