25 Awesome E-Bikes You Can Buy Right Now

Emilee Geist

Photo credit: Staff
Photo credit: Staff

From Bicycling

It’s official. Electric bikes are here to stay, and their popularity is through the roof. Liberated from some of the normal constraints of standard bike design like weight and gearing, e-bike design has exploded; if you can imagine it, someone has built it. From cargo bikes to city and commuter bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, and even beach cruisers, there is something for everyone. The beauty of e-bikes is that they make the joy of cycling accessible to so many people in so many ways. See at-a-glance reviews below of five of our top-rated e-bikes, or scroll deeper for full reviews of these and other high-ranking options, plus more buying info.

The Three Classes of E-Bikes

After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider which class you prefer. In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to only a 750w motor (aka 1 horsepower), but it can assist you up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without the need for a license. Class 2 models have a throttle that can propel a bike up to and maintain 20 mph without having to continuously pedal. Aventon’s Pace 500 is technically a Class 3 e-bike in that it reaches speeds up to 28 mph, but it also has a throttle that tops out at 20 mph (the maximum legal speed for a throttle).

A Wide Variety of Motors and Batteries

E-bikes mostly use motors and battery options from a few major suppliers: Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, and Brose. A few other brands exist but are less reliable or powerful. Some, like the Yamaha system, have more torque, and others, like Bosch’s Active Line, are nearly silent. But, generally, all four make good options. Look for motor output (in torque), which will give you an idea of total power. Just like car engines, more torque equals more power off the line and more boost to your pedaling. But watt hours (Wh) is perhaps a more important figure to use—it takes into account battery output and life to give a more accurate reflection of power (higher Wh equals bigger range).

Battery Range

For many bikes, battery range is more important than total power (because they’re all pretty powerful). You want a bike that delivers a range long enough for your rides at the power levels you want. Most e-bikes will have three to five levels of assist that kick in anywhere from 25 percent of your pedal power to 200 percent. Consider how fast the battery takes to recharge, especially if you’ll be using your bike for long commutes. And remember, if you won’t settle for anything less than turbo, you’ll get the least amount of range (but the most amount of fun!) your battery offers.

Other Features to Consider

As electric bike options continue to expand, brands are integrating the batteries more seamlessly, which makes the bike look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Most batteries lock to the bike and come with a key that lets you unlock and remove it, which serves at least four good purposes: You can remove the battery and charge it off the bike, a locked battery deters (and hopefully prevents) a thief from stealing it, and an e-bike with the battery removed is safer for hauling on a bike rack and lighter for carrying up steps.

Because e-bikes are capable of greater speeds for longer periods of time than standard bikes, you want extra control. Wider tires provide better traction and the freedom to leave the pavement with little penalty, and a suspension fork will help tame some of the rougher roads you might explore. Good disc brakes are a must, too, for slowing a heavy bike at high speed. This is not a place to skimp.

Some e-bikes come with an integrated lighting system that turns on when you power up the bike. While this is an awesome feature to have, it’s not a deal breaker if your bike isn’t equipped this way. With so many great bike lights available, it’s just as easy to attach your own. Same with rear racks: Some e-bikes come with one, some don’t. You decide how important that feature is to you.

Why It May Be Harder to Find a Bike Right Now

Ever since words like “shelter in place,” “stay at home,” and “social distancing” invaded and took root in our daily lexicon, we’ve had to find alternative forms of entertainment that don’t involve large crowds, indoor activities, or risky situations (such as travel). More people have caught on to the idea that outdoor escapes like hiking, running, and bike riding are safe, sanity-saving ways to get out and do something—away from others. This surge in outdoor activity has led to a surge in bike sales and, thus, a depletion of stock. That’s a good thing, because it means more people have discovered bikes. But it’s also frustrating if your goal today is to place an online order for a shiny new bike only to find out that you may have to wait weeks or even months to get it. If you see something on this list that catches your eye, and you hit the out-of-stock roadblock, patience (waiting until inventory is fulfilled again), perseverance (it may be available somewhere else online or even somewhere locally), or just being proactive (pre-order is available for many out-of-stock models) might be the way to go. We’ll keep our eye on inventory and update Buy links as often as we can.

How We Tested

Our team of experienced testers incorporate electric bikes of all types into our routines almost daily. We’ve spent many hours and miles using e-bikes for their intended purpose. We’ve commuted to and from work on them, used them to stock up on groceries and beer, tested their passenger-hauling capability, ridden them on questionable terrain to see how they handle, and run their batteries down to officially see how long they last on one charge. We evaluated them on performance, price, comfort, handling, value, reliability, fun, aesthetics, and overall e-factor to come up with this list of bikes that will best serve the needs of anyone looking to add a little pedal assist to their ride.

City, Cruiser, and Commuter E-Bikes

―Fast, No-Nonsense E-Commuter―

Trek Allant+ 9.9S Stagger

The Trek Allant+ 9.9S is a fully focused, I-have-someplace-to-be, don’t-get-in-my-way e-rocket ship with the aggressive geometry to match. It has a full carbon frame and fork, Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes, and a Bosch Performance Speed motor (that means it tops out at 28mph). Even more good news for the dedicated commuter: It’s compatible with Range Boost, which lets you piggyback a 500Wh Bosch battery to the already frame-integrated 625Wh Bosch PowerTube, almost doubling your range. And the Bosch Smartphone Hub display, which is compatible with the COBI.Bike app via Bluetooth, lets you charge your phone, stream music, get turn-by-turn directions, make/take calls, and track data. Don’t expect to haul much on the rear rack; its size makes it pretty limited. Perfectionists beware: If you can’t handle even the slightest smudge, the easily marred matte frame and fenders will drive you bananas. Best way to buy it: Use the Shop Now button to buy it online. It’s available.

―Most Customizable Electric Beach Cruiser―

Electric Bike Company Model X

The Model X feels like a higher-quality product than the price indicates. It’s assembled in the U.S., and the attention to detail is immediately evident; the bike makes almost no noise while in motion, save the subtle whir from the rear-hub motor. The Schwalbe Fat Frank tires and aluminum frame and steel fork combine to deliver a smooth ride, and the comfortable saddle and retro handlebar beckon you to relax and let the e-assist do much of the work. Its 500-watt motor peaks at 1,000 watts for quick bursts of power, making the Model X sporty enough for most. Pedal assist maxes out at 25mph, and you get a throttle as well. There are also loads of available accessories, including a front basket, rear rack, suspension fork, and custom colors. Best way to buy it: After customizing it to your liking on Electric Bike Company’s site, add it to your cart and proceed to checkout. It’s in stock and available.

―Great Parts for a Great Price―

Batch Bicycles E-Commuter

This super-affordable e-bike will impress you with its price and surprise you with its parts. Powered by Bosch, this $2k commuter runs on a 250-watt Active Line Gen 3 mid-drive motor and a 400Wh battery that provides you with up to 80 miles on one charge (30 if you’re zipping along in turbo mode). Don’t worry about keeping track; everything you need to know is displayed on the easy-to-read Purion unit. Our tester praised the 27.5×1.75-inch Kenda Kwick Twenty.5 Sport tires for their ability to stay planted on the road, and the entry-level Shimano Altus 8-speed drivetrain for providing her with the gears she needed to cruise uphill at a comfortable cadence. Other bonus parts worth mentioning: fenders, a rear rack with spring clip, and hydraulic disc brakes. If you want to illuminate your ride, lights are on you; they’re not included. Best way to buy it: Use the Shop Now button to purchase it online. It’s available.

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―Fully Loaded E-Commuter―

Gazelle Ultimate T10+ HMB

This shiny-red, confident-looking commuter is as fast as it looks, with aggressive geometry that complements its 28mph max speed. The aluminum-framed Gazelle Ultimate is powered by a Bosch Performance Line Speed mid-drive motor (with 75Nm of torque) and has a 500Wh battery that lasts up to 55 miles on one charge (25 miles on turbo). A Shimano XT rear derailleur moves the bike through its 10 gears to provide you with all you need to zip uphill and fly on flats at a steady cadence. Relative to the wider tires we usually see on urban e-commuters, the Gazelle’s 1.75-inch Schwalbe Energizer Plus tires—which are smoother down the center and grippier on the sides—are fairly narrow. But the Suntour 80mm-travel suspension fork makes up for any lost bump-absorption a wider tire might provide (you might notice it, you might not). An adjustable stem lets you fine-tune the angle of the handlebar to suit your comfort, and the included rear rack has a bungee to strap down a small haul (think jacket, not 30-pack). Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

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―Best Cheap E-Bike―

Aventon Pace 350 Step-Thru

The $1,000 price level is where e-bikes can get sketchy: Lithium-ion battery technology is still pricey, so corners must be cut elsewhere to keep costs down. At $1,099, the Aventon Pace 350 is one such bike, but our test revealed it’s not too cheap to be quality. The Class 2 e-bike rolls on 27.5×2.2-inch Kenda Kwick Seven Sport tires, stops via Tektro mechanical disc brakes, and tops out at 20 mph, whether you get there by pedal-assist or a throttle. A 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain and five levels of e-assist provide you with various pedaling options. You don’t get fenders or integrated lights, but the Pace 350 felt totally viable for daily commuting. If you want to be more noticeable to motorists, go for the white frame, which looks sharp against the black components. Best way to buy it: Pre-order it today for an expected November delivery date.

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―Best Cheap Speed E-Bike―

Aventon Pace 500

If the Aventon Pace 350 is on your shopping radar, but you crave a little more speed, the Class 3 Aventon Pace 500 urban e-bike has five levels of pedal assist and tops out at 28 mph. Like the 350, you have the choice between pedal assist and a throttle to propel you forward. Note that on both bikes, throttle speed maxes out at 20mph (for legal reasons), meaning if you want that extra push to reach 28mph, you gotta get there by pedaling. Like the 350, the 500 has an aluminum frame, a swept-back handlebar, ergo grips, a sturdy kickstand, and 27.5×2.2-inch e-bike-rated tires. But the 500 comes with 8-speed Shimano Altus shifting and gearing and hydraulic disc brakes. Power comes in the form of a 750-watt rear-hub motor and a semi-integrated battery on the down tube (with a range of about 40 miles); a backlit display unit mounted on the stem shows your speed and distance and tells you how much juice you have left. Best way to buy it: Order today; bikes are in stock and shipping.

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―Best Value Electric Beach Cruiser―

Tuesday August Live! LS

As long as you can do without some of the perks that pricier models offer—like a detailed display unit, integrated lights, and a torque-sensor motor—the August Live! LS is a solid, stable, comfortable, and really freakin’ cute (have you seen those polka-dot fenders?) e-bike. Its 8-speed twist shifter, chopper-style handlebar, Touch Down Geometry (for a more laid-back ride), three levels of assist, and slow-to-warm start from a complete stop keep this bike within the realm of “cruiser.” But with a 250-watt Bafang rear-hub motor, a top pedal-assisted speed of 20 mph, and reliable disc brakes, the August is no joke. It’ll get you to the top of relatively steep climbs without forcing you out of the saddle, and feels super stable on the way back down. Its 20-mile battery range is on the low end for an e-bike, but it’s enough to take this bike where it’s happiest: tooling along at the beach, around town, and through the park. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

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Folding E-Bikes

―Best Value Folding E-Bike―

Blix Vika+

Weighing almost 50 pounds, the Vika+ is among the heavier folding e-bikes out there, but what it lacks in staircase-friendliness it makes up for in assistance. The 20-inch-wheeled aluminum alloy bike is powered by a 500-watt rear-hub motor. Included with the motor and electric system are five levels of pedal assist and a throttle mode for burning rubber in the bike lane (well, up to 20mph), all of which can be controlled by buttons on the handlebar and monitored by an LCD display that shows your speed, range, trip meter, and odometer. Depending on the assistance setting, the battery has a range of 20 to 45 miles per charge. As for the nonelectric components of the bike, 7-speed Shimano gearing gives you everything you need to keep pedaling with the e-assist turned off, with Tektro V brakes for stopping. Ultimately, it’s a pretty great bargain for a fast-folding bike that packs down smaller than most e-folding bikes. Plus, the bike comes equipped with commuter-friendly details: a rear cargo rack, fenders, and head- and taillights. Best way to buy it: Currently on back order.

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―Best Folding E-Bike―

Brompton Electric

The Brompton Electric is the best-riding, most usable folding e-bike we’ve tested. The compact, proprietary front-hub motor and head-tube–mounted battery allow the first electrified Brompton to use the company’s classic folding design, which means the bike gets small quickly. We got it down to 3 cubic feet of steel and rubber in 30 unhurried seconds. For a bike with 16-inch wheels, it handles better than it should, even at speeds pushing 25 mph. And those small wheels and narrow handlebar help you skirt through traffic. That’s not a unique experience for Brompton riders, but the ability to shoot gaps with immediate torque is a new and exhilarating benefit of the quintessential folding bike entering the electric age. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

E-Mountain Bikes

―E-MTB With Most Natural Ride Experience―

Specialized Turbo Levo SL

Launched last year in the Specialized Creo SL road bike, the smaller SL motor and battery now appears on the brand’s Levo SL mountain bikes and Vado SL city bikes. The motor weighs 1,950g and kicks out a max of 35Nm of torque. And because the motor requires less energy, Specialized was able to downsize the battery, too (without sacrificing much range, though you can get an extender that increases range another 50 percent). The low weight (about 10 pounds less than similarly equipped e-bikes with bigger motors and batteries) provides an incredible ride feel. At just 36.5 pounds, the Levo SL gives you the most natural riding experience of any e-mtb we’ve tested. Steer with your hips, bunnyhop logs, float over jumps. It’s all the same, with a modest boost. This S-Works is the most expensive electric mountain bike we’ve been on, but other models start at $6,500. Best way to buy it: Sign up on Specialized’s site to be notified when it’s back in stock, or find it through a local dealer or retailer.

―Best Value E-MTB―

Giant Trance E+1 Pro

Among the full-powered e-mountain bikes we’ve tested, this Trance has the best combination of price and performance. It’s heavy, like most of those bikes—about 53 pounds—but this one feels easier to control. It’s a long, low bike with 27.5 wheels, that corners well and that you can ride with finesse. It’s almost agile, which is not how we’d describe most other e-mountain bikes. That’s appealing when you’re popping over a double or fighting to stay on your line through a rock garden. The Yamaha-made motor is good: It’s relatively quiet and applies torque smoothly without lag. The control unit lacks an LCD display, which reduces clutter. But its shape limits where you can position it on your bar, making it harder to see the lights that tell you which power level you’re in and how much battery you have left. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

―Best E-MTB for Going Big―

Pivot Shuttle

The Pivot Shuttle is available in two builds—the $10,499 Team XTR and the $7,899 Race XT—both of which come with 29-inch wheels and a carbon frame. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on one: the Team XTR. It has a Shimano 12-speed mechanical drivetrain, 140mm of rear travel, a 160mm Fox Factory fork, and a 150mm dropper post (on sizes M–XL). A Shimano STePS e8000 drive unit, paired with a 500Wh battery, provides 20 mph of pedal assist, so you can skip the lift line when you hit the bike park and zip right to the good stuff. The 29-inch wheels are nimble and eat up nearly anything in their path, and the massive 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF/2,4-inch DHR tires have huge knobs that grip the trail like Velcro. We reviewed this bike in 2018 (it had Di2, a 150mm-travel fork, and 27.5-inch wheels) and gave it an Editors’ Choice award. This newest version is just as if not more worthy of the same. Best way to buy it: Use the Shop Now button to purchase it online. It’s available.

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―Best Women’s E-MTB―

Liv Intrigue E+ 1 Pro

With 150mm of travel up front and 140mm in the rear, you’ll be able to hit double-track ruts without veering from your line. The motor is powerful and torquey, meaning you can stay in the lower two (of five) assist levels to save battery and still get enough kick to ascend just slightly faster than you could on a regular bike. The highest setting has serious oomph, with a little too much power to use the bike on tight or technical trails. It’s better for fire road climbs or cruising on pavement on the way to the trailhead—or back home after a ride. The Yamaha motor with 80 Nm of peak torque has generous kick to get over small rises or tough spots on the trail. And the boost can hit quickly; Liv says you get full boost (based on your power setting) in just 190 milliseconds and that the quick response time was noticeable, but not welcome in every situation, by our testers. The Liv feels lighter than other e-mountain bikes, so it’s a great option for women looking for a balance between power and maneuverability. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

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E-Road, All-Road, and E-Gravel Bikes

―Best Overall E-Road Bike―

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL

It was bound to happen: the e-bike that changes everything. And this is it. The Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL is like no other e-bike, and like no other bike. The carbon e-road bike weighs around 27 pounds—half the weight of many e-bikes—and therefore feels more like a zippy, responsive road machine than anything else we’ve tested. For its owners, it also makes every ride a no-drop ride: Its magnesium-cased SL 1.1 mid-motor puts out up to 240 watts of assistance, which cuts out at 28mph, and the 320Wh internal battery offers up to 80 miles of range. That’s enough speed and range for spirited group rides with the fastest of the pack. A 160Wh Range Extender—included with S-Works models, a $399 upgrade for Expert models—fits into the seat tube bottle cage and adds up to 40 more miles of range. Best way to buy it: Use the Shop Now button to purchase it online. It’s available.

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―Best Endurance E-Road Bike―

Trek Domane+

The Domane+ e-road bike is the electric version of Trek’s popular Domane. It’s designed for riders who appreciate that bike’s reliable comfort and IsoSpeed technology but want the added fun and function of e-assist. It’s also the ideal companion for anyone coming back from injury, slower riders who want to mix it up with a speedy group, and couples with different fitness levels. A Bosch Performance Line Speed motor provides a very welcome 28 mph of pedal assist, and the 500Wh Powertube battery sleekly integrates into the down tube. Also integrated: front and rear lights, which are powered by the battery—no charging required. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and available to ship.

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―Best Full-Power Road Bike―

Trek Domane+ HP

The Domane+ HP takes Trek’s excellent Domane SLR endurance-road platform and gives it a 28mph kick in the pants from Bosch’s Performance Speed motor. What makes this bike particularly awesome to ride is Trek’s front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers. These enhance the frame’s compliance and offer a noticeable comfort improvement to the rider compared to a heavy e-bike with a rigid frame. They also help the tires stick better to the road, which improves control and handling of this almost-40-pound bike, especially in bumpy corners. The Bosch motor provides plenty of torque to make climbs faster and easier, and the 500Wh battery means you can ride with healthy assist without range anxiety. This Domane isn’t afraid to ride rough pavement, either. It fits up to 38mm tires, giving it decent gravel chops, and it’s ready for a rear rack and fenders if you want to commute or tour on it. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and available to ship

―Best All-Road Bike―

Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 3

The Topstone Neo Carbon is a 650b-wheeled carbon gravel bike with full suspension that powers you up to 28 mph. But as distinctive as it is—and as unconventional as it looks with the Lefty Oliver single-leg fork—it works very well. The 30mm of travel in the front and rear effectively provides additional control when you’re piloting this heavy and fast e-bike. Once you ride with suspension off road, you’ll never want to go without it again. The Bosch Performance Line motor offers ample torque and consistent performance, exactly what we’ve come to expect from the German brand. The resulting bike is one that floats across bumpy roads and trails more confidently than a rigid model, allowing you to push it as hard as the motor allows. Best way to buy it: Use to the Shop Now button to purchase it online, but hurry; stock is limited.

E-Cargo Bikes

―Compact E-Cargo Bike With Lots of Storage―

Rad Power RadRunner 1

The singlespeed RadRunner 1 is designed to haul cargo while being nimble enough to outrun your deadlines. The step-through, moped-style frame has mounts for front and rear racks (whose options include baskets, bags, insulated bags, platforms, panniers, and more), and you can also opt to buy the $99 center console to add a third storage option (the battery is mounted behind the seat tube to free up space for it). A double kickstand keeps it upright so you can load all that cargo without fear of the bike tipping over, and there’s an integrated taillight that lights up when you hit the brakes. Beneath all this utility is a solid e-bike, too. The 750W rear-hub motor has enough torque to take you and all your stuff up hills and across level pavement at a comfortable 20 mph, and the wide 20-inch Kenda K-Rad tires balloon out over rough pavement and rocks, allowing you to take the RadRunner 1 (and whatever you choose to put on it) almost anywhere.

―Best Compact E-Cargo Bike―

Benno eJoy 9D

The aluminum, step-through eJoy is the happy medium between traditional-looking townies that don’t transport much more than the rider, and often-cumbersome cargo models that are challenging to store. With 26-inch wheels, full fenders, a Shimano Alivio nine-speed drivetrain and disc brakes, a wheelbase similar to the average townie, and a big, comfy seat, it has the appearance of a practical everyday cruiser. But its oversize rear rack, silent Bosch Active Line motor, heavy-duty head tube with front-tray mounts (the tray is an add-on), integrated Supernova E3 lights, and roll-over-anything balloon tires hurtle it into hmm-this-could-actually-replace-my-car status. It’s one of the quietest, sturdiest, most convenient, most stylish, and easiest-to-operate e-bikes available. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and ready to ship.

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―E-Cargo Bike With the Most Storage―

Urban Arrow Shorty

This snub-nose, front-loading e-cargo bike is so sensible it had to be designed by Europeans. But you don’t need to live in Copenhagen or Amsterdam, where Urban Arrow’s HQ is, to enjoy the Shorty. The front box has an upper section for freight or mounting a child seat and a lower compartment for stashing even more stuff. The box is made of expanded polypropylene, a lightweight material that’s surprisingly durable and helps the bike maintain a low center of gravity. A Bosch Performance CX motor provides smooth power and 75Nm of torque, helping ease the bike’s 100-plus-pound weight coming off the line. At 80 inches long, the Shorty has a laughably poor turning radius, but it’s an easy enough bike to maneuver once you’re up to speed. And the centered position of the cargo hold means adding weight won’t throw off the handling too much, so load it up to your heart’s desire. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and available to ship.

―Adjustable Wheelbase―

Xtracycle RFA Utility

The Xtracycle RFA Utility is designed to evolve around your changing needs. Its adjustable dropouts allow you to shorten and lengthen the wheelbase by 5.5 inches. The shorter layout, dubbed the RFA Sport, comes with a shorter rear deck. We have the RFA Utility with its longer rack (might as well have a longer rack, right?), but you can always change the wheelbase length in about an hour. The bike feels sturdy and stiff, and the component spec is similarly customizable, with options for motors, batteries, and accessories. The fat 24-inch tires dampen road vibration and make you feel like you can run over almost anything, an admirable trait on a bike designed to carry hundreds of pounds of cargo. Our test bike had the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor, which takes you up to 28mph rather quickly. We found minor sticking points in the inconveniently long kickstand legs, lack of stock fenders, and minimal clearance between your heels and the seatstays. Otherwise, it’s a quality platform for customization and years of use. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and available to ship.

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―Lightweight, Space-Saving E-Cargo Bike―

Tern HSD S8i

Tern’s HSD is a midsize cargo bike that shares many features with the original GSD. Fold down the HSD’s handlebar unit and the bike stands on its rear rack, taking up about as much space as a floor lamp. The fat 55mm Schwalbe tires on 20-inch wheels roll smoothly, with a custom Suntour suspension fork providing a bit of extra comfort and control. Topping out at 20 mph, the Bosch Active Line Plus motor is glassy smooth and nearly silent, as is the low-maintenance Gates belt drive and Shimano Nexus 8-speed internally geared hub. A 400Wh battery provides up to 69 miles of range and is secured by the same key that locks the built-in ring lock. The HSD can handle up to 374 pounds, accepts one child seat, and works with a variety of cargo accessories for the front and rear for all your commuting and errand-running pleasure. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.

―Best Value E-Cargo Bike―

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon

A $1,500, fully loaded e-cargo bike seemed too good to be true, so we borrowed the RadWagon from Rad Power Bikes to see if it could stand up to competitors that cost thousands more. In short: it does. A 750-watt Shengyi direct-drive hub motor provides powerful pedal assist at a much quieter hum than the mid-drive motors used on most e-cargo bikes; its only disadvantage is there’s not quite as much torque, but you’ll only notice on steep hills. A throttle lets you ride the bike like a scooter, and we had no problems with the 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain or the Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Lights, fenders, and a kickstand are standard. Despite its length, the RadWagon isn’t difficult to maneuver: We thrashed it around an abandoned golf car path and didn’t scrape the rear foot platforms against the ground, a good sign for low-speed handling. It’s a lot easier to charge $5,000 or more for an e-cargo bike when you market it as a car replacement, but the RadWagon proves you can render your car mostly obsolete for the price of an e-bike, not another car. Best way to buy it: Pre-order it today for estimated October delivery.

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―Subtle, All-Around Reliable E-Cargo Bike―

Benno eScout 9D

Another fan favorite from Benno, the 20mph eScout was one of the first e-bikes our staff grabbed from our test fleet (before the pandemic kicked us all out of the office) to pick up lunch, run errands, or just escape for a quick midday cruise. Ironically, it’s also one of the more modest-looking bikes of the bunch, save for its shiny red front tray (a $220 add-on). The rest of the bike is black, charcoal, and shades of charcoal black (though it’s also available in Alaska Blue)—from the fenders and kickstand to the integrated lights and lock, even the included rear rack. But there’s something about the eScout that makes it jump out in a sea of busy orange and teal and often impractical features. Maybe it’s the visibly sturdy build Benno bikes are known for, the bold and clean welds, the uncomplicated frame design, that freakin’ cool handle under the seat. On the road, the bike rides silent and smooth, takes turns like a luxury car, and never sacrifices comfort. Climbs are escalator steady, battery range is reliably predictable, and rattles are nonexistent. It’s a stealthy ride that wants for nothing. It’s a Benno. Best way to buy it: Order it today; it’s in stock and available to ship.

―Best Family E-Cargo Bike―

Benno Boost E 10D Speed

This latest version of the original Boost, which made its debut in 2016 and impressed us with its immense utility and bold design, improves on that model without changing ride quality. It goes faster, too—the Bosch Performance Speed Cargo motor gets you up to 28 mph in turbo mode. You can haul up to 130 pounds on the rear rack and 45 on the front, and the Boost is compatible with a ton of useful accessories, including a variety of front trays, Yepp baby seats (for two), and different rail systems for your little ones to hold onto. A Bosch PowerPack 500Wh battery sits cleanly on the frame and will provide up to about 75 miles of riding—a range you can double with a second battery. The whole package rolls on 2.6-inch tires wrapped around 24-inch wheels. Best way to buy it: Limited stock available now; don’t wait.

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