We’re coming to the end of what has been an average Summer in Britain, we’ve had some sunny days, but we’ve also had a lot of rain and grey cloudy days too. If you like to get your tent out or jump in the caravan as often as possible over the Summer you’ve probably been a bit disappointed. But what hasn’t been disappointing this year is the increased range of electric bikes available to enjoy the Summer with, come rain or shine! We’ve written a couple of articles too to help you get the most out of electric bikes in Britain and also in particular if you’re a motorhome or caravan owner.
Ebikeclass are proud to present our first Awards for Best Electric Bikes 2017. Having done a lot of electric bike reviews this year and with the intention of doing a lot more before the year is out ready for 2018 we wanted to provide a summary of what we think are some of the best ebikes on the UK market.
We’ve awarded a Best in Class to one electric bike in each of the following categories, and also compared them to two runner up ebikes that we noteworthy in that class:
- Electric Bikes for Men
- Electric Bikes for Women
- Electric Bikes for Commuters
- Electric Bikes on a Budget
- Electric Mountain Bikes
- Fat Electric Bikes
- Folding Electric Bikes
- Best Electric Bike 2017
There are some stunning electric bikes now on the UK market, including some very expensive ones like the those produced by Haibike. So if we went off specification and looks alone we’d have a very expensive line up of award winners. Whereas we know that for most people their ebike budget is somewhere between £600 and £1500. So we’ve mainly looked at bikes within that range, apart from in the Mountain Bike category where serious eMTB’ers are willing to pay considerably more.
The five criteria we’ve chosen to rate the ebikes on are the five criteria we believe are most important:
- Value for Money
- Battery Life
Value for money
Value for money is relative because some people are willing to pay more for a brand they know and trust, which can be important in a sector like electric bikes where most brands are unknown to consumers, because they may only buy one or two electric bikes in their lifetime. The obvious example here is Gtech who are well known in the UK as a British manufacturer like Dyson who innovate household products. We don’t have exact figures but the Gtech Ebike is likely one of the best selling electric bikes on the market. However, we’ve tried to look past brand names at the actual specification and useful functionality and technology in each bike to tell you whether it is actually good value for money. If you want a Gtech you’ll buy a Gtech, but if you want to pick a bike with more features for the same price you’ll be surprised what you get from a lesser known brand.
Battery life is one of the key decision factors when choosing which electric bike to buy. Battery life can vary between 20 miles and 50+ miles dependent on which bike you buy. Standard battery size is 36v 10ah which should provide around 40 miles of assisted cycling on most electric bikes. Some manufacturers give you the option of paying extra for a larger capacity battery or to buy an additional battery. But we’ve taken into consideration the standard battery that comes with the bike. We don’t think anyone should be buying an electric bike that does less than 25 miles from a charge because what’s the point in having an electric bike then? We expect 30+ miles from our Award winners, with extra points for those with extra long battery life as long as they’re not too expensive. Something to take into consideration is that electric bikes used on the road are limited to 15.5mph, so there is no real requirement for a battery larger than 36v unless it’s a heavier bike or of course a mountain bike.
Weight is a contributing factor to battery life and also the decision to purchase for many electric bike buyers because ebikes do carry more weight than standard pedal bikes. You have to consider the battery which often weights 2-5kg and the motor and some extra electrics which again weigh in around 2-5kg. So while a standard bike can be lifted onto a car bike rack, or up stairs, that extra 5-6kg on an ebike can make someone think again whether an ebike is for them. Particularly for commuters who lift their bikes onto trains, or up stairs to their office, etc, the weight is an important factor. For electric bikes standard weight is between 21kg-24kg. Much lighter and that’s an added bonus, but much heavier and that’s a definite problem for some people. It’s worth noting though that one of our award winners weighs in at 40kg, that bike overcomes the weight issues by disguising itself as a moped so it can be parked on its upright stand anywhere you’d park a motorcycle, so there shouldn’t be any need to carry it.
On first glance, most electric bikes not only look the same but have similar equipment. Many are just a standard push bike with a motor and battery attached. We think ebikes should be about innovation, they’re the future of short distance transportation. So we’re pleased to see when manufacturers have thought about what electric bike users want and made them standard. Pre-fitted electric lights, mud guards, security features, storage and carrying capacity – all of these are great for some bike categories. So we’ve noticed these bikes and you’ll see many of our award winners have these extras because they’ve thought about you, the rider.
Sometimes you see something and you stop and have to look again. There are some things which is so beautifully designed that you are willing to pay a bit more for them. Cars and clothes are good examples of that. It’s the same with electric bikes, there are a few special bikes out there on the market which have the X-factor, they’re good looking, they don’t just look like a standard bike with a big battery strapped to it.
So that’s our five criteria. Now for the classes of bike. Our main categories are:
- Electric Bikes for Men
- Electric Bikes for Women
- Electric Bikes for Commuters
- Electric Bikes on a Budget
- Electric Mountain Bikes
- Fat Electric Bikes
- Folding Electric Bikes
Under each class we’ve provided a comparison table of the three best bikes in that class and selected an overall winner. And right at the end we announce our overall winner of The Best Electric Bike 2017.
The 2017 Ebikeclass Electric Bike Awards
Men are funny things. They want to look cool, they want to look athletic, they want to look like they’ve got money, they want to look hip. Well most do anyway. So when it comes to selecting an electric bike we want something which says, “This is as awesome as me!” We won’t put up with a bike that looks girly, that has small wheels, we want something which is dark and muscular looking, can conquer a mountain if it wanted to. It helps if it’s for some extra gadgets too, something we can boast about over a pint of IPA with our mates, while we also tell them about how many miles we get per charge from our lightweight and powerful battery unit. So we’ve picked out the best real man’s bikes.
|Electric Bikes for Men|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Love Electric||Amazon|
|Bike Name||Haibike Xduro Trekking 4.0||All Seasons E-xplorer||Volt Pulse|
|Price||£3,325.00||£1,295.00||Out of stock|
|Value for Money||14/20|
Although the Haibike Xduro Trekking is an expensive bike you are getting a lot of high specification kit for your money. Granted not everyone can afford one, but if you can, then you want the best, and that's what you are getting with Haibike electric bikes.
A lot of electric bike for your money. Good quality components and some unexpected extras meaning this is a very flexible bike.
The Volt has a great list of extras and high specification, making it very good value for money.
Haibike's Bosch PowerTube 500 Wh battery is the best on the market and should get you 60+ miles assisted cycling.
36v 10ah Samsung battery providing 50 miles per charge is above average.
The over-sized battery sat behind the up stem is a 36v 12ah Panasonic battery which Volt claims will provide 80+ hours of assisted cycling per charge which is top of the class.
At 22kg the Xduro is average but considering the kit on board is lightweight
Weighing in at 21.9kg the E-xplorer is maybe not an ideal commuter bike but most people should be able to lift it onto a cycle rack.
At 23kg the Pulse is carrying a bit of extra weight because of it's battery, and although better than most it does lag behind against the competition in best in class.
Front suspension, pannier, mudguards, Yamaha computer, electric lights. You are paying for them though.
Considering the price the E-xplorer has some unexpected extras, it is practically a mountain bike with 24 speed Shimano gears, disc brakes and front suspension.
Some great extras come with the Pulse including front suspension, pannier, electric lights and mudguards.
Looks as good on-road as off road
Looking like a hardy mountain bike with a battery disguised as a sleek bottle, it ticks the 'manly' box for sure.
Although winning points for it's battery life this is where the Volt's looks are affected, the position and size of the battery make the Pulse an obvious and cumbersome looking ebike.
A great electric bike with custom technology and plenty of extras. Ideal for longer journeys. Budget a bit steep for most though.
Excellent value for money manly looking bike just as capable on mountain trails as on the road.
A close second to the E-xplorer, this is a well equipped bike and great value for money, just let down by its battery size and location. It looks a bit dated next to newer ebikes.
Best in Class – All Seasons E-xplorer
Scoring 86/100 the All Seasons E-xplorer is a very capable electric bike in the men’s ebike class and also as an all round electric bike suitable for most people. It has a great set of features and high specification parts and will achieve around 40-50 miles per charge. Read our full review of the All Seasons E-xplorer for more information.
Special mention to the other two top selections in this class. If you have a higher budget and want an ebike with top specification then look no further than the Haibike Xduro or one of its sister bikes. The Volt Pulse also scored very well at 85/100 just being beaten by the E-xplorer, it has a class leading battery producing up to 80 miles per charge and some great extra features and quality components.
Women are funny too (although I didn’t say that). They want something elegant, beautiful, stylish, with some extra storage as well please like a nice basket. That’s what women who don’t ride very far very often want anyway. Once you’re a more serious female cyclist you want something more practical and comfortable which will go a bit further a bit faster. But in all cases, a women’s ebike is defined by having a step-through cross bar. Granted not all women want that, but if they don’t they can take a look in the other categories. So we’ve taken that all into account and brought together some of the best electric bikes designed and marketed for women.
|Electric Bikes for Women|
|Where to Buy||Love Electric||Cycle Republic||Amazon|
|Bike Name||Zephyr E-legance||Pendleton Somerby||e-Ranger Cruiser|
|Value for Money||13/20|
Style over substance is the issue here. While this is a beautiful classic bike, for the price tag you aren't getting as many extras as other ebikes.
With the Pendleton name backing what is a good ebike, but at a low price this is very good value for money.
With some nice extras but a below average battery and motor spec, this is OK value for money.
Fitted with only a lower spec battery producing just 20-30 miles per charge you may have to charge this before every journey.
40-50 miles per charge is just above average and should serve most riders well.
30-50 miles per charge dependent on usage, especially if using the throttle-only option.
Weighing above average at 25kg because of its classic frame style.
22kg is good to average for an ebike and in this class where a strong frame is required because lack of cross bar, it is pretty good.
At 23kg the Cruiser is average and won't be too heavy for most riders to pick up and move when required.
Mudguards and Pannier are nice extras for the lady rider, but not much tech to keep it's classic looks.
Mudguards and pannier again, not much extra.
With the obligatory mudguards and pannier, but extra basket, pannier bags and front suspension this is one of the best equipped lady's ebikes on the market.
This is one good looking bike, and will attract many a buyer. It hasn't compromised it's looks to be an electric bike, smartly hiding the battery and motor.
The Pendleton Somerby is a bit of a Plain Jane but with the battery neatly hidden under the pannier it passes the test. NIce touches though like the leather seat and handlebar covers.
The e-Ranger is of a similar style to the Pendleton, looking quite plain but with some nice features. The floral print is an option, with other paint jobs available.
If you like it's looks then you probably won't be too concerned about the practicalities, certainly a nice option in the lady's ebike class.
A great women's electric bike with above average specification and performance in a nice package.
Just pipped to the post but a better value for money Pendleton, but a good option if you want some suspension and some of the extras.
Best in Class – Pendleton Somerby
The Pendleton Somerby rightfully scores 81/100 in our class review of lady’s electric bikes. While some women may opt for a more regular electric bike, those wanting a better-looking ebike with a low step bar and practical extras, won’t go far wrong with this very good value for money ebike. In terms of battery life, it competes well in the middle market and has a pannier, mud guards and sprung leather seat.
The show stopper in this category is the Zephyr E-legance for sure, but unfortunately it’s classic looks have kept the extras to a minimum and the weight means a lower battery-life than most, although certainly enough for those popping down to the local village market once a week. Meanwhile, the e-Ranger Cruiser is for those wanting even more storage space.
One of the main customer segments in the ebike markets is commuters. If you’re using an ebike for just leisure your budget is probably less and long term durability and practicality probably aren’t that important. For a commuter who uses their bike every day the important factors are that it’s light so it can be lifted, that it is practical, the battery life is good, and it will hold its own during rush hour.
|Electric Bikes for Commuters|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||All Seasons Scooters||Gtech|
|Bike Name||Raleigh Motus||All Seasons emoto 48v||Gtech Ebike|
|Price||Out of stock||£1,195.00||£995.00|
|Value for Money||14/20|
The Motus just missed out on our highly competitive Men's ebike class, but backed by the Raleigh reputation is a firm choice as a commuter bike.
A lot of equipment, storage space, and an expensive looking ebike for a low price tag.
An ebike built as an ebike with great technology and very lightweight at a budget price.
The Bosch motor with 36v battery when set to Eco mode claims to achieve up to 112 miles per charge, you will struggle to beat that.
The weight of the emoto is helped by a 48v motor but is still middle of the road with 30 miles per charge.
The Gtech has no excuses to produce up to 30 miles in eco mode, they are due a battery upgrade, this is the only disappointing feature of this ebike.
With all of its extras and high spec battery, the Motus weighs in surprisingly at just 22kg, easy handling for most commuter journeys.
You would expect a lower score for an ebike weighing 40kg. But actually the moped style means you can park it on the street or in a car park on it's upright stand, so not much need for lifting it.
16kg is at light as it gets for ebikes, and that's because the bike is custom built to be electric, with a lot of the metal derailleur and chain system replaced with lighter parts.
With pannier, mud guards, lights and front suspension this is a comfortable commuter ride for most requirements.
The emoto has it all and then some. Side mirrors, full headlight and indicator set, storage, key start - by far the best equipped commuter ebike on the market, making it a viable choice for dark mornings and evenings on the road.
The Gtech is very disappointing when it comes to extras, it has none. You can pay more for some extras so now zero score here.
The Motus looks like a Raleigh, as it should. Well built, solid, no fireworks though.
People will be very surprised when you tell them this is an electric bike, sporty and solid looks. If you want something that looks like a bike though this isn't it.
With its minimalist and disguised battery the Gtech will appeal to many.
All good all rounder with a great battery life range.
If you're a commuter then only reason you wouldn't pick this is if you also need a bike, or you need to lift it as part of your commute.
A good value but entry level commuter bike for shorter journeys. You will probably want some extras when you're ready to upgrade.
Best in Class – All Seasons emoto 48v
Although not an electric bike in looks, the emoto is an electric bike although looking like a moped, and benefits from the same road laws. It comes with some many extras that are useful to a commuter such as side mirrors, full suspension, key start, storage compartments, and full lights and indicators. It also converts to a throttle-only mode for when you want to fly through standing traffic. The only downside is the weight at 40kg and a limited mileage range around 30miles per charge. Otherwise, it’s a green commuter’s dream machine! Read our full review of this electric scooter for more information.
The Raleigh Motus is the solution for commuters who also need a bike, they can use it on the weekends as a standard bike utilising its 10-speed gears and front suspension to the full, while in the week it will comfortably take on long commutes up to 112 miles. Meanwhile, the Gtech Ebike is an entry point into the commuter ebike market with a low weight and not much to go wrong it will do a good job day in and out on a short commute.
It’s probably worth mentioning that some of the folding electric bikes are also an option for commuters doing shorter journeys especially if some of that journey is via public transport – see the folding ebike winners below.
For those entering the electric bike market for the first time, electric bikes seem expensive compared to standard bikes. It’s not until you’ve used one that you realise why you don’t mind paying that extra money for all that convenience. Once you own an ebike you realise you’ll use it a lot more than your old push bike. So it’s understandable that for your first electric bike purchase you may want to limit your budget. You can buy electric bikes from around £400 and anywhere up to £800 is still a very low budget for an ebike. So we’ve filtered through a lot of rubbish to try and pick out the best of the cheaper bikes out there, which will still give you the benefits of a good electric bike but at a lower price.
|Electric Bikes on a Budget|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon|
|Bike Name||Cyclamatic GTE Pro||Fenetic Energy||Cyclamatic CX2|
|Price||Check on Amazon||Out of stock||£549.99|
|Value for Money||17/20|
In this price bracket you don't get much for your money but a pannier concealing a slim line battery and some OK performance is good value.
A great value budget electric bike with some unexpected extras.
This is great value for money because it is an electric bike for under £600. The fact it folds and has a pannier too is a bonus. Undersized though.
Don't expect much at this budget, you should get 20 miles from a charge which is passable.
25 miles from a charge is sub-standard but still useful.
25-31 miles depending on whether you use it with or without pedaling.
27kg is on the heavy side but to build a bike at this retail price the quality of components and metals have to be compromised. You may struggle lifting this onto a car rack or up stairs.
24kg isn't too bad really.
26kg is heavy for such a small bike but still manageable for most people.
Pannier and 7 gears are great extras to have.
Front suspension, electric lights, mudguards, and pannier are surprising accessories at this price.
Pannier, 6 speed Shimano gears, mudguards, lights and most of it it being foldable are all great extras for a cheap ebike.
A young man wouldn't be seen in public on this, but a pleasant option for a maturer lady.
Not a great looker at all, but you're getting a lot of ebike for your money.
Doesn't look too bad because the wheels are smaller (like most folding ebikes) it looks in balance but does look a bit like a child's ebike.
The price does compromise a lot of things that are good about ebikes, but if this is all you have to spend this is a good option.
At this budget this is by far the best ebike available if you can put up with the way it looks. Try and raise your budget if you need more mileage or something more dynamic.
Same rating overall as the Fenetic but it misses out because the smaller overall size does make it a less attractive option.
Best in Class – Fenetic Energy
There are not many electric bikes to choose from under £700, and you do have to compromise at this price level, as most are heavier than average ebikes with short battery life and not many extras. In terms of size, not many of them are full-size bikes and are more styled for more mature cyclists than the younger ebiker. While never going to set off fireworks, the Fenetic Energy does cheap well, it has some nice extras and is a solid bike that will suit most people.
The other two worthy mentions go to the Cyclamatic CX2 and Cyclamatic GTE Pro, both have their advantages, and the CX2 almost won the class because of its folding ability but it is a smaller sized bike which does compromise its ability and wider appeal.
It’s probably true that a hardcore mountain biker wouldn’t be seen dead on an electric bike. But once he or she is older and they’re struggling to cover the same mountain trails as they used to, they may then considered an electric mountain bike as long as it looks the part. There are some very good and yes very expensive electric MTBs available, and then there are some at more entry level which provides the gears and suspension necessary to take on some hill trails. We’ve tried to pick the best of both.
|Electric Mountain Bikes|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Trekbikes.com||Love Electric|
|Bike Name||Haibike Xduro FullSeven||Trek Powerfly 9||Zephyr E-lite|
|Value for Money||20/20|
A fantastic eMTB, Haibike do all of their ebikes well, this has everything you need and the price tag is as expected.
Trek know how to build mountain bikes, and they know how to convert them into ebikes too. They've kitted the Powerfly out as an awesome MTB and then added a Bosch motor and battery pack, some motor armour and top of the range computer. Nothing lacking, but you will need to save up!
We wanted to throw in the best of the lesser known brands in too to show what you get for a smaller budget.
40-90 miles is the published number from their Yamaha 400Wh - the large range because it really depends how and when you use the motor.
Trek don't publish their expected battery life which is acceptable with mountain ebikes because it really does depend how when and if you use the motor. But with a 500Wh Bosch Powerpack you won't be left disappointed.
Zephyr use the 375Wh Samsung battery with is the ultimate for a road bike but may only produce 50 miles on the mountain trail, behind the more expensive competitors in this class.
At 22kg this is a heavy mountain bike but as you'd expect with the kit attached.
The Powerfly weighs a disappointing 23kg but you can understand why with all the kit involved. It does get beaten here by some of its less expensive competitors.
At 19kg the E-lite is really lite! Mainly due to its ultralight alloy frame and lighter motor and battery system.
No extras except the usual top of the range gears, suspension, brakes and tyres, but you don't need anything else really.
Let's face it you don't really want extras on a MTB, you want less to go wrong or break and less weight.
Again not extras because you don't need them. But at this price you may count some of the top components as extra value for money.
Fantastic looks and with the embedded battery pack carries off being an electric bike very well.
Not quite as cool as the Haibike or Trek, but a god looking middle market MTB, with a battery pack which looks like a water bottle and benefits from the interchanged graphics with the bike.
Scores the same as the Trek, but the Trek is a MTB gone electric, tey've maxed it out, so the Haibike doesn't quite match up.
If you're in the market for the best electric mountain bike you'll likely be considering a Trek, and whether you need a hardtail or downhill bike they have them all and they're all awesome. The Powerfly is the all rounder and will put a smile on all MTBers faces.
If your budget doesn't stretch to afford the Haibike or Trek the Zephyr is a well kitted eMTB.
Best in Class – Trek Powerfly 9
Ask most mountain bikers what they want from their MTB and they say it has to be fast, light, agile and tough. That’s what you get with Trek, plus with the Powerfly 9 they’ve added a powerful motor and voluminous battery to give you that extra assistance on a tough climb, or during the laborious flat stretch back to the car. While there are plenty of eMTB pretenders, you have to spend more money to get a proper mountain bike with electric abilities which match the requirements.
The two runners up are two other worthy winners in their own right, the Haibike Xduro FullSeven the all rounder in a range of great e mountain bikes by Haibike, and the Zephyr E-lite showing that a hitherto unknown brand can come up with a good middle market electric mountain bike, make it light, and make the price accessible to more people.
Fat ebikes have their uses. If you’re a teenager they are cool, all your mates will be jealous. If you’re into cycling in snow or on the beach then they’re great. Fat electric bikes tend to be heavier because of the custom frames and wider tyres and therefore need a higher specification battery and motor to assist them. There aren’t that many available on the general market, but we had fun taking a look at them and picked out our favourite three.
|Fat Electric Bikes|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon|
|Bike Name||Extrbici||Tucano Monster||Richbit Jimai|
|Price||£1,650.00||Out of stock||Out of stock|
|Value for Money||14/20|
Fat ebikes have to have custom frames to accommodate wider wheels espeially if the motor is also a non hub motor like on the Extrbici. So price is going to be high. If you want a fat bike then you're paying a premium of about £500 for that extra width.
The Monster has been designed and built as a unique fat ebike and can justify its price tag.
Aain a premium of about £500 over an equivalent eMTB, makes this an expensive purchase.
The 48v 16AH should do up to about 35 miles per charge dependent on whether you have pedal assist setting on.
20-40 miles from a fat ebike is typical due to higher weight and higher traction levels. Even with a 48v 12AH battery you won't get over 40 miles, and if you're in snow or sand you'll probably use the motor more than your leg power.
With the lowest power battery of the three fat ebikes here, and only doing around 25 miles per charge maximum you may find yourself having to charge more regularly.
22kg is light for a fat ebike, and the xtrabici scores very well here.
At 30kg the Monster is a heavy weight but you can see why by just looking at it, it wasn't built to be light!
27kg is as you would expect, as most ebikes weigh in around 23kg, so add a few extra kg for the tyres.
A front light and front suspension, do you need much more on a fat electric bike.
Not much to write home about, front light and an awesome paint job!
Again front light and front suspension are nice extras for a fat bike.
Depends what you like but if you're after a fat bike, this really looks the part.
It is a monster, would eat you alive. This is what fat bikes should look like.
Not as aggressive looking as some fat tyre bikes, and not much inner frame space left after all the electrics, not a class winner on looks!
Scores well in this class and certainly a great option for a classic looking fat bike.
On sheer looks alone this is the fat ebike to buy, this is what electric bikes are about, having something different, with extra weight to justify use of the motor.
Falls a bit behind the best in class here but still a good option and readily available unlike some of the other bikes where you may have longer order to delivery periods.
Best in Class – Tucano Monster
At EbikeClass.com we applaud companies who stop and think about what they can build because a bike is electric. Rather than just build a bike and stick a battery and motor on it, they start from scratch and say “Because this has a battery and motor we can do this with it…”. That’s what the Monster is all about, just like the emoto that won the commuter class, it has been designed as an electric bike, look at the big gap between the seat post and rear wheel, to accommodate the battery. It’s an ebike which in the guise of a chopper motorbike, it looks like a World War II / Mad Max form of transportation. We love it. If you’re going to buy a fat tyre bike, why not have one with electric power and that looks awesome.
The other two class winners are more classic fat bike style and have top of the market batteries and motors to give them the extra power required to traverse snow or sand. They both offer a twist-throttle only option, where pedal assist isn’t required which is a great option for off-road but will quickly drain the battery. The Xtrabici is the better of the two fat ebikes here because of its amazingly low weight at just 22kg, and its cleaner and meaner looks.
Foldable ebikes are for women and men, they’re for leisure cyclists and commuters. You’d buy one if you don’t have much storage space or you need to be able to fit them in the boot of your car. Typically they’re heavier than standard bikes because of the sturdier frames, and have small wheels too they fold away smaller resulting in more effort to get to a higher speed. But what owners of folding bikes want is a lighter bike, so that’s the main challenge in this class. So electric versions of foldable bikes are great because the motor assisted pedalling means the extra weight and smaller wheels become insignificant once you’re travelling, however, weight is still important when carrying them around. There are some really small and flimsy cheap folding ebikes available, we’ve avoided them because they’re not mainstream, they’re a bit gimmicky. We’ve picked out the best folding electric bikes, which looks the part and also have the specs to justify them as a viable option over a larger electric bike. Battery life isn’t as important here because they’re not the bikes you do 30+ miles on for a journey, they’re for shorter trips.
|Folding Electric Bikes|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Love Electric||Amazon|
|Bike Name||Volt Metro||Zephyr E-light||Byocycle City|
|Value for Money||16/20|
The Volt Metro is one of the best equipped folding electric bikes in the market and although a high retail price compared to others, the longer battery life and extras justify it.
Priced between the other two, the lightweight design means no extras but a good buy at the price.
The Byocycle is a lot cheaper than the other two winners here, but you can see why, it's not a great design, and the battery is a contributor to excess weight.
Not a necessity for a folding bike, but a nice selling point is the 60+ miles range.
Producing up to 30 miles, in any other class the E-light would be scored lower, but folding ebikes aren't required to do 50 miles per journey, and weight is far moire important - better to trade a bigger battery for a lighter weight.
Up to 25 miles is still good for a folding ebike but the battery unit is old technology and over-sized for this class.
18.5kg is good for an electric bike and less than 20kg is what foldable ebikes should be aiming for.
At 15.5kg you can see Zephyr have saved weight by reducing the size of the battery, and skipped extras like panniers. Not many people should have a problem lifting and shifting this bike.
21kg is still acceptable but lags behind the much lighter bikes leading this class - but you are having to pay more for them.
Pannier, lights, mudguards, all nice extras, thank you.
No extras to keep this light, but do you need them on a folding ebike?
Pannier, lights and mudguards again.
A good looking folding bike but a bit chunky compared to the Zephyr, and the battery is a bit of an eyesore.
European chic and modern, the Zephyr E-light looks the part. The battery hidden ina bag under the seat and minimal motor unit add to its appeal.
Sorry but you get what you pay for here, the Byocycle looks ancient compared to the lighter and more minimal Zephyr and Volt folding models.
A worthy winner because of battery life, and value for money with nice extras. If you can do without the battery life and extras, which most foldable users can, then opt for the Zephyr.
The Zephyr E-light does light and foldable well. It's skipped all non-essential extras and thought about weight above all else which is needed in this class.
Good value for money folding bike, but in the guise of the older generation which are a bit too heavy. It needs an overhaul on design to strip away about 5kg.
Best in Class – Zephyr E-light
There are some terrible folding electric bikes on the market which will break easily and just don’t do the job they’re designed for. But there are some very good ones too, and we’ve selected three of the best in this class. The Zephyr E-light and Volt Metro are close contenders and the Zephyr wins it because they have designed their folding bike with the needs of that market in mind, light weight beats all other factors. It’s a good looking folding bike weighing in at just 15.5kg, and still managing up to 30 miles per charge from the battery hidden in the pouch behind the seat. It folds down to a small size and can easily be lifted and stored in a small space.
The Volt Metro is also a viable option for any buyer of folding electric bikes, particularly those wanting to do more miles between charges or requiring a pannier for carrying a bag. Meanwhile, if you’re on a budget look no further than the Byocycle, which at £700 is the best of a lot of pretty poor folding ebikes available on the market.
So we’ve rated the best three electric bikes in each class and here’s how the results look:
Best Electric Bikes for Men 2017
- All Seasons E-xplorer (86/100)
- Volt Pulse (85/100)
- Haibike Xduro Trekking 4.0 (80/100)
Best Electric Bikes for Women 2017
- Pendleton Somerby (81/100)
- e-Ranger Cruiser (74/100)
- Zephyr E-legance (72/100)
Best Electric Bikes for Commuters 2017
- All Seasons emoto 48v (85/100)
- Raleigh Motus (79/100)
- Gtech Ebike (70/100)
Best Electric Bikes on a Budget 2017
- Fenetic Energy (63/100)
- Cyclamatic CX2 (63/100)
- Cyclamatic GTE Pro (52/100)
Best Electric Mountain Bikes 2017
- Trek Powerfly 9 (83/100)
- Haibike Xduro Full Seven (83/100)
- Zephyr E-lite (79/100)
Best Fat Electric Bikes 2017
- Tucano Monster (65/100)
- Xtrbici (65/100)
- Richbit Jimai (53/100)
Best Folding Electric Bike 2017
- Zephyr E-light (79/100)
- Volt Metro (79/100)
- Byocycle City (66/100)
There are some great bikes here for each class with many scoring into the 80% range. The stand out class is the Men’s Electric bikes, which is also the highest volume class in terms of ebike sales in the UK. Because it’s such a competitive class the manufacturers have had to produce well equipped and designed electric bikes and maintain good value retail prices to the public. It’s from this class we find the best value Electric Bike available on the market, and our 2017 Best Electric Bike winner…the All Seasons E-xplorer, which scores 86/100 on our overall rating, beating some other great electric bikes to the 2017 title.
The All Seasons E-xplorer is one of three current ebikes All Seasons has on the market (one of the others their emoto which won Best Commuter Electric Bike 2017), and their flagship model. It has a happy medium of some great kit in the guise of a smart looking mountain bike, with good battery life and weight, but maintained within a retail price of £1,295 which makes it available to most buyers. If you’ve got more money to spend, say £3,325 for a Haibike Xduro Trekking, then yes you will get a better electric bike, but most people don’t need the extra battery life that produces or have that kind of money to spend.
Will there be an Electric Bike we rate in the 90% range in 2018?
The All Seasons E-xplorer isn’t perfect, we’ve given it an 86% rating and there are areas where it could be improved, it could be lighter, it could do more miles per charge, and some optional extras like a pannier, mudguards and lights would make it more mainstream than mountain bike. It’s the same with all of our class winners, we feel there’s room for improvement, and we want to see some even better electric bikes available in 2018. One thing all manufacturers need to consider is finding a balance between weight and battery life. 40+ miles per charge should be the standard and 23kg the maximum weight for any bike, otherwise, it does become difficult to handle. We would like to see ebikes designed for purpose, rather than being standard bikes with a motor and battery attached. The emoto 48v and Tucano Monster are great examples of manufacturers building electric bikes from scratch, pushing the limitations of personal electric transport. They’re both niche bikes which won’t suit a lot of people, but if you’re a Commuter then the emoto 48v is by far your best option in the market, and if you want a fat bike why buy any other fat ebike than the Monster Tucano? We want to see more of this in 2018, electric bikes which don’t look like conventional bikes and designed to meet a specific market need.
What would a 100/100 bike look like? Well it would depend on the class, but here’s a few things it would include: 60+ miles per charge, weighing under 20kg, costing less than £1500, futuristic design with some great tech kit, suspension as standard, disc brakes as standard, some storage options, a battery and motor which look part of the bike rather than add-ons, and safety features. Someone will have to throw the traditional bicycle design book away and create their own ebike design book. Gtech did this to some degree, having produced a light bike by scrapping the traditional derailleur and metal chain, but what they then failed to do was add extras which make their ebike a compelling rather than minimalistic purchase. They’re probably closer than any to producing the perfect electric bike, and we look forward to seeing what the second generation of their ebike looks like…hopefully in 2018!
We look forward to reading your comments below. We know you’ll have your favourites, and that you’ll have your opinions and some of our opinions! Don’t worry we want to hear what you have to say, you’re the buyers in the market. Tell us what you want to buy in 2018 and what you think of the electric bikes you already own.