Answering which is the best electric bike in 2023 is currently (January) not possible.
Most well-renowned e-bike manufacturers are racing to claim that prestigious title by introducing better, faster, and more robust e-bikes at the start of every year.
As a result, most of them are targeting to bring forth a reliable Class 3 e-bike that can withstand various terrain types, regardless of how harsh they might be.
If you didn't cross paths with this term by now, Class 3 e-bikes reside in the upper echelon of all e-bikes, boasting a powerful 750W motor coupled with a 20mph throttle and a maximum speed of 28mph with pedal assist.
Class 1 and 2 e-bikes also offer a strong motor engine that is limited up to 750W but offers less speed, usually maxing at around 20mph.
Despite all of that, certain regulations in the US place heavy restrictions on some electric bicycles, especially those that are Class 3 (more on that later).
For now, we'll take a closer look at the select few Class 3 e-bikes that have proven worthy of being nominated as the best electric road bikes in 2023.
Best Class 3 Electric Bikes
1. Juiced Bike Scrambler (Best Long-Range)
750W Rear Gear Hub
52V/13.0Ah Extended Range
Custom Aluminum Heat-Treated
20" X 4.25" Puncture-Resistant City Tires
Immediately after I first saw this model, I thought I was dealing with a futuristic scooter - one that can only be seen in sci-fi movies!
Before the positives, the only thing I need to address is that I took one look at this e-bike’s cost before buying it and thought it was on the pricier side. But, once I dove into the features, as you will in a moment, I realized that additional spending was relatively justified.
Hardcore electric road bike enthusiasts are well aware of why this model bears the name CityScrambler - being one of the best long-range e-bikes currently available on the market, it offers low-maintenance urban explorations that will last approximately 45 miles.
The same can't be said for many bikes bearing the Class 3 title, as their maximum range depends on several factors, most notably the rider's weight, level of assist, type of terrain, and incline. By combining the street tires and mag wheels - CityScrambler can effortlessly provide you with 45 miles of range, as long as you don't overstep the maximum weight of 275 pounds.
However, during my live tests - the battery couldn’t push above the 40-mile range mark, which shouldn’t be an issue even for those that enjoy long rides. Of course, none of this wouldn't be possible without a 750W rear hub motor that's custom-made specifically for the CityScrambler. Those ambitious riding routes you have dreamt of for so long can finally be realized!
Remember that this e-bike is a powerful machine and that beginners might have difficulties riding it for extended periods if they have little to no experience.
I was particularly intrigued by the fact that all the steep hills I encountered while riding this electric bicycle were steadily conquered without hindering the max speed of 28 mph.
We can thank the ingenuity behind the 52V/13.0Ah removable battery that supplies the previously mentioned motor with the necessary power to bring forth superb hill-climbing torque. Just like the motor - the Star Union hydraulic disc brakes are custom-made specifically for the CityScrambler so that you can enjoy a more sophisticated braking experience.
Regardless of their e-biking experience, most people didn’t hear about the Star-Union manufacturer - I can assure you that their disc brakes have proven themselves over and over during all of my test runs.
Most of the competition doesn't pay attention to these minor details, which have proven themselves as major deal makers or breakers when considering the riding experience as a whole. Because of that, regular mechanical disc brakes can't come even close to the hydraulic ones found on all CityScrambler units.
More stuff that I found most pleasing about this e-bike:
A backlit LCD display has proven itself marvelously during day and night, as I could see every single bit of information presented on display, regardless of how bright the day or dark the night was.
Alongside the standard real-time metrics and customizable parameters, you can delve into several excellent modes, such as the five riding ones, battery-saving ECO mode, easy-pedaling mode, Sport and Race modes, and many more. The LCD display is controlled by two buttons, each carrying the designated sign of “+” or “-.”
Of course, the LCD display presents the e-bike's battery life at all times, providing the necessary information regarding how long you can continue cycling before the battery runs out.
Lastly, the convenient and intuitive twist throttle available on the CityScrabler was a joy to deal with, as I could effortlessly mix regular pedaling and accelerating with the throttle whenever I desired more motor assistance.
500W Peak Rear Hub motor (peaks at 1000W)
48V 9.6Ah Lithium-Ion
160mm Mechanical Disc
45 Miles (in the lowest pedal assist mode)
Puncture-Resistant Lectric 20" X 3" Fat Tires
As I mentioned in my previous review - a more expensive electric bike should be avoided for newcomers, as they require a knowledgeable and experienced cyclist to control them safely.
Luckily, Lectrict manufacturers introduced a budget-friendly Class 3 e-bike that offers excellent stability, comfort, and speed for its price tag, alongside a special twist - the Lectric XP 2 is a Class 3 folding bike!
Yes, you heard me right - with integrated lights, you can safely light your new path with a foldable e-bike that doesn't discriminate against people above 6 feet tall, as 18 X 67 X 47-inch dimensions unfolded offer an enjoyable riding experience to riders of all heights.
In its folded state, I measured the following: 18 X 37 X 27 inches - an entire cut in half from its original size, which marks this e-bike as one of the most impressive Class 3 units currently available on the market.
Many enthusiasts are skeptical about the low price tag, as most believe that several key aspects need to be brought down severely in terms of quality so that sales can be made efficiently.
However, once I began my first test run with the Lectric XP 2, I immediately noticed the perfect balance between the engine and the battery.
Climbing all steep hills with minimal resistance was made possible with the 500W - 1000W peak rear hub motor that offers 55nm of torque. It's an amazing feeling having control over such a powerful machine, especially considering that 500 Watts is often more than enough.
With five assist levels, you can safely manage how far and how fast you are trying to go - the maximum range will leave you somewhere around 45 miles, whereas the minimum of 20-25 miles is to be expected once you use the highest pedal-assist (level 5) and heavy throttle.
Don't worry; 20-25 miles of range during the highest pedal assist is still a phenomenal feat made possible by combining the motor with a 48V 9.6 Ah battery hidden from eyesight within the frame.
After several tests, I concluded that there was no need to charge the battery for longer than 5 hours - once the 5-hour mark was reached, the battery was full and ready to go. The battery usually runs out of power immediately after cycling for 40 miles, so keep track of that if you decide to purchase this model!
Unfortunately, brakes aren't particularly amazing, as they are just mechanical disc brakes - however, they will always perform a full stop in a matter of seconds, regardless of how fast you might travel once you decide to slow down or stop the e-bike.
As far as other accessories are concerned - I found that the suspension seat post works phenomenally in all situations, not to mention the large built-in LCD display, which shows all of the necessary info like your current speed, battery level, and pedal assist levels.
3. Cyrusher XF 800 (Best Fat Tire)
Star-Union Full Hydraulic Discs
Those looking to squeeze the maximum of a fat tire Class 3 e-bike should look no further than the Cyrusher XF 800 - the grand jewel of one of the most important Asian brand manufacturers in the world of electric bikes.
With outstanding performances in all-terrain situations, this model excels in providing superb comfort in all weather and terrain circumstances.
In a couple of minutes, during my first test ride, the comfort was immediately proven with the combination of the fat tires and dual suspension system that consists of the front fork and the rear shock absorber, all while remaining exceptionally durable with the 6061 aluminum frame.
With front and rear lights, I was able to enjoy a peaceful and safe night riding session. However, the seat on this e-bike might be a bit uncomfortable for certain individuals on the larger side. Keep an eye on that if this e-bike piques your interest!
Both daily commutes and rough terrain are effortlessly conquered with the 750W rear hub motor. On the slightest push of the throttle, I immediately noticed a considerable pull, which gave me a run for my money, even though some consider me somewhat of a seasoned veteran regarding e-bikes!
In a couple of seconds, I managed to reach the maximum 28 miles per hour, which was clearly displayed on the LCD that offers over eight different functions, most notably the 0-5 PAS mode.
When discussing outstanding performance and longevity, it's impossible not to mention the battery pack inside the Cyrusher XF 800, which is composed of LG 18650 cells - the best cells you can possibly find for an e-bike.
By using the pedal assist system properly, I confirmed on multiple occasions that the 45 miles of range are the definitive maximum for this electric bike.
One of the amazing features that I noticed on this battery is that it contains a lock and a key that further increases the level of security whenever you need to leave your e-bike in the open and unattended.
The Union-Star hydraulic disc brakes have proven themselves useful every single time that I needed to slow down or make a full stop with the e-bike.
Immediately after you press the brakes, a hefty proportion of the power is automatically cut off from the motor, which brings forth a safer stop.
The CTS/Chaoyang 4.0" fat tires provide advanced grip and traction, which is extremely important when you find yourself in a more troublesome terrain. Snowy terrain stood no chance against these fat tires as well.
4. Aventon Pace 500 (Best Lightweight E-bike)
500W Brushless Rear
48V 12.8Ah Removable Internal Lithium-Ion
Powerful Hydraulic Discs
6061 Single-Butted Aluminum
5 Levels Pedal Assist
In today's market, it's quite hard to find a reliable Class 3 e-bike that won't bust your shoulders just by trying to lift it up. However, those that keep track of the Aventon manufacturer know that one of their models holds an interesting secret.
The Aventon Pace 500 is an amazing and affordable e-bike that weighs no more than 49 pounds with the battery attached. Try telling this interesting information to someone who talks with a big mouth about e-bikes, and you will most likely leave him speechless!
All jokes aside, this commuter e-bike features a 6061 hydroformed aluminum frame that offers a surprising amount of stability and comfort, given the bike’s lightweight characteristic.
Both kids and fully grown people that exceed 6 feet in length can enjoy riding on this e-bike, as long as you pay close attention to the exact size of the bike, as the Aventon Pace 500 comes in three different sizes.
The comfort level remains even in the fastest accelerations, which is capped at 28mph by the powerful 500W geared hub motor.
It didn't take me too long to notice that the cadence sensors were performing flawlessly, as they provided assistance momentarily after I issued the command. However, the lack of torque sensors was a bummer, as it can drastically affect the battery life.
Speaking of the battery - the 48V 12.8Ah Lithium-Ion battery is packed with Samsung cells, which proves their quality tenfold. To bring the battery capacity to the fullest, you'll need to charge it for at least 4 hours, which is an exceptional feat on its own.
Of course, with a superb battery, there needs to be a robust and reliable brake system that will ensure your safety whenever you decide to slow down - with hydraulic brakes, you won't need to worry about such things!
The manufacturer stayed true to their self-proclaimed 40 miles of range - after several test runs, I concur that it’s possible to reach the 40-mile mark.
From casual city riding all the way to intense country roads, the Shimano 8-speed drivetrain will provide a seamless and smooth transition between all gears.
As a last side note, I noticed that engaging the throttle was only possible if you turned on the pedals first, which left me surprised, more on the negative side than on the positive.
5. Ride1Up 700 Series (Best Commuter E-bike)
750W Sustained Hub
48V 15Ah Reention Rhino (39 x 21700 Samsung Cells)
Tektro Hydraulic Discs
27.5" X 2.4" High-Performance Tires
Regardless of their financial background, most electric bike riders in 2019 wholeheartedly welcomed the release of the 700 Series Ride1Up Class 3 e-bike.
With a reasonable price tag and an impressive pallet of high-end specs, this model provided an unrivaled ride quality several years prior and, to this day, remains one of the best Class 3 e-bikes currently available on the market.
The Lightweight Alloy aluminum frame, coupled with a comfortable quick-release saddle and the swept-back riser handlebars, offers riders a comfortable cycling experience that's rarely seen even in the newer Class 3 e-bikes.
Front and rear fenders are 70mm wide and made from aluminum - ideal for protecting your body parts from getting splashed on rainy days. I was particularly surprised by how sturdy the integrated rear rack was - it's able to reliably hold up to 55 pounds!
But, will leave the smaller things for now and start discussing the 750W Shengyi hub motor capable of peaking at 1000W. E-bikes powered with this motor can reach 28mph in a matter of seconds.
The thing that bugged me the most was the noisiness of the motor - those that are looking for a quiet e-bike should avoid this model at all costs.
You can track your current speed at all times on the left-side-mounted display, which carries other important information such as the watts consumption, battery capacity, and many more.
Powered with Samsung cells, the 48V 15Ah battery leisurely squeezed from 30 to 50 miles of range whenever I decided to go on a ride.
Keep in mind that the overall weight, loadout, pedal assistance, and terrain conditions all play a pivotal role in determining the maximum travel distance.
The battery is well hidden within the downtube, which can be accessed only if you have the necessary key. It's important to remember that the battery needs to be charged for 3-6 hours, depending on the state of the battery, before the charging session has begun.
I believe that all electric bikes need to have Tektro hydraulic brakes, as they have proven themselves to have superior braking power for bikes that weigh 62 pounds or less.
Lastly, the Schwalbe Super Moto tires used on the 700 Series provided that highly-desirable cushioning effect in sticky situations.
Attractive and reliable, what more could you possibly want?
Advice To Buyers
Regardless of which class-type electric bike are you aiming to purchase and ride, there are several key things that you must remember. For Class 3 e-bikes - those are:
Types Of Motors
Across all e-bike classes, the motor needs to be limited to 750W, equivalent to just over 1 horsepower. Most of them are rear hubs, which are excellent for reducing the stress of the chain - a plus in the longevity aspect.
On the other hand, mid-drive motors offer a wholehearted off-road riding experience. With optimal weight distribution, this motor type provides a more agile handling experience.
Those that are well-versed in the e-biking world know that Lithium-Ion batteries are by far the best option for e-bikes. The cell chemistry works phenomenally in conjunction with the motor, all while being at least three times lighter than regular lead-acid batteries.
The quality of the frame and the tires play a pivotal role in the maximum load capacity of an e-bike - for Class 3 ones, the range usually spans between 220 and 300 pounds.
However, my dedicated experience showed me that going above 275 pounds is not optimal.
General Winner Recommendation
Class 3 e-bikes are meant for people that truly wish to push their limits to the absolute - therefore, going for a bike like the Scrambler is my unbiased choice.
The price might be a turnoff for some of you, but with such a powerful battery and a robust frame - it's to be expected that the Scrambler is designed for those that are aiming for an unparalleled riding experience.
Best Class 3 Electric Bikes - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum age of a person that can ride a Class 3 e-bike?
For better or worse, the Class 3 e-bikes are the most regulated bikes across all e-bikes. With that in mind, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the minimum age of 16 is required for a person to be able to ride a Class 3 e-bike.
Try to remain reasonable and agree with this law at all times - sooner or later, you'll come of age, and you'll receive the green light from the government to safely enjoy a Class 3 electric bike!
Do I need a driver’s license to ride a Class 3 e-bike?
Currently, there are no regulations that force people to obtain a driver's license to be able to ride on a Class 3 e-bike. Furthermore, you won't need a license plate on your Class 3 e-bikes!
Do I need to wear a helmet while riding a Class 3 e-bike?
Regardless of how far you intend to go, all individuals who decide to ride on a Class 3 e-bike need to wear a helmet before starting the engine. Be wary of your surroundings as well as your own safety!
Where can I ride a Class 3 e-bike?
By US law, we can divide bikeway access into four classes:
Class I - Bike Path (not allowed)
Class II - Bike Lane (allowed)
Class III - Bike Route (allowed)
Class IV - Protected Lane (not allowed)
Feel free to drive anywhere else that's not registered as a bike path or a protected lane, but still, it's highly recommended that you check with the local authorities if there are certain locations where you mustn't ride your Class 3 e-bike!