The Best Electric Bikes for 2021

December 17, 2020

An e bike opens a world of possibilities:

You can speed up your daily commute, make hills feel slightly less steep, and cover considerable distances without breaking a sweat. Plus, they present an environmentally-friendly alternative to other modes of transportation.

You’ll experience cycling from a whole new perspective – but first, you have to pick the best electric bike.

That’s where we come in:

We tested 2021’s most popular cheap electric bikes and summed up our findings in this round-up. Stick around and find an e-bike that suits you – no matter your budget or needs! 

In a hurry, after 42 hours of research we recommend:
Synapse Neo

Best Road E-Bike

Cannondale Synapse Neo

Synapse NEO Cannondale e bike is built for endurance, comfort, and efficiency. The motor is optimized for quiet and smooth engagement, with multiple pedal-assist levels and a 93-mile range. It's the high-performance road bike of 2021!

Rad Power Bikes RadRover

Best Fat Tire E-Bike

Rad Power RadRover 5

Rugged aluminum construction, 26-inch wheels with extra-wide tires, and a 750-watt motor to help you power up steep inclines, all available at a reasonable price. There's no doubt that the RadRover 5 deserves the title of the best fat tire e-bike.

Trek Rail 5 Bike

Best Electric Mountain Bike

Trek Rail 5

Trek Rail 5 is a purpose-built electric mountain bike, with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, a 500 watt-hour battery, and a Purion controller that adjusts power based on terrain conditions.

Quick Comparison Table

Best Electric Mountain Bike
Trek Rail 5
Trek Rail 5 Bike

Built for conquering mountain trails with confidence  

  • Bosch Performance Line CX motor
  • Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo pedal-assist modes
  • Top speed of 20 mph
  • Upwards of 20 miles per charge, depending on the mode
Best Fat Tire E-Bike
Rad Power RadRover 5
Rad Power RadRover 5

The Hummer of fat tire electric bikes

  • 750-watt Bafang rear hub motor
  • Five levels of pedal-assist
  • Top speed of 20 mph
  • 25 to 45 miles per charge

Top 9 Electric Bikes of 2021

Listed below are some of the best electric bikes – and after putting them to the test, we have the utmost confidence in their capabilities. Dependable motors, sturdy frames, substantial battery capacities; these e bikes have it all.

You'll probably notice that we didn't go too cheap even though we included quite a few solid budget picks.

Here's the thing:

"You get what you pay for "– that saying held up for a reason.

We get that not everyone can afford to splurge on a high-end e-bike, and that's fine. However, don't go into this expecting to get the same level of performance from a budget pick as you would from a premium one.

Now that we have that settled, keep reading for our complete list of the best electric road, fat-tire, mountain, and folding bikes on the market!

Best Road E-Bikes

The skinny-tire, pedal-assisted rides entered the scene a few years ago – and there's been an ever-increasing variety of electric road bike options ever since.

There’s one for everyone – and we rounded up the best road e-bikes of 2021 for you.

If you’re thinking of adding one to your collection, now’s your chance!

1. Cannondale Synapse Neo – Our Pick

If you're a fan of electric bikes, but hate the lack of traditional components, seeing the Synapse Neo will be love at first sight.

Traditional gravel bike vibes are undeniable, yet Neo packs power, efficiency, and comfort in what might be the most natural-feeling road e-bike out there.

It's easy to forget that you're riding an e-bike, which takes things to a whole new level.

Read our full Synapse Neo review and see what makes it the best. 

Synapse Neo - Best E-Bike

Cannondale Synapse Neo – Our Pick

Frame & Build

The SmartForm C1 frame, with internal cable routing and drop handlebars, is what lends the Cannondale's Synapse Neo the signature traditional-road-bike vibe. The battery's integrated into the frame, enhancing the seamless design further.

Besides being good-looking, Neo's aluminum frame feels sturdy and well-constructed, while keeping the weight at a little over 40 pounds.

Going beyond the tried-and-true Synapse features, it boasts innovations such as the Out-Front Geometry, Ai Offset Drivetrain, BallisTec Carbon fork, and SAVE Micro-Suspension.

Motor & Battery

Neo's powered by a 250-watt Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor and a 500 Wh Lithium-ion battery, complete with the SRAM Apex hydro disc, 11-speed drivetrain.

It's optimized for quiet and smooth engagement and light, drag-free performance. 

Synapse Neo offers a mind-blowing 93-mile range when used in ECO mode.

Multiple pedal-assist modes, including Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo, accommodate different terrains and reach a 20 miles per hour speed. What's more impressive is the 93-mile range – albeit only in Eco mode.

Tires & Ride

Neo is a dirt-curious, adventurous bike, riding on a pair of 650b WTB wheels fitted with tubeless-ready 47 millimeter WTB exposure tires and bump-insulating SAVE micro-suspension.

Although chunky, they feel stable, road-smoothing, and comfortable – even when tackling challenging terrain. Furthermore, SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes keep the speed in check and ensure safety regardless of the weather or road conditions.

Overall, you're in for all-day comfort, improved handling, and exceptional control.

Cannondale Synapse Neo

Cannondale Synapse Neo

2. NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle – All-Purpose Budget Pick

NAKTO's Cargo e-bike – our all-purpose budget pick – has a more casual feel, something you'd expect from your typical city cruiser bike.

It promises a comfortable cruising experience and features that rival higher-priced options, but you have to wonder:

Is it possible to get a high-performing, all-purpose e-bike at an ultra-low price?

That's what we set out to discover with our NAKTO 26-inch Cargo Electric Bicycle review

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle – All-Purpose Budget Pick

Frame & Build

Given the high-strength steel construction, the 50 to 70-pound weight seems reasonable. The 26-inch low-step frame makes mounting easy and accommodates individuals up to 6 foot 6 tall.

It doesn't look like a cargo bike – not in the sense of stretched-out utility. Instead, it has a step-through beach cruiser vibe to it.

Then again, the front basket and rear racks, along with the 300-pound load capacity, should work for daily commutes, shopping trips, and running errands.

Motor & Battery

NAKTO offers two modes – throttle and pedal-assist – but oddly enough, there's only one pedal-assist level. You're still getting a six-speed Shimano transmission, though.

The 250-watt brushless electric motor can deliver stable speed, maxing out at 18 miles per hour – or up to 25 miles per hour in pedal-assist mode.

You can get a range of 22 to 28 miles from the 36V 10 Ah Lithium-ion battery. Again, pedal-assist increases the range to 35 miles.

Tires & Ride

This e-bike comes fitted with 26-inch wheels and slightly narrower tires, in line with its flat-terrain, street-riding aspirations – with a touch of all-purpose thrown into the mix.

Its performance on dirt roads is acceptable – albeit barely – but it's by no means an off-road e-bike. City streets are where it feels and performs the best.

The front suspension fork is suitable for daily commuting and cruising but doesn't do much for shock absorption on dirt roads. 

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

NAKTO 26" 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle

Best Fat Tire E-Bikes

Bold, rugged, and oversized, with extra-wide tires and power to boot – the best fat tire e-bikes are all about maximizing versatility in nearly every cycling scenario you could imagine.

We’re talking more than just daily commute here:

Downtown streets, rough roads, sandy beaches, gravel trails - you name it. These rugged beasts are up for going anywhere you want, mixing versatility, practicality, and excitement in one oversized package.

3. Rad Power RadRover 5

One look at Rad Power Bikes' fifth-generation big-bodied, fat-tired monster that goes by the name of RadRover 5 is enough to make you realize why it's often regarded as the Hummer of electric bikes.

Quality components, comically large extra-wide tires, rugged-but-charming design, and an attitude to match – that's RadRover 5 in a nutshell.

Best of all, it won't bankrupt you.

You can read about it in our Rad Power RadRover review

Unbiased RadRover E-Bike Review (Updated 2020)

Rad Power RadRover 5

Frame & Build

NAKTO's aluminum frame offers the best of both worlds:

The frame's 70-pound weight is reasonable for an electric bike its size while remaining robust and durable enough to survive any bumpy, uneven terrain.

Considering the bulky design, the maximum height of 42 inches and 26-inch wheels, NAKTO's fat tire e-bike can accommodate riders up to six foot eight tall. What's more, it can handle 300-pound loads, which, again, is ideal for big folks.

Motor & Battery

It might not be among the most potent electric-power bikes out there, but it packs enough juice to conquer various road conditions and hills like a champ. It's fitted with a 300-watt high-performance brushless motor and a 36V 10 Ah Lithium battery.

Its top speed clocks in at 22 miles per hour, and more impressively, can deliver 28 to 35 miles on a single charge.

NAKTO incorporated three modes of operation – along with the six-speed Shimano shifting system – to allow fine-tuning to your specific cycling needs.

Tires & Ride

One benefit of having 26-by-4-inch all-terrain fat tires on an electric bike is that they ensure a comfortable and smooth ride. Pavement, grass, gravel, muddy ground, sand, or snow – it handles it like a pro.

NAKTO also added front suspension forks for high-grade cushioning, absorbing road vibrations and shock, and improving overall stability. Most importantly, the powerful Shimano disc brakes contribute to your safety.

RadRover 5 packs a powerful 750-watt Bafang geared hub motor and five levels of pedal assist.

Tires & Ride

A big and bulky frame calls for even bigger and fatter tires – or at least that's how things work at Rad Power Bikes.

Besides the rigid construction, RadRover's stability stems from the 26-by-4-inch wheels – double-wall aluminum rims and extra-wide tires. The 4-inch all-terrain Kenda Juggernaut fat tires are puncture-resistance, too, featuring a K-Shield liner.

The RST front suspension fork and Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes are nothing to call home about; hydraulic disc brakes would’ve been better. However, they contribute to RadRover 5's reliability and performance on any terrain.

Rad Power RadRover 5

Rad Power RadRover 5

Best Electric Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking is as adventurous as biking gets – but overcoming rough and unforgiving terrains is no walk in the park.

If you're up for conquering dreaded terrains, though, and need a bike that can keep up, one of these best electric mountain bikes could be the answer!

4. Trek Rail 5 – Best Electric Mountain Bike

If you plan to spend your days conquering rough trails, the Trek Rail 5 should be your electric mountain bike of choice.


Well, Rail 5 is a purpose-built mountain bike designed to excel at everything outdoors-related. No matter how extreme the terrain gets, it has the right features and technologies to tackle it with confidence.

You'll see what we mean in our Trek Rail review!

Trek Rail 5 Bike

Trek Rail 5 – Best Electric Mountain Bike

Frame & Build

Trek's Rail 5 is among the most charming mountain bikes you'll ever encounter. Sleek looks aren't everything this bike has to offer, though:

The alpha platinum aluminum frame – which also conceals the battery – features the Trek-exclusive Mino Link adjustable geometry. You can fine-tune BB height and head tube angle without affecting suspension.

It weighs 52 pounds, which isn't too bad and has enough sturdiness to handle 300 pounds of load. Plus, it comes in four different sizes.

Motor & Battery

At the core of Trek Rail 5's performance is the 250-watt Bosch Performance Line CX, complemented by the PowerTube 500 Wh removable integrated battery.

The compact, all-new motor allows for nimble handling and reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

What's more, you have the Purion controller that adjusts and delivers power based on the terrain, conserving battery life along the way.

Tires & Ride

The Trek Rail 5 runs on a pair of fast-rolling Bontrager wheels, with tubeless-ready rims and nimble-but-grippy 29-by-2.6-inch Bontrager XR4 Comp tires.

The added chunkiness helps with stability and holds up well in harsh terrains.

You can tackle steep descents and loose trails with confidence – and no fear of losing control – as the Rail employs Tektro four-piston hydraulic disc brakes to provide all-weather braking performance. 

Trek Rail 5 Bike

Trek Rail 5 – Best Electric Mountain Bike

5. Cannondale Habit Neo 4

Cannondale's Monterra now has a younger sibling – the Habit Neo 4. The two look similar – almost identical – at a glance, but we're talking about two completely different beasts.

The latter of the two mountain bikes kept the signature charm and agility, but underwent tweaks and changes to meet mountain biking rides down the forest roads.

Read our Cannondale Habit Neo 4 review and see what happens when the rubber meets the trail! 

Cannondale Habit Neo 4

Cannondale Habit Neo 4

Frame & Build

Cannondale's progressive design features a blend of carbon fiber composite for the front triangle and SmartForm C1 aluminum alloy for the back end. The 50-pound frame proves that electric mountain bikes can be light and durable.

The proportional-response suspension system deserves mention, too:

The four available frame sizes will feature custom pivot locations and shock links for a more personalized suspension feel.

Overall, Habit Neo 4's striking design makes for one good-looking bike with perfectly sorted geometry.

Motor & Battery

The force behind the Habit Neo 4 – a Bosch Performance Line CX mid-drive motor with 250 watts – sits low in the frame, delivering speeds of 20 miles per hour.

It relies on a 500 watt-hour Lithium-ion battery for power. The battery promises a 60-mile range in pedal-assist mode, so long-range biking is undoubtedly an option.

The electric bike also features four pedal-assist modes – ECO, TOUR, TURBO, and e-MTB – and boasts an additional 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain.

Tires & Ride

Habit Neo 4 comes fitted with massive 29-inch wheels and 29-by-2.6-inch tubeless-ready tires. The added width of the Maxxis Rekon tires helps with off-road stability, while the detailed thread patterns ensure increased traction on loose or slippery surfaces.

Thanks to proportional response suspension, it's agile, responsive, and surprisingly consistent on every portion of the trail.

SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes with massive rotors is a welcome – and powerful – addition, too. 

Cannondale Habit Neo 4

Cannondale Habit Neo 4

6. ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – Budget Pick

Our previous two picks are cool , but what if you don't have the money for a top-notch e-mountain bike?

The short answer would be to look for a combination of quality and price.

And the long answer?

Well, you'll have to read the rest of our ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike review to find out more about this budget-friendly option! 

ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – Budget Pick

ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – Budget Pick

Frame & Build

Mountain electric bikes aren't exactly known for being lightweight, so ANCHEER opted to use an aviation-grade aluminum alloy for the frame.

Going with aluminum over steel minimizes the overall weight – in this case, to around 55 pounds. You're not compromising durability in any way, though. The frame is corrosion-resistant and made to last – and incredibly responsive, too.

Also, keep in mind that the frame's load capacity clocks in at 250 pounds.

Motor & Battery

ANCHEER's e-bike – the so-called Sunshine – utilizes a 350-watt high-speed brushless motor. It packs enough power and torque to move swiftly on various trails and hills, maxing out at 20 miles per hour in throttle-only mode.

The removable 36V 10.4 Ah Lithium-Ion battery can give you a range of 22 to 40 miles per charge, depending on which of the three modes of operation you use.

When you switch to the "Normal Bike "mode, you have Shimano 21-speed drivetrain at your disposal.

Tires & Ride

The best mountain electric bike should deliver on all fronts, but trail performance is the make-or-break factor.

That's why ANCHEER's mountain e-bike comes fitted with a pair of 26-inch wheels and double-walled aluminum rims for improved handling.

The high-performance front suspension fork provides shock-absorption and makes the experience a lot smoother. Plus, the dual mechanical disc brakes supply excellent stopping power – progressively, of course – in various road conditions. 

ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – Budget Pick

ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike – Budget Pick

Best Folding Electric Bikes 

Electric bikes can be a blast, but their big wheels and hefty frames often make lugging them around – let alone storing them in small spaces – a pain.

If you want a high-power bike that fits in the trunk, the best folding electric bikes are worth considering! 

7. Rad Power RadMini 4 – Best Portable Folding Electric Bike

Folding frame, powerful motor, durable battery, seven-speed gearing, five levels of pedal-assist, and puncture-resistant fat tires; RadMini 4 is everything you want!

Read our full Rad Power RadMini 4 review to learn more! 

Frame & Build

RadMini 4 isn't as lightweight – or as mini – as you might expect:

Rad Power RadMini 4 – Best Portable Folding Electric Bike

Rad Power RadMini 4 – Best Portable Folding Electric Bike

The 6061 aluminum frame weighs a total of 67 pounds. It's far from massive and can be lifted without too much hassle – but it's not the definition of "lightweight."

The two folding locks, including a dedicated handlebar stem hinge, make collapsing the not-so-mini bike into a storage-friendly one quick and easy.

It accommodates riders from five feet two to six feet two and has a total capacity of 275 pounds.

Motor & Battery

The RadMini 4's 750-watt Bafang geared hub motor is driven by a 48V 14 Ah Lithium-ion battery and packs quite a bit of torque. It tackles steep inclines, gets you to top speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, and covers 25 to 45 miles per charge.

It doesn't limit you to throttle-only mode, either. If you'd like to travel further or squeeze in a cycling workout, you can:

It comes with a 7-speed Shimano gear set, complete with a thumb shifter, and five levels of pedal-assist.

Tires & Ride

The RadMini sports 20-by-3-inch CST Big Boat tires – complete with a puncture-resistant liner for protection – that allows effortless transitioning between different terrains.

Even though it doesn't have rear suspension, going off-road with this mini electric bike is a breeze. The RST suspension fork does an outstanding job on its own.

Once you're back on the city streets, the RadMini 4 handles like any other bike, with a smooth and straight ride – without the fat tires feeling overly rough on the pavement. 

Rad Power RadMini 4 – Best Portable Folding Electric Bike

Rad Power RadMini 4 – Best Portable Folding Electric Bike

8. SWAGTRON SwagCycle EB5 Series Aluminum Folding Ebike – Budget Pick

We want to introduce you to the small-but-mighty SWAGTRON EB5. It's a cool foldable e-bike that makes for a fun way to approach local commutes and cruise around town – with or without paddling.

You'll notice that the SwagCycle EB5 is ridiculously cheap, which begs the question:

Is it worth it as a bang-for-your-buck folding bike – or is it a waste of money?

Read on and find out!

Swagtron EB-5 E-Bike (250 W)

SWAGTRON SwagCycle EB5 Series Aluminum Folding Ebike – Budget Pick

Frame & Build

The one thing that the SWAGTRON EB5 has in common with our previous pick is the foldable frame.

Unlike the relatively hefty Rad Power, the Swagcycle electric bike weighs a comfortable 37 pounds, while retaining a decent enough load capacity of 264.5 pounds.

Plus, the handlebar, aluminum frame, and pedals are all foldable, which further boosts its portability and space-efficiency.

Motor & Battery

Press the power button, roll the throttle, and see the EB5's power-assist mode in action. Or, start turning the pedals; that's another way to engage the motor.

You can switch between power-assist and pedaling, too.

The single-speed and 250 watts of power, combined with a Lithium-ion rechargeable but non-removable battery, can deliver 15.5 miles per hour.

As for range, you can get around 15.5 miles per charge, which, although not mind-blowing, should work for modern-day city commuters.

Tires & Ride

Picking up the pace with 14-inch wheels and one speed takes effort – but it’s surprisingly comfortable to ride, nonetheless.

Swagtron's mini electric bike, the EB5, doesn't have a lot going on besides the basics.

For instance, it doesn't even have proper disc brakes – although the front and back brakes and Autoguard technology for braking do a decent job safety-wise.

The lack of suspension is another example of the electric bike’s stripped-down design.

Overall, we wouldn’t say that it’s a waste of money - but it's better to stick to paved roads with this mini electric bike. 

Swagtron EB-5 E-Bike (250 W)

SWAGTRON SwagCycle EB5 Series Aluminum Folding Ebike – Budget Pick

Electric Bikes - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best electric bike on the market?

Electric bikes are designed to fit different scenarios and serve a variety of purposes. You have city-street commuters, fat-tire off-roaders, dedicated mountain bikes, beach cruisers, and space-efficient folding bikes.

Talking about a single best e-bike for everyone is neither easy nor fair.

However, it's not impossible – as long as you check its crucial features:

A powerful electric motor paired with long-lasting battery life, efficient front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, and adequate tire size, wrapped up in a well-designed, sturdy frame.

One electric road bike that checks these boxes is the Cannondale Synapse Neo.

It consistently comes out on top in side-by-side comparisons and has the construction and the performance that we've come to expect from the top electric bikes.

Then again, off-roading calls for a different set of specs – a fat-tire electric bike like RadRover 5 could be a much better fit.

Our point is, electric bike for you is the one that meets your needs.

What is the best value for money electric bike?

Electric bikes can burn a hole in your wallet; we won't even try to argue with that. Then again, they're worth every penny – as long as you do your research and pick one that makes the most sense for you.

So, while you want to get the best value for the money, don't get too caught up in chasing "good deals. "

You often get what you pay for, as we pointed out already. Sure, that might not always be the case, and you'll find some incredible electric bikes at reasonable price points. But the cheaper the bike, the higher the potential risks – including poorly made components and lack of warranty and support.

That said, the best e-bike that meets the bang-for-buck criteria and makes sense for most people is NAKTO Cargo Electric Bike.

Is an electric bike worth it?

The short answer is:


People get bothered by the not-so-affordable price of electric bikes, insisting that used cars would be cheaper.

But when you think about gas, car maintenance, licensing, and parking costs, the initial price of an e-bike doesn't seem like that big of a hurdle. What's more, they're surprisingly easy on the wallet in the long run.

Next, if convenience is a priority – be it in daily commuting, avoiding public transportation, or getting from point A to point B without sweating – electric bikes are hard to beat.

To add to it, if you're recovering from an injury or have a condition that prevents you from cycling, an e-bike is a game-changer.

Plus, you get to lessen your carbon footprint.

So, yes, they are expensive, bulky, and a bit more complicated, but they also take care of the many roadblocks and challenges you might face with traditional transportation modes.

Overall, the pros of far outweigh the cons.

What is the most powerful electric bike?

If you came this far, you likely noticed that two electric bikes stood out from the bunch – the RadRover 5 and the RadMini 4.

Both have motors that go way above the average range of 250 to 350 watts, clocking in at 750 watts. If that’s something to go by, then there’s your answer.

However, if you want next-level power, check out the Stealth B-52. It's among the few bikes on the market that goes up to 50 miles per hour thanks to the high-torque BLDC hub motor.

Best Road E-Bike

Cannondale Synapse Neo is a high-performance e-road bike geared for adventure – wherever the road takes you!

Best Fat Tire E-Bike

RadRover 5 crushes the competition in every way. If you’re into off-roading, this is a no-brainer.

Best Electric Mountain Bike

A robust chassis, easy handling, and outstanding stability – Trek Rail 5 sets the bar for e-mountain bikes!

Best Electric Folding Bike

The RadMini 4 is the definition of efficiency and practicality – and the best electric mini bike out there! 


Best Electric Bike Brands

Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes

Rad Power Electric Bikes

Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Emma was born and raised in the UK, studied in Amsterdam (where she discovered her passion for biking), and is currently living in Ohio. Her main passion is cycling, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!

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