Are you dreaming of pedaling up that hilly mountain road at speeds fast enough to qualify you for the Tour-de-France? Well, dream no more...
Thanks to advances in battery technology, e-bikes have come along way, and can go along way as well, pun intended.
Electric bikes come in a variety of forms and flavors, fat tire, eMTB, folding, you name it. In this review we will be focusing on road e-bikes, which when compared to their fat tire or mountain bike relatives, are really able to extract the maximum performance out of the electric motor and battery. This is due to lower rolling resistance, as well as better aerodynamics, but more on that later.
If you’re new to the e-bike world, you should do your research first (that you’re probably doing right now) before going with a specific e-bike.
There are a lot of options to choose from, and every single one may be a bit different or a lot different, depending on the bikes you’re considering.
Keeping this in mind, we highly recommend you write down possible uses for an e-bike in your life, how often you’ll use it, and under what conditions you’ll ride an e-bike.
These are all essential things that will help you choose the perfect electric bike for yourself.
Today electric bikes are no longer rare. Many well-known bike manufacturers are offering their e-bike models. Trek, Giant, Cannondale, and many others today have their own models of e-bikes in 2023. Many manufacturers provide simple pedal-assist or so-called "pedelec" bikes, but they also offer power-on-demand bikes as well as fast S-pedelecs bikes.
Electric Bike Classes
- Class 1 Bike
The motor engine is not larger than 750W, and pedal assistance is up to 20mph.
- Class 2 Bike
The motor is limited to 750W, and motor throttle assist is as standard, limited to 20mph.
- Class 3 Bike
It has a 20mph throttle, and 28mph pedal assist with the motor engine up to 750W.
- Class 4 Bike
It has a motor over 750w or pedaling assistance over 28mph.
Adrenaline lovers will be particularly interested in the Topstone, a model that has been redesigned and remodeled in 2020, and it has become quite better.
This bike is equipped with a BallisTec Carbon frame, and it has a Bosch 250 W motor, as well as a matching Bosch 500 Wh battery. The hydraulic disc brakes by Shimano ensure your safety and ease of braking, while the slightly bendy tires ensure a smooth ride on most terrain.
The bike’s frame is made of carbon, which is a completely new technology that helps with control and sturdiness, but it also increases the bike’s weight slightly. The Bosch motor helps you reach up to 28 mph, which is something most bikers enjoy when hurrying to work.
One more thing worth mentioning on this bike is the phenomenal Bosch Kiox display that we prefer over the Bosch Purion. It has better visibility, more info, and it’s very intuitive, making it perfect for both the kids and the elderly.
When you think of comfort in eBikes, a few criteria should be met, and a few checkboxes should be checked. Aventon Pace 500 checks many of those boxes - and is worth mentioning when it comes to comfort.
The biggest thing that sets the Aventon Pace 500 from the rest of the eBike roster is that they don’t believe in the “one-size-fits-all” approach that the majority of eBike companies go by these days. Instead, they have three sizes that you can pick and choose from depending on your body type and height.
In addition to that, the speed of this e-bike hits an impressive 28 MPH on pedal-assist - which, by the way, has five levels - and 20 MPH on throttle alone, and that puts it well above average performance-wise.
The motor on this eBike is fantastic. With a peak power of 750W and a sustained power rating of 500W, this 48V brushless rear hub motor sounds like it could make the Pace 500 climb walls.
The Aventon Pace 500 is a steal for how impressive it is. You simply can't find a better road bike that's in this price range.
Aventon - Pace 500
Elegance and grace are not something you expect to see when looking at an eBike made for rough terrain and extensive use. But the Roadster, while bringing that rugged feel, also looks like something you could label as “sophisticated.”
Having said that, you can’t disagree with the fact that looks aren’t everything. Well, it seems like Ride1Up thought about that, as well.
Besides the good looks, this eBike provides you with much more.
In addition to the elegance, the frame is pretty light, clocking in at 33 pounds - which is easy to move around and carry if necessary.
An efficient 350W geared hub motor with 40Nm torque provides you with the ride you’re willing to take. You should be able to get between 20 and 30 miles, depending on rider weight, terrain, incline, level of assist, and some other circumstances.
The battery in the Roadster is a 36V 7.0ah Samsung 35e Cells battery that only takes two to four hours to charge - which is practically nothing compared to an average electric bike. It can be done overnight - or even during the day, between two rides; two hours fly by fast!
Ride1Up - Roadster
4. Trek – Domane+ ALR
Trek is one of the most popular bike companies in the world. They made one of the top bikes, which helped many professional drivers to climb the racing podium. But not many people know that this company also offers electric bikes. To tell you the truth, their electric bikes are as good as their regular bikes.
Domane+ ALR has a removable battery and motor. When you don't need pedaling assistance, you can remove electric parts from the bike. This is also helpful if you want to race in standard races and don't want to cheat.
Trek Domane+ ALR is a class 1 bike with a 300 Series Alpha aluminum frame. In this model, Trek uses Shimano 105 hydraulic brakes and Shimano 105 R7000 2x11 gear system. The frame makes clear that this is a professional racing bike. It is as good as other Trek racing bikes, only that this model comes with a motor and battery to provide additional power to the bike when needed.
Trek – Domane+ ALR
5. Cannondale – Adventure Neo 4
Here we have another great addition from the Cannondale family. Unfortunately, it's not as powerful as the Topstone Neo 5, but the smooth ride it offers is nothing to laugh at. Equipped with a 400W Bosch PowerTube it has a range of up to 65 miles. This ebike is ideal for long city commutes and it's 27.5" Kenda tires insure that you'll have a great time out on the open road.
The Adventure Neo 4 has a SmartForm C3 Alloy step-thru frame which also brings a few pounds to the total weight. Brakes are very solid, Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes, so you don't need to worry about coming to a safe stop even when reaching the bike's top speeds.
Cannondale – Adventure Neo 4
Speed and endurance are pretty important when it comes to electric bikes; that’s a fact that’s obvious to the makers of Crosscurrent S2 eBike.
Besides looking like something from a sci-fi movie, Crosscurrent S2 is a bike that offers many things in the categories of speed and endurance.
First of all, the pedal-assist on this eBike is something you’ve probably never tried. And with the 9-Speed Shimano Cassette transmission, you’re guaranteed a smooth ride. Cadence & Torque Sensors on the pedal-assist do make a huge difference - something you’ll notice right away.
Also, the speeds that you can achieve while riding this eBike are no joke:
The manufacturer says that you’ll be able to develop a top speed of 28 MPH, but if you’re really trying to go a bit faster, it is possible. This speed is dangerous, so all riders need to be aware of that - and proceed with care.
Other than that, Crosscurrent S2 is an overall fantastic e-bike to own and ride regularly. Comfort and good looks are always a good pair - especially when backed by a reliable motor.
Juiced Bikes - Crosscurrent S2
LOOK obviously has looks, but that's not all; this bike is made explicitly for making massive miles.
Without a doubt, this bike is a high-end road bike made for professionals or anyone who likes to ride a bike with excellent performance. Whether you are traveling the hills or lowland, you can benefit from everything this bike offers.
E 765 Optimum Disc 105 is a durable, lightweight bike made for road biking. You better not go off-road with this bike because that's not its purpose, and you may damage it.
You can use four different assistance levels. You can power it by yourself by pedaling or choose one of the three speeds at your disposal. You can select 125W, 250W, or 400W.
The bike is made from carbon and alloy. This material allows bike lightweight riding with a very comfortable seat and handles. E 765 Optimum Disc 105 is a class 1 bike which means pedaling assistance works up to 20mph.
When pedaling, you can use extra precise 22 speed Shimano 105 and Shimano 105 hydro brakes. Fazua Evation battery is of decent quality.
LOOK – E 765 Optimum Disc 105
8. Orbea – Gain M20i
Orbea Gain M20i is a full carbon electric bike that offers a lot. You would think this is a regular bike since the motor and battery are well hidden on the first look. Orbea makes one of the best e-road bikes, and thanks to their expertise, Gain M20i is famous among bikers. Many folks enjoy this bike that allows them to do long distances and travel at 20mph at ease since that is the pedaling speed assistance that this bike offers.
Suppose you appreciate old-school looks but want innovative pedal assistance technology. In that case, the Orbea Gain M20i is one of the ideal bikes for you. If you want an affordable bike, you can choose a heavier frame to save some money.
Gain M20i is a class 1 bike which means you won't need any additional license to drive it on public roads. You can either choose a light carbon frame or choose a heavy frame and save some bucks. Brakes on the bike are hydraulic, Shimano Ultra. You can pedal in one of the 22 speeds offered by Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050.
Overall this bike is excellent for longer traveling and light offroad driving if you have tires for it.
Orbea – Gain M20i
9. Niner – RLT E9 RDO
If you love futuristic looks, then RLT E9 RDO is the one for you. An excellent frame with professional handlers will leave you breathless. Everywhere you go, people will turn their heads around. Colorful green just adds to the looks and makes this bike look like it is coming from the distant future.
Niner RLT E9 RDO is ideal for road traveling, but you can go off-road without a problem, thanks to the powerful tires. With this bike, thanks to its battery, you can do long-distance traveling or fast short rides. You can choose pedal assistance up to 28mph.
RLT E9 RDO is a class 2 bike that can handle high speeds thanks to a robust Niner RDO Carbon frame. Such powerful bikes need high-quality brakes, which are thanks to Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic brake system. When pedaling, you can enjoy a 2x11 gear system by SHIMANO GRX 800.
Niner – RLT E9 RDO
10. Specialized – Turbo Creo SL
Turbo Creo SL is one of the bikes that can travel for the whole day, and after the entire day of pedaling, you would not be particularly tired. This bike is an absolute monster thanks to its heavy-duty battery that can assure enough power for pedal assistance up to 28mph. With battery assistance, you can travel up to 80 miles. Recharging the battery will take a little bit over two hours. After that, you are ready to do another 80 miles with assisted pedaling.
With Specialized Turbo Creo SL, you can travel the whole day, especially if you pick the model with full carbon. However, we need to warn you that Turbo Creo SL price can go up to 15 000$ if you opt for the high-quality material.
Specialized Turbo Creo SL is a class 3 bike with a lightweight frame that can do distance riding with little effort. It can go up to 28mph without problem, and thanks to the lightweight but robust frame and Shimano GRX 810 hydraulic brakes, high speeds are safe. When pedaling, you can choose one of the 11 Shimano RX812 GX gears.
Specialized – Turbo Creo SL
11. Wilier – Cento 1HY Ultegra
Wilier is famous for making highly competitive racing bikes. Cento 1HY Ultegra is made for competitive cyclists who need all the benefits of the competitive bike with a light battery that provides energy in pedal assistance. The battery is light which keeps the total bike e+wight under 27lbs. This bike is ideal for training because you can choose from three different assistance modes. When you feel you need more assistance during the training, you pick a higher assistance mode, and when you feel powerful, you can opt for low assistance. With this bike, you can train even when feeling tired. With a low weight and powerful motor and a decent battery, you can climb mountains without a problem.
Other parts of the bike are also great and provide good racing additions. Carbon frame allows this bike to be light, but Shimano Ultegra hydraulic brakes provide safety at high speed or downhill driving. Pedaling gears are also unique, and you can choose gear from 2x11 Shimano Ultegra R8000.
Wilier – Cento 1HY Ultegra
12. Bianchi – Aria Ultegra
When you see the light blue color on the road, you can hint that this bike was made by Bianchi. The light blue color is their trademark. When you look at this road bike, you can see that it is not that different from regular Bianchi bikes. The only difference is a fatter frame where the battery is installed. The motor used in Aria Ultegra is adjustable and can provide from 30%, 60%, and 100% pedaling assistance. However, the battery is not that powerful, and you will be able to do up to 25 miles with one charge.
Bianchi made this model for competitive riders who want additional electrical horsepower to help them in some part of the training. Everything else on the bike screams professional bike. A high-quality carbon frame with Shimano Ultegra R8070 hydraulic braking system is what most regular professional bikes have. Shimano Ultegra R8000 gear changing system allows pro riders to enjoy all the benefits of the professional bike.
Bianchi Aria Ultegra is a class 1 bike which means you won't need any additional driving license for riding this bike on open public roads.
Bianchi – Aria Ultegra
What to look at when buying an electric road bike?
When buying an electric road bike, you need to ask yourself if you need a bike for endurance, race, or gravel. After that, you need to choose the proper size for you. And the third option is parts that the bike offers, like battery quality, breaks, derailleurs, and other bike components.
Why choose an electric bike?
Some people pick e-bikes to cheat at races. That's wrong, and you won't go too far with that because the motor and battery are visible on many models. However, many bike drivers pick e-bikes because they need a comfortable ride without breaking a sweat.
Some people want to ride a bike, but they have some problems like arthritis or joint problems. Even if you are not 100% fit, you can enjoy a bike ride with an electric bike. Other people just want to travel high distances, which with the regular bike they are unable to do.
Suppose you think that e-bike is not a good exercise. In that case, you are wrong because the latest research shows that people improve their fitness with e-bikes, probably because they stay on the road longer with an e-bike.
In the end, we must say that riding a bike is lots of fun and the majority pick an electric bike over a regular one just because of that reason.
How much do electric road bikes cost?
Just like with regular bikes, you can buy affordable e-bikes or expensive ones. But we must agree that electric bikes are more expensive than traditional bikes. You will hardly find a decent e-bike under 2000$. Top bikes are around 6000$, while the price can quickly go over 10 000$ if you look at the most innovative bikes.
Ebikes are usually heavier than regular bikes. These bikes are also expensive, and if something goes wrong with bike repairs will also cost more than the regular bike repairs.
Which electric road bike brand is the best?
There are many manufacturers, well-known Trek and Merinda, but we think the best electric bikes for the road are made by Look company.
Are electric road bikes still worth it?
If you need an electric road bike to keep you outside cycling, then without a doubt e-bike is a good investment. Many people use e-bikes to go to work, and by that, they save money on transport. Ebikes today are more accessible because affordable batteries and motors make the bike price lower than ever before.
What groupset is best on an electric road bike?
Just like regular bikes, e-bikes use the same equipment. However, the gear system is what is most important on an e-bike for the road. Usually, Shimano Ultegra or GRX are decent solutions for electric road bikes.
What electric road bike is lightest?
We know that because of the battery and motor, an e-bike can not be extremely light. However, the Scott Addict eRIDE has only 23.7lbs and is probably the most lightweight bike in the world.
What’s the most affordable electric road bike?
Unfortunately, finding a decent electric road bike for under $2000 is a problem. If that's above your budget I can only recommend the Ride1up Roadster, which is going around $1000. The more money you can spend on the electric bike, the higher quality one you can get. However, it is public opinion that e-bikes' price will only go down over time because more competition is coming to the market, and parts like batteries and motors are getting cheaper every day.