Best Electric Road Bikes of 2021

by Dejan 

November 3, 2021

Considering that biking was looked at as an extreme sport and something that only a certain type of people can do, the stigma and the disliking of electric bikes were semi-justified.

But now e-bikes spiked in popularity, and people found a use for them in almost any condition, the stigma is almost completely gone.

Road e-bikes are a bit different since they found their place in both urban and rural environments, so they are among the first e-bikes to be recognized as valid means of transportation.

Another thing that makes these eRoad bikes, as they’re also called, different from other e-bikes is that they are not always able to get the full power from their motor, but only while assisting pedaling.

This may seem like a bad thing at first, but it doesn’t always have to be. Assisting while pedaling is the most efficient way of using your e-bike since if your electric bike can propel you without you pedaling, it drains the battery much faster than just using the assist feature.

Generally speaking, we advise our readers to use pedaling assist instead of just sitting on the bike and letting the battery and the engine do all the work.

Of course, if there is an option of full drive on your road e-bike and you need to use it, there’s no harm in doing so. This goes both for urban areas and rural areas.

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 two options 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.

What Kind of Electric Road Bikes You Can Buy in 2021

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. 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. For driving such a bike, you will need the required license.


LOOK – E 765 Optimum Plus Disc 105

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. 

Assistance Levels

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. 

Other Specifications

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 Plus Disc 105

LOOK – E 765 Optimum Disc 105


2. Orbea – Gain M20i

Orbea – Gain M20i e-bike

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 e-bike

Orbea – Gain M20i


3. Niner – RLT E9 RDO

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

Niner – RLT E9 RDO


4. Trek – Domane+ ALR

Trek – Domane ALR e-bike

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 e-bike

Trek – Domane+ ALR


5. Specialized – Turbo Creo SL

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

Specialized – Turbo Creo SL


6. Wilier – Cento 1HY Ultegra

Wilier – Cento 1 HY 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 1 HY Ultegra

Wilier – Cento 1HY Ultegra


7. Cannondale – SuperSix EVO NEO 3

Cannondale – SuperSix EVO NEO 3

SuperSix EVO NEO 3 is one of the most affordable SuperSix EVO NEO models. It is two times cheaper than SuperSix EVO NEO 1. All models have high-quality carbon frames that allow this bike to travel long distances with little effort. Without a problem, you can climb hills and go for long rides. The motor and heavy-duty battery allow that. 

Thanks to the lightweight battery and excellent motor, you can travel up to 70 miles and spend 3 hours to charge the battery. Just after you are done with lunch, you can go and do another 70 miles. With such fast charging, you can do 3 or even more full battery rides. In other words, you can do over 200 miles in a single day. You won't feel tired at the end of the day because the motor will keep your pedaling assisted during all those 200 miles.

Cannondale SuperSix EVO NEO 3 is a class 1 bike for long-distance rides thanks to a lightweight frame and powerful battery with a short recharging time. For breaks, it uses Shimano 105 hydraulic braking system. For pedaling it uses Shimano 105 derailleur.

Cannondale – SuperSix EVO NEO 3

Cannondale – SuperSix EVO NEO 3


8. Cannondale – Synapse NEO SE

Cannondale – Synapse NEO SE

If you can't afford high-quality SuperSix EVO NEO, you can opt for Synapse NEO SE. Unfortunately, this bike is way heavier than others on the list. It weighs 41 lbs. But the weight is coming from the battery, which has 500W power and allows up to 93 miles of travel. This bike is ideal for nature rides where you want to see hidden parts of the countryside and don't want to feel tired after a whole day of biking. 

Cannondale Synapse NEO SE is a road bike with thick tires that allows you to go offroad and discover all the hidden beauty in nature. The frame on the bike is SmartForm C1 alloy which also brings a few pounds to the total weight. Brakes are decent, SRAM Apex hydraulic braking system. This bike also offers SRAM Apex 1 derailleur for picking the desired gear when pedaling.

Cannondale – Synapse NEO SE

Cannondale – Synapse NEO SE


9. Bianchi – Aria Ultegra

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

Bianchi – Aria Ultegra


10. BMC – AlpenChallenge AMP Sport

BMC – AlpenChallenge AMP Sport

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.

BMC – AlpenChallenge AMP Sport

BMC – AlpenChallenge AMP Sport


11. Giant – Road E+ 1 Pro 

Giant – Road E+ 1 Pro 2021

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.

Giant – Road E+ 1 Pro 2021

Giant – Road E+ 1 Pro 


12. Merida eSILEX+ 600

Merida eSILEX+ 600 ebike

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.

Merida eSILEX+ 600 ebike

Merida eSILEX+ 600


FAQ

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 3000$. Top bikes are around 6000$, while the price can quickly go over 10 000$ if you look at the most innovative bikes. 

E-bikes disadvantages?

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. You can probably find a proper electric road bike for 3000$, but that bike will likely be heavy and won't have the best battery. 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.  

VIDEO:

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About the author

Dejan is a tech enthusiast and a big bike lover. Since college days when he was constantly on the move, everything was done with one thing in mind - get an e-bike. Now with the dream finally realized, he's reviewing e-bikes and providing advice to all fellow e-bikers out there.

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