The Best E-Bikes

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Electric bikes are the future of transportation (or so we’ve heard). The multi-billion industry saw a big jump in popularity a few years ago and recently had a more successful sales year than regular bikes in Amsterdam. Also referred to as “weee” bikes, electric bikes give riders that extra oomph by making trips that much more fun and effortless. These motor assist bikes allow riders the chance to go farther faster by increasing bikers speeds up to 30 km/h, and help them navigate big hills and difficult terrain with ease.

While not a cheap investment, these bikes are just that — investments. An electric bike can be priced anywhere from low budget versions falling into the $300 to $500 range, to luxury bikes that reach up to $10,000. These bikes are a great environmentally friendly addition, allowing people the chance to ditch their cars and instead ride their bikes on short drives. Not only can you save money on gas but you can also avoid the hassle of parking and traffic.

If you’re ready to purchase an electric bike, there are a few things to consider that will help narrow down your search. Ask yourself, what do I want/need this bike to do? Those wanting a bike that will take them on a relaxing ride down by the beach may benefit from an electric cruiser bike, compared to people looking to go off-roading who would need a mountain bike with thick wheels and a high torque hub motor. (See our cheat sheet of electric bike terms below).

Other styles of bikes include commuter, foldable, cargo and even specialty options like two-seaters or tricycle styles to satisfy all types of lifestyles. When it comes to choosing your bike, trust your intuition; if a bike seems too good to be true, chances are it is. And remember, you get what you pay for!

1. Editor's Pick: GOTRAX Y1D Electric Bike

1. Editor's Pick: GOTRAX Y1D Electric Bike
  • Front and rear V brakes
  • Battery management system to protect from over charging
  • Three speeds
  • Removable battery with code lock
  • Unreliable battery charge

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disc
Item Size: ‎107 x 45 x 100 cm
Item Weight: 21 kg
Tire Size: 12"
Batteries: 36V 7.5Ah Removable Lithium-Ion battery

This is a great foldable electric bike on the lower, more affordable end of the price point. It is a good choice for commuting to work from home, since you can fold it up while you ride the subway or train and then unfold it for the second leg of your trip to the office.

The three different gear cruise speed options give you greater versatility to be able to handle different road conditions that require different speeds. For example, hit the first gear to do 10km/h, second gear to hit 15km/h and third gear to hit 25km/h.

With a 36-volt 7.5Ah Lithium-Ion battery powering a 350-watt motor, this electric bike will get you where you need to go. The battery is removable, rechargeable and can keep your bike going for two to four hours on a full charge. The 12-inch aluminum alloy wheels are ideal for any terrain, so once your weekday commute is done, you can take this bike on the back roads for more cycling fun.

2. Runner Up: Jetson Bolt Folding E-Bike

2. Runner Up: Jetson Bolt Folding E-Bike
  • LCD Display
  • Compact and light
  • Front and back LED lights
  • Short lifespan

Key Specs

Brake Type: Rear Braking
Item Size: 40" x 20" x 37"
Item Weight: 15.4 kg
Tire Size: 14"
Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required (included)

Folding bikes are great for those who need to take their bikes with them during their daily commute on the TTC, or need to stay with them during their day at work. The Jetson Bolt has a built-in carrying handle and a foldable handlebar and is a great environmentally friendly option to add to your life. With a lightweight and sturdy frame, this bike's rechargeable battery will last over 50 km to get you where you need to go.

3. Best All-Season: Sheng milo-MX02S 26 Inch Fat Tire Electric Bike

3. Best All-Season: Sheng milo-MX02S 26 Inch Fat Tire Electric Bike
  • Powerful mountain bike
  • Good on snow, sand, off-road, city streets
  • 1,000-watt motor
  • Three working modes
  • Instructions are hard to understand

Key Specs

Brake Type: Hydraulic disk front and rear
Item Size: 65 x 119 x 186 cm
Item Weight: 79.2 lbs.
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 17Ah Li battery

If you’re a serious cycler who bikes 365 days a year regardless of the weather, then you need a strong, rugged and reliable bike to get you through it all. This electric bike from Sheng milo is on the expensive side but has all the right feels to fit all needs, coming in with a powerful 1,000-watt motor and four-inch fat tires that can grip any terrain and condition from sand and snow to off track on the mountain.

This bike has three working modes: pedal assist, where the motor helps you with a moderate amount of power as you pedal, allowing you to drive between 60 and 90 km before you recharge; fully electric mode, where with a twist of the throttle you can get the power you need in the increments you chose to go 40 to 50 km on full battery; and manual mode, so you can pedal as you would a regular bike.

The bike is also equipped with a 21-speed Shimano shift system and is powered by a 48 volt, 17Ah Li battery, which takes between six and eight hours to fully charge.

4. Sleeper Pick: HOTEBIKE Electric Bicycle, Electric Mountain Bike

4. Sleeper Pick: HOTEBIKE Electric Bicycle, Electric Mountain Bike
  • Multi-functional LED display
  • Five levels of pedal-assist mode
  • Full charge takes four to six hours
  • Instruction booklet short on information

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disk
Item Size: 129 x 68 x 26 cm
Item Weight: 46 lbs.
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 36V10AH lithium-ion battery

If you’re into taking weekend long-distance bike rides and like to record your metrics — think your riding speed, distance, battery power indicator, etc. — this electric road and mountain bike with a multi-functional LED panel may be what you’re looking for.

Of course, there’s more to a good electric bike than an LED panel, and this model from Hotebike doesn’t disappoint. It starts with the bike’s 36-volt 10AH Lithium-Ion battery that is conveniently hidden in the oblique bar and is removable so it can be charged away from the bike.

It continues with a 350-watt motor, 21 gears to help you get up those hills, a lightweight aluminum alloy frame and sturdy suspension fork for smooth riding on different road surfaces. Front and rear mechanical 160 disc brakes give you the stopping power you need for an all-around enjoyable riding experience.

This bike also comes with a 5-volt 1A USB mobile phone charging port on the headlight so you can charge your phone as you ride.

5. Best Canadian Made: DJ Folding Bike Step Thru 500W 48V 13Ah Power Electric Bicycle

5. Best Canadian Made: DJ Folding Bike Step Thru 500W 48V 13Ah Power Electric Bicycle
  • All accessories included, including front and rear fenders and rear rack
  • Four-inch wide, puncture resistant tires
  • Removable battery with lock
  • Capacity weight is under 300 lbs.

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disk
Item Size: 126cm high x 177cm
Item Weight: 56.2 lbs.
Tire Size: 20"
Batteries: Lithium-ion 48V 13Ah battery

If you like to support Canadian-made brands, consider this folding electric bike from DJ Bikes. It's the first Canadian bike shop to produce the highest safety and quality standards recognized by industries and consumers here in Canada and also in the U.S.

While it’s on the upper end of the price point, the bike does have some features that make it worth considering. The first items to note are the 500-watt Bafang motor and 48-volt 13Ah high-quality, long-lasting Samsung or LG battery, both of which will give you enough power to get you up those long, steep hills.

The bike is a good choice for all bikers, from the commuter and casual rider to a senior and an athlete, it will perform well through the city or on light, off-road trails. An integrated front headlight, a good suspension to absorb shocks, five levels of pedal assist, a thumb throttle and a step-through for an easy mount put this high up on the list of best all-round, Canadian made electric bikes.

6. Best for Night Rides: ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike Ebike

6. Best for Night Rides: ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike Ebike
  • Equipped with a headlamp and horn
  • Three working modes
  • Anti-slip, wear-resistant tires
  • Needs more assembly than some other models

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disk
Item Size: 127 x 58.42 x 25.4 cm
Item Weight: 50.6 lbs.
Tire Size: 20"
Batteries: Lithium 36V 8A battery

Safety is always top of mind when riding a bike, regardless of the time of day. That being said, biking at night imposes special challenges of being seen and heard by pedestrians and motorists. This foldable electric bike from Ancheer is equipped with a bright LED headlamp to help lead your way and make you more visible on the road, plus it has a horn so you can let others know they need to watch out and get out of the way.

But even with these night features, you’re going to want an electric bike that has the ability to give you a great biking experience. There’s no worry there, as this bike is equipped with a high-strength front suspension fork, seven-speed gears, front and rear mechanical disc brakes, and three working modes.

The 250-watt motor isn’t as powerful as some of the other models listed here, but with the LED three-speed smart meter button, you can choose the electric assist power that you need to get you where you want to go and then hit the throttle when you want to pull away at a traffic light.

7. Best Battery Life: TESGO 26’’ Electric Bike Climber

7. Best Battery Life: TESGO 26’’ Electric Bike Climber
  • Strong battery
  • 350-watt rear-hub motor
  • High strength fork suspension
  • Long delivery time

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disk
Item Size: 54.7×9.8×31.5 inch
Item Weight: 46.3 lbs.
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 48V/10.4Ah 500Wh 52pc LG cells | 2600mAh

If mountains are your thing and you want to spend lots of time off-trail on a solid electric bike that will be rugged and powerful enough to get you up those hills without losing battery power, then you might want to consider this electric bike from Tesgo.

What you get is a 300-watt motor powered by the 52 LG cells of a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery that delivers 500Wh to pack more power, more speed, and higher efficiency into this bike. So you can expect the battery life on this bike to take you between 25-30 miles in pure electric mode and 40-50 miles in PAS mode.

The bike has three modes – electric, PAS and normal – and you can easily change speeds using a small controller on the handlebars. On full electric power, this seven-speed electric bike will reach an average speed of 21 mph. It does come 85 percent assembled, so you will have to spend some time putting it together using Tesgo’s online video tutorials.

Types of Electric Bikes

Commuter: Commuter bikes are the most common type of e-bikes and are often used to ride around town, or when getting from one place to another like work, school or the gym. These bikes are light and low maintenance that typically have thin tires and saddles, but are not made for long rides.

Folding: Folding bikes can also be bunched into the commuter category, but add a level of versatility. These bikes are compact and can be folded down into sizes as small as suitcases. They're also great for people who commute, want to throw it in the car, or bring it with them on the holidays. This is a good bike for those who don’t ride too often as the quality and design aren’t on the same level as more expensive e-bikes.

Cruiser: This stylish, comfortable bike is equipped with plush seats and high handlebars with forward mounted pedals.

Mountain: Mountain bikes are great for the outdoors and heading off the beaten path. These bikes range from low-end to high-end and most e-bikes are quite versatile. Low-end bikes can also double for the streets while high end bikes include extra suspension and thick versatile tires that can carry riders down mountains and over jumps.

Cargo: Cargo bikes are ideal for those looking to travel with extra weight, be it work equipment, pets or kids. While not the lightest bike option, these bikes are customizable and can include front buckets, pods, side platforms, racks, bags and child carriers.

Electric Bike Lingo Cheat Sheet

Throttle Assist: Similar to motorcycles, this refers to the activation of the throttle through the twist of the wrist.

Pedal Assist: A torque sensor picks up and pushes out motor power when you pedal, and stops when you stop pedalling.

Torque: Torque refers to a force of energy that causes rotation. In the case of e-bikes, this refers to how easily the wheels of the bike spin.

Pedelec: This refers to a system that monitors the riders pedalling and automatically adds a specific amount of motor assistance. How much assistance added all depends on factors such as force and speed. In Canada, the speed of e-bikes are limited to 30 km/h and will automatically stop when you reach this speed.

Twist-and-go: This is the switch controlled by the rider to activate motor assistance.

Hub Motor: A hub motor is when the motor of an e-bike is mounted in one of the wheels. These types of motors are often quiet.

Crank Motor: Crank motors are attached at the crank and pedal area of the bike near the bottom of the frame and are ideal for bikes going on hills.

Range: Range refers to the distance a bike can travel off of one charge.

Leave a Comment

Do you own one of these? Do you agree with the review? Did we miss your favourite electric bike? Comment below and let us know!

About the Author

Carlen Oliveira is a graduate from Ryerson University’s RTA Sport Media program and is currently working as a writer based out of Toronto. She has an avid interest in all things sports and finding engaging new ways to workout. With limited access to gyms and friends during the pandemic, she discovered her love of individual activities like yoga and skipping, which push her both mentally and physically. When she’s not writing or working out, you can find her exploring the outdoors and travelling, come rain or shine… and especially snow!

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