Reviews

The Best Electric Bikes

The Best Electric Bikes

By Carlen Oliviera

January 22, 2021

Electric bikes are the future of transportation (or so we’ve heard). The $15.4 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: Prague Electric Mountain Bike

ProsCons
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Quiet motor
  • “Preload” setting for customizable weight and riding style
  • Heavy
  • Some assembly required

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disc
Item Size: N/A
Item Weight: 55 lbs.
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required (included)
Material: Aluminum
Number of Speeds: 21
Motor: 350W
Max Weight Capacity N/A

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This is a great starter bike for those who are just beginning their relationship with e-bikes and want to explore both off-road and asphalt riding. The NCM Prague is one of the cheaper models on the market but still includes a lot of great qualities. Coming in at 55 lbs., this sturdy e-bike is made up of a Das-Kit 350W rear-drive motor with an LCD display, and a 468W DeHawk battery with six levels of pedal assist that will get you 60 miles range.

2. Best Folding E-Bike: Jetson Bolt Folding E-Bike

ProsCons
  • 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)
Material: Aluminum
Number of Speeds: N/A
Motor: 350W
Max Weight Capacity 250 lbs.

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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 kilometres to get you where you need to go.

3. Best Mountain E-Bike: Moscow Electric Mountain Bike

ProsCons
  • Six levels of pedal assists
  • Includes bike bell
  • 75 miles of power assist range
  • Minor assembly

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disc
Item Size: 144.78 x 76.2 x 25.4 cm
Item Weight: 30.84 kg
Tire Size: 27.5"
Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required (included)
Material: Aluminum
Number of Speeds: 21
Motor: 500W
Max Weight Capacity 275 lbs.

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This trail ready e-bike is equipped with a Suntour XCT suspension fork to keep your riding as smooth as possible as well as it’s Tektro mechanical brakes that ensure safe stopping. With 21 speeds, a 624wh battery pack and a display screen, this e-bike will back you whether you're attacking hills and trails or cruising down the road.

4. Best Durable E-Bike: DJ Fat Bike

ProsCons
  • One-year warranty
  • Quiet
  • Front headlight
  • Heavy
  • Assembly required
  • Large frame

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disc
Item Size: 159 x 82 x 25.5 cm
Item Weight: 25.85 kg
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required (included)
Material: Aluminum
Number of Speeds: 7
Motor: 500W
Max Weight Capacity N/A

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DJ Bikes is the first Canadian bike shop to produce the highest safety and quality standards recognized by industries, and happily promotes their customer service support which is refreshing and reassuring when looking to make a purchase of this size. Made with high quality equipment and offering a one year warranty, this powerful and durable e-bike is suitable for all types of riders.

5. Best E-Bike for Commuting: DJ City Bike

ProsCons
  • Quiet
  • One-year warranty
  • Heavy
  • Assembly required

Key Specs

Brake Type: Disc
Item Size: 157.48 x 81.28 x 25.4 cm
Item Weight: 57 lbs.
Tire Size: 26"
Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion batteries required (included)
Material: Aluminum
Number of Speeds: 7
Motor: 500W
Max Weight Capacity N/A

See Price

This bike is a great option for people looking for a sturdy, quiet and durable e-bike that is capable of holding a few items on your trips around the city. The DJ City Bike uses a 500W motor to power you on your trip, and is equipped with a front headlight to make sure you feel confident whenever you ride.

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.

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