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Compare electric commuter bikes

Get fit on your way to work while helping the planet in the process.

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Man riding his electric commuter bike to work

If you’re looking for an easier way to commute to work that’ll help you get fit at the same time, an e-bike could be a sound investment. Discover how to find the best electric commuter bike for your cycling needs and a few top picks.

5 popular electric commuter bikes

Here are five commuter e-bikes worth considering.

Affordable option: Aventon Pace 350 Step-through E-bike

  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 35 miles
  • Charge time: Three to four hours
  • Price: $1,100

It’s rare to find a solid bike around the $1,000 price point. But the Pace 350 is impressively good at balancing price and performance.

It has a Class 2 motor, which means you shouldn’t have a problem accessing bikeways, unlike its speedier Class 3 cousins. But its mechanical disc brakes are less efficient than hydraulic brakes.

Long-range option: Elby Bike 9-Speed Electric Bike

  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 80 miles
  • Charge time: Four hours
  • Price: $3,000

The Elby sports an aluminum-molded frame with a 500W rear hub motor.

It also features hydraulic brakes for effective stopping. And with a range of up to 80 miles on a single charge, the Elby is a good option for long recreational cruises or commuters.

But it’s on the pricier end of the market.

High-end option: Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ

  • Top speed: 28 mph
  • Range: 80 miles
  • Charge time: Not available
  • Price: $4,500

This sleek beast weighs only 33 pounds, making it easier to maneuver and carry than a traditional bike and most e-bikes. Characteristic of mountain bikes, it also has 20 millimeters of suspension to deliver a smoother ride. The hybrid frame makes it a star performer for zipping around town to conquering dirt paths — but you’d expect that at the $4,500 price point.

Folding option: Tern Vektron S10

  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 80 miles
  • Charge time: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
  • Price: $4,500

This folding e-bike uses a Bosch Performance motor and computer with a 10-speed drivetrain, delivering smooth pedaling. It also has a quiet motor and hydraulic disc brakes for a safe and enjoyable ride. And its muted color scheme doesn’t make you look like you’re riding a child’s bicycle.

Popular overall: Charge Bikes City

  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 50 miles
  • Charge time: Not available
  • Price: $1,700

While it’s not a folding bike, the Charge Bike has foldable handlebars and pedals to make it easy to move and store. And its puncture-resistant Goodyear tires deliver all-weather traction for any commute. It has five pedal-assist modes, so you’ll have no trouble going up hills. While it’s not the best looking e-bike in town, it’ll get you where you want to go.

What to look for when comparing electric commuter bikes

Consider the following factors when shopping around for a new e-bike:

  • Motor. Check how much power and torque the motor provides and how many assistance levels it has.
  • Battery life and range. Consider the maximum range you’ll get before you need to recharge. And some companies have removable batteries for more convenient charging.
  • Brakes. Most e-bikes come with disc brakes, but higher-end models have hydraulic brakes.
  • Weight. Many electric bikes weigh about 50 pounds. Check the specs sheet to make sure the bike will be easy enough to maneuver and lift when you’re not riding.
  • Warranty. Check the length of the warranty that comes with the bike and exactly what it covers before you buy.
  • Price. The cheapest commuter e-bikes start at around $1,000, while high-end models can exceed $10,000. As a general rule, the more you pay, the better-quality components (gears, cables, etc.) and frame you can expect on your bike.

Pros and cons of electric commuter bikes

If you’re on the fence about an e-bike, consider its perks and disadvantages:

  • Practical way to commute to work while staying active
  • Eco-friendly alternative to driving
  • Less exertion covering the same distance and inclines than a traditional bike
  • Even entry-level e-bikes don’t come cheap
  • Electric bikes are heavy, so you’re looking at a tough ride home if you run out of battery
  • The battery will eventually need to be replaced

    Bottom line

    An electric bike can help you get to work faster, get fit and tackle hills you otherwise wouldn’t dream of riding up. But even most entry-level e-bikes require a sizable spend of more than $1,000.

    Be sure you’ll get plenty of use out of your e-bike before you buy and compare electric bicycles to find the right features that fit your budget. Consider asking your local bike shop for a test ride to see whether this riding style is right for you.

    Frequently asked questions

    Find even more answers to your questions about commuter e-bikes here.

    What are the rules around licensing an electric bike?

    You generally don’t need a special license or registration to ride an e-bike. However, be sure to check all regulations that apply in your state or city to ensure that the bike you buy complies with all local laws.

    How fast can I go on an electric bike?

    An e-bike can go as fast as you can make it go using pedal power — but assistance from the motor generally drops off once you reach 20 mph.

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