Around the 1800s, most of the world was undergoing rapid technological advancements. This was due to new developments in areas like food production, disease management and other innovations that made everyday life simpler.
These improvements also meant people lived longer, and this presented other problems that needed to be solved, one of them being mobility.
Thus, the bicycle was born.
Long before the motor vehicle came into being, the bicycle had usurped some of the activities that were previously carried out on horseback. Being cheap to produce and acquire, the bicycle was and still is the most abundant vehicle on earth, whether powered by humans or some form of motor.
The bicycle achieved its perfect design over 100 years ago. However, that does not stop a man from wanting to innovate, and innovate they did.
The next frontier of bicycle design has been reached with the addition of an electric motor and a battery to the basic bicycle structure. And no, this does not make it an electric motorcycle.
Let’s learn more about e-bikes and the best models for 2020 - no matter your needs.
What is an Electric Bicycle?
These are also known as e-bikes. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could cover great distances on your bicycle and still arrive at your destination feeling as fresh as a daisy?
This is one reason:
Why e-bikes make so much sense. Not only do you get to over great distances, but you get to do it a fraction of the cost it would take you to cover the same in a motor vehicle.
And you don’t have to huff and puff like you’re warming up to blow the house down. You just glide along the street or aid the battery by pedaling lightly until you get to your destination.
No hole burned through your wallet and your body odor isn’t actively engaged in trench warfare with your cologne or body spray. That stalemate isn’t something worth looking forward to.
The good news is that it doesn’t work that differently from a regular bicycle. The only components added are a motor, and a battery to run that motor.
There are two types of e-bikes that are commonly used:
- Pedal-assist: These are the most common type of e-bikes, and offer pedal assistance when you need it most. Under the legislation, they are limited to 750 watts and can help propel the bike up to 20 miles per hour.
- Full power: They are also known as throttle e-bikes, and provide power without the need for pedaling. These usually have more equipment such as bigger batteries, which makes them bigger and heavier.
So, What are the Best E-Bikes for 2020?
Well, every person has different needs and interests. For this reason, here is a curated list of different e-bikes that will fit most needs.
Overall Best Value E-Bike: Specialized Turbo Vado 6.0
As the name suggests, this is the sixth iteration of this e-bike. The manufacturer, Vado, has been a household name in the bicycle industry for more than four decades.
Design-wise, it does not look any different than a well -built mountain bike would. The frame holds a 604 Watthour lithium-ion battery, and is capable of pushing this e-bike for 80 miles…on a single charge!
Hopping on will not feel any different from a usual mountain bike because it was deliberately designed to feel so. Something different will happen though after you pedal for a few minutes.
The bike’s motor will kick into action.
On the bike is a small display that allows you to monitor how much battery charge is available and your speed. It also allows you to set the level of assistance the motor can give you.
One particular mode that is important to note: the Turbo mode.
When activated, it can help propel the bike to speeds of up to 28 miles per hour. Any speed faster than this and the motor will dial back on assistance. This is mainly to conserve battery power, but also to abide by Federal and State regulations regarding speed.
Outdoors Enthusiast: Haibike SDURO HardNine 4.0
This bike is quite the looker and is designed to be an excellent option for mountain bikers interested in opting for an e-bike. The lightweight design makes it feel familiar to a normal MTB, hence switching to this eMTB should feel seamless.
This bike is built with performance in mind. It comes equipped with a 350-watt Bosch Performance motor. The motor is capable of pushing the bike to speeds of up to 20 miles an hour.
It doesn’t matter the terrain or the elevation, this bike is designed to conquer them all.
A 500-watt battery is responsible for giving this eMTB a wonderful 70 miles of assisted range. That’s plenty for the intrepid explorer who wants to stay off the beaten path for longer durations without getting too tired.
Commuters’ Best: Raleigh Redux IE
This really wouldn’t be a proper review if one of Raleigh’s bikes didn’t feature. As one of the leaders of this industry, they do not disappoint and have come up with a design perfectly suited to the urban commuter.
The 500-watt lithium-ion battery blends so well into the bike’s frame, one would think it’s one of those with a thick downtube. Not only is the form on point, but the function is, too. It is capable of powering the bike to cover a distance of up to 80 miles.
The battery is paired with a 250-watt motor capable of powering this e-bike through city traffic, with the capability to achieve a peppy 28 miles per hour.
Budget-Friendly: Espin Sport
Some of the numbers quoted for these bikes can be pretty eye-watering. For those not ready to splash so much cash just to dash, the Espin Sport can be a good investment option.
It is a no-frills option that does not stand out from the crowd unless one takes a long hard look at it. The 350-watt motor will push you around for distances of up to 50 miles, depending on how much you assist.
A nice feature of this is that the battery can be removed to be charged overnight in your home, or while you’re at the office for added convenience.
Best Beach Ride: Xtreme Malibu Beach Cruiser
This is for the ladies and the bold fellas who would relish an opportunity to rock a hot pink e-bike while cruising along the beach. Well thought out, this bike weighs only 50 pounds but can still reach speeds of 20 miles per hour.
The battery is located just ahead of the rear wheel, which gives the bike an interesting aesthetic. It is capable of powering the bike for distances of up to 20 miles. In the case of a flat, quick repair is possible thanks to a quick-release hub that enables quick swapping of the tube.
For the Hunter: QuietKat 750w Ranger
Even though the QuietKat 750w Ranger bike is carrying the largest motor permissible under the law, the positioning makes it a silent operator. The design of the motor protects it from severe environmental conditions such as snow, mud, rain, and others.
This makes it a perfect companion for those members of society who love spending time in the woods and coming back with dinner.
At 750 watts, the motor can push this bike to speeds of 19 miles per hour, on any terrain (thanks to its fat, 4-inch wide tires), unassisted. Want more speed, simply assist and it will reach upwards of 30 miles per hour. The Road Runner doesn’t have anything on you.
Most Economical: ECOTRIC Fat Tire Electric Bike
A sub-$1,000 bike can look suspect after seeing the above bike prices, but that’s not what the Ecotric Fat Tire electric bike is. This model is an all-terrain, speed munching e-bike that was made to cater to utilitarian riders and still remain affordable.
The motor is capable of pushing this bike up to 2 miles per hour, with the battery giving a range of up to 19 miles. The Fat Tire name is apt for what this bike actually comes with; 26 inches by 4 inches wide tires, capable of carrying you through mud, snow, and rocky terrain.
This list was a compilation of the best e-bikes for a wide variety of needs. We hope you’ve found something to suit your interests. There are several options out there, but this is a place to start in your search to find the perfect e-bike. Come and join the e-bike craze!