The concurrent crises of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change have prompted many of us to rethink how we live our daily lives. For millions of Americans, that included hopping on an ebike, whether we rented one from a bike-share or bought our own.
For years, electric bicycles were bulky, inconvenient, expensive machines whose usefulness (and battery life) was limited. Slowly, that has changed. Ebikes are now lighter, more attractive, and more powerful than ever. You don’t need to be physically fit to ride one. It gets you outside, reduces fossil fuels, reduces congestion, and it’s fun.
Over the past few years, my fellow Gear writers and I have tried almost every kind of electric bike, from the best heavy-duty cargo bikes to high-end mountain bikes. We’re always testing new bicycles, so if you don’t see one you like now, check back later (or drop me a note!). Once you get one, check out our favorite biking accessories, bike locks, and gear for a bikepacking adventure.
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Updated August 2021: We’ve reorganized our guide for clarity, added new models like the LeMond Prolog, added a list of honorable mentions, and removed older models.