Best electric bikes 2020: e-bikes for the road, commute and mountain biking reviewed

Rob Smith
·6-min read

From banana breads, to puzzles, lockdown reignited a passion for an array of weird and wonderful trends - but cycling may just have been the most ubiquitous of them all.

Bikes, and in particular electric or e-bikes, have become even more popular in the post-lockdown commuting world as the ideal solution to tube-related woes.

Rob Smith, Head of Partnerships at Smartech (the smart brand specialists behind Selfridges' The Bike Shop) tells ES Best everything you need to know before making the investment and the best e-bikes to shop now.

What is an e-bike?

An electric bike (e-bike) is a regular bike with the addition of a motor to assist your progress. It is a hybrid form of transport meaning part of the power comes from the rider and part of it from the motor.

How do e-bikes work?

Generally speaking, e-bikes are bicycles with a battery-powered assist that comes via pedalling and, in some cases, a throttle.

When you push the pedals on a pedal-assist e-bike, a small motor engages and gives you a boost.

In addition to the pedal-assist feature, some e-bikes come with a throttle that engages the motor by pressing a button.

Why are e-bikes so expensive?

E-bikes vary in price but have more associated costs than traditional costs.

The motors used in e-bikes include highly engineered and technical parts. That being said, you get what you pay for, they are worth an investment and are certainly the post-lockdown transportation of choice.

How far do e-bikes go on one charge?

Anything from 50km to 400km, depending on the battery size.

There are other factors to consider, over and above the specified distance from the brand; everything from speed to rider weight to terrain style to wind conditions and even tire choice can impact an e-bike’s effective range on a single charge.

With distances varying hugely, it is important to select the e-bike with the travelling distance in mind.

How fast do e-bikes go?

The max speed limit for e-bikes in the UK is 15.5 miles per hour. Most e-bikes are capable of speeds faster than this but they are not suitable for road use.

Can you use e-bikes the rain?

Yes, you can in-fact use e-bikes in the rain, as most are made with water-resistant sealed components. We would always recommend care and attention is given to your e-bike after it has been out in the rain; such as a wipe down with a soft cloth and the use of wet sponge to remove dirt and debris.

See the best e-bikes to shop right now.

MATE X foldable electric bike

When living in the UK, rain is almost always on the cards so this electric bike from MATE is ideal for when you don’t fancy riding home during a thunderstorm. You can just fold it up and take it on the tube. Plus, it’s easy to store. It comes in a variety of fun colours but don’t for one minute think it’s all style over substance (as style it has in spades). This electric bike is complete with a 250w motor, hi-torque 48V battery and a 17.5Ah and can withstand all terrains and all weather conditions. There is full suspension so you won’t feel every hole, crack or rock and 20-inch wheels with ultra-wide rims to offer optimum comfort. This bike is also kitted out with Shimano 8-SPD Shifting with seamless transitions and reliable hydraulic disc brakes.

Selfridges
Selfridges

£3,299 | Selfridges

Angell smart bike

ANGELL is by far one of the most exciting E-bike brands in the world – the team have thought of everything. I love that this bike is packed full of smart features. The integrated display can guide you to where you need to go, and tell you how many calories you are burning on the way. The ANGELL app will also keep you and your bike safe with its fall and theft-detection features.

£2699 | Selfridges

Smacircle S1 electric bike

SMACIRCLE is brand new to the market and exclusively available to buy at The Bike Shop. With a 13-mile range, it’s ideal for city-dwellers with limited bike storage. This bike unfolds in seconds and is incredibly lightweight.

£1299 | Selfridges

Ca Go Bike

Cargo bikes are the IT bike of the moment and for good reason. You can transport children, groceries, tools, pets or pretty much anything. No longer will you have to sit in traffic or haul heavy goods around, Ca Go have designed a beautiful yet functional bike.

€6,435 | Ca Go Bike

Benno Remi-Demi

Remi-Demi see its products as two-wheeled electrical vehicles rather than bikes, as such. Jason Bradbury, the UK’s most recognisable face of technology is a huge fan of this bike, believing it is equipped for everything the city could throw at you and loves the engineering and design. A personal favourite of mine too, I love zipping around the city on this vehicle.

£3,399.99 | Richmond Cycles

Specialized-COMO 4.0 Low Entry 700c Nb Dove Grey

This e-bike is the ultimate in stylish comfort. It is also a big hit for London life and the urban environment as the 1.2 motor features a silent operating design with a Custom Rx Street Tune. The Como 4.0, has a custom Specialized U1-500 battery that seamlessly integrates into the frame, is lockable, and easily removable for simplified charging. Handy and convenient.

£2,799.99 | Rutland Cycling

RIESE & MÜLLER-Delite GT Rohloff HS

This e-bike is super versatile and is suitable for all terrains. Powered by the latest generation powerful Bosch Performance motor, this state of the art technology combined with the pioneering design that Riese and Muller is known for makes this a surefire hit for the design conscious.

£5,699 | Smartech

Movea modo 20

Beautifully designed with a jet finish for go-anywhere comfort and performance, this e-bike is a stylish and speedy street solution. Powered by a 250-watt motor in the rear Zehus hub, it enables assisted riding of more than 60 miles thus delivering not only on performance but also in ease of use. It comes complete with a host of features precision-engineered for urban riding like the boost function that provides 40Nm of torque on demand for those steep inclines. It results in an urban companion that can be configured (and transported) with minimal fuss.

£3,470 | Selfridges

Trefecta

This is THE ultimate performance e-bike. The DRT Off-road is the untamed beast. The absence of any compromise ensures this e-bike transcends all that has come before it. Questions of purpose seem irrelevant after experiencing the performance off-road. Every inch is optimised to perfection. Every piece of material the best of its sort. One of the most luxurious and quickest bikes on the market. Simply put, stunning.

£59,999 | Smartech

Ninebot KickScooter MAX G30 powered by Segway

As demand for e-bikes have risen, we have also seen sales of electric scooters soar. The Ninebot KickScooter by Segway is my top pick for those looking to electrify their commute but are perhaps not ready for an e-bike.

The MAX G30 is the best choice for high quality, comfortable riding and offers an extra-long range. The tubeless pneumatic tyres gives a higher riding comfort and the front, rear and brake LED lights offer additional safety while riding.

£719 | Segway Ninebot

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