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Best Electric Bikes (May) 2017 – Buyer’s Guide & Review

By Walter J. Farrell | RIDES

Do you still remember the moment you rode your first bike?

Some of us learned to ride a bike with the help of balancing support gears or training wheels. Others of us learned with the help of family members and friends. Regardless of how you learned, we can all admit to getting those ugly bruises after crashing our bike when we lost our balance.

After we learned how to balance on the bike, we sped up and experienced the joy of a speedster. We learned new tricks such as jumping the bike on a ramp, hands-free biking, and many other moves.

Biking has proven to be a major source of fun and fitness for the past few decades. We use it for daily transport when we do errands, go to school, and to travel from one place to another. We use our bikes as a vehicle and medium to experience thrilling adventures, and meet new people along the way.

History

It might be helpful to begin with some brief background on electric bikes. In 1890, the US Government received the first patent request for an electric bicycle. It wasn’t until five years later that Ogden Bolton Jr. was granted with a patent. Ogden designed a battery-powered bicycle with a six-pole brush motor mounted at the rear wheel, since there were no gears or motors at the time that could draw power from a 10-volt battery.

Two years later, another inventor named Hosea W. Libby of Boston invented a double electric motor bicycle, though it wouldn’t be until 2001 that the term “e-bike” came into vogue as a term for electrical bikes.

Today, as technology starts to advance, electric bikes are now flooding the market. Let's find out why e-bikes are getting popular, what they’re all about, and, most importantly, how you can get the best bike that suits your needs and your lifestyle.

Fast forward to the 1990s. Libby’s design with improved upon by a company called Giant with their Giant LaFree Electrical Bike. That year saw a big leap forward in the development of electric bicycles. The production and e-bikes increased from 1993-2004 due to the technological developments in the ‘90s, particularly with power controls and torque sensors.

Source:​ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle

As technology continues to advance, the design of e-bikes continues to improve. Now, there are many e-bike models flooding the market, so we have put together this handy guide to help you. You will find a section on choosing and maintaining your bike, in-depth reviews, and a comparison table for the many models at the end of the article.

What Should I Consider Before Buying An E-Bike?

With an e-bike, you generally get what you pay. If you want a decent e-bike, you are likely to spend around 500 to 1,000+. With that sort of investment, you will want to consider a variety of factors before purchasing, including your lifestyle, location, storability, and your own height and weight.

#1 The battery capacity - is the basic quality of an electric bike because the performance of the bike depends upon the power available. Usually, 1.5 to 4 kilowatt-hour batteries are installed in electric bikes. However, batteries with greater capacity are better for good performance.

#2 Battery recharging times - it varies with the models and brands of the e-bike. The quick charging adapter and batteries are good because of the time-saving advantage. However, high power batteries take more recharging time than low power batteries. If you can find a high power battery with low charging time, even better.

#3 ​The motor power - is also another important factor for the performance of an electric bike. Currently, different companies are using 16-26 horsepower motors in e-bikes.

#4 ​The range per charge - the maximum distance it can travel with only one charge) of the e-bike is very important. Long-range bikes are generally better because they will cover more distance in a single charge. Moreover, the speed is also an important factor to consider while buying an electric motorcycle. The simple formula is to select a long-range bike with higher speed. Do note that rider's weight will affect the travelling range as well as heavier weight consumes more battery energy.

#5 types of terrain - some bikes are made to ride off-road trails, urban, suburban, or twisty roads. It is important to buy an e-bike suitable for the type of terrain you’ll be riding on regularly.

#6 E-bike weight - Heavier weights provide better grip on the road. Besides, the higher weight is also an indicator of good building material used in manufacturing the bike. However, many lightweight bikes are also strong and reliable. For smooth roads, heavy bikes are best, whereas low weight bikes are best for mountainous terrain and twisty roads.

​#7 Cost - Last but not least, the cost of the e-bike is of paramount importance. You most likely will need to stick to a budget. It is recommended to shop and compare prices from multiple stores and websites. Keep in mind, a cheaper bike is not necessarily bad and an expensive bike is not necessarily quality.

Other Buying Consideration

Lifestyle

Location

Storage

Rider's Height and Weight

Manufacturer Bike's License 

We hope that all these tips mentioned above were useful and insightful for you. Remember that if you end up having problems with your bike, you can always phone the manufacturer or visit the nearest service center.

10 Best Electric Bikes in 2017

Electric BikesTypeFoldableCharge time Pedal AssistMax rangeMax SpeedMax Load
Onway 26 Inch 6 Speed City Woman Bike (Female Riders)Road bikeNo4-6 HoursYes15 - 40 Miles16 MPH276 Lbs
Addmotor HITHOT New Electric Bicycle 48VRoad bikeNo3-4 HoursYes60 Miles25 MPH300 Lbs
Ancheer Power Plus (under 600)Mountain bikeNo4-6 HoursYes20-37 Miles15-21 MPH330 Lbs
ANCHEER Folding Electric Bike Mountain bikeYes4-6 HoursYes31 Miles15.5 MPH300 Lbs
ProdecoTech Phantom X R V5Mountain bikeNo4-6 HoursThrottle only25-35 Miles20 MPH265 Lbs
Addmotor MOTAN New Electric Bicycle 500WAll terrain bikeNo3-4 HoursYes30-45 Miles25 MPH350 Lbs
SWAGTRON SwagCycle E-Bike (Best Value)Semi-scooterYes2.5 HoursThrottle only10-15 Miles15 MPH264 Lbs
Greenbike USA Electric Motor Power BicycleCommuter bikeYes3-4 HoursYes15-30 Miles20 MPH250 Lbs
Addmotor MOTAN Electric Bicycle 2017All terrain bikeYes4-6 hoursYes55 Miles23 MPH300 Lbs
Greenbike USA GB5 Electric Motor Power BicycleCommuter bikeYes3-4 hoursYes40-50 miles20 MPH250 Lbs
*The maximum range is impacted by the weight of the rider. The heavier the load, the smaller the maximum distance.

1. Onway Woman City Electric Bicycle

Onway 26 Inch 6 Speed Woman City Electric Bicycle, 36V 250W Aluminium Alloy E Bike with Pedal Assist and Twist Throttle

Are you looking for an e-bike suited especially for women? We got that covered for you. The Onway Woman City Electric Bicycle was made with female riders in mind. It has a 6-speed Shimano controller, can reach speeds of up to 16mph, and travel up to 40 miles with the pedal assist feature. The bike has a powerful 250W motor that provides all the necessary power to help you push it an extra mile.

This e-bike also has a 36V 9Ah lithium rechargeable battery that supplies enough power to keep you going all day. The battery's charging time is 4-6 hours. The Onway brags a 26" durable 6061 aluminium frame body.

The e-bike comes packaged from the manufacturer already 90% assembled, meaning you won't need to set the bike up all by yourself. It has a LED display, with three levels of assist configuration, and the seat is easy to adjust. The bike is also equipped with a standard ringer horn and a carrier frame installed at the rear wheel. The battery pack is beneath the carrier frame along with the reflector.

The manufacturer passed the EN15194 standards for quality assurance. It can handle a max load of 276lbs. The bike is ideal for daily use, road trips, daily recreation, and in metro cities.

What We Liked

  • Passed Quality Standards
  • 6-speed controller
  • ​Alloy frame body
  • Horn, reflector, and carrier frame

What We Didn't Like

  • A bit heavy.
  • Battery will drain quickly with more weight

2. Addmotor HITHOT New Electric Bicycle

48V 500W Motor Power 27.5"" Mountain Electric Bike With Double Suspension 10.4AH H1 E-bike 2017"

This bike, the Addmotor HITOT, has some better specs and adds some elements of style and comfort. Inspired by a classic German bike, the Addmotor has a 27.5” light, durable aluminium body with a dual suspension feature that support the rider’s body and provides extra comfort. You won’t have any trouble riding your bike on rough roads because it can absorb any of the bumps you might experience.

This e-bike has a seven-speed shifting gear that helps you control your phase. The speed shifting gear will help you adjust the force that you apply when pedalling the bike. The higher the gear is set, the lighter you’ll have to pedal.

The 4" LED screen shows the status of the battery and the pedal assist indicator. Equipped with a Bafang 48V*500W Rear Hub Brushless Motor that was originally designed for mountain bikes, the motor gets power from the 48V*10.4AH Samsung Lithium Cell Batteries that can be recharged in 3-4 Hours. A single charge can reach a maximum distance of 60 Miles with level one pedal assist. The recommended rider's height is anywhere from 5'2" to 6'6". The Addmotor can handle a max load of 300 Lbs. The bike comes in two colours (as of 19 March 2017), green or blue.

What We Liked

  • Stylish and comfortable to ride
  • Double suspension feature
  • Durable aluminium body
  • 4” LED screen
  • 7-speed controller with pedal assist feature
  • Fairly priced for it’s quality

What We Didn't Like

  • There are no mounting bolt holes for standard bike racks

Overall, this bike has good specs that can deliver above average performance. It is ideal for long road trips, hill climbing, and for daily commuting. Above all, Addmotor HITHOT delivers a powerful statement that will make you look cool and stylish.

3. Ancheer Power Plus - Under 600

Electric Mountain Bike with Removable Lithium-Ion Battery, Battery Charger and Adjustable Chrome Handlebars

If you are on a tight budget, the Ancheer Power Plus should be considered. You can get the bike for under 600. This e-bike has plenty more to offer than just the price, however. The Ancheer brags a premium quality 100% aluminium alloy frame body, with a high-strength carbon steel fork equipped with shock absorption technology. Even the wheel is made of a double-layered aluminium alloy. The e-bike is suitable for unpaved terrains, built for comfort over bumpy and uneven roadways. Speed shifting is due to a 3-speed smart meter button to control the phase.

With the front and rear disc brakes installed, slowing down and emergency stopping will never be an issue. The bike has a 21-speed transmission system that gives you more options to control the speed. It is equipped with a bright headlamp that lights your way for night trips, along with a bike horn.

The Ancheer Power Plus comes equipped with a 250W high-speed brushless gear motor, giving you plenty of power on all terrains. The bike uses a removable 36V, 8AH ion lithium battery. A single charge can reach a max distance of 20-37 miles. It has an Easy Charge Port System that lets you charge the battery easily.

The e-bike’s designer adheres to modern standards of ergonomics. The bike is lightweight, making it ideal for long rides and energy efficient. The tires also have anti-slip and wear resistant features as well as a pedal assist mode to help you keep going when you start getting tired.

What We Liked

  • Assembly service option
  • Budget friendly
  • Easy charge port system
  • Shimano accessories
  • Powerful, quiet motor with anti-slip feature

What We Didn't Like

  • Instructions for manual assembly are confusing and difficult to follow.

The Ancheer Power Plus’s maine drawback is the inadequate and confusing instructions. The pictures are blurry and the instructions unclear. However, the design and specs are quite impressive for its price. We consider the strongest points for this e-bike are design, specs, and affordability.

4. Ancheer Folding E-Bike

Mountain Bike with 26 Inch Wheel, Removable Lithium-Ion Battery (36V 250W), Premium Full Suspension and Shimano Gear

Who wants a folding electric bike? A foldable bike is especially suited for those that want portability, easy storability, or who don’t have a lot of room to store an e-bike at home. If that sounds like you, consider the Ancheer Folding E-Bike.

This Ancheer bike has 26" wheels reinforced with aluminium alloy and equipped with anti-slip and wear resistant features. The body is 100% premium aluminium alloy with a suspension feature that adds comfort on unpaved roads. The pedals are foldable and the seat is adjustable with padding for comfort. Additionally, the bike is equipped with front and rear mechanical disk brakes and a 21-speed Shimano professional transmission system that lets you pedal lightly on steep climbs. A 3-speed smart button controller allows you to switch between e-bike mode and pedal assist mode. An LED screen displays the mode and battery indicator. The bike can be ridden in rainy or snowy weather. It is also ideal for long road trips.

The Ancheer Foldable Bike is equipped with a 36V 8AH Lithium-Ion Battery that gives power to its 250W motor. The charge time is 4-6 hours depending on the battery status. For throttle only, it can reach a maximum distance of 15.5 miles. With the pedal assist activated, it can reach a maximum distance of 31 Miles. You can leave traditional bikers behind because it can reach a top speed of 15.5mph.

This bike, with its rugged build and powerful motor, can be used in rainy and snowy weather as well as on long road trips. With the foldable features, you can easily load the bike into the trunk of your car. The specs of the bike are above average with a fair price.

What We Liked

  • Has Smart Phone USB Charging Interface
  • 26" wheels with Aluminium Alloy spokes.
  • ​Foldable
  • Affordable
  • 7-speed controller
  • LED screen indicator for power and e-bike/assist mode
  • Front LED light.

What We Didn't Like

  • The battery bag is installed at the handlebars.
  • No instructions how to operate.
  • The manufacturer did not leave any contact information.

5. ProdecoTech Phantom X R V5

36V600W 8 Speed Electric Bicycle 14Ah Samsung Li Ion, Matte Black, 18"/One Size

The ProdecuTech Phantom X R V5 is what a premium bike should look like. It is a powerhouse with a 600W motor and a powerful PTECH Samsung 36V 14.25Ah lithium battery. The battery pack design is Downtube. Mounted on the base frame of the bike’s body near the pedal mechanism, there is a lock system that uses a key so you can snap the battery out. The battery level indicator is on the twist grip throttle switch.

This ProdecoTech brags a rigid Downtube aluminium frame body. It's complemented by a fork with RockShox 100mm 30 Silver Suspension. The RockShox fork has a lock feature for stability purposes. The design is not usually seen on most other e-bikes. ProdecoTech is creating a new generation of e-bikes that doesn't fall short in innovation or power.

The twist grip throttle feature will help you adjust the level of the assist. There are two Avid DB1 Hydraulic Brakes installed on the front and rear wheels. The brakes provide a reliable stop in case of emergency. It also adds manoeuvrability to the bike.

A single charge can reach a max distance of 25-35 miles and can reach a top speed of 20mph.

What We Liked

  • The battery pack is waterproof and it has USB ports.
  • X R edition is geared. They are lighter and smaller, perfect for freewheeling when the motor is not in use.
  • Uses Samsung battery packs and sealed by rubber.
  • Powerful motor. You can mount/ pull a small trailer wagon.

What We Didn't Like

  • A bit pricey for a bicycle
  • The size can be intimidating for short riders

Considering the bike's specs, design, and features, it is a sound investment for long term use. It is ideal for long drives and steep climb terrains. The bike is undoubtedly a powerhouse build. If you have the resources, this is a great value for your money.

6. Addmotor MOTAN

New Electric Bicycle 500W 48V Motor For Snow Beach All Terrain Electric Bike With Removable Lithium Battery And Pedal-Assist M-850 E-bike 2017

Fond of bikes with big wheels? The next bike that we are going to review might be the right bike for you.

The Addmotor Motan is not all about having big wheels, but it’s definitely a feature. The e-bike itself is all terrain capable. Even in a snowy or sandy field, the MOTAN can roll without getting stuck. A 500 W motor is mounted to meet with the e-bike's all-terrain capability. The motor will not disappoint you on steep hill climb terrains, and is powerful enough to get you on top. It can reach a top speed of 25mph. A removable 48V 10.4AH Samsung Lithium battery complements the motor. It stores and provides the power requirement of the motor. A single charge can reach a maximum distance of 60 miles with the level 1 pedal assist turned on.

It has a 5" LED screen where you can see the indicator of the battery and pedal assist mode.

The Addmotor comes equipped with a Shimano 7 Speeds TX55 Gears that will give you the flexibility to achieve the desired speed. It also provides a huge help when climbing hilly terrain. The higher the speed, the lighter the pedal. The brakes are also not an issue because it has a dual disc brake mounted on the front and rear wheels.

The battery is fitted at the centre of the bike's body. Keeping balance on the bike won't be an issue. The fork also has a suspension feature that ensures the rider's comfort on rough terrain. Available in two colors, black and orange.

What We Liked

  • All terrain capability.
  • The big wheels are eye catching.
  • Powerful motor
  • Removable battery
  • 26" wheels

What We Didn't Like

  • A bit heavy.
  • A bit expensive.

The feature that I like most about this bike is its capability to roll on all terrain. This is an all-in-one bike which you can use on the beach, snowy field, and deserts.

7. SWAGTRON SwagCycle - Best Value

Folding Electric Bicycle with 10 Mile Range, Collapsible Frame, and Handlebar Display

Who wants a small, cute, and capable ride?

The next bike that we are going to review is ideal for metro transport and it is also good for kids too. Let's find out what this e-bike can offer.

The SWAGTRON SwagCycle measures 9.3 x 30.6 x 40 inches, and is equipped with an aluminium body. The SwagCycle also comes equipped with a 250 W motor partnered with a 36v rechargeable battery. A single charge can reach a max range of 15 Miles and a top speed of 15 MPH. You can fully charge this little dude in 2.5-3 hours. It can handle a max load of 264lbs, but please bear in mind that the rider’s weight impacts the maximum distance a single charge provides.

The SwagCycle also has USB ports where you can charge your smartphones and other gadgets on the go. You will find mounted on the handlebars the battery indicator, horn, and headlight switch. The SwagCycle is also very portable, so you won’t have any trouble bringing it anywhere you need to go. The Easy Collapse system allows you to pack the e-bike in the trunk of your car or even bring it on the train.

What We Liked

  • Portable.
  • Capable small ride.
  • USB charge ports for other devices.
  • Kids can ride this e-bike.
  • Affordable. Under $400 price bracket.

What We Didn't Like

  • Paved roads only.
  • Not good on a hill climb.
  • Doesn't have suspensions.

You can't ignore this little ride even its small. The SwagCycle is a sweet ride for anyone that doesn’t want to get lost in the humdrum of the mainstream.

8. Greenbike USA Electric 

Electric Motor Power Bicycle Lithium Battery Folding Bike

Looking for the ideal commuters bike for you? You might want to check this next e-bike that we are going to review.

The Greenbike USA Electric Motor Power Bicycle is a minimalist bike that follows a traditional design. It has a 100% premium grade aluminium alloy body with a front suspension. This e-bike can do most of your errands all day because it has a 350 W motor. The Greenbike is equipped with a 36V/10AH Lithium removable battery. The battery pack is well secured because of the lock system. Its lock system uses a key for you to unlock the battery cell from the battery bay. The battery pack is mounted at the centre of the bike's body beneath the seat. To remove the battery, you need to unlock adjust the seat forward, then pull out the battery.

A single charge can reach a maximum distance of 40-50 miles and a top speed of 20mph. A single disc brake is installed at the rear wheel. There are extra USB ports for you to charge your gadgets while on the go. A LED display is mounted on the handlebars for you to see the battery status and assist level indicator. You can select the level of pedal assist or hit the throttle button if you end up getting tired.

What We Liked

  • Affordable
  • Has a carrier frame mounted at the back and a head lamp.
  • Uses hybrid technology.

What We Didn't Like

  • A bit heavy.
  • Not that fast as advertised.

Overall, the design is a bit old school but the specs can deliver above average performance. The bike is ideal for daily transport in short to medium distances. It is not recommended for places that have lots of hill or uphill climbs, nor is it ideal for rough terrains.

9. Addmotor MOTAN

Electric Bicycle 2017 4 Colors Fat Tire Portable Smart Folding Electric Bike For Beach Snow All Terrain 500W 48V M-150 E-Bike

The next e-bike that we are going to review has decent specs, bigger wheels, and is portable.

Addmotor MOTAN has another smaller version of their all-terrain e-bike. The specs are quite similar to the mountain bike version, but is smaller in size. It has a powerful 500W brushless motor that gives the necessary power to push your bike on various terrains. The body is made of premium grade aluminium alloy with a suspension system that provides comfort to the rider. There are two disc brakes installed at the front and rear wheels. You won't have problems hitting the brake when there's an emergency or you wish to stop, ensuring the rider’s safety.

The battery is mounted at the centre of the bike's body beneath the rider's seat. To get to the battery, you need to move the seat forward, unlock it, then snap the battery out. There's a LED screen on the left corner of the handlebar that shows the battery status and assist level indicator on it.

Addmotor e-bikes have a 48V*10.4AH Samsung Lithium Cell Batteries. A single charge can reach a max distance of 55 miles with level 1 pedal assist active. You can reach a stop speed of 23mph. The charge time of the battery is 4-6 hours depending on the battery’s status.

The ideal height of the rider for this e-bike is anywhere between 5'2" and 6'6". The e-bike can handle a max load of 300 Lbs.

There are four colours available (as of 19 March 2017): orange, green, black, and blue.

What We Liked

  • Fat wheels ideal for any type of terrain.
  • The top tube, frame, and pedals are foldable within 10 seconds.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Neon colors
  • Easy to assemble

What We Didn't Like

  • The battery fits loosely. As the bike rolls the battery wiggles which is not comfortable when you feel it while riding.
  • Quite heavy.

The cost is a bit pricey. If you are looking for a long term investment, this bike is the right fit for you. The specs and design won't compromise every penny you spent on this bike. It is ideal for short to long distance road trips. With a powerful motor and reliable battery, the bike is suitable for all types of terrain.

10. Greenbike USA GB5

The last e-bike that we are going to review is the most popular e-bike on the list. Let's find out why it is popular and what it has to offer.

The Greenbike USA GB5 is one of the most popular e-bike models in the market. It has a 350W motor complemented with 36V/13AH fast-charging lithium Samsung battery. The Greenbike comes equipped with a premium grade aluminium alloy body that has a full suspension system. This allows the bike to provide comfort to the rider even on unpaved roads. You will have peace of mind because the bike has two disc brakes installed at the front and rear wheels.

There's a LED screen on the handlebar where you can see the status of the battery, speedometer, and pedal assist level indicator.

The assist mode has three mode levels: manual, pedal assist and throttle only. In pedal assist, the motor will turn on then help you with the pedaling effort. If you are too tired to pedal, activate the throttle mode. Just sit and enjoy the ride.The charge time of the battery is 3-4 hours. A single charge can reach a max distance of 50 miles with a top speed of 20mph.​

What We Liked

  • Designed for comfort and maneuverability.
  • Has carrier frames.
  • Has front LED light and e-horn.
  • Foldable. Can fit in your car's trunk or any public transport.
  • Freebie: cell phone holder and Kenda Puncture

What We Didn't Like

  • Not recommended for people 5’ or less.

This e-bike has a solid build. It is ideal for daily transport and can handle uphill climbing. Aside from the bike's design and feature, the bike's foldable feature is a win-win factor to consider. The decent specs are more than enough to keep you going all day.

Our Recommendations

We are impressed with Addmotor's E-Bikes . The factors that we like most about their e-bike are the design, build quality and portability. Another huge factor is the capability of their e-bikes to roll on all terrains. This is a win-win feature that won't limit you in where you can go or what you can do. It provides flexibility for you to extend your adventures to wherever you want to go. The horizon’s the limit. The bike is good on the beach and in the snow, allowing you to go anywhere.

When it comes to affordability, Ancheer Power Plus and SWAGTRON SwagCycle snags the top choice. These e-bikes have all the needed features of an e-bike that you can get for less.

For female riders, the Onway 6 Speed City is definitely the perfect fit you. Why not settle for a men's bike if you can have your own fabulous e-bike?

Basic Electric Bike Maintenance Guide 

How can we maintain our e-bikes? It’s an important question after spending a fair bit of money on the perfect bike.

Maintaining an e-bike is really not all that different from how we maintain traditional bikes. A bike's maintenance schedule may vary depending on its usage. Bikes used on off road terrains may need a little extra TLC compared to the bikes used in the city.

Unlike traditional bikes, however, e-bikes have electric components, so look for e-bikes that have waterproof features. This feature may come handy in the rainy season or places where the bike may get wet a lot.

Basic Bike care tips

Daily Ride Safety Checklist

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