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 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.

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.

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 recommend, whereas low weight bikes are good 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 always the most practical choice. 

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

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

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 which charges for about 4-6 hours. The Onway also has a 26" durable 6061 aluminium frame body.

The e-bike requires very little effort in assembling the whole thing. 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 great 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.  It can also absorb shocks you may experiences from road bumps.

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. 

What We Liked

  • Stylish and comfortable to ride
  • Double suspension feature
  • Durable aluminium body
  • 4” LED screen
  • 7-speed controller with pedal assist feature

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 is attractive enough to make you look cool and stylish.

3. Ancheer Power Plus - Budget-friendly E-bike

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 may be an apt choice for you. It's considerably one of the most budget-friendly e-bikes out there. 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 is less likely to 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 is 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 may be confusing and difficult to follow.

4. Ancheer Folding E-Bike

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

The Ancheer Foldable e-bike is especially suited for those that want portability and easy storability. 

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 suitable 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. By and large,the specs of the bike are above average. 

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.

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 a powerful e-bike with a 600W motor and a 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. 

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, suitable 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 costly
  • The size can be intimidating for short riders

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

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 is powerful enough to travel in steep terrains. It can reach a top speed of 25mph. A removable 48V 10.4AH Samsung Lithium battery complements the motor which 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. 

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.
  • Costly

The capacity of this bike to travel in all terrains is its greatest selling points. This is an all-in-one bike which you can use on the beach, snowy field, and deserts.

7. SWAGTRON SwagCycle - Value for Money

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

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 bracket.

What We Didn't Like

  • Suitable for paved roads only.
  • Doesn't have suspensions.

8. Greenbike USA Electric 

Electric Motor Power Bicycle Lithium Battery Folding Bike

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.

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.

What We Liked

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

What We Didn't Like

  • The battery slightly fits loosely. As the bike rolls, the battery wiggles which can be uncomfortable when you feel it while riding.
  • Quite heavy.

The specs and design are of great quality. It is ideal for short and 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 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. This bike has two disc brakes installed at the front and rear wheels so safety is something not to worry about.

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. 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.

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 another handy feature commuter's would appreciate. 

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. The bike is also good on the beach and in the snow, allowing you to go anywhere.

When it comes to affordability, Ancheer Power Plus and SWAGTRON SwagCycle are our top picks. These e-bikes offer a decent set of features that are useful to bikers.

For female riders, the Onway 6 Speed City may be a solid choice.

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 a 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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About the Author

Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.

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