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So far, 2021 brought us new innovations, a barrage of new electric bike companies and plenty of fresh e-bikes for consumers to choose from.

But which are the best electric bikes of the bunch?

The team at Electric Bike Report put our heads together and chose 14 e-bikes we’ve deemed the Best Electric Bikes of 2021. Some of these bikes are new for this year, but some are old standbys that are tried, tested and still hold true as the best in their class. As with every list of best e-bikes, ours has some nuance as to why a specific bike was picked — ranging from value, componentry to overall ride feel. We’ve also leaned heavily on e-bikes we’ve tested in house, though there are a few bikes here that were picked based on merit and reputation alone.

Whether you’re looking for the best e-bike for older riders, the best commuter e-bike or the best electric beach cruiser, this list will point you towards what we think are the best in each category.

Our picks for the Best Electric Bikes of 2021

How we picked the best electric bikes

In a fast-growing sea of products, how did we make our picks for the best e-bikes? The answer to this question varies depending on the bike and category. But in every case, these e-bikes were picked through consensus among our team of expert e-bike testers.

Some bikes, such as the Aventon Aventure electric fat bike, leapt out as obvious frontrunners during testing. While others, like the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon and Diamondback Union 2, were sleeper contenders chosen for very specific reasons. But in all cases, we evaluated the bikes based on a few key criteria, mainly:

  • Value:: How much e-bike are you getting for your dollar? The e-bike market has grown flush with overpriced and under-spec’d electric bikes that don’t offer much value. Every bike on this list we’d call fairly priced.
  • Components and extras: What else comes with the e-bike? Does it come with racks, bags, lights and fenders, and do those accessories make sense? Is there anything else that should be included but isn’t?
  • Does it offer something unique?: In a market chock-full of options, what’s unique about this bike that sets it apart from the competition? There are many categories of e-bike — particularly at the more affordable end of the spectrum — that are flush with copycat brands and e-bikes that just aren’t that special. We’re looking for the ones that are.
  • What does the manufacturer say it was built for?: What was this bike designed to do, and how well does it execute that purpose? Of course you can choose to use your bike however you’d like, but we want to make sure the e-bikes on this list function as advertised.
  • How does it actually ride?: Last but not least, the most important question: Does the e-bike ride well? Most of these e-bikes we know intimately through rigorous testing.

Aventon Aventure

The best electric fat bike, 2021

Aventon Aventure Best Electric Bikes

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Aventon Aventure Step-Through: Check Best Price | Read Full Review | Watch Our Video Review

One of our favorite e-bikes released this year, the all-new Aventon Aventure electric fat bike truly is something to write home about.

It has all the typical accoutrements you’d expect from a sub-$2,000 electric fat bike: A 750W motor, a suspension fork and a solid component package — but where the Aventure sets itself apart are in its little details. Details like its full-color LCD display, metal fenders, hydraulic disk brakes and a slightly larger than average battery. Or the fact that this is one of the few e-bikes in this category and at this price point with a fully integrated battery that blends seamlessly into the frame.

All these small things add up into an e-bike that feels much more expensive than it is. It rides stable and inspires confidence in rougher terrain, and did we mention it’s really quick? Electric Bike Report has reviewed both the standard Aventure and the Aventure Step-Through and both put up some of the quickest times we’ve recorded on our test hill and our test circuit.

Aventon may not have reinvented the affordable electric fat bike, but they sure did raise the bar for what we expect from a $2,000 e-bike.

  • The Aventure is a very fast e-bike. It’s torquey and powerful, but it lays down power in a way that’s friendly to new riders.
  • The full-color LCD display is easy to read and has a very smart percentage-based battery readout.
  • The 720Wh battery is slightly larger than the 672Wh standard we often see in this category.
  • The fenders are metal instead of plastic, which just feel sturdier and don’t vibrate as much.
  • The styling is very unique and we love the sleekly integrated battery.
  • The motor has a slight lag when you resume pedaling, which is something we often see on bikes with cadence sensors.
  • While we like the metal fenders, they can be a little noisy on rough roads or when the tires kick up debris.

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus

The best “do anything” electric bike, 2021

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner + Best Electric Bikes

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The Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus exists somewhere between a small cargo e-bike and a peppy commuter, and frankly, we’re in love with it.

Its moped-style seat, small wheels, built-in rear rack and semi-ridiculous BMX handlebars give the Runner Plus a quirky style that takes a little getting used to. But when you’re on the bike, it all just makes sense. It handles quick despite its 74.3 lb heft, and its funky frame design is actually functional: Rad’s built booko accessory options that either attach to the rear pannier-style rack and they make a big tank-style box that fits between your legs.

It’s powered by a 750W rear hub motor and a 672Wh battery that’s situated below the seat, which offer plenty of oomph for carrying people, cargo or just quickly getting around town. There’s also a twist throttle and the Runner Plus comes with a bench seat mounted to the rear rack and foldable foot pegs that make it pretty comfortable to take a friend.

All in, we think the RadRunner Plus is a spectacular option for anyone looking for one bike that can do a little of everything.

  • The RadRunner Plus is a well rounded e-bike that has a very well designed frame that works great for hauling cargo or commuting to work.
  • Rad built loads of accessories especially for the RadRunner that make it customizable to your lifestyle.
  • The Runner’s 750W motor is plenty strong for steep hills, heavy loads and just getting around quick.
  • The low frame design keeps the bike’s center of gravity low, which helps with handling.
  • The 672Wh battery has great battery life.
  • The shape of the seat feels a bit odd when pedaling. It’s plenty comfy for cruising with the throttle, but pedaling it rubs your legs a little.
  • The mechanical brakes work fine, but we’d love to see this bike with hydraulic disk brakes.

Electric Bike Company Model Y

The best electric beach cruiser, 2021

Electric Bike Company Model Y - Best Electric Bikes

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California-based Electric Bike Company only makes one type of e-bike: Beach cruisers.

Not only are these bikes assembled and painted in the U.S., a point few other e-bike companies can claim, they’re arguably some of the best electric beach cruisers on the market, which you’d kind of expect from a company that’s solely dedicated to building them. Electric Bike Company’s Model Y, a classically-styled beach cruiser with a step-through frame, is our pick of the litter.

The Model Y is powered by a rear hub motor and has two battery options, a 48V, 9Ah option or a longer range 48V, 18Ah unit. The brakes are hydraulic, which we really liked considering this bike’s speed and hefty weight, and you can customize the drivetrain between a single speed and an optional 7-speed drivetrain.

On top of it all, this bike — and all of EBC’s other bikes — are remarkably customizable. Everything from the paint to battery size and drivetrain quality can be chosen by the buyer, a fact that’s really cool. The Model Y is also just a very good take on the American beach cruiser; it’s solid, rides well and looks fantastic.

  • Classic cruiser styling with an incredible amount of options and available customizations.
  • An option for a dual battery system makes for long range.
  • Bikes are assembled and painted in California.
  • Class 3 capability with a Class 2 throttle.
  • Affordable starting price with many optional upgrades.
  • Battery tucked inside the basket reduces rear weight and doesn’t impede step over height.
  • Perfect for a stylish jaunt down the boardwalk.
  • Wide turn radius – a tradeoff that comes with any cruiser bike.
  • Battery is difficult to remove so best charged on the bike

Aventon Level

The best affordable electric commuter bike, 2021

Aventon Level Step Through Best Electric Bikes

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Aventon Level Step-Through: Check Best Price | Read Full Review | Watch Our Video Review

For under $2,000, you’d be hard pressed to find an electric commuter bike that looks better and rides nicer than the Aventon Level.

Available in both a standard and step-through frame design, the Aventon Level is a Class 3 e-bike designed as the California-based company’s flagship commuter. It handles remarkably well, accelerates quickly and is spec’d with a solid component package that nicely balances affordability with value. Did we mention it also just looks really, really nice?

The Level is powered by a 500W rear hub motor and has a 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery giving it a solid range. It also sports an 8-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disk brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. Electric Bike Report has tested both the standard frame and step-through variations of the Level, and they’ve both proven go-to bikes among our staffers.

There’s lots of sub-$2,000 electric commuters on the market today, but we’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Level’s build quality, snappy handling and all-around solid ride feel.

  • The visuals of the standard Level and the step-through version are great. The paint job, the curvature in the frame and the internal battery in the downtube all add up into one good looking bike.
  • The cadence sensor is finely tuned, and we were impressed with how responsive it was at engaging and disengaging the motor.
  • The 500W motor and eight gear range is a powerful combination. There was a pedal assist level and gear for every scenario.
  • The geometry is comfortable and the bike’s contact points — everywhere your body touches the bike — felt supportive.
  • Though the frame is spacious, it’s lacking bosses for a water bottle cage. This is a small gripe, but would be a nice feature.

Tern HSD S11

The best electric city bike, 2021

Tern HSD S11 Best Electric Bikes

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Our pick for the best city bike of 2021 looks a lot like the dense urban areas it was built to thrive in: There’s no wasted space.

The Tern HSD S11 is a compact electric city and commuter bike designed with functionality and utility in mind. It’s a bike of small stature, but it doesn’t feel small while riding it. The Bosch Performance Line Sport motor gives pedal assistance up to 28 mph and offers a meaty 65Nm of torque. It’s also remarkably adjustable; Tern uses a proprietary stem that allows you to easily adjust the handlebars up and down and the telescoping seatpost makes it easy to swap the bike back and forth between two riders.

But aside from its looks and power, Tern designed the HSD to be incredibly functional. It’s billed as a compact cargo bike, and it’s rated for a 370 lb gross carrying capacity. The racking system is modular, so depending on what you want to do with the bike — whether it’s picking up groceries on the way home or ferrying your kid to daycare — the HSD can be configured to handle that.

For those who need a bike designed for the daily grind of city life, the Tern HSD S11 is our pick as one of the best urban and city e-bikes you can buy in 2021.

  • The Bosch Performance Line Sport motor and PowerPack 500 battery are stellar. It’s a quick and torquey but controlled drive system.
  • The component package is very nice, including Shimano XT and Magura four-piston hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Tern’s racking system is bar-none. For a bike that’s relatively small, it can easily carry loads that would make larger bikes blush.
  • The bike can be stored upright on its rear end, making it compact in tight spaces.
  • The HSD’s looks aren’t for everyone, but it is a design that’s grown on us quickly.

Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1

Best cheap electric bike

RadPowerBikes RadMission 1 Best Electric Bikes

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At the end of the day, we’re always going to have a soft spot for e-bikes that are really fun; e-bikes that just really make you want to ride them.

That’s why the Electric Bike Report team has a bit of a love affair with the Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1 — one of the cheapest, simplest (in a good way) and most fun e-bikes we’ve tested in recent memory. The RadMission is a single speed e-bike powered by a 500W rear hub motor with a 48V, 10.5Ah battery bolted to the frame. It’s got mechanical disk brakes, some lights and an aluminum frame and steel fork. There’s no frills — even the kickstand is sold separately — and the paint job is pretty simple.

But what this bike lacks in features (remember, this e-bike costs less than $1,000) it makes up for in ride quality. It feels like Rad just took a simple but very nice riding commuter bike and strapped a 500W motor and battery to it, making a reliable and surprisingly quick cheap e-bike. The handling is stable and, though it’s not some Class 3 speedster, the bike carry’s speed very well. It even climbs nicely for a single speed, though you will find yourself working a bit on steeper or longer hills.

Cheap e-bikes are always a bit of a gamble, but Rad managed to build one that’s fun, reliable and one of our downright favorites.

  • The RadMission doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not: We love its simple looks and no-frills spec sheet.
  • The sub-$1,000 price is hard to beat. We see few e-bikes with this large a motor at this price point.
  • This e-bike excels at being a bicycle. It pedals very nicely and the handling is stable but fun. It’s an inviting bike to ride.
  • The bike cruises easily at its 20 mph max speed
  • The single speed gearing won’t suit everyone, especially if you live in a particularly hilly area.

Ride1UP 500 Series

Best e-bike for older riders

Ride1UP 500 Series Best Electric Bikes

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A bit of a sleeper e-bike in the category of e-bikes for seniors or older riders, the Ride1UP 500 Series was designed as an affordable commuter — but we think it should be near the top of anyone’s list who’s shopping for an older rider.

It’s a remarkably easy handling e-bike that has a tame and predictable power delivery. That power comes by way of a 500W rear hub motor and a 48V, 13Ah battery that’s partially integrated into the frame. The 500 Series weighs in at 55 lbs, which isn’t too heavy for its class and, while we reviewed the standard high-step version of the bike this year, it does come in a low-step frame configuration that makes it easier to mount.

The 500 Series already has a comfortable, upright riding position but the step through model is even more upright thanks to a pair of swept-back handlebars. At less than $1,500, the 500 Series is a great value that we’ve really grown to enjoy. It’s a stable and confidence-inspiring e-bike well suited for older riders.

  • The 624Wh battery exceeded our expectations and powered the 500W motor for a solidly long distance
  • The 8-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain is awesome, especially at this price point. Bonus points for the under-bar thumb shifter pod
  • Though the power delivery at first is tame and controlled, it’s a surprisingly quick bike — especially on higher PAS settings. We never had a problem holding close to the bike’s max motor-assisted speed of 28 mph
  • Ride1UP balanced comfort and sportiness well with this one. It’s a pleasant ride that doesn’t trade efficiency for an overly upright position
  • Overall, there’s lots of bang for your buck: Good components, good motor and good looks for around $1,300
  • There’s a noticeable lag before the motor stops applying power after you stop pedaling. This is controllable with the brake-activated kill switches, but worth keeping in mind
  • The battery readout isn’t super accurate and says the battery is more empty than it really is. But we’ll take a conservative readout over one that overpromises

Lectric XP 2.0

Best affordable all-terrain electric folding bike

lectric xp 2.0 best electric bikes

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Lectric XP 2.0 step-thru: Check Best Price | Read Full Review | Watch Our Video Review

It may not be the fanciest or highest-spec’d folding electric bike on the market, but by golly it’s hard to deny the popularity of the Lectric XP 2.0.

The Electric Bike Report staff is always watching for e-bike sightings out in the wild. We like to know what people are riding and why, and this e-bike is arguably our most frequent sighting. It’s popular for very good reason: Not only is it remarkably cheap at just about $1,000, it’s actually a pretty fun e-bike. This is Lectric’s second iteration of their XP folding fat tire e-bike. This new version, released this year, comes with a 500W motor, a suspension fork, mechanical disk brakes and a 48V, 9.6Ah battery that has a pretty decent range.

That spec sheet on its own isn’t anything overly remarkable at this price, but we’re not recognizing this bike for its components — we like it for its ride. The XP 2.0 is a meaty little folding bike that reminds me of those old Honda three-wheelers popular back in the late 80’s. It’s not super fast or overly nimble, but it romps around like no other and feels like it won’t let you down.

The Lectric XP 2.0 made this list based on its sheer affordability and fun factor. While we haven’t yet spent time on the 2.0 version of the XP, we have extensively tested the first iteration of the XP. Aside from a few upgrades like the suspension fork, the bikes are very similar. The Lectric XP 2.0 is an e-bike accessible to the masses, and based on the number of these bikes we see out in the wild, the masses seem to like it.

  • This is one of the best riding affordable folding e-bikes on the market at under $1,000.
  • The motor is powerful and accelerates quickly.
  • The bike collapses down small, making it easy to store and transport.
  • The large LCD display is easy to read and gives good ride data.
  • The XP comes with great features for the price point. You get quite a bit for what you pay.
  • The wide 4-inch tires give lots of traction and help soak up bumps. These tires make the bike feel a little more off-roady.
  • The XP’s 60-plus pound weight is a bit hefty, so while this bike folds it’s still a bit to manage.
  • The XP isn’t the most comfortable for longer stints in the saddle. The optional suspension seatpost may be a wise upgrade.
  • The key hole is located on the bottom of the frame, which can be a bit tough to find.

Diamondback Union 2

The best electric commuter bike, 2021

Diamondback Union Best Electric Bikes

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Sleek, racy and oh-so quick: The Diamondback Union 2 is Electric Bike Report’s pick for the best commuter e-bike of 2021.

Powered by a Class 3 Bosch Performance Speed motor and a 500Wh Bosch PowerTube battery, the Union 2 is a thrillingly fast and nicely spec’d commuter that retails for just over $4,000 MSRP. It has more than enough oomph to flatten hills, race stoplights and, most importantly, get you to your destination and back without leaving you a sweaty mess.

Aside from the Bosch powerplant, Diamondback gave the Union 2 a 10-speed Deore mountain bike drivetrain and quad-piston hydraulic disc brakes, both of which performed incredibly well on the model we reviewed earlier this year. The Union 2 is the nicer of the two models in Diamondback’s Union product family. It’s more affordable sibling, the Union 1, sports many of the same features but lacks the integrated lights and has a slightly smaller battery.

In our minds, commuters need to be exceptionally fast, have good handling and should have decent battery life — all qualities the Union 2 has in spades. Many commuters share the Bosch powerplant and quality components found on this bike, but few are available at this pricepoint. Not to mention we just really like how the Union 2 feels on the road. These qualities and more earned our vote for the best electric commuter of 2021.

  • The Bosch Performance Speed motor is stellar. It’s very torquey, carries speed well and has good battery life.
  • The Deore drivetrain balances affordability and quality well. We love seeing MTB drivetrains on commuter bikes.
  • The four piston brakes are a very nice touch on a bike this quick. It takes a lot of force to slow down from 28 mph.
  • Though slightly more expensive, the Union 2’s larger battery and integrated lights are a worthy upgrade.
  • The lack of front suspension won’t be for everyone, but we really enjoyed its stiffness in corners and on climbs.

GoCycle G4i+

The best lightweight electric folding bike, 2021

GoCycle G4i Best Electric Bikes

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It’s obvious the GoCycle G4i+ is the brainchild of a former supercar designer.

Nearly all of the bike is made of carbon fiber, including the super sexy one-piece spoked carbon wheels and the entirety of the sleek-looking folding frame. The bike almost has a minimalist design with smooth curves and few obvious frills, but beneath that carbon facade is one of the most feature-rich and smartly-integrated e-bikes we’ve ever tested.

The G4 family of GoCycles is the fourth iteration of the British fast folder. Not only does this bike have more carbon and a more integrated cockpit than its predecessor, GoCycle managed to double the torque produced by the front hub motor. Don’t let this bike’s small stature fool you; it’s remarkably quick and climbs hills with the best of them. The new G4i+ also has predictive electric shifting and a set of very nice hydraulic disk brakes that are unbranded but bear a striking resemblance to a high-end Magura design.

All in, the GoCycle G4i+ weighs in the ballpark of 36 lbs, making this one of the most lightweight folding e-bikes on the market today. Add in its quirky cool looks, beautiful folding mechanism and feature-rich build, and it’s undeniably one of the best lightweight folding e-bikes of 2021.

  • The design is bar-none. It’s amazing how many features have been crammed into such a little frame.
  • Folding the G4 is very easy and, with a little practice, can be done in just a few seconds.
  • The carbon rims on the G4i+ may seem like overkill on a folding commuter, but man do they make a noticeable difference. Plus they’re just ultra cool.
  • Electric shifting is ultra cool and works great. Did we mention it’s a system made special for GoCycle?
  • The lightweight plus convenient folding make the G4 lineup very realistic for dedicated bike commuters who are low on space.
  • The predictive shifting is a nice touch, but it may take a little getting used to for experienced riders.

Trek Allant+ 9.9S

The best luxury e-bike, 2021

Trek Allant Plus 9.9S Best Electric Bikes

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What’s got a full carbon fiber frame, a Bosch mid-drive motor and carries a brand name synonymous with quality bicycles? The Trek Allant+ 9.9S electric commuter bike.

The Allant+ 9.9S is one of the few Class 3 commuter e-bikes on the market today with a full carbon fiber frame; a material far more commonly used in performance bicycles where a premium is placed on weight. But weight matters to e-bikers, too, and the carbon frame does more than just make the bike lighter, it also gives the bike ride qualities that help smooth road vibrations and gives it a snappier feel.

The Allant+ 9.9S also comes with a 12-speed Shimano XT and SLX drivetrain, 4-piston hydraulic disk brakes and the premium Bosch Performance Speed motor capable of 28mph. That motor is powered by a 625Wh Bosch PowerTube battery that was, until just recently, the largest in-frame battery made by Bosch.

This bike is the definition of a supercommuter designed to replace your car, and with that carbon frame and premium component package, we’re definitely tempted.

  • The Bosch Performance Speed motor is spectacularly good. The responsiveness is unparalleled and the 85Nm of torque just feels meaty.
  • It’s seldom we see Bosch-equipped bikes with in-frame batteries that are still removable, but Trek has figured it out. This makes charging in an office or other on-the-go locales easier.
  • The Allant+ is just a beautiful e-bike. The frame design evokes speed and we like the understated paint job.
  • The premium components package is really great at a price that isn’t too cringey — less than $6,500.
  • I’m always on the fence about display systems that rely heavily on smartphones, as does the Allant’s Bosch SmartphoneHub display. It’s feature-rich if you hook up your phone, but the integrated non-phone display is a little spartan.

QuietKat Apex

The best electric hunting bike, 2021

QuietKat Apex Best Electric Bikes

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Built to go way further than your average electric fat bike, the QuietKat Apex is a hardtail electric adventure bike powered by one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) mid-drive motors on the market.

QuietKat is a member of the burgeoning category of off-road and adventure e-bikes, a world that caters to outdoorsmen and hunters looking for low-impact and low-noise modes of transportation into the backcountry. Bikes in this category need to be capable enough and powerful enough to haul trailers and traverse terrain above the pay grade of other off-road e-bikes. The QuietKat Apex has those qualities (and more) in spades.

Everything on the Apex is beefed up, from the integrated rear rack to the 4-inch tires and Bafang Ultra mid-drive motor, is just stouter than average. But what really sets this bike apart from its competitors is the burly inverted front fork, a platform that markedly stiffens the front end and makes this large e-bike handle very well.

We’re overall impressed with the Apex and just how capable it feels in off-road scenarios, making it our pick for the best electric hunting bike of 2021.

  • The Bafang Ultra motor packs plenty of oomph for technical terrain and carrying heavy loads.
  • The integrated rear rack can handle up to 100 lbs of cargo.
  • We really like the mountain bike-inspired cockpit with wide handlebars and geometry that feels very off-road ready.
  • The inverted front fork works spectacularly well and makes this large bike handle very quick.
  • This is an e-bike that makes great use of its fat tires; they don’t feel like novelty or simple curb appeal.
  • That large Bafang Ultra motor can, in some settings, be too powerful to be legally ridden on the streets in some areas. Be wary of your bike’s power setting and local regulations.

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon

The best electric cargo bike, 2021

Rad Power Bikes Rad Wagon 4 Best Electric Bikes

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In a category of e-bikes that are quite literally trying to rival the utility and convenience of the family minivan, the field of contenders for the title of best electric cargo bike was deep.

The value-priced Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 is what came out on top.

In the end, our pick is not the most feature-rich, most expensive or best designed. Instead, we choose the RadWagon because of its value, durability and a price point accessible to normal people — who may be curious about replacing car trips with bike trips, but not sold enough on the idea to lay down a car payment worth of cash to buy a premium cargo bike.

The RadWagon 4 is built around a 750W rear hub motor powered by a 48V, 14Ah battery that gives the bike a decent range. It’s got a sizable 350 lb payload capacity with a rear rack that can handle people, cargo or anything else. At less than $2,000, the Wagon’s value is very hard to beat.

So for this year, the RadWagon 4 electric cargo bike takes our pick for the best electric cargo bike of 2021.

  • Even when lugging bigger loads, the 750W rear hub motor has plenty of power.
  • Despite its 76 lb weight, we’re impressed with the Wagon’s range on a single charge.
  • For less than $2,000, the Wagon’s value is hard to beat.
  • We would really like to see this e-cargo bike spec’d with hydraulic disk brakes over mechanical.

Specialized Turbo Como SL

The best lightweight urban bike, 2021

Specialized Turbo Como SL Best Electric Bikes

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Specialized essentially invented the “superlight” category of e-bikes, or at the very least, they’re the undisputed industry leader in superlight e-bike technology. But until recently, your options for a Specialized-made superlight commuter or city e-bike were few and far between.

Enter their all-new Specialized Turbo Como SL.

The Como SL was released in late March 2021 as a lighter, more incognito sibling to their full-power Turbo Como commuter bike. But the new SL model burst onto the scene with a full redesign and a number of cool proprietary components not available on its full-power cousin. In addition to a striking mid-step frame, Specialized also gave the Como SL a cool integrated handlebar setup, a nice-looking and functional front rack and a Gates belt drive to keep pant legs grease free.

Powering all that is a re-engineered Brose motor carefully tuned by Specialized to mimic a rider’s natural pedaling without overpowering it. That motor is also exceptionally light and requires a smaller 320Wh battery that also keeps weight down without sacrificing range. The Como SL is a pedal-forward e-bike designed to feel like a traditional bicycle, but that SL 1.1 motor still gives plenty of power for hills and sweat-free commuting.

  • The Specialized Super Light System is one of the best designed e-bike drive systems on the market
  • The Nexus internally geared rear hub requires far less maintenance than a traditional bike drivetrain
  • 47 lbs is extremely lightweight for a cruiser bike
  • This is a cruiser that could easily double as a commuter or city bike. It’s built to be very versatile
  • The SL drive system’s power delivery is much lighter than some of the other motors on this list. For experienced cyclists this works well, but it may not work best for those looking for more oomph

Bottom line: The best e-bikes of 2021

They say the best e-bike is the one you’re most excited to ride, and we couldn’t agree more.

While we’re sure there’s going to be lots of opinions and questions about why this or that bike didn’t land on our list, these are the 14 e-bikes we’re most excited about right now. This is not a comprehensive list, nor were we able to consider each and every e-bike use case, but we do think all the bikes on this list are a good representation of what’s out there right now.

Have a bike that you think would be a good contender for our best e-bike page? Let us know. At the very least, we always want to know what are readers are riding.

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