E-bikes are fun, they’re useful, and they help riders cover more ground more quickly than any other kind of bike. These days, there are e-bikes for every activity, from commuting and fitness to hauling cargo, from road and gravel riding to mountain biking.

This guide breaks down our favorites in those categories and more. But first, a quick note about "class." The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) classifies e-bikes based on the top speed at which the e-bike motor assists you, and how. This classification determines if you can ride your e-bike on bike paths and in bike lanes, though e-bike laws vary by state.

Class 1 e-bikes are pedal-assist only, with a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes, which carry the most restrictions, are throttle-assisted with a maximum speed of 20 mph. Class 3 e-bikes are pedal-assist with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph. They can be pedaled faster than that speed, but the extra velocity has to come from the rider's legs and/or gravity, not the bike motor.

And now, without further ado, here are some of the best e-bikes you can swing a leg over.

Outdoor writer and photographer Berne Brody contributed to this article.

Priority Current

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Overall E-Bike

If you’re in the market for a premium e-bike that can handle just about anything the road can throw at you — with plenty of speed, safety, battery life and minimal maintenance — the Current is our top rec. The mid-drive motor, Gates Carbon belt drive and Shimano e-bike-specific internally geared rear hub deliver one of the smoothest power transfers we’ve ever experienced. The gear range is massive and continuous and combines with five levels of pedal assistance to let you move with the exact level of energy input and velocity you desire. We also love the integrated, automatic front and rear lights, responsive hydraulic disc brakes and USB port for charging your devices. Don’t be afraid to splash through puddles and hop curbs, either. The lively torque, upright geometry and fat 650B WTB tires are basically begging you.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 500
Weight: 53 lbs
Range: 30-60 miles

Price: $3,299

SHOP NOW

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Road E-Bike

Clocking just a few pounds more than a non-electric chromoly steel-framed road bike, this streamlined skinny tire e-bike runs on an internal 320Wh battery that can combine with an optional range-extending 160Wh battery to supply a whopping 120-mile range. A small front shock absorber built into the head tube dampens vibration and saves you from pernicious potholes. The battery is powerful and charges fast, in around 2.5 hours. Grab a leisurely lunch mid ride, and you can hit the road again with a full tank. Assist modes can be tuned to your preferences using Specialized’s Mission Control app. The app not only records your ride but connects to the bike’s built-in power meter and other sensors. Bonus: the light frame plus 28 mph of pedal assistance will have you positively flying when you pin it.

Class: 3
Watt hours: 320 plus optional 160
Weight: 26.9 lbs (large)
Range: 80 miles

Price: $9,000

SHOP NOW

Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best E-Bike Value

This bike stands out for a few reasons, but the biggest one has gotta be that impossibly low price tag: $1,099. So you’d be forgiven for having your doubts, but rather than half-deliver on bells and whistles offered by pricier e-bikes (including many other Rad models), the RadMission 1 focuses on doing a few things really well. The result is a smart single-speed with a 500-watt geared hub motor providing four levels of pedal-assist and throttle-driven power that pretty capably tackles rough terrain and even hills. You also get integrated lights, disc brakes and beefy, puncture-proof tires. Plus, if that snooty e-biker next to you starts prattling on about his USB port or integrated battery, just wave a couple grand in his face. That’s how much cheaper the RadMission is than just about everything else on this list.

Class: 2
Watt hours: 504
Weight: 48 lbs
Range: 25–45 miles

Price: $1,099

SHOP NOW


Yamaha Cross Connect

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Commuter E-Bike

This Class 1 flat bar road bike/hybrid bike boasts exceptional stability, responsive brakes and a spot-on power management system with four levels of assist for a natural-feeling ride. Yamaha’s own bottom-bracket integrated drive unit gives the bike a low center of gravity and great handling. The Suntour NCX suspension fork helps smooth out uneven roads, and the rear rack, complete with a built-in LED taillight, can handle up to 55 pounds of cargo. The integrated computer provides data like speed, distance, battery capacity, range, cadence, time of day and how long you’ve been riding. Fenders and an LED headlight round out the impressive features.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 490
Weight: 49.4 lbs
Range: 30-80 miles

Price: $2,999

SHOP NOW

Tern GSD S10 LX

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Cargo E-Bike

Having put this heavy-duty hauler through its paces in New York City, we can report that its cargo capabilities are second to none. We used it to help with a weekend food drive, employing its expansively geared hub, Bosch cargo motor, three speeds of pedal assistance, belt drive and integrated suspension to safely deliver loads of groceries all over Brooklyn. Then we packed its saddlebags full of beer for a social distanced party in the park, where its ample, frame-based rear rack served as a de facto bar. We could have taken it much farther, too, by throwing a battery in the extra port and nearly doubling the max range to an insane 128 miles. A few other traits we love: built-in lights, disc brakes, the lock stand, the vast array of accessories and the ability to fold the handlebar down and stash the bike vertically in a corner.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 500
Weight: 74.03 lbs
Range: 32-65 miles

Price: $4,599

SHOP NOW

VanMoof S3

vanmoof s3
Courtesy

Best-Looking E-Bike

In a crowded marketplace, you don’t win a prestigious Red Dot design award without coming up with something pretty special. And that’s just what Denmark-based VanMoof has done with its S3 (and X3) e-bikes. A battery seamlessly integrated into the top tube is the coolest innovation here, but there are other winning features too, including built-in lights, seamless electronic gear shifting and some of the best theft protection we’ve ever seen. The pedal assistance is a bit less robust than some others (a 250-watt motor supplies up to a 15-mile-per-hour boost) but the ride is so smooth — and aesthetically pleasing — you won't sweat it.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 504
Weight: 46.3 lbs.
Range: 37-93 miles

Price: $1,998

SHOP NOW

Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Fitness E-Bike

Specialized designed the Turbo Vado to be a bike first. That means the mechanical system is fully integrated, with internally routed cables and a concealed motor. It’s sleek and uncluttered and largely looks like a normal bicycle. The 40-cell battery and belt-driven motor, which assist up to 28 mph, are fully integrated into the downtube of the E5 aluminum frame. Premium components include an 11-speed Shimano cassette and Tektro Zurich custom hydraulic disc brakes, plus a removable handlebar-mounted display and a brake-responsive tail light built into the rear rack. The motor has been custom-tuned for city riding and reacts to your pace; the harder you pedal, the more power it delivers, smoothly and silently.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 460
Weight: 54 lbs.
Range: 60 miles

Price: $3,450

SHOP NOW

Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best Gravel E-Bike

With gravel bikes continuing to grow in popularity, there are some real contenders in this field, but Cannondale’s boasts the strongest combo of technical chops and charm. A reliable Bosch motor and battery deliver ample pedal assistance without too much extra weight, while a SRAM Eagle groupset with a 500 percent gear range and formidable 42c tires combine to take you far off the beaten path. From the top of the mountain, open up the 30 mm of rear and front suspension and sink the dropper post for a fast, fun descent, even on technical terrain. Note: there are three Neo Carbon models, with the Lefty 3 pictured above the most affordable option.

Class: 3
Watt Hours: 250
Weight: 39.7 lbs
Range: 78 miles

Price: $6,000+

SHOP NOW

Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7.0

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best E-Bike for Trail Rides

Electric mountain bikes have come a long way in the past couple years, and Canyon’s latest — like VanMoof's a Red Dot award winner — is a shining example. A carbon-fiber front triangle helps sneak the weight under 50 pounds, while an in-tube Shimano battery not only streamlines the ride but lowers the center of gravity for a send-ier feel on the downhills. The power transfer is smooth and quiet and the battery life is impressive. We’ve been testing this one at a park that’s 16 miles away, and even with the pedal-assist pretty maxed out, there’s plenty of life to rip around for hours, charge a phone with the built-in USB-C socket and cruise home with juice to spare.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 504
Weight: 48.8 lbs
Range: not available

Price: $4,999

SHOP NOW

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50

best e bikes
Courtesy

Best E-Bike for Park Laps

With the same geometry and suspension as the non-assist version, the alloy-frame Powerplay feels like any other mountain bike — albeit a heavier one. The custom and compact Dyname 3.0 motor has tons of torque for acceleration even on the steepest climbs. Rocky Mountain integrated the long-running 630Wh battery into the frame and skipped the LCD display, instead using lights to tell riders what mode they’re in and how much battery remains. Pair the bike with the companion app for more control and information. Short chainstays, 150mm of rear travel and 160mm up front make this a great bike for getting in big mountain laps when the lifts are closed.

Class: 1
Watt Hours: 630
Weight: 52 lbs.
Range: not available

Price: $5,549

SHOP NOW