ARTICLE – I asked the Gadgeteer team to share their favorite electric bikes of the last year or so and here’s what they had to say!
Euybike S4 long range moped style electric bike
I have to say of the three ebikes I’ve reviewed, the Euybike S4 is my favorite. It’s got a cool vintage moped look and feel. It reminded me of the mini-bike a friend of mine had growing up. Man, was it fun! Having reviewed a couple of others, I’ve discovered that most of them use the same type of batteries, the same motor, the same shifters, gears, and brakes. The Euybike S4 has a 1000W motor, whereas the other 2 I reviewed had 750W. That extra 250W is certainly noticeable here. Being a big guy, it was hard to get to the rated 28 MPH on the other 2 but the S4 had no problems. This little thing is Fast.
I found it very well built and required less space in my garage than the others. It went together fairly well. I don’t think I cussed once during assembly and no blood was drawn. The included tools were pretty much useless, but I had plenty to make up for that. It doesn’t have a lot of extra features that are available elsewhere, but it’s inexpensive when compared to those. It’s a lot of fun, looks good, and a great bang for the buck.
Where to buy: Euybike
Vanpowers UrbanGlide Pro ebike
It’s no secret that I love a good E-bike and I’ve been lucky enough to review several over the last year or two, but my very favorite and most used E-bike is the Vanpowers UrbanGlide Pro. There are several reasons why it’s my favorite. I love a step -thru bike because I often load a bunch of stuff on the back, and this makes getting on and off a breeze. It has a really generous range at 60-70 miles, which doesn’t necessarily make a difference to me because I’d never ride that far in Los Angeles but it does mean that I don’t have to think about charging very often (unlike every other gadget I own). Probably the quality that sets this bike apart from the others I’ve reviewed is that it has a really smooth acceleration. It’s hard to describe, but on other bikes you feel a lurch forward when you start pedaling and this one doesn’t do that. I just feels very natural and in that way safer. I’m quite fond of the zappy color they sent me, too! I did replace the seat with something softer, but I didn’t mind shelling out a couple of bucks for that because it came with so many accessories (rack, bell, lights and fenders) that I didn’t have to buy.
Where to buy: Vanpowers
Okay. Picking a favorite eBike that I’ve reviewed is a much harder task for me than any of the other categories. I’ve reviewed two eBikes and two conversion kits to date, three just this year.
Engwe M20 electric bike
Fun to ride and the most reliable as far as a complete eBike goes. It lives at my office and I use it regularly for lunch runs down and back up a pretty big hill. I was able to mount up a 2nd battery to double the range and with each having it’s own power switch it’s easy to manage battery life. This guy has pretty much been maintenance free and continues to put a smile on my face.
Velotric Thunder 1 electric bike
My favorite to ride by far but it has been a challenge to keep operational. Bluetooth connectivity has been an issue and there’s no obvious way to tell the bike to forget and pair with a new phone. The fingerprint sensor is currently non-responsive even though the battery has a full charge. Trying to work through all that with customer service as I write this. At this point, just wishing it had an ON button and no smartphone connectivity at all. Then it would always work.
Where to buy: Velotric
Swytch Electric Bike Conversion Kit
This was the easiest conversion kit that retained the feel of your current bike, much like their Original Swytch Kit which I also reviewed. They have a new Swytch Go kit on the way which moves the battery to inside the main triangle and further simplifies the install. Something I’d definitely like to check out.
Where to buy: swytchbike.com
Hemiway Zebra electric bile
I’ve been riding the Himiway Zebra for a few months now, and it’s become my go-to for quick trips around town. It’s a great choice because of the powerful 750W motor, robust selection of high-quality parts, and the huge rack on the back that provides lots of carrying capacity. I have a set of panniers (saddle bags) that I keep on the bike regularly, and that allow me to carry several gallons of milk, a few bags of groceries, or even four gallons of paint! The bike is fun and comfortable to ride, and I actually find myself looking for excuses to ride it. I’m averaging 25-30 miles per charge riding mostly around my hilly town. The Himiway Zebra is a great choice if you’re looking for a full-sized, full-featured fat-tired e-bike (that’s a lot of dashes!) that can carry you just about anywhere with ease.
Velotric Packer 1 ebike
Of all the bikes I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing over the last few years, the Velotric Packer 1 takes the crown for my favorite eBike simply because it’s so darn useful while also being fun to ride. Nearly every day I bundle our toddler into his seat behind me and run errands, including large Costco hauls with flats of soda or other large/heavy/bulky cargo. I’ve ridden much more expensive “bucket” eBikes, and prefer the longtail cargo layout of the Velotric Packer 1. It rides like a normal bike instead of a wallowing whale (bucket bikes), has a nice top speed of 28 mph, and good components top to bottom, making for a great ride every time. The range is also more than sufficient for us, even if it’s a bit less than some other eBikes I’ve reviewed lately. I rarely use more than half the battery even when going on long rides.
Where to buy: Velotric
Lectric XP Lite folding eBike
After testing a few eBikes the Lectric XP Lite is still my favorite. With 300W of power, 40+ miles of range, and 20mph top speed it may not have the most impressive specs compared to other eBikes but it only weighs 46lbs and only costs $799. The single speed keeps maintenance super simple and with five levels of power assist as well as the twist throttle for power on demand the bike zips along. With the battery in the frame the center of gravity is low and the 20″x2.6″ tires keep it stable. It sports a nice large display, front and rear LED lights, and on top of all that it folds up! For those reasons and because it’s just fun to ride the Lectric XP Lite is still my favorite eBike so far.
Where to buy: Lectric website
heybike Mars ebike
The heybike Mars is the typical fat-tire, rear wheel hub-drive, folding e-bike. The Mars is the e-bike that introduced both my wife and I to the joys of e-biking. The ability to program the Mars with 10 pedal assist points at 2 mph increments, from 2 mph up to 20 mph is essential since hub-drives always accelerate up to the current set point, either by any detected pedal movement or by a throttle. Mid-drives on the other hand, lack a throttle and with the exception of cutting out at 20 mph for Class 1 e-bikes, always require the rider to operate the bike just as they would if there was no motorization at all, starting out at the lowest gear and transitioning up to higher gears as the speed is increased. Shifting to lower gears to climb hills, etc. So when it came to getting a second e-bike, I purchased a much taller bike (I am 6’6″) and chose a considerably more expensive Ultimate C8 HMB from Gazelle. It is propelled by a Bosch ($$) mid-drive, though a Gates carbon fiber belt ($$), connected to an internal 8-speed gearing system ($$). I always have to pedal, shifting gears up and down from start to stop, while my wife will just activates the Mars’ throttle to get started before she even starts to pedal. In fact, she just keeps the gear set to the highest gear (7), regardless of the situation at hand. So for her, she loves the care free riding that a hub-drive e-bike provides and is not interested in “upgrading” to a mid-drive at all. For me, I love the natural biking feel of my mid-drive and would not “downgrade” to a hub-drive. What does that mean to you the reader? Well you can’t go wrong, regardless of which powertrain configuration you choose as all e-bikes are fun, so get out there, and have some fun.
TurboAnt / T1 Thunder electric bike
Over the last couple of years, I’ve reviewed two e-bikes for the Gadgeteer (the TurboAnt Thunder T1 and Heybike Brawn), and I’m currently waiting for a third to arrive. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the TurboAnt T1 Thunder. It’s like splitting hairs, as the two bikes have similar features. But the Thunder T1 has become the perfect commuter bike for me. As of writing this, I have put over 1950 miles on the bike, and beyond basic maintenance and replacing the brake pads, it’s been issue-free. I like the bike’s overall design, fat tires, adjustable shock-absorbing hydraulic front fork, long battery life, and, most importantly, it’s fun to ride. It’s also a little larger than the Heybike Brawn, making me feel safer and more in control. Aside from commuting, riding is like my Zen space, and the TurboAnt Thunder T1 fits me like a comfortable old sweatshirt.
Where to buy: TurboAnt
Magicycle Jaguarundi electric bike
I have reviewed two very different electric bicycles for The Gadgeteer. The first bike I reviewed, the Magicycle Jaguarundi, has been my favorite of the two. I did not expect a lot out of a folding bicycle. However, this bike really impressed me. It has tons of torque and a top speed of 20mph with no pedal assist. It maintained its speed up some very steep hills in the neighborhood. It has hydraulic brakes, and I achieved a range of 40 miles using pedal assist level 3 of 4 for 75% of the time. I still had one bar of power showing on the bicycle. Even my husband who is 5ft 10in tall and about 280lbs was comfortable on this bike. It has achieved a permanent spot in our garage. Now that it is finally starting to cool off a bit here in Texas, we plan on taking it out more often.
Brooke and Mason Miller Hall
Rattan Pathfinder fat tire electric bicycle
The Rattan Pathfinder is our favorite e-bike to date. The size is manageable, and the controls are intuitive and smooth. It comes with great accessories: a rear rack, heavy-duty kickstand, and excellent headlamp. This bike is super fun to ride, but more importantly, it’s comfortable and easy to maneuver for everyday commuting. We’ve been riding it for three months and still highly recommend it.
Snapcycle Eagle fat-tire folding e-bike
The Snapcycle Eagle is a folding e-bike that is actually fairly easy to fold and lighter than many other e-bikes so it’s not quite so difficult to get in your vehicle to transport. The brakes are amazing, and the motor and gears are really smooth, making riding the bike a joy. Add to that a removable battery that provides great battery life for riding long distances, and there’s a lot to love here!
Check out ALL of our ebike and ebike gear reviews.