Electric bikes are soaring in usage, and it’s not difficult to see why. They’re cheaper than cars and more environmentally friendly. Often, they can get you from place to place faster in urban areas. As people look for ways to get around that don’t break the bank, electric bikes are often their first option.
With this boost in popularity comes an explosion in options. There are now more brands of electric bikes on offer than ever, and it can be difficult to sort through them. If you’re interested in buying but don’t know where to look, check out these options first.
If “Tower Electric Bikes” sounds familiar to you, it’s no coincidence: The founder was featured on an episode of “Shark Tank” that ended with an investment from billionaire Mark Cuban. Despite those flashy credentials, Tower lands at the top of this list not for its visibility, but for its quality. Compared to most competitors, Tower’s bikes are affordable. The brand couples its prices with excellent customer service.
All of this is on top of Tower’s unmatched product quality: Its primary offering can have a range of up to 60 miles while weighing less than 50 pounds. Best of all, Tower ships its bikes directly to customers, minimizing the possibility of distribution problems and ensuring you get your bike as soon as possible after purchase.
If you’re looking for a number of models to choose from when deciding on your electric bike, Rad Power is one brand to look at. Rad Power offers a wider selection of bikes than Tower, but with its multitude of offerings comes a slight dip in serviceability.
In addition to making standard models of electric bikes, Rad Power also makes utility, cargo, and folding versions. Those looking for a general-use bike might want to gravitate toward other brands. However, Rad Power’s niche options will be the perfect fit for some customers. Their bikes are also highly price-competitive, with even the most expensive models unlikely to go beyond your budget.
Pedego greatly expands on Rad Power’s offerings, with an 18-bike lineup whose versatility is hard to beat. Beyond traditional electric bikes, Pedego also makes trikes and fat tire trail models. It even offers a bike manufactured by Ford Motor Company.
The biggest drawback of Pedego’s bikes are their prices. Even the brand’s cheapest models often clock in at a higher price than both Tower’s and Rad Power’s. Even if Pedego’s models might stretch your wallet further than anticipated, the extra cost isn’t wasted — Pedego bikes are sturdy and long-lasting.
With its Turbo Vado SL recently recognized by WIRED, it’s no wonder that Specialized has emerged as a major player almost overnight. Specialized has been making traditional bikes for years, so its electric models are imbued with a slickness and usability that keeps them from being clunky.
As with Pedego’s, Specialized’s bikes aren’t for those unwilling to make a serious investment. Its bikes can cost twice as much or more than some of the others on this list. The price is clearly reflected in the product, however, with some models having a range of up to 120 miles per charge and topping out at road-safe speeds.
Tern’s bikes are all-around high-quality products, but one feature really sets them apart from the pack: They’re completely foldable. The ability to compress a Tern bike into luggage makes it a great option for people looking to travel frequently with their bike on public transportation.
Folding bikes aren’t quite as streamlined as traditional electric bikes. That means you’ll have to be OK with a slightly less ergonomic frame if you get a Tern. In addition, be prepared to cough up some serious cash as well — Tern bikes aren’t cheap. If a folding bike is what you’re looking for, however, it’s Tern’s specialty.
For those looking for something completely different, there’s no better place to turn than Gocycle. Gocycle’s bikes look like nothing else on the market, with aerodynamic frames and low centers of gravity. They may not look like normal bicycles, but they ride better than nearly everything else out there.
Like Tern, Gocycle makes its bikes completely foldable, and the slim body makes it incredibly lightweight as well. Gocycle bikes are also specifically designed to be easily taken apart, making on-the-spot repairs or adjustments significantly easier than some of the other models on this list. Best of all, the bikes Gocycle offers are all relatively affordable, making them a great option for those wanting to go outside the box with their bike.
Investing in an electric bike today can set you up with a valuable mode of transportation for years to come. Just like buying a car, you’ll want a model that has everything you want. The bikes on this list are a good place to start.