AROUND THE COUNTRY, bars, restaurants, and other public spaces are closed or have limited service. Public transportation is becoming a more iffy proposition, and cities are closing streets to give pedestrians more room to move around near their electric bikes homes.
Enter: the electric bike. You don’t need to be physically fit to ride one. It gets you outside, reduces fossil fuels, reduces congestion, and it’s fun. Over the past few years, we’ve tried almost every kind of ebike there is, from heavy-duty cargo bikes to high-end mountain bikes. Whether you’re tooling around your neighborhood buying wood chips from the hardware store or trying to trim a few miles off the ride for a socially distanced visit, we have the best ebike for you.
We will be continuing to test and ride bikes, so if you don’t see one you like now, be sure to check back later. Once you get one, check out our favorite biking accessories and gear for a bikepacking adventure.
After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider which class you prefer. In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to only a 750w motor (aka 1 horsepower), but it can assist you up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without the need for a license. Class 2 models have a throttle that can propel a bike up to and maintain 20 mph without having to continuously pedal. Aventon’s Pace 500 is technically a Class 3 e-bike in that it reaches speeds up to 28 mph, but it also has a throttle that tops out at 20 mph (the maximum legal speed for a throttle).