The 9 Best Electric Bikes to Buy in 2018

You can stop complaining about pedaling uphill now

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Bicycles have long been one of the most popular modes of transportation and, in a time where environmental friendless and health are top of mind, the popularity of bicycles shows no signs of slowing down. For many bicycle enthusiasts, an electric bike is the best of both worlds (get where you're going faster and not winded) and with a range of choices and designs available, we've helped narrow down the best models on the market today.

Our Top Picks

Best Budget: SwagCycle E-Bike

Beginners or budgeters can enter the electric bike world without a major investment with the SwagCycle E-Bike. It may not be the most stylish or technologically advanced on the market, but the foldable bike is made from an aircraft grade aluminum alloy frame that is sturdy, lightweight and can support up to 264 pounds. Measuring 37.2 x 18.9 x 35.5 inches, the 29-pound bike includes a 250-watt motor that helps it reach speeds of up to 18 miles per hour. For such an inexpensive option, the SwagCycle offers a surprising number of features, including the battery’s IP54 water resistance for rainy days, a handlebar display to trace battery life, and a micro USB port to charge your devices on the go.

The battery can last for up to 15.5 miles on one charge and recharge within 2.5 hours. However, the battery cannot be removed or replaced without shipping it back to the manufacturer if something goes wrong. 

Best Lightweight: Meiyatu E-Bike

The Meiyatu E-Bike packs a lot into a small package — literally. The double-wide chassis under the seat is designed intentionally as such to hold a ton of battery capacity. How much? At 15- to 18mph, you can take this steed 15 to 20 miles in range on its 250-watt high-speed motor. It’ll only take about 4 to 6 hours to reach that charge, too.

Because of the massive battery, it’s important that Meiyatu run the proper safety tests. The company promises that their 18650 lithium battery tech has been tested and QAed for optimal performance and peace of mind.

The folding capability of this e-bike is really what makes it so cool — while most bikes do offer a folding function, this one folds just a bit smaller, and all the sections and pieces lock together to make it extra compact. The real kicker here? You can swap that handy back basket off the bike for a rear seat in case you need to give someone else a ride. It all only weighs 44 pounds, which is impressive considering the amount of Swiss Army options they’ve crammed into this e-bike.

Best Value: Cyclamatic CX4 Pro Suspension Foldaway Electric Bike

The Cyclamatic CX4 electric foldaway bicycle is a great value across the board. With an onboard 250-watt motor, the CX4 can power you down the road at a top speed of 15.5 miles per hour and has a maximum distance of 18 to 25 miles depending on road and speed conditions.

Charging from empty to full requires four to six hours of time, but you can extend battery life during a ride by manually pedaling along. Sized for users 5 feet 4 inches and taller, the CX4 is available with a suggested minimum age of 14 years and older. With three levels of pedal assistance (low, medium, and high), support is controlled directly from the handlebars. Folding the bike for storage takes less than five minutes, which is about the same time required for initial assembly.

Best for Short Trips: Swagtron SwagCycle Electric Bicycle

When it comes to finding an electric bicycle that's designed for short trips, you'll want to spring for the Swagtron SwagCycle. Powered by a 36V battery and a 250-watt motor, the SwagCycle can push speeds up to 10 miles per hour and has 10 miles of range on a single charge. Once the battery runs out, the SwagCycle takes around 2.5 hours to fully recharge, making multiple rides in a single day a definite possibility.

The aluminum frame collapses for easy storage and fits comfortably in a trunk, garage or in a closet where it's out of the way. The handlebar comes with an accelerator, brake, horn and USB charging port for your phone, plus a display that offers information about the battery (it can also turn the headlight on and off). With no pedals for manual biking, the front tires offer footrests for keeping your feet well off the ground.

Best Range: Addmotor Motan Electric Fat Tire Bicycle

If you're itching for more time on the open road under electric power, the Addmotor Motan 20-inch bicycle is your best bet. Capable of carrying adults weighing up to 300 pounds, the Motan's 500-watt motor and 48V 10.4Ah lithium battery can power the bicycle all the way up to 55 miles on a single charge under optimal conditions.

Beyond range, the Motan is capable of pushing up to 23 miles per hour under electric power (manual pedaling can extend the range far beyond). A seven-speed gear system and mechanical front and rear disc brakes round out the highlights of the Motan's frame, while the collapsible top tube, frame and pedals making cleaning and storage easy in the car or in the home. As an added bonus, Addmotor claims the Motan is one of the few electric bikes available in its price range that can safely tackle sand without skipping a beat.

Best Splurge: Elby Bike 9-Speed Electric Bike

With its low-slung aluminum-molded frame and vibrant color options, the Elby 9-Speed Electric Bike is both a statement piece and a worthy investment. Ideal for the commuter who wants something a little more stylish and high-end, it includes lights and a USB charger, and baskets can be attached to the fenders if you need to carry a briefcase or groceries.

The powerful BionX 500-watt motor can reach up to 90 miles on a single charge, and its rear-mounted position makes it nearly soundless while adding additional stability to the bike. Thick Continental tires deliver a comfortable ride, while "active regeneration" mode allows the battery to recharge each time you brake. The bike is also easily adjustable, so riders of different heights and weights can find the perfect fit. Tech enthusiasts will be happy to note that the smartphone app allows you to track different ride stats and provides routing options that are optimized for biking.

Best Rugged: EGO 26-Inch Fat Tire Electric Bicycle

If you're a rider that hits the trails, take a look at the Ego 26-inch Fat Bike, which is a superb option for the great outdoors. The 26 x 4-inch fat tires are perfect for tackling various terrain and allow bikers to easily navigate over bumps and trails without skipping a beat. With a maximum load of 260 pounds, riders of all sizes can hit a top speed of around 20 miles per hour. Seven speed options help make a quick transition into manual mode for going over or around the most difficult conditions.

The 500-watt motor and 11Ah battery lead to around 25 miles of range on a single charge, while recharging takes up to six hours from empty to full before you're off to the next outdoor trail.

Runner-Up, Best Rugged: Aceshin 26-Inch Electric Mountain Bike

With so many city-dwellers using e-bikes to get around, it’s easy to forget that some people use them for other purposes, like off-road and mountain biking. If that’s what you’re looking for in an e-bike, you’ll need one with a rugged, resilient build and frame. This 26-inch bike from Aceshin offers just such a construction, with many of the features you’ll hope for in a ride.

First off, the removable, smart rechargeable lithium battery from Samsung provides a quick, easy charge solution that will ultimately provide you with 4 to 6 hours of ride time on a single battery. The drive function itself is supported by a 250W high-speed brushless gear motor. You can set the bike in either pure pedal riding mode (which is supported by a 21-speed gear system and disc brakes), pure electric riding mode, or a combo of the two in “assisted” mode which serves to let you pedal, but makes the resistance just a bit easier.

The bike has a 26-inch wheel diameter, the 100-percent aluminum alloy frame is meant to be very light while maintaining durability, and the grippy tires will work well for off-road biking. There’s even an onboard light and horn for nighttime riding, adding further versatility. 

Best Comfort: DJ Bikes Mountain 7-Speed Electric Bicycle

Riders looking for maximum distance without spending a small fortune will quickly fall in love with the DJ Bikes Mountain 7-speed electric bicycle. Powered by a 500-watt 48V motor and a 625Wh battery, this bicycle has no problem climbing up hills or hitting a maximum distance of 25 to 40 miles on a single charge. Power-assisted speed helps the DJ Bikes reach 20 miles per hour, while three separate position adjustments can help you find the most comfortable spot for lengthy riding sessions.

The included LCD display provides riders with information on battery life, distance, time and speed, and the seven-speed function allows for manual operation in different conditions. Additionally, the lithium battery can be removed for charging on the bike or in a home or office for added convenience. Riders will equally love the DJ Bikes extra cushion saddle that helps maintain comfort during long rides.