There’s strong growth in the market for electric-powered rideable transport, likely an offshoot of people wanting to avoid public transport during coronatimes, suggests Joesph Kaminski for cnet. With so many devices on the market, things have been segmented down to e-bikes and scooters and skateboards, and here we’re sticking with e-bikes. Some testing was completed before the pandemic happened, some during, and mainly on a commute through midtown Manhattan, through Central Park, and down on the bike path of the West Side Highway.

If you’re planning on getting an e-bike, remember to be safe about it. Don’t drive too close to other riders or cars, leave some space between you and regular bicycle riders or scooters. When riding an e-bike, your speed increases, so ride carefully, make sure to change the battery often, and regularly check on your tires. Finally, never go for a ride without a helmet on.

Small space and budget-friendly

Swagtron EB5 Pro

Image credit: bikefolded.com

If you’re commuting and don’t need a whole lot of storage, this is a great bike. With the Swagtron EB5 you get a pedal-assisted bicycle that’s foldable and it comes with an electric motor replete with its own throttle, meaning there’s very little pedaling involved at all. Ona full charge, the battery will take you across 15 miles when doing 15mph. The Swagtron EB5 Pro is a single speed and it allows you to use it as a regular bike, toggling off all the powered features. It weighs a solid 37 pounds and the seat supports riders up to 264 pounds, but when the seat is folded down, this ride is surprisingly small.


Customize for your life

Rad Power Bikes RadRunner 1

Image credit: electrek.co

Anything you can put on a bike, you can pretty much pick up from Rad Power Bikes. There are a plethora of accessories to kit out your bike, with models designed for cargo, kids, cargo plus kids, and even just going a little off-road through the mud.

Kaminski tested the RadRunner 1 that came with a rear bench and a set of footpegs. It’s ideal for parents who need to be out and about and take their child along for the ride. The 48-volt, 14-amp-hour battery powers a 750-watt motor that can pedal-assist or throttle the RadRunner up to 20mph. It comes with four levels of powered assistance which can help you preserve battery life on longer journeys and help you up a steep incline when needed.

Getting on and off is simple with the step-through frame, so it’s not a hassle when you’re laden with shopping or carrying a passenger. The RadRunner is rated to support up to 300 pounds.


Speedy and different, even off-road

Juiced Bikes Camp Scrambler

For $2,299 you can get a Camp Scrambler curtesy of Juiced Bikes, giving you an original and cool ride that’s going to get you places in comfort and next to no time. The seat is like something out of the 70s with its banana shape, but it still has a modern look too. The Camp Scrambler comes with a 750-watt Bafang motor, can pedal assist up to 28 mph and throttle up to 20 mph. It’s powered by a 52-volt battery giving riders the ability to travel up to 50 miles on a single charge. The full battery recharge will take up to four hours. You also get seven modes for the pedal-assist feature plus a Shimano seven-speed freewheel cassette that’ll have you shifting gears seamlessly. 

The seat design is really comfy for any rider and you get space to take a passenger. The raised level of the handlebars makes for an enjoyable long ride. Kaminski has done more than 500 miles on his and still finds it plenty fun. The tires are Kendra and knobby, making it easy to transition between on- and off-road riding. If you’re committed to the pavement, you can get the City Scrambler model which is pretty much the same but with street tires instead. 

The bicycle weighs 71 pounds and can support riders up to 275 pounds. You get front and rear lights to help you stay safe in the dark and you even get a bell to ring and ding to let people know you’re there. The dual hydraulic brakes work well for fast stops. All in all, you get a great riding experience.


The future of e-bikes folds

GoCycle GS

Image credit: coachmag.co.uk

GoCycle GS looks like the future and is beautiful, all for $2,799 and it’s so much more too. You’ll find the motor at the front and the fully enclosed chain runs down to the back wheel. You get to commute without the stress of grease getting on your or your clothes, and no need to remember to lube the chain after riding in the rain. The rear suspension helps you ride over rough patches much easier, too. 

From a design perspective, the single-sided wheel mounts are impressive – you can take them off by hand with ease. Breaking the bike down so it’s easier to store becomes much simpler. The whole thing weighs 36.3 pounds (16.5 kg) and you can get a Portable Docking Station that’s essentially a rolling suitcase for the bike for stowing and transport. 

iOS and Android users can control the GS settings through the GoCycleConnect app via Bluetooth. You even secure your phone to the handlebars whilst driving with the two bands that are in place. You can shift your assistance modes, speeds, and switch whether you want the throttle on or off. 

You’ve got to be going at least 4 mph to be able to use throttle assist, it helps keep the pressure off the 500-watt motor. The GoCycle’s 300Wh battery gets about 40 miles (65 km) on a full charge depending on your riding style and weight; it’ll support riders up to 220 pounds and pedal/throttle assist up to 20 mph. The battery recharges in about seven hours but if you have a fast charger (sold separately) the full charge time decreases in half. 

You get some cool little details with the GS, like the center stand that’ll fold away nice and discreetly. This small bicycle is truly impressive. It is not only beautifully designed but also full of amazing features and details. 

With a price of $2,799, you’re investing in a premium bike, and there are models that are even higher spec from GoCycle. To check out your potential purchase, you can look for a local retailer so you can check it out in the flesh. 


Discount for an older model

Trek Super Commuter Plus 8S

Image credit: ebiketips.road.cc

Although newer models are available, the Super Commuter still deserves a place on the list since it’s got a heavy discount, down from $5,200 to $3,600. 

Kaminski first got to test the bike back in 2019. In terms of performance like a standard bike, since it’s pretty heavy at 54 pounds. With 11 speed settings, he found pacing pretty easy, and on inclines he went for the pedal assist, powered by the  Bosch Performance Speed 350-watt motor integrated into the frame, and it worked very well indeed.

Out of the assist modes, Eco is one of the best. The assistance is the lowest out of the four settings which also include Tour, Sport, and Turbo, meaning the battery life will last the longest. There’s no throttle on the bike, it’s just a pedal-assist motor. 


When you’ve got money to spend

Trek Allant Plus 9.9S

Image credit: electricbikereview.com

For $6,000, you’ll expect something premium and you get it with the Trek Allant Plus 9.9S. You get a Removable Integrated Battery, or RIB as the company knows it, that is sleekly built right into the frame. There’s also an optional secondary 500-watt-hour battery that mounts just above the integrated one for extra range. 

You get a built-in display giving you choices of riding mode, speed, and other options, and the app by Bosch works for iOS and Android – no matter your phone you can track your rides. The frame is made from lightweight carbon fiber but still hits 51 pounds. 

When Kaminski tested it, he found the handling super-smooth and the added torque of 75 Newton-meters made the experience extra-special with a speed of 28 mph.