FARADAY CORTLAND $2499
Electric bikes, or “e-bikes”, have become one of the most popular categories of bicycles for both fun and commuting, opening the road up to many who might not have previously considered cycling as their mode of recreation or transport before. We’re talking “pedal assist” here, not those motorized bikes your take-out gets delivered on that require no pedaling at all. For those times when you need an extra boost of power while riding, and don’t want to break a sweat — say up a hill on your way to work — the e-bike is the way to go.
In the US, there are three classes of e-bikes defined by the speed and type of power assist. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling and maxes out at 20 mph. Class 3 can assist up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without requiring a license. Class 2 models have throttles that don’t require pedaling in order to get a boost. The miles before recharging, or range of the bike, is determined by how much assist you use.
Most big name cycling companies now offer a class 1 e-bike option, as well many design-oriented bespoke brands, and even urban bike-sharing systems like Citibike have added e-bikes to their fleet. I rode an electric Citibike home from work earlier this week (they’re hard to find!), zipping up Madison Avenue in no time with a “I’m having a blast” look on my face. Even the taxi drivers were smiling at me.
While very convenient, the Citibike is not the most stylish of e-bikes, but here are seven snazzy options that are, and with the power and fun to match!
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PURE CYCLE VOLTA $2049
Class 1 ~ Max range 25 miles ~ Weight 38 lbs ~ Charge time 4 hrs
The sporty little Volta is the seamless integration of all things “go”. The unique design makes two-wheeled life as seamless and fun as possible, featuring 4 levels of power assist, activity tracking, regenerative braking, and GPS security tracking. Available in white, gray, and black.
ELECTRA LOFT GO! $2799
Class 1 ~ Max range 100 miles ~ Weight 58 lbs ~ Charge time 5 hrs
The Electra Loft Go! is a sylish-minded urban e-bike built to handle the rigors of the streets. With a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal gear hub, and four levels of support from Eco to Turbo mode, the Bosch Active System gives you the power to charge up any hill or accelerate in a pinch. Available in Gloss Cream, Gloss Aqua, Gloss Black.
FARADAY PORTEUR $3499
Class 1 ~ Max range 25 miles ~ Weight 42 lbs ~ Charge time 3 hrs
This posh English style e-bike features steam-bent bamboo fenders, a greaseless Gates belt drive, hydraulic brakes, and a smooth-shifting Shimano Alfine 8-gear internal hub. With the battery discreetly integrated into the frame, it offers two levels of pedal assist with an onboard algorithm that automatically adjusts the motor to match the power you need. Available in white, black, and racing green. Check out the less expensive Porteur S ($2499), and equally chic step-through Cortland model ($2499) above.
BLIX PRIMA $1999
Class 1 ~ Max range 30 miles ~ Weight 53 lbs ~ Charge time 3.5 hrs
Blending classic design and modern technology, Blix makes stylish and high-performing electric bicycles for everyday living. The Prima combines a comfortable upright position with a low-step frame for a smooth and stable ride. With 3 levels of pedal assist, 9-speed Shimano drive, and Tektro hydraulic brakes, the Prima uses speed, cadence, and torque sensors to deliver just the right amount of power. Available in white, black, and racing green.
VAN MOOF ELECTRIFIED S2 $2598
Class 1 ~ Max range 93 miles ~ Weight 41 lbs ~ Charge time 4 hrs
Speed, design, and tech nuts rejoice! Within this distinctively minimal aluminum frame, the Van Moof Electrified hides an arsenal of integrated smarts including its battery, LED display, and anti-theft e-lock to discourage would be thieves. Offering 2 speeds and 4 power levels, plus an extra Power-boost button, you’ll zip to max speed no time — and with the control of front and rear mechanical disc brakes. Available in Fog White and Thunder Gray.
PRIORITY EMBARK $3999
Class 1 ~ Max range 67 miles ~ Weight 45 lbs ~ Charge time 4 hrs
Priority designed the Embark for worry and maintenance-free fun with an array of premium components from industry leaders in reliability. With 4 levels of power assist (eco, tour, sport, turbo) with the integrated Bosch system, it features a rust and grease-free Gates Carbon Drive belt, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and infinite number of gears with the seamlessly shifting Enviolo CVT. Available in gloss white and charcoal.
GAZELLE MEDEO $2499
Class 1 ~ Max range 100 miles ~ Weight 50 lbs ~ Charge time 4 hrs
Dutch bicycle maker Gazelle has been in the business for 125 years, and their line of e-bikes reflects the craftsmanship of their rich history. The traditionally styled Medeo is the most affordable of the line and offers effortless cycling with its powerful Bosch motor. The low-step active frame and comfortable geometry, along with front fork suspension and hydraulic brakes ensure optimal comfort and stability. Available in white, rose, and gray.
IZIP E3 LOMA $1699
Class 2 ~ Max range 50 miles ~ Weight 55 lbs ~ Charge time 5.5 hrs
Cruising or commuting you’ll be zipping around town with ease on the super-charged IZIP E3 Loma. With a new and unique lightweight step-thru frame for 2019, it offers 7 speeds and 4 levels of power assist with fully integrated electronics and premium drive systems from Bosch, Shimano and TranzX. Designed in Southern California and inspired by sunny weather and laid back cool, the bike comes satin black and fun turquoise, and is a great value for the price.