Best Electric Bikes

Best Electric Bikes Consumer Reports 2020

Let’s see our guide to buy best electric bikes consumer reports with reviews in 2020. Electric Bikes Under 2000, 1500, 1000, 500 price range.

Best Electric Bikes

As e-bikes are making up an increasing market share of new bike sales, so they are starting to diversify in order to meet varying consumer demands. At one end of the scale are the bike park bombers, with massive travel, coil-sprung suspension and even dual-crown forks.

Also emerging slowly are the lightweight, ‘diet’ e-bikes with less power and smaller batteries. While in the middle are the all-purpose ‘trail’ e-bikes with air suspension, versatile geometry and around 150mm of travel.

With most e-bikes weighing between 22-25kg, small weight differences between different models are barely perceptible. Suspension performance, sizing, component choice and geometry play a far greater role in defining the handling of an e-bike.

That was until last year, when Lapierre brought out the eZesty, weighing an impressive 17.9kg, and e-bikes took a huge leap closer to their non-assisted cousins. The Lapierre uses a Fazua motor, with reduced power, torque and battery capacity, so you have to do a larger share of the work, but it takes much less effort to turn, jump, accelerate and decelerate.

Range is similar to full-power e-bikes with double the battery capacity, and with no extra friction in the system, it still responds to pedal efforts above the motor’s legal cut-off of 25kph.

Remove the whole battery and motor and you’ve got a 15.6kg enduro bike. Since then, Specialized has released the Turbo Levo SL at a similar weight, and newcomer Forestal, the innovative Siryon.

If you want a boost on the climbs while retaining the lively handling and pure response of a regular bike, a diet e-bike could be the best of both worlds.

Best Long Travel Electric Bikes

Haibike was probably the first major brand to start designing long-travel e-bikes and equipping them with dual crown forks, but the spotlight really swiveled onto this category of bike with the introduction of the Specialized Kenevo.

With coil-sprung suspension, heavy-duty tyres, four-piston brakes and masses of travel, it was part shuttle vehicle, part downhill bike. More recently, Cannondale has joined the party with the Moterra Neo SE, while Specialized has pushed the boat out even further with the outlandish new Kenevo.

Best Trail Electric Bikes

Most full-suspension e-bikes fall into this bracket and typically they run around 150mm of travel, but fitted with burlier forks up front to cope with the extra weight and leverage of the frame.

Four-piston brakes are common, again to decelerate the additional mass, and they usually have slacker head angles and slightly smaller sizing – the extra weight adding stability that non-assisted bikes make up for in length.

Although there are models with 29in wheels and 27.5in wheels, you’ll see plenty of bikes mixing the two into what’s called a mullet configuration; the 29in wheel up front gives good rollover while the smaller 27.5in wheel at the back increases agility.

Usually this is paired with a large-volume 2.6in or 2.8in rear tyre that stretches the footprint and increases traction on steep or loose climbs. The most popular motors are built by Bosch, Brose and Shimano, with most battery capacities ranging from 500Wh to 700Wh.

Best Hardtail Mountain Electric Bikes

If you’re riding consists solely of tow paths, fire roads and country tracks, then e-hardtails make a lot of sense, since they can be cheaper and there’s less to go wrong. But for hitting proper single track, bike parks and trail centres, we wouldn’t recommend one. The reasons are simple.

You remain seated far more on an e-bike than an analogue bike – mostly because the motor prefers a high cadence, and the up-down piston motion of your legs when standing up doesn’t mesh well with the smooth, consistent power delivery of the motor.

So without any rear suspension you’re in for a punishing ride on anything but billiard-table smooth trails. E-bikes let you ride up climbs you wouldn’t dream of on a regular bike, but if you can’t get traction – because the rear wheel is bouncing over bumps and roots – you’ll be off and pushing.

Finally, on fast, rough or technical descents, it’s much harder to get an e-bike off the ground, so rear suspension not only helps reduce the impact at the wheel, it also helps you pop the bike over square-edge hits. Which is why most e-hardtails we’ve seen on technical trails are being pushed – with a flat back tyre.

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