Best electric bikes from £640 to £4000 for E-asy commuting and mountain munching

E-bikes to iron out hills and get you to work, no sweat

Tear up that Travelcard, it's time to try a new way of commuting: electric bike. And when it comes to the best electric bike, there's only one choice for us at the moment - the Gtech eBike. And, if we're being specific, the Gtech eBike Sports. For under £1,000, you get a stunning e-bike that actually looks like a bike.

The Gtech eBike Sports also boasts a 30-mile maximum range, is simple to operate and charge and adjusts speed well. That's why it's our choice for the best electric bike.

How to choose the best electric bike for you

Cycling is a great move for a number of reasons: it's free (after the initial bicycle purchase), it's good for your health and in many cases, it can be faster than cars and public transport. 

Cycling with an electric bike for a commuter is all these things, plus leaves you less sweaty - what's not to love?

Different brands take different approaches to electric bike manufacture. Some choose to place an electric motor in the front or rear wheel hub, with a torque sensor in the cranks that tells the on-board batteries to send power to the wheels.

Others - notably Bosch and Yamaha - opt for more advanced designs, with the entire motor and sensor unit situated around the bike's cranks, meaning more visually appealing and aerodynamically advanced frame styles can be fashioned.

If you're used to non-electric cycles, be aware that e-bikes are heavy and capped at 15mph. In many cases, that means the bike starts to feel like its actively fighting against you, if you try to push the speed higher than that by pedalling.

This can take a while to get used to. 

Realistically, 15mph is a very decent average speed when commuting in town or taking on hills, however. This is despite what all cyclists will tell you is their average speed – you're not fooling anyone, guys! 

These are the best electrically assisted bicycles on the planet right now, and there are options for casual commuters, road riders, hill climbers and mud-track scramblers.

We've started with what we consider to be the most generally useful mix of power, range, practicality and price, but there are models further down from off-road bikes to fold-up ones, and plenty of price options, from cheap to not-quite-so cheap.

The 11 best electric bikes you can buy today

These are the best electric bikes to buy, in order of preference, but also noting what we think each one is 'best for'. Allez!

1. Gtech eBike Sports

Best ebike for urban use

Computer monitored to adjust speed when pedalling
Good value for money
Not much difference between low and high power
Slightly uncomfortable saddle and grips

There are definitely more powerful electric bikes out there than this, and a few cheaper ones, but Gtech - best known for its vacuum cleaners and hedge trimmers - has pulled off a surprise win, here.

For just shy of a grand, you get an e-bike that actually looks like a bike, has a 30-mile maximum range, and is shorn of anything that could be described as complexity.

You turn it on by pressing the green button on the battery once for low power and twice for high, although to be honest, there is not a lot of difference between them. After that, you just pedal. There are no gears, no chain to muck up your trousers (a motorbike-style carbon fibre belt is used instead) and not that much difference in feeling compared to riding a normal bike.

The twist is that a computer monitors how hard you're having to work to pedal, and applies the electric motor as required. So you mainly feel its helping hand as you pull away from lights, coming out of corners, and of course, going up slopes.

As with all these bikes, the assisted speed is capped at 15mph, but unlike some of them, the Gtech eBike Sport is light and agile enough for you to be able pedal harder without feeling like the weight is fighting you back down to 15mph. You can even, at a push, use it without the motor on flatter roads.

We wouldn't try to take this up a mountain section of the Tour de France, but for urban hills and more gentle rural inclines, it really does take the work out of it.

For the money, and especially considering it comes from a hedge trimmer brand, the eBike is a great little set of wheels. There have been sacrifices made in the comfort of the saddle and the grips, and the brakes could have a bit more bite to them, but these seem like acceptable compromises to us.

2. Cube Reaction HPA Pro 400

Best ebike for hillier commutes

Powerful, long-lasting motor
9 Shimano gears
It is bloody heavy
Fairly pricey

From Germany, like a lot of the best electric bikes, the entirely off-puttingly-named Cube leads the pack when it comes to commute-friendly 'mountain e-bikes'.

I've put that in quotes because I am not sure I'd necessarily take this up and down a muddy hill or a hill stage of the TdF. It's a hardtail rather than having suspension, too. 

However, for general riding outside of largely flat cities like London and Amsterdam, or simply for very lazy and/or more 'mature' people, the Cube is a brilliant choice.

It is about double the price of Gtech's bike, but then you get disk brakes, 9-speed Shimano gears and a much more powerful Bosch hub. 

Given that it weighs well over 20 kilos, that's just as well. You wouldn't want to have to pedal this up a hill with a flat battery – or carry it up a staircase come to that, so make sure you've got street-level storage.

It feels about as agile as a 20-kilo bike can feel, however, thanks to the power plant, which is 'the most powerful E-drive currently available' at 75Nm, while the 400Wh battery should be good for 50 miles or so with assistance on full blast. An eco mode is also available.

If you require a rather more serious steed than the Gtech City, this is your best bet.

3. Ridgeback Electron Plus

Best e-bike for serious hills

Hub gears
Lots of power
Conquers any hill
Ridiculously heavy
Another step up price-wise

Employing Shimano's STEPS e-bike tech, this is a further step up from Gtech's City runabout and Cube's hybrid.

Again it's heavier (a ludicrous 26kg), higher-specced (this boasts hub gears and built-in lights, powered by the main battery) and more sophisticated. You can even opt for Shimano's Di2 electric gearing. Shelling out for that in an e-bike context would be kind of ridiculous, but hey, it's your money.

The built in bike computer shows key ride data, including you how much further the battery can take you, and which of the three power settings you are using. 

The STEPS motor system runs from an enormous, rear-mounted battery that gives a colossal, 160-mile range in low power and about 40 on the maximum setting.

With that and the mechanical gears, you have a bike that can deal with just about any hill, and will whirr effortlessly along on the flat.

The one issue with the Shimano system is that its heft, with the fact that the e-power is capped at 15mph, means it is something of a chore to get it going any faster than that. But then, this isn't meant for the flat; it's a mountain muncher.

If you live in the countryside, or a hilly town like Brighton, and you don't fancy having calves like massive hams, the Electron Plus could be your dream ride.

4. Coboc One Soho

Best electric bike for style

Extremely stylish
Lightweight
Expensive

Who said e-bikes couldn't be cool? Coboc's Soho blends all of the stylish elements of achingly hip fixed-gear bicycles with cutting edge battery and electric motor technology.

In this case, the lightweight power source is neatly embedded into the frame, while torque sensors are mounted in the bottom bracket for instantaneous and progressive assistance.

You can expect a range of around 50 miles on a single charge, which takes around two hours. More importantly, the brushed aluminium frame is finished with a lightweight carbon fibre fork, as well as retro-inspired bars and saddle from Brooks.

If you like the idea of e-bikes but hate the look, this is your solution. You big hipster, you.

From £3,199 | Find out more direct from Coboc

5. Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie

Best off-road electric bike

Mission Control App for perfect ride planning
Not one for commuting

Turbo Levo offers serious off-road lunatics the chance to get their kicks with less pedal effort thanks to this awesome electrically assisted machine.

The full suspension Levo FSR Comp 6Fattie (great name, huh?) packs a powerful electric motor that was pinched from the automotive world, which sucks juice from a battery that has been seamlessly blended into the frame.

The entire drive system is neatly incorporated into the bike's design for optimal weight distribution and the ultimate in sexy design, while users control torque and power output, which peaks at a surprisingly punchy 530W, via a cool Mission Control App that can also be programmed to a time or distance parameter to ensure there's enough power to get you home.

Once the power output is set, the rider simply pedals and marvels at the amount of power that the battery pack and motors offer up. Once at the top of a gnarly downhill route, the motor can be turned off and the rider left to enjoy the berms, jumps and obstacles that make mountain biking so appealing (and downright scary).

The huge beaded tyres are hardly ideal for everyday commuting but the electric motor will instantly override any rolling resistance that should rear its ugly head. You could also consider some of the more commuter-friendly Turbo models.

This thing is also kitted out with a full SRAM groupset, RockShox Yari RC front shocks, Custom Fox Float suspension at the rear and enormously punchy SRAM disc brakes at the front and rear. Fundamentally, it's a mighty off-road machine with pro-spec kit that introduces a new style of trail riding, allowing adrenaline junkies to ride further, climb harder and descend faster than ever before.

6. Gtech eScend

Best 'budget' mountain e-bike

Suspension and gears
Cheaper than similar rivals
Generally a fun ride
Only a 30-mile range

Rather as it did with the City at #1, Gtech has undercut its more established bicycle rivals with this beefed-up, 'mountain bike' successor.

At £1,899 it's not cheap as such, but if you consider that it weighs less (19kg) than the Cube at #2, and adds front RockShox suspension, for less than £100 more, it seems a decent deal.

Like the Cube the eScent has Shimano Deore gears and disk brakes. 

It lacks the power and range (you'll get about 20-30 miles) of that bike but particularly for cyclists making the switch to E-biking, it's more fun to ride.

That's due to the lighter weight and the way it assists your pedalling automatically, based on resistance put up by hills etc. 

7. Giant Road E+1

The speedster

Ultra-reliable battery
Very loud brakes on descents

Billed as a 'lively hybrid powered bike', the Road E+1 is really the closest thing to an electrically assisted performance road bike as it's possible to get.

Granted, the UCI would likely have several heart attacks if you turned up to a professional event on this but that's not to say it doesn't have its merits.

As a rapid commuter machine, it's faultless, with an ultra-reliable 500Wh Lithium Ion battery powering a SyncDrive Yamaha X94 central motor, which produces 80Nm of torque, and the sort of finishing kit that's reserved for top end road racers.

A Shimano 105 groupset, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and FSA extras all come as standard, so if you feel like you need a bit of assistance on your daily commute or a handy shove next weekend ride, this could be just the ticket.

8. JIVR

Best for: The techy train user

Easy to fold and carry
Smartphone dock
Only 19 miles worth of juice

This chainless, compact, folding bicycle has arrived to show Brompton what the future of urban transportation looks like… And it's kinda funky.

An electric motor in the front wheel allows you to choose between electric, manual or assisted pedalling modes, with the small and lightweight battery delivering around 19 miles of riding. A charge from a regular socket takes just two hours.

The sleek, 16kg machine can be fully folded in under 10-second to haul it on a bus or train, plus it boasts a neat smartphone dock on the handlebars. A neat addition because a bespoke app gives distance readouts, calories burned and GPS navigation readouts.This chainless, compact, folding bicycle has arrived to show Brompton what the future of urban transportation looks like… And it's kinda funky.

An electric motor in the front wheel allows you to choose between electric, manual or assisted pedalling modes, with the small and lightweight battery delivering around 19 miles of riding. A charge from a regular socket takes just two hours.

The sleek, 16kg machine can be fully folded in under 10-second to haul it on a bus or train, plus it boasts a neat smartphone dock on the handlebars. A neat addition because a bespoke app gives distance readouts, calories burned and GPS navigation readouts.

€2,499 |Buy direct from JIVR

9. Carrera Crossfire-E

Another good budget offering

Low price
Solid performance
Not particularly exciting

There's not much to get excited about in terms of styling or performance with this budget Halfords offering but as a reasonable everyday hack, it's hard to fault.

The front suspension aids riding over potholes and scarred road surfaces, while the 36v 9ah battery supplies an impressive amount of juice to the rear hub-mounted e-motor.

Four assist modes can be selected via a brightly lit screen, with power ranging from a slight shove to all-out electric motoring. Unfortunately, the torque sensor can be a little slow to react but once up to speed, it's plain sailing all the way to work.

From £1,100 | Buy exclusively at Halfords