The Best Electric Bikes of 2023: Staff Picks

Pedal with less effort, more fun on our favorite e-bikes.

Justin Housman|Updated June 27, 2023

75 reviews with an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars
riding an e-bike through town

There’s an electric bike for every rider and activity, from the total novice to the lifelong rider with a bike rack full of wheels. Whether you’re looking for something to power you along dirt roads and trails, spice up your work commute or zip around town running errands, there’s an e-bike for that—and so much more.

We picked our favorite e-bikes available from the co-op to help get you on the e-boosted path, whether you’re cruising, commutingcarrying kids or cargo or hitting flowy singletrack. Each bike is chosen because it’s reliable, a blast to ride, and comes with rock-solid components that we stand behind.


Staff Picks

For quick recommendations, check out our roundup below, or scroll down for in-depth reviews.

Electra is celebrated for its dependable cruisers and townie bikes for a reason. The Trek subsidiary knows how to make bikes that are fun and well-thought-out, and they’ve turned that attention to this sleek, sporty bike that will make getting around urban streets an absolute blast. You get your choice of two frame styles, step-over or step-through, both of which boast the same important bits.

A smooth 250W Hyena motor at the rear hub proves plenty of power to sail right past traffic—and comfortably through it. When riding in the city, it’s a big confidence boost to know you can keep up with the flow, and that’s not a problem with the Loft Go! 7D EQ. The torque-sensing motor responds to the pedal effort you put in to match power delivery seamlessly. The down tube-integrated battery gives the bike a clean, modern look and boosts your ride from 16 to 40 miles; an optional range extender is available from Electra, too.

The bike comes with lights and alloy fenders, plus a sweet, retro-inspired leatherette saddle. Lookin’ good, feelin’ good. Buy here and here.

If you’re in the market for an e-bike that’s fun to ride and easy to handle both on and off the bike, might we suggest the Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1? This feature-rich e-bike is not only zippy to ride, but also the least expensive option in our lineup. For the price, the bike comes loaded: hydraulic disc brakes, integrated rear rack that accommodates a kid seat or panniers, front and rear lights that run off the battery and solid components. The seat can be raised or lowered to fit different riders, letting you share with your whole household. (The handlebars are adjustable too, though one staffer noted that it “takes some work with tools.”) 

Out on the bike path, the Generation e1.1 holds its own. You can thank the agile geometry and smaller, 20-inch wheels (that lower the riding mass) for that nimble feeling. And while smaller wheels can seem less secure over bumps, you have no reason to worry: The Generation e1.1’s front suspension fork cushions rough roadway without flattening out the bike’s overall playfulness. "This bike is a great introduction to e-biking," says one customer-reviewer. "It is simple and fun. It is easy to handle and I plan on using it to replace a number of car trips." 

Five pedal-assist modes make it simple to fine-tune the boost you want. But you’ll also dig the walk mode, which is like having luggage that rolls itself. Buy here.

If you’re tired of sitting in your car, on a bus or train and watching cyclists whiz past, weaving through city gridlock with a smile on their face, this is the e-bike for you. With a Class 3 designation, the Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 3 can whir along with pedal assist up to 28 mph, propelling you across urban areas (and off-pavement adventures) in a very fun blink of an eye. It has nine speeds (furnished by Shimano Alivio drivetrain), so it’s up to you whether you want to huff and puff, or cruise along without breaking a sweat.

It can also get you across town comfortably and with whatever you need for work. The Tesoro Neo X 3 comes equipped with an air-sprung Suntour suspension fork with 100mm of travel and big 29-inch wheels to soak up potholes. “This bike is comfortable, easy to use and road ready. It is also great on dirt trails,” says one customer-reviewer. It’s equipped with fender and rack mounts so you can keep road mud on the road where it belongs, while carrying, well, whatever you need for your next commute or bikepacking trip. Lights (even brake lights), a horn and a kickstand are standard. And it’s also available in the Remixte frame with a lowered top tube so you can more easily get on and off.

This bike is fast, maneuverable and up to the challenge of getting you anywhere a car can go—and doing it just as fast, if not faster. The 500 Wh battery is capable of up to 85 miles between charges too, so, depending on your commute, you don’t need to plug it in every day. Buy here.


Remember when you were a kid and you had one bike that was expected to handle everything you could throw at it? The Cannondale Adventure Neo Allroad is the grown-up version. Quick spin to the store? No problem. A 25-mile pavement cruise through rolling hills? Absolutely. Gravel-grinding adventure? Check. This is the multi-tool of e-bikes, and it’s so fun you’ll stay out until someone yells “dinner!”

That fun comes courtesy of a 45Nm rear hub Bafang motor mated to a smooth-shifting 7-gear microSHIFT drivetrain and throttle assist. The Adventure Neo Allroad is the only Class 2 e-bike in our lineup, which means you can get a boost while pedaling or use throttle power without. “It is fast and zippy without being unstable, and fully capable of handling a variety of duties, whether it’s trudging up a gravel climb or carrying 50 bananas from the store to feed my daughter’s track team,” says one of our writers who tested and reviewed the EQ (equipped) version for us.

A removable 418W battery provides 47 miles of bliss-inducing juice to power your rides. Knobby 27.5-inch tires mean lots of grip when things get dirty, too, so long rides on mellow trails or fire roads will be calling. You get a bit of mountain bike frame design, but without fancy suspension to complicate things. It’s simple, fun and versatile, with the push to get you out there even on days when you otherwise might not have the energy. Buy here.

With its low center of gravity, wide tires that aid stability and an overbuilt frame designed to carry up to 440 pounds, the Tern GSD S10 is a pedaling pack mule. The GSD S10 fits up to two child bike seats without needing specialty hardware and can take a variety of panniers and rack systems (neither is included) to handle groceries and other loads. But all that load doesn’t mean you sacrifice the ride, either. The “smaller 20” wheels keep the weight of the bike close to the ground and easy to handle—“no small feat for a bike with a long, folding stem unit,” says one REI-certified bike tech. The lower height and telescoping seatpost also make the GSD S10 more versatile, so riders of varying heights (from 4’11” to 6’5”) could share one bike for errands and carrying kids.   

The GSD S10 is also loaded many cool features that encourage riders to use it in their day-to-day outings. For example, the integrated front wheel lock adds security. Front and rear fenders keep you and your cargo or kiddos free from road spray if it’s raining. And the dual-battery port allows you to double your range when you add a second battery.

The GSD S10 also inspires confidence because it comes shod with excellent Magura hydraulic disc brakes. And its Bosch mid-drive motor, which one staffer praised as being very smooth with power delivery, is among the best systems in the e-bike realm. Lastly, this e-bike is the same length as a standard bike, making the bike easy to handle and store. When you’re not riding it, a folding handlebar and the ability to put the entire bike in a vertical position on its rear rack allows for less obtrusive home or apartment storage. Buy here


Want all the point-the-sucker-downhill-and-grin fun of a burly full-suspension bike with none of the downside those heavy bikes have when climbing? That’s the Cannondale Moterra Neo 4, an all-mountain electric bike capable of navigating the chunkiest, most technical descents, while making ascending not only easy, but fun. With a modern long, low, and slack geometry and fast-rolling 29” wheels, this baby absolutely cooks when going down and has the stability to handle any trail on any mountain. “I mostly ride in eco and trail (modes) but man let me tell you, when you hit boost this thing flies,” writers one customer-reviewer. A 35mm stanchion RockShox fork with 150mm travel up front combine with a quality RockShox Deluxe Select R, DebonAir shock in the rear to soak up big hits from roots, rocks and ledges.

The electric grunt comes from a Shimano EP8 motor pumping out 85Nm of torque, a massive figure that will leave lots of other bikes standing still at the line when you take off. The 630 wH battery can provide dozens of happy trail miles, depending on which of the three power settings you use. Big 200mm brake rotors front and rear can handily stop your downhill shenanigans. 

A bike like this is a blast for an expert-level rider to increase speed and laps on favorite trails, and provides a great boost for newer riders or those who simply need, or want, an extra push uphill.  Buy here.


E-bikes are terrific for urban areas when biking is the only leg of your journey. Add in a train or a bus and things get way more complicated. And if you live in an apartment without bike parking, well, good luck lugging a full-sized e-bike into your home. That’s where the pretzel-like Brompton Electric C Line Explore shines. It weighs only 38 pounds and easily folds up into the size of a piece of carry-on luggage. Brilliant.

This isn’t a gimmick bike though. It means business on your urban commute. The 250W brushless motor, integrated into the front wheel hub, provides plenty of pep to get this little workhorse up to its top assisted speed of 15.5 mph. That’s helped by its diminutive 16-inch wheels that get going quickly. Those small wheels also provide plenty of maneuverability. Bumps are soaked up by the Brompton’s quality hand-brazed steel frame, easing the jarring you normally get with tiny wheels. “Good, sharp handling and fairly light weight,” says one customer-reviewer. Everything you need for a ride to work is included. The bike comes with an oil guard to keep your pants from getting chain grease on them, integrated mud flaps for splash protection and a set of lights (powered by the bike’s battery) at the front and rear. The battery provides 20 to 45 miles of pedal assist on a single charge.

Even though it folds, it’s remarkably comfortable with a generous step-through frame design and comfy saddle position that makes stepping on and off a breeze, even in meeting-appropriate attire. It even comes with a USB port to charge devices no matter where you go. Buy here.


Shop All E-bikes 

Michael Frank contributed to this report. Michael has been mountain biking since before disc brakes were a thing. He contributes to sites like CycleVolta and has been an editor at Adventure Journal and Bicycling. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley.


Buying Advice for Electric Bikes


Person riding a yellow electric bike on a dirt path

Consider these three factors when choosing the right electric bike for you.

Class of Bike

How much battery-powered assistance will you need when pedaling? Most e-bikes fall into three classes based on their power and, therefore, where you’re able to ride them.

What are the three classes of e-bikes?

  Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
Pedal Assist Yes Yes Yes
Throttle No Yes No
Max Assisted Speed 20 mph 20 mph 28 mph

The three groups are:

  • Class 1: The motor on this e-bike kicks in only while you’re actively pedaling, and the motor stops providing assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
  • Class 2: These e-bikes have a pedal-assist mode up to 20 mph; they also offer a throttle-powered mode that doesn’t require pedaling.  
  • Class 3: Like a Class 1 e-bike, the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28mph.

For most riders, a Class 1 e-bike is just fine: These pedal-assisted bikes are the most universally accepted on city streets and bike paths. The motor kicks in only when you pedal and stops helping you out when you hit 20 mph. Most of the bikes in our lineup fall into Class 1, including the Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 and the Electra Townie Go! 7D Step-thru.

Class 2  e-bikes like the Cannondale Adventure Neo Allroad have a pedal-assist mode up to 20 mph; they also offer a throttle-powered mode that doesn’t require pedaling.  

A Class 3 e-bike may be best for commuters and errand runners who want more power and speed. Like the Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 3, these faster bikes provide pedal assist up to 28 mph, helping you keep up with traffic on city streets. This, however, tends to preclude them from many bike and multiuse paths, so check regulations in your area. 

For a state-by-state guide to e-bike regulations, check out People for Bikes’ state-by-state guide to e-bike regulations around the country. And remember to ride your e-bike responsibly. Always check the land manager’s current rules on where your e-bike class can ride.


Motor Placement

Where the manufacturer sticks the motor on the e-bike will affect its feel and usability. When the motor is located on the bottom bracket where the crank arms attach to the bike frame (called a “mid-drive motor”), the ride tends to feel more natural; your weight is centered low for good balance.  

Hub-drive motors, meanwhile, sit inside the hub of the rear wheel (or the front wheel). Rear-wheel hub-drive motors, like in the Electra Loft Go! 7D or the Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1, send pedal power straight to the rear wheel, giving you a feeling of being pushed along. Front-wheel hub-drive motors handle somewhat like front-wheel-drive cars; they also allow a standard bike drivetrain to be used on the rear of the bike.


Motor Power, Battery Capacity, Riding Range

Choosing an e-bike means balancing performance versus riding range. A more powerful motor on e-bikes like the Tern GSD S10 Electric Bike or the Cannondale Moterra Neo 4 delivers more speed and more torque for climbing hills and hauling cargo, but it also drains the battery faster, reducing the distance you can cover. Pay attention to motor torque (stated in Newton meters) and battery capacity (stated in watt hours—or the number of hours a battery can sustain one watt of power before dying). The Cannondale Moterra Neo 4 has a 630 wH battery, the highest battery capacity in our lineup, while the two Electra e-bikes each have 250 wH, ideal for cruising on greenways and other paths.

Also, note where the battery is in the frame. You want it as low as possible. Think of this like the head of a hammer. It’s easier to carry with that metal hunk held directly down. Raise the head and it’s far harder to walk with. With e-bikes, the same is true. Put the battery up high, like in the rear rack, and it’s a lot of weight you’re fighting to counterbalance. But bikes with batteries integrated in the down tube, well below the rider’s own mass, are far easier to control and won’t feel as tippy.

How To Choose an E-bike 


Our Process

We asked our staff, bike technicians and retail specialists to weigh in on their favorite e-bikes available at the co-op. They reported back with their top picks for commuting, mountain biking, running errands and more. These e-bikes are their can’t-go-wrong faves.

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