Here’s our list for the best electric road bikes of 2021. Each of these ebikes offers a unique blend of features and value, representing the very best across a wide range of possibilities. Beyond these featured picks, be sure to check out all 39 of our electric road bikes reviews listed here. We haven’t covered everything that’s out there, but we’re always adding more and go very deep with each bike we test. Reviewing electric bikes is our main focus here, and Electric Bike Review has the most complete and impartial reviews in the industry. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people discover electric bikes that fit their lifestyle, needs, and budget. Let’s get into the best road bikes!
Table of Contents:
- Best Premium Electric Road Bike
- Best Value Electric Road Bike
- Best Affordable Electric Road Bike
- Promoted Electric Road Bike
- Honorable Mention Electric Road Bike
Things to Consider:
- Your Budget. Electric road bikes tend to be very expensive, and getting the best of everything can be cost prohibitive. Start by identifying what’s important to you, and then prioritize. You can find good value, but if you want stealthy looks, the lightest weight, and the latest technology, you can expect to pay more.
- Motor and Sensors. How much power do you want, and how do you plan to use it? Some road ebikes utilize lightweight efficient motors that are designed to help with starts and climbs, others are extremely capable and can help you reach and maintain higher top speeds. The type of pedal assist sensor that activates the motor will drastically change ride feel and even impact range. Torque and advanced multi-sensors are the most natural and intuitive, but require more pedal power, cadence sensors cost less but act more like an on/off switch than a natural boost. Most road ebikes do not offer throttle operation.
- Batteries. Do you prize the stealth looks of an internal battery pack over higher capacity less expensive bolt-on designs? How much range do you need? Can a second battery or extender be used? How heavy and large is the battery charger, how quickly will it fill the bike (how many amps does it put out). When riding without the battery pack, are there any storage options to use the space for other accessories?
- Displays / Remotes. Most electric bikes have some sort of LED or LCD display panel with feedback about battery charge level, assist level, and ride stats. Road models tend to go minimalist for weight savings, and their button pads tend to be less reachable because of the multi hand positions offered by drop bars. They seem to blend simple ebike controls with traditional cycle computer readouts for fitness, and many offer wireless connection options for heart rate monitors! the fanciest products show precise battery levels, and even offer dynamic range estimator readouts. Many of the big motor manufacturers also offer smartphone apps that provide options for motor tuning, bicycle security, and route planning in conjunction with STRAVA, Kamoot, and others. If you want these extra features, expect to pay more… but keep in mind that most apps work independent of ebikes as well.
- Higher Speeds. In the US, class 1 ebikes can only provide assistance up to 20mph (32km/h)… the limit is 15.5mph (25km/h) in parts of Europe. There is a faster type of ebike called class 3, which provides assistance up to 28mph (45km/h) which is available openly in the US but requires some licensing in parts of Europe. For either class of electric bicycles, you should easily be able to pedal beyond the maximum supported speed on an efficient road type ebike, and the motor should not add any type of drag (if it’s a mid-drive or geared hub motor… avoid direct drive to avoid drag). Review the laws in your area and consider that class 1 products are the most widely accepted on paths and trails while class 3 is usually limited to streets, then decide what class and motor configuration is right for you.
If you would like to spend a bit less, but not sacrifice too much in terms of quality parts and performance, the Trek CrossRip+ is a great option… but is no longer available for sale! We have not been able to review the new Domane+ models yet (which feature a Bosch PowerTube battery vs. the external PowerPack shown here). Since the Domane+ ALR is priced the same as the CrossRip+, I’m going to recommend checking that one out while maintaining this listing of the CrossRip+ in case there’s a dealer that still has one, or you can find it used. What I love about the CrossRip+ is that it chose the external PowerPack 500 battery, which is actually lighter than the PowerTube 500 and much more compact (in case you wish to bring a spare). Just like the BULLS model listed as the Premium winner, the CrossRip+ utilized the Bosch Performance Line Speed motor, but was third generation, which introduced some friction drag when pedaling. This electric road bike offers fenders and a rear rack, which is unique… and it had very bright integrated lights. This was one of the earliest, and coolest, electric road bikes available, and Trek remains a category leader as well as an industry leader in the ebike space. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
A lightweight, high speed, electric road bike with sturdy 12 mm thru-axle on the front wheel, Carbon fiber fork, and Alpha 200 Gold alloy frame to dampen vibration. Capable and comfortable on hard packed trails as a gravel grinder, sturdy Aluminum fenders and…...
If price point is your primary driver, but you still want a product that offers quality, reliability, and dynamic experience, the iGO Electric Aspire Camillien is an excellent choice. It’s the only product on this list with a hub motor, and it utilizes a torque sensor vs. the fancier multi-sensors from Bosch, MAHLE, Brose, Yamaha, Shimano and others. For roughly half the price, you get a fairly lightweight all-aluminum electric road bike with a more upright geometry, two frame sizes, and lots of attachment points for front and rear racks, fenders, and two bottle cage bosses! The display is not as sophisticated as some of the others, you don’t get integrated heartrate monitoring, but you do get some performance tuning options and unlockable Class 3 performance with their Bluetooth smartphone app. The double chainring offers 18 speeds, which is significantly more than most of the mid-drive models, which rely on one-by drivetrains. Rather than full hydraulic, they chose a mechanical lever and wire that interfaces with hydraulic dual pistons at the caliper. The 160mm rotors from TRP offer quality performance, and good stopping power. One downside to this setup is a lack of motor inhibitors on the brakes, and noticeable delay on motor cutout when you stop pedaling. The hub motor isn’t as powerful as most of the other mid-drives, but it is being powered by a custom controller that boosts performance from 250 watts to 450 watts nominal. The motor does produce noticeable whirring and whining noises at higher speeds. I’m trying to be very clear about some of the trade-offs here, but the bike is still a very good choice at the lower end of the price spectrum. It’s one of the few “cheap” road ebikes I’d actually recommend, and they didn’t cut corners with the reflective puncture resistant tires or Shimano Sora derailleurs. iGO is a longstanding leader in the ebike space, having started in 2006. They sell through shops, and go out of their way to dedicate any online sales to the nearest local shop… which fosters better in-person support and residual value if you sell it used. This is also the case for most of the higher-end ebikes with Bosch, Brose, Shimano, and Yamaha systems. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
One of the most affordable road style electric bikes with drop bars and a decent 18-speed drivetrain. Available in two frame sizes, sold through dealers as well as online, ships as a Class 1 product but can be unlocked for faster 28mph (45km/h) Class 3 performance using the free smartphone application.. Extremely lightweight at 40.6lbs (18.4kg), and balanced front to rear. The 250W Bafang planetary geared…...
BULLS pays us to promote their DESERT FALCON EVO electric bike here on EBR, but it’s worth noting that this is an invitation-only service. That means, we only invite companies that have a great value proposition and with whom we’ve worked for many years. We reviewed this ebike before we extended the offer to advertise, and I happen to think it is also worthy of the “best premium road ebike” spot above. Rather than go into more detail on the FALCON EVO, which uses the more powerful Bosch Performance Speed motor, I want to highlight their lighter ALPINE HAWK EVO model. That bike only weighs 33lbs vs. 41.5lbs on the FALCON because it uses the brand new Fazua Evation motor. The HAWK is a Class 1 product, meaning it tops out at 20mph, and the display and battery systems aren’t as refined as Bosch, but it still benefits from the vast dealer network that BULLS offers and their great customer service and warranty programs. Frankly, I really appreciate that BULLS as a company is willing to try new things and roll out bikes with SR Suntour, Brose, Fazua, Shimano, and Bosch drive systems. Many competitors, including Trek, have stuck with just Bosch. While my own favorite road model from BULLS right now is the DESERT FALCON EVO, I just wanted to highlight some of the options with this promoted listing. BULLS has been a longtime supporter of EBR, and while I recognize that established road bike companies are getting into the space, BULLS has a great knowledge of the ebike systems and produces products that offer great value. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
A solidly built aluminum alloy road bike with carbon fiber for and seat post to dampen vibration, available in three frame sizes for optimal fit, large network of dealers in the US and Canada for fitting and post-purchase maintenance. 28mph Class 3 speed pedelec performance with the 4th generation Bosch Performance Line Speed motor,…...
Rounding out this list of best city electric bikes is the Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert. When Specialized custom designed their own “super light” motor system with MAHLE, they implemented it on the Creo first… then the Levo mountain bikes, then the Vado urban commuter bikes. In short, I love this motor! It significantly reduces weight, and is paired with a semi-permanent internal frame battery that is complimented by bottle shaped “range extender” batteries. Specialized went with a Class 3 speed pedelec setup for their road ebikes, which I love, and offers one of the best smartphone apps to date. This bike is lightweight, beautiful, available in multiple sizes and gravel grinder configurations with high volume tires and flared drop bars. The built-in display system is super minimal (just a rubberized button on the top tube with a line of LED lights to communicate assist level and battery charge level), but the optional smartphone app allows for motor tuning, trip planning with battery capacity allocation (arrive here with % remaining), integration with Strava, Kamoot, and their own user profile system that can store past rides. While not as proven as Bosch, Shimano, or Brose (Specialized uses customized Brose drive systems on most of their non-SL ebikes), my impression is that it’s reliable and capable. This is the ebike I would consider for myself, as a lightweight rider who enjoys exercising and appreciates the stealthy look. It’s decidedly more stealthy than the BULLS bikes, and more seamless than almost any of the other competitors… and that does come with a couple of trade-offs. The default battery is very low capacity, and since it cannot be removed easily, it could suffer from extreme heat and cold if the bike is left outside… and this impacts battery charge cycles (lifespan) and daily range (if cold). You get a wide range of sizes, a few skew levels to adjust price point, and a wide network of dealers with great customer support. Click the image or title below to visit the full review with more details, or add it to your compare list by clicking the box below.
A super-lightweight ~29lb full carbon electric road ebike, Class 3 speed-pedelec performance offers 28mph (45km/h) assisted speeds, proprietary Future Shock 2.0 steer tube suspension adds comfort while minimizing weight and maximizing rolling efficiency. Available in six frame sizes, sold through a vast network of dealers with professional fitting systems, solid two-year comprehensive warranty. The frame offers provisions for two bottle cages, fenders, and a rear rack. Boost hub spacing provides sturdier spoke bracing angle, 12mm thru-axles provide stiffness and control at…...
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If you’re completely new to electric bicycles, check out my introduction video, which explains why I started EBR back in 2012. I’ve also posted an informal interview with my uncle Greg, who has been riding a full suspension electric mountain bike to work in Colorado, rain or shine, for several years! EBR makes money by listing shops on our directory map, charging for a limited number of promoted bike slots that will get more visibility, charging a nominal fee for some of our reviews (to help cover the costs of travel and production), and getting paid by YouTube for ads that play before our videos. We believe in transparency, and appreciate your visit here! Good luck, ride safe, and thanks for visiting :)