Discussion by Type

Explore and discover electric bicycles by type of riding or type of hardware, these forum categories match up with review categories on EBR

City, Urban

This broad category of electric bikes features efficient tires to navigate neighborhood, city, and urban environments without the noise and drag of studded tires. They may come with racks, fenders, and lights.
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Mountain, Trail

This type of electric bike is designed to go off-road. Mountain bikes usually have higher volume tires with aggressive tread (smaller knobs for gravel roads and packed dirt, larger knobs for soft loose terrain). Most eMTB products have front suspension and many offer full suspension! This improves rider comfort and control, but tends to increase the price and weight of the bike. Most electric mountain bikes have aluminum frames, but the really fancy ones use lightweight titanium or carbon fiber. They are often ranked by toughness, terrain capability, and suspension travel going from cross country (120mm), trail (150mm), all mountain enduro (150mm to 180mm), and downhill (180mm+).
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Folding, Compact

This type of electric bike features a frame and components that fold, rotate, or remove to improve portability and storing potential. They are popular with people who travel in RV’s, live in small apartments, or use public transportation. Despite their often small size, they are not always as lightweight due to additional frame reinforcement and similar motor and battery technology as full sized non-folding ebikes. Most folders are small or medium sized and offer an approachable mid-step or step-thru frame, making them popular for petite riders.
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Cargo, Box Bikes

These electric bikes are usually longer and lower to the ground, providing easier loading of cargo and more cargo space than a standard city ebike. Cargo ebikes tend to have powerful motors, optional rack accessories for transporting gear or additional passengers (including children), and they usually only come in one frame size but offer adjustable seat, stem, and handlebar to fit a wide range of riders.
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Recumbent Bikes

This style of electric bike positions the rider in a laid back position for comfort and aerodynamics. Cranks and pedals are usually mounted out front on an adjustable boom vs. directly below the seat tube and saddle. Instead of sitting on a saddle, most recumbent ebikes utilize a canvas chair that supports the bottom and back of the rider; some even have adjustable headrests. Recumbent bicycles are usually set up as tricycles with two wheels up front and one in the back (called tadpole trike), or two wheels in the back with one up front (called delta trike). There are a few unique recumbents that use two wheels like a traditional bicycle, making them easier to lean and turn but less stable to mount.
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Fat Tire

This type of electric bike has tires that are wider than 2.8-inches, often 4″ or 4.9″ wide! The increased surface area improves traction but also increases friction, drag, and noise. Some fat tires are knobby for off-road use and others are slick and smooth for cruising on-road. In general, fat tire electric bikes are very stable and comfortable. The air inside can squish to act as a shock absorber and be lowered to help the tire spread out and “float” over soft terrain. Fat bikes began as a niche product for traditional cyclists who wanted to ride in loamy, sandy, or packed snow conditions. Some fat tires can even be used with metal spikes for grip in slippery icy conditions. With the introduction of electric bike technology, the niche has become much more mainstream because motor systems more than offset the weight and drag of fat tires, making them more enjoyable for less athletic riders.
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Light Weight

This type of electric bike is lightweight compared to other products in its category. I make a judgement call based on the average weight of each bike type and highlight specific outstanding products in the light category, based on their efficient use of materials. Light ebikes tend to cost more, have smaller batteries, and motors… but they often provide a more natural ride experience that gives riders more control and improves ride feel.
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Cruiser, Relaxed

These electric bikes will generally have swept-back handlebars, a large plush saddle, a relaxed upright geometry, and larger tires for stability and comfort. They typically have a classic look with curvy frames and thicker tubing.
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High Speed

This type of electric bike is considered “out of class” or beyond Class 2 and 3. This means, it either goes above 25kmh or 32kmh with throttle support or goes beyond 45kmh with pedal assist. While it may look like a bicycle, having pedals, it performs more like a moped and may require licensing, insurance, and lights based on local laws.
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Trikes and Other

This type of electric bike has three wheels. Trike is short for tricycle, tri means three. There are two dominant configurations for these wheels including delta which has two wheels in the back and one up front, and tadpole which has two wheels in the front and one in the back. Tadpole trikes tend to be the most stable and can corner at higher speeds without tipping over. In general, trikes are stable, easy to load with gear, and allow the rider to sit in a more recumbent laid-back or forward position, which improves comfort and aerodynamic efficiency. Some upright trikes feature large baskets in the rear and are popular for seniors who use them to get around town and run errands.
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