Though a vocal segment of cyclists still decry e-bikes as lazy, demand continues to swell. That’s partly because the technologies are improving so rapidly: motor systems are becoming seamlessly smooth, lithium-ion batteries continue to shrink in size while providing more range, and designs are so refined that it’s sometimes impossible to tell an electric model from an analog one. “They are game changers in so many ways, making cycling more accessible and practical,” says Larry Pizzi, who chairs the e-bike committee for the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association. “They have become a genuine car alternative, enabling bike commuting over distances and terrain that might otherwise be impractical.”
Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch ($4,500)
The Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch is the veritable minivan of e-bikes. The ten-speed, 250-watt Bosch motor isn’t the biggest around, but it still provides plenty of torque for hauling. And the 400-watt-hour battery yields up to 40 miles of range. With a 26-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear, the Spicy Curry looks a little odd, but that squat back end keeps the center of gravity low for easy handling. Yuba also offers a wide range of accessories, including bamboo decking and sideboards for cargo, bags for grocery runs, and seating options for kids. The frame can handle it all, too, with a capacity of 300 pounds. In other words, it leaves you almost no excuse for driving.
Emery One ($5,500)
The first 3-D-printed e-commuter, the One has an aerospace-grade carbon-fiber frame mated to a Bosch motor and a fully integrated 500-watt-hour battery. The flat bars and outsize 47-millimeter tires on 650b rims provide lots of comfort for city riding.
Pinarello Dyodo ($8,000)
With a SRAM Force drivetrain, Mavic wheels, and Pinarello’s lithe carbon fiber, the Dyodo could pass for a race bike. The 250-watt ebikemotion motor hidden in the hub and the 250-watt-hour battery concealed in the down tube ensure you’ll never get dropped on group rides or in traffic.