The Best E-Bikes of 2022
These motor-equipped rides are both fun and functional
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E-bikes have become the gateway to cycling for many new riders because adding motorized assistance breaks down age, fitness, and ability barriers. The e-bikes we tested this year ran the gamut—boutique road and gravel machines that enable riders to keep pace on spirited group rides, utilitarian models that make quick work of daily commutes, and cargo bikes that function as pedal-powered minivans for families looking for an alternative to automobiles. There’s something for every rider among our favorite e-bikes of 2022.
Alchemy eRonin ($10,999)
E-gravel bikes are a great way to explore new routes and conquer climbs that you might have otherwise shied away from. This Class 1 Colorado-made carbon model weighs 29 pounds as tested with Shimano’s electronic GRX drivetrain. It also boasts a unique drive system: unlike with most gravel bikes, the eRonin’s designers combine the motor and 250-watt-hour battery into one removable unit that provides a boost of power up to 20 miles per hour. Want to go analog? Simply remove the drive unit from the down tube and replace it with a cover that turns the empty space into a cargo compartment, which saves you seven pounds. Some e-bikes feel like a chore to ride beyond their maximum assisted speed. Not the eRonin. Its mid-mounted Fazua Evation motor has minimal resistance, and although we wished the top speed was a bit higher, especially when we were trying to keep pace with a group of fit gravel racers, the eRonin never felt like dead weight when we exceeded the motor’s output.
LeMond Prolog ($4,795)
If you’re a member of the generation that grew up idolizing Greg LeMond, it might be time to invest in an e-bike to keep pace with your children. Striking good looks and low weight makes this one our favorite for daily riding—even though we’re nervous leaving it locked up for longer than it takes to order a latte. A sleek carbon frame, one-piece carbon handlebar and stem, carbon wheels ($1,800 extra), and Shimano 1×11 GRX drivetrain keep the complete bike weight to a paltry 26 pounds. The 250-watt hub-mounted Mahle X35+ motor is smooth and quiet, with pedaling assistance up to 20 miles per hour. We averaged 45 miles per charge during testing, and an external battery (available separately) can boost the bike’s range by 70 percent, which is great for longer commutes and gravel adventures. Even without the motor on, the Prolog has a light and lively ride that puts range anxiety to rest. The bike’s low weight also makes it a wonderful option for apartment dwellers who have to lug bikes up multiple flights of stairs.
Bunch Bikes Original ($3,999)
Bunch Bikes’ goal is to make European-inspired cargo bikes a mainstream transportation option for North American families. To that end, the Original is less bicycle and more three-wheeled minivan, with seating for four children in the spacious front cargo box. It can also hold a week’s worth of groceries or your favorite four-legged friends. Bunch makes it easy to customize the Original to your liking with accessories like a rain cover, sunshade, toddler seats, and dog bed. The 500-watt hub-mounted motor has a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour and provides enough get-up-and-go to ride efficiently, even while hauling two kids and four bags of groceries. In testing, fully loaded like this, the Original’s average range was 27.5 miles per charge—plenty for most around-town errands. The turning radius of this three-wheeler is big compared with that of most two-wheeled models, but we think this is a worthy trade-off for its stability, which is a great attribute when carrying heavy loads (or excited children).
GT E-Grade Current ($3,350)
The E-Grade Current is the electric counterpart to GT’s popular gravel bike. This Class 1 flat-handlebar version features gravel-ready 40-millimeter WTB Nano tires and neutral handling, so it’s equally suited to recreational rides and errands. We’ve tested many e-bikes with the hub-mounted Mahle Ebikemotion X35 drive system and always come away impressed with its natural feel, low drag, and color-coded interface, which is built into the top tube. Riders can switch among three modes with a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour. The slim, 250-watt-hour battery housed in the down tube has enough range for most excursions (we traveled 40 miles on a single charge). At 31 pounds, it’s not as light as LeMond’s Prolog, but testers noted that the durable aluminum frame and understated appearance are important traits for an e-bike that may get locked up in busy public spaces like offices, college campuses, and coffee shops. This is a great e-bike for commuters and casual riders looking for a no-nonsense ride.