The best e-bikes for all needs and budgets

If you’re reading this page, we assume you’re already sold on the benefits of cycling – whether your motivation is fitness, environmentalism, or a desire to avoid dystopian public transportation costs (and germs). It’s no surprise that 7.5 million of us donned our helmets last year, and the renaissance continues into 2022.

The sale of electric bicycles is also gaining momentum. By 2023, the Bicycle Association expects UK sales to triple. To the uninitiated, e-bikes look like your regular manual two-wheelers, but an electric motor and battery enable pedal assist. This takes some of the grunt out of your ride, allowing you to travel further and faster, while different levels of assistance make it easier to ride on days when you’re not feeling your best.

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight, collapsible commuter model or something more robust for loading over rough terrain, there’s a model that will take you up a gear. The MH Lab commissioned a panel of experienced cyclists to find the best bikes for both leisure and commuting.

Multi-tasker 95/100

Volt Pulse LS Step Through E-Bike £1,949

TERRAIN HERO: With a sturdy construction, plus built-in racks and lights, this e-bike is a solid all-rounder. It is safe and reliable thanks to the puncture-resistant tires
and hydraulic brakes.

EXPERT OPINION: Although chunky, the Volt performs well in all terrains. It jumps smoothly through its eight gears and provides a welcome boost on hills. Its weight makes it difficult to drive up and down in traffic, but it is an excellent choice for your leisure time.

Beginner-friendly 95/100

Low entry Raleigh Motus Grand Tour hub gear, £2,500

GRAFT OR GLIDE: This e-bike is suitable for both new and experienced riders. It has versatile pedal assist – rest and chill if you want; go hard if you’re feeling strong – and the battery claims to get you from London to Nottingham.

EXPERT OPINION: It is a pleasure to ride and as long as the saddle may be slightly uncomfortable, maneuvering the bike is easy. The instructions are also simple

Fitness First 94/100

Halfords Carrera Impel Im-2 electric hybrid bike, £1,299

halfords. com

LARGE VALUE: You get a lot of technology for this relatively wallet-friendly price. You can track your ride stats through the app and view them on the LCD screen which can also be charged via USB.

EXPERT OPINION: The seat is comfortable, the tires grip all surfaces, and it’s easy to adjust the assistant to your liking. The only thing missing is a bottle cage – but you can buy that.

Commuter’s Pick 82/100

Brompton Electric C-Line Urban, £2,995

brompton. com

SHAPE-CHANGER: The world’s most compact folding e-bike, according to Brompton, folds in just 20 seconds. The high driving position ensures that you don’t arrive at the office dripping with sweat.
EXPERT OPINION: This stylish model is a breeze to use. It only has two gears, so hills can take some effort, but for the average commuter, this bike is our champ.

Tech Whiz 82/100

Angell/S Rapide, £2,690

IN SAFE HANDS: This bike doesn’t skimp on features. Enjoy integrated turn signals and brake lights, anti-theft tracking, GPS and a touchscreen that helps you navigate to your destination. It’s also extremely light if you ever need to carry it.
EXPERT OPINION: It’s just like a regular bike, only with assistance. Testers felt (to use the technical term) “very cool” when driving, and with all those flair specs, who wouldn’t? Be aware that the lack of gears limits speed.

The best e-bikes for all needs and budgets

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