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BUYER'S GUIDE

Best electric road bikes 2024 ⁠— choose an e-bike that looks like a road bike to add power to your rides

Browse the best electric road bikes to help you conquer even the steepest hills with ease, and still get great endorphin-boosting exercise

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How can you tell the best electric road bikes apart from the crowd? You can't. And therein lies the magic. Today's e-road bikes bring to the fore a new age of assisted cycling. They're slim, light and inconspicuous, all thanks to the motor and battery being nearly tucked away inside the frame.


Electric bikes, or e-bikes, make cycling hugely more accessible. They're that saving grace for those on project comeback from illness or injury, or any cyclist who is after an extra boost over a hill during the weekly club ride. The best electric bikes, whether they're drop bar road-style bikes like those in this guide or any number of other bike genres, let you ride for longer over tougher routes, and are supremely handy for racing the lights, saving you precious minutes getting from A to B.

Like all electric bikes that you can ride legally in the UK without a licence and insurance, these electric road bikes deliver up to 250 watts of continuous power assistance and stop helping when you get to 25km/h (15.5mph). But unlike your classic hybrid number, e-road bikes don't become a dead weight when the power eventually runs out. The nimble build of a modern e-road bike means that it should remain practical and a pleasure to ride, even without juice.

Granted, with the more agile ride experience comes some cutbacks. To save on weight, electric road bikes tend to have lower capacity batteries than those of their urban counterparts, like the hybrid or folding e-bikes. The idea is that the battery is used more for spurts of power over tough sections rather than continuous assistance.

Most of all, e-road bikes are great fun. We had a blast testing the best electric road bikes on the market today and would vehemently disagree with anyone who suggests that they're cheating...

Best electric road bikes: our top picks

Ribble CGR AL e - Sport

Ribble CGR AL e -Sport

9
Best e-road bike overall
Buy now for £2699 from Ribble
Can be built to your spec
Great handling and smooth assistance
Long range
Top tube button can be awkward
Less powerful than mid-motor designs
Limited assistance at low speed

CGR stands for 'Cross, Gravel, Road'... meaning that it qualifies for this guide based on the third initial, and not only that, but it's our top-recommended e-road bike all things considered. 

The CGR AL e Sport model with SRAM Apex 1x gearing is a cracking machine for the money. Comfortable and stable over very rough ground, it’s also highly capable at eating up the road miles. The electric assist is delightfully discreet and intuitive, too.

If you’re after a steed that pretty much completely hides its electronic nature, then the CGR is the one for you. The downtube housing the 250Wh Panasonic battery is similar size to non-electronic bikes and the motor is hidden smartly away in the rear hub.

Said motor system is Mahle’s lightweight SmartBike Systems X35+, which comes in at 3.5kg. This particular build (SRAM Apex 1x) is more roadie than gravel, with narrow bars and slick Schwalbe 700x40c tyres. Ribble offers three other build options in the form of the Pro, Enthusiast and Sport (Shimano Tiagra), or you can build the CGR online into a configuration that suits you. 

A feature of the X35 system is that the power assistance is sparked by the cassette lockring as it turns, which is handy for getting a boost over tricky sections where you can’t pedal a full revolution. You can also turn on ‘heart rate assist’ via an app, which programmes power to kick in once a certain heart rate is reached.

The CGR is most suited to those already reasonably fit as assist is tied to revs – when it slows, the amount of power also drops – which makes for a completely different, yet still highly enjoyable ride experience.

Boardman ADV 8.9E

Boardman ADV 8.9E

8
Best value for money electric road bike
Buy now for £2519.1 from Halfords
Good quality Fazua motor
Sensible 1x11 spec
Well-balanced ride
You need the key to turn the bike on
On the heavy side for a Fazua bike

The Boardman ADV8.9E stands out from the crowd as it manages to match the performance of its spendier counterparts, with considerably more riding versatility.

The integrated Fauza Evation drive system offers three power modes and intuitively feeds in extra assistance when needed based on your pedal stroke. It’s a mid-motor with a 250Wh battery, a stated torque of 60Nm and peak power of 400W.

Tipped by Boardman as an adventure bike “blending the speed of a road bike with a more relaxed position and off-road focussed geometry”, the ADV8.9E felt at home across a range of terrain largely due to 38mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tyres which offset a stiff frame. A slackened head tube, lengthened chainstays and subtly dropped bottom bracket combine for a more stable ride, while the position still felt aero enough for fast road riding.  

The ADV8.9E runs a SRAM Apex 1x11 drivetrain, which is SRAM’s lowest 11-speed spec, but it works brilliantly. Gears are lower than you’d find on a classic roadie as the 42T single chainring is paired with an 11-42T cassette, but you do get a 1:1 bottom gear to power up steep climbs.

At 16kg, it’s not the lightest e-road bike out there, but it’s still nimble enough to ride with only light ‘breeze mode’ power assistance. A hilly 50km sucks up 6/10 of the battery bars, so it should cover a gently undulating 100km in one charge. Battery and modes are displayed on a bar-mounted remote, which isn’t best feature of the bike, but more info can be found when connected to Fauza’s smartphone app.

Read our review:
Canyon Endurace:ON 7

Canyon Endurace:ON 7

7
Best for reliability
Buy now for £2899 from Canyon
Smooth power delivery
Decent range
Reliable specification
A little heavier than the competition
Assist button is difficult to operate

The original Canyon Endurace:On 7.0 was part of Canyon’s first range of e-road bikes back in 2020, and has received minor updates since. Still coming in at under £3k, the price is palatable, and the riding experience is smooth and stable.

The same removeable Fauza Evation X motor system as seen in the Boardman ADV8.9E provides a natural-feeling boost, flattening hills and making big days in the saddle more accessible. Unlike other systems located on the top-tube for easy access, the Endurace:ON has its motor remote with four power level options embedded into the down tube.

Canyon says the Endurace:ON aims to be a road bike first and foremost, with some added assistance. Though the geometry does feel a bit more stretched and upright than Canyon’s road equivalents due to a elongated wheelbase and higher headtube.

Claimed range is 100km, which sounds about right as our reviewer reported having some battery left after a 75km ride. In terms of spec, the latest version sports a Shimano GRX RX812 groupset with 42x11 gearing and stable 32mm Schwalbe E-One Evolution tyres.

Read our review:
BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE

BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE

8
Best e-road bike for going fast
Buy now for £6840 from Tredz
Smooth torque from the X20 system
Good battery range
Flattering handling
High stiffness levels
Quite a firm ride on UK roads
Hub motor limits wheel upgrades

The Roadmachine is BMC's do-everything road bike, and that transfers over to the electric version with an impressively low weight (a shade over 12kg) nippy steering and neutral road-going geometry.  

While the geometry is easy to live with, the frameset is stiff meaning this bike is primarily for performance rather than pootling. Mahle's latest motor system offers a smooth and intelligent power boost, which really allows you to ride harder for longer, with the added weight of the motor and battery never a major concern.

It is quite a firm ride and the hub motor limits wheel upgrades; which is the same as any e-road bike with a rear hub motor, although this one is spendy and performance-focussed, so that's something you might wish to do. Otherwise, this is a fun bike to ride fast and it retains the same DNA as the Roadmachine without electric assistance. 

Read our review:
Giant Road E+ 1 Pro

Giant Road E+ 1 Pro

9
Best for big days out
Buy now for £3519.2 from Giant
Powerful motor
Big range from the 500Wh battery
Enjoyable to ride
Heavy
Assistance modes need tweaking
Would be better with a single ring transmission

If you’re after e-road bike with a powerful motor and big range, the Giant Road E+1 Pro will deliver. Unlike other stealth e-road bikes, the Pro’s prominent 500Wh battery set in the downtube is anything but subtle, but in return you get plenty of oomph and an impressive range.

The longest ride our reviewer completed on the Giant was just short of 120km with 1,500m elevation and the motor on the lowest assistance, which is pretty impressive. While the Pro’s range clearly exceeds most other road e-bikes around, its downfall would be weight. At around 18.2kg for a size medium, it becomes a serious encumbrance for speeds above the nominal 25km/h or if the battery runs out of juice.  

A centrally-mounted LCD display is easy to use when on the hoods, and Giant’s RideControl app allows you to adjust the power of each mode to personalise the range of assistance.

The Pro is a well-equipped bike. For your money, you get a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset with hydraulic discs and a standard double chainset set-up. Giant spec 32mm Maxxis tyres which feel about right for the bike in terms of size, and the whole ensemble makes for pleasingly neutral handling according to our reviewer. 

Read our review:
Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL e-bike

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL

8
Best money-no-object e-road bike
Buy now for £10350 from Specialized
Excellent frame and fork
High quality motor system
Top-spec build
Good ride feel
Good range
Very expensive
Not the lightest e-road bike out there
Motor is quite noisy

The S-Works Turbo Creo SL is a headline-grabber and a suave-looking e-bike. The SL 1.1 motor coupled with Future Shock 2.0 damping system are excellent. If you can justify the mighty spend, with the price you get a high-quality build and well-rounded machine.

The SL 1.1 motor’s designed as a lightweight system, and was developed in-house with the help of German specialists Mahle. A peak output of 240W and a 340Wh internal battery means it’s not in competition with some of the heavyweight power machines here, but it is the lightest around at an impressive 12.3kg.

The motor has three assistance modes with a control in the top-tube, which can offer 100% assistance up to its 240W limit. This isn’t the bike for those after effortless pedalling, rather a helping hand on big climbs.

Like most, range is around 100km, give or take. The Creo SL comes with hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM Red eTap AXS levers. The 46T ring mated with a 12-speed,10-50t cassette offers enough for most riders to crawl up the very steepest climbs.

Read our review:
Bianchi E-Impulso

Bianchi E-Impulso

8
A great-looking e-road bike
Buy now for £2949 from Start Fitness
Great looks
Lightweight
Mudguard mounting points
Not the most powerful motor

We were highly impressed with Bianchi's Impulso e-Road, and now Bianchi has slimmed it down even more and made use of Mahle's X35 motor unit in the rear wheel to distribute the weight more evenly. 

This is a mid-range e-bike with a pretty high spec, which is refreshing considering Bianchi is not usually a brand associated with cheap and cheerful. The E-Impulso comes in the classic celeste colourway that Bianchi is famous for, and like all of the best e-road bikes nowadays, you'd hardly tell the difference between this and a non-powered Bianchi road bike. 

The drivetrain is 11-speed Shimano Ultegra, with Velomann providing the wheels and handlebars, which aren't fancy but will do the job. 

Like on the previous model, this bike isn't just limited to the road as you can fit up to 40mm tyres with 700c wheels. There are also mudguard eyelets and mounting points for racks on the aluminium frame and carbon fork, so you can extend your adventures to towpaths, gravel and beyond. 

Read ebiketips' review of the previous version of this bike, the Bianchi Impulso e-Road
Pinarello Nytro

Pinarello Nytro

8
Classiest e-road bike
Buy now for £5999 from Sigma Sports
High quality frame and fork with comfortable ride
Good assistance from the Fazua motor
Good spec throughout
Expensive compared to some rivals
Not the lightest on the market

The Pinarello Nytro was the company’s first shot at an e-road bike, and a few years on it's stil a classy ride. The Nytro is based on Pinarello’s asymmetric Torayca T700 UD carbon frame, whose origins lie in the TDF-winning Dogma F8, with albeit a less aggressive geometry and lower grades of carbon. The Nytro feels very comfortable over longer distances thanks to the 28mm Pirelli tyres and the high Onda fork, allowing the Nytro to track extremely well round corners according to our reviewer. 

The Fauza Evation motor is one of the two most popular systems on the market. It’s a mid-motor meaning it drives the pedals directly, with a claimed output of 400W and 60Nm torque, plus 250Wh battery. 

The motor and battery can drop out as a single unit, taking the overall weight from 14kg to 10kg. As for range, our reviewer got 85km out of the Nytro on low mode with juice left in the tank, so it could reach 100km fairly easily. 

It's certainly not cheap, and there’s no denying that you can get a similar spec level for less; but the Pinarello name has plenty of cachet though, and it's a fun and comfortable bike to ride.

Read the ebiketips review:
Wilier Cento1 Hybrid

Wilier Cento1 Hybrid

8
Best e-road bike for ride feel
Buy now for £4320 from Merlin Cycles
Great looks
Light weight
Fun to ride with the motor on and off
Charging port vulnerable to water
Fairly expensive

The Wilier Cento1 Hybrid is another example of a conventional road bike made into a e-road version. Wilier Triestina claims it is a “true racing bike with pedal assistance”, and at 12.5kg all-in, it does a great job of being exactly that.

The Cento1 provides all the fun that comes with riding a proper racing bike, at much less effort. A 250W Ebikemotion motor located in the rear hub enables you to soft-pedal up all but the steepest hills, and even those are made fairly easy. Three assistance levels are controlled by a button on the top-tube, which is easy to operate even with thick gloves.

Elsewhere, the 250Wh battery is tucked so neatly away in the downtube that it’s not obvious to the untrained eye that this is an e-bike. The Cento1 doesn’t have an aggressive geometry, prioritising comfort over being aero. Dependable Miche wheels and a full carbon frame work together to smooth out potholes and make for a highly enjoyable ride experience.

Read the review on ebiketips:
Look e-765 Gravel

Look e-765 Gravel

7
Best for all terrains
Buy now for £5650 from Look Cycle
Versatile across a range of surfaces
Good range from the Fazua motor
Expensive for the spec
Removable motor isn’t as useful as Fazua thinks it is

Ok, so this is e-gravel rather than e-road specifically... but we're counting pretty much anything with drop bars, and this bike will ride handsomely on the road too!

The Look e-765 Gravel is the carbon gravel e-sibling to Look’s road-faring e-765. Assisted gravel bikes have a lot going for them, because they’re capable enough to cope with technical terrain, while remaining light enough to perform on the road.

The e-765 also shares a lot of DNA with Look’s 765RS gravel bike. A carbon frame combines with a ‘3D Wave’ seatstay, and substantial 37mm WTB Riddler tyres, which are grippy enough to cope with a range of terrain. Our reviewer said that the on-bike position is fairly upright, with the option there to hunker down on the drops for aero spurts. At speed, the stiff stem gives the front of the bike a stable, solid feel.

The e-765 Gravel’s motor is the Fauza Evation system with 250Wh battery. The three power levels will carry you up most demanding and technical sections without too much effort. Bear in mind that gravel riding’s much more battery heavy than road, so expect one charge to cover a heavily assisted, hilly 50km.

The motor coupled with a carbon frame and SRAM Force single ring groupset don’t add too much weight to the bike, which comes in at 14.8kg. This is key for a gravel machine, meaning it’s not too heavy to chuck over stiles and up steps. It’s not unpleasant to ride with the motor off either, which is a big plus.

Read our review of the How to choose from the best electric road bikes

faq-icon
What is an e-road bike?

An electric road bike — often referred to as ‘e-road’ — is arguably the newest bike genre, with Haibike’s now discontinued Xduro Race being one of the first commercially available electric bikes with drop bars back in 2014.

Another early example was Giant’s Road-E+, although like the Haibike this has an obvious battery integrated into the downtube. You can now get e-road bikes that are difficult to distinguish from unassisted ones to the untrained eye, and the weights have come down too.

For our purposes, an electric road bike is an e-bike with drop handlebars and, usually, a motor and battery that are concealed inside the frame. The idea is that they look more-or-less like regular road bikes, but can give you some extra help on hills.

faq-icon
How fast do electric road bikes go?

Electric road bikes can add up to 100% assistance to your cycling pace for speeds of up to approximately 25kmph (15.5mph). After this speed, the motor's assistance will cut out and you'll be cycling on your own horsepower, and generally on a heavier set-up than traditional road bikes. 

Of course, the power and range of an e-bike will depend on the capacity of the motor, the torque, and the size of the accompanying battery. A fairly standard size for e-road bikes which rely on human power alongside assistance is 250W with a 250Wh battery. On low assistance this can often assist riders up to 100km. 

What many cyclists don't realise is that riding an electric road bike does not necessarily make your ride easier. If you're cycling in a group that's pushing over 25kmph, having a motor integrated into your bike won't offer much help and will merely add more weight to your ride. If you're tackling a climb at your own pace, however, then a motor can provide a handy boost to get you over the hill and on your way. 

faq-icon
Who are electric road bikes for?

Anyone who wants a light, fast bike that'll help them get up hills that would otherwise be a problem. You might be coming back from injury or illness, or you might be an older rider who wants to carry on riding with their club even though the advancing years are slowing your down.

For example, road.cc contributor John Stevenson came to our HQ in Bath for a meeting and decided to stay the weekend and ride with his old club, VC Walcot. At the time, John was recovering from a lengthy illness and as he puts it "nowhere near fit enough for all Bath's bloody hills."

He borrowed a Boardman ADV 8.9E that we'd had on test and had no problem keeping up, even on the hills.

"In fact," he says, "I had no trouble keeping up with the group's fittest rider on hills, and that was just in the middle level of assistance. I spent most of the ride in the lowest level, Breeze Mode, and that was perfect for everything but the steepest hills.

"The great thing about this system is that there's no drag from the motor when you get over 15.5mph and the assist cuts out. Many e-bikes feel draggy at speed because you're working against the motor; that's not the case with good electric road bikes."

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How do electric road bikes work?

Electric road bikes will often have very similar geometry and specs to their non-electronic counterparts, with the addition of a motor, battery and charging system. So the gears and brakes work exactly the same as on a normal road bike, and the only difference is getting your head around using the motor. 

Thankfully that's a super easy task on pretty much all e-road bikes we've come across, as you'll be able to alter the assistance levels just by pressing a button. Fazua's Evation system has both handlebar and downtube remote button options depending on which type of e-road bike you go for, while Mahle offers a top tube button to work its X20 and X35 systems.  

On e-road bikes, the motors are often embedded into the hub of the rear wheel because these systems are lighter than mid-drive motors, where the motor sits above the bottom bracket. There are some e-road bikes about with mid-drive such as Giant's E+ 1 and its SyncDrive Pro motor, which would be a good option if you value torque and motor power over weight. 

faq-icon
Who makes electric road bike drive systems?

The thing that's enabled the new wave of stealth e-road bikes is the introduction of motor and battery systems that can easily be incorporated into a road bike without the result screaming "E-BIKE!".

There are two main suppliers of drive systems. Germany's Fazua was founded in 2013 specifically to make integrated motor-and-battery packs and you'll now find its Evation system on many e-road bikes.

Fazua was acquired by Porsche in 2022, and has increased its range of systems with the addition of the Ride 60 battery and motor.

Mahle GmbH is a large supplier of components to the automotive industry that bought Spanish company ebikemotion Technologies S.L. in 2018. The most common Mahle ebikemotion system you'll find is the X35, which has a battery concealed in the frame powering a compact rear hub motor

Both manufacturers continue to develop their platforms. More recently, Fazua introduced a software upgrade it calls Black Pepper for the evation system, which is claimed to yield more power and a more natural ride feel from the existing Evation unit.

Both systems have 250Wh batteries, which is rather less than the 500Wh of typical utility e-bikes, but because they're lighter, built into lighter bikes and can be set to metre out their power assist very conservatively, you can still get a decent range out of them.

If range is a real worry for you, you can get a range extender (essentially an extra battery) for the Mahle ebikemotion system. On the other hand, you can drop the battery unit and motor completely out of a Fazua-equipped bike and ride without it, or just make it lighter to load on a rack.

faq-icon
Are electric road bikes allowed on the road?

E-bikes can be used on the road as long as they meet Electric Assisted Pedal Assist (EAPC) rules set by the DLVA. If an e-bike doesn’t meet the requirements set out by DVLA then it will be classified as a motorised vehicle which must be taxed, in this instance you wouldn’t technically be allowed to use it on a bike path that’s just for cyclists and pedestrians.

The speed limit for the assistance allowed to be given from an e-bike is 25kmph (15.5mph), e-bikes that follow these regulations are allowed for use on the road and along bike paths. 

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Can electric bikes go off-road?

Whether an electric road bike can travel off-road will depend on the bike's built and purpose. Many e-bikes like most in this article are optimised for road riding and won't necessarily have the correct tyres and geometry for off-road terrain.

Others, like e-gravel bikes and more versatile e-road bikes have the ability to tackle some technical off-road sections and tracks during your ride, and they'll be built with this in mind. 

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How long does an electric road bike battery last?

Those electric bikes made with an in-built lithium battery can expect the battery to last for three to five years before it will need to be replaced. Although it is rechargeable, the battery will experience some wear and tear over several years of use and will slowly lose its capacity to charge over time. It’s likely that the bike itself will outlive its battery, so be sure to take these extra costs into account when budgeting for your next electronic bike.

As for how far can an electric bike can go without charging, this will depend hugely on the model and topography traversed, but in general you can expect a bike to manage between 40-100km on one single charge.

It’s recommended to charge your e-bike after each ride to avoid running out of power on the go - no one wants to lose juice mid-way through a climb! Some e-bikes will have plug sockets which just need connecting to a charger for a few hours, and others will allow you to detach the battery completely for charging.

Kate delved into the cycling world when racing triathlon at university, where she studied English Literature and French. Keen for some two-wheeled adventures, she made the most of the long holidays by bikepacking across France and Europe solo. Kate's now a full-time specialist journalist and cycling gear tester, she's written for various titles including road.cc, 220Triathlon, and Trail Running Magazine. 

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3 comments

Avatar
Jippily | 11 months ago
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It'd be nice if at least one relatively budget option could be included.

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Rendel Harris replied to Jippily | 11 months ago
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It is a feature on "stealth" road bikes, i.e. ones with discreet motors and batteries; as far as I know there aren't really any lower budget options for this type of bike, the Boardman, Bianchi and Ribble are about as cheap as you can get in this sector, at least from reputable manufacturers and retailers. Obviously there are cheap Chinese imports available on eBay etc but they look pretty dodgy.

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 12 months ago
1 like

A word of caution about the Mahle system, or rather two: firstly aftersales care is virtually non-existent, in my experience if anything goes wrong they'll tell you to go to the bike manufacturer and the manufacturer will tell you to go to Mahle. I couldn't find anyone in London prepared to work on the system either. The second warning is that replacement parts are enormously expensive, difficult to source and take ages to arrive. I have an Orbea Gain D40 for commuting, when the motor went, out of warranty, I found that for less than the cost of a replacement motor (£450) I could get a whole new conversion kit of battery, motor wheel and controller which works just as well and that I can work on myself. It's taken away the bike's "stealth" look but I don't really care about that, I know I've got three unpowered bikes that I ride further each year than the ebike, if people want to sneer or look down their noses at it, let them!