It’s time to reveal the best electric bikes that we’ve reviewed on road.cc and our sister site ebiketips over the past year – the e-bikes that performed most impressively out on the road and demand your attention. We have everything from sporty models to super-practical folding bikes.
We add the top-performing bikes, components, accessories and clothes that we've reviewed to road.cc Recommends once a month. We review hundreds of products a year and only a select few make it into road.cc Recommends in each category. Now it’s time for us to announce the best of the best e-bikes from 2022.
Everything considered for our end-of-year awards must first have been reviewed by road.cc, off.road.cc or ebiketips, of course. If a particular company didn't send us their bike, we can’t ride it or rate it.
We've now been back to road.cc Recommends, looked at each bike on its own merits and chosen the very best of them to be included here.
Electric bikes have become much more mainstream over the past few years and the market is ever more competitive, which is great news for the consumer. Whatever type of bike you want, chances are that there’s an electric version that’ll lessen the load.
One of the big challenges, however, is that there are a lot of unfamiliar brands out there. While it can be difficult to distinguish between the innovators and the cut-price opportunists, the list below shows that there is plenty of quality beyond the more recognised names – in fact that’s often where the bargains lie.
We’re seeing the launch of more electric road bikes – such as the lightweight Trek Domane+ SLR and Domane+ AL – which are designed to provide a helping hand on long rides in the countryside, and a couple of options in our top 10 give you the choice of heading off bike trekking.
E-cargo bikes are another major growth area. They’ve long been popular on the continent, but haven’t up until now particularly taken off in the UK. For the most part, these sorts of bikes are a major investment, but we’re starting to see a few more affordable options which should help broaden their popularity. It’s not just the traditional long john style either with the load carried out front. There’s an increasing focus on compact and longtail e-cargo bikes.
Our list is dominated by practical options for getting from A to B in the city, though, whether you’re commuting, shopping, or just looking to move around quickly and efficiently.
The prices in the headings relate to the model at the time of our original reviews. Specs and prices may have altered since then.
Right, let’s get into our top 10…
The LeMond Prolog wasn’t the first bike we expected to see from a Tour de France champion but this sporty e-bike is an easy one to love thanks to a fun ride, lightweight design, sleek integration and a great groupset.
The Prolog isn’t easily pigeonholed into a category because it can handle a diverse range of rides. It feels as at home on the lanes as it is in the city.
The low weight certainly helps, as does the long and rather low riding position. It feels like an endurance bike, albeit with the added sprinkling of confidence that a flat bar offers.
The Mahle X35 motor offers a helping hand. It is a familiar hub-based motor that you’ll find on plenty of e-road bikes and it’s a good option on a bike where the rider wants a workout rather than to just sit there on every incline. It provides plenty of assistance for nipping away from the lights and getting a helping hand on the climbs.
You can choose from three power modes. The one with the biggest punch provides instant power for the constant stopping and starting of hilly city riding. One area where this bike might not suit a city commuter is on the steeper hills because the hub motor can struggle with a larger rider weighed down with a backpack.
LeMond rates the battery range at up to 45 miles but a host of factors will combine to determine what you get. It easily ticked off a weekend ride of 20 miles through the lanes but we made sure to start on a full battery and then recharged it straight afterwards.
LeMond turns to Shimano for the groupset and its GRX 1X setup which you’d usually find on a gravel bike. This is the perfect groupset for this bike, offering a wide range of gears, smooth shifting and plenty of braking power.
There are more sensible options out there but the LeMond Prolog’s sleek lines, stiff frame and elegant looks make it worthy of your cash should you decide to drop north of four grand on a sporty e-bike.
The Malvern is Dallingridge’s take on a trekking e-bike. It offers a Far Eastern geared rear hub motor with 12 magnet cadence sensor, cable-operated disc brakes and 6-speed Shimano derailleur gearing.
The Malvern is a ‘trekking’ or ‘hybrid’ frame that suits riders who want a sporty, slightly forward-leaning riding position.
The Malvern’s 18in frame size is about average and there is a decent amount of height adjustment on the seatpost which should mean the bike is suitable for a good range of rider sizes.
The in-frame battery is solidly integrated and is a doddle to get in and out (it can also be charged on the bike).
The motor system performs very well, the 12-magnet sensor meaning the power comes in and cuts out reasonably quickly for a cadence system like this. It breezes uphill, even getting up the steepest 20% climb on our reviewer’s regular commute with ease, even with 12kg of luggage on the rack.
The only thing we felt lacking was a lower bottom gear to make really steep hills just a bit less effort and to be kinder to the motor system.
The six Shimano derailleur gears work faultlessly and the cable-operated disc brakes were pretty effective. The Suntour front suspension works fine for a cheap, steel-sprung fork and helps cushion out less severe humps and bumps.
In terms of range, we got about 30 miles over hilly country with a moderate load and a 68kg rider on board.
ebiketips editor Alex Bowden says: "The Malvern earns its high placing at least in part thanks to Dallingridge's UK-based support and dealer network. With the budget e-bike market overwhelmingly direct-to-consumer, the longstanding electric bike experience of the company that owns Dallingridge will be reassuring to buyers. The brand's step-through model, the Harlow, and its folder, the Oxford, are also worth a look."
The Raleigh Stride 2 Family Cargo Bike is a highly practical, spacious, and powerful e-cargo bike that’s an absolute joy to ride, although its 2.6m length makes it suitable only for those with a garage to store it in.
Control is through a practical and functional Bosch Purion display panel which offers five levels from no assistance through to turbo. This display is connected to Bosch’s top-of-the-line Performance Line CX mid-motor that assists almost instantly. This is important for a bike of this length that weighs 60kg. It means that when stopping and starting on hills, you only need a fraction of a second of ‘real’ effort before the motor kicks in. It also helps to keep the bike balanced at slower speeds.
The bike is a classic Long John cargo shape with the rider sitting towards the back, and a large reinforced polystyrene ‘bucket’ at the front. Ours had straps for carrying a couple of children safely although, with a capacity of 80kg, you can carry a whole variety of non-human loads too with everything feeling secure and sturdy.
As well as the five assist levels, Raleigh has included Enviolo stepless gearing controlled by a grip shift that works brilliantly. We didn’t find any incline that posed a problem.
The bike comes with a 500Wh battery with a charging time of about 4.5 hours. We managed a 16-mile round-trip for two days, including steep hills and almost exclusively in the highest level of assistance, although we did need to drop it down a couple of assist levels in the last two miles. This is great for something that needs a lot of power to get going.
The turning circle isn’t amazing, but the handling is impressive, allowing you to stay stable and nimble. This is such a fun bike to ride.
The Vello Bike+ electric folding bike gives a super smooth and simple ride. There's also a wealth of clever motor tech and power delivery going on underneath the surface that makes it one of the most efficient e-bikes we've tried. It’s a nice combination of design minimalism and practicality.
All of Vello’s models are based around 20 wheels and a folding frame that boasts elastomer suspension. Vello uses a Zehus motor system with a large rear hub that contains all the e-bike drive components – a 173Wh battery included. It features regenerative braking and a built-in inclinometer to measure gradient.
The Vello performs well on hills. Although not as fast as some, there was never a hill that defeated the motor during testing. Like any electric singlespeed, it requires more human input than multi-geared e-bikes, but even on the steeper hills, our moderately fit test rider was never more than mildly out of breath.
Only on 20%+ gradients was it necessary to use the Mountain Drive. Click the crank button with your heel and you have an ultra-low gear that provides the option of ambling uphill at 7-8mph.
Power delivery is smooth and responsive to pedalling and the bike has that go-fast ride position and feel to it – although there is the option of a higher handlebar stem for those who like a more upright position.
Hybrid Custom mode, set to max power and max regenerative braking, returned a range of 23 miles over very hilly terrain. For a direct drive motor with a pretty small battery, that's a remarkably efficient e-bike.
The Gates belt drive proved faultless and is a great, low-maintenance feature and folding down the Vello (to around 81 x 37 x 57cm) is a pretty quick and easy affair. It should take less than a minute or even half a minute for the experienced.
The Adonis 2 is Neomouv’s trekking e-bike, and it earns a place at number six in our countdown because it’s a solid all-round package with a Neoassist motor that performs brilliantly.
It's quiet, very powerful and also very efficient. The Neoassist pushes the top assisted speed to the limit. It cruised up our regular extended hill climb test without any dramas whatsoever, on all but the steepest sections the speedo showing 16.5mph, the point at which power starts to drop off.
Just as impressive as this superb hill-climbing ability is the way it maintains speed at around the cut-out limit. The Adonis 2 doesn’t cut in and out sharply, meaning it's not only fast but extremely pleasant to ride.
The bike's equipped with a neat colour LCD display on the handlebars and this provides useful feedback on that excellent motor performance as it contains a watts setting to show how much power your motor is using.
Five power levels are nicely graded, and if you only use the higher levels where necessary then a range of around 40 miles, even in hilly country, is possible.
The Neomouv Adonis 2 performed impressively in our ultra-steep hill climb test too, cruising up a 25% gradient sedately but with absolute ease.
Putting electrics to one side, you get Continental Contact city-cum-touring tyres with puncture protection, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and nine-speed Shimano Altus derailleur gearing, all of which are spot on for the touring hybrid style of this bike.
You also get a full, high-quality extras package including SKS mudguards and powerful, hardwired LED AXA lights front and rear, a kickstand and a traditional style pannier rack rated for carrying up to 27kg – certainly one of the higher weight ratings out there.
ebiketips editor Alex Bowden says: "Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha and Brose have long dominated the mid-motor market, but this Neoassist motor performed admirably. It's quiet, efficient and very powerful and helps keep the price down. While Neomouv may be an unfamiliar name, there's a UK distributor and dealer network."
Raleigh's lightest e-bike yet is a great sporty option and the brand’s first foray into using the well-regarded Ebikemotion rear hub system that’s frequently specced on hybrids and e-road bikes. The Trace feels fast and responsive on tarmac and could easily be pressed into service for lightweight bikepacking.
The Ebikemotion rear hub isn't the most powerful out there, but it is one of the smoothest and is amazingly efficient for a hub motor. The three power levels are graded nicely with a decent push up steepish hills in the top level, although the lack of torque up the steepest gradients is apparent.
The Ebikemotion system provides assistance when required but also performs with relatively little motor resistance when switched off or your speed exceeds 16mph. In terms of range, you’ll get well over 30 miles between charges in hilly terrain.
The Ebikemotion X35 system uses a small, light, geared rear hub motor that’s virtually hidden behind the 9-speed cassette, with all the motion sensing neatly integrated into the motor and cassette combo. The stealth look is completed by the top tube button which again does a great job of hiding the fact that this is an e-bike. The minimalist design and lightweight motor system result in an impressively light 16.5kg weight.
Brakes and gearing are of decent quality too with Tektro R280 flat mount hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors and a Shimano Alivio 9-speed derailleur system (11-34t). Despite its lightweight sporty features, the Trace has a full commuting/off-road lite package with strong alloy Curana mudguards, a low-profile pannier rack and powerful front and rear LED lights hardwired to the main battery.
If you like riding bikes in a sporty way and to get some exercise, you may well love the Trace. It's fun, fast and practical and performs well off-road on canal towpaths and forest roads and the like. The Trace is also a capable load carrier and its powerful lights mean unlit roads and paths are no problem.
The Tern Quick Haul is a really easy bike to get on with, and if you’re looking to replace car journeys with bike journeys it makes a solid case for your cash. If you want Tern’s famous versatility at a decent price point, then this is a very well-considered entry model. It’ll appeal to a wide range of riders. Its price puts it in a straight fight with standard city bikes – a fight it’s well-equipped to win. It’s an excellent bike for the money.
The Quick Haul is Tern’s attempt to bring cargo biking to the masses and it’s broadly successful. The bike can carry 150kg in total, and the Atlas Q rear rack can take 50kg. The rack is bolted onto the frame and there’s plenty of capacity for a child in a seat, or a bigger kid using one of the other rear-rack-mounted options. There’s a double mount point on the head tube too, which allows you to fit Tern’s Hauler or Transporteur rack up front for up to 20kg carrying capacity.
The rear rack is designed to work with Tern’s excellent Cargo Hold 37 panniers, and it uses a four-point top mounting system that takes plenty of the stuff that Tern already makes. You can fit the Clubhouse Mini bars for passengers, for example, and inside that a Yepp bike seat for toddlers or a seat pad for an older child that can hang on by themselves.
The Quick Haul relies on a Bosch Performance Line Cruise motor that provides up to 65 Nm of torque, while Shimano provides a 9-speed Alivio groupset and perfectly serviceable hydraulic disc brakes.
It’s not necessarily a bike that you buy to replace a car, but once you’ve got one you’ll realise that it can take over a huge range of shorter car journeys and be easier and more fun in the process. You can get a lot of stuff on it, and you can stand it on its end to take up very little space when being stored.
Why it’s here A really capable compact cargo bike at a good price for the spec
Buy now for £3,100 from Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative
Read the review
Into the top three and the Tenways CGO600 is a slick single-speed city e-bike that’s very much in the modern European style, and it comes at a super competitive price.
The Tenways boasts a lightweight alloy frame that has a rear hub motor with a diameter as small as that of an eight-speed hub gear. The 250Wh battery that lives inside the down tube features Samsung cells. There are two frame sizes (medium and large) currently on offer and Tenways say an XL size will be added to provide options for a suggested height range of 1.65m to 1.95m.
There's just the right amount of power from the Mivice M070 motor at each of the three preset levels and it's all perfectly married to the double-sided torque sensor (one that makes the motor respond to pressure from both sides of the crank). The harder you push, the more power you get. It really is a very sophisticated feeling ride.
Level one gives a small but perfectly proportionate surge of power, while levels two and three give nicely graduated increases, the latter providing a real boost that is useful up steeper hills if you are starting to get jelly legs.
In terms of range, you’ll get over 30 miles of stop-start riding over moderately rolling terrain using level one. On a much hillier ride with plenty of 10%+ gradients and a 15kg load, and using levels two and three more regularly, 20 miles is a more realistic range.
It might not get you up ultra-steep climbs but it’s quick on more moderate hills. In general, it's a bike that rewards a bit more human input than many other designs, as is the case with most single-speeds.
The Tenways is nice to ride without the power on too and the Gates belt drive doesn't feel too different from a regular chain drive. The hydraulic disc brakes perform very well and the hardwired LED front light gives good visibility at night.
ebiketips editor Alex Bowden says: "With its small but wonderfully performing motor and low-maintenance Gates belt drive, this is a no-nonsense, simple-to-operate single-speed at a great price. It won't suit those living in the hilliest areas, but with no gears and no chain, it's low maintenance and ideal for commuting moderate distances."
The runner-up spot goes to the Riese & Muller Superdelite Mountain Rohloff – a touring e-mountain bike that’s built around a practical frame design with a superbly integrated Bosch motor system.
You get twin batteries with 1,125Wh capacity, 14-speed Rohloff hub gears, the option of a rear and/or front rack, water bottle mounts, brake lights and front full beam lighting. There’s a lot going on here!
A Bosch Performance Line CX motor provides the power while the Fox Float 36 Performance fork offers 150mm of travel and you get a plush, tuneable rear suspension from a 140mm travel Fox Float DPS Performance unit. This, combined with the incremental increase in torque available from the latest Bosch mid-drives, means the Superdelite is undoubtedly the most capable off-roader in Riese and Muller’s increasingly wide stable of e-bikes.
The Superdelite Mountain ate up every incline we put in front of it, no matter how steep or difficult. The power from the latest Bosch motor makes ascending easy, as does the e-MTB riding mode – one of the four power levels on offer – which is super-responsive to pedal pressure. No matter how technical the terrain, just leave it in e-MTB mode and keep pedalling and the software will do the rest.
Our review bike came with 14-speed Rohloff E-14 electronically shifting hub gears and a Gates Carbon Drive belt drive system – both of which are low maintenance. The Rohloff’s 526% per cent gear range should prove enough for just about any task on any incline you’d want to throw at it.
One neat feature is the multi-shift mode which simultaneously shifts three gears in a single sequence, while the auto-downshift function means you are always in a low gear to start riding again once you have stopped.
Other aspects of the bike are almost uniformly excellent: powerful and progressive braking from Magura hydraulic disc brakes, free-running Schwalbe tubeless-ready tyres, fantastically effective Supernova lighting including a full beam facility at the front and a very useful Post X-Fusion Manic 100 dropper post.
Unless you have ridiculously deep pockets, the less good news is the £9,339 price tag for this particular spec, although prices for the Superdelite Mountain start at £7,609.
If you can handle the price, though, this is a hugely capable bike – one of the very few e-MTBs that will allow you to tour the country, a continent or the whole world off-road.
Of all the electric bikes we reviewed in 2022, our overall favourite is the MiRiDER One GB3, a funky-looking fold-in-half magnesium option with an integrated but removable battery, mid-frame elastomer suspension, adjustable height handlebars and seatpost, and three gears. This is a great all-round performer for shorter commutes and leisure rides.
The three-speed Efneo GTRO gear unit is housed within the chain wheel body and manages to get a planetary gear setup into a space only around 15mm deep and with a diameter the same as a medium-sized chainring. It’s a miraculous piece of engineering.
In terms of operation, you have a twist grip with three gear points to click between. Simplicity itself. A cracking little rear hub motor provides the power.
The biggest bonus of not going down the derailleur path is that by maintaining a single chain line MiRiDER has been able to fit a belt drive, meaning no oil to get on clothes and no regular maintenance.
Over moderately hilly terrain we got over 35 miles from the small 252Wh battery when ridden mainly in the lower power levels and without using the throttle to give a power boost up the steeper sections. This meant a decent amount of moderate exercise, but the small Bafang motor certainly took the sting out of the climbs and on the flat and downhill it proved a very nice bike to ride with the power turned off.
It's possible to get such impressive mileage because even at the lowest assistance level the power keeps on coming right up to the assist cut-out limit of around 16mph. This means you can ride it with just a small amount of assistance if conditions are fairly benign, rather than having to dial up the power levels to get more speed.
Despite its appearance as a fun and funky folder, the GB3 is a very nice bike to ride if you want a workout too, with just enough assistance to make the exercise a pleasure rather than a pain.
The subtleties of the MiRiDER control system mean it's not only an efficient e-bike if ridden in the lower power levels but a very bike-like one too, where the electric assist blends nicely with your leg power.
The gears also help you get the most out of the system. In third you can push the GB3 along unassisted at about 20mph; second is fine for most hills; and first means the bike can climb just about anything you put in front of it.
The Gemma hydraulic disc brakes are smooth and powerful, superior in stopping power to just about all other brakes we've tried on 16in-wheeled e-bikes.
The all-new full-colour LCD is crisp and clear and pretty legible even in sunlight. It doesn't overwhelm you with information but provides helpful standard metrics like average and max speeds.
The GB3 undercuts a lot of the competition in terms of price. Add on the two-year guarantee and the UK factory and dealer network and it’s clear that MiRiDER has come up with a winner.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.