The Best Electric Bike Available Now

Bike Ride

Updated:  24th June 2022

 

Now is a tricky time to get an electric bike.  It is peak season and so demand is high; and there are continuing supply chain issues.  Every time I recommend a specific bike, it seems to go Out of Stock within days.

I will aim to keep this page up-to-date and so feel free to bookmark it.

 

Currently I recommend:

Below I list the features I looked for when making these recommendations.  Then I explain how I think you should purchase an electric bike.  Finally, I then go through each of the above Recommendations in greater detail looking at the specific features mentioned.

The Features to Look For in an eBike


In a separate article I explain in considerable detail the best ebike for older people.  I believe the key features you should look for are:

(1)    A step-through frame.  Simply put, a crossbar makes it difficult (if not impossible) to get on and off your bike safely.

(2)    A mid-drive motor is more efficient and a more natural ride.  Rear hub motor are cheaper, but I don’t think they are worth the money saved.


For reliability go for a Bosch or a Shimano mid-drive motor.  Overall, Bosch mid-drives are considered the best.


In terms of torque:

-     40 Nm is enough on the flat (with dips and rises)

-     50 Nm for small hills or not particularly steep climbs

-     65 Nm in hilly areas

-     85 Nm if you don’t want to worry about any hill

(3)    A decent battery – probably at least 500 Wh.  With that said, even on a 30 mile ride I rarely use more than 20% of the charge.  So, primarily this is for peace of mind in emergencies.


(4)    A good gear ratioIF you ever want to cycle faster than 15.5 mph.  Mind you, 15 mph is a decent pace but it is a little slow when riding in traffic or with others who cycle.


An internal gear hub for reduced maintenance.  An Enviolo continuously variable hub is a nice luxury


(5)    A carbon fibre belt for reduced maintenance – IF you have an internal gear hub

 

How to Purchase an eBike

I strongly recommend that you order your bike online and order it straight away.  Then, go to pick it up from a physical shop.

You want to order it immediately so as to reserve your ebike and to lock in the price.  As mentioned above, stocks are limited and good ebikes sell out fast.

Remember that under UK law you to cancel an online order up (without needing to give a reason) up to 14 days after the order is delivered.  So, you can always change your mind

There are 5 reasons for picking up your ebike from a physical shop:

(1)    The bike comes assembled.  See, most bikes are shipped disassembled so as to protect the parts and reduce the cost of shipping.


(2)    A professional can make final adjustments.  Although adjusting a bike is not difficult, staff at the shop will have the tools and knowledge to do it right first time.


(3)    You can go for a test ride before you take the bike away.  Ebikes are an expensive purchase.  There is peace of mind in not making the final decision until you have ridden the bike.


(4)    In the worst case, you can cancel your order there and then.  If you take the bike home, you have to pay for shipping to return it.  Once you have used your bike at home, you may not be able to return it at all.


(5)    Ebikes benefit from regular maintenance.  It makes sense to meet a specific retailer, and to know that they are familiar with your particular brand of ebike.

 

Recommendations


Given the above, I recommend following ebikes which were available as of 21st June 2022.

 

If you are interested in any of these ebikes, I recommend that you purchase the bike immediately online and then arrange to pick it up in person.  I explain in more detail why, above in how to purchase this bike.

Rayleigh Motus Tour Plus Low Step (£2,395)

Rayleigh is a UK-based manufacturer and one of the world's oldest and best-known bike brands.  It was established in 1887 in Nottingham.  Recently, Good Housekeeping ranked the Motus Tour as 'The Best Low Step Electric Bike'.

 

Reviewing the 2020 model of this ebike, eBikeChoices says "I was impressed ... at this price it’s one of the best Bosch-powered e-bikes available", rating it 7.8 out of 10.

Looking at the above requirements, here is how this ebike stacks up:

  • Step-though frame

  • Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor (50 Nm of torque)

  • 400 Wh batterysmaller than recommended but you could get 80 miles on one charge

  • You can’t really cycle faster than the motor.  At a leisurely pedalling pace (60 rpm), in the highest gear you will only be going 17 mph.

  • In the lowest gear you should not find decent hills difficult.  With that said, in the above eBikeChoices review it is mentioned that some people might have to push on "brutally steep hills".

  • This bike does not have an internal gear hub or a carbon fibre belt

Pure Electric – only 1 left

The above link takes you to Pure Electric, a top rank retailer with both an online shop and 17 physical stores, who were just named “Retailer of the Year (UK)” by T3 beating John Lewis, Amazon, Halfords and others.  I am recommending that you buy this ebike from them because:

  • When you order, you can speak to them on the phone or via webchat to make sure you order the right size of bike.

  • They have a 30-day money-back guarantee

  • They offer flexible finance options

  • They give 1 week’s free insurance and offer discounts on full insurance plans

  • provide both service and repairs after purchase

Yes, I do receive a small commission if you purchase from Pure Electric; however:

  • I am eligible for a commission from a number of retailers but only list ebikes from Pure Electric as they are the shop I would buy from;

  • I only list ebikes that I myself would consider buying; and

  • Any commission paid to me does not affect the price you pay in the slightest.

I do recommend picking up your ebike in person.  If Pure Electric really is not convenient for you, then you can use Rayleigh's store locator to find a more local shop able to sell you this bike, and then service it afterwards.

 

Here is a good video by eBike Sussex that walks through the features, and discusses various optional extras.

Note:  The video mentions the Hub Gear variant of this ebike.  Although I really like hub gears (as they are lower maintenance):

  • the motor is a step down (to 40 Nm from 50 Nm, and 250% support instead of 270%); and

  • the hub gear chosen has a substantially reduced gear ratio range (244% instead of 309%) meaning that you cannot shift as low when climbing a steep hill.

Put together, these changes might make the Hub Gear variant of this ebike unsuitable if you cycle on hills.

Rayleigh Motus Grand Tour Low Step (£2,699)

Same manufacturer (Rayleigh), slightly better model (Motus Grand Tour Low Step), and same retailer (Pure Electic) as the bike immediately above.

Looking at the above requirements, here is how this ebike stacks up:

  • Step-though frame

  • Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor (50 Nm of torque)

  • 500 Wh batterygiving you 100 miles on one charge

  • 9 gears instead of 8, but a slightly narrower range of gears (291% spread instead of 309%)

  • Similar to the above bike, you can’t really cycle faster than the motor.  At a leisurely pedaling pace (60 rpm), in the highest gear you will only be going 17 mph.

  • The lowest gear is not quite as low as the above bike.  Remember that the motor is merely assisting you.  You still have to be able to pedal up hills.  The lowest gear ratio on this bike may not be suitable for very steep hills.

  • This bike does not have an internal gear hub or a carbon fibre belt

The Grand Tour range does have higher quality parts than the Tour - e.g. Shimano MT200 hydralic disc brakes instead of Alhonga ones.  However, these quality differences may offer little extra value to a casual rider.

Pure Electric – only 1 left

The above link takes you to Pure Electric.  They were just named “Retailer of the Year (UK)” by T3 beating John Lewis, Amazon, Halfords and others.  I am recommending that you buy this ebike from them.

I do recommend that you order your ebike online but then pick it up in person.  If Pure Electric really is not convenient for you, then you can use Rayleigh's store locator to find a more local shop able to sell you this bike, and then service it afterwards.

 

Rayleigh Motus Grand Tour (£2,799) direct from Rayleigh

 

For an additional £100 you can get a hub gear on the Rayleigh Motus Grand Tour.  Unfortunately I have been unable to find this ebike in stock; however, you could order from Rayleigh directly.

 

Rayleigh has an extensive list of retail partners.  Even when you purchase your ebike online directly from Rayleigh, you are still able to collect your bike from one of these local retailers. 

Motus-Lowstep-black-Image-1_2048x2048 - tinified.jpg

Against the Requirements

Looking at my above requirements, here is how the bike stacks up.

 

Frame shapeStep-through frame.  This is ideal for older cyclists.

 

Motor:  Bosch Active Line Plus (50 Nm).  This motor is inferior to the one on my Gazelle ebike, but I think it should be more than enough for decent hills and thus exceeds the minimum requirement.

Gears:  Shimano Nexus C6000 is an 8-speed internal gear hub with a decent 307% gear ratio range.  As with most ebikes, Rayleigh has biased the gears towards hill-climbing.

 

By law ebike motors stop providing assistance at 15.5 mph.  To go faster, you must do so entirely under your own power.  Pedaling at a leisurely pace (60 rpm), the highest gear will only let you go 16.8 mph.  At a more aggressive pace (80 rpm) you still will only be going 22.4 mph.  In other words, if you want to cycle at speed, this ebike is not for you.

As an aside, the Rayleigh Motus comes with a chain instead of a carbon fibre belt.  This is disappointing but not a show stopper.

Battery:  500 Wh.  This is a removable, high-capacity battery.  Range varies considerably person-to-person, but given the weaker motor, Rayleigh estimates that the range on this bike is 100 miles.  Frankly, even if the battery only had half that range, it would be more than sufficient for most riders.


Importantly, the battery is removable, which is positive and negative.  The positive is that recharging is significantly easier as you don’t need to plug in the whole bike.  The negative is that the battery is expensive and an attractive target for thieves.  So, if you will leave your bike unattended in public, you will either have to take the battery with you (and it is heavy) or use an additional lock to secure the battery as discussed here.

If you are interested in this ebike:  Read my thoughts on how to purchase this bike.

Cube Supreme Hybrid Pro 500 (£2,899)

Cube is a German bike manufacturer, founded in 1993.  The Supreme range cover their higher end city bikes.  City bikes tend to have the handlebars a bit higher than the seat, providing a more comfortable "sitting up" posture that is less suitable for offroad or longer trips.

Looking at the above requirements, here is how this ebike stacks up:

  • Step-though frame

  • Bosch Performance mid-drive motor (65 Nm of torque)

  • 500 Wh battery – officially giving you 47miles on one charge, but likely more

  • Similar to the above bikes, you can’t really cycle faster than the motor.  At a leisurely pedaling pace (60 rpm), in the highest gear you will only be going 15.6 mph.

  • Instead this bike is built for hills.  The motor is more powerful (65 Nm).  It provides more assistance (300% of your effort instead of 270%).  And the lowest gear ratio is 1.0 (compared to 1.2 on the Grand Motus) allowing for even easier pedaling up hills.

  • This bike does not have an internal gear hub or a carbon fibre belt

Pure Electric – only 1 left

The above link takes you to Pure Electric.  They were just named “Retailer of the Year (UK)” by T3 beating John Lewis, Amazon, Halfords and others.  I am recommending that you buy this ebike from them.

 

Scott Sub Sport eRIDE 20 (£2,999)

Cube is a German bike manufacturer, founded in 1993.  The Supreme range cover their higher end city bikes.  City bikes tend to have the handlebars a bit higher than the seat, providing a more comfortable "sitting up" posture that is less suitable for offroad or longer trips.

Looking at the above requirements, here is how this ebike stacks up:

  • Step-though frame

  • Bosch Performance CX mid-drive motor (85 Nm of torque)

  • 625Wh battery – officially giving you 51 miles on one charge, but likely more

  • Similar to the above bikes, you can’t really cycle faster than the motor.  At a leisurely pedaling pace (60 rpm), in the highest gear you will only be going 17.5 mph.

  • Instead this bike is built for hills.  The motor is more powerful (85 Nm).  It provides more assistance (340% of your effort instead of 270%).  And the lowest gear ratio is 0.9 (compared to 1.2 on the Grand Motus) allowing for even easier pedaling up hills.

  • This bike does have an internal gear hub, which is lower maintenance than a traditional rear cassette of gears, but does not use a carbon fibre belt.

Note:  I also looked at the Scott Sub Tour eRIDE 10 ebike but believe it is a step down in specification for the same price.  Specifically, the Tour has a Bosch Performance motor (65 Nm instead of 85 Nm, and 300% support instead of 340%).  As such, I would not recommend switching.

Pure Electric – only 2 left

The above link takes you to Pure Electric.  They were just named “Retailer of the Year (UK)” by T3 beating John Lewis, Amazon, Halfords and others.  I am recommending that you buy this ebike from them.

 

Comments and Questions