3 Perfect Electric Bikes when you have a Long-ish Commute
If you commute by electric bike every day, quickly the distance covered will become less relevant - as you become more fit and more familiar with the journey. Nonetheless distance is a factor when picking the best electric bike for commuting – both because it affects the configuration of the bike itself, and because longer distances can be substantially more gruelling in a head wind at the end of an already exhausting day.
Below we recommend specific electric bikes that have some features that may be of relevance to you.
Click here to jump immediately to these recommendations. Or, continue reading to understand the thinking behind them.
Just like traditional bikes, different electric bikes are configured for different conditions. If you have a long-ish on-road commute then the definitely need to look for an electric road bikes. Road bikes have higher seats in relation to the bars – causing you to bend forward and down into a more aerodynamic position, the classic cycle racing pose – which when using the lowest part of dropped handlebars, can lead to you viewing the road ahead “through your eyebrows”.
Road bikes often come with drop curve handbars for a choice of comfortable hand positions. The seat is typically firmer so as to better support your weight. The tyres tend to be narrower and harder to reduce rolling resistance.
The battery range listed by manufacturers is for “typical” conditions. In a head wind, range is reduced. As the battery ages, it degrades (a little bit), reducing range. If you have had a particularly exhausting day you might want to bump up the amount of power assistance which will increase the drain on the battery.
Don't skimp on battery range. It is not worth the stress worrying about whether you can utilise full power assistance and still make it home. We would recommend getting a battery with at least 30% more range than you will likely require.
If you can recharge the battery during the day, then you can effectively double your range for a given battery size – meaning that you can save money and weight by getting a smaller battery.
Bikes that have the battery integrated into the downtube can only be charged by plugging the whole bike in. If you do not have convenient power where your bike is stored during the day, then you will not be able to recharge your bike.
Even if you get a battery with sufficient range to cover both legs of your commute, you still might consider getting a removable battery so that you can top it up during the day if you are not sure you will have the energy yourself to keep the ride home from being a chore, or if you might occasionally need to modify your route, and add to the daily mileage.
1st Option - Scott Addict eRIDE 20 Electric Road Bike (£4,399)
If you can afford carbon fibre, you cannot go wrong with this bike. First, it is one of the lightest electric road bikes available, weighing in at only 12 kg. It achieves this weight with a carbon fibre frame and fork, and Mahle electrics (some of the lightest e-components on the market).
But the light weight does not mean that you are skimping on quality. Cyclist magazine highly rates this bike for its ride quality and sharp handling. This bike is fitted out with impressive Shimano components, and Syncros seat and handlebars, and has a range of 81 miles.
The bike comes with drop hand bars (ideal for long distance road rides) and comes in five sizes (from X Small to X Large) to ensure it fits you perfectly.
2nd Option - Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 Step Through (£3,000)
Although made of aluminium, this e-bike weighs only 14.9 kg and also sports a range of 81 miles. Wired magazine calls this The Best Bike of 2021 with the reviewer adding, “When I had to return this electric bike, I almost cried.”
The Specialized bike is configured more like a hybrid than a strict road bike – flat handbars (instead of drop ones) to negotiate varying surfaces, a hidden shock in the head tube to cushion bumps. Without power assist, you can expect a slower pace but otherwise a very fine bicycle
3rd Option - Giant Road E+ 2 Pro Electric Road Bike (£2,625)
Cyclist magazine named this bike the best racer electric bike in 2020 when it had a list price of £3,499. In our view, since then it has been overtaken by our above two recommendations; however, this remains a solid bike, made all the more attractive if you are able to find it on a clearance sale.
Aluminium frame. Carbon fibre forks. Drop handlebars. 68 miles range. Weighing in at 22 kg.
Whereas the Scott and Specialized have their motor in the rear hub, Giant puts their motor next to the crank, which in theory allows for better tracking of cadence, pedal pressure, and acceleration so allow for smoother, more natural power assist.
4th Option - Orbea Vibe H30 Electric Hybrid Bike (£2,159)
For significantly less money, you can’t go wrong with the Orbea. E Bike Choices the Orbea Vibe as the Best Lightweight Electric Bikes.
It has an aluminium frame, carbon fibre forks, and thus weighs 15.8 kg. As with the other bikes recommended, the batter is integrated into the downtube; however, it is noticeably smaller with a range of only 62 miles and does not support a Range Extender.
Other than that, this is a high quality bike for its price.