E-bikes are complex topic due to the multiple technical specifications and types of e-bikes. The short story is to read the research before shopping. I have listed a couple of sites that have reviews with or without rating by users. Once you see the best bikes, you can narrow it down by price, size, features and location, although some vendors sell online only. Check for dates of reviews as this area is rapidly evolving and there have been some casualties. Make sure the vendor is still in business. Prices range from about $1800 to $10,000. With so many models there will probably be a few that will not survive. Just because the bike has a review doesn’t mean it’s the best.
Here is a link to a sizing diagram to help with picking the right size.
Here is a link to a custom fitting service in Vancouver
Types of Ebikes from Montague
Class 1: Pedal Assist / Pedelec
The most common type of electric bike is the pedal assist or pedelec. The rider pedals the bike normally while a motor provides assistance, increasing the power transmitted to the rear wheel. The pedaling takes far less effort than it normally would, even in high gears, which allows for higher speeds and effortless climbing over steep hills. Settings can control the amount of assistance the rider desires but to be considered a Class 1 e-bike in most of Europe, the system cannot provide assistance over 25 kilometers per hour (kph) or approximately 15 miles per hour. In the US this class is limited to approximately 32 kph or 20 mph. A class 1 designation allows these bike to be used on most roads and paths where normal bikes are allowed and do not require any additional licensing.
Class 2: Throttle
Much like a motorcycle or scooter, a throttle operated e-bike propels the bike forward without any additional pedaling from the rider. Most can provide a variable amount of power depending how far the throttle is pushed. These are much less common than their pedal assist counterparts as many countries have laws that prohibit them entirely. The European Union requires an e-bike only provide power while the pedals are moving forward, so throttle e-bike are most common in the United States and China where little legislation exists to limit their use. Common
Class 3: Speed Pedelec
The design of a speed pedelec is similar to a standard pedelec but as the name implies, they allow for a higher top speed of 45 kph or approximately 28 mph . In many areas this class of e-bike is considered a motor vehicle requires its riders to be licensed.
Bikes also vary by placement of battery and type of battery and the length of time you can ride on the battery.
I found 4 sites that review or ranks models of ebikes. The first two EBR and Momentum Mag appear to be paid for reviews. A bike vendor Cityebikes has made recommendations on the models it stocks. Finally there is the Amazon customer rating. I found some of the Cityebikes site rates of the highly rated models in the EBR site so there is some congruence in the ratings.
- EBR https://electricbikereview.com/ The reviewer charges a universal service fee for reviews. The reviews are quite detailed and you can compare models. Another useful feature of the website are videos of people taking the bikes out of a test drive and then going over the bike features in a video.
The top reviewed bikes on this site available locally or online:
Step through or low bar.
- Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru $1,999 CDN 29.5 kg one frame size https://radpowerbikes.ca/products/radcity-step-thru Order online or at the Vancouver location. 3296 E 29th Ave Vancouver, BC V5R 1W6
- BULLS TWENTY8 E45 $ 4599 US 27.17 kg 5 frame sizes. This model was not found at any Canadian dealers. Other BULLS models available at https://www.citecycles.com
City Bikes for pavement
- Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru see above
- Rad Power Bikes Rad City Review $ 1499 US. However these bikes are in short supply.
Mountain or Trail bikes
- Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 Review $ 5699 CDN 4 frame sizes available at Citycycles.
- Volt Bike Enduro Review $ 2499 CDN one frame size online
- Cube reaction Hybrid Pro 500 Review $ 3383CDN 2 frame sizes available at Citycyles
|Step through||Turbo-Como-3.0-650||$3799 CDN|
|Step through||Turbo-Como-4-0-650b-Low-Entry||$4399 CDN|
|Step through||Turbo-Como-5.6-650b-Low-Entry-||$5149 CDN|
|Step through/trail||MOUSTACHE–Samedi-27-Open-Xroad 1||$ 3788 CDN|
|Step through/trail||MOUSTACHE–Samedi-27-Open-Xroad 5||$ 5039 CDN|
Momentum Mag E Bike reviews
Momentum Mag does not rank bikes, but the reviews do list the pros and cons of each model and it seems like reviewers have test driven the models. The reviews are helpful and informative. There are a few bikes reviewed that are available locally. These bikes did not get into the EBR site reviews. The products appear to be made locally.
- EVO bikes EVO Bike Review
- Opus Bikes Opus Connect Review $ 3079 Vendors Opus Bikes, Reckless
- OHM ebikes Vendors 103-930 Harbourside Drive North Vancouver BC V7P 3S7 OHM Ebike Review You can book a test drive online.
- E-Prodigy Bikes Review
Amazon highest customer ranking
sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle (24-Inch and 26-Inch) $ 3308 CDN
DJ Fat Bike $ 1899 CDN
DJ Mountain Bike $ 1899 CDN
Finally reviews for 2019 from Bicycling Magazine.
The reviews are good but many of the bikes were not on Canadian websites. There was a list of bikes under $ 1000 US and a list of bikes for women.
Selected Vendors who have some bikes in the reviews and some bikes not reviewed.
Canadian Tire and Walmart have the cheapest ebikes.
|E prodigy||Brentwood cycle||Burnaby||http://www.brentwoodcycle.com|
|Opus, Cube||BLACK’S CYCLE||COMOX||http://www.blackscycle.ca/cubeelectric/|
|Benno, Giant, Devinci, liv, yuba||Mountain City Cycle||Courtenay||https://www.mountaincitycycles.com/bikebrands|
|Hyper Electric, T zone, Daymak||Walmart||everywhere||https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/hyper-electric-700c-unisex-aluminum-electric-bikes/6000198837445|
|Raleigh, Bulls, Moustache. Reise & Muller+ others||Citrus Cycles||Ladysmith||http://citruscycles.ca/bikes/urban-touring-ebikes/|
|Benno, EVO,||Coal City Cycles||Nanaimo,V9S 1H1||https://www.coalcitycycles.com/bikes/e-bikes/|
|Benno, opus||LYNN VALLEY BIKES||NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, V7J 2P1||www.lynnvalleybikes.com|
|benno. OHM||OHM Cycles||North Vancouver,V7P 3S7||OHM ebikes.com|
|EVO||no list of vendors on site||online||https://www.evobicycle.com|
|opus||ROCKY CYCLE||SURREY, BC, V3W 5A4||www.rockycycle.com|
|benno, E prodigy||reckless||Vancouver||http://www.reckless.ca/electric|
|TREK. Elektra||Bicycle Store Pacific||Vancouver||https://www.bspbikes.com|
|RADpowerbikes||RADpowerbikes||Vancouver, BC V5R 1W6||https://radpowerbikes.ca|
|opus||RIDE ON AGAIN BIKES||VANCOUVER, BC, V5T 3C5||www.rideonagain.com|
|Opus, Electra||DENMAN BIKE SHOP LTD||VANCOUVER, BC, V5T 3E5||http://denmanbikeshop.com|
|opus||DUNBAR CYCLES(2008) LTD||VANCOUVER, BC, V5Y 1P4||www.dunbarcycles.com|
|Turbo-como, CUBE, MOUSTACHE, BENNO, RALEIGH. Surface 640, Bull + OTHERS||Cit-E-Cycles||Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Victoria||https://www.citecycles.com|
|Opus, elecktra, yuba, Raleigh, Evo||FAIRFIELD BICYCLE SHOP LTD||VICTORIA, BC, V8V 4N1||http://fairfieldbicycle.com/|
|Benno, Electra, Marin, Evo||Coastal Cycle & H20 Sports||Victoria,V9B 1H8||http://www.coastalcycle.com/bikes/|
And an online vendor with a variety of brands from $ 1000 that ships free world wide. They have an impressive selection of inexpensive folding bikes.
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We’ve had e-bikes for two years now (paddle assist) and love them. Having a dog since one year makes us use them less, though. We are now teaching Maya to run alongside…
Hi Ann! As a new owner of an e-bike I think you are wise to recommend that people research before running out to buy an e-bike. There are quite a few models out there and at the price-point they come at I think it is important to be happy with your purchase. For that reason I am very surprised that you didn’t even mention Townie-Electra e-bikes. Both my husband and I have owned and been riding regular Townies for 10 years now and love them. They are one of the most comfortable bikes either of us have ridden because they allow you to sit up straight. (not bent over) and they allow you to keep your feet on the ground so you feel both safe and very comfortable. They are also reasonably light and have bigger balloon tires so they add cushion as you go over bumps and/or even curbs. Most other bikes (e-bikes included) have much smaller/narrower tires) and you can’t keep your feet on the ground when sitting on the seat. So when Townie-Electra came out with an e-bike version we have been looking at them as an upgrade and finally made the decision to buy them. We have only had them a couple of weeks but are extremely happy with them. They ride just like a regular Townie but have the added advantage of pedal assistance. The basic model starts at $1,499. We decided to upgrade to the next level with a battery that gives us up to 70-100 miles depending up how heavily we use it. TREK is now the dealer for Townie-Electra and they gave us a very generous 30 day trial period to test drive with a no question asked return policy. Perhaps more important than checking reviews is to ask people who actually own and ride one and then decide which e-bike might work for you. ~Kathy
I should add that to my review list. Maybe they are only available in the US. I will do some research.
Awesome research — very well laid-out.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Ann.
I did a test drive on the bike owned by the lady across the street. It was a bit intimidating.. big, heavy… I managed to get the hang of it a bit.