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.
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
||$ 3788 CDN
||$ 5039 CDN
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.
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.
|Benno, Giant, Devinci, liv, yuba
||Mountain City Cycle
|Hyper Electric, T zone, Daymak
|Raleigh, Bulls, Moustache. Reise & Muller+ others
||Coal City Cycles
||LYNN VALLEY BIKES
||NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, V7J 2P1
||North Vancouver,V7P 3S7
|| OHM ebikes.com
||no list of vendors on site
||SURREY, BC, V3W 5A4
|benno, E prodigy
||Bicycle Store Pacific
||Vancouver, BC V5R 1W6
||RIDE ON AGAIN BIKES
||VANCOUVER, BC, V5T 3C5
||DENMAN BIKE SHOP LTD
||VANCOUVER, BC, V5T 3E5
||DUNBAR CYCLES(2008) LTD
||VANCOUVER, BC, V5Y 1P4
|Turbo-como, CUBE, MOUSTACHE, BENNO, RALEIGH. Surface 640, Bull + OTHERS
||Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Victoria
|Opus, elecktra, yuba, Raleigh, Evo
||FAIRFIELD BICYCLE SHOP LTD
||VICTORIA, BC, V8V 4N1
|Benno, Electra, Marin, Evo
||Coastal Cycle & H20 Sports
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.