Cruiser? Cargo? Commuter? How to decide on the precise e-bike for you

Aventon Abound ebike with kids riding in cargo rack.

While it’s true that most forms of e-bikes are viable for using on paved trails or commuting around urban environments, sure kinds are additionally specialised for issues like portability, off-roading, or carrying appreciable cargo. As I realized once I became an “e-bike guy, which means that you’ll wish to take into account what you propose to do along with your e-bike past the fundamentals.

Do you propose to take it on mountain trails? Do you could have restricted area and want one thing compact? What about seems?

These are all questions you’ll wish to ask earlier than taking the plunge, and relying in your solutions, we’ll aid you discover the precise experience. While there are a selection of sub-styles you may uncover inside every class, we’ll provide the lowdown on the fundamentals of each main kind of e-bike as a way to get a head begin on what to anticipate.


The Aventon Soltera.2 right profile against a concrete brick wall.

Commuter e-bikes present a using expertise that caters to primary makes use of like city navigation, or taking to a paved path on a sunny day. You can discover some that sport a really customary e–bike design, or you may go for fashions with flatter handlebars for a extra upright using posture. This can enhance visibility and consciousness in busy metropolis environments and reduce fatigue.

Though they aren’t very visually distinct in comparison with different classes, commuter e-bikes deal with the vital issues for commuters and nail them. Due to their light-weight frames and powerful motors, you may depend on most commuter e-bikes to have the ability to get you up inclines comparatively shortly. Plus, the vast majority of them could have batteries that present implausible vary for longer journeys.


  • Velotric T1: A glossy and light-weight possibility with strong vary (learn our review).
  • Himiway A7 Pro: A premium e-bike that includes a small cargo bay and all kinds of colorways.
  • NIU BQI-C3 Pro: An important commuter e-bike thanks to 2 long-range batteries and excessive energy (learn our review).
  • Aventon Soltera.2: An reasonably priced e-bike that doesn’t sacrifice on high quality (learn our review).


Lectric XPedition
Billy Givens / Lectric

Cargo e-bikes are nice for commuting when it is advisable to carry greater than only a rider. The most recognizable characteristic of any cargo e-bike is its longer and sturdier again rack. These provide loads of choices for carrying heavy or cumbersome objects, or with the suitable add-ons, even different passengers (as long as they don’t exceed the max load capability). But cargo e-bikes are additionally identified for having tons of area for different optionally available equipment like entrance racks and handlebar baggage.

Most cargo e-bikes sit just a little decrease than different kinds of e-bikes, they usually have smaller tires that assist decrease their middle of gravity when loaded down. They additionally generally include lengthy ranges and highly effective motors, granting you the power to go far and ascend hills fairly nicely, regardless of carrying a load.


  • Aventon Abound: A top-tier cargo e-bike with best-in-class accent decisions.
  • Lectric XPedition: A newbie-friendly possibility with tool-less meeting and wonderful accent choices.
  • Rad Power Bikes RadRunner 3 Plus: A flexible and cozy day by day rider with wonderful utility (learn our review).


Rad Power Bikes Radster
Digital Trends

Off-road e-bikes — typically additionally known as “adventure bikes” — are versatile e-bikes that normally have extensive tires and improved suspension to deal with tough terrain. If you’re searching for one thing to tackle wooded paths, these will normally be your best choice. But their all-terrain options additionally make them surprisingly good commuter e-bikes in sure eventualities — notably should you stay in a rural city with loads of grime or gravel roads, or if you end up on poorly maintained streets.

While many off-road e-bikes merely appear like powered mountain e-bikes, some resemble mopeds or grime e-bikes with lengthy, extensive saddles. These are typically comfy, however the design doesn’t make them as environment friendly for pedaling. As such, whether or not you’re using in city environments or exploring off-road, these will all the time be at their greatest when prioritizing using the throttle.


  • Rad Power Bikes Radster Trail: A beefy, versatile journey e-bike with killer dealing with.
  • Lectric XPeak: An reasonably priced, quick, and ergonomic alternative for adventurers (learn our review).
  • Ride1Up Revv1: A visually enticing moped-style possibility for many who desire a throttle to pedaling (learn our review).


The Priority E-Coast is a pleasant to ride in parks as well streets.
Bruce Brown/Digital Trends / Priority Bicycles

Cruiser e-bikes are probably the most informal of all kinds, and are designed nearly solely for using on flat surfaces (ideally pavement). They are inclined to characteristic extensive tires, and and excessive, broad handlebars. In many instances, in addition they have bigger seats with padding and a comfort-forward design. These make nice e-bikes for laid-back cruises round a neighborhood with mates or for informal errands.

Most cruisers received’t be well-suited for using by means of woods or alongside gravel, and never all of them have area for cargo — although you may typically discover some with small rear racks. Also, you might uncover that sure fashions have smaller batteries, as they’re not essentially meant for use intensively for extended durations of time.


  • Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser: A glossy and speedy cruiser designed with performance in thoughts.
  • Electric Bike Company Model S: A extremely customizable alternative with a lot of enjoyable equipment.
  • Priority Cycle E-Coast: A stunning cruiser that guarantees low upkeep prices (learn our review).


Velotric F1
Billy Givens / Velotric

Folding e-bikes are far and away the best way to go for anybody who must retailer their e-bike in a small area like an condo or usually travels with it. While different e-bikes require a automotive rack for transport, folding e-bikes will be simply tossed in a trunk after which unfolded and able to experience inside a pair minutes. Being in a position to take an e-bike with you basically anyplace you go may also encourage you to make use of it extra usually.

It’s value noting, nonetheless, that folding e-bikes can usually sacrifice ergonomics to achieve their tiny proportions. Due to their smaller wheel measurement and body, in addition they ceaselessly produce bumpier rides, and a few fashions present much less spectacular battery capability than most traditional e-bikes. For many people, although, this can be nicely well worth the trade-off for his or her enhanced portability.


  • Velotric Fold 1: A clear and easy folding e-bike that punches nicely above its worth level.
  • Aventon Sinch.2: A enjoyable and well-rounded folder that doesn’t sacrifice on visible enchantment.
  • Rad Power Bikes RadIncrease 5: A robust and easy-to-use possibility for any kind of rider.
  • Lectric XP 3.0: A implausible foldable alternative that comes totally assembled at an unbelievable worth level (learn our review).

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