e-Bikes may seem like the new kids on the block, but did you know the first electric bike was invented way back in 1897? Though they didn’t catch on until much later. They were extremely heavy due to the electrically driven wheels, and you couldn’t get very far because of the low range of the battery. But of course, they’ve come a long way since then, with the real breakthrough being the invention of the lithium-ion battery in 1991. The batteries ultimately became affordable thanks to the mass production of laptops, and now, one battery charge on an e-Bike can cover 100 kilometres or more! And so today, electric bikes are extremely popular all over the world.

It’s easy to see why we’ve fallen in love with electric bikes. They’re fun, fast, and good for the environment. You don’t need to be physically fit to ride an e-Bike, and they’re perfect for getting you to the office on time - without breaking a sweat! They may look like your average bicycle, but there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. Take a look at our article on 'Electric Bikes vs Normal Bikes' to compare the pros and cons of e-Bikes.

So, what are the best electric bikes? We’ll go through the key features of the best eBikes, and give you advice on what you need to look out for when deciding which bike to buy.

What makes the best e-Bike?

E-Bikes are the future of cycling. That’s not to say they will replace normal bikes, but they do offer another solution for commuters, the older rider, and those new to cycling. There are many different types of electric bikes, from handy folding bikes for commuting, to sturdy and durable mountain bikes for tackling steep hills and rough terrain - so it’s useful to know what you’re going to be using an electric bike for.


To be classed as an electric bike, a bicycle must have an electric motor (and battery), which kicks in when you pedal. If there’s a bar-mounted “throttle” or twist grip to control the power, the bike will legally be considered a moped.


When looking to buy an electric bike, there are a few things to look out for. You should ask:


  • How is it powered?


Most e-Bikes are classed as pedal-assist, meaning the power kicks in when you pedal. Most pedal-assist systems can be adjusted for more or less assistance. Some bikes have a throttle which propels the bike forwards instead, and a few bikes feature a combination of the two. So it’s important to know the difference so you can choose the right e-Bike for you. In the UK and Europe, a pedal-assist e-Bike must have a motor with a maximum power of 250Wh. The motor must stop assisting when you get over 15.5mph, but of course you can pedal your bike as fast as you like under your own steam. A throttle is only allowed for speeds up to walking pace.

  • What's the battery voltage and capacity?A 36 volt battery is fine for flat areas and lighter riders, but a 48 volt battery will provide enough power to help climb hills and push heavier riders more easily. The next point to consider is the battery capacity. A higher capacity battery will give you more range. But you should note that a higher level of power/assist will shorten the range. In most settings, however, you can expect to be able to travel somewhere between 20 and 40 miles before you have to recharge the battery - though it is recommended that you charge your battery after each ride. Decathlon offers a 2 year warranty on all of its electric bike batteries.
  • How much weight can the e-Bike support?Electric bikes are built in a similar way to normal bikes, so the weight limits should be roughly the same too. Most e-Bikes can support someone who is 300lbs, though manufacturers typically recommend a maximum weight of around 50lbs lower than the actual maximum to ensure reliability. A heavier rider would wear down the e-Bike much faster and could potentially damage the spokes on the wheels.
  • Is it good value for money? With e-Bikes, you generally get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better the battery life you’ll get, and the more powerful your motor will be - you’ll want a good motor to tackle those hills. You’ll also usually get a better spec the more you pay. A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay around twice the price for an electric bike, compared to its equivalent normal pedal bike. The extra charge is for your battery and motor.

We’ve hand picked a range of bikes that offer the best electric benefits, combined with qualities you should always look for in a bike, such as: comfort, performance, versatility, and value for money.

Best Budget Electric Bike

Hybrid e-Bikes are often the cheapest electric bike, and provide a good entry point. They do tend to be on the heavier side compared to other types of electric bike, though they are strong and built for robustness.

Electric hybrid bikes have flat bars and stable handling, with an upright riding position for comfort. They’re great for commuting, or riding around the local park. And perfect for picking up some shopping in town as they often come with a pannier rack for carrying light loads.

Elops 120E Electric City Bike

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ELOPS CITY EBIKE ELOPS 120E LFlink

This fully-equipped electric bike comes with a pannier rack, mudguard and built-in lighting. It’s ideal for short urban rides, and encourages a straight back position on the bike to guarantee great comfort. This electrical assistance bike can run for up to 55km on a single charge—depending on the chosen power setting—helping you reach your destination more quickly and easily.

Features:

  • Power: 36 volt rear wheel motor, 250 watt max, engine torque up to 35Nm.
  • Battery: LG/Samsung lithium-ion cells, 30-60km range, 5 hours to a full recharge.
  • Lighting: Built-in front and rear AXA lighting, 20 LUX intensity. Can be seen from 150m at the rear.
  • Comfort: Straight back position on the bike to guarantee great comfort.Best Everyday Electric Bike

For commuting, shopping, or leisure riding, electric bikes deliver carefree cycling. Combining transport and exercise, a little electric assistance can keep the balance right, ensuring your new electric bike is a great alternative to public transport or hopping in the car.

Hybrid electric bikes will suit most riders. Super versatile, most are happy on tarmac or gravel paths, instantly comfortable to ride, and will fit accessories like racks and mudguards.

Best Everyday Electric Bike

For commuting, shopping, or leisure riding, electric bikes deliver carefree cycling. Combining transport and exercise, a little electric assistance can keep the balance right, ensuring your new electric bike is a great alternative to public transport or hopping in the car.

Hybrid electric bikes will suit most riders. Super versatile, most are happy on tarmac or gravel paths, instantly comfortable to ride, and will fit accessories like racks and mudguards.

Elops 940E Low Frame Electric City Bike

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This low frame electric city bike is ideal for urban rides and outings. And if you want a little extra power, the electrical assistance will help to improve your performance on longer rides and on very hilly routes. This hybrid bike is easy to use (battery level and LCD control) and safe (front 20 lux LED light built into the frame). It’s also super comfortable to ride, and has a central motor and a range of up to 90km.

Features:

  • Ease of use: Central motor, 50Nm torque, 10 speeds, pannier rack, offset controls.
  • Safety: LED lighting, disc brakes, reflective strip.
  • Comfort: Ergonomic design, LCD screen, wide tyres, suspension fork.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on the frame & handlebars. Two years on the electric elements & components.

Best Folding Electric Bike

If you want to commute or are just short on storage space at home, a compact electric folding bike could be the perfect solution. The motor will help with longer commutes, and it will be a more comfortable ride compared to using a conventional folding bike.

Folding electric bikes often have the battery hidden in their frames, or some may come with a removable battery to make your bike easier to carry on and off public transport. A removable battery also means it’s easier to charge at your desk, for example. Just beware that the extra weight of the motor and battery will make it slightly more awkward to carry your bike on/off of trains, and up/down stairs.

Tilt 500 Electric Assisted Folding Bike

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ELECTRIC ASSISTED FOLDING BIKE TILT 500 - GREY/BLACKlink

This practical folding bike folds three times, making it super easy to pack into your car, or take on public transport with you. You’ll benefit from assisted pedalling, making it ideal for weekday commutes and weekend rides of up to 35km. And it’s available in a variety of colours too!

Features:

  • Versatility: Electric assistance & 6 speeds.
  • Comfort: Ergonomic grips & saddle, height-adjustable stem.
  • Battery range: 35km in economy mode/25km in normal mode/20km in sport mode.
  • Battery lifespan: 350 to 500 charge cycles.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on the frame, stem (excl. hinge), rigid fork & handlebar.

Best Lightweight Electric Bike

In December 2019, mechanical engineer Dr. Dennis Freiburg, stamped his name into the Guinness Book of World Records with the world's lightest e-Bike: the 6.872kg (15.15lb) Freicycle.

Generally, lightweight bikes tend to be more expensive, with the use of carbon materials and components. And as much of the weight of an electric bike is in the battery and motor, more sophisticated solutions need to be found to reduce the weight of the electrical components, and this can be expensive. Weight is really important when bikes are self-powered, but for an electric bike, it is less so. What matters is how the bike behaves, and how long the battery lasts.

Windee Electrical Assistance Gravel Bike

This electrical assistance gravel bike is perfect for expanding your playground, heading off-road and rediscovering the joy of cycling. A simple, full-carbon bike equipped with the highly respected Fazua motor, whose power and battery life will carry you more than 120km over undulating terrain. It’s super lightweight at just 15kg, and only 12kg if you want to ride without the motor and battery (which can be easily removed).

Features:

  • Power: Fazua Evation motor that produces up to 400% of your own power.
  • Braking power: Hydraulic brakes for confidence when descending.
  • Battery: Ride for longer with a 250W/H battery that has a range of up to 120km.
  • Frame: The full-carbon frame makes the bike light & responsive.

Best Electric Mountain Bike

An electric mountain bike will get you to the top of those hills quicker and easier than conventional MTB’s, so you’ll have more energy to enjoy the descents. And recent improvements in e-MTB performance means better handling for flat-out riding fun.

Just remember the extra weight of the electrical components can make handling more tricky compared to normal mountain bikes, particularly technical sections, so it’s a good idea to get the feel of the bike before you attempt anything too challenging.

E-ST 900 27.5+ Electric Mountain Bike

This electric mountain bike is designed for MTB enthusiasts who like to ride on very rough and hilly terrain. It has a 250W motor with 70Nm torque, plus a 500Wh battery so you can enjoy even longer rides (around 3 hours at a sporty pace). The built-in motor will automatically assist you when needed, making tough climbs a breeze!

Features:

  • Power: A powerful 250W motor with 70Nm torque.
  • Comfort: Raised position, 120mm suspension, very wide tyres, Ergofit saddle.
  • Battery: 500Wh battery equipped with SAMSUNG SDI cells, renowned for their high level of reliability & safety. Ride for around 3 hours at a sporty pace.
  • Disc brakes: Tektro TKD32 hydraulic disc brakes on the front & rear for powerful, progressive braking. Oversized 180mm diameter discs provide even more power.

What type of electric bike should I go for?

As we’ve seen, there are so many different types of electric bike on the market. What type of e-Bike you go for is a personal choice, but the type of riding you’ll be doing should play a key part in choosing which bike to buy.

The best electric bikes are now lighter, more powerful, and better looking than ever. You don’t need to be physically fit to ride one, and they get you outside. They’re good for the planet, and they’re fun too - so what’s not to love?

Just like normal pedal bikes, the best eBikes come with a ton of technical specs that may or may not be important to you. But one question you should always ask is: What kind of drive does the bike have? More affordable e-Bikes use hub motor drives, meaning the motor is in the hub of the bike's wheel. Mid-drive motors, like Bosch or Shimano systems, are in the centre of the bike and transfer the power to the wheel through the chain. Mid-drive motors feel more natural as you pedal, and they balance the bike's weight better. The battery range is also an important factor, so make sure you check the technical specs of the bike, as a higher capacity battery will mean a better range (depending on the assistance level you choose).

So, why not try out a few different types of electric bike in store, and don’t forget to ask our expert sales assistants lots of questions so you can be sure you’re choosing the right e-Bike to suit you. At Decathlon, we make sport accessible to all, and we can help you choose the ideal electric bike to help you go faster and ride for longer.

Check out the full range of e-bikes available at Decathlon.