In a time of multiple global crises—like the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and the threat of nuclear war—it's hard not to feel helpless. If you're a grown-up who can't quite think of what to do to make anything better, I have a simple suggestion: Hop on a bike. And it seems that millions of Americans agree, whether they rented one from a bike-share or bought their own.
For years, electric bicycles were bulky, inconvenient, expensive machines with limited battery life. Slowly, that has changed. Ebikes are now lighter, more attractive, and more powerful than ever. You don't need to be physically fit to ride one. They get you outside, reduce traffic congestion, and shrink your carbon footprint. And they're fun!
Over the past few years, my fellow Gear writers and I have tried almost every kind of electric bike, from the best heavy-duty cargo bikes to high-end mountain bikes. We're always testing new ones, so if you don't see what you want, check back later (or drop me a note!). And once you buy an ebike, check out our favorite biking accessories, bike locks, and gear for a “bikepacking” adventure.
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Updated August 2022: We added new bikes we like, removed older picks, and edited information about financing.