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Best electric bikes

Want to electrify your two-wheeled life? We've rounded up some of the best electric bikes currently on sale

Bikes

Whether trekking on a mountain bike or commuting through the city on a foldaway, cycling is easily one of the best ways to combine fitness with transport. Electric bikes work by using a small battery and motor to amplify the power you put into the pedals, rather than taking over completely.

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This assistance means you can achieve the perfect blend of exercise and swift progress, and it can be particularly useful if you have a lot of shopping on board, want to get to work without breaking a sweat or simply need a bit of help for medical or comfort reasons.

We've gathered together some of the best of the electric bikes currently on sale. A number of them are also some of the cheapest on sale, at under £1,000. It's worth noting that the majority of the cheaper bikes will have had most of that figure spent on the electric drive system as opposed to the bike itself. So if you're sticking to a tighter budget, don't expect a class-leading bike, rather a cheaper commuter-style option with lower-end components.

Gtech eBike Sports

Gtech has taken its years of experience in domestic appliances and battery technology and is now implementing it in a range of electric bikes. There are currently three offerings available, which are named depending on their abilities – Mountain, City, and our favourite, the Sports.

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The Sports has a single gear, with a computer used to calculate how best to feed in its electrical assistance. The battery – which looks more like a water bottle – will last up to 30 kilometres depending on how you ride and takes three hours to charge. The belt-drive system in place of a chain is a welcome nod to low-maintenance ownership, but we're not so keen on the brakes, which feel a little basic.

£995 from Gtech

Carrera Subway E Men's Hybrid Electric Bike

Available from one of the UK's biggest bike retailers, Halfords, the Carrera Subway E feels like a good-quality bike with added electrical assistance. It comes with an aluminium frame, hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano gearing, plus brand-name electrical parts from another well respected manufacturer, SR Suntour. It's a little bit pricey but we think it's worth it.

It's fun to ride, feels wieldy and can tackle some fairly unpleasant surfaces thanks to its larger tyres. It's comfortable, too, while the electric element is well proven and works as well as you'd hope. The bike uses a 317Wh battery and a 250W electric motor mounted on the rear wheel. The motor whines a little when on the move, but is otherwise among the best on this list.

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£1,099 from Halfords

Pendleton Somerby-E Electric Hybrid BIke

If you like the idea of an electric bike with classic styling, the Pendleton Somerby provides just that. A step-through frame makes getting aboard easy, while the curved handlebars make for a comfortable, upright riding position. 

It's a good, relaxed commuting machine built with some reliable parts, including a Shimano drivetrain. Power comes from a 317Wh battery mounted conveniently on a rack over the rear wheel. Range is a claimed 40 to 50 miles, with a full charge taking five hours.

We're not fans of the basic brakes, but the Pendleton is still a decent choice.

£999 from Halfords

B'Twin Riverside 500 Electric Hybrid Bike

Another suspension-equipped bike, this time from Decathlon's B'Twin brand. With its laid-back geometry but modern styling, the Riverside is a good alternative to the more classically styled options here.

Some decent componentry helps the Riverside look like a good deal, too. Hydraulic disc brakes are a highlight, and while the powertrain isn't branded, it saves money for the bike's electricals.

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A 418Wh battery is among the biggest on this list, with an effective claimed range of up to 90km under normal riding conditions, while the 250W motor produces an impressive 42Nm of torque.

£1299.99 from Decathlon

Assist Hybrid Electric Bike

The Assist Hybrid is not only the smallest bike on this list, but it was also the cheapest in the UK at launch, at least according to its retailer Halfords. Made in the mould of a compact commuter bike, the Assist is compact enough to store easily both at home and the office. 

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The setup is simple: a small frame, 20-inch wheels, a single gear and a small battery mounted under the rear rack. It's battery is big enough for a 20 mile range despite its compact size, and can be charged in two to three hours. 

There's a distinct lack of name-brand parts here, so quality may not be the best, but the Assist is considerably cheaper than the bulk of the competition at just £599.

£599 from Halfords

Swytch Universal eBike Conversion Kit

If you already own a manual bike and are rather fond of it, there's also the option of converting it into an electric one if you so choose. This kit from Swytch allows you to do just that, with a new wheel with a hub motor and a handlebar-mounted battery. 

Whether you have a road bike, a commuter or even a Brompton folding bike, there's a kit available for order on the Swytch website. If you've got basic maintenance skills, the conversion should be easy; if not, your local bike shop should be able to do it in a very short time. The Swytch kit may be almost as expensive as the cheapest bike elsewhere on this list, but it makes a lot of sense if you already have a decent non-electrified bicycle.

Order from Swytch

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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