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Best Commuter EBikes of 2024 Helpful Guide

Updated November 11th, 2023

Best Commuter EBikes

Commuter EBikes are like the modern sports sedan of electric bikes. They have great handling, they can carry some gear, and they are just plain fun to ride. They are a lot more fast and nimble feeling than bigger fat tire ebikes. They are easier to pick up and put on a rack for travelling too. Commuter bikes are my favorite type of ebike and what I like to ride the most when were out running around here. There are a lot of choices out there. We are here to help weed through all the marketing hoopla and help you find the right commuter ebike for you.

See our top picks below for the best commuter ebikes available today. Keep reading for the rest of our recommendations, a guide to electric bikes, and a FAQ.

1. Best Commuter Bike – Aventon Level.2

Aventon Level 2 Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – Up to 60 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 54 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 8 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc – 180mm rotors
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.1inch tires


Level 2 sitting on path

Overall Score



Ride and Handling10.0




What we liked:

  • Smooth power from the motor that makes it very friendly to ride
  • 500 watt motor gives it a lot of power for climbing hills
  • Integrated battery giving the bike a clean look
  • Comfortable ride with just the right amount of cush for paved roads and paths
  • Included fenders and racks
  • Thumb tab throttle control
  • Color LCD display
  • 300 lb weight capacity

What we didn’t like:

  • Gearing needs higher gears for 22-29mph pedal assist

The Aventon Level.2 is the latest update to their popular Level e-bike. The Level.2 is a great fun bike to ride that is comfortable, responsive, easy to use, has lots of power, and has lots of range.

The Aventon Level 2 has several improvements over the Level. The biggest change is the switch to a torque sensor instead of a cadence sensor. This makes the power system much more responsive and efficient. It makes the bike better for riding in the city or on bike paths around people since you have more control of the motor.

The Level 2 has a 500 watt rear hub motor and an 8 speed Shimano Altus driveline. They work well together making climbs easy. The gearing is just about right for speeds up to 20mph.

The bike has a throttle for those times you don’t want to pedal. It can be set for pedal assist speeds up to 28mph. The bike can be configured as a Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike. It comes labeled as a Class 2 from the factory.

The Level 2 comes with lights, fenders, and a rack with a 55 lb capacity making it ready for commutes or running errands.

The Level 2 has a comfortable upright riding position that feels good riding at speeds over 20mph. Cornering feels balanced. The street tires the bike comes with are quiet with good traction. The bike works well on gravel and dirt roads too.

The Aventon Level 2 is a great e-bike with many great features. It is my bike of choice for street riding.

See our full review of the Aventon Level.2 to learn more.

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2. Top Pick – Himiway Rambler

Himiway Rambler Product Image


  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – Up to 55 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 330 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 61 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt hub or mid-drive motor
  • Speeds – 7 or 9 Speed Shimano
  • Brakes – Cable Pull or Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

What we liked:

  • Available with 3 different level component specs
  • Available with a 500 watt hub motor or mid-drive
  • 15 ah 48 volt long range battery in all price points
  • Good range and hill climbing ability
  • Cruiser bike handlebars and riding position
  • Comes with lights and fenders

What we didn’t like:

  • Top speed is limited to 25mph
  • Website is confusing for which version of the Rambler comes with what
  • Rear rack is not included

Himiway claims to be the long range ebike experts. The Himiway Rambler lives up to that claim with a 48 volt 15 ah battery along with 500 watt motors. What sets the Rambler apart is that you can get it with 1 of 3 different component specs.

You can get a Rambler with a value spec that includes a 500 watt motor, basic 7 speed pedal driveline, mechanical disc brakes, and a cadence sensor. You can get it with a 500 watt mid-drive with a 9 speed pedal driveline, hydraulic disc, and torque sensor. All 3 versions have the same 15 ah long range battery.

You can get a great value basic bike that will perform well in most urban settings. You can get a high end mid-drive bike that will tear up climbs and give you easy pedaling at high speeds. You get a good solid long range bike with any version.

We have tested several Himiway ebikes now and found them all to be good performers with long range.

See Best Deals!

Use discount code AGI for $50 OFF on top of UP TO $300 OFF during Himiway BLACK FRIDAY SALE

3. Best Value – KBO Breeze

KBO Breeze Product Image


  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – Up to 55 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 62 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Cable Pull Disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

KBO Breeze ST on boardwalk

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.0




What we liked:

  • Nimble feeling and fun to ride
  • Long range with 16 ah battery
  • Easy to get on and off with step through frame
  • Available in step through and step over frames
  • Comes complete with fenders, rack, and lights
  • Simple and easy to use controls
  • Slow power ramp up makes it easy to ride in tight spaces and around pedestrians

What we didn’t like:

  • Battery meter shows 1-2 bars left when battery is dead
  • Included multi-tool is easy to strip
  • Slower acceleration under 9mph when using throttle

The KBO Breeze is an entry level commuter ebike that packs a lot of performance into a very affordable package. It is available in both a step through and regular frame in 2 colors each. The step-thru frame has a short seat tube making it good for shorter riders out there.

The Breeze has a 500 watt hub motor that can output up to 750 watts peak power. It has a 48 volt 15 ah battery that should give it a pedal assist range of 45 miles in real work usage.

The Breeze has 5 levels of PAS with a cadence sensor. The power level is easy to control in tight urban spaces or riding around pedestrians.

This bike is a good value for someone wanting the range and power of a more expensive ebike without paying a high end ebike price.

See our full review of the KBO Breeze ST to learn more.

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4. Best Premium EBike – Specialized Turbo Vado

Specialized Turbo Vado Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – Up to 90 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 55 lbs
  • Motor Power – 250 watt mid-drive
  • Speeds – 9 or 11 speed or gearbox
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc – 180mm rotors
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.3inch tires

What we liked:

  • Available with a variety of different drivelines
  • Long range with with 710 watt battery
  • Available in 5 different frame sizes
  • Mission Control app for tuning performance and locking bike
  • Very natural pedalling feel with torque sensing
  • Comes with lights, fenders and rear rack

What we didn’t like:

  • Doesn’t have a throttle
  • High cost

The Specialized Turbo Vado is a stylish commuter ebike made with premium components with performance to match. The Turbo Vado is available at a variety of price points with different level components. It is available in step over and step thru versions. Both versions are available in 5 frame sizes to fit small and large riders.

At the low end, the Turbo Vado has a 530 watt battery along with 9 speed Shimano Alivio components. At the high end, it has a 710 watt battery, SRAM GX components, an air spring fork, and a more powerful motor. All levels of the Vado are also available with an internal gearbox hub option. These options provide much smoother shifting and gear range than the Shimano Tourney and Altus drivelines on cheaper bikes.

All versions use a 250 watt mid-drive motor. The Vado 5.0 has a 90nm torque motor compared to the 50nm torque motor on the Vado 3.0 and 70nm on the Vado 4.0.

The Turbo Vado has a top speed of 28mph and is geared to allow you to easily pedal that fast. It does not have a throttle keeping it a Class 3 or Class 1 ebike. The Vado uses Specialized Mission Control App to allow you to customize the performance of the bike. It also allows you to lock and activate an alarm on the bike for security.

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5. Best Value Mid-Drive – Ride1Up Prodigy v2

Ride1Up Prodigy v2 Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 30-50 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 50 lbs
  • Motor Power – BROSE 90nm torque mid-drive
  • Battery – 36 volt 15 ah Samsung Cells
  • Speeds – 9 Speed Advent Microshift or CVT with beltdrive
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc – 180mm rotors
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

Prodigy XC purple by lake

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.5




What we liked:

  • A lot of fun riding on trails
  • Lots of power for steep climbs when riding on “boost” setting
  • Setup well for offroad and trail use
  • Comes with Maxxis trail tires
  • Advent Microshift pedal driveline is durable and smooth
  • Air sprung front suspension fork
  • Chameleon paint that looks green or purple or both

What we didn’t like:

  • Gearing needs more range for riding at speeds above 23mph
  • Range is a little short for the price
  • Headlight can’t be turned off

The Ride1Up Prodigy v2 is one of the cheapest mid-drive electric mountain bikes available today. It comes set up ready for commuting out of the box. It features a 90nm torque Brose mid-drive motor, hydraulic brakes, air sprung front fork, Advent Microshift driveline, and Maxxis trail tires. New with the Prodigy v2 is the option to get a belt drive with CVT hub for a smoother, more durable riding experience. The Prodigy is a lot of fun to ride on or off road.

The Ride1Up Prodigy v2 is available with a regular pedal driveline or a belt drive with CVT hub. Both versions come with an air fork and, fenders and rear rack. The Prodigy XC is gone from the lineup. The XC would be the same as the v2.0 bike with the fenders and rack removed. The v2 has an air fork and still comes with Maxxis mountain bike tires.

The Brose mid-drive unit provides a lot of power and torque to help with climbing hills or accelerating fast on the flats. The torque sensor is very responsive and gives you almost instant help as soon as you push on the pedals. Power is available in 5 settings from Eco up to Boost.

The Prodigy is set up as a class 3 e-bike with a top speed of 28mph with pedal assist. The bike is really only geared for going up to about 24mph. Going 22-23mph requires very little effort on Boost mode. Going faster requires a lot of fast pedaling.

The Prodigy has geometry that feels like a typical cross country mountain bike or hybrid bike. It is slack enough to feel stable at high speeds. It handles tight turns very well. The hydraulic brakes provide plenty of stopping power.

If you want a commuter bike that can turn into a true electric mountain bike to take on the trails but don’t want to spend $5000 for a Specialized or Trek then the Prodigy v2.0 is the bike for you.

We reviewed the original Prodigy XC before. It still shares most of the design of the Prodigy V2 except for no rack and fenders. See our full review of the Prodigy XC to learn more.

See Best Deals!

Get up to $400 Off Ebikes during the Ride1UP Black Friday Sale

6. Mokwheel Asphalt

Mokwheel Asphalt ST Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 50-60 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 60 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

What we liked:

  • Torque sensor gives the bike a smooth feel that is easy to control in congested spaces
  • Available in step-thru, step over, and 2 frame sizes along with several colors. Lots of options.
  • Comes with rack, fenders, and lights
  • 500 watts gives it enough power for most urban riding
  • Hydraulic brakes gives it good stopping power with minimal finger pressure

What we didn’t like:

  • Shimano Tourney deraileur
  • Gearing isn’t high enough to easily peddle up to 28mph

The Mokwheel Asphalt and Asphalt ST are their latest commuter bikes. These bikes have a 500 watt motor, 14.6ah battery and use a torque sensor for pedal assist. They bikes are available with several frame options including 2 sizes and a regular and step thru frame. Each frame is available in a few different colors. They recognize that ebikes are not a one size fits all item.

The torque sensor on the Asphalt is smooth and very responsive giving quick power when you push the pedal. The gearing of the bike is a little bit on the short side. The pedal cadence gets really fast above 25mph so you have to pedal very hard and fast to get it to 28mph. This is a common issue with many entry level torque sensor bikes with hub motors.

Mokwheel is known for having good customer service and supporting their bikes. All their bikes offer good value for the features the bikes come with. You can’t go wrong with Mokwheel.

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Get up to $500 OFF EBIKES and 10 FREE ACCESSORIES during the MOKWHEEL Black Friday Sale

7. RadPowerBikes RadCity Plus

RadPowerBikes RadCity Plus Product Image


  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – Up to 50 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 275 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 65 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.0inch tires

What we liked:

  • Quiet 750 watt rear hub motor
  • Overall fit and finish of the bike
  • Level display built into the battery
  • Available accessories for customizing the bike
  • Available in regular or step thru frames
  • Power based cadence sensor
  • Dual LCD displays

What we didn’t like:

  • Top speed is limited to 23mph
  • Shimano Tourney shifter

RadPowerBikes is one of the biggest and most popular ebike brands today. The RadPowerBikes RadCityPlus is their commuter bike designed for urban riding.

The RadCity Plus is a quiet and refined bike made with a lot of attention to detail. The battery has a level indicator built into it. The motor is quiet. The cadence sensor operates at fixed power levels instead of fixed speeds giving you a closer feel to a torque sensor. It still lets you ghost pedal up to higher speeds higher PAS levels. It activates with just a small amount of pedal movement. It has a 750 watt hub motor whereas most other commuter bikes come with 500 watt motors.

The bike comes with lights, fenders, and a rear rack. RadPowerBikes sells a variety of other rack and bag options for further customizing the bike. You can have a RadCity Plus setup exactly how you want.

We reviewed a RadPowerBikes RadRover 6 Plus which is a very similar bike except with different sized wheels. See our review of the RadRover 6 Plus to learn more.

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Get up to $1200 OFF during the Rad Power Bikes Black Friday Sale

8. Ride1Up 700 Series

Ride1Up 700 Series Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – Up to 50 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 62 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 8 Speed Shimano Acera
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

What we liked:

  • Upgraded Shimano Acera pedal driveline
  • Cruiser style handlebars and relaxed riding position.
  • 28mph top speed on pedal assist
  • Comes with rear rack, lights and fenders
  • 100mm travel fork does a good job absorbing cracks and bumps in the pavement

What we didn’t like:

  • 750 watt motor feels more like a 500 watt motor
  • Requires more assembly steps than other commuter bikes

The Ride1Up 700 Series is a commuter ready bike with a relaxed cruiser riding position. The bike has a 750 watt motor along with a 14 ah battery which give it competitive range and power. It has hydraulic brakes for stopping.

The 700 series has a more upright ride with a swept back handlebar giving it a very comfortable riding position. The front fork has 100mm travel that gives it a bit more cushion than bikes with 80mm forks. The 2.4 inch width tires give it a comfortable ride with good traction on all road surfaces. The only thing that could help with comfort would be adding a suspension seat post.

The bike comes with performance enhancements such as Shimano Acera shifter and derailleur and a 750 watt motor. The motor has slightly more power than a typical 500 watt motor but not by much.

The 700 series is a solid, well built commuter bike from a company with a good reputation for customer service.

See Best Deals!

Get up to $400 Off Ebikes during the Ride1UP Black Friday Sale

9. Charge City Electric Bike

ChargeBikes City Electric Bike Product Image


  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – Up to 50 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 45 lbs
  • Motor Power – 250 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Mechanical disc with 160mm rotors
  • Wheel Size – 700c (29 inch)
Woman standing with Charge City Electric Bike

Overall Score



Ride and Handling8.5




What we liked:

  • Doesn’t take up much storage space
  • Easier to carry. Under 35 lbs when the battery is removed.
  • Includes a rack, fenders, and lights
  • Has enough power for flat terrain and can climb small hills
  • Has throttle and pedal assist
  • Comes in environmentally friendly packaging

What we didn’t like:

  • Ride is not that smooth without a front suspension fork and low profile tires
  • Not much difference between pedal assist modes 1-3 and 4-5.
  • Not the strongest hill climbing commuter bike out there
  • Tool required for adjusting seat height and removing front wheel

The Charge City Electric Bike is a different approach towards a commuter bike. Most companies give you more power and more capacity but they also give you a heavy to lug around and difficult to store bike. The Charge City Electric Bike is focused on being a light weight e-bike that is easy to transport and store.

The City Electric has a 250 watt motor and 7 speed Shimano Altus driveline. This gives it enough power for most city riding and short hills. Going with this approach brings the bike weight in at 45 lbs with the battery. This is much lighter than most other e-bikes that are 55-75 lbs. That makes it much easier to carry or hang up on a wall or rack.

The City Electric has a rotating handlebar along with folding pedals. This means you can store it flat up against a wall and it only sticks out a few inches. It needs half the space to store as a bike with traditional handlebars and pedals. I wish more bike companies would include these features.

Riding the City Electric is fun and easy. It has enough power to give you some help without being difficult to ride in close spaces and around pedestrians. It has a comfortable upright riding position. It uses 29 inch wheels for a smoother more efficient ride than 27.5 inch wheels.

See our full review of the Charge City Electric Bike to learn more.

Charge City Electric Bike in park

See Best Deals!

Get an extra $800 Off at ChargeBikes.com with Coupon Code GEARCRAVERCITY800

10. Juiced CrossCurrent X

Juiced CrossCurrent X Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – Up to 80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 275 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 65 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 9 Speed Shimano
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc
  • Wheel Size – 28 inch x 1.75inch tires

What we liked:

  • 52 volt 19.2 ah battery for more power, speed, and range.
  • Has torque and cadence sensor with customizable ride modes
  • UL Listed battery and electronics
  • True road for good high speed road performance
  • 9 speed pedal driveline for better high speed pedalling

What we didn’t like:

  • Very basic LCD display
  • Coil spring shock at $2000 price point

The Juiced CrossCurrent X is the hot rod of commuter bikes. If you want the equivalent of a Dodge Charger with a Hemi in an ebike this is it. The CrossCurrent X has a 52 volt 19.2 ah UL Listed battery that gives it more highspeed performance and a much longer range. It comes with a 750 watt rear hub motor that can dish out over 1000 watts of peak power.

The CrossCurrent X has true skinny 28 inch x 1.75 inch road tires that give it a fast and efficient ride. They won’t do much for absorbing bumps or smoothing out the ride. The bike has a coil spring front suspension bike fork to help take the edge off. At this price, they really should have an air spring fork.

The bikes comes equipped with lights, fenders, and a rear rack. The rest of the component spec, including 9 speed pedal driveline, matches up with the $2000 price point. The only other area we could see room for improvement is the very basic LCD display on the left handlebar.

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11. QuietKat Villager

QuietKat Villager Product Image


  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – Up to 42 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 325 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 57 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 Speed SRAM
  • Brakes – Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch x 3inch tires

What we liked:

  • More power than expected from a 500 watt hub motor
  • Heavyduty rack that is welded to the frame
  • Wide cushy tires and 100mm travel fork give it a smooth ride on and offroad
  • Overall heavy duty feeling solid construction
  • Good performance on and offroad
  • Many available accessories for customizing the bike

What we didn’t like:

  • Has cable pull mechanical disc brakes instead of hydraulic brakes
  • 20mph top speed

The QuietKat Villager is the commuter ebike for those who want to commuter on Jeep trails and take a more offroad path to work. The Villager is not as offroad centered as the rest of the QuietKat lineup. It has a nice mix of offroad and onroad features to make it a very useful ebike.

The Villager has a heavy duty rack that is welded to the frame. It has a 100 lb capacity whereas most other bikes can only take a little over 50 lbs on their racks. It gives the bike a more clean and integrated look over a bolt on rack.

The bike has 26 x 3 inch tires with a hybrid tread that is good for offroad but not excessively noisy on pavement. The bike only has a 500 watt rear hub motor. It has more power than most other 500 watt hub motors. It can easily hit the bike’s top speed of 20mph in pedal assist or throttle modes.

For braking the Villager has 203mm rotor mechanical cable pull disc brakes. They do not have as much stopping power as the standard 180mm hydraulic brakes most other similar style ebikes have. They get the job done. They need less maintenance. Hydraulic brakes just feel better and have better stopping power.

Take a look at the Villager if you want a commuter electric bike that can also handle offroad adventures.

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Commuter EBike Guide

Electric commuter bikes are designed primarily for road use. They have a more relaxed riding position than a traditional road bike. They are a utilitarian bike and can have racks, lights, and fenders. They need to be able to carry bags and gear. They need to be ready to ride at night if you are out late. Commuter bikes can come with a variety of wheel sizes and driveline types.  Let’s take a look at what matters when you are looking for an electric commuter bike.


Commuter bikes can vary from lightweight 250 watt bikes to heavier 750 watt or more bikes. You should consider where you live and what terrain you will want and need to ride. A 250 watt hub motor powered bike can propel an adult at 20mph on flat land just fine. It won’t provide much help for climbing steep hills.

If you plan to ride mostly on flat roads and paths you can get a lighter weight bike with a smaller 250-350 watt motor such as the Charge City Electric Bike. If you live somewhere with lots of hills I would go for at least 500 watts or more. If you want to ride at higher speeds above 20mph then look for a bike with more power. The Juiced CrossCurrent X has 1000 watt motor and 52 volt battery for highspeed riding.


How far do you need to go with your e-bike? E-Bike range can vary from 25 miles to well over 100 miles. Longer range means bigger batteries. Bigger batteries mean the bike will cost more and weigh more. Batteries will have some loss of range over time so it is always best to buy something that can go farther than you need it to.

Range of e-bikes varies a lot based on rider weight, how many hills you have to climb, and how fast you go. If you are a heavy rider who likes to ride fast then consider bikes with a larger battery. If you are a lighter rider, who rides in a flat area, you can get buy with a small battery.


There are 2 drive types that are common on electric commuter bikes.  Mid-drives where the motor is located at the crank such as the Ride1Up Prodigy and Specialized Turbo Vado. Hub motors where the motor is inside the rear wheel such as the Aventon Level 2. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.  

Hub motors are more simple and easier to maintain. They do not power the bike through the pedal driveline so they don’t cause it to wear as fast. They directly drive the wheel so they cannot take advantage of the pedal driveline gear reduction. This limits their hill climbing ability.

Mid-Drive motors power the bike through the pedal driveline. They can be better at hill climbing since you can gear down into granny gear and multiply the motor torque. You can go faster as well because you can take advantage of the high gears on your bike.

Mid-drive motors can put out a lot of torque. More than the average biker. This means that they can wear out and brake parts of your pedal driveline much faster.  You will have to replace chains, cassettes, and chain rings much more often than with a hub motor. Mid-drive motors tend to be lower watt. A 250 watt mid-drive motor can climb hills as well as a 750 watt hub motor.

Mid-Drive powered bikes cost more. The cheapest mid-drive bikes tend to start around $2500. The cheapest good electric commuter bikes with hub motors start around $1000. 

Torque Sensor or Cadence Sensor

One of the biggest differences in electric bikes is the pedal assist sensor.  Most bikes have either a cadence sensor or torque sensor. Some bikes will have a torque sensor and a cadence sensor such as the Juiced CrossCurrent X and Specialized Turbo Vado. 

Torque sensors sense you pushing on the pedal to activate the motor. They will give you assistance that is proportional to how hard you push the pedals. This gives you lots of control and allows you to have just a little motor power or a lot of motor power. As you go faster and run out of pedal range you will run into a point where it’s difficult to push the pedals at the speed you are pedaling. You won’t get as much assistance.  It feels like you’re not getting much assist above 20mph which is the downside to torque sensors. It feels like you need to do a lot more work to go faster.

Cadence sensors just sense that you are turning the pedals and the motor turns on. It doesn’t care how hard you are pedaling.  Cadence sensor bikes tend to run at fixed speeds for each pedal assist level. At higher pedal assist levels you can go well over 20mph while ghost pedaling or spinning the pedals slowly without putting in any force.

If you want a Class 3 ebike that will easily go 28mph in pedal assist without putting in much effort, a cadence sensor is a better choice.  The downside to cadence sensors is that the bike wants to go a fixed speed based on the level you have set.  On many bikes, the lowest level is 10mph. When the motor kicks on it wants to go 10mph at full power and lurches forward. This makes it hard to ride in tight spaces or with a lot of pedestrians.


Battery size range for electric commuter bikes runs from 10 ah to 20 ah. The large majority of commuter ebikes have 15 ah batteries. Most batteries are 48 volt although there are some 36 volt and 52 volt batteries such as the Juiced CrossCurrent X. Range is proportional to battery size.  If you want to go farther, get a bigger battery. Bigger sized battery cells have less voltage sag under load so they will perform better on steep climbs


Commuter bikes can come with either u-brakes or disc brakes. Disc brakes have much better stopping power. I would spend at least enough to get a disc brake equipped bike.

Disc brakes can be either cable pull or hydraulic. Cable pull brakes are more simple and need less maintenance. Hydraulic disc brakes have much better stopping with less hand effort. In my opinion, the extra stopping power of hydraulic brakes is more than worth any extra work involved.


Pedal Driveline

As you go up in price you get better hardware for the pedal driveline.  More speeds mean more pedal range which means you have more climbing power and higher gears for going faster. 7 speed drivelines run out of range above 20mph.  9 speed drivelines give you higher gears for going faster. For hills and faster riding, more gears are better.


Most commuter bikes have a front suspension fork to help take the edge off of cracks and potholes. There are some commuter bikes such as the Charge City Electric Bike that have a rigid fork. Suspension forks help smooth out the ride. Rigid forks are more simple and won’t wear out. They weigh less.

Very few commuter bikes designed for riding on pavement have rear suspension. It adds a lot of cost and complexity to the bike. It really isn’t needed for paved riding or even dirt road or gravel road riding. If you want a softer ride, you can always add a suspension seat post to your bike to give you a bit more cushion.

E-Bike Classes

The 3 classes of ebikes are:

  • Class 1 – 750 watts power, pedal assist only, 20mph top speed
  • Class2 – 750 watts power, throttle control, with 20mph top speed
  • Class3 – 750 watts power, pedal assist only, 28mph top speed

A lot of places only allow Class 1 or 2 ebikes on bike paths. There are a lot of e-bikes out there that either aren’t classified or can be changed into different classes. An Aventon Level 2 can be a class 1, 2 or 3 e-bike by removing the throttle or adjusting the top pedal assist speed. It is stickered as a Class 2 e-bike from the factory.

See this article from Bosch to learn more about e-bikes classes

Commuter Electric Bike FAQ

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Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.