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The 10 Best Ebikes For Big Guys Of 2023 Helpful Guide

Updated September 24th, 2023

Best ebikes for big guys

Electric Bikes are a great way to get around these days. They can be fast and exciting to ride. If you are a bigger guy, finding a bike with enough power can be a challenge. Don’t lose hope. There are many good electric bike options out there for you that have plenty of power for big riders. For this review, we only considered bikes with a rider weight limit of 300 lbs or above and at least 500 watt motors.

See below for our top picks for the best ebikes for big guys. Keep reading for our e-bike guide to help you find the best bike for you.

The 10 Best Ebikes For Big Guys Of 2023

1. Best Overall – AVENTON AVENTURE 2

Aventon Aventure 2 Product Image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 20-40 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 73 lbs
  • Motor Power – 48V/750W Rear Hub Motor
  • Speeds – 1×8 speed Shimano Acera
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch

Aventure 2 sitting in woods

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.5




What we liked:

  • Big offroad friendly wheels
  • Beefy frame construction
  • Lots of power from 750 watt hub motor
  • Torque sensor gives more control and a more natural feeling ride
  • Color LCD display that is easy to read in bright light
  • Hydraulic brakes give good stopping power
  • Available in 2 frame styles and 2 sizes per style to suit most rider sizes
  • Long range with pedal assist or throttle only riding
  • Ships in sustainable packaging. No plastic or foam to throw away

What we didn’t like:

  • Heavy weight
  • Pedal driveline is a bit clunky feeling
  • Some adjustment needed for the rear derailleur and front tire after assembly
  • Control buttons are not as intuitive as older Aventon bikes

The AVENTON AVENTURE 2 is a rugged bike built for backroads and trails. It has heavy duty construction, big fat tires, 750 watts of power and lets of range. It is ready for any adventure you want to go on.

The AVENTURE looks like a fatbike with 26″ x 4″ fatbike tires. The battery is integrated into the downtube while still being removable. It is a clean looking well put together package.

It has a 750 watt rear hub motor capable of dishing out up to 1130 watts of power when you need it. The drivetrain is Shimano Acera which is a nice upgrade of the Shimano Tourney we see on so many ebikes. They threw in some hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors so you won’t be wishing for more stopping power. They publish a max weight limit of 400 lbs. It should be able to handle almost any rider and condition.

The Aventure 2 was upgraded with a torque senor in addition to the cadence sensor that the original had. This gives much better motor response with less delay.

The Aventure 2 has a great LCD display built into the stem that shows all the information you need such as range, speed and remaining battery. You can connect it to your phone and use the AVENTON app to get even more information such as maps and bike location.

The front fork has 80mm travel. The bikes 26″ x 4″ tires will already provide a lot of suspension even with a rigid fork. The ride is very smooth even on rough rocky and rooty surfaces. The bike has plenty of power for acceleration and hill climbing. Overall it is really fun to ride no matter where you take it.

The only real downside to this bike is its weight. It weighs 73 lbs which means it will be heavy lifting it on and off bike racks. That is the price you pay to get 40 miles of range on a trail ready fat tire mountain bike.

See our review of the Aventon Aventure 2 to learn more.

See Best Deals!

Get up to $500 Off E-Bikes and 20% Off Accessories during AVENTON LABOR DAY SALE

2. Top Pick – Himiway Zebra

Himiway Zebra product image


  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – 60-80 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 400 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 79 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch
Himiway Zebra sitting by lake

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.5




What we liked:

  • Very strong acceleration
  • Very long range with 20ah battery
  • Lots of hill climbing power
  • Clean look with battery integrated into frame
  • Good high speed stability
  • Includes racks, fenders, and lights
  • Comfortable hybrid riding position
  • Hydraulic disc brakes give good stopping power

What we didn’t like:

  • Acceleration may feel too aggressive to some riders
  • Only has a 7 speed pedal driveline with Shimano Tourney Shifter

Bottom line:

The Himiway Zebra has gobs of power, a 400 lb weight capacity and a ton of range. If you need a bike to go the distance with a large rider, the Zebra is hard to beat.

The Himiway Zebra has a 750 watt motor combined with a 48 volt 20 ah battery. This gives it tons of hill climbing power and the ability to ride a really long way. The published range is 60-80 miles. We were able to go over 60 miles on a route with a lot of hills and a big rider. The Zebra has a published weight capacity of 400 lbs.

The Zebra has aggressive acceleration and a longer wheelbase. It is a bike that likes to go fast and wants to go fast. It will never leave you wondering if the motor is on or not. It has an upgraded motor with 86 nm of torque. The bike uses a Shimano 7 speed pedal driveline with an Altus derailleur. The pedal driveline has enough gear range for 10-20mph riding. Above 20 you’ll be mostly using the motor anyways.

The bike has a more stretched out riding position than the Himiway Cruiser which gives it better stability at higher speeds. It does not have a really upright cruiser bike stance.

The Zebra comes as a complete package including a rear rack, fenders, and lights. It is ready to go adventuring out of the box.

See Best Deals!

Use discount code AGI for $50 off at HimiwayBike.com

3. Best Value – Gotrax Tundra

Gotrax Tundra product image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 70 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 265 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 78 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 speed Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch
Gotrax Tundra at beach

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.0




What we liked:

  • Torque sensor with an easy to ride natural feel
  • PAS level 5 that acts like a cadence sensor for easy high speed riding
  • 28mph top speed with pedal assist
  • Comfortable seat
  • Good stopping power with hydraulic brakes
  • Easy to use controls and color LCD display
  • Available with a step over or step through frame with 2 color options
  • Long range with 20 ah battery

What we didn’t like:

  • Shimano Tourney derailleur and shifter
  • Only available in one frame size
  • Suspension pre-load adjustment doesn’t seem to make the fork that much stiffer
  • Doesn’t include a rear rack

Bottom line:

The Gotrax Tundra has features such as a 20 ah battery, torque sensor, and hydraulic brakes not found on any other bike even close to its price point.

The Gotrax Tundra has a feature list that would make you think it is an $2000 e-bike. It’s not. It currently costs $1399. The Tundra has a 48 volt 20 ah battery. It’s got a 750 watt motor. It’s got a torque sensor. It has hydraulic brakes. It has a color LCD display. It’s got a frame integrated battery.

The Tundra comes with a top speed of 28mph in pedal assist and 20mph in throttle only. The Tundra has 4 PAS levels with torque sensing that give the bike a natural and easy to control feel. In PAS level 5, the bike acts like a cadence sensor bike and you can ghost pedal at max power up to 28mph. This is a best of both worlds that gives you all the benefits of both sensor types. This is a huge advantage over the Aventon Aventure 2 which requires a lot of effort to pedal at speeds over 20mph.

The next closest bike to this on paper is the Aventon Aventure 2 and it only has a 15 ah battery and costs almost $500 more. Aventon has a dealer network where you can test ride new bikes and get them serviced. For a lot of people that is worth the increase in cost. If you want raw performance for a low price, the Gotrax Tundra should be on your short list to consider.

See our review of the Gotrax Tundra to learn more.

See Best Deals!

Get an extra 5% Off at GoTrax.com with Coupon Code ERO5

4. 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

Get up to $500 Off E-Bikes and 20% Off Accessories during AVENTON LABOR DAY SALE

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. It has a max rider weight of 300 lbs and is available with a large frame making it good for larger riders.

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.

See Best Deals!

Get up to $500 Off E-Bikes and 20% Off Accessories during AVENTON LABOR DAY SALE

5. Best Mid Drive – Ride1Up Prodigy XC

Ride1Up Prodigy XC 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
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc – 180mm rotors
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

Get up to $300 Off on e-Bikes during Ride1Up Labor Day Sale

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 XC is one of the cheapest mid-drive electric mountain bikes available today. It has a max capacity of 300 lbs making it good for larger riders. It features a 90nm torque Brose mid-drive motor, hydraulic brakes, air sprung front fork, Advent Microshift driveline and Maxxis trail tires. It has a component spec that will stand up to abuse. It is a lot of fun to ride offroad on mountain bike trails. It will make any technical climb easy. It makes a fun bike to ride around on pavement or dirt roads too.

The Ride1Up Prodigy is available in 3 versions. It also comes in 2 commuter bike versions that are equipped with fenders, racks, and street tires. All 3 have the same beefy motor and high weight capacity.

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 setup 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 20mph. 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. It is slack enough to feel stable at high speeds. It handles tight turns in the woods very well. The hydraulic brakes provide plenty of stopping power.

If you want a true a bike that is built to standup to big riders and offroad use then the Prodigy XC is the bike for you.

See our full review of the Prodigy XC to learn more.

Prodigy with 5ft 11inch rider

See Best Deals!

Get up to $300 Off on e-Bikes during Ride1Up Labor Day Sale

6. Best Cruiser Bike – Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser

ride1up cafe cruiser product image


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 30 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 350 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 65 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 8 Speed Shimano Acera
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser has the looks of a classic beach cruiser bike. Don’t let that fool you. It performs much more like a fast commuter bike with features like a 28mph top speed and included racks, fenders, and lights. The Cafe Cruiser has a laid back relaxed seating position with swept handlebars. The riding position is more upright and comfort oriented.

The bike has a BaFang 750 watt rear hub motor that gives it plenty of power. It can handle most hills on throttle only. It has a weight capacity of 330 lbs. When fully loaded it will struggle on steep hills. The 8 speed Shimano Acera pedal driveline give you enough gearing to make pedaling up hills a breeze. It has no trouble hitting its 28mph top speed fully loaded on flat ground.

The Cafe Cruiser has a longer wheelbase giving it the cruiser look. This means it needs a little more room for turning and u-turns.

It has a clean frame look with an integrated battery. The frame looks very well made with clean welds. All the cables and wires are routed inside the frame as well.

Riders have been able to get 25-30 miles out of it on throttle only and over 50 miles on pedal assist. As always, riding style, load, and terrain will affect how many miles you actually get.

One cool feature of the Cafe Cruiser is the optional passenger seat. It can quickly be taken on and off with a quick release attachment. No tools are required. The long wheelbase gives the bike good handling when riding with a passenger.

Overall the Ride1Up Cafe Cruise is a fun stylish bike with good performance. It can easily handle heavy loads or a passenger. It’s ready for any adventure you want to go on.

What we liked:

  • Comfortable and relaxed riding position
  • Classic cruiser bike looks
  • Good power from 750 watt Bafang motor
  • Good overall integrated package with lights that are bright enough to ride at night
  • Strong disc brakes
  • Optional quick release rear passenger seat

What we didn’t like:

  • It will struggle on steep hills when loaded up to its maximum weight without pedaling
  • The tires don’t work well in sand if you want to ride on the beach

See Best Deals!

Get up to $300 Off on e-Bikes during Ride1Up Labor Day Sale

7. Best Folding e-Bike – Heybike Mars Electric Foldable Bike

Heybike Mars product image


  • Max Speed – 24 mph
  • Range – 37 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 330 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 66 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt hub motor
  • Speeds – 7 speed Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 20 inch

The Heybike Mars Electric Foldable Bike is a great high performance long range e-bike. It has a specified capacity of 330 lbs along with a 45-60 mile range and 24mph max speed.

This bike has a 500 watt rear hub motor with a peak output of around 800 watts. It has plenty of power for taking heavier riders uphill without much need for pedaling. It has an 7 speed Shimano driveline to help with climbing if needed.

It has 20 inch wheels with 4 inch wide tires that provide a very cushy ride. The bike has front and rear suspension as well which aren’t all that needed on a bike with 4 inch fat bike tires. The suspension gives it a bit more cush to go with the cushy tires.

The bike can be operated in pedal assist, fully electric, and conventional bike modes. Pedal assist has 5 levels to give you just the right amount of electric boost. When you are coasting, the motor acts as a generator and recovers some battery charge. Every time you go down a hill the bike will charge increasing the range.

There are hydraulic front and rear brakes for stopping. The brakes have plenty of power. Some users found their brakes squeaked when new and needed adjustment.

The bike has a very poor manual that is nearly useless. The bike is really simple and easy to use so it’s not missed much.

The bike folds to allow it to fit in your car or storage space easier. It also weighs 66 lbs so it is not a carry around bike when you are not riding. Not real far anyways.

This is a great e-bike that is fun to ride and very comfortable and cushy feeling. Its weight capacity of 330 lbs makes it good for heavier riders.

What we liked:

  • Smooth cushy ride
  • Downhill energy recovery system
  • High top speed and range

What we didn’t like:

  • Bike is very heavy
  • Poor instruction manual

See Best Deals!

8. Himiway Cruiser

Himiway Cruiser product image


  • Max Speed – 25 mph
  • Range – 35-60 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 350 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 72 lbs
  • Motor Power – 750 watt rear hub
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Altus
  • Brakes – Mechanical disc
  • Wheel Size – 26 inch

Overall Score



Ride and Handling9.0




What we liked:

  • 350 lb weight capacity
  • Gobs and gobs of power from the 750 watt Bafang hub motor
  • Long range with 17.5 ah Samsung battery
  • Very cushy ride
  • Name brand Kenda tires
  • Good power for acceleration and climbing hills
  • Shimano Altus rear derailleur
  • Relaxed upright riding position.

What we didn’t like:

  • Gearing needs higher gears for 22-25mph pedal assist
  • Battery isn’t integrated inside of the frame
  • Derailleur needed adjustment before riding

Bottom line:

The Himiway Cruiser is a powerful comfortable bike with a 750 watt motor and 17.5 ah battery. It can handle heavy riders with ease.

The Himiway Cruiser is a powerful electric fat bike with a 350 lb weight capacity. It has a huge 17.5 ah battery and 750 watt Bafang rear hub motor giving it lots of power for heavier riders. When the motor kicks in it means business. The Cruiser is setup with more relaxed geometry and an upright seating position making it comfortable and fun to ride.

The bike uses a Shimano Altus derailleur with 7 speed freewheel and Shimano Tourney shifter. The bike has enough range with 7 speeds to handle the bikes full speed range without spinning out the pedals. A twist throttle is used for no pedal mode.

4.0 inch wide Kenda Juggernaut tires are used giving you a lot of traction and stability. Larger riders won’t have any problems balancing on the extra wide tires. Ride can be fine tuned for pavement or offroad by adjusting the air pressure. A front suspension fork is included to give you some extra cushion in the front end when running higher tire pressure.

The Cruiser has a lot of power but still manages to get great range. The published range is 35-60 miles. Most riders can achieve those numbers if they go easy on the throttle. This is really good for a big heavy bike with a lot of power and acceleration.

The Himiway Cruiser gives you a lot of bang for the buck with 750 watts of power and a large capacity battery. The big fat tires give it a comfortable, go anywhere ride.

See Best Deals!

Use discount code AGI for $50 off at HimiwayBike.com

9. REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2

REI Co-op CTY e2.1 product image


  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – 50 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 50 lbs
  • Motor Power – 250 watt mid drive
  • Speeds – 9 speed Shimano Alivio
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch

The Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Electric Bike is a great commuter bike from REI with a 300 lb weight capacity. I have been a fan of REI for a long time and shop there a lot. They have one of the best return policies for outdoor gear. They just don’t sell bad items in their stores. I was excited when they introduced their line of e-bikes.

The CTY e2.2 has a Shimano mid-drive motor instead of a hub motor that almost every other under $2000 e-bike has. The mid-drive motor powers the crank directly so it is upstream of the rear gears. This allows the motor to be much more effective at climbing since it doesn’t have to struggle at low RPM.

The rest of the driveline uses a mix of Shimano Alivio, Altus and Acera components. There is no Shimano Tourney anywhere. The suspension fork is a name brand Suntour fork as well. Suntour forks do a good job of absorbing cracks in pavement and potholes on dirt roads. They are a great fork choice for a commuter bike used in urban environments or backroads.

The bike has a range of up to 50 miles using pedal assist. It has no throttle only mode. Most riders can easily get 50 miles out of it on a charge.

The CTY e2.2 has relaxed geometry that makes for an easy riding comfortable bike. The 3 frame sizes means you can get a bike that fits you well.

The Co-op CTY e2.2 is a really great value with above average compoents and mid-drive. It is a great performer on the road as well.

Overall Rating

What we liked:

  • Mid-mount motor allows motor to take advantage of different gears for hills
  • Clean design with racks for commuting
  • Upgraded Shimano components
  • Good power and range up to 50 miles
  • Available in 3 frame sizes for different sized riders

What we didn’t like:

  • Light have to be turned on and off in the setting menu
  • No throttle control. Only has pedal assist

See Best Deals!


10. WING Freedom Fatty 2


  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 45 or 60 miles depending on battery
  • Max Rider Weight – Not Published
  • Bike Weight – 39 lbs
  • Motor Power – 36V/750W Hub Motor
  • Speeds – 1×7 speed Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes – Mechanical disc brakes
  • Wheel Size – 20 inch

The WING Freedom Fatty 2 is a stylish fat tire bike. The Fatty 2 has 20 inch x 4 inch wide tires that are ready for some offroading or less than perfect urban roads.

WING bikes have futuristic styling and remind you of something you would see in a science fiction movie. The top tube extends forward and rearward and has integrated lights. It’s similar to the bikes styling first introduced by VanMoof but at a much lower cost.

The Fatty 2 has a 750 watt rear hub motor giving it plenty of power for larger riders. They don’t publish a max rider weight fort their bikes. It should be fine for 300 lb riders.

The electric controls are very easy and intuitive to use. It has 5 levels of pedal assist. There is an LED display on the handlebar to let you manage the bike.

The bike has a built in alarm as well. It is loud enough to scare away most bike thieves.
The bike has a Shimano Tourney 7 speed driveline and 180mm mechanical disc brakes.

This gives it plenty of go and stopping power. We would like to see something better than Shimano Tourney components on bikes that might go offroad.

The Fatty 2 will be more than capable for dirt roads and some offroad trails. I wouldn’t take it on the worst single track you can imagine. It would be really fun on a nice flowy trail.

The bike is available with 2 battery options giving you 45 or 60 miles of range. This is nice for people who don’t need really long range for their commute or riding for fun.

What we liked:

  • Cool futuristic looking design with integrated top tube lights
  • Fat tires for a smooth ride on rough pavement or dirt roads
  • Built in anti theft alarm

What we didn’t like:

  • Brakes could use a little more power
  • Shimano Tourney derailleur on a bike that could be used offroad

See Best Deals!

Electric Bike Guide

There are many things to think about when purchasing an electric bike. Where do you plan on riding it? How far do you need to go on it. Do you need to transport it on public transportation or the trunk of your car? How fast do you want to go? If you are a big guy can you still ride an e-bike and how much power do you need? Let’s explore all of these electric bike questions below.

What are the benefits of an electric bike?

There are several benefits to an electric bike. Let’s look at a few of them.

  • They allow you to ride farther and faster than you could with a conventional bike.
  • People who can’t ride a regular bike due to lower body injury can ride e-bikes.
  • You can still use an e-bike to lose weight. This is especially true for people with injuries who can’t do other exercises.
  • E-bikes make great commuter vehicles. They are much cheaper to own and operate than a car.
  • They are fun to ride. Zipping around on a bike has never been boring no matter what kind of bike it is.

What should I look for when buying an electric bike?

Operating modes

There are a few different operating modes for electric bikes. They are motor powered and pedal assist. An electric bike may operate in one or both modes and also as an unpowered bike depending on the bike. Some electric bikes are able to switch modes.

  • Powered Bike – The motor can power the bike on its own with no pedaling input. The bike may or may not have pedals.
  • Pedal Assist – The motor provides power only when the rider is pedaling. A sensor on the pedal detects when the bike is being pedaled and powers the motor only when it’s being pedaled.
  • Unpowered bike – You pedal the bike with no electric assist or power.

Motor power

For a larger rider, you should look for an e-bike with a motor that has at least 500 watts of power. There are many e-bikes with 250-350 watt motors which are adequate for flat ground riding but they will struggle going up hills if they can go up them at all. 500 watts is good. 750 or 1000 watts is even better. For reference 1 horsepower is equal to 745.7 watts. The more power an e-bike has, the easier it will be to go up hills, and the faster it can go.

Battery size

Most electric bikes with at least 500 watt motors have 48 volt lithium batteries. 36 volt batteries would need really high discharge current to output 500 to 800 watts of power. More cells and voltage is better for a bike being ridden by a heavier person.

An electric bike with more battery capacity will have more range and can have more output power. Higher capacity lithium cells can discharge at a higher current without damaging the cells. More capacity is better. The downside to more battery capacity is that the batteries get bigger and heavier. There is only so much space on a bicycle frame to store batteries. If you need to carry your electric bike, battery weight becomes an important factor.

Bike Type

You can get electric bikes in all of the common bike types these days. The most popular types of bikes are listed below.

  • Road bike – These bikes are primarily meant for riding on smooth paved surfaces. They have a crouched down riding position with drop handlebars.
  • Mountain bike – These bikes are meant for riding off road on trails. They have flat handlebars and a more upright riding position. Most have front suspension or full suspension.
  • Fat bike – Fat bikes are a form of mountain bike with at least 4 inch wide tires. These bikes are very stable and can be ridden on a variety of surfaces from pavement to sand to mud.
  • Hybrid bike – These are a cross between mountain bikes and road bikes. They have a more upright riding position and flat handlebars similar to a mountain bike. They are lighter weight with tires and wheels that are more pavement oriented.
  • Gravel bike – These are another cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have droop handlebars and crouched down seating position of a road bike with wheels and tires that are more oriented towards gravel or dirt road surfaces
  • Commuter bike – These are an offshoot of a road bike. They tend to have flat handlebars and upright seating position. They have wheels and tires meant for pavement use.
  • Folding bike – This is a bike that can fold in half to be more portable. They tend to be road bikes with pavement oriented tires and wheels and flat handlebars.


The bike will have some combination of chainrings (front gears) and cogs (rear gears). 3 x 7 drivelines with 3 chainrings and 7 cogs and 1 x 7 with a single chainring and 7 cogs are really common in electric bikes under $1000. Since e-bikes also have motor assist they don’t always have a need for really low gearing. If you get stuck out somewhere with a dead battery or the motor stops working, you will really appreciate having some low gears to make pedaling easy.

Higher end drivelines usually mean more range in gear ratios. This means you get better climbing (low gear) and better top speed (high gear).

As you go up in cost bikes transition from a 3 x 7 system to a 3 x 8 or 3 x 9 system. Then to a 2 x 10 and finally to 1 x 11 and 1 x 12 on high end bikes. 1 x 12s are wonderful and simple to use since they have a lot of range and no front derailleur to worry about.

This may seem counter intuitive since higher end bikes lose the front derailleur and have fewer parts. Low end bikes have 3 chainring drivelines which would seem to be a more complex system.

See our article on 1x Drivelines to learn more about 1 x 12 systems.

Brake type

Bike brakes are either v-brake or u-brakes that clamp on the rim to stop the bike or disc brakes. V-Brakes are the traditional bike brake that are operated by a cable. They work by clamping brake pads against the sidewalls of your bike rims. They work well when setup right. They don’t work when the bike rims get wet. If the bike wheel becomes bent and out of true it affects their clamping effort. They have less stopping power than disc brakes.

Disc brakes work by clamping against a rotor attached to the center of your bike wheel. They can be operated by a cable or hydraulics. They have several advantages over v-brakes. They have much higher braking power. You can screech to a stop with 1 finger effort. They work on wet roads. The rotor is far from the wheels and wet pavement. They work with bent or out of true wheels because they are attached to the hub.

Disc brakes are better performing and preferred for any e-bike.

Frame Material

Most bike frames are made of aluminum. Aluminum offers good lightweight construction for a reasonable price.

Carbon fiber is the next most popular choice but it is much much more expensive. Carbon fiber bikes will weigh several pounds less than an aluminum bike. You will pay a few thousand dollars to save those few pounds.

Some bikes are still made with steel frames. Steel frames are a few pounds heavier than aluminum. Steel has good durability and the frames are more flexible than aluminum so it can provide a softer ride.

With an electric bike, you are carrying around several pounds of batteries. Some have 20 to 30 lbs of batteries which weigh as much as some bikes. It’s not worth spending thousands for a carbon frame when you are going to strap pounds of battery weight to it.

Wheel size

Bigger bicycle wheels give a smoother ride. Bigger wheels roll with less resistance and are more efficient. Common wheel sizes for full size bike wheels are 29 inch or 700C, 27.5inch or 650b, and 26inch. 26 inch is no longer common except for fat bikes or very low end mountain bikes.

Foldable bikes or small portable bikes have smaller wheels. These make the bike light enough to carry. They will not ride as smoothly and they will take more effort to climb hills.

Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes

California has developed a system of 3 classifications for electric bikes. Several other states and federal organizations have adopted it as well. The classifications are as follows:

  • Class 1 e-bike – pedal assist only with no throttle and a top powered speed of 20mph
  • Class 2 e-bike – Bike can be powered by the motor alone with a maximum powered speed of 20mph
  • Class 3 e-bike – pedal assist only with no throttle and a top powered speed of 28mph

To learn more about electric bike classifications go here.

Is it worth getting an electric bike?

An electric bicycle may not be for everyone. For those who enjoy riding them, they are absolutely worth the extra cost. An e-bike will always be cheaper to ride and own than a car. You can save a ton of money on your commute using an e-bike. They can allow people with lower body or back injuries who couldn’t otherwise ride a bike to enjoy biking.

What are the disadvantages of electric bikes?

There are a lot of advantages and only a few disadvantages to an electric bike.

  • An electric bike will cost more than a regular bike. The battery will need to be replaced after a few years adding more cost.
  • Some cities and states only allow certain classes of e-bikes on public roads. You need to check the laws where you live to see what you can and can’t ride there.
  • Many mountain bike trails do not allow electric bikes of any kind. More and more are opening up to class 1 pedal assist bikes. They will probably be legal on all trails within the next few years due to their benefits to older and injured bikers.

How long does an e bike last?

An e-bike can last as long as a conventional bike. The battery will lose capacity and wear out from charging and discharging. The average e-bike battery lasts between 10,000 and 30,000 miles. Depending on how much you ride that could be a long time. If you keep the bike indoors and out of the weather it will last much longer.

How do I maintain an e-bike?

Maintenance for an electric bike is the same as a regular bike except for the motor and battery. See the below video for some tips on maintaining an e-bike.

Electric Bike FAQ

Q: Do electric bikes have a weight limit?

Most electric bikes have a specified weight limit for the rider. 265 lbs or 120 kg is a really common weight limit. There are many e-bikes out there with over 300 lb weight limits. If you are a heavier person, there is a bike out there that can support you.

The weight limit on a bike is mostly due to the power available from the motor and battery and the pedal driveline durability. More powerful motor systems and more durable driveline components are both available.

Q: How fast do electric bikes go?

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are limited to 20mph. Class 3 e-bikes are limited to 28mph. You can pedal an electric bike faster but the motor will not power you above those speeds. For electric bikes not following the classification standards you can get higher speeds. Above 28mph it becomes a moped in most states requiring you to have a driver’s license and registration.

Q: How often should I charge my ebike?

To ensure a long life for your e-bike battery you should never leave it completely discharged. When you are done riding your e-bike you should let the battery cool down a little if it’s hot and then recharge it. You should always keep your e-bike battery charged at 50% or a little above for storage.

Lithium batteries are sensitive and require some care. The 2 worse things you can do to them are overcharging and completely discharging them. Overcharging can lead to fires. Most lithium battery chargers have circuits to prevent overcharging. You should always read the owner’s manual for your battery and charger for any safety precautions.

Discharging a lithium battery completely can damage the cells. If this happens they may not hold a charge and can’t be fixed. All batteries have a slow self discharge over time. It’s very slow with lithium batteries but still occurs. As long as you don’t store the battery completely discharged for a long time this problem won’t occur. Most e-bike controllers have circuits to monitor battery voltage. They will cut off the e-bike before damage can occur.

Q: What’s the best electric bike for a 300 lb man?

If you want to get a good bike for a 300 lb person without spending a small fortune, the ANCHEER 350/500W Blue Spark electric bike represents a really good value. It has a rider capacity of 330 lbs. It is based on a $500 value mountain bike with several hundred dollars worth of motor, battery, and controller. It is a decent, reliable bike for a good cost.

Q: Can you ride electric bikes in the rain?

From a biking perspective, you can ride an e-bike in the rain just like any other bike. Some electric bikes have water resistant controllers, motors, and batteries. Some do not and will be damaged. You should consult your e-bikes manual to learn whether it can be used in the rain or not.

Q: Why are e bikes so heavy?

The average mountain bike weighs 25 to 35 lbs. An electric bike adds on a motor, batteries, and controls to that. The motor and batteries add another 20 to 30 lbs. This is how we get to e-bikes that weigh 45 to 65 lbs. To learn more about bike weight, see our articles on mountain bike weight and full suspension mountain bike weight.

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

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.