There are a bunch of great reasons to get around on your bike, especially if you live in the city. You don’t get stuck in traffic, you’ll never get a parking ticket or need to pay for petrol and it’s an easy way to get a bit of exercise. However, there is a negative to commuting by bike (apart from the possibility of bad weather): you’re likely to arrive at your destination and need a shower.
The electric bike is a great solution to this sweaty problem, giving you just enough additional pedal power to keep the heart rate down and the speed up. But what are the best electric bikes available right now, and what are the rules on them in Australia?
Here, we’ll take a look at a range of the best electric bikes, from cargo and mountain electric bikes to road and commuter electric bikes, so we’ve got you covered no matter what you’re looking for. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Table of contents
- Best Electric Bikes – Commuter
- Best Electric Bikes – Road
- Best Electric Bikes – Cargo And Family
- Best Electric Bikes – Mountain
- What You Need To Know Before Buying An Electric Bike
- Best Electric Bikes – Frequently Asked Questions
Best Electric Bikes – Commuter
Cannondale Adventure Neo 4
- Range: 105km
- Motor: Bosch Active Line 250W drive-unit
- Battery: 400Wh battery
- Groupset: microSHIFT 9-speed
- Weight: 21kg-25kg
If you’re after an e-bike to pop down to the shops, commute to the office, or just get around town, there’s a lot to like about the Cannondale Adventure Neo 4. It’s got a sleek-looking set-up, hitting the sweet spot that won’t make feel like you’re a professional racer, or riding the bike got to school on. It’s also available in either an attractive electric blue or a stealthier grey paint job, depending on what takes your fancy.
It’s powered by a hardy 250w Bosch Active Line motor, which will easily zip you around town. The range is decent too, with up to 105kms in the tank between charges thanks to its 400Wh battery.
Also arriving with Shimano Altus 9-speed shifting to get you up to speed, and hydraulic disc brakes to slow you down, the lightweight aluminium frame of the Cannondale Adventure Neo 4 is relaxed and comfortable. So if you’re looking for a simple, yet effective electric bike to get you from A to B, this is one to consider.
- Strong and cleanly designed aluminium stepthrough frame
- Decent range
- Could benefit from mudguards and cargo racks
Gazelle Ultimate C380 HMB
- Range: Up to 104k in “eco” mode
- Motor: Bosch Performance Line (75Nm)
- Battery: Bosch Integrated Li-ion (625Wh)
- Groupset: Enviolo 380 Trekking Manual stepless gear system
- Weight: 25.5kg
Another city bike worth a look at is the Gazelle Ultimate C380 HMB, which boasts a compelling blend of low-maintenance geartrain and high-spec parts across the rest of the bike. With a lightweight aluminium frame that has a robustly designed geometry, it’ll get you to your destination drama free and looking fresh.
The power unit behind what makes this electric bike roll is Bosch’s Performance Line electric motor, which has an impressive 75 Nm of torque, combined with the cutting-edge Enviolo trekking hub that makes steep hills a dream to climb. It’s also made possible thanks to the 625 Wh integrated battery, which has a maximum range of 104km. It also features safe and secure hydraulic disc brakes, a tail light that is integrated into the rear rack and an adjustable dynamo-powered headlight up the front.
With wide tires and front suspension to make for a smooth ride, it’s a more up-market offering than some other electric bicycle options with the commute in mind, but Gazelle have gotten the details right with the Ultimate C380 HMB.
- Great design with smooth pedal assist
- Mudguards and racks arrive installed
- Quite expensive
Aventon Pace 350.2 Step-Thru
- Range: 64km
- Motor: 350W brushless hub motor
- Battery: Removable Internal Lithium-ion 36V
- Groupset: Unspecified 7-speed
- Weight: 22kg
If budget is an important factor in the decision of which the best electric bike is for you, the Aventon Pace 350.2 Step-Thru is an attractive proposition. Despite being a more affordable option within the world of electric bicycles, Aventon hasn’t skimped on the design of the Pace 350.2 Step-Through, with a relaxed frame geometry that ensures you’re in a comfortable position when you’re pedalling.
With a maximum speed that exceeds the legal limits in Australia, you’ll be zipping around town with the 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain and five levels of pedal assist built-in. It’s powered by an integrated rear hub motor, with a decent-sized battery that will hit full charge in around 4 hours of charging.
With chunky and stable 2.2-inch Kenda Kwick Seven Sport tires, and brakes via a set of robust Tektro mechanical disc brakes, it’s a safe, stable ride that you don’t need to be a professional to handle smoothly. On top of that, you’re also getting some very decent value with the Aventon Pace 350.2 Step-Thru.
- Lightweight build
- Affordably priced
- Limited range
Lekker Amsterdam GT eBike
- Range: 120km
- Motor: 80Nm Bafang M420 motor
- Battery: 630Wh removable battery
- Groupset: Stepless Enviolo gearing with Gates CDX Carbon belt drive
- Weight: 26kg
If there was anywhere on the planet that you should take suggestions on electric bicycle commuting from, it’s the city of Amsterdam. Not only is it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, but this local knowledge has been put to good use by the folks at Lekker bikes, who have more than a couple of excellent electric bikes in their catalogue.
The latest generation electric bicycle the brand has released is the Lekker Amsterdam GT eBike, which is a thoughtful, but no-fuss approach to the daily commute. It boasts a stepless Enviolo shifting hub and bicycle transmission, as well as a Bafang M420 motor and aluminium 6061 smooth welded diamond frame that will have you zipping around town.
Featuring a removable 630Wh capacity battery, the Lekker Amsterdam GT eBike boasts a maximum range of 120kms which will likely only see you needing to charge it a couple of times a week. Good battery life isn’t all, however, with a practical cargo rack on the front of the bike, for anything you might need to carry.
- Great design from a brand with solid expertise in commuting bikes
- Comfortable ride and powerful motor
- Battery life could be improved
Giant Explore E+ 1 STA
- Range: 190km
- Motor: 75Nm SyncDrive Sport 2
- Battery: EnergyPak Smart 625
- Groupset: Shimano
- Weight: 25kg
Another very solid offering in the world of e-bike commuting is via Giant, in their Explore E+ 1 STA. With a relatively relaxed frame geometry that is optimised for a comfortable riding position, you should expect exceptional performance from a brand with such a strong reputation for ensuring a quality commute.
Powered by one of the more impressive hub motors on the market, the SyncDrive Sport 2 motor with 75Nm, comes complete with an integrated EnergyPak that will make the most of your pedalling power. Containing 625Wh of power, the EnergyPak will serve up more power to your rear wheel than most, with a range of up to 175kms on a single charge.
With integrated front and rear lights, a rear-mounted cargo rack and versatile Giant CrossCut Gravel 2 tires, there’s great value to be found in the Explore E+ 1 STA.
- Great range with additional battery options
- Mudguards and cardgo racks come preinstalled
- Groupset components could be higher spec
Best Electric Bikes – Road
Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert
- Range: 130km
- Motor: Specialized SL 1.1, custom lightweight motor
- Battery: Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
- Groupset: SRAM
- Weight: 12kg
With a reputation for making some of the world’s top-tier road bikes, it should come as no surprise that Specialized has also made a very impressive electric bike for the road. One of the best e-bikes from the Specialized factory is the Turbo Creo SL Expert carbon e-road bike, which is lightweight, zippy and fast enough to get the blood pumping.
It’s so light in fact, that Specialized is confident enough to state that it’s, “the lightest e-bike in its class,” meaning you’d be hard-pressed to find a bunch ride that can drop you when the pace lifts. Not only is it a remarkably lightweight electric bike, but it is also powered by the 240-watt, SL 1.1 motor that can silently offer as much pedal assist as you need for a little more speed. The SL 1.1 is paired with an amply sized battery that offers up to 128kms of range, making it the perfect e-bike to do some big days in the saddle.
The Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert certainly isn’t the most affordable electric bike on the market, but if budget is less of a concern than power output and responsiveness, it’s definitely worth considering.
- Increibly lightweight Fact 11r carbon frame
- High-spec components
Trek Domane+ SLR 6
- Range: 145km (with 160Wh Range Extender in eco mode)
- Motor: 50 Nm TQ harmonic pin ring motor
- Battery: 360 Wh integrated battery,
- Groupset: Shimano 105 Di2
- Weight: 12.4kg
Trek is another manufacturer with more than its fair share of race-winning road bike expertise, which has been translated into an electric bike via the Trek Domane+ SLR 6. Using the endurance-road geometry of the Domane carbon frame and fork, as well as the rest of the trimmings you’d expect from a top-of-the-line road bike, the Domane+ SLR 6 can easily hold tempo at around 25kph.
The bike is powered by a 50 Nm TQ harmonic pin ring motor, driven by a 360 Wh battery, which integrates seamlessly with the Shimano 105 2×12 Di2 wireless electronic drivetrain. The benefit of the motor system is that when you pass the maximum assist speed or just want to turn the motor off, you won’t feel much resistance thanks to its lightweight construction.
If you don’t need the extra power for your next ride, or you just forgot to charge the battery, you can also remove the motor and battery to save nearly 3kgs in total weight. If you’re after an electric road bike that can double as a normal road bike, without sacrificing any aesthetic elements, the Domane+ SLR 6 is worth considering.
- Lightwight build with 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame
- Solid motor and decent range
Giant Revolt E+ 2022
- Range: 160km
- Motor: SyncDrive Pro motor
- Battery: EnergyPak Smart Compact 500 battery
- Groupset: Shimano GRX Di2
- Weight: 18kg
While not a pure road bike, the Giant Revolt E+ 2022 is a pretty compelling gravel bike that you could easily spend countless hours on the road with. With a lightweight ALUXX aluminium frame that offers a relatively relaxed geometry and a fully integrated motor and battery pack, there’s a whole lot to love even before you get into the details.
Powered by the Giant SyncDrive Pro motor, the Giant Revolt E+ 2022 features an EnergyPak Smart Compact 500 battery that offers up to 160kms of range. The pedal-assist motor is easy to use via the RideControl Switch on/off button on the top tube, while the gearing is as simple as it comes with Shimano GRX Di2 set up, ready to go.
Equipped with tubeless Maxxis Receptor tires, the Giant Revolt E+ 2022 is as at home on the tarmac as it is on gravel paths, making it a properly quick and versatile ride. If you’re after a roadie that can handle a little more, make sure you check it out.
- Solid power and decent range
- Excellent handling
- Aluminium frame isn’t as lightweight as competitors
Best Electric Bikes – Cargo And Family
Urban Arrow Family Performance Plus
- Range: Up to 100km
- Motor: 65Nm Bosch Performance Line Gen 3 250W
- Battery: Bosch 500Wh
- Groupset: Enviolo and Tektro
- Weight: 51kg
Sometimes an electric bike isn’t about getting you over rocky trails or open roads as quickly as possible, but actually about navigating the city streets smoothly and safely. If you’re just trying to get the kids safely off to daycare before you launch into another day at the office, the Urban Arrow Family offers everything you could want and more.
Its instantly recognisable shape is longer than most electric bikes, built to house a large section at the front of the bike that can carry anything from your children to your groceries. Featuring a lightweight aluminium frame, the Urban Arrow Family is still light and maneuverable enough to navigate traffic without becoming unstable or losing balance.
Kitted out with a 250W Bosch Performance Line Gen 3 motor, powered by a 500Wh battery from the same manufacturer, you’ll have more than enough power in your pedals to get to wherever you’re going. If your family comes first, this could be the e-bike for you.
- Solid power and range for its load capacity
- Impressive 250kg total load capacity
Momentum PakYak E+
- Range: Up to 97km
- Motor: SyncDrive Pro mid-drive motor
- Battery: 500Wh battery
- Groupset: Shimano
- Weight: 36kg
Another rock-solid option within the world of cargo electric bikes comes from Momentum, in their recently released PakYak E+. With its block colour scheme and low-slung, step-through aluminium frame, it’s a relatively compact bike that still makes a bit of a statement.
Featuring a SyncDrive Pro mid-drive motor, that comes with a 500Wh battery, you’ll be able to get around with any precious cargo on the front or rear racks, with a maximum weight load of 164kgs. If you need more power though, it even comes with the option of a second battery, just in case you run out of time to get a full charge into the main battery. In terms of a quality cargo electric bicycle, the Momentum PakYak E+ should deliver everything you might be looking for and more.
- Relatively lightweight build for a strong cargo bike
- Solid 164kg load capacity
- Non-hub gearing will face wear if heavily loaded on a regular basis
Best Electric Bikes – Mountain
Giant Reign E+ 2 2023
- Range: 250km
- Motor: 85Nm SyncDrive Pro
- Battery: EnergyPak Smart 800
- Groupset: Shimano
- Weight: 22kg-25kg
- Suspension: RockShox ZEB Select 29er, Fox Float X Performance
- Travel Front/Rear: 170mm/65mm
It was in 2019 that the Giant Reign E+ was first released, which was a pretty decent bike, despite the small battery and slightly disproportionate design. Just four years later, the Giant Reign E+ 2 2023 is the result of massive strides in improvement, both to the battery and the overall design of the bike.
The latest electric mountain bike to leave the Giant factory features an intuitive set of speeds for the SyncDrive Pro 85Nm motor, called the RideControl Ergo 3 which you can control from the handlebar grip. This allows you to control the speed at which it runs, enabling you to conserve battery as you are able to. The EnergyPak Smart 800 battery is an improved version of the one available in the 2022 edition, which has a range of between 70km and 250km depending on the conditions and speed that you’re riding.
Available in four different sizes (S-XL), the frame is made from bulletproof ALUXX SL-grade Aluminium, which will be more than capable of handling almost any terrain. Giant has also ensured maximum comfort as you make your way through more technical trails, with 170mm of travel on the front shocks and 160mm for the rear. If you want the best of what e-bikes can offer right now, the Giant Reign E+ 2 2023 won’t let you down.
- Very good range thanks to improved EnergyPak Smart 800 battery
- Updated SyncDrive Pro 85Nm motor with three speed settings
- ALUXX SL-grade Aluminium is heavier than carbon alternative
2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo
- Range: 5 hours ride time
- Motor: Specialized Turbo Full Power System 2.2 Motor
- Battery: Specialized M3-700, 700Wh
- Groupset: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
- Weight: 18kg-22kg
- Suspension: FOX FLOAT 38 Factory 29, FOX FLOAT X2 Factory
- Travel Front/Rear: 160mm/150mm
The all-new announced 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo is set to shift what we think of as a performance-focused e-bike, into a ride that is not only lightweight but also responsive and agile. But such an impressive performance package doesn’t come cheap, with one of the more eye-watering price tags on this list at more than $20,000.
The core of this bike’s performance is the Specialized Turbo Full Power System 2.2 565-watt motor and Specialized M3-700 700Wh battery with a radically advanced and seamlessly integrated controller, allowing you to enjoy up to 5 hours of ride time. Not only will this get you to the top of your favourite trails faster, but you’ll also have much fresher legs with the help of the motor.
As well as the impressive motor and the lightweight carbon frame, the 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo also comes stock with SRAM’s premier XX1 Eagle drivetrain, and FOX Factory suspension. If you want one of the best mountain e-bikes that money can buy, then you need to have the 2023 Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo on your list.
- High spec SRAM components
- Great ride time length with 700Wh battery
Yeti 160E T1 TURQ
- Range: Unspecified
- Motor: Shimano EP8 motor
- Battery: Integrated 630Wh battery
- Groupset: Shimano XT
- Weight: 22kg
- Suspension: FOX FACTORY 38 GRIP 2, FOX FACTORY FLOAT X2
- Travel Front/Rear: 170mm/160mm
According to Yeti, the 160E T1 TURQ is the first-ever race-specific e-bike, and coming from a brand that knows a thing or two about making world-beating bikes, we’re inclined to agree. Yeti designers spent half a decade working on the 160E T1 TURQ, with an entirely new frame and suspension package designed for the increased speed and weight of an e-bike.
Featuring a Shimano EP8 motor and 630-watt hour battery, the Yeti 160E T1 TURQ is built to be more stable the faster it goes, thanks in part to the set of 29-inch wheels that eat technical trails for breakfast. The FOX FACTORY front suspension offers a very impressive 160mm of travel, which Shimano have much of the drivetrain covered with their XT products.
It’s a bike that is built to go fast, by a team of people who know a lot about making athletes as quick as possible. No, this isn’t the cheapest e-bike on the market (nor is it the most expensive), but it’ll do everything you want it to and more.
- Very high level of specification
- Specially designed e-mountain bike frame
- Unspecified range
Trek Powerfly 4 Gen 4
- Range: Up to 130km
- Motor: 85Nm Bosch Performance Line CX motor
- Battery: 500Wh Bosch PowerTube
- Groupset: Shimano Deore 10-speed and FSA
- Weight: 25kg
- Suspension: SR Suntour XCM 34
- Travel Front: 120mm
One of the good things about the increasingly wide range of electric bikes on the market, is that there’s something for pretty much every imaginable terrain. If you want an electric bike that can get you to work and back, but also be ridden along some more technical trails on the weekend, the Trek Powerfly 4 Gen 4 is a solid option indeed.
You’re getting 120mm of travel with the front Suntour Zeron XCM 34 fork, integrated into the sturdy aluminium frame. If that wasn’t enough mountain bike for you, you’re also getting a dropper post, the option of 27.5 or 29-inch wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, and a 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain.
However, it also has the practical everyday features of a kickstand, cargo racks and a Bosch Performance Line CX motor with a 500Wh battery, just to make sure you’ve got everything you might want for your commute. The Trek Powerfly 4 Gen 4 really is a go-anywhere, do-anything type of ride.
- Good range and power
- Solid handling while going downhill
- Groupset specs could be improved
What You Need To Know Before Buying An Electric Bike
In Australia, the electric bike boom is here to stay, with sales up 800% in the last half-decade. This is thanks to the improvement of battery technology over the same period which has seen electric bikes evolve from being expensive and heavy with low battery range to lightweight and increasingly affordable alternatives to traditional bikes. Even as recently as 2016, there were just 9,000 e-bikes sold in Australia, compared to around 100,000 in 2022.
What’s the difference between an electric bike and a low-powered scooter or motorbike?
In Australia, the distinction is made that an e-bike must be, “propelled primarily by the rider,” rather than solely by the motor. Basically, you still need to pedal, but the motor offers pedal assistance to get you up to speed and keep you there, which is particularly helpful riding up a hill or into a headwind. The rules state an e-bike can have a motor with up to 250w of power, but that it cuts out when you hit 25kph or stop pedalling, in order to keep them as safe as possible.
Typically, most electric bikes are set up with lithium-ion battery packs that have more than enough power to meet the maximum Australian requirements. The battery range of an e-bike is a tricky thing to calculate, depending on the type of bike (eg. mountain bike vs. road bike), rider weight, speed, frequency of stops and the number of hills.
In spite of that, nearly all bikes will have a range of between 30kms and 200kms depending on the specific conditions. Specialized has a handy range calculator that you can use to get a decent estimate of how far you’re likely to get depending on your specific circumstances.
Because of how much variability there can be in range, bike brands have wasted no time in building highly specific types of electric bikes, from mountain bikes and road bikes, to heavy-duty cargo bikes and bikes that can carry child passengers.
It’s definitely worth considering what you want the e-bike for and how you’re likely to use it, be it commuting to work, taking the kids to school or hitting the trails on the weekend. Happy hunting!
Best Electric Bikes – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best electric bike for commuting?
In lots of ways, electric bikes are the perfect commuting vehicle, offering a quick run through heavy traffic and are very easy to lock up when you arrive. Depending on your budget, both the Lekker Amsterdam GT eBike and the Giant Explore E+ 1 STA will serve you extremely well.
What is the best affordable electric bike?
If price is a significant factor in buying an electric bike, there are a number of solid options that won’t break the bank. These include the Aventon Pace 350.2 Step-Thru and the Lekker Amsterdam GT eBike, which serve up serious bang for your buck.
What is the best electric mountain bike?
Electric mountain bikes are a great way to get out of town on the weekend and go exploring terrain that might otherwise be too challenging. If you’re looking to hit some gnarly downhill trails, the Yeti 160E T1 TURQ will be an excellent companion, while the Giant Reign E+ 2 2023 will be rock solid on any surface.