The best electric commuter bikes

The best electric commuter bikes

February 07, 2024Louis Pastorino
By Phill Tromans

Tired of getting stuck in traffic or wedged into public transport on your daily commute? Looking for a fun and eco-friendly way to zip around town?

We’ve tested a vast number of electric bikes aimed at commuters. Here we’ve focused on two types – road bikes and folding bikes, each of which have their own advantages, and we’ll tell you exactly what they are.

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Folding electric bikes

Electric road bikes

Folding electric commuter bikes

For many commuters, folding electric bikes are a game changer, combining the convenience of an electric bike with the portability of a folding design. They’re ideal for city dwellers facing the daily grind of public transport or limited storage space, and blend power with practicality. Many let you zip through traffic and then fold up to carry onto a train or tuck under your desk.

ADO Air 20, £1,279.99

Folding | Weight: 16-18kg | Range: 100km / 62 miles

Girl standing with ADO Air 20 electric bike

Read the full review here

We think the ADO Air 20 is a standout choice for city commuters, offering top-notch features at an incredible value. The single-speed belt drive eliminates the hassle of maintenance and gear shifting, ensuring a smooth, worry-free ride. Although some single-speed bikes can struggle on hills, the ADO Air 20's torque sensor adds immediate electric assistance so we found ir very responsive.

It has a lightweight design (18kg), a long range (62 miles) from its removable battery that’s integrated into the seat tube, and hydraulic disc brakes that feel great to use. It’s also quick and easy to fold and boasts agile handling in tight spaces - we found its narrow handlebar width makes getting around traffic jams a doddle.

Buy the ADO Air 20 in the UK

Buy the ADO Air 20 in the EU

Axon Pro Lite, £1,699.99

Folding | Weight: 15kg | Range: 40km / 25 miles

Girl riding Axon Pro Lite electric bike

Weighing just 15kg – very light for a folding bike, hence the name – the Axon Pro Lite is perfect for short urban commutes. We found it easy to fold and very portable, which is great if part of your journey involves a bus or train, or if you just need to lug it up stairs.

It’s a single-speed machine, so not great if you have a lot of hills, but a few undulations on the road won’t cause you any issues thanks to its 36V, 250W motor. Quick city trips are its bread and butter, and while its small wheels mean you’ll need to keep a watchful eye out for potholes, its overall design, which features mechanical disc brakes and an LCD display, make it a great choice for commuters looking for a simple and practical ebike. We did think the pedal sensor took too many rotations before the assist kicks in but you can change this in the settings for a quicker activation - we recommend you do.

Read more about the Axon Pro Lite

Estarli E20.7, £1,425.99

Folding | Weight: 15kg | Range: 40km / 25 miles

Girl sitting with Estarli e20.7 electric bike

Read the full review here

The Estarli E20.7 is one of several variants of the Estarli E20 – a folding bike that we love, and one of the first we ever reviewed. The 7 in the name indicates its seven Shimano gears, which combined with its 250W motor give it loads of flexibility when it comes to hilly terrain. Opt for the Pro version and you get mudguards and a rack included, which makes it an eminently practical commuter bike.

It weighs just 15kg and folds quickly and easily, which makes it ideal for the journey to work or taking out in the car or on the train at weekends, and its seatpost-integrated battery will power it for up to 25 miles between charges. In its folded state it’s impressively small, which also helps with storage at home or at work. In fact, it’s not just a bike – it’s an all-in-one solution for a wide variety of transport needs.

Buy the Estarli e20.7

Estarli E20.8 Play, £1,850.99

Folding | Weight: 20kg | Range: 50km / 31 miles

Girl standing with Estarli e20.8 Play electric bike

Read the full review here

A quick look at the photo of the E20.8 Play and you might wonder what differentiates it from the E20.7 just above it, especially when it’s a good £400 more expensive. Well, our tests show this really is a step up from its Estarli stablemate, both in terms of specification and how it rides.

Inspired by classic BMX, the E20.8 Play is more robust and rugged, with chunkier tyres for occasional off-road use, while maintaining the lightness and practicality that’s essential for city commuting. It also has an extra gear, making eight in total, which combined with the 250W motor (with extra torque) and five levels of power assist make it even more flexible.

Sure, we found it slightly bulkier than the E20.7 when folded, but still easy to fold up, but it still weighs just 20kg, meaning it’s easy to haul up the steps at work and very portable for weekend jaunts out to country trails.

Buy the Estarli e20.8 Play

MiRider One GB3, £2,499.99

Folding | Weight: 19.4kg | Range: 72km / 45 miles

Girl riding a MiRider One GB3 electric bike

Read the full review here

Pricy but with a performance that makes it worthwhile. This is a folding bike that, unlike some, does not struggle when things get hilly. We did NOT find this a problem with the GB3 - so it's ideal for commuters with this type of journey to tackle. In our tests, we found it very exceedingly comfortable to ride, with loads of power all sorts of features that justify its relatively high price (hydraulic brakes, belt drive, ergonomic grips, a clear, bright display).

The GB3 is not perfect. On the flat, you can feel like you are spinning your legs out, such is the high level of assistance. The forward saddle position might not suit everyone, either.

Buy the MiRider One GB3

Non-Folding Commuter electric bikes

While non-folding ebikes don’t have the storage and portability advantages of a folding machine, they offer plenty of other plus points. Their priorities tend to be stability and ride quality, usually giving you a more traditional cycling experience. They generally have larger frames and wheels, which give you faster and smoother rides that are ideal for longer commutes. Without a folding mechanism, they can be lighter, too.

ADO Air 28, £1,369.99

Step-through | Weight: 21kg | Range: 100km / 62 miles

 Girl standing with an ADO Air 28 electric bike

Read the full review here

When it comes to sheer value, it’s hard to look past the ADO Air 28. For less than £1,400 it offers up a massive 62-mile range, which makes it a great option for longer commutes. You should stay exceedingly comfortable thanks to its step-through frame design (no need to hoik your leg over a crossbar), and with a weight of 21kg it feels solid and comfortable on the road while still being manoeuvrable.

For the price, the fact that it includes such high-end features as a torque sensor for natural pedal feel and hydraulic disc brakes is genuinely impressive. In addition, the belt-drive system is whisper-quiet and virtually maintenance free, although our tests show thated its single-speed nature means it might not be the best option if your commute features lots of hills. Otherwise, though, it’s an absolute cracker.

Buy the ADO Air 28

Ampere Deluxe Step Through 26", from £1,499.99

Step-through | Weight: 22kg | Range: Up to 88km / 55 miles

 Girl standing with Ampere Deluxe Step Through electric bike

We’re big fans of the Ampere Deluxe step-through bike, which is fairly unusual in that it comes in two different versions, each with different-sized wheels. This is the smaller-wheeled version, which has 26-inch wheels instead of 700C rims. Why is this the one we recommend for commuting? Well, 26-inch wheels use smaller spokes, which makes them tougher than larger wheels if you clobber a pothole.

The bike also has extra space for fatter tyres if you want some extra cushioning on your ride. Wheels aside, the Deluxe will get you up to 55 miles of assistance from its integrated battery (there’s a choice of two), and comes with light, rack and mudguards all included. It’s also got a very punchy 65Nm of torque from its 250W motor and seven gears, which will give you effortless assistance and lots of flexibility for varied terrain.

We did find it a bit tricky to carry when folder - mostly because there’s no handle to hold on to.

Read more about the Ampere Deluxe Step Through

Ampere Tourer S Hybrid, from £1,369.99

Hybrid | Weight: 21kg | Range: Up to 120km / 75 miles

Man riding an Ampere Tourer S electric bike

Read the full review

If you’re new to the world of ebikes, the Ampere Tourer S Hybrid could be just the sort of affordable, no nonsense machine to suit you. Another review from the early days of electroheads, we think this is a great first step onto the electrified ladder, with a lowered crossbar for ease of mounting, front suspension to absorb the worst roads on your commute and a choice of two battery options mounted to the frame, which will get you up to 75 miles of electric assistance.

It also includes hydraulic disc brakes, which is impressive at this price and our testing showed these give safe and reliable stopping power. On top of that, it’s supremely comfortable, and with a rack, mudguards and lights included, it’s practical too. Power comes from a 250W motor in the rear hub, with a notable 65Nm of torque for extra assistance, and there are seven gears to aid you in your quest to ride up hills. Overall, it’s a great all-rounder at a great price.

Read more about the Ampere Tourer S

Beameo Classic, from £1,349.99

Hybrid | Weight: 24kg | Range: Up to 60km / 37 miles

Girl holding Beameo Classic electric bike

Read the full review

True to its name, the Beameo Classic looks, at first glance, like a very traditional bike. But look closer and you’ll see that it’s a proper electric bike with a contemporary twist on the familiar vibe. With a traditional hybrid frame housing a subtly integrated, removable battery, it’s a straightforward design that avoids the complex, high-tech features that other bikes espouse. That makes it very appealing to those that are new to electric bikes or just prefer simplicity.

It has a sporty riding position and we liked its firm ride that gives you an enjoyable, agile riding experience that’s great for nipping through traffic on your way to the office. That said, it lacks some practical features like mudguards, lights or a rack as standard, and our shorter reviewers found the frame to be on the large side. Still, if you value zing over comfort, then this is definitely one to check out.

Read more about the Beameo Classic

Emu Evo Crossbar, £1,149.99

Classic | Weight: 18.5kg | Range: Up to 80km / 50 miles

Man standing with Emu Crossbar electric bike

Tipping the scales at just 18.5kg, the Emu Evo Crossbar is one of the lighter options, and we found it a breeze to manoeuvre in the town or the city, whether you're weaving through traffic or carrying it up stairs. Despite its lightness, it doesn't compromise on range, offering up to 50 miles on a single charge of its 10.4Ah, 374Wh battery. This balance of weight and endurance is ideal for daily commutes.

Adding to its commuter appeal, it comes equipped with reliable Shimano gears, hydraulic disc brakes, and essential accessories like lights, mudguards, and a kickstand – all included in the price. This combination of features, alongside its affordability, makes the Emu Evo Crossbar a great choice if you’re after an efficient and comfortable urban electric bike.

Read more about the Emu Evo Crossbar

Estarli E28, £1,624.99

Classic | Weight: 16.5kg | Range: Up to 88km / 55 miles

Girl holding an Estarli e28.8 electric bike

Read the full review

Another lightweight at just 18.5kg, the Estarli E28 is a breeze to handle, whether you're cruising through city streets or carrying it up steps. Estarli’s whole range has done well in our testing. With this model, despite its lightness, you still get a solid battery range of up to 50 miles, perfect for your daily commute.

It's a sleek bike, featuring a minimalist yet informative display and internal cable routing for a clean look. The 375Wh battery, paired with a rear hub motor, Shimano 8-speed gearing, front suspension and Tektro disc brakes, completes the package, although we do wish that it included hydraulic stoppers rather than mechanical.

While it's not built for steep climbs, we found it handled moderate hills with ease. And although it’s not included as standard, you can add a pannier rack to the bike when you order it. We found riding the E28 feels light and agile, making it great for urban commuting. It’s a great bike for taller riders.

Buy the Estarli e28.8

Wisper Tailwind City Crossbar, from £1,804.99

Hybrid | Weight: 20kg | Range: Up to 110km / 68 miles

Man riding the Wisper Tailwind electric bike

Read the full review

Opt for the larger of the two batteries available on the Wisper Tailwind City Crossbar and you’ll get a whopping assistance range of up to 68 miles, which is surely enough for even the longest bike commute. This is because it’s marketed as a trail bike but we think it’s ideal for commuters too - a great all rounder.

One of a range of variants of the Wisper Tailwind, the City Crossbar comes loaded with features including a nine-speed Shimano gear setup and powerful hydraulic disc brakes that really inspire confidence in traffic. Choose the smaller 360Wh battery and you’ll still see a range of up to 50 miles, and puncture-resistant Kenda tyres come as standard. You’ll also get a thumb throttle included, which you can use to help move the bike when walking up to 4mph, or when pedalling to boost you up to 15.5mph, which is the UK limit for assistance on ebikes. It’s one of the few bikes with a legal throttle. Our overall verdict is that the Tailwind is a very well-specced bike for the commuter, especially when it comes in under the £2,000 mark.

Read more about the Wisper Tailwind

Bio

Phill Tromans has been a journalist and reviewer since 2001. As both a keen road cyclist and car aficionado, he’s fully embraced the concept of e-mobility, and while he still loves pure pedal power, he also likes not being a sweaty mess at the end of every bike ride.