Reprinted from CleanTechnica January 5th, 2018 by 

There was an explosion of electric bicycles (e-bikes) in 2017, and we can safely bet 2018 will give us even more, to choose from. The real question is, will anyone break the quality entry-level barrier? We think we found one.

The Electric Bicycles of 2017 That Impressed Us

We easily rode 30 e-bikes or more this year. Almost all of them impressed us one way or another. Some are expensive and others more affordable. As with most expensive e-bikes, you pay for the difference in quality and feel. But not all entry-level e-bikes have to feel like a cheesy attempt to convert a heavy regular bike with a battery pack and an electric motor.

The E-Bikes That Impressed Us

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The Easy Motion Big Bud Pro left a fun impression on us. What’s not to like about those chubby fat tires with two electric motors, one in the back and front? Sporting a 350W electric motor in the back and 250W on the front wheel, this was one fun bike to ride. Why two electric motors on an e-bike? Frankly said, it’s not that much different for everyday riding, but the e-bike came alive on gravel and sandy paths. We can only imagine what a little snow and ice would do to raise our adrenaline past the point of silliness. You can read EBR’s excellent review of it here.

  • Price: $3,499 USD
  • Weight: 64.9 lbs (29.43 kg)
  • Peak Power: 700 watts
  • Torque: 37 Newton-meters
  • Battery: Samsung
  • Battery Volt: 48 volts
  • Battery Amp-Hour: 12.6 ah
  • Battery Watt-Hour: 604.8 wh
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Range: 30 to 70 miles
  • Top speed: 20 mph (32 kph)
  • Weight: 64.9 lbs (29.43 kg)

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The Smart Motion Catalyst is an e-bike we enjoyed riding. It had the right feel for under $3,000. It is a high-speed trail e-bike with cadence and torque sensing assist options. It has a welcome trigger throttle for maximum power override, and that is something we love. Here’s another review of the Smart Motion Catalyst on EBR until we do ours.

  • Price: $2,699 and up
  • Battery: Panasonic
  • 500 watts
  • Peak output: 900 watts
  • Battery voltage: 48 volts
  • Battery Amp Hour: 14.5 ah (Optional 17.5 ah)
  • Battery Watt Hours: 696 wh (Optional 840 wh)
  • Battery: Lithium Cobalt Manganese Dioxide LiNiCOMnO2
  • Range: 35 to 125 miles
  • Top Speed: 28 mph (45 kph)
  • Weight: 52.5 lbs (23.81 kg)

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The BULLS Monster E FS is, well, a monster of sorts. This was the Cadillac of e-bikes. Well engineered, luscious suspensions that make riding on obstacle tracks fun without killing your back. Of course, it might break your wallet, but you get what you pay for. EBR reviewed it here. You may wonder why it has such a modest electric motor at that price, but it all comes together in an elegant way.

  • Price: $5,499
  • Electric motor: Bosch Performance Line CX 350 W
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Peak power: 570 watts
  • Torque: 75 Newton-meters
  • Battery voltage: 36 volts
  • Battery Amp-Hour: 13.4 ah
  • Battery Watt-Hour: 482.4 wh
  • Range: 25 to 70 miles
  • Top speed: 20 mph (32 kph)
  • Weight: 55.8 lbs (25.31 kg)

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The Gocycle GS was hotly anticipated as a more affordable version of the G3. The GS is not a tuned down version of the G3. It has mostly the same specs as the G3. We like what Gocycle did with this e-bike. It does away with some of the futuristic features of the G3. We still feel the Gocycle is the bike of the future. It folds, it’s magnesium for light weight, and it was the first bike that didn’t make us dread an empty battery. We simply pedaled back home without struggling. We rode the GS and G3 downtown to meetings well dressed without breaking a sweat.

  • Price: $2,799
  • Battery: Panasonic Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium (LiNiCoAlO2)
  • Mid-mounted electric motor: 250 watts
  • Peak output: 500 watts
  • Battery voltage: 22 volts
  • Battery amp hour: 13.5 ah
  • Battery watt hour: 300 w
  • Range: 17 to 40 miles
  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Weight: 36.3 lbs (16.46 kg)

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The Jetson Adventure was a very pleasant surprise because we really didn’t know what to expect. Instead, we found a light and fun mountain bike and had no problem flinging into corners with ease. The one caveat is that its battery is not removable, at least, not easily. It can be removed from the front light but would take some time to do so. It sports 21 gears, and although we would like to go faster, it is meant to climb hills. Overall, it’s a fun bike to ride, and one that is lightweight at a fair price.

  • Price: $1,800, although you can find it cheaper online
  • Battery: Panasonic lithium-ion
  • Voltage: 36V
  • Amp hour: 7.8Ah
  • Motor: 250W
  • Range: 20 to 50 miles
  • Top speed: 20 mph

Top Three Electric Bikes 2017The Propella E-Bike is an e-bike we haven’t written much about yet but are currently testing it for CleanTechnica. This is one very sweet e-bike. What makes it really stand out is that it doesn’t feel like an e-bike. Most e-bikes feel like electric bicycles. The Propella feels like a normal bicycle that just happens to have an electric motor. It’s not in your face and it’s a very sleek and light bike. Stay tuned for more on that bike. Oh, and the price? $1,200. Not bad for an entry-level e-bike that will make you feel you are riding on a well designed, well-executed bicycle.

The Top Three Electric Bicycles of 2017

Although there are plenty of other e-bikes that impressed us, we wanted to choose three that stand out for a few reasons. But before we continue, an honorable mention goes to the Copenhagen Wheel. If you’re not sure where to start, the Copenhagen Wheel can fit on most bikes and can even be ordered fully installed on a few bikes. More to come on that.

The top three e-bikes are the Gocycle GS, The Jetson Adventure, and the Propella E-Bike. All three e-bikes are very different. The Gocycle is futuristic and looks like someone in SoHo, NYC or in Silverlake, Los Angeles would ride it to a trendy shop. It does it in style, won’t force you to relearn how to ride a bike, and certainly has a unique look going for it.

The Jetson Adventure is a good e-bike for those looking for a sportier light e-bike under $2,000. Finally, our heart-win is the Propella e-bike, designed by a bunch of cool designers and engineers. They nailed it in terms of looks, feel, and performance for a very reasonable price.

We hope you enjoyed this best of and we look forward to what 2018 has to bring. We will be testing out more e-bikes and will continue to ride electric.