Electric Road Bikes Review

Best Electric Road Bike

by

Noel Joseph

Last updated:

Short summary

From the outset, this Trek electric road bike clearly means business, and it’s not going to let you down at any point.

What you have here is a road bike with the classic drop handlebars, so you have a road bike which is coupled with this 250w motor. That’s going to get you up to a pedal assist maximum speed of 20mph, but that’s going to be enough from a legal perspective. However, it’s the bike itself that makes this our winner. It has an aluminum frame, carbon forks, and even the motor used is ultra-light. You know that a serious road bike is all about being as light as possible, and the guys at Trek have managed to do this even with an electric bike. This version also comes with a Shimano 105 drivetrain, and this is known for its reliability when out on the road. The fact you can then switch to electric power to get you up those inclines is just an added bonus. Overall, this bike is about speed and giving you the best possible ride.

Pros

  • While it’s not a big motor from a power perspective, the fact the bike is so lightweight means it delivers an impressive amount of power.
  • This bike looks like a road bike, acts like a road bike, but it still has that electric motor on board to give you a helping hand when required.
  • The aerodynamics of even the battery pack are perfect. It means it won’t make life harder for you when not engaged, and that applies even if cycling into a headwind.
  • You can easily remove the battery pack and use this like a normal road bike. Everything just clips into place.
  • It comes with powerful hydraulic brakes, so stopping and keeping control of your bike won’t be a problem.

Cons

  • This bike is certainly not for any rough terrain, it’s just not built for that.
  • The sell the storage cover for the battery individually rather than including it in the bike, so keep that in mind.

Featured specifications

Best Overall
Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5
Trek Domaine+ ALR

Short summary

Our runner up is the Roadster Touring by Riese & Muller, and this bike really does look like it means business.

This model comes with two different battery options, with one being 500Wh and the other a 625Wh option, but you do need to pay extra for that one. That’s going to provide you with the ability to get up to 20mph, and that’s good enough. Also, everything is powered by Bosch, so you have a good name behind the power. But this bike is all about being slick in its design. It’s all about the aerodynamics, the lightweight frame, and the ability to either get you cruising along or aiming for speed. However, it doesn’t have the drop handlebars like a speedster road bike. Instead, this is more like a mountain bike than anything else. You have 28” rims, and even though they don’t have fat tires, this bike is still capable of being taken off-road on trails. With an 11-speed Shimano gear set, and Magura brakes, Riese & Muller only use quality components resulting in a fantastic bike.

Pros

  • It delivers enough power to help you out of sticky situations, or where you just want a rest form pedalling and using all your own power.
  • The bike is lightweight, but sturdy, so taking off-road is going to be easy.
  • The weight distribution on the bike is designed to make it more agile and easier to handle.
  • The batteries are well incorporated into the frame to make sure they don’t disturb your riding experience.
  • Every single item on the bike is of the best quality, so if you are looking for a premium electric bike, then this will fit the bill.

Cons

  • With 11 gears, it may be less than some people are used to, but it simply means a slight change to your riding style.
  • It only comes in matt colors, so if you want something more vibrant, then this won’t happen.

Featured specifications

Best Overall
Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5
Trek Domaine+ ALR

Short summary

Specialized does produce some quality bikes, and their Turbo Vado SL 5.0 is another winner.

With this Specialized electric road bike, you do get their 1.1 SL motor designed by them, and this is something that won’t add a lot of weight to your bike. This is then powered by 320Wh, and that’s going to get you up to 20mph which fits in with all those speed limits. You do, of course, have pedal-assistance here. It will make it easier to get up inclines when engaged, but if you want to do things on your own, then you do still have a 12 speed Shimano drivetrain. It also comes with carbon forks and hydraulic brakes. Also, this is something close to a mountain bike rather than something designed for speed, so that accounts for thicker tires that allow you to go off-road from time to time. One thing to point out about the forks. It has invisible suspension, so while it’s not apparent, the bike will give you a more comfortable ride than you may expect.

Pros

  • The battery and motor are both lightweight, so you don’t feel as if you are dragging them around with you.
  • The frame is strong and durable. The alloy frame matched with the carbon forks also give it a sleek look.
  • Specialized only uses top names for the mechanical side of things, and matched with their own expertise, this is a pretty impressive combination.
  • Available in different frame sizes, so no matter your height there will be a bike that fits perfectly.
  • The hidden suspension comes as a real surprise, but it certainly leaves you with a substantially smoother ride.

Cons

  • Setting up the app for mission control can be tricky, so take your time to get it right.
  • There are bikes with stronger motors, but if you aren’t going up seriously steep inclines, then this won’t be much of a problem.

Featured specifications

Best Overall
Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5
Trek Domaine+ ALR

Short summary

This Mosh/CTY model is an impressive electric bike, and that’s not just because it looks seriously stylish from a design perspective.

Instead, this bike may look mean, but it’s slick, lighter than you expect, and it leaves an impressive ride that’s not too uncomfortable. Where this bike excels is with the battery and the range. You have a 529Wh lithium-ion battery that is capable of delivering a real world range of anywhere from 35 – 105 miles, and that is seriously impressive. Of course, this depends on a number of factors, but even getting 35 miles is better than other models. This is all partly due to the fact the battery can be charged while you are on the bike. This makes a huge difference. With the rest of the bike, you have the standard stuff for a serious electric road bike. That means hydraulic brakes, different ride modes, quality tires suitable for going off-road, and basically everything you would expect from a bike of this type.

Pros

  • The range is absolutely outstanding with this bike. It outstrips most of its competitors but only when you put it into an eco-mode in order to preserve power.
  • The bike also has some amazing hydraulic brakes that work exceptionally well in even the most trying of environments.
  • The frame size if optimized, and that’s going to result in you having the perfect frame leading to the perfect ride.
  • The wiring is integrated into the frame to help protect them from the elements.
  • The styling of the bike is exceptional, and it has to be one of the coolest bikes out there on the market.

Cons

  • The maximum weight limit is 280lbs, and that’s lower than a number of other bikes.
  • It would have been perfect it it came with fat tires.

Featured specifications

Best Overall
Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5
Trek Domaine+ ALR

Short summary

With a 36v battery and a 500w brushless motor, this electric mountain bike is going to get you up to a maximum speed of 25mph, and that’s faster than most models that are readily available.

For the frame, we have a strong frame with shock absorbers on the forks, and thick fat tires on the wheels that are also anti-slip. With it being an aluminum alloy frame, it does mean it’s lightweight and yet it can still withstand a whole lot of punishment. The bike comes with a 21-speed Shimano set of gears, and then there are three different riding modes. That will allow you to move between full electric to pedalling and everything in between. For braking, then you don’t get hydraulic brakes, but the mechanical brake set on this model is still going to help you stop even in poor conditions. Actually, the brakes are very sensitive, so they will react when engaged. Overall, this bike feels more like a mountain bike with a motor attached.

Pros

  • The motor is powerful, and it will help get you up those inclines with minimal fuss.
  • The shock absorbers are effective, and they will certainly make sure you have a smooth ride even when you go off-road.
  • With 21 gears, this really is so much like a mountain bike as that’s more gears than you tend to get on an electric bike.
  • The tires are thick and will give you some great grip.
  • At 25mph, this is a fast electric bike, but you do get to play around with the speed thanks to the different ride modes.

Cons

  • While the braking is good, it’s not hydraulic brakes.
  • At times it can feel too much like a mountain bike, and that might put off some people.

Featured specifications

Best Overall
Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5
Trek Domaine+ ALR

purchasing electric road bike

When looking to purchase an e road electric bike, it’s pretty obvious that you are going to need to cover a number of key points to ultimately end up buying the correct one for your needs.

Now, we know that this might be tough, so these points are the ones that we feel should be firmly in your mind.

  • When buying a road bike with electric motor, make sure you understand the power, what that means for the speed, how it affects the range, and also the length of time it takes to recharge. This influences where you can go, and also how far you can go.
  • Be aware that an electric assist road bike is exactly that, it assists you. There’s still the option of using your own pedal power to get to your destination, but you can always engage that motor when the going gets tough and you need a bit of help.
  • With a road bike electric motor recharging can vary. Some can be charged with the battery still on the bike while others need the battery removed and charged at home. Make sure you know which one applies to you.

Aside from those points connected to the power and motor of your electric bike, the rest of buying the best model will depend on your actual biking needs.

An Electric Road Bike is Still a Normal Bike

Pay attention to the gears and how many you have at your disposal. This can vary from around 10 gears to 21 gears, and that’s a huge difference.

Also, an electric bike should still have a sturdy frame, some form of suspension to give you a more comfortable ride, and also a reasonable braking system. You will often find that most of these electric road bikes will have hydraulic brakes, but that’s not 100%.

But these bikes still come with sturdy wheels and tires. They have lights and the ability to change gear. Many will allow you to completely remove the battery system with you then able to take the bike out and use it like a normal bike.

So don’t stress about the intricacies here. There’s no need as your main concern should be how the battery and motor changes the way in which these bikes operate. Aside from that, it’s still just a bike.

Understanding the Power Aspect of an Electric Road Bike

understanding powwer of electric road bikes

But people turn to an electric road bike because of the power aspect, and that’s why understanding what it does is so important.

Basically, the higher the power output, then the easier it will be for your electric bike to get up those inclines or through tougher terrain. It doesn’t always have to equate to speed, but it can often make a bit of a difference.

For the better electric road bikes, you should be looking at something in the range of 350w of power in the motor, but it may be over 500w in some cases. Also, the battery will often be around 36v, and then you have the range and charge length to think about.

With recharging, it will often be in the region of 4 to 6 hours for a complete charge. This is normal, and it doesn’t vary a great deal either.

Finally, we recommend checking if your bike does allow to you charge with the battery left on the bike, or if you need to remove the battery. If it’s the case that you need to remove the battery, most will be very easy to remove, and also with the better electric road bikes, the batteries are flat and fit nicely onto the frame. That way, they won’t create extra drag.

Purchasing the ideal electric assist road bike can be tough, but these FAQs will hopefully deal with some of the issues you may be having when it comes to deciding on the right model for your own individual needs.

Are electric road bikes faster?

how fast are electric road bikes

This is a common question for people to ask, and the answer is going to depend on your own ability on a normal bike.

What you must remember is that an electric road bike is going to allow you to cycle along at between 13 – 15 mph. Now, while some people can get up to that speed on a normal road bike, most people will burn out and cycle slower as a result.

What that means is an electric road bike is going to be faster for a longer period of time, so you will certainly cover a lot more ground as well.

Also, some bikes will get you up to around 20mph, but that’s going to drain the battery faster as it does require more power from the motor. That is something you should keep in mind before engaging the motor to get up to these speeds. However, doing it for a short period of time won’t cause too many problems.

Are electric bikes good in rain?

Considering you may want to be outside in all weather, knowing if an electric bike is good in the rain could be a useful piece of information.

However, the answer to this question is more complicated than most people realize. You see, not every single make and model of electric bike is going to be suitable. Only certain models are actually certified to be used in the rain. However, the majority will be fine in the rain as the motor and battery are encased to protect them from the elements.

Of course, you could use them as a normal bike, but what would be the fun in that?

Do electric bikes charge as you pedal?

While some electric bikes will indeed charge as you pedal, this is not something that applies to every make and model. In fact, it’s rarer than you would expect.

This is something that does then confuse people. Most will expect an electric bike to be partly powered thanks to our own movement, and while it sounds like something that every single electric bike should do, that’s not the case.

Some bikes will adapt their braking system as that is where power can be lost. However, the key here is to forget about focusing on this feature with your electric bike. Instead, settle on understanding your range and the length of time it takes to charge the bike at home. It makes it easier to find the perfect bike.

How often should I charge my electric bike?

You are advised to charge your electric bike after every single time you use it. You need to remember that they will tend to have lithium batteries, and that type of battery does not enjoy being left almost on empty.

Also, be aware that some batteries must be charged at least once a month. If not, then it can prove to be difficult for the battery to then hold the charge when you get around to adding some juice to it.

Checking out an electric road bike for sale is actually a good idea if you want to cover a lot of miles on your own, and then sit back and enjoy a leisurely ride at other times.

With each model mentioned here, you will know in advance that it is capable of covering the miles, and giving you a comfortable ride.

As you have seen with our models, these bikes range from being designed like a real road racer, to mountain bikes and everything in between. It means you can find an electric road bike for all sorts of terrain and personal preferences.

Whether you are a serious rider, or looking for something for the weekend, there is the perfect electric road bike out there just waiting for you.

Trek Domaine+ ALR Review
4.8/5

Trek Domaine+ ALR

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Noel Joseph
Noel Joseph
Noel Joseph has been in the world of motor vehicles for a long period. Currently, he is enthusiastic about Electric & Hybrid Motors and is an independent researcher. He advocates for a clean and sustainable future and envisions utilizing his years of experience in mechanical engineering. His new venture here at CompactPower.com is to organize and simplify knowledge on Electric vehicles. He wants to build a space where people can talk about EVs and associated technologies with freedom.