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Best lightweight electric bikes: Not all e-bikes are heavy

A cyclist riding up a hill on a Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL lightweight electric bike
(Image credit: Specialized)

It doesn't matter if you are talking about an electric bike or a non-electric bike, people want to know about weight. There's always been an obsession with weight in the cycling world and this roundup of the best lightweight electric bikes proves that not even e-bikes are exempt. 

Modern bike designers have shown that aerodynamics is a better investment for speed, and electric bikes can handle weight without much issue. Yet, in the face of these advances, weight is still the metric people care about. 

Even if an aero bike is faster than a lightweight bike and you've got a motor to help haul the weight, a light bike is pleasant. It just feels great to handle an ultralight bike. Every time you move the bike around you notice how light, or heavy, it is. When it comes to electric bikes that can be even more true. The difference between a light road bike and a heavy road bike might be around 10lbs. The difference between a light electric bike and a heavy one is often closer to 25lbs. 

So, if you like the idea of getting the best lightweight electric bike you can find, keep reading to see a list covering some of our favourite options. Or if you'd like to find out some of what you can expect with a lightweight electric bike jump down to the guide below.

Best lightweight electric bikes

Alchemy E-Ronin

(Image credit: Alchemy)

Alchemy E-Ronin

It’s lightweight and ready for any terrain you want to throw at it

Drive system: Fazua Evation | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max Torque: 60Nm | Weight: 12.7kg

Custom paint available
Compatible with 650b or 700c wheels
 Limited frame sizes 

If you like the sound of a hand-made carbon lightweight electric bike, then Alchemy is the answer. Since 2008 Alchemy has been putting out work like no one else. All the manufacturing for every bike happens under the roof of its Denver, Colorado headquarters. That in-house manufacturing makes for added flexibility. The electric assist limits custom geometry options for the E-Ronin, but if you’d like to make your bike unique, custom paint starts at $500. 

Other perks include a crash replacement discount, a two-week money-back guarantee, free shipping, and a lifetime warranty. There are four available builds and five frame sizes. There’s also the extremely rare - for electric bikes - option of buying only the frame and building it up yourself. 

Wilier Cento1HY

(Image credit: Wilier)

Wilier Cento1HY

A race-worthy road bike that features an endurance geometry and just happens to have a motor

Drive system: eBikemotion X35 | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max torque: 40Nm | Weight: 11.9kg

It’s possible to base assistance on heart rate
Removable battery
Endurance geometry
 Not the smoothest ride 

The electric system in the Wilier Cento 1 hybrid is almost an afterthought, in the best way possible. Yes, there is the same Mahle X35 system that finds itself into a lot of the lowest weight electric bikes but that's not the focus. The focus is on making a bike that feels like a bike. 

The carbon frame and fork come from proven Wilier designs, and in this case, the carbon construction comes paired with endurance geometry. The slightly taller head tube and shorter reach provide a more relaxed and less racy position. It's a design perfect for longer distances but it doesn't leave anything on the table.  

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL

An early pioneer in the race for the lowest weight, highest performance, electric road bike

Drive system: Specialized | Battery capacity: 320Wh | Max Torque: 35Nm | Weight: 12.28kg in size L

Futureshock system
Available range extender
There are lighter options at this price point 

When you think about the category of high end, lightweight electric bikes there's no way to not consider the Specialized entry. The S-Works Turbo Creo SL launched just around two years ago and yet in this category that's practically a lifetime. Specialized was there early with an attention-grabbing bike that set the standard. 

The motor system is a custom unit unique to Specialized. It features a 320Wh integrated battery and there's also a 160Wh range extender available. Move over to the traditional bike components and you will find SRAM AXS, plenty of carbon, and the Specialized Future Shock system. 

Lemond Prolog

(Image credit: Lemond)

LeMond Prolog

Drop bar bikes aren’t the only option for the best lightweight electric bikes

Drive system: Mahle X35+ | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max Torque: 40Nm | Weight: 26lb

Light enough to carry upstairs
Integrated fenders
Greater assist might be welcome in traffic 

Top of the line, lightweight, and carbon fibre. Those words commonly refer to the latest, greatest, top of the line race-focused road bike. Instead, they describe a new city bike from Tour de France legend Greg Lemond. It's an integrated everything, flat bar bike, that is perfect for city living. 

It's easy to carry up a flight of stairs, looks amazing, and rides in a way that might make you think you haven't turned on the electric assist. That is until you turn off the electric assist and realize how much it was actually doing. 

Trek Domane+ LT

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Domane LT+

Removeable Fazua system means you could remove the battery pack, refit the cover, and have in-frame storage for a long ride

Drive system: Fazua Evation | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max Torque: 60Nm | Weight: 13.5kg

The removeable battery pack can leave room for storage
Comfort-enhancing Isospeed
One of the heavier, lightweight options

The combination of a Trek Domane design plus the Fazua Evation electric drivetrain makes this bike a two in one endurance monster. Every time you ride it you can take advantage of Trek Isospeed at the rear of the bike, which means extra movement in the seatpost for a road-smoothing suspension effect. 

If you decide to really stretch out the miles, the lightweight frame and Fazua system mean the bike is easy to pedal without any electric assist. Then if you feel like you can take things a little easier you can leave the electric assist system at home and utilise the space for storage. 

SuperSix EVO Neo 1

(Image credit: Cannondale)

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Neo 1

Cannondale is known for lightweight, responsive, race machines and they’ve brought that expertise to an e-bike

Drive system: MAHLE ebikemotion X35 | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max torque: 40Nm | Weight: 11.3kg

Hidden cabling in the integrated bar system
Included wheel speed sensor
Only three frame sizes

Cannondale was one of the companies that took all the time it could before moving to aerodynamics. It has a history of prioritising weight and building race machines with exceptional handling. In 2021 there's not really a place for ultralight, non-aero optimised bikes, and aero has spread throughout the entire range. 

That history is still there though and the SuperSix Evo is the closest to the old lineage. Cannondale has also been a company known for innovation and they've jumped into the electric bike market with both feet. The SuperSix Evo Neo is in many ways the culmination of what Cannondale stands for. It's an ultralight, super responsive, high technology bike. It also happens to have electric assistance.  

Ribble Endurance SL e Sport

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble Endurance SL e Sport

Good value, all the customisation you want, and a top of the line bike make for an easy purchase

Drive system: MAHLE ebikemotion X35 | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max Torque: 40Nm | Weight: 12.4kg/27.34lbs

Excellent pricing 
Endurance geometry
Lacks brand cachet of its rivals

Ribble offers its Endurance SL e in four starting build levels. Of course, as with all Ribble bikes, you can get in and customise from there but those four starting places represent a wide range of pricing. 

The top of the line gets Dura-Ace Di2 and all the pieces to match that level. Down at the bottom is where things get really interesting. You get the same top of the line frame and low weight motor system but it comes with the very dependable Shimano 105 mechanical shifting. It also comes with an excellent price for a top caliber bike.

Orbea Gain M30

(Image credit: Orbea)

Orbea Gain M30

A bike from the original development partner of the x35 that is a mainstay of current lightweight e-bikes

Drive system: MAHLE ebikemotion X35 | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max Torque: 40Nm | Weight: 12.5kg

Integrated lighting
Endurance geometry
Custom paint available
 Comparatively expensive 

For better, or worse, there's a lot of parity in this market. If you want to build an ultralight electric bike you need an ultralight electric-assist system. That means many of the options on this list have similar specs. It becomes the details that set things apart, and the Gain M30 Orbea has a set of unique details.

There's tyre clearance up to 40mm, integrated lighting front and rear, and even an included out-front mount. As an original development partner for the x35 system Orbea also had the expertise to massage the algorithm a bit. In a list of similar bikes, the Orbea manages to set itself apart.

What you need to know about the best lightweight bikes

Is there any drawback to a lightweight bike?

With most things in life optimizing for one feature means other features get left behind. When it comes to non-electric bikes that usually plays out as a choice between aero optimisation or lightweight. But what about with electric bikes? Is there a trade-off for going lightweight?

The answer is both a yes and a no. It all depends on how you look at things. If you are expecting an American style, class III e-bike with a big battery and huge torque you won't find it. As long as you set expectations that what's possible is light assist and smaller batteries then there's no real drawback to going light.

No performance drawback doesn't completely mean no drawbacks at all though. The one big trade-off when you go lightweight is price. When it comes to bikes, powered or not, if you want a light bike, it's gonna be more expensive. Electric bikes aren't immune from this same equation.

Different ride feel

Lightweight electric bikes are a distinct flavour of electric bikes. They have a unique ride feel to them and as long as you understand what you can expect you won't have any surprises.

There are some electric bikes that speed along at up to 28mph with very little rider input. These types of bikes are common in the American market. European law makes them difficult to own but they also make more sense in expansive American cities. The distances travelled are farther and there's more mixing with auto traffic. It makes sense in this context to travel at higher speeds. 

You won't find anything like that in the ultralight market. Bikes of this style feel more like a traditional bike with the wind constantly at your back. With the x35 system, you can even set it to add assistance based on heart rate. It's a much more sport-focused design that makes it easy to forget you even have electric assist.