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Best electric road bikes: Get a boost to help you ride faster and further for less effort

A Pinarello Nytro electric road bike propped in a corner of a yellow and green studio, with a recommends badge overlaid
(Image credit: Future)

We don't need to tell you how popular e-bikes are these days, as it's pretty self-explanatory by now. Offering ample power to flatten out hills and extend the mileage of a day ride, the best electric road bikes are great for covering more ground with a lot less effort. In fact, the best electric bikes can fulfil a multitude of purposes, from the best electric bikes for commuting, to the best electric gravel bikes, but when it comes to the best electric road bikes, they emulate the ride feel of the best road bikes, while adding a boost of power to get you further.

Rolling on some of the best road bike wheels and best road bike tyres (e-bike compatible, of course), e-road bikes can be nearly indistinguishable from their non-assisted counterparts.

Many are quick to dismiss the best electric road bikes as 'cheating', but we'd argue that there's no right or wrong way to ride a bicycle, and we relish the way that the growth of the electric bike market has led to so many more people discovering the joys of cycling. Plus, that notion is usually put to bed when those same people swing a leg over an e-bike for the first time. 

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you still have to pedal to make any of these bikes go, but they certainly make it much easier for anyone with a low level of fitness, mobility issues, or simply anyone who wants to sweat a little less.

So what makes for the best electric road bikes? We've gathered together our favourites into one list, to make it easier for you to narrow down your options. Keep reading for that, or check out our buying guide beneath if you still need some pointers.

Best electric road bikes

Colnago E64

(Image credit: Colnago)

Colnago E64

Best electric road bike for those who want to avoid the e-bike aesthetic

Specifications

Drive system: Ebikemotion
Battery: Ebikemotion 250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Aesthetic
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed battery
-
Not actually lugged carbon

Using the C64 as the backbone, Colnago has adapted its carbon racer into a pedal-assist roadie. Claimed to tip the scales at 12kg including the battery, Colnago says the rear hub-based motor only adds 3.7kg and it's capable of delivering 250 watts of assistance.

With the battery housed in the downtube, the E64 doesn't get a built-in head unit; instead, there is a button on the top tube that controls the electronics. The battery is stored in the downtube and is not removable, but Colnago says there is an auxiliary battery on the horizon which can be stored in one of the bottle cages to add range.

Although the E64 appears to be a carbon-lugged frame, it's a visual illusion with these details being added in the paint shop. The bike comes with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, Deda finishing kit and Mavic Aksium Elite EVO UST wheels.

Trek Domane LT+

(Image credit: Trek)

Trek Domane+ LT

Best electric road bike for long days in the saddle

Specifications

Drive system: Fazua Evation 250w
Battery: Fazua 250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Isospeed decouplers offer added comfort
+
Removable battery for 'analogue' rides

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunky down tube

With the IsoSpeed decoupler in the seat tube and room in the frame for 38c tyres, Trek's Domane+ LT is probably the best electric road bike for comfort. 

It comes with a 250w motor and 250Wh battery, so in terms of power and range, it's on a par with many of the 'secret e-bikes' featured here, however, instead of having a battery permanently hidden inside the down tube, the Domane+ uses a removable battery. Batteries do degrade over time, so the option to replace it will be positive when it comes to long-term ownership or resale value. 

The Domane+ LT features all the niceties of the pedal-powered Domane, including fender mounts, Blendr accessories, and endurance geometry. The carbon frame is fitted with a Shimano Ultegra 2x11 groupset, with a 50/34 chainset and 11-34 cassette.

Pinarello Nytro Ultegra

(Image credit: Pinarello)

Pinarello Nytro Ultegra

Best for those who may want to ditch the battery every once in a while

Specifications

Drive system: Fazua Evation System 400w
Battery: Fazua 250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Removable battery for 'analogue' rides
+
Aesthetic

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunky down tube
-
Budget-level wheelset

On the surface, the Nytro looks like any other Pinarello frame, complete with a wavy fork and aero tubing but hidden in the downtube are a Fazua drive unit and battery. The Nytro is claimed to have up to 250w of power and 55Nm of torque, and the battery can be dropped out of the downtube to make it just a normal road bike, weighing in at around 9kg without the battery.

The frame uses the brand's F10 frameset as a starting point and adds a bit of length to the wheelbase and height to the head tube. Rest assured, Pinarello hasn't forgotten to give the Nytro its trademark asymmetric tube treatment.

Built with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed drivetrain, the bike gets hydraulic disc brakes and rolls on Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels. It also comes with a Pinarello-sized price tag.

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert

Best for those looking for a high-performance e-road bike

Specifications

Drive system: Specialized SL 1.1 240w
Battery: Specialized 320Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Futureshock headset offers increased comfort
+
Lightweight motor

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher price than similar priced competitors

Launched during the 2019 Tour de France is the latest addition to Specialized's line-up of Turbo bikes, the Creo SL, designed to be a high-performance e-road bike that's powered by the brand's own SL 1.1 drive system, it also uses the brand's Futureshock 2.0 at the front. Instead of an aftermarket solution from Bosch, Fazua or Shimano, Specialized designed its own, which is claimed to weigh just 1.96kg. 

The 320Wh battery itself weighs 1.8kg, and Specialized is also offering 60Wh extender packs which fit in a bottle cage — the extender packs are included with the S-Works and Founders edition, but not the Expert build.

With the Mission Control app, you can run diagnostics and customise the assistance levels. Specialized says you can customise them on the fly, which means in theory, you could tailor the wattage to help you keep up with friends on the climb while still getting a workout.

The Turbo Creo features a full carbon frame and is only available as 1x setup, with the Expert edition using a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed Di2/XT Di2 mix drivetrain with Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes and Roval carbon wheels.

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble Endurance SL e

Best electric road bike for the budget conscious

Specifications

Drive system: Mahle Ebikemotion X35 M1
Battery: Panasonic 36V/250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Good spec for price
+
More race-focussed geometry

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed battery

Claimed to weigh 11kg, the Ribble Endurance SL e is one of the lightest e-road bikes currently available and, visually, the frame is almost identical to its non-assisted sibling, including the aggressive geometry.

Using the Mahle Ebikemotion system, the Endurance SL e doesn't get a control unit, instead opting for a button on the top tube that cycles through the three levels of assistance. Hidden inside the downtube is a Panasonic 250Wh battery, which is connected to a rear hub-based motor said to provide 40Nm of torque. There is an accompanying app, too, which will provide additional information such as remaining battery life.

As Ribble is consumer direct, the pricing is competitive with the Tiagra build starting at £2,799, and the 105 build starting at £3,299 — every component can be upgraded through the brand's 'BikeBuilder' program. 

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo 3

(Image credit: Cannondale )

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Neo 3 Disc

Best electric road bike for those looking for a drag-free bost

Specifications

Drive system: MAHLE ebikemotion X35
Battery: MAHLE ebikemotion X35 250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Good battery range
+
Good tyre clearance
+
Natural ride feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Tyre clearance maxes out at 28mm

The SuperSix EVO Neo features an ebikemotion X35 motor, which offers 250w of assistance and up to 40Nm of torque (in the highest mode). 

According to Cannondale, the 250Wh removable battery will take you around 75km on a single charge. The bike comes with 28mm slick Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres, and the frame features an integrated seat binder combined with a 27 KNØT seat post, designed to work together to absorb road bumps. The frame also features SAVE micro-suspension to smooth out most rides for added comfort.

It's powered by a respectable Shimano 105 R7000 hydraulic groupset, with 2x11 gearing. Up front the FSA crank features 50/34 chainrings, paired with an 11-34 cassette at the rear, offering a massive range of gears.

As part of Cannondale's e-bike range, the SuperSix Evo Neo 3 Disc benefits from the brand's integrated wheel sensor, which delivers accurate speed, route and distance information, registers your bike, reminds you when you need a service, and more.

Giant Revolt E+ Pro XR

(Image credit: Giant)

Giant Revolt E+ Pro

The best electric road bike for maximum power assistance

Specifications

Drive system: Shimano EP8
Battery: EnergyPak Compact 500Wh

Reasons to buy

+
High torque motor
+
Motor tracks with high cadence

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery isn't removable

The new Giant Revolt E+ Pro comes with a re-engineered frameset that does a better job of hiding the motor and battery than its Road E+ predecessor. Powering it is the Shimano EP8-powered SyncDrive Pro pedal-assist system, which promises smooth acceleration (thanks to its 85Nm of maximum torque). Meanwhile the Shimano GRX Di2 1x11 electronic groupset and 40mm tyres make it all-road ready if you plan to mix things up a bit. There are also mounts for mudguards and racks.

The system is simple to use, and the motor comes with a SmartAssist mode that automatically adapts to your cadence and ride style, tuning the amount of assistance to the levels you actually need. This means you don't need to think about anything and can pedal without thinking about it.

Bianchi Aria E-Road

Best electric bike for speed chasers

Specifications

Drive system: Mahle Ebikemotion X35
Battery: Panasonic 250Wh

Reasons to buy

+
Same geometry and aero tubing as the analogue bike

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed battery

Also using the Ebikemotion drive system, the Bianchi Aria E-Road is almost indistinguishable from its non-assisted celeste-painted stablemate. With an internal 250Wh battery and a rear-hub-driven motor capable of delivering 40Nm of torque, the drive system is controlled by a button integrated into the toptube.

Based on one of Bianchi's best aero road bikes, the Aria features aggressive geometry as well as the same aero tubing as the standard version.

Weighing in at around 12kg, the Aria E-Road relies on an 11-speed Ultegra R8000 drivetrain, and Vision TriMax wheels with 28c Vittoria Rubino tyres. The rest of the finishing kit sees Bianchi's venerable Reparto Corse (race shop) branding.

How to choose the best electric road bike for you

What do I need to know about the drive system?

With the electric bike market continually growing, more and more brands are getting on board, and developing newer and better technology all the time. The best electric road bike will likely come with a powerful and reliable drive system, including one of the best e-bike motors from the likes of Bosch, Yamaha, and Shimano, while some feature integrated units from Ebikemotion and Fazua. 

These systems place the motor either at the bottom bracket or the rear hub and vary in weight. In fact, some of the integrated systems are surprisingly light. The power they offer is an important factor, and most hover between 250w and 500w.

What's the best wattage for an electric bike battery?

How long is a piece of string? It all depends on how much you're riding, and how much you care about your electric road bike's aesthetic.

When e-bikes started to gain popularity, the batteries were bulbous, and almost appeared to be haphazardly bolted on wherever there was space. Now we are seeing brands working to integrate them into the frame seamlessly.

Unfortunately, the smaller the battery, the smaller the capacity — which is measured in watt-hours (Wh). While some brands are quick to make claims about how far certain Wh batteries will take their bikes, these figures can vary greatly depending on the level of boost, the terrain and even the weight of the rider. Bosch has put together a handy Range Assistant (opens in new tab), which can provide a good idea of how much mileage you can expect to achieve, depending on your riding habits.

While some bikes have removable batteries which allow you to keep a spare, others with hidden battery packs look much cleaner. 

Are electric road bikes unisex?

As a general rule of thumb, most e-road bikes are made to be unisex, while having multiple size options that should work for most people. The saddle, which is the key contact area that needs some tailoring to fit the users, is easily swapped out for one of the best women's road bike saddles, if need be.

If you would prefer a women's specific model, be sure to check out our Liv Cycling range overview, as well as our list of the best women's electric bikes.

Regional restrictions

Most e-bikes use one of three e-bike systems, however, depending on where you live, the level of assistance as well as whether you need a license and insurance will vary. Here's a break down of all the e-bike restrictions in place in the UK, US and Australia.

1. UK

The UK adopted a lot of the EU's regulations regarding e-bikes but with Brexit, it's hard to say if that may change.

All of the bikes featured here fall under 'The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EPAC) Amendment Regulations' mandates; electric assistance can only provide 250-watts of aid and must cut out at 25kph. It also stipulates the rider must be in motion for the motor to kick in and be at least 14-years-old.

Electric bikes (and riders) that meet these standards have the same legal standing as regular bicycles and are allowed on roads and bike paths.

In Europe, a new class of speed-pedelecs or s-pedelecs are gaining popularity that are capable of providing assistance up to 45kph. You still need to pedal for the motor to kick in, however, under UK law these are considered two-wheel mopeds and require insurance, a legally certified helmet and qualifying driver's license.

2. US

In the US, rules for e-bikes vary from state to state; 30 states classify e-bikes as ordinary bicycles, while the remaining 20 label e-bikes as mopeds, scooters or something else altogether.

Federal law defines an electric bicycle as 'a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20mph.'

It's worth noting this statute defines the maximum assisted speed of the bike when being only powered by the motor, not when it's being pedalled. To make things more confusing, state regulations can supersede the federal statute.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has proposed a three-class system which divides electric bikes up based on their maximum assisted speed:

Class 1: the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling and cuts out a 20mph

Class 2: the motor can contribute regardless of pedalling but is governed to 20mph

Class 3: the motor provides assistance when the rider is pedalling but cuts out at 28mph and must be equipped with a speedometer.

For all three classes, the motor can only put out a max of 750 watts, and the class needs to be clearly labelled. This system also defines where the bikes can be ridden; class 1 and 2 are permitted anywhere bikes are allowed, while class 3 can be ridden on roads and bike lanes but not multi-use paths, and may be subject to minimum user age and helmet requirements.

So far, 22 states have legislation creating a class system and our friends over at People for Bikes have put together a full state by state run down.

3. Australia

In Australia, e-bikes are split into throttle operated and pedal assist. Both systems must be limited to 25kph, and the throttle-operated motors can only output 200 watts while pedal assist is legal up to 250 watts. Anything that exceeds these figures is considered a motorbike and must be licensed and insured.

Mildred Locke
Mildred Locke

Mildred joined as Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews and BikePerfect in December 2020. She loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike, and does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors.

Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall. 

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg

Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike

With contributions from