The Best E-Bikes of 2024

38 views 8:42 pm 0 Comments January 3, 2024

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(Photo/Chelsey Magness)

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The e-bike industry experienced meteoric growth following the pandemic, leading to plenty of options for the modern commuter. While the industry initially focused on electric assist cargo bikes, now you’re just as likely to see electric cruisers, mountain bikes, gravel bikes, fat bikes, and folding bikes cruising local roads and trails.

Our team spent 2 years (and counting) and 10,000 collective miles putting dozens of different e-bikes to the test, with 12 making the cut for our list of recommendations. We’re confident our time and effort will help you narrow your search and choose the right e-bike for your unique needs.

Listed here are our favorite bikes of the bunch. Each entry has been thoroughly ridden and tested, with special attention to fit and feel, maintenance, and build difficulty. In our comprehensive buyer’s guide, we highlight the key aspects you need to consider when purchasing an e-bike, including range, top speed, and carrying capacity.

Use the links below to jump to the type of e-bike that piques your interest or scroll along and take in the full breadth of our review. Use our comparison chart for a side-by-side look at specs and features and be sure to read our buyer’s guide so you know what to look for when considering an e-bike.

Editor’s Note: Our team refreshed this article on January 3, 2024, adding one new bike and making sure the rest of our selection is up-to-date and in stock.

The Best E-Bikes of 2024


Best Overall E-Bike


Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0

Specs

  • Range
    80 miles (120 with range extender)
  • Class
    III (top speed of 28 mph)
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    11-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    55 lbs. on bike rack/250 lbs. on the bike frame
  • Weight
    33 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Pavement, gravel, some dirt


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Fast

  • Easy to use and maintain

  • Natural riding feel

Cons

  • Rack has a low weight limit

  • Not a huge range


Austin Beck-Doss

Best Budget E-Bike


Schwinn Coston CE Step Thru

Specs

  • Range
    35 miles
  • Class
    II (Top speed of 20 mph)
  • Throttle
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    7-Speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    245 lb rider weight, 300 lb total payload
  • Weight
    55 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Pavement, gravel, some dirt


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Pedal assist and throttle assist

  • Integrated lighting

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as other bikes with premium components


Austin Beck-Doss

Best Mountain E-Bike


Specialized Turbo Levo Alloy

Specs

  • Range
    30-45 miles, tunable up to 5 hours
  • Class
    II
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    12-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    Limited (rider and water bottle)
  • Weight
    51 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Dirt, gravel


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Premium components

  • Natural and plentiful power integration

  • Adjustable range and geometry to fit riding style

Cons

  • May not be legal on your local trails


Austin Beck-Doss

Best Folding E-Bike


ET Cycle F1000 Electric Fat Tire Bike

Specs

  • Range
    125 miles (in eco mode, realistically 40 because you’ll want to ride fast)
  • Class
    II
  • Throttle
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    8-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    N/A
  • Weight
    75 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Pavement, dirt, sand


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Plows through sand and dirt

  • Easy to set up

  • Storable

Cons

  • May be hard to find replacement tubes

  • Limited to 20 mph

  • Aggressive power delivery


Austin Beck-Doss

Best Single-Speed E-Bike


State 6061 eBike Commuter

Specs

  • Range
    Claimed range of 100 miles, but it all depends on assist mode
  • Class
    I
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    Single Speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    330 lbs.
  • Weight
    38 lbs. (size M)
  • Surfaces
    Pavement, dirt


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Does not look like an e-bike

  • Affordable

  • Simple and well-made

Cons

  • Battery cannot be removed

  • No gearing so some starts or bigger hills can get athletic


Austin Beck-Doss

Best Cargo E-Bike


Specialized Globe Haul LT

Specs

  • Class
    3
  • Weight
    88 pounds, 3 ounces
  • Length
    53.4 inches, wheelbase
  • Carrying capacity
    441 pounds
  • Range
    60 miles


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Large carrying capacity

  • Can haul three kids comfortably

  • Has throttle for easier stop and go riding

  • Fits multiple sized riders

Cons

  • Long for even a longtail cargo bike

  • Heavy

  • No integrated lock


Austin Beck-Doss

Best E-Bike for Kids


Woom UP E-Bike

Specs

  • Range
    N/A
  • Class
    I
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    Sram NX
  • Carrying Capacity
    160 lbs.
  • Weight
    35.6 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Single-track dirt, cross-country travel, not made for enduro/big jumps


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Can grow with your kids

  • Motor assist stops at 12 mph, making it safer for your kid and letting them work more

Cons

  • Price tag

  • Motor assist stops at 12 mph which could be annoying for little shredders


Austin Beck-Doss

Best of the Rest


Engwe L20

Specs

  • Range
    90 miles (maximum)
  • Class
    III
  • Throttle
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    7-speed Shimano
  • Carrying Capacity
    265 lbs.
  • Weight
    75 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Paved and mellow trails


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Good value

  • Two included storage racks

  • Long range

Cons

  • Certain components are lacking in quality


Austin Beck-Doss


Biktrix Juggernaut Hub Duo Step Over

Specs

  • Range
    100+ miles (with second battery)
  • Class
    II
  • Throttle
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    9-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    330 lbs.
  • Weight
    70 lbs. with 2 batteries
  • Surfaces
    Everything (sand, snow, dirt, pavement)


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Heavy duty

  • Long range

  • Great build options

  • Perfect for tons of surfaces

Cons

  • Heavy

  • No small sizes

  • Hub motor is not ideal for super “hilly” cities like San Francisco

  • Cheaper fork


Austin Beck-Doss


Xtra Cycle Swoop

Specs

  • Range
    30-60 miles depending on load and terrain
  • Class
    I
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    11-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    400 lbs.
  • Weight
    62.9 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Pavement, smooth gravel


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Big carrying capacity

  • Can fit three kids very comfortably

  • Comes with sling bags and footrests

  • Can fit multiple-size riders

Cons

  • Speed limiter to 20 mph

  • On the longer side for longtail cargo bikes

  • No throttle for assisting standing starts


Austin Beck-Doss


The Ride Radiant Carbon Electric Bike

Specs

  • Range
    Up to 100 miles
  • Class
    I
  • Throttle
    No
  • Drivetrain
    Fully automatic
  • Carrying capacity
    N/A
  • Weight
    50 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Paved, dirt, gravel


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Unique build

  • Premium components

  • Incredibly stable

  • Long range

  • Easy fit

  • Delivered fully assembled

Cons

  • Expensive

  • No cargo carrying capacity


Austin Beck-Doss


FREY AM1000 V6

Specs

  • Range
    30+ miles
  • Class
    III+
  • Throttle
    Yes
  • Drivetrain
    SRAM NX 11-speed
  • Carrying Capacity
    350 lbs.
  • Weight
    70 lbs.
  • Surfaces
    Any except snow — the rougher the better


The Best E-Bikes of 2024

Pros

  • Tons of power

  • Stable at speed and on steep downhill

  • Mixed wheel size

  • Fair price

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Questionable road legality

  • Customer support overseas


Austin Beck-Doss

E-Bike Comparison Chart

E-BikePriceRangeThrottleWeightSurfaces
Specialized Turbo Vado SL$3,50080 miles (120 with range extender)No33 lbs.Pavement, gravel, some dirt
Schwinn Coston CE Step Thru$1,79935 milesYes55 lbs.Pavement, gravel, some dirt
Specialized Turbo Levo Alloy$7,50030-45 milesNo51 lbs.Dirt, gravel
ET Cycle F1000 Electric Fat Tire Bike$2,099125 milesYes75 lbs.Pavement, dirt, sand
State 6061 eBike Commuter$1,499100 milesNo38 lbsPavement, dirt
Specialized Globe Haul LT
$3,500Around 60 milesYes88 lbs.Pavement, maintained bike paths
Woom UP E-Bike$3,599N/ANo35.6 lbs.
Single Track dirt
Engwe L20$1,20090 milesYes75 lbs.Pavement, gravel
Biktrix Juggernaut Hub Duo Step Over$2,399100+ milesYes70 lbs.sand, snow, dirt, pavement
Xtra Cycle Swoop$4,99960 milesNo62.9 lbs.Pavement, smooth gravel
The Ride Radiant Carbon Electric Bike$7,499100 milesNo50 lbs.Pavement, dirt, gravel
FREY AM1000 V6$5,18030+ milesYes70 lbs.Dirt, gravel, pavement
Yuba Kombi E5 Bike
The Yuba Kombi E5 has a great cargo capacity for all sorts of errands around town; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

How We Tested E-Bikes

We rode a massive fleet of e-bikes for several months. The testing team is headed by Chelsey Magness, the current 24-hour mountain biking world champion, and includes many professional athletes as well as an entire neighborhood of moms, dads, bike commuters, bike mechanics, a few totally novice riders, and even one prolific DIY e-bike builder.

Most of the bikes were tested over the course of several months in Bend, Ore., with its nationally renowned bike infrastructure and culture that includes hundreds of miles of trails, dirt roads, gravel paths, and paved bike lanes. Additionally, we tested bikes in deep sand and washouts, horse trails, and even in light snow coverage.

We used the bikes for a wide variety of purposes: school drop-offs, overloaded grocery runs, geocaching adventures, night-time commuting, pub crawls, and lots and lots of just riding for fun.

Unless indicated, all bikes were built up from the box (as delivered) as well as maintained by our team (a few of whom have some basic bike maintenance skills). Every bike that made our list was tested by at least four different people, and we took individual praise and/or criticisms into account in our final review.

As new e-bikes hit the market, we’ll be sure to keep testing to ensure this list always includes the best of the best.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an E-Bike

As e-bikes gain popularity and new brands enter the market, choosing the best model for you can seem daunting. Shopping for a standard human-powered bike is already a complex process of sifting through specs and comparing components. E-bikes — with their batteries, motors, and throttles — give potential buyers with a lot to consider.

Specialized Turbo Vado SL
The Specialized Turbo Vado SL is our all-around favorite e-bike for commuting; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we break down all of the variables and terminology that you need to make an informed purchase. From wheels to wattage, this guide has you covered. Once your primary bike needs are met, check out our guides on accessories like bike lights and bike racks.

Key E-Bike Terms to Know

Range

An e-bike’s range is the total distance it will go before the battery is depleted. Numerous factors affect range, including battery capacity, terrain, air temperature, and manual input from the rider’s pedaling. E-bike ranges have improved in recent years, but the spectrum still tops out at just over 100 miles.

In reality, most e-bikes fail to live up to their advertised range. The manufacturer will claim a range of 80 or 90 miles, and though those numbers may be technically reachable under very specific conditions, you likely won’t manage them during real-world use.

Ultimately, an e-bike’s range entirely depends on how much the rider pedals. If the rider pedals at 100% effort all the time, the range will be much greater than if the rider relies on the motor to do most of the work.

High-end e-bikes don’t necessarily have better ranges than more affordable options. Larger, heavier batteries have greater capacity, but you won’t find them on lightweight performance-minded models. There are many styles of e-bikes — from cargo to gravel to commuter — and all of them must deal with the challenge of mounting a heavy battery onto a bike frame.

Xtra Cycle Swoop
Battery life and range vary with the type of terrain and the amount of cargo you carry; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

As a rough reference, a robust cargo bike with top-end battery capacity, such as the Xtra Cycle Swoop, will have an average range between 25 and 65 miles. A high-end carbon-framed speed demon will get somewhere between 30 and 100+ miles per full charge.

Throttle

An e-bike throttle works much like a motorcycle or electric scooter. In most cases, the throttle is integrated into the right-hand side of the handlebar for easy access while riding. Throttles provide on-demand power with no pedaling required. The presence of a throttle is part of what determines an e-bike’s class — which we explain later in this guide. Most of the bikes on this list have throttles.

Display

Like the instrument cluster in a vehicle’s dashboard, an e-bike’s display informs the user of facts and figures related to their ride and their bike’s performance. Most e-bike displays are small 1-3-inch screens with options for switching between settings and modes. Most displays read out MPH, total trip mileage, current modes, and remaining battery life.

State 6061 E-Bike Commuter - design
A display like the one shown here on the State 6061 provides important info, including battery life; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Pedal-Assist

Pedal assist is the primary e-bike mode. Also known as PAS (pedal assist system) pedal assist combines the active engagement of analog cycling with the commuting efficiency of an electric scooter.

In pedal assist mode, e-bikes use a drivetrain sensor that monitors the revolution of the pedals and engages the motor accordingly. With battery-powered assistance, people are able to enjoy longer rides on more challenging terrain with less physical output. Pedal assist is like having a strong tailwind at your command.

Many e-bikes have various PAS settings. In most cases, the greater the setting or level, the more assistance you’ll get from the motor. Low settings will feel much like riding a traditional bike, and high settings will have the bike doing most of the work. As more pedal assist is activated, the battery will deplete faster.

Regenerative Systems

Some e-bikes have regenerative systems that can recharge the battery while you’re braking or vigorously pedaling. A bike that can recharge while coasting downhill theoretically has a greater potential range than one that cannot.

In truth, gradient-assisted braking systems are still in their infancy, and most bikes that have them only see minute benefits. In very hilly areas, regenerative systems hold some value, but in our experience, this technology is still mostly a marketing ploy in the e-bike world.

Types of E-Bikes: What Bike Is Best for Your Riding Style?

Just like analog bicycles, e-bikes come in a variety of styles, each with a different kind of rider in mind. Every bike is built for an intended application, which in turn dictates its components and design. Some bikes — like the Specialized Turbo Vado SL — cross the boundaries and exist in multiple categories simultaneously. For the most part, e-bikes lean into the commuter, cargo, mountain, or performance categories.

Commuter E-Bikes

Commuter e-bikes are built to carry their rider from point A to point B. These bikes tend to be comfortable, streamlined, and relatively lightweight. On this list, the ET Cycle F1000 and the Specialized Turbo Vado SL are great commuter options. Both bikes have at least eight gears, a comfortable saddle, and a rear storage rack. Gears aren’t strictly necessary on an e-bike, but they do help to expand your range, and they’re quite handy in hilly areas.

Commuter e-bikes are defined by reliable components and utilitarian styling. In most cases, commuter bikes are designed for paved surfaces.

ET Cycle F1000 Electric Fat Tire Bike
The ET Cycle F1000 is a good commuter option; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Cargo E-Bikes

Gas is expensive, and many families are looking to e-bikes as a potential car replacement now that they’ve become reliable and affordable. Cargo e-bikes are the ultimate stand-in for a full-size vehicle. Bikes in this class offer storage for standard day-to-day errands. With the right cargo e-bike, you can make a run to the grocery store, pick up your laundry, and even take your kid to school.

On this list, the X Cycle Swoop and the Specialized Globe Haul LT are standout family cargo bikes. Both models are available with modular accessories that can be customized to fit the rider’s lifestyle From two-seat kid haulers to large front racks, these bikes are viable alternatives to a car payment.

Because cargo e-bikes tend to be large and heavy, many have options for multiple batteries, which may be a good option if you’re planning to consistently haul a lot of weight. Cargo bikes won’t offer the speed of performance models or the off-road capabilities of mountain bikes, but that’s not what they’re made for.

Riding Yuba Kombi E5 Bike
In areas with safe commuter routes, bikes with good carrying capacity can almost replace your car; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Mountain E-Bikes

Mountain e-bikes prioritize recreation over day-to-day utility. Just like analog mountain bikes, e-bikes in this category are built for slashing singletrack and crushing cross-country circuits. Standard features include full suspension, dropper seat posts, and large rugged tires.

On this list, the Specialized Turbo Levo Alloy is a beast of a mountain bike. It’s got all of the high-end components we’d expect from a $3,500 Specialized model, plus a reliable frame-integrated battery and a mid-drive motor that cranks out 90Nm of torque.

If you love mountain biking but could use a little help on the climbing segments, mountain e-bikes are a glorious solution.

Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Alloy
A mountain e-bike like the Specialized Turbo Levo may not be trail-legal in many areas. Controversy aside, our testers had loads of fun riding the Levo; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Performance E-Bikes

The performance category is all about speed and serious cycling. These bikes have top-notch components such as all-carbon frames and wireless shifting. All of the nonessentials are cut away to decrease weight and maximize in-motion mechanics. You won’t find any externally mounted batteries here. The whole assist system is integrated into the frame.

Classes of E-Bikes

E-bikes are grouped into three classes. The class system helps lawmakers legislate e-bikes and their specifications. There are fundamental differences between each class.

Class 1

Class 1 e-bike motors only engage when the rider is pedaling. Once these bikes hit 20 mph, the motor will stop assisting. Class 1 models are ideal for cyclists who want a more traditional sans-throttle experience.

Class 2

Class 2 e-bikes do have a throttle, but it tops out at 20 mph. The pedal assist modes in this class will also cease at 20 mph. In some jurisdictions, class 2 is the most powerful legal option. Class 2 models may also be a good option for riders who don’t wish to travel at high speeds.

Class 3

Most of the bikes on this list are class 3. Class 3 e-bikes have pedal assist and throttle-only capabilities. Motors on class 3 models will power riders up to 28 mph. In recent years, class 3 e-bikes have become increasingly popular as vehicle replacements.

Types of Motors: Rear Hub vs. Mid-Drive

The vast majority of e-bikes are powered by either a rear hub motor or a mid-drive motor.

Rear hub motors are housed in the hub of the bike’s rear wheel. When engaged, rear-hub motors create the sensation of being pushed along from behind. Most commuter and cargo e-bikes are equipped with rear hub motors. A slight downside: rear hub motors create complications if you ever need to remove the rear wheel

Mid-drive motors are mounted directly to the crankshaft and the drivetrain, which creates a natural feeling of assistance because the power comes from the same place as an analog bike. Many e-mountain bikes utilize mid-drive motors. Unfortunately, mid-drive motors create significant wear and tear on the chain and gears over time.

On this list, the Biktrix Juggernaut has a rear hub motor while the Specialized Turbo Levo sports a mid-drive.

Biktrix Juggernaut Hub Duo Step over
The Biktrix Juggernaut features a rear hub drive; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Portability: Folding E-Bikes and Vehicle Rack Compatibility

E-bikes are notoriously heavy, so any increased portability that’s worked into the design can be a major asset.

While some standard bike racks are compatible with e-bikes, many are not. Hitch-mounted platform-style racks tend to work better, but many e-bikes require special e-bike-specific racks. Check out our article on bike racks for more information on transporting an e-bike with your car.

To solve the portability problem, some e-bikes fold down into a trunk-sized package. While a folding frame doesn’t make sense for a high-performance bike, it’s a major asset in the commuter and cargo categories. On this list, the ET Cycle F1000 is a comfortable folding cargo bike with a step-through frame.

Fat Tire E-Bikes and Winter Riding

With the right tires and feature set, e-bikes can be capable of four-season transportation. Fat bikes have been popular in snowy places for years now, and fat e-bikes are following suit.

If you’re seeking an e-bike for winter use on snowy and icy surfaces, 4-inch (or wider) tires are a must. As for tread, the deeper and knobbier, the better. For a fully winterized ride, we also recommend studded pedals and extra bright lights. Keep in mind, lithium battery performance drops in cold temperatures, and your bike’s range probably will too.

E-Bike Specs: Watts, Volts, Amps, and Torque

On paper, e-bike performance is determined by specs such as motor wattage and battery voltage. As a prospective buyer, it’s important to know that a motor’s “size,” or potential output, is measured in watts. Voltage measures a battery’s ability to deliver power to the motor.

Battery capacity is also measured in amp-hours (Ah). Amperage is the rate at which electrical current flows. A battery with a capacity of 1 amp-hour can supply a current of 1 amp for 1 hour.

It’s easy to get bogged down in e-bike specs and power ratings. Ultimately, there are only a few key facts that shoppers need to know. On mostly flat terrain, a 750W e-bike will generally get you where you need to go without the need to pedal vigorously. In hilly areas, a 1,000W e-bike is a better choice.

If you’re a powerful cyclist and you don’t plan to use your e-bike to haul loads of cargo, you should be able to get by with something in the 250-500W range. If you’re going to be shopping and transporting other humans with your bike, at least 750W is the way to go.

For context, a 150-pound person can get by with a 500W e-bike equipped with a 36V 15 Ah battery for personal commuting use on moderate terrain.

Biktrix-Juggernaut-Hub-Duo-Step-over
The option to add an additional battery makes the Biktrix Juggernaut a versatile bike. You can keep things light when you don’t need the extended range, or add the battery for longer hauls; (photo/Chelsey Magness)

Accessories and Features

Endless accessories and add-ons are available for e-bikes. Some models come with lights, horns, racks, and fenders. Others do not. Ultimately, included accessories add a lot of value, especially in the budget category.

On this list, the Biktrix Juggernaut Hub Duo comes with a rear rack, kickstand, and front and rear lights. The State 6061 is a bare-bones model — no rack, no lights, no stand, no water bottle cages. Then again, it only costs $1,000.

Accessories can always be purchased later, but you’ll often save money if you opt for included options. E-bikes tend to need a few upgrades from their stock feature set, so it’s a good idea to factor this into your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do e-bikes cost?

Like analog bikes, e-bike prices vary wildly. In recent years, increased competition has created some excellent budget options. The models on this list range from $1,000 to about $10,000.

If you’re seeking a simple commuter bike, a $1,500-2,000 budget is a good place to start. In the cargo bike category, expect to spend $2,000+. Performance mountain, road, and gravel e-bikes cost upwards of $3,000.

Are e-bikes legal?

Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes are legal in most parts of the U.S. There are exceptions, including certain national parks and other public lands. Before you buy an e-bike, research local laws to be sure you’ll be allowed to use it.

How fast do e-bikes go?

An infinite stretch of downhill cruising will take you as fast as you can safely manage. As for pedal and throttle assist modes, e-bikes have a top speed of 20 mph (classes 1 and 2) or 28 mph (class 3) at which point the motor will disengage.

For everyday commuters, we recommend class 3 bikes. For casual grocery runs and leisurely cruising, classes 1 and 2 work just fine — depending on your preferences.

What’s the range of an e-bike?

Many factors affect an e-bike’s range including battery size, motor output, air temperature, type of terrain, and rider fitness. Though brands advertise bikes with a specific (often impressive) range, the answer is “it depends.”

Most folks should expect to get somewhere between 20 and 100 miles per charge from any of the models on this list.

Can an e-bike replace a car?

Potentially. If you’re seeking daily short or mid-distance transportation, an e-bike can handle it. If you need something to manage short runs to the grocery store or to pick up the kid from school, an e-bike can do that too.

E-bikes can be excellent car replacements, but they do lack some versatility. A cargo-oriented e-bike won’t be ideal for daily 15-mile commutes, and vice versa.


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Tester Chelsey Magness on the Specialized Globe Haul LT electric cargo bike.

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(Photo/Chelsey Magness)

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With a great light, your ride doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down; (photo/Miya Tsudome)

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The post The Best E-Bikes of 2024 appeared first on GearJunkie.

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