Updated on 10 May 2023
With its torque sensor and excellent motor, this city bike offers good performance in terms of recovery and smooth pedalling. Even if you abuse the level 5 electric assistance, the range remains quite high. During our test, we appreciated its many accessories, which make it ideal for the city, but it is quite heavy (around 29 kg). As a result, we had to play with the gears to start uphill without difficulty. The control screen is easy to use, despite its lack of brightness, and the hydraulic disc brakes are responsive. The frame geometry also provides a comfortable riding position with good visibility, and the suspension improves comfort on bumpy roads. We did, however, have a few problems with assembly.
The electric bike is becoming an interesting asset in everyday life. The E-bike is interesting if you want to use a more ecological way to get to work. In Europe, the power must be less than 250 W for you to use it on the road. For comfortable cycling, opt for a battery of at least 250 Wh. Don't forget that good brakes guarantee your safety. You'll probably be doing a lot of riding on your bike... Think about the comfort of the saddle!
The electric bike is becoming an interesting asset in everyday life.
The E-bike is interesting if you want to use a more ecological way to get to work.
In Europe, the power must be less than 250 W for you to use it on the road.
For comfortable cycling, opt for a battery of at least 250 Wh.
Don't forget that good brakes guarantee your safety.
You'll probably be doing a lot of riding on your bike... Think about the comfort of the saddle!
Equipped with a reactive cadence sensor, this VTC offers smooth electric assistance. The range is claimed to be between 40km (in boost mode) and 70km (in Eco mode), but during our test, we were often satisfied with the lowest assistance mode, which is sufficient for many routes. The small LED display is simple but functional, and we found the bike very easy to use. According to the manufacturer, it will soon be linked to an app. It also has a 6-speed gearbox that can be manipulated to get the best possible performance. It’s also light and comes with some accessories. The gel seat is quite nice, and the front suspension improves riding comfort. However, the mechanical disc brakes could be more responsive.
With an engine torque of 90 Nm, it has an undeniable acceleration force, which makes it very responsive. Its range is also very impressive (up to 160 km). The advantage of this model is that it is fully connected and automatic, making it easy to use. It can therefore be coupled with its mobile application, but it is also possible to use without the phone. In addition, it’s lightweight (18.5 kg) is an excellent advantage, and the rotating stem makes it easy to store. In addition, the carbon belt is quiet and maintenance-free. It also has several features and a secure electronic anti-theft system. However, the lack of suspension can be uncomfortable if you are used to riding on trails or bumpy roads.
It is one of the lightest bikes on the market (about 16 kg or 18 kg with all its equipment), which makes it possible to use it without the engine and to transport it easily. It has a belt drive which requires less maintenance and makes it much quieter to ride. One of the special features of this model is its Bluetooth connection, which allows you to link it to its application to access all your information (although the screen already offers a lot of detail). During our test, we appreciated its smooth ride and greatly facilitated by its magnetic torque sensor that does not require you to worry about gears. The brakes are also very efficient. We were also satisfied with the range (up to 100 km announced), and the estimates on the dashboard allow you to better adapt your driving. On the other hand, the sporty geometry, the hard seat, the not very ergonomic grips, and especially the absence of suspension are detrimental to the comfort of use (especially on rough roads). Furthermore, we found its electric assistance insufficient on big climbs. Despite this, this bike designed for the city is well suited for Velotaf use on smoother roads with moderate relief.
Very robust but also very heavy (34 kg), this third version of the RadRunner Plus will be your best ally if you are looking for a mix between a city bike and a cargo bike. This bike can carry heavy loads but is difficult to transport. The RadRunner focuses on comfort with its low frame, upright riding position, 20″ wheels and wide tyres for excellent cornering stability. Its suspension allows it to efficiently absorb the unevenness of the ground. It also comes with two very practical (but glare-sensitive) screens and a range of accessories, and you can add more. Its performance is up to scratch, and during our test, we were impressed by its acceleration and responsiveness on climbs. This made up for its weight. Its brakes are also reliable. As far as endurance is concerned, the range is quite impressive: between 40 and 72 km (depending on riding conditions). However, despite the improvements, the seat is still a little hard, and the engine is quite noisy.
|Our choice, Best high-end||Best budget||Best high-end||Mid-range alternative||High-end alternative|
|RadCity 5 Plus||Riverside 100 E||Iweech 24”S||Tenways CGO600 Pro||RadRunner 3 Plus|
|Apart from its excellent performance in terms of endurance, acceleration and engine, this urban-style bike is well-equipped and offers an ultra-comfortable ride.||For its price, this all-around bike guarantees convincing performance with smooth pedalling. Its simplicity, lightness and handling convinced us.||This urban bike focuses on power with its high torque, ease of use, connectivity, and endurance with its superior range.||Offered at a reasonable price, this handsome connected EV features an incredibly lightweight, durable, quiet and smooth drivetrain, ergonomic screen and high-performance brakes.||This bike is not about speed, it is about comfort, stability and safety with a robust, practical and customisable design. And its performance is up to the task.|
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How did we do the testing?
To evaluate the responsiveness of the electric assistance, the autonomy and the comfort of use (handling, riding position, shock and vibration absorption, etc.), we rode on different paths, taking flat and hilly routes, and alternating smooth roads and more technical trails.
To check the brakes, we made sure to ride on dry and wet (rain, mud, etc.) surfaces, without hesitating to descend steeper slopes. Then we looked at the quantity, practicality and quality of the equipment and accessories provided. For the connected models, we checked the ergonomics, the handling and the proper functioning of the application.
|Name||Torque motor||Autonomy||Electrical performance||Comfort||Weight||Brakes|
|Riverside 100 E||42 Nm||40 to 70 km||4/5||4/5||22,4 kg (with battery)||mechanical disc|
|Elops Longue Distance 500||45 Nm||60 to 115 km||3/5||2/5||23 kg (with battery)||hydraulic disc|
|Tenways CGO600 Pro||35 Nm||50 to 100 km||3/5||3/5||18 kg (with all equipment)||hydraulic disc|
|RadCity 5 Plus Step-Thru||58 Nm||45 to 80 km||4/5||5/5||29 kg (with rear luggage rack)||hydraulic disc|
|RadRunner 3 Plus||64 Nm||40 to 72 km||4/5||5/5||34,2 kg (with battery)||hydraulic disc|
|Cowboy C4 ST||45 Nm||up to 70 km||3/5||3/5||19,2 kg||hydraulic disc|
|Iweech 24”S||90 Nm||70 to 160 km||/||/||18,5 kg||hydraulic disc|
|Trek Allant+ 5 Lowstep||85 Nm||not indicated||/||/||19,3 kg||hydraulic disc|
How to choose an electric bike?
The electrically assisted bicycle (EAB) is an undeniable asset in everyday life. It is certainly, at present, one of the best solutions for the development of sustainable mobility. But the number of models on the market can be confusing.
It is therefore necessary, in order to make an informed choice, to know the main types:
- The urban electric bike: this was the first to be developed and is undoubtedly the most widespread in Europe, as it offers exactly what we are looking for in an EAB: the possibility of doing without a car in the city, especially to go to work.
- The VTC or trekking electric bike: designed mainly for touring, electric VTCs are becoming increasingly popular, as are classic VTCs because they make nature tours accessible to almost everyone. They are slightly heavier and more robust than city electric bikes but also have a motor that is better suited to steep slopes and hills.
- Electrically assisted mountain bikes: initially more controversial, electric mountain bikes are now gaining legitimacy. They are increasingly being used by experienced mountain bikers in search of thrills and by beginners who find them a valuable aid in overcoming certain impassable obstacles without necessarily being in the best physical condition.
- The electrically assisted road bike: this is the most recent model on the market. It is generally used by cyclists who want to set themselves certain challenges or in a peloton to allow the less experienced to keep up with their elders.
The most popular type is the urban model, and there are models to suit all budgets. Here are some criteria to consider when choosing one:
- Driving power: this is calculated in watts (W). In Europe, the power must be less than 250 W for the bike to be approved and potentially eligible for subsidies. If you want to ride a more sporty bike (with higher top speeds), you can opt for more powerful models with 400 or 500 W, but you will be subject to certain legal restrictions (see below).
- The battery: it is displayed in Wh, but this is not always representative of its autonomy in use. There are various factors to take into account, such as the level of assistance you use, the gradients you cover, the load, the direction of the wind, the inflation of the tyres, etc. It is best to go for at least a 250 Wh battery, for comfortable cycling that does not require daily recharging.
- Quality materials: an electric bike is expected to have a solid frame, a good motor, a strong battery and tyres that are suitable for the environment in which you ride. Similarly, the brakes ensure your safety. Hydraulic disc brakes are the most reliable. V-brakes (often found on entry-level bikes) may be suitable but are not adapted to sporty riding.
- Accessories: Depending on your use, you will probably need certain accessories, and these are rarely all supplied with the bike. These include headlights, a luggage rack, a mudguard, a basket, lights, a bell, a kickstand and panniers.
- Comfort: If you want a transportable model, we recommend choosing a foldable and light. An electric bike weighs on average about 20 kilos. Its handling depends on the ergonomics of the handlebars, as well as the adjustment of the saddle. The saddle should be comfortable, as this is often the problem with bikes. The stronger the pedals, the smoother the experience. Don’t forget to check the maximum load the bike can carry.
In addition to these criteria, you must also consider the legal framework for using an electric bike. In France and Belgium, for example, the power must be limited to 250 W, and the assistance must stop when you reach 25 km/h. Wearing a helmet is not compulsory, but recommended. Respecting these restrictions is essential if you want your bike to be legal and if you want to benefit from any subsidies.
Other electric bikes we recommend
Cowboy C4 ST (from £2790 upon publication): a top connected profile. This one focuses on safety, like the accident detection system and air quality awareness. It takes great care of you, and in our test, we found it easy to drive and quiet. It is also easy to maintain, and its design is a strong point in our eyes in terms of aesthetics. However, the lack of suspension proved detrimental when we drove on rougher stretches of a street or cobbled roads.
Trek Allant+ 5 Lowstep (£3299 upon publication): a multi-purpose e-bike that is equally at home in the city or on the trail. With 250 W of power and 85 Nm of torque, this model has very convincing acceleration and responsiveness, and its electric assistance will accompany you up to 25 km/h. It has an aluminium frame, 27.5″ wheels, a 9-speed single-plate transmission and high-performance, reliable hydraulic disc brakes. In addition, the suspension fork absorbs road bumps better, which increases riding comfort. It also has some useful accessories (kickstand, luggage rack, lighting system, mudguards, etc.), but this does not weigh the bike down much (only 19.3 kg). Finally, the 500 Wh battery guarantees excellent autonomy.
Other electric bikes we have tested
Rad Power RadRunner Plus (£1999 upon publication): This version has been upgraded twice since its launch, giving way to more powerful models. While it has been praised for its great endurance, configurable design, electric power and stability, it has been criticised for its heavy weight, less efficient brakes and hard seat.
RadMission 1: No longer available.
Translated by Ramsés El Hajje