Top 5 Electric Commuter Bikes in 2023
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Top 5 Electric Commuter Bikes in 2023

photo of woman and man wearing helmets riding electric bikes on paved road in the city

Commuter e-bikes are one of the more popular segments of the electric bicycle market. They’re a great way to get around town, bike to work, and even grab groceries. You get the benefit of exercise and fresh air, as well as potentially beating traffic in gridlocked cities. And you can even get to work without working up a sweat, even opting to sweat more on the ride home. Here are our top 5 picks for 2023.

Aventon Level.2 - Top 5 Electric Commuter Bicycles For 2023

AVENTON LEVEL.2

I loved the original Level. It’s inexpensive, well-built, powerful and fun to ride. My one gripe was that it only has a cadence sensor. What that means is that as long as you move the pedals, even with no effort on your part, it will immediately go up to the top speed of whatever mode you’re in (e.g. in mode 1, it will go 12 mph).

In a departure from all their other e-bikes, Aventon decided to include a torque sensor. That means that the harder you pedal, the more assistance it offers. This means more natural power delivery as well as a greater range. It’s a Class 3, topping out at 28 mph with pedal assist or 20 mph with throttle-only.

The bike features a sturdy rear rack that can hold up to 55 lbs, a suspension fork to smooth out bad pavement, fenders, integrated lighting and more. It’s available in a step-over or step-through frame design.

SPECS

AVENTON LEVEL 2

  • Price: $1799
  • Frame: 6061 double-butted aluminum alloy with internal battery
  • Fork: Zoom coil-sprung suspension, thru-axle, 65mm travel with lockout
  • Motor: Aventon-branded, 500W brushless rear hub motor
  • Battery: 672 Wh Lithium-ion
  • Controls: LCD Smart Easy-read display with backlight
  • Charge Time: 4-5 hours
  • Top Speed: 28 mph (Class 3)
  • Range: up to 60 miles (claimed)
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Acera, 8-speed cassette
  • Chain: KMC e-bike rated, 8-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic dual-piston disc brakes, 180mm rotors
  • Saddle: Aventon by Velok
  • Rims: Double wall aluminum
  • Hubs: thru-axle
  • Tires: Chaoyang Arisun Hybrid, 27.5×2.1” with reflective sidewalls
  • Weight: 61 lbs
  • Color Choice: Clay or Glacier
  • Sizes: Regular (5’3”-5’10”), Large (5’10”-6’4”)
  • Website: aventon.com
Bianchi e-Omnia C Type - Top 5 Electric Commuter Bicycles For 2023

BIANCHI E-OMNIA C-TYPE

Bianchi has been making bikes since the late 1800s. I’m a fan, I had a Bianchi Denali mountain bike that I loved for 20 years. They just started making electric bikes a few years ago, but they didn’t just strap a motor system on an existing bike, they created a line of e-bikes from the ground up. It shows in the ride quality and experience. And because of this, it’s more expensive than the Aventon.

The C-type is their commuter bike. It has a step-through aluminum frame, a beefy built-in rear rack, fenders, integrated Spanninga lighting and more. You have a choice between two different batteries, one is 500Wh and one is 625Wh. It’s a $400 difference for that extra range.

You also have two different options for drivetrain. There’s a chain-driven version that uses high-spec Shimano Deore shifter and derailleur, and there’s a belt-driven version that uses a Shimano Nexus internally-shifting 5-speed rear hub. The latter offers far less maintenance, and Gates carbon belt drives are very quiet.

The Bosch Performance Line CX motor is designed for mountain bikes, and as such offers an incredible 85Nm of torque to get you away from the stop sign or signal quickly, but it also only provides pedal assist up to 20 mph.

The voluminous WTB 29×2.2″ tires glide smoothly over the pavement, offering great grip and some protection from the bumps in the road. A suspension fork also helps smooth that out.

SPECS

BIANCHI E-OMNIA C-TYPE

  • Price: Starting at $3949
  • Frame: Aluminum, step-through
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCM34, 100mm travel
  • Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube, 500Wh or 625Wh
  • Controls: Bosch
  • Charge Time: 4-5 hours
  • Top Speed: 20 mph (Class 1)
  • Range: Up to 65 miles (claimed)
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore 10-speed or Nexus 5-speed internal with belt drive
  • Chain: KMC
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotors
  • Saddle: Velomann
  • Rims: Velomann e-bike Maxx 29″
  • Hubs: Shimano
  • Tires: WTB Slick, 29″x2.2″
  • Color Choice: Metal Grey, Metal Brown, Dark Celeste
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Website: bianchi.com
RadCity 5 Plus Electric Commuter Bike - Top 5 Electric Commuter Bicycles For 2023

RAD POWER RADCITY5 PLUS

Ubiquitous brand Rad Power offers a great commuter option in the RadCity5 Plus. It’s available in a step-through or step-over frame style, with a bike rack, integrated lighting, fenders and a bunch of extras. The 672Wh battery is semi-integrated into the down tube, the stem is adjustable for maximum comfort while riding, and the spring fork offers 50mm of travel to smooth the bumps in the road. 2.0″ tires also help with a smoother ride.

The RadCity5 Plus has a quiet, internally geared rear hub motor and hydraulic disc brakes. It’s the heaviest bike on the list, at nearly 65 lbs, which is something to consider if you’re going to need to carry it up stairs or load it onto a bike rack.

SPECS

RAD POWER RADCITY5 PLUS

  • Price: $1849
  • Frame: 6061 Aluminum, step-over or step-through
  • Fork: Spring fork with 50mm travel
  • Motor: 750W brushless geared hub motor
  • Battery:672Wh
  • Controls: Rad Power
  • Charge Time: 5-6 hours
  • Top Speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 28-50 miles (claimed)
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Altus, 7-speed
  • Chain: KMC Z7
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc
  • Saddle: Rad Power with lifting handle
  • Rims: Double wall aluminum alloy
  • Tires: Rad Power, 27.5×2.0
  • Weight: 64.5 lbs
  • Color Choice: Charcoal
  • Sizes: One size
  • Website: radpowerbikes.com

SPECIALIZED TURBO VADO

Specialized is a premium brand with a loyal following. They make popular e-bikes, most powered with unbranded Brose motors, which have internal carbon belt drives inside the motors which makes them incredibly quiet. The Turbo Vado comes in several configurations, from the lower end 3.0 version to the higher-end 5.0, the differences are in the levels of components which also affect the price.

They all come with a rear rack, integrated lighting, adjustable suspension fork and fenders. All have options for step-over or step-through frames, they all have fully internal/removable batteries. Most have a chain drive, but there’s one version of the 5.0 version with a Gates carbon belt and an Enviolo AUTOMATiQ stepless internal CVT rear hub.

When set up correctly, an automatic-shifting rear hub is really fantastic. If you set your pedal cadence wrong, the ride experience can be less than ideal, with you always pedaling too fast or too slow. This can be adjusted in an app.

SPECS

SPECIALIZED TURBO VADO

  • Price: $4000
  • Frame: Specialized E5 aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour MobieA32, 80mm
  • Motor: Specialized 2.0 (Made by Brose)
  • Battery: Lithium-ion, 710Wh
  • Controls: Specialized MasterMind TCD
  • Charge Time: 4-5 hours
  • Top Speed: 28 mph (Class 3)
  • Range: 35-70 miles(claimed)
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM NX, 11-speed
  • Chain: KMC e11s
  • Brakes: SRAM Level 2-piston hydraulic disc brake.
  • Saddle: Rivos Sport
  • Rims: double-wall alloy, 650b
  • Hubs: Specialized alloy
  • Tires: Pathfinder Sport Reflect, 650bx2.3″
  • Weight: 58 lbs
  • Color Choice: Cast Black/Silver Reflective, White Mountains/Black Reflective, Red Tint/Silver Reflective
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Website: specialized.com

BULLS ICONIC EVO TR 1 750

What happens if you take the best parts of a full-suspension mountain bike and put them onto a long-range commuter? You get the Bulls Iconic EVO TR 1 750, truly the Cadillac of commuter bikes. The ride is like a 1970s autobarge.

If you live in an area with terrible roads or you like to do some off-road riding, the Iconic is worth a look. Having ridden this bike on fire roads and even taking it off some sweet jumps, this bike is a great choice for mountain bikers who want a commuter. It has fully adjustable front and rear suspension, integrated super bright headlight, and a Monkeylink receiver on the back to add an optional rear light. It also has a rear rack and fenders and even a short-travel dropper post, perfect for making it easier to stand on the ground at stop lights.

It is the most expensive and heaviest of all the commuters on this list, as it features the full Bosch Smart System, including the largest battery on the list, at 750Wh. If you want a premium ride to go over less-than-perfect commutes, and your wallet can handle it, the Iconic is well worth a look.

SPECS

BULLS ICONIC EVO TR 1 750

  • Price: $6299
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour Lytro 35 Supreme Air Boost LOR DS 29, 120mm Travel, adjustable with lockout
  • Rear shock: R Suntour Edge Plus TR 2 CR, 120mm Travel, adjustable with lockout
  • Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube 750
  • Controls: Bosch Kiox 300
  • Charge Time: 7 hours
  • Top Speed: 20 mph
  • Range: 40-80 miles(claimed)
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore 10-speed
  • Chain: Tektro TR203-45/HD-M530, 203/180 mm
  • Brakes: Tektro TR203-45/HD-M530, 203/180 mm
  • Saddle: Bulls-branded Selle Royal
  • Dropper Post: Limotech Alpha 1 Dropper 
  • Rims: BULLS AN30, Ryde Disc 30, Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy
  • Hubs: Bulls
  • Tires: SUPERO ALL GROUND L7, 27.5″ x 2.45″
  • Weight: 66 lbs
  • Color Choice: Black matte
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Website: bullsbikesusa.com

SOURCES | IMAGES: AVENTON | BIANCHI | RADPOWER | SPECIALIZED | BULLS

FTC: We use income-earning auto affiliate links. Learn more.

AUTHOR: 

TONY DONALDSON

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