Electric city and hybrid bikes are practical, comfortable and easy to ride. This makes them a popular choice for… well, pretty much anybody really. If your budget’s in the £2,000 to £3,000 range, you can expect to get something rather lovely too. If you want to spend a bit less than that, check out our guide to the best city bikes between £1,000 and £2,000.
In terms of look, we’re talking about flat handlebar e-bikes with a fairly upright riding position here. The frames are either the familiar diamond shape with a crossbar, or a step-through design where the main tube swoops down and meets the seat tube by the pedals.
The step-through is sometimes thought of as being a women’s bike, but they’re used by one and all in many European cities – and can be a lot easier to deal with in terms of mounting and dismounting. Some e-bikes will be available in both styles.
In this price range, you’ll see both hub and mid-motors, with the latter increasingly more likely the more you’re willing to spend.
Mid-motors tend to be smoother and more efficient. And while almost all motors will be rated as 250W, mid-motors tend to be more effective and efficient at lower speeds – such as on a hill, or when you’re setting off. Situated low down and centrally, you’ll often find mid-motor bikes offer better handling too.
Set against that, they're heavier.
In terms of batteries, bigger is obviously better. All other things being equal, a 400Wh battery will give you more range than a 250Wh one. The actual distance you get is something of a moveable feast, however, varying according to terrain and how much assistance you choose.
The type of motor will also have an impact, as well as the combined weight of you, the bike and anything you might be carrying.
Gearing will be via either a conventional derailleur setup or hub gears. Everything is contained within the latter, which minimises maintenance.
Practicality is one of the key concerns for most electric city and hybrid bike buyers. As such, you can expect various other add-ons. Mudguards are all but obligatory and racks are common. Many will also feature integrated lighting.
A lot of e-bikes geared towards this market will also have suspension of some kind – generally in the fork or the seatpost.
For a bit more detail on the ins and outs, take a look at our overall guide to electric city bikes.
The list below is not intended to be exhaustive. These are just the best electric city and hybrid bikes that we’ve reviewed within this price bracket.
Ribble’s Hybrid AL e is well-designed, rides well and is very good value for money.
You get a tidily-built alloy frame and fork and quality components throughout, including SRAM’s 11-speed NX groupset and hydraulic disc brakes.
Power is from the ebikemotion X35 system, comprising a small motor in the rear hub and a non-removable 250Wh battery inside the down tube. It’s a light setup and this goes a long way towards keeping the overall weight of the bike down to just 14kg.
The bike’s also very happy cruising along without any help from the motor, with very little noticeable drag from the rear hub.
Range will vary according to usage, but on the flat, in normal conditions and using the modes conservatively, you should expect to get well over 50km from a single charge.
The Volt Regent is an ultra-comfortable bike with everything you need for ‘get on, turn on and go’ e-biking.
Shimano’s latest and lightest hub motor system, the STEPS E6100, is teamed with a 418Wh battery. You also get integrated LED lights, mudguards, a pannier rack and kickstand – plus comfort features like front fork and seatpost suspension.
It’s a quiet yet zippy e-bike and offers a silky smooth ride.
Sporty, efficient and practical – the Moustache Friday is well worth your attention if you want something nippy to get around town.
There are several different versions of the bike. It comes in ‘standard’ and ‘low step’ frames and with the Bosch Active Line Plus or Performance Line mid-motors.
You also get a 400Wh battery, a rear rack, LED lights and hydraulic disc brakes, while one of the more striking features is the flexing handlebars that soften the impact of potholes without the need for front suspension.
All in all, the Moustache Friday 28 is hard to fault.
Less a bike and more a luxury sedan, the Gazelle Grenoble is all about comfort, elegance and poise.
The Bosch Active Line Plus mid-motor won’t have you shooting away from red lights like a dragster, but it will smoothly and decisively amplify whatever effort you put in – and it feels wonderful. This is combined with either a 400Wh or 500Wh battery and seven-speed Shimano hub gears.
Rounding things off, there’s a generously padded seat, an enclosed chain, full mudguards and suspension in the seat post and front fork - plus a built-in Axa lock to immobilise the wheels.
The Cube Kathmandu Hybrid Exc 625 is an excellent workhorse of an e-bike that is “specced up to the nines” according to our reviewer, Richard.
Performance-wise, it boasts the Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which will pull just about any weight up any gradient with ease. This comes alongside a frame-integrated 625Wh battery and Shimano's Deore 1x12 gears.
You also get a suspension seatpost, an adjustable stem and an air sprung Suntour suspension fork for comfort, plus an integrated rack.
The Kathmandu Hybrid Exc 625 offers powerful and practical performance at a great price.