If you’re a serious cyclist who thinks that buying an e-bike is the equivalent of wearing mom jeans or admitting you’re out of shape, think again. What most of these new bikes have in common are varying levels of power assist ranging from a little boost to turbo mode. The more you pedal, the less power they use and the longer your battery lasts. Here are four options that can have you touring farther, riding faster, conquering bigger hills or simply spending less time in a car. Before you decide to head out on a trail, though, check Vermont’s policy on using e-bikes on public trails.
CANNONDALE SYNAPSE NEO, $4,400
If you are tired of getting dropped by a friend or spouse on those long road rides or hill climbs or are planning on doing some multi-day gravel tours, this bike is the technological equivalent of EPO: it will give you that boost but, thanks to a sleek integrated frame and quiet motor, no one needs to know. It’s more bike than e-bike, with a top speed of 20 mph, but the 250-watt pedal assist from the Bosch Active Line Plus motor is super smooth. It also uses the same double chain ring as the non-e-bike so gearing feels more conventional.
TREK CROSSRIP+, $4,199
This is the bike for any serious bike commuting, like Linus Owens’ ride from Burlington to Middlebury. It comes with a Bosch 500wh frame-mounted power pack, a mid-drive system, long-life lithium-ion battery, integrated lighting system, and includes rack and fenders. It weighs in at 44 pounds and is touchy enough to be fun to ride without the power assist.
SPECIALIZED LEVO, $5499
If you wanted to, you could spend up to $12,000 on the state-of-the-art Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo with a carbon frame, 700 Wh battery and geometry inspired by the new Stumpjumper. You don’t have to. The more standard Turbo Levo with a choice of standard Fattie 6 (or 29-inch tires) has the same carbon chassis, integrated downtube battery and weighs in at a bit more than 50 lbs.
BREEZER GREENWAYS, $2499
Lighter and a bit more responsive than similar “town” e-bikes, the Breezer Greenway weighs in at under 48 lbs. It uses a Shimano STePS 250 watt motor, a Suntour fork with 63 mm of travel and a geometry that will have you sitting upright and looking around. This is the perfect rail trail or bike path ride.