Many of the first electric bikes to hit the market were hybrids. With flat handlebars and a comfortable, upright riding position they’re a good option for general recreational riding, beginners, shopping and trips around town.
Electric hybrid bikes also work well for commuters who aren’t pressed for storage space and want a little assistance when cycling to work. If space is tight, take a look at our guide to the best electric folding bikes.
Many first-generation hybrid ebikes were fairly heavy, with hefty frames and wheels coupled to chunky motors and batteries, with limited range. That’s changing now, with brands such as Specialized slimming down their hybrid ebikes: its latest Turbo Vado SL model gives you 130km range in a 15kg package.
Stats like those make a hybrid ebike a good option for the commute or if you want to simply enjoy the benefits of an electric bike without charging up too often between trips.
For more information on what to consider when buying an electric hybrid bike, we’ve got a full buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article.
You can also read our guide to electric bike types to help you choose the right ebike for you.
The best electric hybrid bikes reviewed by BikeRadar
We’ve been testing hybrid ebikes here at BikeRadar since they first emerged on the scene, and have a full archive of our electric bike reviews.
These are our current top-rated electric hybrid bikes.
- Elby Bike: €3,299 / $2,999
- Specialized Turbo Vado SL: £2,600 / €2,999 / $3,500
- Carrera Crossfuse: £1,899
- Cannondale Quick 4 Disc with Cytronex C1 motor kit: £1,646
- Gtech eBike Sports: £995
- Ribble Hybrid AL E Fully Loaded: £2,099 / €2,326 / £2,270
- €3,299 / $2,999 as tested
- Comfortable, smooth and quiet
- Handles well
- Range a lot less than the claimed 135km
We rated the Elby for its comfort and practicality. With a step-through frame, it’s easy to mount and dismount, handles well and its retro looks are a talking point.
The rear hub motor is powered by a removable battery pack, while regenerative braking ups your range in stop-start riding and on descents.
The controls are easy to use and are supplemented by a display unit and integration with Elby’s smartphone app, but we found range to be well short of the 135km claimed.
Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0
- £2,600 / €2,999 / $3,500 as tested
- Well-tuned power delivery
- Low weight
- Lights included
Weighing under 15kg and with a 130km range, the Turbo Vado SL looks to take ebike use for recreation and city riding mainstream.
Its motor weighs under 2kg and the concealed battery makes for clean looks, although the 35Nm torque output is lower than most ebike motors.
Support feels very natural, without any bursts of acceleration but still helping out well on inclines, although it feels a bit underpowered on the steepest climbs even in its top Turbo mode.
All models come with lights and higher specs add a rack and mudguards too.
More electric bike buyer’s guides
Not found what you’re looking for? We’ve got more guides to the best electric road, mountain and folding bikes.
Cannondale Quick 4 Disc with Cytronex C1 motor kit
- £1,646 as tested
- £995 for Cytronex C1 kit, £579.99 for Cannondale Quick 4 Disc, £71 for optional lights
- Cytronex add-on kit electrifies a standard hybrid bike
- Subtle power delivery
The Cytronex C1 kit adds a front hub motor and bottle cage battery to electrify a standard hybrid bike, adding just over 3kg to the weight.
We tried it out on the Cannondale Quick 4 Disc, which was responsive and sporty, with a good gear range. It’s one of a range of pre-built options from Cytronex.
Add the motor and the Quick becomes a competent ebike with around 60km of range and progressive power delivery. The motor is easily controlled via the single bar-mounted button.
You can also spec lights when you order the bike, while the Quick has mounts for mudguards and a rack, making this an all-weather commuting machine.
- £1,899 as tested
- Bosch motor and battery
- Comfortable ride
- Quality Shimano gears and brakes
Halfords’ Carrera brand offers the competitively-priced Crossfuse, with a 50Nm Bosch motor and lockable battery.
The ride position is upright and the saddle and handlebar grips comfortable, while wide tyres with a deep tread work well on a variety of surfaces and the short travel fork helps smooth the way. Range is good – we got close to 100km – and you can remove the battery for charging.
The single chainring drivetrain offers a wide spread of gears and the hydraulic disc brakes also come from Shimano, making for effective stopping power. Coupled with a very comfortable ride, we rated the Crossfire a great commuter option.
Gtech eBike Sports
- £995 as tested
- Simple but effective design
- Removable battery unit
Gtech — yes, the brand behind the famous vacuum cleaner — rightly decided to keep things simple with its first ebike offering. That should make it an attractive option for those who are getting into cycling or who want a relatively cheap entry into the ebike market.
That simplicity means Gtech has got it right with the details that matter. There are no glaring inconsistencies or problems with the handling or spec and the Gtech ebike proved reliable during the time we spent testing it.
Ribble Hybrid AL e Fully Loaded
- £2,099 / €2,326 / £2,270 as tested
- Sophisticated motor and app-based control
- Quality finishing kit
Ribble uses the Mahle ebikemotion rear hub motor with its fully enclosed 250Wh battery to provide gentle assistance rather than a burst of power.
It’s simple to control the assistance level and monitor the battery via the top-tube button, and the phone app adds more info, including the option to use your heart rate to control the motor’s power.
Other kit is good too, with Mavic wheels, Schwalbe Marathon tyres and a SRAM single-ring drivetrain. The Fully Loaded spec adds mudguards, rack, lights and a bell.
These bikes scored less than 4 out of 5 in our reviews but are still worth considering.
Bergamont E-Horizon Expert 600 Gent
- £3,329 as tested
- Classic upright style
- Large battery and Bosch motor
Bergamont’s E-Horizon Expert ebike is currently in the middle of a long-term test with BikeRadar’s technical editor, Tom Marvin.
The E-Horizon bike is designed for sit-up comfort around town and comes with a Bosch motor and large 625Wh battery.
With the rack, mudguards and lights also included, you’ve got everything you need for around-town duties.
BMC Alpenchallenge AMP City LTD
- £5,600 as tested
- Carbon frame and fork
- Shimano Steps motor
Swiss brand BMC has an increasing range of ebikes, with the Alpenchallenge AMP City LTD forming part of its ‘lifestyle’ range.
It comes with an all-carbon frame and fork, and uses a Shimano Steps motor system. At 14kg to 15kg, it’s lightweight, and the 504Wh battery offers plenty of range. All that Swiss engineering and high tech doesn’t come cheap though.
A first ride through Zurich demonstrated the bike’s agility and ease of handling in town. Out in the countryside it glided along, with a helping push up the Swiss hills.
We also rode the Alpenchallenge AMP Cross LTD up a Swiss mountain pass, a version of the bike set up with 40mm tyres for more all-terrain ability.
Boardman Hyb 8.9E
- £2,199 as tested
- Cleanly integrated Fazua motor
- Sharp handling
Boardman’s sporty commuter comes with the angles of a road bike and the neatly integrated German Fazua motor for a 16.2kg weight.
Power output is tuneable via the phone app to extend range or tweak performance. The motor assistance has a natural feel, helping rather than driving you, and the 100km-plus range is impressive.
The Boardman is more for sporty riders though, better suited to padded shorts than commuter clothing, and with slender handlebar grips and a firm ride.
- £1,790 / €1,990 as tested
- Simple belt-drive system
- Quirky handling
The Cowboy’s singlespeed belt-drive transmission makes for easy maintenance. You’ve also got hydraulic disc brakes and integrated lighting, while the battery sits behind the seat tube.
Everything is controlled by a smartphone app, which also acts as a digital key to switch the Cowboy on and off, and keeps track of the bike’s location.
The handling is a little quirky, though, and is better suited to travelling in a straight line than going round corners.
Raleigh Motus Tour
- £2,200 / €2,548 as tested
- Bosch motor and bar-mounted control unit
- Quite heavy
Raleigh uses Bosch’s Active Line motor and a removable battery for smooth power delivery on the Motus Tour.
The Intuvia display on the bars lets you control the built-in lights as well as monitor system performance, while a bar-mounted remote changes assistance level.
The Motus is on the heavy side though, weighing just under 25kg, so the walk function is useful when pushing the ebike. The weight also limits range and we got around 80km on a charge. We appreciated the fully enclosed chain, lights, integrated lock, mudguards and rack for urban duties.
Buyer’s guide: what to look for in a hybrid electric bike
Types of hybrid ebike
Most hybrid ebikes can perhaps be best described as all-rounders. They’ll usually have mudguards (or mudguard mounts, at the very least), often come equipped with lights, and there will probably be mounts for a rack, so you can carry extra stuff.
But there are more specialist machines like the Canyon Pathlite:ON, where not only do you get lights, mudguards and a rack, but the higher spec machines come with a second 500Wh battery for long-distance trekking.
There are also flat-bar versions of sporty drop-bar road ebikes, such as the Orbea Gain and Focus Paralane 2.
Other options we’ve reviewed include the Tern GSD and Rad Power RadWagon electric cargo bikes, and the Orbea Katu-E, an e-shopper.
Hybrid ebike motor systems
Mid-mounted motors are a popular choice for hybrids. These have a motor mounted between the cranks that powers the rear wheel when you’re pedalling.
It’s a position that provides plenty of stability because it puts the motor’s weight low down and centrally on the frame. Look out for systems from Bosch and Shimano. A rear hub motor is another option, but front wheel motors are less common on hybrids.
Batteries are typically mounted low on the down tube, also for stability, although some hybrid electric bikes stash the battery out of sight within the frame.
More expensive models tend to have larger capacity batteries for additional range and there may be the option to plug in a second battery, if you want to go further.
There’s usually a controller on the handlebar, where it’s within easy reach, that lets you select assistance level and keep an eye on your battery level as you ride.
Some quoted ranges are pretty accurate or even conservative, but look out for exaggerated claims if you’re planning to use your ebike for anything more than local excursions or don’t have access to convenient charging.
In general, you’ll want a battery capacity of 250Wh or more for a decent range. Most hybrid electric bike motors will push out 250 watts maximum power, so that would give you an hour’s use if you were using the motor at full power, though in reality that will rarely happen.
In practice, the motor will be working less hard than this, but your real range will depend on where you’re riding, the assistance level selected and other factors.
For practicality, it’s nice to have mudguards and front and rear lights as part of the package, giving you all-weather ride-ability.
Also look out for a rear rack or rack mounts, so you can use your hybrid ebike with panniers or other cycling luggage for shopping or longer excursions.
And if you are planning on longer rides on your ebike, the option to add a second battery will more-or-less double your range.