An electric hybrid bike is a nice solution either for a city ride or an off-road adventure. What are the best and what to consider?
We know that most urban riders will benefit from an e-bike that can be taken to a ride along busy city roads and at the same time, a little bit of off road fun.
An electric hybrid bike is the answer for most people, including me. I know it is frustrating not being able to jump over the kerb and go on a bit of grass to take a shortcut or keep going.
Below, you will find a few reviews of the best electric hybrid bikes in 2020. We know that some of them are 2019 models but still are popular this year.
Hybrid Electric Bike Buying Guide (Updated for 2020)
If you typically commute by bike or enjoy a ride now and then but feel that you need a bit of pedaling aid, an e-hybrid bike can be of great help.
To make the “hybrid” concept more clear, this guide will introduce some of the main aspects, benefits and limitations.
What is an electric hybrid bike?
This term “hybrid” has caused a bit of confusion in the bicycle world. If we were to think of the definition, then a hybrid electric bike is a blend between a mountain and road e-bicycle.
An easy-to-ride, all-terrain vehicle perfect for commuters and weekend warriors.
See, a e-MTB is characterized by having thick tires and front suspension, whereas a road style one will have a lightweight frame and not so sophisticated gears and brakes (pad or disk).
Of course, the motor and battery need to be part of it to assist with the pedaling. Since this encompasses pretty much all e-bikes, we tend to believe that who invented this term had the first definition in mind.
|Hybrid e-Bike Advantages||Hybrid e-Bike Disadvantages|
Electric hybrid bike buying considerations
Getting your hands on the best electric hybrid bike doesn’t have to be daunting. Despite of what you have been advise in other places, here is what you should consider to invest wisely.
Electric hybrid bike categorization
Like all electric bikes, as a matter of fact – the hybrid ones also fall into one of the two categories below:
- Pedal-assist (pedelec):
Perhaps, the most common type of electric bikes on the market for hybrid models. These bikes don’t run on their own like scooters do; you will have to actually pedal all the way while a motor provides assistance.
Most hybrid pedal-assist e-bikes reach speeds of 15mph (24 km/h). This is due to the motor and battery configuration and size.
- Throttle mode
Far less common than their pedal-assist counterpart (due to various country laws and regulations), these e-bikes are a true hybrid between a bike and a motorized two-wheeler.
Read our Electric Bike without Pedal Assist: Is it really worth it? article to learn more about throttle electric bikes.
The throttle-operated engine propels the bike forward without any additional pedaling, but you can still pedal to propel it if you feel like it.
These e-bikes are typically limited to 28mph (45 km/h), so before getting one, check the local laws to make sure it’s legal to ride one on public roads in your area.
In reality, these type of hybrid e-bicycles are not so common for their added cost and weight. Yeah, they could be great but I don’t think it is really worth it.
Combining the best of the mountain bike world and road bike designs, they have softer lines that are more user-friendly than its counterparts.
However, you can still choose from diamond-style and step-thru frame styles, such as the Pegasus Premio Evo 10.
There is no real advantage of one over the other, but the step-thru tends to be more comfortable for women and individuals with limited mobility, such as the elderly. Shorter riders might also prefer the step-thru frame.
Luckily, most frames are now built using aluminum. Back in the days, there were steel made which was not so great. I wish there were carbon-fiber ones available but of course, this is an added cost.
Front suspension quality
As you know already, a hybrid electric bicycle will typically ride easy on all terrains.
Some high-end models, like the Cube Reaction Hybrid Eagle 500, have really good front suspension with enough absorption ability to provide the best comfort on bumpy roads.
Typically, the suspension for a hybrid model will have a travel compression between 100 to 120 mm.
If you usually ride over terrains that are very bumpy, it is a good idea to invest a bit more in an e-hybrid bike with good suspension specifications.
If the above is not the case, you can also change the front suspension with a compatible one. Check your local bike shop for recommendation and good prices.
The type of motor can also make or break the deal. For now, e-hybrid bikes have mid-drive motor rather than hub-drive ones (check here to know more about e-bike motors).
Their names are quite intuitive; one is located near the pedals, in the middle of the bike, while the other on the rear wheel.
It make sense since, for an off road adventure, they will be more balanced and reducing any changes of loosing control.
The power is expected to be between 250w and 500w. You won’t need more than that. In terms of the torque, it will be around 40Nm, which may not be so much.
When you’re riding at over 15mph on a public road, how fast you can brake can make the difference between life and death.
Luckily for the rider, they are only built with hydraulic disk rather than using pad brakes.
Regardless of that, the braking efficiency cannot be compared to what top electric mountain bikes, like the Giant Trance E+ 3 Pro 2020, has (with a quad-piston system).
Tyre size and specifications
Electric hybrid bikes need all-terrain tires with a good treat.
You will see that both, the front and rear tires, have the same specification, whereas e-MTB will be different between each other.
For an all-purpose e-bike used by multiple individuals, a standard 26-inch tires are the common choice.
Note that since you will be riding a lot on asphalt or concrete, the tires will worn out faster due to increase friction caused by the treats.
You may also notice that pedaling can be harder than usual. Again, this is due to the high friction of the tires.
You should also check the tire thickness. As a rule of thumb, the wider the tire, the more cushioning and suspension it will provide (that is why some e-bikes lack of suspension).
Getting to the juice of the hybrid electric bike, you must also consider the battery.
Most e-bikes nowadays come with 36V lithium-ion batteries, but not all were created equal.
A lot of brands utilize various battery chemistries that can influence both run-time and lifespan. Without getting into annoying tech details, the higher-tech (and more expensive) the battery is, the longer it will last.
Run time is determined by the battery’s amp-hour rating that can vary from about 7.5 to 18Ah.
You should also consider whether the battery is detachable or not. We recommend detachable batteries; they may not look as sleek as frame-integrated ones but are serviceable, easy to reach when charging and can help with the overall weight when carrying it upstairs or mounting it on a bike rack.
When buying an electric hybrid bike, it is also crucial to think about how much maintenance it requires.
Since the components used are not so fancy, if you have at least little understanding on bike parts, you can easily troubleshoot a faulty item.
I won’t mess around with neither the motor nor the battery. This are good for someone with knowledge if they require fixing.
If you e-bike is in trouble, I suggest to:
- Contact the e-bike’s manufacturer to troubleshoot the faulty component or to ask for a replacement.
- Visit the nearest bike shop to your location so they can help quicker than the manufacturer.
You can also ask for good electric bike forums such as the one offered in EBR.
Other Important Considerations
Besides all the above, there are a few other things to consider before giving away your hard-earned money.
Hybrid electric bikes are quite different than conventional and specialized ones. To make sure the feel its performance and quality, take it for a test drive.
Don’t be afraid of testing the suspension and brakes. Maybe the seller would be not willing to let you do that but what matters is your comfort and safety.
Finding the right brand
A brand name is not always a guarantee for good quality, but a brand with a good reputation is less likely to disappoint. Famous brands also enjoy better after-sale service, while finding replacement parts is also easier.
Even though, it feels better to invest on a well-known brand, there are other low key ones, like the Schwinn Sycamore Hybrid Electric Bike Review, that offer good value for money.
Carrying weight and portability
Most hybrid e-bikes are usually heavy, but some are lighter than others. If you have to carry it during your commute or up the stairs, investing in a lighter model could be a wiser choice for the long run.
Here is where a removable battery plays an important role. It will make your life easier, surely.
Electric Hybrid Bike Reviews and Buying Guide Wrap Up
The best hybrid electric bike would be considered based on what your needs are.
Think of the purpose of buying it. Will you mostly use it for commuting or for weekend rides? What is your budget? Are weight and portability important to you?
You should answer these questions beforehand. There are so many model with different standard that you could be expending more that necessary.
All in all, an electric hybrid bike is a good alternative in the long run for riders that like cycling but are not all the time on it.