Hot topics

2023 Lifestyle E-Bikes: The Top 4 Models for Style and Performance

ANdroidPIT Sushi Bike Maki M2 bike
© nextpit

Read in other languages:

Looking for a new e-bike for the summer? Then models like the Sushi Maki+, the Cowboy Bike 4, or the Brompton Electric could be just right for you! nextpit compares the results from the latest e-bike tests and tells you what you should look for when buying a lifestyle e-bike.

  Editor's tip Price tip 3rd place 4th place
Picture Cowboy Bike 4
Sushi Maki+
Brompton Electric
Angell M Cruiser
Tire size
  • 27,5"
  • 28"
  • 13,7"
  • 27,5"
Frame material
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
Motor power
  • 250 W / 45 nm
  • 250 W
  • 250 W
  • 250 W
  • 360 Wh
  • 230.4 Wh
  • 300 Wh
  • 219 Wh
  • 40 - 80 km
  • up to 75 km
  • 30 - 70 km
  • n.a.
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • 18,9 kg
  • 17,5 kg
  • 17,4 kg
  • 18,6 kg
  • $3,490
  • €2,990
  • n/a in the US
  • €1,299
  • n/a in the US
  • €3,950
  • n/a in the US
  • €2,990
  • Very attractive design
  • Good ride comfort thanks to thick tires
  • Excellent app connection including Google Maps integration
  • Solid range between 40 and 80 km
  • Nice and light for an e-bike
  • Lightweight construction
  • Removable battery
  • Surprisingly, affordable
  • Mega fast
  • Super compact
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Good lighting system, good brakes
  • -
  • Costly with subscription follow-up costs
  • Handlebar height not adjustable
  • Only available in one frame size
  • No gear shifting
  • Technically, hardly innovative
  • The on-board computer is very rudimentary
  • Rather under powered
  • Range at full throttle only 30 kilometers
  • Battery disconnects on cobblestones
  • Expensive
  • -
Read the Cowboy Bike C4 review
Read the Sushi Maki+ review
Read the Brompton Electric review
Not yet rated

Check price

Check prices

Check prices

Check prices

With e-bikes, cycling becomes easier, fun, and you can set off on longer tours. However, there are significant differences in what e-bikes do and how the riding experience is. Before we introduce you to some models in more detail, we'll summarize what you should look for when buying.

After that, we'll give you tips on the latest e-bikes, most of which we've even tried out ourselves. If you have any other tips, questions, or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below this article.

In light of the VanMoof bankruptcy, we have removed the VanMoof S5 from our list of recommendations. The company has stopped selling its wheels and spare parts. If you own a VanMoof bike, you should also read our article on how to secure the digital key of your VanMoof bike.

Note: Unfortunately, not all recommended models are available globally, as a thumb of rule, expect to find them for sale in Europe, but not necessarily in the US, for example.

What to look for when buying an e-bike

Size, frame, and material

Do you prefer a road bike, a trekking bike, or a compact vacation bike? You probably already know the answer to this question if you're looking for an e-bike, but be aware of the pros and cons before you buy. Because, although e-road bikes have a lot of power, the thin tires are less suitable for mountain climbing. At the same time, heavy trekking bikes are difficult to accelerate faster than 25 km/h.

VanMoof A5
VanMoof, Cowboy, Sushi, and Angell also offer bikes with step-through frames. Seen here: VanMoof A5. / © nextpit

Also, check the manufacturer's specifications for the appropriate frame size for your height and see if the particular e-bike may be offered in different frame sizes. If you are particularly tall, some manufacturers also offer extension bars for the saddle or handlebars, which you may have to order separately.

When it comes to choosing materials, there is no best recommendation for an e-bike. Steel frames are considered more robust and durable, while aluminum or magnesium frames are lighter.

When buying an e-bike, however, the motto is: the proof of the pudding is in the eating—so if you have the opportunity to try out an interesting e-bike, you should definitely take it.

Motor power, gears, and support

How much support does an e-bike give you when cycling and can you also climb steep hills with it? The motor power in watts and torque is an important criterion when buying an e-bike. At the same time, you should pay attention to whether a gear shift is available and how the onboard computer regulates the support.

Power output should follow local regulations, and some countries specify maximum values or speeds. The torque of the e-bike motor gives you another indication of the power offered. Roughly speaking, 50 nm is sufficient for the city, but it should be more for e-mountain bikes.

Sushi Maki Plus Electric motor
Electric motors now often sit directly on the hub. This minimizes the load on chains and belts. / © nextpit

How dynamically an e-bike responds to your routes can be controlled via assistance levels and, on high-quality models, also via your pedaling strength. You can set the level of assistance on the onboard computer or on your smartphone via an app. Whether a bike can detect how hard you are pedaling depends on whether the manufacturer uses a torque sensor.

Again, a test ride is the best way to see whether the support is dynamic enough for you. Here you should pay attention to whether the support levels actually regulate the strength of the support or only the speed limit.

Range and external charging

How far can you get with a fully charged e-bike battery? That depends on the capacity of the battery used, your weight, the terrain, and the power of the electric motor. Manufacturers try to give you guidelines in data sheets that are more or less realistic for everyday use.

How realistic the specifications are can only be found out in test reports or by trying them out. Therefore, if you are interested in an e-bike, see if you can find practical impressions on the Internet or ask the bicycle dealer if an employee has already been able to gather experience. In the comments under this article, you can of course also ask whether a reader uses an specific e-bike.

Sushi Maki Plus battery
The battery is removable on some e-bikes and can be conveniently charged indoors. / © nextpit

Range aside: In everyday life, it is immensely practical if you can simply remove the battery of your e-bike. This gives you the option of taking the battery with you into your home. The VanMoof S5, for example, always has to be carried into the house or apartment for charging, unless there is a garage with a battery. With a weight of over 20 kg, this is a real feat.

Comfort functions and app connection

If a huge battery and a small computer are already sitting in a bike, you might as well make the whole thing smart—and indeed, many e-bikes now offer smartphone connectivity, through which you can specify settings or record your route. Here, VanMoof is the manufacturer with the most creative options. The latest S5 model, for example, has integrated anti-theft protection and can be unlocked via the cell phone.

However, an app connection can also be very handy for displaying the speed, setting the support level, and displaying the range. Since the features are popular, you can usually find a lot of information about "smart functions" on the manufacturer's pages. For optimal use, however, you should buy a cell phone mount in addition or check whether one is included.

Price, tires, and typical bike features

Regardless of some e-bike-typical features, of course, all other tips apply when buying a new bike. Is the price reasonable, is the warranty period sufficient, and do you like the e-bike style? In addition, the tires should be equipped for your terrain, the brakes should function reliably and all requirements for operation in road traffic should be met.

These are the e-bikes NextPit recommends in 2023

Cowboy Bike C4

Cowboy Bike C4
Clean lines and a simple design: the C4 looks pretty, but comes without the lock pictured. / © nextpit

In the fourth generation, Cowboy has added 50% more torque, launched a variant with a step-through frame, and revamped the Companion app. Advantages such as the removable battery, the use of a robust carbon strap and integrated brake cables have been retained.

The light is perfectly integrated into the frame, but unfortunately not StVZO-compliant. Likewise, we criticized in the test that the handlebar height is not adjustable and there is only one frame size.

You also have to plan for additional costs for a subscription for the theft detection and an additional insurance. That's a bit outrageous for a bike that costs from $3,490. A bike rack and a luggage carrier should also be available.

Sushi Maki+ / Sushi Maki 3.0

Sushi Maki+ Total Recording
Visually, I really like the Sushi Maki+! / © nextpit

As an e-fixie, manufacturer Sushi is drawing on a gap in the market with the Maki+—and filling it quite well. In the test, the Sushi bike was a lot of fun and impressed with its simplicity. In addition, the Sushi Maki+ is particularly light for an e-bike with a weight of only 16 kilograms. Longer rides without support at over 25 km/h were no problem in the test.

However, without comfort functions, gear shifting, and integrated lights, the Maki will scare off some buyers. The new Sushi Maki 3.0 offers more. For a surcharge of 100 euros, there is an integrated light system connected to the battery, better handlebar grips, and more. According to the MSRP, the tested Maki+ costs 1,299 euros, making it one of the cheaper e-bikes on the market.

Brompton Electric C-Line

The Brompton Electric
The Brompton Electric can be folded. / © nextpit

Although we have a separate best list for foldable e-bikes, we still want to include the Brompton Electric in this list. This is because it is a particularly transportable and high-quality folding e-bike that is also suitable for non-commuters. Because the seating position convinced us in the test insofar that we felt like on a conventional bike.

The C-Line convinces with a powerful 250-watt motor that sits in the front of the tire. In addition, the bike is lighter than other folding bikes with electric drive at 17 kilograms despite its steel frame. However, the cost is particularly high at just under $4,000.

Angell M Cruiser

Angell Cruiser M
The Cruiser M from Angell draws its power from the luggage rack! / © Angell

You can buy a more unusual e-bike with the Angell M Cruiser. Because the French manufacturer not only uses a curved frame made of aluminum, the e-bike is also particularly light at 18.6 kilograms and offers the special features: flashing lights, brake lights, and a built-in fall warning. An anti-theft system and an integrated 2.4-inch display are also present.

Performance-wise, the M Cruiser offers a 250 W electric motor in the rear wheel. The positioning of the battery in the rear rack is also unusual. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to get the M Cruiser for a field test, but we want to make up for that in the next few weeks.

If you would like to get ahead of us, you can book a test ride on the manufacturer's website. If you're convinced, you'll have to budget €3,249. However, theft insurance is already included in this price.

Which e-bikes can you recommend, and which ones should we definitely include in this list? Please let us know in the comments!

This article was completely rewritten in July 2023 with new models.

 The best gaming monitors at a glance

  Best gaming monitor up to $400 Best gaming monitor up to $600 Best gaming monitor up to $800 Best gaming monitor up to $1,000 Best gaming monitor for consoles
Image LG Ultragear 27GP850P - product image Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ - product image BenQ MOBIUZ EX3210U - product image Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM - product image Gigabyte M32U - product image
nextpit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Go to comment (0)
Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
No comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing