Whether it’s cutting short your commute or carving down gravel paths, e-bikes have come a huge way in a very short amount of time. Demand is high and the options are dizzying, as are the number of new makers looking to impress first-time buyers. We cut through the complexity with a guide to the best-looking e-bikes for every conceivable scenario.
12 best-looking e-bikes for 2022
The Curt was created as a straightforward commuter e-bike, with a no-nonsense, strictly functional frame design, and hard-wearing components. Available in three frame sizes, with integral lights and hydraulic disc brakes, the Curt weighs 13.4kg and has an average assisted range of 70km. Matt black paint completes the hard-wearing urban look.
Cake Kalk AP
Not a bike, but an off-road enduro machine, Swedish manufacturer Cake’s Kalk AP was originally developed for wildlife rangers as an anti-poaching machine for use in the South African bush. Your needs might not be quite as worthy, but the powerful, lightweight machine is extremely capable, offering a top speed of around 56mph and a battery that’s good for three hours. A percentage of each purchase goes to the Southern African Wildlife College conservation school.
Canyon’s Grail:On is an e-bike with an off-road focus, using carbon-fibre construction to keep weight down and strength high, with a powerful electric motor capable of delivering hefty bursts of power. The range should be good for 120km, if you take it easy, but it won’t last that long if you keep hammering the battery. Deft design touches like the double-decker carbon handlebars and the hefty tyres make this a machine for all circumstances.
The Italian brand Ducati is best known for its superbikes, so it comes as a surprise to find the company has a sideline in mobility options like scooters and e-bikes. The MG-20, introduced last summer, is a folding e-bike with a magnesium frame, combining rugged forms with a removable battery. A 50km range should be more than enough for the daily commute.
Fuell Flluid 1S
Fuell’s Flluid 1S is an e-bike for the purist. The company describes it as being more akin to a small motorcycle than a conventional bike, although of course you have the option to pedal. Not one but two removable batteries come together to provide an impressive 200km of range from a single charge, and top speed is a whizzy 48km/h. The Franco-American company is also working on a pure EV motorbike, the Fllow.
côte&ciel Hermansen Bike One
Hermansen’s ultra-compact Bike One is an e-bike for the minimalist. Designed for city riding, the bike has small, 20in wheels and a light frame, complete with clip-on water bottle-style battery. The Danish manufacturer recently announced a collaboration with Parisian bag designers côte&ciel and the resulting product is an e-bike that comes fully dressed, with a pair of stylish bags – a backpack and a crossbody – as well as a striking orange paint scheme. The company, founded by former Bang & Olufsen designer Anders Hermansen, is known for its asymmetric bike frames and strong design-led approach.
Brompton Electric C Line
The acknowledged master of cycling origami, Brompton is typically innovative when it comes to its take on the folding e-bike. The battery lives in a detachable front bag, allowing you to charge whilst you’re at work or at home. Developed in collaboration with Formula E suppliers Williams Advanced Engineering, the battery even includes a USB port for phone charging as you ride. Brompton also recently launched a subscription service, as well as ambitious plans for a new low-energy factory complex in Kent.
Cowboy 4 ST
We’ve already raved about the Cowboy 4, the fourth-generation model from the Belgian maker. It’s also worth noticing that the design comes in a step-through version as well, sharing the same minimalist approach, with concealed cables and an integral quad-lock for your smartphone allowing you to use the Cowboy navigation app while you charge.
Temple Electric Classic
Temple Electric is a new e-bike brand, coming from the workshops of Bristol-based Temple Cycles. The small UK start-up has been building vintage-inspired bikes since 2014, and the two debut models – the Classic and Step Through – have familiar design and detailing, from the leather saddle and handlebar grips to the two-tone wheels and bright chrome work. The removable Samsung battery integrates neatly into the frame, providing up to 120km of range, depending on your riding style.
VanMoof x Jacquemus collaboration
Dutch bike brand VanMoof has announced a striking collaboration with French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus. As part of Jacquemus’ Pink 2 capsule collection, the limited-edition version of Le Vélo is only available from the designer’s Parisian HQ. VanMoof’s award-winning bikes have built-in anti-theft detection, electronic gearing, integrated lights and even a removable battery booster to increase the range by an additional 65 miles.
Prolog by LeMond
The Prolog is an all-carbon bike from American manufacturer LeMond, started by three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond in 1990 to bring racing-grade carbon-fibre frames to mass production. Using an 11-speed Shimano drivetrain, the Prolog provides assistance up to speeds of 20mph, with the option of electronic shifting and a custom carbon basket and rear rack.
COCO-MATBIKE.UK builds its e-bikes out of wood. The Greek company set out to build a zero-emission bike and found its ideal material in the form of American ash. Each plantation-grown tree can make 50 frames, with the company offering a variety of frame designs and scales as well as two electric models, the Odysseus and the Penelope. New owners don’t just receive a mechanical maintenance kit, but also sandpaper and beeswax to keep the frame in perfect shape.
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Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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