Are you a huge bike fan looking to explore the thrill electric scooter enthusiasts experience while riding their high-speed toys?
Maybe you're someone who's tasked with delivering (or conveying) packages throughout your daily commute; with Class 1 e-bikes, the electric motor(s) assists your pedaling effort; however, with Class 2 e-bikes, the electric motor(s) drives you forward effortlessly.
A Class 2 electric bike can get you to your destination without the need to pedal, and today, I'm going to show you some of the best Class 2 electric bikes. But before we get there, let's find out more about what a Class 2 bike really is and how it stacks up against the other 2 classes of electric bikes – Class 1 and Class 3.
Best Class 2 Electric Bikes
This bicycle is one of the most underrated electric bikes available on the market today. It's a moderately-priced Class-2 electric bike equipped with top-of-the-line components.
You're probably wondering what these "high-end" components are and how they impact the e-bike's overall performance; well, grab a chair, we're about to take a close look at some of the Ride1Up LMT'D's coolest qualities.
Features of the Ride1Up LMT'D
1) It operates as a Class 2 & 3 electric bike
The Ride1Up LMT'D is equipped with a 750-Watt rear hub motor that can put out up to 1000 Watts of power at peak performance. In pedal-assist mode, the bike can reach top speeds of 28 miles an hour.
Throttle-only mode provides electric power up until about 20mph, at which point the bike's speed governor starts restricting the flow of current into the motor.
2) An LCD meter with color display and advanced settings
The LMT'D's display device doesn't just record the e-bike's trip readings, traveling speed, battery life, and pedal-assist level, It gives riders unrestricted access to advanced manufacturer settings installed on the bike.
Riders can add four extra pedal-assist levels to the default five for a total of nine pedal-assist levels. This small LCD device also allows users tweak the bike's pedal-assist sensitivity as well as revise the unit's speed limit.
3) It has up to 672Wh of battery capacity
The Ride1Up LMT'D comes with a 48V 14ah Reention Eel battery fitted into its frame. This battery can reportedly cover up to 50 miles of range on a single charge.
While the battery is fitted snugly into the frame it can still easily be removed using a special key included in the bike's packaging.
1) Finally, an electric bicycle equipped with hydraulic brakes
Ride1Up found the perfect braking system to tame the LMT'D's power. The e-bike utilizes a hydraulic disc-braking system that comprises a 180-mm rotor and a motor cutoff sensor.
You won't need to squeeze the LMT'D's brake levers hard to engage the calipers (as in mechanical disc-braking systems). The hydraulic liquid in the system amplifies the force applied at the lever.
The motor cutoff feature also helps maximize the efficiency of this system.
2) It is suitable for off-road riding
Unlike most 750-Watt e-bikes that can only handle light off-road rides, the Ride1Up LMT'D is built to take on steep inclines and unforgiving terrain.
Its geared motor is rated for a maximum torque output of 100Nm. This, in addition to the bike's 8-speed transmission, makes the LMT'D adaptable to almost any resistant force nature might throw at it.
It is also equipped with high-end suspension air forks designed to smoothen out bumpy rides.
1) For $1895, you'll be getting a pretty stripped-down electric bike
Ride1Up does not include accessories like fenders or lights (front and/ rear) to LMT'D orders. Riders will have to purchase these accessories separately from Ride1Up, which is kind of disappointing, considering that the bike costs considerably more than others in its class.
2) The new LMT'D version doesn't come with a torque sensor
Torque sensors pick up the amount of force riders apply to bicycle chains and use these signals to provide electric boosts. Torque-sensing pedal-assist systems are usually more responsive than cadence-sensing PAS when advancing from a stop.
No one knows why Ride1Up has chosen to completely ditch torque sensors for cadence sensors on the LMT'D. It may have been in an effort to make the e-bike more affordable, who knows?
Tested against similar models within the same category
Released in January 2022, the Aventon Solterra is a 350-Watt budget-friendly electric bike designed with the needs of urban commuters and recreational riders in mind.
This Class-2 e-bike is available in single- and 7-speed versions.
The single-speed model costs $1,199 while the 7-speed version retails for just $1299.
Features of the Aventon Soltera
1) A 36V 10Ah battery pack
The Aventon Soltera comes with a 36V 10Ah lithium-ion battery integrated into its frame. Like the Ride1Up LMT'D, the Soltera's battery can also be removed and charged outside of its frame.
According to a series of range tests conducted by Aventon, the Soltera can cover up to 63 miles on a full charge when switched to the lowest power setting (pedal-assist level 1). Using the bike's throttle alone can cut that range by up to 68% (from 63 miles to 20 miles).
2) Color LCD display with Bluetooth connectivity
The bike's LCD meter displays basic riding info like current speed, miles traveled, battery power left, etc. Riders can also connect the Soltera's LCD device to the Aventon App following a few easy steps on this video:
When connected, riders can increase or decrease the bike's speed limit from their smartphones.
3) 700C Rim brakes
Aventon equips the base version of the Soltera with rim brakes while the 7-speed version comes with mechanical disc brakes.
The rotors on the seven-speed Soltera's brakes measure up to 160 mm in diameter.
1) The bike is available at an affordable price
As mentioned earlier, the Aventon Soltera retails for as low as $1199 per unit. Finding another quality e-bike at that price point is going to be hard seeing as the market is now flush with cheap, low-quality e-bikes from China.
2) The Aventon Soltera is a lightweight electric bike.
The single-speed model weighs about 41 pounds while the 7-seed version tips the scales at just 43 lbs.
The bike's frame is also compact and doesn't come with all that bulk you'd usually find on high-powered e-bikes. Its design is so streamlined onlookers might mistake it for a regular bike.
1) The bike has no suspension
The Aventon Soltera is strictly designed for riding on smooth surfaces. It neither comes with a front suspension nor is it equipped with a rear shock absorber.
I personally wouldn't recommend taking this e-bike out on trails or riding it anywhere other than on paved roads.
2) It's not a very powerful e-bike
Don't expect too much from this e-bike in terms of performance. Its 350-Watt motor might not be able to propel heavy loads without significantly dropping power.
While Aventon says the bike can support up to 300 lbs of weight and still operate at optimal performance, I'd suggest heavier riders go for e-bikes with motor power ratings above 500 Watts.
Tested against similar models within the same category
The Radcity Plus is an all-round electric bike. It is designed to power long-distance commutes as well as take on heavy-duty tasks like off-road riding and cargo transportation.
If you're in the market for a versatile Class-2 electric bike, the Radcity Plus might be the best option for you. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at some of the bike's main characteristics.
Features of the Radcity Plus
1) A brushless 750-Watt hub motor
The Radcity Plus comes equipped with a 750W geared hub-motor fitted into its rear wheel. This powerful motor can propel the bike to top speeds of 28 miles an hour in pedal-assist mode and 20mph in throttle-only mode.
The e-bike also possesses enough hill-climbing power to flatten steep gradients.
2) Adjustable front suspension forks
Rad Power Bikes installs suspension forks on all their Radcity Plus models. The forks have 50mm of travel and can be locked out to increase speed while riding on paved roads.
These forks allow for the front wheel to compress and react to road irregularities without sending vibrations to the handlebars.
3) Pre-installed safety lights
The Radcity 5 Plus comes with integrated lights. It comes with a standard LED headlight in front and tail/brake light in the rear.
Both front and rear lights draw power from the bike's 48V 10ah battery so you don't have to worry about charging them separately.
4) 27.5 × 2.0" puncture-resistant tires
Fixing flats on hub-drive electric bikes isn't as easy as doing the same on regular bikes or on e-bikes with mid-drive motors. This is because hub-drive e-bikes normally have a whole motor fitted into one of their wheels.
You can't "easily" swap out the motorized wheel (if it ever got punctured) for another wheel (motorized or otherwise). The best anyone can do is prevent their e-bike's tires from getting punctured in the first place.
So, why am I even rambling about this? Bicycles with puncture-resistant tires are less likely to suffer flats than those with regular tires. These tires provide an extra layer of protection against punctures and are a good investment if you're looking to purchase a hub-drive e-bike.
The Radcity 5 Plus is one e-bike that's equipped, both in the front and rear, with puncture-resistant tires. Now you don't have to worry about installing aftermarket tires on your wheels.
1) The bike comes with almost all the accessories riders need to hit the road
Unlike the other e-bikes mentioned in this article, the Radcity 5 Plus comes equipped with almost every bicycle accessory you can think of. It comes with a sturdy rear rack, a bunch of pre-installed safety lights, and a pair of full-length fenders (one pre-installed, the other included in the box).
2) The bike's swept-back handlebars and upright geometry makes riding for long periods more bearable
Standard city e-bike geometry makes riders lean forward towards the handlebars. Being in this position puts a lot of strain on the wrists and may even cause pain or discomfort if riders maintain the pose for extended amounts of time.
The Radcity 5 Plus' upright geometry eliminates this factor completely.
1) The Radcity 5 Plus is heavy
For you to get a clear picture of how heavy the Radcity 5 Plus is, imagine not being able to lift the bike out of the box it came in. That's what one of their customers said he experienced while trying to unbox the bike (he eventually had to flip the box over to get the bike out).
The Radcity 5 Plus weighs 65 lbs/29 kg (it's the heaviest electric bike on this list).
2) It does not use regenerative braking.
It would have been nice to see Rad Power Bikes add this feature to the Radcity 5 Plus considering that the bike's base version, the Radcity 4, comes with a regenerative braking system.
Tested against similar models within the same category
Which e-bike Class Is Best
Choosing the best e-bike class for you will depend on your needs as a rider. If you're new to riding electric bikes, Class 1 e-bikes offer the perfect opportunity for you to learn the ropes of handling these motor-powered machines.
Plus, most municipalities aren't that strict on the use of class 1 e-bikes on bike lanes and bike paths. You can pretty much take them anywhere regular bikes are allowed.
Class 2 e-bikes, on the other hand, are subject to stricter restrictions in the US than Class 1 electric bikes. They are perfect for commuters and deliverymen looking to beat traffic and arrive at their destination(s) less sweaty than they usually are when they ride the bus or a regular bicycle.
Class 3 e-bikes, or speed pedelecs, are designed for...well, you guessed it: Speeding. Anyone looking to ride at insane speeds should get one of these. Just be careful, there's still a lot of gray area surrounding the use of electric bikes.
Confirm the e-bike laws in your area with a local bike shop (or a lawyer) before purchasing any Class of electric bike.
Do Class 2 e-Bikes Have Pedal Assist?
Most Class 2 e-bikes available on the market today come with pedal-assist functionality. They're either Class 1 & 2 (pedal assistance to 20 mph and power on demand up until 20 mph) or Class 2 and 3 (throttle speeds up to 20 mph and pedal-assist speeds up to 28 mph).
These types of e-bikes offer more versatility and are less likely to cause you any legal problems (seriously, some states in the US hate bicycles with throttles).
What Is a Class 2 Electric Bike (What Are the Classes of Electric Bikes)
Electric bikes, unlike conventional bikes, are powered by electric motors which in most cases can perform independent of human effort. Because they are generally considered as motorized vehicles, certain laws were created to regulate where and how they can be ridden.
A 3-class system adopted by select states in the US categorizes electric bicycles based on their speed, wattage, power, etc. and helps users ride their e-bikes in accordance with local laws and regulations.
Class 1 Electric Bikes
Any pedal-assist electric bicycle with a maximum speed of 20mph (32.2kmph) is a Class 1 e-bike. A Class 1 electric bike's pedal-assist system stops boosting the e-bike's performance once it reaches its 20mph top speed.
E-bikes in this category are allowed on bike trails, bike paths, etc — pretty much anywhere a conventional bike can be ridden.
Class 2 Electric Bikes
A Class 2 e-bike utilizes pedal-assist and throttle-only boosts, giving users more riding options. They are very similar to Class 1 e-bikes.
Like Class 1 e-bikes, Class 2 are limited to 20mph (whether the rider chooses to use pedal-assist or throttle-only boost – or both). Essentially, what this means is the controller cuts power to the motors immediately the bike reaches 20mph.
They can be ridden on bike paths, trails, etc. (the same places Class 1 e-bikes are allowed)
Class 3 Electric Bikes
For an electric bike to qualify to be categorized under Class 3, it must be a pedal-assist e-bike whose top speed doesn't exceed 28mph (45kmph).
Riding Class 3 bikes in bike lanes and paths is prohibited in some states because of their speed.
Differences Between Class 1, 2, and 3 E-bikes
Ebike Class Type
Class 1 E-bike
Class 2 E-bike
Class 3 E-bike
Power Type Technology
Pedal-assist and throttle
20mph max speed
20mph max speed
28mph max speed
Where it’s allowed to be ridden
Can be ridden anywhere conventional bikes are allowed.
Same as Class 1 e-bikes.
Class 3 electric bikes are mostly prohibited from bike paths and rails.
What Are the Differences Between Thumb Throttle and Pedal-assist
Simply put, pedal-assist e-bikes require human effort to engage their electric motor(s) while throttle-activated e-bikes don't. A pedal-assist system is equipped with sensors that detect how hard the rider is pedaling (torque sensor) and/ how fast the rider is pedaling (cadence sensor).
These sensors then determine how much more power is needed to propel the bike forward with as little effort from the rider as possible. Throttles on the other hand can engage the e-bike's motors on demand.
You don't need to pedal, just press down or twist the throttle and the electric motors propel the bike forward.
Are All Classes of E-bikes Allowed on the Streets
This is a tricky question because it has no straightforward answer. Generally, all classes of e-bikes are allowed on the streets, however, there are regulations as to who can ride and how they are allowed to ride.
In some states, like Iowa and Colorado , Class 1 & 2 bikes can be ridden by anyone (irrespective of age), anywhere a conventional bike is allowed, without the need for a helmet or a license.
However, other states like Michigan and New Hampshire specify that riders must be at least 14 years old before they're allowed to ride electric bikes on the street. Wisconsin requires that riders have a licence before riding their e-bikes.
So, to answer that question, I'd say it depends on the state you're residing in. To be sure you won't be breaking any local laws by riding a Class 2 electric bike (or any other class of electric bikes) in your area, go through Wikipedia's resource on E-bike laws and regulations.
Additional Choices For Top Class 2 Electric Bikes
1) ArielRider Rideal
The Rideal is one of ArielRider's most affordable Class 2 electric bikes. Its 52lbs/24kg frame is powered by a 750W motor that generates up to 1000W at peak power.
With the Rideal, riders can select between five different levels of pedal assist depending on how much boost they need. At level 5, the electric motors will be working at peak performance, providing assistance and propelling the e-bike to a maximum speed of 20mph before cutting off power to the wheel.
It is also equipped with a twist-throttle that provides power on-demand whenever you're a bit tired and don't feel like pedaling. Both pedal and throttle activated boosts top out at 20mph.
Some of the e-bike's special features include front-facing headlights, rear brake lights (both lights can easily be turned on using the bike's user-friendly control kit located on the handlebars), and reflective strips on the tires that provide complete visibility for nighttime riding.
2) Juiced Scorpion X
This high-powered electric bike is often confused with a moped because of its motorcycle-looking frame.
It is both a class 2 and class 3 e-bike. The pedal-assist function is able to boost the electric bike to reach top speeds of 28mph (a Class 3 e-bike). However, when throttle-assist is activated, the e-bike's speed tops out at 20mph qualifying it to be classified as a Class 2 e-bike.
Of the electric bikes listed here, the Juiced Scorpion X has the best shock mitigation system. Equipped with hydraulic forks in front and coil springs in the rear, riders are sure to enjoy smooth rides on the Scorpion even if they are cruising on uneven terrain.
It also comes with a rear rack in case you need to carry something along with you on your commute (with the throttle-assist option, you can conveniently cart items on your e-bike since you won't be needing to pedal)
Juiced Scorpion X
3) Heybike Mars
The Heybike Mars is a foldable Class 2 electric bike. Powered by a 500W brushless hub motor, Mars can reach top speeds of 20mph on pedal-assist. Riders can also select different levels of pedal assistance.
The e-bike's four-inch tires and hydraulic forks help riders maintain stability when riding over bumpy terrain. It also comes with a built-in horn, bright headlight, rear brake light, and hydraulic disc brakes to improve overall rider security.
Mars' 48V 12.5Ah Li-ion battery can cover up to 50miles (80.5km) on a single charge. Another advantage the Heybike Mars has over other Class 2 electric bikes is that it comes assembled.
This electric bike's 66lbs (30kg) frame can support up to 265lbs (120kg) and is equipped with an LCD kit that displays current speed, battery blocks, distance covered, and motor mode.
- 48 MILES RANGE & 20MPH TOP SPEED –Mars are...
- 4" FAT TIRES – With 4 inch wide puncture...
- EXCELLENT RIDING PERFORMANCE – Customize your...
- FOLDABLE & ADJUSTABLE DESIGN - It's hard to beat...
- READY TO GO - The electric bike already comes...
Class 2 electric bikes are the most versatile amongst the three classes. Some e-bike manufacturers even make their batteries removable so users can ride their bicycles like conventional, pedal-only bikes.
To find out more about the laws that regulate the 3-class system, visit peopleforbikes.