I review ebikes for a living — these are my three favorite ebikes for 2024

Radpower RadRunner 3 Plus e-bike in backyard
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I’m fortunate that I get to play with all the new toys. Ebikes arrive at my doorstep frequently, and I get to thrash ‘em so you don’t have to. In the course of testing a bunch of models this year for the best electric bikes guide, three bikes stand out above all the rest. 

The ones that make the cut for my three favorites of the year do so for largely the same reasons: powerful assist, a fun ride, and tons of functionality. That should be the measure of any good ebike, and while many bikes met the criteria this year, these three exceeded it. 

Here are my three favorite ebikes I’ve tested this year that should top your list for 2024.

Radpower RadRunner 3 Plus

Tom's Guide Awards 2023:

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The Rad Power RadRunner 3 Plus is my runaway favorite ebike for 2023. Perhaps it’s because my daughter loves it just as much as I do, which means she’s far more likely to hop in the passenger seat for errands around town than to ask to drive somewhere. 

Consequently, I’ve ridden the RadRunner 3 Plus more than any other bike this year, motorized or non-motorized. That largely comes down to its versatility: I can do a full grocery run when the front and rear baskets are attached, I can take the rear basket off and put the passenger seat on to tote my kiddo around town, or I can commute to work with my office needs tucked into the center console. 

On a more basic level, the RadRunner 3 Plus is just plain fun to ride. It’s comfortable, adjustable, and the big tires take the edge off most road chatter and even some bigger hits. While I’m not a big fan of suspension forks on ebikes with fat tires, RadPower’s fork choice actually feels supportive and appropriately cushy. It complements the fat tires nicely. 

Ride1Up Portola

Ride1Up Portola parked on sidewalk

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While I’m generally lukewarm on fat-tire folding bikes, the Ride1Up Portola gets so much right that it’s hard not to love it. While it folds up for storage — ideal for van-lifers or apartment dwellers — it’s still fairly heavy, so if you live on the third floor, you’re not going to want to hike it up the stairs.

Yet it’s comfortable, fun to ride, and surprisingly versatile for such a compact package. Put a rack on it and go on a full grocery run. Pop it in the back of the van to zip around the camp site, and even take it on gravel roads if you’re feeling adventurous.

Most importantly, the Portola fits a very wide rider size range. I can ride the Portola comfortably (I’m 5’11” tall) and then hand it off to my wife (5’3” tall). With just a few tweaks to the saddle and handlebars, she can easily manage this bike, too. 

It’s a simple and fun bike to ride, it’s uber-functional for its size, costs less than $1,000, and it actually looks pretty darn cool for a folding bike. What’s not to love? 

NIU BQi-C3 Pro

NIU BQi-C3 Pro E-bike

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Range anxiety can have you thinking more about your battery life than the ride itself. Fortunately, the NIU BQi-C3 Pro comes standard with two batteries, which should give you up to a 90-mile range. 

It also features a smart step-through design that makes it useful for a wide range of riders. When you’re hauling anything heavy on the rack, even tall folks will be thankful for all that open space you can step through.

While there are only three assist levels on this bike, the motor assist is plenty zesty and will tackle even steeper climbs. There’s only one gear to contend with — no gear shifters here — which is great for simplicity. It’s a belt-drive system, too, so there’s just about no maintenance involved. 

If you’re after a comfortable and powerful commuter for your hilly commute, and you want a lot of bike at a great value, the BQi-C3 Pro fits the bill well. 

BONUS: The bike I wish I had kept

Yuba Supercargo CL at park

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I didn’t test the Yuba SuperCargo CL in 2023, but I think about it an awful lot since I tested it just over a year ago. If you’re after a true car replacement ebike, the SuperCargo CL is more than up to the task. It’s big at around 8 feet long, so it will take up a lot of space in the garage. But it’s so capable that you’ll be able to eliminate most of your local car trips.

The big front cargo area sits low to the ground to keep the ride stable, even when you’re loaded down with passengers or gear. And you can accommodate both of those easily; Yuba sells plenty of accessories to make this a family hauler or even a business delivery vehicle. 

It’s not a flashy bike by any means, but it just works. No fluff, just function. If you’re really looking to replace your car altogether, it’s hard to beat the SuperCargo CL because it combines immense functionality, plenty of power, and a fair price. 

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Dan Cavallari

Dan Cavallari is the former technical editor for VeloNews Magazine, who currently reviews electric bikes, bike lights, and other bike accessories for Tom's Guide. In addition to VeloNews, his work has appeared in Triathlete Magazine, Rouleur Magazine, CyclingTips.com, Road Bike Action, Mountain Bike Action, CycleVolta.com, Tomsguide.com, and much more. Dan also hosts two podcasts on his site, Slow Guy on the Fast Ride: One is about cycling and other outdoor activities, while the other looks at mental health issues. Most recently, Dan also covered the 2022 Tour de France. Dan lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his family.