Top 10 Elegant Garage Built Ebikes

May 3, 2013
Sometimes it stupefies me on how bad production electric bikes can  look (not the ones we usually review here).  Did they get their inspiration straight out of China?  In fact, some of the most elegant ebikes I have seen are garage builds. How can ebikes this pretty come out of a garage on a low budget? (well not that low of a budget) There is a true passion over on Endless-sphere to build fast and cheap bikes. But a few builders have a passion to also make something that is clean and truly elegant looking.Our definition of elegant:

  • Could pass as a production bike….in fact should be made into a production ebike.
  • Wiring well hidden (no rats nest)
  • Nice hidden battery location (as unboxy as possible)
  • The more ebike porn the better
  • No duct tape
  • Great fit and finish

Mid drives are preferred over hub motors because of their complexity and difficulty in making look good.

The ebikes on this list cost over $3000 in bicycle,  materials and parts to  build, and some of them much more.

Fast is not a qualification  for this list. However most of these bikes just happen to be fast.

Most of these ebikes are converted pedal bikes  although a few have frames built from scratch and deserve extra kudos: Dogati, Phaser, Ebee, and Drunk Skunk.

6 of these ebikes are full suspension, a rare trait in a production ebike.


#1 Dogati

Ben Chiu is a talented engineer who put 2 years of his heart and soul into this bike, and still does not consider it finished. He is building what he feels is the perfect ebike and plans to bring it to production…not for money but for the love of it.

This bike with its polish has been an inspiration to home builders, and really raised the bar on what a garage built bike can be. (Ben has some pretty fantastic tools in his garage.)

Read our Story on the Dogati


#2 Specialized Super Charged

Simon is a gunsmith who lovingly converted his Specialized Big Hit into this masterpiece, featuring a hub motor built into the frame as a mid drive.  No wire or plug is out of place in this electric bike.

Read our story on the Specialized Super Charged

Check out the Specialized production Turbo and compare to the Supercharged.


#3 E- Moulton

The “E-Moulton” was built by English builder “Miles.” This Ebike defines elegance and is the very bike I was thinking of when I dreamed up this story.  It is based on a TSR Moulton bike.  It has a top speed of 22mph and a range of 15 miles.

Read the complete build thread on Endless sphere on this ebike.



#4 Santa Cruz Astro

Motomoto is an ultra  talented  machinist who has a big garage full of CNC  tools, and he  put them to work on this amazing creation. I have seen and ridden this bike and it has a tight and elegant finish even though it is capable of speeds of 65 mph.   Can you find the Hobby King Lipo’s on this bike? They are the blue packs buried in the carcass of the drive system.

See this bike on the 10 fastest electric bikes list

See the Endless-sphere build thread on this ebike



#5 Ebee

The Ebee was meticulously crafted to win over pedal bicycle fans at the North American Hand Made Bike Show.  Although this bike looks to be very fast it is a civilized under 30mph bike. The battery packs are behind the carbon fiber panels in front of the bottom bracket.

Read our story on the building of the Ebee



#6   Phasor Cycles

Phasor Cycles was developed as a college mechanical engineering project which turned into an after college  business for David Pearce. The frame is tediously welded together in David’s garage, to form a hollow carcass perfect for hiding batteries and wiring. Hats off to Phasor Cycles for being the only bike on this list to make it to production so far, and one of the better options out there for a full suspension off-road electric  bike.

Read our review on the Phasor Cycle

Visit the Phasor Cycle Webpage



#7   Recumpance Tadpole Trike

Matt Shumaker has made some spectacular ebikes, but recently devoted his attention on e-trikes which are more stable platforms to contain lots of horse power (think 50mph)and have very convenient places to hide battery packs and wiring. As it turns out an awesome combination. Matt helped design the FFR Trike.

Read our article on the 50mph trike

See this trike in our list of 10 fastest ebikes


#8 Super Commuter

Kepler’s  ”Super Commuter”  was expertly  built as an ebike that could ride in the commuter bike lanes and not get a second look.  The battery pack is hidden in the seat bag, the wires are not visible, and the motor is small enough to be hidden in the wheel. Could you tell the above bike is an electric bike if it silently glided past you at 30mph?

Read our Super Commuter article

Read the Endless-sphere Super Commuter build thread


#9 Nader’s Mini Hub Mountain Bikes

The thing about Nader is he didn’t just build one electric bike, but an entire fleet of 250 watt hub motor powered ebikes….all of them very clean and super stealth, and all worthy of this list.

See all of Nader’s 250 watt mountain  bikes here




#10 Drunk Skunk’s Red Monster

Drunkskunk knows that when you build the frame from scratch you have perfect spaces to hide battery, wiring and controller. In this case the motor is in the rear wheel.

Read the Endless-Sphere build thread on this ebike


Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.


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