|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:|
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.
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.)
#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.
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.
#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.
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.
#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.
#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.
#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?
#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.
#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.