Close this search box.

E-Bikes and Beyond

Fall is here and we have a full roundup of field-tested electric bikes. Plus, we’ve reviewed some fresh cycling accessories that will get riders of all interests out enjoying the trails, roads, and paths this season.

Charge – Comfort 1

The first thing we loved about this slick-looking commuter bike is how easy the brand makes it for you to build it straight out of the box. It even includes a nifty stand that’s part of the packing cardboard that helps you assemble your new ride. Beyond that, the bike is designed to be comfortable and reliable when it comes to getting you around town without gas power—but with the ability to go longer distances with less effort. A step-through frame and back cargo platform make it ideal for rides to work or the farmers’ market. $1,799

Leon CycleNCM C7

This trusted German bike brand now available in the U.S. wowed us with a machine that’s perfect for the bike paths and city streets. The eight-speed NCM C7 weighs in at 50 pounds and features three power options fueled by a 350W Das Kit rear drive motor with Intelligent Torque Sensor technology that responds by giving you just the power you need as you pedal—especially up long climbs. The result is a ride that can really move. Bonus: what we love most about this bike is that it’s still quite easy to ride even if your battery dies (unlike many heavier e-bikes that leave you out of luck and far from home). $1,399

Alchemy – eRonin

Welcome to the big evolution in e-bikes. This carbon-frame gravel machine weighs in at an impressive 30 pounds and gives you the power to huff though epic rides on backroads and beyond, thanks to a Fazua Evation mid-mounted drive system that keeps the weight down while still giving the thing plenty of guts on the dirt. Credit that power to 60 N.m of torque and a 250 watt-hour battery. No, it’s not cheap but we posit that it’s better than a motorcycle for accessing backcountry terrain and far easier than struggling on a traditional pedal bike. Colorado-based Alchemy only sells direct to consumers and gives you a money-back guarantee on the bike. $10,999

PivotShuttle SL

Moving on to the singletrack, Pivot has crafted the best electric mountain bike to date, balancing the power delivery of an e-bike with the fun handling of a traditional ride. Weighing in at just over 36 pounds with 132mm of rear travel (via Pivot’s outstanding DW-Link system, the best we have used for uphill grinding) it can handle serious technical terrain and the 60 N.m of torque and 450 watts of power juice you through ugly climbs. The price tag is insane, but Pivot and dealers will work with you for the perfect build on this carbon frame 29er—and it’s money well spent for a machine that can bring mountain biking to those who are challenged by a standard ride or those who simply want to be able to access more terrain on epic adventures. $11,999 (full build)

QuietKatJeep Rubicon

Automaker Jeep and electric bike brand QuietKat collaborated on this fat-tire full-suspension goliath that can handle gnarly roads, sand, and slickrock with aplomb. The big monster delivers 105mm of suspension and 1,000 watts of power and, most importantly, it gives you a comfortable 32–63 miles of range on a full charge, depending on how hard you run the motor. It may be heavy, but it eats up hills and technical stuff with ease. $7,499

Sweet Protection – Outrider MIPS

This light lid is ideal for arduous gravel benders, but it’s also a fine choice for big road rides. The MIPS construction offers better protection against the brain slosh of a concussion, distributing impact across the helmet, and comfort pads help you customize a fit you can dial in with the Occigrip system. Best of all, the helmet also provides plenty of ventilation for those long, hot days. $150

TsugaEl Dorado H2O Hip Pack 

The hip pack is hot—it doesn’t sweat out your back or mess with your rhythm on the bike, and it’s easy to access water and gear without taking it on and off. Tsuga took that performance up a level here with a modular pouch system that lets you change the size of the pack (with three different options), according to your needs on a ride. Two water bottles are conveniently placed so you can grab them and put them back on the go, and the fit of the whole thing is designed to never pinch or get in the way of your riding. $160

Camelbak – M.U.L.E. Evo 12

For those who want a traditional pack, the reliable M.U.L.E. series (we have been using these since the 1990s!) offers up plenty of space and nice balance, staying close to the torso while carrying three liters of water in the bladder. Best of all, it’s been updated with welded seams and weather-resistant fabric to keep essentials dry when you get clobbered by a sudden storm. Weighing just over one pound, the pack features an airy back panel that provides plenty of ventilation. $140

Zeal OpticsRed Cliff 

These polarized sports shades will keep your eyes safe on rides but still look top notch when you hang out on the brew pub deck afterwards. Plus, you can feel good about the plastic on your face: The Z-Resin frames, which offer stable fit even on rocky rides, are made with a plant-based material derived from the castor plant. $159

Recover BrandsSport Tee

Built from plastic bottles, this performance tee does not feel like something you’d toss into the recycle bin. It’s soft to the touch, wicks sweat and stink, and regulates temperature, whether you are working up a sweat or facing a chill breeze. All that adds up to the perfect mountain bike shirt that can pull double duty if you are hiking or running, too. $25

Skratch Labs – Energy Chews Sport Fuel Blueberry

Boosted with caffeine, these tasty chews provide carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar and performance during long rides. They use two types of simple carbohydrates to speed the absorption of energy and have no waxes, oils, preservatives, artificial colors, or flavoring agents common to other chews that can wreak havoc on the gut. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and available in 50g singles and 10-pack caddies. $2

Küat Piston Pro X

Küat’s latest rack is a triumph of innovation. The brand took all it learned from building racks and perfected this pneumatic rack, which can be operated with one tap without making contact with the bike frame to hold it secure. It’s adaptable for a wide range of bike sizes, and Küat specifically worked to keep it wobble-free. Best of all, the metal is impervious to the abuse of road salt. $1,389

Burley Bark Ranger

No, it’s not for your kid… it’s for that fur baby. This dog stroller (for pets up to 75 pounds) and bike trailer combo offers a roomy interior, exterior pockets to store leashes and treats, mesh windows for breezy ventilation, and a large rear tailgate with low clearance for easy loading and unloading. At the end of the day, remove the trailer floor for easy clean up, or fold it down for compact storage. $600

Kaden Apparel – Primo Maternity Chamois Shorts

Kaden Apparel has made the first padded cycling shorts designed specifically for pregnant cyclists, featuring a tall belly band and articulated curve under the tummy, making them a godsend for both pregnant and postpartum cyclists who just want to feel comfy on their rides. $108

Cover Photo: Tsuga

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge:

Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to receive the latest from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine sent directly to your inbox.