There are lots of reasons to buy an electric bike, also known as an e-bike. They can help you bike more and drive less, go further faster, and they’re just a heck of a lot of fun!
But there are soooo many electric bikes flooding the market, it can be hard to know what to look for or where to begin. And as a woman, you might have special considerations to take into account. Like needed a smaller bike, wanting to wear a skirt, or just hoping for a pretty design.
The good news is that we’ve sorted through the many options for you. We’ve tested, reviewed, surveyed, and researched electric bikes, to come up with our top picks for women’s electric bikes.
Some of these are true women’s-specific bikes while others are simply bikes that have a wide variety of sizes and appropriate geometry for ladies. We should also mention that we’ve focused here on bikes that are appropriate for casual and/or city riding.
These choices are great for biking to work, running errands, cruising the bike path, general fitness, or towing kids. (If you’re more interested in riding a century or ripping singletrack, stay tuned–we’re working on testing and reviewing e-road and e-mountain bikes for y’all too)!
If you’re brand new to e-bikes, you might also want to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article. There we’ve shared some tips on what to look for–types of motors, batteries, etc.
The Radwagon Radcity is the perfect compromise between performance and price. This bike is an affordable, entry-level e-bike for around town riding, but has plenty of power and durability to get you where you need to go.
It has a powerful 750W motor that we’ve found manages to get up even the steepest hills. Climbing is also made easier by the 7-speed drivetrain. (Some of the cheaper Radpower bikes only have one gear).
The bike has built in lights (front and rear) for low light commuting, a rear rack, and bosses to add a front rack to if you would like. Radwagon keeps the price down by not including too many accessories, but there are tons of add-ons you can buy to customize your ride.
We liked that the low standover made it easy to wear a skirt, and the overall vibe felt European and fashionable–not dorky.
Read Our Review: Radpower RadCity
The Blix Aveny is the perfect bike for riding to work or to the library. The rack on the back can carry your laptop bag or add some panniers to carry groceries. If you have a child, you can also add a Yepp Seat to the rear rack.
This bike has both an electric assist and a throttle which makes getting started easier. The Shengyi motor can propel you up to 20 mph and has a range of 20-40 miles.
The thing we love most about the Blix Aveny is the pricetag. It takes longer to charge than some of the other bikes on this list, and has slightly cheaper components, but it’s a great introductory electric bicycle for anybody who doesn’t want to spend a fortune.
Price (MSRP): $1,599
The VVolt Alpha Step Thru is affordable, simple, and sleek. In fact, this is a bike you might not even notice is an e-bike until you do a double take.
We like the Gates belt drive (which won’t rust and doesn’t need to be lubed), as well as the over all low-maintenance design. Because it doesn’t have an unnecessary suspension fork or fat tires, it is super light weight for an e-bike at only 44 lbs. This means you can ride it home even if the battery dies, which isn’t true of most e-bikes.
Read Our Review: VVolt Alpha Step Thru
The Cero One is what I’d consider a “light” cargo bike. It has plenty of space for carrying gear in a front basket as well as on the rear rack. This makes it a great choice for women who want to be able to replace trips to the library or grocery store with a bike rather than a car, but don’t want a big bulky cargo bike.
The Cero One isn’t cheap but it is stocked with top of the line components. It’s also super low maintenance thanks to the Gates belt drive and internally geared hub.
Read Our Review: Cero One
Electra Townie Go!
Who doesn’t love a good old fashion cruiser bike?! The Electra Townie Go! has all of the nostalgia of a traditional cruiser but with modern features like an electric assist, an internally geared hub, and disc brakes.
The components on this baby are top notch and include a Bosch power system and Shimano drivetrain. Electra is owned by Trek, so this is a great bike if you’re looking to support a local bike shop.
Read Our Review: Electra Townie Go!
Price: $2,950 List (for the 5i EQ version)
BlueJay Premiere Edition
There aren’t many woman founded bike businesses, but Bluejay Bikes is one. The BlueJay Premiere is a super stylish, designed-by-women-for-women dutch style e-bike.
The bike has a powerful Bafang 350 watt mid drive motor that makes it up even the steepest hills, and an 8 speed internally geared hub to help you up as well. Unlike many one-size-fits-all e-bikes, the BlueJay Premiere also comes in two different sizes to better fit a wide range of women.
Read Our Review: Bluejay Premiere Edition
Price: $3,295 List
Other Electric Bikes To Consider
- Specialized Turbo Como – Specialized is known for providing fabulous bikes at a competitive price point. This is a great choice if you are looking to buy from a local bike shop.
- Trek Verve +* – Sleek and fast. Perfect for getting to work in a hurry.
- Radpower Radwagon* – Longtail cargo bike at an affordable price.
- Buzz Centris – Folding, fat tire e-bike. Works well for RV living, cruising the campground.
Comparison Chart: Women’s E-Bikes
Not sure how all these bikes stack up? Here’s a comparison chart to help you out.
|Bike||Price (MSRP)||Motor||Watts||Motor Type||Torque||Battery||Range (miles)||Weight|
|RadPower RadCity 3 Step Thru||$1,599||Shengyi||750 w||Hub drive||40 nm||672 Wh||25-45||65 lbs|
|VVolt Alpha Step Thru||$1,399||Xplova/Acer||350 w||Hub drive||45 nm||375 wh||20-40||44 lbs|
|Cero One||$3,799||Shimano STEPS||250 w||Mid drive||60 nm||504 Wh||80-100||58 lbs|
|BlueJay Premiere||$3,295||Bafang||350 w||Mid drive||80 nm||672 wh||75||55 lbs|
|Electra Townie Go! 5i EQ||$2,949||Bosch||250 w||Mid drive||40 nm||400 Wh||20-50||59 lbs|
|Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 Low Entry||$3,250||Specialized||250W||Mid drive||50 nm||460 Wh||25-50||47 lbs|
|Trek Verve+ 3 Low step||$3,299||Bosch||250 W||Mid drive||50 nm||500 Wh||30-75||46.96 lbs|
|Blix Aveny||$1,599||Shengyi||500 w||Hub drive||70 nm||672 Wh||20-40||54 lbs|
|RadPower Radwagon 4||$1,999||Shengyi||750 w||Hub drive||40 nm||672 Wh||25-45||76 lbs|
Things To Think About When Shopping For A Women’s Electric Bike
Classes of E-Bikes
There are three different “classes” of electric bikes. Class 1 and Class 3 e-bikes can also be referred to as “pedal assist” bikes. This is because they still require you to pedal to propel forward.
Class 1 e-bikes can propel you up to 20 mph. They can have a throttle, but the throttle will not engage unless you are actively pedaling.
Class 2 e-bikes also have 20mph maximum, but may have a throttle that works without you having to pedal. This can be super helpful for getting started from a stop, especially if the bike is heavier or is hauling cargo.
Class 3 e-bikes go the fastest and can go up to 28 mph. These may or may not have a throttle, but the throttle will not engage unless you’re pedaling.
All 3 classes are allowed in most cities and states without any kind of special license, but laws and regulations vary by state and municipality, so you may want to check before choosing a bike. Also be aware that in many areas, electric mountain bikes are not allowed on the trails at all–regardless of class.
All classes of e-bikes have a maximum motor power of 750w. Which brings us to our next point….
Most e-bike motors are supplied by a few major brands. The most common are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, and Bafang.
These “brand name” motors are generally reliable and backed by excellent customer service. You will find cheaper e-bikes with off brand motors and some of these actually perform quite well! That said, you’re always taking a bit of a gamble when buying an off-brand motor. Make sure to read reviews first!
The power of the motor is measured in watts, and the torque of the motor is measured in newton meters. Both numbers will give you an idea of how much boost you’ll get. The greater the watts and nm, the more power.
There are also two types of electric bike motors: a “mid-drive” or a “hub-drive.” A mid-drive motor is at positioned at the bottom bracket near your cranks. A hub-drive motor is in the hub (center) of the bicycle’s wheel–usually the rear wheel.
We generally prefer a mid-drive motor, although there are benefits to a hub-drive. Hub-drive motors are more affordable and require less maintenance which can be attractive to women just getting into cycling. Mid-drive motors offers a smoother experience, while hub-drive motors can be a bit jerky. (Some are better than other).
A lot of folks pay a lot of attention to the motor on the e-bike they are buying and not enough attention to the battery. An even more important measurement than watts is watt-hours (or Wh). This tells you how much power you’ll get for how long. The more Wh the longer you’ll be able to ride before recharging.
You should also consider how long the battery will take to recharge. With most e-bikes you’ll plug a charger into the battery while it’s still mounted on the bike. Others, will allow you to remove the battery and charge it indoors. I’m a big fan of batteries or chargers that have some sort of indicator light to let you know once they are fully charged.
Another thing you may want to pay attention to is how obvious the battery is. Some bikes have a big bulky battery attached to the down-tube of the frame, while others have become more streamlined and nearly unnoticeable. Whether or not this matters to you is entirely personal preference.
The Electra Townie Go! (left) has an external battery, while the battery on the Vvolt Alpha (right) has a battery that is integrated into the frame.
Compared to a regular bike, a motor and battery can add a bunch of weight to an e-bike. Thanks to the electric assist you might not notice the weight that much while pedaling, but it can still make the bike more challenging to maneuver, load on your bike rack, or carry upstairs. More petite women, in particular, should pay attention to weight when shopping.
Frame Design (Step-Thru)
If you are choosing an electric bike for commuting, you may want to consider a step-thru frame. These frames have the top bar (or top tube) slope lower, and are often referred to as a women’s frame.
These lower step-thru frames make it easier for shorter women to get on and off the bike. They also allow you to wear a skirt if you so choose.
Ability To Carry Gear
What (if anything) do you plan to be carrying with you? A water bottle? Make sure the bike you want has a water bottle mount.
Your laptop and work supplies? Look for a bike that has a rear rack so you can add paniers.
Groceries, dogs, and children? An electric cargo bike with plenty of storage space either front or rear will be your best bet.
Online Vs Your Local Bike Shop
A lot of the e-bikes coming on the market in the last few years are direct to consumer. In other words, you buy them online and have them shipped to your home rather than buying them at a local bike shop.
This is both a good and a bad thing. In terms of the good, it generally allows you to get a better price because the middleman has been cut out. It also allows you a larger selection than you might be able to get at your local bike shop.
On the other hand when you shop at your local bike shop you tend to get better support (and you support your local economy). If something happens to your bike, you can always take it back to that shop for repairs. If you’re not very mechanically savvy (or don’t have a spouse or friend who is), it can be a better choice to buy from a shop. It also means there’s generally some level of quality control that you’re not getting ordering online.
All that said, I have several e-bikes that are direct to consumer (such as my RadPower) and I’ve had great success with buying online. So it’s a personal choice.