Class 2 eBike: GRB’s Top Picks

By Thorn Compton

Newcomers to the electric bike world are presented with an immediate question: what electric back class is best for me? Do I need a class 1 or class 3 ebike? What about class 2 electric bikes?

No matter what hot questions you have surrounding electric bike classes, Go Ride Bikes is here to put you at ease!

In this blog we’re specifically focusing on class 2 electric bikes, possibly the most versatile of the bunch. For our reviews of the other classes, check out these fantastic blogs:

Class 1 Electric Bikes

Class 3 Electric Bikes

Class 4 Electric Bikes

What are electric bike classes?

The classifications of electric bikes all have to do with the motor and how much oomph it can put out. That doesn’t necessarily mean a class 1 electric bicycle has less power than a class 3, but it does affect the speed the electric motor can reach without pedal assist.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the different classes.

Class 1

These motors are most commonly known as pedal assist bikes, and they’re the most popular ebike motor in the US. Class 1 electric bikes have a motor that provides assistance to the rider when pedaling, and the motor cuts off when you reach 20 MPH. Class 1 ebikes also have their power output maximized at 750 watts.

Class 2

Similar to the class 1 motor, a class 2 motor also provides assistance to a rider while pedaling. The difference, however, is a class 2 motor can also be engaged while the rider isn’t pedaling. These electric bikes can reach up to 20 MPH without pedal assist, so they’re more suited for a leisurely road ride than a challenging mountain path.

Class 3

Also known as a speed pedelec, class 3 electric bikes have a speed limit of 28 MPH and their electric motor provides assistance while the rider is pedaling or without pedal assistance. The maximum power output is still 750 Wh, but class 3 electric bikes are designed for more speed and more power. Riders must wear a helmet when driving a class 3 electric bike, and there are other specific safety regulations similar to a motorcycle.

Advantages of Class 2 Electric Bikes

So if a class 2 motor and a class 1 motor are similar and both cap out at 20 mph, why choose a class 2 electric bicycle? Fantastic question, you really are good at this question thing.

Here’s a few key advantages of a class 2 electric bike compared to its brothers.

Throttle control

There are two different ways to power an electric bike motor, either through pedal assist or throttle control.

  • Pedal assist motors assist the rider while they are pedaling. As you turn the gears, the motor adds to your force making your pedals more effective and riding the bike easier. Think of it like super powering your pedaling ability!
  • Throttle controls are what you most likely associate with a two-wheeled motorized vehicle. Like a scooter or even a motorcycle, this throttle is on the handle and you can control the speed with just the effort of turning the throttle.

Class 2 electric bicycles work with a throttle control, meaning the rider doesn’t have to put much effort into reaching their desired speed. It effectively gives you the option to turn your bike into an electric scooter.

Better cruising

Without needing to pedal to run the motor, a class 2 ebike is the ultimate bike for a nice Sunday cruise. It allows you to choose your own adventure: either get in a workout pedaling, just let the motor do its job, or a bit of both for an extended ride.

Battery life

Because of your heightened ability to control the motor output through a throttle, a rider has a better ability to manage battery life with a class 2 ebike. Say you just want to use the motor to power through tough uphill stretches and use the pedals for downhills and straight-aways, you’ll save battery life and extend your motor’s mileage.

Downside of Class 2 electric bikes

The main drawback of a Class 2 electric bike, and that’s the regulations it may face in your state. Certain states prohibit throttle control bikes from driving on bike trails or pathways, so consult with your state’s regulations around electric bikes.

GRB’s Top Class 2 Electric Bikes

1. Nakto Camel

Weight: 75 lbs
Motor: 35Nm 250W/350W motor
Battery: Tianneng 36V/10A, removable
Range: 32 miles
Frame: Nakto steel frame, Trama 82B sprung fork, 60mm travel
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $780

We straight up love the Nakto Camel, it can do just about everything. It comes in two versions: one base model and a step-through model perfect for shorter riders. It also has both a pedal assist and a throttle control for the motor, truly allowing you to enjoy the ride however you feel. Plus, it’s a unique-yet-classic look, complete with a cute wicker basket on the front.

2. Aventon Sinch.2

Weight: 68 lbs
Motor: 750w (peak), 500w (sustained), 48v
Battery: 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) LG Cell, UL 2849 Compliant
Range: 55 miles
Frame: Single-Butted Aluminum Alloy, RST GUIDE-ML-20 fork, 45mm travel with lockout
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $1,500

Aventon bills their Sinch.2 as “perfect fit for any kind of ride,” and we’re inclined to believe them. The Step-Through frame is accessible to riders of all shapes and sizes, and it’s actually foldable for easy storage when not in use. It also features an awesome torque sensor that measures the amount of force being applied to the pedals, then provides assistance based on your efforts. And if you’re not feeling the 4 levels of pedal assist, the throttle on demand will rev the engine to its full 20 MPH capacity.

3. Rad Power Bikes RadRunner 2

Weight: 65 lbs
Motor: 750W brushless geared hub motor, 5:1 planetary gear reduction.
Battery: 672Wh
Range: 45 miles
Frame: 6061 aluminum frame with rigid steel fork
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $1,400

Rad Power Bikes are very, well, rad. And their RadRunner 2 is just another in a long line of really rad bikes. This particular ebike is built to handle your everyday life. It has plenty of power and a 300 lb weight limit, perfect for hauling home groceries or even pulling another passenger. It can accommodate riders from 5-feet all the way to 6-2, and the half-twist throttle makes your ride a breese.

4. Lectric XP Lite

Weight: 46 lbs
Motor: 300W nominal, 720W peak planetary geared brushless motor
Battery: Hidden and removable 48V lithium-ion battery
Range: 40 miles
Frame: Custom Lectric aluminum frame
Max Speed: 2 MPH
Price: $950

When Lectric created their Lectric XP Lite, they set out to make the most accessible bike on the market. It’s incredibly lightweight, features both a twist grip throttle option and five levels of pedal assist, and its compact frame can fit into even the smallest gaps while still comfortably fitting riders of all sizes.

Go Ride Bikes

Class 2 electric bikes are great options for riders looking to have the best of both worlds with a throttle control and pedal assist. They’re great for a comfortable cruise or morning commute. Take one for a spin in your neck of the woods and see what you like!

Go Ride Bikes is our name, but it’s also our philosophy. We want to encourage everyone to get out and, well, go ride bikes. Explore the Go Ride Bikes electric bike reviews, read more of our informative blogs, and keep up with curated lists of the best ebike advancements from our experts. And check out our eBike Range Calculator to help you find the right ebike today.