Whether you’re an e-bike pro or have just started shopping around for your first model, you’ve probably at least heard the terms “mid-drive” and “hub-drive” tossed around.
These descriptors let you know whether the motor of your e-bike is mounted in the middle—right between the pedals—or one of the hubs: the front or rear wheel.
Today we’re going to give you a list of some of the best e-nikes you can get your hands on, all equipped with mid-drive motors!
Before we dive in, it’s worth mentioning up front that there are various advantages and disadvantages to different motor placements.
However, mid-drive is generally considered to give you more pull and power overall and thus be the more desirable choice, most of the time.
1. Lectric: XPremium
We’re starting this list off with the most budget-friendly (but still high-quality) option we can find when it comes to mid-drive bikes: the Lectric XPremium.
Lectric is well-known for making affordable, compact, folding e-bikes that you can easily pack into a corner of the garage or automobile trunk.
You can even ride one to work and then take it into the building with you for safer and more convenient storage.
It can be rare to find compact, folding bikes that are also powerful and durable in their own right, but the Lectric XPremium performs admirably on all fronts.
With a 500W mid-drive motor and an impressive 100-mile max range, it’ll get you where you’re going and conveniently fold up for you once you get there.
You can have one for yourself for $1,600, practically a steal for a quality e-bike, and the cheapest one you’ll find on this list.
2. Co-Op Cycles: CTY e2.1
Co-Op Cycles makes several fantastic and reasonably affordable commuter e-bikes perfect for getting you to and from work or any other city destination.
The CTY model exemplifies this quality by prioritizing both efficiency and comfort when riding on paved surfaces.
With a 250W motor by Shimano, a 50-mile range, excellent shock absorption, and a memory foam saddle, the CTY will get you there and back in comfort and style.
While it excels in what it sets out to do—enable effortless city-based commuting—the CTY is a bit of a one-trick pony in this regard; definitely don’t take it mountain biking.
Still, if all you want is an excellent commuter bike at a great price, the CTY e2.1 could be perfect for you at $1,800
3. Marin: Susalito E1
If you’re looking for a great commuter bike that can hang with the off-roaders part-time, the Marin Sausalito E1 might be the perfect compromise.
With a reliable Shimano STEPS motor, 70-mile range, and 200% assistance that can help you clear modest to moderate hills, you can do a bit of everything with this bike.
For this reason, it’s also the perfect commuter bike for anyone living in a hilly city, say San Fransisco, where other city bikes might not quite cut it.
The price is downright reasonable, too, considering this bike’s versatility: you can get one for yourself for $2,000.
4. Rambo: Savage
With a name like Rambo Savage, one would expect to find a tough-as-nails e-bike with some power to spare, and that’s exactly what this bike delivers.
It’s got a beefy 750W mid-drive motor by Bafang, durable fat tires, and a matte-black frame that’s as nigh-indestructible as it looks.
That Bafang motor also generates a whopping 120nm of torque, making even the steepest hills climbable with relative ease.
It’s designed to take you offroad on hunting and fishing trips or for any other reason you might want to tackle the rougher and hillier trails.
Its main downside is a poor maximum range of only 35 miles, so it packs a huge punch in the short term but lacks staying power; take it on shorter, high-intensity trips.
Given its excellent construction and high power output, it’s surprisingly affordable at $2,000, at least insofar as e-bike prices go.
5. Cannondale: Tesoro Neo X3 Remixte
The Tesoro Neo by Cannondale is a highly versatile long-range touring bike equally at home commuting to work, taking the kid to daycare, or tackling hilly off-road trails.
With a massive maximum range of 104 miles, not only can it do a bit of everything, but it can continue to do so for quite a while before running out of power.
It’s also got a convenient rear-mounted cargo rack that can be loaded up with various items or fitted with a child seat.
Add to that excellent vibration-dampening suspension for a smooth and comfortable ride, and you have a recipe for some very long, very enjoyable bike rides indeed.
You can get a Cannondale Tesoro Neo X3 Remixte for yourself for $3,425.
6. Diamondback: Current
The Current by Diamondback is an excellent choice for riding on gravel or other rough terrain.
A dedicated off-road e-bike, the Current comes equipped with a mid-drive Bosch Performance Line Speed motor, one of their most powerful models.
The Performance Line Speed model delivers an impressive 85nm of torque which, when combined with the Current’s durable frame and drivetrain, allows for seamless offroad biking.
The maximum range is merely adequate at 35-65 miles, but as long as the trails you want to ride don’t exceed this distance, the Current is a fantastic offroader.
You can grab one yourself and start hitting the local trails for $4,100.
7. Electra: TownieGo! 5i Step-Through
If your priorities in an e-bike are to get from point A to point B in as much comfort and convenience as possible, the TownieGo! by Electra may just be the perfect e-bike for you.
It won’t be hitting any offroad trails, but for comfortable and easy city commuting, its design philosophy is hard to beat.
The TownieGo! 5i Step-Through features a Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor with 250w of continuous power output and 50nm torque.
With upright geometry and an ergonomic saddle, you’ll feel super comfy while riding to work or wherever else, and with a 70-mile max range, you needn’t worry about running out of power.
Grab one today for $2,950 and be the most comfortable worker in your office to arrive by e-bike.
8. QuietKat: Apex
We’d never heard of QuietKat before writing this article, but we’re glad they came up in our research because they could be the perfect brand for off-roading e-bike enthusiasts.
The suitably named Apex is the most powerful e-bike QuietKat makes, as well as the most powerful one on this list, at least in terms of sheer wattage.
The Apex comes in two flavors: a 750w motor or a whopping 1,000w one, both mid-drive and made by Bafang.
Note that a 1,000w motor makes your bike an “unclassified” e-bike type, meaning it can only be legally used on private property or remote areas, though details will vary by local law.
If you grab the 750w version, what you lose in sheer power output, you gain in accessibility: the 750w version is either a class 1 or 2 e-bike, depending on whether you get the throttle too.
Whichever you choose, you’ll get a supremely powerful and durable dedicated off-road e-bike.
Surprisingly, the powerful Bafang motor is actually pretty quiet, making it great for hunting, too.
They don’t come cheap, running between $5,000 and $5,600, depending on your choice of customization options.
9. Ride1Up: Prodigy
Ride1Up is a well-known and respected e-bike brand that makes a variety of quality electric bicycles to suit an equal variety of purposes.
The Prodigy model exemplifies the versatility of the Ride1Up by coming in three different styles: the XC for off-roading and the ST and XR for city riding.
All three options come with a Brose TF Sprinter mid-drive motor that can deliver a very impressive 90nm of torque.
These beauties range from $2,300 to $2,400 depending on your choices.
10. Trek: Verve+ 2 Lowstep
Trek is another respected e-bike brand that offers a wide range of quality products.
The Verve+ 2 Lowstep exemplifies this quality with a Bosch Active Line motor, a 60-mile range, and a comfortable step-through frame perfect for commuting.
It’s also got a convenient rear cargo rack that can either be used to bring home your shopping or fitted with a child seat.
Grab one for yourself for $2,850!
11. Gazelle: Medeo T9 City HMB
Gazelle makes some of the highest quality e-bikes on the market, all equipped with highly reliable mid-drive motors by either Bosh or Shimano.
To kick off the Gazelle portion of the list, we give you their most affordable (but not for lack of quality) model: the Medeo T9 City HMB.
Gazelle describes this model as “an ideal first introduction to e-bikes,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Nothing about this bike is exceptional when compared to other Gazelle models, but its Bosh Active Line motor and 65-mile range are nothing to sneeze at.
Combine that with Gazelle’s general penchant for lightweight frames and a convenient rear cargo rack, and you have the perfect entry-level e-bike.
If you’re shopping for your first e-bike and can afford the $2,500 price tag, do yourself a favor and make the Medeo T9 City HMB your introduction to e-biking.
12. Gazelle: Medeo T10+ HMB
The Medeo line is a highly versatile, primarily urban-focused series of bikes by Gazelle, and the T10+ HMB is the fully-loaded “older sibling” of this particular lineup.
While primarily designed for city riding, the Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor delivers a respectable 65nm of torque, lending the T10+ excellent versatility in inclines and terrain types.
Get one for yourself for $3,300, and you won’t be disappointed.
13. Gazelle: Ultimate C380 HMB
The suitably-named Ultimate line by Gazelle can do just about everything, from effortless commuting to off-roading, and the C380 HMB exemplifies the Ultimate line’s versatility in every way.
It’s got a Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor with an impressive 75nm of torque output, which lets it climb steep hills with relative ease.
With an extremely durable frame, low-maintenance belt drive, and a 64-mile range, this city/off-road hybrid bike can take you just about anywhere with ease.
And it can be yours for $4,750.
14. Gazelle: Avignon C380 HMB
While the “Ultimate” may be top-of-the-line out of Gazelle’s lineup in many ways, it’s not the most comfortable of their bikes, nor is it the most expensive.
Both of these distinctions belong to the Avignon C380 HMB, touted as Gazelle’s most comfortable bike.
This comfort is expertly delivered with a step-through frame, upright riding position, and peerless suspension.
If you can afford it at $5,000 and want the most comfortable e-biking experience you can imagine, it’s hard to go wrong with the Avignon.