Pro rider Ella Conolly on the Cannondale Habit Neo.
Photo: courtesy of Cannondale

Whether you’re ready to ditch mass transit this fall, need to haul your kids or groceries without a car, or just want to take it easy the next time you’re riding uphill, an electric bicycle could be the perfect solution. Although you still pedal an e-bike, it has a motor for help when you need it — like your very own extra set of superstrong, never-tired legs to pedal right along with you.

With all the added technology, it’s no surprise that e-bikes are more expensive than traditional bikes and that buying one involves considering a few more factors, including motor wattage, battery voltage, and top speed. You also need to choose one of three classes of e-bike: Class 1 boosts you to a maximum of 20 miles per hour as you pedal, and Class 3 gets you to 28 miles per hour. Class 2 is a little different: It peaks at 20 miles per hour as you pedal, but it also has a throttle-only mode, in which the bike takes over and pedals for you.