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In recent years there’s been a massive proliferation in food delivery companies like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Bicycles are the preferred mode of transport for this rapidly growing industry. The best electric bikes for delivery should be able to cope with the rigours of daily riding through urban streets.
More and more people who work for Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Stuart are using an e-bike for their delivery job. Electric bikes are the perfect vehicle for small local deliveries within an urban setting. I can’t think of a better way to deliver food orders or small packages.
There are many benefits to using an e-bike for delivery. At the bottom of this article, I have included a quick buyer‘s guide to help to choose which bike may be suitable for your needs.
The Best Electric Bikes for Delivery in 2023
I have specifically selected different types of e-bikes for this article. Some may be more suitable than others. I’ve included two that I’m currently in the process of long-term testing. There’s something to suit all tastes, but ultimately it depends on your fitness level, and where you live. Hillier areas are better suited to more powerful e-bikes. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, please leave a message in the comments section below.
Ribble Urban AL e
Best Lightweight E-Bike for Delivery
The Ribble Urban AL e step-through is designed to be a lightweight utility e-bike, and as the name suggests, it’s perfect for city riding and delivery riding in particular. It utilises a discreet and lightweight X35 ebikemotion 250w rear hub motor with an integrated 250Wh (watt hour) internal battery.
This electric bike uses some very high-quality components, from the powerful Shimano hydraulic brakes to the SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain. There are also front and rear lights and not forgetting the all-important load-carrying potential of the fore and aft racks.
Although the battery capacity is on the small side, because the Ribble is quite light to start with, the rider shouldn’t need to rely on the assist as much. There is a range-extender battery available which would effectively double the range from around 40 up to 80 miles.
Pure Flux One
Best Single Speed E-Bike for Delivery
If you’re on a budget and want the ultimate low-maintenance electric bike, the Pure Flux One from Pure Electric is a cracking option. Weighing in at just 17.5kg, this lightweight, single-speed e-bike is perfect for quickly negotiating busy city streets.
One of the big appeals of this bike is the fact that it’s practically zero maintenance. The Gates carbon belt drive doesn’t need oiling, is silent and will last many times longer than a regular chain.
The 250w rear hub motor provides a good turn of speed and the 252Wh battery should easily give an assisted range of 25 miles – I reckon you could ride this like a regular bike for most of your shift and only use the assist when you needed it. Let’s say you average 60 miles a day, you’d still have nearly half that mileage with the help of the motor.
This is a great-looking e-bike and would be a good choice for riders who are already reasonably fit but are looking to increase their average speed over a shift. Read the full Pure Flux One article here.
Best Utility E-Bike for Delivery
I’m a big fan of the Fiido T1, I’ve just taken delivery of one of these, and initial impressions are great. It features a 750w rear hub motor with a massive 48v 20.3Ah (974Wh) battery. In addition, there are hydraulic disc brakes, CST Tourance 4″ tires and ample space for cargo front and back. The front headlight is the best I’ve come across on an e-bike and even has a high and low beam.
The motor is really strong and I would go as far as to say, it’s the best hub motor of its kind I have tested to date. It’s not particularly fast at the top end but has a load of grunt at the bottom end. I tested it on a 20% climb in level 2, and it got me up there without too much trouble. Most similar e-bike motors struggle on these kinds of climbs.
The potential battery range looks promising. I covered 22 miles but with 2200 ft of elevation gain. I used assist level 2 with occasional stints up to 3 with some throttle use. I still had 2 bars left on the battery when I got back. I reckon on flatter terrain with warmer weather, 50-60 miles would be achievable on a single charge.
If you’re looking for a utility e-bike for a delivery job, I reckon the Fiido T1 is well worth considering. It has everything you need to get going, just fit a large basket, or heavy-duty box to the rear rack and you’re good to go! Read the full Fiido T1 review.
Alternative to the Fiido T1
Rad Power RadRunner 2
The Rad Power RadRunner 2 is my second choice for the best utility e-bike for delivery. The Radrunner 2 is designed with urban riding in mind. There’s just one gear to simplify things and a powerful 750w hub motor (US version). The battery is 672Wh giving a potential range of up to 45 miles. A UK / EU version is available with a 250w motor.
Utility by name, utility by nature! What draws me to this e-bike is its minimalist design. No suspension, one gear, fat tires, motor or battery. Keep the chain oiled regularly and just ride it! The only negative I can see is a single speed will limit hill climbing and top speed, but if you’re happily cruising around town at no more than 20 mph, it will be fine.
Rad Power RadWagon 4
Best Value Cargo E-Bike for Delivery
The RadWagon 4 from Rad Power is a best-seller in the US, UK and EU. It was one of the first truly affordable cargo e-bikes and has garnered a loyal following amongst its owners. Used by everyone from parents, to small business owners, the RadWagon 4 is a truly versatile machine.
In the US, this e-bike has a 750w motor. The UK and EU spec version is 250w in keeping with the laws. Battery capacity is 674Wh which should provide enough charge for between 30-40 miles with electric assist. If you do run out of battery, it can be pedalled like a normal bike.
If you’re looking for an e-bike with some serious carrying capacity, the RadWagon 4 is one of the cheapest options available.
Himiway Zebra Step-Through
Best Fat Tire E-Bike for Delivery
If you fancy the idea of a fat tire e-bike, the new Himiway Zebra is a hell of a lot of electric bike for the money! Featuring a 48v 20Ah battery (with LG cells), and a 750w motor (US) or 250w motor (UK, EU). In addition, there are hydraulic disc brakes, a front suspension fork and a full complement of extras like a large pannier rack, mudguards, lights and a kickstand.
It’s a very neat-looking e-bike with an integrated battery and internal cable routing. The 4″ fat tires will make worrying about riding in the snow a thing of the past! Plus, these kinds of e-bikes are very plush to ride.
Best Compact E-Bike for Delivery
The Fiido L3 is a bit of an anomaly. It’s the smallest e-bike here but has the largest battery capacity. This makes it a prime candidate for use as a delivery e-bike. It’s small and has a simple, single-speed design. It’s a huge 1104Wh battery with a motor wrapped up in a compact frame. Owners regularly report ranges of 80 miles on a single charge. The 350w motor is also reported to perform much better than expected, with high torque and good hill climbing ability, despite the single gear.
I’m a member of the Fiido Owners FB group, and I’ve yet to hear a bad word spoken about this bike. Everyone who owns one loves it! Although it may not seem like an obvious choice. I reckon it’s perfect for negotiating city streets. Plus, because it’s so small, you can take it anywhere. The only downside is it’s on the heavy side, but at under £1000, it’s an absolute bargain!
Available direct from Fiido – US, UK and EU shipping (use code T100)
Best Cheap Electric Bike for Delivery
The Eleglide CityCrosser represents excellent value for money if you’re looking for an e-bike for around £1000 / €1000. It features a nice rigid frame with fast-rolling 700 x 38c tires. In addition, the CityCrosser has torque-sensing pedal assist which is hard to find on e-bikes of this price. The 250w motor is UK / EU spec and is limited to 15.5 mph (25 km/h), but will produce up to 400w of peak power when under load. The battery is a neatly integrated 360Wh with a claimed range of up to 75 km – this may be possible, but I would suggest a real-world range of around 50 km is more realistic.
I’ve had a couple of e-bikes from Eleglide over the last year, and I have always been impressed with the quality for the price. Read my review of the Eleglide M1 Plus for more info.
Available from geekbuying (UK and EU shipping)
Best Folding E-Bike for Delivery
The Fiido X would make an excellent e-bike for delivery. It’s fairly lightweight and can be quickly folded if required. The Fiido X features quite a few innovations not found on folding e-bikes of this price.
The 250w or 350w hub motor is incredibly smooth and virtually silent in operation. Pedal assist is via a torque-sensing bottom bracket – this translates into a responsive feel to the motor. As soon as you start pedalling, the motor kicks in and reacts to your pedalling input. The 417Wh battery is integrated into the seat post and has a wireless connection. There’s also a security keypad, but this can be annoying as you need to enter a 5-digit code every time to switch it on.
Handling is lively and the hydraulic brakes work very well. Because it’s so light, it’s easy to pedal without the assist. I currently own one of these and can squeeze 50 miles from a single charge using the lower assist setting. The Fiido X also has integrated lights which are bright enough for city riding.
I can highly recommend the Fiido X. If you’re looking for a foldable e-bike, that’s lightweight, comfortable and nice to ride, it’s well worth considering. For more info, read my full review of the Fiido X.
E-Bike for Delivery Buying Guide
If you’re thinking of using an e-bike for delivery, there’s some info below on the different types of bikes available. Ultimately, it’s down to your personal preferences. Personally, if it was me, I’d use something with a bit of load-carrying space.
4 Reasons to Use an Electric Bike for Delivery
- Beat the Traffic: With most cities constantly congested with traffic, an electric bike is a much faster way to get from A to B. E-Bikes will also go places that cars and small vans can’t, making delivering much easier.
- Congestion Charge: In the UK and other parts of the world there have been increasing efforts by governments to dissuade people from using vehicles within cities. With expensive charges being imposed for older vehicles and concessions for zero-emission modes of transport.
- Low Running Costs: Apart from the initial purchase price, e-bikes are incredibly cheap to run. Charging an electric bike battery can only cost a few pence per day and servicing costs are substantially cheaper when compare with a car or van. There’s no road tax or MOT to worry about. Insurance, although not compulsory is recommended and it’s generally very affordable.
- Good for Health: Riding an assisted pedal cycle every day is going to have massive health benefits. You get to do some mild to moderate exercise and get paid in the process. Plus it can be great for your mental well-being and no two days are the same.
In conclusion, back in the day, you needed to be fit and healthy to be working as a bike courier. It was a young person’s job and how fit you were had a direct influence on your earning potential. Electric bikes have levelled the playing field in this respect, and I’ve seen much older people working in this industry, thanks to the e-bike.
What type of E-Bike is best for delivery
The simple answer is any e-bike is suitable, and it depends on how far you anticipate riding each day. Most Deliveroo riders in the UK seem to be riding anywhere from 40-80 miles over an 8-hour shift – your mileage is going to depend on where you live, as a rider in a large city like London is going to be busier than in a smaller city like Exeter.
I would recommend as long a range battery as possible because the last thing you want is to be out of power halfway through a shift. Having a medium-range battery could result in lost revenue, so it’s a false economy. E-Bikes are generally quite expensive, so I’d advise paying a bit more and having a more powerful battery. Alternatively, you could buy a spare battery and use that as a backup.
Another consideration is what you’re delivering. If it’s takeaway food (as with Uber Eats and Deliveroo) these companies usually supply a large bag which can be carried by the rider. Some riders may feel comfortable carrying a bag on their back, so a bike with a rack would be more appropriate.
One thing I would consider is getting an e-bike with higher-volume, puncture-resistant tires and maybe front suspension. This will be particularly useful for riding through poorly surfaced city streets or taking shortcuts on unsurfaced tracks.
You don’t necessarily need a cargo bike to carry bigger loads either. There’s an increasing choice of excellent bike cargo trailers available which will allow you to carry much larger and heavier items.
These are the obvious choice If you’re delivering bulkier packages and heavier items. Cargo e-bikes are specially designed to cope with larger and heavier payloads, they usually have long-range batteries and high-torque motors. Check out the best budget electric cargo bikes available in 2023.
Step-through Electric Bikes
An e-bike with a step-through frame may suit some riders. With a step-through (or easy-entry) frame it’s much easier to mount/dismount the bike making them particularly suitable for delivery riders.
There are lots of benefits to using a lightweight e-bike for delivery work. These types of electric bikes are particularly suitable if you’re already quite fit and you just want the e-assist to help you with steep hills or give you a potential boost in earnings at the end of the day. Lightweight e-bikes aren’t much heavier than regular hybrid bikes so they’re much easier to pedal with the assist switched off.
Folding Electric Bikes
Folding e-bikes are great if you don’t want to be leaving your bike unattended when delivering to offices. Bike theft is a major problem in a lot of cities and having an electric bike that is easily foldable means you can carry it with you. Unfortunately, a lot of folding electric bikes are quite heavy, so you might end up lugging a 20-25kg bike upstairs.
I know quite a few delivery riders who’ve opted to build a DIY e-bike. The great thing about this option is you can customize your battery size and even go as far as altering the motor characteristics to suit your needs. This option can work out a lot cheaper than buying a ready-made electric bike and you can buy quite a high-spec donor bike to start with.
I used to convert bikes to electric for a living and there’s lots of info on this website on the subject. You can start by reading my electric bike conversion kit buyers guide.
Choosing the best electric bike for your delivery job depends on your personal preferences. If you are already quite fit and just want to have a bit of assistance to fall back on halfway through a long shift, then bikes like the Ribble would be great options. At the budget end of things, the Pure Flux One is perfect for fairly flat, undulating city terrain and is probably the most maintenance-free of all the e-bikes featured here – it’s also quite light.
At the other end of the scale you have the RadWagon 4 which is an absolute beast of a machine and designed for serious load-lugging.
If you want something that folds down quickly but doesn’t compromise on battery range and comfort, then the Fiido X is a lot of bike for the price. I’m also a big fan of the Fiido T1, I’m going to be putting it to work in the Spring to see how it fairs on a day-to-day basis.
Ultimately it depends on your individual needs. The high price of e-bikes is often discussed but remember – if you buy one of the electric bikes purely from a work perspective, you will be able to claim a substantial amount (if not all) back on your tax return.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a message in the comments section below.