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The word lightweight isn’t something that usually springs to mind, when thinking about electric bikes. Traditionally e-bikes have been very heavy, mainly down to the extra weight of the electric motor, and in particular the battery. Thanks to recent developments in technology, the best lightweight electric bikes are barely distinguishable from their unassisted counterparts.

About 20 years ago, early e-bikes were still using very heavy sealed lead acid batteries, as we moved through the first decade of the 21st century, NiCAD batteries started to be used, but is wasn’t until this last decade we saw lithium battery technology become commonplace.

As the technology has evolved, so has the energy density of the lithium cells – put simply you can cram more power into a single cell than you could a few years back.  The upshot of this, is a more powerful battery, that is not only smaller but considerably lighter.

best lightweight electric bikes

Another big leap in technology is motor efficiency. Back in the day when e-bikes first became available, the motors used were typically heavy direct-drive hub motors. The latest generation of electric bike motors like the Fazua Evation and X35 ebikemotion are small, lightweight and efficient. Not only that, but they result in an e-bike that is practically indistinguishable from a regular bicycle.

lighter e-bikes generally appeal to people who are looking to make a return to regular cycling, or regular cyclists who want to take the edge off a hilly commute.  Either way, all the bikes features here well worth considering. At the bottom of this article, I have listed the key benefits of owning a lightweight electric bike.

Best Lightweight Electric Bikes in 2023

On to my list of the 12 best lightweight e-bikes, that are available in 2023. I have included quite a few 2022 models that are still available. I’ll be updating this article, as and when newer versions become available. None of the e-bikes featured below are particularly cheap. There are cheaper bikes available, but I have gone with models that, in my opinion offer the best all-round riding experience, quality and versatility. If you want to go even lighter, read my article on flat bar electric road bikes.


Trek FX+ 2 🆕

trek fx+ 2 electric hybrid bike
Trek FX+ 2 Lightweight Hybrid E-Bike
MotorHeyena HyDrive 250-watt Rear Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range56 km
BrakesHydraulic Brakes
Gearing9-speed
Weight17.5 kg
Price / Availability£2250 Buy direct from Trek Bikes

New for 2023, the Trek FX+ 2 looks almost indistinguishable from its unassisted counterpart. Weighing in at 17.5 kg, it’s not too heavy considering the full compliment of accessories fitted. The FX+ features the HyDrive motor with 250Wh internal battery and sophisticated torque-sensing pedal assist.

This is going to be a great e-bike for commuting on, and even better for exploring the countryside. With Shimano 9-speed gearing, hydraulic brakes, mudguards, pannier rack, lights and a kickstand, the Trek FX+ 2 wants for nothing!


Tenways CGO600

tenways cgo600 lightweight single speed e-bike
Tenways CGO600 Belt Drive City E-Bike
MotorMivice M070 250W Rear Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range43 Miles / 70 km (eco mode)
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingSingle Speed with Gates Belt Drive
Weight15 kg
Price / Availability£1399 Available from Tenways (US, UK and EU)

The Tenways CGO660 is a lightweight single-speed e-bike that features a low-maintenance Gates Carbon belt drive. The CGO660 offers a really good spec for the price, and is available in the US, EU and UK. Weighing in at just 15 kg, it’s nice and light. Plus, it has nice frame geometry, Tektro hydraulic brakes and torque-sensing pedal assist.

Motor is a 250w brushless, geared rear hub motor and the 252Wh battery is integrated into the frame. The claimed maximum range is 70 km, which should be possible in the lowest assist mode on flat roads. There’s also a smartphone app which gives more detailed info, like total distance covered and range remaining.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, lightweight e-bike and don’t mind a single-speed. The Tenways CGO660 takes some beating!

Available direct from Tenways (US, UK and EU) 👉Includes Free Mudguards and Kickstand


Raleigh Trace

raleigh trace lightweight electric bike
Raleigh Trace Electric Bike
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 Miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
Gearing9-speed
Weight16.5 kg
Price / Availability£2199 Available from Tredz

Iconic UK-based brand Raleigh have all but turned their back on regular bikes. Their range now comprises almost exclusively of e-bikes. The Raleigh Trace is the first lightweight electric bike in their line-up, and it looks like a great option.

Featuring the Mahle X35 ebikemotion system wrapped up in a lightweight alloy frame and full carbon fork, the Trace comes in at a respectable 16.5 kg. In addition, there’s quality components like Shimano Alivio 9-speed gearing and Tektro flat-mount hydraulic brakes. There’s also WTB gravel tyres, mudguards, lights and a pannier rack. The Raleigh Trace is a light and practical e-bike with sporty looks.

Available from Tredz (UK) – on sale at £1999

Check out 100’s of nearly new e-bikes on the Pro’s Closet (USA only)


Ribble Hybrid AL e

ribble al e hybrid electric bike
Ribble Hybrid AL e Fully Load Edition
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 Miles
BrakesShimano MT200 Hydraulic Brakes
GearingSRAM NX 1 x 11 Speed
Weight15 kg
Price / Availability£2499 Visit Ribble for more info

The Ribble Hybrid AL e is a popular lightweight e-bike. This ‘fully loaded’ version, comes complete with rack and mudguards. Weighing in at under 15kg, it’s very light for a hybrid e-bike. Featuring quality components like the excellent SRAM NX 1 x 11 gearing and Shimano hydraulic brakes. In addition, there’s tough Mavic Allroad rims. Motor is the Mahle ebikemotion with 252Wh internal battery.

Ribble have succeeded in producing a practical and versatile electric bike that not only looks great, but is substantially lighter than some of the competition. Here is an e-bike that will be equally comfortable on canal paths and urban streets. Use the assist only when you really need it and ride it like a regular bike any other time – the best of both worlds!

I had one of these on loan for a few months at the beginning of last year, read my Ribble Hybrid AL e review to see what I thought.


Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0

specialized turbo vado sl 4.0 electric bike
Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0
MotorSpecialized SL 1.1 250-watt Mid-Drive Motor
Battery320Wh Internal Battery
Range40 – 80 miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore 10-speed
Weight16 kg
Price / Availability£3500 Direct from Specialized UK)

The Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 uses their SL 1.1 mid-drive motor, which was developed in collaboration with German company Mahle (who also make the x35 system). Riding the Turbo Vado SL is whole lot of fun!  What the Specialized offers, isn’t a motor that takes over, but an assist system that mechanically enhances your own abilities in a way that make you feel superhuman!

Tipping the scales at just 14.9kg, the Vado SL is an easy bike to get along with. When you bear in mind the impressive 320Wh internal battery and the 1.96kg motor, you have the perfect combination of e-assist combined with a potential range of up to 80 miles. In my opinion the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is one of the best lightweight electric bikes available, and well worth considering if your budget allows.

Available direct from Specialized (USA)


Orbea Vibe H30

orbea vibe review
Orbea Vibe H30
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 Miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore 10-speed
Weight16.5 kg
Price / Availability£1949 Available from Sigma Sports

The Orbea Vibe H30 uses the latest version of the tried and tested Mahle X35 ebikemotion system which a small and lightweight 250w rear hub motor and 250Wh (watt hour) internal battery. Pedal assist is provided by a magnetic sensor ring installed on the rear freehub. This ensures smooth electric assistance as and when needed.

If it’s light weight you’re looking for, the Orbea Vibe H30 will fit the bill perfectly. Weighing in at under 14kg it weighs about the same as a regular hardtail mountain bike. The 42t front chainring combined with 11-46 10-speed rear cassette give a good spread of gears and the excellent Magura MT30 hydraulic brakes do a good job of slowing the rider down.

Available from Sigma Sports – currently on sale at £1949

Check out 100’s of nearly new e-bikes on the Pro’s Closet (USA only)


Lapierre E-Shaper 3.2

lapierre e-shaper 3.2 lightweight e-bike
Lapierre E-Shaper 3.2
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 Miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore M510011-Speed
Weight17 kg (approx)
Price / Availability€2159 Check Availability

Another classic, stylish-looking lightweight e-bike from French brand Lapierre. The E-Shaper 3.2 is a sporty fitness orientated electric bike, that’s kitted out for daily riding. Featuring the Mahle X35 motor and some nice components, the Lapierre is another good option.

Featuring the excellent Shimano Deore M5100 1 x 11 drivetrain and Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic brakes. The E-Shaper is a great all-rounder thanks to its gravel-ready WTB i23 rims and WTB Byway 700 x 44c tyres. This is going to be equally happy on tarmac, canal paths and even light woodland trails.


Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ

cannondale treadwell neo 2 EQ lightweight electric bike
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 Miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
Gearing8-speed
Weight18.5 kg (approx)
Price / Availability£2000 Available from Tredz

The Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is a fun and practical lightweight e-bike, that’s designed to be comfortable. Featuring the same torque-sensing Hydrive motor as the Trek, the Cannondale is a practical urban hybrid e-bike, that’s has the added feature of a large front basket for carrying things like shopping bags.

It’s a nice looking e-bike with relaxed frame geometry and durable 650b wheels with wide 47c tyres. Perfect for riding on tarmac, or ideal if you want to venture off the beaten track. Other features include powerful Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc brakes and Microshift 8-speed gearing. If it’s a comfy urban bike you’re after, the Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is definitely worth considering.


Vitus Mach E Urban

vitus mach e 2022
MotorShimano Steps E6100 Mid-Drive Motor
Battery504Wh Removable Battery
RangeUp to 100 miles (eco mode)
BrakesShimano MT200 Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Alivio 9-speed
Weight17.5 kg
Price / Availability£1729 Available from Chain Reaction Cycles

The Vitus Mach E is a really well-made e-bike. The 6061 alloy frame has a relaxed geometry and is finished with smooth welds and great paintwork. It also comes with a full-carbon fork (including steerer) and tough 700c wheels with thru-axles. I owned an earlier model for 12 months and in that time covered nearly 2000 trouble-free miles. The Shimano Steps E6100 will get you up almost any hill. And, the 504Wh battery will get you 50-70 miles between charges.

The Mach E weighs in at just over 17 kg, which is very light for a mid-drive e-bike. It’s a great all-rounder and at the current price is unbeatable. Based on my personal experience, I cannot recommend this bike highly enough. Read the Vitus Mach E Urban Review.

Also available from Wiggle


Kinesis Lyfe Equipped

kinesis lyfe equipped lightweight e-bike
MotorMahle ebikemotion 250-watt Hub Motor
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30 – 80 miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore 10-speed
Weight17 kg (approx)
Price / Availability£1640 Available from Sigma Sports

Kinesis are a UK brand whose focus has been designing bikes with the British rider in mind. Their range of e-bikes includes the Kinesis Lyfe Equipped, which is a lightweight e-bike aimed at commuters or weekend leisure riders. The Lyfe features the Mahle X35 motor with a very nice alloy frameset with tapered fork.

There’s also some quality components, like Shimano Deore 10-speed gearing and hydraulic disc brakes. Plus, it’s fully equipped with front and rear lights, mudguards, pannier rack and a kickstand. At its current discounted price of £1640 it’s an absolute bargain!

Also available from Tredz


Ortler Speeder

ortler speeder review
MotorBafang G20 250-watt Hub Motor w
Battery252Wh Internal Battery
Range30-60 Miles
BrakesShimano MT200 Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore 10-speed
Weight19.2 kg
Price / Availability£1119 Available from Bikester

I’ve included the Ortler Speeder, as I recently acquired one of these in part-exchange for another e-bike. So far, I have covered over 300 miles on it, and it’s a cracking bike for the current price of around £1200 plus delivery.

Featuring a Bafang G20 rear hub motor, torque-sensing pedal assist, and a 252Wh internal battery, the Speeder is reasonably lightweight and very nice to ride. In addition, the Speeder is adorned with some very high quality components. There’s Shimano Deore 10-speed, Shimano hydraulic brakes, Ergon grips, Velo saddle, SKS mudguards and more. The motor is smooth and efficient and it feels like you’re riding a regular bike without the assist activated. For more info, read my review of the Ortler Speeder.


Boardman HYB 8.9e

boardman hyb 8.9e
MotorFazua Evation 250-watt Mid-Drive
Battery252Wh Removable Battery
Range40-80 Miles
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Brakes
GearingShimano Deore M6000 10-speed
Weight16 kg (approx)
Price / Availability£2299 Available from Halfords

The Boardman HYB 8.9e has been around for a few years now, and remains unchanged. It is, however still an excellent option in 2023 and has loads of positive customer reviews. It uses the excellent Fazua Evation drive system, and the total bike weighs in at under 16kg. Better still, if you want to ride without the motor and battery, you can remove it in seconds, fit a blanking plate (optional extra) and away you go!

There’s some really nice components fitted to the Boardman, including a Shimano Deore M6000 1 x 10 drivetrain, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. It’s a well-designed bike, that can comfortably handle a mixture of terrain. It’s a bit heavier than the Ribble, and lighter than the Trek. But, it has the benefit of an easily removable drive system and battery. Here is my full review of the Boardman HYB 8.9e.


Benefits of Owning a Lightweight E-Bike

Owning a lightweight e-bike is a particularly good idea if you have trouble lugging heavy items around. One of the first questions a lot of my customers used to ask me was ‘how heavy will my bike be’ after I had fitted a conversion kit.  Another thing to think about is a lot of bike racks made for cars have a weight limit, and a lot of modern e-bikes exceed this limit. Below I have listed four of the key benefits to owning a lightweight electric bike.

Ease of transportation

With the difference in weight being as much as 10kg, owning a sub-15kg electric bike is going to make life a lot easier, particularly if you want to put your bike on a car rack or you live in a flat and have to take your bike up stairs. They’re  also a lot easier to cart around especially if you take your bike on a train from time to time.

Easy to pedal with motor switched off

Most regular hybrid e-bikes that weigh in excess of 20kg can be pedalled with the assist off, but the extra weight quickly becomes a burden, even on the slightest hill – you will feel like you are cycling with a couple of panniers loaded with shopping!

Using an ebike for commuting

When riding a lightweight electric bike, pedalling with the motor off isn’t an issue. In fact, all the lighter e-bikes I have tested feel like regular bikes and the moderately extra weight doesn’t really impact on the overall riding feel.

Increased efficiency

Most lightweight e-bikes have lower capacity batteries by design.  There are a couple of reasons for this – the main one is to keep the weight down, the second is so the battery can be neatly integrated into the frame.

Lower overall weight will improve the efficiency of the motor, as it will not need to work so hard in order to produce the assist. 8-10kg can make one hell of a difference to a 250w motor.

Despite the relative low energy capacity of the batteries fitted to lightweight e-bikes. There are many ways to maximise the range of your electric bike without having to buy a spare battery.

An e-bike that looks like a regular bike

All of the bikes featured in this article don’t really look like electric bikes. This can have a few benefits – from an aesthetics point of view these bikes look a lot neater, there’s no large battery pack dominating the frame. Also, they are less likely to be targeted by would-be thieves.

ribble al e hybrid bike

Another thing is, there is still a bit of isolated snobbery within the cycling community regarding e-bikes and some riders don’t want to ride a bike that shouts out ‘I’M RIDING AN E-BIKE’. Personally any cyclist who knocks someone for riding an electric bike is a backward-thinking idiot and shouldn’t be given the time of day!

Great for commuting

Lightweight electric bikes are perfect for commuters who only want to use the electric assist to help with hills. Because there’s very little weight penalty (when compared with regular bikes), you still have the feel of a normal bike when riding without assist. There are several lightweight models in my article featuring the best electric bikes for commuting.

Conclusion

Owning a lightweight electric bike isn’t going to be for everyone. There’s certain compromises like motor power and battery range, that will put a lot of people off. But, for me the benefits far outweigh the negatives. I’ve ridden lots of light e-bikes and I definitely prefer them. They’re like having a good old fashioned regular bicycle with the benefit of a helping hand on longer rides. You still get a good work out, and you can still easily pedal beyond the assist cut-off. What these bikes do is help to reduce fatigue and really put the fun back in to cycling.

Thanks for reading, and if you need any help or advice choosing the right electric bike, please leave a message in the comments below and I will aim to reply within 24hrs.

Tony

Passionate E-Bike advocate and enthusiast since 2016. Riding an electric bike helped me to lose weight, get fit and reignite my passion for cycling!

Tony has 228 posts and counting. See all posts by Tony

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