The underdog ebikes you should love: Ugly no-frills town bikes

Ebikes are blowing up, and it’s bloomin’ glorious to watch. No, I don’t mean exploding, but people are buying them at the fastest ever rate. But I’m worried some of us are missing out, because we’re not appreciating the ugly ones.

Over the past year, electrified bicycles have come of age. It’s part of what the BBC calls, “The great bicycle boom of 2020.” Pandemic lockdowns around the world opened our eyes to how much we rely on the car, and it’s got people thinking about two wheels as a more preferable mode of transport.

People are gravitating to sexy new ebikes, packed with gadgets and features, but I’m here to tell you not to forget about the simple, affordable, albeit slightly fugly ones — electric town bikes.

The sexy ones

Based on what I see everyone riding, this ebike boom is largely the result of high-tech, and stylish new ebikes that are packed with features that promise to make daily life better — whether they do is a matter of opinion.

It’s common for new ebikes to have the motor and batteries integrated neatly into the frame. They often come with GPS tracking to deter thieves. Many also have apps that can “unlock” the bike, or be used to adjust how the motor delivers its power. They’re at the pinnacle of the ebike market.

Take Specialized’s Turbo Vado SL and Como SL, for example. These sporty ebikes have captured attention for their clean looks, low weight, and integrated components.