For some riders having the benefits of road bike speed combined with flat handlebars is a match made in heaven! I know quite a few people who just don’t get along with drop bars. Thankfully flat bar e-road bikes are now widely available from most of the top brands. In this article I have selected 5 of the best flat bar electric road bikes currently available.
What are the advantages of flat bar road bikes?
Most flat bar road bikes share the same frame, forks and wheels as their drop handlebar counterparts. The only real noticeable difference is the handlebars, brake levers and gear shifters. Drop bars have an obvious advantage when it comes to speed, but if you’re riding in an urban environment it’s unlikely to be much of an issue.
Aerodynamics don’t really come into play until you reach speeds above 12.5mph (20km/h) and some riders just don’t feel comfortable riding on the hoods.
Another advantage of flat handlebars is the relative ease of changing or swapping out components like shifters or brakes. On a regular road bike you need to buy and fit new bar tape when changing things, but on a flat bar bike, it’s just a case of removing the grips.
Here is my list of the top 5 best flat bar electric road bikes
Orbea Gain F30 Flat Bar Electric Road Bike
The Orbea Gain F30 flat bar electric road bike is a great way to experience the benefits of having e-assist but without the excess weight usually associated with e-bikes. The specification on the F30 is similar to its drop-handlebar sibling the D50. Shimano Claris 16-speed, with a 50/34 compact double crankset and an 11-32 8-speed rear cassette. One advantage the F30 has over the D50 is the addition of hydraulic brakes. 700 x 38c tyres make this bike ideal for commutes that take in canal paths and bridleways. It’s a great all-rounder and a good buy at under £2000.
- Shimano Claris 16-speed
- X35 ebikemotion drive system
- 250Wh internal battery
- Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes
- Alloy frame with carbon forks
- 700 x 38c Kenda tyres
- Up to 50 miles assisted battery range
- Looks gorgeous
- Very lightweight at under 14kg
- Excellent X35 ebikemotion hub motor
- Great value for money
- The motor may not provide enough assist for some riders
- Comparatively low battery range
Lapierre E-Sensium Flat Bar E-Road Bike
Lapierre have been producing excellent e-MTB’s for a few years now, and have recently released a range of electric road bikes. The E-Sensium 200 is the flat bar version of their 300 drop-bar model. This uses Shimano Sora 18-speed with hydraulic brakes and it’s an absolutely gorgeous bike. It’s marginally more expensive than the Orbea Gain F30, but it does have a slightly higher spec groupset. The E-Sensium uses the same X35 ebikemotion system as used on the Gain and many other electric road bikes. My only criticism is it’s nearly 1kg heavier than the Gain.
- X35 ebikemotion e-assist system
- 250Wh internal battery
- Shimano Sora 18-speed groupset with 11-34 cassette
- Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic brakes
- Continental Ultra Sport II 700 x 28c tyres
- Alloy frame with carbon fork
- Excellent build quality
- Great brakes
- Smooth and subtle assist from the X35 system
- Responsive handling
- Nearly 1kg heavier than the Orbea Gain
- Narrower tyres not as suited to rough terrain
BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport One Electric Bike
There aren’t many flat bar electric road bikes that can match the BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport One in terms of sheer performance. The BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport One is the first flat bar electric road bike in this selection to boast a full-carbon fibre frame. This is one hell of an e-bike, and unique in that it blends a powerful Shimano Steps E-6100 mid-drive motor with a carbon road bike frame and Shimano 105 1 x 11 groupset. The result is a powerful (but light) e-bike that has an impressive potential battery range of 80+ miles.
- Shimano Steps E-6100 mid-drive motor
- 504Wh battery
- Full carbon fibre frame with MTT micro suspension
- DT Swiss wheelset
- Shimano 105 1 x 11 groupset
- Full carbon frame
- Shimano Steps E-6100 motor is a gem
- Great battery range from the 504Wh battery
- The MTT micro suspension takes the sting out of road imperfections
- Lightest ‘proper’ mid-drive
- Expensive (but worth it if you have the money!)
Giant Fastroad E +2 Pro E-Bike
Giant’s Fastroad E +2 Pro is an excellent alternative to the Road E + if you do not like drop handlebars. The centrepiece of this e-bike is the remarkable Giant Sync Drive Pro mid-drive motor, which is the culmination of a collaboration between Giant and Yamaha, to produce an electric motor unique to Giant’s range of ebike’s. Combined with a powerful 375Wh battery. The rest of the bike is typical of the quality we have come to expect from one of the worlds biggest bicycle manufacturers. Shimano Tiagra 10-speed, decent hydraulic brakes and a frame that is relaxed enough for cruising, but also delivers the goods when a bit of speed is required.
- Giant Syn Drive Pro with 80Nm of torque and 360% tunable assist
- 375Wh EnergyPak battery
- Shimano Tiagra 1 x 10 with an 11-32 cassette
- Shimano MT201 / BR-U300 hydraulic disc brakes
- Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x32c Folding MaxxShield tyres
- Ride it and be impressed – the motor is a gem!
- Feels planted – the ride inspires confidence
- Typical Giant quality
- Class-leading battery range
- Much heavier than the competition at nearly 19kg (as tested)
Ribble SL e Flat Bar Carbon Electric Road Bike
I fell in love with the Ribble SL e when I first had a ride on one back in 2018. It’s nice to see they have released a flat bar version based around their popular carbon fibre electric road bike. The SL e flat bar with Shimano Ultegra offers a superb package that tips the scales at a measly 11.8kg. Everything on this bike screams quality and the great thing is you can ride it all day and not even realise you’re riding an e-bike until such a time as you need a little help if your legs start to tire.
- Toray T800/T1000 Full Carbon Monocoque frame
- Shimano Ultegra 50/34 with 11-28 cassette
- X35 ebikemotion e-drive system
- 250Wh internal battery
- Lightest is its class
- X35 ebikemotion system is light and unobtrusive
- Shimano Ultegra Groupset
- Looks beautiful
- Responsive and very quick
- Expensive (but justified)
- Low capacity battery – range extender available
So what is the best flat bar electric road bike in this selection? To single out a single victor wouldn’t be particularly fair as all the bikes tested in this article are great.
It really boils down to your budget, personal ability and needs. If money was no object for me I would personally go for the Ribble SL e flat bar – I am biased in this respect as I ride road bikes regularly and for me having a full carbon frame with Shimano Ultegra on an ebike that weighs only 11.8kg is a deal winner.
If you’re looking for sheer power and maybe need a little more assist, then the Giant Fastroad E +2 Pro is unbeatable in this class – their Sync Drive Pro motor is one of the best mid-drives fitted to any ebike.
For the budget-conscious both the Orbea Gain F30 and Lapierre E-Sensium 200 are very similar in terms of price, specification and ride quality, although I would have to give preference to the Gain due to the lower weight. Although the Lapierre looks absolutely gorgeous.
Finally we have the BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Sport One – this would be vying with the Ribble for the number one spot. Having a full carbon frame with micro travel suspension and a Shimano Steps mid-drive motor is a great combination. Having a massive 504Wh battery means you can ride this thing for miles and just leave the assist on, so if your route is hilly and you need to reduce fatigue, it’s excellent.
Thanks for reading, and if you own any of the bikes reviewed here, please feel free to share your views in the comments section below.View and compare all flat bar electric road bikes here