The 10 best electric VTCs of 2023 put to the test

Kalkhoff electric VTC: one of the best brands of VTCAE.

The best electric VTC on the market combine a number of strong points: comfort, autonomy, maneuverability, excellent value for money and aesthetics... A winning combination that explains the enthusiasm for this new mode of transport, which is both ecological and economical.

To help you make your way through the plethora of bikes on offer, we've selected 10 all-terrain electric-assist bikes that are considered champions in their class! In this article, we give you our opinion and analysis of these best-sellers.

And that's not all! As a bonus, we also give you our advice on how to choose the right electric VTC: motor power, battery lifeActivate your electric assistance... Let's go!

Top 10 best electric VTCs in 2023

We're off to a great (but effortless!) start with the top 10 electric VTCs of 2023.

Moustache Samedi 28: focus on comfort

The reputation of the French electric bike Moustache electric bikes.

Of all the bikes manufactured in France, the Moustache Samedi 28 is probably the most versatile. The Samedi 28.7 even won the coveted title of Bike Of The Year 2023 in the e-bike category!

In terms of battery autonomy, you can rely on a capacity ranging from 400 to 625 Wh depending on the model, i.e. around 100 to 150 km: more than satisfactory for urban use or a weekend stroll!

The distinctive Moustache handlebars (shaped like an M...and a moustache!) ensure an ideal riding position for the cyclist and incomparable manoeuvrability in town.

There's also a fork with 63 mm of travel to absorb the slightest shock.

And Moustache has thought of everything, since this model comes with an integrated anti-theft device and an elegant rear luggage rack!

The ➕: looks, good range, comfort, driving position, maneuverability

The ➖: weight (26 kg on the stairs, it can get complicated fast...).

If weight is an important selection criterion for you, it may be useful to read our article on the best lightweight electric bikes on the market. 

Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad: the all-rounder

We're staying with Moustache Bikes with another star of 2023: the Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad. An electric bike that's a little more all-purpose, thanks in particular to its 80 mm fork travel, which makes it look almost like a MTB !

Here again, Moustache has left nothing out: mudguards, kickstand, luggage rack, full set of lights... Simply put, there's nothing extra to buy.

You'll be able to count on a 400 to 625 Wh battery (depending on the version chosen), which will provide invaluable assistance for 100 to 150 km.

A faithful ally in all circumstances!

The ➕: versatile, very well equipped, comfort, design

The ➖: it all comes at a price... from 3,000 to 4,800 euros depending on the model.

Electric VTC against a city wall.

Kalkhoff Endeavour: German quality

Another top-of-the-range electric VTC: the Kalkhoff Endeavour.

Made across the Rhine, this Kaklhoff electric-assist bike lends itself easily to the velotaf route. But don't get me wrong, you'll have no problem venturing out onto country lanes at the weekend.

Available in several versions (1, 3, 5 and 7), it's also possible to choose the shape of the frame: trapezoid or wave (which allows low straddling). Finally, you can choose between two different battery capacities, bearing in mind that the "smallest" capacity is still 400 Wh, for a range of around 100 km.

What's more, this electric mountain bike is equipped with Bosch's Smart System (Performance Line CX and Kiox 300), which means you can control just about everything and know everything about your bike's status and your outings from your smartphone.

The ➕: smartphone connectivity, wide range of options, all-purpose, sturdy

The ➖: from 2900 to 5700 euros all the same

O2Feel iSwan City: urban living

Back to France with this all-terrain VAE made near Lille! Although there's nothing to stop you venturing out on forest paths that aren't too rough, this electric VTC from O2Feel is designed for use in urban environments.

Its iconic, slightly retro design doesn't mean that the performance aspect has been neglected. Quite the contrary! Its Shimano Steps E5000 motor and 432 or 540 Wh battery will make it easy to get around town for 100 to 150 km. The battery (integrated into the frame for added style) is guaranteed for 4 years or 40,000 km.

The ➕: a cool retro look, more than adequate performance

The ➖: not suitable for a weekend outing in the woods

Cube Touring Hybrid: a very Dutch design

Cube is considered one of the best bicycle brands. Some professional teams even use their top-of-the-range road bikes! A convincing argument...

Here, too, we find the retro look typical of northern European bikes. Available in a low-set version, it's the perfect companion for effortless commuting. However, its suspension and wide tires Schwalbe Big Ben tires mean it can also be used off-road.

In terms of electrical equipment, Cube has opted for a 400 Wh Bosch battery and a Shimano motor in the crankset.

The ➕: an urban design but equipment for a walk in the woods

The ➖: no integrated anti-theft device despite a price tag of 2600 euros

One of the best electric VTCs: the Cube electric VTC.

Giant Explore: modern and practical

It's no surprise to find the Giant Explore among the best electric VTCs of 2023, when you consider that the Taiwanese brand is one of the world's biggest sellers of bicycles! MTB The Giant electric bikes are among the best in all disciplines. And the least we can say is that they're a success in the EAB segment too!

The Giant Explore has a sober, modern look that will appeal to many. The Yamaha motor is powered by a 500 or 625 Wh battery, which should allow you to reach 180 km without running out of power if you don't overuse the electric assistance.

This bike is also designed for travel, since a small trailer can be fitted to the rear wheel. Of course, with a little extra weight, you'll have to revise the advertised autonomy downwards.

A useful little feature: the Giant Explore has a "Walk" function that allows you (as the name suggests) to walk alongside the bike without having to push it. By activating this feature, the bike moves forward at pace, allowing you to have a chat with a friend, for example. It can also be used to launch you more easily up a hill. Of course, you'll still have to be careful to hold it, as it doesn't (yet) provide balance...

The ➕: great autonomy, suitable for travel, Walk functionality

The ➖: engine torque just a little too low (50 Nm) for the least expensive model at 2,500 euros.

Nakamura E-Fit: the inexpensive electric VTC

After these top-of-the-range electric-assist VTC models, here's a more affordable trekking bike that doesn't neglect quality for all that. The Nakamura E-Fit is marketed by sports equipment brand Intersport.

Hydraulic disc brakes, suspension fork, removable 375-watt battery and 250-watt motor... On paper, this entry-level model has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to the star EABs, and will allow you to cycle to work without worry.

But of course, with a price two to three times lower than that of its competitors, you'll have to make do with a range of just 60 to 70 km. Incidentally, keep an eye on the charge level, as the display won't tell you the estimated number of kilometers remaining.

As for the components, the quality is inevitably a little lower. For example, the fork offers just 45 mm of travel... not enough to ensure optimum comfort.

However, this electric VTC at less than 2,000 euros is really the ideal solution for those who don't want to invest too much in their VAE.

The ➕: an affordable price, a large store network in case of problems

The ➖: inferior components, limited comfort on a long journey

Btwin Elops: Decathlon's electric VTC

Everyone knows about the electric bikes from Decathlon, the French sports equipment giant! With such a reputation and presence across the country, the Decathlon VTC is bound to be a commercial success.

It has to be said that Btwin Elops succeeds in offering high-quality equipment at a reasonable price.

As with its other star model, the Riverside 500 E, Decathlon does not claim to sell the Btwin Elops as a mountain bike. Rather, the intention is to provide a bike for short distances (50 to 60 km according to the manufacturer's estimates): city bikes for short rides, velotafs, etc.

The ➕: excellent value for money, highly available after-sales service

The ➖: limited autonomy

Haibike Trekking: the almost MTB

This Haibike VTC will have no trouble getting you to work!

In addition to its 630 Wh battery (approx. 180 km) and powerful Yamaha motor, the slightly forward-leaning riding position reflects a sportier attitude.

In fact, this trekking electric bike is designed more as a partner for hikes and long outings off tarmac roads. Putting its tires aside, we'd gladly take it for a MTB !

For your information, there are 3 types of frame: low, mid and high.

The ➕: an ideal VTC for enjoying long rides

The ➖: a budget of 3,000 to 4,500 euros

Couple out for a ride on their electric VTCs.

Neomouv Carlina: the best value electric VTC

Another wildly successful one!

This electric VTC from Neomouv, priced at under 2,000 euros, has a 580 Wh battery, giving it a range of almost 130 km. An exception at this price!

It offers 6 levels of assistance and a feature that lets you walk alongside it without pushing.

And as if that weren't enough, the Dutch design is a real winner.

Probably the best value for money on the market.

The ➕: quality components for a really reasonable price, cool design

The ➖: finishes that could have been more polished

Choosing your electric VTC

What is an electric VTC?

Back to basics never hurts!

VTC stands for vélo tout-chemin. Unlike MTB, this type of bike doesn't pride itself on being able to ride on all terrains, but on all roads. It can therefore venture off tarmac roads, but the road surface must still be passable and not too rough.

The fact that it is "electric" simply indicates that it benefits from electric assistance.

Why choose an electric VTC?

Thanks to their upright riding position, VTCs are very pleasant to use in town. They give cyclists a good view of their surroundings for greater safety, while protecting their backs. They're also generally easy to handle, which can be useful on winding urban routes.

Unlike MTB, tires are almost smooth, offering excellent performance and a smooth feel.

Electric mountain bikes have an added advantage: you can pedal without getting tired or breaking a sweat. A powerful argument before a day's work...

What are the criteria for buying an electric bike?

The battery

Before choosing your electric VTC, you need to think about how you're going to use it. Is it an electric bike for commuting? Or would you rather use it for weekend family outings?

Depending on the distances you plan to cover, the altitude difference and your weight, you'll need to opt for an electric VTC with a suitable battery.

For a flat commute, 400 Wh should suffice. On the other hand, if you want to have fun on steep paths or on long outings, you'll need a 650 Wh battery.

On the other hand, while a removable battery may be easier to recharge (especially if you live in an apartment), it's a little less attractive. It's up to you to decide...

The electric motor

In general, EAB motors develop 250 W of power. What sets them apart is their torque. To give you an order of magnitude, a torque of 85 Nm is indicative of a powerful motor. On the other hand, below 50 Nm, your motor will be a little weak.

The positioning of the motor is also important. A motor on the crankset (also called a central motor) will develop more fluid power by adapting to your natural strength (thanks to a sensor). It increases your own power tenfold. Top-of-the-range electric bikes are equipped with a crankset motor.

A motor on the rear hub or front wheel is more likely to deliver jerky, step-by-step assistance. The impression will be less natural and the result can sometimes be surprising.

Other equipment not to be overlooked :

  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide incomparable braking performance, whatever the weather;

  • the lighting system must be powerful enough to be clearly seen by motorists;
  • the saddle should feel comfortable;
  • the possibility of installing a luggage rack is always a plus.

Environmentally friendly, economical and good for your health, the bicycle has many advantages that are motivating more and more people to adopt it for their daily commute. By choosing an electric VTC, you're giving yourself a welcome electric boost to get your day off to a great start!