Why would you want a belt-driven e-bike when a chain-driven one is the most common?
A carbon belt offers significantly less maintenance than a standard chain drive while offering the same or better performance. Belt drives are cleaner, don’t require lubrication, and last much longer than chains. So they’re definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a new electric bike.
The best belt-drive electric bikes for 2023 are:
- Ride1Up Roadster v2
- KBO Hurricane
- Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 IGH
- Specialized Turbo Como 4.0 Step-Through
- Schindelhauer Heinrich Enviolo
- Riese & Muller Supercharger GT Rohloff
- Luna Cycle Fat BABE (Bad Ass Belt ebike)
- Stromer ST2
- TENWAYS CGO600
- VanMoof S3
- Vvolt Alpha
Ready to find out more about each of these models and which e-bike brand is right for you? I’ve gathered all of the stand-out details as well as some of the disadvantages.
You’re sure to find the best bike equipped with a Gates carbon drive that fits your lifestyle.
1. Ride1Up Roadster v2
The Ride1Up Roadster is by far the least expensive and sleekest of all of the belt drive ebikes. At a price of $1095, this 33 lbs super lightweight model is hard to compare to others. With a fully integrated battery, ultra-quiet motor, and simple design this single-speed is one of the best belt e-bikes for the value.
Its powerful Class Three 350W (500W peak) geared hub motor can take you up to 24 mph with pedal assist and a range of up to 30 miles with its 36V 7.0 Ah Samsung battery (35e Cells).
Surprisingly, despite its simplicity, it can still handle a payload capacity of up to 300 lbs. Even though it comes at an affordable price, it boasts a 5-level LCD display and an ergonomic road saddle. Plus, the frame comes in two sizes, fitting riders from 5’8″ up to 6’3″.
The downside is that shorter riders under 5’8″ won’t be able to reach the ground comfortably.
While it may be lightweight and fast, it can actually handle light off-road riding with its mechanical disc brakes and gravel-friendly tires, if you choose the gravel bike option.
Truly the only other electric bike with a Gates carbon drive in this price range is the KBO Hurricane (read about it below to compare further).
SEE THIS BIKE AT: RIDE1UP
2. KBO Hurricane
The KBO Hurricane has made it onto this list because it’s unique in the category of belt-driven electric bikes. The Hurricane is designed to be a “stealth” urban bike. Meaning that it’s made to be as sleek and stealthy as possible, with minimal signs to indicate that it’s electrically powered.
This is achieved by a very simple design, an integrated battery pack, and an integrated rear hub one-speed motor.
And, the Hurricane features no transmission because it’s a single-speed electric bike. However, it does have 3 power modes that determine how much pedal assist the rider is provided with.
This is one of the most well-priced e-bikes made to this high level of quality, as it only costs $1099.
The Hurricane is lightweight, equipped with a 345Wh Panasonic battery pack, and 350W hub motor, and has a range of 45+ miles.
This bicycle may seem very simple, but it’s a very capable electric road bike that is comfortable for almost every rider.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: KBO BIKE
3. Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 IGH
Besides rocking a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, the Turbo Vado is unique in that it has advanced pedal technology not found in most other electric bikes.
The Como 5.0 internal geared rear hub motor allows you to predetermine your pedal cadence with its enviolo AUTOMATiQ stepless shifting. And because this system also uses a belt drive instead of a chain drive, you’ll get a smooth ride without messing with a chain or derailleur.
Thus, the Vado continuously adjusts itself to keep you pedaling at your preferred pace.
You’ll also get:
- A 250W hub motor
- Hydraulic brakes
- A suspension seat post
- DRYTECH Fenders
- Rear rack with pannier mounts
- Turbo System Lock
- And a Garmin Radar available through the display
SEE THIS EBIKE AT: SPECIALIZED
4. Specialized Turbo Como 4.0 Step-Through
With a 250W motor, hydraulic disc brakes, and three frame sizes to choose from, a relaxed, comfortable ride on the Turbo Como 4.0 is in your future.
The Turbo Como uses the same stepless shifting technology as the Vado, but one feature might make this the perfect e-bike for you. With a step-through frame, you can get on and off easily, whether you need to dismount quickly or simply find it more comfortable to do so.
Plus, it has upright seating that allows riders to be comfortable throughout the ride with less stress on your hands, shoulders, and back.
Another benefit of the Turbo Como is the included Turbo System Lock that disables the motor and activates an alarm when motion is detected.
Other bonuses include:
- DRYTECH Fenders
- LED headlight and taillight
- Rear rack compatible with child seats
- Capable of pulling a thru-axle trailer
SEE THIS EBIKE AT: SPECIALIZED
5. Schindelhauer Heinrich Enviolo Electric Bike
The next bike on the list of best electric bikes with belt drive is the Heinrich Enviolo by Schindelhauer.
Schindelhauer is a German e-bike manufacturer that was started by two friends right after leaving university in 2008. This is important to note because their idea was to create electric bicycles with belt drives right from the very start.
This means that all Schindelhauer bikes are designed from the ground up to function perfectly with belt drives, and without having been later adapted as a belt drive e-bike. This results in every component being as optimized as possible.
One of their bikes, The Heinrich Enviolo or the Hannah Enviolo, if you would prefer the e-bike designed for women, is their top-of-the-line model.
It features 8-speed automatic stepless transmission, a powerful Performance Line motor from Bosch, a 500Wh Bosch PowerTube battery, an Enviolo rear hub gear system, and a Bosch Kiox full-color control panel display and control system.
The battery pack is integrated into its frame and is equipped with lights, mudguards, a pannier rack, and a kickstand. Another huge benefit is that this model comes in three different frame sizes to perfectly suit riders of any height.
The belt drives on these e-bikes are the Gates Carbon Drive. The bike’s frame is aluminum to keep the weight as low as possible, and it features hydraulic brakes to ensure maximum safety.
This electric bike is the first on the list, not necessarily because it tops the list in terms of power or performance, but because this is the best all-around e-bike on the market that features a belt drive system.
The Heinrich/Hannah by Schindelhauer is an urban cruiser with a ton of heart and excellent craftsmanship. It’s a well-designed and well-thought-out bike with plenty of features.
There’s only one real disadvantage… this model costs $5015 USD (5195 EURO). Other than the high price, this is the perfect urban e-bike.
SEE THIS MODEL AT: SCHINDELHAUER BIKES
6. Riese & Muller Supercharger GT Rohloff
The Supercharger GT Rohloff is described as a heavy-duty electric bike. It’s a rugged bike that is capable of handling almost any situation.
Riese & Muller is another German brand and they produce some of the most versatile electric bikes in the world.
The Supercharger is their flagship model, and it’s so named because of its extra-large battery capacity. It’s actually equipped with dual in-frame 500Wh Bosch battery packs, combining a total of 1000Wh of power and superb battery life! Dual batteries with 1250Wh are also now available!
This is significantly higher than most commercial electric bikes.
Additionally, the Supercharger features a 14-speed internal transmission system by Rohloff with a 1:5.6 gear ratio. This system allows the rider to change gears even while stopped. But it does also require the rider to stop pedaling to change gears, which can take some getting used to.
The stand-out features of this bike are the exceptionally large battery pack that affords it a 100-mile range, top speeds of over 50 miles per hour, heavy-duty tires and wheels, front wheel and seat suspension for extra ride comfort, two luggage racks, and high-end component quality.
However, there are some major drawbacks of the Supercharger… the e-bike’s 65-lb weight and the $9500+ price tag!
Otherwise, this ebike is perfect for all those who enjoy riding tours and long-distance adventures. It’s rugged both in looks and construction, and the all-terrain tires make it far more capable than most other e-bikes.
The Supercharger is equipped with a belt drive that is as tough as its other components.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: PROPEL BIKES
7. Luna Cycle Fat BABE (Bad Ass Belt e-bike)
The Fat BABE by Luna Cycle is the sleekest and most understated fat e-bike on the market. However, the sleek looks and design are not an indication of performance.
This is among the quickest and most powerful fat e-bikes on the market. The Fat BABE is equipped with a Bafang M600 800W motor, a 48V 13.5ah Panasonic GA battery pack, and a 5-way internal Sturmey Archer RSX-RK5 gear hub.
All of these features are internally mounted but fully accessible for repairs and replacements, which means that you can be as rough as you want on the Fat BABE without fearing the difficulty of making repairs.
This electric bike features a Gates Carbon belt drive, which is very simple to maintain. Notorious for their rugged simplicity and effective power transference, these belt drives are more efficient than chain drives and require far less maintenance. Carbon belt drives also last significantly longer than chain drives, which just adds to this fat e-bikes toughness and versatility.
The Fat BABE is equipped with piston hydraulic disc brakes and 4-inch thick fat tires for all-terrain.
The full-spec Fat BABE has a starting cost of $2750 and can be upgraded with a full-color display and quieter drive.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: LUNA CYCLE
8. Stromer ST2
The ST2 is one of the most well-equipped, modern, and efficient electric bikes on the market. This model is equipped with features that almost no others have and is the ideal choice for those who seek the most technological versatility from their commuter e-bike.
The ST2 is equipped with a low-maintenance and durable Gates carbon belt drive, which sets it apart from other e-bikes in the Stromer range.
It’s unique among the others on this list (and placed at number 4 in the ranking) due to its clever digital connectivity. The Stromer ST2 is equipped with wireless connectivity to the OMNI app, which allows the rider more control of their bike than any other.
The app provides the rider with the ability to make individual adjustments to the motor settings, track mileage and personal performance, and localize the bike via onboard GPS. It even allows the ST2 to be locked and unlocked automatically via Bluetooth.
All of this is done via the riders’ smartphone, and the system is intuitive and simple to use.
Further, the ST2 has a 75 – 110 mile range (depending on the battery life), a rear hub-mounted electric motor that offers pedal assist up to 28mph, and a fully customizable riding position.
One of the major advantages of this Swiss-made bike is that it is fully configurable. You’re able to select the exact features that they require and choose from the list of compatible parts provided by Stromer.
This means that you can customize the range, power, and feature specifications of your own Stromer ST2 before purchasing it. Very few electric bike manufacturers offer this feature, and it’s a major plus for the ST2 overall.
As the lowest-priced ST model begins at around $5700 MSRP, be prepared to make a substantial investment.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: MIKES BIKES
9. TENWAYS CGO600
The lightweight CGO600 is an electric commuter bike that’s hard to even recognize as an e-bike!
Weighing only 33lbs, its slim frame is super agile and able to maneuver through crowded city streets.
Besides likely being able to lift it with one hand, the CGO has the features most discerning e-bike riders wish for, a magnetic torque sensor and a Gates carbon belt. Not only can you set your pace, but the belt drive also offers more than 18,000 miles of worry-free riding!
The CGO performs with a 250W motor and up 43 miles of range. In the US, the motor is adjusted to a top speed of 20mph (while maxing out at the required 16mph in Europe).
With Medium and Large frames sized for riders 5’4” to 6’6”, you can get this belt drive bike in the US, EU, and the UK! Choose from four beautiful colors starting at $1699.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: TENWAYS
10. VanMoof X3
The VanMoof X3 is really something special. This is one of the most sought-after electric bikes in the world. These e-bikes are meant to be elite and for the discerning bike rider, but they are growing in popularity due to their high build quality and unique design features.
Although this bike isn’t designed to be the most powerful model on the market, it is built to be the most well-suited for city commuting. The X3 has a small, compact design but is also one of the most comfortable rides out there. Interestingly, it fits riders as small as 5’0″ and tall riders ups to 6’5″.
The X3 is also equipped with modern features such as temper detections, theft defense, and a lockdown mode that will shut down the bike in case of theft.
It also features a smart electric motor, an electronic shifting system, and a hydraulic braking system. But the shining feature of the X3 is the 504Wh battery with a 90+ mile riding range.
You can get this sleek e-bike for around $2500.
SEE THIS BIKE AT: VANMOOF
11. Vvolt Alpha
The Vvolt Alpha is a unique find in the e-bikes with a belt drive world… it’s a simple, single-speed commuter electric bike with a belt drive!
With a range of 20-40 miles and a 350W rear hub motor, it’s not the fastest or a long-haul e-bike.
However, priced affordably starting at $1399, it features a Gates CDN belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes, 5 levels of pedal assist, and a lightweight battery pack. It also sports a rechargeable headlight and taillight.
Thanks to its simplicity, the Vvolt Alpha only weighs 44-46 lbs, depending on whether you choose the Alpha step-over or Alpha S step-through model. Additionally, each model comes in two frame sizes, so it fits just about anyone 4’8″ to 6’4″.
Plus, Vvolt comes with one of the longest warranties I’ve seen… 3 years without any mileage limits!
SEE THIS BIKE AT: VVOLT ELECTRIC BIKES
As electric bikes become more popular, the features that are available on the market are also increasing quickly.
The use of belt drives, rather than standard chain drives, is a huge part of this advancement in electric bicycle technology.
Belt-driven ebikes are still not as commonplace as many would like, but this is simply because belt-driven bikes are much more expensive than the alternative. For now!
However, if you are seeking one of the best belt-drive electric bikes, the models on this list are the best ones to consider.
Interested in comparing these top e-bike brands before choosing?