It might be that you love cycling, and can't imagine a world where you don't put in the full effort to get around, pedalling hard and making your sweat count. 

Or, whether for reasons of fitness or inclination, you might not fancy turning up to meetings and gatherings hot and tired, or needing to pack a change of clothes with you for when you get to work. Perhaps a slightly more relaxed mode of transport could be perfect for you — an electric bike. 

Reaping all the benefits of manoeuvrability and access, with the added bonus of an electric motor to assist you as you pedal (or take charge entirely), once you try an electric bike it can be pretty difficult to return to the dark ages of moving yourself around. We've taken a detailed look at the many, many models available, and narrowed them down to a small selection for you to peruse, here. 

Our guide to the best electric bikes to buy today

Gocycle

Gocycle GS

We're not necessarily natural fans of the compact bike format — while the usefulness is hard to deny, there's something about most designs that just looks a little flimsy and even silly. It's much to our surprise, then, just how impressively Gocycle has managed to make the format work. 

The GS is a compact in size, and can be folded down to a much smaller size, for compact living spaces and storage. Its battery is within the frame of the bike itself, unlike many models, which helps with its lovely looks. Lights are built-in, too, but the real key is its assistance cycling. You get up to 65km of travel from a 7-hour charge, depending on how much you use the motor. Of course, as with almost all the models on this list, the downside is that it doesn't come cheap.

Gtech

Gtech eBike City

In fact, the next bike on our list is arguably the only one that doesn't have a premium price tag attached. The eBike City edition from Gtech is about as close to a normal bike as you can get while retaining electrification — it's just got a bottle-shaped battery on its frame, and a motor on the rear wheel to betray its power.

This is a pedal-assist bike with no independent thrust, but it will absolutely help you make your commute or any journey with markedly less effort than you're used to. A three-hour charge for the battery will nab you a speed boost for up to 30 miles on its most economical mode, the sort of uplift that you'll notice. No electric bike comes cheap, but if you don't want to break into quadruple figures, the Gtech eBike City is one of your best options. 

VanMoof

VanMoof S2

When it comes to bike design, VanMoof knows what it's doing. It's been building lights-inclusive bikes with sleek, beautiful looks for years now, and is increasingly pushing into electric models. Its latest iteration, the S2, is a premium bike with premium features, but you wouldn't even really know it was electric without looking closely. 

To combat theft, it has a built-in alarm and GPS tracking, but the real star is its range of nearly 150km. That's the biggest on this list by a distance, and a top speed of 25km/h will make you feel like you're flying around. If you want to feel like you're living your best cycling life, the VanMoof is as good as it gets, though the price tag is more than a little off-putting. 

Volt

Volt Pulse

Slicing the VanMoof's price pretty much in half is the Volt Pulse, a far more straightforward-looking bike, which actually won't mark you out from the normal cyclists on your commute. With a creditable 129km range and suspension to make sure that bumps in the road don't upend you, there's a lot going for the Volt. 

As the only hybrid on our list, if you're planning to do any cycling that might vary between road and light trails, it will make a great companion, helping to ease the load on you. A quick four-hour charge will have it full and ready to go again, too. 

Gocycle

Gocycle GX

Rounding out our list, we've come back to Gocycle, but to take a look at their most premium model currently available, the GX. We think that the GS is a better bet for most people, but if you're particularly concerned with portability, and being able to fold up your bike quickly and easily, the more expensive GX might do the trick. 

It folds smaller while retaining all of the great features that the GS boasts — if you're short on space, it's worth considering as a little upgrade over its cheaper cousin.