Electric bike usage in the last few years has surged as more and more people have started to understand the benefits of buying an electric bike. So why are electric bikes becoming popular?
Only a few years ago most people wouldn’t have considered buying an electric bike. However, changes in ideas and the environmental benefits of buying an electric bike make sense. There is now a strong argument for owning one.
These are becoming particularly popular with people who might describe themselves as a none serious cyclists or haven’t ridden very much or for long time. However there are lots of reasons to own one and very few downsides for experienced cyclists alike.
Riding an e-bike is also very simple. There are normally 3-5 assistance levels available which are easy to select from a controller on the handlebars. Then it’s just a matter of setting off and pedaling like any other bike. The motor engages shortly after and starts to amplify your own power. If you want a harder workout you can turn the power down. If you want to take it a bit easier or ride a steep hill you can turn the power up.
Here are our top 10 reasons for owning an electric bike:
- Electric bikes improve your lifestyle and are a lot of fun to ride.
- Electric bikes encourage you to explore and travel further.
- Electric bikes help you go further, faster, and longer.
- Electric bikes help people recovering from illness, injury, or reduced fitness the chance to ride more without getting too tired.
- Electric bikes allow you to get fit without over-exerting yourself.
- Hills become something to look forward to rather than avoid.
- Commuting becomes much much viable over longer distances without getting too sweaty.
- You can carry much more weight with full panniers or towing a trailer or child seat.
- Electric bikes are much better for the environment and a lot cheaper to run than a car.
- Fit riders will also benefit significantly as their effort will be enhanced and allow very hard rides to be completed at faster speeds. Very steep climbs most riders wouldn’t have thought possible can now be tackled and it can be done all over again afterward.
If you think an electric bike could be for you, we have a few suggestions to navigate the wide variety of options and places to buy.
Tips for buying an electric bike
Type of e-bike
- Our first advice is to consider the type of cycling you are planning to do before considering motors and batteries, i.e will you be riding mostly on roads, canals, cycle paths, bridleways, light cross-country or aggressive off-road MTBing.
- For general riding on cycle paths, canals, bridleways and light offroad use a hybrid bike (Trekking bike) or hard-tail mountain bike is a popular option. Most hybrid bikes come fully equipped with mudguards, lights, a pannier rack, and a kickstand, these bikes typically have a more upright comfortable riding position and a relaxed geometry often with step-through options for ease of getting on and off the bike.
- Hardtail MTB bikes make great all-round bikes and usually have wider more aggressive tyres for comfort on rougher cross-country ground, but generally aren’t suitable for aggressive offroad use or tougher trailer center routes.
- Full-suspension MTB bikes can be used on any terrain but are mainly aimed at riders who go off-road and ride bumpy or rocky terrain.
There are 2 main types of motor placements
- Hub driven
Hub-driven bikes usually have the motor in the rear hub. These systems tend to be cheaper than crank-driven bikes and essentially push you along from behind. They usually have a lower torque output than crank-driven bikes and don’t give as natural a feel as crank-driven bikes. However, they are much cheaper and can be a good option if you are planning shorter trips where higher power and range aren’t a significant factor.
They are often fitted on folding bikes, which are great if you are short on space or want to take them in a motor home or caravan.
- Crank driven
Crank-driven bikes have the motor built into the bottom bracket and are considered to give a more natural feel when cycling. Also they are generally able to produce more power and delivery the power in a more refined manner.
Range of bike
- Consider how far you are planning to ride and the gradients involved, and bear in mind that you can double or treble your usual distances. Batteries vary in size from 400 – 800 Wh giving ranges typically from 30 – 80 miles of powered range. Your range will be much higher on flat routes but drop if your ride is very hilly, so if you live in the peak district or other hilly location, bigger is better to avoid ‘range anxiety’.
- Are you likely to ride in hilly locations or mainly just on flat ground? For regular hill climbing a more powerful motor may be suitable in the 70-85Nm range whereas for flatter ground 40-60Nm, will suffice. The higher newton meters the motor puts out the easier the hills will be as the assistance levels on higher power motors are over 300%.
Choosing the right bike
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, now would be a good time to visit a reputable specialist electric bike shop equipped with your brief.
Most shops will help you cut through the complexity of options as there are many brands to choose from. Before you look at the types of bikes, motors, and battery options available. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options. We recommend having a sit on a few different bikes to check the sizing and feel of the bike. Ideally, we recommend having a demo ride to get a feel for the motor powers.
Most importantly a local bike shop will be able to fully build and set your bike up prior to collection. It’s also really important you have support after the sale with any warranty issues should they arise.
For a more detailed understanding of motors and batteries visit http://bit.ly/3GiSBYj