An e-scooter or e-bike looks like your typical bicycle, but with power-assisted pedalling. It is ideal for someone who wants to commute without perspiring, or for leisure cyclists looking to step up their power. Since 2016, the UK has classified e-bikes as motor vehicles, requiring from owners a licence, registration, and taxes. If you’re thinking of getting an electric bike, here are some things you should ask before making your purchase.
What type of e-bike should I get?
There are various types of electric bikes for different purposes. When getting one, think of where you’ll use your vehicle the most. If you live in an urban area, the classic e-bike is a good option. These have fewer assistance levels and gears, have Dutch-style frames, and are suitable for trips on flat ground. These bikes start at £500, while other, more expensive types cost £4,000 or more.
Do you need to bring your bike when you commute, or do you have limited space at home? Consider a folding e-bike. These portable, collapsible vehicles are perfect for people who go on casual camping trips as well. If you do more off-road riding, you’re better off with an electric mountain bike, which has added suspension and greater traction when riding, or a hybrid bike, which can go on different types of terrain.
Will I be transporting it a lot?
An electric bike can be heavy; they are typically upward of 20kg, significantly more than the weight of an average mechanical bike. Will you be putting your bike in an accessible spot at home and at work, or do you need to ride the train or carry it a certain distance? Consider as well that these bikes run on lithium ion batteries, and the typical e-bike battery lasts for about eight hours per charging.
Where will I be driving?
A bike you ride on full power over a dirt road will last about 20 miles before needing a recharge; if you ride the same vehicle on flat terrain and low power, you can get as much as 100 miles. On average, bikes have about 60 to 100 miles. City dwellers can go for an entire week on a single charge, but if you ride long-distance or on mountain trails, your battery will last for just one ride.
What type of motor does it have?
Ask your electric bike dealer about whether your bike has a hub or mid-mounted motor. The type and position affect handling, weight distribution, and portability. Hub motors are easier to maintain, but you will have to get used to the slightly uneven distribution of weight. Bikes like these are more suitable to urban or flat riding. Meanwhile, mid-mounted motors have a better centre of gravity and can maintain their power over long speeds. It is also highly efficient; the built-in sensors adjust to how hard you pedal. However, they are a little more expensive to maintain than hub motors.
What are the bike’s features?
How many levels of assistance does the bike have? Most models have three or four, which you can select with a switch or LCD display. You might also want to look at the type of sensors. Basic models have pedal sensors, which are good for cyclists who want more power but do not need the additional manoeuvrability.
If you need a precise machine, you could go for an electric road bike with torque sensors, which measure the force on the pedal and automatically apply the amount of electrical assistance you need. If you live in an area with stop-start traffic, this is useful.
Finally, you could also look for additional features like walk mode, which enables you to access a low-power setting to help you push the bike as you walk beside it.
Electric bikes are a convenient option for commuters who wish to avoid the morning rush when going to work. These vehicles are also great for people who are trying to be more active, or trail enthusiasts whose lifestyle revolves around outdoor activities. Whether you’re a casual fan or a serious biker, there is bound to be an electric bike just for you.
Visit Electric Rider for electric bikes for sale in the UK. We collaborate with top bike brands and have a specially curated selection fit for everyone from beginners to enthusiasts. Browse our bikes today, or contact us for more enquiries!