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E-Bike Buyers Guide

   Words by Scott Bristo

   on 04/09/2020 16:00:00

Electric bikes - also known as E-Bikes, power-assisted bikes or Pedelecs - have existed for several years; but their increase in popularity in the past several years has made a distinctive impression on the cycling industry.

Longer lasting batteries, more powerful motors and backing from industry giants such as Specialized, Trek and Raleigh has brought E-Bikes out of the niché and into the mainstream. 

There has never been a better time to get involved in E-Bikes. Use our E-Bike Buyers Guide to decide which one is right for you.

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WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC BIKE?

An E-Bike is simply an ordinary bike that incorporates a battery and motor. E-Bikes come in many different forms but most are pedal assisted. This means as you begin to pedal the motor will monitor your input and apply the correct amount of boost to your ride.

All E-Bikes in the UK must conform to EAPC guidelines, meaning they have a maximum output of 250 watts and can only be propelled when the bike is travelling less than 15.5mph. When a bike meets EAPC requirements it is classed as a normal pedal bike therefore it can be taken on any cycle paths or trails that normal pedal bikes are allowed. You can ride any electric bike providing you are over 14 and they do not need to be taxed or insured.

 

WHY GO ELECTRIC?

E-bikes have been a topic of debate in the past; but now the unmistakable advantages they offer cannot be ignored. Regardless of discipline or style that extra boost can make an enormous difference.

 

Stress-Free Commute

Cycling to work is an excellent way to improve your fitness and reduce your carbon footprint. Some cyclists lose interest with this idea at the thought of arriving at work already exhausted and covered in sweat - especially if that workplace does not have showering facilities.
This scenario is eliminated with an E-bike; allowing you to make even the longest of commutes a breeze. After gliding through the congested traffic you’ll arrive at work fresh and ready to tackle the day!

Dominate the Trails 

Electric mountain bikes have seen an incredible growth in popularity. ‘Earning your turn’ can now become a thing of the past, allowing you to climb steep inclines with ease and focus on perfecting your descents. This results in longer off-road sessions that give the rider the choice to conserve energy for when they really need it.

Tailored to your needs

E-Bikes can take the edge off arduous uphill climbs whilst also allowing you to cover a greater distance on flatlands and roads. It’s up to the cyclist how this advantage is used, but owning an E-Bike does not mean you won’t be improving your fitness. Longer rides now become less taxing but mean more time in the saddle, you still put in the effort but your energy is now better distributed.

E-Bikes are also an ideal option for cyclists with mobility issues and are excellent at bridging the gap between cyclists of various fitness levels.

 

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WHICH E-BIKE IS RIGHT FOR ME?

 

E-Leisure


Cube Touring Hybrid One 500

Ideal for the inner-city and commuting, these E-Bikes are the most common. Versatility and customization are important factors with E-Leisure Bikes. The addition of a motor means bags, racks and luggage can be transported with ease. 

SHOP ALL E-LEISURE

 

E-MTB

 

Specialized Turbo Levo

Offering the perfect advantage for trails and rides in the country, E-Mountain Bikes have evolved to encompass different riders' needs. Take the discomfort out of steep inclines for a more enjoyable experience.   

SHOP ALL E-MTB

 

E-Road


Specialized Creo SL Comp Carbon

E-Road Bikes are a relatively new class of Electric Bike that is slowly rising to prominence. The combination of a motor with an incredibly lightweight frame results in much longer, more rewarding rides. 

SHOP ALL E-ROAD

 

 

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KNOW YOUR COMPONENTS

Motor

E-Bikes can feature Front Hub, Rear Hub and Mid-Drive motors. All have their own pros and cons, impacting power distribution and balance.

Hub mounted motors are often found on commuter E-Bikes, whereas Mid-Drive motors provide that more ‘natural’ feel and acceleration that some riders find an advantage on trails and technical climbs.

Battery

Battery technology is developing rapidly. Batteries have been downsized to the point that they easily fit onto the frame or even inside it. Battery capacity is an important consideration when selecting an E-Bike.

Modern E-Bike  batteries are more than capable of handling the steepest inclines and toughest trails whilst still carrying a sufficient charge. Batteries are tailored to suit the style of bike, whether that be Road, Mountain or Commute.

Sensor

Most E-Bikes are Pedal Assist meaning they are fitted with a sensor to measure the rider's speed and apply the appropriate power based on your pedalling. Some measure cadence whilst others use a torque based system.

Pedal Assist means exactly that, you still put in the effort but receive that added ‘assistance’ depending on the power you put in. E-Bikes do not do all the work for you, but assist you in covering more ground and taking the weight off gruelling uphill climbs.

Display 

An E-Bike will include a handlebar or frame-mounted unit. These units can vary but most will allow you to choose different power setting modes, monitor your speed, track the distance you’ve cycled and monitor your battery consumption. 

The different power settings may include Eco, Sport and Turbo modes, allowing you to dictate how much assistance you receive.

 

We Recommend…

Bosch offers seamless design and remarkable efficiency throughout their E-Bike components range. The heart of the E-Bike is the motor or 'Drive Unit', which is why Bosch exclusively provides mid-motors. So in every single Bosch system the power comes from the centre of the E-Bike. The necessary power you need is supplied by powerful Bosch lithium-ion batteries featuring excellent capacity and longevity you can rely on.

 

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SUMMARY

A wide choice of E-Bikes are available to suit your own personal needs, but the only way to work out which model is correct for you is by considering a variety of factors. How often will you use the E-bike and for what type of cycling? What included features do you require and what is your overall budget? 

The best way to come to a decision is speak to an expert or even try out the E-Bike before you purchase.

 

Leisure Lakes Bikes offers the best in customer care, an unrivalled choice and a highly personalised sales service. Our in-store expertise across our 11 UK outlets, free E-bike test rides and aftercare is what sets us apart.

Don’t just take our word for it, click here to see what our customers think of our products and customer service.

SHOP ALL E-BIKES

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