Which electric bike should I buy?

Electric bikes are undoubtedly the future of transport for many reasons. Anyone from elite athletes to the elderly can enjoy the benefits of electric bikes. In this electric bike buyer’s guide, we answer the question of which electric bike should I buy? We will also go through the various types of electric bikes, how to choose from them give you some insider tips for buying an electric bike.

What Are you Going To Use It For?

The first thing to do is to determine why you want an electric bike. There is an electric bike designed for pretty much any purpose, all with specific designs and characteristics to suit different purposes. For example, you may want something that will get you to the top of a mountain so that you can blast the gnarly mountain bike trails back down. On the contrary, you may just need something that will make your commute easier or to start a food delivery business.

Types Of Electric Bike

We will look into more specifics later, but taking a wider view of electric bike options, there are a few category’s of electric bike you need to know about.

Electric Mountain Bikes

Electric mountain bikes range from bikes that will allow you easily ride light off-road trails, to high-end enduro bikes that will make big mountain climbs and descents look effortless. When you choose an electric mountain bike, you need to think about the terrain you want to ride and your budget.

By determining the type of terrain you want to ride, you will be able to narrow down your choices.

The most significant advantage of owning an electric mountain bike is that it can help you get to the terrain you wouldn’t usually be able to get too. This may be due to your fitness level, or the profile of your local landscape. Is there a fantastic off-road loop that you want to ride, but is too long or too far away to reach on a traditional mountain bike? Well, an electric mountain bike is a perfect solution.

Electric Hybrid Bikes

As with any category of bike, there are many different electric hybrid bikes with characteristics that are better for specific uses.

You can buy electric hybrid bikes that are biased towards commuting on smooth roads. These look a little like road bikes with flat handlebars. You can also buy electric hybrids with fatter tyres, which allow you to ride on rougher terrain. These are generally more comfortable to ride too, due to their tyres and frame geometry.

The handlebars you find on hybrid bikes provide a comfortable upright riding position. This position gives you a better field of view, which makes them much safer for riding in traffic, as opposed to the round handlebars you find on traditional road bikes. Another advantage of these handlebars is that there is plenty of room for the controls. The speed controller, display, brakes and gears shifters all need a home.

You will come across electric hybrid bikes with mudguards and pannier racks, or at least have the provisions to allow you to attach them. For extra comfort, some electric hybrid bike manufacturers fit suspension forks to soak up the bumps in the road.

Electric Cargo Bikes

Electric cargo bikes are closely related to electric hybrid bikes. They are primarily bought by people that need to carry loads cheaply and efficiently, usually in urban areas. You can expect electric cargo bikes to have ingenious ways of carrying loads. They will often have cargo racks over both wheels, a long wheelbase or specially shaped frames. However, we are seeing more three-wheeled electric cargo bikes on the market now. These are perfect for making deliveries and carrying passengers.

Electric cargo bikes will usually have more powerful motors with higher torque ratings to help you carry the loads up steep urban hills.

Folding Electric Bikes

Folding electric bikes are perfect for commuting in busy cities. If you live or work somewhere where space is an issue, a folding electric bike could be the best thing for you. Their frame’s fold up in a matter of seconds, which means you can easily stash one under your bed, in a cupboard or next to your desk. By carrying your folding electric bike into your place of work or, home, you don’t need to leave it outside, meaning there is less chance of it being stolen. The other great thing about these bikes is that you can easily carry them onto public transport or the boot of your car.

Electric Fat Bike

If you are familiar with fat bikes, you will be probably more aware of the niche type of mountain bike. These are brilliant fun and feature massive squishy tyres. These tyres create a large contact patch with the ground, making them ideal for riding over snow, sand and soft mud, due to their large surface area.

However, the other advantage of these fat tyres, is that they make the ride very comfortable without suspension (although some fat bikes have suspension too). Therefore, there are a few electric bike manufacturers building commuter bikes with fat tyres. These are great, as you have comfort and grip while you ride, but you can also take them off-road or easily ride them on uneven terrain. This means you can commute on one during the week, but go and have some fun with it at weekends.

You can get some tremendous electric fat bikes that have a laidback riding position and an almost retro-style. These are called electric beach cruisers and are great for relaxing comfortable rides.

Classes Of Electric Bike

Your local laws will determine what electric bike you can ride, or if you need a licence and insurance etc. Here are the three classes you need to know about:

Class 1 – Pedal Assist / Pedelec

The most common electric bikes are known as pedal-assist or pedelec. As you pedal, the motor will give you some assistance, which boosts the power transmitted to the rear wheel. You have to put in far less effort than you usually would, even when you have selected a high gear. This system allows you to go faster and climb hills much more easily.

These bikes allow you to choose the amount of assistance you get from the motor. However, in Europe, Class 1 electric bikes cannot provide assistance over 25kph. In the USA, Class 1 electric bikes are limited to 32kph.

You can ride a class 1 electric bike on most roads and paths, and you don’t need to have a license or insurance. Class 1 electric bikes are the most affordable and are the most universally accepted by local laws.

Class 2 – Throttle

Electric bikes with a throttle work similarly to a motorbike or scooter. The electric motor drives you along without the need for you to pedal. Most electric bikes with a throttle allow you to adjust your speed depending on how much throttle you apply. This type of electric bike isn’t as common as pedelec bikes, and are banned in some countries.

The EU requires electric bikes only to provide power while you are pedalling. Therefore, throttle electric bikes are more common in the USA and China, where the rules are more relaxed.

Class 3 -Speed Pedelec

A speed pedelec bike works in the same way as a standard pedelec, but it can go much faster. They allow you to ride up to 45kph and are regarded as a motor vehicle in many countries. Therefore, if you fancy one of these, you may need to get a licence to ride one. These electric bikes are more expensive and are heavier, due to the more powerful motors and batteries. Their most significant advantage is that they allow you to keep up with traffic much more easily. However, you may not be permitted to ride class 3 electric mountain bikes on specific trails.

Hub-Motor or Mid-drive Motor?

Where an electric bike’s motor is mounted makes a difference to how it handles and its price. The electric motor can be mounted on one of two places, in a wheel or on the cranks.

Front Hub Motor

The most straightforward electric bikes have their motor fitted on the front wheel hub. These are generally the cheapest, but they are also the most limited. Front-hub motors are mainly fitted to throttle assisted electric bikes. This is because it is challenging to get power through the drivetrain when the motor is on the front wheel. With the extra weight at the front, cornering and handling are compromised. You won’t find many factory-built front hub driven bikes, but you will find this configuration on bikes fitted with conversion kits.

Rear Hub Motor

Rear hub motors can be used for both pedelec bikes and throttle bikes. You can often buy bikes that have both systems available, giving you the best of both worlds. There are also conversion kits that are built for rear hubs.

Rear hub motors are relatively inexpensive to build and are quite subtle in appearance, as they look similar to oversized hubs. However, these motors create an unbalanced weight distribution, which can affect handling. This is a definite consideration if you plan to ride a rear-hub driven mountain bike on, particularly rough terrain.

Mid-Drive Motor

Mid-drive electric bikes have their motors located low down in the frame in between the cranks. This system offers more benefits than hub driven systems to a pedelec bike. These benefits include more torque, even weight distribution and better use of the gear range. Mid-drive motors use torque sensors, which means the harder you pedal, the faster you go. This automatically varies the assistance to match your pedalling intensity, creating a smoother and more natural riding experience.

How Much Are Electric Bikes?

As you can see, there are several variables to consider when buying an electric bike. All of these variables will impact on your new electric bike’s price.

If you are looking at buying an electric bike for commuting, you will undoubtedly save money by leaving the car at home or using one as an alternative to public transport. You will also get much fitter, as electric bikes keep you active. But, you still need to think about your budget, so how much are electric bikes?

Let’s look at some examples from Vansprint.co.uk of what is available at both ends of the market.

Electric Mountain Bikes

Currently costing £1,841.68, we have the Econic One Cross-country. This has a lightweight aluminium frame and is powered by a 250W rear hub motor. This bike is perfect for moderate off-road use thanks to its cross-country geometry and fork suspension. The motor is hooked up to a 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain. Combine this with a peak power of 500W; and this will easily get you to the top of most hills, either off-road or around town. But when it comes to riding back down those hills, you need to be sure that you have the stopping power. Therefore, this bike comes with Shimano BR-M6000 hydraulic disc brakes. These use a 180mm rotor on the front wheel and a 160mm rotor on the rear. This is a powerful system that gives you lots of control due to their great feel and modulation.

At the other end of the scale, we have the Greyp G6.3 Rebel FS, currently priced at £6,057.56. This electric mountain bike is packed full of features to make it almost futuristic.

The T700 carbon fibre reinforced composite frame makes the Rebel FS extremely tough, and this toughness is enhanced by the fact that it is a full-suspension bike. But, don’t be under any illusion that the suspension components are just cheap token items. The fork is the Rockshox Yari Boost Debonair with 150mm of travel, while the rear shock is the RockShox Monarch RT.

Its mid-drive motor has rated power output of 250W and 95Nm torque, which runs through a SRAM EX1 8-speed drivetrain. This features an oil-filled gearbox making it very quiet, low maintenance and vibration-free.

The additional features of the Greyp G6.3 Rebel FS are pretty impressive. The first thing we think you will like is that this bike is connected to the internet, giving you certain advantages. One of these advantages is that you can connect to it remotely with the phone app, and lock it remotely if it is stolen, you can also track where it is. The app also allows you to activate the onboard cameras to take a picture of where it is. These cameras can also be switched on at any time to record your epic riding in 1080p.

This bike is fitted with a display that allows you to easily plan your route, provide ride data, shows your battery status and displays your ride history.

Electric Hybrid Bikes

Priced at £2,094, the Econic One Cross-country Smart has a few additional features to the “non-smart” version that makes it perfect for city living. For example, you can track its location via GPS in real-time and activate the built-in theft alarm with the mobile app. The app will alert you if someone touches your bike, but it also allows you to lock and unlock it remotely. The discrete lock is fitted to the back wheel and prevents it from spinning when activated.

Folding Electric Bikes

Currently priced at £1,165.75, the BadBike AWY is an excellent folding electric bike for commuting. AWY stands for Always With You, which is a very apt name, as the compact size, means you can take it anywhere. The AWY is easy to carry on to the train or in your car. Its compact size also allows you to stash it easily at home or under your desk at work if space is a little tight. This electric bike is powered by a 250W rear- hub-driven motor, which is plenty of power for urban riding. It is very simple to use, as it folds in half in seconds, but the display and controls are intuitive and take the guesswork out of the technical side of riding electric bikes.

The AWY is very versatile, in the fact that you can fit it with rear bags, that are ideal for carrying everything you need for the day.

Electric Fat Bikes

The BadBike Beach is an excellent example of a beach cruiser style electric bike. This is powered by a 250w rear-hub driven motor and its relaxed riding position makes it ideal for leisure rides and comfortable commuting.

The 26” wheels are fitted with Juggernaut fat tyres, these give you a super comfortable ride on paved roads, but they also provide you with plenty of grip when riding over soft sand and dirt. To increase the Beach’s comfort, it features a seat post with built-in suspension to make your ride even more pleasurable.

Electric Cargo Bikes

Electric cargo bikes are very versatile, a great example of one these bikes is the Triobike Cargo Big Shimano Zee 10. This bike is priced at £5,047.97 and is an excellent alternative to a small van or car for delivering stuff. You can configure it in several ways too. For example, you can carry small pallets, or even fit it with seats making it perfect for travelling with a couple of kids. Its 250W motor runs through a 10-speed Shimano Zee drivetrain, making deliveries cost-effective and easy.

Other Price Considerations

Once you have bought your electric bike, you can accessorise it and buy things to enhance your electric bike experience. For example, you can buy an additional battery charger to keep at work; this would typically cost about £45. Alternatively, you could buy an extra battery, so you always have one charged. Prices for extra batteries vary depending on their voltage etc., but you can expect to pay close to £200 for a spare.

Other things you can buy for your electric bike are racks, panniers and mudguards, to make riding more convenient and comfortable.

Tips For Buying An Electric Bike

  1. Take manufacturer’s range figures with a pinch of salt

    If you think about it, your bike’s range is unlimited if you do all the pedalling. The most significant factors determining an electric bike’s range are the profile of your journey and how fast you ride it. The best way to determine a bike’s range is to look at its battery energy in kilowatt-hours. Compare two bikes with similar drivetrains and power ratings, the one with the biggest battery will go further on a single charge.

  2. If you are buying an electric bike to climb lots of hills, go for a mid-drive bike

    Hub-driven motors are excellent for riding on flat ground effortlessly, but they are not incredibly efficient on steep climbs. This is because it is optimised for one speed, making them inefficient as they tend to overheat. Mid-drive electric bikes use the bike’s gears in unison with your pedalling, making them more efficient on flat ground and steep hills.

    However, if your budget will only stretch to a hub-driven electric bike, you will still feel the benefit of electrical assistance.

  3. Understand the battery numbers

    Batteries are described by their voltage(V) and amp-hours(Ah). You will mainly see batteries with either 36V or 48V, and they will be between 8 and 20Ah. Check out the equation below:

    Watts = V X Ah

    If your bike has a 36V 10Ah battery, it has 360Wh of energy. Therefore, if your motor is a 360W motor, it will last 1 hour.

  4. Don’t buy his n’ hers bikes

    If you ride with your spouse, don’t be tempted to buy the same bike, unless you are the same weight and fitness. A lighter rider doesn’t need as much power as a heavier one; therefore, women tend to prefer electric bikes with a little less power, but with smoother power transfer. There are lots of women specific electric bikes on the market.

    You may also find that the frame geometry isn’t right for both of you, or you have different expectations of the type of riding you want to do.

Which Electric Bike Should I Buy? -Answered!

Well…kind of.

With all this information you have a lot to think about, but your starting point will be your budget and what you want to use your electric bike for. In this electric bike buyer’s guide, we have broken down the things you need to think about and given you some great examples from our online store.

If you are still struggling with what electric bike to buy, contact our experts who will gladly discuss your requirements and make some excellent recommendations.

How Do Electric Bikes Work?

Electric bikes are taking the world by storm. There has been a recent boom of people seeing the benefits of riding an electric bike. Whether they ride them for fun or commuting, you cannot deny that electric bikes are fantastic and here to stay. In this post, we will go through the benefits of riding an electric bike, and we will be answering the question of, how do electric bikes work? By the end of this blog, you will be fully up to date on everything you need to know about electric bikes.

Benefits Of Riding An Electric Bike

The first thing you need to know about electric bikes is that they make pedalling easier. Electric bikes amplify the effort you put into the pedals using an electric motor. This assistance makes it super easy to climb steep hills and tackle rough terrain with much less effort than a traditional bike.

But, before we get on to the technical side of how electric bikes work, we will highlight the benefits of riding an electric bike and why they are becoming so popular.

A Fast Way Of Getting Around Town

One of the key benefits of an electric bike’s technology is that you can cover a long distance with minimal effort. Most electric bikes are eligible to ride on traffic-free cycle paths, allowing you to get around quickly and safely by using your city’s infrastructure.

If your route to work doesn’t have cycle paths, there is a good chance that you will still be able to beat the traffic. While everyone is sitting in their cars in gridlock, you can just ride past them. This slashes your commuting time, but the electrical assistance also means that you arrive at your destination looking as fresh as when you started.

Improve Fitness

Some people think that riding an electric bike is cheating. But studies have shown that they are just as effective at improving fitness was a regular bike. Don’t forget, you are still exercising, and the pedal assistance just means you can ride for longer. Electric bikes allow you to change the level of assistance you require; therefore, you can go for a leisurely ride, or turn your commute into an excellent workout.

Electric bikes also benefit older people that want to ensure that they maintain an active lifestyle. They also help people that are receiving form injuries. Riding an electric bike means that they can run errands, exercise, and rehabilitate without the fear of overstretching themselves.

The Future OF Transport

Electric bikes are improving every year, as manufacturers develop and leverage innovations in technology. But in the grand scheme of things, electric bikes are still in their infancy. However, many people are selling their cars in favour of electric bikes. We are already experiencing improvements in battery technology. These improvements are extending the range of electric bikes, while gradually reducing the battery size, and we will see more of this as the innovations continue.

Electric bikes are still more expensive than regular bikes, but buying an electric bike is much cheaper buying a car. They are also much less expensive to run than a car. When you combine these savings with health benefits, electric bikes are clearly the future of transport.

They Are Fun To Ride

Life is always better on a bike, and an electric motor makes a bike even more entertaining. The first time you jump on to an electric bike, you will be hooked, as your pedal power is seamlessly amplified. This is an odd feeling at first, but you will love how the wave of electrically generated torque carries you along once you get going.

The more effort you put into the pedals, the faster you will go. However, electric bikes are limited, as the motor will stop helping you at a certain speed (depending on your local laws), even at the highest assistance level. This is a safety thing and to solve the debate whether you are riding a bicycle or an electric motorbike, which you would need a licence for.

Electric mountain bikes are super fun to ride too. They allow you to get to terrain that you would not usually be able to get to. For some, this may be a steep backcountry alpine descent that takes too long or is too difficult to reach on a regular mountain bike. For others, this may be an easy off-road trail you want to get to quickly in your lunch break. No matter what your fitness level or rider skill, you will be able to have fun on an electric mountain bike.

Environmentally Friendly

It is no secret that our pollution is having a negative effect on the environment, and we all need to do our bit. Electric bikes put out less pollution per kilometre than motorised vehicles. You can help the environment by using an electric bike instead of a traditional petrol or diesel car. Therefore, the increased use of electric bikes will improve our air quality immensely.

There As An Electric Bike For Everyone

No matter what you want an electric bike for, there will be a perfect solution for you. Whether you are commuting or looking for an easy way to explore local mountain bike terrain, you will be able to find an electric bike that will do the job. You can get electric bikes designed for carrying cargo, riding over snow and sand, commuting in busy cities, and looking good while cruising the seafront. You can even buy electric folding bikes that are perfect for people that need something that doesn’t take up too much room.

They Are Becoming More Readily Available

Manufacturers have recognised that there is a huge demand for electric bikes. This demand is growing, as fewer people are using their cars while others are looking for low-cost travel with a low environmental impact. Therefore, manufacturers are stepping up production of the different types of electric bikes. This means that they are easier to buy. You can also be assured that there is a ready supply of spare parts.

how do electric bikes work?

Now you have a ton of reasons why you should buy an electric bike, it is time to answer the question of, how do electric bikes work? This will help you understand what to look for when buying an electric bike so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing one.

Types Of Drive

There are two main ways that an electric bike is driven by its motor.

Pedelec

The most common one you will come across is what is known as “pedelec”. An electric bike with a pedelec system uses a sensor that monitors your pedalling speed, rate and force. The bike’s controller uses this information to add the required amount of motor assistance.

In some countries, electric bike motor’s are limited to a maximum speed of 25km/h. So when you get to 25km/h, the motor assistance cuts out. You can buy electric bikes that top out at 45km/h, but you need a licence, number plate and insurance to ride them. However, electric bike rules and regulations are different in every country. So before you buy your electric bike, check out what is legal in your part of the world.

Throttle

The other type of drive is activated when the rider uses a switch. By twisting the throttle or pressing a button, the rider can ride along using the motor power alone, or while pedalling.

However, there are electric bikes that combine these two systems, which offer the best of both worlds. We will go into more detail on this later.

What You Need To Know About Electric Bike Motors

There are two different places electric motors are mounted on an electric bike that you need to know about. Where a motor is mounted makes a difference to a bike’s handling and its price point. So it is worth considering where a motor is mounted depending on what you are planning on using the bike for.

Mid-drive Motor

A mid-drive motor sits between your electric bike’s cranks. The motor’s torque spins a shaft connected to the chainring, so that it can add to your pedalling power through the drivetrain.

Mid-drive motors give an electric bike certain characteristics. The first benefit you get from a mid-drive motor is that they make climbing hills more efficient than hub-driven motors. The second benefit is that the lower centre of gravity creates a balanced ride, which is ideal for more serious mountain biking.

However, mid-drive motors do accelerate chain wear. This is understandable when you think about all that extra torque going through it. Manufacturers fit electric bikes with specific chains, but you still need to keep an eye on them.

Mid-drive electric bikes are also more expensive, due to the additional mechanical components and the higher gear reduction.

Hub-drive Motor
Direct-Drive Hub Motor

The simplest motors you will find on electric bikes are direct-drive hub motors. The motor’s shaft doubles as the bike’s rear axle. This means that as the motor spins, it drives you forward. These are great as they have high torque outputs, which is needed when riding at lower speeds.

Some direct-drive electric bikes have regenerative braking. This system recharges the battery when you apply the brakes. Don’t expect this to make a significant difference to your range, but in some cases, it may give you that little bit extra power to get home.

Gear Hub Motor

As the name suggests, a gear hub motor is also mounted on the bike’s rear wheel. But this type of motor spins much faster. The motor’s shaft runs through a series of gears, making the hub spin at a slower speed. This system gives you more torque, but a slower top speed.

You can tell the difference between a gear and a direct drive hub motor by its size. Gear hub motors are smaller in diameter, as they don’t need to be so big, due to the amount of torque they produce. However, they are much wider, so there is room to house the additional gears.

Hub mounted motors don’t wear down the chain and gears as quickly as mid-drive motors. The other benefit of these motors is that they make electric bikes cheaper. But, you will notice that they don’t climb as well as mid-drive motored electric bikes, nor do they have a particularly well-balanced ride. But this isn’t usually a problem for most commuters.

It is worth noting that changing a tyre on a wheel with a hub-mounted motor is a bit trickier, thanks to the addition of wiring.

Power

Comparing the power ratings of different electric bikes can be super confusing. We will break it down to make it as easy to understand as possible. The reason for the confusion is that rated power is not the same as a motor’s actual power output.

An electric motor’s actual power output depends on how much load it is under and how much electric power the controller gives to the motor.

The power rating of an electrical motor just indicates how much power you get at a specific amount of time. However, there is no universal standard to make comparisons simple.

Motor manufacturers use the term “power” to indicate a measure of how quickly work is being done (stay with me). The other metric you need to look at is torque. Torque is the rotational measurement of force.

The power output of an electric motor peaks at a specific speed; therefore, to know what the power of an electric motor is in Watts, you need to know how fast it is spinning. This is so you can multiply the speed by the torque in order to determine the motor’s maximum power.

I really don’t think you will be making this calculation while you are riding around heavy traffic. To get an idea of the maximum power you can get from a bike’s electric motor, you need to know the battery’s voltage and the continuous current from the motors’ controller.

It is much easier to multiply volts by amps to get watts. So let’s look at an example:

Imagine an electric bike with 750W motor rating, a 52V battery and a controller that delivers 20A. This gives us:

52V x 20A = 1,040W

But, electric bike motors are not 100% efficient, they are generally 75% efficient, which brings the power figure to 780W. This means that when riding an electric bike with these characteristics, you can potentially reach a maximum power of 780W, which isn’t too far off the rated power. But, your bike won’t be able to maintain this power for an extended period of time.

If you are desperate to know how much power your bike can produce for a sustained period of time, the best thing to do is contact the manufacturer and ask them before you buy.

What You Need To Know About Electric Bike Batteries

Most electric bikes use lithium-ion batteries. The more you pay for your electric bike, the fancier your battery will be. More expensive batteries are lighter, charge quickly and have a longer life. In the worst-case scenario, you can get around 800 charges from lithium-ion batteries, but they degrade the more they are used and charged. You should get two to three years of weekday commuting from a decent lithium-ion battery.

But if you look after them, they will last longer, and you can expect around 2,000 half charge cycles. You can usually fully charge a battery in about two to six hours, depending on the battery you have. The difference in charging times is based on the battery’s manufacturer, its capacity and its chemistry.

Mounting

Where a battery is mounted on an electric bike varies greatly. The different locations are determined by the type of bike, frame size and what the bike is used for. Manufacturers often place the battery under the seat or low in the frame to lower the bike’s centre of gravity. Bikes with a lower centre of gravity handle well and are more evenly balanced.

Batteries often lock into the frame with a key for security. Removing a battery makes it very easy to charge it by plugging it into the wall at home or work.

Range

For many people, when riding an electric bike, the most important thing is its range. The range of an electric bike is how far you can ride before the battery runs flat. It is essential to know what an electric bike’s range is before you buy one. If your daily journey has a nasty hill to climb, the last thing you need is for the battery to go flat. Without the electrical assistance provided by the motor and battery, an electric bike is just a heavy bike.

There are a few factors that determine an electric bike’s range:

  • The battery’s capacity
  • The speed you are riding
  • How heavy you are
  • How hilly your journey is
  • The level of assistance you choose
  • How much you pedal

If you only have a short commute, you don’t need an electric bike with an extensive range. However, it is recommended that you buy a bike with a longer range than you think you need. The reason behind this is because as the battery ages, the range you get from it reduces, as it loses its capacity over time.

Sensors

Electric bikes use sensors to work out the level of assistance it gives you based on your input into the pedals.

Cadence sensors (also known as speed sensors) give you assistance based on your pedalling cadence. This means if you want to go faster, you pedal faster, not harder, so acceleration is effortless and gives you a relaxed riding experience. You will find cadence sensors on hub-driven electric bikes.

Alternatively, you may want an electric bike with a torque sensor. Torque sensors measure how much torque you are putting into the pedals, so harder pedalling makes you go faster. These sensors are more common in mid-drive motors, especially on electric mountain bikes. The experience you get from a bike with a torque sensor is closer to a traditional bike, but obviously with more power. They offer you more control, as you don’t get a big chunk of power all at once. Instead, you get a more natural feeling but amplified input.

Do You Need A Throttle?

Earlier, we mentioned that some electric bikes have a throttle that allows you to ride under power without pedalling. Having this feature is all down to personal preference, but when riding an electric bike with a hub-driven motor, a throttle can be beneficial. For example, if your chain breaks or you have a mechanical issue with your drivetrain, you can still use the electric motor to get you to the nearest bike shop or home. They are also great if you are feeling a little lazy on your way home from work.

If you often ride in heavy traffic, a throttle can make your journey a little easier, as you can simply adjust your speed rather than changing the cadence of your peddling all the time.

Before you buy an electric bike with a throttle, you need to check your local laws to see how fast you can ride it.

Final Thoughts

Riding an electric bike is an excellent way of getting around. As you can see, there are many reasons why they are becoming so popular and why we will see many more in the future. Whether you need a low-cost way of commuting or want to add another bike to your collection, an electric bike is a perfect solution.

You are now armed with all the information to start looking into your options. Browse the electric bikes we have on offer to find your dream electric bike. If you need help in finding the best one for you, don’t hesitate to contact our electric bike experts.