Choosing an E-Bike: A Comprehensive Buyers Guide

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Cycle The Vineyards

E-Bikes Continue to Pave the Way for the Future of Cycling

E-bikes have expanded the possibilities of what it means to cycle; the motor assistance has allowed for a more approachable and accessible route to incorporating cycling into everyday activities such as commuting or leisure.

Primarily, they can be broken down into the same categories as conventional bikes: mountain and road, but quickly branch out into the common niches such urban, hybrid, cruiser, cargo and folding bikes. Within this article, we will take a look at the main functions of an e-bike, what to look out for when purchasing, and whether they can match your specific needs.

 

Why Choose an E-Bike?

The most pertinent reason as to why many consumers have decided to invest in an electric bike is primarily the ability to make commuting easier. Congestion is a major problem in most European cities, but not if you’re on an e-bike.

You can take advantage of extensive cycle networks and choose quieter roads away from the traffic, and while this may be the case on a conventional bike as well, the motor-assisted nature can help to the strain if you are feeling particularly lethargic.

 

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That isn’t to say owning an e-bike is “cheating.” You’ll only receive assistance while you’re actively pedalling, so you’ll still be working your muscles and your cardiovascular health. Plus, if you want more of a workout, you can turn the assistance level down to a lower setting.

E-bikes also provide an elegant solution to the expansion of the ultra low emissions zone in London, as they release zero tailpipe emissions and are the perfect solution for those who want to avoid driving through these zones and reduce their carbon footprint.

 

Three Main Models to Choose From

  • Electric Folding Bikes: They are the ideal bike for commuters. Their functionality makes them easy to transport on public transportation, and you can carry them with you and so you won’t need to worry about it being stolen. Folding e-bikes have small wheels, which makes them agile and manoeuvrable; perfect for narrow city streets and speedy commutes.

 

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  • Hybrid Electric Bikes: The most versatile, multi-faceted model available, electric hybrid bikes are equally comfortable on commutes as they are exploring on off-road cycle paths. This is the perfect choice for those looking for a comprehensive, rounded product that can be used as a leisurely pursuit, as well as an important mode of transport.

 

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  • Electric Mountain Bikes: For the adventurous riders out there, the possibilities are endless with an electric mountain bike. Equipped with a powerful motor and a long range battery, they can help you on your way to tackling difficult climbs, tougher terrain and reaching those destinations that were previously unattainable.

 

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Drive systems

Front Hub motors

Front hub motors fit onto the front wheel. A front hub motor will efficiently pull you along and can feel a little like a front-wheel-drive car. Front hub motors are often fitted to entry-level e-bikes.

Rear Hub motors

Rear hub motors are fitted to the rear wheel. They provide more traction than front hub motors and can feel more stable on the road; they work great for high speed riding and can assist in moderate climbs.

Rear hub motors are more technologically advanced as they need to interact with the gears and chain. They can be found on mid-range and high-end e-bikes.

Central Drive Motors

The motor is positioned directly in between the pedals at the bike’s bottom bracket. This ensures an equal centre of gravity, providing load balancing and creating the feeling of riding a traditional bike, as opposed to feeling pushed or pulled. Riders don’t feel the additional weight of the motor because of where it is positioned, giving them a solid directional and tracking stability.

Central-drive motors are fitted to mid-range and high-end bikes, including some electric mountain bikes.

 

E-bike legality

Electric bikes are legally referred to as “electrically assisted pedal cycles” or “EAPCs” under EU law.

Your e-bike only falls in this category if:

  • The e-bike is powered by pedalling and not just a battery and motor.
  • The electric motor won’t assist you if you’re travelling more than 15.5mph.
  • The power output doesn’t exceed 250 watts.

 

One last tip – be sure to visit a local bike store to consult a specialist on size requirements and bike specifications; ensuring you have a suitably sized bike for your own personal build will massively transform your experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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