If you're thinking of getting an electric bike (otherwise known as an e-bike) but not sure where to start, read our guide below and you'll be whizzing around in no time.
Electric bikes come in many shapes and sizes depending on the type of riding you intend to use them for. Whether you are looking to follow in Tracy Moseley's bike tracks and switch to e-MTB or you simply want that extra oomph when pedalling around town, this guide will answer all your FAQs about e-bikes.
Types of e-bike
Ebikes look like normal bikes, whether that's a mountain bike, a road bike or a more casual urban bike. The difference is that they have a small electric motor that boosts the power from your own pedalling.
Mountain e-bikes allow you to get further, climb hills quicker and expend less energy than when riding a regular mountain bike.
Road e-bikes are similar to traditional road bikes but assist you when pedalling. They are a huge benefit for those coming back from injury or illness or for older riders who want to continue riding with their friends. These bikes still have carbon or aluminium frames to keep the weight down.
Urban e-bikes are great for getting around the local area and for casual bike rides. They tend to have space for bags or a basket too, so you can easily carry around bits and bobs.
How do electric bikes work
There are three main components on an e-bike to create pedal power that you won't find on a regular bike. There's a motor, a battery and sensors built into the frame. The motor on an e-bike is activated when you start pedalling thanks to the sensors - one sensor to kick start your boost and the other to determine how much of a boost to give you. The battery gives the motor the power and needs to be charged between rides.
How long does the battery last on an eBike?
If you're wondering how far can an e-bike go on one charge - the answer does depend on a few factors including the size of the battery, the average speed you are riding, the type of terrain, and the weight of the bike and rider.
All electric bikes come with different sizes of battery which are measured in 'Wh' Watt Hours. When choosing which e-bike to purchase, take a look at the battery range. Typically most e-bikes can last for 40-100 miles on one charge. Essentially the bigger the battery, the longer you'll be able to ride for.
The life of the battery itself will last for many years if cleaned, stored and charged correctly.
Charging your bike
Electric bikes are much the same as laptops or mobile phones. You simply remove the battery from the bike, plug it into a socket and bobs your uncle. It will take a good few hours to charge fully if you have completely drained it, but try not to leave it plugged in overnight, as this can actually damage the battery life over time due to overcharging.
Would you use an e-bike for daily commuting?
Cycling is not only a fun hobby, it is a great way to get from A to B for your work commute and can also be a great way of getting in extra miles if training for an event.
An e-bike is ideal for commuters as you are still getting a dose of fresh air but they don't require you to use as much energy (or sweat as much) on your journey. These types of bike give you a boost when you push off at traffic lights to get ahead of the crowd and pedalling up a hill is as easy as downhill.
If your commute is short and you'll mainly be on bike paths, an urban e-bike is a great choice as they are very versatile.
Can e-bikes be used in the rain?
The short answer is yes, e-bikes are built to withstand different weather conditions and are fine to ride in the rain. Mountain e-bikes are particularly hardy and designed for constantly changing terrain and weather. It is advisable to clean and dry your bike as best you can after your ride because this will help your electric bike and its components last longer.
We caught up with multiple downhill and enduro World Champion Tracy Moseley who has turned to e-MTB racing, to discuss the thrills and adventures possible on electric bikes.
The best electric bikes
Now that we've answered your FAQs, it's time to check out our guide to the best electric bikes.