Choosing the right electric bike
If you need help deciding what type of electric bike ( E-Bike ) is best suited to you then this is the guide for you.
We discuss each type of e-bike, what the benefits are and who they are best suited for.
Electric Mountain Bikes ( E-MTB )
People ride mountain bikes for a huge variety of reasons, so there probably isn’t a single reason for you why an E-MTB might suit you. We think they’re pretty incredible machines for what they allow riders to do.
Here’s our top reasons why you should consider buying an electric mountain bike:
With an E-MTB, you’ll find yourself riding places you might have never seen before. If you’re a downhill or enduro rider, you’ll no longer be tied to uplifts or chairlift, you’ll spend more time on your bike and do that trail that you always put off because of the awful climb at the start.
- Enjoy climbing again
While you don’t have to be a masochist or an XC-whippet to enjoy climbing, it often helps. But with the support a motor offers, you can enjoy the entirety of the ride instead of only the downward-facing portions. You’ll also find technical climbs a rewarding challenge for your skills. Modern full-suspension bikes aren’t the slouches they used to be anyway, but add a motor, and all of a sudden that climb you used to have to walk up is almost as fun as the other side (almost).
- Ride a “bigger” bike
Whereas before you may have cut back on the travel of your bike, or gone for some skinny tyres, just to make the climbs more bearable, an E-MTB will allow you to get that bike to the top of the hill, no problem. Look at Specialized’s new Kenevo Expert to see just how far you can take that.
- Explore further
By extending your natural range, you can now find new areas that might have been outside your reach, even in your own area. It’s a great time to explore anyway with access to MTBs expanding in both Scotland & Wales.
- You might even be able to ditch the car!
Not all of us are lucky enough to live with awesome trails on our doorstep. Most rides do involve a bit of travel to get to the fun bits. An E-MTB means that what was previously a slog on the road for 30 minutes, turns into a nice 15 minute warm-up before hitting the trails. Meaning you’re ready, but not worn-out on arrival. The same applies for the return journey, where it doesn’t matter that you’ve bonked, stick the bike in turbo and cruise home effortlessly. Also, E-MTBs are much more environmentally friendly than cars so this is a win-win in our eyes.
- They’re forgiving for those of us with hectic lifestyles
Some of us don’t have the opportunity to ride regularly due to pesky life obligations, which means we aren’t always as fit as we’d like to be. It can be hard to get back on the horse, but if you’ve got a motor supporting you, you’re much more likely to do so. It means riding your bike can always feel as rewarding as when you’re at your strongest.
Electric Hybrid bikes ( E-Hybrid )
Electric hybrid bikes come in all shapes and sizes. They are ideal for leisure riding and commuting to work and are equally at home riding on roads, canal paths and countryside trails.
Leisure - Electric hybrid bikes are great for riding solo or with family & friends, allowing you to ride much further and stay out on the bike for longer. Ideal if you need to keep up with faster riders! They are also a great way to get out and explore more of your local area.
Commuting - It can be hard getting the willpower to go to work some mornings, never mind having to move yourself there under your own power. Having the support of a motor behind you can make all the difference. Using an electric bike allows you to do longer or hilly commutes and arrive feeling fresher and less sweaty.
Let's take a look at why using an E-Hybrid for commuting or leisure is a great idea:
- They’re faster
With a motor helping you set off from each traffic light or roundabout, as well as powering you up any inclines on your route; you’ll find that you’ll get to work in substantially less time than lots of other modes of transport. We think that bikes are great ways of getting to work anyway, motors only make them better. You still get a small amount of exercise (it’s up to you!), avoid sitting in traffic and not be bound to a bus timetable.
- Go green
Bikes are amazingly efficient machines in any case, but electric motors can add a lot of distance for very little energy. We’ve worked out that doing 4000mi on an eBike (a pretty high annual amount), uses the same amount of electricity as the average house does in 3 days! An electric car will roughly use over 30 times as much. Add in drawing that electricity from renewable sources, and you have a very low-carbon way of getting around. On top of that, by not emitting any particulates or pollutants, you’re helping keep the air clean.
- Save money
While the upfront costs can be a little higher than a conventional bike, the running costs are very similar, which means they’re a much more affordable alternative than cars or public transport.
You won’t be limited to only going to and from work, E-Hybrids are ideal for trips into town, leisure rides with friends & family and comfortable riding on roads, canal paths and countryside trails.
- Keep up with younger, fitter family and friends
Taking the strain out of hills makes riding so much easier, allowing you to enjoy rides with friends or family that are faster than you, rather than worrying if you’ll make it.
- Go on longer rides or commutes
By assisting your natural fitness, you will be able to ride further or for longer. This means being able to visit new places and having more flexibility with where you ride.
- Arrive feeling fresh
If you just want to arrive at work feeling fresh and ready for the day, an E-Hybrid will let you cruise in without sweating buckets. Equally, if you have a day of errands planned around town, why should you have to arrive in a sweaty mess?
E-Road & E-Gravel
Electric road bikes are ideal if you are looking for the lightest and most efficient electric bike for road use, whether you are an experienced road rider who now needs that extra helping hand or maybe you want to start road riding a faster group of riders.
Cutting edge technologies combined with sleek integration means these bikes at a glance, are becoming indistinguishable from their conventional siblings. New offerings from Specialized and others now come in under 12kg with up to 120 miles of range, meaning even all-day road rides are easily achievable.
With the recent introduction of gravel & adventure bikes as well, we’re starting to see electric versions becoming available. With a similar weight to conventional bikes, they will allow you to do some truly epic expeditions. Keep an eye out as we think this will be a very exciting category in the next few years.
So with that all said, what are the benefits of an E-Road bike?
- Conquer mountains
E-Road bikes really come into their own when the road points upwards, taking the struggle out of the climbs allowing you to enjoy the entire ride.
- Forget about headwinds
Sometimes the weather just doesn’t play along, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in. An E-Road will allow you to keep powering on through gritted teeth and squinted eyes.
- Gives you flexibility planning rides
Tired after a busy week at work but still want to do that big ride out into the hills? By extending your natural range, you’ll find you can fit in rides that you may have turned down before.
- Ride longer distances or ride in less time
With an E-Road bike you can cover longer distances for the same effort or do the same distance in less time. This means fitting in that midweek ride somewhere interesting rather than just around the block. Or fit in that ride you didn’t think you had time for.
- Join fitter partners or friends
Great if your partner is a keen road cyclist or your kids are aspiring World Tour legends and you want to ride together without being left miles behind.
- Great for new and older riders
Ideal for new riders to be able to get out and ride longer distances straight away and not be left hanging out the back of those long hard climbs. Perfect if you are an older rider just getting into cycling and want to get out there riding with your fitter friends straight away. They are also ideal for experienced older riders who are starting to feel like they can't quite keep up with the same group of riders they have been with for years. We think if it keeps you on the bike for longer it can only be a good thing.