Cycle 360 has a great range of e-bikes both in-store and online. Find out more about this increasingly popular style of bike and its benefits and work out how to choose the perfect one for you!
WHAT EVEN IS AN E-BIKE?!
Attitudes towards cycling are changing, and so are bikes themselves. Electronic bicycles, also known as e-bikes, have hit the scene, and are making a major impression in the UK and across the pond.
E-bikes allow you to ride further and for longer whilst reducing the strain of riding so you can enjoy cycling even more!
While they look like normal two-wheelers, they have a built-in electric motor for thrust with most kicking in by simply pedalling and hitting the relevant button on your handlebars.
They allow commuters to have an effortless ride whilst carrying a load, meaning you can get to work without breaking a sweat! For mountain bikers, e-bikes open up once unrideable terrain and allow you to ride even further into the wild, and for road-riders e-bikes allow longer rides and the ability to conquer even steeper climbs.
BUT IS IT CHEATING?
There is a common myth that using an e-bike is cheating, but this simply isn’t true. E-bikes use what’s called “pedal-assist”, meaning they use a small electric motor to boost the power created by your own pedalling.
Therefore, you still must pedal on an e-bike, which still requires effort. And, with different levels of assistance to choose from, you can actually choose when you work harder and when you don’t, allowing you to ride unaided by your motor if you wish.
The trick to making your e-bike the perfect fitness tool is to use the motor just enough to keep going. Cycle until you’re either wiped out or have hit a steep hill, then increase the power for that extra oomph!
Studies have shown that riding an e-bike can actually make you fitter than a standard bike. This sounds odd, but the theory is that if you can get around easier without having to change into lycra or work up a sweat, you’re more likely to choose to ride often.
MAKING CYCLING MORE ACCESSIBLE
It’s true that riding e-bikes can be easier than riding a normal bike. It’s more convenient and less effort. But this is the best thing about it – it makes cycling more accessible. Making cycling that bit easier, means more people are likely to do it. And, at Cycle 360, we applaud anything that stops people being put off by cycling, especially if it helps achieve what we want, which is more people cycling!
E-BIKE BATTERY LIFE AND MILEAGE
Your e-bike can generally get you pretty far without running out of battery so you can travel long distances before running out of steam. As a rough guide, you can work out how many miles you might get from your battery by dividing the Wh capacity by 15. However, weather, terrain and rider weight can all affect the range so be sure to bear this in mind.
Battery life itself is dependent on how you ride and the level of assistance you choose. If you put in most of the work yourself on eco mode, you could get hundreds of miles on a single charge. If you use the turbo-mode and ride on a route with lots of climbs, your range will be reduced.
The average range is generally 45-60 miles, but most e-bikes have a display showing your battery life to allow you to adjust your route accordingly!
Most battery packs on an e-bike can be removed to allow you to plug into a mains socket, or your charger will plug straight into your bike. Depending on battery size, it should take around 3-4 hours to fully charge your battery.
What you need to know before purchasing your E-bike:
Before you invest in an e-bike, it’s important that you choose the right type of e-bike for your needs, and the correct size.
TYPES OF E-BIKE:
There are a few different types of e-bikes on the market. The main three are:
An e-commuter bike is a great choice if you are wanting to use your e-bike to commute to work or cycle around town. Various styles are available such as easy-entry, step-through and foldable E-commuters.
Foldable e-bikes are ideal if you take your bike on other modes of transport, such as trains, busses, or if you don’t have a great deal of storage at home. Easy-entry and step-through style bikes provide a super comfortable ride for those who are likely to be on their bikes a lot.
Examples of E-commuters:
E-MTBs are great fun and are perfect for the thrill seekers among us! There are front suspension and full-suspension options, and tyres that are suitable for off-road use so you can take yourself into the plantations and off-road trails with little worry about running out of steam.
Examples of e-MTBs:
E-ROAD / E-GRAVEL
Made for road and tarmac riding, with more brands now offering gravel suitable options too. An E-road bike is a lightweight option that isn’t too far removed from your regular road bike, just with that added power of a motor!
E-road bikes will not be too dissimilar in weight from regular road bikes. An E-road bike will have drop-down handlebars and narrow tyres along with a more aggressive, aerodynamic riding position than other bikes.
These are ideal for steep hill climbs, fast flat roads, controlled descents and clocking up distances. You will be able to head out for the day with the confidence that you can keep up with your group of riders whilst effortlessly climbing – and maybe even overtaking them – on those steep hills. They are also perfect for those days you want a nice easy ride out to the café!
Examples of e-road bikes:
FINDING THE RIGHT SIZE E-BIKE
Once you’ve figured out which type of e-bike is best for you, it’s time to size it up.
Grab yourself a measuring tape and work out the following measurements:
- Measure your height – Measure your height exactly (no lying now!). This will be with shoes off and your back up against a wall.
- Measure your inseam – AKA the inside of your leg
- Do your calculations – Then check your measurements against the e-bike’s frame size to ensure you are choosing the correct size.
Having the wrong size frame can cause back pain, knee pain, cramp, and general discomfort, so it’s essential that you size up properly!
Now that you’ve had the e-bike low-down, you can start shopping for one of your own!
If you’re lucky enough to be local to the Isle of Man, you can also pop into the Cycle 360 store to speak with our team in person and even test ride a bike before you buy!