Buyers Guide to E-Bikes

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WHAT IS AN E-BIKE AND IS ONE RIGHT FOR ME?

A Brief Introduction

E-Bikes are the latest category to cycling market, combining cutting edge technology with the traditional elements of a bicycle. E-Bikes contain electronic drive units assisting riders to accelerate, maintain and increase their speed. E-Bikes have become so popular that they now form their own category, comprising of sub-categories including E-Mountain Bikes , E-Urban & Trekking Bikes , E-Kids Bikes and E-Road.

Scott E-Bike

How Does an E-Bike Work?

Most E-Bikes are pedal assisted which can also be known as pedelecs, a type of E-Bike which engages your electronic speed and acceleration assistance only when you are pedalling. Simply put this means that the electronic assistance will not engage unless you are pedalling while also engaging the assistance trigger on your handlebar.

In this instance of a pedalec the drive unit is built into the bottom bracket of the bike, providing a sleek design whilst also improving safety and bike handling by lowering the centre of gravity, this is accomplished as the bottom bracket is the lowest area of the bikes frame and the drive unit is largely responsible for additional weight.

Although there are different brands and manufacturers of E-Bikes, the actual manufacturing of the electronic drive system (battery, drive unit and head unit) doesn’t change much throughout the category, just as you see the same componentry featured on bikes available from brand to brand.When it comes to electronic drive units the market share predominantly belongs to Shimano and Bosch due to their scale, reliability, experience and range of options to suit different styles of riding within the category.

What is an E-Bike Made up of?

An E-bike is made up of all the components of a traditional bike plus what we refer to as the electronic drive system, comprising of:

  1. Drive unit: Provides the speed and acceleration assistance
  1. Battery: Providing power the drive unit and display, can be integrated, semi-integrated and non-integrated.
  1. Display unit: Shows your speed, cadence, battery life and other settings
  1. Trigger: Allows you to choose when to engage your assistance once pedalling

Speed Restrictions

In accordance to Australian legislation, E-Bike speed assistance is restricted 25kph and bike manufacturers set these restrictions prior to distribution. In New Zealand there is no speed assistance restriction however most manufacturers will cap their bikes at 32kph for rider and pedestrian safety.

What are the Benefits of an E-Bike?

  1. Barrier breakdown:  Through the assistance of E-Bikes barriers can be broken down for riders who want to join their friends out riding without fear of slowing them down.
  1. Ride further:  By having the assistance of an E-Bike, riders can use less energy and will therefore be able to ride further and explore more.
  1. Commuting:  With traffic getting heavier and cycling infrastructure getting better, more workers are now opting to commute to work by bike. With the assistance of an E-Bike workers are getting to work faster without working up a big sweat.
  1. More fun:  Riding with friends + more exploring = fun. For MTB riders using E-Bikes this also means less work up the hill and allowing riders to enjoy the downhill ride!
FAB

What E-Bike is Best for Me?

The type of E-Bike you choose should be reflective of the style of riding and activity you wish to partake in. Below is an overview of each key E-Bike sub-category to assist you in understanding what E-Bike is best for you.

E-Urban & Trekking

Perfect if you are looking for a more relaxed cycling/outdoor activity where you can explore beyond your local area, perhaps trying out new cafes or visiting friends, all in the comfort of your typical attire.To ensure comfort Urban and Trekking E-Bikes will often feature 80-100mm travel, depending on our budget your bike may even feature mudguards to keep you clean and pannier racks so that you can carry your weekend essentials.

Urban & Trekking

Commuter Bikes

Commuter bikes fall under the broader Urban and Trekking sub-category, although for this piece we have separated them to highlight the differences id commuting is your purchase motivator.

The key feature of a commuter specific E-Bike is a lower step frame and upright riding position, this allows for a more comfortable ride and removes the need to change clothes from what you would where into the office or classroom.

Commuting

E-Mountain Bikes

E-Mountain bikes are available in both Hard Tail or Dual Suspension configurations. An E-Mountain would be a great option if you are:

  1. Looking to get into MTB riding
  1. Wanting assistance on steep uphill ascents
  1. Looking to spend more time on the trails through less exhaustion
  1. Assistance to climb back to the top of downhill trail runs
  1. Spend more time on the trails with your mates
  1. All of the above
E-MTB

E-Junior

This is a relatively new category to the E-Bike category, as the name suggests these are E-Bikes suited for junior riders. If you are looking to get the kids out of the house and along for longer rides, these bikes are a fantastic option. Be mindful to check the speed limits on these bikes, due to safety these may be limited to speeds below 25kph.

E-Road

Welcome to the most recent addition to the E-Bike category, E-Road. Similar to E-Mountain bikes these are a great option if you are:

  1. Looking to get into road bike riding
  1. Wanting assistance on steep uphill ascents
  1. Looking to spend more time on the road with less exhaustion
  1. Spend more time on the road with your mates
  1. All of the above

Hopefully you now have a good understanding on E-Bikes and can start to filter through all the information available. If you get stuck or have any question your local My Ride Store will always be able to help, you can either call or better yet visit in store.

Don’t forget E-Bike aren’t just for amateur riders, check out the below video on how Professional Enduro racer Remy Absalon uses his E-MTB for off season training.