July 4th, 2012
Electric Bike Information: What are they like to ride?
Cruise through town or countryside with no fear of hills or distances. Electric bikes have a rechargeable battery-powered motor designed to be used only occasionally to assist your pedalling, like helping you get up a difficult hill or battling against a tough headwind. They’re heavier than standard bikes, and not very manoeuvrable, but are usually designed with an upright sitting position so they’re comfortable to ride.
They can usually travel at up to about 15-20mph depending on local regulations and they’re a great way to boost your exercise levels on the daily commute without working up too much of a sweat. Some will automatically adjust the level of assistance they provide depending on how hard you press the pedals.
- Electric bikes are distinct from motorbikes and in the UK they’re limited to a speed of 15.5mph.
- They’re classified as bicycles, so you don’t need a licence to use one, though you should be over 14 years of age
- Batteries can be recharged from a standard mains socket at minimum cost
- Range can extend up to about 30 miles, depending on how much you use the battery
- Many come with keys for extra security
- They’re almost as environmentally friendly as standard bikes with zero emissions
Anyone from complete beginner to seasoned cyclist.
- Assisted commuting when you don’t want to break into a sweat
- Hilly commutes
- Longer rides where you need a little help
- Older or less fit riders
- You’ll struggle to manoeuvre a heavy bike
- You’re going off-road (see mountain bikes)
- You have a good level of fitness (see hybrid bikes)
- You want to combine your trip with public transport (see folding bikes)
- You want to travel long distances (see touring bikes)
- You have a need for speed (see road bikes)
Still want more advice?
We’ve produced lots more guides to help you find out more about bikes, cycling and cycle gear. These include sizing guides for bikes and clothing, and handy guides to cycle clothing, bike accessories, commuting with a bike, and more. Browse our full range of guides here.
And if these guides don’t answer your questions, we’re here to help – just give our friendly customer service team a call on 01572 737 626. Lines are open Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm UK time.