Why E-Bikes are simply brilliant
Forget what you've been told.
Why e-bikes are simply great bikes (and you should get one)
Electric bikes have been on the market since the 1990s and it's fair to say that earlier generations have suffered something of a bad rep, being labelled by some as poor quality bikes with a motor attached, or complicated techy gadgets that are expensive to repair. But the truth is that modern e-bikes are not like that at all.
First and foremost, e-bikes are at heart simply great bikes. They ride well and are made with high-quality materials. They look just like a normal bike and have all the same mechanical parts. In many e-bikes the battery looks like a water bottle — most people don't even realise it's electric
Essentially, e-bikes are great quality bikes with an additional electric motor to help you pedal.
Aren't e-bikes like scooters?
No, this is a common misconception and it's completely false. E-bikes don't have engines or powerful throttles, and they are perfectly safe and legal to ride on the roads.
All modern e-bikes are powered by a technology known as pedelec or sometimes, pedal-assist. This means the motor provides assistance as you pedal, and you must be pedalling for the motor to kick in. The assist speed is capped at 25 kmh (roughly 15.5 mph), after which point the motor cuts out again.
Most e-bikes also have different modes, allowing you to set the level of assistance they provide so you're comfortable with the electric power. And you don't need to be a tech enthusiast to ride an e-bike — they are so simple to use. Once it's been set up by the e-bike technician, you can simply get on and pedal.
To clear up more of the micsonceptions around e-bikes, read our post busting 14 common e-bike myths.
So e-bikes are just like normal bikes?
Yes! E-bikes have the same frames, wheels and parts as normal bikes. They carry the same warranty on these parts and mechanical issues can be fixed by any bike mechanic.
And if the electrics stop working, because of a fault or the battery runs out of charge, the e-bike continues to function as a bike so you can still ride it as normal.
Don't e-bikes need extra maintenance or expensive repairs?
Routine maintenance on the moving parts are the same as a normal bike and the electric components require little to no maintenance. The only difference is the battery, which should be kept charged up and, like any normal battery, not left exposed to extreme temperatures. That's certainly not high maintenance!
As for repairs to the bike itself, they can be carried out by any bike mechanic for all the normal parts like gears and brakes. These repairs are not any more expensive or complicated than for a normal bike because of the electrical compenents, and so they should cost you the same price.
The only time you may find that a repair is more expensive is when it concerns the electric components. Fortunately, faults and problems with these parts are very rare. Put simply, an e-bike should not require any more maintenance than a normal push bike.
However, in the event that you do need to repair your e-bike's electric parts, this should be carried out by a qualified e-bike technician. Many of the bikes have on-board diagnostics that can tell the technician what the problem is so they can quickly find and fix the issue.
You should never attempt to carry out DIY repairs or diagnostics on the electric motor. These motors are sealed units and you should not take them apart as you could damage internal parts and invalidate any warranty, as well as making the bike illegal.
Get the bike set up properly and keep it serviced, and it shouldn't have any problems.
Why should I get an e-bike?
So now we know that e-bikes are just good quality bikes. But there's something else you should know — e-bikes are great bikes to ride!
E-bikes give you the same sense of freedom and fun, but with the added power boost of an electric motor, taking the slog out of cycling and providing all the thrills of riding without the exertion.
You can go on that adventure, keep up with the grandkids in the park or stay in shape no matter what your level of fitness. And if you want more of a challenge one day, simply turn down the electrical assistance. Alternatively, if you're feeling sore or tired, turn it right up and enjoy the assisted ride, instead of pushing through on your aching legs.
And e-bikes are not just for assisting with fitness. Electric mountain bikes allow experienced riders to push themselves further and save energy during the hill climbs to really feel the rush on the way back down. If you cycle to work, an e-bike will help you get there on time without breaking a sweat. You can get straight back up to speed after stopping at junctions.
In conclusion, e-bikes are great bikes that make it easier and more fun to get out and get cycling. Read our buying guide to find out what sort of e-bike is best for you.