Let's be honest here, we've all been there. Fancied a shiny new toy but felt overwhelmed with the array of options and technical questions.
At Richmond Cycles we firmly believe that bike are the most amount of fun anyone can have. Make them electric and you supercharge your experience.
But we also understand that there might be a ton of questions you might have about e-bikes, to ensure that you buy the right one for you, our rider.
Which is why store manager Jake answers the top 10 most common e-bike questions to help you make the correct choice.
Any more question? Don't hesitate to reach out to the team on 020 8892 4372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Why should I get an e-bike?
Answer: So much fun.
Whether you want to get to work without sweat marks or you just need a bit of extra help to climb up that hill, there is a simple answer to this question: they are a lot of fun! We challenge anyone who’s never tried one to climb on and not smile. It’s impossible.
E-bikes are a transport revolution. They are the very simple answer to a world where cars are damaging the planet and public transport is packing us up like sardines. They democratise access to the great outdoors and allow everyone to discover new surroundings.
2. Do I still need to pedal?
The short answer is yes. E-bikes are not a “press button and go” system. They are what we call “pedal assist”. You will still need to pedal to go forward and this means that you still get a workout out of your ride. Most brands will have different modes to power up the motor, meaning you will be able to adjust the motor depending on the terrain and your level of fitness.
3. What are all the different types of e-bikes?
Answer: Too many to list! But think of it as road, MTB and commute/explore
There are many different types of e-bikes available in the market. At Richmond Cycles, we concentrate on stocking products that we trust. Each bike model has been tested by our team and we fully trust the riding experience each of our bikes delivers.
We stock e-city bikes to support your speedy commute or help you pull the kids along on the trailer, e-road bikes to prioritise performance and take you on adventures further afield, as well as e-mtb’s to give you the power to ride more trails.
4. Why is there such a big price difference between products?
Answer: Motor, battery, product development and warranty.
The main price difference you will be able to observe is between rear hub motors and integrated drive systems. Less expensive brands will have the motor located in the back on the rear hub. This can negatively affect the handling of the bike due to its weight and location, resulting in a less enjoyable ride. Mid-drive motors are lighter and more efficient, particularly when it comes to gear ratio and allow for better bike handling, but as they require a specifically developed bike, they are more expensive.
The battery will also affect price - the more power storage, the higher the price. The other thing to consider with batteries is the location. Similarly to the motor, integrated batteries offer better handling on specifically designed bicycles. A battery which is attached externally is perfectly fine for your commute or a trip around town, but when it comes to longer or rougher rides, integrated is best!
Through the two previous paragraphs, you will have noticed a common thread, product development. When bikes are designed and tested to be specific e-bikes, the riding experience becomes instantly more enjoyable.
5. Tell me more about my battery. (wattage, duration, length of ride)
The batteries of the e-bike which we sell range from 400w/h to 650w/h. The simple way to explain different batteries is that the bigger the battery the more range you will receive. On average, batteries will last for around 66 miles or 100km, however in some of our more top end products, the batteries including a range extender will last for 100miles or 160km.
With all our Bosch motor products, we can source batteries separately, which means that you will be able to upgrade (on some bikes) or replace your battery easily with the help of the store.
On some of our products such as the Domane + LT, the battery is fully removable meaning that you can ride your bike like a standard bike, when you don’t feel like going electric.
6. How fast can I go?
Answer: 25km/h or 15.5 mph
Speed is restricted by law on UK roads and bicycle paths. Some companies will de-restrict your bike for you but this is not something we recommend. Not only is it illegal, but it also voids your warranty.
25km/h on road bikes doesn’t seem super fast. So, with our top end e-road bikes such as the Domane + LT, Trek have introduced the Fazua drive system which is ultra lightweight. Allowing you to go faster on the flat and not be disadvantaged by the weight of the “e-system”, whilst getting the extra push on the climbs.
7. Does an electric bike need special maintenance?
It is important to get the right person looking after your bike and not all bike mechanics are familiar with e-systems. All our mechanics have been Bosch accredited meaning they have the right skills and experience to maintain e-bikes.
8. Are there any restrictions on where I can ride in the UK?
There are no restrictions on where you can ride in the UK, unlike some other worldwide countries. Worth noting that you need to be over 14 years of age to ride an e-bike, but you do not need a UK driving licence nor do you need to have insurance or pay road tax.
9. Can I convert my regular bike to an e-bike?
Answer: Yes, but not recommended
You will be able to find a lot of “bike converter” products available to transform your regular bike into an e-bike. We do not recommend these products as they are often sub par and sometimes even dangerous. The chassis, frames and hubs of e-bikes are designed to sustain the extra weight and perform at their best when it comes to bike handling. Adding a motor to your existing bike is not recommended as your bike is simply not designed for it and it will result in poor riding experience.
10. Can I take my ebike on an aeroplane?
Answer: Yes and no
You can take the bicycle on an aeroplane but you will not be able to take the battery on board with you or in your luggage.