Understanding the e-bike and how to get the most from it Leave a comment


An electric bike is a great way to meet your fitness and transport goals, whatever your level, offering as much or as little assistance as you need. It’s that ability to dial the e-bike’s assistance to match your needs that’s key to getting the most from it. 

Lots of electric bike options 

There’s an e-bike available to suit all riders. If you’re just planning to use it for light leisure rides at weekends, a hybrid e-bike with flat bars might do the trick. It’s a good option for the commuter too, although a folding e-bike might work better for you if your commute includes public transport or you’ve got limited storage at home or at work. 

Gocycle folding e-bike

A folding e-bike will save on storage space

(Image credit: Gocycle)

Another option for shorter commutes and riding around town is a smaller format non-folding hybrid, like the Cube Compact or the Orbea Katu e.

Cube Compact e-bike

A compact e-bike will get you around town quickly

(Image credit: Cube)

Some hybrids come with higher battery capacities too and are suitable for touring and light off road use, while an e-mountain bike will let you tackle more serious terrain. There are an increasing number of electric gravel bikes on sale, which will also give you a helping hand on rougher off-road surfaces.

Finally, you can buy electric drop-bar road bikes. Many are hard to distinguish from a non-assisted road bike. A lot of the time, you may find that you’re riding an e-road bike under your own power at above the 15.5mph/25kph at which the motor cuts out (20mph in the US), but the assistance is still there to help when your speed drops or you hit a hill.

Orbea Gain e-bike

An electric road bike will help you tackle the hills on your ride

(Image credit: Antton)

You can find electric bikes at prices from under £1,000 to £10,000 or more. Lower priced bikes will often compromise on battery capacity and may have lower quality components, while the more expensive bikes may have a larger battery, a more powerful motor and lightweight, high spec components with race-level performance. 

How does an e-bike work? 

The fundamentals of an electric bike are pretty simple. It will look much like a normal bike and you’ll need to pedal to keep it moving. But it will include a motor powered by a battery and there’ll be a controller to alter the assistance level. 

ktm-macina-cross-e-bike-15

A mid-mounted motor will drive the e-bike via the pedals

(Image credit: Bosch)

Many e-bikes have a motor built into the pedal axle and powering the rear wheel through the chain and the bike’s gears. But you can also find e-bikes with a motor built into the front wheel’s hub; it’s a popular placement for folding bikes and some hybrids. 



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