10 tips to consider before buying an e-bike
By now it’s pretty clear, e-bikes are here to stay. Some of you might still be sceptical about the electric assisted bikes and what they contribute to the cycling community. But we think, no matter how you use an e-bike, as long as it motivates you to ride more, it’s the right thing for you. So, what are some of the things to consider before buying an e-bike? Our big e-bike guide answers the most important questions you should ask yourself before entering the world of electric bikes and pedelecs, but here are 10 tips to help you get started with electric bikes.
1. What are your goals with an e-bike?
There are various reasons why buying an e-bike makes sense, so it’s important to give a thought about what you want to achieve with it. For some it could be a goal to become fit (again) and for others to complete their daily commute by bike without sweating. No matter what you want to do with it, most e-bikes offer different levels/settings of support which let you regulate the effort you have to put in to pedaling and these options let you choose the intensity for your first rides.
2. How do you currently get from A to B?
E-bikes are also a great way to reduce your time in a car or on public transport. Think about how you currently get from A to B for things like shopping or going on your daily commute to work or school. Is it a distance which could be done by bike? If you ever asked yourself this question, they are likely within a cycleable range, but you may want to avoid getting a sweat on to get there. That’s where the electric bike is a perfect solution, enjoy being outside whilst having your two-wheeled ride assisted.
3. How far do you want to come with your e-bike?
What’s the distance of your daily commute, how many miles is your weekend loop, or how much incline does your regular hill climb session have? Be aware of how far you want to take your pedal assisted bike, as the batteries have limitations. Battery sizes and capacities vary throughout manufactures and a lot of factors like the weight of rider/bike or the grade of your road/trail determine how far you get. Standards of 400 Watt hours (Wh) and 500Wh are becoming widely popular among established manufacturers like Shimano and Bosch, but many e-bikes also offer individual solutions like dual battery systems to increase your range or small and lightweight options for foldable and commuter bikes.
4. How much biking experience do you have?
Unlike bikes which only rely on your pedal power in order to reach some speed, e-bikes can go fast with very little effort.. In order to manage the increased average speed of an e-bike, it can be advantageous to already be used to cycling at certain speeds. So if an e-bike is your first bike in a long time, we would recommend looking for a model with lower motor power.
Additional note: The UK government defines that the electronic motor of “electrically assisted pedal cycles” (EAPC) should not be able to propel the bike when it is travelling more than 15.5 mph.
5. How much can buying an e-bike cost?
The price range from e-bikes starts from below £1,000 and goes up to £10,000 and beyond, mainly depending on the level of components you prefer for your ride. However, according to our e-bike survey the average cost for an e-bike is between £2,000 and £2,999. Alternatively, there is also a growing market for 2nd hand e-bikes which might have a bargain or two in store for you.
But don’t forget, buying an e-bike might also save you some money in the long term. For example it can contribute to reducing expenditures for your car or public transport.
6. Which e-bike to choose?
Depending on what you want to do with your electric bike, you will need to choose whether it needs suspension and if yes, how much of it. If the majority of your rides will stay on roads or graveled streets, a hardtail with front suspension or an electric road bike is all you need. On the other hand, if you are all about exploring your local trails or even hitting the bikepark with your e-bike, a full suspension e-mountain bike (E-MTB) may be the better choice for you.
There are many e-bike manufacturers on the market, ranging from established bike brands like Cube, Specialized and Trek to specific electric bike brands like Haibike or Gtech.
7. How is it to ride an e-bike?
The only answer to this question is: Try before you buy. No matter how experienced you are already in cycling, our tip is to go and give your potential future bike a quick try. Get over to your bike shop and see which size is the right fit for you and which bike feels right when sitting on it.
8. Where to buy?
If you are about to buy your first e-bike we recommend going to your local bike shop. Whether it’s about an electric mountain bike or road bike, ask for advice on what fits your style and requirements best. By doing this you get information and advice first hand, as well as supporting your local retailers.
Not convinced? Read more in our blog 5 Reasons why to shop at your local bike shop.
9. What happens once I have an e-bike?
At this point we want to warn you of some changes to your current lifestyle, because riding your (e-)bike might become a very big part of your life. We all know “New-Bike-Day” is one of the best days. Even if you already spent quite a bit of your spare time on a bike before, an e-bike will definitely increase this time. Why? Simply because it’s fun and you can suddenly ride longer on your bike than ever before.
10. How to protect my e-bike?
Once you have your e-bike, the last thing you want to think about is a time without it. That’s why you should always protect your bike in the best way possible. No matter if you are riding at home or abroad with the Bikmo E-Bike Insurance your bike and kit is always protected. In our e-bike survey we also looked at the lower risks associated with e-biking and are now passing a 25% saving on our premiums to you.