The Electric Bike Buyer’s Guide

Dec 23, 2022

In recent years, electric bikes have become an increasingly popular choice for our customers both in-store and online. We see people of all ages investing in these kinds of bikes, as they combine all the traditional benefits with the power of an electric motor to help you ride further and faster.

If you’re thinking about buying an electric bike, there are definitely a few things you should consider before making your purchase. From the battery size you need, to safety concerns that you may have around an ebike, this guide will walk you through the key features you should look for when choosing an ebike.

Benefits of Electric Bikes

There are many advantages to owning an electric bike over ordinary bikes, here are our top three:

Motor assistance

If you’re out for a long ride or need to cover some hilly terrain quickly and easily, an electric bike can help get you there with less effort.

For commuters, an ebike really does help to take the strain out of your commute. After a long day at work, the power of electricity means a lot less strain on your legs, making what would be a strenuous ride on a standard bike far easier for the journey to and from the office.

The Falcon Flo Folding Electric Bike is a great choice for commuting. With a quality 36V 7.8Ah battery that fits in the rear of the frame and can be easily removed for charging, but securely locks in place when out and about. This folding bike can achieve up to 60km per charge!

Environmentally friendly

Additionally, electric bikes are more environmentally friendly than other forms of motorised transportation since they don’t produce emissions.

The majority of journeys (71% in England) made are under five miles, but cycling only accounts for less than 2% of all journeys. Imagine the money you could save if those short drives to pick up a few items at the shops or dropping the kids off at school were on an ebike.

Check out the Elswick 26 Inch Wheel Electric Bike, based on a classic Dutch sit-up riding position and with a handy basket, it has a powerful 250W BAFANG rear hub motor, 3 levels of power assistance and a walk-assist mode which is handing for walking the kids to school and powering your way home!

But if you are concerned that e-cycling is cheating, it’s not! Many studies have shown that e-bikers get plenty of very beneficial aerobic exercise. The vast majority of e-bikes have power level settings on the handlebar controls that let you dial down the power if you want more exercise or turn it up if in need of more assistance.

Feel young again with an ebike!

This is something that Adrian at our Benfleet store knows very well,

“An electric bike can extend your cycling career considerably. We have one gentleman who used to cycle around Epping Forest as a child, and now being in his 60s, his electric bike has helped him re-live all those nostalgic routes again.”

That extra push an electric bike can provide really does make all the difference to a person’s ride.

The Lectro EM-300 range of stylish electric mountain bikes are very reliable, and great for any adventurous cyclist who wants to keep powering away on and off-road. Their lightweight alloy frame supports an external down tube battery, alloy suspension forks with adjustable lock out and high speed brushless 250-Watt motor!

Efficiency & Safety Concerns

There are several factors to consider around ebikes which may impact your safety. It’s essential that you take your time to carefully evaluate if the product you like has these as standard.

Is the bike built well?

An electric bike should be designed with quality components that will last longer and provide a smoother ride. This means not only looking into the battery size (more on this in a minute), but the gears, wheels, chainset, and digital display to use the electric functions, to name a few.

Doing this is sure to make your bike last that bit longer, as not researching properly could lead to disappointment in years to come.

Are the brakes good enough?

Good brakes will ensure that your bike stops quickly when necessary.

With their heavier frames due to the motor and battery integration, any e-bike worth its salt will have disc brakes to stop the combined weight of you and the bike. This should be something you keep on the lookout for, as reduced stopping power can lead to accidents.

Does it have good lighting?

Finally, make sure that your bike has sufficient lighting so that you can stay safe in low-light conditions or at night.

There are plenty of electric bikes which come with front and rear lights which are battery-powered, making them a perfect choice for commuters on winter nights

We find that people really enjoy using the Chill-e Low Step Folding Electric Bike for going to and from work. The power assist is a dream after a long day’s work and the lighting is superb for when the nights begin to pull in.

Battery Life & Charging

The battery life of an electric bike depends on the type of battery used, as well as how often it is used. Look for batteries that are designed to last for at least 1–2 years with proper care and maintenance; some models may even last up to 5 years with minimal wear and tear!

Additionally, make sure that your battery is easy to charge. Most batteries can be recharged via wall outlets or USB ports in just a few hours—so you don’t have to spend too much time waiting for it to charge up again before heading out on your next adventure!

One bike that we recommend for a high mileage is the Ampere X-Trail 29 Inch Mountain Bike. The choice of the 14Ah battery option boosts the range to a very impressive 55 miles on a full charge, and takes 6 hours to recharge from empty.

Riding Electric Bikes in the United Kingdom

When getting an electric bike, you must understand the legislation around their proper use before actually riding. There are certain laws regarding where and how you can use them; for example:

You must be 14+ to ride an ebike

Only those aged 14 or over may legally ride an e-bike on public roads or cycle paths (with speed limits set at 15mph). Children below this age should not be out in public on an electrically assisted peddle cycle (EAPC).

It must be registered, taxed, and insured

You won’t need to have a specific licence to ride an electric bike, but since it is classed as an electrically assisted vehicle, you’ll need all the official documentation for it to be road legal.

There are plenty of insurance providers who you can visit, such as Money Super Market where you can get a quote for the bike you’ve got your eye on buying.

Always wear a helmet

Helmets must be worn at all times regardless of age group or location. This is no different for a non-powered bike, but considering the speed an electric bike can travel, it’s essential that you protect yourself.

We always recommend wearing Hi-Viz clothing too. And if you’re riding in low light remember that reflective attachments will help you be seen and safe!

For more information on e-bike regulations in the UK, you can visit our resources page, as well as the information available on the website.

If you’re looking for an efficient way to get around town without having to rely on public transport or drive a car, then an electric bike might be just what you need!

Whether it’s cruising around town leisurely or taking on tougher terrain quicker than ever before – check out Cycle King & Hawk Cycles’ full range of adult e-bikes available here, we’ve got something perfect for everyone!

With this guide under your belt – what are you waiting for?