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Electric Bikes Buyers Guide

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An electric bike is a great option for getting around as well as having some fun! Check out our guide to find out more.

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All you need to know about e-bikes

The Halfords Buying Guide to eBikes

Electric bikes-more commonly known as e-bikes - have built up quite the reputation as being efficient and easy to use, but they're also great fun!

An e-bike is just like a regular bike, with the addition of an electric motor and battery ?so whether you'e tackling hills or facing a long commute, they'e remarkably practical. You still have to pedal but depending on your energy levels, you can decide how much of a boost you need to help you get on with your journey without working up a sweat.

How to choose the right electric bike

There are three key areas to look out for when choosing an e-bike, that impact the overall performance and ride quality. These are:

  • Motor Type ?The position and type of motor impacts both the ride performance and weight distribution - providing optimal stability.
  • Battery range Like a car's fuel tank, the bigger the battery, the more juice you have - allowing you to travel further or have more assistance.
  • Sensor type Sensors come in two forms, speed sensors which provide an 'on' or 'off' feel, and torque sensors which provide power relative to the riders' input from a more natural ride characteristic.

We have combined all of these features to provide an overall rating on each of our e-bikes, so look out for this when comparing our models..

How fast can ebikes go?

E-bikes can power you along at up to 15.5 miles per hour, you can go faster but you'l need to a put in bit more pedal power. They accelerate effectively up to a good speed which makes them perfect for stop-start city cycling.

Battery capacity

When you're choosing an e-bike, you'll see figures indicating how powerful the electric motor is. There are two figures you should look at:

  • Battery capacity in amp hours ?This tells you how much energy the battery can store, a higher number means that you can travel further on a single charge.
  • Voltage This tells you how powerful the motor is, the amount of power an e-bike can produce is limited by law in the UK, so this is usually similar across different bikes.

Remember that the more powerful your motor, the more quickly you can empty your battery! However, a good e-bike will have a selection of different modes depending on whether you just need a bit of help to get up to a comfortable, cruising speed or you want more of a push up the hills. It's good to have an idea of the typical journey you would make on your e-bike as picking the right mode can also help your battery last longer.

Charging an electric bike

When it's time to charge the battery on your e-bike, you simply plug it into a household socket. You can buy e-bikes with different sizes of battery depending on how long your journey will be, but some bikes can get between 40 and 50 miles from a single charge. Many need just a few hours to get back up to full charge and you're always got the option to buy an extra charger if for example, you wanted to keep one with you at the office.

Money saving

Riding on an e-bike can save loads of money ?on average they cost 0.4 pence per mile to run, while a medium-sized diesel car costs 34 pence per mile. Not only can it help you save money, you're also being kinder to the environment as they're more eco-friendly and energy efficient than cars.

E-bike extras

If you're considering the switch to electric, think about where you'll be riding. If you use public transport to get around or struggle for storage space at home or work, then you might want to consider a folding e-bike. These are your usual e-bikes, but with the added benefit of folding up and easily being stowed under a desk, in a cupboard or on a luggage rack.

If you tend to stick to cycle paths and parks, or are just looking for a bit of extra comfort, then an e-bike with a suspension fork can take the bumps out of potholed roads and let you tackle tracks with confidence.