E-Bike Buyers Guide

Electric bikes or e-bikes are bicycles powered by a long life battery that runs an electric motor. The motor acts to provide extra power to assist pedalling, making riding simpler, easy and faster.

You can control the amount of assistance the motor provides, which either increases or decreases the energy required by the battery or the rider. Some riders will even progressively reduce the amount of assistance they require as they become fitter, a great way to build up your fitness level.

In Australia, e-bikes are limited to provide power assistance up to 25kph.

Types of e-bikes

Hybrid

Suitable for commuting, recreational riding and touring, e-bikes allow riders to travel longer distances that may have previously been unattainable. It also means arriving at your destination less tired and with no sweat, compared to riding the same trip on a traditional bike.

See All Hybrid e-Bikes

Mountain Bike

For mountain bikers, the basic benefit is the same - more riding can be done than without the extra pedal assistance. Uphills are easier, meaning you can spend more time enjoying the downhill sections. The e-bike drive also helps you power through tricky sections like rock gardens. This great for less experienced riders as it enables you to maintain momentum, rather than stop for balance.

See All e-Mountain Bikes

Folding

Designed to fold up into a compact form, making them more suitable for taking on public transport or storing in small areas. The bikes are very small and more suited to riding short distances.

See All Folding e-Bikes

Electric Drive

Hub

Hub drive systems are powered by a motor installed in the hub of the front or rear wheel. This was the original means of driving e-bikes, and is still common particularly in cheaper bikes, or traditional bikes that have been retrofit as e-bikes.

Mid drive

Mid drive systems power through the drivetrain and connect directly with the cranks. Mid drive systems provide a more balanced centre of gravity, compared to hub drives which require a heavier wheel at the front or rear. They also tend to operate more smoothly and efficiently, as well as working in synergy with the bike’s gears. Advanced mid drive systems use torque and cadence sensing to optimise power output and create a more natural feeling ride.

Battery

It is very difficult to provide an accurate range for an e-bike battery. Factors such as the rider’s weight, the terrain, level of assistance chosen, how hard they pedal, wind resistance and more all impact range. The range can therefore be anything from around 40 km, up to 180 km between charges.

Battery capacity is measured in watt hours, with more watt hours offering a longer range. Battery placement is also an important consideration. Typically batteries are mounted on a rack above the rear wheel, or to the down tube. The position the battery is mounted in will change the weight distribution and handling of the bike.