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How to choose the right e-bike for you

Buying the right e-bike for your cycling needs is the first step to being a happy e-bike rider. Looking for an urban e-bike for city use? Bewildered by the options? Let us guide you through your choices.

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What is an e-bike?

What is an e-bike? A fast and easy choice for getting from A-B, a brilliant way to get fit, a chance to connect with the out -of-doors, and most of all a huge amount of fun! E-bikes use a battery powered motor to take the strain of cycling and make cycling feel easy, even hills and head-winds.

On an e-bike you provide some of the pedal power and intuitive pedal-assist offers extra help when you need it. With different modes to choose from you can do more, or less of the pedalling work. Cruise along in eco-mode on the flat and apply Boost mode to whizz up the hills without working up a sweat or getting out of breath.

Are e-bikes worth it?

E-bikes are the future! An e-bike makes cycling a realistic option for everyone. Whether you want a quick way to get around that avoids the congestion of traffic jams and delays of public transport, a fun way to exercise outside or to replace your car for short journeys an e-bike makes it possible.

With pedal-assist you can cycle further and faster than you can on a conventional bike and you are in control of how much effort you put in. If you want to pedal to the office without working up a sweat you can, or choose to provide more of the pedal power yourself to boost your fitness.

What e-bike should I buy?

From cargo bikes to folding bikes, e-mountainbikes to drop-handlebar style race bikes, every kind of bike you can imagine has an electric bike version. When choosing an e-bike your first questions need to be about what you want to use it for and what your priorities are.

Carrying things

Do you need to be able to carry groceries or even passengers on your e-bike? E-cargo bikes are increasingly popular, especially with families and those who want to use a bike instead of a car for more short journeys. Cargo bikes make carrying heavy loads easy so whether it is dropping-off your children at school or picking up a weekly shop with an e-bike it is a total breeze.

If you don’t fancy the larger size of a cargo bike or storage is an issue, look for a bike with a rack. A rack allows you to fit children’s bike seats, baskets or pannier bags so you can still carry everything you need with ease.

Comfort

E-bikes take the strain of cycling away so they are easy on your joints and muscles. Many e-bikes are designed to create relaxed, comfortable riding positions and feature low step-through frames to make getting on and off the bike really easy. If comfort is a priority for you, look for bikes that provide a more upright position so you can see the world around you without leaning over the handlebars. Low cross bar or step-through frames mean you don’t need to swing your leg up and over the saddle, and wide tyres on hybrid, urban and trekking bikes help to cushion the vibrations from the road surface.

Convenience

Electric folding bikes offer the maximum in versatility and convenience. You can break up your journey with a mix of public transport and cycling to make the most efficient route door-to-door. They are also great for people with limited storage options, or those living in flats or working in offices where you need to carry your bikes up steps. Many folding bikes come with racks so this option still allows you to carry a reasonable amount of groceries or similar on your e-bike.

Fitness

E-bikes are a great way to get fit and healthy. With an e-bike you are able to cycle further and more often as riding an e-bike is less tiring than a conventional bike. You can tackle more challenging terrain and explore longer cycle routes. With pedal-assist making cycling easy you can replace a car or public transport for short journeys, providing more opportunities for exercise. Riding an e-bike makes exercise fun so you will want to do it more often!

If you are cycling purely for fitness you may want to go for a sportier style of bike, such as a hybrid or even drop handlebar road bike. Without the racks and load carrying of utility bikes they are a bit lighter and the riding position is designed to help you go faster.

Ready to find your perfect e-bike match? Visit a SHIMANO STEPS dealer for a test ride.