Electric bikes (aka E-bikes) are a great idea. They are a practical way to get around and FUN! We keep lots in stock.
They give the freedom of a bicycle whilst taking the sting out of hills and allowing you to go a bit further on your travels. We have a number of customers who use them to commute to work. Over the longer term E-bikes are cheaper than car, bus or train and they run at the time you want it to! They are great for people who are fit – but are also a boon to people with disabilities or older people who are not as fit as they used to be. They are street legal for anyone over 14 years of age – no driving test to pass.
How do they work?
E-bikes carry a battery which is recharged – like you recharge your phone from the mains. The battery is attached to a motor the the front or rear wheel or mid mounted so the drive is via the chain. The rider pedals and the motor helps – so you get the fitness benefits of cycling but can go further and up tougher hills.
All bikes have different levels of support (lots of help from the motor to a small boost) and can also be ridden without motor assistance at all.
There are lots of E-bike brands out there – but some are better than others with product support. We sell Raleigh, Koga and Lectro and can get Dawes to order. We know these bikes are reliable and if something does go wrong we know they will stand behind their product.
In addition to the bike brand, you should be interested in who made the electric system. Our bikes have systems from Shimano, Bosch, ION, Bafang and TransX systems – all big names in the e-bike business.
We strongly encourage people to test ride an E-bike before buying. We can even arrange for a 24 hour loan of a test bike to make sure it is suitable for your commute. Bring some ID with you and be prepared to be asked for a deposit for a 24 hour loan. We can arrange for workplace demos or evening opening for larger employers.
Front, rear, mid, folder?
We sell bikes with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, mid-motor and folding bikes. The ‘best’ drive will depend on your needs. Front wheel drives are probably the simplest in engineering terms, but can be a problem on very steep hills (loss of drive as wheel lifts). Rear wheel drives are complicated as the motor has to be squeezed in with the gears but they can work well. Mid mid motors are probably technically the most efficient and also keeps the centre of gravity lower for more stability.
Folders are a great idea if you lack storage space or want to carry a bike in a car boot.