Electric Bike Buyers Guide

Electric bikes have become a popular mode of transportation, evidenced by a remarkable threefold increase in e-bike sales from 2016 to 2021. This upward trend is expected to continue, with another surge projected for 2024. The reasons behind this surge in popularity are apparent: electric bikes offer convenience, style, and eco-friendliness, which appeals to many cyclists.

Are you considering buying an electric bike? It can feel overwhelming with so many options available, especially for first-time buyers. That's where e-bike UFO comes in. Our mission is to make the process as easy as possible for you. Our comprehensive guide is designed to help you find the best electric bike that matches your specific needs. So, let’s get started with the basics.

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike, or e-bike, is similar to a traditional bicycle. However, it’s equipped with an integrated motor that aids your pedalling. Its power source is a rechargeable battery, making it a greener and more efficient option than petrol-powered vehicles. 

The laws

Electric bikes must meet the following criteria to have the same legal standing as regular non-assisted bicycles and to be allowed on roads, cycle paths and other places where bicycles are allowed under UK law:

  • Electric assistance can only be provided to a maximum of 25kph (15.5mph).
  • The motor must be no more than 250 Watts (maximum continuous rated power).
  • The e-bike’s pedals must be in motion for motor assistance to be provided.
  • The rider must be 14 years of age or over.

Read the full legislation - Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles – EAPC – (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

Types of electric bikes

Electric bikes are designed to be user-friendly and accessible to diverse people, regardless of age or fitness level.  However, each type of e-bike has a unique design and features, catering to various preferences and uses. 

Below, you'll find a list of different e-bike types, along with their key benefits and limitations:

  • Hybrid Electric Bikes: A hybrid electric bike, or SUV e-bike, is a bicycle that combines features from a traditional road bike and an electric mountain bike, making it versatile and suitable for various terrains. This type of e-bike is designed to cater to urban commuting and light off-road trails. However, the compromise between two bike designs could result in less specialised performance for specific tasks.
  • Electric Mountain Bikes | eMTB: An electric mountain bike, also known as an eMTB, is an off-road e-bike designed for riding on rough terrains. It resembles a traditional mountain bike, with rugged tires and advanced suspension for durability. However, e-MTBs come with different power modes, allowing riders to adjust the level of assistance based on their skill, fitness level, or terrain. While perfect for off-road enthusiasts, eMTBs are typically heavier and pricier than other electric bike models. So, it’s best to choose this type if you plan on cycling off-road.
  • Cargo Electric Bikes: Cargo electric bikes, also known as e-cargo bikes, are equipped with a compartment or spacious rack for carrying heavy loads efficiently. They are ideal for transporting goods, kids, pets, or groceries, making them versatile. However, their additional storage features can make them relatively expensive compared to regular e-bikes, a significant drawback for some potential buyers. 
  • Folding Electric Bikes: Folding electric bikes are e-bikes designed to be folded for convenient storage and portability. They are ideal for commuters and travellers since they can be easily carried on public transport or stored in small spaces, making them suitable for homes with limited storage areas. However, the folding mechanism may compromise durability compared to non-folding e-bikes. 
  • Gravel Bikes: An electric gravel bike is a rising trend, combining the appeal of gravel bikes with eBike technology. Featuring drop handlebars resembling racing bikes, they come with wider tires for off-road capability and enhanced road comfort. Ideal for commuting, we offer these versatile bikes in our inventory.
  • Electric Road Bikes: An electric road bike is an urban-oriented e-bike with a stylish design, perfect for cycling enthusiasts. It's also ideal for older and/or injured riders who may benefit from its aerodynamic build and electric support. 

Why Purchase An Electric Bike?

There are plenty of benefits to riding an e-bike which explains their soar in popularity. 

  • Health: Electric bikes allow riders to control the pedal assist levels, making them an excellent form of exercise that can motivate individuals to stay active.
  • Safety: Electric bikes can accelerate faster than traditional bikes, ensuring a safer start from a standstill, especially when sharing the road with cars at stoplights.
  • Reduced CO2: From an environmental perspective, electric bikes can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Choosing this eco-friendly mode of transport contributes to a cleaner and greener environment.
  • Finances: Investing in an electric bike proves cost-effective in the long run. With reduced reliance on public transportation or car maintenance expenses, e-bikes lead to substantial savings over time.

In summary, an electric bike presents a versatile and eco-conscious transportation option that enhances personal fitness, ensures enjoyable rides, and offers economic and environmental benefits, contributing to its growing popularity. 

Key things to consider before purchasing your new electric bike

When choosing an electric bike, there are a few key considerations you must take into account to ensure you select the best model for your specific needs:

  • Riding Terrain: One of the most important factors to consider before purchasing an electric bike is the type of terrain you'll be riding on. Different e-bikes are designed for specific terrains, such as road bikes for urban commuting, mountain bikes for off-road trails, and hybrid bikes for versatility. Determine where you'll primarily use the e-bike to ensure you choose a suitable model that meets your needs.
  • Budget: E-bikes come in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly options to high-end models with advanced features. Therefore, setting a clear budget before starting your search is crucial to avoid overspending.
  • Travelling Distance: Consider how far you'll ride on a typical journey. The e-bike's range, the distance it can travel on a single battery charge, is essential to ensure you won't run out of power during your rides. Several factors affect the range, including the battery capacity, motor power, terrain, and the rider's and bike's combined weight. So, why not try our range calculator to find the perfect fit for you?
  • Frame Size and Comfort: Electric bikes come in different frame sizes to accommodate various rider heights like traditional bikes. Choosing an e-bike with the correct frame size for your body is essential to ensure comfort and proper posture while riding. Test ride different models if possible to find the one that feels most comfortable.
  • Weight and Portability: E-bikes are generally heavier than regular bicycles due to the battery and motor. Consider the weight of the e-bike, especially if you'll need to carry or store it frequently. 
  • Warranty and Customer Support: Check the warranty provided by the manufacturer for the e-bike and its components. A good warranty can offer peace of mind in case of any defects or malfunctions. Also, consider the availability of customer support and servicing options in your area to ensure proper maintenance and assistance when needed.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Before making a final decision, read reviews and testimonials from other e-bike owners. Learning about real-world experiences can provide valuable insights and help you make a more informed choice.

Visit eBike UFO in Weston-super-Mare

Are you ready to embark on your electric bike journey? Visit e-Bike UFO, the ultimate destination for electric bikes in Weston-Super-Mare! We take pride in delivering unparalleled customer service, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience with us.

Our team of qualified cycling enthusiasts is knowledgeable and incredibly friendly, always at your service to offer expert guidance and personalised advice. We'll be your trusted companions throughout your e-bike selection process, ensuring you find the best bike to suit your needs.

Want to try before you buy?

Our bike test ride service will give you a well-rounded experience of an electric bike along the seafront or via our more adventurous test route. Simply call us at 01934 644988 to book your slot or visit us in-store, and we'll arrange your test ride on the spot.