Electric and Power Assisted Bikes represent one of the fastest growing segments of the bicycle industry. Major brands in this segment include A2B, Easy Motion, IZIP, Haibike, and Kalkhoff can be found at BikeExchange in listings from private sellers and independent retailers.
Electric Bikes have been buzzing around for years but have really taken off recently, making riding accessible and leveling up what cyclists can achieve on their average ride. BikeExchange has been offering a vast selection of bikes for cyclists for years, and we’re pleased to host the best range of electric bikes to meet your needs—whatever they are.
Electric bikes are bicycles with an integrated electric motor that offers assistance to a rider in propelling the bike forward, up to a degree. Make no mistake; these bikes are still very much powered by people. The assistance that e-bikes offer can come in many forms, from hub assistance to pedal or pedelec assistance, which is the most popular option we’ve seen. Providing effortless assistance to your pedal power, an electric bicycle or e-bike enables you to go further and with less effort when compared to a traditional bike.
Electric motors are attached to the cranks (where the pedals attach) of the frame of electric bikes so that they can provide assistance based on the amount of power being exerted by the rider. As riders fatigue, they can lean on the assistance of their bike’s banked power. The output of these motors are usually regulated depending on the road rules of each country. However, it is fair to assume that the majority of e-bikes being shipped offer a power output of 250 watts.
Aside from the often obvious electric motor system integrated into an e-bike, modern electric bikes look much more like their traditional pedal-powered cousins, making them much more aesthetically pleasing, which—if we’re honest—can be important to some people when it comes to design.
Having said that, electric bikes carry extra weight to make that power available, so they’re heavier than a standard road or mountain bike, though they are built tough and are definitely a great long-term investment. E-bikes are built with specific frames to accommodate power storage and reinforced forks and components, and the result is that they can tip the scales in excess of 18kg. This can be done before adding accessories such as water bottles, luggage, and tools.
The great news is that caring for an e-bike is essentially the same as a regular bike, so if you’re transitioning, you will find this a nice surprise. Quality e-bikes will add very little to your bike maintenance schedule, which means they’re very hands-off in between rides but be prepared for certain components like bike chains and brake pads wearing out due to the increased power, speed, and weight offered by an e-bike motor.
BikeExchange offers a great range of electric bikes to suit various capabilities and budgets, but more than that, we’ve done some deep dives into the electric bike on our blog, so you make the most informed decision for your needs.
While the name kind of says it all, these revolutionary steeds can seem like mysterious creatures, so let’s take a look at the basics behind how electric bikes do their thing. Electric bikes have integrated electric motors that offer some level of assistance to propel the bike forward, creating and maintaining forward motion with relative ease compared to their purely pedal-powered counterparts.
The two common types of assistance when it comes to e-bikes are either pedal assistance or throttle assistance.
Pedal assistance bikes are currently the most popular choice among e-bike riders and work by simply adding measured powered assistance as the rider pedals the bike. The motor for pedelec-assisted e-bikes will usually be mounted to the frame at the bottom bracket (between the cranks). A significant benefit of pedelec motors is that their sensors detect how much pressure you put on the pedals, allowing your drive unit to provide assistance accordingly.
On the other hand, the easiest way to conceptualize a throttle-assisted e-bike is to think of it like a motorbike where you have a throttle for the motor but with the option to pedal. A battery system supplies power to the electric drive motor located at the rear hub (although retrofitted e-bikes sometimes have the motor in the front hub). Bikes fitted with a throttle-based motor system must adhere to slightly different output regulations, with maximum power capped to 200w, while speed remains limited to 25 kph. Any e-bike that exceeds these regulations is categorized as a motor vehicle, and standard road rules apply depending on the country of use.
Modern electric bikes typically have a motor system consisting of the drive unit, the battery pack, wiring, and the control unit. A bicycle's motor power (and torque) output, battery size, and assist modes are usually calibrated for their intended purpose. In most cases, motor systems are programmed with three to five levels of assistance.
Many electric bikes use lithium-ion battery packs, which vary in size depending on the type of e-bike the batteries are fitted to. Most e-bikes will have one battery system however, some touring and commuter e-bikes are capable of taking two, even three battery packs at a time. These batteries are conveniently recharged via a standard wall power outlet. Depending on battery capacity and charger amperage output, as well as the power standards in your country, the time needed for charging will vary. From a completely emptied state, a battery could take between three and five hours to charge. It would provide around three to five years of continuous use.
Riders of electric bikes also have to be fitted with functional pedals for the bike to be considered a power-assisted bike.
Are electric bikes really worth it? While there can be different attitudes towards electric bikes, we love that it creates access to cycling that might have been near impossible for some people before power-assisted options became available.
If you’re someone new to cycling, is early on in their journey, has mobility issues, or is an avid cyclist looking for support and reprieve from time to time on your rides, electric bikes really can be worth their premium price point. And you don’t need to get the priciest e-bike either, we have great affordable e-bike entry-level options you can get started with.
Removing barriers to sports and movement is something we’re passionate about at BikeExchange, and that’s just what electric bikes do—they remove barriers to cycling. While they are pricier than the pedal-powered option, an electric bike offers reliability, durability, and that peace of mind if that’s what you’re looking for when it comes to your cycling.
You can buy an electric bike here online at BikeExchange. Shop comfortably and conveniently and compare models and prices to find the best e-bike for you. If you want to learn more, check out our blog.
We have a great range of affordable and premium electric bikes for sale that cover whatever your cycling needs might be when it comes to power-assisted bikes.
We love all things bikes, so if you’re not sure an electric bike is a good fit for you, check out our mountain bikes, including full-suspension mountain bikes and Cannondale mountain bikes, as well as our road bikes, Scott bikes, and even a great selection of kids bikes.