10 things you should know about e-bikes

A woman wearing white helmet and purple leggings whizzes along on an e-cycle, background blurred
Cycling UK’s communications and media officer, Joanne Clark shares 10 handy things you should know about e-cycling if you’re considering joining the e-bike revolution

1. E-bikes are really fun   

Riding an e-bike brings a sense of freedom you can’t get from driving a car or sitting on public transport. 

Whizzing past traffic jams on the way to work, to collect groceries or just to enjoy time outside in the fresh air brings those feel-good endorphins to the surface, so you always feel great by the time you reach your destination.  

More about the benefits of e-cycling.

2. The extra weight needn’t be a barrier 

E-cycles are a little heavier than regular bikes due to the added weight of the battery and motor. This can be off-putting at first, however as soon as you start pedalling, the extra weight is barely noticeable as you glide forward.  

They’re also often sturdier which can make you feel as though you have more presence on the road, so you might feel safer riding alongside traffic.  

If manoeuvring the bike on foot is a concern, many e-cycles on the market now have a walk assist function which provides just enough power to help you move it into position with ease.  

More about e-cycle batteries.

3. They can help you to keep fit 

Anyone who believes that using an e-bike is ‘cheating’ clearly hasn’t tried one before.  

Even with the extra assistance, you still have to put effort in and expel energy to move forward. By using an e-cycle, you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine which you would otherwise might miss out on if you chose to drive instead.  

The mode settings most e-cycles are fitted with mean that the intensity of each journey is completely in your hands. Select power mode on a flat road for leisurely cruise or eco mode on a steep hill for leg burning workout. 

More about how cycling positively impacts your health

4. They’re not as expensive as you might think 

E-bikes are often perceived as an expensive luxury meaning they can be written off before the actual cost is considered. 

When buying an e-cycle, there are many different purchasing options available so you don’t necessarily have to fork out the full cost upfront.   

One option is the cycle to work scheme, a government initiative which allows you to save money and spread the cost of your purchase over one to four years.  

Many suppliers, such as Evans Cycles and Halfords offer 0% bike finance options making the overall payment far more manageable.  

Evans Cycles also gives a 15% discount code to Making cycling e-asier participants once they’ve returned their free e-cycle loan or finished a skills and confidence session.  

In comparison to running a second-hand car, an e-cycle is an investment which will save you money in the long run.  

More about how much money you can save by cycling.  

5. The running costs are manageable  

The outright cost of buying an e-cycle isn’t the only cost you have to consider, there are also general running costs too.  

By looking after your e-cycle and carrying out regular simple checks yourself, such as cleaning and lubricating the chain, and washing off any mud or dust from the frame and moving parts, this should reduce the number of services your need. A standard service should cost anywhere from £25 - £50.  

With the recent hike in UK energy prices, many people are trying to cut down on energy use where possible. However owning an e-cycle doesn’t necessarily mean huge electricity bills. Depending on the battery size, fully charging the battery should take around four to six hours, which costs under 15 pence per charge.  

More about bike maintenance.  

6. They can cut journey times  

Riding an e-cycle allows you to follow different traffic-free routes along canal paths, coastal routes or through country parks and forests which are often shortcuts.  

By opting for the scenic route, you can reap the mental and physical health benefits of exercising regularly all while taking in beautiful views and fresh air along the way.  

And in congested towns and cities…well you’ll soon be breezing by the lines of traffic!  

More about switching from a car to an e-cycle for short journeys

7. You don’t need to recharge the battery after every journey 

When fully charged, most e-bikes have enough power to last for multiple journeys before they need recharged. We even had two members of staff ride commute 40 miles over the Pennines and still have power left! 

E-cycle battery life can be affected by which mode you choose to pedal on. If you always opt for power mode, even on flat surfaces, the battery life will drain quicker. 

Most manufacturers recommend removing the battery from the e-bike and storing it inside, not just for security reasons, but because cooler temperatures can affect its longevity.  

More about e-cycle batteries.

8. You can wash an e-cycle with the garden hose 

E-cycles from reputable brands come equipped with waterproof batteries and motors meaning you can wash them the same as you would a regular bike.  

We recommend that you avoid using a power hose or pressure washer as you run the risk of pushing dirt and debris into components which could affect its performance.  

More on cleaning your bike

9. E-cycling is for everyone! 

With so many different types of e-bikes and non-standard e-bikes on the market, there really is one for everyone.  

If you’re returning to cycling after an illness or injury, an e-bike could help you to ease back into the saddle. If you struggle with mobility, sore joints or a health condition such as osteoporosis, an e-trike could help keep you moving regularly.  

An e-cargo bike could be an option if you’re a business owner who needs to move items around, or a parent who needs to move little people around. 

More about types of electric cycles

10. It’s worth trying before you buy 

If you’re curious about e-cycling and you’d like to give it a go before you buy, Cycling UK’s free e-cycle scheme, Making cycling e-asier, is offering communities based in Manchester, Sheffield, Leicester and Luton & Dunstable free one-month e-cycle loans. We’re also offering skills and confidence sessions for those who might want to experience an e-bike before committing to a loan, or just need that little bit of extra help to get back on the bike.  

By taking part in Making cycling e-asier, you will have the opportunity to discover the invaluable benefits of e-cycling regularly. You’ll also be helping to reduce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change.  

More about Making cycling e-asier.