Electric bikes and stuff

Stuff I've learned from owning two electric bikes over the past few years:

1. They are brilliant - never let anyone tell you it's 'cheating'. They are a fantastic way for people who are just getting into fitness/overweight/with mobility issues/injuries to enjoy cycling and commute to work.

2. You can manage perfectly well with a cheaper Chinese model if you are prepared to have to replace bits and pieces as you go along - you haven't got to fork out enough to buy a second-hand small car (although you can if you want!)

3. You are more likely to ride more often because they encourage you to ride more often and for longer because they're such fun and you don't get as tired.

4. You do have to put in some effort to ride one (it's not like a moped - you and the motor work together), and that effort in itself was enough to make me lose weight when I first got mine.

5. Ordinary bike shops can be a bit funny about repairing/maintaining them so see if you can find an e-bike shop/think about how you would maintain it/get it fixed further down the line.

6. Factor in the cost of regular maintenance and replacing the battery every 2/3 years.

7. They are quite heavy so if weight is an issue try to go for a mountain bike style bike as these are a bit lighter (cheap ones do exist)

8. Pedelecs forum is a good place to get advice and compare different models.


9. You don't need tax, insurance, license or even a helmet if the e-bike is limited to 15. 5 mph under UK law and anyone over 14 can ride one in all the same places you can ride a regular bike.

10. If you derestrict them to go faster, you're not allowed to ride them anywhere except on private land with the landowner's permission. If derestricted 'fast' pedelecs are ridden on the road they are legally treated like a moped.

Any other questions, please ask!

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22 Replies

  • That's really interesting. I fancied hiring on in holiday once as a way of sightseeing more in one day. Next time I see one I will have a go. Thanks for posting and well done for doing your big ride today without the motor on! 🚴🏽‍♀️

  • Cheers, EllaMidlands :)

  • I have one too and love it ❤️ I have a 10 km commute to work i.e. 20 km each day and I just couldn't get myself to ride my old bike 🚲 that far each and every day, but with my e-bike 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️it is not a problem, it even saves me time⏱. So I cycle every day unless the roads are icy.❄️❄️

    I always wear a helmet ⛑ though. Love my brains

  • I would definitely recommend a helmet PippiRuns you are quite right! I used to enjoy my e-bike commute in my old job.

  • I would love an electric bike, but how long does a charge last?

    Are they less/more/or equally as stable as a push bike?

    Can you attach dog trailers to them?

    Thanks for posting this thread, mayaena, it's brilliant! :)

  • How long the charge lasts depends on how powerful the battery is, how heavy the rider, and how many hills they want to climb. Oh, and strong winds and off-road riding drain power too. I can stay out for about an hour on a 9Ah battery and I weigh 102.5 kg in moderately hilly and mildly off-road terrain like farm tracks. If you are lighter than me, or you ride in flatter or smoother places, it will last longer. Or if you buy a 15Ah battery. Also, most e-bikes have different power settings, so you can choose low, medium or high-level assistance. Obviously, low will conserve the battery more than high.

    Yes, they are the same as push-bikes in terms of stability and what you can attach to them.

  • Thanks mayaena, it's the charge that's put me off in the past. I live in a remote and fairly hilly area and want to be able to transport myself and my dog to cycle path walks. It sounds as if I'd need to get a larger battery.

    Thanks so much for your help :)

  • You could try the Pedelecs forum for more detailed info (see link above). Some of the sales people for the shops post on there too but they're clearly identified as such and will still offer helpful tips. I'm sure you could find a set-up that would suit your situation. The trouble is whether it also suits your wallet! ;)

  • There's always that! :o

    I'll have a look, thanks :)

  • I don't know about pedalecs or other makes but the ones I looked at have one size battery. You could get a spare (£250 or so. . . .) Clearly if you use a trailer - dog, child or cargo, you range will be less. See my comment below about top up charging. . . One supplier refused to advise on trailers. I went elsewhere. As the range is reduced you may be well advised to opt for higher quality. as mayaena says, look at the amp hours capacity. Get a 15 ah and use the least setting you can get away with. I wish you success. I've noticed my stamina dropping off drastically. I really need one :)

  • Thanks so much, fenbadger :)

  • Thanks for the post. I don't mind cycling but the hills, the hills ........

  • E-bikes flatten out the hills!

  • That's good. I'm in the process of getting one. If you can find one that was manufactured under the old rules its still legal. As long as the pedals are going round the power will be on, so you can be really lazy but it will restrict your range. I have a shop within 1 mile so I'm going there, and its a conversion on my own bike. Although the power pack has a estimated range of 25 miles you can increase this by helping it or carrying a spare battery and or take the charger with you. A short charge on a tea stop works wonders, but not necessarily for the waistline :P

    With or without elec, safety is still your own responsibility. I wear helmet and vis vest and still look over my shoulder.

  • That sounds great fenbadger Here's wishing you many hundreds of happy miles!

  • Thank you. And you. Mine adds 5 kg to the weight. Not amazingly high. This one has lithium battery so is lighter anyway. (I'm expecting to take it on the train too).

    On full power the one I use will take a steep hill on its own.

    A partial recharge of 1/2 hour can give another 10 miles. And as you said earlier, the sales pitch was people get fitter with them. At least they're out, not staying in :)

  • That was a really interesting read mayaena my husband often talks about getting one, now I have some information to share. Thank you.

  • Glad it was useful! :)

  • Very helpful info, thankyou. Ive been wondering about trying one as my knees aren't great and our area is rather hilly. My partner cycles a standard bike mostly alone. And together we walk quite a lot, but it might be nice to cycle sometimes together. Im going to look into electric bike hire to see if can try before i buy.

  • That's one of the great things about e-bikes/pedelecs - they level the playing field for riders of different abilities/fitness levels riding together. Have fun, and hope it works out elliebath !

  • I tried an e bike last week and was so impressed I've just bought one. Does anyone know of a training plan to help me lose weight and build fitness/stamina on an ebike that I could follow? My commute is a little too far at 30mile each way, particular given I'm just starting. Thanks!

  • You could just follow this plan, because it goes by time spent on the bike, not miles covered. britishcycling.org.uk/knowl...

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