Electric bike guide: everything you need to know to get started

Electric bike guide: everything you need to know to get started

Discovering electric bicycles

Imagine: you get on your bike, and from the first pedal strokes, a big smile appears on your face.

Doubt: you’re on an electric bike! Electric power-assisted bicycle enthusiasts are well aware of this feeling and more, and more of you are letting this new type of cycle seduces yourself. The revolution in transport and electric mobility is underway, and users do not hesitate to take part. In this guide, we give you all the keys to getting started.

Electric bike or fast electric bike?

If you are interested in buying an electric bike, keep in mind that there are several versions. It’s up to you to find the one that suits you best! All electric bicycles have common characteristics; the differences often lie in the amount of power you need.

Electrically assisted bicycles

Today, the simple electric power-assisted bicycle is the most popular. This is a bike equipped with a motor that only works when you pedal yourself. In short, if you don’t pedal, your bike won’t move.

What is an electric bicycle?

  • Electric bicycles are known as “electrically assisted bicycles.”
  • To drive them, you don’t need a license, license plate, or insurance.
  • The assistance must stop at 25 km/h
  • The motor power does not exceed 250 Watts
  • The assistance only starts if the cyclist pedals and stops when he or she no longer pedals.
  • No age requirement is required
  • It is possible to install a starting aid which must not exceed 6 km/h
  • No obligation to wear a helmet, even if it is strongly recommended
  • Cyclists should use bicycle paths as much as possible

Speedbikes, or fast electric bikes

There is a faster version of the electric bike, called “speedbike” or fast electric bike. The faster the bike goes, the stricter the regulations are.

What is a fast electric bicycle?

  • Its engine allows it to exceed 25 km/h
  • It is considered as a moped and not as a bicycle
  • It is reserved for drivers aged 16 and over
  • Its motor can reach 500 Watts and a speed of 45 km/h
  • Like a moped, it must be registered and covered by insurance
  • The cyclist must hold an AM (moped) or B (car) license
  • Wearing an approved helmet is mandatory
  • It is not allowed to ride on bicycle paths
  • Attaching a trailer or child seat to a fast electric bicycle is not allowed

Equipment: how to choose it right?

Electric bicycles are a little heavier than conventional bicycles. For this reason, you should consider the following points:

The front and rear brakes must be strong. Many manufacturers already use disc brakes on the electric bicycles in their range. It is recommended to use at least hydraulic rim brakes or V-brakes, which provide correct braking power.
We recommend that you install tires that are slightly wider than average or tires from major brands specially designed for electric bicycles. These offer optimal riding comfort and higher puncture protection, as the bike weighs more and rides faster.
Suspensions, whether on the fork, rear-wheel or seatpost, are not reserved for mountain bikers. They provide a real plus in terms of comfort and increase the stability of your bike on bumpy roads. Don’t worry about the extra few grams of suspension fork weight: the engine power more than compensates for it.

Which electric bike is right for you?

Before choosing a model of electric bike, you should consider which type of bike would best suit your riding style and needs. Do you pedal mainly in the city? Do you do long bike rides on weekends? Do you like to have fun on the mountain trails? By answering these questions, you should see more clearly and be able to choose your new electric bike on Bikester. If you are not sure what you need, don’t panic: we introduce you to each type of electric bike.

Electric trekking bike

Like the classic trekking bike, the electric version is fully equipped with lamps, a large number of gears and mudguards. You will enjoy a comfortable driving position that will allow you to tackle long distances without any problems. With a compact engine and well integrated into the geometry of the cycle, the sensations of cycling are the same.

  • Driving position suitable for long walks
  • Robust, comfortable and reliable
  • Ideal for cycling trips

Electric mountain bike

Mountain bikes equipped with an engine offer new possibilities for riders. Thanks to them, routes that seemed too far away become much more accessible and difficult climbs will no longer be an obstacle to your enjoyment. The new challenges are yours!

  • More fun routes and easier climbs
  • A modern way to practice mountain biking
  • All-suspended and semi-rigid models

Electric city bike

Electric city bikes are ideal for those who lead a dynamic and urban life. Adding an engine to the classic city bike increases its capacity – its use will no longer necessarily be limited to daily trips. And thanks to a fully-equipped electric city bike, you can get to work by pedaling without having to swim completely.

  • Straight driving position
  • Comfortable
  • For short to medium distances

Electric VTC

Electric VTCs are a more sporty alternative to your everyday bike. Thanks to their longer driving position and high speed, they allow you to pedal in the city, in the countryside or the forest.
The electric version of this type of bike is ideal for those who travel long distances to work. Their large 28-inch wheels adapt to all types of roads.

  • More sporty driving position
  • Agile and lively bike
  • For all types of roads (asphalt, roads, etc.)

Motor placement and its advantages/disadvantages

If you take a look at our range of electric bicycles, you will find that most electric bicycles have a central motor, positioned directly at the bottom bracket. On other electric bicycles, the motor is placed in the center of the rear wheel (wheel motor). Some engines are at the front wheel, but this is less common. Does the position of the motor really matter?

Central engine

Advantages:

  • Balanced weight distribution thanks to the low position in the middle of the bottom bracket
  • Low center of gravity
  • Same driving sensations as on a conventional bike
  • Best choice for those who want a sporty driving style
  • Fewer technical problems since the cables are shorter

Disadvantages

  • Weighs more on the chain, chain, chainring, sprockets or hub with integrated gears
  • More expensive
  • Requires a special framework
  • Cannot be installed on a conventional bike that you want to transform into an electric bike

Wheel motor

Advantages

  • Very quiet
  • Direct power transmission for more dynamic driving
  • Energy recovery possible
  • Can be installed on a conventional bike that you want to transform into an electric bike
  • Normal wear of transmission parts

Disadvantages

Centre of gravity towards the rear
Heavier driving at the rear
It is difficult to change the rear wheel

Front engine

Advantages

  • Can be installed on many classic bicycles
  • Cheap

Disadvantages

  • The fork is subjected to higher loads
  • The presence of the motor can influence the steering
  • The front-wheel may skid on slippery surfaces