Choosing the Right Electric Bike
There are a number of different choices of electric bikes. At Electric Bikes Guildford we stock 6 brands and we carry about 30 bikes in our shop at any one time, with more bikes off site, any of which you can try out. We try to make sure that there is something for everyone; bikes for touring, off road bikes, folders, sit up and beg and even cargo bike. We have specialist knowledge of electric bikes and we are trained in all the major systems (Bosch, Shimano, Panasonic, Impulse etc.). We will spend as much time with you as you need to help you choose the right bike with no appointment necessary.
The sort of questions that we will ask you are as follows:
What will the Bike be used for?
Will you be using it on or off road, for commuting, leisure, shopping or exercise? Yes, you can use an electric bike for exercise - you choose how much assistance you want and if you want none at all you can select that. Many fitness magazines are now profiling electric bikes as a great way to get fit.
Road and light off road
A lot of our customers are looking for a bike that they can use on the road but for occasional off road use as well. The bike that really ticks this box is the KTM Macina Cross 9.
This bike from KTM has rugged tryes that will go off road but are not too wide for the roads. It also has front suspension, comes with the latest and most powerful Bosch motor, the CX 4 and a 400 watt hour battery. That is the battery size we suggest for most people, giving you a rang of up to about 70 miles. If you think that you will do some very long rides or you want complete assurance that you have ample capacity then you should consider the larger battery size - 500 watt hours; you would then need to consider a different bike as this bike only comes with the 400 watt hour battery.
This has been our favourite bike for over a year now and the latest model has been improved with the more powerful motor and a few other touches, such as Deore gears.
The great thing about off road electric bikes is that the fatter tryes are no problem on the road because of the assistance from the motor. Many of our customers buy the off road bikes because they can take them anywhere and some feel more secure on the mountain bike tyres. The off road bikes are fully equipped and the brands that produce them make the same bike in a non-electric version. The components are rockshox or fox suspension for example, shimano gears (often Deore or SLX) and hydraulic disc brakes.
Unless you are expecting to go down steep, rocky slopes then a front suspension (hard tail) bike will be fine. Two examples for you to consider are:
This bike has the Bosch CX Performanceline motor, a 500 watt hour battery, Deore gears and Rockshox front suspension. The cost of this is £2349. If your budget is a little less than this then the KTM Macina Force 273 is a good compromise. The battery is smaller (400 watt hours) and the front suspension is Suntour.
If you want to push the boundary a bit further then the Scott e-scale 730 is a great option. The spec is similar to the KTM above but with Shimano SLX gears (almost top of the range) and with lighter and plusher front suspension.
For those who want something a bit more adventurous, for tackling hardier trails, rocky downhills etc and full suss is your thing then we have plenty of options to choose from. One of the top bikes in this league is the Scott E-genius 720 plus. The plus size refers to the tyre size, which are an extra fat 3 inches, compared to the normal MTB tyres which are about 2.35 inches. The front forks are Fox 34, giving 140 mm of travel and the shocks are Fox Nude with 130 mm of travel. This bike is for those familiar with some downhill rides and who want the confidence that the suspension is there to get you down anything.
Touring - Comfortable Bikes
If that all sounds a bit exhausting and you are really looking for pleasant summer rides in a comfortable position then our best bikes are the Dutch Gazelles. These are beautiful bikes, mainly sit up and beg with a fantastic build quality. They are built in Gazelle's factory in Holland where they receive a thorough testing. If you want the Bosch system and why wouldn't you, then we recommend the Orange C7 + HM . This is available in a step through version. For those looking for a bit more luxury then Gazelle have a bike that is equipped with automatic gears. You choose the speed that you want to pedal and the bike will do the rest for you, changing gear smoothly and silenty as the incline changes. This is the Gazelle Orange CX available in step through or with a cross bar.
Price is always a consideration of course. Our bikes start at around £1000. At this price we stock Wisper and Freego bikes. The motor for these bikes is on the front or rear wheel and they often come with a throttle. The throttle enables you to ride with minimum effort at 15.5 mph, so long as you are at least turning the pedals. They also have a pedal assist option, which puts less demand on the battery.
For just over £1000 (£1,099) we recommend the Wisper. It comes either in step-through or cross bar frame.
If you need the convenience of a folding bike then we have a number of options to choose from.
The Freego Folder comes in at just £999 and is available in 3 colours - silver, regency green or red. It has a good size battery - 375 watt hours - good for 25 to 40 miles and there is a larger battery available too (575 watt hours - good for 60 miles.) It also has a throttle.
If weight is your concern - then consider the Freego Folding Light. It weighs just 19 kg, compared to 25 kg of the normal folder. It comes in 2 colours, green or silver and it is the most discreet of elctric bikes with the battery cleverly hidden in the frame but still accessible for easy charging. The price of this one is £1249.