Electric bikes explained
Bikes equipped with a battery-powered electric motor are called an electric bike or e-bike. The designs of e-bikes are improving as the technology becomes more reliable and the capabilities expand. At first glance, you won't even notice the compact electric motors and batteries on most models.
The most common e-bike types are touring and trekking bikes with an electric motor, e-mountain bikes (E-MTBs or electric MTBs) and city bikes.
Most electric bikes (e-bikes) are defined as class 1, 2 or 3.
- Class 1 e-bikes have a motor (max 250w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph.
- Class 2 e-bikes are getting more popular due to their lower prices. They have a throttle that can propel a bike up to 20 mph without having to pedal.
- Class 3 e-bikes, also known as "speed pedelecs" can have up to a 750w motor, and can go up to 28 mph.
If the motor acts as pedal support and no more than 25 km/h can be reached with its help, the e-bike may be treated as a normal bicycle under the law. If acceleration without pedalling is possible, and it can go faster than 45 km/h, the bike may legally be considered a moped thus requiring an official permit, insurance coverage and a driver license. A helmet is also usually required.
Some e-bike models mount the battery with a bracket on the frame or the luggage carrier making the battery removable so an external charger can be used to recharge the battery. Other e-bike models have the battery embedded so you'll need a power outlet near the e-bike to be able to recharge. The charge time depends largely on the capability of the charger and the capacity of the battery. It usually takes between 2 to 5 hours to get fully charged. Of course there are motors available with different power levels.
E-bike motors can be mounted in different ways:
- An e-bike with a front motor applies the power to the front-wheel hub
- An e-bike with a mid-mounted motor applies the power near the bottom bracket (used esp. with E-MTBs)
- An e-bike with a rear motor applies the power to the rear-wheel hub
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Some of the best e-bike deals
KTM Macina Prowler Exonic
Chrome red (fire orange+black) 12-G SRAM XX1 AXS. 180 mm travel at the fork and 170 mm travel at the rear quickly make it clear that this bike is intended for demanding trail and enduro use.
- Starting at: $10,699
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KTM Macina Style 710
Quality, comfort, performance, and style at the highest level. The system includes the KIOX 300 display, the BOSCH PERFORMANCE LINE CX motor, a 4A charger and the most powerful BOSCH POWERTUBE batter ...
- Starting at: $4,999
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With the Urban RD9 you can easily bike through the hustle and bustle of the city. The combination of a rear‐wheel drive with derailleur gears helps you to easily cross the obstacles in the city ...
- Starting at: €2.099
- More details
Please note, bike details can change without notice!