Electric Bike Buyers Guide for 2022

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A lot has changed in the electric bike world since I first became involved in 2016. Motors and batteries are getting smaller, lighter and more integrated to the point where some e-bikes look almost indistinguishable from regular bicycles. There is also more choice than ever, and lower prices have made electric bikes more accessible . In this electric bike buyers guide for 2022, I will go over the basics, so you can make the right decision.

I’m sure most of the readers will know what an electric bike is, but for the benefit of those new to the e-bike world, I will cover the basics.

What is an Electric Bike (and how do they work?)

An electric bike (also known as an e-bike or pedalec) is basically a bicycle that has a small electric motor and battery fitted to provide the rider with assistance pedalling. For me, the e-bike is one of best inventions to emerge in the 21st century, as it enables people of all ages and abilities to start cycling again.

electric bike buyers guide

I live in a very hilly, rural part of Cornwall, in the South West of England and cycling in my area can be incredibly challenging if you are not reasonably fit. I have seen an explosion in the use of electric bikes in my area, and it is a great thing to see so many people out cycling and enjoying the countryside.

In recent years, prices for new electric bikes have come down considerably, which has made them much more accessible for everyone.

Types of Electric Bike Motor

Electric bikes use a small electric motor to assist the rider in pedalling. There are laws governing the amount of power these motors can produce and the speed at which they can produce it.

In the UK, Europe and Australia, the maximum power allowed by law is 250 watts (one third of a horsepower), with a maximum assisted speed of 15.5mph (25km/h). The electric assist can only be activated by pedalling and cannot be operated by just using a throttle.

There are exceptions to the use of a throttle, particularly electric bikes manufactured before 1st January 2016, and retro-fit e-bike kits fitted to used bicycles – the power and speed limit still apply.

In the USA and Canada, e-bike laws are different. The Federal Electric Bike law in the US allows for up to 750w, 20mph maximum speed and a throttle (as long as the bike has pedals). This law varies from State to State. In Canada the legal limit for an electric bike is 500w and 20mph.

There are several key components to the e-bike system, the most important of which are the motor and battery. There are two different types of motor employed in an electric bike – a hub motor and mid-drive or crank motor.

Electric Hub Motor

Electric hub motors have been around for a long time now, but they are still quite popular, particularly on budget e-bikes like the Carrera Vengeance E.

Recent advances in motor and sensing technology have also made them popular on some high-end electric road bikes like the Ribble SLe. The M1 motor (pictured below) is part of the Mahle X35 ebikemotion system, and is found on some very expensive road bikes.


ebikemotion x35 M1 electric hub motor for road bikes

The M1 motor produces around 40Nm of torque, which is low (by mid-drive standards) but the big appeal with this system is the low overall weight – The total system (including a hidden 250Wh battery) weighs just 3.6kg. The Carbon-framed Ribble Sle weighs in at just 11kg, which is about the same weight as a modern steel-framed road bike.

The Suntour HESC hub motor fitted to the Carrera range of electric bikes is substantially heavier, but it is a reliable motor all the same.

Mid-Drive Electric Motor

Mid-Drive or Crank-drive motors (like the Bosch) can be found on many production e-bikes. They are usually integrated into specially designed frames.

A lot of design and technology goes into these motors, and they are manufactured by prestigious names like Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Panasonic and Brose.

A mid-drive motor, transfers power to the rear wheel using the bikes drivetrain and gearing. This makes the motor not only more energy efficient, but also produces a higher torque output. This makes mid-drives especially suitable for applications like mountain biking.

decathlon stilus e-mtb

Nearly all modern mid-drive electric bike motors are incredibly sophisticated, for example the latest 4th generation Bosch CX motor has an assist mode that will adapt to the demands of the rider and terrain.

If you are riding on the flat at a steady pace the motor will be giving you a little help in proportion to the amount of effort you are putting in. When you come to a sudden steep climb, and start pedalling harder, the motor will compensate automatically, giving you more power. As soon as the trail levels off again, the motor will also give you less assist.

bosch cx 4th gen

The great thing with the above technology, is it makes the motor extremely efficient, meaning you will get a far greater battery range. I have ridden quite a few e-bikes with this feature, and it makes you feel like you have super strong legs!

Modular Electric Bike Systems

Modular e-bike systems are a relatively new concept and have been pioneered by the German company Fazua. The Fazua Evation electric bike motor is a mid-drive system, that has the primary motor gearbox and sensor located in an enlarged bottom bracket area.

fazue evation ebike drive system complete

The motor drive system and battery are housed in a recess on the underside of the bicycles downtube. The great thing about this system, is it can be removed at any time (apart from the gearbox).

The Fazua Evation has a total weight of only 4.6kg (3.6kg motor and battery + 1kg gearbox). This means you can have an e-bike and regular bike in one!

Bergamont E-Grandurance RD Expert Review

The only compromise with this system, is some riders do not feel it produces enough assist. I have ridden a few e-bikes with this motor, and I personally love it, but it definitely doesn’t have the raw power of the Bosch, Yamaha or Shimano Steps system. The best analogy I can come up with is in full power mode, the Fazua feels like a Bosch in Tour mode (level 2).

I would say this electric bike motor is more suited to someone who already has a reasonable level of fitness, and  wants to keep up with their faster friends on group rides, or maybe as a way to speed up a hilly daily commute.

Pedal Assist Technology

Cadence Pedal Assist Sensor

Pedal assist technology has come on a long way in the last few years. At first, you had a cadence-based pedal assist, which simply measures pedal rotation and starts the motor as soon as the crank starts spinning. These sensors are still used, but usually only on budget e-bikes or cheap electric bike conversion kits.

a typical pedal assist sensor fitted to an electric bike


A cadenced-based pedal assist may suit some riders better, particularly if you have knee problems. As you do not need to exert any discernible force to start the motor, just spin the pedals and away you go! These systems act very much like an on/off switch.

The main downside is reduced efficiency and sometimes the motor can kick in quite suddenly and overrun a little when pedalling stops (which can be a bit unnerving).

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Torque sensing pedal assist is usually found on higher quality hub motor electric bikes and all factory produced mid-drive e-bikes.

A torque sensor, measures the amount of force being applied to the pedals, and constantly adjusts the amount of power to compensate for the needs of the rider. The latest, most sophisticated pedal assist sensors can take 1000’s of measurements per second. This makes the transition to electric assist feel seamless, and when you first ride one of these bikes, you feel like a pro!

I absolutely love torque sensing pedal assist, and it is becoming increasingly available as standard on budget hub powered bikes like the Carrera Subway E.

Electric Bike Batteries

The battery is the most important part of the system, as nothing will work without it. In recent years, lithium battery technology has improved substantially, and the energy density of the cells has increased, meaning you can have a relatively small, lightweight battery that will integrate into the bikes frame.

Electric bike battery energy capacity is measured in Watt Hours (Wh) and Amp hours (Ah). To calculate the total energy capacity of a battery you simply multiply the voltage (V) by Ah – As an example a typical 36v 13Ah battery will have a total energy capacity of 468 Wh (36 x 13 = 468).

Most of the big e-bike manufacturers use the Wh figure, so basically the higher the number, the greater the potential range.


bosch powertube 625 battery

So how can you find out your battery’s potential range using the above information? This isn’t straightforward as no two rides are exactly the same,  you will get an approximate range, but that’s it. There are too many different variables to factor in like wind direction, tyre pressures, road surface, rider weight, hills etc.

One of the best battery range calculators, is provided by Bosch. Find out your potential battery range here (calculations based on various Bosch mid-drive motor and battery configurations).

For more information, I have written a separate post – electric bike batteries explained.

Benefits of Riding an Electric Bike

Riding an electric bike has many benefits. Realising that you no longer need to rely on the internal combustion engine and all the associated costs is a very liberating experience.

Then you have the obvious (and proven) health benefits. And I’m not just talking about physical health, but mental health as well. Getting out of your town or city and immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside can have a very positive effect on your mind. And being able to do this without getting out of breath and sweating buckets is great!

Are Electric Bikes Cheating?

It always makes me laugh when I hear this one. I’ve been told many times, that I’m cheating by using an electric bike, although it’s usually light hearted and comes from a friend or acquaintance who doesn’t even ride a bike!

Riding an e-bike definitely isn’t cheating, unless you’re riding a competitive event with a hidden motor. When I first started riding an electric bike in 2016, there still seemed to be a bit of a stigma associated with it –  ‘e-bikes are for lazy people, blah, blah, blah…’

ebike ridden up a steep hill

In recent years, the attitude to electric bikes has changed dramatically. Electric bikes are now welcome on a lot of cycling club group rides, and are even allowed in some events like Sportives.

I know loads of regular cyclists, who view e-bikes as a positive force in the world of cycling. Not only have they given a new lease of life to the cycling industry, but they have also helped countless people get out of their houses and on to two wheels.

Using an Electric Bike for Commuting

Out of all the great uses I can think of, using an electric bike for commuting is probably one of the best. Picture the scenario: You have a 10 mile commute to work in your town or city centre and this journey usually takes a good half an hour, maybe more due to traffic. Riding an e-bike to work can not only save you a bit of time, but also spare you the misery of being stuck in traffic.

Cycling infrastructure has been vastly improved in a lot of European towns and cities, as local governments try to encourage more people away from cars and onto more environmentally forms of transport.

using an electric bike for commuting

The saving on fuel and other expenses itself can justify the cost of an electric bike. I remember I built an e-bike for a customer a few years back, and he calculated that it paid for itself within 6 months!

There are plenty of schemes across Europe who will help spread the cost of purchasing an e-bike, like the cyclescheme in the UK. These schemes are supported by retailers and employers alike and offer an easy way to buy the perfect electric bike for commuting.

But what about the weather? I here you say. Well, I’ve ridden in excess of 10’000 miles in the last two and a half years (in the UK) in all the seasons, and modern cycling gear does the job of keeping the elements at bay. Read my article on the 9 best tips for riding an e-bike in winter.

Can kids use electric bikes?

Children of 14 years of age and older can use an electric bike on the road or in public places, but children under this age can only use an e-bike on private property.

kids riding e-bikes

More and more manufacturers are selling child-specific electric bikes. Unfortunately children live much more sedentary lifestyles nowadays but electric bikes are great fun and are proving to be a good motivational tool to get them away from their smartphones and computer and outside, getting fresh air and exercise. Read my article on the best electric bikes for kids and the benefits.

Choosing the right Electric Bike

If you’re new to the world of e-bikes, it can be a bit overwhelming with all the choice currently available. Types of electric bike cover the full spectrum of bicycle styles, ranging from road bikes through to mountain bikes and recumbent bikes.

To add to the confusion, the are sub-categories within each type of e-bike, for example – A hybrid bike used to traditionally be a mixture of mountain bike and road bike, but now you have trekking hybrids, urban hybrids, sport hybrids, and so on..

carrera crossfuse review

Another consideration is the type of frame you need. If you have problems getting your leg over a standard bicycle frame, may want to consider a step-thru (or easy-entry) electric bike. These styles of bike have a beefed-up downtube and no top-tube, making getting on and off the bike easy.

Step-thru electric bikes are great because anyone regardless of age or gender can use them. They are especially popular in European towns and Cities.

Cube touring hybrid one 400 step thru review

Electric Bike Sizing

Getting the right bike for your size is an important consideration. The problem with this, is sizing and frame geometry can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Another thing to consider is, we are all shaped differently. Some of us have long legs and short arms or the opposite.

If you haven’t cycled for some time, and you aren’t sure of the correct frame size. I would recommend going to your local bike shop to get an idea of the correct bike size for your build.

Types of Electric Bike

In 2022 you can buy an electric bike for all occasions – whether you’re gravel riding, mountain biking, taking the kids to school or commuting. The choice is better than it’s ever been. Below, I’ve listed some of the main types of e-bike available.

Electric Hybrid Bike

Decathlon Riverside 500 electric bike review

The Electric Hybrid Bike is by far the most popular style of e-bike. This is because the word ‘hybrid’ encompasses so many different styles of bike.

At one extreme, you can have a heavy duty hybrid that has beefier forks, chunky tyres and a high-spec components – these are almost mountain bikes (but not quite!) At the other end of the spectrum you have hybrid bikes that are more road orientated. These are often called urban or sport hybrid bikes – they have much lighter frames and drive systems (like the Fazua or X35) and usually look like road / gravel bikes with flat, narrow handlebars.

boardman hyb 8.9e electric bike review

Depending on your intended usage, there is a hybrid for everyone. If you are going to be spending most of your time riding on smooth tarmac, then a road bike orientated hybrid would be ideal. If you are riding rough country lanes, and gravel tracks, then you might want something more robust and with decent front suspension.

Check out 10 of the best electric hybrid bikes under £3000

If you are looking for something for the daily commute, or touring, then a bike already fitted with mudguards, pannier rack and lights would be useful.

To compare prices and specifications of nearly 100 different brands and model of electric hybrid bike, visit my sister site ebikepricecomparison.com

Electric Mountain Bike

decathlon stilus full suspension electric mountain bike

Electric mountain bikes come in two categories (thankfully!) – hardtail or full-suspension. Electric mountain bikes or e-MTB’s for short are also incredibly popular with consumers.

The reason for their success is rugged versatility, and adaptability. You can quite easily use an electric mountain bike on the road, and just fit some road-friendly tyres, and maybe a pannier rack and some mudguards.

I think of e-MTB’s as the SUV of the ebike world! If you get a decent one, you can ride it practically anywhere, whereas hybrids do have their limitations.

cube reaction ex625 electric mountain bike in green with gumwall tyres

I know a lot of riders who choose to use an electric mountain bike for their daily commute, simply because the wider tyres and longer suspension travel help take the sting out of potholes and road debris.

Electric mountain bikes also have their extremes. At one end of the pricing scale you have bikes that are sold and marketed as e-MTB’s, but the last place you would want to take these bikes is anywhere near a mountain! At the other end of the price range, you have pro spec electric mountain bikes that are just as capable as their non-assisted counterparts.

Ultimately it depends on what you want from your e-bike. If you’re a beginner to off-road riding, then it’s pointless going out and spending 1000’s on a top of the range full-suspension e-MTB. On the flip side, if you’re an experienced mountain biker then you are going to want to spend a bit of money to get an electric mountain bike that can handle the abuse.

To compare prices and specifications of over a 100 e-MTB’s, check out my sister site: ebikepricecomparison.com

Electric Road Bike

Electric road bikes are relatively new to the e-bike world. Giant were the first major company to recognise the demand for sporty, drop handlebar electric bikes with their Road E+ range of bikes.

ribble sle electric road bike

More recently there have been some interesting developments in e-bike technology that has allowed for some absolutely amazing e-road bikes.

The Fazua Evation system as mentioned earlier in this article is one such innovation, and also the Mahle X35 ebikemotion system (as fitted to the Ribble above).

boardman adv 8.9e electric bike review

Both of these electric bike motors have been specifically designed with the road cyclist in mind. Most electric road bikes don’t even look like e-bikes. They’re relatively light (compared with other e-bikes), and they can be easily ridden with the motors switched off.

I have ridden several electric road bikes, using both drive systems, and apart from the slight weight penalty, you don’t really feel like you’re riding an e-bike with the motor switched off.

E-road bikes are generally aimed at the road cyclist who needs a bit of assistance once in a while, or maybe rides with some ridiculously fit friends and struggles to keep up with them on hills.

They can help if you struggle with endurance over longer distances, and are also a great way to get to work faster, particularly if you have a couple of steep climbs on your way.

I think e-road bikes are great. They are helping people get back into the saddle and are a great training tool, especially if you have been off your bike for a while due to an illness or injury.

Check out my article featuring some of the best electric road bikes for 2022.

Electric Cargo Bike

kona electric ute review

The Electric cargo bike is the fourth and final category in this electric bike buyers guide.

E-cargo bikes are designed to carry loads that you wouldn’t fit on a regular bike. This makes them incredibly useful for a multitude of tasks. You can use them for shopping trips, taking a couple of young children to school, you can even use a cargo e-bike for delivery jobs.

tern gsd s10 folding electric cargo bike

If you live in an urban area, with good cycling infrastructure, you could quite easily replace your car with one of these! I have ridden both models above, and they ride like normal bikes.

I think electric cargo bikes are great, and if you need an all-purpose e-bike that can cope with the extra weight and volume of goods (or little people), then they are indispensable!

Check out a selection of the best electric cargo bikes in 2022

Folding Electric Bikes

mycle compact folding electric bike

Folding electric bikes are ideal for commuters and especially useful if you travel part of your journey by public transport. They are usually reasonably lightweight and can be easily stored at home or work.

Folding e-bikes come in all shapes and sizes from lightweight performance orientated machines like the Fiido X and Morfuns Eole X, through to the more traditional design like the Mycle Compact (pictured above). There’s also folding electric fat bikes, that have 4″ wide tyres and are suitable for riding on sand or snow.

engwe ep-2 pro review

Folding e-bikes are versatile and fun to ride. They can be used for commuting, shopping or just general leisure riding. Most of the models I’ve tested come well equipped for daily use with mudguards, pannier racks and even suspension.


So, there you have it. My electric bike buyers guide for 2022. If you have any questions or need any advice buying an electric bike, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you (usually within 24hrs).

E-Bikes are great fun, and I believe they have the capacity to change peoples lives for the better. No more struggling on hills, no more worrying about turning up for work sweating buckets!

When electric bikes first became available, many people said they were a passing fad. The last couple of years have shown they are definitely here to stay.

Ride safe!


Passionate E-Bike advocate and enthusiast since 2016. Riding an electric bike helped me to lose weight, get fit and reignite my passion for cycling!

28 thoughts on “Electric Bike Buyers Guide for 2022

  • I am new to the world of electric bikes, but discovered your website and am absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of information. I need advice, and hope you can help. Touring is my passion, but I have been prevented over recent years by heart disease. A typical tour for me would have lasted two weeks or so, somewhere in the UK or Europe, and covered around 1000 miles, over a variety of terrain (my touring bike was a Thorn Nomad). To cut a long medical story short, my cardiologist was persuaded to approve my returning to touring by my arguments that I would buy an e-bike, and monitor my heart rate closely.

    I am looking for something to assist me when the going gets hard enough to send my heart rate up to danger levels. I prefer flat bars; I need to carry luggage. I may need to manhandle the bike on trains and ferries, so lightweight would help. I probably need a removable battery as I guess charging may be problematic while travelling.

    • Hi John,

      Personally I would seriously think about converting the Thorn (if you still have it) or something similar. Converting a bike to electric offers much more scope for customisation. I fitted the Yose Power rear hub motor kit to a couple of Dawes Galaxy touring bikes a couple of years back and they’re still going strong. Here is my review of the YS kit – it’s reasonably lightweight and straightforward to fit.

      If you would rather buy a ready-built e-bike, then the Ribble Gravel AL e is probably one of the best models for touring – it uses a small rear hub motor and has an internal battery. I’ve tested the CGR AL e extensively, it weighs 13.5kg all-in and rides like a normal bike without the assist on. You could probably ask Ribble to spec the bike with flat handlebars. Another good e-bike for touring would be the Cairn Brave 2.0. It’s not in stock yet, but uses the excellent Shimano Steps motor with a removeable 630Wh battery which should give a potential range of around 80-100 miles on a charge.

      I hope this helps, if you need any more advice, please let me know.


  • Hi Tony, thank you for all the information. WE have just got rid of our second car and I would like us to manage with one, so I want an ebike to do visits to friends and events. I live in a place built on 5 valleys so there is always a hill or two. Also we live in a house with 13 steps to the front door and a further 10 to where the bike would be stored, so I need an extra light bike or a removable battery for charging. I have looked at your article on lightweight bikes and thought about the Ribble hybrid ALe or the Orbea Optima E50. I am a reasonably fit 67, but I have not cycled since we moved to this house (and the hills) 20 years ago. Are the lightweight bikes appropriate or do you have other suggestions?

    • Hi Karen,

      It really depends on how long and steep the hills are in your area. There’s quite a lot of very steep hills near me (10-20% gradient) and even on full power the x35 hub motor still needs quite a lot of rider input. I would recommend testing one if possible – Ribble have showrooms in Lancashire and the Midlands. The Ribble ALe is a great bike, having ridden it on steep Cornish hills the assistance in high power mode gives a nice helping hand on the hills. If you’re not intending on covering large distances then the 250Wh battery should be ample, I was using around 30% of the battery on a hilly 20 mile ride using a mixture of low, medium and high assist (for the hills).

      If you wanted more range and stronger assistance, a friend has just purchased a Kalkhoff Endeavour 1.B Move step-through – It’s got the Performance Line Bosch motor with 400Wh battery. It is quite heavy in comparison to the Ribble at around 23kg but the battery can be removed reducing the weight by around 3kg. I’ve had a quick ride on it and it’s very impressive for the £1999 price tag.

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions please let me know.

      All the best,

  • Hi there. I’d be really interested to know your thoughts on what you think is the best ebike in the UK for about £1500? It would be my first ebike purchase. I live in an area where the countryside is not too hilly. I would be using it for pleasure and partly in an effort to fitten up a bit. It would mostly be used on country lanes with maybe a bit of off-road stuff. I’m in my late 40’s and in reasonable physical shape. I’m looking for quality, a removable battery and value for money. My thoughts after looking for a couple of days is the Rockrider 520 for £1399. My brother bought a Carrera Crossfire 2 from Halfords for a similar price. Is the Rockrider better? Are there better alternatives still? Many thanks for reading.

    • Hi Richard,

      I’ve test ridden both those e-bikes and for me the Rockrider E-ST520 beats the Carrera hands down. The Brose motor is more efficient and produces significantly more torque. It’s geared just about right for country lane and off-road riding. The next model up the Rockrider E-ST900 has a more powerful battery, and better components, but it comes in at £1699. I’ve just checked with Decathlon and a lot of their e-bikes are out of stock at the moment due to increased demand, but they are hoping to get more stock soon. There’s nothing that can beat the Decathlon bike at that price, most of the other bikes available use rear hub motors, which are generally reliable but not quite as efficient. The NCM Electric bike range is worth a look, particularly the Moscow and Milano Max – they are sold on eBay UK. I know quite a few satisfied owners of these bikes, and they offer good value for money.

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

      All the best,

  • Hi Tony.
    I am a heavier individual (24st) looking to get back into shape and into a solid exercise routine and i’m eyeing Ebikes to help ease my transition.
    Now My question is do you know of any manufacturers who sell more rugged and heavy duty bikes which can be better for someone of my size and indeed who sell a reasonable bike between 2-3K I’ve been looking for the last few days and found myself mired in all kinds of offerings and unfortunately dont know my stuff too well in this particular field.


    • Hi Josh,

      I would personally go for a good mid-drive electric mountain or hybrid bike. If you are planning on mainly riding on the road, all you will need to do is swap out the tyres for more road-friendly tyres like Schwalbe Big Bens. When I first got into e-bikes back in 2016 I weighed just over 21st, and used a mountain bike for a while and then a hybrid with carbon fork. The important thing is to get a bike that fits your build. I would recommend going to a good local bike shop for a bike fit. They will take all your measurements (inside leg, torso, reach etc) and be able to recommend the right size based on your measurements.

      The other important thing to consider is the severity of the hills in your area. If you have lots of steep climbs to negotiate, you will want an e-bike motor that has a higher torque output like Bosch CX, Shimano Steps, Yamaha PW SE or Giant Sync Drive Pro.

      As far as bikes are concerned I have a friend who has just brought a Vitus Mach E Urban hybrid from Wiggle, and I’ve had a quick go on it and it’s a great e-bike for the money and seems really well-built and robust (my friend weighs 20st). Another good solid bike for the price is the Scott Sub Active eRide – it’s a hybrid so has front suspension, and it also has good puncture resistant tyres, pannier rack and mudguards.

      One of the best all-round electric mountain bikes for the price is the Decathlon Rockrider E-ST900. I’ve ridden this bike a few times and it has a very robust design, a powerful motor – I weight 17.5st and it will get me up a short 1 in 4 climb with moderate effort, on shallower hills it makes life a lot easier. I know three owners of the Rockrider (all big blokes) and they all rave about it.

      I hope this helps, If you can give me more details on your height, the type of terrain you plan on cycling and battery range required I can narrow it down a bit.


      • Thanks Tony,
        That helps a lot in where to start looking so thank you.
        I’ll check them out and most likely make a purchase from there.

        Thanks again!

        • You’re welcome, glad to help.

          All the best,

  • Hi Tony
    I manage to get a Lombardo Valderice Electric Mountain Bike Cadenced based rear hub which i got from Costco is great I just wish to thank you for your advise.

    Do you know were i can get a charger from the one that came with it was broken there are sending me a new one but there out of stock and may be some time so was thinking of trying to buy one
    Thank you once again for your advise

    • Hi Michael,

      Can you email me a photo of the charger connector – the bit that connects to the battery, and I should be able to point you in the right direction. My email is cycletek@outlook.com.


  • I am looking to by an e-bike for pleasure. It will be used on roads. The area I live in is quite hilly. I am looking for a bike that is light weight but that will enable me to climb hills without too much effort. I was considering the Specialized Vado SL 4.0 but worry its motor torque may be too low for my needs. I am right to be concerned? If I am what other bikes should I consider. The vado SL 4.0 is at the top end of my budget.

    Thank you

    • Hi Marco,

      The SL 1.1 motor is very good if you already have a reasonable level of cycling fitness, but depending on the steepness of the hills you’re climbing you will still need to put in a moderate effort. I tested the Vado on a couple of 10-15% climbs and found it really good, but I ride these hills regularly on an unassisted road bike. The next level would be something like the Giant Fastroad E+ – this is heavier at around 19kg, but uses a Giant / Yamaha Sync Drive motor that puts out around 80Nm of torque. It’s a great motor for hauling riders up really steep hills, regardless of physical ability.

      I hope this helps.


      • Tony,

        Thank you for the very helpful reply. Moderate effort would be perfect. When I get the bike I will let you know how I find it. Thank you for this very helpful and informative site.


        • You’re welcome. Glad to have been of assistance.

          All the best,

  • Hi Tony

    Thanks very much I will have a look at the bike on EBay


    • You’re welcome. If you need any more advice, let me know.


  • Hi Tony
    I am looking to buy a electric bike I have arthritis in my knee and feet I am looking at 2 bike I am asking which would be the best to get
    1. Lombardo Valderice Electric Mountain Bike

    2.ancheer-electric mountain bike

    Was just looking for some advise on which bike would be more suitable for myself
    Thank you

    • Hi Michael,

      If you have arthritis you would probably be better off with an e-bike that uses a cadenced pedal assist. The Ancheer uses Cadenced based pedal assist and so does the older hub motor version of the Lombardo. The newer version of the Valderice uses a torque-sensing mid-drive which requires force to activate the pedal assist.

      In my experience, having converted bikes for customers with arthritis, a cadenced-based system is best.

      The NCM Prague available from eBay is a very good electric bike, I have ridden one and it produces strong assist and is very responsive. It also has a lot of good reviews from customers.

      If you have any more questions, please let me know.

      All the best,

  • Hi Tony

    I appreciate all the good information. I am planning to purchase my first e-bike soon. I am looking for an on-road/off-road mid-drive bike with a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) priced under $4000. I have had difficulty finding many candidate manufacturers that offer this type of product with CVT. Can you help me identify some brands to consider?
    Please advise.


    • Hi Steve,

      I’ve had a look around and there is a bike manufacturer in the US called Evelo – they do a sport utility e-bike that called the Delta-X that uses the Bafang 750w mid-drive combined with a NuVinci CVT. I’ve had a look at the spec and it looks like a decent bike for the price – it comes in at $3999. I haven’t come across this brand before being from the UK, but there is a detailed review at electricbikereview.com.

      Cannondale have just released a city bike called the Mavaro Neo which uses the latest Enviolo Nuvinci transmission – looks like a great bike, but it has a low-step frame and it looks like the entry-level model comes in at just over budget.

      I hope this helps.

      All the best,

  • Hello Tony,
    This is a great summary of e-bike world. I am thinking of getting an e-bike for commuting and I was reading on different bike shop pages about the bikes. Your buying guide has it all and more. Thank you. I have a couple of questions.

    – Can anyone remove the battery of the bike which have detachable battery or is there some sort of lock? I was thinking if I go to city center for a pint and have to leave the bike for an hour outside the chances are I won’t see the removable battery again. I live in Leeds 😉 However having a removable batter is helpful where you cannot get your bike near to a plug for example offices etc.
    – How does it feel when you ride a hybrid e-bike with the switch off just in case you run out of battery? I read about your road bike experience, I assume it will be a bit different with the hybrid bike.

    Thank you.


    • Hi Serhat,

      Glad you found the article useful. In answer to you question, all of the e-bike batteries I’ve come across usually need a key to remove the battery pack, you can either leave it place or put it in a bag and take it with you.

      The feel of the bike with the motor switched off will depend a lot on the type of electric system used and the overall weight of the bike. Most hybrid e-bikes weigh over 20kg, so you’ll still be able to pedal it on the flat, but it can be difficult to pedal up hill with a flat battery. Some of the older mid-drive motors had quite a bit of pedalling resistance with the motor off, but the latest versions aren’t too bad.

      If you need any more advice, let me know.


      • Great info – live in a very hilly area on cape Ann would like the bike for pedaling to and from the beach (would need to transport a folding beach chair), picking up some groceries, riding along the ocean shore and have the option to go off into wooded paths
        ( I’m not a reckless mountain biker – 65 – but in good physical shape and would like this to be an option). I thought the cargo bike looked good. Also what would be a ballpark figure for a bike having these features . please advise thanks !

        • Hi Karen,

          The Rad Wagon by Rad Power Bikes is probably one of the best value cargo bikes currently available at just under $1500. It’s a robust design and has high-volume tyres for riding on or off road. Here is a link to their website.

          If you need any more advice, please let me know.

          All the best,

        • Great info and well written article. I would like to get an e-bike for commuting but I have to stick to £1000 if I get it through cyclescheme.

          Would you be able to recommend a bike in the price range which would also offer the best value for money?


          • Hi,

            It depends on what style of e-bike you require. If you are looking for a road-style e-bike the Carrera Crossroad is an excellent electric bike for £999. If you want something with a more upright riding position and low-step frame the Pendleton Sommerby is very good, I know a couple of owners who are very pleased. If your budget can stretch to £1099 the Carrera Subway E is also a very good e-bike for commuting.

            If you need any more specific suggestions, please let me know.

            All the best,

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