What is an electric bike?

All your eBike questions answered

What is an electric bike?

There is a revolution quietly happening in the UK and across Europe.

People are ditching their old bike and buying electric bikes.

But what exactly is an electric bike?

An electric bike is the same as a normal or traditional bike except for the addition of a small motor.

It is definitely more like a bicycle than a motorbike.

Why add a motor to a bike?

The bike was invented as an early form or transport to help us get to the places we wanted to go quicker and easier than walking.

This evolution has taken many subsequent diversions with people now relying on cars for everything. And that is understandable. We don’t want to walk or even cycle everywhere because of the time and effort it will take.

Enter ‘The Electric Bike’. Now you can make all those shorter journeys without the need to get in a car, and with significantly less effort than walking or cycling would have been. But just as quick as driving.

And as a massive extra benefit, you get something to do which is really good fun and as addictive as Facebook.

How does it work?

An electric bike will have a motor either in the front or rear wheel, or preferably mounted between the pedals like the Bosch motors on all Riese & Müller electric bikes. It will have a battery pack mounted somewhere on (or ‘in’) the frame to power the motor. Find out more in our edemo Riese & Müller UK Buyer’s guide

But a UK legal electric bike is not like a motorbike with a twist and go throttle. Instead you pedal and the e-bike will use a combination of speed, torque and movement sensors to decide when to apply the additional power.

The maximum assistance power these motors can provide in the UK is 250W. This is a relatively small amount compared to something like a basic 50cc petrol scooter delivering 2300W. But they are designed to be quick at low speeds up to 15.5mph which is the legal limit for maximum assistance in the UK. And this is where they become really good fun.

If you choose the right bike and are riding round town, you could easily beat the scooters off the lights! Some e-bikes like the Charger 3 from Riese & Müller with the Bosch Gen4 Performance CX motor, pack a whole pile of torque at 75Nm. This is over 20 times what is available from the scooter!

Leave the roads behind

Ok, racing teenagers off the lights will be great fun, but even more fun is getting these bikes off-road and away from the traffic.

Because an electric bike is classed in the same category as a traditional bike, you can ride it on cycle paths, and bridleways unlike the scooter equivalents. Find out more on the UK Government website here

But you need to be sure when you buy your electric bike, you are buying one which is UK legal. If you go for something more powerful, you will need to register it with DVLA, tax and insure it, wear a motorcycle certified helmet, and have the relevant licence.

And if that wasn’t enough, you can only ride on the roads. No exploring the cycle paths and bridleways which cover the UK.

If you would like to know more about the full range of Riese & Müller UK legal electric bikes, give me a call on 01453 834300. Or send me an email [email protected]

Download our Riese & Müller E-BIKE buyer's guide