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Many products can comfortably be bought online nowadays and delivered to your doorstep, yet some items are still best tried in person before committing the cash – think sofas, suits and yes, bikes too.

While it’s certainly not impossible to buy a well suited electric bike online, there are a number of reasons why it really makes good sense to visit your local bike shop, take a test ride, get some advice and ultimately make the purchase in person.

Getting the right frame size and, better still, a fit to your e-bike
Believe us when we say nothing can ruin the ride experience like purchasing the wrong size frame. If you buy too large then you’ll find yourself elevated too far from the floor and lurching over the bars to make the reach. This will ultimately make you unstable in the saddle, promote an out-of-control ride feel and substantially reduce your comfort in the saddle, which if you’re out all day could result in injury. 

If your local bike shop offers the service and you can afford it, it really makes excellent sense to explore a proper bike fit. Fitting a bike to your dimensions is not too dissimilar a concept as buying clothing that fits well. Just think of the discomfort and ridicule you’d get for buying jeans several sizes too small. Where a bike’s dimensions are aligned to yours you will find yourself falling into a natural ride position with no overextension or bunching up in the saddle. This will enable you to ride for longer and more efficiently.

A proper bike fit, should you commit, will potentially involve adaptation to the off-the-shelf bike to make it bespoke to you. All of this is in the name of science, that is the science of riding efficiency. You may or may not feel comfortable with the idea straight away, but for maximum pedalling efficiency, you may opt for clipless pedals and cleats on your shoes, although this is better suited to advanced riders and sometimes the assistance of the bike’s motor will be more than enough in the way of help.

A demo can make all the difference in choosing the right bike for you
Deciding what electric bike to buy is a big decision, both from a financial standpoint and taking into consideration that this piece of equipment is your ride partner for the foreseeable future. Being able to understand first and foremost whether you have the right bike style for the terrain you hope to ride is important. Be honest with the bike shop’s salesperson and ask lots of questions about the capability of the components to be sure that you have something more than sufficient for your needs.

Ten questions you may consider asking include:

If you are struggling to meet the price, ask your bike shop about finance options, the possibility to buy on a cycle-to-work scheme, or whether they do leasing options.

A shop may let you hire an electric bike first
Want to be sure an electric bike is the right fit for you versus a pedal cycle? Your local bike shop may very well have a hire fleet that will let you experience a full day’s ride to truly understand benefits that are just not attainable by shopping online. You’ll come to understand the controls, and the degree of connectivity with your mobile devices and you’ll get a feel for how the motors blend seamlessly with your own pedal stroke. Should you then decide to make a purchase, some stores will discount the demo rate from your final basket price.

Developing a relationship with a trusted local store and mechanic just cannot be done online
At the end of the day, electric bikes are pieces of consumer electronics. If you’re not to tech or mechanically savvy then it pays to have a relationship with somebody who knows the answer and is easily reached. With the modern electric bike, most of the clever stuff is embedded inside the frames and is very plug-and-play in nature. That said, your local shop will have the diagnostics equipment, the specialist tools and probably a suitable bike stand for a heavier cycle. All of this investment in the right tools and knowledge to do the job is done so that you, the customer, needn’t worry in the slightest about how long you’ll be out of the saddle. Book in, sit back and wait for a call to say the bike is ready to be collected. 
With electric bikes, it is particularly not advised to have a go at repairing at home. Electrics, in particularly those connecting to batteries, can be volatile if damaged, even if accidentally, so it’s important to build a relationship with a store professional.

Occasionally our bikes will be found at organised demo days, or national cycling events where you can try an electric bike, get in-person advice and be connected with a retail partner, so keep an eye on our social channels for opportunities to see our bikes in the flesh local to you.

You’ve just purchased a shiny new steed and are ready to happily wheel it out of the showroom, but the bike shop’s salesperson has some recommendations. We explore ten products that are worth genuine consideration to both protect and improve your ride experience…

*Disclaimer: While we recommend investing in some of these accessories and services, any product recommendations mentioned are in no way affiliated with or tested by us other than in a personal capacity.

There are very good odds that you have a number of high-value goods tacked on to your house insurance policy, such as watches, electronics or jewellery. It is of course possible to add bikes too, but most non-specialist insurance policies can come up lacking should the worst happen, so our first and foremost recommendation when you’re forking out for a high-value piece of kit like an e-bike is to consider specialist insurance that is designed for cyclists. 

There are numerous specialists and while we are in no position to make recommendations of the policy that would suit you, some names you could research include Yellow Jersey, Cycleplan, Velolife, Laka and Bikmo. Each of these insurers is set up with specialist products that are tailored to bike owners, their kit and a fine level of detail that will cover you in various accident and theft scenarios.

Don’t be caught out by assuming a home insurance policy will cover all things e-bike.

GPS tracker
Bolstering your artillery against bike theft, there are now numerous devices on the market that can very subtly track and trace your e-bike and many will even come with some form of digital alert that lets you know your bike is being disturbed at the source.

Two examples of products on the market that serve both a tracking and owner alert functionality are the Knog Scout and Leopard Lync, both of which are easy to disguise and fit where you would typically place a bottle cage.

We should add that some higher-end electric bikes come with these systems pre-built into the bike, but nonetheless, this technology makes the list as it can be incredibly useful for the retrieval of a stolen bike. What’s more, if you’re not satisfied with this level of theft protection, check out, a business that specialises in the retrieval of stolen bikes that are fitted with such trackers. In exchange for a £9 per month subscription this business will have trained professionals track down and retrieve your bike, all in accordance with the law, or give you your money back should it fail to recover your pride and joy.

High security bike lock
Most of the market’s security products are tested by an independent test house called Sold Secure, which determines the level of security each provides by assigning bronze, silver, gold and sometimes diamond ratings to signify the level of resistance each provides against thieves. The test house rates each lock based on the amount of time it takes its professionals to break, cut, lever, pick or pry open a piece of security equipment, so you can be sure there are no vulnerabilities when you see the logo present on the packaging.

Given that electric bikes don’t come too cheap, we recommend investing at least 5% to 10% of your e-bike’s value in security to protect it accordingly. 

Once you have the lock or even better, multiple locks, there are tips and tricks to maximise your chances of hanging on to your whole bike. These include carefully choosing a locking position so that multiple components are contained – so for example your frame and back wheel with one lock and your fork and front rear with another. You can also buy a variety of other security gubbins to secure components from brands like Pinhead that supply special screws to replace your Allen bolts and axles with security products.

Pannier bags
Most modern electric bikes suited for commuting or touring will now come with a pannier rack fitted and so it’s time to get some bags to slot right on. Most off-the-shelf pannier bags should be instantly compatible, but ask your local bike shop if there’s any reason why your preferred bags will or won’t suit just to be sure. We recommend choosing pannier bags that have a high degree of waterproofing, including welded seams rather than stitching. This will ensure that your cargo remains dry should you get caught in the rain.

Waterproof jacket
As you’d wish for the contents of your bags to stay dry, it’s best you do too and for that, you’ll need a good waterproof coat to make sure you’re able to max out your ride potential. Now not all waterproof jackets are made equal and it’s the IP rating that will be the true tell of just how resistant to a deluge each garment will be. To be considered properly waterproof and not just water resistant you’ll be looking for a waterproofing rating of IP65, 66 or 67.

Now, waterproofing from the outside also means waterproofing from the inside, so it’s wise to consider how breathable a jacket is in the buying process so that you do not lock sweat underneath, something that will ultimately make you get cold. With this in mind, we recommend finding jackets that have some form of venting either under the arms or at the top of the back in order that some airflow makes its way through the garment while zipped up. Breathability ratings are measured and displayed on the label with a g/m² metric. The higher the g/m² figure the more breathable it is considered. 

Ideally, you want to find something that has taped, rather than stitched seams and the same closure around the zips too. Add to that features like an extended visor to keep the rain out of your eyes and a dipped tail at the base of the jacket and you should have yourself a jacket that will keep the worst of the elements at bay. For added tailoring, look for adjustable cuffs and hoods that either have pull cords or Velcro.

A car rack rated to handle e-bikes
As with waterproof jackets, no two bike racks for your car are built the same and in fact, this is one of those areas where you really are likely to get what you pay for. Think about the consequences of cutting corners here; it could easily be a destroyed bike, or worse bike and car.

So, find something robust, ideally, a rack that purports to have been built with a high-weight carriage in mind because let’s face it e-bikes are a bit heavier than conventional pedal cycles. Consider then that you will be loading heavy bikes onto racks, so think about how easy that process looks with any given style of rack. A roof rack, for example, might be tricky for a heavier bike, so a tow ball mount is perhaps better suited if you are unsure about your strength or will be loading the bike alone. Look out for extras like mounting ramps, as well as how easy the fixtures are not only to lock down, but potentially lock. Some racking systems think of bike security, providing lockable clamps to give you the peace of mind that not only are bikes secure, but that you could stop for fuel without an opportunistic type lifting your cycle right off.

Of course, check that the electrics line up too; if your rack obscures the number plate or indicators then you may find it has a plug system to connect with your car’s electrics, as well as a place to mount a spare plate.

Bike cleaners and lubricants
As is the case with many of the goods featured here no two products will be the same and there’s plenty to learn here if you wish to deep dive, but if you’re unsure, or quite fairly don’t care too much for the details then have your bike shop advise you on which products are best for your e-bike.
As you might expect, the cleaning and lubrication sector has numerous lines that will contain chemicals, so it’s important to understand what you are applying and on what components in order that you don’t damage or accidentally contaminate components like your brakes. You’ll need those oil-free if you wish to stop.

Download Strava or Komoot
You’ll be pleased to learn that you can begin to take advantage of these great apps with no monetary commitment, which means you’ll be able to track your rides and discover local routes all with a quick dip into your apps. Of course, there are premium subscriptions where you can go down a rabbit hole of data, comparison and ride logging with friends, enter competitions and get granular with your data, helping you improve performance or challenge a local hero’s time up the largest of hills in the area.

Wearing a helmet is a personal choice and many myths surround the safety that they offer. In Holland, where they build a safe cycle path for almost every new road then there is less likelihood of accidents and so the locals, you’ll tend to find, make up their own minds on the risk. That said, it can’t hurt, particularly if you are generally riding just that little bit faster and more so if you are heading off the road. 

With that in mind, it’s really the style of helmet you desire and the intended use that will determine your purchase. Some modern urban helmets now come with the added technology elements of built-in lighting, or even an accident detection system. Others will contain anti-rotational injury devices built inside or into the shell; these quite simply absorb some of the rotation impacts should you come into contact with the floor, which surprisingly is how a lot of major injuries can occur.
If you are heading off the road and onto more unpredictable trails, then a helmet starts to become a must. If you are really tearing it down big mountain trails then a full-face helmet with a chin guard becomes a wise acquisition, whereas that might be overkill if you are taking gentle canal path jaunts at lower speeds.

When you do select a helmet one thing to be certain of is that you have the fit right, so try to measure the circumference of your head with a tape measure either at home or in the bike shop before trying a few on for size. A good fit will ensure that the helmet remains where it should in the worst case that you do take a fall. A final thing to consider is breathability, so look carefully at the venting structure of the helmet to be sure that enough airflow passes through and ideally that there’s a bug net preventing insects from ending up in your hair.

A quality hand pump
Finally, it pays to be prepared just in case you do encounter a puncture. Many modern bikes are now coming tubeless, so sealant inside the tyre will automatically repair any breaches where air could escape, but if your bike is still carrying tubes then make sure you have a spare with you at all times, or at the very least know how far away you are from an open local bike shop.

Hand pumps come in a variety of barrel sizes and so it’s best to mix and match the volume achievable from the pump with what is required by your tyre. For context, mountain bike tyres will run softer to maximise grip and absorption on the trail, while road tyres require a higher PSI in order to reduce rolling resistance and maximise speed. 

If you are mountain biking or gravel riding you may wish to add foam tyre inserts, which are a relatively new invention now common in bike shops, but one that is a wise investment to prevent the difficult-to-fix ‘pinch’ puncture.

Have you a specific E-Bike adventure in mind, but are not yet sure what to make of the bike world’s jargon? Here we explain the difference between different styles of bike and what each is used for… 

Folding Bikes

If you wish to take a bike onto a train, or perhaps inside the office after a commute then you’d be well-matched to a folding bike. These are versatile bikes, that rely on a series of hinges and magnets to reduce down to something like half (sometimes less) of the unfolded size. Accounting for this more portable size the folding bike is excellent for ‘last mile’ trips, where you take a multi-modal journey either by car or train, but have to cycle at either end for a comfortable and efficient door-to-door experience. What’s more, thanks to the ability to stash under desks or in cupboards, you can charge your electric bike comfortably out of sight, which has anti-theft advantages.
Convenience is really key and so when shopping the weight of your folding bike is something to consider. While you will be best paired with something robust and built to last, heavier folding bikes with batteries can be cumbersome, most noticeably when you are unfolding or folding, so try before you buy the whole routine to ensure you are comfortable. The good news? Folding electric bikes are much sleeker and lighter than they used to be, which should give you less reason to rush on the station platform.

Step-thru frames

If you’re concerned about your mobility range, or simply prefer the idea of being able to get aboard a bike with ease then a step-through may be a good match for you. While the bike industry has traditionally sold these as women’s bikes, that’s not strictly the case and most are built robust enough to take any rider. We highly recommend this style of frame if you have any hip mobility issues, are less flexible, or perhaps lack the confidence to mount and dismount safely.
Primarily you will find step-thru frames in the commuter or city bike sections of our retail partner’s sites, though that’s not strictly where the boundary ends as you’ll even find some off-road capable bikes on the market that have lower-slung top tubes.
Another perk of this style of bike is that very often you will enjoy an upright riding position, which is kind to the posture and gets your eye line comfortably up above the traffic, as opposed to a drop handlebar road bike that would have a more aggressive riding position.

Commuter and Trekking bikes

Feeling the pinch on your transport costs lately? This is where the fightback begins! Where train fares are trying to outpace inflation and the cost at the pumps is sky high, the electric bike’s costs have remained ultra-low. A few sensible estimates put the cost per charge at no more than 10 pence, which is pretty good value considering it costs about half that to boil a standard kettle.
So, cost aside, why does a pedal-assisted commuter bike just make sense? Let’s start with the traffic. Say you live in inner London, there’s little chance of you averaging over 7mph for long thanks to the motor vehicles keeping the city clogged. That makes you, on your shiny new and agile eBike twice as fast at full assist that the average car in the city. Your nimble, lightly powered pedal will guarantee consistency in your arrival time and you’ll arrive fresher thanks to not having worked up quite as much of a sweat (though as our FAQs explain, you’ll still be getting exercise).

On the subject of exercise, we think that’s the big plus of commuting by bike. Building active travel into your routine will make you feel less guilty about missing the gym and guarantee you start your day wide awake and happy, rather than growling at the car in front when rush hour build-up lands.
As for your options, there’s an abundance of choice, whether you opt for the convenience of the aforementioned folding bike, or grab a larger wheeled steed equipped with racking to carry pannier bags, there’s something to everyone’s tastes and needs.
The main consideration is perhaps the terrain you are using the bike on. If your commute is largely flat, then thanks to the motor’s assistance you need worry less about how many gears you’ll need as you’ll always be supported. If the topography is a bit steeper in parts we recommended choosing a bike with a range of gears, just to better set you up for all situations. In any case, the motor’s assistance will be most welcome at traffic lights, enabling you to get ahead of the traffic in confidence; something that our customers find particularly game-changing if they are nervous about riding on the roads.
Look out for other features increasingly delivered as standard on commuter bikes, such as full-length mudguards to keep your back dry, kickstands for quick stops and the option of a built-in rear wheel lock adorned directly to the frame. This means you’ll never leave the house without at least some security for your bike.

Mountain Bikes

Whether you’re experienced on the trails, or looking at an electric mountain bike as a tool to reach the summits your legs alone may struggle with, the addition of a pedal-assist motor to electric bikes has broadened the horizons for adventurers the world over. These are ultra-capable machines and we guarantee you’ll be surprised by just how exciting they make off-road exploration.
Since the 70s the mountain bike has evolved, moving from the all-rigid ‘boneshakers’ of old to the slick geometry now finely tuned for everything from gentle cross-country tours to more extreme downhill ventures. Add to that high-tech suspension, vastly improved gearing and decades of adjusting the formula to understand ride characteristics and the machines of today are refined to let you get the most from your ride as safely as possible.
If you are considering how much suspension you may need, generally speaking, 120-140mm of travel will suit the majority of UK riding. Only if your riding is advancing to include jumps and fast downhills can greater travel increase your control over the bike.
With the integration of a motor the mountain biking genre comes alive once again. Very often placed down low at the crank, the centre of gravity is kept low, providing the rider with a planted feel on the trail and enough clearance to avoid too much clattering as you descend the odd rock garden. We recommend turning the motor right down on the descents, saving the battery for the hike back up the hill where you may wish to break out the turbo. With this strategy, we’re sure you’ll ride for a long, do more laps and come home with energy still in the tank for the next day.

Cargo Bikes

Before pedal assistance really evolved into the lightweight and compact drive system products now clad in our bikes the cargo bike was something of a niche product. Nowadays, thanks to the evolution of the product and its newfound capabilities, the likes of Amazon, DHL and many other in the logistics business are using cargo bikes. Their reasoning is manyfold, but in simple terms, finding a parking space was taking too long and so business efficiency was harmed. With a cargo bike, no such trouble and you’ll save on insurance, fuel, tax, parking charges, fines, pollution charges and more. A cargo bike is a money-saving machine for businesses on the roads.
You’re probably not landed here looking to shift a warehouse full of goods, however, so if a cargo bike had your attention the more pedestrian uses are hauling children to and from school, or doing the weekly shopping. We’ve seen them employed often by tradespeople too for the same reason you’d choose an eBike to commute; they’re faster, cheaper and cleaner than vans, plus they can take a surprisingly large payload.
You may well have heard the term Butcher’s bikes, in reference to those selling meat and formerly known to make delivery by modified bike. Imagine that, but with a modern-day tech twist and a bunch of modular accessories that are built around your lifestyle. You’ll find everything from large capacity boxes, seatbelt-clad child carriage boxes and even accessories to safely cart surfboards available on the market.
The idea is simple; make one less car trip and that, nowadays, is more viable than ever.

Road Bikes

The customer base for electric road bikes is smaller than most above, after all, those hitting the roads in search of speed on the tarmac are generally doing so out of love for the purity of road cycling. But what happens when you start to fall to the back of the peloton on the local club ride? Is there any shame in wanting to keep up the same cadence? We say absolutely not and in fact, there are former professional cyclists now avidly touting the benefits of the pedal-assisted road bike, promoting the idea that without such assistant the Tour stages once conquered would fall out of reach forever. Want to stay active into your older years, or just rehabilitate after an injury? This could be the tool for you.
For the uninitiated, road bikes are thin tyred, tarmac-suited bikes that will carry a wide range of gears and are some of the lighter bikes on the market. At the entry-level, you will tend to find metal frames in either traditional steel, more modern and lightweight aluminium or even titanium. Larger budgets will better align with carbon fibre which is the preferred material for those seeking top-end performance and a lightweight. The riding position is generally one of the more aggressive, with drop handlebars promoting aerodynamics and thus speed. With this in mind, many people find it beneficial to obtain a proper fit before they commit to buying a road bike. This makes it much more likely that you will be comfortable all day in the saddle and not cause yourself any injury.
Many road cyclists prefer to ride clipped into the pedals in order to maximise power transfer, but this requires a small amount of getting used to, so enquire at your local bike shop to be sure this is the right solution for you. 

Gravel Bikes

The perfect bike for forest fire roads and off-the-grid paths into the countryside, the addition of motors to the gravel bike was a dream come true for weekend warriors and so came the phrase ‘bikepacking’. This term is used to describe a rider who will literally disappear with all their camping gear adorned to their bike and return days later. If you can picture the middle ground between a road bike and a mountain bike, this is the area occupied by the gravel bike and as such it’s the weapon of choice for many seeking the best of both worlds.
Made immeasurably more capable with a little assistance up over the bumps on the path, the gravel bike is your perfect companion for long weekend exploration on the coast or in the hills, but it is likewise ideal for those who just wish to cover the maximum ground without relying on sometimes dangerous roads. These bikes can be ferocious climbers both on and off road, so if your only goal is to reach the summit for sunset then this bike style could be a match made in heaven.
For the most part, gravel bikes will come with a drop handlebar with the shifters and brakes found at either end under the hoods. Expect to find clad to the frame a number of mounts that will be ready to take bottles, bags and other compact gear. What’s more, off-road-ready tyres will give you far more grip on loose gravel and mud than the slicker tyres found on road bikes.