This article arose from the author and his partner often being asked about their electric bikes back when they were a less familiar sight, and deciding it would be easier and more helpful to give people some written info as well as whatever we could supply ‘on the hoof’!
Although based on our using e-bikes as day to day transport (basically a convenient and fun small car replacement for shopping, social outings and allotment runs etc) this article, aimed both at people who are new to the idea and contemplating the purchase of an e-bike, and at those who already have one and want to know more about its use and care, gives a general explanation and overview of a wide range of e-bikes suitable for different purposes, and about their maintenance and where to buy and service them.
It also details how you can most conveniently and safely get around Sheffield and beyond, and gives tips about all sorts of bike related accessories and apparel you may need or wish to purchase to make your riding easier.
We have found that in hilly Sheffield, for everyday utility transport usage, a bike with a more powerful than average mid motor system will serve you best (more on motor types see section 8) hence the overall bias in this article towards good quality e-bikes with stronger mid mounted motors and a good range of gears, usually a middle of the range model from a well known manufacturer.
For less demanding duties, or for fitter or lighter riders wanting to provide a significant part of the ‘go’ themselves there are now an increasing number of excellent lighter, less powerful e-bikes that will nonetheless provide you with sufficient assistance to make your commute and/or your leisure cycling a breeze. (See section 7 – ‘Lighter Weight e-bikes’.)