Electric bike reviews UK 2022: Comparison and guide

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electric bicycles

Electric bicycles have become very popular in recent times. Faster than mechanical bikes, these bikes are now considered a truly eco-friendly means of transportation, while the car's carbon footprint is one of the main causes of global warming. Do you want to buy an electric bike, but you don't know which one to choose? Discover our selection of the best electric bicycles in 2022 and choose the model that suits you best.

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Which electric bikes are the best or cheapest in 2022 in the UK?

The electric bicycle is a bicycle with an electric motor. It allows riders to move without getting too tired. This motor is powered by a battery whose performance varies according to the model and the manufacturer. Thanks to the comparisons that we present below, you will be able to find the model that best suits your needs.

Best electric road bikes
Model Range Motor Weight Price
Ribble Endurance SE 60 miles MAHLE Ebikemotion X35+ M1 12.4 kg £2,470
Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3 80 miles Specialized SL 1.1 motor 17.3 kg £2,733
Wilier Cento1Hy Ultegra Di2 e-bike 80 miles Ebikemotion Hub Motor 250wh 20 kg £2,988

Source: Cyclingweekly.com.

Best hybrid electric bikes
Model Range Motor Weight Price
Ride1Up Roadster V2 30 miles Shengyi 350w motor 15 kg £770
Giant Fastroad E+ Pro 45 miles Giant EnergyPak 375 36V 19 kg £2,500
Ribble Hybrid AL 25 km Ebikemotion X35 Smart System 14.5 kg £2,199

Source: Cyclingweekly.com.

Best Electric Folding Bikes
Model Range Motor Weight Price
GoCycle G4 folding e-bike 50 miles GoCycle Proprietary front hub 16.8 kg £2,900
Tern Verge X11 40 miles Bosch Active Line Plus 250W 23 kg £665
Brompton Electric bike 50 miles Brompton Willams Advance Engineering 17.5 kg £2,650

Source: Cyclingweekly.com.

Cheapest electric bikes
Model Range Motor Weight Price
GHyuhome eBike 50 miles Tongsheng 36V 22.5 kg £849
IC Electric ALFA Electric Bicycle 25 miles 240W Brushless 16 kg £999
Swifty Electric Mountain Bike 35 miles Panasonic 36V 17 kg £810

Source: Bikes.org.uk.

Buying an electric bike

Depending on the use you are going to make of your electric bicycle, you will not decide on the same range of products. There are different categories of electric bicycles and it is important to identify which type you will need before you purchase one:

  • Electric road bicycles;
  • Electric hybrid bicycles;
  • Folding electric bicycles.

It is possible to buy an electric bicycle on the Internet (Amazon), in a specialised store, in a sports store (Decathlon) or even in some supermarkets (Asda). However, it is recommended to buy the electric bike, especially your first one, from a physical store. In fact, it is essential to test the bike before buying it. Therefore, buying an electric bike on the Internet is strongly discouraged.

Make sure you find out about a bicycle repair shop close to your home in order to ensure you have somewhere to go for maintenance and repairs if necessary.

  • Things to take into consideration when buying an electric bicycle:
  • The type of use;
  • The price of the electric bicycle
  • The weight of the electric bicycle;
  • The frame of the electric bicycle: it must adapt to the size of the cyclist;
  • Motor Power;
  • Location of the motor: pedals, rear wheel, front wheel;
  • Battery capacity and performance: the number of miles that can be travelled with a charged battery.

Electric bicycles: prices

The price of an electric bicycle is higher than that of a classic bicycle. In fact, the average price is about £600. Prices start at around £300 and the high-end bikes go up to more than £1,500. Indeed, the price varies depending on the quality of the bike and the options offered.

In addition to this investment, it is essential to equip yourself with a helmet, sunglasses, gloves... And, above all, a good lock because electric bicycles are very popular.

Electric bike battery: Should I get an electric bike battery replacement?

buy electric bike

Expressed in watt-hours (Wh), the battery capacity of an electric bicycle varies between 300 and 700 Wh, which means a range of 30 miles to 80 miles. The performance depends directly on this capacity (as well as the efficiency of the engine, the geometry of the bicycle, the width and pressure of its tires, the weight of the cyclist). For this reason, generally, the greater the battery capacity, the greater the performance.

It is very important that you choose the capacity of your battery well because a new one costs several hundred pounds, so getting an electric bike battery replacement can be very expensive. The question of replacing the original battery does not usually come up until after several years of use (between 5 and 10 years for a lithium battery) - meaning you will be able to charge your bike many hundreds of times depending on the intensity of use.

Electric bike motor: What you need to know

UK and European regulations limit the speed of electric bicycles to 15.5 m/h. Thus, the maximum power of the motor of an electric bicycle should not exceed 250 watts (W).

The motor is located in the axle or in the rear wheel (models with a motor in the front wheel have almost disappeared from the market).

There are essentially two types of motors:

  1. Mid-drive motors: normally positioned at the centre of the bike’s frame, where you’d find the bottom bracket. An electric motor generates torque that spins a shaft connected to a chainring. The motor is therefore supplementing your pedalling power within the bike’s chain-drive, rather than being an additional power source;
  2. Hub-driven motors: Located within the front or rear hub, there are two subcategories of hub-driven motors: geared-hub or direct drive hub. Other than their bearings, direct-drive hub motors have no moving parts, while geared-hub motors lower the motor’s RPM and increase torque output via the use of a series of planetary gears.

Which motor should I get?Direct-drive motors tend to be bigger and heavier because they require more magnetic material to generate low-speed torque. However, they can operate at higher speeds because of that added power and mechanical simplicity. They also tend to be quieter than geared motors.

The type of motor is something you should take into consideration when buying an electric bicycle. Some motors perform better on journeys with lots of hills, while others are designed more for riding at higher speeds. Think about what you will be using your electric bicycle for and ask in your bike store about which motor best suits your needs.

The weight of the electric bike

Although the weight of the electric bike tends to be overlooked as people tend to focus on other aspects such as the performance of the motor, it is still an important element to consider when choosing a model.

The weight of an electric bicycle varies between 9 and 30 kg, with an average of about 24 kg. It is difficult for manufacturers to reduce the weight of electric bicycles. Indeed, the lighter the battery and the frame, the more expensive the electric bike will be, but the easier it will be to ride.

If you are looking for a light bike, you should consider buying a compact or folding electric, which tend to be lighter in order for the rider to transport them more easily.

Electric bike frame: What to consider?

To correctly choose the frame of an electric bicycle, the following elements must be taken into account:

  • The height of the rider;
  • The height to their hips, to work out the saddle height;
  • The width of their arms.

Based on that, your bicycle dealer will be able to tell you which is the best frame size you need.

What about womens electric bikes?Typically, women have narrower shoulders and longer legs compared to their torsos than men. Women-specific bikes are designed to meet these needs and often have narrower handlebars and shorter or more compact frame dimensions.

Second-hand electric bikes

The price of a second-hand electric bicycle is usually cheaper than that of a new electric bicycle. However, you have to be very careful because if the bicycle has a high number of miles, the performance of the battery may be reduced, which translates into a loss of performance and reliability overall.

Although battery repair is less than buying a new one, the investment is still significant. That is why it is important to check the condition of the battery before buying a second-hand electric bicycle.

One of the disadvantages of the second-hand market for electric bicycles is the absence of a manufacturer's guarantee.

Rent an electric bike

The high price and the fear of theft continue to be an obstacle to buying an electric bicycle. For this reason, renting an electric bicycle is a good way to try different models before investing in a new bicycle. It also allows you to get an idea of the real mileage and make a better choice of battery.

This allows those interested in buying an electric bicycle to decide for themselves and see if an electric bicycle really simplifies their daily commute.

Discover our comparison guides to help you reduce your carbon footprint and save energy.