What is an E-Bike?
Curious About E-Bikes?
With petrol prices rising and climate change at the door, there’s never been a better time to go electric. Electric bikes allow you to travel quickly, with low physical exertion, and not get stuck in horrendous traffic!
If you’ve ever been curious about e-bikes but don’t really know much about them, we invite you to come in for a test ride at our warehouse in Henderson, Auckland. Clyde and the team can show you our enviable selection of e-bikes (both brand-new and used) so you can test ride, get more info, or rent one for a couple of days or weeks to see if it’s compatible with your lifestyle.
What is an e-bike?
E-bike stands for ‘electric bike’, also known as e-cycles, motorised bicycles, and battery-powered bikes. Working just like any standard bicycle, e-bikes (sometimes spelt ‘ebikes’) are typically operated by pedalling. The action of pedalling engages an electric motor, giving you a ‘pedal assist’ function that allows you to power up hills or long distances without requiring any heavy physical exertion.
Most modern ebikes will have different levels of power for the pedal assist, like you would get by changing gears on a mountain bike. This allows for different speeds and different combinations/ratios of pedal power and electric power. On top of this, many electric bikes will also have a hand throttle, allowing you to power along without pedalling at all! This means you can basically just sit there and steer the bike without getting hot and sweaty. Naturally, this makes it a form of electric transport that is perfect for commuting to work or school without arriving drenched in sweat and gasping for breath.
Electric bikes tend to have a key, like a car, which is usually used to get the battery in and out (so it’s not easily stolen). The rest are usually button-operated, with the electronics able to show you your speed, battery levels, odometer (how far you’ve ridden), as well as other useful functions. Then, to charge your bike, all you need is a wall socket. On average, a full charge can take 4–6 hours, which is roughly the time it takes to deplete a battery also, although just how long can depend on the bike, battery, terrain, and rider.
E-bikes are now the number-one growing electric industry, trending as a hugely popular commuting option and making most of cycle ways being installed in modern cities worldwide. They are a wonderful and fun form of eco-friendly transport that promotes personal wellbeing, while also saving on fuel costs and environmental pollution.
The Smallest Carbon Footprint
Believe it or not, riding your electric bike to work actually has a smaller carbon footprint than walking, because the physical effort is less per unit of distance, meaning you are exhaling less carbon dioxide. Even factoring in the production of the e-bike, this is the greenest way to travel – and at less than 60 cents per battery charge, with some batteries taking you over 150km, it’s also one of the cheapest!
What are the different kinds of ebikes?
Like with normal pedal bicycles, electric bicycles come in many different shapes, colours, and sizes. It’s firstly important to make sure, when buying an ebike, that you are getting the right size for the rider. Different bodyweights and leg/arm length can mean that certain bikes will be better suited for you than others, although there are also practical considerations such as what terrain you will be riding on and whether you need to regularly transport the bike in your car or in a plane. Different wheel sizes, tyre fatness, frame size, seat height, handlebar orientation and electric power are all potential considerations when purchasing a bike for yourself or someone else.
Step-through e-bikes, also known as ‘step-thrus’, have a dip in the frame so you can – as the name suggests – step through the frame to get onto the seat, instead of mounting the bike like a horse. Originally these bikes got the name ‘ladies bikes’, to accommodate for women wearing long dresses who would find it difficult to mount their bike in the traditional way. However, the bikes gained popularity across all demographics, perfect for people with limited flexibility, including people with injuries, older demographics, or even people who enjoy wearing tight jeans. Sometimes it’s just the preferable way to get onto a bike, requiring less room for the ol’ leg swing and making it easier to get on your seat in a tight space, like in a garage or hallway.
Our popular step-through bikes include:
• The Evinci Tui – The Tui (available in Plus version also) is a versatile NZ-made e-bike that is best suited for city riding and long-distance comfort.
• NCM’s Munich and Milano – Both influenced by a modern European style, the Munich and Milano share a similar step-through design, but with different handlebars. The Milano is one of our best-selling ebikes, with its ergonomic handlebar and stylish appearance. The Munich has a lower step, great for easy mounting.
Foldable e-bikes are the modern solution for transporting and storing bikes when space is an issue. Often slightly smaller than typical bikes, foldables often have a step-through frame and can do exactly what the name suggests: fold. Instead of using a bike rack, putting your ebike on the back or top of your car, a foldable bike can fit more neatly in the back seat or boot of your car, out of the wind and rain.
Our popular foldables include:
• The Evinci Robin Plus – a stylish NZ-made bike with a lot of colour and character. The Robin is a popular choice for those wanting a really compact, lightweight bike that can fit easily into the boot of your car.
• The ET.Cycle F-series – a powerful fat-tyre bike designed in Germany. Coming in both the F720 and F1000 models, the chunky F-series tyres can handle most terrains including sand and dirt, and is even suitable for riding on a golf course.
Mountain e-bikes (aka ‘electric mtbs’) are popularly sought as a means to get up hills easily as well as down them. Expecting some rough riding conditions, electric mtbs are usually equipped with tyres that can handle the dirt and mud, as well as having robust suspension to handle bumps and jumps.
Electric mountain bikes are often sought out for their ability to ‘handle anything’, suitable for city riding as well as offroad adventures. If you’re contemplating riding through grass and dirt, a mountain e-bike is a safe option.
While medium-priced mountain ebikes will handle rough terrain and steep hills well enough, serious riders taking their bikes off jumps may require more advanced suspension rigs. If you’re considering some real rough riding, speak with the team at Clycycles to see if our electric mtb range is suitable for your intended use.
Our popular mountain e-bikes include:
• The NCM Aspen – With beautifully fat tyres, the Aspen is ready to handle sand, snow and mud. While the Aspen has been tricky to get hold of at times, it’s often worth the wait when anticipating some winter riding. (Aspen Plus model available)
• The NCM Moscow – The Moscow, and especially the Moscow Plus, is one of our most popular bikes, and for good reason. This all-terrain bike is great for trail riding as well as being a practical city rider. If in doubt about what kind of bike you need, the Moscow Plus is a great all-rounder ebike that can take you long distances.
Trekking E-Bikes are a kind of hybrid or middle ground between city bikes and offroad bikes, designed to be comfortable over long distances and able to transition between city cruising and light trails. Often the tyres will be sleeker, making for more efficient riding on smooth or hard-packed terrain, although there are also fat-tyre options available. Depending on whether the bike is designed for cruising or for riding through traffic, the seat elevation and handlebar positioning can mean you will be riding either more upright or more leaned-over, giving you different riding experiences and different benefits.
Our popular trekking bikes include:
• The ET.Cycle T-series – The T-series is a heavy-duty bike with a powerful, long-lasting electrics and fat, puncture-resistant tyres. With different watt-hours of battery power, the T720 and T1000 both offer a very cool riding experience.
• NCM's C5 and C7 – These brother bikes are great-looking road bikes that are best suited for time-efficient city commutes. With different features and components between them, one notable difference is the handlebar style, giving the rider the choice for how they will ride in style and speed.
• The Evinci Falcon – The Falcon (and Falcon Plus) is a classic-style, NZ-made ebike that’s both sturdy and ergonomic. This well-equipped bike has lots of great features for everyday use, and comes in a range of colours and battery sizes.
Any questions? Simply ask.
If you have any questions about our bikes or how they work, or if you’d like to come in for a test ride, please don’t hesitate to call us or send us a message on our contact page.