It’s easy to end up riding an e-bike that is the wrong size, built for the wrong purpose or that isn’t very reliable or satisfying to ride.
Fortunately, our experts help you choose the right electric bike for your needs and budget.
Don’t pay too much… or too little
It’s possible to spend several thousand pounds on an e-bike. The most expensive model we have sold in recent years was priced at around £9,000, and finding high-end electric mountain bikes over £5,000 is common.
You do get a lot of bike for your money at those prices – battery range, components, motor performance, materials and design are all going to be top notch.
But, to be honest, probably not a world away from an e-bike that costs around £3,000.
On the other hand, it is possible to pick up a brand new electric bike for under £1,000 or even around £500. However, if you’re expecting reliability, useful power and a respectable range, you’re probably going to be disappointed (with one exception that we’ll come to later…).
There is a sweet spot between £1,500 and £3,000 that will buy you a bike that has most of the capability and reliability of more expensive bikes.
The savings will be in materials (it’ll probably have an alloy frame rather than Carbon), components (expect mid-price brakes, gears, tyres and lights) and possibly range (you’re unlikely to find the largest battery capacity in this price bracket).
At 50cycles we will give our honest appraisal of the best bike you can buy for your budget – it’s one of the first things we’ll ask you about.
Think about how you will use your bike
Choosing the right electric bike also depends on how you plan to use it. Think about where you’ll be riding (town, country or well off the beaten track?), how often (every day or only a few times each year?) and how far you would like to ride (short dashes to the local shops or as many miles as you can fit into a day?).
You don’t have to spend a small fortune on an ultra long-range, full-suspension, Carbon fibre frame e-Mountain Bike if you only ever plan to commute through leafy suburbs on it. But if you spend your time riding trails in mountainous terrain, that’s exactly what you’ll need.
Similarly, a folding e-bike with limited gear range and small wheels will not get you up an over the Cairngorms in a gale.
There are some really good all-round electric bikes that will be equal to almost any route you ride. You’ll be as happy riding a good touring e-bike in the centre of London as the middle of nowhere. Only the most testing trails and terrain will present a challenge.
No surprise then that our touring e-bikes are our best sellers, closely followed by well-equipped comfort e-bikes.
The outliers are folding, cargo and full-blooded electric mountain bikes that can do the things and go places that all-round e-bikes can’t quite reach.
Again, our e-bike experts have years of experience when it comes to recommending the best bike for your requirements.
Do you even need to buy a new e-bike?
We talked about the electric bike price sweet spot of between £1,500 and £3,000 earlier. But it is possible to buy an electric bike with everything bikes in that bracket have for between £1,000 and £1,500 – but you probably won’t be the first person to ride it.
50cycles has long lead the way in offering great value ex-display and refurbished bikes. With sixteen years of selling electric bikes under our belts, we have thousands of customers who are looking to upgrade an old e-bike for something new. Quite often they part-exchange their old for new and we list them for sale after a session in our workshop.
We also have a steady stream of low-mileage ex-demonstrator, ex-display bikes. These are very well looked after, clean, regularly serviced and have had a pretty easy time of it.
Buying a bike that’s technically used (but has only ever been out for short test rides) could be a very wise choice if you’re working to a tight budget.
Please contact our e-bike recommendation experts and we’ll help you choose the very best electric bike for your needs and budget.