Electric bikes are very popular not only among cycling enthusiasts. At the same time, their selection may not be as simple as it might seem at first glance. That’s why we wrote a short guide for you, in which we focused on:
How does an e-bike work?
Even before you decide to buy an electric bike, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how it works. A large number of people believe that an electric bike will do all the work for them, but they are wrong.
- Support while riding an electric bike – The electric bike only offers the rider assistance while riding the bike. It is therefore only able to drive at a maximum speed of 6 km/h without pedaling.
- Sensor check – Starting the electric motor corrects the sensor that monitors the rider’s pedaling intensity.
- Multiple levels of assistance – Most e-bikes offer multiple levels of assistance that vary in intensity.
- Personal adjustment of assistance – More powerful models of electric bikes have their own rotary gas, with which you can regulate the assistance to your liking.
An electric bike can be described as a device with an electric motor with a power of 250 W, which is intended only for assisting pedaling up to a speed of 25 km/h. After exceeding it, it must be disconnected immediately – driving without pedaling is only possible up to a speed of 6 km/h. In practice, therefore, it is not the case that the rider can only guide himself, as most people mistakenly believe. Normally, you can sweat a lot when riding an electric bike, because the motor only assists when the pedaling intensity is high.
The given intensity is monitored by so-called sensors located near the converter, whose task is to estimate when the rider needs the help of the engine. It therefore applies that the more intensively the rider pedals, the more assistance he can expect from the e-bike – motor assistance is limited to 25 km/h. For most models, it is possible to choose from different degrees of assistance.
However, you can also meet e-bikes that have a manual throttle, with which you can regulate the assistance of the electric motor yourself. The goal of an e-bike is to provide just enough support to help you cope with challenging terrain, but expect to sweat a lot.
Electric bike and legislation – what to prepare for?
Since e-bikes can reach really high speeds, domestic legislation and EU authorities had to take a look at them. Therefore, you must follow these rules when driving:
- Limitation of speed and power – Electric bicycles moving on roads and cycle paths can have a maximum speed of 25 km/h and a motor power of 250 W.
- Mandatory accessories – Every e-bike must be equipped with mandatory accessories, such as reflectors, mudguards or lights.
- Mandatory wearing of a helmet – All riders under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet while riding an e-bike.
- Driver’s license and liability insurance – If you decide to ride an e-bike with a power higher than 250 W (in which case it will be a motorcycle), you will need to have a valid driver’s license. It is also necessary to register the electric bike as a vehicle and to arrange for compulsory insurance.
- Restrictions on modified e-bikes – Modified e-bikes with higher power may not move on cycle paths or roads not designated for motor vehicles.
The use of electric bicycles is regulated by Regulation (EU) No. 168/2013 Coll. of the European Parliament and the Council. on the approval of two- or three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles and the supervision of the market for these vehicles of January 15, 2013. According to it, only devices with an electric motor with a power of 250 W and a maximum speed of 25 km/h can move on roads and cycle paths, while at this speed the engine must be switched off.
At the same time, the electric bicycle must be equipped with the accessories mentioned in the annex to Decree No. 341/2014 Coll. In addition, if the rider has not reached the age of 18, he is obliged to wear a bicycle helmet while riding. Beware of modified e-bikes that have higher power and speed than is allowed. The chosen rules do not apply to models that are intended for movement in difficult terrain and on unpaved surfaces. Such e-bikes can only travel on roads designated for motor vehicles.
For this, it is necessary to have a valid driver’s license, a registered e-bike and a mandatory guarantee. If you don’t comply with all the rules and still go on the roads, you can face a fine of up to 10,000 CZK – modified electric bikes without the necessary documents can only be used on private land or off public roads, where you cannot endanger anyone. However, if you decide to modify the e-bike yourself, the battery may be damaged.
Why buy a quality e-bike?
An electric bicycle differs from a classic bicycle in many ways, thanks to which it brings a number of advantages. If you’re not sure if an e-bike is right for you, perhaps our selection of reasons why it’s worth investing in one will convince you:
- Saving time and money – Using an electric bike, you can easily get to work or school, while avoiding waiting in rush hour traffic. In addition, cycling is usually cheaper than regular commuting by public transport.
- Simple maintenance – Electric bikes do not require particularly demanding maintenance. After driving 200 km, it is enough to lubricate and check important components. To save time, you can also take the e-bike to the service center.
- Suitable for all generations – An electric bike is suitable not only for active cyclists, but also for inexperienced riders. Thanks to the motor assistance, even pensioners and children can sit on it.
- Environmental protection – Riding an e-bike produces no emissions, which also protects the environment.
- Ease of handling – Controlling the e-bike is simple and even less technically savvy individuals can handle it. In addition, some models can be folded and stored, for example, in the trunk of a car.
- Availability – Electric bikes are significantly cheaper compared to regular cars or motorcycles. In addition, their maintenance is not expensive either, and breakdowns are not as frequent as, for example, in older car models.
- Flexibility – You don’t have to limit yourself in any way with an electric bike. You can simply fold it up, get on public transport with it or take it with you to work.
- Regular movement – Riding an e-bike encourages regular physical activity, thanks to which you support your healthy lifestyle. Higher levels of driving assistance are also suitable for people who do not normally cycle.
- Low noise – E-bikes are not as noisy as classic bikes, so the noise will not disturb your surroundings or yourself.
Disadvantages of e-bikes
Even though e-bikes are among the popular modes of transportation, they also have their drawbacks, which can be a thorn in the side of some users. Among the most frequently mentioned disadvantages are:
- High purchase price – As a rule, quality e-bikes are more expensive than conventional bicycles. The investment thus often amounts to around 20,000 CZK, which may be too much for some interested parties.
- Higher risk of a crash – E-bikes are not as loud as conventional bikes, so a crash is much more likely. So the rider should be much more alert.
- Longer charging – Recharging the battery can take between 4 and 5 hours, and it is recommended to keep the battery under control at all times.
- Shorter range – The range of e-bikes is limited, depending on the battery capacity, engine power and also the type of terrain. Normally, the average range of an e-bike is between 30 and 60 km. You can pedal even if the e-bike is discharged.
- Dependence on the weather – With lower-quality models without water protection, you can’t go on a trip in the rain. However, there is also a problem with frost, when the battery must not freeze – the minimum outside temperature is -10 °C.
- Regular service – Unlike bicycles, e-bikes require regular service, which you usually cannot do at home yourself.
- Higher weight – Compared to a regular bicycle, an electric bicycle is much heavier – on average, its weight is around 25 kg.
- Driver’s license required – For more powerful models, which are not considered bicycles, it is necessary to have a driver’s license, device registration and also a mandatory warranty.
The most important parts of an electric bike
For a better orientation in the text, we will describe at the beginning the most important elements of electric bicycles, which you will not encounter with a regular bicycle. These include:
- Engine – The power unit affects the speed and the amount of assistance. Its location and performance are important.
- Battery – It is responsible for the range of the e-bike. In a separate chapter, you will learn more about the different types and locations of accumulators.
- Control unit – The brain of the e-bike, which, based on information from sensors and data entered by the user, adjusts the engine power, displays information on the display, etc.
- Control panel – Used to display information using the display and communicate with the control unit. It is usually located on the handlebars of the e-bike.
- Sensors – They record information about the speed, possibly also the force, of pedaling and transmit it to the control unit.
- Brake Sensors – When the brakes are applied, they immediately disable the engine, increasing braking efficiency.
Construction of an electric bike
Types of e-bikes
Like bicycles, e-bikes are divided into several types, which differ from each other in terms of their characteristics and durability. When choosing them, you must consider where and under what conditions you want to use the e-bike. You will most often find these types of e-bikes in stores:
- City e-bike – A simple bike that is usually light and adapted to city life. Most city e-bikes also have removable batteries for easy charging.
- Folding e-bike – Their design is very similar to urban e-bikes, while offering the possibility of folding them. However, this function takes a toll on some technical parameters, such as smaller wheels or lower resistance in more demanding terrain.
- Mountain electric bike – Robust electric bikes that have high-quality suspension and also wheels with wider tires. They are usually equipped with multiple gears, six or more.
- Cross-country (trekking/trekking) electric bike – Universal electric bikes designed for both the city and nature. You can also count on urban equipment, including a comfortable seat or a removable battery.
- Fatbike – It is especially suitable for lovers of riding in very demanding terrain, which includes sand or even snow. It is mainly characterized by extremely wide tires and high-quality suspension.
|Type of e-bike
|Transportation to school, work
|+ Equipment (mudguards, lights, stand, carrier)
|– Not suitable for more demanding terrain
|City and nature
|+ Universal use
|– Limited equipment
|More demanding terrain, sports and adrenaline driving
+ Hydraulic brakes
+ Higher number of transfers
+ Durable design
– Higher price
– Limited equipment
|Very demanding terrain and extreme conditions
+ Wide tires
+ Quality suspension
+ Solid construction
– Higher purchase price
– Only suitable for off-road use
A bike designed for riding in the city will be especially appreciated by users who want to ride to work or go shopping. As transportation around the city is often difficult, it is good that the bike is not too heavy and also easy to control.
Urban e-bikes often have a lower frame, which facilitates dismounting and mounting, which is often inevitable during operation. They are often equipped with auxiliary accessories, such as integrated lights, a carrier, or mudguards. A protective chain cover is also valuable, which prevents contact with clothing and its contamination.
The foldable version of the electric bike will be appreciated especially by users who want a small and compact bike that they can carry or transfer via public transport if necessary. This compact version is primarily suitable for trips around the home or commuting to work. However, due to the shorter range and the often unsprung fork, it is not ideal for longer routes or riding on more demanding terrain.
Don’t forget the fact that even though it is a folding e-bike, its weight will be higher compared to a regular folding bike, as the motor and battery itself weigh something.
Electric mountain bike
The electric mountain bike is suitable for riding in nature. This is a frequent option, especially among customers who are looking for sports activities. For this purpose, mountain bikes are often equipped with suspension forks, hydraulic brakes and more complex electronics. It is important that the driving assistance is as sensitive and effective as possible, which contributes to maximum driving enjoyment.
These models often have a derailleur with a greater number of gears, usually 7 to 10. Durability and quality are also important, which will allow riding in demanding conditions (From the source: How to choose an electric bike).
Cross-country (trekking/trekking) electric bike
A cross-country electric bike, or also called a trek or trekking bike, is an option for users who are looking for a bike for universal use. Versatility, durability and long range are important to them. It is suitable for both off-road trips and city trips. It often has a spring-loaded fork. It could be said that this is a certain intermediate level between a city bike and a mountain bike.
Fatbikes are more likely to be among electric bikes intended for connoisseurs who like to ride in very demanding terrain. Their main distinguishing feature is the extremely wide tires that easily cope with a wide range of terrain types, including sand, dirt and snow. The construction of the e-bike itself is more robust and is designed to handle a little rougher handling.
One of the most important elements of an electric bicycle is the motor, the choice of which not only determines the speed of the device, but also its range and service life. When buying an electric bike, you should especially pay attention to:
- Engine location – It is important above all for the driving characteristics of the e-bike. The motor can be located on the front wheel, rear wheel or in the middle part of the wheel.
- Engine power – In the Czech Republic, only electric bicycles with a power of up to 250 W are allowed. You will also commonly meet more powerful models, but they cannot be used on public roads.
- Voltage – The torque of the motor mainly depends on the voltage. You may encounter a voltage of 24 V, 36 V or 48 V.
- Engine brand – Generally, engines from reputable brands will be of higher quality and more durable. Among the leading manufacturers of electric motors are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano or Bafang.
- Torque – This is the force that helps you pedal. It is given in Newton meters (Nm), with the best engines offering a force of 80 to 95 Nm.
- Speed with assistance – In public space, it is only possible to move on an electric bicycle that assists up to a speed of 25 km/h. Most models can be unlocked for assistance up to 55 km/h – but they cannot be used in public.
- Assistance mode – You will normally encounter up to five levels of assistance, which will help you even in very demanding terrain.
- Walk Assistant – Helps to guide the bike when walking at a speed of up to 6 km/h. Currently, most e-bikes have it.
- On the front wheel – You will find the motor in the front part of the wheel most often in models intended for the city. Its advantage is mainly easy installation and low purchase price, in combination with the battery located in the rear, it also gives the bike good balance. Its disadvantages are connected precisely with the load on the front wheel. It can cause it to skid, and you will also rub a little more when you hit the curb. Therefore, such a bike is not very suitable for worse terrain.
- On the rear wheel – This option will give you better torque transfer (wheels don’t slip). Overall, it’s a more suitable option for off-road riding, which is why you’ll find it mainly on mountain and cross-country bikes. Handling the bike is less demanding, the front wheel is lighter, so it is suitable for off-road riding. The disadvantage is greater wear of the rear part of the wheel, which tends to be unbalanced due to the location of the engine. The rear engine also complicates changing the wheel, which requires a special wrench.
- In the center of the wheel – The last option is to place the engine in the middle part of the wheel. This variant offers the best values in terms of e-bike balance. You will achieve maximum performance even when driving more economically. However, you have to expect a higher price than the previous two variants. You will most often come across it on mountain bikes, but it can also be found on other, usually more expensive, models.
You can come across different types of engine placement – on the front wheel, on the rear wheel and in the middle of the wheel. Each variant has its advantages and disadvantages, and the type and purchase price of bikes with different types of engine placement also usually differ.
|On the front wheel
+ Easy installation
+ Low price
– Loading the front wheel
– Not suitable for difficult terrain
|On the back wheel
+ Better torque transmission
+ Easy handling of the wheel
+ Suitable for more demanding terrain
– Rear wheel wear
– Complicated rear wheel replacement
|In the middle part of the wheel
+ Optimal wheel balance
+ Fast and smooth assistance
– Higher price
– Shorter chain life
As our legislation prohibits the movement of e-bikes with a motor with a power higher than 250 W, you will normally only find e-bikes with these parameters in stores. If you still manage to get an electric bike with a higher power motor, remember that you are not allowed to move with such a device in public places.
However, purchasing a model with higher performance also has its advantages, even if you do not plan to use it to the full. This is because such an engine has a reserve thanks to the artificial reduction in performance, so it does not wear out as much as a model that is always working at full capacity.
Increasing engine performance
Nowadays, you can come across modified models with a power exceeding 700 W, which thus reach a speed of around 70 km/h. However, we would not recommend such modifications. First of all, every ride, i.e. every fall with such a bike will be significantly more dangerous and the consequences can be more serious. In addition, by modifying the wheel, you lose the warranty and can even damage it, which is not exactly desirable for a product that costs several tens of thousands.
After power, voltage is one of the most important parameters, and unlike it, it is not regulated by legislation. Motors are generally available in three designs, namely with a voltage of 24 V, 36 V and 48 V. It is important to note that the torque of the motor also depends on the voltage level – so the higher the voltage, the higher the engine torque. However, motors with a voltage of 36 V are most often used.
As a rule, its performance and service life depend on the brand of the engine. If you decide to invest in an electric bike, you should definitely pay attention to the quality of the motor, which can sometimes be quite expensive to replace or repair. Among the best and most recognized manufacturers of electric motors are, for example, Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano or Bafang. At the same time, each brand has different advantages, but disadvantages that are worth studying before buying.
This is the force that helps you pedal. It is given in Newton meters (Nm) and often varies depending on the brand and type of engine. The best engines offer a torque of 80 to 95 Nm, but this is not standard. For city bikes, a common torque is between 50 and 60 Nm. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, achieve the highest torque, with values from 60 to 95 Nm often found. In any case, the higher the torque, the better.
Assistance modes, which are divided into different levels, are especially important for electric bikes. There are three to five levels of assistance available, which differ from each other in the intensity of the assistance during the ride on the e-bike. At the same time, each manufacturer determines the types and intensity of individual modes. Most often the modes are labeled as ECO, TURBO or BOOST – but sometimes they are just numbers.
If you don’t like to push the bike while walking, you will definitely be pleased with the Walk Assistant function, with which you can turn on the electric motor support in a limited mode. It will offer you assistance with a speed of up to 6 km/h, thanks to which you can relax a little.
The cadence sensor records whether the rider is pedaling and at what frequency. It transmits this information to the control unit, which adjusts the level of assistance accordingly. There are two types of sensors on the market, rotational and torsional.
RPM (magnetic, diode) sensors – A simpler option, it recognizes that the rider is pedaling and at what frequency. It does not detect the first step, so there is a delay before the assistance is activated. RPM sensors are suitable for recreational riding and are more common on city and folding bikes.
Torsion (force, pressure, torque) sensors – A more complicated and significantly more expensive version, it also monitors the engagement force and chain tension. It reacts immediately to the first step and can more sensitively regulate the level of assistance. Torsion sensors are most often found on cross-country and mountain bikes.
In addition to the motor, the battery is also important for the proper functioning of the e-bike. Lithium batteries are mainly used today. More specifically, modifications of Li-Pol, Li-Ion, or LiFePO4. Even with them, you need to pay attention to their selection. The most important parameters include:
- Battery location – The overall driving characteristics of the e-bike depend on the correct location of the battery, as well as the method of charging the battery.
- Battery Brands – A branded battery is usually a guarantee of quality. The best brands are Bosh, Panasonic, Samsung or Yamaha.
- Capacity – Most e-bikes on the market have a capacity of 400 to 700 Wh. The higher the battery capacity, the longer the electric bike’s range will be.
- Voltage – Determines what expected load the e-bike will be able to handle. With a higher voltage, the endurance of the e-bike increases, with the best battery offering a voltage of 48 V.
- Lifespan – Varies by brand, quality and maintenance, offering up to 500 cycles on average.
- Charging speed – The battery takes three to five hours to charge on average. In some types, you can also come across fast charging, where large-capacity batteries can be charged in two to three hours.
The location of the battery primarily determines the driving characteristics of the bike, but also the ease of charging the battery. In addition, some placement methods can change the technical parameters or equipment of the given models. Most often, the battery is located:
- On the bike frame – A common and perhaps the most optimal option is to place the battery on the bike frame, or directly in the bike frame, as for example with folding bikes. This position offers several advantages, for example the center of gravity of the bike is not disturbed, everything gives a complete impression and does not disturb the design of the bike.
- On the seatpost – Another option is to place the battery on the seatpost. Similar to the placement on the frame, the center of gravity is not disturbed. But there is an overall lengthening of the wheel. E-bikes with this battery placement tend to have only one gear, so they will offer e.g. 1×8 gears, while bikes with a triple gear can have e.g. 3×9 gears. You will therefore find this variant mainly on city and folding bikes, where the terrain does not require a higher number of gears.
- On a carrier – Another option is to store the battery on a carrier. Its advantage is easy handling. Bikes with this form of placement will most often be intended for travel purposes or driving around town. These are mainly city or trekking bikes.
Brands of batteries
If you want to be sure that the e-bike will not be damaged, you should only use original and branded batteries. The most well-known battery brands are Bosh, Panasonic, Samsung or Yamaha in particular – batteries can also be produced by the electric bike manufacturers themselves. Also watch out for second-hand batteries, which can often be damaged.
The range of the e-bike depends on the battery capacity, which is also influenced by a number of other factors. Most models have batteries with a capacity of 400 to 700 Wh, which is the maximum available capacity. Batteries with a capacity of over 800 Wh can be dangerous for e-bikes and burden them unnecessarily. Keep in mind that the price of an e-bike increases with the battery capacity, which accounts for roughly one-third of the battery.
In addition to the capacity of the battery, the voltage is also important, which varies according to the expected load placed on the e-bike. The lowest voltage is 24 V, which is suitable for lighter e-bikes designed more for moving around the city. On the other hand, off-road e-bikes require a higher voltage, namely 36 V or 48 V. Even in this case, the value of the voltage will affect the price of the e-bike.
As with any device, battery life is limited and depends on several factors. One of them is the battery brand, which should ideally be from a reputable manufacturer. The maintenance and use of the battery is also very important, where a big problem is its unnecessary overloading. Most manufacturers offer batteries with a battery life of 500 cycles, which is assumed to be the number of times a given battery can be charged – so the battery will last you about three years.
Almost all batteries have a charging time that should ideally be as short as possible. On average, it will take you three to five hours to charge the battery to full capacity. But you can also come across batteries that can be charged quickly. Even before you decide to connect the battery to the fast charger, make sure that it is suitable for fast charging.
As a rider, you will be most interested in the average range of the e-bike, which will allow you to estimate the length of your route. However, the resulting range may vary due to a number of factors.
- Rider weight – A higher rider weight will generally shorten the expected range, as the e-bike must generate much more energy to move.
- Battery capacity – Similar to other parameters, the rule applies – the more the better. With a higher battery capacity, you can also achieve a longer range of the electric bike.
- Terrain – Challenging terrain drains battery power much faster. The range can thus be much lower than the value declared by the manufacturer.
- Driving style – The length of the range is shortened by frequent interrupted driving or the rider’s high demands on the performance of the e-bike. Smooth driving with a minimum of stops is ideal for long distances.
- Assist mode – Higher levels of assistance use more energy and therefore drain the battery faster. If you want to get the most out of your e-bike, use lower levels of assistance at the beginning of the ride.
Range refers to the distance for which you can count on pedal assistance before running out of power. Range is affected by battery and factors such as terrain, riding style, rider weight, assist setting, and weather conditions.
The whole range issue could be compared to driving a car. It also takes some time to figure out, for example, the optimal way of sorting. Even riding an electric bike requires a certain amount of practice and experience. If you use the maximum amount of assistance the whole way, you will not drive as much as with a lower level.
The higher the battery capacity, the longer the range value. For example, with a battery capacity of 15 Ah, the longest range value will be around 120 km and more. With a capacity of around 9 Ah, you can travel a distance of around 40 to 70 km on one charge. You can also achieve the longest possible range by choosing the right tyres, inflation, adjusting the brake system and the overall good technical condition of the e-bike.
|Battery capacity (Wh)
|Average mileage (km)
|Who is it suitable for?
|For shorter routes around the city.
|Driving around the city or on short routes into the countryside.
|A suitable choice for longer rides in challenging terrain.
|Ideal for long rides in very demanding terrain.
As an electric bicycle is different from a regular bicycle, it must be controlled using a panel, through which you can set the ride parameters. It is therefore intended for:
- Battery charge check – The rider can see the battery charge level on the control panel, thanks to which he can better estimate the expected range.
- Setting the assistance mode – The control panel is primarily used to easily switch between individual assistance modes.
- Mileage detection – You can easily check the number of kilometers traveled on the control panel.
- Switching off the drive of the electric bike – After pressing, it is possible to turn off the drive completely and use the electric bike like a classic bicycle.
On the front handlebars of the bike you will find a control panel, thanks to which you will get information about your ride, kilometers traveled, or driving time. Mainly, however, about the degree of charge or discharge of the battery. The panel will also regulate and select the level of electric assistance. Most bikes offer around 3 to 5 of these levels. The more possible levels, the greater the possibility to set the optimal value of help for you.
Of course, you can turn off the drive itself completely, but then you have to take into account that the whole system weighs something and the bike is heavier, so you won’t ride as well as on a classic bike. However, the e-bike is rather intended for the use of electric assistance. In addition, after the first rides, you will find that you don’t even want to turn off the system.
You can also choose the panel according to the user’s technical ability. There are very simple models that are controlled with a single button, or also, for example, multimedia variants with an LCD display and a number of more advanced functions. It depends on you which control is more comfortable for you, simple models will be more suitable for example for seniors or riders who do not want to deal with unnecessary complexities while driving.
Frame and load capacity
When choosing a frame, it is necessary to determine whether the user will be a woman or a man. On the market we can find e-bikes with a frame suitable for both women and men. You can also find a unisex frame, i.e. a universal option. If you know that you will mainly be riding around town, it is a good idea to choose, for example, an e-bike with a lower frame, as it will be less difficult for you to get off and on frequently.
The height of the frame is usually derived from the height of the figure and is indicated in inches or sizes XS-XL, as we know them in clothing. However, sizes may vary from retailer to retailer. Of course, for example, the length of the limbs also has an influence, so this tool is not completely 100% accurate, but in most cases you will hit it pretty well. For cross-country bikes, it is recommended to choose a higher frame.
|Character height (cm)
|Frame Height (inches)
|Character height (cm)
|Frame Height (inches)
|150 – 155
|15 – 16
|150 – 155
|15 – 16
|16 – 17
|16 – 17
|165 – 170
|17 – 18
|165 – 170
|17 – 18
|170 – 175
|18 – 19
|170 – 175
|18 – 19
|19 – 20
|19 – 20
|180 – 185
|180 – 185
|185 – 190
|185 – 190
|190 – 195
|190 – 195
|195 and above
|23 and over
|195 and above
|23 and over
As far as load capacity is concerned, today’s bikes are mostly designed for a load capacity of around 110 to 150 kg, so they offer a sufficiently large variability, so even people with a higher weight should easily find a suitable bike for them. Some sellers even specialize in e-bikes with a higher load capacity, so you can buy, for example, models with a load capacity of around 170 kg.
The weight of the e-bike
You should also not forget the weight of the electric bike itself, which is not completely low. It usually ranges between 20 and 25 kg. When moving, the weight will not be a problem, you can also use the assistance mode when walking with the bike, but you need to be able to pick up the bike in case of a fall, for example, which can be complicated especially for the elderly.
When choosing, it is also important to choose the correct rim height or wheel size. This dimension is given in inches, for mountain bikes you will most often encounter values of 26″, 27.5″ and 29″, for city and cross-country bikes 28″. For folding and children’s bikes, then 12″, 14″, 16″, 20″ and 24″. The height of 29″ is ideal for riders over 170 cm tall, the dimensions around 26″ are, on the other hand, suitable for children and riders with a smaller stature.
When choosing the height of the rim, it is not only the height of the rider that matters, but also the terrain and riding style. Larger wheels overcome obstacles better and you can travel a greater distance with one pedal. Smaller wheels are ideal for driving with variable dynamics, i.e. if you frequently change direction and speed, such as when driving in the city.
As for the frame material, the vast majority of models on the market will be labeled “dural”, in practice it is an aluminum compound Al 6061. The designation “dural” is a bit controversial in this regard, according to some sources, only compounds can be called dural of aluminum beginning with two, which are characterized by high strength and hardness, but are less resistant to corrosion.
In practice, however, the term duralumin covers essentially any solid aluminum alloy. In more expensive e-bike models, you can also come across a carbon version of the frame, which will please you with its lower weight and higher durability.
With modern e-bikes, you will mainly come across disc brakes, which can be further divided into two types. As always, they have their disadvantages and advantages, which it is good to calculate in advance. Particulary speaking about:
- Mechanical brakes – A cheaper variant of disc brakes, which is also characterized by less efficiency. On the other hand, it does not require demanding service.
- Hydraulic brakes – Offers greater reliability and performance, which is reflected in the higher price. However, the brakes must be serviced regularly.
If you still come across rim brakes, you should consider very carefully what kind of terrain you will be riding the e-bike on. They are acceptable, for example, for less powerful urban or folding e-bikes. Even so, it is worth investing in disc brakes.
Hydraulic disc brakes Rim brakes
In case you want to move in more demanding terrain, you will need your bike to have proper suspension. High-quality suspension is especially important for electric mountain bikes and fat bikes. The ride itself will be much more comfortable for you, and you won’t feel every bump. The ideal choice is full-suspension e-bikes, but they are usually more expensive. The suspension of the front fork and seatpost is considered to be the complete basis – but everything can vary depending on the manufacturer.
If you want to go on a journey with an electric bike in bad weather or in very difficult terrain, be sure to check its water resistance. It is divided into several levels of protection against water:
- IPX4 – The e-bike is only resistant to light splashes of water.
- IPX5 – The e-bike is protected against jets of water.
- IPX6 – The e-bike can handle even very intense jets of water.
- IPX7 – The e-bike can be immersed in water for 30 minutes.
- IPX8 – The e-bike is resistant to continuous immersion in water under certain conditions.
Quality of components
Not only when choosing a frame, you should also think about the material from which it is made. The same applies to other components, such as the front fork, seat post or handlebars, where premium carbon plays a role again, which is flexible and absorbs vibrations better.
Brakes and suspension also play an important role. When choosing brakes, it’s a good idea to look for hydraulic disc brakes, which are the most effective, especially if you’re buying a mountain bike. For urban or cross-country e-bikes, you can make do with classic V-brakes, the advantage of which is lower weight compared to the hydraulic version.
As for the suspension, the front fork should be spring, with more expensive models we can also find air. The best models are equipped with an intelligent suspension system that adjusts the degree of suspension according to the unevenness of the terrain.
In terms of accessories, e-bikes are usually not very different from classic bikes. In their equipment you will find, for example, mudguards, a stand, lights, a carrier and other useful elements that we have already mentioned in the description of the individual types of e-bikes. However, there are a few extras that you won’t find on a regular bike:
- Display – Helps with the control of the e-bike, enables a more comfortable selection of assistance modes and informs, for example, about the distance traveled, speed or battery status.
- USB connector – Allows you to charge your mobile phone, player, GPS navigation or other portable device directly while driving. It won’t happen to you that you get lost and find that your mobile phone is completely dead.
- Tuning Chip – If you decide to remove the speed limiter on the engine assist, you will need a tuning chip to do so. After installing it, you can ride an electric bike with assistance at a speed of up to 55 km/h. Tuning chips can usually be purchased at e-bike shops. In most cases, you don’t have to worry about losing the warranty guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Popular e-bike brands
You may be a little surprised to learn that many of the most popular e-bike brands on our market are Czech. These include, for example, the brands Lectron and Crussis. In this chapter, we will introduce the most popular manufacturers and their product range.
- Lectron – Offers especially affordable models of various types of e-bikes. You can buy models from him with a price from 20,000 to 60,000 CZK, which offer a range of between 120 and 150 km.
- Crussis – Leading Czech manufacturer of e-bikes with a wide selection of models of various types of e-bikes. At the same time, it offers some of the most powerful models on the market, the price of which ranges from 30,000 to 100,000 CZK.
- Hecht – Offers mainly urban and folding models, the price of which is 20,000 to 40,000 CZK. However, it is necessary to expect lower power and a shorter range.
- Leader Fox – Czech manufacturer of e-bikes that offers both affordable and almost professional models. These can be purchased for a price of 40,000 to 60,000 CZK. As almost the only one, it also offers fat bikes.
- Lovelec – A smaller manufacturer of e-bikes, which mainly offers affordable models of e-bikes. Their price usually ranges between 20,000 and 40,000 CZK.
Lectron electric bikes
In the Lectron brand offer, you will find several dozen different models. They are mostly electric mountain or cross-country bikes, but there are also plenty of variants intended for the city. Folding e-bikes are not offered by this manufacturer. The price ranges from lower to higher class, the cheapest model costs more than 20,000 CZK, the most expensive one costs more than 60,000 CZK. However, it is still not a question of outright unusual amounts among electric bikes.
Lectron bikes usually offer a decent range of around 120 km, some even promise 150 km. The motors of these bikes can have a power of up to 700 W. The overall design usually corresponds to the type and price of a specific model.
Crussis electric bikes
Few people offer such a wide selection of products as the Crussis brand, you can choose from several hundred, mostly mountain or cross-country, e-bikes. You won’t find folding bikes with this brand, but they also produce several urban models, although they are in the minority compared to off-road types. What you won’t find in this manufacturer’s offer are downright affordable models. The price of the cheapest e-bike is close to CZK 30,000, the most expensive exceeds CZK 100,000.
The strength of Crussis e-bikes is definitely the range, quite often you will come across 150 or 170 km, models with a range of 200 km are no exception. In addition, these e-bikes are equipped with the popular Bosch electric motor, which usually offers a superior power of 500 W and more.
Hecht electric bikes
The Hecht range largely consists of folding and urban models, but there are also variants intended for off-road use. The positive is the friendly price, the cheaper models cost around 20,000 CZK and the most expensive ones do not exceed the price tag of 40,000 CZK, which is still relatively low for many brands.
Of course, given the price, miracles can’t be expected from these bikes. This is particularly evident in the engine power, which is only 250 W even in off-road models. The range of Hecht e-bikes is also rather low, the maximum is 120 km, but some offer only 60 km.
Leader Fox e-bikes
One of the Czech brands of e-bikes that is also very popular abroad. In its offer, it has a really wide range of e-bikes, not only city ones, but also mountain and cross-country ones. As one of the few brands, it also has quality fat bikes. In addition, its parameters can easily compete with larger manufacturers.
Electric bikes thus range in price around CZK 40,000, but they make up for it with their quality. Electric mountain bikes and fat bikes are a little more expensive, and the price is usually higher – better models can be bought for around 60,000 CZK.
Hunter electric bike
A Czech brand that is becoming more and more popular among e-bike lovers. It started writing its history back in 2008 and since then it has become one of the leading manufacturers of e-bikes, and not only in our country. It is best known for its urban folding electric bikes, which offer maximum flexibility. However, it also has other types of electric bikes in its offer, including mountain and cross-country models. As already mentioned, the brand is known more for its folding e-bikes, the price of which varies between 20,000 and 40,000 CZK.
Of course, when choosing an electric bike, we must not forget its price either, after all, it is not exactly a small investment. Prices are in the tens of thousands and you can find very different models at different price points. So let’s briefly summarize what you can expect for your money.
- Up to 20,000 CZK – Basic models of e-bikes, while here you will mainly come across urban and folding models. Low performance, lower quality and shorter range must be expected.
- From 20,000 to 30,000 CZK – Basic models of mountain and cross-country e-bikes are usually found in this category. On the contrary, you can look forward to very high-quality equipment with urban e-bikes.
- From CZK 30,000 to CZK 40,000 – There are especially high-quality cross-country and city e-bikes that offer high performance and a long range. Mountain models in this price range offer rather average performance.
- Above 40,000 CZK – An ideal price for high-quality and powerful models of mountain e-bikes or fat bikes with which you plan to go into very demanding terrain.
Up to 20,000 CZK
You can buy basic models of e-bikes and small folding e-bikes for up to 20,000 CZK. In this price category, you can comfortably choose if you are looking for an electric bike for shorter distances and do not place much emphasis on high performance
From 20,000 to 30,000 CZK
In the category from 20,000 CZK to 30,000 CZK you will find basic models of mountain and cross-country bikes. City bikes at this price level already belong to very well-equipped models, and if you’re looking for a more powerful bike for the city, you’ll probably find it here.
From CZK 30,000 to CZK 40,000
Above 30,000 CZK you can get very good folding and cross-country e-bikes, some mountain models in this price category are also characterized by great features. But if you’re looking for an all-around excellent mountain e-bike, you’ll probably pay a few thousand more.
Over 40,000 CZK
You can get above 40,000 CZK if you are looking for an excellent mountain e-bike or absolutely top models in any other category. The best electric bikes can reach a purchase price of more than CZK 80,000, so it mainly depends on you how much this investment is acceptable to you.
Electric bike maintenance
In order for your motorized bicycle to serve you well and for a long time, you need to take proper care of it. This is the regular inspection and maintenance of all components and the overall condition of the bike. Some operations are recommended by experts to be carried out before each ride, others are only necessary after some time of use, around 200 kilometers. Once a year, you should entrust the bike to a professional service, which will take care of thorough maintenance and thus your safety (Source: TechRadar).
- Before every ride – Check mainly the brakes, the condition of the tires, the quality of the individual joints and also the condition of the battery.
- After 200 kilometers – It is ideal to lubricate the entire e-bike and check the strength of all connections.
- Watch out for water – For non-waterproof models, avoid heavy rain or driving in a very humid environment.
- Battery Care and Storage – The battery should not be exposed to freezing or extreme heat. It is also important that it is not stored in a humid environment. From time to time it pays to have it checked at a service center.
Before every ride
As with a regular bike, there are some important elements to check. These are mainly the brakes, their functionality and adjustment. It is also a good idea to check the condition of the tires as well as the sufficient inflation and, if necessary, correct the problems. You should also make sure that all connections are well tightened, whether on the handlebars, pedals, folding mechanism and others.
With e-bikes, you also have to focus on the state of charge of the battery, you simply cannot do without it. Regular cleaning of all parts of the bike is also a matter of course, depending on how dirty it is.
After 200 kilometers
Once in a while, you can’t avoid even more thorough maintenance. This is the lubrication of the chain, bearings and pins. It is also necessary to lubricate the speed changer and the mouth of the Bowden cables – brake and gear cables. All joints, bolts and spokes need checking. It goes without saying that all hard-to-reach parts of the bike are also cleaned.
Watch out for water
Of course, you don’t have to worry about every shower, but if the rain is so intense that water gets into the bike’s electronics, it can be disabled, at least temporarily. It is therefore not ideal to drive through large puddles either. If you are transporting the bike, for example on a cyclo carrier (by the way, we dedicated a separate article to that, How to choose a cyclo carrier), we recommend wrapping it so that it is not exposed to rain.
Battery maintenance and storage
The battery needs to be charged regularly to avoid damage. However, be very careful when storing the battery, as it can be damaged. The battery must not cool down, but neither must it overheat – the ideal temperature for it is therefore between -10 and 35 °C. In any case, it is never a good idea to expose the battery to freezing. Battery capacity decreases over time, and connecting a battery with a very low capacity can even lead to damage. If you are not sure whether the battery still has the capacity guaranteed by the manufacturer, take it to a service center for diagnostics, where they will tell you its real capacity.