E-Bikes, what’s the big deal?

Electric Bikes, what’s the big deal?

Read our opinion on electric bikes, we’d like to think we are pretty experienced in the field as we have been selling and riding them for the past 5 years +. It’s been fantastic to see the shift in attitudes from the general public towards electric bikes and also the innovation from the bike companies designing electric bikes. Not long ago you could only buy a ‘granny bike’ as some might call it with a front wheel motor but now you can grab yourself a full suspension enduro bike, a carbon hardtail, a road bike or a fast touring hybrid!

So who are E – Bikes for?

Everyone! The only people that will say they are for ‘cheats’ or ‘lazy’ people are the folk that don’t know. Whether you have an underlying medical condition, a busy work life, a desire to ride further or want to ride and keep up with your friends an E-Bike could be for you. Oh and let’s not forget that if you like fancy gadgets you would probably enjoy and electric bike!

What can you do with E – Bikes?

Everything and anything!

With the huge range of styles of electric bikes now available from the likes of Hai Bike and Specialized you’re bound to be able to find a bike to suit your style. We rent out the Ridgeback X3 29er hardtails, these will allow you to ride up to 90 miles(!!) on the smooth Shimano Steps motor around all the tracks and trails of Rothiemurchus and Glenmore.

In addition we demo the Hai Bike Full 7 LT models and Specialized Levo bikes, these machines will see you smash all the trails around Badaguish, Laggan Wolftrax and other big mountain rides. Most recently we did 4 trails around High Burnside in the same amount of time it would take to ride one on a push bike! These E-Bikes have exactly the same spec and geometry as a ‘normal’ trail bike – so they won’t hold you back on the descents!

And lets not discount commuter and town bikes! Commute to work without sweating and messing up your neat and tidy hair in the morning, most of the time it works out quicker fo our staff to e-bike to work instead of driving.

How much effort do you put in?

Electric bikes from Specialized, Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha will have a range of assistance options. These usually go something like eco > trail > turbo or you can turn the bike off completely and ride it like a normal bike.

By varying the assistance you can indeed improve your personal fitness, eco requires you to put in a lot more effort to make the bike move than turbo.

All electric bikes cut off at 15MPH – it’s the law. After this speed you’re on your own, and the bike becomes a normal bike.

What’s the maintenance like on an electric bike?

Purchase one from Mikes Bikes and maintenance is not a problem!

We are a service centre for Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano and Specialized motors. If you buy a Bosch bike we can even provide you with a fancy print out to tell you what modes you have used most (not turbo of course 😉 )

We recommend a yearly service depending on your mileage and how regularly you use your bike, pretty similar to your normal bike really. Most parts on electric bikes are actually the same as found on a normal bike so maintaining it should not cost you much more.

You will wear out your drivetrain slightly quicker (chain and cassette) and this can cost anything from £50 – £150 depending on the specification of bike that you own.

You should not have an issue with reliability on the above motors as long as you do not submerge your e – bike in a river or regularly blast it with a power washer in the motor area. During the winter if the bike is sitting in the shed or garage be sure to turn it off and on to keep the battery ticking over and keep the charge topped up.

Purchase from your local bike shop and we’ll throw in a ‘Looking after your E-Bike’ information pack free of charge.

Random E-Bike facts

Here’s some wee facts, hints and tips from our regular E-Bike riders.

If you could give one tip you learned about riding an Electric Bike what would it be?

Let the bike do the work! The motor kicks in when it feels you are trying to pedal, so I learned to focus on the trail ahead rather than trying to put any power down.  – Saracen Ariel E

Did you ever worry about running out of charge when out riding E?

No, I never worried about being out of charge as it has a clear indicator on it so I could see how much charge was left and also it is easy to use as a normal bike if it did. – Ridgeback E-MTB

If you could give one tip you learned about riding an Electric Bike what would it be?

Wrap up warm. When I tried the HaiBike Full 7 LTD I wasn’t heading out for fitness reasons, I sat in turbo for the whole cycle! However you don’t sweat like you would on a normal bike so I ended up absolutely freezing, so my tip is wear a wee bit extra than you would on your push bike!

“After nearly four weeks without being on a bike (and it looking like I’ll not have the energy for biking for some time now), it was pure JOY getting on an electric bike.”

“You can use an electric bike to get fitter – my leg muscles KNEW they’d been used after the ride, even though I didn’t feel at all tired.”