Electric Bike Buyers Guide

Electric Bikes are changing the way we cycle and now appeal to a wider range of people then ever before. We don’t have to go far to see someone whizzing around on one with a smile on their face and the wind in their hair.   


With so many different types of ebikes now on the market it is easy to research yourself into confusion. 


Here at Espokes we are entirely independent and always advise on the right electric bike to suit you and your lifestyle. Meaning you go away happy with an ebike you will enjoy instead of an expensive ornament to be left collecting dust in the garage.

Below we have explained and outlined some key points you should understand and consider before buying an electric bike.



What is an Electric Bike?

Kalkhoff Image 5 Trekking Ebike

An Electric Bike looks pretty similar to a regular bike. The difference is they come with an electric motor which you can switch on to make riding easier. It is like cycling with a tailwind. 

They are pedal assist. Which does mean you need to actually pedal the bicycle to go anywhere. The motor will assist you up to 15.5mph at which point it will cut out and you will be pedalling under your own steam. The motor will also cut out the moment you stop pedalling.

The ebike is powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which can be charged from a mains socket either on or off the ebike.

The Law

The legal age you can ride an electric bike is 14 years old.

EN15194 is the official standard for electric bikes in Europe. All our ebikes have been tested and comply with this standard.

The motor must not exceed 250Watts power output and the motor must cut out at 15.5mph.

The motor must only assist you when you are peddling.

Rules and regulations on ebikes may change over time, so please check here for any updates https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules


 All our batteries are 36V and can be measured in Ampere-hour (Ah) or Watt-hour (Wh)

They are mounted in various locations on the ebike, some are now even integrated into the bike itself.

A big question you will want answers for is how far can I ride on a charge? This is a very hard question to answer accurately as it is dependent on terrain, rider weight, weather-related conditions, how much air you have in your tyres etc.

As a rough guide, you can typically get 25-35miles from a 10Ah/375Wh and 60-70 miles from a 16Ah/575Wh

If you are thinking of buying an ebike with a Bosch battery check out the Bosch range calculator which enables you to input more data to give you a more accurate guide as to how far you will travel on a charge; https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/



You have the choice between a centre driven crank motor or a hub motor. 


Hub motors to look out for are TranzX and Bafang. They are located in either the front or back wheel & work from cadence sensors. This means you can select the level of power assist you want and that is what you get regardless of how you are pedalling. Hub driven ebikes are perfect for riders who don’t want to worry about exertion. Our hub motors start from £999. 


Crank motors to look out for are Bosch, Shimano, Oli and Yamaha. These are located in the middle of the bike frame, where the bottom bracket normally sits. Mid Motors work from torque sensors, which are more intuitive than hub motors. The torque sensors can recognise how much effort the rider puts in from the pressure they are putting on the cranks and will supply the power that is needed. This makes them very efficient and helps conserve battery. It also gives the rider a more seamless ride. Our crank motors start from £1,950



You need to decide what style of electric bike you want, all though there are variations on styles there are four main ones.

Step-Through; This is your traditional sit up and beg design. Easy to get on and off and if you have trouble lifting your leg a low-step is ideal.

Cross-bar;  You need to be able to lift your leg to get over and on a cross-bar, it is also a more leant over riding position.

eMTB;  Electric Mountain bikes are really taking off now and are more than capable of red routes. They come in hardtail or full suspension.

Folders;   These are smaller ebikes with 20″ wheels and they fold down. Ideal if you are short on storage space or for putting in the boot of your car.

Hybrid bikes are suitable for trail use as well as use on the road.

Typical wheel sizes are 20″ for the folders, 26″ or 700C for hybrid or road bikes and 28 or 29″ with wider tyres for mountain biking.


A really important part of choosing your ebike is getting the correct size enabling you to ride comfortably. After all, now you have the assistance you will want to ride for miles and be able to enjoy it.


Depending on the style of ebike will depend on what frame size suits you. The height of the rider and inside leg measurements need to be taken into account too. The table below is just an approximate guide to hybrid sizing and it is always advised you pop into our showroom to actually try the different sizes for yourself. 


 Height 4’10’’ – 5’2’’     148cm – 158cm                                                                        Frame Size 13” – 14”    33cm – 37cm   XSmall ebikes


 Height 5’2’’ – 5’6’’       158cm – 168cm                                                                        Frame Size 15” – 16”     38cm – 42cm   Small ebikes


Height 5’6’’ – 5’10’’     168cm – 178cm                                                                        Frame Size 17” – 18”      43cm – 47cm  Medium ebikes


Height 5’10’’ – 6’1’’     178cm – 185cm                                                                        Frame Size 19” – 20”      48cm – 52cm   Large ebikes


Height 6’1’’ – 6’4’’       185cm – 193cm                                                                        Frame Size 21” – 22”       53cm – 57cm  XLarge ebikes


Height 6’4″ – 6’6″      193cm – 198cm                                                                        Frame Size 23″ – 24″       58cm – 61cm  XXLarge ebikes



The above information is for guide purposes only. For more info on ebikes specific to your requirements please contact us via email info@espokes.co.uk alternatively call us on 01256 353465 where we will be more than happy to assist you.

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