E-Bike, Pedelec, E-City bike – what is the difference? Part 2

Posted by Sarah Schwarz

E-Bike, Pedelec, E-City bike – what is the difference? Part 2

Posted by Sarah Schwarz

Did you know that the most popular e-powered vehicle in Europe does not have 4 wheels? E-bikes top the popularity list! And with so many different types for all scenarios, there’s an e-bike model to suit every individual.

E-bikes add flexibility to your life, opening up new opportunities for every generation in your family. An e-cargo bike makes light work of transporting the kids to kindergarten, MTB-mad parents can now be joined by their young shredders on epic rides, while e-folding bikes reduce the hassle of a rush-hour commute. With so many options on the table and so many different categories to decipher, you need to check out our useful guide.


E-mountain bikes

Equally as popular as their unmotorized counterparts, e-MTBs are truly having a moment. Everything about how they are built – like a ‘normal’ MTB – has a purpose: excel at off-road riding, confidently rolling over bumpy ground. This requires a stable frame, wide tyres, responsive suspension, and powerful disc brakes. 

The world of e-MTBs has developed massively in recent years. Nowadays, every single discipline of MTB (covering almost every terrain type and ability level) has its own electric version – from versatile trail bikes to nimble cross-country or fearless enduro models. As technology advances, motors have become lighter and ever more compact, which has huge benefits for e-MTBs and their handling. And when it comes to e-bikes for kids, how a bike handles is crucial.

Unsurprisingly, e-MTBs also need a special sort of build for kids, which is exactly why we designed the woom UP – our kids-specific e-mountain bike.


E-touring bikes

Seriously capable whatever the distance, e-touring bikes are the do-it-all amongst the bike crowd. Whether you are heading around the world or just on your daily commute, touring bikes consist of:

  • A robust frame and stable wheels,

  • Lightweight battery with a lot of power,

  • Urban-ready components for riding in traffic

  • Practical accessories like mudguards and pannier racks.

With such a capable build, these bikes may be a little heavier, but the additional motor power compensates for this. Prioritising comfort and reliability, e-touring bikes excel on mellow terrain, long rides, and in the urban environment.


E-city bikes

The vision of our future urban mobility? Electric city bikes are having a major upsurge right now, which can only be a good thing. For getting to and from work or school, running errands in the city, or covering some distance in rural areas, e-city bikes represent a green, leisurely way to get around – no traffic, no excessive exertion, just ease of movement. As you are likely to be using these sorts of bikes amongst traffic, you need to make sure your e-city bike meets certain legal requirements.
Check out these regulations to see how your bike fares: https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-library/regulations/construction-use

Given their urban environment, e-city bikes usually need a few select extras, such as a pannier rack, kickstand and mudguards.

Now onto big and small space-savvy designs! Spotted any of these in the wild?


E-folding bikes

Darting through the city on an e-folder! Adding versatility to your commute, these handy bikes are relatively lightweight and can be folded in just a few steps. Once folded, hop on a commuter train, stow it in your car boot, or take another form of transport. Getting from A–to–B has never had such flexibility; it’s up to you how much of the distance you complete by e-bike.


Compact e-bike

While compact e-bikes cannot be folded, they are built with adjustable bars and foldable pedals that save space, ensuring that these particular bike models will always find a home in urban apartments, on public transport, or in your car boot. However, unlike folding bikes, compact e-bikes offer more adjustability – letting you raise or lower the handlebar stem and seatpost to suit the rider’s height. Does that mean the whole family can get in on the action? Yes, why not!


E-cargo bikes

While at the other end of the spectrum to e-folders and compact e-bikes, this category is supremely practical – especially in cities. E-cargo bikes can transport big purchases or little passengers in their hold. Depending on the model, some can fit up to three kids. Sound like a recipe for sweat? Not with the addition of the ‘E’. Assisted by the motor, you will comfortably cover ground on these admittedly heavier bikes and discover that you can efficiently transport kilos upon kilos in your hold from A to B. Looking to replace your second car? Just the thing!
Many towns and cities are now recognising the potential of e-cargo bikes and you may find that you can be on the receiving end of generous subsidies to help promote these green alternatives: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-boost-for-green-last-mile-delivery-bikes

Find out if your region or country offer any funding for such initiatives.


E-road bikes

The e-bike trend is unstoppable and has even made huge inroads into the classic road bike segment. 2019 was a major year for these models and most big players have now launched electric road bikes onto the market. Just like their unmotorized counterparts, e-road bikes provide a performance-focused ride thanks to their lightweight, aero builds.
Despite the addition of the motor and battery, certain bike manufacturers have succeeded in retaining a seriously low weight, with bikes weighing in between 10 and 16 kg. Many models can also be ridden without the battery and motor, which shaves off more kilos when not needed.

But what’s the point of a motor on a bike that’s already lightning fast?

  • One major advantage comes from the flexibility; you can switch the motor on if and when you need it. On flat stretches you rely on your legs, only turning to the motor for assistance when you hit a steep climb so that you can keep up a good pace. You will still get a great workout, even with a bit of pedal-assist.

  • The motor legally has to cut off above 25 km/h. But that does not mean that you can’t go faster than that – these bikes are built for speed and the motor won’t cause any resistance while you’re pedaling. So even though it’s electro, you still get the road bike experience.

  • Accelerating from a standing start is significantly easier thanks to the motor.

In short, e-road bikes give you the luxury as an ambitious road rider to feel confident for whatever altitude profile is on your ride thanks to the various levels of pedal-assist. You can therefore approach each ride with efficiency, knowing you will thrive. They open up more route options and you will not be restricted to the flatter, valley roads any longer.


E-gravel bikes

Gravel is definitely having a moment. They are the do-all, go-anywhere of the bike world – equally at home on the tarmac as on the trails. Kitted with wider, knobbly tires, a lightweight yet capable frame, and hydraulic disc brakes, these sleek-looking, road bike-esque bikes are one of the most fun modes for exploring off-the-beaten track on gravel and forest paths. The motor lets you charge along stretches of tarmac so that you reach the good stuff in less time. Certain models come equipped as standard with mudguards and pannier racks. This adds even more day-to-day functionality to these true all-rounders.

Now you have met the e-contenders, it’s time to make up your mind: which e-bike fits your lifestyle? What e-adventures are you dreaming of?