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Electric Bike: What It Is And How To Choose It

Electric Bike: What It Is And How To Choose It

What does an electric bike look like and which model is best suited to our needs? An 'electrifying' guide for those who are preparing to buy an eBike.

Price, motor and battery performance, display settings, and frame features are just some of the aspects you need to consider when you are buying an electric bike. But first, let’s try to understand what an electric bike is and which model is best for you. We wrote this basic guide for those approaching this type of bike for the first time, but also for those experienced riders who wish to know more about this “new” category, which rightfully entered the life of everyday cyclists.


The first time you get on an electric bicycle, or e-Bike, can be like discovering a new superpower. That’s because pedal-assisted e-bikes expand the opportunities for two-wheeled use: you can keep up in traffic, transport children or groceries easily, arrive at your destination without a drop of sweat on your clothing, or simply enjoy a little extra boost on challenging routes.


The term “e-bike” or pedal-assisted bicycle refers to any type of bicycle which offers the rider some kind of assistance in pedaling. In other words, a motor will intervene to support your legs.

Pedaling is always necessary and there is no throttle (otherwise, we would be talking about a moped!). Instead, the motor boosts the pedal stroke, thus making it easier to move. The more the pedaling speed increases, the less the motor helps. It stops working completely when the maximum allowed speed is reached. Some electric bikes can exceed 25 km/h, but are legally considered mopeds: this implies, for example, the need for a license plate and appropriate insurance.

Electric bikes fall into the same categories as muscle bikes, depending on the type of use: road, MTB, gravel, trekking, city, etc. In order to decide which one is for you, however, you need to know the technical characteristics that differentiate them from muscular bikes. We will focus on ENGINE, BATTERY, ASSISTANCE LEVELS AND DISPLAYS, SENSORS, and WEIGHT. We will then proceed to analyze the different types of eBikes based on the riders’ needs and use.


The beating heart and distinguishing feature of all eBikes is definitely their motor. Motors that allow free circulation on the road must have a maximum rated power of 250W. The maximum speed must also be limited to 25 km/h. More powerful models are designed for off-road or on private land use, too.

High torque ratings allow a lot of thrust from e-bikes even if little force is expressed on the pedals. Assistance levels manage the delivery of torque according to the force expressed by the rider. The more the motor is used, the quicker the batteries die and the shorter the eBike’s riding range.

There are several motor types depending on their technical characteristics and on the intended use of the bicycle. They also vary greatly in price and performance.

In general, motors can be grouped into two types based on where they are placed on the frame: Hub Motors, or those which are integrated into the wheel hub, and Mid Motors, or those integrated into the bottom bracket. This is a very important parameter for you to figure out which eBike you are going to buy, both in terms of use and especially in terms of budget.


Hub-integrated motors are technically simpler and more versatile, plus they are sealed and, barring technical problems, require no maintenance. This is why they are installed in “simpler” e-bikes dedicated primarily to leisure and recreation or where lighter weight and cleaner aesthetics are required, such as for modern e-Road and e-Gravel.

Normally these motors are equipped with only the speed sensor, “external,” however some more advanced models are equipped with internal torque and torque sensors. These are advanced hub motors designed for high-end bicycles, particularly e-Roads. When choosing an electric bicycle, surely budget plays a key role, so the simplicity of construction of the hub motor has an impact on the cost, allowing it precisely to be offered with a lower list price. It, therefore, turns out to be the ideal and necessary design choice for cheaper bikes.


The mid-motor is technically more advanced and is adopted on most mid-to-high-end e-bikes. It is positioned in the center of the e-bike at the bottom bracket and the assistance is delivered directly on the pedaling stroke through the facilitated movement of the cranks, and not as rear propulsion and thrust.

The assistance delivered is modulated due to the presence of an internal sensor, which can read precisely the torque and force impressed on the pedals. This is because the cadence sensors are able to “detect the cyclist’s intentions” by going to lighten the pedaling only when necessary: compared to a motor integrated into the hub, there is practically no delay between the beginning and end of the delivery of the thrust, which is contextual to the pedaling.
Battery consumption is reduced and optimized, resulting in a longer travel range. As a result, pedaling is significantly more natural and fluid, with a progressive thrust that changes according to the rider’s need.

The central configuration is therefore ideal for tackling unpaved terrain and steep climbs, where greater precision in delivering torque and power is needed. Equally, given its structural characteristics, it can support more intense use for long rides even uphill.

The mid-engine is therefore an ideal choice for those who want to mountain bike on technical mountain trails and for cycle travelers facing long rides with mixed terrain.


The other element that characterizes electric bikes and that you need to be aware of when buying an electric bike is definitely the battery.

Manufacturers devote a lot of attention to the power system of each bike. The design trade-off is between performance and riding range. A more powerful motor offers more speed to keep up with traffic and more torque to tackle climbs and carry loads.

A more powerful motor also burns the battery faster, reducing the range. When comparing proposed electric bicycles, one can see a wide range of specifications. This is because there are many variables that affect range. Most brands have a removable battery because it is simply more convenient to recharge it or to avoid leaving it in the cold and damp of a basement or garage (factors that can affect range).

More and more houses are adopting an integrated solution in the frame to protect the cell structure and to make the design of e-bikes more similar to regular Mtb bikes. Despite limited space, manufacturers are producing larger and larger batteries. The greater the Wh of the battery, the greater the range but also the weight.


The e-bike, of course, consists of more than just the motor and battery. Here are other details to consider when comparing e-bikes.

Pedal-assist activation: the more performance-oriented the bike, the smoother and more responsive the pedal assist will be.

Pedal-assist levels: Most bikes offer 3 or 4 levels of assistance, which allow you to conserve battery power (Eco mode) or get more speed and torque (in Turbo or Boost mode). Cheaper models, and with hub motors, often feature 1 or 2 levels of assistance.

Many e-bikes now come with a range of integrated accessories.

LCD handlebar display:

There are many things to do with an e-bike, so it is useful to have a handlebar computer to monitor battery life, pedal-assist mode, miles traveled, speed, and more. Most e-bikes include an onboard computer and a display on the handlebars that provides information.
Almost all displays provide useful information such as speed, distance traveled, battery range, time of day, and a host of other parameters, including motor assistance level. Generally, assistance intervention is selected through remote control, located beside the left handlebar. Shapes and functionality naturally vary by brand. There are brands that prefer more minimal and integrated solutions, with displays that are less exposed in the event of a fall, others that even go so far as to act as satellite navigators and others with which one can interface solely through smartphone apps.

Smartphone integration:

High-end e-bike electronics can connect wirelessly with smartphones. Available apps can include GPS, maintenance logs, and additional screen functionality. Some apps also allow you to unlock the bike’s built-in lock.

Component quality:

As with muscle bikes, dedicated componentry affects the eBike’s price. Just as on a traditional bicycle, higher quality “materials,” brakes, tires, gears, and transmissions will be more durable and responsive and will affect the cost of the bicycle but also its performance.


Most e-bike frames are made of aluminum and carbon; dedicated commuting eBikes can also be made of steel. The material and design of the frame, along with the size of the motor and battery, are the major contributors to the total weight and certainly to the cost, as with a muscle bike. A lighter bike will definitely be more agile. So if you have to choose between two bikes, the lighter model will probably be the one that offers better riding comfort.


Among the things to know about e-bikes is definitely to make it clear that you pedal, true with motor assistance, but you pedal and stay fit. To fatigue or not to fatigue riding an e-bike depends solely on how you use it.


The last of the things to know about e-bikes concerns maintenance.
Like all bicycles, and depending on their technical characteristics, eBikes also need to be somewhat “pampered” and at shorter intervals given the greater weight, higher speeds, and thus greater stresses they are subjected to, this especially for eMTBs. Generally speaking, especially the drivetrain, brakes, and wheels are put to the test, but the rest of the components also tend to be under greater stress, so they require a good deal of routine maintenance.

At Bike-room you will find electric bikes for every demand: from touring to gravel to the more ‘aggressive’ off-road. With a little push, you’ll get everywhere

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