Are electric bikes legal in the UK?
Yes. Provided they are class 1 eBikes they are legal in the UK. This means they are speed limited to a maximum of 16 mph and pedal assisted. So no throttle for power. The motor in addition can be no bigger than 250w in power.
I have ridden a number of eBikes reviewing for Trivelo and they are increasingly popular. This article gives you crucial information for anyone thinking of buying an electric bike in the UK. This is NOT about converting a bike to electric as you would see around the cities of the UK with Deliveroo bags. Most of these after market conversions are not legal in the UK as not Class 1 electric bikes. These should be limited to a maximum speed of 16mph and pedal assistance electric. This means no throttle to deliver the power. You still have to put in some effort!
Things to Consider When Choosing an Electric Bike
There are a few things to consider before choosing your electric bike. Consider factors like terrain, speed requirements, weight capacity, battery life, and price range. Also consider the type of riding you plan to do – whether that’s commuting, city riding or trail riding. Having a clear idea of what type of terrain and riding you’re planning on doing will help you narrow down the right bike for you.
For a round up of the best electric folding bikes on the market read our buyers guide with the 9 best folding eBikes and best deals currently available on them.
Essential Features To Look For in an Electric Bike
When you’re choosing your electric bike, there are a few features that can help make the decision easier. Look for bikes with features like a strong frame and swing arm, adjustable stem and torque sensing motor for variable speeds, LED display, wheel size that is ideal for the type of terrain you’ll be riding, and disc brakes for added stopping power. Other essential features to look out for are high-quality battery life and a lightweight design.
How far can you ride on an electric bike?
An eBike range will vary depending on the type of motor and battery. With UK bikes limited to 250w in power the biggest variable is the battery capacity. Range for a single speed eBike is generally 30 miles up to 60 miles. Batteries range from 252Wh (Watt hours) up to 625Wh The more capacity the larger and most likely heavier battery. The Tenways CGO600s has a relatively modest 252Wh battery but when I tested it was able to achieve a range of 50 miles. Read the full review for more information on the Tenways CGO600s single speed eBike.
How to avoid buying an illegal Electric Bike in the UK
There are plenty of illegal eBikes in the UK being used on the roads. These have either been imported, de-restricted or are after market altered bikes. Any Ebike with a throttle is illegal. UK eBikes need to have pedal assistance. Some models are now being released with a “boost” button. The MiRider One uses this and gives you a boost to kick start you ride.
If you want our recommendations on the 5 best single speed bikes read our post on this for more information and prices.
What are the differences between a single speed eBike and a geared eBike?
A single speed eBike as name would suggest has a single fixed gear ratio. There are no gear shifters to consider changing gears just pedal and steer. A geared eBike works in the same way as a conventional bicycle with gear shifters allowing you to adjust the gearing ratio. Many eBikes have an internal hub gearing system rather than an external derailleur giving up to 8 different speeds to use.
There are a number of brilliant single speed electric bikes in our round up of the best electric belt drive bikes worth looking at. Belt drive systems work amazingly well with electric motor technology and we share with you which ones to look out for.
For more information on eBikes and the growth in sales over the past decade check out our post on how eBike Sales have skyrocketed and the biggest trends in electric bikes.