Ebike Vs Road Bike : Which Is Best For You? Our Comparison

Last Updated on November 21 2021 by Danica

Should I Invest In An E-Bike? - Our Comparison Guide Of Ebike Vs Road Bike

Electric bikes can be a hefty investment, and if you are not sure whether or not you need one, we understand why you might be apprehensive. 

In comparison to your standard road bike, e-bikes offer a vast range of benefits for their user, from assistance up inclines to get to your destination faster without breaking a sweat, the only issue is, are they worth the price? 

In our guide below, we will compare both road bikes and electric bikes below, covering how electric bikes work, the main difference between the two bikes as well as how to use an electric road bike for the first time out on the roads. 

Let's get into it! 

What Is An Electric Road Bike? 

If it's your first time researching whether or not you want electrified road bikes then you are most likely interested in how these e-road bikes work to assist you on the road with their electric motor. 

Well, the main points of an electric proper road bike are its motor, battery and LCD. 

  • Motor - For maximum assist speed this is where the motor comes in, the higher the wattage than the more powerful the bike.
  • Battery - The battery life of your bike controls how far you can ride, a huge battery pack means a longer distance, but also added weight.
  • LCD - This is the little computer on your electric bike which will show you all the important metrics you need such as speed, distance and time, it will also allow you to control levels of assistance with ease. 

How Do Electric Road Bikes Differ To Other E-Bikes? 

When looking at electric road bikes as a step up from your standard bike you will probably come across a few other types of electric bikes such as trail e-bikes or hybrid e-bikes. 

Electrical road bikes differ from these as they are designed purely for road use, they often have a smaller wattage and smaller tyres than mountain electric bikes but are designed with all the features you need for road biking such as taillights and upright handlebars for the best e-bike ride. 

Main Difference Between Road Bikes & Electric Bikes

Many people wonder just how different an e-bike is from normal road bikes, electrically-assisted bikes have the obvious addition of an electric motor but also have a lot of features that make it feel like an ordinary bike. 

We will list the main difference between the two below. 

The Appearance & Mechanics 

When hearing of an e-bike for the first time, you are probably assuming it looks like a scooter, but these bikes look very similar to a normal bike at a distance and are designed with the same rubber wheels, handlebars and aluminium frame styles. 

If you have a look closer at these electric bikes you will then see they have the noticeable difference of a motor, battery and LCD screen, some e-road bikes however do a better job at concealing the battery in the downtube of the bike making it appear even more like a normal bike.

Riding Experience 

One of the most asked questions by people looking to make the switch from regular bikes to an electrically-assisted one is how they feel to ride. Once again, e-bikes feel similar to regular commuter bikes to ride, the motor assists in such a smooth way that you do not notice the assistance unless you have it at the highest level. 

Pedalling will mostly feel easier with an electric bike and you will feel less fatigued during hilly location cycling or when cycling for longer periods. The e-bike experience of riding is designed to make you feel as if you are riding a natural bike even with the extra weight, on cheaper e bikes however motor assistance might be noisier and feel less natural. 

Speed 

Contrary to what the majority think, e-bikes will not take you much faster than the average normal bike, these e-bikes have power at speeds up to 28mph depending on the class of e-bike that you choose, however over the speed of 28mph the assistance will cut out. 

If you do pedal faster with your electric bike this would be down to the fact it feels easier so you are feeling less fatigue, it also helps you get back up to higher speeds faster, some e-bikes also have a boost of power if they have a throttle.

Rules On The Road 

Most of the time electric bikes require no road regulations or permits to be used out on the roads as long as their motor wattage power and speed is within local laws. In the UK for example, you can ride a 250W electric bike with a speed of up to 15.5mph with no issues or permits, however, any bikes over this power would need special licensing. 

In the US this is slightly more at 750W, still, if your bike has over this power you could potentially be getting yourself into some serious trouble with the law.

Maintenance & Repairing 

The maintenance and repair of electric road bikes are similar to normal bikes, the only difference is when something goes wrong with the motorised components of the e-bike. 

For issues with the pedals, brakes or gears you can just take your bike to the same repair shops as any other, but the motor and battery would need special attention from an e-bike shop, this should however be covered by the manufacturer in the warranty of your electric bike. 

How Much Do Electric Road Bikes Cost?

Due to the electrical system of these e-bikes, they will often cost you quite a large amount as an initial investment, these ebikes could cost anything between £300-£1500 depending on the model you choose and its power, but for a basic road electric bike we are talking around the £700 mark for some well-known brands such as ANCHEER. 

What Are The Pros & Cons Of An Electric Road Bike?

You might think this amount of money is a lot to spend if you are not going to go any faster, but the assistance e-bikes provides can change your commuting routine a vast amount if you have a long-distance to cover with hilly parts. 

We have listed a few of the benefits of choosing an electric road bike down below, as well as their disadvantages to help with your decision.

Advantages Of An E-Road Bike 

  • They are good for the environment - Choosing an electric bike as your transportation reduces your carbon footprint dramatically than using a car. They do not emit any harmful fumes during use making them better for the environment. 
  • Opens doors for lower fitness levels - Riding an e-bike is a fun experience for people with lower fitness levels as it allows you to use the support from the motor to ride at the same pace as everyone else. 
  • It's quiet - Despite what many think, an electric bike is very quiet to operate despite the motor, this makes it more pleasant to ride than a motorcycle for example.
  • Saves you money - In comparison to taking a car to work and e-bike will save you a lot of money in the long run, so if you are looking for a cheap alternative way to get to work than using your standard bike, this is the next best option. 
  • You don't have to sweat - Not sweating when cycling to work is one of the main benefits of electric bikes for commuters as it allows you to get to work in your professional clothes how you left the house without having to take alternative transport, this is great if you have a hilly ride to work.

Disadvantages Of An E-Road Bike 

  • The charging - One of the main cons to e-road bikes is that they need charging at some point, this means you need access to electricity and the charging time can be quite a wait, with a single charge on some e-bikes taking up to 8 hours before fully charged.
  • Heavyweight - The addition of a motor unit and battery can a pretty high amount of weight to your electric bike if you are not careful, this makes it a little harder to carry around and hard to ride without any motor assistance. 
  • Limited range - Despite advances in e-bike tech, many of the affordable electric bikes still have a limited range which can be overstated and reduced when used on high assistance. 
  • Complicated repairs - When something goes wrong with the electrical components on e-bikes it can be expensive and complicated to fix than a normal road bike, especially if you run out of warranty.

Beginner Tips For Using An Electric Bike On The Road

Although using an electric bike on the road can give extraordinary riding experiences you should still make sure you are following the same rules as riding a normal bike on the road, we have listed out some tips for using your e-bike out on the road for the first time down below.

  • Ensure you are safe - The same goes with a normal road bike, make sure your bike has front and rear lights plus a horn for road use. You should also make sure you are wearing a helmet to protect yourself on the road. 
  • Keep to the law - There are speed limits in different areas and you should adhere to these with your electric bike just like other motorised vehicles to avoid trouble with the law.
  • Check your tyre pressure - Just like a normal bike you have to ensure you are checking your tyre pressure before you set off, this should be between 30-40PSI.
  • Make sure you are fully charged - Before setting out always make sure your e-bike is fully charged, avoid taking out your e-bike on a half charge if you are not sure about the range you will be covering. 
  • Keep seated - It is important to keep seated on your electric bike when using assistance as the motors adjust their power according to how you are pedalling, pedalling unevenly on your e-bike will cause the motor to get confused.  

Conclusion - Should You Go Electric With Your Bike?

To conclude, if you are looking for a transport which can help you get to your destination without a sweat and no fatigue, an electric bike is a great investment and has a huge range of benefits over a standard road bike and alternative transports. 

We would suggest investing in a higher quality electric bike with a higher price if you are looking for durability long term and always make sure are choosing a legal wattage road electric bike for road use. 

Sam

Hi! my name is Sam Lawrence. I am a 27 year old cycling fanatic. I created this E-BikeReview.UK as a resource for people when shopping for an electric bike. My career in bicycles started when I was a child. I’ve always loved bikes. I started my own bike buying and selling business before I left school and have been running a very successful bike shop in Ledbury (west England) since I was 18 years old.

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