Electric Bike Guide (E-bikes)

Jan 3, 2018
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Hi all,

I am new to this forum (and to the online world in general). I have been touring for almost 30 years now, I would say that I am fairly experienced with most aspects of Motorhomes, routes, campsites and am now at the age that I would like to give back and pass some knowledge onto others who like me have a similar passion. I recently have had some dealings with an UK based electric bike manufacturer who have helped me convert my 10 year old tandem push bike to electric. The company were amazed with my knowledge so much so that they asked me to become an ambassador for them not so much so to promote their own products but to raise general education/awareness around Motorhomes and electric bikes. I have wrote my first blog below in which I wanted to sum up the partnership forming in regards to electric bikes and Motorhomes (and a bit of an e-bike guide). I post this in the hope that this is useful to anyone considering the idea of an electric bike. The second reason I post this is to gain some feedback on my first blog, the good, bad and ugly all welcome. Regards, Geoff Mott.

Traditionally the push bike has been a useful accessory to your Motorhome. Having a bike on your rack allows you to explore, pop to the shops for a pint of milk and a green fun way to get around whilst on your travels. You may have noticed an increase of electric bike manufacturers at your recent visit to a motor home show. We are seeing electric bikes and Motorhomes forming a hand-in-hand partnership.

The drawback to cycling is that is could be tough especially if you are visiting a camp site with hills or are not as fit as you used to be. If you can relate to this then maybe an electric bike could be the answer.

Electric bikes or e-bikes come in two forms, pedal assist and throttle activated. With pedal assisted bikes, the motor lends a hand when you apply pressure to the pedals. As you cycle the electrical assistance also chips in making hills and lengthy journeys less of strain. Throttle or twist & go bikes are similar in working as a motorbike or moped. Some electric bikes have both functionality.

E-bikes give you the feeling of a conventional bicycle however with the flattering feeling that your lighter and fitter. Throttle activation is more controlled by the user allowing you to apply the electrical assist as and when you like.

Upon deciding on what type of e-bike is right for you, be aware that your electric bike needs to meet certain regulations. The relevant EU standards restrict e-bikes to 250W which is just over 15MPH. After that you are on your own.

So now that your happy that the e-bike is right for you, the question is which e-bike is best for touring? Weight will be an important factor when picking out the right bike. E-bikes are much heavier than most push bikes. The extra weight from the motor and battery really is noticeable when lifting and removing off your bike rack. Fold electric bikes could be a solution as they tend to store better within the Motorhome and typically weigh less. The range of the e-bike is something that drives the price up. The higher the amp-hour the more range you can do on the bike. There are many factors that effect the range for example; weight of user, terrain, hills, head wind etc.

There are various points for electric bikes. You can source UK e-bikes as low as £600 and then the higher end e-bikes for anything up to £3000. However you have to be a real cycle enthusiast to invest in some of the higher end stuff as the difference is not always noticeable in terms of the ride. If possible try before you buy different models at various price points. This will then give you an idea of what electric bike is right for you and if the expensive models are really worth it.
Nov 12, 2013
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Hi Geoff, welcome to the Practical Motorhome forum and thanks for posting. It is always great to have experienced motorcaravanners joining, who are ready to share their knowledge with others.

We've done a bit on bikes (electric and folding) before (please see here).


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