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What is an Electric City Bike?

The definition of electric city bikes is a little ambiguous, so you might find yourself wondering what they are. Or perhaps if you can have one if you don’t live in a city. The answer is yes! Along with the answer to that, we’ll take a look at some additional things you might want to know about electric city bikes!

Many of you may already know a lot of this, but for some, it’s totally new territory. Buying a bike can be a bit of a minefield at times because there’s so much choice. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are no different. In fact, buying an e-bike can seem more complicated, but they aren’t too different from a normal bike.

What is an electric city bike?

Electric city bikes, also referred to as electric urban bikes or commuter e-bikes are often the same thing. There will be slight differences, but the intended use is the same. Electric city bikes are designed for several uses including commuting, shopping and leisure rides.

Whilst ‘city bike’ may be a somewhat limiting title, these electric bikes are great for urban travel. They aren’t specifically for cities and not to be ridden elsewhere, but are often designed in a way that makes them ideal for this purpose. With additions such as lights, racks and mudguards - a little like our Cosmo and Cosmo X they are quite versatile. Designed primarily for comfort, many city bikes will have step-through frames. This means they are easy to get on and dismount, ideal for anyone, but especially those with limited mobility. In the past, city bikes would be limited to flat areas, but thanks to the addition of motors, you’re now able to ride different elevations such as hills and undulating terrain with a lot less effort.

How fast do electric city bikes go?

In the UK, all electric bikes are limited to give assistance up to 15.5MPH/25KPH. Of course, you’re able to reach higher speeds than this, your bike will assist you until you hit the limit, but beyond 15.5MPH, it will be down to your own effort.

Generally (depending on the weight) electric city bikes are fairly nimble and able to travel quickly. Speeds will vary depending on what you’re carrying (such as shopping or bags etc) and the type of area you’re riding in, but you can expect to travel around with relative ease.

How long will a charge last on an electric city bike?

This will depend on a few factors; what you’re carrying, the number of hills on your ride, which mode you’re using, battery capacity, rider weight and motor power.

When buying an e-bike look for the size of the motor, as well as the predicted range. For example, our Buddy has a 250w mid-drive motor and a range of between 50-100KM. Whilst there’s no definitive answer, the range will depend on the reasons detailed above. If your bike allows you to choose the level of assistance via modes and you ride on full assist for the duration, the range will be reduced. But, for example, if you’re riding on flat, smooth terrain such as a cycle path and only using the lowest level of pedal assist, your range will be extended.

There are range calculators available online that will allow you to input details to see what range you may get per charge. However, our best advice is to get out and ride. Try different routes, modes, elevations and weather conditions and you’ll soon get an idea of what your bike is capable of.

What can you use an electric city bike for?

The world is (almost) your oyster. There will be some limits to what your bike can comfortably manage, but aside from riding very rough terrain or very long distances on a single charge, you’re able to use your electric bike for many purposes! A few options include:

  • Popping to the shop to buy some essentials.

  • Riding for exercise and general health and well-being.

  • Heading into town to meet friends for a coffee.

  • A leisure ride (along the canal, to the beach, along the river… the list is almost endless).

  • To make riding up hills feel as joyful as getting into freshly laundered bed sheets and listening to the rain knowing you don’t have to get out of bed.

  • To commute.

If you aren’t looking for the fastest bike, the pros of an electric city bike outweigh what’s available with other styles. They are incredibly versatile. If you’re looking for a bike for commuting that will also allow you to do other things, an electric city bike is a great option.

If you have questions, please get in touch! We’d be happy to give advice on which bike might work best for you, answer any technical questions, or just have a chat about cycling in general. Drop us a message or email and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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