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Australians have always been fans of cycling. With cycle-friendly cities, bike tracks criss-crossing the country-side, and beautiful seaside vistas, it’s no surprise that summer months see swarms of cyclists populate roads & paths looking for fun, exercise, & adventure. In more recent years, electric bikes have made a stronger appearance as people look to incorporate alternative & cheaper ways of getting around town.
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Just like their regular push bike counterparts, electric bikes come in a variety of styles depending on what you need. And, just like their regular push bike counterparts, some electric bikes can fulfil a variety of purposes, while some are built to do one thing and one thing only.
Given that even an entry-level electric bicycle in Australia has a higher price point than most pedal bicycles, buying one is a more considered purchase. It’s worth taking the time to consider what type of e-bike you actually need based on how you intend on using it.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Electric mountain bikes are great all-rounders and are ideal for those who will use their ebike for a variety of different tasks. Consider them a Jack-of-all-trades ride: they can do a lot, but that tends to be their only real speciality outside of their all-terrain capabilities. They don’t excel at one task in particular because they are designed to accomplish a range of tasks.
Expect to find strong frames, front suspension, thick tyres, & powerful brakes, along with reasonable range & speed. Unless you particularly need your ebike to specialise in something, most cyclists will find an electric mountain bike will meet most of their requirements easily.
Not known for:
Live life in the slow lane with a cruiser e-bike. Designed for relaxed rides on smooth terrain, everything about electric cruiser bikes says “take it easy.” Built for comfort rather than speed, you should expect easy-going rides, gentle acceleration, and unique styling. Ideal for beach lifestyles where getting around in style is more important than getting somewhere fast.
Not known for:
As the name suggests, fat tyre bikes have… fat tyres. What’s the main benefit of a fat tyre bike? Predominantly, these bikes are designed for terrain that defeats other bikes, namely sand & snow. While most of us won’t spend a lot of time cycling through snow, Australians love beaches & they love surfing, so if you’ll be heading through sand to catch some waves, a fat tyre bike is a great way of getting over the dunes.
For this reason, you can even get surfboard attachments for some fat tyre electric bikes.
These are a middle ground between step-over frames (picture a standard bike where the top bar is largely horizontal) and a low step bike that usually has no top bar whatsoever.
The name literally means that you can step through the frame, so you don’t need to lift your leg over the seat to get on it. This makes them very easy to mount & dismount, but also makes them more practical for very specific types of riders.
Those with limited mobility will benefit greatly from the easy access, but those who commute in suits, dresses, or restrictive clothing will also find these much easier to use than a conventional bike.
Just about any electric bike can be used for commuting so long as the commute is over smooth & consistent terrain. A commuter e-bike is more similar to your ‘fixies’ or single-geared, rigid rides that are designed to travel relatively short distances on largely flat ground.
Light on accessories & without the bells & whistles of other rides, you can expect a light frame, two wheels, an electric motor and some brakes. Very basic, very functional, but not particularly versatile, this is ideal for commuting around inner suburbs & the CBD.
Sometimes known as electric touring bikes, electric road bikes are designed for covering long distances. Keeping weight down is crucial for road bikes in order to increase motor efficiency, so you’ll find specially-constructed frames, simple braking systems, multiple gears, and usually no suspension.
These are a good alternative for commuter ebikes for those that live a little further out of the cities, but keep in mind that their thin tyres restrict them to tarmac & paved surfaces, and lack of suspension in most models means they can’t take a lot of punishment or heavy impact.
Expect one-size-fits-all when it comes to folding ebikes. Designed to be collapsed into a size that makes them easy to carry around, folding bikes are great as a ‘back-up’ or ‘last-mile’ form of transport. Are you a train commuter that cycles to & from the station? Folding bikes are great for public transport. Do you drive most of the way to work then take another form of transport to finish the journey? Folding e-bikes are great for that last leg.
Given their reduced size & intended use, their range & speed is generally lower compared to other ebike categories, but they also tend to be cheaper as well.
Delivery cyclists of the world flock to electric cargo bikes due to their longer range, bigger batteries, and storage attachments such as bags & baskets. Not winning any prizes for their looks, cargo ebikes are an exercise of functionality over design.
Expect excellent build quality, high-weight limits, range, & torque, at the sacrifice of speed & attractive design. Given their engineering, these e-bikes tend to be a little more expensive than other types of e-bikes, making them ideal for hauling packages & heavy objects but not much else.
Some ebikes have a range of accessories & attachments that can turn them into cargo bikes, so if you’ll occasionally need to transport heavier objects, but not enough to be worth purchasing a purpose-built cargo-carrying ride, you’ll still find something to suit your needs.
Electric Kicks specializes in a variety of electric rides, so whether you need something to
shorten your commute, cover long distances, or you just want to ride around in comfort & style, you’ll find your ride at Electric Kicks. With free Australia-wide shipping and a 12-month warranty on all rides, order online today or call us on 1300 054 257 to speak to our e-ride specialists.
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