Collection: Offroad E-Bikes | Durable & Strong Electric Bikes

What’s The Difference Between an All Terrain and Off Road E-Bike?

At first, the difference might sound like semantics more than anything else. Doesn’t all terrain include off-road?

Yes, it does, but all terrain is a general term, and offroad is a specific term.

An all-terrain electric bike is designed to accomplish a range of activities. It has to be suitable for offroad and on-road use, and some features of each type of terrain might be incompatible with others.

For example, the weight of a purpose-built offroad e-bike is likely to be 25KG and up, but for riding on urban roads, that’s too much, so weight has to come down to accommodate both terrain styles. However, with the reduction in weight comes a reduction in frame strength, meaning you can’t throw an all terrain e-bike down the side of a mountain the same way you can with an electric mountain bike.

Conversely, full suspension is great for absorbing bumps and impacts from offroad trails, but actually wastes pedal power on roads & smooth surfaces, so all-terrain e-bikes tend to only come with front suspension.

Ultimately, offroad electric bikes are specifically designed to be used off roads. This means trails, forest tracks, sand, dirt, gravel, and even snow.

All-terrain e-bikes are designed to handle a bit of everything, making them better all-rounders, but less effective at each type of terrain as a purpose-built e-bike.

What To Look For In An Offroad E-Bike

The driving features of an electric bike to be used offroad all relate to its strength and durability more than performance.

Suspension

First of all, any offroad electric bike must have suspension. Even if something is advertised as off-road, if it doesn’t have suspension, it’ll be the worst offroad e-bike you’ve ever ridden.

You have two choices: full suspension and front suspension.

Front suspension is better if you plan on using your bike equally on regular, flat terrain as you plan on chucking it down mountain tracks, and it also lowers the cost of your e-bike.

Full suspension, on the other hand, has shock absorbers on both the front and rear wheels. It is more suitable for offroading as the extra shock absorption protects both you and the bike from harsh jolts. However, it is less practical than front suspension when used on regular surfaces, and it costs more.

Ultimately, most riders would find front suspension only satisfies their needs.

Tyres

Tyres provide grip, and the wider / taller the tyre, the more grip you’ll have. In terms of tyre diameter, there isn’t too much difference between 25” and 27” tyres. Larger tyres keep your centre of gravity higher and keep the frame of the bike further away from the ground, but they won’t have a big impact on ride comfort or traction.

However, the width and tread of your tyres has a huge impact on comfort and traction. When you ride a bike, no matter how well inflated your tyres are, the tyre will always flatten slightly where the tyre meets the ground below. The larger the area where the tyre makes contact with the ground, the more grip you’ll get. Offroad tyres are designed to maximise ground contact for that exact reason.

As for the tread, this needs to be deep and knobbly. The knobs and bumps have three important jobs.First, they keep the tyre wall as far away from the ground as possible, minimising the chances of punctures.

Second, they help channel water and loose dirt away from the tyre, improving grip. Smoother road tyres don’t do this as well, which is why you’ll see more skids and accidents on road bikes than you will on mountain bikes.

Third is that the varied height of the tread helps your tyre keep traction when riding over loose terrain, once again increasing the surface area of the tyre making contact on the ground.

Generally, choose a tyre with a with of more than 2”.

Frame Geometry & Construction

You don’t need to break out your high school protractor to understand frame geometry, but generally you should look more towards step over frame designs than step through. While advancements in manufacturing have improved the durability of step through frames to almost match that of step over frames, step over frames have improved balance when standing on the pedals and sitting on the saddle. With the rough and unpredictable terrain on which you’ll be riding, balance & stability is crucial, so opt for a step over frame where possible.

Next thing to look for is welds. Each weld point on a frame presents a weaker spot in the frame, so hydro-forged frames and frames with minimal weld points are less likely to snap when taking serious punishment.

Water Resistance

Lastly, when riding offroad, you’re more likely to come into contact with moisture. Tarmacked roads are designed to dry faster and wick water away to improve grip. However, your forest track is more likely to produce mud, puddles, and damp surfaces that take longer to dry.

Water and electricity don’t mix particularly well, and if you are planning on getting good and dirty, you should make sure your e-bike has a water resistance rating of some sort before proceeding.

Regardless of what your IP rating is, once you’ve finished riding you should always wipe down your offroad e-bike with a dry cloth to minimise the chances of moisture ingress.

What’s The Best OffRoad E-Bike For You?

This one can be hard given the range of choice with which you’re presented in the market today, but if you’re uncertain, the best way of finding out what’s right for you is to contact our customer service team. They know our products inside and out because they’ve used all of our off-road e-bikes for their intended purposes themselves. They know their strengths and abilities, and will be able to match you with your perfect electric bike for offroading.

Give us a call today on 1300 054 257.

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