Know Before You Go:
Today we’re going to explain everything you need to know about electric-assist bikes, or e-bikes.
Let’s start with the basics:
An e-bike is similar to a flat-bar hybrid bike, but with one very important difference. E-bikes are supported by a battery, which makes pedalling easier—and steep climbs much more manageable.
B&R uses one of the best e-bikes on the market, the Scott E-Venture. On our e-bikes the battery pack sits in the middle of the bike, where the water bottle would usually go on a regular bike.
Heavy and Fast
It’s important to note that an e-bike is still a bicycle, and the battery does not replace pedalling, but it does assist your riding, which will allow you to go a little faster than you otherwise could.
In addition to having a battery in place of a water bottle (don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for that in the saddle bag on the back), the biggest differences between e-bikes and regular bikes are that e-bikes are faster and heavier.
The e-bike may not be a scooter, but at top speeds it can get pretty fast. When riding an e-bike it’s important to make sure you understand the settings and ride at a speed that you’re comfortable with.
E-bikes are also heavier than our standard racing or hybrid bikes. The battery means you probably won’t notice the extra weight while you’re on the go, but you should be careful when getting on and off the e-bike. When possible, it’s best to mount the bike on flat ground.
And because of the increased weight and speed, the brakes on an e-bike are more powerful than the brakes on a standard bike, so it’s important to brake early and leave yourself time and space to decelerate.
Riding a la Mode
E-bikes have between three and four different riding modes, which you can select from a control panel on the handle bars. The higher the mode, the more support the bike will give, and the faster you can go.
We recommend that riders start in the lowest mode, ECO mode, in order to get used to having an electric assist. Once you’re comfortable in ECO mode, you can work your way up as you see fit. Your guides will give you a chance to ride the bike in a parking lot or on a quiet street, so you can get used to it before heading out on the road.
The control panel will also display how much battery power your bike has, but you won’t have to worry about that. Your guides will make sure your bike has enough juice to carry you through the day. They’re also happy to fill your water bottle, to make sure your body has enough juice to carry through the day. They’re good like that.
So now you know everything you need to know about e-bikes. Well, except for the most important thing: what it’s like to ride one. Fortunately, B&R has a full portfolio of bike trips to choose from.