More and more people in the UK are now cycling to save on costs for travel, whether for work or pleasure, so we look at the costs involved in buying and owning an e-bike.
There is a huge difference in quality and comfort when choosing an electric bike, with an entry level bike costing from £500, to a higher end model costing well into the thousands!
The first thing to do, is to decide what you want the bike for, from off roading in nature to cycling in town. This will dictate the type of bike you need, and its practicality, range and comfort.
For range, e-bikes usually start at around 10 miles of range and the longer the range, the higher the cost, but then, the less frequently you will need to charge the battery.
What will also affect the price is the position of the motor, a front, back or middle motor affects the ride. A mid positioned motor will give a smoother and more balanced ride, whereas a front motor means you are pushing, and a rear motor means you are pulling.
The mid position motor comes at a higher cost, but that is offset with better mileage, and less charging due to the lack of drag factor.
Are you going to drag your muddy bike through your home? If not you will need to consider outside storage.
If you don’t already have a shed, then a bike storage shed costs an average £300, on top of that you will also need a good lock for home or work place. A good lock to secure your electric bicycle starts at around £50.
Unless you know what to look out for, we would never advise you to go out and buy second hand. If you insist, then make sure you are going to a reputable dealer and not someone you met in the pub!
Apart from checking the brakes, gears and tyres, the biggest expense is the hardest to check, and that is the battery.
Replacing a battery can cost from £300 upwards, and if the battery hasn’t been maintained properly, from regular charging to its proper storage, then a bad battery can be a very expensive lesson.
Batteries are usually specific to the make and model of the bike, so you may also find that the battery you need is no longer made, reducing your bike to expensive scrap metal.
Whether you buy new or second hand, some dealers will offer you finance to spread the cost of your purchase, or you could look into getting a loan yourself, on terms that may work better for you.
If you can’t put your e-bike on your home insurance, then there are specialist providers that will insure your e-bike from £100.
The running cost of an e-bike is similar to that of an ordinary bicycle, apart from charging.
Just like a regular bike we recommend servicing your e-bike between every 700 to 1000 miles depending on the type of riding you do, from riding through rough terrain to a consistent more even surface that puts less pressure on the bike.
Regular maintenance of your e-bike will keep it running smoothly, efficiently and safely, and lead to a longer lifespan for the battery and motor.
Charging your e-bike battery will cost around 10p per full charge, depending on your tarriff.
Owning an e-bike is not as cheap as some people think, but over the long term it will save you money on transport costs, and can be a fun way to travel.
For information on e-bike UK law