Electric Hybrid Bike
An electric hybrid bike is a motorized combination of a mountain bike and a road bike. With a hybrid e bike you get the best of both worlds. With a more comfortable seat and handle bar for everyday use but still being able to go fast and off-road. It’s therefore good to use for both your work commute as well as leisure off-road driving. If you use your bike to get to work and also like to hit the trails in the weekend then this is therefore the perfect option for you!
Electric Hybrid Bikes: What are they good for and who are they aimed at?
Electric Hybrid bikes are one of the most versatile styles of bike and cater to a wide range of cyclists, purposes and terrains thanks to their excellent design. They can typically be found with flat handlebars and a relaxed seating position to offer greater comfort over more enthusiast-level bikes. Hybrid e-bikes can be used for those seeking to get some exercise, with features such as slimmer tyres to help maintain speed, and a pedal assist motor which can help you to ride further and for longer. Electric hybrid bicycles are also excellent options for urban commuting thanks to their more relaxed geometry and functional design, often with rim or disc brakes for powerful stopping in all conditions and with easy gearing to handle almost any hill. Commuting on an electric bike also allows you to arrive fresh and sweat-free, ready for the day ahead. For those looking to stray from the tarmac there are e-hybrids which can handle rougher terrain, with puncture-resistant, knobbly tyres made for tow paths and uneven roads. Hybrid bikes can be a perfect option for leisure rides, when there is no set destination and you don’t have to worry about running low on physical energy because you have electric assistance thanks to the nifty motor.
Benefits of an electric hybrid bike:
Electric hybrid bikes are popular because they offer many advantages as a form of transport, not only over standard bicycles but also public transport in particular.
- They are very cost-effective to run and a full charge will only set you back around 20-30p. Makes a bus ticket suddenly seem a lot more expensive doesn’t it?
- They allow you to still exercise whilst enabling you to ride further at a higher speed. Pedal assist e-hybrid bikes are great because you can choose how much effort you want to put in. If you’re feeling full of energy then you can dial down the assistance, but if you need some more help then you can ramp up the power.
- They can easily handle extra weight from luggage racks and bags which might otherwise strain your back and shoulders. There is nothing worse than arriving at the office tired and out of breath, and an electric hybrid bike helps get you there on time without breaking a sweat.
- They are still bikes. This is an important fact which sometimes people can forget. They are still bicycles. They can freewheel just like a normal hybrid bike and you don’t have to pay tax to use them. You can use cycle paths and enjoy all the benefits of standard bicycles but with an added boost.
- Electric hybrid bikes often have heavier-duty features than standard hybrid bikes have as the materials and components have to be tested to a greater weight strain and for higher speeds than a normal urban bike. Think puncture-resistant tyres, a drivetrain tested to handle more power and a reinforced front fork and frame among just some of the features.
- Any integrated accessories such as lighting or displays will be powered off the main bike battery and this means you don’t have to remember to keep charging them all separately.
- They are better for the environment than a car. It’s a simple fact but a bicycle produces far fewer pollutants than a car does, even when looking at energy output by itself.
What makes a hybrid electric bike so special?
Electric hybrid bikes can often be found with a whole host of additional features designed to enhance usability and functionality; another reason for their popularity.
- Mudguards: Most hybrid models come equipped with mudguards which are designed to prevent you from getting wet or dirty on your journey or commute, whilst also protecting the bicycle from the worst of the dirt and therefore prolonging the life of the motor and battery.
- Front and rear lights: A large number of hybrid bikes now come equipped with front and rear lights which allow you to ride safely in low-light conditions, whilst offering additional visibility during the day. These lights run off the battery on the bike, so you never need to charge them separately or remember to have to attach or remove them.
- Kickstand: Hybrid Bikes weigh a significant amount more than a standard hybrid bike due to their powerful motor, battery and reinforced frame. Therefore, it can sometimes be more difficult to hold the bike upright, and this is where a kickstand comes in handy. These are often found on most electric hybrid bicycles and offer an easy way of propping the bike up without risking damaging it by leaning it against a rough service or it even falling over.
- Wide gearing: Most electric hybrid bikes come equipped with multiple gears to allow the rider to handle almost any terrain, from steep hills to faster downhill sections on their journey.
- Racking: Some of the more functional hybrid bikes come fully equipped with front and rear racks which can allow you to attach pannier bags and other storage options. This is an excellent feature and makes a hybrid bike ideal for anything from a trip to the supermarket, to and from work with clothes, groceries, work etc all stored away in waterproof luggage
What size hybrid e-bike do I need
Sizing can depend on your build, but there are a number of key elements to help you find the right size. Stand-over height is important and you should always make sure you can stand over the frame with a minimum 2cm gap between you and the top tube. Measure your height accurately and check the manufacturer’s measurements as well. You can also view our handy size guide to work out which frame size is best for you. For most bikes you will need your inside leg measurement and height to get a steer on frame size. Typically, you will be able to find a hybrid bike for yourself if you’re height is between 4ft 11” / 150cm to 6ft 6” / 198cm.
What is a step-through frame?
As one of the most diverse types of bike, electric hybrids can be found in a wide range of shapes and forms to cater to different types of rider.
- Classic frame: This frame features a horizontal top tube as found on most classic-style bikes and are more commonly associated with men’s models. The straight top tube keeps the frame stiff and strong, preventing warping over time.
- Step-through: One of the most traditional frame designs and commonly found across Europe, the step-through frame is ideal for those who need a little more assistance getting on to a bike. With a dropped top tube, the frame makes it easy to hop on and off the bike and is particularly popular with women due to the lower stand-over height.
Electric Bike Batteries:
Electric bikes feature a wide range of battery shapes and capacities, dependent on budget and design. The most common position for a battery on an electric hybrid bike is on the rear rack which offers no-nonsense functionality and allows the rider to easily insert and remove the battery. These are synonymous with traditional electric bike design and more common on lower-end models. Premium models now offer fully integrated batteries which sit inside the downtube of a bicycle. This allows the bike to more closely resemble a standard bicycle and helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the bike. The battery can still be easily removed but sometimes will not offer the same capacity as a rear rack-mounted battery due to size limitations.
In terms of electric bike battery capacity, once again there is a wide variety dependent on design and budget. It is typical to find an electric hybrid bike with between 300- 500Wh battery capacities as a rough guide. They are often measured in WH which stands for Watt Hours. This power capacity is how much energy is stored within the battery. A Watt Hour is the voltage (power) that the battery provides multiplied by how much current (Amps) the battery can provide for some amount of time (generally in hours).
Type of Electric Bike Motor:
The majority of Electric Hybrid Bikes offer a pedal assist which requires the rider to continue pedalling in order to gain any assistance from the motor. This is a great way to do some exercise whilst also being able to ride further and faster than without the motor. The other type of electric bike is a Twist & Go which refers to turning the throttle for instant power and forward motion. This motor type has been subject to recent changes in British law and accelerates up to 3.7mph before cutting out. The bike can then continue accelerating with pedalling assistance from the rider. All electric bikes used in the UK are limited electronically to 15.5mp/h or 25kmh in accordance with British law.
There are three key positions for where the motor is placed on an electric hybrid bike. The first is within the main drivetrain and chainset which often results in an overhang under and around this area as the motor sits here. This position allows for a balanced ride and powers the drivetrain itself which makes it powerful, quick and responsive. The second position is within the hub of the rear wheel. This is often found in electric road bikes due to the impressive weight-saving benefits but is also popular in selected electric hybrid bikes. This motor works by powering the rear wheel first but can be less powerful than a drivetrain-based motor. The third position is within the hub of the front wheel and is usually seen in smaller hybrid bikes and folding models where there is a lower centre of gravity. This results in fast and nippy power transfer but is not as balanced as the other two motor positions.
Which wheel size should I choose?
Electric Hybrid bikes can feature a variety of different wheel sizes, dependant on the style of bike. These can include smaller wheels on Electric cargo hybrid bikes (typically around the 16-20” wheel mark) which are agile and quick to get moving, but more commonly will be 700c or in the 28” region as standard. This wheel size is optimal from a rolling perspective, whilst the electric motor gives enough assistance to allow the bike to easily accelerate from standstill. The other common size is 26” and this is typically found on entry-level and more traditional bicycles, utilising the slightly older industry standard for most bikes.
What are Electric Hybrid Bikes made from?
Electric hybrid bikes are commonly constructed from two different metals: aluminium or steel. A steel-framed electric hybrid bike is often available in more affordable models and can add weight but benefits from superb strength and stiffness. More common now is for an electric hybrid bike to be constructed from aluminium as this offers a significant weight saving over steel, whilst also maintaining strength, durability and price. Many of the largest bike brands now offer different classes of aluminium and things to look out for include the tidiness of welds, internal cable routing options and overall lightness.
What about range?
One of the most asked questions when looking for an electric bike is related to the range and the distance the bike can cover. There is no single answer as this depends on a wide range of conditions. The battery capacity ultimately dictates the range of an electric bike and this should help give an initial steer. The motor is another key element and different motors are designed with different uses in mind, whether it’s for performance or economy of movement. The speed you ride / mode you select can also have a significant effect on range, as can the terrain you will be riding and surface. Typically, a hilly trail-based route on a hybrid bike with chunky tyres and the motor set to maximum will have a shorter range than an urban electric hybrid bike set to cycle on flat, paved roads at a lower level of assistance. Most electric bikes offer a minimum of 40 miles, all the way up to 80+ miles for more premium models, and batteries which can charge in around 6 hours. For most people an electric hybrid will be good for a week of use before requiring a recharge.
What is the difference between a hybrid bike and a road bike?
A hybrid bike will typically have flat handlebars and a more relaxed seating position when compared with a road bike. The flat handlebars offer faster and more nimble handling, whilst road bike handlebars feature drops which are great for aero efficiency and extra control at high speeds. The gearing on a hybrid bike won’t be as wide as a road bike because you will be travelling at lower speeds, plus the tyres will be wider and thicker to offer additional stability and protection from punctures. Hybrid bikes are in general made for shorter rides so will not be as comfortable over long distances when compared with a road bike which can handle 100 miles plus.
Are hybrid bikes or mountain bikes better?
This will completely depend on the intended use of the bike. A hybrid bike is ideal for urban areas, tarmac paths, roads and light trails whereas a mountain bike is most at home off the beaten track on trails which utilise the thicket, grippier tyres. If you’re commuting through a forest or trail as well as on some paved sections then a hardtail mountain bike might be a faster option, however if you’re riding through the city then a hybrid bike will excel due to the narrower tyres, nimble handling, lower weight and added functionality.
Which options do you recommend?
The Hybrid Econic One Electric Bike is a perfect and versatile option for a cyclist looking for a functional and reliable bike which can offer extra assistance on your cycle rides. With great features including equipped mudguards, front and rear lights, a battery integrated into the frame and hydraulic disc brakes for impressive stopping power, this is an ideal leisure or commuting electric hybrid bicycle.
Why choose Vansprint?
We make it easy to choose your next bike, with free shipping and 100 days to return the bike if it is not quite how you expected. With the option to pay in instalments, your next electric hybrid bike has never been more affordable. If you are not sure and want to try one first, then you can also book a test ride for free.