1. You can borrow an electric bike for 2 whole days to try out
As with any bike on display in our shops, you can ask to take one of our e-bikes out for a quick spin. Better still, you can arrange to take one away for a full two-day tryout so you can discover for yourself just what it’s capable off.
When you return the bike after its 2-day demo we will reward you with a £100 gift voucher to reimburse the £100 hire charge. Can’t say fairer than that.
2. We stock the best electric bike brands
After testing e-bikes from dozens of companies over the years, we are confident that our current electric bike range could not be bettered in terms of the attributes we look for in electric bikes – that is reliability, power, range, technical backup, value for money and, perhaps most important of all, grin factor.
- Whyte – trust the UK experts in smart commuter bikes to pioneer Shimano’s STEPS e-bike system, famed for offering the smoothest auto-transition between pedal and pedal assist mode.
- Kalkhoff – if you’re looking for an all-rounder electric bike that’s as capable on a rough Sustrans track as it is on tarmac you should check out Kalkhoff e-trekking bikes – each one fitted with mudguards, rack, kickstand, dynohub lighting and the industry’s longest life battery (good for over 1,000 charges compared with the industry standard, 500 charges).
- Specialized – Imagine a mountain bike that gets you up 25-degree gravelly gradients with ease and can descend like an enduro bike. That, in a nutshell, describes the 90Nm-torque Specialized Turbo e-MTB.
- Haibike – More than any other brand in their native Germany, Haibike are the company that made e-MTBs a viable option for all types of mountain bikers from avid trail riders to MTB returnees to complete newbies.
3. We keep your electric bike’s brain up to date
New technologies require new maintenance skills. Be assured that our mechanics have the training, the experience and the tech required to run diagnostics on the major e-bike systems (STEPS, Bosch, Brose, Yamaha and Impulse) so we can upgrade yours with the latest updates and ensure that the electronics are working at an optimal level.
4. We offer a specially tailored electric bike service
Electric bikes, like any bike, have moving parts which demand care and attention. On top of that, the electronic parts need looking after. With all our electric bike expertise, we’re now happy to offer a specific e-bike servicing option which means we’ll get your e-bike working good as new. Read more on electric bike servicing and repairs…
5. We’ve been doing electric bikes for 20 years
When electric bikes first appeared around 20 years ago they were generally considered an interesting option – especially for people who wouldn’t consider a regular bike. At the Bike Co-op, we are fervently non-elitist. We believe any initiative or innovation that gets more people pedalling is a good thing, so we’ve been quietly championing e-bikes for two decades.
Over the last couple of years electric bikes have come on so far we can make a fair case to suggest that e-bikes are a viable option for almost anyone – including those of us that still mostly ride non-electric (we call them, ‘acoustic’) bikes.
All this experience means that when you visit our shops, including our online helpline, we will be delighted to advise you on which e-bike model(s) in which size might best suit your needs.
If you want to discuss ‘Wh’ (Watt hours – governs run time per charge), torque (measured in Nm or ‘Newton meters’) and the relative benefits of different motor units in greater detail, you can be confident that you’ll be talking to someone well versed in e-bike technology.
Why choose an electric bike at all?
E-bikes have come of age
Electric bikes used to not be as nice to look at as their non-electric counter parts, they were extremely heavy (even heavier than the 20-odd kilos they are now), the range on the battery wasn’t great, and the electrics weren’t dependable. As long as you stick with reputable brands like the ones we offer, we’re delighted to say all of that has changed.
Try out any of our e-bikes and we defy you not to come back with a grin on your face.
They look normal now
With the motor integrated into the bottom bracket and the battery pack looking like it’s part of the frame, today’s best e-bikes look pretty much like regular bicycles. This is a good thing because other riders won’t know you’re enjoying up to 90Nm torque power assistance when you’re overtaking them.
Long-range big battery capacity
E-bikes have benefitted from the billions of dollars ploughed into battery technology research by the likes of the mobile phone and electric car industries in recent years.
Today’s best e-bikes consistently deliver 30 miles in max (300%-plus) power assist mode in the most challenging conditions, and over 100 miles in 50% power assist in eco mode.
Such capacity pretty much banishes ‘range anxiety’ – the concern that the motor might run out of gas five miles from home, as was sometimes the case with first generation e-bikes.
A useful analogy is to consider how far high-power bicycle front lights have come on since the 1990s when you only got around an hour run time from the kilo-plus lead-acid external battery that powered the 100-lumen halogen lamp.
E-bikes might be heavier but they ride light
With its motor and a high capacity battery, an e-bike might be 6kg heavier than an equivalent acoustic bike, but this weight penalty is barely noticeable when it engine bestows the e-bike with gravity-defying power, which makes the bike feel weightless whenever you point it uphill or into a headwind.
An e-bike’s power assistance means you really don’t notice the weight of anything you carry on it – shopping, touring panniers or your first-born.
Its cargo-carrying capacity therefore makes an e-bike more practical and useful for everyday riding than, say, a nice lightweight acoustic bike, which you might not be inclined to use as a packhorse.
Ride to work on one of today’s power assisted electric bike and you can arrive at your destination cool and collected, no matter how hilly the route or howling the wind.
The comparative lack of effort required doesn’t just make an e-bike attractive to people who never previously considered cycling. Today’s typical e-bike rider is as likely to be a regular cyclist who just doesn’t fancy a long, unassisted pedal every day as our Simon revealed here.
High torque for high climbs
Today’s 60 to 90Nm motor units have the turning power and acceleration required to boost you up the steepest inclines.
Electric Mountain Bikes
Bicycle shops on the Continent are reporting that e-MTBs now account for half their mountain bikes sales.
Why? Because when you can ride the long, grueling climb four times faster, you’re more likely to repeat that experience again and again.
An e-MTB opens up options for different kinds of riding.
You could ride three times farther and enjoy the same level of workout as you would on your regular circuit. Or you can get round your favourite circuit much quicker when time (and/or your energy level) is at a premium. Also, an e-MTB can be a great leveller if your riding buddies/partner are significantly faster or slower than you on a regular bike.
As Bob Dylan (who went electric in 1965) sang – the first one now will later be last. The grin on the face of the weaker cyclist when they drop a stronger rider is one of the irresistible pleasures of e-biking.
Our customers who like to initialise sometimes refer to Edinburgh Bike Co-op as The EBC. Such is the surge in interest in e-bikes, we wonder if one day the majority of our customers will think of EBC as the Electric Bike Co-op…