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Electric Bike Buyer's Guide

The numbers don't lie; Ebikes are the fastest growing category in the bicycle industry. But there's still a lot of confusion around what they are, what they're capable of, and the laws that apply to them. If you're considering buying an electric bike, or if you just want to read up on the facts, this electric bike guide will answer many of your questions and show you some of the great models that we carry.


What are Ebikes?

There are a lot of questions about what exactly electric bikes are, and we want to set the record straight, whether you're just doing research or you are wondering if an e-bike is right for you. The electric bikes that we and nearly all other bicycle shops sell are special bicycles that are outfitted with a battery and a motor that combine to give riders an extra boost while they're pedaling. There are different kinds, or classes, of e-bikes but we break down each one later in this guide with much more detail. 


How do they work?

As we stated earlier, the e-bikes we sell are powered by a battery and motor that give riders a boost while they are pedaling. This process is called pedal-assist because the motor is only engaged when you push the pedals. Once engaged, the motor draws power from the battery and provides a gentle increase in speed and torque so you can ride faster, farther, and over more hills. Typically these electric bikes have multiple modes that provide varying levels of assist so you can choose how much help you want and how fast you want to go up to a predetermined speed cap. This allows riders to get help when they need it, like when they want to get to the office on time or want to get up a steep hill.

And don't worry, these e-bikes won't break down if the battery runs down. They are just like regular bikes in that you can pedal and change gears just like you normally would even if you decide to ride long enough to drain your battery. Fortunately, that will almost never be the case, as new e-bike technology and powerful batteries can allow riders to ride anywhere from 40-80 miles or more on a single charge. That's more than enough range to get to work and back or go on a serious joyride, and with charging times varying from 2-5 hours, it's easy to always have plenty of juice.

Who are Ebikes for?

In a nutshell, e-bikes are for everyone. Electric bikes are getting more people on bikes all over the world, and over the years, different models have been developed for all kinds of riding categories. If you like to ride, you might love what e-bikes can do.

  • There are Ebikes that make it easier for those who are looking to drive less and start commuting to work on their bikes.
  • There are Ebikes for people who want to get fit and exercise more often but want a little help to get some momentum.
  • There are Ebikes for would-be riders with strength and mobility issues that make traditional bikes too painful or difficult.
  • There are Ebikes for already-fit mountain bikers and road cyclists who just want to ride farther and longer and have a blast doing it.
All in all, if you've ever wanted to ride more, there's an e-bike you'll love. Read on to explore this electric bike guide that will answer more questions, provide meaningful insight, and show off some of the best Ebikes available today.  

How do you choose an Ebike?

If you're sold on the idea of electric bikes and stoked on the way they can change the way you ride (and your life!), your next step it to figure out which bike type and model best suits your needs. 

If you're looking for some guidance, choosing an electric bike can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Settle on the style: The idea is to choose e-bike that best fits the way you like to ride or want to ride. By choosing a style we mean deciding between an electric mountain bikeelectric road bikeelectric commuter bike, or electric cruiser bike.
  2. Determine desired features: Is top speed your highest priority? Is it battery range? Comfort? Do you need integrated lights or cargo racks? What about weight? As you hone in on the style of bike you want, you should consider what attributes you care most about so you can find a model that ticks those boxes. 

  3. Compare models with details in mind: When you've got the desired style and features in mind, you're ready to start shopping around and comparing similar models. If two models have lots of similar features, see what details set them apart. Look at things like how the remote operates, whether there is a display, if there is an app that integrates to your phone, if the battery can be locked and how it charges. The goal is here is to think about the little things that will make riding and maintaining your e-bike a breeze.

  4. Test ride your favorites: The absolute best way to figure out which e-bike you'll like best is to ride them! By visiting your local bike shop and riding a few contenders and speaking with professionals, you'll be sure to come away with the model that's the best choice for you. 

Our Favorite Electric Bikes

Take a look at our favorite Ebikes that are raising the bar.

light weight electric bikes

Light Weight EBikes

While some e-bikes tend to be bulky and super powerful, a new wave of innovation is taking the industry by storm: high performance light weight electric bikes. They provide enough boost to help you pedal faster, farther, and higher without sacrificing ride quality. They look and ride like regular bikes, just with an added boost when you need it!

Models like the Trek Fuel EXeTrek E-Caliber, and Pivot Shuttle SL are great lightweight eMTB models to check out for riding trails.

Lightweight electric road models include the Trek Domane+ line and the Pivot E-Vault.

EBike Brands

The Bike Shoppe carries some of the best recognized and highest quality brands available. With models from industry leaders like Trek, Electra, Haibike, Santa Cruz, Pivot, and Yeti, you'll be sure to find a great Ebike at an impressive value whether you're looking for a commuter bike, a road bike, or a mountain bike.

Electric Bike Classes

Are you aware that there are three different classes of E-bikes? Do you know the differences between each class? Check out the breakdown of each E-bike class here.

Electric Bike Motors

How do these drive systems work anyway? Learn more about pedal-assist electric bike motors, how they work, and what they can do.

EBike Laws

Learn more about the laws and restrictions governing E-bike use in Utah.

EBike FAQs

In the United States, electric bikes are a relatively new facet to cycling. Bikes are constantly changing to keep up with the influx of technology and innovation. We hope to help you make sense of all the information. Our Electric Bike FAQ page will teach you more about E-bikes so you can make informed decisions and purchases.