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FAQ: What is an e-bike? How does it work? How do I ride it?

An e-bike is a bicycle with electric motor to help you along. You ride it much like you ride a normal bicycle, but with less effort.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of e-bike.

‘Factory’ e-bikes are bikes that designed from the ground up as e-bikes: our range includes Kalkhoff, Moustache, Faraday and others.

‘Kit’ e-bikes are ordinary bicycles with an electric motor kit retrofitted. We offer a Lekkie motor kit, which we can fit on many of the bikes we stock, or even install on your own bike.

Both of these types of e-bikes can come in many styles, from commuter bikes to full-suspension mountain bikes, and everything in between. Our focus is on urban and cargo bikes, used for commuting, transport, or pleasure. To that end, we stock bikes that have a focus on quality, are beautiful to look at, and will last a long time.

An e-bike motor works by automatically switching on the (quiet) motor when you pedal. There are two different types of motor: motors that are in the wheel hub, and motors that are in the crank. Both types have their pros and cons - it all depends on the type of riding you're planning on doing. 

As a rule, crank motors provide a more authentic bicycle experience. This is because the motor senses how much power you are putting into the pedals (using a torque sensor), and responds proportionally (that is, the harder you pedal, the more the motor helps you). This makes you feel like you have extra strong legs! Crank motors tend to be more responsive than wheel hub motors, and allow the bicycle to roll more freely without the additional drag of a motor in the hub. We stock several e-bike models with crank motors made by Bosch and the German-produced Impulse. We also offer a crank motor kit: the Lekkie Summit.

Wheel hub motors offer a simpler design. Most wheel hub motors do not sense how much power you are making with your legs, so they will generally be either ‘on’ or ‘off’ (though one exception is the beautiful Faraday, which has a separate torque sensor in the crank). We stock several e-bike models with wheel hub motors including Vintage Electric and Faraday. We also offer a wheel hub motor kit: the Lekkie Explorer.

All of our e-bikes allow you to adjust how much power you want, or to switch off the power altogether and ride it like a non-electric bike. The Lekkie kits also have an optional thumb throttle, which allows you to apply power without pedaling.