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So… what exactly is an e-bike and who is it for?

Here at Ribble Valley E-Bikes we know our e-bikes (it’s our business to, after all)! But we don’t expect everyone else to know all the ‘ins and outs’ of an e-bike and how it works.

If you’d like some personal, no-nonsense advice about e-bikes to hire or buy, feel free to pop in and see us or give us a call.

Meanwhile, we thought we’d run through a few of the basic benefits here, for anyone who’s been wondering what’s so great about these Lancashire e-bikes.


Jump to: What does the ‘E’ stand for in ‘Electric Bike’ | Will an Electric Bike be too fast for me? | Are e-bikes complicated to operate? | Who is the typical e-bike rider? | How far can I go on an e-bike?


ebike trough of bowland

What does the ‘E’ stand for in ‘Electric Bike’?

As you might expect, the ‘E’ stands for Electric.

This means that an e-bike works just like an ordinary pedal bike, but with an integrated electrical drive system.

The motor only operates while you’re pedalling, so it’s not like a scooter or motorbike. It simply gives you an additional boost to make light work of hills and gives you a little extra help to cover more miles with less effort.

Will an Electric Bike be too fast for me?

No. You are completely in control and assistance is only provided up to speeds of 15.5mph. (25kmh).

The power of the electric motor on all e-bikes is limited to 250 watt and because they are within this limit (unlike a motor vehicle) it means they can be used anywhere a conventional bicycle can – allowing you to take advantage of the many beautiful lanes and bridleways the Hodder Valley and Forest of Bowland have to offer.

Are e-bikes complicated to operate?

Not at all. And while the technology may differ between manufacturers, the general operating principles remain the same throughout.

With one of our Volt hire bikes, for example, there’s an on/off button and a key ‘fob’ to switch it on. On the left handlebar there’s a small screen with two buttons next to it. Press ‘+’ or ‘-’ to choose the level of assistance you’d like: None, Normal, Low, Medium or High. And all the normal things like pedals, brakes, conventional gears etc are all exactly where you’d expect them to be.

Who is the typical e-bike rider?

You have to be 14 years of age (minimum) to ride an e-bike on the road. Other than that… there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ e-bike rider!

So far, at Ribble Valley E-Bikes we have welcomed:

  • Experienced cyclists looking to try a different riding experience.
  • Occasional cyclists who want to improve their fitness.
  • Families with young children who want to explore the countryside at more than a toddler’s walking pace! (Take a look at our accessories page to see the options for riding with little ones).
  • Social groups looking for a new activity to share.
  • Older cyclists who find hills a bit harder.
  • Parents and grandparents who want to keep up with the kids on their bikes.
  • Inexperienced cyclists, or those re-visiting cycling for recreation.
  • People recovering from injuries and/or medical treatment.
  • Under-confident cyclists who worry about not being able to finish a ride.
  • Walkers/hikers who want another way to see more of the countryside in the time available.

We’ve had a number of customers choose to buy an e-bike for the above reasons, as well as the fact they offer a cheap and healthy commute, without relying on public transport.

How far can I go on an e-bike?

The honest answer is – it mostly depends on the model of bike and the route you take.

The stated maximum range for a Volt Pulse, for example, is 60 miles. But with the hills, fells and wind resistance we’re blessed with around here – that’s highly unlikely, unless you’re willing to put an awful lot of effort into pedalling the old fashioned way.

Battery range is affected by factors like the terrain, rider weight, and how you choose to use the bike. You can go much further if you use the power more conservatively. When planning your first ride, we’d suggest you target a maximum 30-40 miles, depending on your level of fitness.

To put it simply; you could keep it on high and laughingly fly up all the hills – but you would want to choose a shorter route. Or you can pedal a little bit harder, use the assistive power more sparingly, and go much further. It’s entirely up to you.

trough of bowland

Beauty and the bikes

Based in the beautiful Hodder Valley (Dunsop Bridge), Ribble Valley E-Bikes Ltd is perfectly placed for customers to hire an e-bike an explore some of the best cycling routes and most stunning scenery in the country.

We’re continuing to add new models to our hire fleet, and our online bike shop will soon be up and running with a wide range of bikes at sensible prices. As well as simply being a great day out, hiring an e-bike is also a good way to ‘try before you buy’.

Still have questions?

Give us a shout, Stef or Roger would be happy to help.

Roger Wolstenholme

administrator