Electric Hybrid Bikes Buying Guide
Versatile and fun to ride, electric hybrid bikes are the future for many cyclists. Designed with efficiency in mind, they are a green alternative to cars and public transport and a fast and streamlined way from A to B, whether commuting, running errands, or riding for leisure.
As the technology evolves, these bikes are becoming increasingly accessible, with models available to meet a wide range of needs and price points. This article explores all aspects of electric hybrid bikes, aiming to leave you equipped with the knowledge needed to start your e-bike journey.
What Is An Electric Hybrid Bike?
Although there are many types to choose from, an electric hybrid bike is essentially a standard hybrid bike equipped with a motor and battery, offering powered assistance with each pedal stroke.
Comfortable and efficient, these bikes offer varying levels of support and extensive battery ranges to see you arrive at your destination sweat-free, making them a viable alternative to commuting via public transport or by car.
Although powerful, the motor systems on these bikes are intuitive and easy to ride, delivering natural support that mimics the feel of a traditional hybrid. With comfort in mind, the geometry provides an upright and relaxed cycling position that is easy on the back and neck, and many models feature a step-through frame for ease of access.
Early electric bikes were heavy and cumbersome, but this has since changed. Current models feature a smaller footprint with improved motor and battery integration, allowing many to retain the aesthetic of a non-electric frame. As technology has evolved, electric bikes have become lighter, making them easier to manoeuvre and less unwieldy whilst off the bike.
What's The Difference Between Hybrid Electric and Standard Electric Bikes?
Although homogeneous with other electric bikes, electric hybrid bikes feature a host of features that allow them to excel across a host of environments and terrains. They emphasise comfort and practicality and are distinct in their accessibility, making them a practical choice for riders seeking convenience over outright performance within a specific cycling discipline.
Motor and Battery Systems
Between hybrids and other styles of electric bike, there is a lot of crossover within the motors they use, but brands such as Bosch, Yamaha and Shimano each offer a system dedicated to leisure/city use. Reliable and affordable, these motors deliver smooth, natural power for cruising through town centres and steep village climbs alike. A good example would be the excellent Bosch Active Line series, which blends powerful support with whisper-quiet performance and steady, easily controlled acceleration.
As the technology has evolved, there has been a rise in lightweight electric hybrid bike designs. These products combine low-profile motor systems, such as those manufactured by Ebikemotion, with a slimline battery to provide an exceptional ride quality that mirrors a non-electric bike. This low weight comes at a compromise, with these models often seeing a slight reduction in their overall range. They tick all the boxes for shorter commutes and trips around town, however, making it easy to carry your electric bike upstairs within an office or in and out of the home.
Pannier Rack, Mudguard and Kickstand Compatibility
Unlike their more performance-oriented electric road and mountain bike siblings, electric hybrid bikes are often compatible with a range of bolt-on cycle accessories. Ideal for commuting in the rain and carrying luggage, these bikes often feature eyelets to mount mudguards and pannier racks to your bike, as well as a kickstand if required.
Comfort and Convenience
A key focus for electric hybrid bikes is rider comfort. Plush saddles and handlebar grips make cycling a breeze, even when wearing casual clothes, while the relaxed geometry allows for an upright cycling position that prioritises ergonomics over outright speed.
For riding in low-light conditions, built-in bike lights that run off the battery can be found on many models in our range, and some even feature charging ports to keep your devices topped up whilst on the move.
Types of Electric Hybrid Bike
Hub-Motor Electric Hybrid Bikes
Often cheaper than their mid-motor equivalents, hub-motors offer a reduced footprint over those situated within the frame and are a high-value option for occasional use. This style of motor is small and lightweight, perfect for quick trips around town and rides on undulating roads, but lacks the power found on more performance-oriented mid-drive designs.
Mid-Motor Electric Hybrid Bikes
With a direct, responsive feel and powerful performance, mid-motor electric hybrid bikes are the best choice for daily cyclists seeking natural handling and the ability to cruise up steeper gradients. Housed within the bottom bracket, this style of motor lowers the bike's centre of gravity, improving control on the bike and delivering an intuitive ride experience similar to a traditional cycle.
Electric Hybrid Bikes for City/Town Riding
Are you looking to skip the gridlock and ride your electric bike in a town or city environment? Then there are a few key features to consider. To improve your speed and traction on the tarmac, look for low-profile tyres to reduce your rolling resistance. Tyre width matters too, with wider tyres providing a lever of comfort and traction that narrower tyres cannot deliver.
Mudguard compatibility is a must-have for riding all year round, helping to fend off rain and road spray whilst cycling in poor weather conditions, while a pannier rack will allow you to stow luggage and shopping with ease.
Electric Hybrid Bike Frame Styles
When browsing electric hybrid bikes, one of the most prevalent differences between models will be the varied styles of frame. Traditionally split by gender, the majority of our stock is unisex, with many models being available to purchase with a choice of frame style to suit your preference.
Electric Hybrid Bikes for Off-Road, Bridleway and Cyclepath Riding
When looking to purchase an electric hybrid bike for mixed-terrain use, there are features to keep in mind to enhance your off-road experience. A suspension fork will take the sting out of potholes, ruts and roots, and is necessary for riding much of the UK's bridleway network.
Wider tyres with a deeper tread will help improve traction on loose surfaces, and tall cornering knobs will instil confidence when descending and turning on slick terrain. Mudguards will deflect dirt and grime whilst riding in poor conditions and it is recommended to seek out tyres with a degree of puncture resistance to prevent unwanted flats.
Straight, Sloping and Standard Top Tube Frames
Also known as a step-over frame, this classic design is found on almost all performance-focused bikes. Stiff and durable, this style of frame is composed of a front and rear triangle, a proven design that delivers robust performance and a quality ride character. With electric hybrid bikes, this style is best suited to taller riders and those who can easily step over the height of the top tube.
One of the greatest successes of electric bikes is bringing the world of cycling to a broader audience. Step-thru style frames are low-slung, offering improved accessibility for riders who may struggle with the height of a standard top tube. Also known as an easy or low-step frame, this unisex design is ideal for riders commuting to work in their formal wear, allowing easy on/off for cyclists with a reduced range of motion.
Our Best Selling Electric Hybrid Bikes
Turbo Vado SL 4.0 Step-Through Electric Hybrid Bike 2021
Smooth and efficient, the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 is a premium offering, ideal for commuting, city trips and more. The custom Specialized SL 1.1 motor is lightweight and gifts this bike exceptional handling, while integrated lights shine the way when cycling in low-light conditions.
Cannondale Quick Neo 2 SL Electric Hybrid Bike 2021
With its lightweight design and sporty performance, the Cannondale Quick Neo 2 SL delivers the boost you need to get out and explore. It features an Ebikemotion hub-drive system and a vibration-damping carbon fork for a smooth, fun ride character, reminiscent of a traditional, non-electric bike, with all the power you need to cruise up steep climbs.
Kinesis Lyfe Equipped Electric Hybrid Bike 2021
With up to 75km of range and a sleek, integrated battery design, the Kinesis Lyfe Equipped is the perfect pairing for the fast pace of city life. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes deliver exceptional control, even in poor weather conditions, while mudguards and a pannier rack are pre-fitted for your convenience,
Orbea Vibe H30 Electric Hybrid Bike 2021
With its sophisticated design and sleek, modern lines, the Orbea Vibe H30 guarantees you’ll reach your destination in style. Its long list of features will appease any tech-savvy cyclist, with its integrated lights, hidden cables and fast-rolling, puncture-resistant tyres delivering state of the art performance across a range of surfaces. An aftermarket range extender is also available, ensuring all-day performance and versatility.
The Benefits of Electric Hybrid Bikes
They Offer Support for all Riders
Whether a seasoned athlete or first-time rider, electric hybrid bikes offer the boost you need to get out and explore. Although packing enough power to see you up even the toughest hills, they are easy to ride, even for inexperienced cyclists. This assistance makes them a fun and fast choice for riders of all backgrounds, regardless of their fitness or skill level.
A Source of Exercise
Far from a lazy option, it is still possible to exercise on an electric bike, with the range of assistance levels allowing you to choose how much effort you put in. A common misconception is that electric hybrid bikes don’t benefit your fitness, when in fact, they open up the world for exploration, encouraging you to spend more time in the saddle, overcoming the inhibitions associated with a standard non-electric bike.
A Reduced Carbon Footprint
There is no way to ignore it - the climate crisis is reaching a tipping point, and we all must play our part to reduce our carbon footprint. Whether commuting or taking a trip into town, swapping your petrol or diesel car for an electric bike can help limit your emissions, and with the cost of petrol soaring and the roads getting ever busier, can you afford not to get an electric bike
Fastest Way to Commute
An electric hybrid bike could be your ticket to a faster commute, allowing you to skip the city congestion and take the most direct route to your destination. As opposed to throttle acceleration, the motor delivers powerful assistance with each pedal stroke, helping you to fly up hills and reach your place of work with time to spare, all without breaking a sweat.