The different types of electric bikes

With an increasingly mature market, all types of bicycles now have an electrically assisted version.

We will therefore list all the possibilities available to you on the market as well as their main characteristics. The objective is to guide you in your purchasing process and to help you make the right choice according to your use!

If you're ready, let's go!


 

Types of assistance

First of all, let's have a quick look at the two main families of electric assistance available on the EAB. If you want to know more about this subject, do not hesitate to consult our dedicated article. Here we will only go over the key points.

Direct or non-proportionate assistance

This assistance is triggered by a magnetic pedaling sensor. The assistance is triggered only when the sensor detects the passage of the magnets fixed on the crankset. 

The assistance will only stop when the magnetic sensor no longer detects rotation.

Depending on the number of magnets the crankset has, you will notice a delay between your pedal stroke and the start of the assistance.

This assistance is called "non-proportional" because it is totally linear and does not adapt to the pressure you exert on the pedals, nor to the relief. It is you who decides the level of assistance desired.

It is the assistance that equips the majority of the electric bikes of entry of range because it is the least expensive technology.

Proportionate assistance

The proportioned assistance equips more high-end bikes. It starts immediately, the motor starts automatically when pressure on the pedals is detected.

This assistance allows you to have sensations close to classic pedaling because it adapts proportionally to your effort. You will not feel any jerkiness and you will be able to control your speed much better than with the non-proportional assistance.

Types of electrically assisted bicycles

Urban / electric city bike

Usage : Urban travel on roads or pavement.
Recommended audience: these bikes are very popular with "bikepackers" who prefer the bike path to the subway!

The city bike is mainly used for commuting in urban areas.

These bikes are built with comfort and convenience in mind and are designed to allow the rider to sit upright rather than leaning forward like a road bike. They generally have a wider and more comfortable saddle than bikes dedicated to sports.

Most city bikes have fewer gears than road or mountain bikes, and that's not a problem since you're usually riding on the flat when you choose a city bike. 

In the case of a electrically assisted city bikeyou get the best of both worlds: a comfortable bike with a little boost to get to work in the morning so you don't end up swimming in the office!

In conclusion, city bikes are designed to be low-maintenance and to get the rider from point A to point B comfortably, all while being easy to control.


MTB / Electric mountain bike

Usage : Sports practice on all types of terrain.
Recommended audience: Explorers who like to get off the beaten path


A mountain bike (MTB) is usually equipped with large tires spikes that provide greater grip and traction on a variety of surfaces, including gravel, dirt, pebbles and sand.

The tires pressure of MTB is lower than that of road bikes, due to their greater volume and the better traction offered by a softer tire . The rims and spokes of the MTB wheels are stronger and more durable, so that they can withstand the tougher riding conditions involved in MTB.

Choose this type of bike if you plan to ride on dirt trails, rough roads or steep hills. The MTB bikes are usually equipped with multiple gears, robust tires and powerful suspension systems.

Today, electric MTB are invading the trails, and for good reason. They allow you to climb difficult slopes or very rough terrain without needing several months of training! They also allow you to go further, faster, which will spice up your nature outings.


Electric VTC

Usage: To get to work, for weekend rides, or to get off the road once in a while, but watch out for really rough terrain!

Recommended audience: ideal for city dwellers as well as weekend riders who are looking for comfort over performance

The mountain bike (VTC) is between the city bike and the mountain bike, this hybridization makes it more efficient than the MTB on the road but also pleasant on gravelly paths. The mountain bike is generally a robust, comfortable and pleasant bike to ride.

It is therefore the ideal bike for country rides where you will alternate between road and dirt roads.

This hybrid aspect can only have advantages. Although VTCs perform well on the road and on the trail, it cannot be said that they excel in one or the other of these areas. They are therefore primarily aimed at a public looking for comfort, not performance.

The electric VTC is a great ally to travel long distances without too much fatigue, whether to go to work or to explore the surrounding countryside.

Electric road bike

Usage : on the road, sport use

Recommended audience: Heavy rollers

The road bike is designed to take on miles of asphalt with the best possible efficiency with every pedal stroke.

For a long time it was called a "racing bike", but this has become obsolete with the appearance of other types of road bikes, dedicated to more specific uses.

The main interest of the road bike is to be able to reach a high speed while offering a great handling, these bikes generally adopt a light and aerodynamic construction.

This means that the bike can reach fast speeds without unreasonable effort. This makes the road bike design perfect for speed enthusiasts, long-distance riders and competitors.

If you're wondering why it's a good idea to have an electric assist on a road bike, they're perfect for riders coming back from injury, climbers who are getting older, or simply those who want to enjoy the thrill of racing a bike in peace.

The most beautiful French passes are yours, without having to be in "Tour de France" shape.

Electric cargo bike

Usage: Very practical for transporting goods or for your daily commute with your children.
Recommended audience: families or professionals

Cargo bikes are rugged bikes built to carry heavy loads and often two or more people. 

These bikes vary in size and shape, can have two or three wheels, and generally have a longer wheelbase than a standard bike, with room to carry cargo in the front or back. 

The electric cargo bikes are equipped with a pedal-assist system that makes carrying large loads more comfortable and climbing hills easier. They are generally designed to be highly customizable to meet your specific transportation needs.

For example, you can add child bike seats, panniers, crates, rain guards, footrests or even racks for your surfboard!

These bikes are very popular with families to take their children everywhere with them, to do their shopping, to transport various objects... We also see them more and more in the city with couriers!

There are several families of electric cargo bikes:

  • electric scooters
  • electric two-wheelers
  • electric longtails

Electric gravel bike

Usage: Very hybrid, the gravel can take you to work as well as on a ride
Recommended audience: Riders who want a bike that's efficient in all situations

Gravel bikes are a "new" subtype of hybrid bikes. These low handlebar bikes offer a much better off-road experience than a road bike, while moving much faster on the road than a MTB.

The lowered handlebars and sporty construction allow you to get ahead on the road, but with wider tires 's, lower gearing, and more confident handling, you can also venture off-road with confidence.

The gravel is really halfway between the road bike and the MTB.

What distinguishes gravel bikes from other road bikes is their tire. In general, they are equipped with tires at least 35 mm wide and the majority are even 38 mm or more.

These wider tires allow cyclists to easily ride on forest roads, gravel roads and rougher terrain.


Electric tandem

Usage: friendly rides
Recommended audience: they are perfect for couples or families

A tandem allows two cyclists of different levels to ride together without anyone being left behind. It is ideal for an adult and a child but also for couples who want to spend a convivial moment.

These bikes are generally heavier, longer and bulkier than traditional bikes to allow multiple riders to fit comfortably.

Tandem cyclists have distinct roles. The "captain" is the rider sitting at the front of the bike, and is considered the leader of the tandem. He or she controls the direction, pace, braking, shifting and overall balance of the tandem. It is therefore preferable that the more experienced rider be at the front of the tandem rather than the other way around. 

Tandems can accommodate two people, while triples can carry three people.

Many brands now offer electric tandems such as Moustache Bikes or Amsterdam Air.

Folding bikes

Usage : Short trips around town but also to take the train, bus, ...
Recommended audience : City dwellers who lack storage space or who want to be able to take their bike everywhere

The folding bike is designed to be compact when not in use. This makes it easy to transport and store. These bikes are very popular with city dwellers who can easily take it with them on the subway, train and even the bus. 

The advantages of a folding bike in the city compared to a standard bike are threefold:

Portability. Most trains and buses allow you to take a folding bike on board, even during rush hour. These bikes also fit easily into the trunk of your car or into a cab.

Theft prevention. You don't need to secure your bike outside, just fold it up and take it with you to the office or to your friends.

The small footprint. Folding bikes can be easily stored in your apartment, regardless of the size of your living space, which is not the case with conventional bikes.

The electric folding bikes, on the other hand, are perfectly adapted to home/work trips for those who don't want to get their shirt too wet!


Electric fat bike

Usage: Off-road, rough weather, bumpy trails, snow, beach
Recommended audience: Cyclists looking for a fun ride in all environments.


A fat bike is, to put it simply, a bike equipped with tires extra wide. These extra wide tires have some advantages for off-road cycling or in very bad weather (especially snow). 

However, it should be noted that this is not a family of bikes in the strict sense of the word, you can for example find folding bikes with "fat bike" wheels (yes you can!).

Thanks to their tires, these bikes offer a perfect grip and, combined with a low inflation pressure, you will be able to swallow many obstacles.

Fat bikes are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to MTB for off-road riding and bikepacking. They are fun to ride and allow you to ride in environments where no other bike can go, like snow or loose sand.

Their electric version allows to compensate for their weight which is generally above the average, count between 13,5 and 16 kg for the classic fat bikes.

Electric Beach Cruiser

Usage : walks, daily commute
Recommended audience: Cyclists who primarily want a stable, comfortable bike.


The beach cruiser is a popular style of bicycle designed specifically for recreational and comfortable cycling. One of the notable features of a cruiser bike, which sets it apart from other bikes, is the "relaxed" riding position provided by the frame geometry.

Features that contribute to the cruisers' increased comfort include a low, extra-wide seat, wide, raised handlebars and a long wheelbase. 

Designed for comfort, cruisers are perfect for cyclists of all levels!

The wide and durable balloon-like tires used by these bikes also make the ride more stable and enjoyable.

If you have ever rented a bike on the French west coast, chances are it was a beach cruiser!

Electric tricycle

Usage : Walks, travel with your children or just to go shopping
Recommended audience: Cyclists who need more stability

Tricycles are not just for kids! 

Tricycles are more stable than traditional bicycles and are therefore ideal for older people or people with disabilities who wish to remain physically active without taking risks.

They are also very practical because they usually have a large space to carry your groceries or a child comfortably.

While their heavier weight may be a concern, the electric versions of the tricycles make them perfect everyday companions.


Speedbike

The speedbike is simply an electric bicycle whose assistance does not stop beyond 25 km/h. These bikes are considered as motorcycles according to the legislation.

This is not a type of electric bike per se, since any of the above-mentioned types of bike could actually be a speed bike.

If you want to know more about speed bikes, we invite you to discover our article : 25km/h or 45km/h what speed for your electric bike?