What is an electric road bike ? Whilst electric bikes have been around for quite a few years now, electric road bikes are perhaps the newest category to enter the market. Perhaps many “roadies” see electric bikes as cheating so have been more reluctant to embrace e-bike technology than mountain bikers or commuters. Times are changing however and from 2019 onwards many of the main bike manufacturers have begun producing electric road bikes.
Electric road bikes are excellent for longer rides and enable older, less fit riders ride alongside fitter riders on conventional road bikes and cope with more hilly routes.
Currently most e-bike road frames are made of aluminium or allow but as with conventional road bikes carbon fibre is becoming increasingly popular at the higher end of the market. Disk brakes which offer greater stopping power are more or less standard on electric road bikes due to the increased weight.
Batteries and are normally situated in the downtube. Some manufactures such as Boardman sell battery covers which allow their electric road bikes to be ridden without a battery fitted as a conventional road bike.
Motors are produced from a variety of manufacturers such as Yamaha, Bosch, Shimano, Fazua Evation and Bafang. Unlike electric mountain bikes where mostly crank drive electric motors are used, many electric road bikes use hub motors. See here for more information on motor types. Generally motors are are 250 watts.
Like most electric bikes, e-road bikes will offer the rider varying levels of assistance. This can be adjusted via some sort of control unit situated on the handlebars. Most motor systems will pair with a smartphone app allowing adjustment of power levels and display on the control unit.
Chainset components used on electric road bikes are generally the same as those on conventional bikes and are mostly produced by either SRAM or Shimano.
2019/2020 has seen manufacturers such as Boardman, Ribble, Giant, Specialized Orbea etc release their own electric road bikes.