How does an electric bike work?
An electric bike is very similar to a standard bike, but it has the added benefit of a battery motor that provides you with a bit of extra power while you are pedalling. This makes pedalling much easier than it would be without the motor, allowing you to go further, for longer and with less effort.
Are e-bikes available on all Explore cycling holidays?
Most Explore cycling tours include the option of an e-bike, but not all, so check the trip notes. They are becoming more common and widespread across Europe especially. However, e-bikes are being made available in new destinations all of the time, so if the trip you want to book doesn't list e-bikes as an option, please speak to our travel experts who can check whether an e-bike has become available in that location.
Do I need to pre-book an e-bike for my holiday?
Yes. Access to e-bikes can be limited in some destinations, so all e-bike requests need to be sent to us when you book or as soon as possible before you travel to ensure we can reserve one for you.
Can I ride an e-bike even if others in the group are on standard bikes?
Yes! Having an e-bike isn't much different from riding a standard bike in terms of access to cycle paths or trails. The main benefit of an e-bike is that it will allow you to keep up with the group if you feel you might be slower than everyone else or just want to relax a bit more and enjoy the views!
How difficult are Explore e-bike tours?
All of our cycling trips are graded
from Leisurely to Challenging. Our grades give an indication of the difficulty of the terrain on the trip, and the distances cycled per day. These factors are the same regardless of your type of bike, but of course an electric bike would help make the hills and distance a bit easier.
Will an e-bike help me if I'm less fit than others in the group?
Yes! But we don't consider riding an e-bike to be cheating. E-bikes make cycling tours accessible to many more people who wouldn't normally consider exploring on two wheels. Also, if you have an injury or perhaps want to travel with a partner or friend who is a bit quicker than you, an e-bike is the perfect alternative to travelling between destinations by car. An e-bike allows you to get up close with nature and feel the thrill of cycling alongside everyone else.
What are e-bikes like on more challenging terrain?
Electric bikes take away all of the strain of riding up a steep hill or into a strong headwind. The motorised assistance will make pedalling feel just as easy as if you were on a smooth and flat tarmac road. You will still need to keep the bike balanced, but the effort required to cover challenging terrain will be much lower.
Do I have to use the electric function all the time?
No, you don't. You can use the motor on the electric bike as much or as little as you want and you can choose the setting, with more or less power, for each section of the ride as you see fit. Some riders choose to use it only when there is a strong headwind or when the gradient gets a bit too challenging. However, do bear in mind that e-bikes are typically heavier than standard bikes, so you may find that it's more comfortable to keep the motor switched on most of the time.
Do I need to charge the battery?
Yes, you will need to charge the bike battery during your trip, but it's very easy to do, and your Tour Leader will show you how. A fully charged battery will last the day's ride, but it is important to make sure the battery is fully recharged each night. Most users take the battery to their hotel room and plug it in overnight to ensure they have full power at the start of each day. Your Tour Leader will remind you to do this, and they will have a few spare batteries to hand just in case.
How long will the battery last?
The more challenging the terrain and weather conditions are, the more power the bike will use, so the battery will drain quicker. However, a fully charged battery can last as much as 100km (62miles), so you should have ample power to get you through a day's riding. Spare batteries should be on hand or a plan is built in to recharge at lunchtime if needed. The bottom line is that the Explore Leader will ensure you won't be left with a dead battery on your ride.
Are e-bikes heavier than a standard bike?
Yes, electric bikes are typically heavier than a standard bicycle. However, the motorised assistance more than makes up for the extra weight, so the riding will still feel easier.
Are e-bikes environmentally friendly?
Yes. Electric bikes are 100% emission-free.
How fast are electric bikes?
In Europe, electric bikes are limited to a maximum speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) by law. However, if the motor is off, you could go faster - if you are freewheeling down a hill, for example.