Advantages And Disadvantages Of E-Bikes: Why An E-Bike Is Worthwhile


Should I buy a bike or an e-bike? Some buyers are faced with this question and start pondering before they make a final decision. In our guide, we show you all the advantages and disadvantages of e-bikes to make the purchase decision easier. Who is an e-bike suitable for and in which situations is it worthwhile? Here you will find the pros and cons and at the end of the guide five reasons that speak for the purchase.

Advantages and disadvantages of an e-bike in a nutshell

We don't want to go around the bush for a long time, but rather point out the general advantages and disadvantages of an e-bike.

E-bike advantages

  • more flexibility and independence
  • more varied, longer, and steeper routes are possible
  • less effort on steep stretches and headwinds
  • sporty motivating
  • Keep up with more sporty friends & family members
  • gentle, personalized training is possible
  • variable requirement depending on fitness level
  • environmentally friendly (especially if you swap it for the car on commute)
  • better maps in city traffic
  • E-bike as a job bike: health promotion of employees, employee loyalty, no more looking for a parking space, contribution to climate protection, tax advantages: non-material for private trips)

Brief excursus: Advantages of buying an e-bike by the employer

Company bosses are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of e-bikes and are buying e-bikes for their employees. The so-called “job bike” is selected and paid for by the employer; the employees can now use it for professional and private purposes. The e-bike is repaid through the monthly usage fee in installments that the driver of the e-bike pays.

Good to know: In Austria, private trips with the e-bike do not have to be taxed as benefits in kind.

The e-bike advantages for the employer: happy employees who stay healthy and fit. At the same time, this action protects the environment - the car stops.

E-bike disadvantages

  • Depending on the weather - but  you can also drive it in the rain and winter if you use it correctly
  • higher maintenance costs and effort than conventional bicycles
  • generally high acquisition costs
  • little sustainable and socially acceptable electronics

We deliberately spoke of “general advantages and disadvantages”, because of course the decision for or against an e-bike always depends on the individual needs and expectations of the e-bike. Your driving preferences and individual use also play a role. To subject the pros and cons a little bit, a chapter follows about who is worth an e-bike for and who is not.

For whom an e-bike is worthwhile: How useful is which e-bike?

In principle, an e-bike is suitable for anyone who enjoys cycling. E-bikes have different levels of motor support. That is why e-bikes are ridden by passionate athletes (reading tip: E-Bike World Cup ) as well as by people who would like to cycle more, but who rarely use conventional mountain bikes due to health restrictions.

That means that you have to ask the question: who is which e-bike suitable for? The industry has to offer adapted models for all requirements and bike types. In the list below you will find the different types of e-bikes and an explanation of who which e-bike is suitable.

E-mountain bikes: With an E-MTB, the possibilities of the rider are expanded many times over. The route through the city is of course also possible. Also, forest and forest paths, mountainous terrain, and steep ascents and descents are no problem for the bike. A powerful motor and battery, as well as special shock absorbers, take care of the rest. E-mountain bikes are suitable for everyone who likes to be out in nature and would like to travel longer and steeper stretches than with a conventional MTB. If you are considering buying an eMTB, then you should still clarify whether a hardtail or fully bike is better for you.
E-Fatbikes: Similar to a mountain bike, but very different. They are best known for their thick tires, which are usually twice as wide as those on an e-mountain bike. This provides more buoyancy on the sand, snow, rocks, and in the mud. As you can see, an electric fat bike is suitable for everyone who cycles outside of the average comfort zone. Fatbikes were first ridden in the North American forests - for this reason, they are also used in this country for demanding tours in the forest . The thick tires make you float over the roots.
City e-bike: In the city nowadays nobody has to pedal without assistance - the city bike is available with a motor! This type is suitable for everyone who is on firm and flat paths (i.e. mainly asphalt) on roads and bike paths. If you live in an urban area and “only” want to do your shopping and commute to work by bike, the city e-bike is ideal. If long tours on fixed paths are also on the program, we recommend e-trekking bikes.
E-trekking bikes: Do you love long and sporty bike tours and would you like to be able to reach more distant places in the future? Then a trekking bike is right for you. The high battery capacity makes it ideal for driving on asphalt and paved roads. With electronic trekking bikes, powerful models can achieve a range of up to 200 km. Nothing stands in the way of the next multi-day bike excursion!

Mid-engine vs. Front-wheel drive: advantages and disadvantages of the drive systems

Another advantage-disadvantages debate arises from the different drive systems. Let's take a look at the different drive systems and the engine. After all, they form something like the heart of the e-bike and only turn it into an electric bike.

Hub motor with front-wheel drive or mid-motor?
The hub motor is sometimes used when a conventional bicycle is to be converted or retrofitted. The motor drives the tire directly - the advantages are: This motor is reliable and requires relatively little maintenance. However, due to the direct wheel drive, the hub motor can quickly overheat. That is probably the reason why the hub motor was replaced by the mid-motor.

In the meantime, the mid-engine has established itself in the majority of e-bikes on the market. It sits directly on the pedals and has the advantage that the pedelec is more stable thanks to the lower center of gravity. Also, muscle and motor power combine to create a harmonious drive. But this engine is heavier. So if the weight is more important to you, you prefer to use the hub motor.

With front-wheel drive, it is also the case that the front wheel is moved by the engine and the rear wheel by muscle power. This has a kind of all-wheel drive effect. However, front-wheel drives in combination with uneven ground create a rough driving experience. If the front wheel loses contact with the ground in places, the support stops abruptly.

Rear motor or rear wheel motor
Finally, there is the 
rear-wheel drive, which, like the mid-engine,  combines the two driving forces on the rear wheel, which means that there are fewer disruptions when driving because the rear wheel rarely loses contact with the ground. With the two hub motors, it is noticeable that the cabling has to run outside the e-bike frame and cannot be built into it (as with the mid-mounted motor). That makes them more prone to damage.

E-bike, yes or no: 5 reasons that speak for buying an e-bike

For all those who are still wondering "E-bike yes or no?", We have finally summarized 5 good reasons that speak for buying an e-bike.

# 1 - environmentally friendly
At least if you swap a few car kilometers for e-bike kilometers, you are more environmentally friendly on the road. Ideally, you also charge the battery with green electricity. The ultimate here would be charging via your PV system.

# 2 - Exercise
Thankfully, we often find it difficult to get our bodies moving. Statistics have even shown that you sit on an e-bike more often than on a normal bike. Pedelecs are the right address for those who regularly have to overcome themselves for sport or who want to integrate movement into their commute.

# 3 - more diverse routes
With an e-bike, you can finally ride the routes that were otherwise too strenuous for you. You can master steeper slopes as well as long distances on vacation. Perhaps you've always wanted to go on a long-haul trip and haven't been in shape so far?

# 4 - driving fun together
Do you have someone with whom you would like to have longer tours or just a day on the mountain bike, but it just seems to you that this someone is so well trained that a triathlon would not be a problem? It's not that wild, with an e-bike you can easily let the motor compensate for your different levels of fitness.

# 5 - Urban and commuting
If the route to work is somewhere between the length of a car and a bicycle, it is probably quite manageable for an e-bike. Especially when the everyday routes lead through the city, you will be happy to fit through the gaps between the cars and not waste half the day looking for a parking space.

We would like to add one more thing to the route, regardless of whether it will be used in the future with an e-bike or a conventional bicycle: Anyone who has ever done a tour with an e-bike will not get used to the motorless bike as quickly. The numerous advantages of the e-bike and the unique driving experience have already convinced many skeptics and turned them into passionate e-riders ... Have a good trip!

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