Bike riding is an excellent way to get where you need to be, improve your physical fitness, and reduce your carbon footprint. But with so many types of bikes on the market, knowing which one is right for you can be tough. Should you get an electric bike? Or a hybrid bike? What’s the difference between the two? And how are they similar or different?

To help you decide between an electric bike vs hybrid bike, this article will explore the two in detail. This will help give you a better idea of how they work and where they are best suited for you.

a couple are riding Brawn and Range ebike

Differences Between Hybrid Bikes and Electric Bikes

A hybrid bike incorporates features from both mountain bikes and road bikes. These include adjustable gears, narrow or fat tires, different handlebar styles (e.g. drop bars and flat bars), hydraulic or disk brakes, and suspension systems.

Some hybrid bikes have electric motors, which apply power to the bike as you ride the pedals. Other hybrid bikes have no electric motor at all.
Hybrid bikes can be designed to favor light- or heavy-duty off-road use. Heavy-duty hybrid bikes have sturdier frames, front and back suspension, and thicker tires. Lightweight hybrid bikes have lighter frames and narrower tires.

What is an Electric Bike?

An electric bike, also known as an e-bike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. The motor can assist with pedal control. Or it can accelerate and maintain speed without manual input. This is known as ‘pure electric mode.’

Electric bike batteries can be recharged with a portable charger. The average charging time is around three to six hours, depending on the battery capacity.

Benefits of an Electric Bike

The benefits of owning an electric bike include being able to: ride for long distances, improve your physical fitness and stamina, and reduce your carbon footprint. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits in detail.

Ride for Long Distances

Since every electric bike has a motor, you can use the pedal assist or pure electric mode to ride long distances. You are also less likely to get tired than on a traditional hybrid bike, as the motor can assist with pedaling.

Improve Your Physical Fitness and Stamina

You may think that an electric bike would do the opposite of improving your physical fitness and stamina. But this is not the case.

In fact, an electric bike can help lower the barrier to entry for some people, as they can use the electric motor to as a pedal assist until their fitness and confidence grow. From there, they can start to push the pedals more on their own.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Since electric bikes can help make bike riding easier, you are more likely to use them. Long gone are the days of relying on vehicles, public transport, and ride-share services to get around. Regular bike riding will help reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to less traffic on the road.

Types of Electric Bikes

Electric bikes come in different styles and configurations to suit different needs. The three most common types of electric bikes are commuter, off-road, and cargo.

Commuter E-bikes

Cityrun commuter e-bike

Designed for flat terrain and light off-road applications, such as roads, sidewalks, and gravel bike trails. Commuter bikes have a battery capacity of 36V 10Ah to 48V 15Ah and a maximum travel range of 40 to 55 miles. Their motor types range from 350 to 500W in power.

Off-road E-bikes (fat tire e-bikes)

a man is riding Brawn fat tire ebike outside

Designed for heavy-duty off-road applications, such as advanced bike trails, wet weather, and muddy terrain. Off-road e-bikes, also known as fat tire bikes, have fat tire profiles (4” width, 20” to 24” in diameter) and deep tread patterns to catch dirt, dust, and other debris.

Off-road e-bikes have a battery capacity of 48V 15Ah to 48V 20Ah and a maximum travel range of 48 to 70 miles. Their electric motors have a 500 to 750W power output.

Cargo E-bikes

Cargo e-bikes have a dedicated front basket or large basket to carry different loads, such as groceries and personal belongings. Some are designed to safely seat young children as well, featuring seat belts and sun protection screens.

Cargo e-bikes are the heaviest of all electric bikes, as the baskets and cargo containers add significant weight to the bike frame.

What is a Hybrid Bike?

A hybrid bike is a type of bicycle that incorporates elements of a commuter and off-road bike.

Depending on the make and model, a hybrid bike may or may not have an electric motor. Those that do usually have a pedal assist mode. When you use the pedals, the motor kicks in to assist with accelerating and maintaining speed.

You can also adjust the intensity of the power assist mode, enabling you to adapt to different riding conditions. It is uncommon for a hybrid bike to have a pure electric mode.

Benefits of a Hybrid Bike

There are many benefits to owning and operating a hybrid bike. They give you the freedom to choose between an electric or non-electric model, and you can choose one that favors the commuter or off-road lifestyle.

Versatile Design

Like electric bikes, hybrid bikes come in a range of styles and configurations. Commuter hybrid bikes have a lightweight frame and narrow tire profile. This allows you to accelerate faster and maintain a higher top speed on (mostly) flat, well-maintained surfaces.

Meanwhile, off-road hybrid bikes have a heavier, sturdier frame, a front fork suspension (to absorb impacts), and a wider tire profile. These features help you absorb landings and maintain traction and stability on off-road surfaces.

Lightweight

When not equipped with an electric motor, hybrid bikes are more lightweight than electric bikes. This is because they do not have to carry an additional motor and battery.

If the hybrid bike is a commuter style, then the bike will be even lighter due to the narrow tire profile. Plus, if you need to carry your bike during your commute, then a hybrid bike could be right for you.

Budget-friendly

Depending on the style and configuration, a hybrid bike may cost less than an electric bike. This is usually the case if you opt for a non-electric hybrid bike. However, if you wish to purchase an electric hybrid bike, then the price may be more comparable. Due to the lack of front or rear suspension, commuter hybrid bikes are often cheaper than off-road hybrid bikes.

Should You Choose an E-bike or an Electric Hybrid Bike?

Whether you choose an e-bike or an electric hybrid bike depends on your commute needs, design preferences, and budget.

Commute Needs

Electric bikes are best suited for long-distance riding. The motors run on batteries that can be recharged with portable batteries or replaced with spare batteries. This allows you to ride up to 50 miles or longer on a single charge.

Design Preferences

Both electric and hybrid bikes come in a range of configurations. This means you can choose a commuter or off-road bike that best suits your needs. Of course, with an electric bike, you always get the added benefit of an electric motor with a rechargeable battery. Therefore you can ride for longer and with less physical strain.

Budget

Since electric bikes always have a motor and a rechargeable battery, they may command a higher price than hybrid bikes. That said, though, the price of electric bikes is gradually going down. These days, you can purchase an electric bike for as low as CAD 999.

Choosing the Right Bike for You

Electric bikes and hybrid bikes have come a long way since they were first released. These days, you can choose from a range of makes and models, and each one has its own styles, configurations, and features. This allows you to personalize your riding experience and get the best value for money. Plus, you have the freedom to add bonus accessories, such as cable locks, fenders, and much more.

Heybike offers a range of bikes to enhance your riding experience. From electric bikes and fat tire bikes to commuter bikes, everything you need is right here. For a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around, start your travel journey with Heybike today!

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