How to try an e-bike

Supported by Do The Ride Thing, e-bike hubs in the South-East of Scotland give you the chance to try out an e-bike for yourself. Each hub is located conveniently in the local community to offer a range of e-bike models to locals and visitors, from casual riders to committed cyclists. You can find the e-bike that best suits your needs, whether for commuting or pleasure, and choose flexible options to hire one for the short or long term.

Collaborations with other organisations like Cycling Scotland and Wheels for Wellbeing extend these e-bike opportunities to include cargo bikes and customisable adaptive cycles to ensure accessibility to a wider audience.

Many local hubs also provide ongoing maintenance support for e-bikes, including technical guidance and routine repairs. This additional support is part of the friendly hub community that keeps e-bikes, cargo bikes and adaptive cycles operating smoothly.

Find your nearest e-bike hub here.

If your bike skills are a bit rusty or you just need a bit of help with your confidence on the road, there are hubs and organisations across the region offering bike training programmes for all skill levels.

From basic safety to advanced techniques, these programmes provide specialised sessions for various bicycles, including e-bikes. Training can cover essential skills like bike handling, traffic awareness, and maintenance.

E-bike training focuses on understanding and optimising the bike’s features, battery management, and other factors unique to e-bikes. These initiatives promote safe cycling to build an informed and responsible rider community, empowering cyclists to navigate roads with confidence.

Hubs help to foster a sense of community through group training and activities. These training sessions bring cyclists of different skill levels together to share their tips and experiences in a supportive environment.

Organised rides and community outreach programmes provide additional opportunities for building community beyond training. Online forums and social media groups offer platforms for cyclists to make friends, share achievements, and seek advice.

Apps like Google Maps and Strava assist in planning journeys along dedicated cycle paths.

Subscription schemes and longer-term rentals can help you change over to an e-bike. Some organisations provide specific e-bike loans or they can be part of an employer cycle to work scheme.  These options help to ease the financial burden and make e-bikes easier to access.

While second-hand e-bike retailers offer cost-effective alternatives, you really need to consider factors like battery life, wear and tear, and electrical components before buying. Seek expert advice first to make you’re your e-bike investment is both reliable and safe.

Further financial support is available if you would like to access an adaptive e-bike.

Employers can play their own part in promoting cycling for your commute. Offering cyclist-friendly initiatives, like the cycle to work scheme, or providing secure bike storage and on-site shower facilities can make your cycling commute an easier choice. Bike-to-work schemes help to spread they cost and can also act as an incentive for other employees to join in. Employers may also be able to apply for financial support for providing employees with an electric bike by participating in the Cycle Friendly Employer award program.

By establishing a cycling-friendly culture in the workplace with events or groups, you contribute to a more sustainable commute with less reliance on cars.  Check if your employer has a similar initiative in place.

The right insurance provides cover for you and your e-bike, whether as a stand-alone policy or as part of your home insurance. Unsure which policy is best for you? Cycling charities and organisations offer guidance to help you navigate different aspects of insurance, such as personal injury and bike theft.

It’s also worth considering third-party liability insurance to protect yourself and your bike when out on the road. Both CyclingUK and British Cycling offer third-party liability insurance and give you the information you need to make an informed decision about the best coverage for you.

An increase in the budget dedicated to walking, wheeling, and cycling, from £80 million in 2019-20 to £190 million in 2023-24, has encouraged substantial progress in the active travel infrastructure of the South-East of Scotland.  This commitment to active travel has seen improvements to paths and segregated cycle lanes, bike-sharing programmes, and improved pedestrian access.

Wherever you choose to purchase an e-bike, it’s a good idea to take a test ride first before committing to buying one.

Your local bike shop is an excellent first stop to explore their range of e-bikes and find the one that best fits you and your needs. Bike shops are a really useful source of information and advice about all the different styles, sizes, and types of e-bike available, so you can make the right choice for your journeys.

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Ready to give an e-bike a go? Visit a hub!