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The Transport of the Future: Electric Touring Bikes

Wondering whether it would be prudent to invest a lot of money in a new bike? If it’s a touring e-bike, we can only say go for it. The already practical everyday bike has become even more versatile with a motorised boost. Thanks to its electric pedal assistance, an touring e-bike lets you effortlessly tackle routes that you might have previously considered too long or hilly with family and friends. Bringing home heavy shopping, no matter your age or fitness level, or pulling the children's trailer up a mountain at the weekend – all easily achieved with an electric trek bike. Read more

Why a Touring Electric Bike is the Right Choice for Many Cyclists!

The original idea behind trekking bikes was a single bike that would let people cycle as much as possible, even with heavy luggage. The bikes should be fast in town, on tours and longer journeys, even on unpaved roads. However, the kind of people who invent new types of bicycle are usually true cycling enthusiasts who’ve spent half their lives on a bicycle and are accordingly built for it.
Most people like you and me, however, just want a bicycle that lets them leave the car behind more often in everyday life and in their leisure time so they can get some exercise in the fresh air. Typical areas of use are, for example, the way to work (commuting) or long weekend outings. 
In hilly areas with long distances between places – cyclists from rural areas know particularly well what we are talking about here – this is a barely surmountable challenge. Plenty of towns built in valleys or on hills will also have areas that are difficult to reach on an ordinary bicycle. Put it all together with heavy shopping in the morning rush, the children’s trailer or physical limitations, and the car seems almost inevitable.

But wait: Before you get too discouraged and give up on cycling all together, check out modern electric trekking bikes. They combine the versatility of touring bikes with the advantages of an e-bike.

The Advantages of Electric Trekking Bikes

  • Conquer mountains without stress and work up less of a sweat thanks to motor assistance
  • Travel faster and independently from A to B
  • Undertake tours with longer total lengths*
  • Transport more luggage and discover new places with the children in the trailer

A Comparison with E-Road Bikes, E-MTBs and E-City Bikes

Trekking bikes and similar bikes with motor assist are sometimes left in the shadow of E-MTBs and the like. Let's look at a quick side-by-side comparison of their advantages and versatility:

Electric Touring Bikes vs. E-Road Bikes

Although modern electric road bikes are among the lightest e-bikes and give off an air of aerodynamic speed even when stationary, sooner or later they turn out to be unsuited to city life. Their tires are much too narrow to offer any real comfort, for example on cobblestones. Their grip is also far too insufficient in the wet or even in snow, especially with luggage. In addition, steering and braking feel riskier because the dropped handlebar ends cannot be reached quickly enough in an emergency. In addition, the sporty sitting posture often leads to unpleasant aches and pains. 
A trekking bike, on the other hand, always has an advantage in urban areas thanks to a tire width of at least 1.5". In addition, it has a sturdier frame with more ergonomic, yet propulsion-oriented geometry and more components optimised for durability. Practical features such as e-bike light system and mudguards, which ensure that you get to the office clean and dry, for example, complete its scope of performance.

Electric Trekking Bikes vs. E-MTBs

Wide and chunky off-road tires offer good rolling characteristics on trails and, with the right air pressure, decent traction as well. On asphalt and other hard road surfaces, however, rolling resistance actually increases on an electric mountain bike. For better rolling efficiency, you need to increase the air pressure significantly, which these rims or wheels are rarely designed for. Likewise, the spring travel, which is indispensable off-road, swallows up a lot of the applied energy when accelerating, e.g. at traffic lights and uphill.
In contrast to asphalt and hard surfaces,  trekking e-bike tires roll easily even with moderate air pressure. In contrast, the frames are stiff or have reduced spring travel, but are still comfortable and equipped with many practical attachment eyelets for mudguards and luggage racks
Conclusion: An E-MTB loses a lot of range in city traffic and on urban tours due to its components. Electric touring bikes allow for more efficient energy use while still providing plenty of comfort thanks to their mostly rigid hardtail frames or firmer suspension elements and large tires with optimised tread.

Electric Touring Bikes vs. City E-Bikes

Visually, trekking and city e-bikes are very similar and sometimes a bike can class as both. But beware! Proper city bikes with electric motors are much less designed for propulsion. Thus, the rider's sitting position is particularly upright (upper body angle 90°) and gives more wind resistance. Furthermore, the seat tube angle, horizontal saddle alignment and saddle shape are rather comfortable, but offer poorer power transmission in comparison. Trekking e-bikes offer both good power conversion and a comfortable sitting posture!

City electric bikes usually have fewer gears. A 3- to 7-speed hub gear is sufficient in the city, but the gear ratio is too small for hilly landscapes beyond the city and the rider as well as the e-bike motor can quickly become overloaded. Trekking e-bikes, on the other hand, are much more versatile thanks to modern wide-range 3x10-speed or even 1x11-speed gears. Even cycling trips over mountain passes with luggage become pure pleasure for young and old with these e-bikes.
City bikes often have a pannier rack with limited load capacity, a less resilient frame and no other fastening options. Longer cycling tours and trips with luggage are hard work. Trekking pedelecs can handle a load of up to 150 kg including the rider. Furthermore, they often also allow a front carrier to be retrofitted for an overall setup that is suitable for travelling. All in all, the trekking e-bike is the more versatile solution. When it comes to everyday use, you don't need more e-bike for your money than this.

What Equipment Do E-Touring Bikes Come With?

A good electric trekking bike is the sum of all its parts. The basis is usually a rigid, unsprung hardtail frame – in a diamond shape for men, with a lowered top tube for women or unisex in a step-through version. They occasionally also come in particularly comfortable full-suspension frames.

Almost all trekking frames have the following geometric features: 

  • Balanced seat and head tube angles – the seat tube angle is balanced for good power transmission and smooth operation.
  • Head tube angles are often around 70° and allow steering forces to be transmitted quickly and directly to the front wheel.
  • The length of the chainstay and the low centre of gravity ensure that the bike always keeps both wheels securely on the road.

The suspension system for these e-bikes is also specially adapted to touring. Reinforced, firmer suspension forks and dampers with reduced spring travel are used. Furthermore, most bikes have reinforced 28", 29" or 27.5" wheels (e-bike ready) and reinforced asphalt and off-road tires that offer more cushioning comfort. 
The tires have labels such as E25 or E45 (ECE-R75) – ECE-R75 tires are approved for S-pedelecs for speeds up to 45 km/h.
The higher the riding performance and the more weight due to the electric drive, the better the brakes on the e-bike have to be. High-quality e-bikes are exclusively equipped with hydraulic disc brakes.
The remaining features are largely designed for high functionality, seating comfort and suitability for everyday use and are similar to those of standard trekking bikes without a motor. For example, wide-range derailleur gears with max. 2x11 or 2x12 gears or particularly low-maintenance hub gears with up to 11 gears are used. A lighting system powered by the e-bike battery is also often included for safe cycling in compliance with road traffic regulations. The cockpit (i.e. handlebars and stem) as well as the seating area – especially the saddle – are designed for an upright and comfortable seated position. 
Details that make the difference: Particularly innovative bikes come equipped with inconspicuously integrated pannier rack / mudguard systems.

Electric Trekking Bike Drives

Since trekking e-bikes are very quiet and hardly ever break contact with the road, front hub, rear hub and mid-drive motors can all be used. Front hub motors were often used on first generation bikes and are a common retrofit option. 
Almost all trekking e-bikes available at BIKE24 currently come in a mid-drive motor design, as this can be optimally integrated together with the battery. The mid-drive motors used have a continuous output of 250W and support acceleration up to 25 km/h, or up to 45 km/h for S-pedelecs. Thanks to intelligent motor controls and uncoupled drive shafts, the support from the motor is seamless and even, yet powerful over the entire power curve. The additional power or torque provided depends on the pedal frequency, the rider's power and the assistance mode. How much support is provided can almost always be conveniently controlled from the handlebars using clear and ergonomic controls and displays. But all this additional motor power is only of any use if sufficient energy is also available over longer distances. This is guaranteed by the lithium-ion batteries used, which usually have a capacity of 500-625 Wh, which means that in the best case a range of 150 km* can be achieved with motor assistance. 

Trekking E-Bike Price Ranges at BIKE24

Entry prices start around €2,400.

This gives you a technically very modern e-bike for your money. Solid aluminium hardtail frames form the basis throughout. The e-bike motor and battery are the same as those used on high-priced bikes. The only drawback is they are often less well integrated into the frame.
The frame is paired with highly functional but somewhat heavier add-on parts – wheels, tires, suspension fork, handlebars, stem, etc. – to create the perfect bike. The gears function reliably, but with 3x9-speed, for example, do not offer the maximum possible gear range.

The mid-range segment starts at about €3,000

These trekking bikes with motors are fundamentally better equipped, which has an effect on their weight. Although aluminium frames also dominate, they are lighter thanks to the targeted use of materials (optimised wall thicknesses) and better motor integration. Furthermore, full-suspension models are available in this class.
The add-on parts, such as the lighting system, are optimised and have higher-quality details; the suspension elements and wheels are lighter, and some of the gears offer up to 12 speeds on the rear wheel.

From €4,000 you enter the luxury class of trekking e-bikes.

These e-bikes are packed with some technical highlights that are also used on premium e-MTBs and electric road bikes. In this class, particularly light carbon frames also bring the weight a decisive step further towards that of a non-electric bike. Visually, the drives on these bicycles blend in so well with the overall appearance that sometimes they are not even immediately recognisable as e-bikes. Electronic as well as automatically shifting hub gear systems or particularly low-maintenance belt drives offer e-bike enthusiasts maximum cycling pleasure.

What Should I Consider When Buying a Trekking E-Bike?

The most important questions in one checklist:

  1. Who will ride the bike – including friends and family members who are visiting, for example? 
    There are trekking e-bikes for men and women as well as unisex models. Find out more at: The Differences between Women's and Men's Touring Bikes with Electric Motors
  2. Which type of trekking bike is best for you? 
    Do you want to arrive comfortably with the children and luggage in tow, or do you want to sit comfortably and still roll easily along to your destination – an overview of the trekking e-bike types.
  3. Maximum load capacity? 
    The bike should also be able to cope with a lot of luggage, a heavy rider as well as a children’s trailer – the maximum load weight (rider + luggage) can be up to 150 kg.
  4. How heavy is an e-trekking bike? 
    Trekking bikes are already fundamentally somewhat heavier; add an electric motor and they quickly reach over 25 kg. If you don’t want to lug it around once you arrive at your destination, it’s best to check you can lock it up somewhere.
  5. What brakes are fitted to the bikes on your shortlist? 
    On an e-bike, it should be a disc brake to stop the extra weight – downhill, rim brakes can quickly overheat or become overloaded.
  6. What is the maximum stated range and how often can the bike be used per week without recharging? 
    Some bikes can reach ranges of up to 150 km* under favourable conditions. An exchangeable battery or range extender is also available for many models at BIKE24.
  7. If you are able to test the e-trekking bike, for example in the BIKE24 shop, check: Are you sitting with a straight back in an upright, comfortable position (upper body angle to the floor approx. 60-80°, upper arm angle approx. 70-80°)?
  8. Are you also insured against e-bike theft?

Buy a Touring E-Bike with Top Service at BIKE24

Buying a trekking pedelec is easy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the BIKE24 online shop. Here you will find a constantly growing selection of bikes from top brands such as CUBE, Specialized, Cannondale, Focus, Diamant, Giant  and many more. The purchase process for an e-trekking bike is just as quick as for a non-electric bike and a well-packaged delivery will arrive on your doorstep within a few working days.
Do you already know exactly which trekking e-bike you want? Then next you should figure out the frame size.
Afterwards, you can shop at your leisure for accessories to go with your bike, such as helmets, panniers, a good lock or functional clothing. What happens after that? If it’s not already prepared, our well-trained mechanics will fully assemble your bike, adjust its gears and brakes, and install the latest software update if available. Finally, they will take it for a short test ride. When everything is ready, you will receive a message from our trusted carrier just a short time later to arrange the rest.

The Differences between Women's and Men's Touring Bikes with Electric Motors

The main difference is the frame shape. Furthermore, trekking e-bikes for men are usually available in larger frame sizes than women's versions. Sometimes the handlebar grips and saddle design are also ergonomically adapted and the colour scheme is coordinated.

Electric Touring Bikes for Men

Men's trekking e-bikes use classic diamond frames with a normal (horizontal or slightly sloping) top tube, as is common on men's bicycles. This design makes them more stable and thus optimally suited for heavy riders or a lot of luggage. The frame sizes almost always range up to XL (body height 1.85 m and more). 
Minor drawback: Mounting and dismounting can cause problems if the rider’s leg length is short or they have poor hip mobility. But don't worry: Women's trekking pedelecs with a trapezoidal frame or unisex bikes with a low step-through offer a solution in such cases.

Electric Touring Bikes for Women

A trekking e-bike for women has all the performance features of the men's counterpart, except that the frame has a trapezoidal shape with a lower (steeply sloping) top tube similar to that of women's bikes. Getting on the bike is a lot easier and the shape is not just recommended for women but anyone using a child seat. 

Unisex Electric Touring Bikes

Trekking pedelecs allow super-easy access for all genders and body sizes thanks to their step-through frames (also with wave tubes). Visually, the frame with a mostly solid down tube and no top tube immediately catches the eye. Unisex trekking e-bikes offer the least stability of all designs, but are perfectly adequate for everyday use and for people of moderate weight.

Types of Trekking E-Bike

Touring e-bikes – sporty and also a safe bet for commuting.
For most, these e-trekking bikes are the optimal balance between fast propulsion, comfort and suitability for everyday use. More at: Trekking/Touring/Urban Cycling Theme World.

Fitness bikes – particularly fast and sporty, but less optimised for carrying luggage.
The perfect e-trekking bikes for sporty, ambitious riders. 28" wheels, aerodynamic frames, sometimes in extra-light carbon too, with only the crucial accessories to ensure high speed. Read more about fitness bikes in our theme world!

E-trekking bikes for traveling – don't break a sweat, even with lots of luggage.
You can't get a better e-bike for touring than this. Multi-day camping trips, cycling trails or crossing the country are no problem, as these bikes are equipped with front and rear racks as well as maximum load-bearing frames. More on the theme in our Trekking/Touring/Urban Cycling Theme World.

*Besides battery variants (single or dual), this is dependent on many factors such as the rider's own performance, environmental conditions, age of motor and weight load.