E-Bike Buyers Guide

Buying an electric bike (especially your first) can be daunting. Here you will find all the information you need, to make that purchase the right one.

Choosing an electric bike

We offer the largest range of electric bikes from any British bicycle brand so we're confident our range will offer you a bike pin pointed to your individual wants and needs.

We have a bike finder tool to help you find your bike of choice and also show what each bike or series is perfect for on each product page.

Better than any impersonal online support you can speak to one of our expert retailers. If your closest retailer does not have the model you are looking for in stock and we do not have available stock in our warehouse, please contact our support team and we will do our best to track down your preferred model.

Contact our team here to help you.

To offer some guidance we offer a size guide on each product page specific to each bike or style. However finding the right size also requires the right frame shape, saddle and components to feel comfortable and easy to handle. Correct bike fitting is not just for elite athletes.

Let our professional bike shops help you find the perfect fit. Here you can sit on the bike, feel the comfort of the saddle and grips, feel the reach and height of the bars and be sure your choice will be the right one.

Hub motors often vary hugely in quality and reliability. For this reason, you will notice almost 100% of specialist independent bicycle shops do not stock e-bikes retailing below £1000. We have collaborated with the world’s largest and most reputable hub motor manufacturer, Bafang, to produce a range of bicycles starting from £1200.

This is another reason why we only work with specialist retailers. You can visit one of hundreds of our bikes shops for some expert advice. Most of our retailers will either carry demo bikes for a full test ride or will offer the chance to do a short test ride on the specific bike of choice.

Speaking to the retailer face to face and trying various bikes will also ensure you find not only the most suitable bike but also the best fitting bike.

If you purchase the bike in store, our retailers will also ensure it's fitted with any accessories you may require and walk you through all functional and care requirements so you will not leave the shop without the full confidence of knowing what you are doing with your new fun machine.

We select our motor system partners as part of an holistic decision making process consisting of testing, back up support and expert retailer guidance or preferences.

For leisurely, none technical off road riding and occasional use, a reliable and sealed unit hub motor from Bafang will be suitable. For enthusiasts looking to explore without limitations, our mid motor Bosch and Bafang systems offer a much more natural feeling. The weight distribution of a mid-motor offers improved balance and control on more technical terrain and also the ability to use a full range of gears in conjunction with the torque level applied.

We provide a range of both Bosch and Bafang motor systems to suit your budget and believe both systems are very evenly matched from a performance perspective on a like for like system. As the price increases on each system, you will find the power or torque produced increases up to 85Nm with greater input and the battery capacity increases to 625WH.

Don't forget the other parts of the bike from the frame quality and geometry to component choice are of equal importance to the motor system either. A great motor won't automatically transform the bike into a great ride. If you're unsure where to start you can use our bike finder or ask one of our retailers for more advice.

You can ride an electric bike just the same as a normal bike, just with a little more assistance. There is no requirement to have a special licence to ride an e-bike although the maximum assisted speed by law is 15mph. You can ride much faster than this, within normal road speed limits, or as fast as you like off road although this will be without the assistance of the motor.

Before making a purchase

We can supply all our products worldwide via a small selection of expert retailers via air or road freight depending on your location. Please contact us with your location and bike of choice and we will link you up with one of our bike shops.

We currently sell to retailers in the UK and Ireland only. Our brand is registered globally and we are currently identifying and developing our International representatives. We expect to see our brand in bike shops outside of the UK from 2023. We are only willing to work with the best International retailers and do not want to use our UK stock to achieve this which will compromise service and availability for all territories.

For the original owner, we offer a lifetime guarantee (see terms & conditions) on all of our Forme frames and the very best warranty from each of our suppliers. Most components have a 1 year warranty and all our electrical system components are guaranteed for 2 years.

Our retailers can diagnose almost all issues themselves and are supported by our Service Centre at our UK HQ.

As with all electrically powered goods, sometimes things can go wrong. For this reason we only work with global leading and trusted systems from Bosch and Bafang. Both provide very clear diagnostic codes for our trained retailers to identify and resolve.

The in-built diagnostics systems provided by Bosch allows our Bosch certified retailers to perform easy health checks on your motor and fine tune them at regular service intervals, just as you would expect with a car. Bosch certified retailers carry out a diagnosis on the motor, battery and head unit during these intervals and update the software for each of these parts.

As a general best practice we suggest topping up your battery after each ride but most importantly do not leave the battery flat for long periods of time or expose it to excessively hot or freezing temperatures. It is best to store your ebike battery at room temperature.

There are a variety of different battery types for each electric bike drive system. Their capacity, can often be recognised by the reference to Wh (watt-hours) which shows the power capacity or how much energy can be stored in the battery.

E-bikes are usually equipped with batteries supported with between 300 and 625 Wh of power. There is usually quite a weight penalty or compromise on batteries or multiple batteries with a greater capacity unless they are built on to a cargo bike engineered to carry load.

Batteries usually provide assisted support between 20 and 85 miles. However there are a huge number of variables effecting this figure. These include: rider weight, terrain, gradient, wind, tyre choice, motor type and average speed.

Bosch provide a useful online calculator enabling you to input values related to the variables to produce a predicted average or maximum distance.

All our electric bikes use lithium ion batteries with a reputable re-charge time. The charge time varies depending on the battery size although an average re-charge time is around 3.5 hours from flat. It is worth noting that most batteries will be around 70-80% re-charged after 90 minutes as the last 20-30% of charge is set to a slower charge rate.

If you take care of your bike, an annual service should be all that is required for most leisure riders, just like a standard 'acoustic' bike. Most of our quality bike shops offer a free 6 week check up to ensure you are completely satisfied with your bike of choice. Sometimes the gear cables may have stretched from new so require a fine tune to ensure they run perfectly.

If you are an enthusiast rider using your bike year round in all weather conditions or terrains we would suggest a service or check-up 2-3 times should comfortably be enough. All of our retailers will offer maintenance guidance to get the most out of your bike.

All our motor systems are fully sealed and considered the most suitable for typical British weather conditions, although as with all components on your bicycle, you should take care of them. We recommend cleaning off mud and dirt after each use and don’t leave any water to settle anywhere.

When cleaning your bike you should avoid the use of a high pressure hose. A wet sponge and medium pressure garden hose will suffice.

Useful things to know

What’s the difference between crank driven and hub motors?

Crank driven motors are positioned in the middle of the bicycle frame at the bottom bracket area, behind the crank arms. This low position results in a much more natural and balanced riding experience. Crank driven bikes also provide greater torque and faster response times when applying power to the pedals.

Hub motors, as the name suggests are located within the hub of the rear wheel. Unlike crank motors, they do not depend on the torque or power applied by the rider so are typically 40% less efficient. As a crank driven system applies more or less assistance depending on the rider power applied, the hub motor applies a constant power output.

As a crank or mid motor works in with your torque and gears, these systems are better for powering up steep hills and therefore usually often provide between 10 and 50Nm extra torque.

Hub motors however are much lower priced than centre motors and often all that is required for most recreational cyclists. They also have the benefit of not putting as much strain on the chain and drive systems so do not require any special chain or componentry.

An ebike purchase should be carefully considered to ensure you are completely satisfied with your new bike. With so many unknown systems as well as a plethora of different frame shapes, battery types and general points to consider we recommend finding a specialist Forme dealer you feel you can trust. Let them help make the decision process much simpler.

When quality components partner trusted motor and battery systems, the running costs of Forme e-bikes are generally much lower than other modes of transport.

Much of the total running cost will depend on the price and quality of your motor and battery system. Although the initial cost of a 500Wh Bosch Performance Line set up may cost more to begin, there is no fuel, tax, insurance or MOT.

As well as the obvious environmental contribution the only "fuel cost" will be the battery charging cost at around 5p-10p per full charge. Don't forget the expensive servicing, replacement parts, parking tickets, congestion charges and more associated to a car too.

As "the new kid on the block" we only work with the best factories and assembly factories in the world. The reputation and trust connected to our products are essential, hence our lifetime guarantee. Our design and development is completed at our Derbyshire base in the UK then the majority of our models are made or assembled by our friends and partners in Italy or our recently selected assembly factory in Asia, shared with the 2nd largest bicycle brand in the world.

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