Beginner's Guide to E-bikes | Headwater

A Beginner’s Guide to E-bikes

Whether it’s powering through the wild Scottish Highlands or exploring quaint Catalan villages, cycling is a great way to get around. Out in the fresh air, cruising at the perfect speed, you feel like there’s nowhere you and your trusty steed can’t go. Until, that is, you hit that stubborn hill or killer extra mile. Thankfully, e-bikes are here to help you really make the most of your holiday, and go further, faster and higher than ever before.

What is an e-bike?

An e-bike (or pedelec) is a power-assisted bicycle fitted with a lightweight battery and electric motor. You pedal and use your gears just like on a standard bike, with the motor just giving you a helping hand. On some models the motor runs continuously, whilst others let you choose when it kicks in, and some can even do all the work for you – a handy feature if you’re thinking of taking on the Alps! Modern e-bikes can reach speeds of up to 15m/h, and will take you between 10 and 50 miles before they need recharging. This means they’re ready for anything, be it working up an appetite for the evening’s gastronomic delights, or taking a relaxing tour through tranquil vineyards.


E-bikes have been around longer than you’d imagine, with the earliest dating from the 1890s. However, it was not until the 1990s and the release of the Zike in Japan that electric bikes really took off, quickly spreading to China and eventually Europe too. These early models had unwieldy batteries, but today’s e-bikes are light, stylish and barely distinguishable from their pedal-powered counterparts – the perfect companion for your next adventure. E-biking is now the fastest growing sector in the cycle industry, with around 25,000 sold each year in the UK. We’ve got some catching up to do with Holland and Germany though, where respectively 120,000 and 400,000 were sold last year.

Making your holiday extra special

E-bikes are much more than just a gimmick or gadget. Riding one can really widen your horizons, and help you achieve goals you never thought possible. With the confidence to tackle longer routes and steeper climbs, you no longer need to feel restricted when booking your next (or first!) cycling holiday. You’re free to zoom round The Dordogne like you’re in the Tour de France, or take in heavenly views as you follow the undulating lanes of the Dorset coast. If you’re a bit out of shape, or are recovering from illness or injury, assisted pedalling is a gentle way to safely build up your fitness whilst keeping up with your friends and family. Similarly, creaky knees and hips needn’t stop you going on that dream holiday. We’re proud to offer sustainable tourism, and e-bikes fit in perfectly with this ethos. Their electric motors do not burn fuel, so are zero emission, quiet and extremely energy efficient. This means you can immerse yourself in the landscape assured that you won’t disturb the peace and beauty around you.

Give it a try

Whatever your cycling experience, e-bikes take the stress and strain out of riding to help you tackle new challenges. You can find out more about our e-bikes or try one out on holiday, and glide effortlessly along country lanes and coastal paths in our stunning locations.