Things to know when buying a city e-bike

The city e-bike offers a lot of comfort, but limits your flexibility somewhat. Excursions and even longer tours in the surrounding area are not a problem, but when it comes to hill and dale it becomes increasingly problematic – or uncomfortable. A city bike can still be moved well on gravel roads. As long as it doesn’t go too downhill. Because then it’s getting shaky. Unpaved forest paths are usually no fun for cyclists and drivers.

However, if you drive more short distances, the city e-bike is an excellent choice, even if you don’t live in a big city. It is cheap, reliable and offers you the best possible comfort on your everyday journeys. It’s ideal for trips to nearby work, the supermarket or your friends’ barbecues.

In addition, city e-bikes are designed for durability at best. They have a low repair and maintenance requirement , since the built-in technology is less complicated. You should do without too many features on a city e-bike. After all, the bike is often left standing in the rain, on public paths and in tight bicycle parking spaces.

What should I look out for when buying a city e-bike?

City e-bikes should be simple and low-maintenance. However , there are increased demands on comfort and safety. These properties can be met to varying degrees depending on the price range and manufacturer. Especially in the area of ​​city e-bikes, there are many discounters with tempting offers. Therefore, we are giving you an overview of the possible selection criteria here.

The drive systems

Above all, your drive should run smoothly and be reliable. Although the performance of the engine plays a minor role, the engine system should be of high quality. This means that the individual components come from a single source and, if possible, from well-known manufacturers with experience in the field of e-bike drives. However, there are also some cheap and still useful manufacturers.

Your battery, on the other hand, does not require a particularly high capacity. However, if you are planning trips to the surrounding area with your city e-bike, the battery should already be able to deliver 500 watt hours. The batteries can be integrated in the frame. Alternatively, you can put the battery on the down tube or on the luggage rack. There you can easily remove them for loading. Note that the position of the battery affects the center of gravity of the bike. Integrated batteries and batteries on the down tube offer better weight distribution, which is why the city bike is a little more comfortable to ride.

Fully integrated batteries that you cannot remove are less suitable for city bikes. If the batteries are permanently installed, you have to bring your entire bike close to the nearest socket to charge it. City bikes are rarely lightweights – so you won’t want to carry them up to the apartment on the second floor.

Circuit & translation

You can also do without complex switching systems for the city. Hub gears are standard on most city e-bikes. These circuits do not work with a derailleur or rear derailleur, which leads the chain to different sprockets. Instead, the shifting process takes place via a so-called planetary gear within the wheel hub.

Hub gears are a bit more expensive to buy. In return, they have to be serviced much less frequently because they are protected from dirt and environmental influences within the wheel hub. Although three gears are completely sufficient in most cities, manufacturers of e-city bikes usually offer 7-11 gears on the wheel hub gears. However, you will usually only find the upper range in the very high-quality e-city bikes. Go for more here.


The frame on the city e-bike should above all offer you comfort, control and overview. All of this is combined in a largely upright sitting position, in which you can easily reach the handlebars with your arms slightly bent. City e-bikes with diamond frames, on the other hand, have a slightly sportier attitude. This bent-over posture makes you more sporty and streamlined, but you lose some comfort due to the increasing strain on your arms.

Since most city bikes have no rear suspension, a spring-loaded seat post or a well-sprung saddle is worthwhile. Most of the bumps in the city are swallowed up and the ride remains bearable even on poor road conditions.

You should also be able to attach bags or bicycle baskets to your city e-bike. Since city e-bikes are mainly used for everyday activities, it often happens that you transport documents, shopping, gifts or backpacks and handbags. Pre-assembled brackets and enough space on the luggage rack are therefore a big plus.

Other parts

The functional lighting system on your city e-bike is an absolute must . Especially on shorter days in autumn and spring, many journeys take place in the dark. Front and rear lights as well as reflectors protect you in confusing situations. It’s all about standing out among the city’s light sources.

Braking systems are important on every bicycle. You should be a little better equipped with e-bikes due to the higher demands caused by the higher average speeds . Many manufacturers therefore install disc brakes on city e-bikes . Disc brakes typically provide better stopping power and are more responsive than rim brakes. The downside is that they require a bit more maintenance and effort to repair. Hydraulic disc brakes in particular should only be repaired by experienced bikers.

Above all, the tires of your city e-bike should be puncture-proof and have enough grip. There are always broken pieces and other materials that can damage your tires on city bike paths. A good tread depth protects your bicycle tube from sharp objects and ensures sufficient grip even when riding in the rain.

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