London, the largest city in England and the United Kingdom, is known for being a major global city with a rich historical landscape and a hub for fashion, commerce, finance, education, tourism, and more. It is also the most visited city in Europe.
Suppose you’re considering exploring London by electric bike. In that case, this article will help you plan and answer all your questions before embarking on your journey!
E-biking rules in London
Before taking your e-bike around London, acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding e-bikes in the U.K.
Electric bikes that abide by the following specifications are electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs). As such, e-bikes:
- Must have pedals that can be used to propel it
- Must show either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor
- Must show either the battery’s voltage or the maximum speed of the bike
- Must have an electric motor that does not exceed the maximum power output of 250W
- Should not be able to propel the bike when traveling more than 15.5 mph (24 km/h)
E-bikes that meet these requirements are subjected to the same rules as traditional pedal bicycles. Thus, they are allowed on cycle paths where classic bikes are permitted. For more information on e-bike laws in the U.K., visit the government’s webpage here.
Thinking of taking your e-bike on London transit? Here’s what you need to know! The Transport for London (TFL) is the governing system for London’s transit systems, which include the London Underground (also known as the Tube), London Overground, buses, and trams.
For e-bikes on transit, cyclists should note that foldable e-bikes are permitted on all transit vehicles. Non-folded e-bikes are only allowed on some transit services at specific times. For instance, non-folded e-bikes are not permitted on buses and trams. Still, they are allowed on some Underground and Overground train lines at certain times (i.e., Monday to Friday before 7:30AM, between 9:30AM and 4PM, and after 7PM, and anytime on weekends).
For a complete list of lines and stations where non-folded e-bikes are permitted, visit TFL’s “Cycles on Public Transport” page.
Read also: Electric bike & speed e-bike rules / regulations in the UK. And, Best known e-bike brands in the UK.
Looking for bike parking in the city? With over 20,000 cycle parking spaces at transit stations across London, 150,000 on-street parking spaces, and 10,000 cycle hangar spaces across 28 London boroughs, rest assured there are no shortages of parking spots for your e-bike. Discover more on TFL’s “Cycle Parking” webpage and this online interactive map of on-street parking.
Is London e-bike friendly?
Yes, London is a very bike and e-bike-friendly city! Some top recommended trails in the city include: Battersea Park to Greenwich, Limehouse Basin to London Fields, Big Ben to Richmond Park loop, Olympic Park to Wanstead Flats, Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace, Regent’s Park Outer Circle, King’s Cross to Notting Hill, The Tower of London to Big Ben, and Hyde Park loop.
For more information on bike routes in London, visit TFL’s “Routes and Maps” page.
Suppose you’re looking to charge your e-bike. The recommended method is to bring your charger and plug your e-bike into a standard wall outlet at a café, restaurant, bike shop, library, or picnic pavilion in a park. However, be sure to ask for permission first!
Read also: What is the difference between e-bike batteries? And, How far can e-bikes go? What is the e-bike range?
You may also be able to charge your e-bike at an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Visit the government of London’s interactive map to view EV charging locations in the city.
There are several options for you to rent an e-bike in London. You can find e-bikes for rent in daily (24 hours) or weekly increments at Electric Bike Rentals. Cyclists can also use Lime, a bike-share service that offers e-bikes to rent at various charging docks throughout the city.
Riders must download the app to access locations and pay for Lime e-bikes. For longer-term rentals, you can choose from several subscription-based e-bike services: Zoomo and Jot Bikes offer weekly rental plans, and Buzz Bike and Hurrecane offer monthly rental subscriptions.
Additionally, if you’re interested in doing an e-bike tour, Scootours London offers both private and public tours. Tour types include “Royal Parks & Palaces”, “Westminster & City of London”, “Covent Garden, Spitalfields & Borough Market”, and “London Changing Of The Guard” e-bike tours. You can also book a two-hour “London E-Bike Tour” through Viator.
Read also: Check out best UK travel destinations by electric bike.
How is the weather and city traffic in London? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in London?
During weekdays, rush hour traffic in London runs between 7AM – 10AM, and 4:30PM – 8PM. Because these periods see hefty traffic, we recommend cyclists avoid roads during these times.
For the best time to visit London, it is recommended that visitors go between March and May. This is because temperatures are relatively mild (ranging from the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit), and springtime flora makes for picturesque scenery.
Read also: How to use an electric bike? A brief intro. And, How to ride an electric bike? With a few tips.
Additionally, springtime tends to be less busy than peak tourism during the summer months, when flight and accommodation prices spike. However, remember that crowds are unavoidable no matter the time of year. Additionally, London experiences rainy weather all year round, so bring an umbrella!
While you’re visiting London, there are plenty of sights to see. Some of the top recommendations include the Tower of London, British Museum, London Eye, National Gallery, Tower Bridge, Natural History Museum, V&A Museum, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Borough Market, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market, Regent’s Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, and South Bank.
For a more comprehensive list of things to do in London, visit Trip Advisor!
London city landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
Because London has few hills and is relatively flat, a commuter or city cruiser e-bike is perfectly suitable for this landscape!
Where can I buy an e-bike in London?
If you’re hoping to buy an e-bike in London, here are some companies you can check out!
At Fully Charged and Volt Bikes, you can buy your electric bicycle online or book a test ride to try it out in person. Similarly, at Electric Bicycle Company and Green Electric Bike, you can buy online or visit in-store to purchase your e-bike.
At Flying Dutchman, cyclists can browse their e-bikes on their website and book an appointment to visit in person. At Robust E-bike, you can find out more about their e-bike models by chatting with a store representative online or visiting in person to buy.
Electric Bike Shop offers the ability to buy online and get it shipped to you, or you can collect your online purchase in-stores. Lastly, Onboards lets you buy online and get your e-bike shipped directly.
Where can I repair an e-bike in London?
If you want to get your e-bike repaired while visiting London, you have a few options! Velofix is a mobile repair service where a professional will come to you and fix your e-bike.
Cyclists need to book an appointment with the Velofix team, who will bring their mobile shop van to your home, workplace, or any other location. Companies such as Ride Electric, Fully Charged, and Green Electric Bike also offer complete e-bike repairs and services.
Read also: How to maintain your e-bike when you know nothing about it – in this article and this article. And, How to store your electric bike.
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in London?
Suppose you are looking to recycle your e-bike battery in London. In that case, you can return the battery to the original dealer (if possible), look up locations of recycling depots in the city through the London Recycles program, or get in touch with the company Greenlance, which offers a lithium e-bike battery recycling service.
London programs to develop cycling infrastructure
As part of the initiative to make cycling a safer and more accessible option, the city of London has a “Cycling action plan” in place, which aims to foster more awareness about the benefits of cycling and create more cycle networks within the city.
Now that you have all the tools to plan your e-bike trip to London, we hope you have a great trip!