While you might think most e-bikes look the same there are different types of frames that are suitable for different types of uses and indeed the riders who sit on them. Here are the main types of e-bike frames and the reasons you might choose that frame style over another.
This is the most common style that you will find. The diamond frame consists of 2 “triangles” stuck together. While most of the time it is not actually a triangle, it nearly always consists of four tubes: the head tube, top tube, down tube and seat tube. The rear triangle consists of the seat tube joined by paired chain stays and seat stays which make up the rear triangle. Some people will also call this a “Hard-Tail” as a trial e-bike (A Soft-Tail) will often have suspension on the rear instead of a Seat Tube, or even a Seat Stay bar.
These types of frames are suitable for most people’s needs, from road and gravel riding to soft trial use, but they are not necessarily suitable for harder trail riding.
You can see all the names for the frame parts here…
This is often called a “woman’s/female bicycle frame” but we are not in the 1950s here. In short, it has mostly the same style as the diamond frame, only the top bar (Top tube) is missing or set much lowering allowing people with limited mobility to swing their legs into the bicycle. Maybe people prefer this style of frame as it allows for easy on-off access to the bicycle if you are stopping and starting a lot, but it is also worth noting that most bike racks for cars will require you to have a cross bar (Top Tube) to lock onto, but you can buy special locking bars for these types of frames.
This style of frame is not to be confused with the ‘Step-through’ style seen above, even if they can often look the same. It gets its name of course, from its ability to hold in half. This e-bike is perfect for those with smaller boot spaces, those who need to take their e-bikes on public transport, or even people who simply don’t have a lot of room to store the e-bike while at home.
In the past, people thought of these frames as unsafe and unstable, but thanks to stronger materials used in the frame locks and mounts they are much stronger and last a lot longer.
This type of frame is for the road racers, the speed demons who like a smooth ride as aerodynamic as possible. While some will say this type of e-bike is pointless there are plenty of road racers out there who like that extra push up the hills, to be able to keep up with younger riders and generally making their ride a little easier.
These types of e-bikes often don’t have much power, but instead are designed for gentle help, while keeping the bike as light as possible and the batteries (like this one in the image) are built into the frame itself. Hence the reason these e-bikes cost a lot more than other types.
While many of these will have most of the Diamond style frames, they will also have suspension in various parts. Some have suspension on the seat tube, others have no seat stay and suspension on the chain stay! These are the “Soft-tails” and they are used for harder, tougher trail rides. While these types of e-bikes are more expensive they are made to be tougher and last longer, while still offering a smooth ride and power assistance.
With more and more manufacturers and designer brands making e-bikes the types of frames is growing all the time. Frames like Trapeze, Moped, e-Adventure, BMX and many many more. While most probably fun to ride these are often more custom, specialised bikes with more expensive price tags attached to them.
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