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Article: Electric Bike vs. VAE: How to Make the Right Choice?

Vélo Électrique vs. VAE : Comment Faire le Bon Choix ? - Overade

Electric Bike vs. VAE: How to Make the Right Choice?

Faced with the growing diversity of electric bicycles and VAEs (electrically assisted bicycles), making the right choice can be complex. Whether it's an electric city bike, ideal for urban commuting, or a suspended electric mountain bike, perfect for mountainous exploration, understanding the essential differences between these options is crucial. This article aims to decipher the characteristics and benefits of each category to inform your decision. The market offers a range of electric bikes, from folding models to sturdy electric cargo bikes. Each option has unique features such as battery life, frame comfort, and electric assistance performance. With a variety of models to suit every rider and purchasing facilities such as free delivery, choosing the perfect electric bike has never been more accessible. Whether you're looking for a way to bypass city traffic or a reliable companion for outdoor adventures, this guide is the first step towards more sustainable and enjoyable mobility.

Understand the fundamental differences

Are you hesitating between an electric bike and an VAE (Electricly Assisted Bike)? It is essential to know the difference between these two vehicles to choose the ideal partner for your travels. But what are these machines really that are changing the way we travel?

What is an electric bike?

Also known as an e-bike, the electric bicycle is a classic bicycle equipped with an electric motor. This motor makes pedaling easier, thus reducing physical effort, particularly when going uphill or over long distances. In Europe, the electric assistance stops automatically at 25 km/h .

What is an VAE (Electricly Assisted Bicycle)?

The VAE has many similarities with the traditional electric bike, but stands out thanks to its intelligent motor which automatically adapts the assistance according to the pedaling effort. This makes the experience more intuitive and allows better management of battery energy consumption. The VAE is therefore ideal for those looking for personalized support for their effort.

electric bike

Comparison of technical characteristics

Concerning the technical characteristics , the main difference between an electric bike and an e-bike is the power of the motor and the autonomy of the battery . A standard electric bike has a range of 30 to 60 km , while an eBike can go up to 90 to 120 km thanks to its more advanced battery. In addition, unlike an electric bike whose assistance is limited to 25 km/h , an VAE can, under certain conditions, go up to 45 km/h .

The choice between an electric bike and an eBike should be based on your specific needs in terms of distance, speed and terrain. Whether it's an electric folding bike for ease of use in the city, or a suspended electric mountain bike for steep paths, every technical detail is crucial for an optimal riding experience.

In summary: the electric bike and the VAE are both powered by an electric motor and equipped with a battery. However, the major difference lies in the pedaling assistance mode. The VAE offers “assisted pedaling”: the motor is only triggered when the cyclist pedals, adapting to their effort.

Selection criteria to make the right choice

Selecting the perfect electric bike for your needs requires careful evaluation of several key criteria. They will guide you towards the most suitable model, ensuring an ideal harmony between performance, comfort, and budget.

Intended use and type of route

The nature of your journeys is crucial in the selection process. For regular urban trips, an electric city bike offering a pleasant driving position and moderate electric assistance will be perfect. We are talking about “city” use of the bicycle. For more demanding routes or on various types of terrain, opt for an electric mountain bike , which benefits from better suspension and reinforced assistance.


Battery life and power

Battery endurance plays a major role, especially for long distances. Choosing an electric bike with a long range will minimize frequent recharging. Battery power, in turn, impacts the bike's ability to easily climb hills and maintain a constant speed with less effort.

Thanks to its motor which is only activated when pedaling, the VAE optimizes the use of the battery, extending its autonomy. Users can thus enjoy longer journeys, reaching up to 140 km on a single charge for certain eBike models, compared to around 50 to 80 km for traditional electric bikes. This makes the e-bike a more sustainable and economical choice for regular trips, especially for those planning varied routes including climbs.

The size

Choosing the right size bike is essential to ensure optimal riding comfort and avoid injuries. An ill-fitting bike can cause back, knee, or wrist pain. The ideal size depends on your height, leg length, and riding style. Manufacturers usually offer size guides based on these measurements. It is recommended to try different models in store to find the size that suits you best, paying attention to the height of the frame, the distance between the saddle and the handlebars, and the ease of placing your feet on the ground. The stores will really help you with this. There are also hybrid models.

VTC, MTB, Folding or even Cargo Bike?

For those looking for a versatile bike, capable of navigating both urban environments and less conventional paths, the electric VTC is an excellent choice. Designed to provide a comfortable and safe ride on various terrains, the VTC combines the characteristics of a road bike with those of a mountain bike. It is equipped with wider tires for better grip and cushioning, suspension to absorb shock, and a range of speeds adapted to different types of routes. If your use of the bike varies between the city, parks, and short hikes, an electric VTC could be the ideal solution. It also depends on whether you are traveling with children.

In addition to considering a VTC for its versatility, another choice to consider, especially if you have specific transportation needs, is the electric cargo bike. These bikes are designed to carry heavy loads or multiple passengers, making traveling with children, pets, or cargo significantly easier and more environmentally friendly. The electric cargo bike incorporates a powerful motor and a large capacity battery to effectively assist your pedaling, even when fully charged. It is a hybrid mix with the car.

Ideal for families or for commercial use, the cargo bike can replace a car in many urban contexts, thus reducing transport costs and the carbon footprint. Equipped with varied and hybrid configurations, such as front boxes, secure child seats, or loading platforms, it adapts to a wide range of uses. However, keep in mind that their size and weight can make storage and parking more difficult compared to a standard VTC or e-bike. If you are considering an electric cargo bike, for transporting your children for example, make sure you have enough space to park and store it, and consider the environment in which you plan to use it to ensure that it it will meet your needs.


Folding bikes, such as those offered by Brompton or Decathlon, also offer a super compact solution for city dwellers looking for flexibility and efficiency in their travel. Recognized for their ability to combine the compact appearance, when folded, with the performance of a traditional bicycle in use, these bicycles stand out for their ease of transport and storage, adapting perfectly to multimodal journeys and restricted spaces. While Brompton focuses on durability and high ride quality, Decathlon offers more accessible alternatives, ensuring that every urban cyclist can find a compact folding bike suited to their needs and budget, without compromising on comfort or practicality.

Budget and maintenance cost

The budget is essential. The price range of electric bikes is wide, from compact, budget-friendly, to larger budgets, reflecting variations in terms of motor quality, battery capacity and included accessories.

The price of an electric bike or e-bike can vary widely, reflecting factors such as brand, component quality, on-board technology, and special features like motor type or battery life. In general, prices start around €800 for entry-level models and can rise to several thousand euros for high-end bikes equipped with the latest innovations. It is important to consider this investment in the context of your specific needs and intended use of the bike. A more expensive bike may offer a better riding experience, greater durability, and lower maintenance costs in the long run.

Fortunately, there are financial aids and subsidies to facilitate the purchase of electric bicycles, intended to encourage ecological modes of transport. This aid can come from the State, regions, or municipalities and can significantly reduce the cost of acquiring an VAE. To find out more about these opportunities and how they can help you finance your purchase, do not hesitate to consult our article dedicated to assistance with the purchase of electric bicycles . This could allow you to benefit from a bike at a better price and of higher quality while taking advantage of the financial advantages offered.

It is important to also consider the cost of maintenance, influenced by the complexity of the support system and the availability of spare parts.

By taking these factors into account, you will be able to choose an electric bike that will meet your requirements while ensuring excellent value for money. The next step is to look at the elements to inspect before purchasing, to make an informed choice.

Things to consider before purchasing

Choosing an electric bike requires in-depth consideration of several essential criteria to ensure that your investment perfectly meets your needs and complies with current regulations.

Regulations and safety

The laws surrounding e-bikes are rigorous, aiming to protect all road users. From 2024, electric bikes will have to adhere to the NF EN 15194 standard, limiting electric assistance to 25 km/h and motor power to 250 Watts. It is a legal framework which also ensures the safety of us all. It is crucial to also follow the highway code and wear a helmet that meets safety standards.

Ergonomics and driving comfort

Comfort is essential when choosing an electric bike. Opt for a model with an ergonomic saddle, comfortable handles and a riding posture adapted to your body. A high-performance suspension system is also recommended for smoother, less tiring driving over long distances. The Mustache brand, for example, has become known for the ergonomics of its handlebars. The Ivog from O2feel also has this aspect.

When you are a woman and looking for an electric bike or an e-bike, several specific criteria can guide the choice towards a more suitable and comfortable model. Manufacturers have recognized these needs and now offer models designed specifically for women, taking into account their body shape and their preferences in terms of design and functionality.

These bikes can have a lowered frame, making it easier to climb over, especially useful in town where frequent stops require getting on and off the bike easily. The Ivog model from O2feel is a good affordable example. Additionally, the saddle is often designed to provide optimal comfort taking into account women's anatomy, while the handles are adapted to fit typically smaller hands. The general ergonomics of the bike, including the riding position, are also designed to reduce fatigue and increase comfort over long distances.

Spare part available in stock

When choosing your electric bike, a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is the availability of spare parts and after-sales support offered by manufacturers and retailers. Opting for a bike whose components, such as the battery, motor, or specific parts of the assistance system, are easily accessible from authorized dealers, can significantly reduce the hassle and costs in the event of a necessary repair. Naturally the frame remains the basic part, the strongest. But peripheral elements can wear out. A good After-Sales Service (After-Sales Service) network, with remote stock close to home, not only ensures that your bike will remain operational for longer, but also provides peace of mind knowing that you can count on support professional and fast. Before purchasing, it is therefore wise to find out about the reputation of the manufacturer in terms of after-sales service, the available spare parts that they have in stock, and to prefer brands recognized for their reliability and their commitment to post customers. -purchase. A good manufacturer will always have stock of spare parts available.


The growing popularity of electric bikes and e-bikes sometimes results in a shortage of certain models or sizes at retailers. Before deciding on a specific model, check the availability of the bike in stores or online. The stock situation can also affect delivery times, particularly for brands and models in high demand. Consider reserving your bike in advance or being flexible with model and brand to avoid long wait times. Keeping an eye on stock will also allow you to catch any promotions or special offers on immediately available models.

Options and accessories available

Adding options and accessories can transform your riding experience and personalize your bike to your preferences. Consider adding sturdy locks, quality lighting, luggage racks and integrated navigation systems to increase the functionality and security of your e-bike.


The LIFE helmet that we designed at Overade, for example, integrates innovative functions: we also advise you to think about equipping yourself with a helmet, and the must-have these days: the indicators and the bicycle brake light integrated. A remote control to indicate when you are turning, and one that slips onto the brake lever, and your helmet becomes an ultra-complementary safety element to the bike. Equipped with integrated LED lighting, the LIFE considerably improves the cyclist's visibility, an undeniable asset for night trips or in low light conditions. Its premium finish, with high quality materials and careful design, makes it a premium choice in correlation with the increasingly premium bikes on the market.

The PLIXI is also a good option: it is a folding helmet, thus reducing its volume by three when folded. This feature makes it the perfect accessory for urban cyclists. Easy to carry and store in a bag or drawer at the office, it nevertheless provides optimal protection in the event of a fall. With its elegant design and practicality, the PLIXI meets the needs of users who seek to combine safety and convenience.

By taking these elements into account before making the purchase, you guarantee the acquisition of an electric bike which not only meets your expectations but also constitutes a safe and long-lasting purchase.


Ultimately, choosing between an electric bike and an e-bike aligns with your specific requirements regarding the route, the distance to be covered, the range and the budget. It is crucial to consider the standards in force, the comfort of use, as well as the accessories available for a well-informed decision. Don't hesitate to go and test it in store. Don't delay any longer, adopt electric mobility and join the ecological movement by bicycle. And transporting your children is also the best way to give them a taste of gentle mobility! Your journey begins here. Take the initiative towards responsible and sustainable investment. The era is electric; it's time to pedal forward into the future.

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