Having a good bike screen is absolutely key to managing your efforts and getting the most out of your riding experience. But not all e-bike displays get it right, and having a weak set-up can cause real problems while out spinning.
We’ve dug deep into the world of e-bike displays to set-out exactly what you need to know – the good, the bad and the downright excellent. Let’s get to grips with e-bike displays!
Key Notes | Good eBike Displays Will Have:
Clear and exact battery life percentage
Lots of data options
Customisable viewing options
Bright and easy to read screen
What is an e-Bike Display?
An e-bike display is an onboard computer, linked to your motor and battery, which shows you how much battery life you have left. This can be displayed in many different forms – from a very rudimentary set-up, such as a couple of LED lights, right up to number by number percentage of battery life remaining (we definitely prefer the latter).
The simplest e-bike displays may just show the amount of battery life you have left, but the ones you want to aim for offer much more. Some show your current speed, your RPM, the amount of distance you’ve done, the amount of climbing you’ve done, and provide GPS info, along with many other data options.
The very best e-bike displays are customisable, so you can select the data you want to see while out riding and switch it around depending on the needs of the day.
Why is a Good e-Bike Display Important?
Having a good e-bike display can be the difference between having a miserable riding experience and a very fulfilling one. Good e-bike displays, and their customisable data options help you to manage your efforts out on the trails.
Not only can they help you conserve battery, by showing you the percentage of battery life you have left clearly, so you don’t rinse it all early. But they can also help you perfect your energy output, have a clear indication of how long you have left on a ride, among many other options.
They’re a best friend while out cycling, so you can target your efforts at the right time, look after your battery life and stay out having fun for longer.
ℹ️ If you’re wondering whether you can use any display for an e-bike? The answer is no – the technology in many e-bike displays a is linked and paired to the motor you have selected.
This unfortunately means if you select a bike with a certain motor, which has a poor display setup, you’re stuck with it.
What Makes a Good e-Bike Display?
You want to have the battery life you have left shown clearly on your e-MTB or e-bike display, ideally as an exact percentage, this allows you to be clear about where you’re up to at all times.
Having lots of different data options to view elevates your riding experience and helps you to really hone in your performance. That data needs to be presented clearly and easy to understand, both while stationary and while moving.
You want it to be there for you when you really need it, so reliability is important, and it’s a bonus if you can link displays to your smartphone to upload data for review.
What Makes a Bad e-Bike Display?
Some e-MTB displays show their data in a small selection of LED lights – the Shimano Steps display is a really bad one for this (5 LED lights, representing 20% of battery life). Huge ranges like this mean you never really know if you have 1% of battery left or 19%.
This creates an enormous amount of range anxiety and that unreliability can make or break a ride – you could soon find yourself with a dead battery while still out in the mountains.
Having a small, dark or hard to read screen means you’ll have to stop regularly to read your data, which isn’t good. And any lack of consistency or any unreliability with an e-bike display means it becomes pretty much untrustworthy.
E-MTB Displays We Love (and Hate)
Bosch e-MTB displays are outstanding and if you’re asking what is the best display for an e-bike? They’re right up there. They’re highly customisable, show the percentage of battery life you have left clearly and are incredibly reliable.
The Giant Ride Control display is a very simplistic motor display, but it’s also a beauty to use and the Specialized Turbo Connect display is also a decent piece of kit.
The Shimano Steps display has always been one that disappoints us here at EMBK. It’s a let-down from an otherwise reliable company like Shimano.
The display of 5 LED lights for battery percentage creates enormous range anxiety and is thoroughly unreliable. It’s clunky, has poor customisation options and using it is a fairly miserable experience.
It plays a part in many of our poorer bike reviews, check out our thoughts on the display in this Canyon e-MTB review.
Having a good e-bike display can be the difference between a good day’s riding and a bad day on the pedals. A good display is your best friend out on the trails, meanwhile, a poorly designed one can spoil a full day’s riding.
Make sure to shop about and have a good read through reviews on our website before pulling the trigger on a motor and display. You want a display you can trust, a display which is easy to read and offers many different customisable options to truly elevate your riding experience.
If the display you’re thinking of doesn’t offer those features, avoid it. Now, get out and test run a few for yourself.