Welcome to the new age of transport. Gone are the days when transportation was characterized by four-legged animals laboriously pulling carts.
As technology morphed. The petrol age came through and is still considered a dominant player in the transport sector.
However, the rise of activism has dealt a big blow to the petroleum industry. Issues like pollution, is leading to the evolution of e-bikes. Not to mention other electric forms of transportation.
As gas prices continue skyrocketing, so does the popularity associated with e-bikes. It presents an economical, environmentally friendly way to commute. Ideal for those who loath traveling in cramped up public forms of transport.
They come in various styles and designs which may come across as a bit problematic to the user. Various tips such as weight, size, and distance come across as vital features.
Helping one purchase an e-bike. In case you’re on the lookout on what to consider before buying an e-bike, here’s the deal. But first, let’s take a sneak peek into the workings of the famed e-bike.
Table of Contents
- How Does An Electric Bike Work?
- What should I Look For When Buying An Electric Bike?
- The Right Class Of Electric Bike Is Important
- Classification Breakdown:
- Pay Attention to the E-bike Construction
- Good Motor Means A More Powerful Ride
- A Juicy Battery Isn’t Bad
- Types of Battery Mounting Setup:
- An E-bike Range That Goes To Infinity & Beyond
- Weight & Load Capacity Dose It Matter?
- Be Mindful Of The Motor, Speed, and Range
- Portability & Ease Of Storage
- Do I Need An Electric Bike?
- Related Post
How Does An Electric Bike Work?
An electric bike uses a Battery that charges an in-built motorized engine. This provides the much-needed go, hence reducing ones cycling effort. Some e-bikes come with sensors strategically placed at the peddles.
Determining the energy needed based on the pressure exerted on the pedals. Other e-bikes come equipped with a motorcycle-like throttle set at the handlebars.
A pull of the throttle gives the users the option for additional power to juice up the bike with.
All these options come in handy. Carrying groceries uphill will be a breeze. Also if you need to make it in time for that interview without breaking or drenching in sweat.
Since they are bicycles, they are limited to a top speed. Having a running motor and power averaging at 200 watts.
What should I Look For When Buying An Electric Bike?
Electric bicycle shopping can feel very intimidating especially when there are loads of brands to choose from. Top companies like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, Ancheer, etc all offer top tier high performing bikes at a premium. In our buying guide, we break down what to look for on your electric bicycle purchase.
Pre-built or DIY – Any important buying tip is to know all of your options before making a purchase. Most people don’t know that it’s possible for them to build their own DIY electric bicycle. With help of a conversion, kit riders can provide a boost of power to their old wheels in a cost-effective matter.
Price – Undoubtedly price will be criteria that will help weigh your options. Is the electric bicycle your looking into for daily commutes through the city or is it for shredding hills on the weekend? Depending on your answer will factor into the overall price.
Top-performing electric bicycles meant for hills will have quality mid-drive motor and battery. Yet the trade-off will have you paying $1500 to $3000 at the high end of the spectrum.
The opposite can be said for commuters electric bikes with weaker motor and battery.
Motor / Battery Systems – Motor power and good battery quality all have an effect on your daily commute. Many e-bikes can vary in the type that they offer. Make sure your bike model fits your riding profile.
For example, the Swagtron EB10 250w motor and its lower-powered battery are meant for cruising not mountain biking.
Charging and battery capacity – This doesn’t get motioned often but charging time & battery capacity plays a huge role over the life span of an electric bicycle.
Range – Electric bicycle range is an important. The range is dependent on a number of factors like power modes, motor and battery size. Longer range capabilities means these factors are efficient and can sustain riding good times in between chargers.
Tire Size – One selling point marketed to buyers is bike tire size. Why is this selling mentioned so often? The main reason terrain, certain tires like fat tire electric mountain bikes are better suited for bumpy, gravel-based, and muddy road paths.
In fat tire’s have deeper groovers and can absorb the impact given for electric mountain bikes. Conventional Air-filled rubber will not do well on this terrain and are better suited for the road.
The Right Class Of Electric Bike Is Important
Like all newly popular technology in the United States, regulation has become a more important topic. The need to regulate electric rideables especially e-bikes is important to keep everyone safe.
A classification system has been created so states can acknowledge and accept e-bikes for their own usage.
These bikes are some of the most common E-bikes in the market definitely for any sort of rider in the market that is interested in using this product for leisure.
Class 2 Electric Bikes: Has a pedal-assist and throttle-power mode. The throttle provides additional speed without have to pedal the bicycle.
A electric bike with a throttle can be compared to a scooter since it doesn’t require an input from the rider to go.
Class 3 Electric Bikes: A class 3 e-bike is solely pedal-assist and will stop assisting once the bike reaches a top speed of 28 miles per hour. Class 3 electric bikes are amazingly fast and powerful.
Eating up terrains like incline and decline hills or bumpy paths. This added performance means you’ll be paying top dollar to obtain a class 3 electric bikes.
We recommend that you pay attention to the laws in your town before buying an electric bike. Laws on e-ridables are changing all the time. Here’s a list of different states and their regulations on e-bikes.
It’s explained a bit more thorough, so you know what the laws in your area.
Pay Attention to the E-bike Construction
It’s a no brainier that construction plays an integral part in the performance of an e-bike. As a first time owner, choosing a bike made from a light, durable material such as carbon fiber is essential.
A mixture of light steel or plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. It comes across as suitable in ensuring that the bike reduces drag and does not overwork the electric motors due to weight issues.
On the other hand, as a potential owner, you need to be sure that your purchase is worth your hard-earned cash. With the high rate of e-bikes flooding the market, it’s easy to get ripped off.
Conducting due diligence before purchase will come in handy. Ensuring that you get what rightly fits your needs.
Such as stretching you over the most prolonged period. Start out with a quality bike with durable steel frames and sturdy forks.
You’ll be able to put in a thousand miles without any disappointments. Don’t underscore the importance of investing in durable e-bikes.
Good Motor Means A More Powerful Ride
The right motor type is important when choosing an electric bike. It can be the difference between flattening hills, extending distances or lightening the load of your ride.
E-bike motors can be categorized by the location there placed. There are front, rear hub or mid-drive electric bikes.
Front – The motor hub is located on the front tire and provides propulsion by rotating the tire. Rotating action creates the sensation that the bike is being pulled forward.
Rear – The motor hub is located on the rear tire and provides propulsion by rotating the tire. It pushes the rider forward, mimicking the natural motion of a traditional bike.
Mid Drive – Motor power is sent from the mid-drive to the drivetrain instead of the hub. Its central location is in-between the bike pedals. There is natural motion felt when compared to the front hub motor. Bosch, Brose, Yamaha and Shimano are some of the big names when comes to mid-drive.
Manufactures put in a lot of time when comes to an electric bike motor. Designing powerful motors that can deliver on speed or the ability to produce enough torque to climb hills.
This added performances can effect the riding range. A powerful motor can also drain the battery faster, reducing overall riding range.
That’s why searching for an e-bike that has a big battery and efficient motor makes a huge difference.
A Juicy Battery Isn’t Bad
When buying an e-bike, you’ll come across different options concerning battery power.
The choice of the battery mainly depends on how you will use the bike. Activities, such as pulling a carrier or inclusion of additional weight. Will weigh heavily on the performance of your battery.
Further, it would be best if you also considered your weight when choosing a functional battery. A lithium-ion (Li-Ion) comes across as the most preferred battery.
Since it can withstand many recharge cycles compared to other batteries. It basically means that you can go for longer without replacing your batteries.
Just like any other batteries, lithium-ion batteries come in different voltages.
Higher voltage batteries are obviously expensive but superior in performance and last longer.
The average battery ranges between 12-30 miles on gentle paddling. The actual distance ultimately depends on the size and weight of the rider and the terrain covered. Before getting an e-bike.
Take note of the battery manufacture date to ensure it’s the latest model. Old batteries are prone to dangerous exposures such as leaking, explosions, and drain much faster. Also they pollute the environment.
Types of Battery Mounting Setup:
This battery mounting setup is built into the frame of the electric bike. Typically seen in a high end mountain electric bikes. This is great because you get extra space for Bottle Cage or Frame Pouch.
External batteries mounting setup is not built into the frame. It’s on the outside of the frame, allowing for ease of access. You can quickly charge your battery or replace with other private dealers.
An E-bike Range That Goes To Infinity & Beyond
Most electric bike pundits and enthusiasts get this question a lot. Getting an e-bike range is quite hectic and cannot be distilled to a single or constant number. Some manufactures post realistic numbers while most are just downright ridiculous.
Manufacturers claim long ranges, which never turns out to be the real deal after reviewing its performance.
These ranges can be amplified four times their original performance and are partly blamed on sales. A good way to get the true range is to calculate it yourself.
Some of the factors that cause a difference in range can be attributed to a plethora of factors such as;
- The assistance level that is chosen by the rider
- The rider’s actual weight
- Type of terrain
- The luggage being carried
- The speed at which they cycle and how hard they are peddling
Other factors: How old the battery is, temperature and wind conditions, tire pressure, tire surface area, and the size of the bike’s motor, among many other factors.
It would help if you also considered what the bike is meant for. Bikes with fat tires intended for snowy conditions cover less distance due to increased resistance between the road surface and the tires.
On the other hand, city bikes with thin tires tend to cover more extended range due to reduced resistance.
Ultimately, your range will depend on how long it takes you to engage the level of assistance before you tire out. For some, it may take 20 miles while others 200.
Weight & Load Capacity Dose It Matter?
Depending on the type e-bike your considering the weight can be the deciding factor. It contributes to the bike’s overall portability, riding style, and speed. Electric bikes typically weigh between 45 – 60 pounds.
It is always valuable to have a comparison analysis of the different weights and style e-bikes. We listed some averages weights below.
DJ City Electric Bike: 57Ibs
ANCHEER 350/500W Mountain e-Bike: 53 lbs
SWAGTRON EB-5 Foldable eBikes: 37 lbs
The load capacity of an electric bike can range anywhere between 250 – 400 pounds. However, some e-bikes are designed to carry heavy loads, and their weights can skew higher.
It’s vital that before buying an e-bike, consider the manufacturer’s suggested load capacity. It’s outlined to ensure your safety and the bike’s best performance.
An electric bike should quickly slow down during a downhill or stoppage in traffic. Adding extra weight hampers stoppage.
Leading to reduced safety damaging the spokes, wheel, and excess wearing out of the brake pads. On the other hand, not giving consideration to the prescribed weight will lead to reduced range.
Hence poor efficiency and performance. Unfortunately, the mass market for e-bikes out there doesn’t cater to heavy riders. They usually are limited to 225 pounds load capacity.
It poses a tremendous challenge for weighty riders or those looking to transport heavy loads.
However, before buying an e-bike, it’s advised that one should reach out to customer support.
Also, look out for reviews to get the best weight limits and what works out for them.
Be Mindful Of The Motor, Speed, and Range
The motor is an essential determinant of how fast the bike goes. Different kinds of motors come with different speeds.
Either being integrated into the front and back wheels. When choosing an electric bike, it’s vital to give priority to the motor and its weight. Factoring in your own weight into the equation as well.
It goes without saying that the e-bike range depends on motor speed and power. Obviously, other factors may affect the speed of the bike, such as the rider’s weight and the wheelbase diameter.
E-bike manufacturers will specify the motor’s capacity in watts and RPM (rotations per minute). More wattage means more power resulting in higher speeds.
Portability & Ease Of Storage
Despite most electric bikes getting manufactured by lightweight materials, you must choose a bike that fits your lifestyle.
Going by today’s trends, most urban cities are cramped up for space posing challenges when it comes to parking spaces.
You need an alternative that works out for you and will largely depend on both your work and housing space requirements.
For most, particularly in the urban setting, most apartments lack the necessary space to store up stuff such as bikes.
Thus, it only works to the bike’s owner’s advantage if the bike comes as portable and foldable to make use of the minimal available space.
Such options create a hassle-free mode of transport with no parking tickets as one can comfortably carry it to an office environment and plug it in to charge while on the job.
Further, it reduces the stress and hassles associated with theft since you can comfortably hang it on your wall or, better yet, fold it and place it in your living room.
Do I Need An Electric Bike?
Whether you’re a health expert or a fitness guru, you’re bet is as good as mine. E-bikes are a great and healthy way to exercise. They are both friendly to the environment and your pockets.
Despite the constant bickering that they are a form of cheating. I hold the fact that one has the option to exercise based on their personality.
Nothing quite matches the euphoria that comes with an added boost of power from an e-bike. Buying an e-bike will put a smile on your face that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. That I can guarantee
Top 31 E-Bike Accessories – The popularity of e-bikes has grown by leaps and bounds. Consumers these days use it not just for daily commute but also for recreational use.
If you want to use e-bike regularly, it’s a good idea to get some accessories which can make things easier for you. We have compiled a list of the top… Read More Here.
Can electric bikes go up hills? This is a question many e-bike users or those who want to own e-bikes in the future keep asking. If you want to cycle up a hill or go off-road.
There are different kinds of e-bikes available in the market that you can choose from. However, for the new buyers, it can be a hard task trying to figure out which e-bike is the best for that strenuous uphill cycle. Read More Here.