There’s no question that getting on a bike and taking the road is healthy for you and can be extremely enjoyable; but while you’re on a traditional bike, even a few minor hills on your ride will make your journey a challenge, stopping you from doing it as much as you will.
Source image: leedsbikes.com
Whether you’re dreaming of buying an electric bike or upgrading your regular cycle, you’re probably looking forward to testing it out on the roads or trails near you. But purchasing an electric bike can be a gamble, and there are a few things to remember before making a decision. Here are a few ideas to help you pick an e-bike that suits your needs.
What to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Bike
Before you buying electric bike, start looking at individual bikes and their features, start first about what you want the bike to do. Having a clear idea of how you’re going to use the bike will help you make more decisions about the bike.
Where will you be riding? On a paved bike path, a mountain trail, or are you commuting to work and will be riding with traffic?
- How far will you ride?
- How many miles is it to work?
- How long are the bike paths near you?
- How much do you want to spend?
Generally, the more features a bike has and the more powerful it is, the more expensive it will be.
Class electric bikes
You have to know before buying electric bike that There are three classes of electric bikes, each with varying levels of assistance from the motor.
- Class 1: Also referred to as pedal-assist or pedelec, this type of bike has a motor that only works when you pedal and stops when you reach 20 mph. These bikes can be used on all streets and bike paths, and some mountain biking trails. They are also the most affordable.
- Class 2: This type of e-bike is throttle-operated and can be ridden without pedaling at all. There are more regulations surrounding this class of e-bike, so it’s important to check on which streets and trails these can be ridden.
- Class 3: Similar to class 1 electric bikes, but motor assistance doesn’t stop until you reach 28 mph. A significant benefit of class 3 bikes is the performance — they are faster, can manage hills better, and heavier loads. However, they are more expensive, and they cannot be ridden on most paths or mountain trails.
Batteries, Riding Distance, and Motor
The motors on electric bikes are powered by batteries, so one of the first things you’ll want to think about is how much battery power you need for the rides that you plan on taking. More battery power will provide more speed and torque to help with hills, but using more battery power will affect how long your ride is. Electric bike dealers will offer a range of products that vary in power and mile range; for example, you can choose between a 10, 20, and 40-mile range.
Battery Charge Time
The batteries on electric bikes are rechargeable, and some will require more time to fully recharge than others. Most batteries can fully recharge within three to five hours.
Number of Batteries
Some e-bikes have the option to use multiple batteries at once, allowing you to ride farther, and when one battery dies, the other one can be used as a backup.
Electric bike batteries are either mounted in the frame itself, or there is a small cage or basket that carries the battery externally.
The motors for electric bikes for either hub-drive mounted or mid-drive mounted.
Hub-Drive: These are typically located inside the hub of the rear wheel, but sometimes can be located on the front wheel. Rear-wheel mounted hub-drive motors give the rider the feeling of being pushed. It can be somewhat challenging to replace a flat tire on a rear-wheel motor. Front wheel-mounted motors handle similarly to a front-wheel-drive car.
Mid-Drive: These motors are located on the bottom bracket, below the pedals, and are more common. The benefits of a mid-drive motor include a more natural feel when pedaling and the bike can feel more centered and balanced when the weight of the motor is centrally located.
There are dozens of electric bikes to choose from, many with different features and components. Here are a few additional accessories that you may find.
- LCD Displays
- Smartphone Integration