Ebikes, or electric bikes, are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s no wonder why. Whether you want to glide your way through the city, tackle technical and steep terrain off-road, or embark on longer commutes, e-bikes let you cruise effortlessly for miles, making cycling far more accessible than before. What’s more, you can easily find an e-bike for different age groups and demographics, as manufacturers are developing new technologies to compensate for range, speed, and longevity.
We know how daunting it is to decide which electric bike to purchase, especially when you don't know what to look for. So, before you plunge yourself into the multitudes of different e-bikes, it’s better to do a little research to make sure you find the best e-bike for you. Here’s a list of important features that you must consider when buying an e-bike.
Size and weight
Find an e-bike that you can easily ride or take anywhere. Electrical bikes are much heavier than traditional cycles due to the weight of the battery and motor, ranging between 40 and 80lbs. Although an electric bike can easily glide through town, it can be challenging for someone to lug it on their back and climb up the stairs.
If you’re not strong enough or your health prevents you from picking up a heavyweight, then a foldable e-bike would be great so that you can take it anywhere without any hassle. Also, choose larger wheels and frames for taller or bigger riders to ensure a comfortable ride.
Understand your needs
Electric bikes are made for different purposes, styles, and people. So, it’s better to think through when and where you’ll be using your e-bike and accordingly choose the feature you want on your electric bike. For instance, choosing a step-through frame would be great if you prefer comfort over anything.
If you’re looking for an e-bike for hill climbing, a high torque hub motor or middle motor system would be best. On the other hand, if conquering long-distance goals is your thing, then a 500 watt-hour battery or more is reliable and an appropriate option to suit your needs. So, it’s better to determine your needs before exploring the available options so that you can pick the features that matter most in your e-bike.
Knowing how many miles you can cover on a typical journey with your e-bike is essential, especially when it comes to charging. That means the longer your range, the less you’ll have to worry about recharging the battery again.
This is where Watt-hours come into play, which is another metric that riders have to consider before making a purchase. The range of an e-bike per charge will broadly vary depending upon your weight, the terrain, and the assistance you use while riding.
Although your dealer has already done the math for you, it’s better to consider it beforehand to know your optimal range at an average speed. For instance, if you use your e-bike for a 10-mile daily commute, then a small battery will be sufficient. On the other hand, if covering 30+ miles a day is your thing, then a 500Wh battery would be more appropriate.
Battery power and size
Every electric bike is integrated with different models of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The technology used by these bikes is similar to that of electric vehicles, as they can be charged quickly. They may, however, differ significantly from one model to the next. Some models attach the battery to the down tube where it can be accessed and removed easily.
Others, on the other hand, incorporate it into the Seatpost or downtube to ensure a sleek and clean appearance. But remember, everything comes at a price. Choosing the battery size is up to you, so go as far as your budget allows to get the best quality and size. The capacity of a battery is measured in watt-hours (wh), which determines the potential range of your electric bike.
Check whether it’s easy to maintain your e-bike or not, as many brands have shut down in the past few years. That means if you purchase from an unknown seller or brand, you might end up getting a product made from poor quality parts with no after-sale services.
It’s recommended to buy from an established dealer with adequate customer support service, as they can provide spare parts and repair services for all kinds of e-bikes under their offerings. Also, always check the core offerings of an established seller and see whether they make use of modular components or not so that you can upgrade or replace the existing parts of your e-bike.
To ensure the safest ride possible, you have to keep a few things in mind when buying an e-bike. First, make sure your brakes have enough stopping power to handle the torque of the motor. For that, hydraulic disc brakes are great for handling the speed.
Other safety features like smart cut-off will ensure seamless turning of the motor on and off, so you don’t kick or jolt out on a ride. Don’t forget to check the suspension on the seats and fork and accessories like reflectors and lights. All these features, small or big, will help in ensuring the safest ride.
Remember, purchasing an e-bike is more like an investment, as you are likely to use it for the next 4-8 years. So, you should consider a product that comes with a warranty for its battery, motor, and other parts for at least four years. Most manufacturers are likely to provide this as a standard policy if their product can deliver better performance.
Your potential electric bike is expected to last at least five years with proper maintenance and service, and the battery must last from 500 to 800 charge cycles. So, you should read the customers’ reviews to know whether their purchase turned out to be worthwhile or not. Or you can also contact the dealer and ask about the average lifespan of your potential e-bike. That way, you can find the ideal electric bike for your needs.
Evaluate the cost
Since e-bikes are soaring in popularity, everybody is trying to get their own straight away without thinking it through. But you, on the other hand, make the right decision to find an ideal bike based on the features and value delivered by the product. And you probably don’t want to blindly pay a high price for something that you can get at the right price with a bit of research.
Today, electric bikes are available at varying price points, ranging from $700 to a whopping $10,000. That being said, you get what you pay for. Similarly, buying a cheap electric bike may give you satisfaction for a couple of days, but it can easily break down. So, it’s better to decide your budget first before exploring the different ranges of e-bikes available out there.
That way, you can quickly narrow down your options and find a product that meets your needs. Regardless of how tempting it is to compare two e-bikes and choose the cheapest one, most people don’t even realize that the slightest difference in the price tag can make or break your riding experience.
So, always look for features that deliver high performance and last longer than their counterparts. Mid-tier and premium electric bikes will use thoughtful design to provide an incredible riding experience. Try to stretch your budget as far as possible in order to get the incredible features and design in your e-bike.
Make sure your motors, controller, battery, and LCD are resistant to water splashes so that you won’t have to worry about leaving your bike outside or riding it in the rain. Also, check whether all components are dustproof or not. It will ensure that you won’t experience any stoppage in your smooth ride.
Most manufacturers are developing technology to ensure your investment is safe from thieves by incorporating features like a quick-release front wheel, a lockable battery, and more. That means if someone tries to steal your e-bike, it will be hard for them to do so, thanks to safety features. Even if a part were stolen, your dealer would replace it with a new one.
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If you're looking for a more in depth analysis of what to look for when purchasing an ebike, check out our free Buyers Guide: an information resource ranging from riding style, to batteries, to motor and drivetrain, and more. Check it out!
If you need assistance in finding which ebike is best for you, take our free quiz, or get in contact with our team. We’ll walk you through our exclusive range of electric bikes designed to cater to a wider audience and help you find an ideal ride that fits your needs. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our friendly experts will get back to you as soon as possible.