Picking an electric bike is never easy. You’re making an expensive commitment that can cost you thousands of dollars. So you’ve got to it get right the first time!
With that, getting an e-bike is much easier than buying a car. There’s a lot less on the market to study and look at. In fact, the factors to consider when choosing different types of ebikes are few!
Below, we’ll outline those factors. Take the time to explore our list, and use it to plan your next purchase!
Factor #1: Types of electric bikes
E-bikes don’t differ that much from regular bicycles. The only difference is, you get an added electric ebike motor to either give your pedalling a boost or to act as a temporary motorcycle! This means that shopping for e-bike are typed similar to standard bikes. There are FOUR categories to be specific, which include:
- Folding Bikes. Those bikes are designed to be folded when not in use, so electric bike weight and portability is the main focus here. This allows you to take those bikes into your room, put them in a large locker, or even store them in a bag for travels! In fact, folded bikes are all about practicality, and they’re fit for commuters who live in small spaces (like the Gotrax R1)!
- Road Bikes. They’re quite similar in purpose to folding bikes. In fact, both electric folding bikes and road bikes are best fit for urban commuting. They’re quite light and come with easy handling (like the Ribble Endurance SL e), while often being cheap. However, enjoying those bikes off-road or on rocky terrain isn’t an option.
- Mountain Bikes. Those are the more sporty models. They’re made for rough terrain (like the aorstirmotor 750W), and you’ll see that in the tire choice and additional motor power. Suspension options for electric bikes are also more pronounced with those models. With that, you tend to cost more and are a lot heavier. They’re not as easy to store as a folding bike. They’re also not the best for commuting like road bikes. If those aren’t issues for you, then go for mountain bikes!
- Hybrid Models. Some models do it all. They’re designed to act as urban bikes or rough terrain enjoyment (like the Econic One City Bandit). They’re not as specialized as mountain bikes, so if competitive off-terrain cycling is your thing, we don’t recommend hybrid models. However, we do recommend hybrids for those who are unsure about how to use their electric bikes. That way, you get a bike that does it all!
In a nutshell, electric bikes are either for commuting or off-road sportiness. If you’re commuting, pick up a road bike or folding bike. If you love cycling in the world, go for an electric mountain bike. If you want to do it all, then pick a hybrid model!
Factor #2: Battery Power & Motors
Battery considerations for electric bikes matter. This helps in determining the range of an electric bike motor. The smaller the place you live, the more you can afford a weaker battery or motor. After all, you don’t want to risk your bike’s motor running out mid-use!
Electric bike battery power is measured watts. Their power ranges from 250 to 750 watts, with 250 W being the cheapest. But, a measurement that matters more though is mileage at max charge. That would be how far those batteries can last (while in pedal assist mode). This can range from 25 miles in weaker models, to 85 miles in very advanced and expensive models!
As a rule, most e-bikes made for urban commuting have battery ranges of 25-50 miles at max charge. One example is the VELOWAVE, which has a powerful motor, and a top speed of 32MPH!
As a precaution, you opt to pick a bike that uses electric power while offering manual pedaling, which is usually how most electric bikes are designed. If you’re going for an electric bike that uses a motor only, you’re less protected if the battery runs out!
What About Motors?
eBike Motors come in two types. The first are hub motors, which are placed in the mid of any of the wheels (usually the rear). Those motors tend to be cheaper and weaker since they supply power to only a single wheel.
The second is the mid-drive motors, placed on the center of the bike’s frame. Those motors are made more for performance electric bikes, giving them better weight distribution and higher torque!
Factor #3: Accessories
One of the best tips for selecting the perfect electric bike is to list the accessories you want. After all, it’ll act as a replacement for your old pedal bike, so it should be just as practical, right?
Here are some electric bike styles “added features” to consider (all are obviously optional):
- Headlight and Taillights. Perfect for nighttime for vision, or for users who live in environments that lack adequate nighttime lights.
- Racks and Baskets. Some electric bikes offer storage compartments as baskets in front of the steering or as racks on the back seat. If you plan on shopping often with your bike, consider this feature!
- LCD Screens. Those tend to be positioned in the middle of the handlebars. They’ll act as your speedometer, battery power check, an on-off switch for optional headlights!
For an electric bike brand that offers a comprehensive accessories store, we recommend Rad Power Bikes!
Factor #4: Security & Safety
Brakes and safety features for electric bikes matter. If you plan on buying a fast bike, we recommend pick one with double brakes (front and rear). For slower and budget models, you can opt for single brakes.
As for safety, you might want to check if GPS tracking is offered. This helps you find your bike if it gets stolen or lost!
Researching and Comparing Electric Bike Models Has Never Been Easier!
The previous list should’ve done most of the work for you. Not it’s time to shop. Make a list of all the factors you want in a bike, and get your ride today!