People have always loved riding their bikes. But what could be better if your biking not only benefits you but also the world at large?
An Electric Bike is the answer to this question. Electric bike sales have been snowballing for the past few years. In 2017, the electric bike market was valued at $16.34 bn. It is expected to grow to $24bn at ~5% CAGR by the end of 2025 .
Electric bikes are the next big thing because they offer pedal assist and throttle, which provide you with an effortless riding experience.
You may be a newbie, or you may have ridden several bikes, but when it comes to buying one for yourself, there are few things that you should check before you choose an electric bike.
Electric Bike Selection Criteria
Electric bikes are much more than just the thrill and effortless riding experience. Sometimes even the best electric-assisted bike may not fulfill all your requirements.
Thus one should always look for more than just reviews. Have a look at the following points which you might find useful while taking the final call:
Electric bikes have many sub-categories, including electric dirt bikes, electric tricycles, electric mountain bikes, electric cargo bikes, electric fat bikes, and the list is endless.
These categories will help you choose the bike which is intended for your usage.
Here the geometry of the bike plays a vital role. The geometry of bikes answers questions such as “Is the bike needed for hiking and uphill climbing?”, “Will the bike be ridden occasionally or daily?”, “Is the bike used to ride long distances?” etc.
For instance, the bikes meant for everyday city rides are the dutch straight bikes, which have a comfortable design to roam around the streets leisurely. Such bikes have high handlebars and easy straddles, which become extremely useful, especially when wearing skirts.
The VTC bikes are meant for sports activities and mountain riding. Accordingly, they have a refined ergonomic design and power brake system to climb uphill.
On the other hand, the electric racing beasts are designed to be lightweight with thin tires and light frames to conquer your finish lines easily.
Thus, keep in mind your intended use so that you don’t end up buying something which may not be useful for you.
You can’t deny this aspect while buying anything. No doubt the quality gets better with the price increase, but you can always get a reasonable quality even while sticking to your budget.
You can always get ultra-affordable bikes at 300 $ but if your budget allows you to invest more, then go for the bikes, which have a price of about 800 $ so that you get all the advanced features all at once.
Usually, the price won’t determine the durability but your usage and miles you have driven will.
For instance, EB-5 bikes have an excellent range and power to suit its cost, but it only has one pedaling gear. This may not be a problem for the people who have to go to neighborhood markets or roam around, but this will be a problem for the people who have multiple places to visit at regular intervals.
If you aren’t very cringy about the budget, then you can always go for the mid-ranges, higher ranges, and premium ranges as well.
Battery and Capacity
Selecting the right battery can be confusing, especially for the new riders. One needs to choose which model provides the optimal autonomy wisely. The range your bike will cover, its cost and weight, everything is dependent on the battery type and size.
These days batteries use different technologies keeping in mind different aspects of an electric bike. We can broadly categorize the batteries into four types: Lead battery, Nickel-metal hydride battery, Lithium-ion battery, and Lithium Polymer battery.
All these batteries vary on different counts. For example
- The lead battery might be cheap, but at the same time, it is heavier than most batteries, which will eventually make your bike heavier.
- The nickel-metal hydride ones are a bit lighter and can also be quickly discharged as per convenience.
- Lithium-Ion batteries are the most popular. They are lighter in and have high performance as they have the advantage of no memory effect.
- The Lithium Polymer batteries combine all the features a good battery should entail. They have no memory effect and have superb performance.
On the other side, capacity and voltage are very important to determine the autonomy of any bike. The energy your bike will be able to provide you is highly dependent on these two factors. This also gets affected by:
- The type of terrain.
- Level of assistance.
- The weight of the bike and the cyclist.
Battery Charging Time
Any good battery would take around 3 to 4 hours to get fully charged. If you are more specific, you can look for the bikes containing a device that recharges the battery on descents or during braking mechanisms.
Engine and Assistance
Electric bikes consist of an integrated motor that is responsible for delivering the torque. The higher the torque, the more the bike will easily climb uphill and ride through different terrains. The torque value also determines the amount of weight the bike will bear, especially when it comes to riding on slopes.
When it comes to assistance, bikes have different modes of assistance.
- One can always do regular pedaling with no assistance. In this case, your speed depends on the amount you pedal. In some bikes, the bikes have sensors that can automatically detect when they need assistance and eventually trigger the assistance mode. The rider has to manually press the button for twist-grip or thumb throttle or pedal assist in other bikes.
- The semi- pedaling mode or the pedal-assist requires the rider to pedal but gives slow pedaling flexibility. The rider can pedal a bit and have the pedal-assist, which will help the rider to have a relaxed riding experience. In this case, the pedaling speed and the assist add up to give the net speed, which is comparatively higher than the full-throttle mode.
- The full-throttle mode allows the rider to sit back and take a break. Here the motor does the job of propelling the bike forward at its own pace. This provides the rider with an effortless riding experience.
Apart from these points, one can always look for other specifications such as seat height, handlebars height for the sake of convenience.
How do I choose the best electric bike?
Before choosing an electric bike, one should always consider their needs as different bikes are designed for different people. One can always look for the bikes which are best suitable for their requirements and purpose. Apart from this, battery life, engine, and assistance modes are essential aspects as well.
Are electric bikes fast?
Electric bikes are much faster than the traditional ones due to the various assistance modes they have and high power motor and battery. On average electric bikes can reach speeds up to 28 miles per hour.
What should I look for in an electric mountain bike?
As the name suggests, these bikes are meant to be ridden while climbing uphill or steep slopes.
Thus, torque and suspension play an important role here. The amount of torque will help the bike in easing out the process of climbing slopes or hills. Also, look for the tires and gear change mechanism as well.
Choosing the right electric bike is essential; otherwise, you may not have the desired riding experience. Several criteria should be considered while making a choice. Some of these include the bike’s geometry, price, battery type and charging time, engine, and assistance modes. All of these factors help you select the right electric bike.
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