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What to Look for in an Electric Bike – 2021 Buyers Guide

Do you spend long hours driving to work every day? Are you fed up with the noise and pollution?

Would you like to try out something that can glide smoothly through traffic like a dream, without harming the environment or making noise? Well then, like 190,000 people in America[1], why not buy an e-bike today?

E-bikes are all the rage, but most people end up buying the wrong bike. There is a whole spectrum of e-bikes available in the market. As far as price goes, there are bikes available at $200 up to $10,000.

But apart from just the cost, there is much more you need to look for before buying an electric bike. If you are a newbie to the e-bike market, this article will prove to be very helpful.

Why should you choose an e-bike?

There are many reasons:

  • E-bikes are environment friendly. They have no gas, no emissions, and don’t make any noise.
  • E-bikes are cheaper than motorcycles and cars.
  • You can exercise on an e-bike. You have the option to use an e-bike just like a bicycle.
  • There is a mode where you can cycle with the motor supporting you. If you want to exercise but are wary of exerting yourself too much, a pedal-assist is perfect for you.
  • They are easier to maintain than a bike or car, and cheaper too.

What Do E-Bikes Look Like?

Electric bikes are not regular bikes. They take your riding experience to the next level. These bikes have made pedaling easier as a battery power them. As you pedal an electric bike, the motor helps to provide a perfect boost to ride uphill and on challenging terrain.

A bike with a mid-drive motor will help distribute the rider’s body weight and help them go for long rides. Some bikes have a hub motor located in the center of either the front or rear wheel.

A hub motor is suitable for flat commuting. Mid-drive motors are well suited for hilling areas and off-road use. Some e-bikes have sensors on them.

The harder one pedals, the faster the motor helps to spin the rear wheel. The torque sensors allow the motor to spin the rear wheel faster as one pedal the bike. Some bikes have both torque sensors and cadence sensors.

What To Look For When Buying An Electric Bike?

Different people have different needs; therefore, consider what you are looking for when buying an e-bike. Do not compromise on comfort and the framework at any cost.

A lightweight bike with sophisticated technology is something that one should look for, for sure. If you are a newbie, consider a bike with an effective motor and battery that lasts long.

A primary motor can provide up to 250 watts of continuous support for 15-20 hours. The maximum one can get 450 watts power and is perfect for riding long distances.

If going uphill, a high torque motor is best as the rotational force that is generated by the motor helps drives the rare wheel smoothly.

Points to consider:

  • Comfort- Comfort is one thing you cannot compromise on; therefore, go for a test ride if buying a bike from the market. If you buy it online, ask different questions that come to your mind to make sure that your bike is worth the money you spend.
  • Motor- the e-bikes two types of motors assist- hub motor assist mounted on either of the wheels. Crank motor assists that are at the bottom of the frame. Crank motor e-bikes work well on steep hills. Hub motor assists are silent motors but not very useful on the hills as the crank motor.
  • Battery- look for lithium-ion batteries that are high tech batteries. It charges quickly and lasts long.
  • Torque- go for higher torque so that the rare wheels rotate smoothly and generate more acceleration. An excellent torque sensor will help measure how hard one is peddling and the motor’s power.
  • Warranty- a minimum of 2-3 years of warranty, especially on the motor and battery, is essential when buying an e-bike.
  • Quality and the price- do not compromise on the bike just because of a higher price. If you are looking for an average framework, great suspension, and available brakes, e-bikes will not turn out to be much expensive than regular bikes.

What To Look For In Electric Bike Batteries?

Different kinds of e-bikes are available in the market. Choosing the right bike can be confusing. Selecting a perfect battery for your e-bike is also essential when you are a beginner. Three essential terms you will come across when you see a battery are watts, voltage, and amps.

  • Amps and Ah- Amperes is the unit of electrical current that is the international standard unit. The flow of the current at a specific voltage is the amperes. The torque Ah is an indicator of ideal battery capacity.
  • Voltage- also as volts that helps know the charge between live and neutral conductors. The ideal voltage is 400 volts for an electric bike. Do not power the e-bike with either less or more voltage than the recommended voltage. Voltage also helps to determine the speed of the electric bike.
  • Watts- power is measured in watts as it is the standard unit. The total power output for a given time is measured in watts per hour.

Types Of Batteries

There are four types of e-bike batteries:

  • lead-acid
  • nickel-cadmium,
  • nickel-metal-hydride,
  • Lithium-ion.

Today all-electric bikes come with lithium-ion batteries. Almost more than 90% of bikes have these batteries. They are not only sturdy but they last longer. It can be a little costly than other batteries available in the market. As a beginner, you must go to buy these for your e-bike. Further, lithium-ion batteries are of 3 types.

  • Lithium manganese batteries- they last longer and are quite durable.
  • Lithium Cobalt batteries- these have higher density and offers maximum power being light in weight.
  • Lithium polymer batteries- these are liquid-free batteries that are more stable and perfect for low power usage.


Exploring a local mountain, commuting, cruising, all these results in making life adventurous. All this is possible if you buy an electric bike for yourself. People with different abilities can ride an e-bike without breaking a sweat.

For a comfortable commute, an e-bike is a perfect choice to ride up-hill to beat the traffic. It will make you go a long way, and you will be able to travel greater distances within no time. Anyone of any age can ride an e-bike with ease.

This article will help you choose the best electric bike as now you have all the details about e-bikes.

[1] E-bikes – US sales 2016


Written by Lee Hill

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