Are you considering buying an electric bike but don’t know where to start? You’ll need to know about what features these e-bikes can offer, so you can pick the ones that are the most beneficial to you.
We put together this e-bike buying guide to help you find your next favorite ride. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s jump right in!
What Exactly is an E-Bike?
E-bikes, or electric bikes, are very similar to standard bicycles. Although, they come with a motor and battery attached to help you pedal. Many people use them for commuting because the pedal-assist feature prevents them from getting exhausted before they arrive at their destination. Pedal assist is also great for older people and those with mobility issues.
Electric bikes can also come with a full-throttle feature that makes it so you don’t have to pedal; the motor does all of the work. You’ll need to consider what motor modes you want the e-bike to have before you buy one.
In short, e-bikes are bikes that come with a motor. The differences are limited, but having an engine can make commuting more manageable and help you get more outdoor exercise time.
What To Look For in an E-Bike
There are several things you’ll want to look for in an e-bike. Make sure that you reference this list when shopping for one online. It also helps to make your own list of features you want the bike to have, then compare that with your options.
Here are all of the general features you’ll need to consider in your next e-bike:
The motor is the first thing you need to check on the e-bike. There are generally three different modes that it could offer, including the following:
- Pedal assist: The motor runs while you pedal, making reaching and maintaining a high speed easier. It stops when you get to a preset speed.
- Full throttle: The motor does all of the pedaling work for you.
- Walk mode: The motor runs slowly, so you can walk alongside the bike.
Of course, you can always turn the motor off and use it as a standard bike for a more intense workout. All e-bikes should have this option.
Before buying the e-bike, you must check that it has the modes you want. Not every e-bike will come with a walk mode or a full throttle, although most will have pedal assist.
The E-Bike’s Class
There are also three different classifications of e-bikes. Each state has various regulations surrounding them, so make sure you know what class you’re allowed to ride where you live.
The e-bike classes break down as follows:
- Class One: These e-bikes have a pedal assist but not a full-throttle mode. They generally go up to 20 MPH.
- Class Two: These e-bikes reach only 20 MPH but can have a full throttle.
- Class Three: These e-bikes are pedal-assists only. They can’t have a throttle, although they can reach much higher speeds than Classes One and Two.
Most places allow Class One and Two bikes to travel anywhere a standard bike can. However, Class Three e-bikes have many more restrictions. You’ll need to learn the rules for your area before taking an e-bike out of the house.
Next, you’ll want to think of the frame style of the e-bike. The different frames can make riding the bike feel very different.
For example, many people choose a beach cruiser-style e-bike for a more relaxed ride. A step through electric bike is easier to mount, making them better for a broader range of people. However, there are tons of frame types to think about.
Here are a few frame styles you’ll want to consider:
- Beach cruiser: A bike that’s very low to the ground. It travels quickly across flat, straight paths and provides a comfortable ride.
- Commuter: A bike that’s best for running quick errands or daily commutes. They’re fast and slim but not as comfortable as a cruiser.
- Step-through: Somewhat between a cruiser and commuter bike. They’re comfortable to ride and help when you can’t raise your leg over the middle bar.
- Mountain: A bike that’s best for going off the beaten path. They can travel up slopes quickly as well.
Each style comes with different benefits and is best for different riding situations. You’ll need to consider where you live and where you want to ride the bike the most often to get one that suits your lifestyle.
It’s also crucial to look into the battery life of a bike before you buy it. Most brands will list the battery life in two ways. One with pedal assist and another with full-throttle, if the bike offers it.
For example, an e-bike might have a riding range of 50 miles with pedal-assist turned on but can only go 25 miles using full-throttle. Some bikes also come with an LCD display showing how much battery life the bike has left in real-time.
You’ll need to consider the battery life before buying the e-bike. You want to ensure it will last long enough to get where you need to go. Plus, you’ll need enough power to make the return trip.
Most modern lithium-ion e-bike batteries last about two to five years before you need to replace them.
Lastly, you will need to consider the price of the e-bike. Electric bikes can get expensive, and you shouldn’t pay more than you’re comfortable with.
Many premium and budget options work wonderfully, so you’re sure to find something that suits you, no matter how much you can spend on it.
Find Your Favorite E-Bike!
Now that you know what to look for in an e-bike, it’s time to find your favorite model. Take the time to compare all of these features when checking your options online. You need to know that it comes with everything you want.
Using this e-bike buying guide, you’ll find your new favorite model easily.