10 Factors You Should Consider Before Buying an Electric Bike
With the increased popularity of electric bikes (or e-bikes, if you prefer) in the US today, more people than ever are looking to upgrade their old bikes. Whether you’re concerned about the environment and want to decrease your carbon footprint, or you’re trying to get out and exercise in the fresh air more, electric bikes are a perfect solution to your problems. But, purchasing one can seem a little daunting.
If investing in an electric bike sounds a little scary to you; don’t worry. This article will take you through what you should know before buying an electric bike, so you can be 100% confident that your new e-bike is the perfect model for you.
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1.Why do you want an electric bike?
The real beauty of electric bikes is that there are lots of models to choose from, and all of them serve a different purpose. If you’re looking for an e-bike to take mountain biking, you’re going to need a model that is best suited to climb hills and offers more power for tackling them. If you’re only concerned with using your electric bike for commuting, you might want to think about one with a higher range. The point is, there is a model out there perfect for everyone, but first, you have to ask yourself; what do I need an electric bike for?
Yes, there is a range of e-bikes available to suit a range of budgets, but how much you’re willing to pay is a question that only you can answer. With e-bikes ranging from a few hundred dollars to over several thousand, you need to think carefully about this.
As a general guide, a good mainstream e-bike can be picked up for between $1500-$2500. Remember, the more money you’re willing to invest now, the more likely it is that you won’t have to purchase a new one sooner than you’d like.
3. Battery and Range
The power and service of an e-bike are bent on the kind of battery, so you shouldn’t overlook this crucial point.
The most common batteries used for e-bikes are Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are known for having at least 500-800 cycles of charges throughout their lifetime, and they are likely to go 1500 cycles if used correctly. They can last anywhere from 2-5 years before needing to be replaced.
Another thing to consider is the distance you can cover on a fully charged battery, also known as the range. We’ve already imagined a scenario where a commuter might need to think about their e-bike range for their route to work. Even recreational users need to know the range of their e-bike, so they don’t get caught out with a drained battery part way through.
4. Throttle vs. Pedal assist
Some electric bikes are pedal-assisted, others are throttled, and some are even both! You need to know which one your e-bike is because it makes a difference.
A pedal-assisted e-bike is much more power conservative, and will therefore have a performance that is capable of lasting longer before needing to be recharged. Throttled e-bikes are power eaters, and will drain your battery quicker, but most are still capable of traveling far distances.
The main advantage of a throttled bike is that the increased power leads to better performance when you require that extra push. An e-bike that offers both throttle and power assist aims to strike a balance between the two, offering a decent amount of mileage for your battery, with good enough power to handle most of your uphill battles. Again, think about what you’re going to be using your e-bike for before settling on any of the options.
5. Motor type
One thing you really ought to think about is the motor type on offer for the bike you are interested in. Hub motors and mid-drive motors offer different benefits, so it’s worth considering both. Hub motors are housed in the center of the bicycle wheel and require much less maintenance. Mid-drive motors are becoming increasingly popular too; housed in the center of the bicycle and capable of transferring power to the rear wheel via the bicycle chain, this motor allows the e-bike to climb steep hills in much lower gears.
It’s simple, the taller you are the bigger the bike you need. This can be a step that people overlook in their excitement for buying their new electric bike. Make sure you take a look at the bike sizing and frame size, so you can be confident that you can sit comfortably while riding.
This is another factor that’s easily forgotten, but you need somewhere suitable to store it, and you’ll have to think about the bike’s weight too. If the weight of your new e-bike is pretty hefty, and you live in an apartment on the top floor of a building where the elevator breaks down every other week, you need to consider this. There’s nothing worse than trying to heave a heavy e-bike up flight after flight of stairs.
8. Local Laws and Regulations
It may come as a surprise to some people, but different states have different laws and regulations regarding the permitted use of electric bikes. These can cover a range of topics such as the maximum speed or power permitted. We can’t possibly list all of the subtle differences here, so make sure you check out your local laws and regulations.
Certain brands indeed carry a certain weight, so manufacturers should be taken into account. That’s not to say you should discredit a certain electric bike because it isn’t made by your preferred manufacturer, but it’s good to have a name that you can trust. Check customer reviews of specific electric bikes and manufacturers to be sure you like what you see.
The final thing you should consider is the warranty. Different manufacturers have different warranties, so be sure to check out what is offered with your specific model. Ask yourself what components are covered in the warranty. Battery? Motor? These are all important things to consider.
There you have it, the ten most important factors to consider before buying an electric bike. The most important thing is finding the perfect fit for you. If you’ve considered all the above and you’re feeling more confident, then why not check the electric bikes available at CycleComponents.