eBikes or Electric bikes have been around for a while now and by the looks of it they’re here to stay. Most of us have faced a tough time while searching for a good eBike and this happens to the best of us mainly because there are so many models and variants out there. The only question that keeps popping up is, what to look for in an electric bike?
Yes, that’s actually a really good question. eBikes are designed for everyone and not one one special class of people. They can be used on a daily basis to commute to work and back or to the grocery store and back or with some models they can be used on dirt tracks making them ideal for adventurers.
If only it was easy to pick one eBike. Sigh.
Let’s get into what we have to look for while buying an electric bike.
Why are eBikes so popular?
Electric bikes are essentially regular bikes that are convenient and easier to ride. As they come equipped with hub motors to help ease your ride, they have been sought after by not only avid cyclists but also those who need some assistance when commuting or traveling with any sort of baggage.
With no CO2 emissions and a zero percent carbon footprint, eBikes are considered a blessing for the environment..
What to Look for in an Electric Bike?
If you’re in the market for an electric bike you may get with mind-boggled with the number of eBike options available in the market. As too many people find owning a car cumbersome and expensive, other modes of transport like electric bikes have become super popular.
I remember when it was just 5-10 companies to choose from but now there are hundreds of companies manufacturing electric bikes with different features, sizes, capabilities and these eBikes come with various offers, warranty plans and service options to choose from making it a task to pick the one that suits your needs.
While looking for your ideal electric bike it’s best to check the following:
Consider your Personal Needs
Electric bikes have been created for different purposes, so before you pick up your eBike it’s best to search for something that is designed for your needs.
- If you’re looking at step-through framed bikes to add comfort to your ride then companies like Aventon Electric and Linus have some good options ready.
- If you’re keen on something to tackle off-roads and designed for hill climbing then you can check out Raleigh motors or Haibike models.
Things like distance you’d be covering and if you’re using the electric bike for carrying loads and other factors play a crucial role in determining the right electric bike for you.
Choosing the Right eBike Retailer
Picking the right retailer or manufacturer is a very important point to always remember. Ultimately your judgement should be based on the following
- The staff should be approachable and friendly. Have any and all questions answered by them to make sure they know their product and it’s a reliable place.
- Make it a point to check the quality of the materials used. The better the quality of the product, the longer it’ll last. Sellers have to be dedicated to the cause to be considered reliable and by cause I’m simply referring to being in it for the right reason and not to make a quick buck.
Retailers provide additional benefits such as an extended warranty or a pair of riding gloves and sometimes even overall cash discounts on their electric bikes.
Make it a point to thoroughly review the company you’re planning on buying from.
Understand the Warranty Offered on Electric Bikes
While buying an electric bike you should keep in mind that it’s a big investment regardless of how much you paid for it. The only way this investment of yours can be deemed “worth it” is when you have a good warranty in place.
Warranties that are offered in the market range from manufacturer to manufacturer and they’re not always the same.
A standard warranty on your everyday eBike would be for a year from the sale date and would normally cover all components including the battery.
However, a good warranty would be one that lasts for at least 2 years with no exclusion on everyday use and one that would cover everything from parts of the eBike to the hub motor and battery.
What Powers the Electric Bike
Electric bikes are powered by hub motors at the most that come with different wattage and rpm. Choosing the power output of the electric motor is an important thing to keep in mind. We have hub motors that range from 250W to 900W, so there is a range out there. It all depends on what you’re buying the electric bike for.
To know the functioning of the electric bike you’re about to purchase is another key to getting what you actually want. Electric bikes come with 3 basic modes for everyday use:
- You have the Pedal mode where you’re the one working your way around.
- Then there’s the Pedal assist mode where you can pedal or throttle depending on what you’re looking for.
- Finally there’s the Electric only or Throttle mode where you will not have to pedal and the twist of the throttle is all that’ll be required to get you moving.
Always make sure you know what kind of throttle system is on the bike and if it comes in a hybrid variation before making your final decision.
Check the Voltage and Battery Capacity of the eBike
The heart of the electric bike is the battery unit and it’s capabilities. A good electric bike has a more compact battery with greater power output and these are best because they reduce the overall weight of the electric bike.
- It’s good to check the voltage of the battery as each type of battery is designed to be used differently. An electric bike running on a 24 volts battery is best suited for flat surfaces like open roads or tracks whereas a larger 48 -72 volts battery will be used for extreme climbing and off-roading or while covering longer distances.
- While comparing the voltage make sure to keep an eye on the battery capacity as well. The capacity of the battery is determined in Amp hours and would be represented as AH next to the reading.
For example if you are interested in two options where one bike has the battery voltage and capacity of 480 Watt hours while the second electric bike has a capacity of 144Watt hours, go for the first one as it will last longer while the second bike with lowered battery capacity will last for a fraction of the time.
Each battery or in some cases battery packs would have unique capacities and this plays a crucial role in determining how far you can travel on that electric bike.
Total Weight the eBike can Support
While buying an electric bike you’re going to want to take it out either on a trip or to the grocery store to buy some veggies and it’s not going to look good if you’re unable to carry all your belongings on your electric bike.
Buying an electric bike that can support you weight and extra weight for any reason can prove beneficial in the long run.
- Since electric bikes are built in the similar fashion as regular bicycles hence their overall max weight load would be roughly the same. Most electric bikes in the market have a maximum load capacity of 300lbs but this is generally 50-75 lbs lesser than the electric bike can actually hold.
Not to say we’re going to carry anything that heavy on our eBikes but it’s good to know that they’re built to be sturdy and carry us around.
Reviews and Videos of the Bikes Performance
At times when the product seems too good to be true it’s because it probably isn’t. Going through past reviews or performance videos of the products you’re keen on buying can actually help a great deal.
Figuring out what others have experienced in the real world is a great way to understand once and for all if that electric bike is meant for you or not.
Keeping all these pointers in mind while searching for an electric bike to buy will surely help you decide on what you truly want. There are electric bikes out there for everyone to enjoy and not only are they beneficial to our overall health, they also help reduce pollution levels across cities.
Always buy an electric bike that has their battery capacity and details of the electric bike are listed. Never go for something that does not have its specs highlighted or are too basic.
An electric bike is always going to be considered an investment as it helps save a lot of money on the long run. The regular maintenance and service are all you’ll need to keep your bad boy on the road.
Make it a point to remember the major differentiators such as power, price range, battery capacity, motor type and max weight supported before jumping into something you may regret later.
On that note. Happy electric bike hunting.
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