Aspects to Consider When Choosing an E-Bike – Electric Bikes’ Class Details and Trends
Increasing traffic is one of the snags that the universe is facing right now, and owning a full-size vehicle in such a situation is a bit annoying for a driver.
Luckily, with advanced technology now, various modes of transport are erupting each day, and one of these incredible modes is the e-bikes. Electric bikes are genius inventions created for the sole purpose of aiding individuals in their voyages by being faster, reliable, compact and eco-friendly.
They are the latest wave and most sorted-out trends since they provide you with the perfect balance of one of our preferred pastimes and modern technology. They have taken what most of us started on and converted them into more reliable, practical and entertaining modes of transportation (Read this article about ‘The Benefits of Cycling‘).
They are taking what once was a regular ride and transforming it into a more secure, more economical option, something that most of their users have come to appreciate.
According to statistics, the e-bike wave has hit some countries more than others, and the US has been at the forefront, recording sales of more than millions. In fact, as per January 2017, the US sales more than doubled as compared to 2015, and this follows global trends that have seen e-bike sales surpassing standard bike sales in recent years.
What is an Electric Bike?
Electric bikes offer the much needed extra power when you are pedaling. In more abridged terms, it is a motorized bicycle. Its build is usually more robust than that of a conventional bike, with a specific frame and components that can endure the additional stress instigated by a drivetrain that is heftier and more powerful ‘How E-bikes Work‘ .
The Most Popular E-Bikes Classes – Pedal Assist vs. Throttle
#1. Pedelecs/Pedal Assist
It is the most popular type of electric bike. It involves the rider pedaling then a motor aids the rider in increasing the power transmitted to the back wheel. It means that cycling is far less energy intensive (even in high gears) thus enabling the rider to travel swifter and climb the unending hills effortlessly.
The rider is able to control the quantity of assistance that they get using the settings, but, for us to regard it a ‘Class 1 Ebike,’ there are restrictions to the maximum speed. In America, the speed is higher, therefore, allowing the rider to move at 32 kilometers/hour (20 miles per hour).
According to European e-bike laws, the system should not offer any aid in over 25 kilometers/hour (15 miles per hour). Class 1 e-bikes are permitted on most roads, and paths where standard bikes are allowed, and one does not need any additional licensing.
Throttle e-bikes function like a scooter or motorcycle; a throttle moves the bike forward without having you pedal it. The bike’s speed is governed by how far the throttle is pushed. These type of bikes are, mostly, found in America and China where their usage is not as restricted by legislation.
#3. Speed Pedelec
A speed pedelec e-bike has a similar design to that of a normal pedelec, but they enable for higher top speeds (around 45 kph or 28 mph). The laws that govern the use of spedelecs are tighter than that of pedelecs, and they require riders to be licensed. Furthermore, the bikes are needed to be used in the same way as a motor vehicle (rather than a bicycle).
What is the Most Premium E-Bike Style? Commuter vs. Mountain
Mountain and commuter bikes are the most popular e-bike styles in the market at the moment. However, e-bikes come in a varied range of shapes and forms, and there are also e-bike versions of:
- casual cruisers
- road bikes
- hybrid bikes
- cargo bikes
- fat bikes
Electric Mountain Bikes
It is a powerful all-terrain and rugged off-road system that will expand your horizons, enable you to travel further in a shorter time and speed up the hills so you can enjoy that downhill breeze. There are various types of e-bikes, inclusive of the full-suspension and hardtail e-bikes, meaning there is an electric bike to suit any riding style or terrain.
Electric bikes enable those looking to get fit and those looking to enjoy that morning or evening sun an opportunity to enjoy every moment of their day. They also allow those riding to work the chance to get to work without getting sweaty at the end, as well as being very reliable.
For these stated reasons, as well as some ecological concerns, commuter bikes are rapidly becoming popular in urban areas; they are also more budget-friendly than some of the other e-bike categories. Some vital elements to look into including the battery range, speed options, and practical additions like a kickstand and lock.
Other E-Bike Styles and Models
Electric Road Bikes
Road e-bikes are ideal for those who love the thrill of road cycling but want to augment their mileage and breathe in the calming air s they ride the bike towards the sunset.
Some electric road bike models have hidden motors, and others are more evidently motor- and battery powered (Read about ‘The Best Electric Bike‘).
Electric hybrid bikes’ design is eco-friendly. They have reasonable costs, especially when you compare them to the price of a car, fuel, maintenance, insurance, and parking.
Typically, their batteries can power the motor for 30-40 miles, which means that you can get to work or school without needing to recharge. If you do need to recharge, however, you can easily do it at your convenience; anywhere through a standard power outlet.
Folding e-bikes are even a better option for commuters who travel by trains, buses, or want to store their e-bike in the office or at home securely.
They factor in all the advantages of e-bikes, but they are collapsible thus allowing you to save on space and for easy storage.
If you already have a foldable bike, however, you can always get a kit to motorize it, even though these conversion kits are not very affordable.
Electric utility bikes or cargo e-bikes are excellent eco alternatives to cars when it comes to running your various errands, like taking the kids to school, grocery shopping or others, including ferrying loads of different sizes.
Due to their capacity of carrying bulky loads, these e-bikes are made of sturdier constituents, with more potent motors and a non-sporty riding position. It makes them larger and heavier, but when you consider all the fantastic features they possess, then you can conclude that cargo bikes are nothing but the best.
Fat Electric Bikes
A fat e-bike is a full-framed, wide-tired electric e-bike that offers you many advantages over the slim-tired mountain bikes.
First, they enable you to ride them where no one else dares to ride…over the sandy beaches and through the deep snow.
Unlike the traditional bikes, the fat e-bikes have an electric motor that offers negligible resistance courtesy of the extra wide tires. Moreover, the additional tires make for a more robust and snug ride. In any case, the wider the tire and rim the better for any e-bike, not just sand bikes.
In addition to the excellent riding experience and trendy look, the fat tires make the bike more stable when riding off the road. It also has more tires touching the pavement enabling the bike to be more stable on the sidewalk when riding on a straight line.
However, in as much as it the best option, the wide knobby tires, as traditionally found on sand bikes are not perfect for high-speed cornering, so the street rider needs to beware.
Advantages of E-Bikes
Typically, an e-bike is more substantial than the regular models. It is also more complex and costly. Their parts and maintenance are even more expensive than that for conventional bicycles (Learn about ‘The Best Ebikes‘).
Although they are quite costly, e-bikes do come with some advantages which make investing in them a brilliant decision in the long run.
Some of the significant advantages are that you can ride an e-bike through more treacherous and long distances with much less effort than a regular bike. It makes them perfect for your daily commutes, especially if you don’t want to be late for work, or arrive drenched in sweat.
Another advantage is that you can carry a massive load of cargo with your electric bike, so you can go shopping with it, let your toddler accompany you or run other errands with it, making it much cheaper and practical than a car.
E-bikes offer a much better climbing efficiency, a more extended riding range and wind resistance than regular bikes.
They are also ideal for people suffering from injuries, asthma or other health issues which do not allow them to ride standard bicycles. They still offer various health benefits, especially for people who are leading sedentary lifestyles.
Various research papers and studies show that e-bikes enthusiasts who ride more miles and more often than those with regular bikes, live healthier lives and also have too much fun compared to conventional bikes users.
How Swift are E-Bikes?
In Europe, the speed limit for electric bikes is a standard 16mph (25km/h), and for the United Kingdom, it is 15mph (24 km/h).
In the US, the speed limit for e-bikes differs from state to state, and so do the necessities for licensing and insuring motorized bikes. Granting that the speed limit is relatively low, you will still find that commuting on your bike could be much faster than driving to work, especially if you pass through congested traffic daily.
The power of the e-bike is contingent to its batteries. Some Shimano Steps batteries have a 400W capacity, but plans are for 500W ones to be released soon.
Which One Should I Opt For?
The two most essential factors to look into are first, what you will use the bike for and secondly, the location you will be using it.
Looking at the various e-bike styles, think cautiously about where you are most likely to use the bike. If you want to decrease your reliance on public transport or to drive your car, a commuter bike would be the best option. If you are, however, a mountain biker already, you would likely get more use from an electric mountain bike.
When picking out the class of bike, a pedelec e-bike (Class 1) is likely to be more useful as there are legal restrictions put in place to standardize the throttle and spedelec bikes.
Ensure that you take some time to comprehend the various elements of an e-bike like the best battery setup, the best motor to opt for and the different drivetrain choices. They all affect the cost of an e-bike, and an understanding of how they all work together can assist a consumer to decide which features are vital, and which aren’t.
You need to also keep in mind that you should ‘try before you purchase,’ the increasing popularity of e-bikes means that there are specialist stores in most areas so visit one and have a chat with the staff. They will provide you with reliable guidance as well as enable you to test various bikes.
Other Things to Consider
#01. The E-Bike’s Range
The distance an e-bike goes on one charge of the battery is the range. It is probably the most critical specification. If your commute involves a steep hill, for example, you do not want to get stranded because you ran out of juice halfway up. It can be frustrating.
Without power, an electric bike is just a heavy bike. Therefore the range of an e-bike depends on the battery capacity, the speed, your weight, profile of the commuting tour, the assistance level you pick out and the percentage of given pedaling power.
If you are only going to do fifteen kilometers of daily commuting, you don’t need a 70 km range. Nevertheless, you should purchase an e-bike with a higher range than you necessarily need because the scale will drop as the battery ages and loses capacity.
So, as you do your test ride, make sure that you also consider this as a significant factor.
#02. Warranty and After-Purchase Service
A fantastic and high-quality e-bike needs to last you somewhere around five to 10 years with standard maintenance. The battery should last you anywhere between 600 to 800 charges, and when it gets worn out, it needs replacement. The manufacturer should be able to get you a new one while recycling your old battery.
Warranties give consumers peace of mind knowing that their money is well-spent.
#03. The Costs
Incredible e-bikes are not cheap, even when compared to amazing unassisted bikes. You can get a very rudimentary model, but how long are you going to be happy with it?
An average bike with a quality frame, serviceable brakes, suspension, and other components are costly. When purchasing an e-bike, you have to spend considerably more money on the motor.
So do not be surprised by the higher price, a superior bike lasts much longer.
#04. The Cost of Maintenance
You do not have to spend a lot on the maintenance of electric bikes since you can do most of them yourself. All you have to do is to maintain the excellent state of your electric bike and extend its pristine condition from when you got it.
However, even with the basic knowledge of maintenance, there are some tips and guidelines, you would want to follow if you will be maintaining the e-bike yourself.
Electric bikes have various parts that require one to handle them differently. Here are some but a few tips for DIY maintenance.
You can check online for more of these:
- Clean your e-bike every time you use it. All you have to do is wipe it with a wet cloth or hose it down (gently).
- Use conventional oil to lubricate your chain often.
- If you have a motor and electrical complications, it is best to check it with an expert.
- Store it in dry places.
#05. Life Expectancy of the E-Bike
The life expectancy of an e-bike depends on a variety of factors, but one of the most significant ones is the brand. However, in as much as the brand determines its lifespan, the calming news is that the lifespan of electric bikes can last you for several years before it depreciates due to age.
Even though bikes can last you for a lifetime, you need to be sceptical about of the components that shorten the life of an e-bike: the mileage, one’s weight and that of the cargo, its maintenance, types of motors and batteries, and the terrain where you will ride and use the e-bike mostly.
Six to ten years of service is not unusual for e-bikes, given that you know how to take care of it and if you purchased one that’s high-quality.
Most e-bikers select to sell their electric bikes after three years though. It all depends on you and what you are going to do after years of using it.
#06. Trust Your Intuition
Sometimes it may seem like a jungle of contradictory information out there, and that is not far from the truth. There are a variety of options, lots of opinions, and not much in the way of trusted organizations that certify and methodically review electric bikes.
What then can you do? Well, the best strategy is to have confidence in your intuition. If something is too good to be true, it probably is. If a bike is from a brand you’ve never heard of and can’t find information on, it is perhaps best to stay clear.
You will want a retailer who is in the business for the right reasons. Ensure that you get an e-bike from a local store so that you can get support and parts down the line.
E-bikes are day-in, day-out proving to be more than just a fad, with 92% of Americans e-bike owners riding to work with them either on a daily basis or weekly.
Learning about the classes of e-bikes and the trendiest styles will aid you in understanding which option is a perfect match for you, and offer guidance on which one to purchase.
When you’re looking to buy an electronic bike, there are a few things that you’ll need to consider. If you follow these guidelines you’ll definitely end up with the perfect e-bike for you or a family member.
You don’t have to be overwhelmed by the many options, you only need to follow these simple steps and you’ll never look back!