If you are looking to add another dimension to your cycling, or you are just getting into cycling and you want to find a bike that will be a bit easier to use than a traditional bicycle, you may want to consider an electric bike. Often referred to as electric bikes, pedelcs and electric assist bikes, electric bikes are a pretty conventional bike that offers a battery and a motor that will help you out when you are pedaling. This will make it easier for you to get up hills, accelerate and cruise for longer distances.
If you are on the market for an electric bike, you are going to find that there are a lot of options to choose from. While having a lot of choices is a good thing, having too many choices can make it difficult to determine which electric bike will best suit your needs. So, how do you determine which type of electric bike you should choose? – By reading this buyer’s guide, of course. In this buyer’s guide, you will learn everything you need to know about shopping for an electric bike, including the different types of electric bikes, the factors that you should take into consideration when shopping for one, the different features that they can offer, and the best electric bike brands. After reading this buyer’s guide, you will know everything you need to know in order to choose the best electric guide for your specific needs.
Types of Electric Bikes
In order to find the best electric bike for your specific needs, you first need to understand that there are different types of electric bikes available. There are two main types of electric bikes, which include:
- The pedelec electric bike
- The twist and go electric bike
Below, you will find a detailed description of each of these types of electric bikes, including the manner in which they operate, the benefits that they can offer, and some of ther disadvantages, too.
The Pedelec Electric Bike
The most common type of electric bike is what is referred to as the pedelec electric bike. The system monitors the rider that is pedaling and automatically adds a certain amount of motor assistance. This assistance usually depends on the pedaling rate, the force of pedaling, and the speed that the bike is going. It can detect if you are struggling and it will provide you with as much assistance as possible. This increases the distance that you can go, the amount of effort you need to input, and the speed at which you can travel. There is no need to make adjustments, as the pedelec bike will automatically make the adjustments that are necessary. On the downside, this type of electric bike is the most expensive of the two types of electric bikes.
The Twist and Go Electric Bike
The other type of electric bike is the twist and go electric bike. With this type of electric bike, you flip a switch to trigger the assistance from the motor. It can either offer a very simple on and off switch, or it can offer a variable twist grip setup. The twist and go electric bike provides assistance only if it detects that you are pedaling. This is the least expensive of both types of electric bikes; however, it doesn’t offer as much versatility and there is more involved with using it.
Electric bikes can also be differentiated based on the type of motors they have. Electric bikes can either offer hub or crank motors. The hub motor assist is mounted on one of the wheels, and the crank motor is mounted on the pedal area of the bike, at the bottom of the frame. Typically, a crank assistant bike has a reputation for being able to handle big hills; however, they can be a little noisy. Hub motors are usually the quieter of the two, but they aren’t able to handle hills as well as crank assist systems.
The Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Bike
In order to choose the best electric bike for your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for one. Some of the most important factors to take into consideration include the quality of the batteries, the motor and the price of the electric bike. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best electric bike for your particular needs. To learn more about these and other important factors that we consider to be the most important when shopping for an electric bike, please keep on reading.
The Quality of the Batteries
Though it may be called an electric bike, this type of bike actually runs on batteries. In order for it to run for a long period of time and to be able to handle long distances, the batteries need to be high quality. The cells of the battery pack should be matched as good as they can possibly be at the manufacturing stage. This should mean that in the long run, all of the cells in the battery pack will wear at the same rate, which will provide roughly the same capacity to store energy throughout the life of the battery. In poorer quality batteries, one or two cells may not be well aligned, which can make the rest of the cells work harder, and thus shorten the life of the battery.
The Charge Cycles of the Battery Pack
Batteries only have a certain number of times that they can be fully discharged and recharged. Over time, their ability to store and deliver electrical energy is reduced, which will eventually render them useless. If you use half of your battery’s capacity, charge it up, then use half of it again and charge it up again. This will count as one complete charge cycle.
The Types of Batteries
There are several types of batteries that can be used to power electric bikes, but the two most commonly used are nickel based or lithium based. Both of these offer certain advantages, and both also have some downsides. It is very easy to predict the service life of a nickel battery, and it is more cost effective; however, it doesn’t offer the same energy storage capacity per kilogram as lithium. Lithium batteries offer a high energy storage capacity per kilogram than nickel based batteries. This provides the electric bike with more power for longer periods of time. On the downside, lithium ion batteries tend to be expensive.
The Placement of the Motor
Electric bike motors can either be built onto the wheels or onto the frame. Wheel placement is more common and is cheaper on electric bikes. This can impact the resistance of the wheels, but it is more cost effective. Motors that are built into the frame will be coupled to the cranks. This means that the control electronics will include a sensor that will detect how hard you are pedaling and offer the assistance that is needed accordingly.
Another very important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration when shopping for an electric bike is the assistance that it offers. Usually, you can choose how much help the motor will provide, and this is typically set in three or four increments. More advanced electric bikes also have a ‘walk’ mode, which means that you won’t need to push the bike along on your own. Being able to choose your assist level allows you to control the range of the bike, and it also gives you the choice of how much effort you want to put in. If you are riding for exercise, but you just want a little help up the hills, you are going to want to use the minimum setting. If you want more assistance, dial it up to the maximum assistance level.
The gears are another important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration. Electric bikes that are designed for city riding usually use a gear hub system, which is linked to a pedal motor. In order to change the gears, you will have to stop pedaling to change the gear.
The Fit of the Electric Bike
Yet another important factor that you should take into consideration is the fit of the electric bike. You want to make sure that it fits your body so that you have the right reach and the right amount of space to comfortably use the bike. Make sure you sit on the bike and test it out to determine the fit.
The Comfort of the Seat
You are also going to want to consider the comfort of the seat. Since you will be sitting on it for long periods of time, you want to make sure that the seat is as comfortable as possible. Wider seats with more cushioning offer more support. Again, test out the seat before you buy it so that you can determine how comfortable you will be while you are riding.
The Cost of the Electric Bike
Of course, cost is a very important factor to take into consideration when you are choosing an electric bike. These bikes vary widely in price. Generally, those that offer longer lasting batteries, and those that offer more features are the most expensive. Make sure that you set a budget before you start shopping so that you can be sure that you don’t spend more than you are comfortable with.
The Features Electric Bikes Can Offer
There are a number of features that electric bikes can offer. These features are intended to make the electric bike easier to use, and they are intended to improve the function and the durability of the bike. As mentioned above, the more features that the electric bike offers, the more expensive it will be. In order to determine whether you want or need certain features, and if the added expense is worth your while, you are going to want to have a firm understanding of the different features that are available and their intended purpose.
Here is a look at some of the most popular features that electric bikes can offer.
In order to make the most of your electric bike, you should consider purchasing one that features adjustable settings. With this feature, you will be able to easily adjust the settings for the terrain that you will be riding on. This will make it easier to achieve your riding goals.
Some electric bikes offer trackers. With this feature, you will be able to keep track of things like the miles you have traveled and the calories you have burned, among other things. This feature can help you to get more out of riding your electric bike.
To protect your investment, consider buying an electric bike that comes with a warranty. With a warranty, should anything happen to your bike, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced, or you may be able to have your money reimbursed.
The Best Electric Bike Brands
If you want to get the best electric bike possible, consider choosing one of these brands, which we consider the best of the best.
One of the best electric bike brands on the market is Prodeco Tech. This company produces high quality electric bikes that offer a range of features and are extremely durable.
Yuba is another very highly regarded company that produces electric bikes. There electric bikes are very high quality and they last for a long time. They also offer a wide range of features that make them very easy and enjoyable to use.
Montague is another very highly regarded manufacturer of electric bikes. Users say that they are easy to use, they really offer the assistance that is needed when it comes to riding up hills and on long treks, and that they are easy to adjust.