8 Important Points To Consider When Choosing An E-bike
Where Will I Be Riding The Majority Of The Time?
Different types of electric bikes are designed for specific styles of riding. Knowing which type of category you fall into is essential for choosing the correct e-bike for your needs. Figuring out where you’re going to be riding your e-bike most often is a good starting point before entering the bike shop. Will you be using the e-bike strictly for commuting in the city? Do you need an e-bike that can handle steep hills or rough terrain or are you primarily looking for a comfortable ride?
Common Types Of Drive Systems: Hub, Mid-Drive or Friction Drive Motor Mount.
There are typically three popular types of e-bike motors being used by e-bike manufacturers today. A (hub motor) is mounted in the front or rear hub of the bike’s wheels. A (crank motor assist or mid-drive) is mounted at the crank area of the bike close to the bottom of the frame. A (Friction drive) is mounted at the front or rear tire of the bike.
Each one of these e-bike motors has pros and cons associated with them. See our section on (Friction Drive vs Mid-Drive vs Hub).
What Kind Of Assistance System Do I Need?
There are two main types of electric assistance systems bikes. The most common is what has come to be known as a “pedelec”. This type of electric assistance system monitors the rider’s pedaling rate and automatically provides a specific amount of motor assistance during the ride. This assistance is calculated based on rate, force, and speed. In some countries, the output of the motor is regulated by law and limited to 250 Watts, as well as a maximum speed up to 15 Mph or 25 Km/h. When this maximum speed is attained, the electric motor automatically switches off powered assistance for safety.
The second type of e-bike is called a ‘twist-n-go’ or throttle. This type uses a switch or button that is triggered by the rider when assistance from the electric motor is required. This works quite similarly to a throttle on a motorcycle, no peddaling required. Some newer e-bike systems now offer a combination of pedelec and twist-n-go functionality for even more rider flexibility.
How Much Am I Willing To Spend?
Good quality e-bikes are typically more expensive than equivalent unassisted bikes. There are less expensive or budget e-bikes available but they typically do not hold up very well over the long-term. When purchasing an e-bike you should expect to spend considerably more money for the convenience of a powered system that includes a motor and electronics if they are of good quality. E-bikes can typically range in price from $1000 to $9000 depending on quality, performance, and features.
Lithium-ion Or Lead-Acid, Which Type Of Battery Should I Choose?
There have been big improvements in e-bike battery technology over the last few years. Lithium-ion batteries are being used to power e-bikes most often. Older lead-acid batteries are slowly being phased out as lithium-ion batteries are now lighter, charge faster, and last longer. All batteries naturally degrade over time, and they hold less charge as they age. Better quality batteries typically last longer so choosing an e-bike that uses reputable cell battery manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung or Panasonic is highly recommended.
Lithium-ion batteries should typically last a minimum of 800 full charge cycles. Battery life of several years is quite easily achievable with proper care. Fully charging a battery typically takes between two and a half to six hours, depending on the type of battery charger supplied by the manufacturer, battery capacity, and battery chemistry used.
Can I Repurpose My Existing Bike?
There are some very good options available today for cyclists who don’t wish to give up the current bike they already enjoy in order to switch over to an electric bike that may, in fact, have a frame or components that are far inferior to their existing bike. The Alizeti 300C power drive system allows cyclists to easily and affordably convert almost any road bike into a fully-featured e-bike in just minutes. The benefit of this type of e-bike system is that older bikes that are still quite usable don’t unnecessarily end up in landfills. This type of e-bike conversion system also allows you to share one e-bike system on multiple bikes if desired.
How Much Range Will I Need?
The distance an e-bike will go on one charge of the battery is called range. It’s probably one of the first things someone who is considering purchasing an e-bike will ask about. If your commute involves many hills, knowing your total range is quite important. You surely don’t want to run out of battery power halfway into your commute. Without power, most typical e-bikes are simply heavier bicycles.
E-bike range will depend on the capacity of the battery, the speed you are moving at, your weight, geographical characteristics of your route, the assistance level you choose and the percentage of pedalling power the cyclist is providing.
For example, if you typically only use your e-bike to commute about 16 miles per day, then you most likely don’t need an e-bike with a 50-mile range. It is a good idea to purchase an e-bike that can provide 30-40% more range than you need. You should also consider the natural drop-off in the batteries capacity you will experience over time.
Should I Test Drive Before I Buy?
Perhaps the most important question you can ask yourself is how does the e-bike you are considering feel when you are riding it? Trying an electric bike for yourself allows you to put aside remarks made by skeptics, reviews, or maybe your very own online research and simply answer the most important questions for yourself. Does it climb hills in the way I need it to? Does the bike fit me in the way I would like it to? Does it have the quality and functionality I would need? Is this e-bike fun to ride? Ultimately if you answer yes to these questions then you can rest assured that you have found the right e-bike for you and it should provide many years of enjoyment and service.