Deciding that you want to get an electric bicycle is only the first step in finding the right model for you. Though the basic concept of giving the rider motor assistance remains the same, there are various e-bikes that you may choose from, each with different specifications to suit your individual preferences. From factors that change how it feels to ride the bike to ones that determine its longevity after being charged, consider which characteristics are most important to you. Getting swept up in all the details can leave you feeling perplexed as to what e-bike is truly right for you. We’ll help you to sift through the options by outlining what to consider before you buy your first e-bike.
What You’ll Use It For
To start with, establish what you will use your e-bike for. By knowing this for certain, you can = zero in on the e-bike category that matches your needs. You may want an e-bike to use as transportation on your daily commute to work. In this instance, a multipurpose model is a smart choice because it is capable of traversing whatever roads and paths you may take. Alternatively, you may want to use your e-bike mostly for off-road activities, so specialized mountain e-bikes with thicker tires and greater suspension may be more appropriate. Perhaps you simply desire a smooth ride to relax while spending time outside. A cruising e-bike that prioritizes comfort may be your best bet. As you can see, each of these bikes diverges drastically from one another. You don’t want to waste time looking at e-bikes that won’t work for your purposes.
The Type of Assistance
All e-bikes, by definition, provide electric motor assistance to the user. The way in which you activate this assistance can differ, though. There are two means of assist and three classes of e-bikes that exist. Depending on the model, you might turn on the motor with a throttle or button on the handlebar (throttle assist), or the motor may turn on in response to your pedaling (pedal assist). The three classes are defined as follows:
- Class 1 – Only possesses pedal assist, which aids the rider up to a speed of 20 mph
- Class 2 – These use throttle assist, also providing power up to 20 mph
- Class 3 – Utilize pedal assist, but the motor shuts down at 28 mph
Each class has its strengths. Class 1 e-bikes tend to be the most affordable and have the fewest restrictions placed on them by public safety laws. Class 2 bikes can be useful for taking breaks from pedaling, although relying on assist only will drain the battery more rapidly. Class 3 bikes offer more power so that you can move faster, carry weightier cargo, and ascend inclines easily. The tradeoff is that you may no longer be allowed to use certain bicycle- and pedestrian-only paths and may have more restrictions placed on you. For instance, you may need certain permits, depending on the area. There are also e-bikes that have both throttle- and pedal-assist functionality, which you can change according to preference or in order to comply with local regulation.
The Kind of Battery It Uses
Look for a high-quality lithium-ion battery in the e-bike, since this is the component that determines whether the motor can work. An inferior battery may age poorly and warrant replacing much earlier than you expect. Any battery will have a declining capacity to hold charge as it is repeatedly recharged, but the one on your e-bike should still last you at least a few years of frequent use. You’ll find that better batteries not only last longer but also can cut down on charge time and be designed sleekly enough to go unnoticed on your e-bike’s frame to the average passerby. Go for e-bikes with batteries that have been produced by established electronics companies like Samsung or Sony, as you’ll be better assured of their value. You could even search for warranties that cover the batteries, should they turn out faulty.
Where the Motor is Attached
Another characteristic that may change between e-bike models is where the motor is attached to the frame. You will see that it is usually located on one or the other wheel hub—either on the front or back wheel—or in the middle of the frame, right where the peddles connect to the rest of the bike.
Having the motor on the back wheel gives the rider a feeling of being pushed forward, while a motor on the front wheel feels more as if the rider is being pulled. Hub motors don’t overburden your bike’s pedaling components and better balance weight distribution. A front-wheel motor used with a back-mounted battery is a prominent example. If you move up steep slopes with an e-bike that has a one-wheel hub motor, however, you may have trouble maintaining balance, since a lot of force comes from just one end of the bike.
With a mid-motor, you may feel that the e-bike moves more naturally. The motor is smaller and provides its assistance through the normal chain and gears already on the bike. This means that it can adjust to the different gear settings you are using at different points along your ride, which is great for hills. A mid-motor can wear on your bike’s chain, though, and it can suffer from more breakdowns because of the many moving parts it has in its design.
These are the primary characteristics to consider before you buy your first e-bike. Ultimately, a lot of it comes down to whether you prefer one style over another. Here at E-Cells, we aim to give you the best of all aspects by combining features that you would normally need to pick between. Our 700w and 1000w electric bikes include one motor on each wheel hub for double the power and maximum balance on all terrains and inclines. To support them, there are two batteries put in place, so you don’t need to worry about losing power too soon. Furthermore, our e-bikes are capable of both peddle- and throttle-assist, with a removable throttle to meet your local standards. Call us today to get the top functionality in the e-bike market.