E-bikes have been the buzz for the last few years. If you’re interested in e-bikes, there’s a high chance that you’ll get lost once you start exploring the market.
These bikes come in different types. There are many components to these, and the possibilities are endless. This is why many people feel confused when they start exploring the e-bike market.
In this article, we’ll go through the most essential aspects of e-bikes. Upon going through this, you’ll learn how to choose an electric bike.
What is an E-bike?
People often mistake scooters and electric motorcycles for e-bikes. E-bikes look very different from these. As the name suggests, these bikes are powered by electricity. However, they can be pedaled as well.
Essentially, an e-bike looks just like a regular bike. The only difference is that there will be an electrical component installed on it.
Why Do Customers Love E-bikes?
Just like electric motorcycles, e-bikes are still a niche product. However, this is becoming more and more popular. If it keeps growing at the present rate, it’ll soon become the go-to for most people.
So, why do customers love e-bikes? There are multiple reasons.
Firstly, e-bikes are cost-effective. They are cheaper than regular motorcycles, and the maintenance is much cheaper. Most e-bikes have become very energy-efficient, and thus they aren’t costly to fuel either.
Then again, they let you improve your fitness by pedaling whenever you want. This extra feature is very important as most people are health-conscious now. E-bikes are light yet very fast.
Electric Hardtail Mountain Bikes
What is hardtail electric mountain bikes anyway? When buying a new bike, a lot of people tend to skip the terms that are floating on the market. However, if you want to get the bike of your dreams, you must fully understand what these terms mean first.
Hardtail refers to a specific orientation of the suspension of the bike. In the case of hardtail bikes, the suspension fork stays on the forward of the bike, and the rear wheel stays completely rigid. This is why it’s called hardtail.
You won’t find hardtail electric bikes as you move up the price range. These bikes are cheaper and can be used as mountain bikes.
Dual Suspension Electric Mountain Bikes
While hardtail mountain bikes feature a rigid rear, dual suspension electric mountain bikes come with a suspended rear wheel and suspension fork. After a certain price point, you’ll only be able to choose from dual-suspension electric mountain bikes.
Electric Road & Gravel Bikes
There are a ton of electric road bikes that are equipped for handling gravel roads. There are a few factors that you need to look for here.
For starters, if you want to ride gravel roads, the bike must have a dual suspension. These offer greater stability when riding. Plus, they’ll keep the seat free from bumps, so you’ll have a more comfortable riding experience as well. One other thing the suspension offers is superior handling, which can be handy too.
The other factor to look for is the motor. There are different types of motors on the market, and we recommend looking for smart ones. These high-end motors can understand how much power you require so they can regulate the output.
Electric Cruiser Bikes
As for cruiser bikes, the main focus should be on handling and motor. When riding on asphalt, the suspension really doesn’t matter much. So, you’ll be good enough with a hardtail or a dual suspension bike.
What you’ll require is a better grip. If your bike fails to grip the asphalt properly, the chances of slipping will increase. The only component that can ensure better grip is the tire. So, we’d recommend channeling your budget towards better tires instead.
If you’re looking for a fast bike, you should invest in the motor as well. There aren’t many hardtail bikes that come with a high-end motor. In such cases, you can buy a cheap hardtail bike and swap out the motor for a high-end one. You can do the same for the tires as well.
Classes Of Electric Bikes
There are mainly three classes of electric bikes. Let’s go through them!
Class 1 e-bikes come with a motor and a throttle, and the motor won’t work if the rider isn’t pedaling the bike.
This means that the motor will act mostly as an aid, but it won’t let you drive the bike. These are also known as pedelecs.
These bikes can only be driven along the traditional biking lanes. The top speed for these bikes is 20 miles per hour.
There isn’t any difference between the top speed restrictions between class 1 and class 2 e-bikes. This means you can’t exceed 20 mph. The main difference is that these are equipped with throttles that work even when you aren’t pedaling. However, the motor will still aid you when you’re pedaling.
The class 3 bikes may or may not have a throttle, but they can reach up to 28 miles per hour.
The main reason behind not having a throttle is regional restrictions. In some regions, you can purchase them with the throttle as well. However, that specific region may require it to cap the speed to 20 mph, which will make it perform the same as a class 2 e-bike.
How To Choose An Electric Bike UK?
The UK has a diverse road type. From gravely, to hilly, to plain highways, you can find all types of roads. So, those of you asking how to choose an e-bike in the UK should focus on your requirements more.
What type of road will you ride on? If you’re going off-road climbing, get a mountain bike. Is your budget high? Get a dual-suspension one. Otherwise, get a hardtail.
In the case of gravel roads, go for dual suspension bikes. If you’ll be racing or speeding through highways, get a hardtail and invest in better tires and motor.
The Type and Quality of Batteries You Should Use
There are different types of batteries to choose from when it comes to electric bikes. Let’s take a look at them.
- Lead-Acid Batteries
- Nickel-Cadmium Batteries
- Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Lithium Manganese Batteries
- Lithium-ion Polymer Batteries
Among these, lead-acid batteries are the most primitive type and are hardly used. The most used battery is a lithium-ion polymer. It’s cheap to manufacture, has high capacity, and is easier to discharge. All the other battery types were experimented with as well, but LiPo turned out to be better than those.
How To Make Your Battery Last Longer
To make your battery last longer:
- Get an appropriate charger
- Don’t leave the charger plugged once it reaches full capacity
- Get a battery cover for weather protection
These three steps will be enough for making your battery last longer.
Type Of Motor In Your Bike
The types of motor that you can find in your e-bike are discussed below:
These motors are mainly installed between the cranks of an e-bike, instead of acting as a standalone power source, these supply power to the chain drive of your bike. They can easily reach up to 80 rpm.
Direct-drive motors are superior as they can power your bike equally whether you’re going forward or backward. The torque output is also higher with these. Thus, they can power your bike even when the rpm is low.
These are best for high torque, but they usually offer lower top speed. These feel closest to traditional bikes while riding.
Friction motors are outdated, but they are the cheapest and easiest to maintain. So, if you want to turn your own traditional bike into an e-bike, you can just get one of these.
E-Bike Motor Torque
Torque is measured in newton-meters in the case of e-bikes. While these can juice out a maximum of 85 newton-meter torque, standard e-bikes offer 50 or 60 newton-meters. The greater the torque, the harder you’ll have to pedal.
FAQs About How To Choose An Electric Bike
How Far Can An e-Bike Go?
This depends completely on the bike’s motor and battery. Usually, e-bikes can go from 25 to 50 miles.
How to Charge An Electric Bike?
To charge your electric bike, remove the battery and install it into the battery pack. Then, put it into an energy pack, and plug it into the nearest power source.
Can I Increase The Speed of My e-Bike?
Speed restrictions can be lifted in the case of some class 3 e-bikes. You can do this easily with the onboard screen or through the companion app.
How Heavy Are Electric Bikes? Can They Be Loaded onto My Car?
Due to product variety, e-bikes can weigh anywhere from 35-70 pounds.
Yes, they can be loaded on your car, just like a traditional bike.
What Happens When The Battery Power Runs Out?
Once the battery power of your e-bike runs out, you’ll need to pedal it the rest of the way.
Hopefully, this article provided enough information to help you learn how to choose an electric bike properly. Now that you know the basics of e-bikes, you’ll certainly be able to make a better decision.