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Things to Consider when Buying an E-Bike

Things to Consider when Buying an E-Bike

Introduction

If you are a cyclist, you will likely know that electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, have become very popular, especially in recent years. This is mainly because many cyclists are adopting electric bikes over traditional bicycles.

Electric bicycles have plenty of benefits, such as promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, lowering commute times, and reducing commuting costs. Have you seen an electric bicycle zipping through the streets?

Electric bikes are quickly growing in popularity and are poised and ready to create a renaissance of 2-wheeled commuters who are attracted to and like the extended range as well as easier commutes provided by this type of efficient battery-powered transit. According to Deloitte, from 2020 to 2023, 130 million e-bikes will be sold throughout the world, which is impressive.

Whether you are looking to conquer several miles on the road, glide your way easily through town, or tackle technical and steep terrain off-road, note using an electric bicycles will make cycling considerably more fun and accessible.

Did you know that riding an excellent electric bike for the very first time can almost feel like discovering a valuable superpower? This is because a pedal-assist e-bike extends your 2-wheel possibilities. For example, you can easily keep up in standard stop-and-start traffic, arrive much less sweaty or clammy at your destination, and easily haul children or cargo.

And that is not all; if you experience exercise-induced asthma or knee pain, for instance, an electric bike will help breathe new life and passion into the exciting and fun sport of cycling. However, before you can enjoy the benefits of an electric bike, you will have to buy one. So, how do you purchase an electric bike? Keep in mind that the sophisticated and advanced technology e-bikes use can complicate the buying process, especially for amateur cyclists.

We know that trying to find the best e-bike can seem daunting. This is because there are a slew of specifications, options, as well as performance ‘claims’ that you have to consider.

So, if you are in the market for an electric bicycle, you should ideally try out several styles and models, as there are variations in both speed and power.

How Electric Bikes Work

An e-bike is simply an electric bicycle featuring a convenient powered assist that users can easily activate while pedaling. So, it is worth noting that the only main difference between an ordinary bicycle and an electric bicycle is that the latter comes with a battery-powered motor that assists you with the riding.

That means when you are ascending a steep hill or whenever your legs grow a bit weary, a tiny motor will spring into action, giving you an additional boost. Isn’t that amazing! Electric bicycles are equipped with a small electric motor that is either partially or fully responsible for your e-bike's propulsion.

And a convenient digital display will allow you to easily switch between various amounts of electric motor input while riding. Note that while pedaling, you can instruct the electric motor to either double or match the level of effort, and this helps propel you along.

The power of most engines can range between 150W and 1000 W? On the other hand, the maximum speed that an electric bike can reach usually ranges between 20 mph to 40 mph.


Important Considerations when Buying an Electric Bike

If you are stumped on what you should look for in the best e-bike, you are not alone. As there are so many options, specs, technical jargon, and other things to wrap your head around, the decision can be tricky. Or worse, if you make the wrong decision, you will end up being frustrated and disappointed with the new wheels.

Don’t worry, as we will help simplify the buying process for you so that you can get on your shiny new wheels much faster. To do this, we have compiled the important things you should consider before purchasing an electric bicycle that fits your lifestyle, taste, preferences, and budget.


Focus on Your Needs

One of the first and most essential steps in narrowing your electric bike search is to clearly know how you will use the e-bike. There is no doubt that e-bikes are made for different purposes and people. This is why it is up to you to determine what features, such as the battery, are most important for you.

Do you want an electric bicycle for exercise and recreation? Will you be using the e-bike for everyday utilitarian purposes, like grocery shopping or commuting? So, it is essential to know your needs before buying an e-bike. For example, if comfort is important, usually a step-through frame is the best.

On the other hand, if hill climbing is your thing, an electric bike with a middle motor system or even higher torque hub might be best. If you like riding long distances, a battery of at least 400 watt-hours is the most appropriate.

Keep in mind that understanding your specific needs and preferences will help you decide what features and specs matter most on an e-bike.

Electric Bike Style

You also have to consider what e-bike style you’re looking for. There are several styles, such as step-through electric bikes in a classic design. You can also go for a crossbar version or a sturdy mountain bike. You will also come across terms like hybrids. Note that this usually refers to e-bikes that are appropriate for both trail use and road use.

It is worth noting that step-through electric bicycles are much easier to mount. On the other hand, mountain bikes are perfect for off-road uses and trails. Keep in mind that folding e-bikes have the extra advantage of being space-saving and portable.


Safety is Paramount

Are you purchasing from an established and reputable electric bike brand? If yes, the company will likely test the bike, conforming to the safety laws and standards in the country. Note that there are a couple of essential things that you should look out for in order to keep yourself and others secure and safe on an electric bike.

For example, the brakes on the bike should have sufficient stopping power that can match the motor. Did you know that hydraulic disc brakes are most suitable for this? Note that smart cut-off will help ensure both smooth stopping and restarting. This will make sure that you do not jolt or kick out on your ride.

You must also look for suspension on the seats and fork along with integrated reflectors and lights. It is no secret that all of these critical safety features, small or big, help make your ride safe. Whenever in doubt, you should ask the e-bike retailer whether the electric bike has any safety certification.


Cost of Electric Bikes

You probably know that excellent electric bikes do not come cheap in most cases, even compared to high-quality unassisted bikes. While you can get an e-bike for less than $1,000, it may not be worth it. Keep in mind that, as with nearly all complex consumer products, you will get what you pay for.

You may go with a very basic e-bike model that is inexpensive, but how long will you be happy and satisfied with it? It is worth noting that an average e-bike with functional brakes, a quality frame, effective suspension, and other parts and components is usually expensive.

This is why you should expect to shell out $1,500, and probably twice or even more for an e-bike model with brand-name components and serviceable high-performance in other brands, however, here at Ariel Rider we're in a lucky position to provide very competitive prices with high end components. When purchasing an electric bike, you will need to spend significantly more money on various parts, such as the motor. So, expect to pay a higher price. Always keep in mind that a better e-bike will last much longer.


Range

You should know that range is perhaps one of the most important specifications in an e-bike. And people have a lot of questions regarding the electric bike range.

How far will an e-bike go on one battery charge? Keep in mind that the distance an electric bicycle will travel one charge of its battery is known as the range. It is worth noting that the range of an electric bike depends on many variables, like rider weight, temperature, tire pressure, how frequently you start and stop, and how hard or intensely you pedal.

The range of your bike also depends on its battery capacity, your weight, speed, profile or nature of your commuting tour, and the assist level that you choose. For example, if your commute covers a big or steep hill, then you would not like to run out of battery halfway up. Note that without power, an electric bicycle is simply a heavy bike.

If you only commute for ten to fifteen kilometers a day, you do not require a bike with a 70 km range. However, keep in mind that you should purchase an electric bike with a slightly higher range than you currently need. This is because the range of your e-bike will likely drop as its battery ages and gradually loses capacity.


Battery Size

As lithium-ion batteries are now everywhere, it is not surprising to find one powering an electric bike. You will be happy to know that more expensive electric bicycles come with higher-tech batteries that charge quickly, are lighter, and last much longer.  

When choosing an e-bike, make sure the battery is made by a reputable manufacturer. In most cases, brand name batteries, such as Samsung, usually have considerably longer lives (or charge cycles) because of more stringent quality standards and testing.

Even the best batteries will degrade with time and hold less charge. This is why the overall quality of your battery can make a big difference. As a result, you should look for a reliable and reputable battery manufacturer like Samsung, Sony, or Panasonic. Also, you should make sure that your warranty covers the e-bike battery for 2 years (at least).

Did you know that many electric bikes now allow you to use 2 batteries at the same time? Note that this is convenient as it can easily extend the length of your bike ride. Also, if one battery dies, you will have a backup.

Also, it is worth noting that lithium-ion batteries usually last about 800 complete charge cycles. That is about 3 years of your weekday commuting. The best thing is that these batteries survive much longer with careful and responsible use. This is why you will likely get a minimum of 2,000 half-charge cycles.


Warranty is Important

Regardless of whether an e-bike costs $1500 or $15000, for most people, purchasing an e-bike is a significant investment. As with most products, with a warranty, you will rest assured that your big investment is certainly worth it.

You should also ask the seller what the product warranty is like for the electric bicycle that you are interested in buying. And keep in mind that they may vary for various parts and components of the e-bike.

In many cases, the length or period of the warranty is a fairly good indicator of the overall quality of an e-bike as well as the manufacturer behind it. You can reasonably expect a 1-year warranty on various parts, such as battery and motor, from most e-bike makers with products worth more than $2000.


Electric Bicycle Drive Systems

You will find two main drive systems in most electric bikes on the market. These are called central crank driven systems and hub driven systems. You should know that most crank driven motors are usually located in the center of the e-bike frame. It is worth noting that the drive system helps propel the electric bicycle through the chain using the rear wheel gears.  

You will be happy to know that that this is a very efficient system, as it can quickly increase its torque using the wheel’s cassette. In simple words, it will allow your electric bicycle to easily climb up steep hills.

On the other hand, on most hub driven systems, the motor is in the bike wheel itself, rear, front, or both. Note that the motor propels you by simply accelerating the wheel. Keep in mind that rear-wheel mounted hub motors often give riders the feeling of being gently pushed. Also, sometimes, it can be challenging and demanding to replace flat tires on a rear-wheel motor.

You should know that you can drive hub motor systems in two modes. One mode is called the pedal-assist mode, and the second is through throttle control. With the availability of so many different models on the market, you may choose various levels of pedal assist. In contrast, the throttle mode is usually a simple twist and go or convenient thumb throttle. And this mode doesn’t require you to pedal.


Final Thoughts

It is no secret that electric bicycles will be the future of motorcycles. E-bikes will also help us make the most of a more sustainable and reliable mode of transport that is not harmful to our environment. While the engineering and technology behind them are still in their early stages, with more sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives, electric bikes will scale new heights and get more popular in the future.

The eco-friendly nature, convenience, and agile performance of electric bikes are things that you should consider in your daily life. These bikes are not just efficient and quick but are eco-friendly as well. Conduct your due diligence and consider the factors above so that you understand exactly what you would like to buy.

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