Electric bikes have been in existence for more than 120 years. Variously called e-bikes, pedelecs, or power-assisted bike, these bikes offer an exceptional riding experience.
E-bikes are powered by lithium-ion batteries and will give you an easy ride even if you have to go uphill, thanks to their powerful motors. Some e-bikes have smart sensors that you can use to choose what assist level you need. That means you can travel faster and further than you could on an ordinary bike.
There are many models of e-bikes in the market today, and making a choice can be overwhelming. We are going to break down everything for you to make it easy to choose your preferred e-bike.
Types of e-bikes
E-bikes can be broadly classified into three categories: urban e-bikes, electric mountain e-bikes, and electric road bikes.
• Electric Mountain Bikes
In the e-bike world, electric mountain bikes are considered to be the 4 x 4s. They work efficiently, even for grueling uphill rides. This is because they are powered by 500Wh batteries, large enough for a whole day's ride. This makes their weight to be on the higher side, so it's best to choose the ones providing the walk assist support.
• Urban Electric Bikes
Urban electric bikes are the best choice if you like riding in hilly areas, particularly because they feature about 20 miles of assist range, which is considered as full-range. They are powered by 350Wh batteries, which can take you around big cities with much ease.
• Electric Road Bikes
Many types of e-bikes fall into the category of electric road bikes. They include racing bikes, hybrids, gravel bikes, and even bikes used for leisure. Most have narrow saddles and narrow tires. They are lighter in weight, lean forward more, and lack suspension. If you cycle just for a hobby, then an electric road bike can be your best choice.
Other Considerations When Buying an E-bike
Apart from e-bike models, here are other factors you need to consider when you want to buy and e-bike:
Range and capacity
The more the power your battery can store (capacity), the further it can go in one charge (range). So, range and capacity are interrelated. The capacity is always expressed as Watt-hours (Wh) or Amp-hours (Ah). To convert Amp-hours to Watt-hours, multiply the Amp-hours by the rated voltage of the battery.
As a rule of thumb, you can estimate the range by dividing the capacity of the battery by 20. This is just a rough estimate since the actual range depends on other factors such as speed, load on the bike, tire pressure, nature of the terrain, headwind, etc.
Some e-bikes have LCDs that show instantaneous range while you are cycling, so you get to know how much power is left.
The distance your e-bike can cover on a single charge is determined by the quality and size of its battery. So, it’s good to understand what the ratings mean.
Motors - hub drive vs. crank drive
The motor of an e-bike can either be mounted on the crank drive or on the hub of the wheel. Many cyclists prefer the crank drive motor mounting because:
- • It is more efficient
- • Many have sensors that help in adjusting the assist level depending on how you are pedaling
- • Excellent for climbing hills
- • Better center of gravity because they are mounted low and centrally
The only disadvantage of crank drive mounting is that it makes the bikes more expensive than those with hub drive mounting.
Care and Charging
When buying an e-bike, find out how many charge cycles the battery will bear before it begins to degrade. The best batteries should go for up to 1000 full cycles when taken care of properly.
F-bike have added technology plus the big lithium-ion battery, which makes them heavier than ordinary bikes. Some even weigh more than20kg. With such a weight, you can be in real trouble when you have to push the bike. So when buying an e-bike, choose one with a walk assist mode.
A good e-bike should provide you with a variety of assist levels, up to four at best. Some e-bikes have a simple switch that you can use to select the assist levels. Others come with handlebar computers to select the assist levels. The computers also display readouts of statistics such as battery life; distance traveled, speed, etc. The more assist levels an e-bike has, the better.
The choice of an e-bike depends on what use you want to put the bike into plus how much you are willing to spend. High-end e-bikes cost more than low-range e-bikes. You can get Good Electric Bicycles Under 1000 that works well and equipped with the best features.