Personal e-transport is so popular that you may see one on the streets. An e-bike is another option – your interest in them may grow as you look at their design features.
According to eBicycles.com these bikes are not very popular due to their high price, but they are rapidly moving towards lower-priced models. In comparison to a few years ago, the minimum cost for an electric bike was $5-9k. Today, a more affordable model can be purchased for as low as $2-5k. A mountain e-bike costs on average $4,500 Different manufacturers offer affordable options because of the competition.
The cost of electric bikes is still high, with some models going for as much as $9,000 or more. To help you choose the right e-bike, here are some facts. Here are some things to keep in mind before you buy an e-bike.
Let’s start with the basics. It’s not about battery capacity and speed (which we’ll get to later), but rather the speed adjustment that is most convenient for you. There are two main systems: throttle and pedal.
The principle of acceleration is used to adjust the pedals. This works by rotating the pedals. It’s very simple and easy to use: just sit, push, accelerate, and the smart machine takes care of the rest. However, such systems have a problem: acceleration and rotation stop, and the motor requires your assistance.
The type of bike you have will determine how throttle adjustment works. The more you turn your handle the greater acceleration you get. You can ignore pedals, but you cannot “help” the bike, and the speed will stay within the limits (typically between 19-25 mph).
Combination adjustment is the best option and most convenient. Ask for a test drive to find out which hybrid is right for you.
You can choose between folding or regular e-bikes. While the first is more comfortable for riding in the city, the second is more versatile and can be used on both asphalt and gravel.
Buyers often find it decisive to ask whether an ebike folds or not. It is best to buy a folding model that will fit in your car’s trunk or hallway. This device is compact enough to be comparable to an electric scooter.
Motor power is another important aspect. Motor power has an impact on traction. It determines how fast the e-bike accelerates and goes up. The more powerful your engine, the more daring your electric bike will appear. Selecting the right gear will control power. The motor is connected to the controller and battery.
There are two main types of motors.
- Mid-Drive– The motor is placed in the middle of an electric bike (pedal/frame area). This complex system consists of many mechanisms. These systems make e-bikes more expensive, but they are easier to use because it balances the center gravity.
- Hub-drive(Front or rear wheel). E-bikes that have front-wheel motors make it easier to control. The models with it on the rear wheels are more powerful and have a better design.
Both cases have the advantage of an engine that is easy to repair or replace. If your engine is not repairable, you can replace the motor-wheel with one that is. It won’t work with a mid-drive motor.
The motors can be divided into two types: direct drives with gear hub motors, which are much faster than the motors without gears, and direct drives with gearless hub motors. E-bikes with gear hub motors are lighter, which allows them to pull away from stationary positions much faster and with less effort. Other benefits include compactness, less drag and more torque. High speed, silence and durability are some of the benefits of gearless hub motors. Although they are slower in acceleration, their design is very heavy.
Chain drives are another option that can be used to provide traction and low cost but high noise levels.
Look for models with built-in hub drives that are almost invisible. Motors located on the exterior of models are less durable and more noisy than those that have them.
The power is very limited in budget models, and rarely exceeds 350W. It’s enough to get around your city at 22 mph.
The vehicle’s large capacity allows for travel without needing to pedal. You can ride “lazily” on different models for 31 miles. The rider must pedal to continue the trip after the battery has been fully charged. You can charge the battery by using a regular outlet.
You can also reduce the passive distance by switching on your headlamps while you ride, since they are also powered via a battery.
Types of Batteries:
- SLAA Sealed Lead Acid Battery is the best option for budget-minded customers and offers the longest service life. All lead-acid battery types are too heavy for a bicycle. With a power reserve of 360 kWh, their weight is similar to that of a bike. They can’t be used for deep discharge. They are currently not suitable for installation on ebikes, even at a moderate price.
- NiMHThis Nickel Metal Hybrid battery has a longer service time than SLA.
- LiMnO2Lithium-Manganese Dioxide (Lithium Manganese Dioxide), is a lithium-manganese battery that can be charged up to 800 times. It is lightweight, but expensive.
- Li-Ion. The most popular type of lithium-ion battery, with the best price/quality ratio.
The battery capacity determines the maximum distance an ebike can travel. The greater your battery capacity, the more you can travel. However, battery life is important. You can’t do much with just a few dollars in your pocket.
Most lithium-ion batteries are used because they have many charging cycles, are light (about three times lighter that lead-acid), and offer a lot of durability. There are very few other types of batteries.
There are many types of lithium-ion battery, but preference should be given for those that use LiNiMnCoO2 and LiFePo4 cathodes.
These batteries can withstand the extreme operating conditions of e-bikes and have a cycle life of 1000 to 2000 cycles.
These components are most often found in the device.
- Levers–To change gears
- Brakes– To stop your e-bike from crashing too soon
- Some e-bikes have a built in GPS.On-board computersTo control the power and energy consumption of the engine.
- Shock absorbers. There are two possible scenarios. If you have the second scenario, your e-bike vibrates while you ride, which will cause your hands to tire quicker and make it more difficult for you to feel every bump/hole.
- BrakesThere are three types of brakes: mechanical, hydraulic, and disc. Because they are more powerful, electric bikes can be equipped with any type of disc brakes. If you have to choose between hydraulic and mechanical brakes, the latter is more powerful.
- Last but not least, theSize. It should be chosen based on the rider’s measurements (height, weight, arm length).
Ask yourself these questions
Answer a few questions before you buy.
- What are your plans to use your ebikes?
- How far will you travel?
- It will be stored where?
- In what conditions can you use it?
- Is weight important?
- Which speed are you going to ride?
- Answering the questions above will allow you to:
If you must use an elevator, choose a lighter model
- If you don’t have enough storage, consider a compact folding model.
- Buy a special mountain/sports e-bike model if you plan active rides in harsh conditions and with certain loads;
- You can ride your e-bike in winter and other conditions.
Pay attention to brands and features, and be specific about what you need. Do not pay too much for “benefits” that aren’t worth it.
Enjoy your ride on an e-bike!
Related Post: Best Electric Bikes Under $1000