Anyone who rides an electric bike for the first time immediately notices how different it is from riding a traditional bike. Ever since they were first introduced, this sector of the market has been growing steadily. In fact, they are so popular that people now buy kits that allow them to convert their regular bikes into e-bikes. Increasing interest in these vehicles also means that more companies are getting involved in their production. These bikes come in three main categories:
Types of Bikes
- Class 1 – the motor only starts up when you start to pedal, but once you hit 20 mph it stops helping.
- Class 2 – this type has two modes; one that provides a pedal assist up to 20 mph, and the other where the bike is powered solely by the motor.
- Class 3 – this type only offers pedal assist, but stops when you hit 28 mph.
E-bikes can be further broken down into more specific categories, although these classifications vary among enthusiasts. These include:
- Mountain bikes
- Road bikes
- Folding bikes
- Cargo bikes
Within these categories, there are usually different levels of speed, which will be appropriate depending on the rider’s experience or needs. Mountain bikes are ideal for people who want to tackle biking trails or who just want a more comfortable ride on bumpy roads.
Road bikes are generally for riders who want to ride regularly for exercise or even as a means of transport. Road bikes are also suitable for daily commute. These bikes also help the rider when going uphill.
Cruiser bikes allow the rider to adopt a more comfortable seated position, and are generally easier to handle. These maybe best suited to the causal rider.
Folding bikes give riders the convenience of portability. Riders can carry their bikes in their cars or on the train. The downside is that these bikes are sometimes not as sturdy as other types, since they are meant to be light enough to carry without much hassle.
People generally buy cargo e-bikes because they usually need to carry items such as groceries, or they may make occasional trips to hardware or hobby stores. They can also be used to carry passengers. Cargo bikes can be rear or front loading.
Why the Specs Matter
Anyone thinking about buying an e-bike should understand how the specs will affect the way they use it. One of the first concerns is the power of the motor. The more powerful it is, the more battery power it consumes, which lowers the range. However, a powerful motor helps with hill climbing, hauling cargo and simply makes the bike go faster. Consider the pedal-assist riding range of each e-bike, and keep in mind that the range can be influenced by different factors.
Choose a battery with a high watt capacity. If possible, the battery number should be higher than the motor’s wattage. This setup usually provides more riding time, but there may be riders who prefer a high wattage motor as well. Ultimately, how and where you will use the bike is an important selection factor
While there are some low budget options available, these may sacrifice quality and durability, which can increase the risk to the rider. The battery charge time and the number of batteries the bike can use are other factors worth thinking about. Since most e-bikes offer different levels of pedal assist, the experience and fitness of the rider will also factor into the decision. One thing is certain; with electric bikes, recognizable brand names are important. This usually indicates the use of quality materials, and the availability of after-sales support.
Talk to an experienced sales representative if you need help in choosing the right e-bike. They will provide answers to any questions you may have.