The Beginner’s Guide to Buying an Electric Bike. So you’ve been thinking about getting out of your car and onto two wheels for your daily commute or weekend rides. An electric bike could be the perfect solution. E-bikes as they’re called give you the freedom of a bicycle with the added boost of electric power to help you up hills or go longer distances. Before you head to your local bike shop though there are a few things you should consider to make sure you find an e-bike that fits your needs and your budget. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of e-bikes, how they work and what you need to know to find the top bikes for big guys. By the end, you’ll be ready to hit the road on your new e-bike and start enjoying the benefits of pedal-assisted power.
Getting Started: Mastering the Basics
For beginners, the transition to electric bikes may be smoother after mastering the fundamentals of bike riding on a conventional bicycle. It’s also crucial for those returning to cycling after a hiatus to brush up on their bike handling skills. E-bikes, being notably heavier and faster than regular bikes, require a level of expertise in maneuvering and control.
E-Bike Training: Nurturing Skills for Safer Rides
Acknowledging the unique characteristics of e-bikes, training becomes an invaluable asset. Professional cycle skills instructors offer personalized and workplace-specific e-bike training, ensuring riders are adept in handling the weight and speed nuances of these electric wonders. Enrolling in general bike handling courses further refines essential on-road riding techniques.
Choosing Your First E-Bike: A Wise Investment
When it comes to selecting your inaugural e-bike, BikeReady recommends a few key criteria. Opt for e-bikes with a maximum speed cut out of 25 km/h, providing power in proportion to your pedaling effort. Models with motors positioned in the middle or rear of the bike offer superior balance and steering, enhancing overall ride experience.
Riding Your E-Bike: Safety First
Controlling the pace on an e-bike, which often reaches higher speeds than regular bicycles, demands heightened awareness. At intersections, ensure visibility and make eye contact with other road users. Understanding the nuances of power assist, throttle usage, and maintaining a safe distance from parked cars become imperative for a secure journey.
How do I choose my first e-bike?
- Think about your purpose and budget. Do you want an e-bike for commuting, recreation, fitness, or cargo? How much are you willing to spend on an e-bike?
- Decide on the type of e-bike. There are three classes of e-bikes in the US: Class 1 (pedal assist only), Class 2 (pedal assist and throttle), and Class 3 (throttle only). Class 1 e-bikes are the most common and affordable, and they can be ridden on most bike paths and trails. Class 2 e-bikes have a throttle that allows you to start from a stop, but they may not be allowed on some bike paths or trails. Class 3 e-bikes are faster and more powerful, but they are also more expensive and restricted.
- Compare the features and specifications. Look at the motor placement, power, battery capacity, range, speed, gears, brakes, suspension, tires, lights, display, sensors, and accessories of different e-bikes. You can use online tools like Ebike Finder or Ebike Comparison to compare different models.
- Check the reviews and ratings. Read what other users have to say about their experiences with different e-bikes. You can find reviews on websites like Amazon, eBicycles, or Cycle Volta. Look for honest feedback on the pros and cons of each e-bike.
- Test ride before buying. The best way to know if an e-bike is right for you is to try it out yourself. Most dealers offer test rides that allow you to ride an e-bike for a short distance under supervision. You can also rent an e-bike from some bike shops or online platforms like [Spinlister] or [Fat Llama] if you want to try it out for longer periods.
Commute Electric Bike
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to get around town or commute to work a commuter e-bike is a great choice. These upright bicycles have a motor to assist you on hills and headwinds but still provide exercise. With a range of 20-50 miles per charge you can skip traffic and parking hassles. Popular brands for commuter e-bikes include Rad Power Bikes Juiced Bikes and Aventon
Want to hit the trails? A mountain e-bike also known as an eMTB will take your off-road adventures to the next level. These burly bikes have front or dual suspension and knobby tires to handle dirt, gravel and singletrack. The pedal-assist motor helps on climbs allowing you to go farther and faster. Top eMTB brands include Trek Specialized Giant and Santa Cruz.
If space is limited a folding e-bike lets you pedal and stow. These compact bikes fold up in seconds to store in your home car trunk or boat. Folding e-bikes provide motorized assistance for recreational riding and short commutes then collapse for easy transport and storage. Leading folding e-bike companies are Rad Power Bikes Ancheer and Swagtron.
With so many e-bike options you’ll be riding in style in no time. Let us know if you have any other questions.
Key Features to Look for When Buying an Electric Bike
When buying an e-bike you’ll want to consider a few key features to find one that fits your needs.
The motor is what gives an e-bike its power. Look for a motor of at least 250 to 350 watts if you want help climbing hills or riding longer distances. Mid-drive motors in the center of the bike provide the most natural riding feel. Hub motors in the wheels are more affordable but can make the handling feel off.
The battery determines how far you can ride on one charge. Lithium-ion batteries are high quality and long-lasting. Look for a battery with at least 10 to 15 ampere-hours (Ah) of capacity and you’ll get 20 to 50 miles of range per charge depending on factors like motor size, terrain, and rider weight. For the best range choose a bike with a removable battery so you can bring an extra one.
The size of your e-bike’s battery significantly impacts its mileage. Larger batteries (500Wh and above) provide extended ranges, alleviating concerns about running out of power mid-ride. Understanding the estimated range and factors affecting it ensures a seamless and enjoyable riding experience.
Most e-bikes offer riding modes like pedal-assist where the motor kicks in as you pedal as well as throttle-only mode. Pedal-assist provides an authentic biking feel. Look for a bike with multiple pedal-assist levels so you can adjust the power as needed. Throttle-only mode is helpful when you want to cruise without pedaling.
Consider other features like hydraulic disk brakes for optimum stopping power, an LCD display to control your riding mode and check battery level integrated lights for safety and a suspension system to smooth out bumps if you ride on unpaved surfaces.
With the variety of e-bikes available you can find an affordable model with the features you need for a fun eco-friendly ride.
how to operate an electric bike
An electric bike is similar to a conventional bike, but it has an electric motor that assists you when you pedal. There are two types of electric bikes: pedal-assisted and throttle-activated. Pedal-assisted bikes only provide electric power when you pedal, while throttle-activated bikes can move you forward without pedaling, like a moped.
Top Electric Bike Brands and Models to Consider
When buying an e-bike you’ll want to consider some of the top brands and models. These leading options offer high quality performance and value.
Rad Power Bikes
Rad Power Bikes is one of the largest e-bike companies offering affordable yet high-quality e-bikes for casual riding and commuting. Two great options are:
- The RadRover – A popular fat tire e-bike great for all terrain. It has a 750W motor and can go 15-25 miles on a single charge.
- The RadCity – A stylish step-thru e-bike ideal for getting around town. It’s lightweight with a 500W motor and can travel 20-35 miles per charge.
Aventon makes sporty yet practical e-bikes for an active lifestyle. Check out:
- The Aventon Pace 500 – A lightweight e-bike with a 500W motor throttle and pedal assist that can hit 28 mph and go 20-60 miles on a charge. It’s great for commuting and exercise.
- The Aventon Level – A more affordable commuter e-bike with a 350W motor throttle and pedal assist. It reaches 20 mph and can travel 25-50 miles per charge.
Ride1Up is known for high-performance yet affordable e-bikes. Two solid options are:
- The Ride 1Up 500 Series – A fast e-bike with a 500W motor that can reach 28 mph, with throttle and pedal assist. It offers 20-50 miles of range per charge.
- The Ride 1Up 700 Series – A more powerful e-bike with a 700W motor hydraulic brakes and suspension fork. It reaches 30 mph with 25-50 miles of range. Ideal for hilly terrain.
There are many great e-bike brands and models to choose from. Research the power, range, and features that matter most to you. Then you can find an e-bike that fits your needs and budget. The open road awaits.
For more information:
So there you have it: the basics you need to know to buy your first e-bike. While it may seem like an overwhelming amount of information just take it step by step. Focus on figuring out how and where you want to ride, determine your budget then test out some models that meet your needs. Don’t forget that e-bikes provide a fun eco-friendly way to get around so enjoy the journey of finding and riding your new set of wheels. Once you start pedaling the feeling of the wind in your face and exploring your neighborhood in a whole new way will make all the research and shopping worth it. Happy trails and happy riding! The open road is calling your name.