Everything You Need to Know About Electric Bikes
Ebikes are becoming popular these days because they are one of the most acceptable environmentally friendly modes of transportation. These bikes work on rechargeable batteries that can go up to a speed of 20 to 28 mph depending on the motor capacity. In a nutshell, this mode of transportation is low-cost, energy-efficient, and emission-free which also comes with many great health benefits.
If you’re planning to buy an ebike and are not entirely sure of the benefits, we can help. Through this article, we’ll uncover the various advantages and important specifications you need to know before you get one.
Let’s dive right in.
Complete Electric Bicycle Buying Guide For 2023
If you’re planning to buy an electric bicycle, or just want to know the important facts, the below sections will answer many of your most important questions. We have also included the ebike types available in the market.
1) Understanding Ebikes
Ebikes may look similar to normal bikes, but it comes with a small motor and a battery fixed to them. These motors help to run the bike relieving the emphasis on pedaling, it gives less pressure on the knees and legs. They are heavier bikes that have fat tires to make the bike more stable.
These bikes are carefully designed considering the safety of the rider. There is a front light placed in some of the ebikes that glow light for riding in the nighttime. Handlebars come in a straight-type model which provides a powerful grip to travel in mountains and slopes. The bikes come in various styles and models that suit different uses, it is mainly classified into three types according to their propulsion. Each type applies a different type of power to the wheel of the bike,
- Pedal assist bikes, these work on giving power to the motor. It applies pressure to the pedal area and makes the bike move even without the need for handlebar control. They provide speed levels up to 20 mph in a ride
- Throttle, is a powerful type of bike that gives efficient high speed to ride, it uses both the pedal and the electric motor to ride. It provides a speed level of more than 20 mph
- Pedal assist with less throttle type of ebike gives speeds up to 28mph, this is considered the most powerful and speedy type that is not legally permitted to ride in certain areas, in other areas you can get a permit for riding them.
Ebikes have many key features that would carry the bike effectively throughout the ride. It is based on their specifications and the bike performance varies.
It is important to know about the motor types and their performance, especially in this bike. These bikes have three types of motors and each has its own power capacity.
- Hub driver motors - This is integrated directly into the wheel giving a more balanced weight distribution. This provides acceleration that is similar to a normal bike
- Mid-drive motors - They are present between the pedals at the bottom frame of the bike. These motors are fat and make the overall frame of the bike look bulky. The unsprung weight distribution makes them an ideal choice for off-road and mountain adventures
- Friction motors - These motors are not efficient as the hub and mid-drive motors, these are used mostly for updating a traditional bike into a powerful electric bike. It will be placed in the seat of the bike area
Batteries are one of the most important components in ebikes. Without a good battery, you will not be able to ride the bike properly.
- Lead acid batteries
These are the strongest type of batteries Depending upon the usage these batteries need to be changed after a certain period, these won't last long. It gives you a lower density of power and weighs heavily.
Most of the recent types of bikes are made with these batteries as it uses current-generation techniques. Compared to other batteries these provide fast charging and maintain lower power usage. They are lightweight providing enhanced power supply to the bikes. Even the Tesla Model S and Ampler use this battery
- Nickel Metal Hydride
These are used for both electric bikes and hybrid bikes, they are mostly preferred as the alternative to alkaline nonchargeable batteries. It provides anti-leakage and outbreak protection to the bikes. These cost high than other batteries that give slow charging and discharging from the battery.
Lithium phosphates are one of the most efficient batteries that are safe to use, lightweight, provides good battery life capacity, and have low maintenance. They are comparatively costlier than other battery types but many prefer them due to their lasting performance and life span. It is considered one of the best batteries for ebike.
As ebikes have motors, gears are considered less important but when you travel long roads these gears will provide you with efficient pedaling saving your battery life. There are two types of gear systems used in these bikes, which are
- Derailleur gears - They suit ebike adventure and sports rides. It gives higher torque potential to ride in mountains and terrains
- Internal hub gears - It is a closed-gear system that does not require services often. These gears can be changed internally within the rear wheel without pedaling. They are preferably used in urban riding and are good for carrying backloads.
3) Budgeting and Support
Cost is another major factor you must consider before buying any type of bike. Know your type of purpose and the budget then choose according to that.
- Usually, these electric bikes are used for covering short distances
- Maintaining the cost of the bike is not more expensive than other bikes, it does not require constant services and repairs
- Be aware of after-sales and service support provided along with the bike. As this is an ebike all the service experts cannot get into it and repair them, these need separate specialist mechanics and centers for repair and service
- Buying a used ebike will cost less than a brand-new bike. But you should check the battery life, mileage used, motor, and warranty before buying one
- Check the warranty of the motor and battery of the bike, as these will cost almost ¾ of the bike's cost to replace and repair
4) Types of Electric Bikes
There are different types of ebikes that are designed according to use, their performance on particular roads, and even for biking tours. Let’s take a look at the types.
These commuter bikes are one of the fastest bikes that are designed to reach the destination quicker even though it is a long distance. They are in different styles and models. Some bikes have narrow tires with straight handlebars and others have bigger-sized front and back tires with thicker frame material. Each type is designed for beneficial comfort and effective ride through the roads.
- Narrow tire design is maintained for the bike's efficiency and balance
- Handlebars provide an upright position while riding for the rider's comfort
- Shock-absorbent in the front that helps you to tackle hard roads, rocks, small holes and so on
- Comes with a sturdy frame
- Includes lights, and bump protection for safety purposes
- Does not have wider seats
- Heavier ebike
Cruisers have some of the qualities of commuter bikes but other than that these cruiser ebikes have swooping handlebars that maintain a perfect distance between your hand and the body. They come with bigger tires and a comfortable seating position for an upright and smooth riding experience. The thick frames protect you from buck shocks and cracks.
- Wider seats
- Thick frames
- Swooping handlebars
- Does not have gear selection in certain bike type
- Not suitable for long distances
Road bikes are designed especially for efficient fast moving road-type rides. They are lightweight, with light frames, narrow tires, and drop-down handlebars for maintaining the aerodynamics of the bikes. It is especially suited for covering long-distance rides with less damage to you and your bike.
- Uses lightweight components to improve efficiency
- Suits best for covering long distances
- Efficient electric motor and battery
- May not suit some riders for its riding position
Mountain bikes are manufactured to get thrilling experiences in their rides, they create fun by moving in the uphill and downhill areas through their effortless faster riding. They could more productively handle rough terrains, dirt surfaces, large rocks, and other road-long complications. It comes with wide tires and flat handlebars to handle rough roads and other elements.
- Maximizes the rider's trial time
- Best for off-road rides
- Bigger tires for handling rough terrains
- Fast and effortless
- May not be allowed in some trails. Check the local and state regulations before choosing one, as a precaution
Cargo bikes are a unique type of bike design that has fat and wide tires, and strong frames. Its design is mainly built for carrying loads and even a companion along with you. The electric type is more advantageous to carry weight than the peddled-type cargo bikes. They are less costly to maintain and don't need any license or permit to ride them. It comes with rear-mounted seats and front cargo boxes attached to the wheel. These bikes can also be used for bicycle taxi which is more popular in urban area delivering and carting children.
- Carries loads of bags
- Ride the bike with one or more people
- Highly efficient tires
- Strong frames
- Weighs more than other bikes
This is one of the most portable bikes of all, as it can be folded into half the size and placed easily even inside a car or a bus. It comes in various sizes, designs, and shapes, you should keenly notice the feature and buy according to your need. They have foldable handles and pedals, with small wheels. If you need a folding bike to perform better in terrain areas, choose a wheel according to that. The sweat-free pedals are available, and there are even wider seats, handlebars and so on, choose a bike according to your preference.
- Portable and foldable to carry in a car, bus, and so on
- Has different categories of bike design
- Easy to carry and store in small spaces
- Less absorbent to burbs than mountain bikes
- Can’t handle too much of load
5) Throttle-Activated or Pedal-Assisted Ebike - Which is Best?
A pedal-assist bike offers required pressure only through pedaling according to the twists, turns, and road type without the need for throttle help. They have about 3 to 5 types of speed assistance for manually controlling them.
A throttle bike enhances your ride without the need for pedaling when you release the throttle pressure the motor stops. These throttles are present at the handlebars and can be controlled using your fingers. Sometimes the speed exceeds and you may lose control. So this is recommended only for experienced cyclists. Due to its high speed, some of the throttle types are not allowed or require permission in certain cities.
Pedal types are more efficient, easier, and safer than the throttle bikes, they offer more miles range than these throttles. However long roads and tough terrains are handled with the help of throttles efficiently.
Coming to the cost part throttle bikes offers less as they use simple but efficient mechanisms for riding and provides easy installation. Some ebike brands offer both pedal assist and throttle support.
6) Laws of Ebikes
Ebike is preferred all over in every country across the world. There are many kinds of electric bikes in usage according to their speed, pedal type, motor power, and so on. Though these bikes are legal to ride, some laws and regulations govern their usage, it differs from place to place, please check your country's government website to learn more about the rules that are applicable to your region.
Here are the general ebike laws,
- Manufactured are responsible for fixing essential safety elements in their ebike like mechanical requirements, pedal efficiency, tire stability, front fork, and others
- It should have permanent scalable labels which include the details of the manufacturer, location, and manufacture date
- Before delivering it to the customer the owners must test the bikes with
- Protective cap
- Handbrake and handlebars
- Frame and fork
- Reflector mount type
- Should undergo a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) for customer product safety standards. It includes every detail of the bike, the customer, and the manufacturer
- Manufacturers must ensure that their bike must undergo, The Federal Communications Commission( FCC) which enacts Title 47 CFR Part 15 requirements
- ANSI C63.10, for compliance testing of wireless devices
- ANSI C63.4, for American National Standard for methods of measurement of radio noise emissions from low voltage electrical and electronic equipment
- ANSI C63.17, for American National Standard methods of measurement of electromagnetic and operational compatibility of UPCS devices
Frequently Asked Questions
1.Do electric bikes work in the rain?
Yes, you can ride ebikes in rain but make sure that your bike is tested for rain and waterproof already. Don't directly drive into pond or water stagnant areas it will cause damage to the bike's electrical parts like motors and batteries.
2.Should I charge my ebike after every ride?
You need not charge the bike often after every ride even though it has a battery with it. Other than it is better to charge your bike when the battery is about to die or drained, this saves your battery and makes it last longer days.
3.How much do ebike batteries cost?
There are many types of batteries available that are suitable for powering ebikes however an average range of batteries costs up from $500 to $900. Its cost varies on its quality, brand, and watt type
4.How do I make my ebike battery last longer?
Following certain measures, you can maintain these batteries, like
- Charge your batteries before they get dried completely
- Charge them regularly
- Wash them with care
- Let it cool before the next ride
5.Do you get a tax credit for ebikes?
America is going on with a pollution-free green environment, so they are stepping in tax credits and ebikes which save the cost of buying. You can check your locality's updated guide on taxes and credits.
6.What is the average cost of an ebike?
Choosing an electric commuter bike costs from $1,000 to $4,000 however choosing a customized high-end electric bike ranges between $10,000 to $12,000.
7.What is the weight limit of an electric bike?
An electric bike has a weight limit of 220 pounds to 300 pounds. Overloading them may cause damage to the bike's internal parts like brakes, gears, and also external paddles and seats. So it's always best to check the weight limit of the bike before you buy one.
Electric bike or ebike is a specialized type of power bike that runs on a motor and a chargeable battery. Many different types of this bike have a variety of specifications like battery power, pedal, motor type, pedal assist, weight, brand, and price range that suit your preferences.
Every bike type is designed with its own advantages and disadvantages, they all fall into two categories for bike support. If you need better handling power and speed, you can choose the pedal assistant type, and for the quick motorized bike to ride in rough terrain that sustains dirt roads choose automated motor power you can choose throttle types. You can customize it with or without throttle according to your need.
We hope our article has helped you understand the most important information about ebikes. If you any questions, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.