12 December 2022

What To Look For When Shopping For An Electric Bike

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Shopping for an electric bike can be a daunting task. There are so many different types and styles to choose from that it’s hard to know where to begin! Fortunately, by understanding the basics of electric biking, you can narrow down your decisions and find the perfect electric bike that meets your needs. 


Price points

eBike Price Points

The electric bike market is a crowded field, with hundreds of models to choose from. With so many options, shoppers need to consider their budget when looking for the perfect electric bike. For those on a tight budget, finding an electric bike under $1000 isn't difficult - many retailers offer models that are well-made and packed with features. If you're looking for a good e-bike at an entry-level price point, the $1000 price point is a great range to browse.

Those who are willing to spend a little more should look for an e-bike in the $2000 range, which usually offers higher performance, more powerful motors (500W - 750W in some cases), and other upgraded components. like better brakes and a higher-capacity battery.

Of course, electric bikes don't come cheap - even entry-level models tend to be significantly more expensive than regular bicycles.

Therefore, it's important to think carefully about your needs and make sure you are getting the best value for your money. By doing your research and setting realistic price points, you can find an electric bike that suits your needs and fits within your budget.

Battery life and charging time

Ebike Battery Life

When it comes to e-bike batteries, having adequate capacity and longevity is key. Most e-bike batteries come in two main types: lead-acid and lithium-ion. Lead acid batteries are generally heavier and don’t last as long, while lithium-ion batteries tend to be lighter and last much longer though they usually cost more.

We highly recommend that you get an e-bike with a lithium-ion battery.

When it comes to e-bikes, a 36V battery with at least 10Ah (amp hour) should be the absolute minimum – this will provide a range of up to 35 miles or more depending on the terrain. If you can get a 48V battery, with a capacity of 12Ah, then this will be more than enough for all but the farthest of commutes.

Another important factor is charging time – most e-bike batteries should charge between 2 to 5 hours if you’re using a quality charger, but this may vary slightly depending on the make and model. Ultimately, finding the right battery for your e-bike depends largely on what you plan to do with it.

You should carefully consider power requirements, weight, and range when making your choice so that you can get the most out of your e-bike experience!

For the cost-conscious rider, finding an e-bike with a large-capacity battery that offers fast charging times at an affordable price will be the real challenge. Fortunately, we reviewed the best electric bikes on the market, to help make this an easier task.

Weight and portability

eBike Folding

When considering the weight and portability of an e-bike, battery weight is a major factor. Many battery packs can weigh between 8 to 18 lbs (3 to 7 kgs), ramping up the overall weight of your ride.

Fortunately, battery technology is constantly improving, and lighter batteries are becoming increasingly available...remember how we mentioned that newer lithium-ion batteries are much lighter than lead-acid?

At the same time, there has been an uptick in folding e-bikes, some of which feature battery packs built into their frames or handlebars. This can help you reduce the total weight of your bike even further when folded for transport or storage.

These e-bikes are designed to weigh as little as 30 - 40 lbs!

Some folding e-bike designs even come with stand-alone battery packs that can be removed from their frames to significantly reduce the overall weight when necessary. Ultimately, battery weight and portability are important factors to consider when looking at different electric bicycles. So be sure to compare battery weights along with other features as you shop around for your perfectly portable ride.

Ease of use

Beginner eBike

Ease of use is often an important factor when you're choosing an electric bike. When you're shopping for a new e-bike, ask yourself how beginner-friendly it is and how easy it will be to store and transport the bike.

Keeping your bike safe shouldn't take up a lot of time: Can the electric bike be easily locked? Are there options to securely lock the battery or remove it from the frame?

Consider elements like the standover height too; beginner riders might prefer a lower standover height for more stability and better control. Ease of use doesn't stop after your purchase either: Choose an e-bike with an easily accessible charging port, so you don’t have to spend time disassembling parts just to charge your battery.

No matter what features you prioritize in a new e-bike, ease of use should always be kept in mind. Most notably, beginner riders can benefit from targeted features designed with them specifically in mind. 

Other features to consider

eBike In Park

While there are some basic bike features that every e-cyclist should consider, such as bike size and bike type (e.g., road e-bike or mountain e-bike), there are also several unique features you may want to look out for.

If you plan on biking at night, you'll want a bike light or two so you can easily see and be seen while on the road. Alternatively, if you're a data-driven cyclist, think about investing in a speedometer or trip calculator - these give helpful stats such as distance traveled, speed, and estimated calories burned.

Plus, if you own an electric bike (or "e-bike"), additional features like battery chargers and charge monitors can come in handy and help keep your battery fully powered so you can get the most out of your ride. With all of these helpful options available, finding the perfect bike for your needs is easier than ever!


Summary

Ebike Summary

When shopping for an electric bike, be sure to consider the 5 key factors discussed in this guide:

  1. Price point
  2. Battery life and charging time
  3. Weight and portability 
  4. Ease of use
  5. Extra features that might be important to you

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But by taking the time to do your research and figure out what matters most to you in an ebike, you'll be able to find the perfect one for you in no time.



About the author

Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.


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