A Quick Guide on How to Choose Your First eBike
March 4, 2022
Top considerations to help you choose your first ebike and invest in a healthier, greener way to take long rides, get to work or just around town.
People looking to acquire an ebike, you are not alone. In recent years, the ebike industry has been growing at an astonishing rate, making it the fastest-growing section in the bicycle industry. According to NPD Group, a market research company, the ebike market share grew by 145 percent from 2019 to 2020 alone.
As things continue to open up, more people are returning to the office, and they are looking to support a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle, especially after working from home for over a year. This is where the ebike comes in. It offers an easier way to commute, move through town and catch up with colleagues and friends.
The recent advancements in technology have made the bikes more affordable and more accessible than ever before
To give new readers a way to navigate all of the options available, we’ve put together a quick guide that’ll help you in choosing the ideal ebike for your needs (and wants).
What’s an eBike, and How Is It Different from a Moped or Standard Bike?
An electric bike typically refers to a pedal bike that has an electric motor to assist the rider. The motor can either be: in the rear wheel, in the pedals at the center of the bike, or in rare cases in the front wheel. No matter where the motor is, the goal is always the same, to help the rider go faster and go farther.
When looking at a surface level, it is easy to draw the comparison to a moped; however, to understand the difference it is important to know how they work. With most ebikes, the motor control is built into the pedal, so the motor starts and stops as you pedal. Mopeds on the other hand, use the pedals to start the motor and then drive using throttle control. The difference here is that there is little to no input from the rider, whereas on an ebike, it is a similar sensation to riding; only faster and easier.
In terms of appearance between an ebike and standard bike, the only significant difference is the added electric drive system. This drive includes a motor, battery, and a display screen. Otherwise, they look similar—both have similar types of wheels, handlebars, and the frame of a standard bicycle.
A good analogy for an ebike is drawing a comparison to a moving walkway in an airport. The pedestrian is walking on the walkway however the belt is also propelling the person along at the same time. This results in the person getting from one side of the airport to the other in less time and feeling less tired than those who didn’t use the moving walkway. The ebike is the same experience. The rider is still pedaling, however the motor is adding a little boost to get you to your destination faster.
How to Choose an Electric Bike
It’s not unusual to feel a bit overwhelmed by the many ebike options available. That is especially since there are so many features. Below find a few points that can help narrow in on the priorities for choosing an ebike:
Price and Style
Both factors will help you cut the long queue and find the ebike of your dreams. The first question that is important to think about when narrowing down the options is, “where am I going to use this bike?” There are different styles and riding scenarios for different ebikes, which can be grouped into the following classes:
- Electric cruiser bikes: These bikes are typically very long and relaxed just like the rides they are intended for. The handlebars are typically very high in relation to the seat which puts the rider in an almost straight upright position. Ideal for cruising coastal roads in search of a spot on the beach.
- Electric road/commuter bikes: An electric road bike is ideal for riders who ride for fitness, commute, or to get out and explore their local roads. They are typically the lightest of the ebike types. They are made for the most effective pedaling and are among the lightest options you’ll find.
- Electric cargo bikes: Electric cargo bikes are the minivans of the ebike world. They weren’t built for sports use, but they are among the most useful bikes you’ll ever come across; their hauling capacity is also fascinating. They are made to haul as much shopping as possible.
- Electric folding bikes: Folding bikes are best for urban dwellers who have a smaller home footprint. They typically have smaller wheels than a normal bike, and multiple hinges on the frame and handlebars, this allows them to fold up into smaller storage spaces. These bikes are also great for if you need to get on a train or boat, as part of your commute or if you need to stash in your trunk.
- Electric fat bikes: A fat bike typically refers to a bike that has tires over 4” wide. Most modern bicycles will have tires that range from 1.5” to 2.5”. Fat tire bikes are best suited for loose terrain such as sand and snow. The trade off is that they will use more battery power as they are more effort to pedal.
- Electric mountain bikes: These bikes are typically one of the heavier classes of ebikes They feature large knobby tires, large suspension systems, and heavy duty frames. They are best suited for off-roading and are not ideal for commuting or road riding.
Once you’ve honed in on which style fits, consider other factors like price, ergonomics, performance, weight, available accessories, among other things, before making your purchase.
When looking for the most comfortable bicycles, we typically look at the following elements:
- Geometry of the Frame
- Adjustability and fit
- Fork suspension
- The seat
- The wheels
- Additional comfort features
Some bikes come with framework and adjustability options, while most ebikes focus on the seat and wheels for comfortability. An example of an ebike with great comfort features is the Ride1Up 700 series. This ebike performs even better than it looks, offering excellent quality while remaining affordable. Among many upgrades and features, the 700 series ebike comes with bright lights, a powerful motor that can go up to a top speed of 28 mph, equivalent to 45km/h, and hard alloy fenders. Fenders help prevent overspray, so you don’t arrive at work with water spots on your clothing.
Such a bike is perfect, especially for commuters who prefer riding to work. Sometimes you might get late for work waiting for the bus, so why not ride to work?
As mentioned, there are a few key aspects to consider when choosing an ebike. With these insights, you’ll have enough to get started making the right decision and begin enjoying years of outdoor touring. When investing in something like an ebike, it’s important to feel like it was designed just for you—or at least modified to suit your needs.
Considering your weight, you must get the ideal frame size. Apart from the size of the frame, the frame geometry will determine how it will fit your specific body measurements. Reviewing is a great move as it helps ensure your shoulders, knees, feet, back, and hands are all properly aligned for the riding position you love. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any queries or additional information.