Find us @

Autos

How to choose the right electric bike

How to choose an electric bike.

Published

on

When you use the links on this page to make purchases, Autoblog might get a cut. Pricing and accessibility are mutable.

Research Make (e.g. Cadillac)

The popularity of electric bikes has skyrocketed recently, and with good reason—they let you ride farther and faster with less tiredness, as well as through terrain that would have been too challenging for a standard bike to handle.

Even though there are many benefits, choosing an electric bike might be confusing due to the variety, price, and legal restrictions around them.

several types of electric bikes

States have different regulations regarding electric motorcycles. Currently, the three-class system for electric motorcycles is recognized in 36 states. Let’s use the example of Colorado as it is where I currently reside. Check out this post on juicedbikes.com for more details on the regulations governing electric bicycles in each state. In Colorado, a motorized bicycle must have two or three wheels, functional pedals, and a motor that generates up to 750 watts of electricity in order to qualify as an electric bicycle. There are electric bikes available with motors that are more powerful than 750 watts, such as the Jeep electric bike. These are restricted to motorized trails and are classified as OHVs, low-powered scooters, or dirt bikes in Colorado.

All electric motorcycles that meet the aforementioned requirements are then divided into the three categories Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.

A Class 1 electric bike only assists you while you are pedaling (there is no throttle switch), and it only assists you up to 20 miles per hour. Even though the motor won’t assist at speeds beyond 20, your bike can still travel faster than 20 miles per hour (I’ve seen electric bikes travel as fast as 48 miles per hour close to my house on a steep downhill).

Similar to a Class 1 electric bike, a Class 2 electric bike only offers assistance up to 20 miles per hour. The only distinction is that the motor operates even when you are not pedaling. The majority of the time, a throttle switch is used to do this.

Similar to a Class 1 electric bike, a Class 3 electric bike, like the one in the previous example, requires that you pedal in order for the motor to assist you. Here, however, instead of simply 20 miles per hour, the motor will aid you up to 28 miles per hour.

What makes these classes crucial? Where you can lawfully ride an electric bike depends on these classes. Knowing the regulations where you ride is essential because my favorite trails close to my house only permit Class 1 electric bikes on dirt tracks and Class 2 electric bikes on concrete trails. Know your local laws and restrictions before you buy an electric bike because some, like the 750-watt powered Jeep electric bike, allow you to alter the class of your bike by just removing the throttle switch.

electric bike models

Let’s talk about the many sorts of electric bikes now that the classes are over. Selecting the type of human-powered bike you desire is the same as doing this.

Cruisers or Commuter Bikes – Similar to the Hurley model mentioned above, this is the kind of bike you want if you intend to use it as casually as possible on paved or level terrain.

Motorcycles – Hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes are the two main subcategories among the many others. A hardtail bike has shock absorbers in the front fork, whereas a full-suspension bike has them in the front and back for an even smoother ride. Both designs include substantial knobby tires, which are ideal for navigating rocky, uneven terrain.

Wheel diameters for adult mountain bikes typically range from 26″ to 29″. 27″ wheels are a nice compromise between 26″ and 29″ wheels, with 26″ wheels typically being more agile.

Road bicycles In general, road bikes are the lightest and swiftest bikes available for riding on paved surfaces. They have a hostile geometry that puts aerodynamics ahead of comfort.

Gravel bikes have geometry that is similar to a road bike but with wider knobbier tires and lower gearing that make it easier to navigate uneven terrain than a road cycle.

Other factors to think about

If, for instance, you have determined that you want to purchase a full-suspension Class 1 electric bike because you enjoy riding dirt trails with some rocky portions and jumps, there are still a few factors to take into account:

Removable vs. non-removable battery: You’ll want a removable battery if you require longer range than one battery can provide or if you want to replace your battery after a few years because it has started to function less well. When you park your bike, be sure there is a way to lock it or secure it to prevent theft. If not, you can always carry it with you in a backpack, although that might get annoying very soon.

Taking your bike with you – Electric bikes are significantly heavier than their human-powered counterparts due to the battery and engine. Because of this, you must ensure that the bike rack you purchase can support the weight of an electric bike in order to prevent your new favorite purchase from falling off the road. Companies like Yakima, Thule, Kuat, and Saris all sell racks designed specifically for electric bikes. I prefer hitch-mounted racks to trunk-style racks myself. Since hitches are used to pull everything from RVs to boats, they are more secure, and I am certain that they can bear the weight of my 75-pound fat tire electric bike.

Range – The most significant feature of an electric bike is probably range. Yes, you can still pedal electric bikes home if the battery dies, but depending on the condition of the trail and the type of bike you have, they may not always be the simplest way to get there. Depending on your rides and the amount of help you need, range might also vary greatly. Your range will differ significantly from someone on the same bike on relatively flat terrain with the least bit of help if you spend the entire day climbing steep hills on a class 2 bike without ever touching the pedals.

In addition to riding style, other factors including as weight, temperature, battery age, and tire pressure also affect range. The range decreases with rider weight. The same is true if you are pulling a trailer behind your bike. Regarding temperature, the battery will be under more strain the colder it gets, therefore you’ll have shorter range. The more outdated the battery, the less range it has. Last but not least, low tire pressure results in increased contact with the road surface, which increases friction and reduces overall battery range.

Some electric bikes have computers that can advise you on how to modify your riding techniques to get the most out of your battery as well, which can boost the electric bike’s overall range.

In order for your electric bike to work at its peak, you must keep everything clean, well-lubricated, and in good condition. This is comparable to traditional bike maintenance. Regular maintenance should be carried out on things like chain lubrication, tire pressure, and washing. Because electric bikes’ motors can put its parts under more stress than a human-powered bike, over time, parts may wear out and require replacement. For a detailed look at electric bike maintenance, read this post on bikeradar.com.

Cost: Your budget will depend on how much money you feel comfortable spending. Due to the fact that they have even more moving components than bikes powered by people, electric bikes typically cost more. You get what you pay for, just as with ordinary motorcycles, so keep that in mind. Cheap electric bikes typically save money by utilizing lower-quality parts that are either heavier, less effective, or have a shorter lifespan. This doesn’t imply you shouldn’t spend $9k on a Specialized full-suspension rather than a less expensive bike from Amazon. Simply be aware of your use case and what you’re getting yourself into.

How to select the right bike for you

By carefully reading the material that was previously published and being sincere with yourself about how you intend to use your bike. Do your study before spending your hard-earned money since there is nothing worse than buying something you won’t use or, in the case of some state rules, can’t utilize. Happy cycling!

The original version of this article, which was published on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Aug 2022 08:45:00 EDT, can be found here. To use feeds, please refer to our terms.