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There are a lot of reasons why you should buy an e-bike. They have better climbing efficiency, range, and wind resistance. If riding traditional bicycles gives you knee pain, or exercise-induced asthma, you should also get one.
The only issue you might face is the sheer number of electric bikes for sale. There are electric bikes of the mountain, folding, motorised, power assisted and trike varieties. You have to make sure you’re able to correctly whittle down the numbers to end up with the best one for you.
When you are done with this post you should be able to narrow the playing field (or riding track) and make the best choice for you.
Power-assisted bicycles are made for different purposes and different people. You need to know what you want to use the electric bike for, to help you make the right choice. Identifying your purpose for the e-bike will leave you at an advantage when you have to discuss with the retailer about your preferred product.
Also, you can use your electric bike for a WIDE variety of things. They include cargo hauling, trail riding, relaxed cruising, child transportation, sand and snow riding, urban commuting, and travelling. So, to get the right product, you really need to identify which purposes you’ll be using it for, and what features you’ll need to optimise.
There are two main types of electric cycles. The first kind is the pedelec. In pedelecs, the biking system monitors the rider’s speed and adds occasional motor assistance as needed. The motor assistance it provides depends on the rate, force and speed of the bike.
In majority of countries, the motor output is capped at 250 W while the maximum speed is 25 km/h. When you reach this maximum speed, the motor switches itself off. There are the fastest electric bikes that can reach speeds of about 45 km/h but you need a driver’s license or go offroad to ride this type.
The other kind of power-assisted bike is known as ‘twist-n-go’. In this type, there is a switch the rider uses to trigger the assistance from the motor.
There are two kinds of motors – hub motor assist and crank motor assist. The hub motor assist is mounted in one of the wheels while the crank motor assist is fitted on crank and pedal area at the bottom of the frame.
Normally, crank motors actually do well while riding uphill. However, they are quite on the noisy side depending on the brand and type. On the other hand, hub motors are relatively quiet, but don’t do quite as well riding uphill. So if you are going to be riding on a lot of hills, you should get a crank motor e-bike.
You can cut down on the noise by going for reputable brands like Giant e-bikes, Shimano, Bosch, Yamaha or 8fun. The bigger brands put more effort into reducing the noise than generic producers.
All e-bikes are battery powered. Lithium ion batteries are the most popular batteries. Top quality options have lighter batteries that charge faster, are lighter and last longer than lithium-ion batteries.
The longer you use a battery, the weaker it becomes. You can make sure you buy top quality by looking out for renowned brands like Sony, Panasonic, or Samsung. You should also make sure that your battery has a warranty covering it for a minimum of two years.
The average lithium ion battery has a life cycle of 800 charges. If you ride every weekday, that should last you about 3 years. With careful use, it can last longer. You can expect to get at least 2000 half-charge cycles from the battery. These figures are quite conservative though. If you use it well enough, it can easily last you for several years.
The full charge of a battery usually lasts from about two and half to six hours, depending on the manufacturer, battery chemistry, and battery capacity.
The distance you can ride on a single charge of the battery is the range. This is one of the most important features you should be on the lookout for. If you are riding on a hill, it would be quite disastrous for you to run out of juice midway. Without power, an electric bicycle is just a heavy piece of metal.
The range depends on a lot of things. This includes the battery capacity, your weight, speed, profile of the commuting tour, percentage of pedalling power, and the assistance level you choose.
If your daily commute is just 10 kilometres, then you don’t need a bicycle with a range of 70 km. Regardless, you should actually get one with a higher range than you normally need. This is because the range you can eke out reduces as the battery ages.
You can’t get good e-bikes for next to nothing. They are relatively expensive, even compared to quality unassisted bicycles. You can get a basic model, but how long would you be happy with it? A good choice with a quality frame, suspensions, functional brakes, and a host of other components can be a hefty investment, but you’ll surely appreciate the value later on.