Electric Bike Buying Guide – Which E-bike Should I Buy?

Electric bikes are currently the hottest trend in the US and around the world; everybody is rushing to the nearest store to get their hands on the latest models. But with so many variations and brands on offer, therein lies the danger of settling for a unit that doesn’t match your preferences. 

Whether you’ve been riding e-bikes for years or are looking to make your first purchase, it can be a little too overwhelming with so many options to choose from. 

So, to make sure you don’t end regretting after buying, check out the following electric bike buying guide. 

Electric Bike Buying Guide – Which E-bike Should I Buy?

Electric bikes are just like conventional bikes; they come with a raft of features that should be considered when purchasing one. However, they are also fitted with several electronic components that help to make them special. 

Overall, you should get familiar with the following e-bike features for an easy shopping experience: 

Style of E-bike

Similar to their conventional counterparts, electric bikes come in different designs that are meant to suit different adventures. Depending on what you plan to do with your bike, these are the variations you’ll have to choose from:

 E-road Bike

Electric road bikes combine a lightweight frame design with a powerful motor to deliver an efficient climbing performance on the most demanding slopes. They sport a similar aggressive road geometry on a conventional road bike, which gives them impressive speed on the flat and smooth tarmac. 

They also feature a stripped-down look with little to no accessories, making them the ideal choice for aging riders and those with fitness issues. This also helps to reduce the overall weight of the bike and allows for a more comfortable riding experience. 

eMTB

Electric mountain bikes are best suited for casual riders who like to take on the rugged trails with challenging descents and ascents. They have a notably heavier frame to cope with the rigors of backcountry terrains. 

The heavy design of the bikes also means that you get a powerful motor to propel you up climbs while the tires are wide, chunky, and deeply treaded to enhance your stability on the loose surface. 

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    Furthermore, a strong braking system on these bikes allows for reliable stopping power on wet and slippery ground. In summary, the best electric mountain bikes allow you to shred the most challenging trails in the backcountry.  

    E-folding Bike

    Folding bikes bring a sense of enhanced convenience to your daily commute. They spot an innovative frame with a hinge and clamp that can be collapsed into a compact package. This ability allows you to go with them into the subway or even throw them under the office desk. 

    Overall, they maximize portability and storability for electric bikes and will be perfect for shorter and lighter commutes with no rigors to deal with. 

    E-commuter Bike

    These bikes are best suited for urban commutes through the busy city streets. Thanks to their generally upright and comfortable geometry, you remain comfortable even after a long day on the saddle. 

    They are equipped with high-capacity batteries to maximize your riding range as you run day-long errands around town. These are also removable, so you can replace them with a backup when you run out of power. 

    To make sure you get the complete urban biking experience, manufacturers accessorize e-commuter bikes with urban-friendly features like headlamps, mudguards, and racks, making your city commute safer and more convenient. 

    These juiced e-bikes are great examples of commuter bikes on the market. 

    E-fat Tire Bike

    An electric fat tire bike will go where no other electric bike will! These are equipped with larger than usual tires (usually 4”), which allow them to roll on any type of terrain. From muddy trails and sandy beaches to snow-filled roads, nothing will slow down your fat tire e-bike

    Because of this, fat-tire bikes will be perfect for extreme adventurers who want to access the most remote and unforgiving trails. 

    Battery

    The electric bike’s battery determines how far your ride will last on a single charge cycle. It is an important component that you want to prioritize anytime you are shopping for an e-bike. Be sure to check the battery rating to determine how much juice it can offer. 

    E-bike batteries will typically have a Watt-hour and Voltage rating on the packaging. These two readings provide you with an idea of what you can expect from the battery. Ideally, you should go for a battery with at least a 500Wh capacity if you plan to take long rides. 

    However, you should know that the higher the capacity of the battery, the pricier the e-bike! 

    Motor

    The motor is essentially the engine of the electric bike and is in charge of propelling it forward. For this reason, it influences the top speed of the bike and its ability to accelerate. The motor also produces a torque that allows you to make easy work of tough climbs and take on headwinds. 

    To determine the power of the motor, you can check the wattage and voltage ratings. For the best value e-bike, you want to go for a motor with a 36V or 48V rating and at least 500W. 

    As for the torque, go for at least 60Nm to enjoy a seamless performance on climbs. 

    Crank vs. Hub Drive

    Electric bikes will either come with a crank-mounted or hub-mounted motor. In the hub-drive format, the motor is positioned on the front or rear wheel hub. These e-bikes are generally cheaper but not as efficient as crank drives. 

    On the other hand, crank or mid-drive motors substitute a standard crankset on a bike to relay power directly to the chain. This works in sync with the gears to maintain an optimal RPM, making for efficient power transfer. 

    The central positioning of the motor also helps to balance the overall weight of the bike and offers a more stable ride, especially on climbs. On the not-so-bright side, crank drives are usually more expensive than hub drives. 

    Price

    Once you’ve looked at all the above features and have an idea of what you want for your new electric bike, the last thing to consider is the price point. Like any other product you’ll find in a store, electric bikes come with all kinds of prices; from the ultra-budget to the ultra-premium. 

    You can find extra cheap e-bikes that will cost you as little as $300 while budget bikes can retail for under $1000. Mid-range e-bikes will set you back anywhere between $1000-$2500 whereas premium bikes can go up to $5,000

    The main differentiating factor here is the quality of features and the presence of extra accessories. Depending on your budget, you want to look for the best e-bike that offers most if not all of the features you’re after. 

    Conclusion

    When it comes to buying an electric bike, a fair share of due diligence needs to be carried out to get the best model for you. While there are so many factors to consider, the guide above captures those that should be prioritized. 

    Whether you’re buying your first bike or looking to upgrade, let it guide you in finding an e-bike that best suits your riding style. Also, don’t forget to try these easy hacks to ensure your bike is always in top shape.

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    Electric Bike Buying Guide - Which E-bike Should I Buy? — Bike Hacks