As a subset of the wider cycling hobby, electric bikes have been steadily carving a loyal and dedicated following out of enthusiast base. Cyclists who move over to e-bikes do so for any number of reasons, ranging from matters of health to those of pure expediency. But for the everyday adopter, the electric bike can be a bit of mystery. With more new e-bikes coming to market every day, how do you pick the right one? Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Most frequent use
What are you going to most commonly use the bike for? This is the first and most important question to ask yourself when considering the purchase of an electric bicycle, because it will inform every decision you make thereafter. Will you be using it to commute to work or are you a thrillseeker looking to take it off-road? If you aren’t sure, or want an e- bike that does a little of both, contact a specialist retailer like Ebikery.com.au.
How much grunt are you going to need? This is a particularly important piece of information for those who are looking at off-road e-bikes, but those who are only looking for a commuter should have this as a focus too. This is very much an extension of the previous question -- if you plan to commute, what’s your route like? Are there many hills or is the terrain quite flat? Questions like these will inform the kind of motor you will need, and steer you towards a motor and battery combination that can get you there and back without a hassle. As a very general rule, mid drive units perform better for hill climbing than the hub motor variant.
Utility (foldable, small)
Is storage a concern for you? For those who are looking for an electric bike to get around on in the city, storage space at home may be at a premium. In this case, smaller, foldable electric bicycles may be where you should start looking. There are plenty of larger model bikes for those who don’t mind them taking up a bit of room, but if space is an issue, there is a solution.
How far do you intend to ride your bike? Obviously, an e-bike can still be ridden when its battery no longer has a charge or is switched off, but if you’re going to require pedal assistance for the duration of your journey then it’s good to know how far a round trip is going to take you beforehand. There are many different kinds of batteries and they will all provide different maximum ranges depending on how you use your e-bike.
For much of the wording of this post, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only to get an electric bike is to purchase one out of the box, but did you know there’s another option? A conversion kit will allow you to take your existing, regular push-bike and permanently turn it into an electrically-powered speed demon in a few hours. These are a great option for those on a budget and conversion kits can be made to fit most major models. Your nearest retailer can help.
These are just of the few of the things to keep in mind when shopping for an electric bike. There are many more, and your nearest stockist should be able to help you. Got any tips for first-time bike buyers? What are some of your favourite e-bike brands? Sound off in the email to us!