Let’s face it: most people love a great vehicle, whether it is for business or recreational use. But limiting yourself to a 4 or 2-door variety is slowly becoming an option of the past. Thanks to improvements in technology, electric personal transportation has expanded considerably over the years, with more riders leaning toward the option of electric bicycles.
But making the decision of which electric bicycle suits you isn’t always the easiest, thanks to the wide-ranging variations in quality and performance. So whether you’re looking to hit the trails or simply commute around town, here are a few options to consider before making a major (or not so major) investment.
For some riders, specifically commuters, the size of an e-bike is a top priority. Electric folding bikes can easily be compacted to a smaller size for stowing in an apartment, workspace or train. And this goes for electric mountain bikes as well, with some delivering a lightweight build that makes it easier to take on any trail.
The last thing you want to experience is running out of juice before reaching your destination, which is why range is another important factor to research. And with the range of your electric bike being based on a number of elements (speed, weight, assistance level, etc.) a key part of depends on the battery -- specifically its capacity, wattage, and charge.
Typically most e-bikes can travel up to 20 miles distance on a single battery charge, while eco-mode battery types can reach up to a 50-mile range. The best practice is to measure your typical ride and invest in a bicycle with higher range per battery charge than you necessarily need.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to choose the perfect battery. But the one thing you should definitely keep in mind is: quality, quality, and QUALITY. One of the most important decisions you’ll probably make is choosing whether to invest in a lithium-ion battery versus a lead-acid battery. And while lead-acid batteries typically come with a less expensive price point, they’re usually three times as heavy as lithium-ion batteries and carry a shorter life span.
Make sure to look for reputable battery manufacturers such as Samsung or Panasonic, shop for warranties that will accommodate your biking lifestyle (typically 2 years or more), and as stated above, inquire about charge time as it impacts your travel range.
Arguably the most important element of any electric bicycle, your tire size should be compatible with the terrain you’ll be riding. When it comes to rolling hills and gravel roads, you don’t necessarily have to go with a mega wide tire. Trails on the other hand are perfect for larger wheels, as they have a better angle of attack when hitting obstacles.
All in all, electric bicycles are designed for different people and different purposes. It’s up to you to decide what’s more important and tailor those needs to your playground.