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Are you thinking of buying an electric bike but not sure because of your lack of knowledge about it?

Electric bikes use many advanced technologies to ensure a seamless user experience. However, the same kind of technicalities can often appear confusing to interested buyers and deter them from buying an electric bike. In this article, we will cover all the nooks and crannies of electric bicycles that you need to know before purchasing.

Not only will this allow you to learn more about electric bikes, but it will also help you figure out which one is right for you - and ultimately get the right one. So, sit back and keep reading as we take you through all the things you need to know before buying an electric bike!

Some essential details  

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we present a brief breakdown of some of the more essential details of electric bikes.

To begin with, electric bikes have motors that are the main source of power. Most countries have a maximum limit of 250 W on electric bike motors. However, this is the limit for continuous power - the motor can legally provide more than 250 W for short bursts.

In addition, e-bikes should have a maximum speed of 25 km/h in Europe. (Contact your local transportation authorities to confirm the legality of e-bikes in your region).

The primary function of the motor is to assist the rider in pedaling their e-bike. This support mechanism is most commonly rated on a percentage metric, i.e. 300% or 50% of pedal assist (the actual numbers depend on the mode of operation you're using). That said, some companies also measure pedal assist in wattage.

Electric bicycles have different modes of operation. This distinction is based on how much pedaling assistance the motor provides. If you raise the support mechanism, you will get more assistance but less total distance. Conversely, the lower the pedal assist, the greater the range.

Another noteworthy detail is motor torque - rotational power that helps the rider in the rear of the vehicle. We'll delve into torque separately, but in essence, it's responsible for producing acceleration in the electric bike.

Finally, the battery capacity of an e-bike is described in terms of watt-hours (a unit of energy). For example, if you ride a 250-watt e-bike for one hour, so that the motor continuously delivers 250 watts, the battery will be fully discharged.

What type of electric bike is right for you?

With the essential details covered, the next step is figuring out what kind of e-bike you want.

There are many options on the market. Of these, the most common are e-mountain bikes, e-road bikes, and e-hybrid bikes. All three types are built on the same basic principles we discussed in the previous section.

However, some variable factors are included in each to help them excel at what they are built for. For example, climbing mountains, crossing roads, or a little of both. Let's take a look at the difference between each.

Mountain bikes

E-mountain bikes are equipped with very high torque values, which is characteristic for the environment in which they are usually used.

High torque output allows e-mountain bikes to function properly off-road, climb steep hills, and not succumb in difficult terrain. Plus, with powerful motors and formidable batteries, these bikes are able to take riders through all kinds of places effortlessly.

E-Hybrid Bicycles

Moving on to hybrid electric bikes, we see a similar trend - they too have greater acceleration. Hybrid electric bikes can help cyclists travel longer distances with less effort. They are superior to regular bikes in the sense that they are more vigorous in terms of the pedal assist they can provide.

In addition, many hybrid e-bikes are foldable, so in addition to a powerful motor and battery, they are also highly portable and easy to store.

E-Road Bike

When it comes to e-road bikes, you shouldn't be looking for high end torque or huge power. Most companies are trying to give their e-road bikes the overall feel that a cyclist gets from a road bike. Extremely powerful motors should not be at the top of your priority list when it comes to e-road bikes, as they are not built to climb very steep hills or endure mountainous terrain.

This summarizes the most common types of e-bikes available on the market. You may want to contemplate what exactly you're looking for in an e-bike, and then make the right choice from the three options we've presented.

Technical Details

In this section, we will go over some important things that you should look out for before buying an electric bike. These include battery capacity, motor placement, pedal assist effectiveness, cadence, charging process, torque rating, and more. Let's delve into each one individually.

Battery capacity

A controversial topic among the e-bike community is battery capacity. This is because it strongly influences the overall riding experience of an e-bike, and therefore must be credited with the attention it deserves.

E-mountain bikes have large battery capacities because their riding process is intense and demanding, while e-road bikes are at the middle end of the battery capacity spectrum.

In addition, e-road bikes have relatively smaller voltage capacities, as the size of the overall power system affects the total weight. This allows them to provide more range, as the battery will not assist you too often (due to the lower weight of e-road bikes) when you exceed 25 mph.

Motor positioning

Next on the list is engine placement.

There are two options when it comes to motor placement on e-bikes - mid-drive or hub-driven. The latter is set up in such a way that the motor rests on the rear hub of the e-bike, while the battery is placed in a tube.

There are many brands that opt for this configuration, and reasonably so, as it creates a "normal looking bike". This type of motor placement also lowers the overall weight of the bike.

On the other hand, mid-motor placement puts the weight lower on the center bracket of the electric bike. It is argued that this motor placement system increases the stability and improves the handling of the bike.

It also integrates with the gears, thereby increasing efficiency.

Pair Evaluation

Now, let's talk about the torque index.

It is clear that this property of e-bikes has a dramatically strong effect on the overall riding experience, and must be properly considered. Some companies adhere to the rule of setting a relatively low torque in order to produce a natural feel to their product, while others favor high torque to make their e-bikes more powerful and intense.

Having lower torque can be taken as a disadvantage for some and an advantage for others. In the first case, it doesn't increase the power of your ride very frequently, and in the second, you don't have to put too much work into riding your electric bike.

So, it's really a matter of personal preference, and we leave it up to you to decide where you stand.

Cadence

Another important factor to consider is the cadence, or pace of the electric bike.

This means that some electric bikes are very forgiving in terms of how much they contribute to your ride, while others feature a light and natural feel that you get from a regular bike. This is also a factor based on personal preference.

We recommend that you try various models and see which one you find most suitable.

Charge

Then we have the charging of an electric bike. This also needs to be taken into consideration as it greatly affects the overall logistics of how you operate your electric bikes.

There are companies that manufacture their electric bikes to have removable/upgradeable batteries. Meaning you can take the battery out of the frame and charge it or change it to a new/better one.

On the other hand, some e-bikes have batteries built into them. It saves space and increases portability. Also, it's worth mentioning that you can get additional batteries for most e-bikes, which can increase the overall range.

Range

Range can be a dealbreaker for many e-bike enthusiasts, so you need to contemplate this before making a purchase.

The range of an electric bike is highly dependent on the motor and battery. The maximum power output and battery capacity along with the amount of pedal assist determine the range of an e-bike. The average range of an e-bike can be between 20 and 100 miles.

Also, you may want to take these numbers with a grain of salt, as the range or overall performance of an electric bike can vary based on other factors. These include rider weight, temperature, altitude, wind resistance, tire pressure and so on.

So, be sure to include these factors in your estimates before purchasing an electric bike.

Choose a dealer

Now that we've given you all the technical details involved in buying your e-bike, the next step is to carefully choose a dealer/online store. There are three key elements to choosing a retailer: quality, commitment, and insight.

You need to assess whether the staff is knowledgeable, courteous and friendly, and most importantly, helpful. This will determine the quality of their customer support. In other words, it reflects on your long-term purchase if you happen to run into any problems with your electric bike.

Make sure you trust your intuition. The vibe you get from a place, person or even an online store is pertinent to making a wise purchase.

Warranty is important

Let's talk about the warranty now. Buying an electric bike is a huge investment - it could be $500 or $10,000. Regardless of how much money you spent on it, having a warranty will make you feel confident in your purchase.

Most manufacturers offer a two-year warranty on motor, battery and parts for products priced around $2,000. Two years is a reasonable and honest warranty for e-bikes. So, make sure you get a similar number when you go shopping for an electric bike.

Approaching the end

So, that was all you need to know about buying an electric bike!

We have discussed all the necessary details that one must be aware of before purchasing an electric bike. There are different types of electric bikes available for purchase, and all of them relate to different styles of use.

The technical details we have discussed are extremely important to consider. Finally, choosing a good dealer is also very important when buying an electric bike.

See our range of electric bikes here.

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