If you’re searching for an electric bike, you’ve come to the right place. There are many reasons why you might want to consider an electric bike. If you want a more efficient method to commute, or you want to get in shape without breaking a sweat. Whatever your motivation, there are plenty of good reasons to go electric.
This guide will cover everything you need to know to make an informed purchase.
In this guide:
What is an eBike?
An E-bike resembles a traditional bicycle, except it has a battery, a motor, a controller, and various other electrical components integrated into its design, which helps make operating the bike more manageable.
The motor on an E-bike provides power assistance to the rider when pedaling, making it easier to ride up hills and overcome headwinds.
The battery powers the motor, and it will need to be recharged periodically. The controller is responsible for regulating the amount of power that flows from the battery to the motor.
There are multiple types of E-bikes on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let’s look at some of the most popular models you might encounter while searching for the perfect electric bike.
- Traditional Pedelec Bike: This type of bike is powered by a battery located in the bike’s frame. It provides power to a motor located in the front or rear wheel. This makes the bike lightweight and easy to maneuver when riding at lower speeds.
- Pedal Assist Bike: Also known as a “pedelec,” this type of electric bike uses sensors mounted on the crank or chainring to detect the rider’s pedaling and provide power accordingly. This type of bike is ideal for those who want to go further distances, as it can help you maintain a faster speed with less effort.
- Throttle Bikes: With this type of bike, there is no need to pedal at all to get moving – just twist the throttle and go. This type of bike is ideal for those who want to travel longer distances at higher speeds without breaking a sweat.
Once you’ve decided which type of electric bike best suits your needs and budget, it’s time to start shopping around. There are many different brands and retailers that sell E-bikes these days, so take the time to research and find the one that’s right for you.
When shopping for an electric bike, it’s important to remember that not all models are created equal. For example, some bikes may have more powerful motors than others, while some may have longer-lasting batteries. Several different features can make or break a bike’s performance, so spend some time shopping around to find the best bike for your needs.
At the end of the day, choosing an electric bike is a personal decision – it all depends on your budget and lifestyle.
How Does An E-Bike Assist You?
In short, an E-bike assists you by powering your pedaling motions so you can ride more comfortably, longer, and over more challenging terrains much easier.
Am I Cheating Riding an e-Bike?
For the most part, riding an e-bike is not cheating because you can simply adjust the electrical power any time you want to get a more vigorous workout using your bike.
For instance, you can pedal the bike regularly and then use electrical power to assist you when climbing hills or after pedaling for a while to help save your efforts.
Riding an e-bike is also more helpful to the environment than driving a car and releasing emissions and combustion into the air, especially during heavy traffic.
Components of an e-Bike
An e-bike utilizes either a lithium battery or a sealed lead-acid (SLA) battery, which ultimately determines its range.
Lithium batteries are lighter, require no maintenance, and have a higher capacity and longer lifetime compared to SLA batteries. Hence, they are most preferred over SLA batteries. However, they also tend to be more expensive.
An e-bike’s motor provides the horsepower to pull heavier weight with ease. However, it is only as powerful or long-lasting as the bike’s battery capacity.
The motor’s type also affects its power. For instance, a hub motor propels the wheels when the bike is in use, but it only operates in one gear, so it may not be as effective on more raised or bumpy land.
However, a motor that is connected to the bike’s levers enables it to operate within the full range of the gears for optimum force and speed when you need it.
There are two main types of controllers on an e-bike, which enable you to operate the electric assistance.
With a throttle-based controller, you simply press or pull back the throttle on the handlebar when you want to ride without pedaling.
However, with a pedal-activated system, you press down on the pedals to activate the power and then use the controller on the handlebar to adjust the level of electrical assistance from none to complete.
How to Operate an e-Bike?
E-bikes are available in 3 models, which include:
- Electric Only – allows the motor to power the bike for you. However, you can simply let go of the throttle to begin pedaling again or to stop.
- Pedal Assist – uses the motor to gently provide power, so you can pedal along with little effort, depending on whether you choose high, medium, or low assist. You can still also switch gears with the terrain and when you want to go faster.
- Pedal Only – enables you to ride your e-bike like a regular bike any time you want, and you can also use the different gears.
What Is The Battery Range Of An e-Bike?
The battery range on an e-bike depends on whether it uses a lithium or SLA battery.
On average, a lithium battery offers a riding range of up to 20 miles on throttle only and 40 miles in pedal-assist mode, and an SLA battery may give you about a 15-mile range at 15 mph, depending on the battery capacity.
Who Are e-Bikes For?
An ebike makes it easier for people to use cycling as a primary means of getting around their city to run errands or for work commutes. And they won’t arrive at their destination all sweaty.
It also makes biking on back roads and bike trails much easier. People with disabilities can also use one when a regular bike isn’t an option.
Types of e-Bikes
When you buy an electric bicycle for sale in the U.S., there are three types to choose from, which range in type based on power and speed.
A class 1 model electric bike provides pedal assist without a throttle mechanism and can go as fast as 20 mph. Meanwhile, a class 2 model has a throttle assist, and it also provides a 20 mph speed.
Then there is the class 3 model, which also has no throttle assist, but it has the highest speed at 28 mph.
You can also purchase a folding electric bicycle model to help make it easier to store.
Some manufacturers also offer an electric bicycle kit, so you can make your bike more customized.
Once you’ve found the best electric bicycle for you, it is vital to keep it clean using a gentle wash and bike-specific cleaners. Don’t get water into any greased parts, such as the bearings.
To clean your e-bike, you should:
- Remove any dirt and grime from the frame using a damp rag or sponge.
- Gently scrub any dirty spots with bike-specific cleaner and a brush, careful not to damage the paint.
- Rinse the frame with clean water and dry it using a soft cloth.
- Wipe down the chain with a clean rag, and then lubricate it if necessary.
- Use compressed air to clean out the motor, if applicable.
- Inspect the battery regularly to see if it needs to be replaced, and always store it in a cool, dry place.
After cleaning your bike, use a good chain oil, depending on the season, to keep the chain from rusting. You can also lubricate the cables using a PTFE spray.
Once you’re done, simply store the bike in a dry place to protect it from dust and more.
It is also important to check that your tires are properly inflated before each use so that the bike continues to roll easily.
Do I Need a License and Where Can I Ride My E-Bike?
Provided your electric bicycle has a top speed of no more than 20 mph and the motor has under 750W of power. By federal law, it is still considered a regular bike. Hence, you wouldn’t need a license to operate it.
However, requirements regarding e-bikes vary by state, so be sure to learn the laws for e-bike use in your specific state to ensure you are compliant.
In the meantime, when it comes to where you can ride your e-bike, it is still classified in the same category as a regular bike, so you can pretty much ride it wherever you would ride a non-electric bike.