How To Choose an Electric Bike?

There is something special about riding an electric bike for the first time; it has an addictive quality. E-bikes encourage longer rides, and they can make you feel more capable than ever before. However, the refreshing feeling often results from finding the right fit and class. However, learning how to choose an electric bike is about understanding the intricacies of the machines and how different mechanical components contribute to the overall practicality of the device.

While e-bikes essentially have the same classifications as traditional bicycles — road, mountain, cruiser, etc. — they have their own types and components, making them more capable than conventional models. There is a lot to dissect between classes, batteries, motors, and features before choosing the right e-bike for your needs.

 

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E-Bike Classes

Whether looking for a Hyper E Ride Electric Bike or a step-through variety, it is vital to learn about the three e-bike classes. Classifications deal with bike speeds and capabilities, and the class you can purchase and ride depends on state regulations and local ordinances.

Class One

With a limited speed of 20 mph, class one e-bikes limit pedal assistance to only when a rider is pedaling. The motor is not capable of moving the bike forward without rider assistance.

However, most class one bikes do not require a tremendous amount of input from riders. In most cases, throwing the bicycle into its lowest gear and allowing the pedals to free-spin is enough to engage the throttle.

A class one bike is permitted in the same areas as traditional bikes in most states. People can typically ride a class one e-bike on bike paths and bike lanes.

Class Two

Class two e-bikes are also limited to a top speed of 20 mph. However, unlike class one e-bikes, class two options have a fully operational throttle, meaning they do not require pedal assist.

Like class one options, class two e-bikes are typically permitted anywhere a traditional or analog bike is allowed. Therefore, you can still ride class two bicycles on trails and roadways.

Class Three

Class three options have a top speed of 28 mph, which is relatively fast compared to lower classifications. These bikes must have a speedometer, but they are not required to have a throttle.

Some states do not permit throttles on class three e-bikes. Other states allow throttled power but only up to 20 mph with pedal assist up to 28 mph.

While class three bikes can be ridden in roadways and bike lanes, they are typically not permitted on bike paths or multi-use trails. For that reason, these bikes are often referred to as curb-to-curb options.

heavy duty electric bike

Batteries, Motors, and Range

Aside from classifications, it would be best if you spent a little time deciding on batteries, motor, and range interests. For example, a heavy-duty electric bike might have a powerful battery and can climb hills at full throttle, but the riding range is limited.

Before purchasing an electric bike, it is crucial to understand how battery size and motor play a role in distance and charging. It is also worth discussing torque and how it plays a role.

Batteries

While batteries will play a role in distance and power, most people are more concerned with charge time, replacement, and the mounting setup. Most e-bike batteries require a minimum of five hours to charge when empty, but some larger capacity batteries will take longer.

While a battery replacement is likely necessary at some point in the life of your e-bike, most batteries are capable of several thousand charges. However, it might still be worth considering purchasing an additional battery to use alongside your current battery because of the extra power and distance it provides.

An integrated battery setup is often the best setup for an e-bike because it means the bike was designed around the battery. Therefore, you will typically maintain room for accessories like bottle cages and bike bags. However, integrated systems are not as easy to charge and replace compared to external batteries.

Motor and Location

E-bikes come in various powers, from 250-watt to 500-watt and beyond. The 250-watt range typically accounts for most class one bicycles, but the motor is often not enough for larger riders. Larger riders and those who will regularly haul a passenger or trailer, will likely want a 750-watt range or more.

Additionally, the placement of the motor can play a role in how the bike feels. For example, a mid-drive motor provides a more natural feeling when riding, but a hub-drive motor can feel like you are being pushed along.

Torque

Torque might not significantly affect distance or travel time, but it can be vital to rider experience, especially when transporting heavy loads or riding hills. For active riders, you will want to find a bike with more powerful torque, such as 80 N m.

how to choose an electric bike

Components and Features

As you consider your e-bike options, remember to look at more than the motor and battery. Considering the components and features of an e-bike are equally important. For example, you will need to review the activation methods for using the motor, whether it is pedal-assist or throttle activated.

Additionally, you might want to consider the extras on the bike. For instance, does the cycle include lighting, LCDs, smartphone integration, or racks? The key to purchasing the right e-bike is looking beyond operational capabilities to rider experience and comfort.

Fit

Beyond motors, batteries, and accessories, the fit and feel of the bike are what matter most. Selecting a frame size and style that suits your body type is crucial with such a significant financial investment. The best way to ensure a proper fit is to get a professional measurement from a local bike shop.

Selecting an e-bike can feel overwhelming, primarily if you have never owned one before. Thankfully, there are plenty of experts available to help you. For more information and guidance, contact a representative from ZuGo Bike.