Written by: Journalismist
What Should I Know Before Buying An Electric Bike?
complete guide: 10 important things to know before buying an e-bike
10 important things to know before buying an e-bike. Electric Bicycles are versatile modes of transportation. These self-propelled bikes are becoming staples alongside other electronic vehicles, like scooters, unicycles, and even cars. But you are set on getting an electric bike. You’re probably used to regular bikes, and e-bikes are very much alike, with only a few powerful differences. Before you get an electric bike, here are a few things you should know before focusing your sights on one:
What Are The Main Differences Between E-Bikes?
There are three classes of the electric bike:
Class 1 E-Bikes are pedal-assist only (You pedal, the bike’s electric motors help you), with a speed limit topping off at 20 mph. Many countries and states treat most of these bikes as ordinary bicycles under law, and they are excellent starter bikes.
Class 2 E-Bikes can be throttled (with a grip-twist or button). No pedaling required! The throttle speed of the bike also tops off at 20mph, not taking into account pedal speeds.
Class 3 E-Bikes are bikes that are pedal-assisted and top off at speeds of 28mph. These types of e-bikes may have certain restrictions for where they’re allowed on the road. Some countries even think of them as full-fledged vehicles.
Overall, the best types of e-bikes to buy are generally in class 1 or class 2 due to availability and lax regulations.
Who Can Use An Electric Bicycle?
As long as you have hands, and you know the basics of how to balance on any bicycle, electric-powered or otherwise, you’d be able to operate an e-bike. The saying: “As easy as riding a bike,” is the example to follow here. If you don’t know how to ride a bike, the good news is that it might be even easier to learn how to balance with electric bikes anyway. For example, not only do you have to learn how to balance on a regular bicycle, but you have to pedal at the same time, which could be harder for some people. If you are thinking of getting an e-bike with this sort of handicap, make sure you get a cheap e-bike that will take falls as well you will. –Because you will fall. But you’ll learn to balance and ride your e-bike. From there, you own the sidewalk.
Do You Need A License To Drive An E-Bike?
To answer this question, you need to solve two other issues. How much wattage does your potential e-bike output, and where do you live? For example, in Canada, there are a variety of classifications for e-bikes depending on the province. Also, some countries treat e-bikes as mopeds, especially if they output 200-250 watts, or go over 20 miles per hour. If your e-bike is this powerful, you may need a license. Despite these outliers, most countries and country states treat e-bikes as ordinary bicycles, and you only need to have a helmet and be over a certain age (14-16 years). To find out what country or state requires licensing for e-bike, I find this resource on Wikipedia to be very helpful.
Do I need Insurance For My E-Bike?
If your e-bike requires you to get a driver’s license, then you may also be required to have insurance. This requirement depends on the state or country you live in. Make sure to check your area’s jurisdictions on insurance requirements with licensing. In general, it might be smart to get insurance for your e-bike anyways. Some e-bikes cost a lot of money, and something as simple as renter’s insurance or home insurance could help you recoup your losses if you ever get into an accident. Wait, renter’s insurance? Yes, renter’s insurance may help you. —It’s not only there to help with home break-ins and other similar losses, but damage to personal property, which your e-bike might. But if you don’t want to depend on your primary insurance to deal with your e-bike, there are plenty of insurance options available for e-bikes specifically. The article I referenced even mentions you could get insurance for your e-bike for as little as $100 per year — pretty good deal for a bit of peace of mind.
Where Can You Use An Electric Bike?
The rule of thumb to follow is: Wherever an ordinary bicycle is allowed to go, your e-bike will be allowed to go as well. This rule comes with a few positive and negative caveats, however:
- must be defined by your country/state as a bike and not a vehicle. If it is, you need to follow your local laws related to this.
- handle hills and merge with traffic effectively like regular bikes?)
- may require you to ride on the street rather than the sidewalk.
- may limit you to riding on the sidewalk for your safety.
- can fold, it can go on the bus, unlike regular bikes, which usually are racked.
Depending on your situation, make sure you choose an e-bike that fits your needs and fits the neighborhood you’ll be driving in to maximize its usefulness.
How Long Do Electric Bicycle Batteries Last?
It depends. When e-bikes first came on the market, the batteries weren’t as good compared to some of the varieties of battery types offered today. While you can expect battery lives of e-bikes in general to last between 2-10 hours, here’s a small list of battery types for e-bikes on the market today and what they mean for longevity, battery life, and maintenance requirements:
- s equipped with this type of battery, as they are heavy, charge time is 8-10 hours, and life expectancy is 200-250 charging cycles.
- s today. It’s lightweight and high capacity at the cost of low charge timing and heating issues. You also need to maintain the battery by charging it and discharging it to a specific level to prevent it from malfunctioning over its lifetime.
- ignited as your riding it on a bumpy road, so avoid any bikes that come with this battery type.
- These are great for cold environments and charge quickly at a high price and low capacity. It also has well over 1,000 charge cycles in it. If you live in an area that consistently reaches -30 below Fahrenheit temperatures, this is the battery for you. –If you can afford it. This is one of the latest battery types on the market.
How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go?
Important things to know before buying an electric bike. Electric Bikes have many rates of speed. However, some e-bikes are hardpressed to reach 20 mph, while others go higher than 45 mph. If you are looking for a bike with more speed, you need to look for e-bikes that have more wattage. The more wattage, the more horsepower an e-bike has, and the more miles per hour it can go. Some e-bikes even have settings that allow you to program how fast it goes. So, if your e-bike can go 40 mph, you could tell it to have a max speed of only 15 mph. Useful for kids.
How Much Do E-Bikes Cost?
Some e-bikes are as affordable as regular bikes, while others are several thousand dollars, especially if you go for the bells and whistles. For example, one of the lowest-priced e-bikes on the market is the pedal-less and foldable Ancheer e-bike. This small Ancheer was my first e-bike, so I have a soft spot for this little guy. The most expensive e-bike on the market today is the Class 3 e-bike, The Stromer St5, for around $10,000. It advertises itself as the Rolls Royce of e-bikes.
In between, there are hundreds of other e-bikes available at an average price range of 500-2,000 dollars.
What Are The Best Electric Bicycles?
Important things to know before buying an electric bike. Well, unless you want to make a statement, the Stromer St5 mentioned above doesn’t cut it. The best e-bike varies on what fits you the best. I made a shortlist of the bikes I recommend for specific scenarios. All bikes were rated highly by people on Amazon.
- Ancheer is also foldable, which means you can use it for transit easily. It’s batteries last for up to 19 miles, and if your battery breaks, the manufacturer makes it easy to swap it out for a new one.
- for those long commutes.
- with a carrying capacity of over 300 lbs. If you can spend the money, this is the device to go for if you want the job done right.
All e-bikes have customer service reviews that cannot be matched by the others, which is essential if there’s ever an issue with your bike.
Where’s The Best Place To Find Reliable Reviews For The E-Bike I’m Looking At?
If you look online for a particular e-bike, chances are you’re going to have a hard time narrowing down the reviews for the exact e-bike you are eying. I recommend going to amazon.com, and looking for your e-bike on there. The best reviews are the ones that come from the consumers directly. There is an excellent system in place that allows manufacturers to answer basic questions that every day, people ask them. You’ll get specifics on mod-ability, battery specs, wheel sizing, height requirements, comfortability, power output, customer service, and more. When it comes to your ideal e-bike, use Amazon to get these important details before you make a purchase.