You wouldn't want to buy something you won't enjoy using.
Here are some important things you should know before you buy an electric bike:
1 – You Need to Have a Budget
You need to have an idea of how much electric bikes cost. It's not a wise idea to buy something cheap. And you wouldn't want to spend a lot on extra features you don't really need.
It is advisable to choose an electric bike with a good brand. They come with a warranty. And you can be sure they come with a good quality motor and battery.
2 – Stay Away From Lead-acid Batteries
The battery is an essential part of an electric bike. You need to have a reliable battery to be able to enjoy your e-bike.
It is normal for batteries to degrade over time. And they will start holding less charge as they wear out. But you shouldn't experience this with a new bike (with new batteries).
There are several types of batteries you'll come across as you look into electric bikes.
Cheaper options will most likely come with lead-acid batteries. The only advantage to them is the lower cost. But avid e-bike users can attest the small savings isn't worth it.
Lead-acid batteries are heavier and known not to last long.
Lithium-ion batteries are on the pricey side, but a good one can last about 800 full charge cycles.
Then there's nickel-cadmium batteries. They are lightweight. But they can be quite sensitive. If proper charging and discharging is not observed, they won't last long.
3 – You Need an Estimate of the Distance You'll Travel Daily
If you're planning to use your electric bike for your daily commute, you should know about how much distance you travel back and forth.
This is important so you'll know the e-bike range you need. Range is the distance your e-bike can travel in one charging. You wouldn't want to run out of batteries on your way home from a busy day at work.
Aside from the distance, there are other factors you'll need to factor in, such as your weight, speed, and battery capacity.
If the distance from your house to your work, or your kids' school, or your favorite grocery is 8km, you don't need to buy an electric bike with a 70km range.
On the other hand, if your daily commute or weekend destinations exceed 20km back and forth, don't buy an e-bike with a minimal bike range.
It's also worth noting as your bike grows older, the battery will also have less capacity and less power. So you should add some allowance when you calculate for the e-bike range you need.
4 – Motor Location Makes a Difference
An electric bike's motor can be found in three places: in the hub of the front wheel, in the hub of the rear wheel, and in the middle of the bottom bracket.
If the motor is in the front wheel, installation and configuration are easy. The downside is with weight distribution. So you'll experience some traction issues, especially when going slow. And the power of the motor is not as strong as those of middle and rear motors.
Middle motor e-bikes give the most balance since the bulk of the weight is at the center and near the ground. And it requires the least maintenance.
But they can also be the most costly among the three because of the more complicated design. Going uphill can be a bit challenging. You need to shift gears carefully.
Rear motor e-bikes will give you the most ‘push' or power. And if you're used to a regular or traditional bike, this looks and feels closest to it.
Rear motor e-bikes, however, are the most difficult when it comes to maintenance and repair. And they're the ones most likely to encounter popping tires when going fast.
5 – Try Them Out
The most important criteria when deciding on an electric bike to buy is the comfort it gives you. And the only way to know this is by trying out your options.
No matter how many good features a bike has if you're not comfortable and at ease riding it, it's not a good choice.