Electric bikes (e-bikes) seem to have all that fuss nowadays. Cyclists prefer them as a healthy alternative for motor vehicles that emit hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide. You may even be surprised to know that they have been around since the late 19th century. Meanwhile, global mass production for e-bikes began in the early 2000s, with major Japanese companies spearheading the output.
Traditional bikes may still be around and continue to be a favorite among fitness enthusiasts; however, e-bikes have become more prevalent given how they’re easier and more convenient to use.
Imagine how nice it would be to just zoom past through heavy traffic that all other vehicles have to deal with, all because you’re on an e-bike. There’s no denying how it’s the effortless mode of moving from one place to another while giving yourself good daily exercise.
With that, buying e-bikes may have crossed your mind frequently. Before jumping right into it, though, it’s vital to be aware of the must-have features to check. Continue reading to learn more.
- Motor Placement
Motor placement is one of the features that affects your bike’s performance. There are many different motor types, so it’s up to you to choose according to your need and preference.
Motor placements include:
- Mid-drive motors – These can help you climb steep hills effectively to reach high speeds once you’re on a flat road while staying relatively safer to avoid the possibility of a road mishap.
- All-in-one wheel motor – Everything about your e-bike’s motor is in the hub or the wheel, like the controller, battery, and the motor itself.
- Front hub motor – This is handy for those who plan to use their e-bikes on rough terrains, like sand, snow, and dirt, helping you attain that ‘all-wheel drive’ experience.
- Rear hub motor – This enables you to have more traction in the rear wheel of your e-bike.
Although an e-bike’s warranty isn’t necessarily a tangible or physical feature, it’s still an absolute must for you to check and go through. Buying an e-bike is a worthwhile investment, whether you’re choosing a lower-priced one or you’re going all out with pricier options. When you have a warranty with you, there’s that layer of assurance and protection that your investment is indeed worth it.
Even good-quality bikes will call for repairs once in a while. You never know when something may go wrong, and you’ll need to have your e-bike fixed at an unfortunate time or location. You can have a heavy sigh of relief when you don’t have to be too concerned and overwhelmed with the payment you need to make because you know you have a warranty that covers that expense.
- Battery Charge Time
If you’re going to be using your e-bike for a long ride, you’ll need to choose one that comes with a longer charging time. If the distance isn’t that substantial, you don’t have to be concerned about the charging time as a deciding factor. Again, like all other characteristics you have to consider, it all boils down to your specific needs and preferences.
However, most batteries typically need three to five hours to charge. Large-capacity batteries take longer to charge, on the other hand. For e-bike users who consistently have long rides, it pays to buy extra chargers that you can bring during your commute.
Most e-bikes in the market today are foldable. This is one of the top features that sets it apart from all other bikes. With this, many users who swear by e-bikes value them for their portability and convenience.
For many of those who have been using e-bikes for so long, foldability is one of the unique selling points that ultimately convince them to go ahead with the purchase. Commuters, in particular, can benefit from this advantage. Just picture how hard it is to find parking space in the city, and you’ll instantly understand why foldability is a top feature for you to consider as a deciding factor.
- Pedal Power Assistance
Depending on your e-bike, some have a maximum power of 250 watts. Typically, this motor will cut you off upon reaching around 25 kph.
Generally, there are two types of power assistance in electric bikes:
- Cadence sensor pedal assist, which provides power regardless of how fast or slow you go; and
- Torque sensor pedal assist, so you feel how much force your bike’s pedal has.
Whatever the type of pedal assist your bike has, the benefit of this feature is that it can help make biking and pedaling a lot easier. You’ll still control the speed with your feet, but you can still accelerate much quicker when you have a good pedal assist.
Most e-bikes weigh heavier than conventional bikes. This added weight is because of other mechanisms, like battery, control, and motor systems. An e-bike can be anywhere between 20 and 35 kg on average. Find one within that limit, so you won’t have to bring an unnecessarily heavy bike with you all the time.
- Number Of Batteries
Cyclists can use two batteries at the same time on some e-bikes. This is a huge advantage to help extend your bike’s reach. If one battery dies while the rider is on the go, you have a spare one to keep the e-bike going.
Measured in newton-meters (Nm), torque refers to the rotational measurement of force. If you want to know about the e-bike motor’s output, you have to pay close attention to the torque. The general rule is that a higher torque means you have more power off the line, giving your pedal a boost.
These features shouldn’t be considered an all-encompassing list. Once you actively begin the research and planning process, you’ll realize that there will still be many other features you may have to consider to meet your needs and expectations. Hence, filtering through those that are necessary is a must. At the very least, the list discussed here should serve as your first-hand guide in narrowing down your options based on the features.