Many people worldwide have shown interest in purchasing electric bikes, and it's no surprise why. We should all understand the basics of electric bicycles and how to choose a bike that will suit your lifestyle needs. We decided to design a detailed blog series packed with helpful content to help you understand everything about choosing the perfect electric bike. We'll compare the top e-bike brands in the market, how to narrow down your search and how to find the one that will blend into your life smoothly. We even developed a nifty chart you can use when you're out there shopping for e-bikes that we didn't cover in our series. You wouldn't want to miss out!
When shopping for an e-bike, you'll come across some terms you've probably never heard of. You need to know these terms to understand the functionality and features of the e-bike you're interested in. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing something that doesn't fit into your lifestyle. To start the blog series, let's discuss the parameters you should use when rating the quality and efficiency of an electric bike:
Performance or Torque
Electric bikes are only limited to a particular power because the government has to regulate how fast and powerful motor vehicles are. Therefore, we won't dive deep into that feature. Torque, on the other hand, is unregulated, and manufacturers have the freedom of varying the torques of e-bikes to offer their consumers more variety. Torque is what allows your e-bike to climb steep terrains with ease. It is determined by the engine's type of motor, transmission design, and controller. Hub motors are reliable and don't break down easily, but they cause the torque to reduce. Mid-drive motors work almost the same way a bicycle does, but they can provide impressive wheel torque, depending on the other features of the engine.
Range & Efficiency
The range of an e-bike refers to how far it can go when fully charged. The more battery cells or capacity the bike has, the more extensive its range. However, this will translate to a heavier e-bike. Other factors affect the range like the rider's weight, tire pressure, road conditions, speed, wind resistance, temperature and power. Also, different geometric designs will affect the range of an e-bike, like the ones mentioned in the ergonomics section. Moreover, the less efficient your batteries become, the lower the range.
Monitoring & Controls
This refers to the system that controls and displays to the rider essential parameters, including speed and torque. This is typically done through the e-bike's interface. This parameter measures how efficient, accurate, and user-friendly the monitor and controls system is.
Braking performance describes how easily the e-bike brakes on demand. This is crucial for the rider's safety. Many electric bikes use a disk brake that's either mechanical or hydraulic, depending on the brand and model of the bike. Generally, the larger the disk rotor size of a hydraulic brake, the more efficient the brake performance. Also, hydraulic brakes are more complicated and costly to repair.
E-Bike Component Grade
The component grade is basically a general rating of the e-bike compared to others in terms of performance, durability, quality and strength. This varies with brand, transmission, tires and model. An e-bike with a high component grade will often be more expensive than others with a lower rate.
Ergonomics refers to the comfort the e-bike will offer you. How comfortable is the seat? Are the pedals too far off? Is the handlebar positioned favorably for your use? Are other elements like the saddle, tires, suspension fork and frame curves set and aligned in a way that will feel seamless for you? The car geometrics and design have a bearing on the ergonomic features of an e-bike. You should go for an e-bike that offers maximum comfort without compromising engine performance.
Transmission readability refers to the complexity and efficiency of the motor system. Hub motors are more straightforward and more reliable. They're also convenient because if you have a failure in your electrical or mechanical system, you can pedal back home since they preserve the bike's chain. A mid-drive motor is susceptible to chain failure, meaning you'll be stuck in case of any malfunction.
Model Design or Style
This typically refers to the visual aesthetic of the e-bike. Even cars come in different styles and designs - modern and sleek, classical and vintage or anything in between. Choosing a style solely depends on your taste and personality. You have the freedom to choose whatever you like.
Electric bikes are heavier than their manual counterparts. Also, lighter e-bikes are better because they are easier to handle, balance, store and transport. Moreover, their efficiency and range are better, and their safer in case of an accident.
Serviceability or Spare Parts
This parameter refers to how easy-to-find and affordable an e-bike's spare parts are. It's better to have an e-bike you can maintain and service yourself. For this reason, go for models that are simple and have easy-to-diagnose systems that can be fixed by reading the manual or searching for a video online. That will save you money in the long run.
Access to Service Centres
This parameter is linked to the previously mentioned one and refers to the availability of service centers in your location. If you order your e-bike online, you're likely to find that there are no service centers close to your location, and it may be stressful when your e-bike needs some special care and attention.
Accessories Available or Included
E-bike accessories tend to be expensive. If you're keen on saving money, make sure the e-bike comes with plenty of accessories, so you don't have to look for them after making the final purchase. Custom-designing accessories is also costly.
Storage & Transportability
This parameter is mainly influenced by the feature of the e-bike's wheels. Are the wheels wide, bulky and large? Is the frame of the e-bike foldable? These features will determine whether you can store it inside your house or apartment easily.
It's important to know that a higher price doesn't mean higher quality. You should consider all the engineering features and parameters of the e-bike beforehand so you can make a well-informed decision. Sometimes quality e-bikes indeed are more expensive, but sometimes that's not the case.
Buying an e-bike is a decision that needs to be thought through. You have to understand the parameters that go into designing an e-bike to choose one with all the features you're looking for. It's okay to ask for help when you're navigating the market, and that's why we're here. This blog series will explain everything you need to know before making a purchase. You can use our series as a reference guide for comparing all the e-bikes in the market to locate your perfect match.