Today, electric bikes are more popular than ever, and there’s no mystery as to why. Practical and a lot of fun to ride, an electric bike helps you ride without limitations. With the many electric bike online options and those available at local stores, you’re certain to find something that’s perfect for you. That said, here’s what you should know if you consider buying an e-bike.
What is an electric bike?
An electric bike has all of the characteristics of a traditional bike, plus a motor to assist in pushing you along. “Assistance” is the key term here. Unlike electric scooters, which operate by activating a throttle after an initial kick, e-bikes provide powered pedal assistance, adding to the effort you put into each pedal stroke.
The motor is connected to a battery and helps you bike by taking the strain off of steep slopes or making rides simpler. You’ll only receive this help when pedaling, so you’ll still be working. However, you have complete control over how hard you ride, whether it’s a relaxing commute or a demanding exercise, thanks to the many support levels available.
Why would you want an electric bike?
There are many great reasons why you should consider an electric bike. Some of them are:
Make commuting easier and faster
Congestion is a huge problem in most Australian cities, but not when you’re riding an e-bike. You can pick calmer roads away from traffic or use long cycle networks to your advantage. You’ll often find that an e-bike is speedier than your car when it comes to traveling within the city, especially during rush hours.
Eco-Friendly transportation option
Government research done in Melbourne, Australia, has reported that half of all automobile commutes are less than 5 km, and the average car generates roughly 40 times more CO2 than an electric bike. Driving an e-bike means fewer hazardous gases being emitted into the air. And by recharging your bike’s battery with renewable energy, you’ll be taking one step further in combating climate change.
Improve your fitness
One of the most common myths about e-bikes is that owning one means you’re cheating on your fitness. Considering the fact that you’ll only get help while you’re actively pedaling, this means you will stay active. Furthermore, you can always reduce the support level to a lower setting when you desire a more intense workout.
How do you choose an electric bike?
Understand electric bike classes
A quick search for an electric bike online will reveal a range of styles to suit different users and needs – from commuting to overcoming steep mountain trails. However, based on their electric propulsion systems, you can divide e-bikes into three categories – class 1, class 2, and class 3.
Each category delivers electricity to the bicycle’s driven wheel differently, whether through pedal input or through a thumb or twist-grip-activated throttle. How you want to use the bike and how far you want to travel dictates which one is ideal for you.
- Class 1 is made up of pedal-assist bikes. The electric motor on these bikes propels as you push down on the pedals. To start the bike, there is no throttle control on the handlebar. Only when you pedal does the electric component work, and once you pass 30 kph, the e-assist stops working altogether.
- Class 2 are bikes with a throttle-controlled motor. The motor on these bikes allows you to use them without having to pedal. Turn the throttle up and start moving whenever you need additional power. In the middle of a corner, you’ll be able to accelerate, which will improve traction. Of course, your battery will run out faster the less you pedal. The max speed with class 2 electric bikes is 30kph.
- Class 3 are the highest-speed e-bikes, which can reach 28 mph. These quicker, more powerful types may be illegal to ride in some locations, such as bike trails.
Most new riders start off on a class 1 e-bike. These bikes are the least expensive and, from a regulatory viewpoint, the most widely approved. They can use on different bike lanes as well as city streets. Due to the fact that both class 1 and class 2 e-bikes have a top speed of 30 kph for motor assistance, they are typically allowed in the same places.
Class 3 e-bikes are a common choice for commuters and errand runners. Although they are quicker and more powerful than class 1 and class 2 bikes and also more expensive, they offer the benefit of improved performance that allows you to keep up with traffic more efficiently. The disadvantage is that you cannot ride on most bike routes or mountain bike trail systems.
Choose a type
The popularity that e-bikes have gained in recent years has contributed to a variety of models being created. The most common you’ll find include:
Electric folding bikes
You can fold and unfold those bikes easily, making them ideal for storing in railway compartments, next to tables, and even beneath your work desk. Their tiny wheels make them fast and maneuverable – ideal for city streets and quick trips. Recommended for commuting and city cycling foldable bikes are also a good alternative for individuals who don’t have much storage space or who ride their bikes on public transportation.
Electric hybrid bikes
Hybrid bikes are a versatile option suitable for challenging commutes, bumpy rides, and light touring since they combine the best elements of a road bike and a mountain bike. Expect to see flat handlebars, knobby tires, mudguards, and racks. The same characteristics apply to electric hybrid bikes, but they also have a battery and engine that start up when you tire of pedaling.
The most versatile bikes on the market, electric hybrids may be used for both commuting and off-road trail exploration. So, an electric hybrid bike may be a good choice for you if you value adaptability and wish to ride for a variety of purposes.
Electric mountain bikes
Off-road adventure is evolving as a result of electric mountain bikes. Riders can now overcome steeper peaks and more challenging barriers because of their powerful motor and rechargeable battery. The most challenging terrain and steepest slopes may be traversed by high-quality electric mountain bikes.
Decide on the motor
Here you’ll have only two types to consider, both of which are incredibly dependable and energy efficient.
Rear hub drive motors
There are two different kinds of rear hub drive motors: geared hub and direct drive. Direct Drive motors are excellent choices for high-speed flat commutes, climbing most hills (though not “severe” hills), fitness, transportation, and pleasure. Geared Hub motors are better suited for large loads and steep climbs! But they also work well for a wide range of activities, including commuting, exercise, and recreation. Even if the battery goes out, this motor pedals fairly well.
Centre drive motors
Aside from being the most efficient, the center drive motor also provides the longest range. They are suitable for all uses, including hills, speed, distance, commuting, fitness, and recreation. These motors are also lightweight and have a lower center of gravity, resulting in superior bike handling qualities. The sole disadvantage is that it can be more costly than a hub-drive motor. If you can afford it, the extra cost is well worth it.