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Buying Tips on How to Select the Best Electric Bicycle

Bolt M-1 electric motorcycle moped electric bicycle
Bolt electric mopeds

While electric motorcycles are struggling for support, the electric bicycle (or moped or e-bike) has gained massive popularity for being a practical and economical choice. You can carry more load, go faster and further, while gaining the benefits of a traditional bicycle. Before you spend a thousand dollars or more on a beautiful e-bike you spotted, take time to learn a bit about the technology and how it works.

Did you know that there are many different types of e-bike you can buy? There’s more to it than finding the most suitable type. A well-informed decision means seeing beyond the body of the e-bike, the sales pitches and incredible deals. Understanding the components, the rules, and knowing where to look altogether play a crucial role in finding the right e-bike that suits your needs and lifestyle.

The Different Types Of E-bike

Yamaha electric mountain bike concept electric bicycle
Yamaha electric mountain bike concept

Electric mountain bikes are built for traversing rugged, mountainous terrain in an uphill or downhill fashion. Road e-bikes and hybrid bikes are convenient and green transportation options when you need a dependable machine during congested traffic hours. You can finally break free from dealing with annoying commuters and relying solely on public transport.

Foldable bikes are mainly used for the urban landscape. They fit in small confined spaces such as offices, train carriages and apartments. An electric utility bike is an excellent alternative to small cars for when you need to transport loads, i.e. groceries, small furniture to documents and other items. Reviews on Folding Bike Zone.

An in-depth electric bike buying guide with everything you need to know should get you started in your search for the type of e-bike that best meets your needs. You’ll also be looking at the different features each electric bicycle offers, like how big and heavy it can get and how far it can take you.

Ducati Scrambler electric bike 2020 electric bicycle
Ducati e-Scrambler

Maximum Speed

Understandably, the maximum speed at which an electric bike can run will depend on country laws. For example, in the US, the speed will depend on the state; in Australia, Europe and UK, there are different speed limits and added requirements for operating an e-bike, such as a licence, insurance papers, etc.

In most countries, riding an e-bike won’t require you to get a licence or insurance. In the UK, the law requires you to get a licence if your electric bicycle exceeds maximum speeds of 25km/h or 16mph. The same goes for Australia. In the US, the law won’t require you to get a license if your e-bike doesn’t exceed max speeds of 20mph.

E-bike speeds are dependent on two factors, battery wattage and performance range. Make sure to check the expected power output so you can choose the speed that’s right for you.

E-bike Quality

The quality of the e-bike is one of the most important things to consider, especially if you’re planning to use it as one of your main modes of transportation. Check out the listing of parts, especially the motor, the battery and chassis. A reputable dealer would be able to set it up for you and tune the e-bike according to your personal preferences.

Bolt M-1 electric motorcycle electric bicycle
Bolt electric bike

Buy Only From A Trusted Retailer

The e-bike manufacturer and brand should have a presence. If it’s from a company, you haven’t heard of, then it’s best to steer clear. You’ll want a retailer who’s in the business for the right reasons. Get an e-bike from a local store, so you can get support and parts down the line.

Warranty and After-Purchase Service

A good, quality e-bike should last somewhere around five to 10 years with regular maintenance. The battery should last anywhere between 600 to 800 charges. When the battery gets worn out and needs to be replaced, the manufacturer should be able to get you a new one while recycling your old battery. Warranties give peace of mind knowing that your money is well-spent.

It’s important to remember that an electric bicycle is a form of transportation and not just a cool toy. Careful research will serve to give you maximum use and enjoyment out of your investment. Knowing what type of electric bicycle along with the features and functionality that fits your purpose will keep you from making an expensive mistake. Most e-bike shops offer test rides, some at no cost. So once you think you’ve found your perfect match, go explore to ultimately decide if it truly is the right e-bike for you.

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  1. I’m not sure that one would be carrying too much furniture on an electric bicycle, but having said that, a few days ago I did see a bloke on the freeway riding a motorcycle two-up with a surf-board strapped to the side! I generally avoid freeways, but was driving someone to the Gold Coast from the Northern Rivers for medical treatment and saw him heading south. He’d have to be a bit of a dill I reckon; side-winds or even the wind from a passing truck could have had dire consequences.

  2. The article missed the main points of differentiation with e-bikes: Throttle control vs Pedal Assist and hub motors vs crank motors.

    In Australia (and I’m fairly certain the laws are the same across all states in this regard) if the bike provides power assistance without requiring you to pedal it is called a “throttle controlled” e-bike and is classed as a motorcycle.

    If the motor only provides power when you are pedalling it is called a “pedal assit” or “ped-elec” e-bike. The requirements for ped-elecs are that the motor cannot be more than 250w in power and cannot provide power at speeds exceeding 25kmh. If these requirements are met it is classed as a pushbike.

    An important piece of information would have been for the article to go into the differences between having the motor in a wheel hub vs having it in the lower frame attached to the pedal crank. The short answer is hub motors are cheaper and inferior.

  3. Unfortunately I was caught drunk in charge of an ebike. In the U.K a license, insurance & m.o.t are not required under 25kmh max speed. My court appearance concluded: No points but banned for one year relating to my car license.There was also a fine. There’s uncertainty regarding ebikes & law. The police liked to stop me because of the plate, it just showed its electrical status it wasn’t for registration.

  4. I had no idea that it is required in the UK to get my bike licensed if my foldable electric bicycle exceeds the maximum speeds of 25km/h. Since I’ve decided that this will be my mode of transportation, I’m glad that I’ve read your article. With that considered, I shall then follow your advice to choose quality by checking the parts and the motor. Hopefully, I can find a reputable electric bicycle seller online.

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