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6 Things to Know Before Getting an Electric Bike

6 Things to Know Before Getting an Electric Bike

Table of contents:

  • Different styles

  • Different types

  • Batteries

  • Range

  • Recommended frame size

  • Recommended weight

1. Different styles of electric bikes

We have an electric bike for every style rider. Whether you are cruising by the beach, shredding down a mountain or just commuting to your 9-5, there is an ebike for you!

Each style is meant for a different ride. Beach cruisers are generally built for comfort. Commuters are built for mobility. Mountain bikes are built for aggressive riding, fat tire bikes are built to be able to ride different surfaces (beach, snow, etc), and folding bikes are built for people who don’t have much storage space.


2. Different Power types

There are 3 main ways electric bikes are powered:

  • Pedal Assist

  • Throttle

  • Combination of throttle and pedal assist

Pedal assist allows the rider to get an extra boost when they are pedalling. Most electric bikes will have different speed settings with low, medium, and high power and some even have 5 settings to provide more customizability.

The throttle operates like a motorcycle, meaning there is no manual power required. This is something that’s popular in the US but isn’t available in a lot of other countries due to regulations. These electric bikes are perfect for the riders who are looking for an easy ride.

A lot of bikes have both of these combined! This provides the rider with the ultimate freedom of riding however they want. If you are feeling tired, hit the throttle and let the ebike do the work! If you still want the exercise but the hills are just too much for you, throw on the pedal assist!

Make sure to check out the laws in your state to make sure you know you bikes rules and classes. To learn about the different classes and differences read our blog post, the 3 classes of electric bikes

3. Electric Bike Batteries

When looking at electric bike batteries you need to understand a few key terms:

  • Volts

  • Amps

  • Watts

Volts or “voltage” is the flow of energy, so in terms of an ebike, that means how much power goes to the motor. The majority of ebikes are 24V, 36V, or 48V with 24V being the least powerful and 48V being the most powerful. This impacts your speed and acceleration.

Amps refers to the measurement of force and essentially could be thought of as the bike’s gas tank. More amp’s generally means a longer range but it also means a heavier battery.

Watts acts as a combination of the two and controls the batteries maximum output. If you are just going on casual rides with pedal assist, then 250 watts can be a great choice, but if you are looking to climb hills or carry a large load, then 500-1000 watts is recommended.

4. Bike Range

If you want to go on long ebikes then make sure to purchase one with a range that fits your needs. For some people long ranges are necessary, whereas for others they only ride short distances and have no problem charging in-between rides. With most ebikes you can also manually pedal so if you ever run out of battery, you aren’t stuck. You can also buy an extra battery for most electric bikes to give you extra range. To better calculate your batteries range read our article on how to calculate a batteries range

Ebike ranges are a sore subject in most groups! Although most brands are trying to give accurate representations, it is impossible to be spot on. There are so many different factors such as weight, hills, weather, road condition and much more that can have a big impact on the bikes range. That being said, everyone wants to know the range, so manufacturers like to provide their estimate (which tends to be best case scenario). Ranges are a good way to roughly compare but remember to take the exact figures with a grain of salt because there is no standardized test that they are all using. As the industry becomes more mainstream, hopefully this will change and there will be standardized answers to this question one day.

5. Recommended Frame Size

Getting the right size bike is important for comfortability, performance and ease of use. We all remember being a kid and having to jump onto the seat to get started. On the flip side, we have all probably rode on a bike that was way too small and your knees had to stick out the side. We don’t want either of those situations to happen, which is why we have a rough guide below.

Height

Frame Size

4-11" - 5'3"

13 - 15 inches

5'3" - 5'7"

15 - 16 inches

5'7" - 5'11"

16 - 17 inches

5'11" - 6'2"

17-19 inches

6'2" - 6'4"

19 - 21inches

6'4" and taller

21+ inches

Keep in mind that these are suggestions and most people have personal preference! 1 or 2 inches will not make or break your experience and majority of the bikes have adjustable seats making the ranges bigger. There are other ways to measure which size bike is right for you, but this is just a basic guide.

6. Rider Weight

Most electric bikes have a max recommended weight of around 200 - 350 lbs. The max rider weight will generally be included in the bike descriptions. If you are a heavier person looking for high performance, then make sure you chose a heavy-duty bike meant for that (do not be at the max weight if you want top performance). A rider that is too heavy for their bike may have trouble with hills, picking up speed or going the full range.

We have done our best to keep this short but also provide you with all the information needed to make a decision. There are many different factors that make a great ebike but those factors change depending on how you are using it. We believe that there is an electric bike out there for every lifestyle, you just have to find the one that suits yours!

If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to give us a call at +1 (657) 300-2504 or send us an email at info@outdooractivityshop.com

Previous article The 3 Classes of Electric Bikes

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