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What to Look for in an E-bike
Whether you want to cruise down the road, adventure onto off-road trails or zip around town, electric bikes are a great choice for any kind of rider. That’s why they’re becoming a popular purchase for people all around the world, with experts predicting that more than 1 million e-bikes will be sold this year. E-bikes are making cycling more accessible — and fun — for more people than ever before, proving they’re here to stay.
If you’re considering buying an e-bike, there are a few things you should know before you make your purchase. Keep reading to learn what to look for when buying an electric bike.
Categories of Electric Bikes
There are several types of e-bikes, with each style offering its own set of features and benefits. It’s helpful to know what kind of experience each type can give you. These are some of the most common e-bike categories.
Road e-bikes are designed similarly to a traditional road bike, making them great for serious bikers looking for a workout. They’re built for city streets, with a lightweight frame, narrow tires and drop-down handlebars for a more aerodynamic ride. They also often feature slimmer, lighter components to increase efficiency as you pedal down the road.
Cruisers are designed for the casual recreational rider who wants comfort and control. They offer a relaxed ride, with an upright seating position and a padded seat. The higher handlebars help your arms stay relaxed during your ride, while the thicker frame and wider tires cushion you from any bumps in the road. Cruisers come in two frame styles, the traditional diamond-shaped frame and the step-through frame, which makes it super easy to get on and off the bike.
Hybrid e-bikes are good for paved streets and off-road terrain. They’re great for anyone who wants to bike to work in the city during the week, then take to the trails on the weekend. They often have more power and longer battery range than other e-bikes, allowing riders to go farther and faster.
Commuter bikes are the perfect choice for easily getting to and from work — without the hassle of finding a parking spot. This style of e-bike also typically has the longest battery range and offers the highest speeds — up to 28 mph! Many commuter e-bikes come with extras, like a rack for carrying your computer bag or a change of clothes for when you get to the office. Some even fold up so you can stow them on a bus or train.
Off-road and mountain e-bikes
These e-bikes are primarily for riding on trails away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With thicker frames and bigger tires, they’re built to roll smoothly over trails, rocks and other tough terrains. They make it easy to smoothly pedal up steep hills or craggy areas. The motor and battery are centered low on the bike for extra stability and control. It’s a great option for those who want to add a little oomph to their exercise routine!
Not sure which style might be right for you? Renting an e-bike could be a great way to try out different models.
As with traditional bikes, there are many elements to learn about before you choose an e-bike, such as the battery, motor and accessories. Here are some other important details to keep in mind when buying an e-bike.
The battery is one of the most important parts of your bike because it gives you the power that keeps you riding strong. When comparing e-bikes, look for riding-range specs, often listed in “pedal-assisted miles,” to make sure the battery will give you the range you need.