Riding an e-bike is a perfect way to explore the outdoors like never before, and now is an excellent time if you are like me and ready to jump into the e-bike club. The marketplace has an e-bike designed for everyone; before you take the plunge, here are some tips to help you find the perfect e-bike for you.
1. What Is An E-Bike?
E-bikes, for the most part, look like traditional bicycles. The key difference is that e-bikes include an electric motor and a battery to give you an extra boost while riding.
When my husband and I purchased our e-bikes, I jokingly said on social media that we had joined the lazy bikers club. That statement was shut down quickly by friends who owned e-bikes. Now that my husband and I have owned our e-bikes for 6 months, I understand their statement. You can pedal as much or as little as you want when you ride your e-bike. The more you pedal, the more calories you burn and the longer your battery will last. We now find ourselves riding 30 miles, whereas before, 10 miles was a good bike ride for us.
2. Is The E-Bike Easy To Transport?
One of the things that my husband and I looked for when we purchased our e-bikes was transportability. We often travel with a travel trailer in tow with a dual-cab Dodge RAM truck and a Subaru Outback. For us, it made sense to find foldable e-bikes. Lectric eBikes was the solution for us. Our bikes are easy to transport; they fit in our vehicles, including our travel trailer. You will also want to look at the weight of a foldable e-bike, as you may need a ramp to help you get them up into your vehicle.
Many bicycle racks are not built strong enough to hold an e-bike. If you choose to go the bicycle rack route, ensure that our vehicle and bike rack will hold the e-bike safely.
3. Know How You Want To Ride An E-Bike
If you know that you want to ride off-road bike trails, you will enjoy an e-bike designed for off-roading. A larger frame and tires are warranted when you know that you will be taking to rougher trails. If you want a casual, slower-paced ride, an e-bike with smaller tires and fewer gears will meet your needs. A good rule of thumb: The more you spend on an e-bike, you will have longer battery life, a sturdier frame, and more bells and whistles for your ride.
My husband and I find ourselves riding our e-bikes in places we would have never stopped before. Many cities and county parks across the country have trails that you can ride your e-bike on. Our e-bikes are easy to get in and out of our vehicle, making it an easy way to exercise while road tripping.
4. Gears And Assist Levels
Like with traditional bikes, you can purchase an e-bike with a few gears or plenty more. Some e-bikes go as high as 40 gears. When considering your purchase, think of how fine-tuned you want your ride. The fewer gears your e-bike has, the fewer speeds you will have to choose from.
Each brand of e-bike will have a different style of shifter but provide the same result. When you downshift, you experience less resistance. If you want to more resistance, shift up. Once you hop on your e-bike, you will feel what gears are comfortable for you.
E-bikes also have electric-assist levels, which sets them apart from a traditional bicycle. Most e-bikes have a + or – button. This button will help you determine how much of an assist you would like while riding your e-bike. The truth is, you can ride an e-bike and never physically pedal if you choose to ride that way. My husband and I like to ride ours in lower assist levels as we pedal more and our batteries last longer. When we approach a hill, we raise the assist level to aid in climbing. If you have always wanted to ride a bike trail and make it to the top without walking your bike, you will love every moment of owning an e-bike.
5. Battery Life
When riding your e-bike, you can look at a computer screen to see how much battery life you have remaining. Depending on where you are on a bike ride, it may help you determine how often you want to use the electric assist. The more you use the electric assist feature, the quicker your battery will drain. After you ride an e-bike, you will want to charge the battery.
We are in the habit of charging our e-bikes after every ride where the battery falls below 40 percent. This guarantees that our e-bikes will be ready to go the next time we are prepared to take them out. If you are storing your e-bike over time, make sure the battery is not fully charged and keep the battery at 60 percent over the stored period. Read the specifics for your e-bike when it comes to storing your e-bike and battery life.
6. Comfort And Your E-Bike
E-bikes come with standard seats, and many owners like to upgrade to a more comfortable seat before they hit the trails. You may choose to invest in biker shorts and a padded seat before your first ride.
The best tip I can give you is to practice riding your e-bike in your yard before you take it out on a trail. You can get a feel for the gears and what types of things you will want to add comfort to your ride. We have added a padded seat to one of our e-bikes, and we also bring along a cooler on our rides. When you are comfortable, you will ride more miles and be proud of the calories you burned while out riding your e-bike. There were two style options for us and I chose a step-through style, which makes it easier to hop on my bicycle. When you are comfortable, it’s a proven fact, you will ride further.
7. Where Can I Ride An E-Bike?
You can ride your e-bike in many places, but there are some places where they are not allowed. Be sure to read the rules and regulations for e-bikes when you visit any park. There are areas in national and state parks where e-bikes are not allowed. Many areas consider e-bikes to be motorized vehicles, and therefore don’t allow them on bike trails in the area.
We love that our e-bikes work in many places. If we cannot ride them on trails, we can always ride them on a road. We have found that we have many options when it comes to riding our e-bikes. Most importantly, know the rules in an area that you wish to ride them.
8. Warranties And Customer Service For E-Bikes
As with any purchase, read up on the warranty before you buy. A reputable e-bike company will have warranty information on their website. A quick search on social media for any company will give you an idea on what type of customer service you can expect. If you have questions about your e-bike, social media is a great place to reach out to find the answer. You can send a private message or search through social media post, as there’s a good chance that your answer will be featured on the company’s social media pages.
If you live in an area where you can ride an e-bike to the store, why not? You can save money and help keep our environment clean by hopping on your e-bike.
If you want a mode of transportation that is environmentally friendly, an e-bike is the answer. Electric bikes are zero-emission vehicles. They produce zero grams of carbon dioxide per 100 miles. An e-bike is friendly for the environment and the rider.
We love our e-bikes, and I hope you will find one that you can enjoy as much as we do. The e-bikes that we chose were priced within our budget and met our needs. We did not need an e-bike that had dozens of gears; my husband and I are leisure riders and love the fact that our e-bikes keep us physically active. We wanted something easy to learn to ride, easy to transport, and an opportunity to see new places. Our Lectric eBikes were the answer for us; go find the answer for you.
The Townie Go! 7D is also a great option for e-bike rookies looking to try an everyday bike without spending a lot of money. Electra combined their best-selling traditional bike model with the powerful features of an electric bike to create this masterpiece and is able to offer it for a reasonable price!
The Townie Go! 7D features a Hydrive rear hub 250-watt motor, easily monitored with the bike’s own LED Display to show real-time power support and battery charge. It offers three levels of assist, easily adjusted based on the difficulty of the route. Their patented Flat Foot Technology has two patents and enables the rider to sit upright but relaxed and with proper leg extension for added comfort on long rides.
- Combines comfort and style in the Electra signature look
- Can be ordered online and picked up at local retailers
- Max combined weight of bike+rider+accessories is 300 lbs
- One size available, suitable for riders 5’5″-6’3″
- Hydrive LED display to monitor power and battery
- Flat Foot Technology® for comfort and control
- Motor: 250 watts
- Weight: 48 lbs
- Wheel Diameter: 27.5″
The Wilier Cento1HY Ultegra electric bike is one of the absolute lightest on the market, weighing half as much as the others on the list. Although it also comes with a higher price tag, the added features make this e-bike well worth it.
The Centro1HY Ultegra has 3 power-assist modes controlled by a convenient button on the top tube. The 250-watt motor offers 40Nm torque-assist and can travel up to 16mph. One of the coolest advanced features is the smartphone integration via their Ebikemotion app, which tracks metrics such as heart rate, speed, distance, time, and battery life. Once the maximum desired heart rate is selected in the app, the bike motor will automatically kick in once that level is reached to reduce exertion. Ebikemotion even provides navigation and weather alerts!
Aside from the electronics, this e-bike is an overall well-built choice. The frame is constructed of a 46 Ton monocoque carbon frame and fork, which is also commonly used on race machines thanks to its durability and superior lightweight qualities. The bike is perfect for long-distance riders, built with endurance geometry, providing a more relaxed and less crouched position. Finally, the sturdy hydraulic disc brakes provide the necessary safety element.
- 3 levels of power-assist mode
- Integrates with heart rate monitor (not included) to provide automatic assistance when needed
- More expensive than some competitors
- Ebikemotion app smartphone integration
- Monocoque carbon frame and fork
- Motor: 250 watts
- Weight: 26 lbs
- Sizes: L & XL
The Ecotric Fat Tire electric bike is an excellent option for those who prefer enjoyable, relaxing rides. The included skid-proof fat tires, which are 26×4″, provide added safety, balance, and stability on all surface types. The bike’s strong 500-watt motor can speed up to 23mph and has three different power options: hybrid pedaling, pedal-assist, and walk-assist. It is powered with a removable and rechargeable lithium battery, included with purchase. For comfort, the e-bike’s ergonomic design cannot be beaten, and special care was taken in designing the handlebar height and adjustable seat.
The Ecotric Fat Tire e-bike is the best value for the money on our list, so it’s easy to see why reviewers have fallen in love. For a fraction of the competitor cost, this electronic bike is perfect for beginner to intermediate cyclists.
- Best value e-bike
- 100+ reviews averaging 4.75 of 5 stars
- Assembly required, but they offer to deliver to a local bike shop for assembly and fit for an additional fee
- 26×4″ Flat tires
- Allows speeds up to 23mph
- Pedal-assist, walk-assist, and hybrid pedaling motorized features
- Motor: 500-watt
- Weight: 58 lbs
- Size: One size, fits riders up to 260 lbs