From Commuting to Off-Roading: How to Choose the Perfect Electric Bike?
There's no doubt that in recent years electric bikes have proven to be revolutionary game-changers for people of all ages. As electric bikes' popularity and practicality continue to grow, they are now a common sight worldwide. It is almost impossible to leave the house without encountering one of these on the roads. They’re fast, efficient, eco-friendly, and economical transportation methods.
It's a long time since there were fewer options for transportation due to a lack of technological advancements. People were limited to choosing whatever was accessible to them. Today, there is a plethora of options available due to the excessive demand and popularity of electric bikes. This also makes it difficult as if you don’t know what to look for, it can get daunting.
With each year, electric bikes have become more practical and user-friendly options for people with different preferences. If you're a commuter, looking for an easy and affordable way to get around town or a thrill seeker looking for an exciting off-road adventure, the fat tire electric bike won't disappoint you.
Experts say that no matter who you are, an electric bike can't take you wrong. However, with so many options popping up on the market, you might be confused about which electric bike you should get. Worry not, in this blog, we aim to focus on each and every aspect of electric bikes and to find which kind of electric bike will be suitable for your needs.
Electric Bikes Types
Electric bikes are available in a variety of styles and models to cater to everyone’s needs. Each type is practical and efficient. Therefore, no matter what type of cyclist you are, there will be an electric bike appropriate for your lifestyle. That being said, if you’re a newbie to electric bikes and don’t know much about the various types on the market, let’s begin with the basics.
#1 Commuter E-bikes
Commuter electric bicycles are probably the most popular class as they are suitable for a variety of uses in urban cities. You can take these for commuting to and from work and other daily chores.
To keep up with your routine, these bikes are usually fast-accelerating and lightweight. Due to their lightweight design, they’re easy to carry and store.
Addmotor commuter electric bikes come with 960Wh battery pack (UL 2271), offering an extended battery range so you don’t have to charge frequently. Moreover, these types of bikes have thin electric tires, are faster and lighter. This kind of ebike offers an efficient and upright design for a comfortable riding experience. They usually use hub-motor as they need to be efficient and light on the battery. They also feature cargo racks so that you can easily carry your essentials with you.
#2 Cruiser Electric Bikes
Cruiser electric bikes are excellent for riders who need a comfortable recreational ride on the weekend. They usually feature wide tires and an emphasis on providing maximum comfort and stability for the rider. You can easily take cruiser e-bikes to sandy beaches, snow, grass, and paved roads. To enhance the riding experience, cruiser e-bikes are generally equipped with suspension systems that help with shock absorption and smooth the ride.
Moreover, they feature well-padded and comfortable seats and the handlebars and grips on these bikes are adjustable. By having a cruiser electric bike, you can reduce your dependence on the car. You can also enjoy a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative that will help you in the long run. Addmotor has beach cruiser electric bike with front and rear suspensions (HEROTAN & SOLETAN bike models), click to know more!
#3 Cargo electric bikes
Electric bikes that carry cargo are the third most popular electric bike category. As the name suggests, cargo electric bikes are utility electric bikes with more cargo capacity than any other type. They’re ideally suited to groceries, shopping, and delivery.
Cargo electric bikes usually have sturdy frames and powerful motors to haul more cargo. They can be equipped with fat or thin tires depending on the model. However, generally fat tires are preferred to offer more stability and traction to the rider.
Cargo electric bikes are similar to cargo bicycles but with the addition of a motor that allows you to travel longer and faster without fatigue. They’re ideal for delivery businesses and can even replace delivery vans. With more and more cargo e-bikes on the road, traffic congestion caused by heavy delivery trucks can be significantly reduced.
#4 Off-road electric bikes
As the name suggests, an off-road electric bike is a practical type of electric bike suitable for off-road adventures. These e-bikes have strong motors, big batteries, agile frames, and fat tires. With fat tires, you can easily get an off-road fat electric bike anywhere. Whether it's mountain climbing or forest hiking, off-road electric bikes can easily traverse sand, mud, snow, grass, and uneven terrain. To offer stability and comfort, off-road e-bikes have reliable suspension systems and brakes. Fat tire electric bike are the ideal partner for adventure lovers!
#5 Folding electric bikes
Electric bikes are expensive, therefore, they must be stored or parked in a safe environment. If you don’t have a proper parking space or garage, folding electric bikes are the ideal candidates for your daily routine. They’re quite similar to commuter electric bikes in terms of their features, but they have a folding frame. Yes, you heard it right, this type of electric bike can be folded and carried easily inside your apartment. They’re lightweight and easy to carry, but that doesn’t mean the frame is delicate and can’t last. Electric bikes have a lightweight frame, yet they are still sturdy and support long rides. The comfort you experience is same as you have riding commuter electric bikes.
#6 Electric Trike
It requires skills of balancing and experience to ride an electric bike, and this is where for the ease of customer, there’s an option of electric tricycle. E-trikes is best for those who hesitate from riding a two-wheeler bike. Addition of third wheel ensure security and guarantees stability. It is best option to elderly people, someone who’s recovering from injuries or have mobility issues. Not only this, the positioning of e-trike’s seat is such that it comforts your body and gives you a restful riding experience.
Electric cycles give easy opportunity to exercise and stay fit, which is a very decent option to consider for elderly people. Electric tikes are usually heavier than electric bikes, as they have powerful motors and and large batteries to cover more distance in shorter time span. Their strong body frame make them fit to haul extra cargo and handle heavier riders. As 3 wheel electric bikes are targeted at comfort and convenience, they offer accessible low-step-through frames. So, anyone can ride these without lifting their leg over the frame. With extra benefits than electric bikes, electric trikes have also made a significant difference in the electric bike market. They continue to attract more riders each year.
Factors to consider while selecting an electric bike.
Now that you know what types of electric bikes are there in the market, let’s move to the next step which is to know what critical aspects to look for while choosing your ride partner.
There are various types of electric bikes available on the market each with different design frames, drive powers, practicality, and suitability. Therefore it is essential to question yourself why you need an electric bike. Do you need it just for commuting or do you want something more comfortable like a cruiser? By determining the intended use of your ride, you can easily figure out what type of electric bike will be more suitable for your lifestyle. If you want something more practical like a utility bike, then the cargo e-bike would be a more suitable option. However, if you’re someone who has balance issues and fears riding a two-wheel bike, then an electric trike will be the right call to make.
Let’s say you know what you need. Is this all you need to make the purchase? Hang on, there are other factors to consider as well. With so many brands on the market with the tagline of best electric bike, how would you determine which is actually the right one for you? Carefully take the below-mentioned aspects and you’d know.
#2 Frame Design
Electric bikes come in different frame styles and materials. The frame can be made of steel or aluminum. Aluminum frames are usually preferred due to their lightweight and durability. Similarly, depending on the model, the bike can have a step-through or step-over frame design. The step-over frame is just like a traditional bicycle frame where you lift your leg over the edge to mount. This is a classic frame design and might be suitable for younger people. However, if you're a female or elderly with back issues, you might want to stick to a step-through frame design as it is more convenient and accessible for them.
#3 Battery & Range
The third most significant aspect of choosing your electric bike is understanding your battery impact. A bigger battery with a higher capacity level will provide you with an excellent range but they’re also expensive. On the other hand, with the right choice of battery that helps you to travel conveniently, you can also reduce the time it needs to be recharged. The larger batteries with reasonable miles per charge range can easily travel 80-120 miles without charging. In this way, you don’t have to deal with the possibility of running out of battery and can embark on long journeys.
Another crucial factor in choosing batteries is to go with third-party approved battery packs like the UL-Certified battery pack used in Addmotor’s electric bikes. The UL-Certified battery packs are tested vigorously under tough conditions to improve safety and reduce fire chances.
#4 Motor Power & Type
The motor is another crucial thing to care for. By having the right motor that provides enough power for traveling, you can upgrade your lifestyle. In general, electric bikes have motors ranging from 250 to 1000W. With more power and torque, you can accelerate faster and tackle uneven terrain easily. As a result of the more powerful motor, your battery will also drain more quickly. As a result, you must know the ideal power range you are looking for.
A hub motor or a mid-drive motor can both be utilised in an electric bicycle. These versions differ in motor placement, as the name suggests. A hub motor is found either on the front or back wheel hub. Mid-drive motors are positioned in the center of the bike in the same fashion. Mid-drive motors often offer more power and torque, but they basically cost more. So a hub motor might be a better choice if all you need is a ride to and from work and nothing too heavy.
#5 Tires and suspension
Many individuals are skeptical about choosing the right tires as a critical choice. But your electric bike's performance and handling skills are greatly influenced by the tires you choose for it. Making the appropriate decision for your unique needs requires considering the large range of tire alternatives available. It is suggested to use smooth pavement tires if your rides include them. As an alternative, it becomes crucial to choose tires designed to handle such difficult driving situations. This is if you have to go on rocky terrains or off-road paths. Electric bike makers typically prefer fat tires because they improve stability, comfort, and control.
Both the tires and the suspension are crucial. Your electric bike's suspension system will increase comfort and stability. There are two forms of suspension: dual suspension and fork suspension, which can be rear-wheel or front-wheel. Your riding experience will be better thanks to an effective suspension system that reduces jarring and increases traction. Additionally, it ensures comfort on any terrain.
#6 Cargo capacity
Cargo capacity is a key factor for consumers seeking a more stable and useful electric bike. Because electric bikes have a reasonable luggage capacity, riders can transport all their needs on them. However, you should stick to e-bikes with heavy load capacities if you intend to utilize your bike as a delivery alternative.
#7 Safety Features & Brakes
Whether it be electric bikes or other transportation means, rider safety is paramount. As a result, you should consider having a reliable braking system so you can stop safely. By having an accessible parking brake system you can park your electric bike easily even on slopes. Similarly, additional safety features such as safety lights, turning indicators, reflectors, and horns are an absolute must-haves. With safety lights, you can see properly even at night or wherever it is dark. It enhances your vision and allows other drivers to spot you easier. Turn signals are also needed to communicate with other users so that you can signal before taking a turn or changing your lane.
Tips For Maintaining Electric Bikes
Maintaining an e-bike's condition is key to its excellent performance and lasting road experience. Unattended wear and tear on your electric bike will make it less efficient in a short time span and give you an unpleasant riding experience. So it is necessary to maintain your electric bike, ideally after every 6 months or 1000 miles you drive it.
As electric bikes are not cheap bikes, you need to ensure they are kept in proper condition and serviced periodically. Maintenance will save you from mechanical issues and keep your electric bike in action for a longer period of time. Following are some tips for maintaining an electric bike.
#1 Lubrication of the Drivetrain
You should make sure that your e-bike's drivetrain is properly lubricated and cleaned because no matter how powerful your battery is, a neglected drivetrain will eventually result in gear grinding and chain shifting. In the long run, an e-trike with a clean drivetrain will give you a more comfortable riding experience.
E-trikes require more frequent lubrication than non-assisted bicycles. As the motor’s power exerts more force on the drivetrain, the components wear out faster. Using a high-quality lubricant for your chain will ensure that your transmission runs smoothly. It is ideal to do this after every ride, after washing and drying it. Use a rag or a degreaser to clean your drivetrain.
#2 Keep the tires inflated
It is wise to keep a regular check on the tire pressure on your electric bike. Tires must be filled at the prescribed pressure. Under-inflated tires not only increase the risk of injury but also waste motor power and the e-bike slows down. Similarly, if you run a tire at high pressure, the e-trike will lose traction, especially when riding on bumpy roads.
#3 Make sure there are no loose bolts or broken parts.
Even though electric bikes are engineered and designed in a way to support effective and efficient working, they should be regularly checked for loose bolts and spokes. Electric bikes consist of high-power motors with increased power and speed. It is a heavy-weight vehicle, requiring a stronger body frame, thicker tires, developed components, etc.
Being an owner of an electric bike, you expect a smooth road experience, whether it is an off-road adventure, moving uphill or descending, so it is good to do regular safety checks to ensure that bolts are tightened up to the point, there is nothing there that could puncture the tires and look for any loose spokes.
#4 Proper Battery Care
The batteries of electric bikes are properly sealed to prevent water from getting inside, but that doesn’t make it impossible for water to get in. If you want to clean your bike, don't dip it in water; instead, use a bucket and towel to clean the components, and pat it dry afterward. If you want to remove dirt from the battery, avoid direct contact with water. Instead, use a damp cloth and a dry brush to remove dirt.
Excessive cold or heat also harms your e-bike’s battery. So do not expose your bike’s battery to too much heat or too much cold. Room temperature and a dry environment keep your electric bike’s battery in tip-top condition.
Another thing to worry about is battery charging. Make sure you use the correct charger and charge your battery in a dry location. It is important not to leave your e-bike's battery entirely charged or completely discharged for too long, as it will cut the battery's lifespan over time.
#5 Dealing with Repairs
Electric bikes are highly developed bikes, with complex circuitry and electric elements. If there is a part to replace or a component to repair, do not attempt to do it yourself or you might mess things up more for yourself. If you encounter this situation, you should consult the manufacturer or an expert.
Make sure you get your electric bike repaired by an experienced mechanic, as electric bikes are not ordinary vehicles to deal with. Damage to one component may affect other components too as every component is highly interlinked with each other. So, be careful to take care of it.
To conclude, electric bikes can be chosen by understanding their varied types, considering key factors before making a decision, and prioritizing their proper maintenance. No matter where you live or what you do, finding an electric bike that matches your preferences and needs is crucial. It is important to consider factors such as terrain, range, motor power, and battery capacity when making an informed decision. In addition, keeping your electric bike in perfect condition through regular maintenance routines such as cleaning, lubrication, and timely inspection will guarantee years of reliable and enjoyable riding. You can learn more about electric bikes and get one for your routine by visiting Addmotor electric bikes.