For those who don’t know an Ebike is a bicycle that can be powered by electricity as well as propelled by pedals. They are designed to make long journeys possible and riding up hills much easier. Some people even say that it could one day replace most car journeys, but for now, we will presume your purchase is for leisure reasons only. Today we will be looking at ten things you need to think about before you buy from the wide range of electric bikes online, or from a shop…
How easy is it to repair a puncture on your Ebike? Some Ebikes need specialist tools to perform this simple action while others are just as easy as a normal bicycle. This goes for both front and back tyres as sometimes the back wheel can be much harder to remove mostly due to the drive motor being located within it.
What are your options when it comes to general maintenance and servicing? Some Ebikes tell you to call a hotline, while others offer no help at all. The other issue is some bike shops won’t even touch Ebikes so you might be stuck doing the repairs and maintenance yourself. It is something well worth considering.
Understand the Jargon
One of the biggest issues people have with regards to Ebikes is all the jargon talk about their speed, power efficacy and recharge times. When comparing the best Ebikes out there breaking down this jargon will be the key to making sure you get the best value for money.
Test Drive If Possible
One good way to do this is to go to a local Ebike dealer or look for local ads for them and contact the seller. I am sure they will let you do a test ride if you have some interest in buying it from them.
Once again we are in the realm of servicing, but this time we are talking about parts of the Ebike. How easy is it to get those parts you need? Do they have to be imported? Can you even get hold of them? Some Ebike manuals will have a full list of part numbers for you to order, while others have nothing meaning if a part breaks it could well be ride-over for the bike permanently.
Some Ebikes have adjustable assistance ranges that mean they are only helping you pedal a little bit to a lot. This range can drastically affect the range your Ebike has, so when they talk about range, find out exactly what conditions that range is under.
Most Ebikes fit into the power ranges of 250W, 350W, 500W & 750W (with many more in between and above those numbers.) But just because the bike has only 250W doesn’t mean it is no good because it could sustain that power over a much longer period of time making longer rides possible.
When you are cycling over cross country, there could well be a time when you will have to lift your Ebike over a wooden stile or something similar. Some Ebikes weigh a lot and this will simply not be possible. But others are designed to be as lightweight as possible, but that doesn’t mean they are any easier to lift as it will be down to a matter of your own strength.
While Mid-Drives motors (located between an e-bike’s cranks) are the most common when it comes to Ebikes there are other types like Direct-Drive Hub Motors (The motor’s shaft becomes the rear axle) and Geared Hub Motors (The motor’s shaft connects to a series of planetary gears). Knowing what type of motor does what will drastically cut down your choices when picking which one to purchase.
We end this list with what I think is the most important part. This will be different in each, country, but because I am from the UK that is the law I will cover. In the UK we have 4 types of electric bikes: EAPC (electrically assisted pedal cycle), S-Pedelecs, E-Mopeds and E-Bikes. Only the Ebike that is classed as EAPC can be ridden on UK roads without a licence or insurance of any kind. All the others require you to have a bike licence, insurance and road tax!