- 9 March 2021
7 Things To Consider Before Purchasing An eBike
E-bikes can be assigned plenty of attributes, such as fast, practical, ecological – and popular!
E-bikes are becoming increasingly more attractive not just for use in the countryside, but also for the daily commutes in the city centers. E-bikes are an excellent transportation option; Commuting distances of dozens of kilometers are suddenly possible to be conquered on the e-bike, reducing the need for using public transportation or cars.
With e-bikes being technologically advanced and persuading with elegant designs, the options of e-bike models seem endless - finding the perfect e-bike can therefore be a time-consuming challenge.
We have gathered 7 tips and tricks that will help your e-bike search become as smooth as climbing a hill with it!
Consider your needs
The first question to answer before finding your e-bike is where and how you aim to use it.
Do you want to ride it for urban commuting, relaxed cruising, road-biking, traveling – or perhaps mountain-biking or trail-riding? Identifying your e-bike playground is the first step to success in choosing your e-bike model.
Defining the usage of your e-bike will help you assess what benefits you want to achieve with it. If, for example, you plan to use your e-bike for urban commuting purposes and would therefore strongly benefit from comfort features, you should consider an e-bike with a step-through frame.
If, however you will need to climb steep hills or travel long distances with your e-bike, aspects such as a middle motor system, high-torque hub motor, and a strong battery should be considered.
But don’t worry about all the technicalities – if you tell the experts at the bike shop your envisioned plans for your e-bike, they will most definitely assist you with choosing the most suitable features.
Choose the battery and range
As given by its name, e-bikes are powered by electricity, which stems from the bike’s battery.
One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting an e-bike is its range, which is the distance the e-bike will go on one battery charge. With an empty battery, an e-bike is a rather heavy bike, meaning you would want to for example avoid running out of energy halfway up a big hill.
The possible range of your battery depends on a lot of factors, such as the general battery capacity, the chosen assistance level, percentage of given pedaling power, tire pressure… but also the rider’s weight, the profile of the commuting tour, the speed, wind, and how often you stop and start on your e-bike!
With all these factors in mind, it is wise to always choose an e-bike with a higher range than the one you would possibly need. Batteries age over time and lose capacity, meaning that your range will gradually decrease throughout the years of usage.
When you research e-bikes and batteries, it is important to be aware of the range values that are given by manufacturers and to which ride details these ranges relate to. By this, you will avoid being negatively surprised if the range differs on your individual ride purpose!
Whilst many e-bikes nowadays are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, more expensive e-bikes have higher-tech batteries that are generally lighter in weight, quicker in charging and longer durable.
Lithium-ion batteries usually last 800 full charge cycles, which translates into approximately three years of weekday commuting.
Choosing a battery that fits your needs is key!
Understand the motors
Choosing an e-bike motor is rather difficult, especially if you lack the technical know-how.
The most important factors to consider are the overall quality and reliability of the motor – there’s however no longer one single best motor that can be recommended.
E-bike motors have developed tremendously within the last years, so there really are a lot of different systems that fit the rider’s demands and needs.
For you personally, it is easiest to simply hop on test e-bikes and see which motor performance and system feels best for you!
The motor’s power is given in Watts (W) – the higher the “W”, the more powerful the bike will feel, but also the less range you will get for a given battery capacity since big motors need more energy!
Most e-bike motors are currently supplied by Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, Brose, TQ, FAZU. and Specialized. The two main motor systems that are used on e-bikes these days are the mid-drive (which usually is mounted around the front chainrings) and hub motors (which are placed either in the front or rear). Mid-drive motors put force to the chainrings or chain, while the hub motor applies force to the front or rear axle.
Be aware of costs and warranty
Purchasing an e-bike is definitely a financial investment that requires thorough considerations. Whilst basic-equipped e-bike models are generally cheaper, they often come with a lot of disadvantages that limit the joy of riding. Features such as a high-quality frame, function brakes, suspension, and others do translate into a higher price but are usually always worth the investment.
The plus side is that a higher-priced e-bike usually always comes with higher quality and better reliability – a quality e-bike can really pay for itself very quickly!
The costs for an e-bike don’t stop with the actual bike – you might also want to consider purchasing accessories such as back racks, panniers, additional lights, or a good lock.
A further e-bike addition worth considering is equipping your e-bike with the Kindernay XIV internal gear hub, which is great for increasing the enjoyment and decreasing the troubles when cruising around your e-bike. Benefits of the Kindernay internal gear hub are zero maintenance, instant shifting, great reliability, and worry-free riding.
Opting for a high-quality e-bike should be supplemented with choosing a satisfying warranty plan. The warranty ensures that your investment is really worth-spent; most e-bike manufacturers offer two-year warranties on the bike parts, motor and battery. Always ask the manufacturer or bike shop for the warranty details!
Engage in test rides
Possibly the most important – and fun – aspect of your e-bike purchase is the possibility to test ride. Actually getting on an e-bike and trying it out makes you put aside all the technical details, reviews, and research that you have encountered beforehand – and places the focus on the sole fun of riding!
Testing various e-bikes especially under conditions that you would usually ride in gives you quick answers on whether the bike fits you in the way you would like it to and if it has the quality and functionality that you desire.
Most importantly, take your time and try out as many potential options as possible!
Testing e-bikes helps you understand which features are most important
Take the long view
A very nice advantage of e-bikes is their environmental sustainability, which can be enhanced by their battery capacity, the way and the quality of how the bike was built, and the after-purchase service opportunities.
You can generally expect your e-bike to last from five to ten years if you engage in regular maintenance activities. The length of the long view depends on the e-bike’s quality, frequency, and usage.
A recommendation we also give is to buy local whenever possible. Your local bike shop cannot just assist you in judging which e-bike fits best your needs and which model is meant for your preferences, but they also become your ally in keeping the quality components that you previously invested in. Buying local gives you the ease of mind that a bike expert will always be available and nearby whenever you need assistance in the years to come.
Whilst choosing the perfect e-bike can be a rather lengthy process, we guarantee that the joy of commuting with your e-bike will make up for all the research and effort spent!
After you have chosen your e-bike, there are still various ways to further upgrade it, such as with the Kindernay XIV internal gear hub. If you have any questions about the Kindernay XIV and how it is the perfect supplement to your e-bike, you can always check out our webpage!
Good luck with your e-bike search and hopefully e-see you on the roads!
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