How To Choose The Right Electric Bike

By Subodh / September 1, 2015

People need to use various types of vehicles for commuting and other transport needs. When you need freedom from the hassles and limitations of public transport, but do not want to spend a lot, the electric bikes fit the bill quite well. Of late, they have become a craze with people hailing from various age groups and different walks of life. The technology used to manufacture such bikes has improved significantly and the cost is also getting within reasonable levels. From single working women to a college going youngster, everyone can use these electric bikes.

Electric Bike

Choosing The Right Type of Electric Bike

With so many models of electric bikes hitting the market and new players joining the bandwagon every year, the buyers are literally spoilt for choice. Not every model has same specifications and carrying capacity. So, it is imperative you analyse the available options and choose the most apt one for your usage needs. For this, you need to stress on the below listed parameters:

Conversion Kit or Pre Built Model

Electric bikes can be broadly categorized into two groups. There are plenty of pre-built electric bikes. You can buy conversions kits which can be fitted to your regular bicycle and turn it into an electric bike. In pre built category- you will find sub divisions like a city bike, mountain bikes and highway cruisers etc. These bikes look sleek and conform to environmental norms. When it comes to buying conversions kits, you need to be knowledgeable on the issue. This option will cost you less for sure and you will benefit from using numerous online resources.

Throttle Control or Pedal-Assist

This is the technology that controls how you drive the bike. In pedal assist models, a little bit of pedaling is required when you start, but motor does the main job. In throttle control models, no physical pedaling is required. You will also find some electric bikes, sporting both of these modes.

Motor Configuration

Generally, the motor is fitted either on the front or rear wheel of your bike. The front wheel configuration is what you get in most pre built bikes and setting it up on existing bicycle is not difficult either. Some pre built bikes also have motors on the rear wheel, but setting up the motor on the rear wheel of a regular bicycle can be tedious. Remember that rear wheel based motors create more torque.

Battery Type

Like the motor, the battery used in an electric bike also deserves your attention. There are mainly 3 types of batteries used in such models. The Sealed Lead Acid batteries are the heaviest and they are easy on the wallet. The Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are longer lasting and weigh less than SLA ones. Choosy bikers opt for the Lithium Ion batteries. They last very long and weigh little. However, these batteries cost quite a lot. Costlier electric bikes are often equipped with Lithium-Polymer batteries.

Warranty

Whether you bring home a pre built electric bike or opt for a conversion kit to convert your regular bicycle- warranty does matter. You need to look for extent of warranty in case you buy pre built e-bikes. It is better if the manufacturer warranty covers various parts and spares.

Summing It Up

Finally, the right electric bike depends on your need and budget. You need to keep your expectation on realistic levels, no matter which model you buy. In terms of speed, an e-bike cannot match a regular motorbike or scooter. However, they excel in city transport and commuting through busy city traffic. You will also benefit from reading online reviews of such bikes.