Choosing your first e-bike can be a daunting task. If you’re e-bike curious, here are some things to consider before taking the plunge.
What Is An E-Bike?
Get ready to ride into the future with an e-bike! It's like a regular bicycle, but with an awesome superpower: a nifty electric motor! Say goodbye to exhaustion and hello to extended adventures as this motor gives you an extra boost to go the distance. Imagine effortlessly conquering challenging hills and pesky headwinds while you pedal like a superhero. And guess what? Some e-bikes even have throttles, so you can zoom around without breaking a sweat. Join the e-bike revolution and let the good times roll!
How Long Have E-Bikes Been Around?
E-bikes have been around in small capacities since the 1890s, but it wasn't until the 2000s that they truly gained popularity and became widely available. This surge in interest was largely due to Yamaha and Panasonic starting global mass production of e-bikes.
In 2021 alone, over 500,000 e-bikes were sold in the United States, indicating a growing trend. Looking ahead, the global e-bike market is projected to more than double by 2030, highlighting the increasing demand for these innovative modes of transportation.
The rising popularity of e-bikes can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, people are becoming more health-conscious and recognize the benefits of cycling for both physical fitness and mental well-being. Additionally, the growing concern for climate change and environmental sustainability has led individuals to seek greener transportation alternatives. E-bikes offer a practical solution by providing an eco-friendly mode of transportation that reduces carbon emissions.
As we move forward, the continued rise of e-bikes showcases the intersection of health consciousness and environmental awareness, making them a compelling choice for individuals looking to make positive changes in their lifestyles and contribute to a greener future.
How Does An E-Bike Work?
Experience the thrill of riding with an e-bike designed for the hippest of riders! With its pedal assist feature, you'll feel like a superhero as you effortlessly cruise through the streets. But wait, there's more! Some e-bikes even come with a throttle, allowing you to kick it into high gear whenever you please.
But here's the best part: you're in control! When you want to feel the wind in your hair and ride like a true classic cyclist, simply switch off the motor and pedal away to your heart's content.
Our top-notch e-bikes are built to provide the ultimate riding experience. Set your preferred power level, hop on, and pedal just like you would on a regular bike. Thanks to a cutting-edge system equipped with advanced sensors, the motor seamlessly adds an extra burst of power tailored to your exertion, making every ride feel like the best biking experience you've ever had.
Charging up is a breeze too! Almost all e-bikes feature lithium batteries that can easily be juiced up using a standard 110-volt wall outlet. Plus, some models even come with removable batteries for added convenience.
Get ready to revolutionize your ride with an e-bike that combines style, power, and pure exhilaration.
Types Of E-Bikes
These offer pedal-assist only, with no throttle. The motor assists to a maximum speed of 32kph, although it will go faster than if you pedal hard or go downhill. These are generally considered identical to a normal bicycle under the law, except on some off-road trails.
These come with a throttle that can accelerate the bike up to 32kph without pedaling. Depending on where you live, there might be more restrictions on where and how you can use Class 2 e-bikes.
These feature pedal-assist up to 45kph and usually must be ridden in on-street bike lanes or routes, not multi-use paths. They may have a throttle that works to 32kph. A Class 3 bike might be useful if you need to mix with traffic on streets with no bike lanes because you can ride closer to the speed of traffic.
Regardless of class, e-bike motors are limited to 750 watts. Traffic, age restrictions and other laws vary, so check your local regulations.
Buying an e-bike can take a lot of research. If you’re lucky and have an e-bike dealer near you, test riding can make your decision easier. That’s why you should definitely come pay our Freedom Machine Byron Bay shop a visit to have a personalized chat about works well for you!
When you’re buying an e-bike, try to have a clear sense of how you intend to use it, which will tell you whether you should get a standard bike, folding bike, cargo bike, etc. In other respects, e-bikes are simply bikes, and choosing one and riding it is the same as buying any other bike.
If you’re in the market, here are some of the most important features to consider:
Pedal Assist & Controller
The controller determines how the electric pedal assistance on your e-bike will function. Generally located on the handlebar, it lets you set a power level from one to four, with four amplifying your pedal power by four times your input. There are two-main types of pedal assist: pedal-activated and throttle-based.
There are two kinds of motors. Hub motors propel from the front or rear wheel, offering quick acceleration but less range efficiency. Mid-motors power the crankset (gears) and give a better weight-to-performance ratio, but are usually more expensive.
Hub bikes and Class 2 bikes with throttles can get you to work or school sweat-free, and most people like them for instant power. But, they tend to use more of the battery. Some riders like mid-motors more, as it’s a gradual assist and feels more like riding a normal bike.
E-bike motors come in power ratings from 200 watts to 1,000 watts or more, but most legal limits is 750 watts. Most mid-motors are rated around 250 watts. Hub motors are higher.
Lithium-ion batteries are largely maintenance free, but it’s worth looking into the quality of the battery. You may be bringing them into your house, as well as relying on them to not leave you stranded.
High-quality batteries typically come with a two-year warranty and are increasingly UL certified. Some bike manufacturers sell spare batteries so you can carry an extra one if you go out of range. They should last longer than two years and can be recycled at an electronics recycling site.
Quality Of Components
If you can afford an e-bike with name-brand components like Shimano, Bosch and others, it will likely last longer and deliver better performance. There are a lot of low-quality options out there that best-case scenario don’t work well and can be frustrating to service, and worst-case scenario are unsafe.
Warranty & Customer Support
Unlike bicycles, some e-bikes don’t come with much of either. Ask the dealer, whether a local store or an online vendor, what the local service and support options are. Research whether the brand has good reviews, seems reputable and stocks replacement parts. A two-year warranty is a good sign as well.
Assess the saddle (seat), handlebars, grips and tires. Find a bike that fits you and your riding style. For example, a mountain bike has a more aggressive riding position than a city bike, so may not be as comfortable if you’re just riding on paved roads and some crushed gravel trails.
Is An E-Bike Right For Me?
When deciding whether you’d like to purchase an electric bicycle, you should consider how comfortable you are riding a traditional bike. Then also ask yourself:
- What are the e-bike laws, restrictions and registration requirements in your area? Some places consider e-bikes the same as mopeds and scooters, and some require helmets for riders under a certain age.
- Do you have accessible, safe bike lanes or paths that allow e-bikes?
- Will an e-bike get you to work or the store on a single charge?
- How prevalent is bike theft in your area, and do you have a safe place to park it and store it? We recommend keeping it inside your home or garage, or at least using a high quality bicycle lock. Make sure to secure the frame and pass the cable through both wheels.
Also purchase a good helmet and wear proper safety gear, like close-toed shoes and a safety vest when in traffic. And if you’re new to biking, learn safe riding and etiquette.
The right electric bike will replace more car trips than you can imagine. If your errand is less than five kilometres one way, you will likely arrive at the same time it would take you to drive and park. E-Bikes are becoming more and more popular as time persists forward and are becoming a widely better option than driving a car. They are easy to ride, better for the environment, and all around are more reliable forms of transportation. What are you waiting for? Come down to our Freedom Machine Byron Bay storefront at 3 Fletcher Street and talk about an investment of a lifetime.