Before buying an electric bicycle, you should pay attention to certain characteristics to ensure that it will meet your expectations
The increase in the purchase of bicycles has been exponential in recent years, both for sports and as a vehicle to move around the city. Electric bicycles are partly to blame as they make pedaling much easier: people in poor physical shape, parents transporting their children, workers who do not want to arrive at work sweaty, etc.
Electric bicycles are initially divided into the same two categories as conventional bicycles: mountain and road. In turn, there are subdivisions that group them into urban, hybrid, folding and other bicycles. Depending on the use we are going to give it we can look at one or the other characteristics of the following.
How and how much does our electric bicycle help us to pedal?
Electric bicycles can be grouped into three classes according to the pedaling assistance they provide. Depending on where you live there may be limitations on the use of some of them since we are talking about motorized vehicles; before choosing one or another electric bike study the regulations of your country and your community to avoid surprises.
Class 1: the motor is activated only when pedaling and stops helping at a maximum of 25 or 30 km/h. They are the most affordable and the most used. They are usually the first choice of most cyclists, because they are usually the ones allowed as bicycles by local traffic regulations.
Class 2: in this case the pedal assistance does not stop. The fastest and most powerful, but the most expensive. They would be the most popular if it were not for the fact that they are prohibited by most local regulations.
Class 3: it has a throttle that we can press without pedaling. They may not be considered pedal-assist bicycles but mopeds by local regulations, with all that this entails in terms of registration and insurance.
Class 3 bikes typically have a 500 watt motor and a 500 Wh or more battery, while Class 1 bikes typically have a 250 watt motor with a 350 Wh or so battery.
Battery data to look out for
In relation to the batteries we must look at their charging time, the number of batteries that the electric bicycle has and whether they are integrated in the bicycle or outside.
A battery usually takes between three and five hours to fully charge. It will be necessary more time for batteries with great capacity. Therefore, there is the option of having several batteries so that you can use one while charging the other with a travel charger, or to change that battery for another one that we have extra, although it is necessary to confirm that they are on sale and at a reasonable price.
These batteries can be located in an integrated way in the bike or externally. The disadvantage of being integrated is that it can be more difficult to change, while the advantage is that it leaves more room for a water bottle and other accessories such as a bike bag.
Position of the motor on the electric bike
The two common positions are on the pedal hub (mid-drive) or in the center of the rear wheel (hub-drive). Those located in the pedal area are more natural, stable and give us more balance. The position on the rear wheel can be more complex to dismount because of the wheel change and give us another type of sensations.
Other features of our electric bike
Another more personal part is the accessories that can be included such as lights, brackets and quality of the components. In this article we will not go into this as it would be too extensive and is more appropriate to the choice of a non-electric bike.
Aspects such as whether it is foldable or not, the size of the bike, wheel diameter, etc. will depend on your preferences and morphology. It also influences, like any other bike, if you are going to use it for city commuting or mountain riding.