E-bikes can be a healthy, fun way to get around while reducing your carbon footprint. Ecotricity went to support the liberate the lane event over the weekend with bike Auckland. The idea is to give Aucklanders more transport choice, with better low carbon options as traffic congestion is only getting worse. Ecotricity is lucky enough to have 2 electric cars and a fleet of electric bikes. We love them to get around to meetings, home during peak hour traffic, or to drop off the mail at the local post. We love e-bikes and think they’re awesome. But what do you look for when buying an E-bike? What are some key telltales for buying your new electric bike? Our guide sets out the basics for what you should look for.
E-bikes come in a range of different styles and can be broadly categorised into the following:
- City Bikes for urban transport and day-to-day riding.
- Hybrid Bikes, the all-purpose option for on-road and off-road.
- Mountain Bikes are for predominantly or exclusively off-road use.
Understanding how you will use your e-bike should inform the style you pick as well. Is your e-bike for weekend riding on trails or short commutes through the city? Knowing this beforehand will help you find the right E-bike that fits your lifestyle.
With so many brands offering E-bike products now, it can be hard to know which one to get. Looking out for reputable names like Avanti, Sinch and Norco, Onya ensures you get a quality product that others can vouch for. Definitely check out bikes and beyond for any queries around electric bikes.
The most important things to consider are the product warranty and replacement part availability. Like anything, E-bike parts need repairs, servicing and upgrades in the future, so the more well known a brand is, the more likely you can access support when needed and avoid any headaches down the road.
Also, try to purchase from trusted brick-and-mortar retailers who know their products well and help you with additional support and services.
If they allow it, it’s also a good idea to go for a ride in the showroom to really get a feel for the different types and brands.
The main types of e-bike motors are hub-drives and mid-drives. A hub drive is best suited for a daily commute and all-purpose e-bikes. Mid-drive motors are more efficient and equipped for longer, steeper terrain, making them more useful for recreational and off-road style e-bikes.
There’s no right or wrong choice, so once again, understanding your own purpose will help inform you of getting the right motor for your e-bike. Read this article from Bosch for more information on the difference between the two.
The battery is usually the most expensive part of an e-bike so getting a reliable one from a trusted brand is crucial. Look for batteries from brands like Samsung and LG. These may not always be clearly labelled, so always ask the retailer or supplier for a specifications sheet.
If you plan on travelling over longer distances with a need for more pedal-assistance, look for a higher capacity battery to keep you going. Otherwise, a smaller capacity battery will do the trick if you want to reduce charging times and rely mostly on your own pedalling power.