Ebike Buying Guide: If you are planning to buy a new electric bicycle but confused and unable to figure out what would be right for you then this article is for you. Here you will find some valid points that explained what should an ideal ebike be like. There are so many options in the market but not all ebikes are ideal for you. So below there are some must-have key features listed which you need to go through before buying an ebike.
The first thing which makes an ebike worth is the “frame material”. The overall performance of an electric bike depends on the frame design and the material. Design should be ergonomic and rider-friendly, but for the material, first you need to keep in mind that a lighter frame performs much well than a heavier one. So you need to look for a lighter frame material. Mainly there are four materials used in bicycles, Titanium, carbon fiber, Aluminum, and Steel.
Titanium and Carbon fibers are the best options for making an ebike’s frame. TITANIUM has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metals followed by CARBON FIBER. That means you can build long-lasting and lightweight frames out of these. But it stands on a bit costlier side and because of this, many companies use Aluminum and Steel for electric bikes. So because Aluminum has the highest strength-to-weight ratio than Steel, so you should consider an ebike with an Aluminum frame over Steel. Steel should be your last preference.
The second key feature you should look at before buying an ebike is the motor. There are three motors basically used in the electric bicycle as follow:
- Direct drive hub motor: Direct drive motor or front hub motor can be seen at the front wheel and it tends to have the least torque and power.
- Rear hub motor: This is the most common hub motor used in ebikes and the same is located at the rear wheel.
- Mid-drive motor: Mid-drive or center drive motor can be seen in the crank area and is widely considered to be the best option in an ebike.
At present, mainly rear hub and mid-drive motor are used in ebikes. But in terms of performance, a mid-drive motor is a much better option for ebikes than a rear hub motor. Mid-drive motors are known for higher performance and torque when compared to a similarly powered traditional hub motor. One key reason why is that the mid-drive motor drives the crank, instead of the wheel itself, multiplying its power and allowing it to better take advantage of the bike’s existing gears. So hill climbing will be much easier than a hub motor.
So if you stay in a hill area, your first preference should be a mid-drive ebike. Otherwise, you can go with a hub motor ebike which is affordable and easily available in markets. But the condition is, it should be efficient and comes with high torque.
The efficiency of a hub motor depends on its voltage and magnetic power. So a 48v motor would be the best option for an ebike. Because it performs much better than a 36v one. So your first priority should be an ebike with a 48v motor. But if you are going with a 36v motor and you live in a hill area then you must need an ebike that comes with the third key feature mentioned below.
Multi Speed Gear System:
Having a multiple gear system in an ebike will always give you an extra advantage whether you ride on a city road or a steep terrain. If you run out of battery in the middle of your journey and now pedaling is the only option to reach your destination, so no matter what, If you have a multi-speed ebike, you can easily and effortlessly reach your destination with the help of gears. Even it helps to climb steep very easily.
But in the same scenario, if you have a single-speed ebike then you realized that it feels hard to climb steep terrain without a multi-gear system, you need to pedal hard to reach your destination. So multi-speed gear system must be there in an ebike. At least 7 speed must be there in an ebike. But if you want a hassle-free riding experience and don’t want to mess out with shifting gears, so in that case, you can go with a single-speed ebike.
High Efficient Battery:
The electric bike gets its juice from the battery. So a genuine and highly efficient battery must be needed for an ebike. 18650 lithium cells are known to be highly efficient and the same is used by the companies like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. Voltage is also responsible for the efficiency of a battery.
For example, if you have bought a 7.5Ah battery of 36v then it gives you a (7.5Ah x 36v) = 270wh power, and by which you can ride 20km to 25km on throttle mode. Whereas, if have bought the same battery pack (7.5Ah) but 48v then you will get (7.5Ah x 48v) = 360wh power, 90wh higher than a 36v battery and by so which, you can ride 30km to 35km on throttle mode.
So 48v battery should be your first preference when buying an ebike. Although for a moderate city riding you can consider a 36v battery pack.
Pedal Assist System:
An ideal ebike must comes with Pedal assist system. Higher number magnets PAS sensor is good for an ebike as it acts fast in transferring the signals to the motor for further assistance. So minimum 12 magnets sensor should be considered. Moreover, ebikes are heavy in nature than a normal bicycle, so to eliminate the heaviness while pedaling PAS sensor should be there in ebikes. For the assist levels, 5 is ideal but 3 levels can also be considered.
If safety is your first priority then you can not imagine an ebike without ebrakes. It’s a crucial feature every ebikes should come with. If you are throttling your ebike at high speed and suddenly you want to stop the bike, so to stop the bike generally you press the brakes. But if the bike has no ebrakes it won’t stop properly even after pressing the brakes, as the motor still receives the power from the battery and pushes the bike ahead. So if you failed to control the bike it becomes risky and it can be life-threatening for you.
Please note that you can ride your ebike without ebrakes. If you do this be sure that your brakes are strong enough to stop the ebike, especially when the motor happens to be in full power throttle mode. But this is not a proper solution, the proper solution is ebrakes. Ebrake sensor senses when the rider has applied the brakes and sends the signal to the controller to stop the motor from surging ahead. So for safety reasons, ebrakes must be there in ebikes.
Another sign of an ideal ebike is having a good suspension system whether it is dual or single. A full suspension system is good until and unless it optimizes for rider’s comfort, basically it should be more rider-friendly. But as not all ebikes come with a dual suspension system, so you have to rely on a single front suspension. But the condition is, the suspension should be efficient and provides minimum 100mm travel with a lockout feature. So that when needed, you can easily lock out the travel of the suspension. Even while riding on a flat surface or while climbing a steep hill, it helps minimize your energy loss.
Please note that a hybrid ebike doesn’t need suspension system as it meant to build for urban riding.
Ebike is a precious and personal thing, you don’t want strangers to mess out with your bike in your absence. So to avoid this risk ebike must come with a security feature like an RFID lock or ignition start key.
Additionally, an ideal ebike should also come with a digital LCD display for monitoring riding data on the go, and a headlight for night vision. Also, you need to check company’s authenticity and make sure they provide good after-sale service.
Please note that low grade components perform poorly and wear out quickly. So always look for genuine high grade components in an ebike.
2 thoughts on “Ebike Buying Guide, What Makes A Good Ebike?”
Wonderful ajay bhai!
This guide is wonderful.. really help the people who are planning to buy e cycle . Thanks Aakash