One category of electric mobility gaining lots of attention is battery-powered bicycles commonly known as e-bikes. After many decades of remaining the same, the bicycle industry is going through its own electric revolution.
If high gas prices are making you consider dumping your ICE car for an electric bike, or adding one to your current fleet, it is vital that you know some facts about e-bike ownership. Here are a few things you need to know before buying an electric bike.
You will still have to pedal your electric bike
Some people assume the electric motor will take over the pedaling but that is not the case. Electric bikes are known as pedal-assist, which means you still pedal to move even an inch. However, you won’t exert yourself as much because the motor will kick in at a certain speed and boost your effort.
Electric bikes are heavier
As you can imagine, you get an electric bike by adding extra components to a standard bicycle, for example, the battery and electric motor. These add to the bike’s weight and so it won’t be fun pushing it up a hill or up the stairs to store it.
You have to factor in the extra weight during braking too, as it means more distance before coming to a complete stop. Also, an electric bike is no fun to ride when the battery is dead due to the extra weight.
Consider the range
Your electric bike range should cover the distance of your commute, else you will have to cycle with a dead battery too often, which is a bore. You can carry your charger, but it is better to have enough battery to take you to your destination and back.
If you want to go touring with an electric bike, you will definitely need an extended range model. That’s because electric bikes generally do not have enough battery for touring.
So don’t expect to go on tours with your e-bike. Some models allow you to swap a spent battery for a fully charged one, but you still have to pay attention to the battery indicator.
Buy where you will get a warranty
In electric bike ownership, a warranty is essential because things might break down that will require professional servicing. For this same reason, it is advisable to buy local where you get repair services easily. Otherwise, you will spend weeks without your bike while you incur the cost of shipping it out for repairs.
Quality electric bikes are not cheap
You basically get what you pay for with electric bikes because they are not cheap to manufacture. If you buy from reputable brands, you will probably pay more but the high quality is reassuring. However, if you opt for a cheap (or cheaply made) e-bike, be aware the manufacturer has cut corners and you will be paying the price in other ways.
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