With technology progressing by leaps and bounds, many devices are being launched into the market to make our lives easier. However, we might not be aware of all of them. Take the example of an electric bike. Although it has evolved into a relatively popular form of transportation, many people remain unaware of what exactly an electric bike entails.
Basically, an electric bike is a modified version of the traditional bicycle. It has the same frame and structure- pedals included, but also has an electric motor connected to the rear wheel. This allows the rider to either pedal the bike or use the power of the battery and the motor.
Like anything that operates on a battery, electric bikes need to be charged. To operate the bike, you need to turn the system on and then twist the throttle, push a trigger or pedal the bike to get it running and fire up the motor. Then you can manipulate the speed of the bike as per your convenience. Usually, e-bikes come with an upper-speed limit, and you also have to adhere to whatever the legal speed limit is in your area.
Why Should You Own An E-Bike?
The main reason why you should own an e-bike is the comfort. You can use it for a recreational ride around town, or swap it for your regular commute to work. There are several other benefits to this vehicle, one which makes it indispensable for people who are always on the move.
- You will not require a driver’s license or insurance to ride an electric bike since it is essentially recognized as a bicycle.
- Just like a bicycle, you can ride your e-bike on the sidewalks, or cut through parks. This way, you can reach your workplace in record time.
- Since it runs on electricity, it is cleaner than your regular cars and bikes, which makes it environment-friendly.
- It is also less expensive than fuel powered vehicles because, in the long term, electricity is a much more potent source of energy than fuel.
- They are safer than street-legal scooters, since they cannot be ridden on highways.
- You can easily avoid traffic on an e-bike; since it can help you cut and skim through congested areas like a pro.
- You won’t have to hunt for a parking spot each day either. You can fit it on any normal bike rack or pole/railing.
- The best thing about an e-bike is that it gives you a full workout in a matter of minutes. This way, you won’t have to create an extra space in your schedule for working out- just ride your bike to and from work each day.
- It also puts you in the correct headspace and gets the adrenaline pumping to get you through your day.
But to be fair, there are certain downsides to owning an e-bike as well. We mention this because e-bikes do not come cheap- they cost much more than a normal bike because of all the extra appendages attached to it, namely the motor and the battery.
You should be aware of the negative repercussions of owning an e-bike too because you would not want to regret your purchase- that's for sure. Here are some of the disadvantages of owning an e-bike:
- It is mainly a solitary experience; you won’t be able to take your parent, sibling, significant other or friend for a ride around the town. There is a harsh limit on weight and passenger capacity.
- As mentioned earlier, e-bikes cannot be ridden on highways. So if your home and workplace are connected by one, this purchase wouldn’t work for you.
- As opposed to a car, the rider is much more exposed to the weather. There is a good chance of you ruining your work clothes even before you're halfway there.
- Obviously, it is a lot slower than a car or a moped.
If you are someone who is looking for an alternative to driving, then you might consider getting an e-bike. Yes, it has some drawbacks, but what vehicle doesn’t? Plus, you cannot really ignore the major pros of an e-bike, which includes saving a great deal on fuel prices.
Electric bikes come in various shapes and sizes, and most of the costs depend upon the type and brand of the bike. The determining factor for the cost of the electric bike is definitely the type of battery being used.
As a rule, the more miles the battery can provide, the more expensive the bike will be. Apart from this, the non-electric parts used in e-bikes is almost the same as their fuel counterparts.
It is important for you to get a bike that is of good quality because it will directly feed into the maintenance costs of the vehicle. The prospect of a cheaper e-bike made of low-quality materials may sound scintillating now, but it will wear out quickly, and very soon you will have to spend double the price as maintenance costs.
True, every bike is an investment on its own, whether it is expensive or not. However, spending more upfront takes away the pressure of spending pounds and pounds on repair costs- honestly, it can get quite frustrating after a while.
We'll be honest; good e-bikes do not come cheap and are definitely more expensive than regular bikes with the same specs. While an ordinary bike charges you for the frame, brakes, and suspension, an e-bike will require you to consider the motor aspect as well.
Some Myths About The E-Bike Debunked
You will see some eyebrows shoot up the moment you declare your decision to purchase an e-bike. It is not unnatural for a new piece of technology to be shrouded in myths of its own. But, it is important to know the real, actual truth, so that the myths and opinions surrounding the bike do not cloud your judgment and deter you from making a correct decision.
1. Riding An E-Bike Requires No Effort
Contrary to popular belief, e-bikes do not run on battery alone. The motor and the battery is provided to boost the speed and power, but you still have to pedal. Unless you are in a race, the concept of cheating does not arise, since here you set your own targets and control how much physical effort you want to put in. You can even turn the motor off completely, which will bring you to the same level as normal bike riders.
2. E-bikes Are Harmful To The Environment
That is just plain untrue. E-bikes run on batteries, which, in fact, are 100% recyclable. No pollutants are emitted into the atmosphere. In actuality, e-bikes are a great way to go green while holding on to the pleasure of a motor-driven vehicle.
3. E-bikes Are Unsuitable For All Weather Conditions.
Unless you are hit by an avalanche or a landslide, you can ride your e-bike, even when it rains. The batteries and motor on an e-bike undergo waterproofing treatments, which makes them impervious to the weather outside.
4. E-bikes Are Just Wannabe Scooters
Oh, they are not. The e-bike is a second cousin of the traditional bicycle- it is not even remotely connected to a scooter. The most potent example to prove this is that e-bikes can be ridden on sidewalks and through parks, whereas scooters need to remain on the road.
5. They Are Slow
In fact, e-bikes can access speeds as high as 15mph in a congested area. Also, you will get to avoid traffic too, something that does not happen with a car, which gives you a speed of 18mph in a built-up area.
6. They Are Way Too Expensive
While it is true that e-bikes are above the normal price range for a bike, there are companies which allow loans and schemes to help you get your first e-bike. Also, once you get your hands on that thing, you will save a colossal amount of money in the form of transportation and fuel costs.
Advantages Of Riding An E-Bike
The best feature of owning an electric bike is the chance to amplify your riding speed. This means you can trade a car ride to the office for a refreshing bike ride. How much effort you need to put in depends upon whether you buy a pedal assist bike or a motor assist one. Electric bikes can also be a viable option for those who cannot or do not want to take up cycling anytime soon.
All in all, electric bikes are definitely worth every penny you spend on them, even if they might come at a higher price point than ordinary bikes. You can feel the wind on your face without all the huffing and puffing. You can cover around 35-70 miles from a single charge, and it takes only 4 hours for the battery to be fully charged.
However, while there are some really good e-bikes out there, made while keeping each individual rider’s needs in mind, there are also many less than average ones out there. Sure, they are cheaper than the branded ones, and that can be a huge attraction, but you might find yourself stranded in the middle of your commute to work the very next day- because the motor gave up.
Also, there is an important issue worth mentioning here. Because of the popularity of the produce, there are many sources which provide DIY electric bicycle kits to unassuming customers. These kits are way too dangerous, even potentially life-threatening. They advocate speeds which are not only dangerous but also illegal. Also, they come with no guarantees, so there is a good chance that you might get blindsided.
You should make it a ritual to check your bike’s battery before using it each morning. This is the main risk you run while riding an e-bike. If you aren’t attentive enough, the battery may run out of juice in the middle of your commute. While it is easy to push a normal bike to its destination, it might not be the same for an electric bike, mainly because of how heavy it is. The battery, motor, and other accessories really heap upon the weight of the bike's frame.
The 5 Best Electric Bicyles Of 2018
Since the market of the electric bike is ever growing, there is an inexhaustible multitude of choices for the new buyer. While this gives you enough room to surf for the right one, it is also extremely confusing, especially if you don’t have any previous experience of purchasing an e-bike.
When you look for the perfect e-bike for yourself, various factors come into play- technical, mechanical and structural in nature. A careful balance of all these aspects is not only essential but necessary for you to have the best and most comfortable riding experience you could possibly bargain for.
Each electric bike is made up of the same components- the frame, accompanied by the motor and the battery, as well as suspension brakes and the like. Your choice of bike should depend on the terrain you travel each day, the distance the bike can cover on one full charge (range), the type of motor in use, and whether it fits your needs and comfort requirements.
When you’ve finally weighed all your options and settled on the perfect choice, don’t hesitate to ask for a test drive before sealing the deal. As much as you would want to depend on the internet and word-of-mouth, only you can be the best judge of what you want.
To make the selection process easier for you, we have sorted through the abundance of choices to create a compilation of the best electric bikes of 2018. These are the some of the best adult electric bicycles in the market. We hope this list helps to narrow down your choices and bring to you exactly what you have been looking for.
One of the best cross countries type electric mountain bikes in the current market, the FLX Trail is powered by a quiet Bafang Max Drive 350 watt mid drive motor. It has an impressive, adjustable top speed of 35 mph.The customized frame of the vehicle comes with a sturdy rear end, internally routed cables, 180mm hydraulic disc brakes, and a large LCD display. It also offers pedal assist and trigger throttle, with an emphasized weight distribution
- The base price of the bike makes it an affordable option compared to the other FLX products.
- The LCD centre offers important information, and the views not hampered even by direct sunlight.
- The top speed is very impressive, which makes the bike faster than most electric bikes out there.
- The lack of rear suspension leaves you in the danger of losing traction completely
- The handlebars are a little too narrow for a mountain bike
- The tyres are standard but do not offer puncture protection, and you cannot swap them for something better.
This lightweight folding bike adds another feather in Ancheer’s cap. The scooter comes with a 36V lithium battery as well as some new and improved features, like a Bluetooth speaker. The scooter is durable and can hold its own in plenty of future rides. It is recommended for someone who has very simple transportation needs and a tight budget.The bike is powered by a 350 W speed motor and has a range of about 12 miles. The IPX5 Waterproof range protects your journey when the weather gods are upset.
- The bike is really lightweight and easily portable from place to place
- The small price range makes it very affordable
- Its portability eradicates the problem of storage complete
- Comes with a one year warranty on the battery, motor and the charger.
- You only need to charge it for 3 hours
- Since this is essentially a scooter, it will not appeal to cyclists who are looking for the more traditional form of the electric bike
- Its maximum speed is only 15.5 mph
- The scooter cannot handle slopes that are greater than 15 degrees with a medium weight driver.
This cargo bike comes has a non-gender specific low step frame design, mounted on a 250 W brushless motor and a 36V 9Ah battery. The removable AGM pack guarantees long battery life.It also has an easy shift 6 speed Shimano gear set, and can normally go up to 14 mph. This speed can be increased to 16 or even 18 mph depending upon the terrain and the rider’s weight. The bike also has a selectable pedal assist and the variable speed throttle so that you can keep going on it for hours.
- One of the most inexpensive options in the market of electric cargo bikes
- Although it comes at a low price, the steel frame of the bike is well constructed and does not feel cheap
- The assembly technique is easy and hassle-free
- The battery is easily removable
- The company provides great customer service. The bike itself comes with a 90-day manufacturer warranty.
- Although the battery is removable, the quality of the lead-acid batteries is questionable
- It weighs around 72.5 pounds, making it heavy and difficult to transport
- The rear wheel is difficult to replace
- The bike does not support a high passenger and cargo weight
This electric bike is designed especially for women. The 500W Power Plus Brushless Motor and 48V 10.4 AH Lithium battery help the rider go up steep hills. It also comes with a stiff and strong rear bike rack and a battery light. The 6061 durable aluminium alloy frame and the fat rear tire makes the bike suitable for all terrain, especially the rocky ones. It comes with 3 working modes too- the normal mode, e-bike mode, and pedal assisted bicycle mode. It can support riders weighing almost 300 pounds.
- Comes in several colours, so you get to pick your favourite. Also, the design is quite attractive as well
- The wide tires, foldable design, and impressive battery life combine to create a bike that is versatile enough for you to ride on any terrain.
- It is quite expensive
- Does not offer the power it should when the rider is going up hills
- Some customers had difficulty locating the tires when they needed replacement
This bike has a strong driving force since it is powered by a 500W motor and a 36V 11AH lithium battery. The maximum speed attained by the bike can go up to 20mph. The 26"x4" fat tire makes it possible to ride the bike on any terrain.
- One of the best electric bikes under $1000
- The bike is very easy to put together
- The battery can last up to 25 minutes on the highest setting
- It is very well made. The material and the structure of the bike make it durable even under very harsh conditions.
- Some customers have complained that they found both brake rotors to be damaged upon the bike’s arrival.
- The controls are very basic. There are only 3 buttons and an electric display. The rider cannot change the top speed; neither can he/she see what kind of power they are drawing from the motor.
- The first two-assist settings are incredibly low.
Here you have the 5 best electric bikes of this year. This list is meant to assist your hunt for the perfect electric bike, but ultimately, the choice depends upon you. It is best if you take a test drive with the bike of your choice before settling on a purchase.