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All you need to know when buying electric city bike

Electric bikes are certainly the future of cycling as more and more people realize the benefits electric bikes can bring them. In the Netherlands, the cycling capital of the world, sales of e-bikes now exceed those of standard pedal bikes. This is obviously a huge nod to the popularity of e-bikes.

There are always a few hardcore hardcores who feel that EVs are cheating, but the opposite is true. Electric bikes really open up the world of cycling to more cyclists and would-be cyclists, and can really help change the way we use our bikes for commuting, exercise, business or pure recreation.

Electric bikes also do not emit combustion by-products and are classified as zero-emission vehicles that are good for the environment.

In this guide, we’ll cover the terms used when discussing electric bikes, as well as their legality and what to look for when deciding which type to buy.

Quick Links for Electric Bike Guides:
1. Electric bike terminology

2. Which e-bike is best for me?

3. Things to Consider When Deciding Which Electric Bike to Buy

best electric bike battery
Best Electric Bike Motor
Electric Bike Parts
Where are electric bikes produced?
UK Electric Bike Law
4. in conclusion

Electric bike shops offer electric bikes
1. Electric bike terminology
Electric bicycles go by several names – electric bicycles, electric bicycles, electric bicycles, electric bicycles, electric bicycles, assist bicycles and electric assist bicycles. All of these refer to the same thing – a bike that supplements pedal power by using a small motor to assist the rider – which is called pedal assist.

In most cases, the level of pedal assist can be varied to suit the rider’s requirements. For example, on hilly terrain, a higher degree of pedal assist may be required, while on flat terrain, very limited (if any) pedal assist may be required. Most good e-bikes should offer five to six different levels of pedal assist so that you can customize your requirements more precisely.

In the UK, some e-bikes also have a throttle that can be used to power the bike without pedaling. This can be very useful when the rider doesn’t want to pedal at all and just wants to cruise.

2. Which e-bike is best for me?
Choosing the most suitable e-bike for yourself is similar in many ways to decide which style of traditional bike is best for your requirements. There are many different styles of e-bikes to choose from, from foldables to retro styles and hybrids. Once you’ve decided on the style you want, you can start researching this style of e-bike.

3. Things to Consider When Deciding Which Electric Bike to Buy
Electric bike terminology

You’ve decided on the style of e-bike you want, and now there’s a lot of difficulty – making sure the bike fits your requirements.

best electric bike battery

Choosing the right type of battery is critical if you really want to get the most out of your e-bike.

battery capacity
Simply put, the larger the battery capacity, the greater the distance you can ride your e-bike. The capacity of a battery is its ability to store energy, which can then be used to power a bicycle motor.
You can calculate battery capacity by multiplying the battery’s voltage and amperage.
For example, a 36V 10Ah battery has a capacity of 360Wh.

Battery physical size
The larger the physical size of the battery, the heavier it is, which in turn results in a heavier and less efficient bike. So it’s a bit of a balance between getting a battery that’s powerful enough for your needs but doesn’t look bad or too heavy on the bike.

battery location

The location of the battery on the bike is an important consideration. Batteries are usually located in two areas on an e-bike.

city bike

Rear Pannier
Many manufacturers use the rear pannier to position the battery either lying it horizontally on top of the rear pannier or alternatively hanging it vertically down the side of the pannier. Although using the rear pannier in this way may seem a sensible use of space on the bike there are a few things to consider.

The weight of the battery may cause the bike to handle badly as you are essentially carrying something on the rear pannier. Also if the battery lies flat on the pannier you may find that it can sometimes work its way loose from its electrical connections as well as rattling a bit.

Seat Tube
Attaching the battery to either the front or the rear of the seat tube (the bit of the frame that the seat sits on top of) is the preferred position for many manufacturers. As the battery is positioned vertically it means that the battery always sits firm in its connections. Also the weight of the battery is positioned on the bike where it’s impact is minimal – directly under the rider. This position may also look better as the bike tends to look more like a conventional push bike and not so obviously an electric bike.

fat tire bike

Battery Manufacturer
As is the case with normal batteries you use around the house all batteries are not the same. Although they may state the same battery capacities they will not all be the same quality. Just think about how different a Duracell battery can be when compared to a supermarket own brand – electric bike batteries are no different!
Make sure that you are getting a battery that comes from a good quality battery manufacturer such as AE or Panasonic.

Battery replacement cost
Your electric bike battery is one of the most expensive components of your electric bike. As time goes by and the quality of your battery degrades you will probably want to buy a new one. Also some people may want a spare battery as a back up.
Ask your bike supplier how much they sell replacement batteries for as this cost should definitely be taken into account when you are doing your sums. Some manufacturers will offer spare or replacement batteries at considerable discounts which can clearly be a huge benefit.

Battery Type
There are several different types of battery used on electric bikes and it’s important that you choose the most suitable for your requirements. Primarily these consist of either nickel or lithium based batteries, however, you may come across Lead Acid batteries occasionally.

road bike

Best Electric Bike Motors

It’s the motor that provides the powered assistance to an electric bike. Over time the motors used on electric bikes have improved significantly with regards to size, weight, noise, reliability and performance. As with batteries it’s important to ensure that you are purchasing an electric bike bike with a good quality motor as this is an integral component of your electric bike.

What size of motor
The legal maximum in the UK for an electric bike motor that is going to be used on the public highway is 250W. If an electric bike is going to be used solely off road on private property you can of course fit a larger motor but this must not be used on the public highway.
Most electric bikes are fitted with 250W motors. This size of motor is very well suited to electric bikes as it is strong enough to provide a good level of assistance in pretty much all conditions. Smaller 200W motors may be fitted to some electric bikes but clearly this size of motor will compromise the bikes performance with regards to power on hills, if cycling into the wind, etc.

Types of motor
There are two types of motor available on electric bikes – hub or crank motors. As you’d expect there are many different makes of motor available, however, as with batteries its important to ensure that your electric bike motor is from a good manufacturer such as Panasonic or Bafang.
The motors themselves are either brushless or brushed. Brushless motors are by far the most commonly used nowadays as they require less maintenance and are also smaller, quieter and lighter. Some manufacturers sell their brushless motors as being maintenance free..

Electric Bike Components

Electric bikes are essentially standard pedal cycles with the additional benefit of having electrical power. It’s essential that when you are deciding which electric bike to buy you don’t just look at the motor and the battery but also at the components that make up the rest of the bike to ensure that’s its built using good components. Look for branded components as this makes servicing, replacement and upgrading easier. The quality of these components will also have a big impact on the overall weight of the bike which is another important consideration.

The bike frame is a core component of any bike. Carbon is the ultimate lightweight material for frames, however, the downside is that it is very expensive. Aluminium frames are becoming increasingly popular as they are both lightweight and also more reasonably priced than carbon frames. The best aluminium frames will be marked as Alloy 6061. Steel frames are used by some manufacturers, however, these tend to be on lower specification bikes as steel is cheaper and heavier than aluminium or carbon although it is very strong..

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