Make way, planes, trains, and automobiles. Step aside, rollerblades, skateboards, mopeds, and scooters—the ascending king of future transportation is here. Electric bicycles are the streamlined name of the aerodynamic game, and there’s plenty of a good reason for it.
E-bikes are booming as recreation and transportation alternatives to traditional pedal cycles. Such electric rideables are more than mere technological fads—these devices and/or vehicles are the very way of the future. People may be wary of the uncertain road ahead as standard modes of transportation begin to fade into the background. Never fear—e-bikes are innovative enhancements of human-powered mobility that can ultimately change your life. Electric bicycles taking center stage are nothing to hold qualms about—if you’re ready to take on the opportunity, that is.
Let’s be frank: e-bikes are wonderful for any bike rider today, but they aren’t perfect. That being said, we’ve compiled together a general guide regarding their varying characteristics to help you choose the right one for your needs, desires, and overall lifestyle. No matter if you’re a complete newbie to the scene or a slightly seasoned enthusiast, read on for further information you can cling to like a comfort blanket; we’ve got the basics covered. Here’s what to look for when buying your first e-bike.
First Things First: The Story of E-Bikes
Traditional power-pedaled bicycles have been around since the 1800s, but did you know that one of the initial patents for a battery-powered bicycle also stems all the way back to the late 19th century? While the inventor Odgen Bolton Jr. never ended up producing or selling any bikes designed for enhanced speed and power, similar design details are found within modern e-bikes today.
Thanks to these great innovations of the past, e-bikes are now a more widely available commodity for bike riders worldwide. The American market is still catching up with Asia’s and Europe’s manufacturers, but more and more progress remains in battery tech and innovative design. E-bikes are the fastest-growing category in the contemporary bicycle scene. Within the next decade or so, expect electric bikes to become less of a niche and more of a mainstream appeal for average riders.
Cycling Disciplines: Purpose-Built E-Bikes
Now, what exactly are e-bikes? Generally speaking, e-bikes are mindfully sustainable hybrid bicycles. These bikes consist of pedals designed for human-powered movement alongside a battery-powered assist through a motor or throttle. Models and styles vary depending on preference and purpose. There is surely one out there for you, whatever purpose you have for desiring one. The first question you should ask when looking to buy your first e-bike is: what is my preferred activity for use? Depending on your answer of exactly where and how often you desire to ride your future bike, there are several categories and features to consider.
Electric mountain bikes are ideal for active and sporty riders, such as those who desire to tackle adventure trails and fresh routes. The assisted power and performance of e-bikes over standard bikes increases the longevity of the ride or climbs and helps navigate more technical trails. Basic commuter or shopper e-bikes are suitable for environmentally conscious individuals who enjoy laid-back recreational riding but would still appreciate an enhanced riding range for cruising.
Electric bikes truly breathe a breath of fresh air into the activity of cycling, removing various challenges and roadblocks faced by traditional pedal bikes. All the same health benefits carry over from standard bikes. However, for those who deal with physical limitations, a supplementary advantage exists. Fitness e-bikes are ideal to stay active, build up stamina, or safely ease the strain of cycling. If you merely enjoy biking—or are looking for ways to support your health and the environment—a plethora of e-bike options are surely worth considering for your selective lifestyle.
Consideration 1: Motor Type
After selecting your primary purpose for purchasing an e-bike, you should narrow down your choice of e-bike by motor type. Two main types of electric bike systems exist: hub-drive motors and mid-drive motors. The characteristics of these drive systems differ substantially, so it’s worth having general knowledge about their distinctions for the best suitable fit as a rider.
In a nutshell, hub-drive motors are most common for a pedal-assist, located in the hub or the front or rear wheel. Mid-drive motors are located on the center frame of the bike between the cranks for a balanced feel.
Consideration 2: Battery or Torque Power
The battery of an e-bike is inarguably one of the more costly components and the part most likely to fail on a less-dependable e-bike. Think of the battery like a gas tank of a vehicle. Greater watt-hours are comparable to greater fuel efficiency. The higher the number of watt-hours generally translates to a longer distance range, like a nicely-sized car fuel tank. The capacity choice is unequivocally up to your preference and budget.
Since the battery runs the e-bike’s motor, quality brands are nonetheless necessary for long-term dependability. Ensuring that the battery comes solely from a reputable manufacturer, such as LG or Samsung, tends to certify a better life cycle. Battery range ultimately depends on size, rider build and style, terrain, and average speed.
Consideration 3: Brand, Brand, Brand
Similar to any brands present within a niche market, e-bike companies strive to set themselves apart from each other. Many brands are reputable, offering consumers quality control and full support. Telling the difference between less reputable brands is key to ensure you are spending your money most wisely. A suitably sized model from a trustworthy brand is certainly what to look for when buying your first e-bike.
To help narrow down your selection, examine competent manufacturer names, search the internet about the brand, or purchase directly from brick-and-mortar stores or online specialty retailers. Here at Voltaire Cycles, we’re a specialty bike shop supplying superior brands on the electric bike market. As retailers, we can assure customers that our brand choices are the go-to for quality, high-power, or custom-built options.
Voltaire Cycles carries a slew of worthy selections, such as Cannondale electric bikes. This road-style electric bike is perfect for longer distances or ease of pedaling for ultimate speed. Browse our collection of Cannondale e-bikes for sale and other branded products online or in-store in Bend, Oregon, today. We’re always here to answer any questions and help you find the bike of your dreams.