How to Choose the Perfect E-Bike For Your Needs?
Below, you’ll find the straightforward steps to picking out the best E-bike for yourself, personally:
- Understand the Different Classes of E-Bikes.
- Consider Your Needs.
- Compare E-Bike Prices.
In the rest of our article, I’ll walk you through each of these steps in greater detail so that you know what you’re looking for when you head out to find an E-Bike that suits you. I’ll examine everything from the feature differences between E-Bikes to the personal needs that might be worth considering!
Step 1: Understand the Different Classes of E-Bikes
In general, an “E-Bike” describes a type of electric bike that uses an integrated motor to help the rider accelerate. However, there are a few more differences between each model and make of E-Bike that any beginner rider should be aware of.
Every cyclist who’s ever had to purchase their own bike knows that bicycles are divided into several different classes, such as a mountain bike versus a road bike or a cruiser versus a folding bike. While many E-Bikes are divided into these same categories, they also have a few of their own sub-categories that will really make a difference when choosing your own.
Let’s go over each of these three classes so that you can tell which differences suit your personal needs.
- Class One E-Bike – This bike has an adaptive motor that kicks in depending on what the rider does; if you’re pedaling, your E-bike will engage the motor. However, if you hit around 20 miles per hour on your ride, the E-Bike will turn off the motor and let you coast. Many beginners choose this E-Bike.
- Class Two E-Bike – This E-Bike uses the same pedal assistance that Class One does, but it adds on a throttle that will get your bike moving by motor even if you decide not to pedal at all. This is a nice perk, but there aren’t many other noticeable differences between Class One E-Bikes and Class Two E-Bikes!
- Class Three E-Bike – This E-Bike has no throttle, but unlike the Class One E-Bike, it does not stop assisting with motorized acceleration when you reach 20 miles per hour of speed. Instead, it stops at around 28 miles per hour! In general, this class is stronger, faster, and more durable than the other two classes of e-bikes.
Although each class generally exhibits these differences in use, there are still other factors to consider, such as battery power, motor types, and the ranges for riding. We’ll discuss these in greater detail in Step 3!
Step 2: Consider Your Needs
Once you have a general idea of what each E-Bike class has to offer, you’ll need to analyze your own needs. There are some perks that come with owning an E-Bike which are universal: you’ll be able to pedal with assistance no matter which class you choose, for example.
However, some classes of e-bikes are allowed in certain locations, like hiking trails, while others are not. You may also have sizing or strength needs that only certain types of E-Bikes can handle. With that in mind, I’ve provided a list of questions to ask yourself before purchasing an E-Bike, which can help you assess your own situation.
What will you be using the E-Bike For?
Of course, you’ll be riding your E-Bike, but where you’ll be riding it and what it might be used for are very important considerations when picking a Class to purchase!
As we’ll see below, if you’re planning on using a powerful E-Bike for mountain trails, you’ll want to know the area regulations as well as which class is best. Though Class Three E-Bikes are capable of climbing steep or difficult inclines, they aren’t often allowed on most standard hiking trails. For this reason, mountain bikers tend to purchase Class Two E-Bikes for nature rides.
On the other hand, if you plan on using your E-Bike for running errands, you’ll definitely want to lean toward the Class Three E-Bike. This is because Class Three is capable of keeping up with automobile traffic on main roads and has a higher threshold for heavy loads.
For these reasons, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re most likely to be using an E-Bike for before you purchase it. A good general guide may be:
|Excellent for beginners, neighborhood rides, casual riding, and accessible bike trails of around 20 miles in length.
|A good choice for more strenuous bike trails and longer ride times.
|The best E-Bike for running errands, carrying heavy loads, and traveling on automobile-accessible roadways.
What are the E-Bike access rules in your location?
Certain regions have their own age limits, licensing requirements, and laws when it comes to operating E-Bikes. Even inside these regions, an E-Bike’s rules may change depending on the class or means of use that you choose.
For example, in the state of South Carolina, E-Bikes of all classes are required to have a permanent label attached if they’re being used on any publicly owned roads or sidewalks. On the other hand, in North Carolina, all E-Bikes are allowed on hiking trails that post open access for regular bikes, but they must remain at a speed below 26 miles per hour.
In other places, only Class One E-Bikes are permitted on mountain biking trails, while Class Three E-Bikes are, in majority, not allowed on these trails at all.
As you can see, there are plenty of access rules and regulations for E-Bikes depending on the location and class; for this reason, make sure you look up the regulations for your specific area. A good place to start looking for this information is on the People for Bikes website.
Read Also: Ebike Laws in the United States
What size do you need?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when you’re selecting your new E-Bike is the size of the bike itself. Purchasing an electric bike can become a huge disappointment if you find your ride uncomfortable because the frame doesn’t fit you.
To avoid this, you’ll want to select a bike that has a frame that you can straddle. Note: you’re not sitting on the seat of the E-Bike: instead, the frame of the E-Bike should be between your legs while your feet are planted flat on the floor. You’re looking for about an inch or two inches of clearance between you and the top tube of the frame.
Step 3: Compare E-Bike Prices
Not every E-Bike is created equal, especially not in terms of price! Different manufacturers may include certain accessories or features that change the pricing, but in general, the class of E-Bike determines how expensive it will be.
- Class One E-Bike Price: Generally the least-expensive option due to lower energy output, Class One E-Bikes are around $1,000.
- Class Two E-Bike Price: Because of its slightly higher energy output, a Class Two E-Bike is usually a bit more than $1,000 and can even reach up to $2,000.
- Class Three E-Bike Price: By far the most expensive class of E-Bike to Purchase, Class Three bikes can reach even higher than $3,000 in price. Remember, you’re getting greater carrying power, higher speed, and more durability in a Class Three.
You can also find E-Bikes that are cheaper than $1,000 at the local department or electronic stores. Though these are generally more affordable for the everyday ride, online reviews reveal that these bikes do not often last as long as their more expensive competitors and require more maintenance.
In conclusion, the best way to choose the perfect E-Bike for your needs is first to understand what an E-Bike and is. Class One E-Bikes and Class Two E-Bikes are very similar, capable of assisting acceleration during pedaling, and allowed access to most hiking trails. Class Three E-Bikes are more expensive but more all-around powerful.
Once you understand the Classes and differences in E-Bike models, compare these features to your own situation. What size bike do you need, how are you most likely to use it, and what are the regulations for E-Bikes in your area? When all of these questions are answered, you can select the E-Bike that best suits your budget and your overall needs!