Electric Bikes: The important questions to ask before buying
Electric bikes are becoming a world wide phenomenon, now being sold at bike shops, big box stores, and on numerous online websites. Regardless of where you end up purchasing your electric bike from, there are some questions you should ask prior to your selection.
How powerful is the motor?
Most electric bike motors fall somewhere in the range of 250-500 watts, with some even going up to 750 watts. In general, if you’re riding in an area that doesn’t have many steep hills (over 25° incline), a 250 watt motor should be more than enough to give you a great riding experience. If you do plan on riding up steep hills, a motor of 350 watts or better will give you that extra torque you need. The Crosstown is a great example of a bike with 350 watts to help conquer steeper hills.
What type of electric assistance does the bike provide?
Electric Bikes can operate in pedal assist mode and full throttle mode. When riding in pedal assist most, an onboard computer activates the motor when the pedals are turning, to assist the rider. This makes it easier to pedal up hills and against the wind or to go faster on flat ground. When using throttle mode on an electric bike, no pedaling is required. Most electric bikes operate in both pedal assist and throttle modes, like our Metro XT, Off-Roader, and Trailblazer iBikes. However, our Crosstown and Mountaineer iBike’s are pedal assist only. Click here for an in depth breakdown of throttle vs pedal assist.
What is the bike’s maximum speed?
For the most part, the maximum speed an electric bike can legally go, with motor assistance, is 20mph. Most consumers find 20mph to be the most convenient and helpful in allowing them to run errands, complete their commute, or to go from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What type of battery does the e-bike come with?
Currently, lithium batteries are the lightest, most-efficient batteries to use on electric bikes, so be sure the e-bike you’re looking at uses a high-quality rechargeable lithium battery.
What is the battery’s range?
Many factors can effect the range of the electric bike such as consistently riding full throttle at max speed, going up numerous hills, or even the terrain you are riding on. With our bike you can reach 35 miles on a single charge, which is convenient when traveling multiple places with short distances, as you do not have to worry about recharging your battery along the way.
What kind of warranty does the e-bike come with?
One of the great things about electric bikes is that most repairs can be done quite easily at a local bike shop, as electric bikes mimic regular bicycles and use many of the same parts. However, e-bikes do have some unique components and it’s a good idea to buy from a company that stands behind their product. Our Genesis products come with a comprehensive 6 month warranty, just in case anything does go wrong.
What other post-purchase support does the e-bike include?
You will want to look for a company that offers extensive post purchase customer service. Before investing in your e-bike you should have a sense of comfort in the kind of post purchase support the retailer provides. We suggest calling or emailing the company prior to purchase to see the type of response you receive.
Electric bikes have proven to be an incredibly efficient, convenient and fun vehicle for leisure rides, daily commutes and weekly errands. With the wide array of purchasing options currently available, it’s important to know how to navigate the ever-expanding e-bike marketplace. By using the questions above to guide the conversations you have with e-bike retailers, you put yourself well on the road to finding the perfect electric bike. You can check out our electric bikes here!