There are many reasons why you should work out and exercise. Cycling is an excellent way to stay in shape, and it reduces your level of anxiety since you get to enjoy the views as you’re pedaling on your bike. At the same time, it’s a fun and green way of commuting that can get you around quickly.
But times have changed, and instead of the ordinary bike, you can use the benefits of the new technologies. So what is an e-bike? Are e-bikes worth it?
Keep on reading to find out.
What is an E-bike?
An e-bike or an electric bike is just like an ordinary bike but comes with a built-in motor that does the job on your behalf. It has a frame and a seat that you can sit on and two pedals that you can use to drive the bike forward. But most importantly, there’s a motor connected to a battery that drives the e-bike with or without cycling.
E-bikes are quite popular because they’re more versatile than the ordinary ones. They’re also becoming more desirable because they are faster and easier to control, even if you aren’t fit enough to ride a regular bike. However, these bikes aren’t designed to replace ordinary bikes that still have their fans. They just represent a practical solution for those who want to enjoy a bike ride with no sweating.
In Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, e-bikes are becoming extremely popular as they make commuting more manageable in shorter and longer distances. Although the US market is still a little behind Europe, Americans are currently picking up and are more understanding of the amazing benefits of these great bikes.
Types of E-bikes
If you’re thinking about buying an electric bike, there are a few things that you need to understand. E-bikes come in several models and types depending on the overall design and pedaling mechanism, the motor configuration, and the battery. Each type is designed to meet the needs of a specific group of customers.
According to the pedaling mechanism, there are three types of e-bikes; pedal-assist or pedelec, throttle, or speed pedelec.
Pedal-assist e-bikes are the most common in Europe because they can be easily configured based on your requirements. As you ride this e-bike, you can pedal as much as you want to, and the electric motor will give you some extra help, especially on steep roads. The motor can also help you ride a little faster without exerting more effort.
In Europe, pedal-assist e-bikes are configured so the motor can’t exceed the maximum speed of 15 miles per hour or 25 kilometers per hour, while in the US, the motor is set up so the e-bike won’t exceed a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.
Any person who knows how to ride a regular bike will be able to ride an e-bike easily. No license or helmet is needed to use this e-bike, as long as the motor power doesn’t exceed 250 watts.
This e-bike functions just like a motorbike scooter, so with no cycling, the motor will push the e-bike forward according to the preset speed. The power provided to the motor depends on how far the throttle is pushed, so it’s the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy their bike rides with no physical effort.
However, European countries prohibit the use of these e-bikes as the law states that the throttle should be activated only when the pedals are used. However, in the US and China, these e-bikes are quite common because they’re effortless to ride around.
Speed pedelec e-bikes are similar to pedal-assist e-bikes. They allow the rider to pedal, and the installed motor can increase the speed when desired.
However, these e-bikes are designed to pedal faster, reaching a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour. As a result, in most countries, they’re treated as vehicles, and they require a special license.
Each electric bike has a motor that drives it forward, lessening or eliminating the effort of pedaling. According to the location of the motor, e-bikes can be divided into three types; a front hub motor, a rear hub motor, and a mid-drive motor.
Front Hub Motor
This is the most straightforward design, and people usually prefer this in e-bike conversion kits. Front hub motor e-bikes have the motor installed to the front of the frame, and it’s more common in throttle e-bikes because there’s no input from the rider. In some cases, these e-bikes will be less balanced, especially on steep trails, because the weight isn’t properly balanced.
Rear Hub Motor
Rear hub motor e-bikes are the most common and can be present in pedelec and throttle models. This configuration is quite affordable and easy to install. However, some riders might feel that most of the weight is centered at the back of the bike frame, so the bike will be more difficult to control.
There are two types of rear hub motors, the direct drive, and the geared hub. The direct drive is suitable for leisure, most commutes, and flat trails. It can also work on hills that aren’t too steep. Geared hub motors are ideal for challenging trails and steep hills. This motor will work even when the battery is starting to run low.
In this e-bike system, the motor is placed right in the middle of the bike frame and is activated by pedaling. As a result, it can only be found in pedelec e-bikes. Since it’s located in the middle, the weight will be distributed more evenly, allowing you to control the bike easily.
In most cases, there will be a torque sensor that measures the input of the rider and adjusts the power of the motor accordingly. These e-bikes are more comfortable to control and provide riders with a fluid and comfortable riding and pedaling experience.
Mid-drive motors are usually lighter and more practical. However, these motors are more expensive.
E-bikes need an electric power source to push the motor to work, so it can drive the bike forward, with or without pedaling. This is why batteries are always improving to provide bikers with the most comfortable experience.
Most of the batteries used are lithium-ion batteries, and in most cases, you can commute to your desired destination on a single charge. Some e-bikes also use sealed lead-acid batteries that are less expensive. However, these batteries run out of charge faster and have short lives. The size and the power of the battery will greatly affect how functional and practical your e-bike will be.
Rack Mount Battery
In this setup, the battery is placed right above the rear wheel and under the rack. Since the rack can also be used for storage, this will put more weight on the bike’s rear, affecting its balance. It also makes cornering the e-bike and moving it by hand more challenging.
Down Tube Battery
Here, the battery is mounted on the tube that goes from the front to the crank area. As a result, the weight of the battery is located at the bottom of the e-bike frame, which improves handling and maneuvering. Combined with a mid-drive motor, this will probably be the most convenient setup.
Which E-bike Will Work Best for You?
With these multiple setups and configurations, e-bikes come in several categories to suit every lifestyle. You should think about why you want to buy an e-bike, and you’ll be able to find a model that fits your needs. Here the most common categories that you can choose from.
This electric bike will work for you if you’re looking for maximum control and comfort. An occasional rider or someone who wishes to go on short commutes will find this e-bike extremely practical and comfortable.
Cruiser e-bikes have comfortable saddles to allow you to sit comfortably for a longer period. It’s also an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t want to stress their joints on longer commutes or while exercising their muscles. Most cruiser bikes have a step-through frame that allows for easy on and off, without having to lift your leg high up. They will work for older folks and people with some mobility issues.
Also known as a hybrid e-bike, this will be the right choice for someone who wants to travel for a long distance at high speed. You can choose this e-bike if you want one for running errands and commuting to work. Some commuter e-bikes can go as fast as 28 miles per hour, so it’s a good alternative for a car.
Since a commuter e-bike is not necessarily designed for leisure, it usually comes with a rack where you can carry your groceries, school bag, or laptop. There might also be an integrated light system to help you ride the bike at night.
Just like a regular mountain bike, this one will be the perfect choice for challenging trails. The low position of the battery and the motor will give this e-bike more stability while ascending or descending. At the same time, you’ll have more stability as you pedal. Using this e-bike, climbing a steep hill will be an effortless task.
Are E-bikes Worth it?
Now that you understand the differences between the various types of e-bikes, you’re probably asking yourself: are e-bikes worth it? Should I get one?
E-bikes represent a green transportation option that allows people to travel much faster than the speed at which they would normally cycle. At the same time, you can still exert some effort and stay in shape as you commute conveniently and comfortably.
However, compared to regular bikes, e-bikes are more expensive. They also require more maintenance compared to a standard bike that only needs the power of your muscles. So, do they actually provide more benefits? Here are the benefits of e-bikes.
The installed motor will give you a boost, even if you’re still pedaling, as it will help push the e-bike forward. An electric bike will reduce the stress on your hips, knees, and low-back, and you won’t feel tired even if you travel for a longer distance.
Moreover, an e-bike will enable you to climb steep hills easily. You won’t have to exert too much effort to climb a hill because the motor will push you forward. It will also give you more stability and control on challenging trails.
For these reasons, people who suffer from injuries, elderly people, and overweight people can benefit from riding an e-bike that can help them exercise without straining their joints. An e-bike will also work for someone who commutes long distances daily because it will make your ride fun and pain-free.
If you’re buying an e-bike to commute to work or school, you’ll appreciate how fast this e-bike can go without the extra effort. It’s a great choice if you’re living in the city because an e-bike will be easier to park than a car and also more affordable.
However, the motor is designed to stop once the e-bike reaches the maximum speed of 28 miles per hour. You can also control the amount of help you get from the motor, so you can pedal if you want to or get a little help on long commutes.
Although you’re getting help from the motor, riding an e-bike is still a form of exercise. When you ride an e-bike, you’ll be able to work your muscles and burn some calories without putting too much pressure on your joints, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.
Riding an e-bike is an excellent way to release stress and clear your mind. It’s extremely good for your mental and physical health because you’ll enjoy the fresh air while exercising your muscles without straining them. You can choose to engage the motor or discard it completely, depending on your ride’s length and the nature of the trail.
An e-bike is more expensive than a regular bike because you’ll pay for the battery and the motor. However, if you’re currently trying to cut down costs, it will be more affordable than paying for your car’s gas.
The initial cost of buying an e-bike is a fraction of the cost of purchasing a reliable car. Moreover, the running costs are virtually non-existent.
You simply need to recharge the battery whenever it runs out and maintain the motor occasionally to keep the e-bike running properly. Most batteries are designed to run between 18 and 50 miles, depending on the level of assist and the speed of your e-bike. With a car, you will have to regularly fill the gas tank, check and refill the oil, and make sure that all the motor parts are working the way they should.
E-bikes use clean energy, so they represent the future of commuting. Using e-bikes will have a positive impact on the air quality, lowering the levels of air pollution that affect our health negatively.
Compared to motorcycles and cars, e-bikes emit lower pollution levels per mile, so they will eventually become essential if you want to control the risks of global warming and climate change. This is why Asian and European countries are considering e-bikes as a sustainable means of transportation.
How Much Are E-bikes?
E-bikes come in several models, so you can find models that cost as low as $600 or as high as $8000. However, the most common price for e-bikes is between $1500 and $4000. These are good e-bikes designed to handle regular use and won’t malfunction while you’re enjoying your ride.
The reason why e-bikes cost more than regular bikes is that they have motors and batteries to assist with pedaling. However, just like regular bikes, you get what you pay for. This is why you shouldn’t go cheap to make sure that your e-bike will function the way it should on the most challenging trails.
More expensive e-bikes are classified as mountain e-bikes because they will go at a higher speed than that set by the law. As a result, you’ll need a special license to ride this e-bike. E-bikes that cost less than $1000 usually feature flimsy parts, so they won’t last for long. These e-bikes are suitable for shorter and less frequent commutes.
If your e-bike doesn’t come with a battery, you’ll also shop for one of the high-quality models on the market. Top-tier battery suppliers offer different battery models that cost between $300 and $400. These batteries are less expensive than custom-made batteries that are made by your e-bike manufacturer. However, you need to make sure that the battery is compatible with the motor to avoid any issues.
The cost of recharging the battery depends on the capacity of the battery measured in kilowatts per hour. Even a battery with a high-capacity of 1000 kilowatts per hour would still cost less than $1 to be fully recharged.
To help the battery last longer, you shouldn’t wait until it reaches zero capacity before recharging it. You can try to recharge it after every commute to make sure that it’s ready for your next trip.
Should I Get an E-bike?
If you like riding bikes, you should definitely consider buying an e-bike. It’s a comfortable upgrade from a regular bike that allows you to cycle for longer distances and at higher speeds without straining your muscles.
It’s an excellent way to stay in shape and enjoy the fresh air with the help of the mounted motor and battery. Since there are several e-bike models and configurations, you’ll definitely find a model that works for you.
E-bikes represent the future of commuting as they represent a convenient and green option. There are several models and setups available, so you can easily find one that works for you.
Although e-bikes cost more than regular bikes, they’re totally worth the price. The initial cost of buying an e-bike is higher, but the recharging cost is nothing compared to the cost of refilling a car with gas. Moreover, the e-bike will help you stay in shape without straining your muscles, as you can control the level of paddle assist.