E-Bike Selection Guide
Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular not only for cyclists but also for leisure seekers, commuters and delivery services. With so many options available and different types of electric bikes on the market the question is, which bike is right for you? Consider some of the pointers below before buying your E-Bike.
Firstly you need to consider what style of bike you are looking for. Types of E-Bikes range from Step Through bikes with a classic design, crossbar versions, mountain bikes or the ever more popular folding bikes. Then there are other considerations like hybrids which can be used on or off road. Wheel size can also be an important factor with a smoother ride on a larger sized wheel. Generally a 26” or 24” wheel will be better for off-road than a 28” wheeled bike which would be better on the road depending on the width and tread of the tyre. The step through bikes are easier to mount and better for road use where an Electric Mountain bike (E-MTB’s) is perfect for more challenging terrain off the road or trailing. Folding E-Bikes have the obvious advantage of saving space when storing or transporting.
Depending on the terrain, riders weight and weather related conditions, the ampere rating (AH) or watt hour rating (WH) will determine the distance your new E-bike can travel on a charge. Below is a list of approximate distances you can get on the various batteries sizes:
10AH or 375WH Battery will give an approx. distance of 27-35 miles
16AH battery will give an approx. distance of 60 – 70 Miles
In the UK the legal limits for E-Bikes being used on the road are 15.5mph and the motors must be limited to 250w. The battery voltage is an important consideration so if you need a powerful hill climber a 36v battery and a 250w motor would be recommended.
Height 4’10’’ - 5’2’’ Frame Size 13” – 14”
Height 5’2’’ - 5’6’’ Frame Size 15” – 16”
Height 5’6’’ - 5’10’’ Frame Size 17” – 18”
Height 5’10’’ - 6’1’’ Frame Size 19” – 20”
Height 6’1’’ - 6’4’’ Frame Size 21” – 22”
There are two main drive systems with electric bikes, either central crank drive or hub drive systems.
A crank driven motor is located in the middle of the bike frame and propels the bike through the chain with the use of the rear wheel gears. This is a highly efficient system because it can increase its own torque and allows the bike to climb up very steep hills. These crank driven bikes are known as pedelec bikes meaning it will only work when the rider is pedalling by rotating the cranks. Being equipped with a torque sensor, they are more intuitive than hub driven motors because they recognizes when the rider is putting effort on the cranks. The more the rider puts effort on the crank, the more power is supplied by the motor and the faster the bike goes. There are various Crank drive systems available and the ones to look out for are Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano and Panasonic.
With a hub driven systems the motor is located in the hub which propels the wheel independently from the bike chain or cassette. Hub motor systems can be driven either by pedal assist mode or via throttle control. Many models offer a selection of different levels of pedal assist modes and the power will come in based on the level set whilst pedalling. Throttle mode is a twist and go or thumb throttle which does not require the rider to pedal. This system is great for riders who do not want to worry about the need for exertion. Hub driven E-bikes are a more effortless means of cycling an electric bike.