Over the ages, humans have always had reason to move from one place to another. This is and has been one of the most important needs of humans. As a result of this, different methods of movement and transportation have been relied upon or invented in this time. This started from walking to using animals like horses and camels to vehicles, carts, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, and several other forms of transportation. In this article, we will be looking at electric bicycles; a sort of improvement to the old, well known regular bicycles. You can also read more about them here.
What Are Electric Bicycles?
E-bikes are like regular push bikes but they rely on different components; electric motors, rechargeable batteries, sensors and a display that makes operating them easy. Most retain the pedaling feature of the regular bike so they can still be used as a form of workout. This feature also makes them different from electric motorcycles.
How to Choose One
When choosing an electric bicycle, there are various things to consider. This is all dependent on your needs and budget. These factors include the motor power which may range between 200W to 1,000W. In the United States, the allowable power limit is 750W with different states setting their limits. A higher power rating means that the bicycle can pull more weight but at the expense of greater battery power consumption. The motor’s location and design can also be of importance so look out for the different options available. The most common is the hub motor.
Another factor you should consider is the battery. This component affects the style, weight and the bicycle’s range so making a good choice is important. There are two major types of batteries; the sealed Lead Acid (SLA) and the lithium which can either be ion, polymer or manganese.
The SLA is an older technology used in older electric bicycles. It is less expensive but has the disadvantages of being heavier, having a shorter riding range and shorter life span. It also requires a lot of maintenance as compared to the lithium battery range. The lithium batteries are lighter with longer riding ranges and longer life spans but are more expensive.
The controller is yet another factor to look at when purchasing an e-bike. It is what enables you to operate the bike’s electric assistant. Controllers can either be pedal-activated or throttle based. The pedal-activated option enables the electric assistance once the pedal is stepped on without a need for a throttle. This can be controlled with the controller located on the handlebar. The throttle version requires a thumb press or twist-grip of the throttle, depending on the design, to get electric assistance. You can get a more detailed explanation from the guide here: https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/10/20904414/electric-bikes-ebike-guide-rideables-battery-how-to-buy-price.
Considering these three factors will help you to decide the one that is best for you.
Some Affordable Electric Bicycles
As a form of a guide, below are some of the most affordable and best e-bikes available.
Although this bicycle is not in the less than $1000 range, it is still affordable even at it slightly higher price. It provides for a comfortable ride and can get to up to 40km/h or 25mph which is quite fast. It features a lithium LG battery of 48V and a 500W motor. It can cover a distance of between 40-80km based on either pedal or throttle assist.
Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike
This bike comes with a motor rating of 250W. It requires minimal pedaling when going up a hill and can get up to speeds of between 18-25mph depending on whether you are using the motor or pedal. It also comes with a 36V, 8Ah lithium-ion battery that looks like a thermos and can cover a distance of up to 30 miles. Weighing a total of about 45lbs and having LED headlamps and horns, it is one you should consider if you are looking for a best value electric bike to buy.
Propella V3.2 Single Speed
This beautiful e-bike is comfortable and easy to ride. Although it does not come with a throttle, meaning you need to pedal, it comes with a pedal-assist that makes that easy and can help you reach speeds of up to 18mph. This bicycle comes with a 250W motor and features a 36V 7Ah battery with the capacity to cover a distance of between 32 to 72km, depending on the pedal assist level.
Note, this bike comes in two models; the single-speed, which costs less than $1000 and is what we have considered, and the seven-speed version which is pricier.
Schwinn EC1 Electric Bicycle
The Schwinn is a simple and reliable e-bike. It has a 250W rear hub motor reaching speeds of up to 32km/h or 20mph when you use pedal assist. With its 36V battery, you can drive for up to 51km on a single charge. It also has other features like LED display for the battery, front and rear mechanical brakes for safety and a 7-speed shifter. This bicycle comes with a 2-year warranty on its battery and parts for electric assists.
Do not forget; the most important features of an electric bicycle are the motor, battery, and controller which will determine its speed and distance it can cover. Based on these factors, you can then choose the model that offers features that meets your personal needs perfectly and also provides maximum comfort and ease of use.