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How to choose an electric bike

Electric bikes are getting more and more popular and for good reason. They are great for a wide range of uses and the brands making them are designing them to be very accessible and incredibly high in performance. Read more on how to choose an electric bike for yourself or head straight to our catalog and see what we've got!


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Decide why you want an e-bike

Once you decide what you hope to accomplish with an electric bike, then you can really start making more decisions that will get you closer to your goals. There are many reasons why you'd choose an electric bike to improve your life, but these are just a few suggestions:

  • Have the ability to ride more frequently, and further, while exerting less effort in the process.
  • Start your path to a car-free lifestyle which is better for your health and our planet! 
  • Find new limits on the road or mountain and take your abilities to a new level.

Settle on your preferred riding style

Electric bikes are a great option for everyone! There are models for all different kinds of riders, and once you know how and where you'll be using your e-bike most you can start narrowing down your options. Here are a few types of people that electric bikes are perfect for.

Cyclist commuting on an e-bike

E-bikes for urban commuters

Electric commuter bikes are ideal for skipping traffic and making the car-less trip to work every day. They are also perfect for exercising, flexible commuting, and cutting down on expenses.

If you're looking for an electric commuter bike, you might want to think about:

  • Whether you want racks, fenders, and integrated lights for maximum commuter benefits.
  • Whether you're looking for a speed machine or something more upright and comfortable for cruising.
  • Whether you need a removable battery for charging at the office or if you're just going out for day rides.

 

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Cyclist riding a road e-bike

E-bikes for road cyclists

When the going gets tough on your rides, an electric road bike gives you the option to power through headwinds and up the toughest of climbs. E-road bikes are ideal for extending your weekend rides, tackling tougher routes, and keeping up with just about anyone.

If you're looking for an electric road bike, you might want to think about:

  • Whether your priority is weight savings and a natural feel or all-out speed and motor power.
  • Battery type and how much range you think you'll need for your average rides.

 

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mountain biker on a mountain e-bike

E-bikes for mountain bikers

The only thing better than time on the trail with your mountain bike is more time. E-MTBs are ideal for maximizing your time on rough terrain and helping you get up steep climbs for more rides downhill.

If you're looking for an electric mountain bike, you might want to think about:

  • How aggressive the trails you ride are and how much suspension you'll really need.
  • How long your typical rides are and what type of battery/motor combo will give you the right amount of range for your style of riding.

 

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Consider the 2 different types of e-bikes

Pedal assist e-bikes

With pedal assist electric bikes, the motor is only engaged when the rider pedals. Pedal assist e-bikes typically feel more like a regular bike in the way they ride, and because of that they are the top choice for serious cyclists or those who prioritize ride quality.

Throttle e-bikes

Throttle powered electric bikes have the ability to engage the motor without having to pedal, although certain models also have pedal assist modes. Throttle e-bikes are typically less focused on maintaining a regular bike feel and more focused on comfort and efficiency.

Explore the tech options

There are a handful of things that people need to consider when purchasing an electric bike and some of them may be confusing to those who have never encountered the technology before. However, that's where our expertise comes in. Read more about what features, tech, and specs to keep an eye out for when buying an electric bike. 

Batteries

The batteries of electric bikes are one of the most important factors to consider because they can be so different bike to bike. In general, the bigger the battery capacity (i.e. more Wh), the longer the range your e-bike will have.

Here are a few other things to consider when it comes to electric bike batteries: whether it's removable, its recharge time, and its location.

Think about what features are important to you when shopping around. For instance, if you're after top performance and ride quality, having a battery/motor integrated into the downtube offers the most natural feeling ride.

Motors

When it comes to the motors of e-bikes, it's important to understand what you're getting. 

While the watts of an e-bike motor designate how much energy it can manage, it also works in conjunction with the battery size, motor position, and controller configurations to impact how the e-bike rides and feels.

Different drive systems have different speed limits. Most electric bikes from major manufacturers will stop providing assistance at 32 km per hour but there are some models that go a little faster. 

Displays & Assist Type

Some other important factors to consider when buying an e-bike are its display and assist type. 

The displays of e-bikes can be variable, especially depending on your price range as an advanced display will be more common on a more expensive bike. However, most e-bikes will feature a display that shows speed, battery level, assist level, trip distance, and odometer.

For assist types, keep an eye out for the type of e-bike class (Class 1, 2, & 3) and with that, whether the bike is pedal-assist only, throttle-assist only, or a mixture of both. At Ridley's we sell class 1 and 3 ebikes that are pedal assist.

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