Best Electric Bike Reviews & Buying Guides for 2019
We have taken the time to create the best electric bike reviews to help you choose an e-bike either for every day commute, hauling luggage or mountain biking. Electric bikes have grown in popularity in recent years as riders appreciate the power boost provided by the bikes.
Electric bikes provide an easier way to get around, while offering the combination of a regular riding experience and an increased pedaling power.
Which Electric Bike Should I Buy?
Here are some aspect to consider:
- Define what bike you want to buy (mountain electric bike, city-commuter electric bike, hybrid electric bike or a folding electric bike).
- Find and read reviews (such as the ones we provide) about the brand that you want to buy. There are a lot of brands that provide high quality bikes but it doesn’t mean that you will feel comfortable with the product.
- While reading electric bike reviews, also check people comments with 3 stars, therefore you can see its limitations and find the top rated electric bikes.
- Shop from reliable providers such as Amazon so that you can find the best value electric bike.
The increased interest in electric bikes has led to an availability of a wide range of brands. Our unbiased electric bike reviews on multiple brands will come in handy to help you choose high quality e-bicycles for convenient rides.
What to Consider when Buying an Electric Bike
Before you commit to buy your first e-bicycle, there a very important aspects that you need to have in mind before rolling into this world.
There are always laws that govern the use of electric bikes in different countries. Basic laws require that all electric bikes be used only on motorized trails.
The idea behind this law is to prevent accidents that may be occasioned by the capacity of electric bikes to cruise on higher speed than standard bikes. Except for S-Pedelecs, for which you are required to have a license, insurance and a protective helmet, all other electric bikes can be cycled without a license and insurance.
Keep in ind that your electric bike must meet all the requirements for speed, motor power and sometimes (depending on you local laws), weight of the bike.
Value for Money
Electric bikes are not cheap and thus, you need to ensure that you get best value for money. Part of the value would include a durable bike, efficient battery and a quality motor.
The size of the battery will determine how much power your bike will have. If you want greater power, you need to look for a bike with a bigger battery. In addition, consider the autonomy of the battery depending on how much assistance you require.
On average, lithium batteries can last up to 100 miles (160 km) after which, you will need to recharge. Some batteries can go longer, but the greater the capacity of your bike considering various aspects that will include battery life, the more expensive the electric bike will be.
Long Term Purpose
Electric bikes are obviously expensive but they help save commuter costs in the long term. If an electric bike is going to set you back a few thousand dollars, it is only wise that you make the purchase with the intention of using it regularly. Choosing to leave your car behind in favor of the electric bike will have you saving a lot of money in the long term.
Likewise, a warranty is a must-have for a great investment as an electric bike. Keeping in mind the various components of the bike such as the battery, motor, frame, tires, an average of two years warranty would be most ideal.
Besides the warranty on your bike, you must also ensure that any parts you buy to replace on your bike also have a warranty.
There are electric bikes for different types of topography. Before purchasing the bike, you should evaluate your needs to help you get a bike that will be ideal for the topography you intend to use it on. You can get electric bikes for everyday commuter cruising, long distance rides, mountain biking, cargo bikes and hill climbing.
The various terrains require electric bikes with varying power and you need to get just the right bike for your particular scenario.
An electric bike is always going to be heavier than a standard bike. As you shop for your bike, try lifting it up to feel its weight and determine if you can handle it. A heavier bike will be cumbersome especially at maximum speed when the battery cuts out.
Testing the e-bicycle before making a final commitment to buy is one of the most important steps. No matter what the electric bike reviews you have read say, the ultimate goal is for you to feel comfortable riding the bike and to see if it meets your functionality requirements.
Only then should you go ahead to buy the bike.
Some bike shop could be willing to provide for a test drive, but this could not always happen. If you have a friend that is already in the world of e-bikes, then just ask and give it a go.
Brushed or Brushless DC Motor
In the old days, the first electric bikes were built with brushed motors. This class of motor has a set of wire coils that is generally know as the armature, which basically is a 2 pole electromagnet. As the brush contacts the rotating parts of the motor (commutator, which basically transfer the electrical current to the armature), the commutator get worn out, reducing the life time of the motor.
The contact between the commutator and the brushes can create sparks and a lot of noise, also reducing the efficiency of your rides.
Changes have been made to the e-bike motors, introducing a brushless design. In this case, the coils are connected to the battery and consequently, there is an electromagnetic field generate. This causes the 2 static magnetic poles to rotate has the electricity reaches each coil phase.
Brushless DC motors have longer lifetime and more efficiency than brushed DC motors. If you want to learn more about e-bike motors, check our guide.
Common Errors Committed by E-Bike Buyers
Lets be honest. E-bikes are becoming more attractive than standard bikes as manufactures are creating very sexy designs. This means, we act based on what is coming through our eyes and not what the real benefits are provided.
As part of our commitment to uncover the reality about e-bikes, here are the most common mistakes that buyers are making.
Many options but Not all the Same
The popularity of electric bikes has created room for a large number of brands offering various kinds of electric bicycles. The first mistake that e-bike buyers make is to assume that all electric bikes are the same. However, different bikes have different specifications depending on where they are intended to be used.
If you want to experience a great performing e-bike, go out and look for the ideal bike for the terrain you intend to use it on.
Another significant mistake is not paying attention to detail on the capacity of the bike’s accessories like the battery power. You need to pay attention to the level of efficiency and power boost that the bike’s battery has. Consequently, you can make your decision based on the bike’s ability to meet the level of power you require.
Price Vs Quality
As with most things, price and quality are always a challenging consideration for electric bikes. One mistake to avoid is compromising on quality because of price. E-bikes are expensive and the higher their quality and performance level, the more expensive they are.
If you wish to get a good quality, high-performance electric bike, be prepared to spend a hefty amount on it.
Many cyclists will purchase their electric bike and use it year in, year out without any form of maintenance. This is a huge mistake because maintenance ensures that your bike keeps performing at optimum level even years after you bought it.
Besides, do not make the mistake of carelessly storing your bike when not in use. It may look sturdy with water proof qualities but you still need to store it properly to prevent any unwarranted damage.
Buying from the wrong Dealers
It is a common mistake when you go online, read electric bike reviews and then buy a product from the first dealer that pops up. You should ascertain that the dealer you are buying from sells high quality products (like Amazon) and upholds warranty-related issues efficiently. They should also be capable of performing maintenance services.
Testing your Ride
Buying an electric bicycle online when you have not assessed it up close is another mistake. It is very important to check on e-bike reviews (like the ones we provide), specially when you need a ride that meets your functionality requirements but the question is; how does it feel when you ride it?
You will find better deals online but assessing the e-bike in person helps you to feel its weight and to determine whether you feel comfortable riding it. Just go an check on a local bicycle delaer and feel the connection. Only then should you decide to buy online.
Local Regulations / Laws
Lastly, e-bike buyers forget that there are local laws that govern the use of these bikes. Every electric bike must meet the requirements of the area within which, you will use it.
Specific considerations include:
- speed limit.
- maximum motor power allowed.
- the weight of the bike.
- Adhere to the requirements of a license and,
- Possible insurance and protective gear.
What is an e-bike?
Electric bicycles have a battery-powered electric motor that provides significant assistance to the rider. For some electric bikes, the motor is switched on the moment you start to pedal and you get the boost you need. The faster you pedal, the greater the power output you will get.
True to most electric bike reviews, they give you the experience of a normal ride but you are able to go faster and for longer without the usual tiring and sweating as with a standard bike. The rider is entirely in control of their speed but with greater and easier acceleration.
Some electric bikes come with a throttle attached to the handle bar, which activates the motor through a switch button. The power of the bike, in this case, is not dependent on pedaling. If you are just beginning to explore bikes, this could be a great choice for you because you do not need much cycling experience for such an e-bike.
E-bikes always come with a speed limit of 15mph (24 km/h), beyond which the battery cannot provide more acceleration. However, you can go faster with your bike by pedaling.
You also always have the option of turning off the battery and pedaling your e-bike just like a standard bike.
Classification of E-Bikes
Most electric bike reviews use words such as pedal assist and throttle to describe the type of electric bike. If you are new to electric bikes, these terms may be confusing. Here, we break it down as follow:
1. Pedelecs or Pedal Assist:
Pedelecs are also known as pedal assist, referring to electric bikes that require pedaling. The motor is activated when the rider starts pedaling and offers a power boost to make cycling easier.
For power assist bikes, it is the rider who determines the cycling speed by how fast or slowly they pedal.
The faster you pedal, the greater the power boost you will get.
The motor automatically goes off when:
- you stop pedaling,
- when you engage the brakes or,
- when you reach the speed limit of 15 mph (24 km/h).
Pedal assisted bikes also give you control over how much assistance you want. The bikes come with a console located on the handlebars that lets you adjust the bike’s level of assistance, which can be zero to maximum.
Pedal assist electric bikes have a speed limit that has been set as a safety measure. Countries around the world have established regulations that electric bike manufacturers and riders must follow. The speed limit for electric bikes is 15 mph (24 km/h), after which the battery cuts out.
This e-bike class are high speed bikes with a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).
Riders are required to observe greater caution when using S-Pedelecs because the higher the speed limit, the greater danger the bikes pose on riders and other road users.
To ride a class S-Pedelec e-bike, you will probably need insurance, driving license and a helmet. Your bike must also be in great condition with a working braking system, lighting and signaling, rear view mirrors and tyres that are in good condition.
Due to the high speed capacity of the S-Pedelecs, riders are required to ride on the road and not cycle paths to minimize danger to others.
3. Power-on-demand & Pedal Assist:
These are electric bikes that are fitted with a motor but whose function is independent of pedaling. The rider can decide to use motor power entirely without pedaling or use the bike’s throttle as you pedal, to get a power boost.
Some throttles are controlled by switching on and off, providing the bike with a uniform speed. There are also throttles that you can twist and hold to determine the speed of your bike.
4. Power on Demand Only:
These bikes are fitted with a motor and throttle that allows you to control the power of the bike. You can cruise by motor power without pedaling, all you have to do is turn on the throttle and off you go.
Generally, this class of ebikes are regulated and classified similarly as a motorbike (but with its limitations), therefore are not so popular.
Advantages of Electric Bikes
Electric bikes have the advantage of being suitable for all people including the young, middle aged and elderly. Even overweight individuals, who would otherwise find it difficult to ride a standard bike.
- Longer Distances, less Sweat
The power boost provided by electric bikes whether Pedelecs or Power-on-demand only works to the advantage of any cyclist because you can cycle longer distances without getting as tired or sweaty.
- You can get Fit on an Electric Bike
The good news is that electric bikes will still allow you to keep fit by pedaling while also, taking a break by using the electric motor.
Electric bikes give you greater control of your riding experience in any terrain. They are more fun because of the ease of cycling, which translates to more hours of cycling for most people. As a result, the increased interest and use of electric bikes to move around means that they get regular exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.
The initial cost of electric bikes is much higher than standard bikes, but in the long run they tend to be more cost-effective. Compared to the use of fuel-powered vehicles, electric bikes will have you saving more money eventually.
- Green House Gases
Our electric bike reviews on environmental impact is that they are friendly because they do not produce any harmful emissions into the environment. Using electric bikes in place of cars would go a long way in controlling environmental pollution.
- Carrying Stuff for your Adventures
Using a conventional bicycle will probably keep you limited on the stuff that you would like to carry. In addition, it could probably not get you too far to your final destination (such as hidden lakes or placed to enjoy some fishing time (find awesome fishing information at McFly Fishers).
This can be solved by buying the right electric bike, which off course, has to have the right carry attachments to include what you need.
Disadvantages of Electric Bikes
Unfortunately, good thing also come with some disadvantages.
The best electric bikes in the market are, unfortunately, a bit expensive. Based on what we reviewed, prices can range from $1,500 to over $5,000. However, this is like when you compare any affordable vehicle against the high performance cars (like Audi, which also is manufacturing e-bikes, wow tempting).
This last one, ensures high performance and reliability and so the most expensive e-bikes.
Keep in mind the cost-effective facts of your electric bicycle.
Although, the bike provides the power needed to carry any weight, another disadvantage of the bikes is that they are much heavier than standard bikes. The battery contributes to weight of the bike. Although the motor provides a boost during cycling, you will feel the weight when the motor reaches maximum speed and the battery cuts out and you have to propel the bike by cycling.
Electric bikes may contribute to environmental pollution in their own way. The manner in which, the batteries are manufactured and disposed as well as the source of energy used to power the bikes, has potential to contribute to environmental pollution.
Always ensure that you contact the battery manufacturer to correctly dispose hazardous wastes.
At the same time, the battery used to power the bikes might be an inconvenience when they don’t last as long as you may desire. Lithium batteries can go up to 100 miles (160 km) when you have to charge them. Battery life will depend on the size or capacity of your battery as well as the amount of power the motor is using.
Not yet enough Electric Bike Reviews
As explained before, the high demand and popularity of e-cycles in different countries has opened the possibilities of flooding the market. This is great for other small brands that want to succeed in the market but at the same time, this means that available reviews would be limited to few products.
Still, people is getting use to the change and just a few can provide real value electric bike reviews to other potential customers. Hopefully, we can cover a review to clarify your thoughts and provide the right tools for you to take the decision to buy an electric cycle.
If you want us to make a review on a specific e-bike, contact us and we will do our best to provide you answers.
Summary on Our Electric Bike Reviews
Electric bikes provide a highly efficient way to ride for every day commute or for adventurous experiences such as mountain biking. These bikes continue to grow in popularity as more people embrace the easier and fun way of cycling.
E-bikes are certainly superior to standard bikes as riders are able to move around easily as they also stay healthy through cycling.
Our electric bike reviews are intended to enlighten you on the qualities and benefits of e-bikes as well as help you buy the most suitable electric bike for your needs.