Urban E-Bikes Buyer’s Guide
The electric bike market is thriving and no one can stop that!
People are finally starting to see the benefits and the fun of enjoying an electric bike, so naturally the range of options is steadily growing.
But how do you navigate through the jungle of products, different models, constant new releases and special offers to find the model that suits your personal riding style best?
We’re here to help you with that decision.
We’ve created a buyers guide to help you make the right decision.
We’ll explain some essential basics that you should know about electric bikes in general, give you a few tips on how to find the right bike for you and we’ll go through all the types of bikes out there.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor to help you along - You ride it much like you ride a normal bicycle, but with less effort.
The motor only kicks in when the rider is pedaling and the amount of support can be adjusted in different modes.
E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and the lighter ones can travel up to 25 to 32 km/h (16 to 20 mph), depending on local laws, while the more high-powered varieties can often do more than 45 km/h (28 mph)
An e-bike motor works by automatically switching on the (quiet) motor when you pedal. There are two different types of motor: motors that are in the wheel hub, and motors that are in the crank. Both types have their pros and cons - it all depends on the type of riding you're planning on doing.
As a rule, crank motors provide a more authentic bicycle experience. This is because the motor senses how much power you are putting into the pedals (using a torque sensor), and responds proportionally (that is, the harder you pedal, the more the motor helps you). This makes you feel like you have extra strong legs! Crank motors tend to be more responsive than wheel hub motors, and allow the bicycle to roll more freely without the additional drag of a motor in the hub. Wheel hub motors offer a simpler design. Most wheel hub motors do not sense how much power you are making with your legs, so they will generally be either ‘on’ or ‘off.
Electric bikes are divided into 3 classes:
Class 1 - Pedal assist only
Class 2 - Throttle assist (Max. speed is 20MPH)
Class 3 - Pedal assist only (Max. speed is 28MPH)
What types of electric bikes are out there?
City e-bikes are made to be more efficient and to ride across miles of cement, while avoiding traffic without getting all sweaty.
Electric City Bikes are made for the urban environment. They are built like a hybrid road bike to be comfortable yet efficient. Slice through your city streets in style.
Made for riders who often pedal for 10-20 miles per day or more to work and back and joy ride on the weekends. On a regular bicycle, this amount of riding can be exhausting, but on an e-bike, it's super fun. They are known as electric hybrid bicycles because they are made with the wheels of a road bike and the handlebars of a mountain bike for comfort and maneuverability.
Electric city bikes are quickly becoming the best way to commute thanks to their obvious exercise benefits coupled with avoiding pain and over-exhaustion, plus the benefit of avoiding traffic jams.
Electric mountain bikes are built for the adrenaline junkie.
They are built to handle the roughest off-road terrain. Normally, off-road riding takes you hours and depletes your energy, but with an electric mountain bike, you can ride up hills and across many more miles of terrain without becoming tired.
It's important that you get a mountain bike that's made of high-quality components to ensure you never deal with a breakdown.
Our mountain bikes come with two main types of motors, mid-motors and rear hub motors. Rear hub motors are the most common for their all-around functionality, however, mid-motors are often preferred by off-road enthusiasts looking to get the most torque and best efficiency from their use of the e-bike.
We highly recommend getting a mid-motor and dual-suspension style eMTB if you plan to do a lot of hill climbing and off-road riding. If you plan to use the electric mountain bike as a dual-purpose bike, on-road and off-road, you can stick with a rear hub motor and hardtail version which should also save you some money as well.
There are three types of batteries you should be aware of, the seat post mounted battery, the rear rack mounted battery, and the integrated frame battery. Seat post batteries are common on the lower-priced models, whereas rear-rack mounted batteries are on the mid-level models and integrated frame batteries are more prevalent amongst the higher-priced models. Our favorite for off-road riding is the integrated frame battery as it keeps the battery contained and protected from the elements the best.
Our favorite for off-road riding is the integrated frame battery as it keeps the battery contained and protected from the elements the best. The Seatpost-mounted battery and rear rack mounted battery is great for dual-purpose riding, but these models often have their weight distributed more towards the back of the e-bike, making your turning less fluid. We highly recommend the integrated battery style for off-road use, but if you plan to commute with your eMTB, you can stick with the seat post mounted or rear rack mounted versions and save some money.
Cruise with style and speed on an Electric Cruiser Bike.
These electric bicycles are especially fun to ride because of the big soft seats and wide handlebars and the upright seating position which makes the whole beach cruising experience so easy going.
Beach cruiser electric bikes will come with a big plush and padded seat along with wide handlebars, both are provided to create a comfortable, upright riding posture and more enjoyable riding experience.
These beach cruisers can go much faster than your normal beach cruiser, though, so the riding experience will be much more thrilling.
There are some differences between Electric Cruiser Bikes and the rest of our electric bike lineup including the swept-back handlebars, the wavy-looking frame which can also be step-through for women or men with bad knees. They often include the battery mounted on the rear rack to accommodate the step-through frame, but can also include it mounted on the seat tube.
They always come with throttle-only or pedal-assist mode options and the nicer models come with multiple levels of pedal-assist. Our Electric Cruiser Bikes are perfect for any city riding, not just the beach path.
You can cruise up to 20mph on many of our models which is faster than most road bikers who ride spandex.
This can feel a little awkward at first, but after you leave them in the dust you won't be able to hide your smile!
Fat tire bikes
The Fat Tire Electric Bike revolution has begun.
Many enthusiasts are taking to the beaches and deserts to enjoy the ultimate sand buggy. These two-wheeled behemoths come with electric batteries and motors to keep you going even through the toughest of sand.
There is just one main part of Fat Tire Electric Bikes that make them different from the rest of our electric bikes - the fat tires.
These tires, usually around 4 inches wide, allow you to ride through sand, snow, mud, over any big rock, or simply over urban obstacles in your city.
Everything else about Fat Tire Electric Bikes is similar to the rest of our electric bikes like different types of motors, batteries, brakes, throttles, LCD screens, controllers, and accessories.
Trikes & Cargo bikes
Electric cargo bikes or electric cargo bicycles are e-bikes that can carry cargo like boxes or even children.
They are really convenient for people needing to haul things short distances around their city. Electric e-bikes work great for delivering packages and for hauling kids around for a leisure day out at the park.