E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
An electric bike (e-bike) is good exercise and lots of fun. It's also an investment in your health. The key to ensuring you get the most return on that investment is to get the right type of e-bike. There are many factors to consider, such as motor and battery size and style.
One of the most overlooked considerations is the frame. Frames come in various designs, but one of the most versatile is step-through. So what is a step-through frame, and why do you want one on your electric bike?
When bike shopping, you will likely come across two standard frame designs: step-through and step-over. The one you choose can significantly affect how often you ride the bike.
A step-over or triangle frame is a popular style. The various tubes merge near the seat to form a triangle. To mount the bike, you must swing one leg over the seat.
A step-thru frame has a lower center, so you don't have to lift your leg to get on the bike. It gets its name from the low-step or open-frame design. It is a practical option for someone with limited mobility or who wants a more comfortable ride.
Comfort is the ultimate benefit of a step-through frame, whether riding a traditional bike or an e-bike. A step-thru frame allows you to sit in a more upright position and to stand over the frame at a stop.
Also, mounting and dismounting a step-through bike is much easier. People struggle with that, even if they don't have mobility issues.
The frame design provides more balance, as well. When mounting a step-over frame, you must tilt the bike toward you to allow your leg to swing over the seat. It is easy to lose your balance while trying to manage both the bike and your leg arc. A step-through frame eliminates that problem. You can hold the bike upright and just step through the frame to mount and dismount.
If you have mobility or balance issues, a step-through bike allows you to ride again. However, if you buy a step-over frame design, chances are you will struggle, making riding less fun. That means the bike would likely collect dust in a basement or garage.
There are many differences between an electric bike and a more traditional one. The frame design isn't one of them, though. Basically, these two styles of bikes have the same frame, at least when it comes to step-through or step-over. They also are typically made of the same material, such as aluminum, steel, or an alloy.
Other features are also very similar. For example, they can have speed derailleurs or be single-speed. They can have disc brakes or the more traditional old-school coasters. They can even have accessories such as lights or baskets.
The motor and battery make an electric bike different from a standard one. Many electric bikes allow you to pedal, pedal with assistance from the motor, or not pedal at all. Riding the bike with just the throttle options is like being on a moped.
The first thing you want to look at is the frame design. Electric bikes tend to be heavier than basic bikes, which can be a factor. Also, steel frames will naturally be heavier than aluminum.
A step-through frame offers you a significant advantage on an e-bike. You worry less about balance with a step-thru frame, so the weight becomes less of an issue. Also, the low frame allows you to get on and off the bike quickly and makes stopping at lights more comfortable. So what else should you consider when buying an e-bike?
To have or have not is the question. Some electric bikes are single-speed. They can also come with derailleurs, just like a traditional bike. If you want to be able to adjust the gear, make sure the electric bicycle you buy has different gear speeds.
Ensure you get the gear set you want because upgrades are more challenging on an electric bike. Unfortunately, many designs do not accommodate upgrades for gears. If you want to be able to shift gears, anything from three to seven speeds works well. If not, go for the single-speed model like a beach cruiser.
Don't get gears confused with the pedal-assist modes, though. Gear speeds affect the tension when you pedal the bike. That is different from the pedal-assist modes. That affects the amount of assistance the motor gives you while you ride.
Often, e-bikes have varying modes, as well. For example, an e-bike that comes with three pedal-assist modes will have different levels of push with each. That means they may go faster in level two than in level one. Manufacturers usually list the speed as mph instead of a gear size like seven and tell you that they have many pedal-assist modes on the e-bike. One to five is the standard.
The weight maximum listed for each e-bike is the combination of the rider's weight and the cargo. So if you are a heavier person, you'll want a bike supporting more weight. The same is true if you plan to carry cargo on the bike, like groceries or work supplies. If you anticipate carrying heavy cargo, look for an electric bike with a high maximum weight capacity.
Of course, the motor and battery size is significant, but not as much as you think. A casual rider can do well with a smaller motor and battery. Motor determines how fast you can go on the bike. The battery size affects how far you can go between charges.
A motor will range anywhere from 200 to 750 watts of power. The higher the watts, the more weight the bike can carry and the faster it can go. An e-bike with a larger motor might accelerate faster, too.
Instead of looking at the size of the motor, look at the specs offered by the manufacturer. They will tell you how far the battery will go on a charge and how fast you can ride. That will be a better way to gauge if the e-bike meets your needs.
If you are shopping for an electric bike, your best option is to get one with a step-thru frame. It is just overall the better choice for most people. Consider four electric bikes on the market now with step-through frames and must-have features.
At the top of the list is sixthreezero's EVRYjourney model. This touring cruiser-style bike comes with either a 250W or 500W motor. As a result, the EVRYjourney offers the right mix of features for someone of any age looking to buy an electric bike.
It offers a rear hub drive motor, which is in the bike's rear drive section. The frame, besides being step-through, is also ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use.
This design includes a forward-pedaling position. That puts the pedals forward and the bike closer to the ground. That combination allows you proper leg extension as you pedal. The frame is built for someone 5 feet to six-foot-four inches tall.
The EVRYjourney has a seven-speed derailleur, so you can set the pedal tension for your confort. It also offers front and rear disc brakes for easy stops.
The 250W motor will allow you to ride from 15 to 24mph. In addition, the 250W battery that goes with it can go 15 miles on full-throttle or 15 to 30 miles on the pedal assist.
The 500W will take you from 20mph to 28mph, depending on your chosen mode. The 500W model also comes with a 500W battery that will take you 20 miles on full-throttle or up to 40 miles on pedal assist before needing to recharge.
You also have your choice of internal or external batteries. You can remove the external batteries for easy charging. The internal ones work well if you are storing the bike near an electric outlet.
Both come with either pedal assist or full-throttle modes. This e-bike can carry up to 300lbs.
Body Ease by sixthreezero is comfortable and easy to ride. The step-through frame is attached to hybrid tires, which makes the ride much more accessible. This model from sixthreezero also has a seat post-suspension system for back and hip support. It is a practical choice for the casual rider looking to get some exercise.
Other features of the Body Ease include a seven-speed derailleur and a vertical pedaling design. Vertical pedaling means your hips are directly above the pedals for added stability and better balance.
Body Ease offers a lightweight aluminum frame able to carry a maximum of 300lbs. The motor is a 500W rear hub drive with both pedal assist and full throttle modes.
The battery is 500W and will take you 20 miles on full throttle. You can go between 20 to 40 miles on pedal assist mode. Although great in the city or on bike trails, Body Ease isn't the right choice if you plan to ride on rough terrain.
If you want an electric bike to go just about anywhere, including unpaved trails, then look for the Ride1Up by Cafe Cruiser. This fat tire model offers you a 750-watt motor that goes a little faster, perhaps up to 31mph on pedal assist.
Cafe Cruiser also offers a powerful battery to match that motor. It can take you up to 40 miles on one charge.
The larger motor and fat tires allow this bike to carry more weight. The manufacturer lists the maximum weight capacity at 350 pounds.
The feature that puts the Ride1Up on this list is the fat tires. It comes with three-inch wide tires, so they can handle a lot whether you are riding in the city or up a mountain.
Some other notable features are an eight-speed shifter, hydraulic brakes with an electric cut-off sensor, and front and rear lights.
The lightweight alloy frame comes with internal protected and locked electronics for added security. And even with all that, the bike is still a surprisingly light 65lbs.
If a long ride is your biggest concern when looking at e-bikes, then you might want to go with the Turbo Vado SL from Specialized. The manufacturer promises that bike could take you up to 80 miles on a single charge under the right circumstances. You will pay for that benefit, though. The Turbo Vado SL is twice as expensive as the other bikes on the list.
For that, you get an E5 lightweight aluminum frame that weighs only 33 pounds. It comes with a 320Wh internal battery and an optional range extender that will add 40 miles to your ride on the pedal assist. Although the battery is internal, you need the whole frame to charge it; the extender is external. So on a long road trip, you could remove the extender for a quick charge-up and return to the road to finish your ride.
The future shock ultralight suspension is supposed to reduce the impact for the rider by 40 percent—all that without making the bike heavier. In addition, you can fully manage the bike from your phone. For example, you can control the power output and diagnose a problem from the bike's custom app.
The bike has built-in front and back lights to make riding safer as the sun goes down. It also comes with a Turbo display so you can continue to few your bike's metrics.
If you want to get back on the road, why not do it in style with an electric bike? The motor allows you to exercise even when there is strong wind or an uphill ride. Find out more about them by visiting the sixthreezero website today.
ExploreBike AdviceGet FittedJourney ClubOur StoryRider StylesAffialiate ProgramBecome a Brand Ambassador