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Buying Your First Electric Bike | Purchasing an E-Bike


Hey guys, Dustin here, CEO of SixThreeZero. And today we're going to talk about if you're buying your first electric bike, what you need to know. Stick around.


Okay. So today we're going to talk about if you're buying your first electric bike, what you need to know. But before we jump in, hit that subscribe button below, stay in touch with us here at SixThreeZero and be in the know about everything we're doing here from giveaways to all of our content. So hit subscribe. All right. So electric bikes are taking off everywhere and a of people are buying their first electric bike for the first time. So today I'm going to give you some tips, ideas, and just concepts around what you need to know if you're buying your first electric bike. And I've got a few of the SixThreeZero bikes here that I can show you, test ride a little bit. So you can get a general concept of everything that's important to know about an electric bike. So, the first thing I want to tell you about buying an electric bike is they come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes.

Now I've got just a few of the SixThreeZero bike models here, and you can see just by looking at it, you've got some frames with a step-through height. We got higher tubes, we've got commuter style frames, comfort style frames, and we've also got a tricycle. So, it's really important for you to think about what is the number one most important thing about your rides or how you're going to ride that's most important to you? Is it comfort? Is it performance? Is it the ease of mounting and dismounting the bike? It's important to at least know what your number one is your number two and your number three, and you can match it up according to the bike frame or style that you're looking for. Now, I'll just walk you through conceptually. So as an example, if your number one most important thing is simplicity and clean design.

We have this bike, you'd have an internal battery, something very simple. You can't even tell it's an electric bike. Very important to pay attention to. Or maybe comfort is important to you or versatility. Something that can go in many different places.

On the pavement, trails, we have an evryjourney model for that with a rear rack-mounted battery. Or let's say, you're going to do more commuting. You want a thinner tire, it's going to roll faster, go higher speeds. Then you've got more of a streamlined, efficient commuter frame.

Or again, let's say comfort is important to you. We have a complete upright ride here with a suspension fork that can really absorb the shocks and bumps as you're riding.

And lastly, let's say balance is a big issue for you. Then we have a tricycle, our electrified tricycle. So number one, figure out what's most important to you.

Then we can match your needs to the correct bike, or you can search according to what you know is number one to you. And actually, if you're in the market for an e-bike, you can take our body fit quiz on our website. You'll answer a few questions about your body, your life, and it'll fit you to the perfect bike. Now, what else should you know about e-bikes?

There are different motor sizes that come on all different types of bikes. Now, the laws around e-bikes are different actually in every state in the US and different cities as well in California. One thing you need to know is for street riding on e-bikes, your max motor size is 750 watts. In addition to that, there are specific laws around different classifications of an e-bike, whether they have a throttle, pedal-assist. I talk about that in some other videos, you can also look up the e-bike laws in your area, but that is very important and to know when purchasing an e-bike.

Now in this day and age are police officers pulling over people for electric bikes? I haven't seen it, but it's something to be aware of. If you're going 50 miles an hour on the street, on an electric bike, you're going to be vulnerable to a police officer potentially pulling you over and noticing that's not legal. California, the max speed with a throttle is up to 20 miles an hour. Pedal-assist is 28 miles an hour. But, if you're going off-road, you can get motors in excess of a thousand watts that can take you up hills, mountains, and everything like that.

So you can get e-bike motors. I've seen basically as low as 250 watts, up to 750 watts for the street and then 750 watts and above, if you're going to do trail riding, mountain riding, things like that. Now check with your local park or recreational area, wherever you're going to ride the bike if you're going off-road.

So you know what is legal there because that's very, very important. So different motor sizes, different needs. The other thing I'll say too is think about your body type. So most of the bikes we have back here are 200... So actually our tricycles 250 watt all of these bikes are 500 watts and we have another 250 watts. So really depends on the type of riding you are going to do. And also your body type. I am 220 pounds, 500 watts can do most things I want to do, but if you are 250 pounds and above, and you're going to do a lot of hill riding, 750 watts may be something you want to consider. If you have a lot of hills, if it's more flatland, 500 watts should be ample. And if you're going to do a lot of flatlands and you are 190 pounds and below, then a 250-watt motor will be sufficient.

And a lot of times with the tricycles, I would advise, depending on if you're going to do a lot of towing you could have a bigger motor, but if you're going to do recreational flatland, I would advise a smaller motor just because there is the possibility of tipping tricycles. You don't want to be going too, too fast around corners and things like that. So different motor sizes for different body types. And we can actually, I'll get into that in another video if you want to hear more about that, but that's important to know.

Okay, the next thing you need to know is there are different types of electric bikes. There are electric bikes that only give you pedal assist. There are electric bikes that give you pedal assist and throttle. And there are different legalities to each based on living in California. In some national parks, you can only have pedal assist.

In other cities, you can go full throttle like California. You can do full throttle up to 20 miles an hour, but it's a different type of classification. All of the e-bikes at SixThreeZero feature, both of those functionalities, you can have the pedal-assist or you can have the full throttle. Now, like I said, depending on the type of riding, you are going to do check your local laws because you may be restricted. If you have a full bike versus pedal assist. I know in the national parks, I believe that you can only have pedal assist up to a certain miles per hour, but again, the laws are changing every day. So I don't want to speak too much to it, but think about what kind of riding you're going to do. And if you can check the laws in that area at that park that can help guide you, in the direction of what you should look for in an e-bike.

And as an example, I don't know if you can come in a little closer, different electric bikes also have different types of displays. Now the displays don't matter too much when you talk about functionality, they may give you some different benefits here and there. But this is an example of one of our displays. You can power it up. And this won't really change between whether it's a pedal-assist or a full throttle. There's nothing here that's going to distinguish it.

And the one thing you will see if you do get full throttle, you'll have a throttle here. So actually you can either be a thumb throttle or there are bikes just like gears that have a twist throttle as well. So that's important to know as well. If you are looking for a throttle, you may think about what do I prefer, a thumb throttle or a twist throttle in our case, we actually have normal bicycle gears on, on the bike, which leads me to the next thing you need to know about electric bikes is they can actually have bicycle gears like a normal bike.

So if you can shoot this right here, now this bike has a derailleur, just like on a standard bicycle. So everything about this is a standard bicycle. Now, these gears have nothing to do with the actual motor. These are just strictly correlated to the actual bike. So you can shift these gears while you ride just like a normal bicycle, or you don't have to if you're doing full throttle, but important to know, depending on how you're going to ride your bike. So if you are going to ride the bike like a normal bike and not use the motor ever, or if you're going to do more pedal-assist than throttle, then it might be good for you to have gears. So you can get that range and utilize the bike. It really helps a lot for hills. And also if you want to get going faster with the pedal-assist to put it into a higher gear, to increase the resistance.

So I really like that option. In addition, the thing you should know is any e-bike you're looking to purchase you want disc brakes, or you could also actually, no, I take the back. You definitely want disc brakes. So all of our e-bikes come with disc brakes. Most of the reputable bike brands that are out there also feature disc brakes because of the speeds you're going to be traveling at. These are going to provide you with the breaking power because the calipers are going to break on the rotor and the front here. And it's going to allow you a quicker stopping when you're coming down from 20 plus miles an hour. And it's really easy. You can stop on a dime. So any other e-bikes that don't have disc brakes, I would strongly advise against. It's important for safety features.

Okay. So I touched on the disc brakes and what I was referring to when I said all e-bikes should have disc brakes is mainly for two-wheel bikes. Now, when we move to the tricycle, we actually do feature a full, front caliper brake on the front wheel, but the rear actually has a braking system on the axle. So you're stopping on the axle back here, which is going to provide ample power because the brake is stopping the axle from spinning versus being on the pads of the wheel. But you do have the one front caliber because, on this model, we've actually got the motor in the front hub.

So we couldn't have the front disc brake with the front-wheel motor. Now, this is only 250 watts. So you're not going to be getting up to the kind of speeds you want on 500 watts. So with this breaking setup on the rear axle and the front caliper, you'll have more than enough braking power. It's important when you break to start with the rear brake and then ease in with the front brake on any bike because if you clamp down that front brake, you might go over the top. Now, a tricycle's a little bit different. You got a lot more weight distribution. You're not going to flip as easily, but on a standard bike, always start with the rear brake and then ease into the front brake.

Now, I would say probably the last or not the last, but the really important thing to know is batteries come in different shapes, different sizes, and different locations. So as an example, on most of our e-bikes at this time, we put them in the rear rack.

We do that because it's a very easy on-off, and you can slide it out simply depending on where you're located. You can bring the battery in with you. So as an example, I have a key over here. If you want to take a look. You have a key here and you can just turn that and you pull the battery right out.

So really think about where you're going to bring your bike. Do you need to bring the battery in with you? For some e-bikes like one of ours, we actually have the battery inside the frame that battery cannot be removed very easily. So if you are planning to go places and you need to take the battery in with you and charge while you're inside, look for a battery location where it's easily removable. We like the rear rack back here.

You just click it right back in and you're often going. Some other brands do put it in the middle. That's good too. As long as you can get it on and off easy, that's a benefit. The benefit to the internal really is aesthetic in the look. It's also nice to have the battery mounted in the middle of the frame. You can feel a little bit different weight distribution versus having it on the rear rack

So yeah, and then different, obviously there are different sizes. So that's another thing. There are different sizes of batteries. You should know that the larger the battery, the more expensive the e-bike. One of the largest cost components of an electric bike is the battery. So as an example, generally, with a 500 watt, you're going to have a 52-volt battery, which is what we have here. And you're going to see different calculations, either amp hours or volts for batteries. We also have some other information about that on our website as well, but just know the larger the battery, the more expensive the e-bike. It's not as much about the motor size as it really is about battery size. So cost differential between a 500-watt motor and a 750-watt motor, generally speaking, is not that much. But when you're talking about the battery size, you're needing to facilitate that motor. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

And as an example, you can always put a larger battery on a smaller motor, but you really can't put the small battery on the larger motor. So yeah. So as an example, if you want a 500 watt and you want more range, you can get a bigger battery. We are going to start to offer that where you can purchase a bigger battery to extend the range. Other companies offer that as well, just like Tesla on their cars. They have one battery, an extended battery, and that really can be an increased cost on a bike. So if you're shopping for e-bikes and you're noticing costs are really high and you want to compare to another brand, check the amp hours, the volts on the batteries and see if they're the same. And if you see one's bigger than the other, then you have to decide for you is getting that extra range, worth it to you because you are going to get extra range out of a larger battery.

Another option though, instead of buying a larger battery is you could buy two batteries. So that's a beautiful thing about this type of battery. I believe our batteries are about 300. You could buy a secondary battery, travel with it in a backpack, and you could swap those out mid-ride, things like that. So it's important to know different battery shapes and sizes, different mounting locations on a bike. You can think about what aesthetically is best for you, which ease of use is best for you. Again, it really comes down to the rider and what's most important to you. Simplicity, ease, look, and it varies across the board. Nothing is the right answer. Truly, it's truly just specific to the riders.

Now, and you can see one more here on the bicycle. We've actually got the battery mounted below the seat tube. And so common areas are rear rack, behind the seat tube like this and somewhere mounted in the middle of the frame between the top tube and the down tube, or sometimes on top of the top tube.

Now, one thing I also forgot to mention about the motors is there's also if you're buying your first e-bike, there are not only different wattages of motors, different power outputs of motors, but also different locations of motors. So you're going to see something called mid-drive motors. Rear hub motors are actually front hub motors as well. Now, we have primarily done rear hub motors for a couple of reasons. One, less expensive cost, and two, they provide ample power for the type of riding we are developing our e-bikes for. So, if you're going to do pavement riding, around-town riding, you can do hills, but you're not doing any crazy mountain climbing type hills, rear hub motors are going to be perfectly fine. Now, if you plan to do mountainous type bike climbing, more aggressive climbing, a mid-drive motor might be a good option for you, but important to keep in mind, mid-drive motors run more expensive than rear hub motors.

So if you're really not going to use the bike for the purpose of going up mountains or very aggressive uphill riding, you can save yourself the money on not doing a mid-drive and go with the rear hub motor. Now, the front hub motors will save you even more money, but typically they're going to be less powerful. So as an example, on the tricycle here, it's a 250-watt front hub motor. That's going to be less expensive than a 250 watt rear hub motor. And of course a 500 watt rear hub motor.

So, the front on hub motors are ideally, good for a lot of times, you can, if you want to buy a replacement or not a replacement, if you actually want to put a motor on a bike, you can get a front hub, motor kits. They're very easy to install, but if you're going to buy a bike like a standard two-wheel bike, the rear hub motor of the mid-drive are the most common a tricycle, we've done the front hub motor because doing the rear hub motor on the tricycle's not possible, the only other option would be the mid-drive, which is obviously going to drive up the cost.

So we've tried to minimize the cost while still providing power by putting it on the front. So, and again, it comes down to the type of writing you're going to do. And like I said, you can take our body fit questionnaire, or you can reach out to us if you have any other specific questions, but think about the type of riding you're going to do and are you going to pay for the performance that you actually need? Do you need to spend $4,000 on a mid-drive motor that can take you up mountains if most of your riding's going to be around town? Some people may want it, and if they do that's their choice. But if you think you're not going to use it that way, save yourself the money. If you're only going to do 10-mile bike rides and you don't think you need a huge battery look for an e-bike where the battery size isn't super large and you can save yourself costs there definitely.

So those are important specs to look at. Especially if you find a bike you like, and you're like, why is it so expensive? Check out the battery size, check out the motor size and then ask yourself, okay, do I really need all that? And, of course, if you really just want it totally your decision. Now, I would say the last thing you should know, if it's your first time buying an e-bike, the price ranges vary greatly. Now, I kind of explained the prices can depend on a few different things. One is battery sizes, battery cells because there are different battery cells. LG, Samsung make battery cells. There are also Chinese brand manufacturers. Is there a difference between all the cells? To some extent, right. It's just like buying a Kia versus buying a Honda or buying an Acer's computer versus buying a Lenovo computer.

Some people will say there are differences. Other people will say, if the specs are the same, they perform the same. I believe some elements give you more performance, some don't. Again, it's really up to be determined. I can't say either way, but it's important to know. So Samsung sells, if someone says it's in a battery that will cost more, you have to decide if it's worth it to you. A lot of times, I don't believe it's worth it. If the specs are the same one brand of the cells is going to be the same as the other. But again, I can't say that a hundred percent. Now, the battery's going to be one major thing. The size of the battery's going to be the biggest cost determiner. So there's a huge range of prices. Number one, look at the look at the battery size. Number two is like I said, the motor size number three is the location of the motor.


And number four is just the general brand and also the other specs. So you've got other specs that go into these bikes, right? Like the type of tires, the type of rims, the type of seats, the type of brakes, and all of those features can really add up. If you're putting really expensive brakes on there that could increase the bike price 5, 10, 20, $30 more, believe it or not, there are breaks out there that cost hundreds of dollars hundred, 200, $300. So all of these little things can accumulate. And then also there's just a general markup based on brand. How are they going to service you? How are they going to take care of you? Are they going to be reliable? And those are things you have to think about. Are they important to you when buying an electric bike? So I've seen electric bikes as low as $600 up to $15,000.

So the range is very wide. I would say the average is somewhere in the 2,500 to $3,000 range. All of our bikes are about $2,000 and below as of today. And that has allowed us to build a very good quality affordable e-bike that we know will perform the way most people want it to perform. But again, you have to think about the performance you need. Are you willing to pay for a brand? What specs are important to you? How much is the aesthetic worth it to you? How long are you going to own this product? And really what are you hoping to get out of it? So how much you want to spend is definitely up to you, but the prices can vary greatly. So I think that covers everything that I think you should know if you're buying your first electric bike, if you have any other questions or we can help you at all, when you're buying your first electric bike, please comment below or email us the team@sixthreezero.com or call us (310) 982-2877.


And don't forget to browse our electric bikes on our website, sixthreezero.com, or take our body fit quiz. Our body fit quiz is a proprietary algorithm. That's going to fit a bike perfectly to you. And all you have to do is answer some questions about your body and your life. Lastly, if you're in the market for a bike or you already have a SixThreeZero bike, join our Facebook pedallers group and download our app. You can talk to existing SixThreeZero bike owners. See how far they're riding specific bike models, post photos, swap stories, and make new friends. So do that in the pedallers' group and download the app. It's a lot of fun. All right, thanks for sticking around. And don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.

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