Batteries are the lifeblood of your electric bike, but with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Fortunately, there are probably several different battery types that would work well for your situation, so it would be hard to go completely wrong. However, the more you know about the different battery types available, the easier it will be to find the type that will most suit your preferences and needs. Once you have chosen the best electric bike for your needs, use this guide to help you find the ideal electric bike battery.
Lithium Ion Versus Lead-Acid
Most electric bikes use lithium ion batteries, but some use lead-acid. You can replace a lithium ion battery with lead, but there are pros and cons to doing so. Lead is less expensive than lithium ion up front, but it is heavier and will slow you down on the road. Consider also that you’ll need a 30 lb. lead acid battery to get you as far as a 6 lb. lithium battery of equal voltage will take you. Many people choose lithium ion because it makes up for its initial cost by providing superior power without weighing your bike down.
Understanding Volts, Amps and Watts
When choosing electric bike batteries, it’s important to know the difference between volts and amps. A volt is a unit of measurement that refers to how fast electrons move. The faster the voltage, the more speed your bike will have. An amp, on the other hand, refers to the measure of force. The higher the amp, the more powerful the battery pack will need to be to support it.
Together, volts and amps equal watts. To figure out how long your bike’s run time will be, you need to look at the battery’s watts (frequently abbreviated Wh). The higher the watts, the longer the battery’s run time. Of course, your battery’s run time will be affected by how much load it is forced to sustain over a period of time. For example, if you run a 500 Wh battery at maximum capacity, its run time may be just 30 minutes. But if you run the same battery at half its capacity, it may run for an hour.
Size, Shape and Weight Considerations
When choosing an e bike battery, you’ll want to take size, shape and weight into consideration. A battery needs to fit your bike properly without weighing it down too much. You don’t need a giant, heavy battery to power your bike if you rarely go further than 20 miles on a single charge. A small, 6 lb. lithium ion battery can get you approximately 20 miles before needing to be recharged. Even if it doesn’t get you quite as far as you want to go, you can save battery power by spending more time pedaling. If you plan to travel long distances, a heavier, larger battery may be a wiser choice for your electric hybrid bike.
If you still have questions about what bike batteries you should purchase, talk to friends and family members who already own electric bikes and ask them what type of batteries they prefer. You can also join ebike cycling forums and learn all about preferred battery types.
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