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Tips for buying an Electric Bike Online

Electric bikes (e-bikes) are growing in popularity, and for a good reason. E-bikes are an excellent investment — one that saves you money and is environmentally friendly. It's a combination that makes them a value worth exploring. What should you look for when shopping for an e-bike, though? Consider these tips that will help you buy an e-bike that fits your lifestyle.

Consider How You Want to Use the E-Bike

There is a difference between buying an e-bike you want to use for recreation and one you are planning to ride to work each day. You must consider your needs before purchasing one. They come with distinct features — some that may or may not work well for you.

For instance, electric mountain bikes make going up steep terrain easier but might not be suitable for someone looking to commute only. For daily commuting, an electric commuter bike might be a better choice. In addition, they have more storage capacity.

Some common e-bike styles include:

  • Electric road bike — lightweight, ideal for commuting, and pleasure riding on city streets
  • Electric commuter bike — similar to a road cycle but with added comfort
  • Electric mountain bike — great for trails, but also on the road
  • Electric cruiser bike — for convenience and fashion
  • Electric foldable bike — ultra-lightweight and ideal for saving space
  • Electric fat bike — effective on any surface, including sand, mud, and light snow, but they are heavier than a commuter or road bike.
  • Electric cargo bike — An excellent choice for deliveries or transporting children.
  • Electric recumbent bike - a unique type that provides lower back support from a sitting position, ideal if you struggle with two wheels

Match the style of bike with how you intend to use it.

Look Closely at the Battery

Make sure that the e-bike battery is from a trustworthy brand. Mainstream brands can sometimes go through more thorough testing, so they have longer lifecycles.

Learn How E-bike Batteries Work

Also, take the time to understand how e-bike batteries work. For instance, voltage refers to what pushes the electric energy. So E-bikes with high voltage batteries go faster.

Amps, on the other hand, is the measure of force. High amp batteries are larger and heavier.

Watt refers to the volts x the amps. It provides a more accurate measure of how much energy is available from the battery. This is typically the number you look for when shopping for an e-bike. Often manufacturers list Wh on their electric bikes. Wh refers to watt-hour or the number of hours a battery can sustain 1 watt of power before charging.

Understand Battery Capacity

If you plan to bike long distances, for example, you want a battery with at least 400 watts. In addition, some batteries are good for mostly flat terrain while others are better for hills.

Consider how far the bike will go on a single charge. If you can’t charge the bike between rides, you want a battery that goes a while. Ask how many miles the bike gets on each charge before buying and see if it fits your needs.

For someone mainly sticking to the pavement, a hybrid or cruiser might be a practical choice. They can offer a more comfortable ride. A 500-watt motor coupled with a 500 Wh battery (a standard class 3 bike arrangement) consumes more power than a 250-watt motor coupled with a 500 Wh battery (a typical class 1 bike setup).

Consider Motor Size

When looking at the battery, it is vital to consider the size of the motor, as well. For example, a 500-watt motor coupled with a 500 Wh battery consumes more power than a 250-watt motor coupled with a 500 Wh battery.

The e-bike should list the volts and amp-hour. If the one you are considering doesn’t, then keep looking.

Consider the Motor Position

The right motor is one of the most critical decisions. Motors come in two major categories:

  • Mid-drive — Mid-drive motors power the pedal
  • Hub(rear)-drive — Hub-drive motors accelerate the wheel

While the difference is subtle, it is still important

Hub-drive motors help keep the cost of the bike down and are effective. A mid-drive motor is typically more efficient but drives the price of the e-bike up. Although the mid-drive motor is usually the best choice if you want more range and power on the same size battery, they can cost a thousand dollars or more.

Remember That Power is Relative

The power of the e-bike depends on many factors beyond just the motor and battery—the weight of the user factors in, for example. The terrain is another consideration. Steep hills take more power.

A small person using the e-bike for short commutes each day could get away with a smaller battery and less powerful motor. However, someone riding long distances, or carrying cargo, may need something with more power.

The best option is the road test different power levels to see what works. If you get on the bike, and it feels sluggish when you ride, look for more power.

Know What Powers It

Most electric bikes include manual pedaling and pedal-assist (pedelec). Some can run entirely on the motor. If you don't want to peddle all the time, be sure your electric bike can move forward using only the throttle.

Pedal-assist bikes can stop once you hit specific speeds. Some may cut off at 20 mph; others go to 28 or more mph. That will affect your battery usage.

Look at the Brakes

An e-bike with lots of power needs brakes able to stop it. Disc brakes are usually the best choice for e-bikes. Anything less may not be as safe.

Check the Weight Limits

Most e-bikes can accommodate a rider weighing up to a certain weight. To guarantee dependability, manufacturers set maximum weight restrictions 50 pounds lower than their absolute maximum. This is because a more extensive user would degrade the e-bike faster and perhaps destroy the wheel spokes.

Bike Weight and Size

Electric bikes are bulky, weighing 50 pounds or more. While lightweight versions are available, they will have shorter ranges and less power since batteries and motors are hefty. The frames are stronger, so usually heavier, to support that extra weight.

A heavy e-bike could be a problem for someone living in an apartment or who has to move the bike up the stairs to store it. If that is the case, you’ll want to find the lightest e-bike available.

Make Comfort a Priority

Purchasing an e-bike is an investment worth making, but only if you are going to ride it. If you buy an uncomfortable bike, you may look for reasons not to use it. For this reason, it’s essential to make sure you feel comfortable when you ride. Here are some comfort features to consider:

  • Frame size — Finding the correct frame size is the first step. It will be uncomfortable if you don't start with the proper frame, no matter how many modifications you make afterward. You should be able to straddle the bike while keeping your feet on the floor.
  • Frame Style — Frame style can affect comfort, too. Road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids can position your body in different ways. For example, you might sit up straight or bend over. Vertical pedaling can help prevent strain, as well.
  • The riding position is about keeping your body in proper alignment to avoid straining your back, shoulders, and wrists. Ideally, you want a riding position that allows you to have a slight amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without having to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  • Saddle (seat) style — No two people sit the same way on an e-bike. Saddle shape can depend on the way you intend to use your e-bike, too. If you expect to sit on the bike for long rides, you may want something different than if you want the e-bike for short commutes. Look for a saddle that offers enough range of motion so that you can avoid friction, too.

If you are unsure of what comfort features you want, consider working with a seller that offers fitting services. Bodyfit from Sixthreezero ensures that you get the most efficient bike for your needs and body size. Once they get the measurements, they will build an e-bike that is comfortable, safe, and gives you the power you need. They guarantee it.

The Display Matters

The display on an e-bike is essential because it gives you critical information. It tells you how fast you are going and the level of pedal-assist power you are using. Some displays may provide you with information about the battery, as well.

Look for something sleek but straightforward to use. If it’s too complicated, you may have trouble reading it as you ride.

Go Modular

Look for something with modular elements, so if you need to replace a part, you can get it without too much trouble.

It Should Have a Warranty

E-bikes, while they are well worth the money, are not cheap. Ask about the warranty before you purchase the bike. You want the warranty to cover the parts, battery, and motor. There may be exclusions, but it should protect you with regular use.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

You’ll find e-bikes in varying price ranges. Cheap is not usually the best option. Bikes that sell for less than 700 dollars typically are imports. You get what you pay for with these options. They will have cheaper parts and likely break easier. If your budget falls below 700 dollars, it would be worth waiting until you can afford a better option.

A budget-friendly e-bike ranging from 700 to 1,500 dollars may do the job, especially for beginners. They will have better specs than the cheap models, but not much else. If you find you like riding your e-bike, you’ll quickly be looking for an upgrade.

Mid-tier priced e-bikes ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 dollars are a practical choice. They have a little bit of everything in critical categories. They are well-built and will last longer. The motors and batteries offer more power for longer rides. The design focuses on both functionality and comfort.

Premium e-bikes sell for over 2,500 dollars. If you are an experienced enthusiast, you might want to make this investment. If your budget goes this high, shop around to ensure you get features worth the heftier price tag. You might find two very similar bikes but thousands of dollars apart in cost.

Do Your Homework

Finally, one of the most critical steps any buyer can take is researching the e-bike before purchasing. The more you know before making the purchase, the better. And, the internet provides you with valuable resources. First, read the reviews from buyers. Do searches to see what the experts say, too. Then, go on Youtube and watch the videos that show the bike in action.

If possible, chat with the seller, too. They can provide you with information about the bike’s features. They can also tell you how it compares to other brands.

You are the only one who knows what kind of e-bike you want. Try different styles to see what works best for you. Work with an experienced seller, too. They are the best resource when it comes to making these critical choices. The expert team at Sixthreezero can explain the various features to you and help you make a smart choice when you buy your e-bike.


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