We all need a boost now and then, these electric bikes are what you need if you do the daily commute to work, allowing you to kick back and take a short break or push you along while cycling.
If you live and work in the city, getting from home to work can be a hassle especially during peak hours. Driving and parking can be prohibitive and bad for the environment. And, even if you take the train or bus, it does not exactly take you door-to-door.
Plus, if you are thinking of quitting the public transport system due to overcrowding, time or cost then one of these electric bike is your answer. But before you go out and get your first e-bike, it pays to do a little research to understand what you need to look for.
5 Key Considerations When Choosing an e-Bike
It’s worth knowing what your choices are and what to look for. Over the years, the market for electric bikes or e-Bike has grown and there are many different e-Bikes out there with varying design and specification. Learning to read through the numbers and specification is necessary to make sure that you have made the right and informed choice.
We will leave cost out of the equation and different people have different budgets and your decision may or may not rest of the price of the bike. While for some, it is a case of what you can afford, for others, it is in the preference for the design.
Here are five key factors to consider when choosing an e-Bike and an idea of the range.
PROFILE: Whether its a city bike with foldable frame, hybrid, mountain bike or racer, choosing the profile of a bike is down to personal preference. In a way it also limits your choice of electric bicycles you can buy, making it easier to decide. The list below show a range bikes with different profiles. There is even the quirky fat tire bike. Just like ordinary bikes, the different bike profiles meant they are designed for the type of road, terrain and riding conditions. You would not take a city bike to off road or up hill, so you would not take an electric city bike for the same. It’s just common sense. Most of the time the motor is there to give you a boost, sometimes known as pedal assist. They are not there to completely replace pedaling for your entire journey. There is also a throttle function with twist throttle on the handle bar to speed things up.
SPEED/POWER: The power of the motor is rated in Watt. Naturally the higher it is, the more powerful and the faster the bike can go. Anything in the region of 500Watt is good. These are typically performance electric bikes. Most smaller bikes start from 250Watt. More is of course better but it depends on the size of the battery and range per charge you wish it to last. Bigger more powerful motor does consume more battery power returning short distances with the same capacity battery. This in turn means you will need to recharge your battery more often. If you are never in a hurry, low powered motor, in the region of 200-300Watt would take you places and go further using the battery only when you need a boost.
BATTERY: The capacity of the battery, relates to how long you can travel per charge before it needs recharge. Some batteries are hidden in the main tube or down tube, others are slotted next to the main stem under the seat. There are two in our list with its battery mounted on the rear cargo rack. Most batteries are removable, some easier than others. If you need to leave your bike at the bicycle park, be sure to get one with easy to remove battery. Typically batteries need 4-6 hours to charge.
DISTANCE: Depending on your weight, riding conditions and appetite for speed, the distance you can cover per full change ranges from 16 miles to 60 miles. On average, anything between 20-30 miles is what you will get on a small to medium bike. Heavier bike tend to do shorter range. However, that does not mean that your bike will stop working completely when the battery run out. It is still a bicycle and you can always rely on good old pedaling. Some bikes have pedal assist only function last further. With a combination of throttle and pedal assist, you can expect 25-35 miles range.
WEIGHT: While most of us do not have to carry out bikes but when you do, especially for commuters, we have to think about the weight. With the battery, every electric bike is going to weight more than standard bikes. Heavier bikes also meant that the battery and motor and possibly you will have to work harder to get place. The general rule is the lighter the bike the better if you have to carry the bike up and down stairs, onto the platform and into the train etc. Of course, one would opt for a foldable city bike if they need to carry the bike often. Bigger bikes generally weigh more but with the use of aluminium alloy in the frame, these help tremendously to reduce its weight and be easier on the motor. The lightest bike in our list is 52lbs while this is not light by any measure due to the battery pack, anything around 50-60lbs is what you should be aiming for if you have to carry the bike for short distances.
10 Amazingly Green Electric Bicycles for Work and Play
Here is an overview of the 10 best electric bicycles you can buy right now.
- GreenBike USA 20″ Electric Bicycle Folding Bike – FOLDING
- ProdecoTech Phantom XR V5 8 Speed 18″ Electric Bicycle
- Watseka XP Sport Electric Bicycle 26″ 6 speed – HYBRID
- E-go 26″ Electric Bicycle City E-Bike
- Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 8 Speed 26″ Folding Electric Bicycle – FOLDING
- Watseka XP Cargo-Electric Bicycle 26″ 6 speed – HYBRID
- Yukon Trails Xplorer Sport Hybrid 26″ Electric Bike – HYBRID
- X-Treme Trail Maker High Performance 26″ Electric Bike – FAVOURITE
- unYOUsual U synergy 16″ Electric Folding Bike – FOLDING
- Electric Fat Tire 26″ Bike Beach Snow Bicycle – FAT TIRE
Let’s take a closer look at each of these:
GreenBike USA’s GB-FS5 electric bicycle model is a convenient, innovative way to commute. It’s designed for comfort with a foldable, lightweight aluminum frame. Cruise your way with the pedal assistant powered by a state-of-the-art removable 36V Samsung battery. Fulfil your adventurous side with up to 20 mph speeds for as much as 50 miles.
- Profile: Folding City Bike aluminium frame with 20-inch tires full front and rear suspension
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 350W brushless hub motor
- Battery: 36V/13AH fast-charging lithium Samsung battery – HIGH CAPACITY
- Distance: 50 miles per charge – GOOD RANGE
- Size & Weight: 57lbs – LIGHT
- Features 3 modes: regular biking, pedal assist (6 levels), or only throttle for hours of enjoyment. Full suspension allowing for a smooth and more comfortable ride. LCD display, USB outlet, front and rear disc brakes, Shimano 6 gears, wide handlebars. Front and rear light controlled by the display
- Available in red, silver, black and white
ProdecoTech Phanton XR has an insanely cool design with battery pack is mounted to the downtube of the frame. The toptube is an arch, curving from the rear wheel to the front steering handle. It uses Samsung battery system to power a 600W motor. A twist of the throttle lets the rider take-off to speeds of up to 20mph, and the 600 Watt geared motor located on the rear wheel gives riders the power they need for the various environments this hybrid e-bike can tackle.
- Profile: Mountain Bike Rigid Aluminum 26″ Rim with Continental Traffic 2.1 tires
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 600Watt – HIGH POWER
- Battery: 36V 14.25Ah Samsung Battery (removable) – HIGH CAPACITY
- Distance: 25-35 miles per charge – GOOD RANGE
- Weight: 52lbs – LIGHT
- Features: a RockShox 100mm fork, SRAM X7 Twist 8-speed shifter and SRAM X7 derailluer. Outfitted with a Continental tires, a Velo Plush saddle, Truvativ Riser handlebar and stem.
The Watseka XP is an Eco-friendly & superbly crafted electric bicycle that will get you back in the saddle & on the road in comfort & style. Powered by a 250W brushless rear drive motor with a 36V 9Ah battery pack, the Watseka XP is not designed for speed but sufficient to get you where you need to go. It also has all the extras such as mud guard, front suspension, seat spring and cargo rack. It is supplied with two ignition keys and the battery pack is removable.
- Profile: Hybrid Bike with step through low step frame design (non gender specific) with 26-inch tires
- Speed/Power: 14mph / 250Watt brushless motor
- Battery: 36V 9Ah battery pack
- Distance: 16-18 miles range per charge depending on riders weight, usage and terrain
- Weight: 72.5 lbs
- Features: Smooth Twist throttle. 2 ignition keys. Easy shift 6 speed Shimano gear set. Selectable pedal assist or twist the “variable speed throttle”. Telescopic front fork suspension, seat springs, low step frame design, adjustable seat & handlebar height.
- Seat Height: Lowest 32.5″ Highest 37″. Total weight of bicycle: 72.5 lbs. Battery pack weight: 22 lbs
- Profile: Mountain Bike with aluminium alloy frame with single tube 26-inch 2.125 tires and battery hidden in frame
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 500W motor
- Battery: Samsung 48v 10ah ICR18650-26F hidden in the frame, 6 hours charging time, battery is removable for charging.
- Distance: 20-25 miles
- Weight: 55lbs – LIGHT
- Features: Shimano External 7 Speed gear, Large Screen Display for Battery Life, Distance, and Speed. Charges in Standard Wall Outlet, 1,000 lifetime battery charges. Front and Rear Disc Brakes. Adjustable front sport suspension forks, ½ Twist Throttle.
- Also available in orange and lime green.
As stylish as it is powerful, the Phantom X2 features the superior strength and high-end torque of a 500 Watt, direct-drive motor mounted in the rear wheel and provides 720 Watts at peak. A full size folding bike, the battery pack is removable should you need to chain or lock the bike somewhere public. As the bike can be folded, you can pop this in the boot of if you have to leave it, fold and lock both tires and frame at the bike park for added security. The precise engineering of the SRAM drive train consisting of an X7 Twist 8-speed shifter and X7 8-speed mid derailleur will satisfy smart and avid riders. The front and rear tires are fitted with Avid DB Hydraulic Disc Brakes. It works quite well on the road as well as off. While not recommended it could go on dirt trails and even on the beach easily.
- Profile: Mountain Bike with 26-inch tires and foldable lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminium alloy frame.
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 500Watt direct-drive motor and 720Watt peak.
- Battery: 36 Volt 11.6Ah Samsung advanced lithium ion battery (LiFePO4)
- Distance: 30 miles per charge – GOOD RANGE
- Weight: 59lbs – LIGHT
The Watseka XP Cargo is basically the same as the Sport model above but with extra basket. The Eco-friendly & superbly crafted electric bicycle focuses on comfort & style. It comes with telescopic front fork suspension, seat springs, low step frame design, adjustable seat & handlebar height. If utility is a concern then we have you covered with our rear cargo rack and front carrying basket. The central mounted battery pack offers balance. The bike comes with 2 ignition keys. The battery pack can only be removed with the supplied ignition keys. Front light, rear light, horn, bell & rear cargo rack included. For security, electrical system will only function with the use of the supplied ignition keys.
- Profile: Hybrid Bicycle with non-gender specific step through, low step frame design with 26-inch tires
- Speed/Power: up to 14mph / 250Watt brushless rear drive motor
- Battery: 36V 9Ah battery pack
- Distance: 16-18 miles depending on rider weight, terrain & overall electric assist usage
- Weight: Total 72.5lbs. Battery pack weight: 22lbs
- Features: Selectable pedal assist or twist the “variable speed throttle” for hours of enjoyment. Easy shift 6 speed Shimano gear set.
Economical, practical and stylish, the versatile Xplorer 7-Speed Sport/Hybrid Electric Bike is all you need to have the convenience of running your errands or simply enjoying a nice scenic ride to enjoy the great outdoor pleasure. Powered by a removable Lithium–Ion battery pack it offers the convenience of carrying the battery indoors for charging. This powerful bike reaches speeds up to 15 miles per hour and has a range of up to 31 miles on a single charge. The XM26 Electric Bike comes with Kenda 26 inch x 1.75W tires. The rims are alloy double wall for a smooth ride. Tektro V-brakes are included in both the front and rear enabling riders to stop at a safe distance.
- Profile: Hybrid Bike with Kenda 26 inch x 1.75W tires
- Speed/Power: 15mph / 250W in Hub Motor
- Battery: 36V 10AH Battery LiFEPo4 (removable)
- Distance: 31 miles on a single charge – GOOD RANGE
- Weight: 60lbs
- Features: 7 speed Shimano Shifter, Front and Rear V Brakes.
Also: an easy step through version is also available.
The Trail Maker is a Lithium Battery powered Electric Bicycle, running on a 300 Watt rear hub motor. Made with all top of the line components this model includes a 7 Speed Shimano Tourney Gears & Shifter System, 7 Lightweight Lithium Ion Batteries, a 100% Aluminum Alloy Frame, fully Adjustable Seat, and an RST Capa T7 front fork.
- Profile: light weight aluminium alloy frame with 26-inch 1.95 tires.
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 300Watt Rear Hub Motor w/ Quick Disconnect for Tire Changes
- Battery: Lithium Ion LiFePO4 Battery – 24v 56 AMP Circuit with charger
- Distance: 20-25 miles range per charge
- Size & Weight: 51lbs – LIGHT
- Features: Shimano Tourney 7 speed Gears – Shock Abrorbing Front Shocks & Seat Post. Dual Disc brake. Pedal Assist & Twist Throttle with start key
- Profile: Folding City Bike TIG welded, foldable frame with battery inside the single tube arrangement. 16-inch 1.75 wheel
- Speed/Power: 15mph / 250W motor
- Battery: 24V/10Ah, Samsung Lithium hidden in frame
- Distance: NA
- Weight: NA
- Features: low rise,black, with alloy folding type stem, left size folding, black. Brake Set: Falloy V brakes, silver, PROMAX, with alloy leve, rear roller brake. Gear Sets: SHIMANO Nexus 3. Plastic mudguard, alloy carrier with rolling wheels, bell, F/R/ reflector and wheel reflectors, with nylon black handle bag, with rear SHIMANO RD-TX35GSD as the chain adjustor, front and rear battery light.
- Profile: Fat Tire Bike with Al6061 Aluminium Alloy Frame
- Speed/Power: 20mph / 500Watt motor – HIGH POWER
- Battery: 48v 9ah Samsung Lithium Cell. 6 hours charging time.
- Distance: NA
- Weight: 58 lbs
- Features: front and rear disc brakes adjustable front sport suspension forks, Shimano 7 speed, 1/2 twist throttle, Shimano external 7 speed gear
Comes with innovative Freway Vigor System consists of three parts, the touch panel, battery pack and smart controller. FVS provides awesome power and performance to your eBike. Freway uses the Shimano 27-speed controller set. You can cycle in any speed on the road or off-road with less strength, which makes cycling more enjoyable. Cruising speed is 15mph while the bike can go up to 24mph with a big push.
- Profile: Mountain Bike lightweight high strength alloy frame with 27.5-inch tires
- Speed/Power: 15-24mph / 250Watt motor 3 cycling modes with pedal assist only.
- Battery: 36V/5.2Ah battery
- Distance: 60 miles (pedal assist only) – BEST RANGE
- Features: High sensitive touch panel is applied, and the big 4.0 inch panel is much easier to touch and very responsive capable of capturing cycling data and progress. Shock absorbing front fork. Disc brake.
- Available in black or white with low back (below)