Which e-bike should you choose?
Getting yourself an e-bike is definitely a good idea! However, before you zoom off on your speedy new steed, you've got to choose the right one. And that's where things get tricky. From assistance to batteries, battery range, motors and power, there's all sorts of complicated jargon. We answer a few of your questions and give you the tools you need to make your choice.
1. Why Get an E-bike?
There's no bad reason for choosing an e-bike. Cycling is good for your health, good for the planet, and makes you happy! Do you need to ride a long way? Is your commute very hilly? Do you want to ride for longer and go further? Do you want to discover the fun of mountain biking? Or are you completely fed up with rush-hour traffic jams? Then a little burst of electricity is just what you need. E-bikes are still bikes: you have to pedal to trigger the assistance. The e-bike is therefore the best way of getting around without getting so tired and sticky while still doing exercise.
2. Which Type of E-bike Should You Choose?
Do you commute, do the school run or pop to the shops by bike? For comfortable rides around town that won't leave you puffing and panting or feeling sweaty all day afterwards, we recommend a city bike.
Do you combine cycling with public transport? No bike parking where you live? We recommend a folding e-bike.
Do you need a bike that can be used not just for commutes but also for weekend rides? We recommend a hybrid e-bike.
Electric mountain bike
Do you want to explore the great outdoors by riding along trails, jumping obstacles and tackling some real gradients? We recommend an electric mountain bike.
3. Which Type of E-bike Motor Should You Choose?
The motor is the heart of your electric bike. So the question is, hub motor or bottom bracket motor? When buying your e-bike, it's essential to choose the right kind of motor for your needs. The motor's position, its torque (in Newton-meters), and its power will all affect how the bike feels.
E-bike motors can be placed in 2 positions:
- Back wheel (hub)
- Bottom bracket
The motor's torque is without doubt one of the most important criteria to consider if you're going to be using an e-bike. The torque is expressed in Newton-meters (Nm) and represents the force that the motor gives through its movement. The higher the torque, the more help you'll get from your bike on hills or when carrying heavy belongings.
4. Which Type of E-bike Battery Should You Choose?
The battery is your bike's lungs. Its capacity determines your bike's range, which varies based on several things:
- The weight of the cyclist, the bike and any equipment (bags, child seat, etc.)
- The route you're riding, including the gradient
- The weather (wind, rain, cold, sun)
- The mechanical state of your bike (tire pressure, condition of the drivetrain)
- How you're riding (adaptation, finesse, understanding of your bike, excessive braking, pedaling cadence).
The battery's capacity is expressed in watt-hours (Wh). The higher the amperage (Ah), the longer the bike's range. The higher the voltage (V), the easier it is to climb hills. Example: the Elops 920 E bike has a 36V and 11.6 Ah battery, giving it a capacity of 36 V x 11.6 Ah = 418 Wh.
All of our batteries are Lithium ion (Li-ion), so there's no memory effect. You can charge your battery at any time, without needing to wait until it has discharged fully. A full charge takes 3 to 7 hours.
Batteries are positioned differently on different bikes. You'll mainly find them on the pannier rack and the down tube. Our batteries are removable and can be locked to your bike to stop them from getting stolen. The battery charger is supplied with your bike. Simply plug it into the mains like any other electric device.
5. How Fast and How Far Can You Ride With an E-bike?
It's important to remember that an e-bike is first and foremost a bike: the electrical assistance boosts your journeys, but the bike won't move forwards on its own. You still have to pedal. That also means it's entirely possible to ride without any electrical assistance. On the other hand, e-bikes are heavier, which you'll really notice if you try riding without any assistance.
E-bike motors cut out above 15 mph and when you stop pedaling. You can therefore ride above 15 mph, but the assistance won't give you any more help.
The battery range is explained differently on different bikes. In general, our city e-bikes have a battery range of 12 to 70 miles. For our electric mountain bikes, the range tends to be measured in time rather than distance, because it's the gradient, the state of the trails and your style of riding that affect the battery the most.
6. Which E-bike Should Women Choose?
Our e-bikes (folding bikes, city bikes and hybrid bikes) are unisex. That means they can be used by both men and women.
But if you're looking for a women's electric mountain bike, they do exist. The Decathlon labs have studied in detail the position that women are in on a mountain bike. They concluded that women need:
a shorter stem for the right back position
a specific saddle to correctly distribute pressure
closer brake levers
7. How Much Do E-bikes Cost?
The million-dollar question: how much should you expect to spend on an e-bike? Obviously, it all depends on how high-tech the bike is. A central motor on the bottom bracket will cost more than a motor that sits on the back wheel's hub. A 500 W battery will be more expensive than a 380 W battery.
This is why you should think carefully about what you actually need and how you'll be using your bike. Whether you need an e-bike for riding around town (folding or not), for hybrid bike rides, or for mountain biking, you'll find options from around $900.
8. How Should You Clean and Look After an E-bike?
Cleaning your bike is essential to make it last longer. But you need to take care when cleaning an e-bike. What with the screen, the motor and the battery, you can't just squirt water all over the place.,
Our top maintenance tip is: leave the battery in its bracket on the bike. Make sure it's sitting flush so that no water can get in.
Our second maintenance tip is: like with all bikes, don't use a pressure washer. This could cause water to get into the ball bearings and permanently damage the electrical components. Something you really don't want… Clean your e-bike using a hose with a gentle water pressure and using a sponge. Don't forget to dry your e-bike fully with a cloth and lubricate your chain with a suitable lubricant.