Do you already have a picture of your perfect electric bike in your head? What does it look like? What does it ride like? What is that image based on? Have you tried something similar? Have you seen it in a review? Is it an electric version of what you already ride? Have you considered that you might be way off the mark?
There is a ton of information online about which electric bikes you "should" go for: the 'best' motor, the 'best' brands, the 'best' battery size. The list goes on.
Very often we'll meet customers who come in with a long list of 'must have' features, and guess what? In the end, they find that those 'must haves' were not necessary, and they end up with an electric bike that's totally different than what they had first envisioned.
It's understandable. Electric bikes are an investment. You have to do the research. No-one wants to have buyer's regret over something that's high value.
So what do you do? You make a checklist of the things you want and find an electric bike that checks the boxes. Good tactic, right? Well, yes and no.
Yes, it's very important to set your priorities down: Where am I riding? How far am I riding?
However, don't be tempted to make your checklist too long. The one piece of advice I give to every new e-bike customer is: Stay open to different styles of electric bike.
Electric bikes are a different animal to conventional bikes.
Clearly, e-bikes and conventional bikes are on the same branch of the family tree. However, one is built for maintaining a high cruising speed, covering long distances, climbing steep hills, and heavy cargo - sometimes all three at the same time - while the other is usually built for just one of these things at any one time.
This means that you can't judge an electric bike by the same measures as a conventional bike. Specifically, I would say don't judge an e-bike by its weight. Sure, there are electric bikes that are too heavy, and it's true, you need to get a bike that you can safely move around. However, simply walking into an e-bike showroom and picking a bike up to feel its weight will tell you absolutely nothing about how it rides or what it can do. Only a test-ride can do that.
Secondly, there is a lot of crossover in electric bike styles. In conventional bikes, the categories are quite strictly defined. You wouldn't take a conventional stepthrough bike off-road. However, there are electric stepthrough bikes that can go off-road.
You wouldn't use a conventional mountain bike as your commuter bike, however, add electric power, 29 inch wheels and wired-in lights and mudguards, and an electric mountain bike can get you to work and back as reliably as any car (see below).
In summary, understand your main priorities, but stay open to different styles of electric bike.
At the end of the day, don't let an online reviewer be in charge of your decision. Your body should be in charge. A bike that matches your body rather than matching an online review will be the bike that you get the most value out of.
Test-ride electric bikes out at a place where a professional can fit the bike to you and your requirements.
Find your nearest branch of Energise E-bikes at here.
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- Stepthrough electric bikes are not what you think
- Beginners' Guide to Electric Bikes
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