In the last few years, electric bikes have finally become a genuine alternative. So if you want to get an electric bike there has never been a better time. But it’s a big investment, so we’ve pulled together these tips to help you when buying an eBike.
eBiking has opened up cycling as a possibility for millions of riders. Whether that’s tackling steep mountain climbs, getting out on a bike for the first time or making the daily commute possible – or just a bit easier. eBikes have changed cycling for the better – so perhaps you want to buy one?
Tips for buying an eBike
If you want to get an electric bike, then check out our top 9 tips below.
Think about your riding style
Just like normal cycling different types of eBike are designed for different styles of riding. The full suspension electric mountain bikes may look awesome, but unless you’ll be riding proper off-road trails it would be a waste of money.
So, think about your riding style and what you want the bike for. If comfort is crucial, then a step through frame might be best. If you’re climbing hills, a high torque motor is more suitable. For long distances, think about long battery life.
Figuring out your needs will help you to choose the features that are most important to you. From there choose a eBike that is designed around those features.
Choose the retailer carefully
And this is where a good retailer is worth their weight in gold. The most important thing is that you choose a retailer that knows what they’re talking about. For example, I spoke at length with Electric Bikes Sussex – my local store –and came away knowledgeable and never felt under pressure to buy from them.
Ask yourself these questions about the retailer. Do they have a couple of eBikes out the back or are they a specialist eBike retailer? Are they stocking big name brands or budget models? Are they knowledgeable and helpful? Are they just trying to sell you an eBike or to help you understand them?
If you want to get an electric bike you want good sound advice, and a specialist eBike store is ideal. Don’t be afraid to visit a few different shops and to get advice from a range of retailers. Oh and try to avoid talking to saturday staff in big department stores that don’t specialise in eBikes….
Range and battery choice
The range is how far you can ride before needing to recharge the battery. Some models have a much bigger range than others, so consider how far you’ll be riding. For most commutes, a smaller battery might be suitable. But for touring you’re going to need to cover some miles between charges.
It’s also worth thinking about the lifespan of the battery. A high quality lithium battery should last over 1000 charge cycles. Any less and the benefit to the environment you’re having by cycling could start to be smaller than you’d like. And replacing a battery is not cheap.
Taker her for a spin
Almost all retailers will let you test ride bikes, which is the most fun part of the process. Try out a few different models and ask yourself whether the bike is comfortable, fits your style, and meets your functional needs. The proof is in the riding.
When buying an ebike don’t just test the assisted riding. Ride it with the assistance switched off and in all modes to get a feel for how it handles and how good a bike it actually is. If possible take it out for a proper ride – many local bike stores will let you take a bike for a day.
Have high expectations
When you buy an eBike you should expect a lot. This is not a normal pedal power machine, it’s a revolutionary form of transport and this purchase can be life changing. They can also be expensive.
So don’t settle for an average model. Keep testing bikes until you find one that really excites you.
Get an electric bike that’s road legal
Different countries have different laws regarding electric bikes. For example, in the UK eBikes are limited to 250w power, 15.5mph of assistance and must only move when being peddled.
Be aware that sometimes the law changes within different regions of the same country. Make sure that the eBike you’re buying (especially when purchasing online) is road legal in your local area or that it can easily be modified to be so.
Get a deal
Electric bikes are expensive, but the price tag is not always the final price. Dealers are there to make a profit, and there is room to knock them down and squeeze those margins. After all, they’d rather make a smaller profit than none at all.
You should also shop around, look out for sales and keep your eyes peeled for discounts. For example, you can currently save money on your new eBike with Gtech discount codes at Plusvouchercode.
Get an electric bike with a warranty
Buying an eBike is a big investment. But with a good warranty and maintenance you can make sure your investment is protected. A two-year warranty is pretty standard from most manufacturers.
In particular look for the warranty on the motor and the battery. If either of those break it costs a lot to fix or replace them. Some retailers offer extended warranties on the same bike, so again it is worth shopping around.
Don’t forget to accessorise
As well as buying an eBike, you’ll also need a helmet, lights, lock and hi-vis vest (if you don’t have them already). The extras can be a great point in your negotiation, so try and get them as part of a package deal or thrown in complimentary.
Buy the right eBike and it could change the way you cycle forever.