15 Best Electric Bikes of 2022

Chris Nolte, the founder of Propel, one of the nation’s leading e-bike dealers with storefronts in Brooklyn, NY and Long Beach, CA, advises e-bike buyers to ask themselves why they’re buying an e-bike before making a purchase. “Bikes are built for different purposes. If you’re commuting to work, consider a bike with fenders, lights, and racks. If you ride quietly or don’t haul cargo, get a bike without these features to save on cost and complexity,” he suggests. Below are some other essential factors to consider when buying an e-bike, according to bike experts.

✔️ Battery: “Most of the batteries are lithium-ion and will be bike specific,” says Jonathan Perry, lead mechanic, cycle support technician and certified bike fitter at Velofix. Like a cell phone battery, the power capacity decreases over time. One of the most important things to consider is whether your battery is removable or built-in. Removable batteries are handy when you need to lock your e-bike outside (the battery is one of the most expensive components of your e-bike), allowing you to remove it and take it with you. And when it comes to battery size, “think about how far you want to travel and how much power you want to use,” says Nolte. The distance you plan to travel will determine the size of battery you need. To determine battery power, he suggests looking at watt-hours (wH). “Most batteries will have at least 400 watt hours.” Watt-hours are a measure of how much power an e-bike battery can deliver in an hour. A bike with a 250W motor and a 250Wh battery can ride completely without rider assistance for an hour before the battery runs out. The rate at which the battery of the electric bicycle is actually consumed will depend on the motor, the power of the bicycle (wattage) and its use; Heavy pedal assist and use of the throttle, for example, will reduce your range more than the occasional boost. When it comes to batteries, also keep in mind that if you’re looking for a lightweight bike, a larger battery can easily add several pounds. Finally, charging time is another factor to pay attention to, as some e-bikes take longer to charge than others.

✔️ Estimated range: If you’re trying to get more range out of your bike, Perry suggests using your legs more.Full pedal assist or full throttle all the time consumes a lot of watts,” subsequently draining the battery. “Choose a battery designed for the range that meets your needs” and consider buying “a second battery that you can always recharge to replace the dead battery”.

✔️ Engine: “The main difference between a $2,000 to $4,000 e-bike is the motor type,” says Perry. There are two main types of motors that power e-bikes.Hub-type motors can feel rougher. Look for a company with good customer service and a warranty to contact you if there is a problem. Crank motorson the other hand, are “the more premium option and come from established brands like Shimano and Bosch, which are reputable companies that make a good product. These motors distribute weight better by being low and in the center of gravity on the bike,” says Perry. They also generally offer a smoother running experience.

✔️ lester: Electric bikes can weigh a lot, with some of the ones we tested weighing close to 80 pounds. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if the bike is easy to get up and down stairs or easy to move around. “E-bikes will always be heavy. The motors are heavy. The batteries are heavy. To reduce the cost of bikes and keep them sturdy, they are often made of steel and sometimes aluminum. It’s a heavier material and a bit sturdier,” says Perry. Consumers should consider handling the bike or moving it around when not on it, Perry advises. “If it’s harder, get a lighter bike so you don’t worry about it tipping over and picking it up,” he says.

✔️ Class Type: Electric bikes fall into three distinct classes.

  • Class 1 e-bikes go “up to 20 mph with pedal assist. They can go faster than that downhill, but the electric motor will stop giving you any kind of assistance once you’re at 20 mph,” says Perry.
  • Class 2 e-bikes also “go up to 20 mph when you pedal, but these also have a throttle that goes up to 20 mph without pedaling,” he says.
  • VSgirl 3 e-bikes go up to 28 mph. Most Class 3 e-bikes come with a throttle, but not always. These e-bikes are “almost always banned on bike paths, trails, etc. Check your local laws regarding Class 3 e-bikes,” he advises.

✔️ Pedal assist: “Pedal assist is when you pedal, you get assistance in a range of 0-5. You can choose how much assistance you get from the motor,” says Perry. Nolte notes that “not all pedal assists are created equal. Some give you predictable and smoother experiences, while others aren’t as intuitive. Some systems replace your pedaling while others augment your pedaling. The difference is in the sensors and how they work.” He explains that there are different ways to activate the pedal assist, the most basic being a cadence sensor that determines how fast you pedal. This can sometimes result in jerky motion. Better suited to your ride is a torque sensor, which “detects how hard you pedal. For example, when going downhill you can pedal fast but you don’t really need a lot of power, unlike pedaling uphill when you want the bike to deliver power.

✔️ Throttle: Some e-bikes are equipped with a throttle that allows the motor to propel the bike without pedaling. Whether or not you need it is a matter of personal preference and the type of bike you ride. Perry advises consumers looking for a cargo-type bike to haul kids or a lot of weight to consider an e-bike with a throttle, which is “useful just to get started.” A throttle is also useful for consumers who simply don’t want to pedal immediately after a hard stop, especially when the bike is heavy.

✔️ Gears: Some e-bikes come with seven gears, while others have three or just one. “If you’re an active cyclist, put some gears on your e-bike,” suggests Nolte. “A bicycle without gears will either pedal too fast or too slowly, not at a comfortable pace.” It’s also important to try out bikes in different terrains to make sure you have the right number of gears for you.

✔️ Tires: Thin tires are generally lighter and better suited to smooth, cobbled streets. “In places like New York with rougher terrain, you want wider tires and suspension. It will slow you down a bit but give you more traction and comfort,” says Nolte. local bike shop, which can help you select the right tires for your region and market, advises Perry.Those who ride a lot may need to consider a puncture-resistant tire to avoid flats.

✔️ Suspension fork: “Front suspension forks dampen shocks. When you hit something bumpy on the road, they [compress] ahead and almost bounce back. For most people, if you don’t plan to take the bike on off-road, gravel dirt roads, or trail riding, steer clear of a suspension fork. It will add weight to the bike,” says Perry. But if you expect to encounter a few bumps or potholes while riding, a suspension fork can definitely provide some extra comfort.

✔️ Brakes: E-bikes typically come with either mechanical or hydraulic brakes, Perry says. In general, mechanical brakes are cheaper and require less maintenance, but sacrifice performance. They require the strength of your hands to brake. Hydraulic brakes, on the other hand, are nicer, more responsive and easier on your hands, but you can expect more maintenance.

✔️ Additional features: Although this is the least important of all, you still need to consider the additional features that come with your e-bike. Do you like the display? Is it big enough to read and are the buttons easy to adjust? Does the bike have room for a front or rear basket or extra storage space to carry a purse, backpack or groceries? Is a bell included, as well as built-in lights? Does the bike have mudguards to protect you when riding through puddles? Since no e-bike is the same, pay attention to must-have features or cool extras to enhance your riding experience.

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