Which electric bike is the best?
In recent years, the popularity of electric bicycles has exploded. Often marketed as e-bikes, these bikes usually allow the rider to choose between manual pedaling and the built-in motor doing the heavy lifting for you.
Getting around with an electric bike is cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly than driving a car. When shopping for an e-bike, you’ll need to think about motor, battery life, and details like size and portability. If you want a versatile bike from a legendary manufacturer, the Schwinn Coston electric hybrid bike is the recommended choice.
What to know before buying an electric bike
Reasons to use an electric bike
Until recently, e-bikes were a novelty, but technology has evolved to the point that e-bikes are more accessible than ever. Because you can choose whether or not to use the motor, e-bikes are a great choice for people with limited lung capacity or riders trying to become independent riders. If a flat trail suddenly becomes steeper, for example, you can turn on the engine for a little extra help.
Using an e-bike instead of a car is also good for the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average vehicle releases about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Commuting to work with an e-bike instead of a car – even just once or twice a week – could significantly reduce your annual carbon footprint.
There are three main types of electric motors found on e-bikes. They’re usually integrated so seamlessly into the frame of the bike that you might not even notice them, but knowing their differences can make shopping easier.
- Brush: These motors are affordable but heavy, and e-bikes using them are often noisier than their brushless counterparts.
- Brushless: Brushless motors are light, powerful, and expensive, but they often make up for the cost in durability and lifespan. Brushless motors are quickly becoming the most popular type of motor.
- Friction drive: As their name suggests, these motors work by rubbing against the tire and creating friction. Friction motors are lightweight, affordable, and can be installed on non-electric bikes, but they break easily and eventually wear down your tires.
What to Look for in a Quality Electric Bike
The vast majority of e-bikes are powered by lithium-ion batteries because they are efficient and long-lasting. Some high-end bikes use batteries with unknown names such as lithium-ion polymer and lithium manganese. Both types of batteries are lightweight and extremely powerful, but you can expect a higher price tag.
Many e-bikes offer pedal assist. This means that some pedaling is required, but the motor kicks in when it senses a tilt or fatigue in your performance. Most pedal-assist bikes allow you to adjust the amount of assistance provided by the motor.
Although getting lighter and lighter, some e-bikes can still be quite heavy due to the battery and other electrical components. If you regularly take your bike up and down stairs or ride it in your car, check its weight before you buy it. Some e-bikes are even foldable for easy transportation.
Some high-end e-bikes have a feature called regenerative braking. These e-bikes feed energy back into the battery every time you hit the brakes, reducing the need for constant recharging.
How much you can expect to spend on an electric bike
The cost of an electric bike can vary greatly depending on the type you choose. Although you can find e-bikes outside of this range, a solid commuter bike with a brushless motor usually costs between $800 and $1,800.
Electric Bike FAQ
Are there electric bikes for children?
A. Yes! Electric bikes for children are smaller, cheaper and slower than their adult counterparts. Keep in mind that there may be laws in your area regarding children riding electric vehicles, even bicycles.
Do e-bikes require a permit?
A. Although it depends on your location, most places in the United States do not require a license to use an e-bike as long as it meets certain guidelines. That being said, check local regulations before buying an e-bike.
What are the best electric bikes to buy?
Best Electric Bike
Schwinn Coston Electric Stepper Hybrid Bike
What do you want to know: This electric bike has a sleek design with an aluminum frame and a powerful brushless motor.
What you will love: Backed by a leading bicycle manufacturer, this e-bike features an efficient battery that can last up to 45 miles on a single charge. The brushless motor offers a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.
What you should consider: At 75 pounds, this Schwinn model is a little heavier than other e-bikes.
Or buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon
Best electric bike for the money
Ecotric Fat Tire Electric Bikes for Adults
What do you want to know: This economical electric bike has a removable battery and large tires for rough terrain.
What you will love: This electric bike has four modes, including pedal assist and fully electric modes. The digital control interface can display cycling information and even charge your phone. This bike has a top speed of over 23 miles per hour.
What you should consider: This e-bike may be too big for people who are not particularly tall.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Velowave Mountain Electric Bike
What do you want to know: This e-MTB features a long-lasting battery and a top speed of 25 miles per hour.
What you will love: This e-bike has a battery that lasts up to 35 miles and comes with adjustable suspensions so it can handle almost any terrain. The assisted pedaling feature also has five modes so you can adjust the difficulty of your ride.
What you should consider: There have been several complaints about the malfunction of the brake system.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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