Fast, practical, and environmentally friendly – these are just some of the benefits associated with electric bikes. As their prevalence in big cities increases internationally, perhaps it’s crossed your mind that it could be time to invest? Just imagine; sashaying through traffic with grace and ease, without any guilt about causing pollution, and slipping into the tightest of parking spots at the end of it? This, my friends, is the future of transport.
If only the decision to buy an e-bike was as easy as riding through town on it. However, choosing an electric bike isn’t as easy as choosing a regular bike. There are massive divergences in price and spec, and a few purchasing potholes ready to trip you up. Not to worry, we’ve come up with four essential pieces of advice on buying one. With that in mind, here are 4 top tips you need to consider when buying an E-bike.
START WITH A BUDGET
The very first thing that you need to do is to set a limit on how high you’re willing to go with your purchase. Electric bikes come with a variety of features, some essential and some, frankly, superfluous. The more quirks and flourishes you go for, the more expensive your E-bike is going to be.
So, before you venture onto any online purveyor’s website or visit a physical, specialist shop, arrive equipped with a budget; there will be extras offered and perks dangled in front of you which you want to do your best to resist.
While you can snag a basic model for under £600, the upkeep in battery costs and maintenance on such a cheap bike could well end up costing you more in the long run. An E-bike costing over £2000 is considered top of the range, with features such as hydraulic disc brakes and suspension coming as standard at this price.
CONSIDER YOUR NEEDS
The next thing that you need to keep in mind is the fact that electric bikes are designed for different people and different purposes; some want to be racing around the city centre, darting in and out of traffic and running on adrenaline (and battery power) alone, while others prefer a canter, with green credentials proudly displayed.
No two bikes are the same, and it’s your specific needs that should determine the type of bike you invest in. If you’re riding long distances, a powerful battery should be your priority (an E-bike’s max distance is usually stated clearly in its description, with anything above 40 miles is considered long range). If you have a need for speed that you’re desperate to satisfy, most don’t exceed a 20mph maximum, though some versions with a larger motor can reach 28mph. Be aware that you’ll likely pay at least another £1000 for the privilege of those extra 8 miles per hour.
TESTING, TESTING, 1, 2, 3
As you are making a relatively large investment here, and your safety relies on the smooth running of your E-bike, then you should be diligent about taking your potential new wheels for a test ride prior to purchase.
Just like you test drive a car before actually buying it, you should test ride your bike, too. You want to feel comfortable and in control on your electric bike, and the only way to make certain of this is to take it for a spin or two around the block. Do make sure you take the E-bike to its upper limits in terms of speed and handling when testing it out, and scrutinise the spec before parting with any cash. That way, there are less likely to be any nasty surprises waiting for you later down the road.
Being environmentally sustainable is more than just buying an e-bike and running it on electricity. As all of us need to play our part in making sure that the world stands a chance in the future, we need to make sure that we only use environmentally friendly products. So, before you finalise the purchase, you should take a look at the quality of the bike and whether it will withstand the tests and tolls of time.
You should ensure that once you buy an e-bike, you shouldn’t need another one for at least ten years; so, check the durability of the bike’s parts keenly, cross referencing with reviews to make sure it stands the test of time. Doing so would rather defeat the point of buying a mode of transport in an effort to be ‘green’. Moreover, when changing the battery of the bike, ensure that it is recycled and not thrown in the rubbish.