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How to Buy an Electric Bike

Updated on August 3, 2017
Make sure you know the different parts of an electric bike before you buy one!
Make sure you know the different parts of an electric bike before you buy one!

Why You Should Consider an Electric Bike

With newer technologies emerging every day, there is no reason why the United States of America can't start to move away from its dependence on fossil-fuel vehicles. Even though electric bikes, electric scooters and electric mopeds are small recreation types of vehicles, they are going to be the arena wherein most of the research on greener technology vehicles will be improved upon. One of the reasons for this, is because the demand for these types of vehicles has skyrocketed dramatically over the last 15 years. Not only that, but it is far easier for scientists and engineers to work on a smaller scale that build an entire electric train or car.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" an old saying goes, and when you consider the technology behind electric bikes and our movement away from gasoline and and other combustible methods of moving a vehicle, it couldn't be truer. The reason for this is because fossil fuels are limited and finite. In other words, they will run out someday and many scientists are predicting that there will be a severe oil shortage over the next 20 years due to a population boom and that we must move away from fossil fuels as fast as we can.

As you can see, demand of fossil fuels will not be able to keep up with demand due to population growth.
As you can see, demand of fossil fuels will not be able to keep up with demand due to population growth.

So, the obvious push toward electric vehicles is coming and electric bike, scooter and electric moped technology will definitely move ahead.  Since the 1990's the manufacturing of electric bicycles has increased world-wide by almost 6000%.  This means that because production has escalated, newer and better technology for the electric bicycle will emerge as well.

A Checklist for Buying Electric Bicycle

You never got to the process of buying electric bike or electric scooter that you will probably get very confused by all of the different types and models electric bikes that are on the market today. Electric bikes, electric scooters and electric mopeds are so plentiful today that a consumer (especially a new consumer) would probably get very confused by all of the different types of them that there are to buy today. So, we have come up with a checklist that will help you make an easier decision and not be so confused about what the electric bicycle you will be needing to purchase.

When considering an electric bicycle here are a couple key things that you will need to decide about to keep in mind what you are looking around for your first electric bicycle:

What is the primary use for the electric bicycle? (In other words are you going to be using it for recreation for commuting)
if I am going to use this for commuting how far do we need to go every day?
What type of terrain am I going to be riding the electric bicycle on?
Am I going to need a bottle that is for have your people are lighter people?
How powerful of a motor in my going to need?
In my going to be writing up a lot of hills?
Am I going to be able to park my electric bike near an outlet or do I need to buy electric bike with a removable charger?
Am I going to be using my electric bike in colder weather or warmer weather ? (You will need lead acid batteries for colder climates and you can use lithium or nickel for warmer climates)

If you've answered all these questions and possibly written down a couple more that you may have in your mind, you'll come up with a much clearer picture as to what type of electric bicycle or electric scooter that you will need. You will also need to consider what price range you're looking at when purchasing electric bicycle. Some models of electric bicycles can go anywhere up to $4000 while on the cheaper end you could possibly get a standard model for around six or $700. You could even buy electric bike conversion kit which changes your regular bicycle into electric bicycle and those kits start at about $400 as well.

Whatever you do, look around on the Internet and find as many articles on electric bikes, electric mopeds and electric scooters that you can. You want to make sure that no matter what happens you will be informed and educated about the product that you are going to buy for wasting your money and your time.

Electric Bike Basics

The Two Main Parts of the Electric Bicycle You Should Be Concerned with

When you are trying to pick electric bicycle or electric scooter you need to keep a couple things in mind that are very important. Actually you only need keep two main things in mind besides what you are going to be using the electric bicycle or scooter for. The two main parts that you need to be concerned with are:

  • The electric hub motor
  • The electric batteries and their charging system

When you consider the electric hub motor you will want to think about how much wattage or power that you will need to get around town. If you're going to be riding on rough terrain and up and down a lot of hills you may want to consider an electric bicycle with a higher wattage of power. For example most electric bikes start at around 200 to 250 Watts of power and go up from there. A good 400 W motor will take you a good distance and up some pretty good hills, but you could also get a good 700 W electric motor to kick those hills as well.  Another thing that you will probably want to consider when purchasing an electric bike and thinking about its motor, is that if you weigh more than 200 pounds you will need to think about getting a more powerful electric motor on your bicycle.

An important point: if you purchase of electric bike, scooter moped or any other electric vehicle that has more than 750 Watts of power that you will probably need to get registered and get a license to drive it. That is what most states laws determine is the crossing point to becoming and full-fledged motorized vehicle, you will need to get a registration and license otherwise you may be in violation of your local laws. 

One last part of the electric bicycle to think about is the batteries and their charger. Lead-based batteries are heavier and take a little bit longer to charge them lithium or nickel-based batteries. However the lead-based batteries react better to the cold of the lithium or nickel-based ones do. Lead-based batteries however are heavier and will way the bike down more and you have more energy while the lithium the nickel-based batteries are lighter but they are affected by cold much more easily as well. One last thing to say about the batteries that is very important, you will need to determine what type of charger for the rechargeable batteries that you will be using. On many new bottles of electric bicycles the rechargers are removable from the unit itself and are the most convenient. The reason for this is you do not have to park the electric bike or scooter next to an outlet to get a powered up. You can simply just take the charger off of the unit, take the charger into your house and plug it into any outlet. This is a major convenience and if you really wanted to do it right, you could possibly have to chargers to charge up your rechargeable electric batteries with. That way while you're riding your bicycle you will be charging of the other set of batteries and therefore you can just plug them in and go out again on your electric bike or scooter.

Purchasing an Electric Bike for Beginners

Usually when people start to buy things that they don't know too much about,  they have missed important step in the purchasing process. That important step is usually doing research about what you need to know about what you are buying and if you are buying the right thing. Now, usually that is not a big problem because most items that you buy at the store for example, are not that expensive. However, if you're going to buy something that requires a serious outlay of cash you should do all the research that you need to in order to find out if you're buying the right thing.

If you are considering buying any of the current electric bikes, electric mopeds or electric scooters on the market you need to do some research as to what you are buying. Today there are so many different types and arrays of electric bikes, scooters and mopeds that it is very easy to make a mistake to purchase the wrong thing. For one thing, you need to explore what kind of electric bike that you will need for your lifestyle. Just in the category of electric bikes, there are so many different types of them to include dirt bikes ATVs and everything else you can think of that would be foolhardy to go one of the market not knowing what you will need.

So here are two points that you need to remember. For one thing, you need to consider what type of electric bicycle that you will need and for what purpose that you will need it for. If you're going to be riding to work, a good standard electric bicycle that resembles very much the kind that you would were riding on when you were kid will probably would be what you are looking for. However you need to consider what power electric motor you will be needing for this type of riding. So not only do you need to consider what kind of electric bicycle you need but you also need to determine how much speed and how much power the electric motor should be with that you will buy. Also, you will need to consider what type of battery system that you will need and what type of batteries.

These are just a few of the considerations you need to make when you are considering buying electric bicycle.

Electric Bike Motors Poll

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Where to Find Good Deals on Electric Bicycles

If you really want to buy an electric bicycle then there's a couple of things that you should know. First of all, just like any other type of vehicle, there is quite a considerable price difference between different types of electric bikes. I have literally seen electric bicycles go from anywhere from $400 to three and even $4000 electric bicycles. So, you really need to consider what type of electric bicycle you are buying, what purpose will be used for and how much do you really want to spend for one.

The next step that you should take would be to educate yourself as much as you can about your electric bicycle. Electric bikes are different than electric scooters and electric mopeds and you should know the difference between these vehicles so that you are not making a mistake in buying the wrong thing. A particular category of electric bicycle that you will want to buy. For example, there are basically two main types of electric bicycles that are on the market. One type is a trail electric bicycle and the other is a commuter electric bicycle. In the category of commuter electric bicycles there are several different types of those as well. For example there are recumbent bikes wherein the seat is back further from the pedals so that you get a full leg extension, there are tricycles which are big electric bikes that have three wheels instead of just two, and that there are several other different versions of the regular pewter electric bicycle.

In the case of trail bikes, there are quite a few different types of trail bikes available and there are also electric dirt bikes as well. So, as you can see you will have to sit down and do some research as to what kind of electric bicycle you will want. Once you have a couple of these variables figured out you can then start your search for electric bikes. You can get a real fast idea as to the price range of the electric bikes that you are considering by going to Amazon has about 1700 different listings for electric bicycles. EBay, has just about as many as Amazon does. The reason I say take a look at these electric bicycles so that you can get a real fast idea as to what types they have with the names of some of the manufacturers are.

After you look at those sites where you will get the names of the different electric bike manufacturers out there, you can further research the electric bikes that you want by going to the different manufacturing websites. If the electric bike is of high quality, usually you'll get all sorts of information from their website to include their return policies, warranties, and any other information that you may find pertinent to buying an electric bicycle.

There are also quite a few reviews sites that are out on the Internet as well. If you do a Google search and include the term "review" in the search, you will probably come up with reviews of electric bikes that are on the market today. Taking these steps will ensure that you will get as much information as you can and educate yourself as much as you can on the types of electric bicycles are on the market today.

Rechargeable batteries come in all different sizes, shapes and compositions!
Rechargeable batteries come in all different sizes, shapes and compositions!

Before You Buy Electric Bike Learn about the Batteries

If you are considering buying electric bicycle there are couple things that you need to know so that you won't waste a lot of money and make mistakes. Electric bike culture definitely has a learning curve to it and you should become well acquainted to what of electric bike is, what makes it move, and what the heart of  electric bikes really is. I can sum them up for you very quickly. The main to think that you need to be worried about is the electric bike motor and the electric batteries that power the motor (as well as the charger that goes along with the electric batteries).

Over the last 15 years or so electric bike batteries have changed tremendously and new improvements are almost made daily on the technology involved with batteries. For example, M I T or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been doing a lot of experimentation in battery technology which is actually made quantum leaps in this area. For example, they're making their batteries paper – thin which can carry the charge of almost a regular battery. This will be a huge jump in technology which will help electric bikes on many different levels because you can then paste or affixed the electric battery to the frame of the electric bike and you will be so light it will make any difference.

So, the lighter the bike battery and the better can carry a charge the better off you will be. Back in the good old days, the only types of batteries that were being produced were lead – acid batteries which were very heavy and took a long time to charge up. These were not rechargeable batteries either back in the old days and so you had a charge up the batteries just like you would a car battery. As a matter fact they look like are batteries and they were very very heavy and drug the bike down. Now, there are two types of electric rechargeable batteries and they are lithium-based and nickel-based rechargeable batteries. These two types of batteries are much lighter than the lead-based ones and they can charge up much quicker and hold a charge much longer. However there was one caveat that favors the lead-based batteries and that is the fact that lead-based batteries are not affected by cold temperatures as much as the lithium-based and nickel-based batteries. This is relevant  if you're living in the North and the reason why the lead-based batteries hold a charge better is because they are denser, heavier and the cold is not effective as much. However, they are much heavier as I said before, and they tend to make the electric bicycle much heavier and much slower.

Just knowing this much about electric bike batteries will help you in deciding what type of electric bicycle you're going to get, what type of motor to look at as well as one of the most important facets, what type of electric rechargeable batteries that the unit has.  Note: Electric scooters, as well as electric mopeds use these batteries as well.

Electric Bike Battery Check


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