More and more of you are choosing the electric bike. Indeed, the eco-mobility revolution is underway and you want to be part of it to take advantage of the many cycle paths that flourish in our cities. Thanks to the electrically assisted bicycle, you will no longer have any difficulties in getting to your destination. All this without emitting a single gram of CO2.
In this guide we give you the 8 essential criteria to take into account when buying your electric bike. How to choose your electric bike?
1.An electrically powered bike for what use?
Whether it is to get around town or to make routes on the countryside, you will always find electric bikes adapted to your needs. But in one case or another the technical characteristics of electric bikes may vary and should therefore influence your choice.
An e-bike for use in the city
If your electric bike needs to take you from point A to point B every day, for example between your home and your workplace, it is worth choosing a cycle that reconciles practicality and good performance.
A folding electric bike for work
That is easy to store can be a good solution in a case like this. Generally, folding models are lighter which makes them practical for storing them at home, transporting them on a train or even parking them at work.
Electric bikes for use all the way
If you want to choose a classic bike that can ride both on roads and on country roads, then it is better to choose a VTC, an electric bike all the way. This type of electric bike is the right compromise between a city bike and an ATV bike. It is advisable to opt for a model equipped with 26 inches wheels and equipped with all the necessary accessories for use in the city such as mud guards, luggage door or front light.
Electric bikes for off-road use
The last category includes electric ATVs (or Fat bike), which are intended for a more sporty use.They are usually equipped with larger tires to run on the most difficult surfaces (such as forest roads).Electric all-terrain bikes (electric ATVs) are not equipped with special accessories but it may be appropriate to have mud guards.
2.Different types of battery for an electric bike
As you can imagine, the battery is the most important element of an electric bike. It is therefore necessary to pay particular attention to the technical characteristics of the batteries before purchasing an electrically assisted bike.
For example, anticipate the replacement of the battery by asking the seller or the bike brand about the availability of the unit battery in the coming years.
Since 2021, the French government has obliged manufacturers to offer you spare parts for a period of 5 years after your purchase.
Also learn about the technology of the electric bike battery, its range, and whether it is removable or not.There are several types of lithium batteries and they have all their advantages and disadvantages.
Choose a recognized manufacturer of electric bikes
The first criterion to check on an electric bike battery is the name of the manufacturer.This is already a guarantee of quality on its manufacture and the reliability of the announced characteristics.
The different types of batteries for electric bikes in terms of battery for electric bikes, the best choice is to opt for the Lithium-ion technology as it is the latest and most reliable.In addition, Lithium batteries are less heavy than lead batteries and, above all, they are not sensitive to memory effects.
That is to say, you do not have to wait until the battery is completely discharged to charge it. It's more convenient to recharge your electric bike on the fly, and besides, it doesn't affect the battery life in any way.
You can also find batteries with Lithium polymer (Li-Po) technology but they are not at all suitable for a product such as a bicycle. If they are lighter, they suffer from heat instability and have a short lifespan.They are more often found in drones or models.The technologies to be banned are lead-acid batteries as well as cadmium batteries because they are technologically outdated.
The lead battery is heavier than the Lithium-ion and has a shorter lifespan.
(Ed: in 2021, it is fortunately no longer possible to find leaded batteries on the French market. These are therefore not even less interesting because they are not covered by the subsidy for electric bicycles.)
3.Battery performance of an electric bike
After choosing a Lithium-Ion battery, you need to look at the performance of the battery. Basically, there are two criteria to look at to make the right choice, voltage and amperage in the hour. While there are several volt volts on the electric bike market, the most standard is 36V volts. You must then pay attention to the amperage expressed in ampere / hour (Ah) because this will condition the battery's range.
The capacity of electric bike batteries ranges from 8 Ah to 15 Ah.For example, with a 36V 8 Ah battery count on a range of only 30 km, with a 36V 10 Ah battery a range of 50-70 km and with a 36V battery 15 Ah a range of 80 km.
It is important to know that the autonomies announced by the manufacturers can vary from reality because they depend on the weight of the user, the type of terrain you drive, if you drive at 25 km / h all the time or the level of electrical assistance used.
4.How much engine power for an electric bike?
Once you've made your choice on the type of battery you want, it's time to look at the power of the engine. In fact, if the battery will define the range of the electric bike, the motor will be the element that will deliver the speed of the vehicle.
In France, the power of electric bikes is regulated by law so all bicycles have the same maximum power of 250W.Even if the battery is capable of delivering a higher power, manufacturers are obliged to restrain the engine at 250W (250 watts).
In fact, above 250W an electric bike is considered by law to be a moped. Also called Speedbike, this one must be registered and insured.
In this case, we lose all the interest in the ease of use of the electric bike.
The second constraint of the law concerns the maximum speed of the electric bike.It is set at a maximum of 25 km/h. Once this speed has reached, the electrical assistance shall be switched off automatically.
The same is true if the driver stops or stops pedalling.It is therefore not legal to use an acceleration trigger to avoid pedaling, even below 25 km / h when driving on the public road.
Most electric bikes are debrideable to exceed 25 km / h but in this case the vehicle can only be used on private roads. It is then impossible to ride with it on the public road.
5.The position of the motor of an electric bike
On this criterion you will find 3 engine type options depending on the position of the engine on the bike. Be aware that the position of the engine is primarily a matter of feeling about the daily use of the device.
Engine located in the front wheel
If the engine is installed in the front wheel you will have a very linear driving sensation.That is, there will be little difference in power between two pedal strokes.To put it together, it's as if someone was pushing you in the back while pedaling.
Engine located in the rear wheel
In short, there is little difference between an engine placed in the front hub or the rear wheel of the bike. Specialists agree that if the engine is in the front, the bike will be less stable and will lack grip on difficult terrain.But in town or on bitumen you won't feel any difference.
Motor located in the crankset
High-end electric bikes are usually equipped with this system. The central electric motor allows a smoother acceleration that accompanies your pedal kick.If you want to install an electric bike conversion kit to give your old classic city bike or road bike electrical support, this is the last type of engine you need to turn to.
Battery located on the rear baggage doors
The great advantage of putting the battery on the rear luggage doors is the price.This allows manufacturers to use conventional bike frames and only to attach a battery to them.The bike is more compact and shorter.
However, the major drawback is that the rear of the bike becomes overweight.
This will impact the centre of gravity of the vehicle and any additional load on the luggage doors will be negatively felt while driving the bike.
This is an important criterion when choosing an electric powered bike or an electric ATV.Especially on folding electric bikes, it is generally better to have the battery inside the frame.
6.The type of electrical assistance
There are two types of assistive devices in the electric bike market, the main difference being the nature of the sensors that drive the motor.The rotation sensor for electrically powered bicycles. It is the most used in the electric bike market.The engine comes into action as you cycle and stops when you no longer cycle.
It equipment most cycles because it is the simplest to maintain and the cheapest. Its only drawback is that the power is delivered in all or nothing. To adjust this, you will have to regulate the level of assistance depending on the terrain and the wind.Once the engine is activated, you are propelled at 11 km / h on flat ground, with the 1st level of assistance, and at 18 km / h with the intermediate level.
The torque (stress) sensor for electrically assisted bicycles.This technology measures the pressure exerted directly on the pedals.Basically, the more you press the pedals, the higher the electrical assistance the motor gives you. So, for example, it is easier to climb ribs because the bike immediately understands the level of difficulty you are in.
The other advantage of the torque sensor is that it ensures better motor reactivity and lower energy consumption (because the assistance is activated only when the force is required).
But every good thing at a price! And the stress sensors are more expensive and you'll find it especially on high-end electric bikes.
In either case you will have several levels of assistance that can be adjusted with the help of the controller attached to the handlebars.
7.The driving position of an electric bike
Another criterion to consider before purchasing an electric bike is the driving position.It is defined in relation to the shape of the frame.Right position.
This is the most classic position because it corresponds to that of a classic city bike with a high handlebar and close to the cyclist.The advantage of this type of frame is the comfort of use on an electric bike because it allows the arms to be relaxed as well as the head and back well straight, unlike the electric ATV.
It is more and more found in new models of electric bikes. The driver then leaned more forward for a more sporty feeling and greater driving pleasure.This is commonly the case on electric ATVs or Fat bikes, which are rarely used to drive in urban areas.
8.Changing gears of an electric bike
You will find 2 types of gearshift system on the electric bike market.Gear change per derailleur.It's the most widely used system that everyone knows.It allows you to change speed during pedalling.It is suitable for both classical and sporting driving.In the latter case, if it is coupled with a motor in the crankset it allows to obtain a greater torque.
The gearshift in the rear hub
Less common than the derailleur, it still has many advantages.First of all with the gearshift in the rear hub you can change gears without pedaling. It is impossible to derail and it is no longer necessary to bother maintaining your bike chain on a regular basis.The latter is protected by a closed system.
The importance of disc brakes on electric bikes
In terms of safety, it is essential to have an electrically assisted bike with front and rear disc brakes.With the thrust of the engine, it is essential to have good braking, especially on an electric ATV that requires high quality braking.These disc brakes can be mechanical or even better hydraulic for an even better bite when pressing the brake.
Availability of spare parts
To finish this article of criteria on how to choose your electric bike, it should be added that it is always necessary to inquire about the availability of spare parts from the seller.
First, it will allow you to quickly gauge the seriousness of the seller. Indeed, if an electric bike salesman tells you that he does not have spare parts, it is clear that either he is not serious or he is not an electric bike specialist.
Secondly, in order to know how to choose your bike, you need to know above all whether the battery of the electric bike will still be available in a spare part in the coming years in case you need to change it.
All electric bike batteries have different shapes and finding one compatible in another brand can sometimes be complicated.