How to Choose the Best E-bike for Commuting

Since their debut at CES years ago, e-bikes have become an essential part of commuters' daily life. Such an increase in demand means more companies are producing electric bikes for commuting, making it more challenging to choose the right one for you.

Having used multiple electric bikes, I'll help you choose the right e-bike for commuting and help you avoid some of the mistakes I made when I bought my first e-bike. Ready? Let's ride.

Why Choose An Electric Bike Over A Regular Bike?

At first glance, an electric bike doesn't look so different from the regular bikes you see every day. However, e-bikes are equipped with a motor that assists you to pedal, doing most of the work for you and conserving your energy.

Since you don't tire out your legs so fast, you'll find it allows you to travel longer distances. I enjoy avoiding the traffic on my way to work every morning, and I don't even break a sweat! On weekends, they are an effortless way to get around without stress. From the grocery store to the train station down to the office, commuting with an electric bike is smooth and comfortable.

8 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Electric Bike

Things To Consider Before Getting an Electric Bike for Commuting

When I was shopping for my latest electric bike, I compiled a list of things to look out for and consider before getting one. Here are some things to keep an eye on as you make your purchase:

1. Electric Bike Battery

When purchasing, I chose an E-bike with a battery capacity I knew could go the distance from my home to office and back multiple times before needing to recharge. A lot of quality commuter electric bikes such as Dohiker Y1, Himo Z16, Himo Z20, and ADO A20+ have a battery capacity of 10Ah, you can ride them for 80 kilometers at the pedal-assist mode. If your commuting distance is less than 8km, you can ride the electric bike for commuting for a week without a single recharge.

Another fact to consider is how you plan to charge the battery. If you know you'll need to charge on the go or in your office, then you should only buy e-bikes with a removable battery. In the electric bicycle I just listed, only Dohiker Y1 has an unremovable battery.

2. Electric Bike Motor Power

The second thing you need to determine is the motor power. I stay in a hilly area, but with pedal-assist mode, the 250W electric bike I bought is good enough for me. The motor supplies sufficient power to climb those hills easily. My e-bike is perfect for my uphill rides around town at a sporty pace. And the max speed of my bike is 25km/h, so I can ride on city roads safely and will not violate the e-bike regulations in Europe.

According to the regulations in Europe, you need to get your e-bike registered if its motor power is more than 250W and you want to ride it on public roads. The registration requires some certifications, but the only compulsory certification for an electric bicycle to enter the European market is CE certification, so if you buy a bicycle with more than 250W, you may not be able to have it registered.

3. Electric Bike Tire Size

You could choose a thin or fat tire e-bike, but that’s not a minor factor. Fat tires are better at navigating rough terrain and uneven, porthole-filled roads. 26" tires are pretty much the standard for e-bikes for those reasons. Also, you can coast and roll for longer on fat tires since they maintain their speed better than thin 16" and 20" e-bikes.

However, thin e-bikes are better at picking up the pace, although fat tires are more stable at top speeds. If you want a folding e-bike, you're likely to get a 20" or 16" bike. Otherwise, fat tires or 26” electric mountain bikes are the way to go.

4. Folding electric bike or not

Folding e-bikes are a popular choice because they're easy to store and assemble. If you need to carry your electric bike into a bus, train, office, trunk, and even elevators, you'll need a folding electric bike. To ensure that your bike fits perfectly into these small spaces, it's best to check the folded size of the electric bike before placing orders. Generally,

5. Electric Bike Weight

Your bike's weight influences the ease with which you'll ride it. The lighter the bike, the easier it is to get up to speed and perform stunts if you're into that. Aside from that, you really wouldn't enjoy hauling an overly heavy bike around whenever you want to use it. The heavier parts of an electric bicycle are batteries and wheels. If you want a lighter bike, you can choose a thin tire under 20 inches with a battery capacity of no more than 10Ah.

6. Electric Bike Braking System

Depending on what you want, you can choose a hydraulic or mechanical braking system. Mechanical disc brake is adopted by most commuter electric bicycles, because it’s affordable and effective enough. Hydraulic brakes are more powerful and have a modulated feel to them, but they are more expensive. For safety, most electric bicycles are equipped with front and rear brakes, but it is also very important to reconfirm before buying.

Click here to learn more about the differences between hydraulic braking and mechanical braking

7. Electric Bike Suspension

The suspension makes your bike comfortable and gives you more control. It softens the impact of your bike when riding on mountains or other rough roads. Although the suspension is important, they're not entirely necessary if you're just going to be using your e-bike for commuting through smooth streets. Normally, you don’t need a full-suspension electric bike, a simple spring suspension is good enough for cycling on city roads. But if you want to have little adventures on the weekends, you can choose an electric bike with lockable front suspension, so you can adjust the front fork according to your needs: comfort first or speed first.

8. Electric Bike Head & Tail Lights

These are safety features you should look out for. Your electric bike head and taillights lend you visibility when riding in the dark, which in turn prevents accidents. If you ride bikes at night, you must get one with bright head and tail lights. There are two kinds of tail lights for electric bikes: rear reflector and real tail lights. Rear reflectors are made of ordinary reflective material which don’t require any batteries or maintain, and they are more affordable. Real tail lights have LED beams in it, will flash when you braking or turning.

9. City Road Cycling Policies for Electric Bikes In Your Country

Since many countries are regulating the use of electric bikes, you'd have to consider these cycling policies. Going against these rules can lead to penalties, especially when they're strictly enforced. Most of the countries and areas in Europe limit the max speed of electric bikes to 25km/h and output motor power to 250W. As long as your electric bike meet the requirement, you don’t need to get it registered or wearing a helmet. The electric bike will be treated as regular bikes.

10. Your Budget for The Electric Bike

Unlike before, when electric bikes were considered a luxury, electric bikes are now quite affordable. You can get one for €500 - €1000. Quality e-bikes will cost more than others, especially if you're looking for an all-purpose electric bike with special features. But with a few hundred Euros, you'll be able to get great bikes for commuting. If your budget is quite limited, and your commuting needs are simple, you can choose a commuter electric bike with affordable features such as mechanical disc brakes, spring suspension, battery capacity under 10Ah, etc. And brands including Himo, Dohiker, Niubility, Onebot, ADO, Samebike are very affordable because they are very popular, so they can keep the price low.

The Best Commuter Electric Bike In 2021

Here are some of the best electric bikes that are not only affordable but are gems when it comes to power, ease of use, features, etc. Thinking about buying an electric bike? Start here.

Himo Z16 250W Folding Electric Bike

If you're ever in need of a bike that's quite user-friendly and reliable, then the Xiaomi Himo Z16 250W Folding Electric Bike is a great choice. One thing I like about this bike is its sleek design, coupled with the fact that it can be folded easily. For a bike sold for less than €600, Himo Z16 comes with really useful features that offer good value for your money.

Pros

Simple, elegant design

250W motor, 25km/h max speed

Removable 10Ah battery

80km mileage at PAS mode

Front and rear disc brake 

Tough tires and wheel, small folding size

User friendly LCD display

Rear spring shock absorption

Durable & lightweight aluminum alloy frame

IPX7 waterproof

Con

Single-speed function

Dohiker Y1 350W Folding Electric Bike

Perhaps the first thing that caught my attention about the Dohiker Y1 350W Folding Electric Bike was the thoroughly put-together color scheme. The Dohiker Y1 will be a great choice if you're big on statement bikes. It has a high battery capacity, waterproof feature, a shock absorber, LED head and taillight, multiple working modes, and a foldable head design. One thing I like about the Dohiker Y1 is the convenience it offers, and since I've ridden it, I can tell you that this is an awesome choice for a commuting electric bike.

Pros

10Ah battery capacity

Powerful 350W motor

Front and rear disc brake  

Colorful & unique design

Central shock absorption

With LED headlight and taillight

21kg net weight

Durable & lightweight aluminum alloy frame

The most affordable on this list

Cons

Not entirely foldable

The battery can't be removed for charging

Single-speed function  

Himo C20 250W Folding Electric Bike

Priced at around 600 Euros, Xiaomi Himo C20 250W Folding Electric Bike is one of the most compact e-bikes available right now. Equipped with a flat tire, three levels of pedal assist, dual disc brakes, a great battery range and size, two LED displays, and so on, this offers speed and convenience. I don't recommend the bike for people who have a lot of weight because it won't cover much distance. However, the Himo C20 works just quite well for commuting around the city.

Pros

Front and rear LED lights

10Ah battery, 80km mileage at PAS mode

Front and rear disc brake

BMS battery management system to ensure safety

Shimano 6 speed

Integrated tire pump

Modern and practical design

Durable & lightweight aluminum alloy frame

Cons

Not entirely foldable (consider Himo Z20 if you need an entirely foldable e-bike)

Need some pedaling to start the throttle

No mudguard

Samebike 20LVXD30 350W Folding Electric Bike

Samebike is famous from their affordable electric bikes, among all samebike electric bikes, Samebike 20LVXD30 is the most suitable one for city-road commuting. Compare to Himo e-bikes, it has more advanced features such as variable speed, charging phone holder, remote start, etc.

Pros

350W powerful motor

35km/h max speed

Shimano 7 speed

Front and rear disc brake

Front fork suspension & saddle suspension

Foldable design

Start the pure electric mode without pedaling

70km mileage at PAS mode

Durable & lightweight aluminum alloy frame

20kg net weight

Equipped with LED lights, electric horn and phone holder

Comes with car-like key fobs with remote search function, help you locate your parked e-bike

Can lock the output power to 250W, max speed to 25km/h

Cons

The back light is a reflector

ADO A20+ 350W Electric Bike

ADO A20+ is a updated version of the popular electric bike ADO A20, the controller is updated. It  is a very attractive electric bicycle both in terms of design and performance. With ADO A20+, you will feel comfortable both for going to the office and for day-to-day use and weekends.

 

Pros

Elegant looking

New Controller with an optional throttle

350W powerful motor

35km/h max speed

Freely switch between pedal assist drive and hybrid drive

HD LCD screen, clear under sunshine

Shimano 7 speed

Front and rear disc brake

Front fork suspension & saddle suspension

Foldable design

Start the pure electric mode without pedaling

70km mileage at PAS mode

Durable & lightweight aluminum alloy frame

21kg net weight

Equipped with LED lights, electric horn and phone holder

Can lock the output power to 250W, max speed to 25km/h

Cons

The most expensive e-bike on this list

In Summery

A good commuter electric bike usually has the following features

  • Compact size
  • Just enough power motor
  • Moderate battery capacity
  • Fashinable design
  • Light weight
  • Effective braking system
  • Affordable price

and more.

If you have more questions about e-bikes for commuting, please contact us by sending an email to support@buybestgear.com or chat online with us.

 

 


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