Which Electric Bike is best for you?
Why buy an electric bike? Plain and simple, they’re a blast! Chances are if you ride a bike in this day and age you’ve heard of electric bikes, or e-bikes for short. Over the last few years, this area of cycling has taken off as technological developments have brought many reliable options onto the market at lower price points. This has served to make e-bikes a legitimate form of alternative transportation, particularly as commuting habits change amidst a global pandemic. This post will primarily address hybrid and commuter type e-bikes to help you make a more informed decision before pulling the trigger.
Why buy an electric bike?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go up steep hills without even breaking a sweat? Or ride further and faster than you ever have before? E-bikes make pedaling easier and make cycling more accessible. Let’s start with getting rid of the car. Over half of driving trips are less than ten miles, all you need is a good rack and panniers and you’re set for a majority of trips. No need to change clothes when you get to your destination either, you’ll sweat much less than you would on a regular bike. Do all this while avoiding traffic jams, getting exercise, and reducing your carbon footprint. People who would otherwise be sedentary often rediscover the joys of cycling on an e-bike. The smooth, powerful boost is very predictable and gives riders the confidence and freedom to enjoy the outdoors. They are also great if you have an underlying injury or health condition that would otherwise prevent you from biking. Another great feature on most electric bikes we sell is the Bosch motor/battery system. Bosch has been making batteries for a long time, and their award winning eBike systems have been top of the game for over ten years. Additionally, as opposed to other systems, Bosch’s products are reliable and the company will still be around years down the road when you need service and support. Cheap drive systems are flimsy and provide a clunky ride experience so spending the extra money to get a good one on your bike is well worth it. All of our e-bikes with Bosch systems feature four levels of assist accessed via an LCD display, ranging from “eco” (least) to turbo (most). Each level adds more power, but also drains the battery quicker. But fear not, you can also ride them like a normal bike if you run out of juice. On select models, you can even add another battery to effectively double your range.
Enough praising, what about the negative aspects of electric bikes? First off, they’re expensive. If you are looking to get a decent e-bike, you should expect to pay at least $1500. Of course there are cheaper options, but anything below this price point usually lacks greatly in quality and durability. However, compare this to the money you’ll save on gas and car maintenance, in addition to the added health benefits. Secondly, they’re darn heavy. Most e-bikes weigh somewhere around 40 to 50 pounds, generally adding an extra 20 pounds compared to a normal bike. Modern geometry helps these bikes handle very well despite their weight, but you better make sure you have a hefty car or bike rack to carry it around.
Which e-bike is best for me?
Buying an electric bike is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Before you start, these questions will help you narrow down your criteria:
What do I want to use the bike for?
How long are my rides, and how often am I riding?
Do I prioritize comfort or efficiency?
How much do I want to spend?
Many models have varying pricing and features, which can often determine your ideal bike. Use the Trek bike finder for a more comprehensive breakdown of this process. Now that you have somewhat of an idea about your riding habits, let’s break down some of our most popular electric bikes.
- Devin Keefe