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Fast paced trends and rise in technology has predominantly seen drastic changes in the evolution of almost every product in the market today. It’s the same trend with an Australian E-bike, as a result research shows that in 2019 people spent about 2.9 hours cycling a week while it was 2.5 hours back in 2017, and about 3.43 million Australians ride bikes for transport and recreational purposes a week which is quite large number. So what factors do you typically consider while choosing your Australian e-bike?
Range and Capacity? – Capacity of the battery is what determines the range of an electric bike, thus the calculation is simple, the more the capacity, greater the number of power-bolstered miles. Based on the battery capacity, it is easy to compare bikes from various brands and choose the bike which suits your needs the most. Most brands specify battery range in kilometers but a variety of factors such as tyre pressure, steep roads, weight on bike, speed et al will affect the performance. Usually bikes with an LCD display will show an updated range on the go. The capacity of the battery is usually calculated by watt hours which is voltage of the battery multiplied by amp hours of the battery.
WATT HOURS (Wh)=VOLTAGE*AMP HOURS (Ah)
Mid Drive or Hub Drive Motor? – Electric bikes are vividly designed for different purposes and needs. You must actually decide on what features are mostly important to you. Just like for comfort, a step-through frame could be the best. For climbing hills perhaps, a mid-motor system or high torque hub motor may be the best. In case you enjoy long distance rides, a powerful battery is more suited. There are commonly two types of motors used in E-bikes, mid drive and hub drive motors. Mid-drive motors are centrally located and transfer the power to the rear wheel via the bicycles chain drive while hub drive is within the rear wheel hub and powers the wheel of the bike directly. Hub drive motors are less commonly found on the front wheel. The mid-drive motor is more sophisticated and used for high performance and torque compared to a traditional hub motor. Due to the fact that the mid-drive motor drives the crank, instead of the wheel like in the case of hub motor, it multiplies its power and takes advantage of your e-bikes already existing gears. However, a mid-drive motor is also quite expensive. Consideration of your own personal needs will only help you choose the best electric bike with all the features you need.
Motor Power – The motor power is measured by Watts and usually there are motors available from 200 Watts, 250 Watts, 500 Watts, 700 Watts and so on. Higher the watt power the better the performance in regards to acceleration and speed. The legal limit allowed in Australia is 250 Watts on public roads. Two motors of the same power may not ideally perform in the same way. Here the torque also comes into play. In short, torque defines the bikes hill climbing power. On the whole, an e-bike with more torque has more hill climbing power than a bike with less torque.
Step through frame or step over frame? – The frame is an important aspect of your bike and contradictory to traditional beliefs that a Step through frame is usually designed for women, isn’t right. Step through frames are completely comfortable and unisex, often used for utility bicycles. They are easy to mount or dismount and suitable for all age groups. However, they might be a bit heavier. A step over frame is also commonly called as the diamond frame and they are pretty strong and stiff, which is why most bicycles are made with not just one, but two bars. The main frame, and the rear triangle – those two back to back look kind of like a diamond, which is why it is called a diamond style frame. The e-bike with this frame is usually lighter and stronger than a step through frame.
External or Integrated Battery? – External batteries are usually cheaper than the integrated batteries and can also be purchased as spare from a 3rd party supplier. The integrated battery is part of the bicycle frame and is hidden in the frame of your e-bike, and this means that it is not really clear that it’s an e-bike and thus lesser chances of theft. However, spare integrated batteries should be bought only from the bike manufacturer/supplier. Integrated battery designs are quite popular these days because of their stealthy design and their ability to look similar to a regular bicycle.
Weight of the electric bike – With all the technology at play in an Electric bike, it is easy to know that an e-bike weighs more than a regular bike. If an Electric bike weighs lighter, perhaps it is because they are sacrificing on range and power. However, with an ever improving battery technology that will change in the future. If weight is an issue, you can always consider a smaller style of electric bike and some models of electric bikes overcome this issue with a feature called “walk assist” mode. Walk assist mode supplies power to the E-bike at a minimum level so that it is easier to walk along the bike.
Quality – Electric bikes are a revolutionary form of transportation. The quality of an electric bicycle is extremely crucial and is critical especially if you decide to use your electric bike daily. The quality though is easy to judge by checking the parts of the bicycle. However, the motor and battery should be thoroughly researched. Overall your electric bike should also be setup and tuned properly.
Bike components and warranty – Purchasing any electric bike is as good as an investment, regardless of its price. The warrantee of your E-bike is very important and always buy your E-bike from a dealer who provides with a standard warrantee. This is why, service post sale from your local bike dealer is important and so is the warranty of the product you are buying.
Most of us believe that electric bikes often need regular expensive servicing as maintenance but that NOT true. An electric bike should almost be similar to a traditional bike and will usually need servicing of its mechanical parts. That’s a very important reason why the warranty of electric parts is highly essential.
Are you comfortable? – Discomfort while riding your bike will reduce the usability factor of your bike. Bikes are used for different needs, from commuting to work, to shopping or even recreational purposes, and so the bike you buy must provide you the utmost comfort. So what exactly is the metric that plays a key role in your comfort? It is simple, the design of the bike and the saddle. Traditionally a road bike or a mountain bike has the rider leaning forward quite a bit. Many people actually fine a more upright riding style quite comfortable, as is found in cruiser bikes and a number of ‘commuter’ bikes. The only way to find out what suits your riding style is to try the bike. Perhaps small changes in bike geometry can also make a big difference to the feel of a bike.
You ride your electric bike without breaking a sweat and thus making commutation hassle-free, your travel to or from work is easy, you preserve environment, and in times like the Pandemic Covid-19, having your own electric bike means maintaining your own social distance and this trend has been observed this year globally. Stay safe, ride well & make heads-turn…
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