Buying an Electric Bike in 2023: Everything You Need to Know

Bicycles have been a sustainable mode of transport for centuries. Countless people have been switching from driving cars to cycling to get to work. Electric bikes are not staying behind either. They have countless environmental benefits and cut a significant portion of the carbon emissions per person. Not to mention, electric bikes also help people stay in shape and benefit their health in many other ways. 

If all of this doesn’t put you in the mood of buying an electric bike, then maybe you have one already. But if you’re thinking about getting one for yourself, you’re on the right track. This electric bike buyer’s guide will tell you all you need to know about buying an electric bike. From its benefits and types to pricing and accessories, Tech I Want will help you figure if an electric bike is worth it for you.


What is an ebike?

Before getting into the details, let’s learn what an electric bike is. Although it has a couple of types, the standard electric bike is a motorized bicycle that amplifies the power and speed you produce when pedaling. This amplification is otherwise known as pedal-assist, which is pretty self-explanatory. Ultimately, you get a bike that is easier to ride, goes faster, and makes you feel like a superhero with extraordinary powers. 

Electric bikes work with batteries, so you do have to charge them to be able to ride. Some ebikes even feature throttles that allow you to speed up whenever you want. A significant number of people switching their car for an electric bike choose to start with one that features a throttle. Since the speed of an ebike is limited, the learning curve may seem steep to some people.


Why do you need an ebike?

As you can already imagine, buying an electric bike is totally worth it. But if you need a little more convincing, these facts will probably push you over the edge. Here are just some of the benefits you get with an ebike.

  • Ride faster and further: You spend less energy when pedaling, thanks to the pedal-assist of an ebike. This means that you can get from point A to B more effortlessly than with a regular bike. Plus, pedal-assist allows you to go even faster. Usually, you can go up to 20mph.
  • No driver’s license required: Most ebikes that meet certain criteria don’t require you to have a license to drive. You don’t even need to register them, and you won’t get taxed. Usually, there won’t even be an age limit.
  • Extremely flexible: If you live in a busy city, you know the struggle that comes with driving a car. Finding parking is a hassle, and traffic is just a waste of your precious time. With an electric bike, you get all the flexibility that you’d get with an analog bicycle, but better.

Note: Electric bikes have 3 classes that determine where and you can ride, plus some other regulations. With classes 1& 2, you can freely ride in bike lanes. If you want to buy a class 3 ebike, you should get to know the regulations before pulling the trigger.

  • Fitness and fun: When riding an ebike, you get an adrenaline rush. It makes you feel powerful. So much so that you may even forget that you’re working out. This is one of the biggest benefits of electric bikes.

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Different types of ebikes

Although it sounds like a relatively new term, the ebike has been around for a long while. That’s why inventors have managed to come up with options for virtually any taste. Whether you’re going to use your ebike to commute to work or wish to go off-roading, you’ll definitely find your perfect match. In choosing an electric bike fit for your needs, you first need to decide what type of ebike you want. Here are the 3 main types.

Cruiser

You could call this type the “lite” version of an ebike. You get comfort and a casual driving experience. If you’re simply looking to upgrade your analog bike to an electric one, the cruiser might be an ideal candidate for you.

Hybrid

The hybrid is a long-range bike that can go as fast as 28mph. This type of electric bike is perfect for those who want to get to work extra fast and avoid traffic, plus those who are looking for a workout bike. 

Off-road

Ebike inventors didn’t forget about adventurers who love to explore their mountains on a bike. Off-road electric bikes are built to be resilient, go longer and be more powerful than other types. After all, they’re meant to help you cross difficult terrain.


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  • Compatible with Cruiser and Cruiser Step Thru.
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Ebike motor types (pros and cons)

Now that you have some basic knowledge of electric bikes, let’s start hashing out the specifics. Starting with the heart of your ebike, let’s talk about the two best ebike motor types, along with their pros and cons.

Rear hub motor

The rear hub ebike motor is assembled onto the rear part of your bike. It records your pedaling effort and adjusts the amount of assist accordingly. These types of motors are more common in off-road and hybrid bikes due to their lower cost and lightweight structure. Plus, since your weight is leaning on the rear side, it adds more traction, which means more assistance. This can help you a lot in slippery environments.

Centrally-mounted motor

This type of motor is extremely precise in measuring the effort you put in pedaling, so it provides an accurate amount of assistance. A centrally-mounted motor measures the power directly, but due to the amount of pressure it’s under, it may wear and tear a bit faster. So although it requires more maintenance, it might be a better fit for your needs.


Batteries

When buying an electric bike, the battery is another one of the biggest factors to consider. The battery decides how far you can travel and more. So, when it comes to the battery, we recommend you consider these 3 components.

  • Position: The batteries of an ebike are usually located either on the outside or inside of the bike. If you’re a mountain biker or a road cyclist, then you should go for more compact batteries that can be integrated into the frame of your bike. You’ll get better performance and a sleek look. If you drive in the city, a bigger battery mounted on the outside is the one for you. You’ll still get great performance, plus you can remove it during charging for your convenience and safety.
  • Capacity: If you need your electric bike to assist you during longer journeys, consider the battery capacity carefully. You might even want to prioritize ebikes that offer swappable battery packs. Capacity is measured in amp-hours, and you’ll usually find 10 amp-hour batteries to be the norm. They are said to last you 20-40 miles per charge. It all depends on how you use it. You can also choose the weight and what it’s made of (if you want to be serious about it). We recommend you choose a 6lb lithium battery since it’s lightweight and has the highest energy density.
  • Shape: Last but not least, you have to find the ideal fit for your ebike. It’s easier said than done, but a crucial step in buying an electric bike is making sure you get a battery back that’ll go with it. You shouldn’t go all in and get the biggest battery because those are heavy and may not fit. Instead, a good rule of thumb to follow is to go for the smallest battery you can find for the range you need.

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Power

Your preferences are the number one thing to consider when deciding what to look for in an electric bike. Luckily, most ebikes have a wide range of power modes you can try to find your favorite. Some have an interface right on the frame, and some can be remote controlled through your smartphone. Test out your ebike modes to find your holy grail. 

Keep in mind that power and weight are deeply connected. So, consider your weight, the weight of your battery, the weight of stuff you’ll be carrying, etc. If you’re going out for groceries, you may need to choose a beefier mode on the ride back.


Weight

As you can imagine, an electric bike is heavier than a manual bike due to the added battery and motor. This may become an obstacle for some people when they try to carry their ebike up the stairs. In general, you can find an eclectic bike that’ll weigh around 10kg, but it’s all uphill from there. Some large city bikes weigh up to 25kg. Although a heavier build gives you more control on rocky roads, your priorities may be different. 


The price

You already want to get an ebike, don’t you? But how much does an electric bike cost? Well, you shouldn’t expect to get an ebike for too cheap. If you want a standard quality electric bike, it won’t cost you any less than $1,500. If you’re taking this even more seriously and want to find a solid quality ebike from a well-known brand, you can get an amazing option for around $3,000-$5,500. 

Keep in mind that although electric bikes are not cheap, they also save you money over time. If you get an ebike, you’ll find yourself leaving the car in the garage and going for the bike more and more often. Having paid so much money to get an ebike, you’ll be motivated to use it more and more, so it’ll keep you healthy too.


What accessories do you need?

After buying an electric bike, you’ll want to get some accessories to go with it too. Some are necessary, and some are totally optional, but here’s our list of accessories you will need.

  • Helmet: Helmets are mandatory for class 3 ebike drivers. Whether you have a class 3 ebike or not, protecting yourself during rides should be your priority. So, the first thing you’ll want to get after buying an electric bike is a helmet.
  • Lights and side mirrors: Unless your ebike comes with lights and side mirrors, these 2 accessories are must-haves.
  • Grips: Both stylish and functional, some cool grips can be a very nice upgrade for your ebike rides.
  • Basket: Whether you’re going to get groceries or just need some extra space, having a basket you can attach to your bike from time to time is more useful than you think.

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Where to buy an electric bike?

Unless you already have your eye on an ebike from a big brand like Bosch, Yamaha, or Shimano, you’ll want to really do your research before buying your electric bike. Your second-best bet is to visit your local bike shop and get assistance from the workers there. Still, you should do your research beforehand to have an idea of what to look for in an electric bike.

If you’re still wondering how to buy an electric bike, looking around online is the easiest option. Buying an electric bike ultimately comes down to your preferences.


Final thoughts

An ebike is a big purchase, so learning why you should get an electric bike in the first place will help you make your choice. If you’re sold on the idea, your next step should be deciding what type of ebike you want. Ask yourself what you’re going to use it for. Next, choose the motor type, battery pack, consider the price, weight, and power. 

If you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of options, remind yourself to trust your gut and get the one that satisfies your needs most. Last but not least, get a helmet, lights, and other accessories, and you’ll be ready to ride into the sunset.

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Oraimo Folding Electric Bike for Adults, 750W Brushless Motor(Peak 1000W), 48V 12Ah Hidden Battery Up to 50 Miles, 3.5H Fast Charge, 20" Fat Tire Ebike, 7 Speed Gear (Flare Black, Standard)
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