Electric bicycles or e-bikes have made a name for themselves at high speed and are among the fastest-growing categories in the bicycle industry worldwide. And that’s impossible to ignore. In short, an e-bike expands the possibilities of seeing this vehicle as a viable transport option as well as a sustainable pastime. If you are still not completely convinced or already a fan of e-bikes, I would ask you to join me in search of the best cheap electric bike of this year 2019.
In this article, we will see the different types of electric bikes and the models that are becoming increasingly popular on the market. Do not miss the shopping guide, which contains everything you need to know about e-bikes. I hope I can help you find the perfect electric bike that suits your needs and budget.
The output power of these motors or drive units is regulated by regulations (we will discuss them later). However, it can be assumed that most electric bicycles are equipped with a power of 250 watts.
Cyclists must also be equipped with functional pedals so that the bike is considered an e-bike. Bicycles equipped with an accelerator pedal must meet slightly different performance specifications. With a maximum power of 200 watts, while the speed remains limited to 25 km / h. Any electric bicycle that exceeds these standards will be classified as a motor vehicle and will be subject to the normal driving regulations.
What's the Difference Between an Electric Bike and a Normal Bike?
Apart from the electric motor system, modern electric bikes are more and more similar to their relatives of conventional pedaling. If you observe a cyclist on a traditional bicycle and another on an e-bike, you can easily see a similarity between the two. But if we take a closer look, a number of differences will be noticeable.
The difference between a standard bike and an e-bike is that it is usually made with a special frame and forks and reinforced components to carry the extra loads that are offered. As a result, they often dump the scale over 18 kg before adding accessories such as water bottles, luggage, and tools. The total weight of the bicycle is, therefore, an important factor.
Types of Electric Bicycles
Despite a relatively “new” technology compared to the conventional bike. The range of electric bikes is almost as wide as conventional models. In the following list, I will tell you the most popular types of electric bicycles you can find in the market.
Electric Road Bicycle
Electric road bikes combine the aerodynamic and rolling efficiency of a traditional road bike with the power and effortless ride of a pedelec. The result allows cyclists of all skill levels to master any upgrade or epic ride with a little more ease.
With a geometry designed for endurance, electric road bikes better adapt to long days in the saddle or to the kind of mountainous terrain that would make a professional cyclist shudder. The frames are usually made of aluminum or carbon fiber, while the group options are similar to those of conventional road bikes. The hydraulic disc brakes usually provide braking power, while the wheels are equipped with additional radios to increase strength and rigidity. The tires are typically wider than the standard tires (30c +) for greater comfort, traction and puncture resistance.
Electric City Bicycle
Also known as commuter bikes, urban electric bikes are among the most popular options available on the market today. These bicycles are perfect for city traffic and allow cyclists to make short trips without sweating or consuming a lot of energy. Urban bicycles are extremely convenient for transportation due to their lightweight and also provide a safe and reliable ride.
Urban e-bikes usually have a tubular frame made of steel or aluminum. The wider tires often provide greater protection against punctures, and disc brakes are almost always used because they provide greater braking performance. It is also common to equip them with a front suspension.
You can also expect accessories to be integrated into these bikes, such as a strut, fenders, front and rear lights, and luggage carriers for bags and merchandise. In addition, urban electric bicycles are intended for users wearing casual wear. Therefore, expect them to be equipped with pedals suitable for normal shoes and a chain guard to keep your pants fat free.
Electric Mountain Bicycle
Electric mountain bikes, commonly known as MTBs, are among the most powerful on the market. As you can imagine, this is a normal mountain bike that activates power-assisted pedaling.
With the travel of more than 100 mm (and sometimes up to 180 mm!) and large-volume tires, these off-road machines are probably more forgiving than their cousins without an engine. That makes them perfect for beginners and experienced mountain bikers. However, there are increasing numbers of groups and components optimized for mountain bikes, often with reinforced parts to handle the extra load.
You can also assume that the wheelsets are fitted with at least 6 cm of rubber to improve traction on the road. As a rule, the frames are made of aluminum, but more and more carbon fiber options are emerging in the icons. Carbon fiber offers the distinct advantage of saving considerable weight in a frame that is more complex than a normal mountain bike.
Foldable Electric Bicycle
Perfect for those who have little storage space or want to use a bicycle in addition to bus or train travel. A city bike is usually small, which makes it more compact and easier to store.
City bicycles, whether collapsible or not, often have a limited change and smaller wheels, which means they are best used for shorter trips around the city on smooth surfaces. Some urban electric bicycles are also equipped with luggage racks in the front, which are ideal for transporting small loads on the round trip. The integrated front and rear lighting are usually standard in all lighting conditions, as are the fender and frame pocket frames.
Electric Cargo Bicycles
Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly important for travelers and businesses to transport goods. Combined with the effortless power of an electric drive, the rechargeable e-bikes are perfect for people who want to ride a bike to work or take children, pets and shopping.
Often equipped with large racks, baskets or platforms for carrying loads, electric bikes have modified racks and a longer wheelbase for added stability. Sometimes the number of wheels also increases. Three wheels offer a wide and comfortable posture to ensure comfortable and easy-to-control driving at full load.
Regulation of Electric Bicycles in the USA
Electric bicycles or scooters are subject to the same rules as normal bicycles and as such must comply with the same traffic rules. Electric bikes are subject not only to certain laws but also to performance and speed limits.
Although there are bicycles with motors on the market that may reach speeds and performances far beyond the legal limits. The limitation is to ensure the safety of all users equally. But in what condition is the regulation for electric bicycles?
Federal Laws and Regulations on Sales:
- Providing fully operable pedals
- Maximum power: less than 750-watt motors
- Top speed: 20 miles per hour (ca. 32 km/h)
- Maximum total weight of the bike: when operated by a rider weighing 170 pounds (ca. 77 kg)
Before buying an electric bicycle, you should check the regulations of your state!
You can find a rough overview on Wikipedia.
Electric Bicycle Parts
Electric Bicycle Engine
Most of the new electric bicycles sold today come with an engine system consisting of drive unit, battery pack, wiring, and control unit. In general, they all come from a single supplier, such as Shimano, Bosch or Yamaha. However, some brands have begun to integrate their own patented units, such as monitors and drive units, that work with other aspects of the engine system.
Types of Electric Bicycle Engines
Engine power (and torque), battery size, and support modes are usually adjusted for the intended use. There are two main types of electric bicycles: those with an engine in the rear hub and those with a frame-mounted in the lower support (between the cranks), commonly known as pedelec engines.
Hub-driven engines are often offered as conversion kits, which can be installed as a cheaper alternative in normal bicycles.
Pedelec engines offer improved ride quality, efficiency, and configurations using standardized parts. The main advantage of the pedelec motors on the hub motors is that they contain a sensor that detects the pedaling force so that the drive unit provides the appropriate support.
Electric Bicycle Batteries
The battery system is one of the most important aspects of e-bikes. Available in a range of 200 to 550 watts. The number of watts or watt-hours a battery has is an indication of the range that is offered, and a larger number may normally provide greater range. Electric bikes are usually sold with a built-in battery. In some engine systems, however, it is possible to operate two battery packs in a row, which doubles the range.
If you need to replace a dead rechargeable battery, you will only need to connect the bike to a standard power outlet using the supplied charger. The charging time depends on the battery capacity, the output power charger and the energy standards that your country complies with. A full charge with a completely empty battery lasts between three and five hours. Most motor systems come standard with a two-amp charger. More powerful options are usually available directly from the engine system manufacturer.
Electric Bicycle Batteries Charge
The battery technology currently used by leading manufacturers typically uses the same lithium-ion technology used by laptop batteries to electric cars. You can assume that a battery has a life of more than 1,000 complete discharge and charge cycles.
For most users, this should provide a three to five-year cycle for the battery. As with the battery of a smartphone, the life of the battery when new should slowly deteriorate to about 80 percent of its capacity. Most manufacturers usually offer replacement batteries that are specifically designed for engine systems, and many of them offer a limited battery warranty.
It’s also worth noting that current aviation laws prohibit cyclists from flying with their e-bike batteries. So, if you plan to travel with your e-bike, it may be better to have a rental battery at your destination or to ship the battery in advance.
For optimum performance and longevity, lithium-ion batteries should not be fully discharged and recharged every three months if left unused for extended periods of time. For safety reasons, always use the supplied charger to avoid voltage surges, short circuits or overheating.
Electric Bicycle Modes
The engine systems are usually programmed in different levels.
Standby mode: The e-bike works just like a conventional bike, even if it’s heavier. They do not provide electrical assistance. Nevertheless, most continue to provide basic data in their display drivers when in standby mode.
Eco Mode: This is the configuration that has been specially optimized to achieve maximum range. In this mode, most manufacturers give a theoretical range of more than 100 km. In Eco Mode, the assist levels can be between 25 and 80% of the maximum. This means that the tractor delivers an additional 25-80% each time it drives, up to 250 watts or 25 km / h. Eco Mode is best for those who want to maximize the range of their e-bikes and is often best suited for use on flat terrain.
Normal mode: In this mode, the impulse pedal ticks between 100-150%. The additional power facilitates the output of traffic lights and intersections in engines that provide a much higher torque than the Eco mode. Ideal for getting off.
Superior mode: In this mode, you can see what electric bikes really are capable of. Selecting the highest level of assistance makes working on steep slopes easier and makes driving enjoyable. With units that offer maximum support of more than 200%, the highest performance is perfectly adapted to more aggressive driving at a higher rate. However, long-range performance is reduced, so it is better to use this mode in moderation or for short trips.
Depending on the engine power, the size of the battery, the degree of support and the driving style, the ranges of the electric bicycle may vary between 50 kilometers and more than 150 kilometers.
Electric Bicycle Maintenance
Electric motors naturally generate large torques that accelerate the wear of wearing parts such as tires and chains. It is, therefore, worthwhile to ensure that you correctly shift through the gears while driving and that the drive unit does not force a change. As with any other bike, it is also worth checking the gearbox and tires regularly for signs of wear.
Since the engine systems are sealed units, maintenance or repair of the engine or battery system must be performed by a certified technician. This includes replacing individual battery cells, repairing electronic components of the controller, and troubleshooting engine problems.
However, small electric motors will seldom (or never) require this kind of service. Since the engine systems are largely waterproof, they can be washed as long as no water is sprayed directly onto the engine, battery case or controller. Also, note that most manufacturers advise against cleaning your electronic bike with a high-pressure washer.
Electric Bicycle Price
Given the technical complexity of the new models, it should come as no surprise that entry-level costs are higher than those of a conventional bike. This is partly due to the new rates for electric bicycles.
As we move through the different price ranges, the engine systems are refined, offering batteries with higher capacity, higher power, and in some cases both. Here is a brief summary of what you can spend on a new e-bike
Best Electric Bicycle for Under $1000
For under $1000, you will usually find basic options for e-bikes. Electric bikes in this first category are usually suitable for city traffic and for short distances. Frequently, the components used in these bicycles are similar to those of a non-motorized bicycle between $250 and $500.
If you need a bike to go to work or university and do not have a high budget, the models in this category are ideal for you. As you get a bike with traditional features, but with the plus of the engine, you can accelerate and shorten times in your most monotonous moves.
And we could not remove an option from the list that I find quite interesting, the foldable electric bike model ANCHEER. Despite the minimalist design, it is a very advanced electric bicycle that uses a pedal-assist with torque sensor. It also has an on-board computer to control and display numerous travel information.
Thanks to the collapsible design, you can easily stow and transport your bike. You can put your e-bike in the trunk of a car or transfer it to the bus or train
Some interesting facts about this e-bike are:
- Weight: About 20 kg
- Battery charge: full charge in 4-6 hours
- Range: 15miles (ca. 24 km) in pure electric mode, 30miles (ca. 48 km) in an electric-assisted mode
- Modes: 2 working modes
- Speed: 15.5 MPH
Best Electric Bicycles for Under $2000 to $1000
This price range is the starting point for most manufacturers of pedelec engine systems (eg Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, Bose, etc.), although you will find in this price range also high-end engine systems with a paddle wheel. The added accessories, such as integrated lights, frames, and fenders, are becoming more common here.
Most bikes in this price range are urban electric bikes. However, there are also some sportier road and MTB models. Quality aluminum frames are available in this price range, and you can also see better quality and longer life components.
The NCM Moscow is a versatile and very practical electric bicycle. So you can go to work on time and also take walks with your children and even trips to the mountains. This model combines some of the best components of the brand to ensure a high quality of ride. With a sturdy aluminum frame, this bike is durable and durable, with an elegant design.
- The Custom 500 Watt Das-Kit X15 rear-drive engine easily reaches the maximum regulated speed of 20 mp/h.
- With an integrated system of 24 speeds and 6 supported treads, this versatile bike offers a wide range of capacities for all types of rides.
48V high-capacity lithium-ion battery that provides an impressive 80 miles ride on full charge.
- Special feature to increase performance on steep slopes, which allows driving with the latest generation engine.
- Disc brakes, which offer a high degree of safety, since even in an emergency dry stops are possible.
- The 100% aluminum alloy frame is lightweight and durable.
The NCM Moscow is a powerful eBike with impressive features. Its high-performance features make it an excellent choice for those looking for a long-lasting electric bike with autonomy for long distances and a very competitive price.
Best Electric Bicycles for Under $3000 to $2000
The electric bikes in this price range usually have larger capacity traction units, integrated accessories such as luggage racks, lamps and larger capacity batteries. The price range between 2,000 and 3,000 euros also makes the MTB and road bikes of higher quality available. These high performance electronic bicycles typically have higher capacity battery systems and drive units. At this price you will find aluminum frames and high quality components
The technologies are evolving rapidly and there are a variety of electric mountain bike models that can take your hobby to the next level.
The bike you need for your next adventure is the eBike_RICHBIT 022 26″. This beast has 21 gears SHIMANO TX50, SHIMANO M410 central transmission, and SHIMANO TX35 as the rear shifter. A quality wonder that will get you where you want, no matter how steep the slope.
The electric bicycle eBike_RICHBIT 022 26” has a powerful lithium battery and a range of 65 km. The theoretical maximum speed is 50 km/h, depending on the characteristics and the complexity of the terrain. The 48V 17AH LG Cell battery was specially developed for a fatbike with these characteristics.
In summary, there are many reasons to choose this powerful electric fatbike. Whether for its high-quality battery, sturdy structure or sporty style. In fact, once you’re done with it, you have the perfect excuse to go out and enjoy nature.
Best Electric Bicycles for over $3000
We are approaching more extreme prices and things are becoming more sophisticated and specialized. You’ll find double-suspension MTB models, super-commutators loaded with technology, and the latest and greatest carbon road bikes.
Motor options are largely limited to the high-end pedal drive units, while battery systems with higher capacity (sometimes even two) are also installed. As with any high-end bike, lightweight, durable and durable components stand out.
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