People need choices to establish a value proposition. We have bikes that are well over $10,000 and several under $800, and each bike offers a unique value proposition that justifies the cost. Value means an electric bike purchase must serve your stated purpose, has a domestic presence for service, and a good warranty.
We sell high-end electric freight bikes like the Super Mundo, which is incredibly powerful, and justifiably a car replacement. And, of late I have personally been re-thinking my position on the lower end bikes that we now sell of only $799,like this wonderful fat tire beauty, and that includes delivery!
Now, you can install an electric motor kit on your existing bike, but prices today have come down so low it would be imprudent not to consider a purpose built bike, most of which are now less expensive than a motor kit alone.
Yet, another compelling argument for choosing to purchase an electric bike today can be found here; Kelly Blue Book. The true cost of owning a car costs on average $0.92 a mile to own and operate, and burn through 15% to 20% of your monthly income.
HERE ARE SOME KEY POINTS
Fat tires are no longer a fad, but a trend in off-road bikes. Let me state that again, OFF-ROAD BIKES. It is only in loose sand or snow where these tires excel. So, if you are not going to do 95% of your riding off-road don't be sucked into buying a fat tire bike for road use. For all street riding the most essential item on a bike are the tires.
You want the best quality tires for an E-bike, they should have great rolling resistance, durability, built-in flat protection, stiffer side-walls, good rubber for handling, and have an inflation rating of at least 65-80 psi. Quality tires can add up to 3-4 miles per hour given the same physical output, which means longer battery life and greater distance. But, also remember that at the speeds you are traveling on an electric bike (20-32mph) precise handling becomes an important safety aspect.
As you read on below it may dawn on you, after reading the graph above, the more powerful the motor is the more energy it will draw from the battery, and that will naturally result in a lower range.
It is well to understand that a great deal of a bikes ability to reach speeds of 32mph and above, and climb hills like a billy-goat is primarily determined by two factors: Gearing & Gearing (just kidding), there is also the issue of tires.
Assuming you plan on pedaling the bike, and these geared motors love a little bit of help, then you will want to replace your rear cassette with say, a 10-46t and the front chain ring with at least a 52t ring. This change alone will offer you higher speeds and better climbing no matter how big that motor is (within reason). Certainly, you can opt in for a more powerful motor and bigger battery, but the price and weight go up exponentially, and concurrently.
Now, the European bikes have been slowly switching over to the Bosch mid-drive which is an elegant solution to this problem. The motors are so finely tuned they run at only 350 watts, which here in the United States some consider wholly inadequate. But, the Europeans are all about value, and that includes the elegance and efficiency of these new mid-drives. Even their hub motors are only allowed to reach 350 watts, but again, it is the gearing that makes the difference in hill climbing and flat out speed. Remember, 350 watts is treble the amount of power the average cyclist is capable of putting out.
And, if you get to the point that a 10 amp hour battery is simply not cutting it, for some of our lower end bikes we offer an extra battery at around $190, buy two and you have 30Ah of battery power!
How to Understand Batteries
So, the true measure of a batteries energy capacity for a 36V 10Ah battery would be 360 Watt Hours. That same battery at 48V 10Ah would net 480Wh or 120 more Watt Hours than the 36V battery. So the Amp-Hour rating of the battery is NOT the actual Watt Hours. Remember: The battery is like the gas tank in your car
*Also, on level ground you can estimate 18 Watt Hours per Mile, or up to 23 or more when climbing.
How to Compare Motors and Power
There are many types and sizes of electric bike motors. The Federal limit is 750 watts, however, in California; we now distinguish 3 classes of E-bikes, Class I, II, and III. With E-bikes, motors are rated in watts, rather than horsepower like car motors. 746 watts = 1Hp
Torque helps you accelerate. (Newton Meters)
Power, to some degree will determine how fast you can go and how well you can climb (Watts), but it comes at a price.
How to Determine the True Range
The EPA lists the MPG for cars, but there is no such standard for the E-bike industry. Remember; Every manufacturer can list the range of their bikes without ever having road tested them for accuracy.
If a manufacturer boasts a range without qualifying their claim…RUN. No credible manufacturer would ever make such an unfounded statement, at least not without making note of how they quantified that claim.
Range in a car varies greatly, and how fast you drive in a car is no different than an electric bicycle ridden at high speed.
It is vital to remember that it takes twice as much battery size to travel at 21 MPH as it does at 15MPH.
To determine the range that is declared for any E-bike model, include the following factors:
It’s important to think about these factors before you buy so you won’t be misled.
Make Sure the Bike Fits
In a racing bicycle, the factors for fitting are far different than an electric bike. A racing bicycle is lighter and designed for human power alone, as well as a streamlined body position for maximum efficiency.
Because an E-bike sports a motor body position and weight are not as important as they are on a racing bicycle. this is not as critical because the choice is for comfort instead. Consider these 3 items;
Differences between Men and Women
Not everyone needs the same amount of power. For example; A 250 lb. person needs twice the power to go up a hill at the same speed as a 120-lb. person. Someone with a delicate or bad knee, or difficult hip, needs more power than someone who is fit.
The ‘key’ is to see who you really are because one size doesn’t fit all – and then to find an E-bike that matches to your needs for all factors involved.
Curated from Jim Turner of Optibike
Wondering if Biking to School or Work or is worth it? Considering an electric bike? Then you have come to the right place because we believe in "Roughing it Smoothly"
You have two basic choices. You can search for a bike built by various vendors (Purpose Built), and there are some good ones, expensive but good. Or, you can equip your own bike (DIY, do-it-yourself) with an electric motor kit.
That said, we do have a new electric bike we believe will stun the market place. It is our new 50 mph Electric Indian.
Yet, another cost effective choice might be an electric motor kit, which will turn your own bicycle into a thrilling alternative form of transportation. Take a look at our frames and swap out your mountain bike components.
Everyone rides for reasons of their own. Mine was to regain mobility after an auto accident. I broke my neck and back, so to get back in shape, and overcome a disability, and learn to have fun again I started riding an electric bike. We all ride for various reasons, and mine has mostly been to have fun. I suppose you can never have too much of it.
Electrified or not, cycling is a thrilling experience. When I ride these bikes I'm transported back to a time when life was simple, I was lighthearted and carefree. I suppose in many ways it's become my fountain of youth.
The biggest difference with us is that we ride what we sell, and sell what we ride. If you cannot find what your are looking for here, feel free to reach out with your questions. We are happy to share our industry knowledge and expertise to help you make the right choice.
You will also find helpful information on biking, safety tips, and articles on biking trends and styles. Electric bikes are not a novel idea, but many of the components are new to the market. We constantly search for innovative products to enhance your riding experience, and add value to your purchase. We provide affordable and sustainable solutions for a friendlier form of transportation.
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Infographic from Portland State Transportation Research and Education Center Save
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