Even the best e-bikers among us can benefit from a refresher on the important things every once in a while. In the excitement of getting your first e-bike, it can be easy to overlook key pieces of information. Oftentimes, we get our new e-bike opened up and put together and want to immediately take it out for a spin and never look back.
While that is a fun and natural response to getting an electric bike for the first time, it pays to slow down research a bit about the topic of e-biking as well. Then, when you are in conversation with strangers or friends and family, you will be equipped with the best knowledge to contribute to the conversation.
A Cheap E-bike Does Not Mean a Good E-bike
It is hard to stress this lesson enough. We’ve put it at the top of our list because so many riders end up regretting their first e-bike when they purchase it based solely on price. Especially when you are first starting out in the e-bike world, and money is tight or you want to make a purchase quickly, it can be tempting to purchase the cheapest e-bike you find. But cheap does not mean good. In fact, buying the cheapest e-bike you can find may actually be more expensive in the long run.
By researching and comparing e-bikes, you will be more confident in your decision to spend a little bit more money to get an e-bike that truly fits your needs, looks great, and won’t let you down. If you are too quick with the decision, you may end up needing to replace your first e-bike with a new one. Wasting money is no fun, so we highly recommend looking at a range of factors when deciding which e-bike to purchase.
Not All E-bikes Need Mechanical Maintenance
Many e-bikes require constant maintenance on their chains, derailleurs, sprockets, and shifter cables. These parts loosen up over time, fall off, or get damaged while riding. Thankfully, there are other options! The other options consist of shaft drive e-bikes and belt drive e-bikes. As the name implies, shaft drive e-bikes are made of a rotating shaft connected by small gears. Bikes like the Honbike HF01, a foldable electric bike with a shaft drive ingeniously enclosed inside a protective tubing.
This provides up to 50,000+ km of maintenance-free riding. Similarly, bikes with a belt-drive like Honbike U4 have replaced the greasy chain with a quiet and smooth belt that can last up to 10,000km with no maintenance.
Of course, you will still want to ensure your tires are properly inflated, your bike is clear of dirt, grime, and debris, and that your battery is fully charged before heading out for the day. But thanks to shaft drive and belt drive systems, much of the maintenance inherent to traditional e-bikes is removed.
Not All E-bikes Are Legal
It pays to understand the e-bike laws in your area. Purchasing an improper e-bike could result in costly fines or may lead to an accident by riding in the wrong environment. The U.S. has a 3-class system for e-bikes and typically only allows class 1 or class 2 e-bikes on bike paths or bike lanes. Understanding the different classes of e-bikes and being knowledgeable about your e-bike’s power can be the difference between getting a traffic ticket and riding freely and safely.
E-bikes Are Healthy for You
Studies have shown that contrary to popular belief, e-bikes are not for the lazy or faint of heart. E-bike riders enjoy more fresh air, cardiovascular exercise, and general movement than non-e-bike riders. This is partially due to the fact that e-bikes make riding fun and practical. Traditional bikes are a great workout as well; however, e-bikes operate in a slightly different realm of transportation. Not everyone can or wants to arrive to work sweaty or manually ride all the way across a hilly town to get to work or school. Thanks to electric commuter bikes, riders can get exercise while getting where they need to go quickly and easily. It truly is the best of both worlds.
There’s More to an E-bike than the Motor and Battery
It can be tempting to focus only on motor power or battery size when looking at an electric bicycle. However, it is a mistake to ignore other important details such as comfort, weight, compactness, design, warranty, and customer service. Bikes with award-winning foldable designs are convenient without sacrificing aesthetics. Brands with long warranties (2 years or more) and good reviews and customer service should rank higher in your search than brands with only a single year of warranty protection or poor customer reviews.
Good E-bike Etiquette Goes a Long Way
When you are e-biking, you will be looked to for a slightly higher standard. You’ll be able to ride faster, easier, and more conveniently than other riders or pedestrians. By slowing down to pass, signaling when you turn, and wearing proper safety attire such as bright clothes and helmets, you can be sure you are seen and heard when it matters most. Others will be thankful for your high standard of riding etiquette and will appreciate the e-bike community more in general, which is a good thing for everyone.
Where to Adjust the Seat Height of the E-bike
One topic we hear a lot about is where to adjust the seat height of your electric bicycle when you are starting out. Ideally, you’ll want to have a partner assist by holding you upright as you sit on the bike. Extend one leg all the way down, with your heel planted squarely in the center of the pedal. The pedal should be as close to the ground as possible. Adjust the seat height until your leg is just about locked straight in this position. Then, while you are riding, you will have proper form and strong pedaling output.
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about something you wish you had known sooner when it comes to e-bikes. No matter your skill level, everything from comparison shopping habits to e-bike etiquette is important to know. By keeping these facts in mind, you’ll be a better rider on and off the road.