Should you buy an electric bicycle? Answer: Maybe! If this is a question you’ve been pondering of late, today I’ll try to help you find the answer. Read on to learn more about electric assist bicycles, to see a few good model examples, and to determine whether or not one of these power bikes (or booster bikes) might be right for you. There are definitely some major pros and cons to these things, so let’s explore a few of the things you ought to consider before making a final decision, starting with a brief look at just what exactly an electric bicycle is.
What is an Electric Bicycle?
An electric bicycle is basically a bike that helps you to generate additional pedalling power with the use of an attached electric motor that’s powered by a fully rechargeable battery. Although electric bicycles (or e-bikes) have a motor, they are not considered motorcycles. This is due to the fact that they can still be powered by plain, old-fashioned pedalling (either fully or in part).
However, when it comes to riding long distances or in really hilly areas, electric assist bicycles can be real life savers. Imagine going on a ride, getting a little over ambitious, ending up a few miles from your home, and then being too tired to pedal all the way back. With an electric assist bicycle, you can either do some of the work yourself while letting the bike do the heavy lifting, or you can just sit back and enjoy the long ride home. With an electric bicycle at hand, you won’t wear yourself out needlessly.
Moreover, aside from having a relatively discreet electric motor attached, e-bikes look very similar to standard pedal bicycles. Of course, they do typically cost a bit more than their non-electric counterparts, so they may not fit into everyone’s budget…
When deciding what type of bicycle appeals most to you, it may be useful to first check out several e-bike models and then decide whether or not this type of bicycle is something you’d like to have. In fact, let’s begin that process right now…
A Few Electric Bicycle Models
The first bike I’d like to look at is, I think, a fairly representative example of just what exactly an electric bicycle (or e-bike) is. It’s the T4B H3 Fixie Volt Electric Bicycle, and it’s a beautiful example of a basic electric bicycle that’s perfect for just about anyone. With its lightweight aluminum frame (the entire bike weighs just 13.5 Kgs, or 29.7 pounds) and single speed cabron belt design (requiring virtually zero maintenance), the T4B H3 Fixie Volt is not only one of the lightest bikes there is, but it also features a super clean design that’s both stylish and straightforward.
With a top speed of 26 Km/h and a 30-40 Km riding range, you’ll enjoy a no nonsense ride every single time out, whether you’re tackling big hills or taking it easy on a smooth, flat surface. Rounding out this bike’s features are a 200 Watt rear wheel drive brushless motor and a 24 Volt lithium ion battery. If you’d like to enter the world of the electric bicycle in an easy and uncomplicated manner, the T4B H3 Fixie Volt might just be the model for you!
Another straightforward e-bike option is the Juiced OceanCurrent Blue Electric Bike. This attractive cruiser offers great features like a 500 Watt geared hub motor, a 6061 heat treated aluminum frame, a Samsung 52 cell 18650 rechargeable battery, and a torque-sensing pedal assist feature that measures and amplifies your own pedal power at an impressive rate of 1000 times per second. With this bike beneath you, you’ll be cruising the mean streets at a cool 32 Km/h for as far as 160 Kms of range thanks to its powerful and long lasting battery. Included as well is a convenient 2-amp charger that charges the battery fully in just 5 hours. What’s more, this all takes place using a standard wall outlet, meaning you’ll be back on the road again in no time!
For those that prefer a more robust (fat bike) style of bicycle, the Voltbike Yukon 750 Limited simply can’t be beat. Not only does this bike come from one of the most highly respected names in the business, but it’s also a full-featured model with all the latest tech! The Voltbike, for instance, boasts a high torque Bafang (8Fun) 750 Watt motor, a powerful (48 Volt) Panasonic 16Ah lithium ion battery (that’s integrated right into the frame), and Tektro Novella hydraulic disc brakes, just to name a few of this e-bike’s considerable features. In fact, the Voltbike has so much going for it that you might just want to check out its Best Buy product page and wade through the details for yourself, as I really can’t do this thing justice. All I can say is that if I were going to select one of the bikes featured on this page to buy for myself, this one would have a very good chance of winning.
A somewhat less classic example of an electric bicycle, and one that I personally refer to as the eclectic electric, is this completely new ALUMINUM ALLOY FOLDING Electric Bicycle. One of the top benefits of this compact bike is the fact that it features a 20 inch aluminum alloy frame that folds into a much smaller size for easy transportation and storage, meaning it’s perfect for taking along on road trips where you might want to incorporate some easy bicycle exploration of your final destination. Other key features of this SHIMANO 7 Speed model include its 250 Watt high speed brushless motor (that can generate a top riding speed of 32 Km/h), both front and rear-end mechanical disc brakes, a professional grade seat for maximum comfort during riding, and a built-in 48 Volt battery for an extra boost of power whenever you might need it.
So, Should You Get an Electric Bicycle?
Now that we’ve seen a few electric bicycle models, heard about the typical kinds of features they include, and discovered just how helpful one of these booster bikes can be, it’s time to revisit our original question: Should you get an electric bicycle? Well, only you can answer that question, but hopefully by now you’re better equipped to do so. For me, the key considerations are budget, how much I will realistically use it, and does an electric bike appeal to me more than a standard pedal only bicycle?
I definitely think I’d prefer an e-bike to a traditional model—largely owing to the fact that I seem to live in hill heaven, where all the hills in Canada come to enjoy their retirement. I definitely don’t need to be pedalling up all of these monstrosities every single day solely under my own power, so on that front, e-bikes definitely win out. I also think I would use it a good bit, as I’ve always enjoyed cycling in the past (even though I haven’t owned a bicycle in a while). And finally, there are the budgetary considerations, which may disqualify me at the current moment, but could be overcome with a spell of saving up.
But how about you? What are your major pros and cons when it comes to electric bicycles? Are you thinking of getting one? Let us know in the comments section below, and happy trails!