E-bike Comparison – Part 2 of Finding the right E-bike for you!
July 28, 2022 | Author: Robert Marinelli
E-bike Curious? Begin With “How”
Are you curious about e-bikes? I have spent days and weeks reading and watching videos comparing e-bikes and scooters. For a product you do not hear much about, the resources are infinite.
I did not know where or how to start my search so I took the advice I found online and figured out how I was going to use the bike. I decided that I will use the bike for exercise, running errands and visiting family and friends were at the top of my list. I also know that because of where I live, I’ll need a little extra power for the hills and bike trails and would like extra distance because I do not want range anxiety.
All about POWER!
I want something that has all the power and speed I can find while keeping my cost down. Top speed on most e-bikes is 20 to 28 miles an hour. Speed, acceleration, and range all comes down to motor size and battery output.
There are four different motor sizes measured in watts, 350, 500, 750 and 1000, which are mounted at mid-drive, rear hub, or front and rear hub (AWD). This is where you need to base your decision on your weight and your need for acceleration and speed. A 350-watt motor will work fine for a smaller, lighter person that is not going to travel far. The 500-watt is a safe bet for most people trying to have some power while keeping costs down. A bigger heavier person is going need more power to climb inclines and have acceleration. Motor placement also matters. One rear mounted 500-watt motor will be sufficient for most riders. Again, if you are bigger and climbing hills where you live, you are going to need more power. This may be when you investigate dual motors where one motor is placed on each hub (AWD) or a mid-drive, where the motor and gears are placed in the middle of the bike, at the crank assembly. The mid-drive allows for easy tire change, has more power and is better for climbing hills, but, it is more expensive. Personally, I would rather have the power of AWD and the most powerful motor in a dual drive.
E-bike Battery Size Comparison
The next thing I evaluated was battery size. You need to look at volts and amp hours, which can be confusing, some companies measure in watt hours. For example, a battery will say 36v/11.6ah or 36×11= 417.6-watt hours. This is not as powerful as 60v/23.4ah or 1404-watt hours. This information determines your acceleration and the range. Some companies offer an extra battery for $600 which will give you even more range. If you are not going to drive your bike for more than 80 miles, you do not need to spend the extra money.
There are some really cool looking e-bikes, and that can make your decision even harder. Which is why you need to know how you are going to use the it, what you want out of the it, and how much you want to spend. When you start looking at all the styles, you can eliminate the ones that do not work for your needs and/or price range. E-bike prices range between $1,100 and $14,000. For a new user like myself, the top range is not in the budget.
The Final Choices!
When I narrowed my search down to two, it surprised me. From a visual perspective, they do not seem in line with my self-image, nor do they look like any bike I have ever owned. My current bike is a Trek shift 2- sleek, and comfortable style. E-bikes look chunky and low to the ground – the tires are really thick. Oh, but the power!
Without further ado, my finalists are:
Check out the features in our Bike Comparison Chart!
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Robert Marinelli, Business Energy Consultant
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