The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying an Electric Bike

Are you getting ready to buy your first electric bike? The process can be fun and exciting, but there are some things you need to consider if you want to avoid buying a bike that doesn’t meet your needs or doesn’t fit your body correctly. There are a lot of things to consider since ebikes have different features. You can find ebikes with throttle, ebikes with different motors, and ebikes with different mileage ranges.

To help you make the right decision, here is a list of some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying an electric bike. Once you know these mistakes, you can avoid them when you go shopping for your own bike.

Purchasing the Wrong Size

It might seem like a pain to try to make sure you accurately size your new ebike. But failing to do so could be disastrous. There are ebikes for tall riders as well as ebikes for short riders. The last thing you want to do is get the wrong size for your height because your rides will end up causing a lot of discomfort if you do.

The best way to figure out what size frame you need is to measure your inseam. You can do this by putting on your favorite pair of cycling shoes (or whichever shoes you’re most likely to ride while on your ebike), and stand straight against a wall. Place a notebook between your upper thighs (as if you’re riding a horse). Hold the notebook in place with your legs and measure from the top of it to the floor. This is your inseam measurement. Once you know your inseam, you can match it up to bicycle sizing charts.

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Not Knowing the Difference Between Throttle vs No Throttle

You can find ebikes with throttle and ebikes without throttle. Some people prefer those with throttle because they are convenient and make it easier to get necessary power if there are issues with the bike (such as a broken chain). Others prefer simpler bikes without throttle. You’ll need to make the decision that’s right for you based on your preferences and what you expect from your bike.

Not Understanding Differences in Motor Types

There are a variety of motor types available with ebikes. Mid-drive motors are found between the pedals. This is the type that offer pedal-assist options (which means the electrical thrust from the motor transfers directly to the pedals from the battery). Mid-drive motors offer better weight distribution than hub-drive motors.

Though they are cheaper than mid-drive motors, hub-drive motors are heavier and can potentially stress out the wheel. However, they provide throttle assist, which some people like. They are also great for casual riders who just want to ride around town without feeling like they’re working out.

Not Learning About Battery Options

Journey ebikes and other types of ebikes offer different battery options. External batteries tend to be bigger and heavier than their integrated counterparts. However, integrated batteries are more expensive, so you’ll need to figure out what type of bike you can afford.

If you keep these various things into consideration when buying ebikes with throttle or without, you’ll have an easier time making the right decision for your situation.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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