They used to be novelty items just a handful of years ago but electric bikes are becoming commonplace and even the preferred mode of commute for many. Also known as eBikes or e-bikes, electric bikes are closer cousins of bicycles, not motorbikes. They are designed to complement a rider’s pedaling, not replace it.
What to Look For in an Ebike
1. Frame and Suspension Forks
Look for an eBike that is fitted with a sturdy but lightweight frame. The most resilient electric bike frames are made from aluminum alloys. This should go too for other elements attached to the frame including the suspension forks (which ideally should be adjustable), kickstand, crankset, and levers.
2. Miles per Charge Rating
The miles per charge rating is an estimate of the distance your bike will take you on a fully charged battery. Of course, this depends a lot on factors such as the kind of terrain, how much pedaling assists you to engage, the weight of the rider, and even wind conditions. To be confident that an eBike is adequate for your needs, go for one with miles per charge rating of at least 35 hours.
3. Safety Features
As a cyclist, you should not compromise on safety when purchasing an electric bike. Here are some of the safety features to look out for as a basic minimum before settling for any eBike on sale:
A. Safety Lights
Just as on traditional bikes, safety lights are a top priority on an eBike. On an electric bike, look for lights that are placed in conspicuous positions on the bike. They should also be adequately reflective so that motorcars can identify your bike easily, even when visibility is poor.
Electric bikes are fitted with either mechanical disks or hydraulic mechanisms. Mechanical eBike brakes work in the same way as the ones fitted on traditional street bikes. Hydraulic brakes on an electric bike are similar in design and function to those fitted in your car. You squeeze the brake lever on the handlebars and a force is applied to opposing pistons. This has the effect of shoving the pad against the rotor and stopping the rotation of the wheels. Needless to say, hydraulic brakes are more responsive, predictable, and reliable than mechanical ones.
C. Other Safety Elements
On top of the brakes and safety lights, you should check to ensure your eBike has other elements which contribute to safety. These include anti-slip pedals, high grip tires, and ergonomic grips. The best safety bikes have an intuitive odometer, preferably with a digital display screen to guide you on such variables as battery charge, speed, and distance covered during the ride.
A good eBike will come with a comprehensive warranty guarantee. Be sure to read the text of the warranty to see whether it covers everything from parts to battery and motor. Considering the price tag of an eBike, look for eBikes with a warranty lasting at least two years from the date of purchase.
Best Value for Money eBike: The Mokwheel Upland Plus Electric Fat Bike
Taking the factors and considerations outlined above, there are several eBikes that tick most if not all of the boxes. However, only the Mokwheel Upland Plus Electric Fat Bike gives the best value for your money while satisfying the criteria above.
The Mokwheel Upland Plus is a versatile commute bike that is as good on paved city streets as it is on offroad terrain. It comes with 16 ampere-hours lithium-ion batteries rated at 45 miles per charge. Its sturdy aluminum alloy frame, adjustable forks, 180 mm hydraulic brakes, and comprehensive 2-year warranty on parts and battery make it the ideal choice whether this is your first ever eBike or just the latest to your urban mobility collection.
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