How to choose an Electric Bicycle
4 basic ways to choose an EBike. BY:
3. Choosing by Equipment
†††††††††† Most buyers when choosing by equipment start with Motor power and Voltage. For example: Are you looking for a 500w 48v EBike that can not only cruise without pedaling but also zoom you up hill unassisted? OR Do you want to make most out of your own energy to supplement an already strong 500w 48v motor? OR Do you want a 250w 36v bike that will not surprise the petite person weighing <180lbs? OR Maybe, you donít have hills to climb in your area, and simply want an affordable EBike to bring you from Point A to Point B? OR Do you want to be able to safely stow away and/or bring along with you, your 250w 36v EBike after use?
∑ If you want a stylish 500w 48v Cruiser EBike to cruise around town and zoom up hills unassisted, our Cruisers EG Oahu 500EX 2017 and the EG Maui 500EX 2017 are those EBikes. Built with upgraded parts through and through, comparing well with bikes costing upwards of $3000. Rack, fenders, chain-guard, LCD display and LED lamps are all included at $1999 cost. These 2 EBikes features the 8 speed Shimano Alivio Derailleur (1 grade higher than Shimano Acera) for long term reliability. 180mm front and rear Tektro disc brakes for more stopping power, along with upgraded Tektro EBike Brake levers with motor inhibitors to stop the motor from spinning when youíre descending those hills. Both these cruisers are powerful wolves in sheep skin type of EBikes. They have 48v 500w Japanese made motors, paired with Samsung Lion battery cells and can reach 28mph when called for to do so. Yet, when seen parked, you wouldnít have guessed they are electric bicycles if you donít know what to lookout for.
∑ If you want to Supplement that already powerful 48v 500w Japanese made motor, The Mountain Bikes: Dual suspension EG Bali 500EX and the Hardtail Step-thru EG Milan 500EX are those EBikes. They both feature torque sensor cranks for those who prefer to have their pedal pressure supplement the motor to save battery juice. Made as a more aggressive MTB EBike, these EBikes features 9 speed Shimano Alivio rear derailleurs and 3 Speed Shimano Alivio front Derailleur, effectively making them a 27 speed EBike. These EBikes also features 180mm front and rear Tektro Disc Brakes paired with Tektro Brake EBike Brake levers with motor inhibitors to stop the motor from assisting; especially useful when you are cresting that hill and coming down the other side. Both of the EG Bali 500EX and the EG Milan 500EX are priced at $1999.
∑ If you donít care about the motor power because either your area is all but flat ground, or you are a petite person <180lbs, and just want to get from Point A to Point B. The Elegant Euro Step-thru City EBike; EG Athens 250 will perform for you quietly and comfortably better than any competing EBike at this price range on the market. This EBike is a no fuss, simple to operate EBike, priced at $1199; a good a value today as it was when it first arrived on the market 5yrs ago.
∑ If you are looking for the ultimate in commuter bike, one is built with internally gear hub so that the drive train can be fully encased in a full chain guard, 700c 38mm Kevlar lined tires with reflective trim for ultimate flat protection, and a thrifty yet powerful 36v 350w motor for long range riding, the EG Zurich 350ix is the EBike for you. The EG Zurich 350ix is priced at $1499
∑ If you are looking for an EBike that you can fold and safely stow away after riding and or bring along with you where ever you go, the 250w 36v EG Vienna 250 2017 is that EBike. Itís a light weight and durable, yet still the most affordable folding EBike on the market. We at EG do not skimp on the parts or accessories we built on this bike. This bike gained so much attention by other manufacturers on the market, that they use this bike to compare theirs. Of course they leave out the fact that this bike handily beats folding bikes >2x the cost while still providing everything the buyer needs. The EG Vienna 250 2017 is priced at $1299.
Notes about Gearing and Gearing Ratios:†††††††††
†††††††††† Something to keep in mind. While we made our EBikes with many gears, the gear ratio of a 8, 9, 10 or even 11 speed rear gears, mostly have the same final ratio at 11T (teeth). Which means they are not technically all that different when going full speed. On an EBike, the lower gears (bigger rear cogs) are less used when the motor is running because your leg will probably not be able to keep up with the motor speed on those cogs. In fact, to keep up with 28mph, we made bigger crank chain rings to slow down your leg movement to keep up with the motor spin rate at those speeds.
Notes about Rated vs. Advertised Motor Power:†††††††††
†††††††††† When looking at motor power, notice if the motor is advertised at the nominal rated wattage or peak wattage. For example: A 250watt motor will develop upwards of 500watts at itís peak output, but only for a few seconds. While a true 500w motor, have to be able to develop and sustain 500watts constantly all the time, not just peaking out for a few seconds when demanded to do so by the motor controller. EG Bike only advertise actual nominal rated wattage.
Notes about Torque vs. Cadence Sensors:
†††††††††† Torque vs. Cadence sensor pedal assist. The difference between the 2 sensors is that a Cadence sensor will always try to reach the programmed speed at a specified level as long as the pedal crank is moving, sometimes regardless of the effort the rider puts into the pedal. While a Torque sensor will try to reach the programmed speed at the specified level dependent on pedal pressure input at the pedal crank. Hence, a Torque sensored EBike is more likely to conserve battery power over time when compared to a Cadence sensored EBike. Something to keep in mind however: A Bicycle will always need a certain pre-determined amount of torque (twisting force) to move by the laws of physics. Either the electric motor of your EBike gives its all (torque) and you supplement with the rest of that force (or none at all with a throttle) OR the electric motor gives slightly less of that force, and you complete the equation with a bigger share of that force to move that Electric Bicycle. The first is an example of how the Cadence sensor works, and the later is an example of the Torque sensor work. So, the energy saved by using a torque sensor is technically, because you put in more energy to compensate for the motor doing less work. Having said this, it doesnít mean that the cadence sensor is superior to the torque sensor or vice versa. In an EBike, thereís a balance in how the bike is programmed. We at EG use both sensors. The EG Bali 500EX and Milan 500EX uses torque sensors, while all our other EBikes uses a Cadence sensor.
Notes about Motor Power vs. Cadence/Torque sensor resolution:
†††††††††† Motor Power vs Cadence/Torque sensor resolution. How smooth an EBike responds to itís sensor is partially determined by how the EBike is programmed, and partially the motor power. For example, in the past the more magnets on a cadence sensorís corresponding magnet disc (6 vs 12 magnets) determines how fast the EBike system responds to the pedal movement. In the last 3yrs, EG Bike uses upgraded 1 piece cadence sensors that feels nothing like the magnet/sensor combo of the past. A faster and smoother response, with less likelihood of damage compared to the old sensors. The other part of that equation is the programming and motor power. For example: there are both 36v 250w motors and 48v 500w motors that can both reach 28mph. The difference between them beyond more power from the 500w motor, can be best described as watching the old Standard definition TV vs. Todayís Ultra High Definition TV in how the EBike responds in conjunction with the programming on the EBike. The 48v 500w motors feels powerful and instantaneous at the same time especially when asked to spin beyond 20mph.
Notes about wiring an EBike:
†††††††††† In the past EBikes were built on a regular bicycle, with their electrical components put on the bike and their wires running around the outside of the bicycle frame tube because itís an after thought. Todayís proper EBikes are built on EBike frames from the ground up, hence the frames are thicker and tougher to take the torque (twist force) from the motor, as well as have their wires tucked away into the frame where possible, especially ones that run the length of the EBike, so that: 1. itís not as unsightly, and 2. itís away from trouble (electricity and water donít mix). No matter how well done the waterproofing the cables are, when electrical components are fully exposed to the elements, water will find a way in; Itís simply a matter of when not if. When purchasing an EBike, take note of how the EBike manufacturer tucked away the wires. Sure, there will be wires that are unavoidable, such as brake lines and derailleur cables where they have to be as straight as possible and out in the open for smooth operation, however, long running electrical lines should be well concealed whenever possible. You know that the EBike is badly built when you see ALL their wires running out in the open.
Next: 4. Choosing by Usage††† ††††††††††