The Complete Electric Bike Buyer's Guide
The numbers don't lie; E-bikes are the fastest growing category in the bicycle industry. But there's still a lot of confusion around what they are, what they're capable of, and the laws that apply to them. If you're considering buying an electric bike, or if you just want to read up on the facts, this Complete Electric Bike Guide will answer many of your questions and show you some of the great models that we carry.
What are electric bikes?
There are a lot of questions about what exactly electric bikes are, and we want to set the record straight, whether you're just doing research or you are wondering if an e-bike is right for you. The electric bikes that we and nearly all other bicycle shops sell are special bicycles that are outfitted with a battery and a motor that combine to give riders an extra boost while they're pedaling. There are different kinds, or classes, of e-bikes but we break down each one later in this guide with much more detail.
How do they work?
As we stated earlier, the e-bikes we sell are powered by a battery and motor that give riders a boost while they are pedaling. This process is called pedal-assist because the motor is only engaged when you push the pedals. Once engaged, the motor draws power from the battery and provides a gentle increase in speed and torque so you can ride faster, farther, and over more hills. Typically these electric bikes have multiple modes that provide varying levels of assist so you can choose how much help you want and how fast you want to go up to a predetermined speed cap. This allows riders to get help when they need it, like when they want to get to the office on time or want to get up a steep hill.
And don't worry, these e-bikes won't break down if the battery runs down. They are just like regular bikes in that you can pedal and change gears just like you normally would even if you decide to ride long enough to drain your battery. Fortunately, that will almost never be the case, as new e-bike technology and powerful batteries can allow riders to ride anywhere from 40-80 miles or more on a single charge. That's more than enough range to get to work and back or go on a serious joyride, and with charging times varying from 2-5 hours, it's easy to always have plenty of juice.
Who are e-bikes for?
In a nutshell, e-bikes are for everyone. Electric bikes are getting more people on bikes all over the world, and over the years, different models have been developed for all kinds of riding categories. If you like to ride, you might love what e-bikes can do.
- There are e-bikes that make it easier for those who are looking to drive less and start commuting to work on their bikes.
- There are e-bikes for people who want to get fit and exercise more often but want a little help to get some momentum.
- There are e-bikes for would-be riders with strength and mobility issues that make traditional bikes too painful or difficult.
- There are e-bikes for already-fit mountain bikers and road cyclists who just want to ride farther and longer and have a blast doing it.
Electric Bike Brands
The Bike Shoppe carries some of the best recognized and highest quality brands available. With models from industry leaders like Trek, Electra, Haibike, BMC Amp, IZIP, and more, you'll be sure to find a great E-bike at an impressive value whether you're looking for a commuter bike, a road bike, or a mountain bike.
Electric Bike Classes
Are you aware that there are three different classes of E-bikes? Do you know the differences between each class? Check out the breakdown of each E-bike class here.
In the United States, electric bikes are a relatively new facet to cycling. Bikes are constantly changing to keep up with the influx of technology and innovation. We hope to help you make sense of all the information. Our Electric Bike FAQ page will teach you more about E-bikes so you can make informed decisions and purchases.