Cruiser electric bikes are defined by their wide, soft seats, high handlebars and the immense comfort while riding. Today, electric bikes have become the fastest growing segment of the bicycle industry. Electric bike sales continue to experience multiplied growth year over year, whereas the sales for conventional bicycles were either flat or failing.
Electric cruiser bicycles are renowned for their ease-of-use and thrilling performance. Increasing numbers of cyclists are now turning to e-bikes globally. If you are among them, then this article will be incredibly helpful. Here, we will take a detailed look at different aspects to check before buying an e-bike.
Let us explain to you how to choose a cruiser electric bike.
Different Classes of Electric Bikes
The first thing you should decide before buying an electric bike is the class. For regulation reasons, electric bikes are classified into three categories, called classes. Each class represents a certain level of motor assistance that the e-bike offers.
Here are the three classes in which all electric bikes are categorized:
Class 1 electric bikes are the ones where the motor kicks in only when you move the pedal. The motor assistance in this class of e-bikes ceases when the bike reaches a speed of 20 mph.
New riders should start with Class 1 e-bikes as these are the most affordable and easy to use. You can ride Class 1 e-bikes on city streets and various bike paths. Some of these are even being allowed on various conventional mountain-bike trails.
Class 2 electric bikes have a pedal-assist mode that works till the bike reaches a speed of 20 mph. These e-bikes also have an entirely throttle-powered mode for riding.
This is the next step for newbie riders once they have become well-adept at Class 1 e-bikes. You may not find much difference when riding Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes as both of them top out at 20 mph.
Class 3 electric bikes are entirely pedal-assisted, similar to Class 1 e-bikes but the motor-assistance continues to work till the bike reaches 28 mph.
These electric bikes are recommended to those who have been riding Class 2 electric bikes for a significant time and have become well-versed with it. As compared to Class 1 and 2, the Class 3 e-bikes are incredibly faster and more powerful hence more expensive. These bikes are designed to keep up with city street traffic, and can climb inclines better even with heavy loads. However, you may not be able to ride Class 3 e-bikes on mountain trails and most bike paths in the city. However, Class 3 e-bikes are most popular choice for commuters and errand runners.
It is highly recommended to do a little research regarding e-bike access rules in your region before buying. The laws, rules, licensing and regulations are changing constantly. Hence, you are advised to check your state’s most updated regulations regarding operating electric bikes in your area.
Batteries, Range and Motors
Manufacturers focus heavily on installing the most powerful motors. The aim is to balance performance with riding range. A powerful motor provides more speed and allows you to keep up with the traffic on city streets. It also gives you more torque to handle inclines easily, especially when hauling cargo. However, a powerful motor requires more energy, which also tends to deplete the battery faster, reducing the riding range.
Having a bigger battery definitely helps. You can check battery capacity in watt hours (Wh) that are clearly stated on the battery. You can also see the number of hours the battery system can sustain 1 watt of power before getting completely depleted. So, motor power matters even more.
For instance, a 500-Watt motor connected to a 500 Wh battery (commonly seen in Class 3 e-bikes) will drain the battery quicker than a 250-Watt motor connected to a 500 Wh battery (commonly seen in Class 1 e-bikes).
Battery charge time is another essential factor to check. Most batteries get completely charged in 3 to 5 hours, with large-capacity batteries taking longer. You can buy fast-chargers to reduce the overall charging time.
Number of batteries is an important factor to consider before buying an e-bike. Some models let you use 2 batteries simultaneously. This tends to extend your riding range and if one battery is used up you can easily switch to the other battery.
Electric bikes can have their motors installed either in the pedal (mid-drive motors) or on the rear hub (hub-drive motors).
Mid-drive motors are more popular as the pedal-assist feels natural. The weight of the motor is also centered in the middle and keeps the bike stable and well-balanced at all times. On the other hand, hub-drive motors send the pedal-power straight to the rear wheel, which feels like being pushed ahead.
Other Key Features
Apart from the above, there are some smaller but important factors and features to consider before buying any electric bike.
Most bikes come with 3 to 4 assist levels. This allows you to preserve battery power in economic mode, or summer more power for full speed and torque, such as in boost or torque mode.
Make sure to check that the e-bike you have selected offers ample accessories, such as lights, racks, handlebar-mounted LCD screens, smartphone connectivity, built-in security features and component quality.
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. These are being used for commuting, leisure riding and even adventure mountain biking. To choose the best-suited e-bike, make sure to check the quality of components, the motor power, battery capacity, and riding range as well as comfort level before making the final decision.