|Motor location pros and cons|
|Front motor||Balances bicycle weight distribution between drivetrain and motor.||Motor weight puts a strain on fork and head tube.|
|Compact motor form (in front hub).|
|Front wheel-drive traction.|
|Mid-bike motor||Puts weight just where you want it.||Often requires a non-standard frame. This may look odd or require hard-to-find components if you need to repair anything.|
|Any drivetrain possible (allows internally geared hubs).||May reduce available bottle mounts.|
|Doesn't affect wheels, easier acceleration.|
|Rear motor||Allows regenerative braking.||Bicycle weight placement favors a sitting position. Standing and high-speed cornering trickier.|
|Stable mount.||Not compatible with internally geared hubs.|
Watts under the seat?
How much power do you need? Will a 250-watt motor be underpowered? Do you need 700 watts? It's important to realize that comparing watts is not necessarily comparing apples to apples. One manufacturer may list peak (maximum) wattage while another may list continuous (power consumption in a normal condition) wattage. More isn't always 100% better.
What's more, wattage isn't torque. Without getting too scientific, we can explain torque as the amount of twisting force that your wheel applies to accelerate — it's the amount of force that turns into acceleration. Wattage measures the amount of energy expended when velocity is held constant. This means that a bike with a lower wattage could provide more torque and thus feel faster and zippier than a bike with a slightly higher wattage (because the 20mph speed limit on electric power will eventually handicap the higher wattage motor). And neither consideration fully takes bike weight into account.
The takeaway is that you shouldn't value a high-wattage engine over all other factors. Come in, test ride a few bikes and talk to us about which bike is right for you.
Can I ride an e-bike in the rain? Yes. Our electric bikes come waterproofed right from the factory. As long as you don't submerge the whole bike in a lake, you won't have a problem.
How fast can I go on an electric bike? Most electric bikes have a top assisted speed of 18 to 22 mph. Above that speed, the electric shuts off.
How far can I go on one charge? Electric bike range varies from 15 to 60 miles by model. How far you go on a single charge will also depend on your weight, the weight of your cargo, the terrain, and wind. How much you pedal and which power setting you use (if any) also affect range.
How much does it cost to operate an electric bike? Based on the price of electric, it typically costs 6 to 14 cents a mile to charge and maintain. Compare that with a car at over 50 cents a mile.
Will a conventional bike keep me in better shape? Yes — but only if you use it as much as the electric bike. Many e-bike users find that the electric's benefit on hills and into wind eliminates their fear of riding and gets them out on the bike when they otherwise might not ride. Some are more fit because they ride more often.
We hope these tips help you understand electric bicycles more. Please visit our store for more information about the electric bicycles we carry. We can point out differences, answer questions, arrange for a test ride and demonstrate the features and benefits that are making these green vehicles the latest personal mobility craze.