How to Choose an Electric Bike
Electric bikes are all the rage with the modern bike rider. Whether you’re zipping through the city on your commuter bike or crushing trails with some extra assistance, everybody is jumping on an e-bike. They tick a lot of boxes for every rider across the country, so it’s no wonder that it’s the fastest-growing bike category in New Zealand.
These ingenious inventions allow you to ride further but with less effort, which means you don’t have to use your car. Aside from being good for the environment, they are also so much fun to own! Ride along with us as we cycle through the types of e-bikes that are available to choose from!
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is a bike with an electric motor and battery, which helps power a bike in combination with your own pedal power. In New Zealand, a pedal-assist style is legal, which means that you must pedal to activate the drive unit.
While you do have to put in this effort, it is significantly easier to cycle long distances than a traditional bike. In Aotearoa, e-bikes offer pedal assistance from 25km/h to 32km/h (for experienced cyclists), and this is more than enough to commute or cruise around with your friends. Either speed is still a lot faster than gridlocked peak hour traffic.
Depending on the bike you choose, you can find e-bikes with aluminium frames, steel frames, carbon fibre frames, rim brakes, hydraulic disc brakes... even folding bikes! So, when you're buying your bike, shop around before you land on a purchase.
What types of e-bikes do 99 Bikes sell?
Electric Hybrid Bikes
Electric hybrid bikes combine mountain bike versatility with road efficiency for a dynamic ride. You’ll be seated in an upright and comfortable riding position, matched with flat handlebars and larger volume tyres for a smooth ride. This style suits electric bikes, as you get comfort and versatility in equal measure, making for an ideal urban commute. When you’re in the saddle, you can relax thanks to the e-bike drive unit and still have the ability to tackle a variety of surfaces.
· Capable design that can handle dirt, gravel, or pavement.
· Comfort is king, ride further and faster in a relaxed position.
· Suitable for commuting and casual rides with friends and family.
Electric Hardtail Mountain Bikes
Hardtail mountain bikes have typically been the entry-level mountain bike, hitting a lower price point and requiring less maintenance. You can now head off-road with a capable e-bike that allows you to climb with ease, while still enjoying the technical trails and descents to the max. Hardtail e-bikes are typically built lighter for a more agile ride.
· Climb with ease.
· Rugged frames that can handle any surface.
· Cheaper than electric dual-suspension mountain bikes.
Dual Suspension Electric Mountain Bikes
Get the full mountain experience without the hassle of working hard to get up those hills! Dual suspension e-bikes are big and burly with a lot of weight from the suspension and e-bike components. If you have the budget for one, there is no real reason to choose a hardtail over the dual suspension electric bike. Dualies offer better safety, comfort, versatility, and traction for a great riding experience on every trail.
· Relax on the way to the top and enjoy descents.
· Smoother riding experience than a hardtail.
· For more experienced mountain bike riders.
Electric Cruiser Bikes
Electric cruiser bikes combine relaxed vintage style with modern e-bike components so that you can truly cruise around. Perfect for riding along the beach, you can now ride further and faster in comfort without sacrificing old-school style. Some of the best electric cruiser bikes will have a rear rack battery, so you’ll barely notice it’s an electric bike as you ride the shores.
· Modern technology combines seamlessly with retro style.
· Ideal for urban or coastal environments.
Frequently Asked Electric Bike Questions
How far can an e-bike go?
The range on an e-bike varies greatly from model to model and according to the conditions you ride your bike. More expensive bikes will typically have bigger batteries, giving you a range of up to 100km. More affordable models can top out at a range of 30km. There are a significant number of factors that impact the range of your bike outside the specifications of the bike such as:
· Rider & Cargo Weight: Reducing the load your bike carries will extend your battery’s life.
· Cadence: Drive units typically operate with greater efficiency when you keep your cadence above 50 RPMs.
· Stopping, Starting & Braking: All of these require power, sapping your battery if you have to stop frequently.
· Tyre quality & Inflation: Ensure your tyres are in good condition and pumped up to ensure an efficient ride.
· Elevation: The bigger and longer the hills, the more your battery life will be chewed up.
· Riding Surface: Riding on rough terrain such as fire trails or gravel will use more battery life than riding on smooth roads or footpaths.
How do I charge an electric bike?
Charging an electric bike couldn’t be easier! All bikes come with a charger that you plug into the wall and connect to the battery. Some bikes will need to be charged with the battery on the bike and other e-bikes will have removable batteries. You can typically get up to 500 charges out of a battery and it usually takes between 2-6 hours to recharge depending on the size and quality of the battery. Each bike will have its own specific requirements so it's important to check the guide that comes with your e-bike.
How heavy are electric bikes? Can they be loaded onto my car?
As e-bike technology gets better the batteries, the drive units are getting lighter and lighter, but they still do add a noticeable amount of weight to your bike. Most e-bikes weigh between 15-25kg; however, you won’t really notice this when it’s powering your ride. It is, however, much more difficult to move when you’re not riding. Ruling out transporting your bike by roof racks, this weight also makes lifting the bike onto all car racks more difficult. Fortunately, you can buy ramps to push your bikes onto your rear car rack so you won’t have to lift a thing.
What happens when the battery power runs out?
E-bikes can still be ridden if your battery goes flat, meaning you can ride pedal unassisted to get back home. But this might take a lot more work than it did to start with.
Choose from a huge range of high-quality electric bikes with 99 Bikes!