Commuting to work with an electric bike is a great choice!
Ebikes are becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transport in the United States.
Electric commuter and cruiser bikes are great for a wide range of people. While electric commuter bikes can be the solution for people needing physical assistance in riding, anyone can enjoy the benefits of a bit of boost to your pedaling.
This guide will help you discover the best electric commuter bike for your needs and teach you about what to look for when you're shopping.
As an Electric Bike Expert, I know all about electric bikes, and I personally commute to work on my ebike.
Benefits of Riding Electric Commuter Bikes
Avoiding Car Commutes
This one should be a big pull for anyone who has spent extended periods in rush-hour traffic. Not only can an electric commuter bike help you avoid some of those frustrations, but it can also drastically reduce the amount of money spent on gas. After getting an electric commuter bike, we're pretty sure you won't want to go back to driving your car for those inner-city trips.
Ability to go further with less fatigue
This one is ideal for people who love to explore or commute by bike and don't want to miss out on reaching destinations due to a lack of energy or physical limitations. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy sweating less and riding further.
Keep pace with other riders.
For anyone that commutes with other people, keeping the same pace throughout a ride can be difficult especially given disparities among riders' experience levels. With an electric commuter bike, these disparities can be minimized relatively easily.
Bringing kids and cargo along with ease.
Electric commuter bikes make pulling kids and cargo easier than a traditional bike. These electric bikes handle the extra weight with ease, whether you're attaching a trailer on the back or just mounting accessories.
What You Need to Know about Electric Commuter Bikes
Class 1, 2 & 3
For regulatory purposes, there are three different classes of ebikes. Class 1 ebikes provide only pedal assistance up to 20mph. Class 2 ebikes provide pedal assistance and throttle assistance up to 20mph. And Class 3 ebikes provide pedal assistance up to 28mph and can, but not always, provide throttle assistance up to 20mph. For commuters, all three classes of ebikes can be appropriate, but some choose Class 3 ebikes for the higher speeds. However, the regulations on ebikes vary from state to state, so be sure to check local rules on where the different classes of ebike can be ridden.
There are two places that ebike motors can be placed--in the middle of the bicycle, near the pedals, which is often called a mid-drive motor. Or, it might be placed in the rear hub. Each has pros and cons.A mid-drive motor is more efficient--but it means that a throttle is out of the picture. A rear hub is a less expensive option upfront, and it also means a throttle can be used. However, the assistance from the motor can feel less natural for some riders. We recommend trying different ebikes to decide what is important to you.
Consider What You Need
There are several key factors to consider when choosing the right electric bike for you as a commuter. It's essential to be realistic about each of these factors to maximize how far your budget can stretch.
How Far You'll Ride
When choosing an ebike, the most crucial consideration is the battery range. This ties in closely with your budget because, far and away, the most expensive component of any electric bike is the battery.
We recommend mapping out the routes you'll frequently ride to work, home, and other places you often visit so that you have a good sense of how far you'll need to ride between charges.
You'll also want to think carefully about the advertised range and your particular riding style. If you're focused on maintaining a slower speed with less motor assistance, you'll get more range. Or, if you'd like to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, the higher levels of assistance you'll use will deplete your battery more quickly.
Remember that using the throttle on an ebike will drain the battery quickest--so if you plan on using the throttle a ton, you'll want an ebike with a bigger battery.
It's worthwhile to be realistic with yourself about this--if you buy an ebike with a battery that's too small, you'll find yourself frequently having to recharge.
When You'll Ride
There are a few key considerations if you're planning on being an all-weather commuter.
Think about the width of the tires. The wider the tires, the more stable they are in poor weather because the wide tires will maintain traction on the road.
Planning on riding in the rain? Nearly all ebikes come with fenders to protect the rider from slop and splashes, but it's something to check for.
What You'll Carry
Every electric commuter bike absolutely needs a rear rack. A rear rack allows riders to attach bags and other accessories to the rear of the ebike and dramatically expands the cargo capacity. They can even allow for the transportation of a child with the proper equipment!
Suppose you'd like to carry multiple kids or are more serious about hauling large amounts of stuff. In that case, you can consider electric cargo bikes--these have incredible amounts of space in the front or back of the bike for transporting goods and people.
What's Realistic For Your Budget
Finally, it's essential to be realistic about what your budget can buy. Any ebike is a serious investment, and it pays to purchase one that is well made and fits your needs. That's why we offer financing options for all our customers.
Beyond this, consider the long-term costs of owning an electric bicycle. Eventually, all bikes, like cars, need repairs and maintenance. This is especially important for commuters--if this ebike is your primary mode of transport, you need it fixed quickly and done right the first time. When choosing an ebike, learn about the manufacturer's reputation and whether they have dedicated service providers. You want to take your ebike to someone who has worked on an ebike before and knows the manufacturer.