How to choose an electric bike
Electric bikes are all the rage with the modern bike rider, whether you’re zipping into the city on your commute or crushing trails with some extra assistance, everybody is jumping on an e-bike. It’s the fastest growing bike category in Australia as they tick a lot of boxes for every rider across the country. They allow you to ride further with less effort, which means that you don’t have to get in the car which is good for the environment, and aside from being practical they are also fun!
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is a bike with an electric motor and battery that helps power a bike in combination with pedal power from yours truly. In Australia a ‘Pedalec’ or pedal assist style is legal which means that you must pedal to activate the drive unit. While you do have to put in some effort, it is significantly easier than a traditional bike. In Australia e-bikes offer pedal assistance up to 25km/h and this is more than enough to commute or cruise around with your friends, 25km/h is still a lot faster than gridlocked peak hour traffic.All Electric Bikes
Why do our customers love e-bikes?
We surveyed our customers to find out why they love e-bikes and the results were pretty consistent:
- Easier and more comfortable to ride than a traditional bike.
- Can leave the car at home and beat the traffic on your commute or ride to the shops.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Able to ride faster and longer with less effort.
- It’s fun!
What type of e-bikes does 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 position, matched with flat handlebars and larger volume tyres for a smooth ride. This style suits electric bikes as you get comfort and versatility which makes for an ideal commuter, as you can relax thanks to the e-bike drive unit and still tackle a variety of surfaces.
- Capable design which can handle dirt, gravel or pavement.
- Comfort is king, ride further and fast 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 which requires less maintenance and are more affordable. Now you can head off road with a capable e-bike which allows you to climb with ease and enjoy the technical trails and descents to the max. They are typically lighter for a slightly more agile ride.
- Climb with ease.
- Rugged frames which 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, 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 bikes riders.
Electric Road & Gravel Bikes
The e-bike movement has been slower to get a hold of roadies and those that want to hit the gravel but it certainly has taken off. As the technology has evolved the bikes have gotten lighter and look more like your traditional road bike with the battery mounted in the frame. They are the most efficient e-bikes as you would expect with streamlined geometry, skinnier tyres, drop bars and a desire to chew up the Ks. They allow those that might be older, injured or less fit to enjoy their favourite rides or keep up with the bunch on hilly terrain. You’ll still get a great workout, you’ll just get some extra assistance when you need it most. Keep your eyes out in the coming months for some brand new electric road and gravel bikes at 99 Bikes.
- Fast and efficient.
- Lighter than most e-bikes.
- Narrow tyres with less rolling resistance.
Electric Cruiser Bikes
Electric cruiser bikes combine relaxed vintage style with modern e-bike components so that you truly can cruise around. Perfect for riding along the beach, you can now ride further and fast in comfort and without sacrificing that old school style. Some of the best electric cruiser bikes will have a rear rack battery so that you’ll barely notice it’s an electric bike and it will give you a well balanced ride.
- 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 the conditions you ride your bike. More expensive bikes will usually have bigger batteries which can give you a range of up to 100km, while 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 the your bike carriers will extend the life of your battery.
- Cadence: Drive units typically operate with greater efficiency when you keep your cadence above 50 RPMs.
- Stopping, Starting & Braking: All require power which will sap 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 to charge an electric bike?
Charging an electric bike couldn’t be easier, all bikes will 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 be removable.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.
Can I increase the speed of my e-bike?
A lot of people ask how to make an electric bike go faster, however e-bikes in Australia are limited to 25km/h with a motor capable of generating up to 250 watts. Any modification you make to go fast would be against the law and put yourself and others at risk.
How heavy are electric bikes? Can they be loaded onto my car?
As e-bike technology gets better the batteries and 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 and it 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 that 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 that you can ride pedal unassisted to get back home. But this might take a lot more work than it did to start with.