Finding an Electric Bike: Basics

If you’re looking to get an electric bike, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the different types of e-bikes out there. I’m going to leave discussion of the technical details of electric motor systems for another time and focus on the general categories of bikes that we offer.

When you’re considering a bike, think about what you’re going to use the bike for. Will it be a commuting workhorse that gets you from home to work, covering lots of miles? A recreational bike that takes you on the local bike path? Maybe you require the stability and load-hauling capacity of an electric-assist trike. Whatever you’re looking to do, there’s probably a bike out there that can work for you.

Whatever type of bike you choose, you’ll want to make sure that the bike is sized and equipped to provide you with a comfortable riding position. Finding the right bike is a lot like shopping for shoes: looks, price, and style are important considerations, but if it doesn’t fit comfortably, your new bike just might end up collecting dust.

Fortunately, you can avoid that experience if you carefully consider your options. The first thing you should decide on is the frame type. Here are the four types that we carry:

Step-Through Frames

The Ecobike Elegance

A step-through frame is one whose design allows the rider to straddle the bike more easily with its low horizontal frame tube. these are great for people with joint problems or who simply prefer the ease and convenience offered by this frame design.

Standard Frames

The eZee Forza

The standard frame is the most common type of bicycle frame with good reason: it’s simple, reliable, tried and true. It’s higher top frame tube maximizes the strength and rigidity of the frame, so the standard frame is the go-to choice for high-peformance bikes as well. If you’re comfortable with the high top tube, then a standard frame is a good choice.

Folding-Frame Bikes

The iZip folding bike ready to ride

The iZip folding bike ready for storage or transport

Folding bikes are a great way to make folding bikes part of a commute that includes trains or other transport where a standard-size bike is inconvenient or prohibited. They are also a great solution for people who have limited storage space. Folding bikes have a hinge in the frame which allows the bike to be folded in half. They also include folding handlebar stems, which further reduce the space they occupy. Although they are small, folding bikes are designed to fit adults and to handle like a normal bike.

Adult Tricycles

The eZee Carro tricycle

Trikes aren’t just for kids! Adult-sized tricycles have been around for a long time now, and there are a few good electric trikes on the market right now. Trikes make great cargo haulers, with large rear-mounted baskets that beg to be piled high with whatever you need to haul. Who knows, maybe an electric trike is just what you need to go car-free!  They’re also a great choice for riders who are unable to ride a two-wheeled machine but still want the cycling experience.

So if you’re thinking about an electric bike, take some time to think about which type makes sense to you. Feel free to call, email, or stop by the shop if you have any questions. I highly recommend taking a trip to the shop so we can show you what we carry in person as well. Take a test ride on any of the bikes, see what feels right to you, and most of all, ask lots of questions! We’ll do whatever we can to help make you an informed electric-bike shopper.

Look for more in-depth write-ups on different manufacturers, motors, and specific bike models in upcoming blog posts.

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