Your Complete Guide To Buying An E-Bike

Date Jun 16, 2021
Blog category Power
By Staff Writer

New Zealand is currently doing its best to reduce carbon emissions as part of its goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2050. Part of this is the promotion of the use of electric vehicles. According to new research conducted by BloombergNEF, EVs will soon reach the same price as petrol and diesel counterparts, and eventually become cheaper to make by 2027. Another cheaper option to reduce your carbon footprint is getting an electric bike. Not only is it good for the environment, but it's also one of the best solutions to avoid the worsening traffic condition in New Zealand or for getting around the city for errands and work.


What is an electric bike?

E-bikes are bicycles with battery-powered "assist" attached to your pedal. It has a small motor, so every time you push a pedal, it gives you a little boost and makes biking easier, especially on more challenging terrains or uphills.

Electric bikes have been around for a long time now. In fact, some countries in Europe have already been using e-bikes primarily for years. If you're thinking of ditching your car or deleting your ride-hailing apps to switch to an electric bike, make sure you know what to look for first so you don't end up wasting your money.

Consider e-bike styles that suit your needs and your personality.

Knowing what you'll need the e-bike for is one of the main factors to consider before picking one. Will you be using it mainly to get you around the city, use it for outdoor activities, or both?

There are many kinds of e-bikes to choose from, including different styles and colors to suit your lifestyle and preferences:

  • City Bikes: city bikes are best for urban transport and everyday use to get you to near places in your city
  • Hybrid Bikes: if you want an all-around bike to bring with you on-road and off-road, a hybrid bike is an ideal choice.
  • Electric Mountain Bikes: if you're leaning more on the adventurous type and loves outdoor activities, consider a mountain bike that is best for off-road use.

Pick a brand or retailer wisely.

When choosing a brand, one thing to consider is whether they have a product warranty and replacement parts should you need them. Like a regular bike, e-bikes will eventually need repairs or have parts that need to be replaced or upgraded eventually, so it's best to ask if the brand you'll be getting your e-bike from provides customer support and services. It's more convenient, and you won't need to look for another place just to have your e-bike checked or fixed. Luckily, there are many options to choose from when it comes to electric bikes in Christchurch and other cities in New Zealand.

Know your motor.

Not everyone bothers checking the specs of an e-bike when getting one so long as the design suits their preferences, but knowing what kind of e-bike you'll be getting, including its features and materials, is a better route to take as this will last longer.

When it comes to specs, it's essential to familiarize yourself with e-bike motor positioning and the difference between hub-drive and mid-drive.

Hub-drive e-bike - A hub-drive e-bike has the motor positioned on the front or rear wheel, which for some riders may feel like their e-bikes are being pushed or pulled along. A hub-drive may not be the best option for inexperienced or first-time riders since the additional weight can create steering challenges or make it harder to balance.

Mid-drive e-bike - A mid-drive e-bike is positioned between the pedals at the bike's bottom bracket, which helps provide load balancing. This means that riders will most likely feel like they're riding a traditional bike and won't feel the extra weight of the motor, making it a better option if you want a smooth and stable ride.

Of course, both have pros and cons. Hub-drives are more likely to be cheaper and flexible, while mid-drive motors are more efficient and can handle steeper hills or challenging terrains. Aside from that, flat tires are easier to fix with a mid-drive since the wheels can be taken off quickly without affecting the motor. Unlike mid-drive, the motor of a hub-drive is attached to the wheel itself, which means flat tires can be harder to deal with.


Choose a long-lasting battery.

Perhaps the most expensive part of an e-bike, a battery's quality, and reliability must be considered when buying an e-bike. Make sure to check the ones from well-trusted and popular brands like Samsung and LG. If your e-bike's battery is not labeled, ask your retailer and request a specification sheet.

Generally, an e-bike's battery is measured in amp-hours. If you're planning to use your e-bike to travel longer distances, get a more durable battery (at least 400 watt-hours or more) since it has a bigger capacity and potential range.

Choose your mode.

An e-bike usually comes with several power settings that can be set to low, medium, or high and may vary between motor systems and models. While this shouldn't concern you as much as the other specs, it's good to know that you have options to choose what you need whenever and wherever you need it.

Test ride e-bikes.

Imagine purchasing an e-bike using your hard-earned money only to find out it has broken parts or some features are not working correctly. Test your e-bike first and see if, regardless of the specs and reviews, you actually enjoy riding it, and it's functioning well.

So, is it worth getting an e-bike?

E-bikes are not only good for older people who might find a traditional bike hard to ride, but also for people who want the convenience of going from one place to another without an expensive car and pricey Uber rides.

Although e-bikes are more likely to be more expensive, mainly because of their inclusions and motor systems, it's probably still cheaper than the amount you spend on fuel for your car or public transport annually.

Not only that, compared to petrol and electric cars, e-bikes are more sustainable and can help lessen traffic congestion—making cities in New Zealand more livable.

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