1- KNOW WHAT YOU NEED
One of the biggest mistake people do when buying an electric bike is not knowing what they need. I see people buying mountain bike for commuting or a hub motor in a hilly area. If you have some physical difficulties then you may need a different maybe a step through electric bike. If you need to ride for longer distance you need to buy a long range electric bike with big battery and efficient motor. First you need to define what will your primary purpose on buying an electric bike.
2- COMFORT OF RIDING
It is very important to be comfortable on your electric bike for long durations. Especially if you aren’t an advanced rider in good physical condition. Check riding position and try to buy an e-bike with upright riding position. Try to buy an ebike with suspension seat post so you will have less shocks when going through bumps. And check if the saddle has right amount of support and surface area. Depending on your riding habit or purpose you may need different components too such as suspension fork if you are going to ride off road or maybe need an electric fat bike if you want to ride it on sands or snow.
3- DON’T BE FOOLED WITH MOTOR POWER
If I earn 10 cents for each time someone ask me about motor power, I won’t need to work rest of my life. Many e-bike companies or motor manufacturers come with different motor power values such as 750W, 1000W or even 2000W. I need to tell you those values don’t show pure motor power. It shows most efficient point of that motor. Motor power depends on many factors such as torque it creates and even those numbers are little bit exaggerated. I see some hub motors claim to have 80 Nm Torque which is impossible. Check our article about e-bike motors.
4- USE COMMON SENSE ABOUT E-BIKE RANGE
A hub motor electric bike with 48V10ah battery claims to have 60 mile range, you better think twice. Check battery capacity also consider other factors that may affect range such as motor efficiency. Mid Drive motors are more efficient than hub motors. So hub motors will have shorter range with similar battery than an e-bike with a mid motor. Besides that sensor type (torque sensors are more efficient) and gear efficiency also affect expected range of your e-bike. After all use your common sense about the claimed range of electric bike that you plan to buy.
5- WARRANTY IS IMPORTANT
Even you buy a budget electric bike it will cost you around $1500 and that price can go up to $7000 depend on the ebike you buy. And it is important what kind of warranty you get with your ebike. It is not uncommon to see some ebike companies or stores to find different excuses about warranty. Also I heard some companies charge labor fee for warranty so you may need to spend $100 labor fee to replace $5 cable on your e-bike. Unfortunately even electric bikes with $3000 or higher priced ones use such ways. Be sure about how they handle warranty.
Check carefully what comes with your electric bike as standard. The photo can be misleading. The electric bike you see may have two batteries, rear rack, front light or other accessories on it. But most of them maybe optional. Check carefully what is standard on your electric bike and check price of those optional items as in future you may need to invest to use them on your e-bike.
6- WHAT IS STANDARD ON YOUR E-BIKE
7- EXPENSIVE EBIKE DON’T MEAN BETTER (AT LEAST ALWAYS)
You need to make a detailed search before buy an ebike. Better find websites like here where they do unbiased comparison of ebikes. You can get same ebike with same battery, motor, gear, etc… for half price on certain brands. So make your search before buy an electric bike and don’t think an expensive ebike is going to be always better.
For example check this comparison of two ebikes here where one costs $3200 and other costs $1649. Result will surprise you.
8- BRAKES OF YOUR ELECTRIC BIKE
Many people spend so much time on motor, battery or sensors of their electric bike, but don’t check what kind of brakes they buy on their electric bikes. Brakes of an electric bike especially on a powerful ebike is very important. Hydraulic Disc brakes are better than mechanical disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes are better than V brakes or coaster brakes. Besides that check the brand of the brake on your e-bike. I advice Tektro, Shimano and Magura brakes which I tested all and was very satisfied with their hydraulic brakes.
9- PRICE OF REPLACEMENT PARTS
If you buy a good quality electric bike you may expect to use it for several years at least for 5-6 years or more. In most cases your warranty will expire within 1-2 years and also warranty doesn’t cover most parts such as battery. In the end you will need to replace some parts such as brake, battery, gears, tire, etc… Check price of those parts and also check if you can source those parts online. Otherwise you may need to spend $40 for a 25 cent washer if that washer is a custom produced one. I hear some people need to spend over $1000 to replace their battery as the battery is a custom one which you can only buy from that ebike company.
10- CONSIDER YOUR WEIGHT AND EBIKE WEIGHT
First check if the ebike you buy will handle your weight. Especially if you need to climb with your electric bike, be sure if that ebike has powerful motor.
Another important point about electric bike is weight of the e-bike. Heavier ebike is harder to control and lift. If you plan to carry your e-bike on a rack, this is very important to check. As some racks can’t handle weight of electric bikes.