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E-Bike Buying Tips for First Time Riders

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Bikes have always been cool, especially when you get to open your first ever bike on Christmas morning and ride around all day until it gets dark. Does anyone else remember doing that? But like most other cool things in the world, bikes have evolved into something even cooler. Electric bikes, now shortened to e-bikes, are taking over and it’s easy to see why

Buying an electric bike might sound simple but there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind before deciding. If buying an electric bike is something you’ve been thinking about for environmentally friendly transport, off-road biking, or just getting around town, we have a few tips to help you choose the right one. Read on below to get yourself on board the e-bike train with the right bike for you. 

Eight Tips for Buying Your First Electric Bike

Do your research

You’re off to a great start if you’ve found yourself here while researching e-bikes and how to choose the right one for you. 

You might want to start by researching any laws and regulations around e-bikes in your area, including age restrictions, safety equipment, maximum speeds, etc. 

There are also many different e-bikes available and not all batteries and motors are the same. Charging times might vary though it’s typically between 4-6 hours for a full charge, mileage averages vary depending on the bike but generally 30-50 miles per charge is desirable. 

Once you’ve done that and you’re on board with policies, investigate local stores in your area that have good reviews so you know you can trust they will give you the right information and will provide you with great customer service. 

What do you want it for?

Before taking yourself off to the shop, you’ll need to know what you want the e-bike for because that’s one of the first questions they’re going to ask you. “What’s brought you in today?” or “What’s your intention for your e-bike?”. 

When sellers understand what your purpose is, it makes their job a lot easier to narrow down your options which in turn makes it a lot easier for you to choose which bike is the bike for you. Just like vehicles and non-electric bikes, e-bikes are designed to suit different and various purposes. 

Here are a few reasons you might be considering purchasing an electric bike:

  • Becoming more environmentally and climate-conscious 
  • Transportation and commuting 
  • Cost-efficient 
  • Getting around town with ease 
  • Exercise, well-being, and spending more time outdoors
  • No licensing or insurance is required 
  • Great for getting up hills and going against the wind
  • Off-road fun with e-mountain bikes
  • Because why not

Set a budget

When looking into purchasing your first e-bike, you’ll find they’re not entirely cheap as far as bikes go. But when you consider the wonderful benefits they have as well as the fact they have a nice little battery in them to make you go faster for longer, it makes sense. 

You can get cheaper e-bikes for as little as US$600 and just because they’re cheaper doesn’t mean they’re not good e-bikes, especially if your purpose is just for getting to the shops in town and back. 

Better quality bikes start around US$1000, and generally, the most popular bikes are anywhere between US$1000 and US$4000. Don’t let that scare you off though, some e-bikes can be bought for over US$8000. Just for fun, here’s the most expensive e-bike on the market today, designed by Daniel Simon. 

Get the right size for you

Would you purchase an extreme Mountain Bike for your three-year-old daughter or a small, colorful, streamers attached to the handlebars, and training wheels attached to the tires, children’s bike so she can actually reach the pedals? Please don’t answer with “but she’ll grow into it”. 

Size matters for comfort, for a good fit, for safety, and for an enjoyable ride. 

You should be able to sit on an e-bike the same way you would on a bike. 

  • Two feet on the ground on either side of the bike
  • Slight and minimal bend to the knees
  • Straight back
  • Minimal bend in the elbows
  • Both hands comfortably around the handlebars 

Here’s a guideline with the typical size measurements of your height vs the height of the electric bike:

Your HeightSeat Height (inches)
4’10 – 5’2”13 – 15 
5’3” – 5’6”15 – 17
5’7” – 5’10”17 – 19
5’11” – 6’2”19 – 21 
6’3” and taller22 – and higher

Ask if you can take it for a test ride

Just like you would take a car for a test drive before making a large investment, you should try and test-drive a few e-bikes before determining which bike is the bike for you.  

If they don’t do test rides that’s fine too, try hiring a couple of different e-bikes to get a good feel of a few different types. This will give you a better feel for smoothness, comfort, the weight of the bike, speed, height, etc. 

Ask for advice from people you know that ride e-bikes and ask for recommendations from people that work in e-bike stores. Knowledge is key to people. 

Buying online

Don’t live near a shop that provides e-bikes and equipment? That’s ok, you can buy e-bikes online.

What we suggest here is that you only buy from a well-known and trusted site that has proven credibility and real-life reviews from actual humans. 

We’re not trying to phase anyone out, but when it comes to first-time buying, buying from a well-established store could save you a lot of time and stress. You can trust they know what they’re talking about and they should usually offer a type of warranty or return services if needed. 

Quality and efficiency are also key

The range and battery will be important to note when choosing your e-bike. If you’re needing a bike for commuting to and from work or longer distances, you’ll want a good quality bike that’s built for durability, efficiency, and reliability. 

If this is an investment you want for long-term use, efficiency, and quality need to be top of mind when shopping for your e-bike. Keep your e-bike maintained, look after it, charge it properly, treat your bike the way you might treat your most prized possession, and your electric bike will last you years. 

Don’t forget to accessorize 

As a first-time rider, you might get a little excited after purchasing your first bike without considering the necessary accessories you might need to get you through your first day. Plenty of us are guilty of that. Good thing you’re here for us to remind you of a few things you should get before exploring the world on your e-bike:

  • Tire pump
  • Safety equipment (helmet, night-riding lights, reflectors)
  • Mirrors
  • GPS and anti-theft system
  • Chain lock
  • Seat cover and suspension seat post for better shock absorption and comfort
  • Water bottle holder and the water bottle to go in the holder would be ideal too
  • Basket for storage 
  • Comfortable riding clothes

Feel free to accessorize with glitter and rainbow handlebar streamers too, I’m not judging you. 

Conclusion

Getting your first electric bike is exciting and should be a breeze if you know what you’re looking for in an e-bike. 

Whether you’re here because you’re looking to do your part in healthier environmentally friendly options, or you’re tired of pushing yourself against the wind and up that daunting hill every day, our eight steps will help you on your way to getting the perfect e-bike for what suits you best. 

By Trevor Fenner

About the author:

Trevor Fenner is the founder and owner of Electric Bike Paradise, a one-stop shop for all your electric bicycle needs. He has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a seller from Craigslist that introduced him to electric bikes. Ever since Trevor spent time searching for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a single website that offers a wide selection of bikes and informational articles. That is why he decided to start a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called Electric Bike Paradise.

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