Today’s E-Bike Wednesday Guest Article is brought to you by Dan Woodard. Dan designs and builds custom electric bikes. He quit his high-tech engineering job to follow his passion in electric bikes. Follow his blog where he shares his experiences. http://ElectricBikeBuilding.com
If you have considered buying an electric bike, there are many configurations and options to choose from.. In this article I’ll focus in on some of the considerations that might make your decision easier.
Background on E-Bike Purchasing
There are many reasons why people choose to own an electric bike. There are folks who commute but don’t want to arrive all sweaty. They are capable of riding without assist but use their electric bikes as a car alternative.
Many people like to ride but are not conditioned to ride long distances. Some are getting older or have injuries that prevent them from riding far or often.
A growing number of people have completely replaced their cars with electric bikes. They use them to haul cargo and for all other transportation needs.
Which electric bike is right for you?
It depends on what you are going to use it for. Thinking about the above reasons and how they apply to you will help narrow your search.
There are many choices for electric bikes today with more and more coming onto the market. This is good for selection and price but not so good if you are a first time buyer trying to decide what all the options are. When considering your options there are many things you should think about.
Main Decision Points
Do you want to buy a complete electric bike or convert an existing bike. There are many advantages to buying a complete electric bike.. If there is a local bike shop that carries electric bikes, you can test ride to select the one that feels right for you. You will also have a place to take it when it needs service. If you buy one online, you will have to pick one without a test ride and either service it yourself or find someone locally. There are a growing number of shops that can work on electric bikes but it may take awhile for one to come to a town near you.
If you want to convert an existing bike to electric, there are many choices and technical details. Just like the growing number of compete bikes, there are a growing number of conversion kits to choose from, too many to list here. Also note, not all bikes are compatible with an electric conversion.
If you have a favorite bike and are mechanically inclined, electric conversion could be a good way to go. That is the path that I have taken. You can read more about that on my blog Electric Bike Building.
Converting an existing bike to electric can also be accomplished at select bike shops. That way you can use your favorite bike and not have to do the work yourself. This will require having a bike shop in your area that can do this for you.
Details, Details, Details
There are a lot of details, too many to cover in one article. I’ll be covering more of these electric bike details in the future. I’ll also go over the technical details about how they work and what each of the components do. If you have specific questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer.