Choosing Your Best Electric Bicycle For Commuting

“It must be awfully frustrating to get a small raise at work and then have it all eaten by a higher cost of commuting.” - Ben Bernanke. Tweet This

In recent years the popularity of electric bicycles continues to grow stronger among commuters.

That`s make sense because according to the National Household Travel Survey, half of all trips in the U.S are under 3 miles.

A travel distance that can be easily bulldozed by an e-bike!!!

In addition, based on Evelo findings, if you use electric bike, your average commute per day will cost you around 5-8 cents (up to 40 miles). Over one month, that’s only $1-$2.

While on the other side, with e-bikes you still can enjoy the health benefits of pedaling, but when you feel have enough pedaling or need to reach more miles then the built-in motors will help.

The guys at Cnet also have interesting point of views about "Why an e-bike could be your next ride". Enjoy the video bellow to see how:


However, choosing the right electric bike is slightly different than a regular bike. There are a few things that you should consider carefully as follows:

1. Lead Acid or Lithium Ion Battery
Lead acid batteries are cheaper but heavier than lithium ion.

While lithium ion batteries have a much higher power density and can last longer, up to 2 years (lead acid battery only can last up to a year), or the equivalent of 10,000 to 20,000 miles (depending on how you use it).

If you only need to travel about 10-20 miles, most electric bike can do the job done well. So the rule of thumb is, more range will require larger batteries.

Be advised, the types of terrain in your area also will affect the battery performance. Flat terrain will consume less power than a hilly terrain.

In general, the recommended battery power are:
• 5-10 miles - 200Wh battery
• 10-20 miles - 300Wh battery
• 20-30 miles - 400Wh battery
• 30-40+ miles - 500Wh+ battery

2. The Electric Motor
In general the electric motor ranges from 250 to 500 watts. For example, 350 watt electric motor allow you to hit 20 miles per hour easily.

But whatever wattage you choose, just make sure the motor is "brushless and gearless" since they don`t have moving parts inside and that means they're maintenance-free.

3. Pedal-Assist or Throttle-Control.
Pedal-assist e-bikes are similar to how a motorcycle or scooter operates. When the throttle is engaged the motor provides power and propels you and the bike forward.

While throttle-control allows you to pedal or just kick back and enjoy a free ride. Most throttles can be fine tuned like a volume dial between low and full power.

4. Your body weight
Most of electric bicycle can deal with up to 250lbs, but expect reduced range with more weight. The heavier the load means the bike ability to run will decreased.

5. Easy storage
A unit with a foldable design will be your best choice.

6. Adjustability
A unit with adjustable saddle and crossbar ensure you to have a comfortable riding position.

7. Bike Weight
Trust me, you don`t want to buy e-bike that weighs more than 30 kg. It will be hard to carry and maneuvers.

8. Warranty
As always, the longer the warranty, the better.

9. What Other Buyers Have Said
In addition to cheaper price, if you buy online from Amazon.com you have the opportunity to examine other buyers experience with the product (consumer reviews). This way, you can get a clear picture of a product that you must buy.

People who can submit a product review on Amazon.com are people who have bought the products. So rest assured you will get a honest review from them.


Best Top Rated Electric Bicycle


1. Prodeco V3 Phantom X2 (under $1,500)
Features:
• Reviewed by 71 verified buyers - 4.1 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Foldable design
• SRAM X7 8 Speed Mid Derailleur
• SRAM X7 Twist 8 Speed Shifter and Avid BB7 Disc Brakes
• Rear Direct Drive 36V 500 Watt Motor
• 38.4V 12Ah LiFePO4 24 Cell Battery
• 20 MPH and 28-38 Mile Distance per charge
• Warranty: lifetime on frame, 2 years for components
• Dimensions: 70 x 10 x 39 inches ; 57 pounds


2. X-Treme XB-300Li (under $770)
Features:
• Reviewed by 31 verified buyers - 3.9 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Running on a 300 watt rear hub motor
• 7-speed shimano tourney gears and shifter system
• 7-lightweight lithium ion batteries
• 100% aluminum alloy frame
• Fully adjustable Seat
• RST Capa T7 front fork
• Speed: 20 miles per hour
• Throttle type: Variable speed control, twist throttle or pedal and power assisted
• Key start
• Head light
• Battery indicator
• Distance per charge: 20 to 25 miles
• Maximum rider weight: 350 pounds
• Horn/bell/tool kit, cargo rack included
• Warranty: 90-day bicycle, Battery: 1-year


3. Prodeco V3 Storm 500 (under $1,200)
Features:
• Reviewed by 24 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• SRAM X5 8 Speed Mid Derailleur
• SRAM X7 Twist 8 Speed Shifter and Avid BB5 Disc Brakes
• Rear Direct Drive 36V 500 Watt Motor
• 38.4V 9Ah LiFePO4 24 Cell Battery
• 20 MPH and 25-30 Mile Distance per charge
• Warranty: Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Components
• Dimensions: 71 x 37 x 10 inches ; 80 pounds


4. X-Treme Scooters Folding Mountain E-Bike (under $750)
Features:
• Reviewed by 19 verified buyers - 3.7 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Foldable design
• 300 watt electric rear hub motor
• Lithium batteries that last for 7 years
• Travels at 20 mph
• Up to 25 miles per charge
• Maximum rider weight: 350 pounds
• Warranty: 90 days on frame, 1 year on battery


5. Prodeco V3 Mariner (under $1,078)
Features:
• Reviewed by 18 verified buyers - 3.7 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Foldable design
• SRAM X5 8 Speed Mid Derailleur
• SRAM X7 Twist 8 Speed Shifter and Avid BB5 Disc Brakes
• Front FSG 36V 300 Watt Motor
• 38.4V 9Ah LiFePO4 24 Cell Battery
• 18 MPH and 25-35 Mile Distance per charge
• 2 Years Warranty



Read: Convert Standard Bike Into Electric Bike (Under $260)