There’s no doubt that getting on a bicycle and hitting the road is healthy for you and can be incredibly enjoyable; but when you’re on a traditional bicycle, even a few small hills on your ride can make the trip challenging, keeping you from doing it as often as you could. Leeds Bicycle offers a range of electric bikes that are equipped with a battery-powered motor, which provides some support when you’re struggling up a hill or want to go faster. We also offer several e-bike conversion kits, allowing you to convert your traditional bike into an electric bike.
If you’re considering getting an electric bike, or converting your traditional bike, you’re probably looking forward to trying it out on the roads or trails near you. But buying an electric bike can be an investment, and there are several things to consider before making a decision. At Leeds Bicycle, we are passionate about cycling and want everyone to enjoy it as much as we do. We are dedicated to providing high-quality, eco-friendly products as well as industry-leading warranties, giving you peace of mind that you’re purchasing an electric bike that will last for years. Here are a few considerations to help you choose an e-bike that fits your needs.
What to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Bike
Before you start looking at specific bikes and their features, start by thinking about what you want the bike for. Having a basic understanding of how you will use the bike will help you make other decisions about the bike.
- Where will you be riding? On a paved bike path, a mountain trail, or are you commuting to work and will be riding with traffic?
- How far will you ride? How many miles is it to work? How long are the bike paths near you?
- How much do you want to spend? Generally, the more features a bike has and the more powerful it is, the more expensive it will be.
Classes of Electric Bikes
There are three classes of electric bikes, each with varying levels of assistance from the motor.
- Class 1: Also referred to as pedal-assist or pedelec, this type of bike has a motor that only works when you pedal and stops when you reach 20 mph. These bikes can be used on all streets and bike paths, and some mountain biking trails. They are also the most affordable.
- Class 2: This type of e-bike is throttle-operated and can be ridden without pedaling at all. There are more regulations surrounding this class of e-bike, so it’s important to check on which streets and trails these can be ridden.
- Class 3: Similar to class 1 electric bikes, but motor assistance doesn’t stop until you reach 28 mph. A significant benefit of class 3 bikes is the performance — they are faster, can manage hills better, and heavier loads. However, they are more expensive, and they cannot be ridden on most paths or mountain trails.
If you have questions about where a certain class of e-bike can be ridden, check out this resource from People For Bikes, which provides state-by-state laws and regulations. You can also contact the team at Leeds Bicycle; we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.
Batteries, Riding Distance, and Motor
The motors on electric bikes are powered by batteries, so one of the first things you’ll want to think about is how much battery power you need for the rides that you plan on taking. More battery power will provide more speed and torque to help with hills, but using more battery power will affect how long your ride is. Electric bike dealers will offer a range of products that vary in power and mile range. On our Cinelli Gazzetta Della Strada, for example, you can choose between a 10, 20, and 40-mile range.
Battery Charge Time
The batteries on electric bikes are rechargeable, and some will require more time to fully recharge than others. Most batteries can fully recharge within three to five hours.
Number of Batteries
Some e-bikes have the option to use multiple batteries at once, allowing you to ride farther, and when one battery dies, the other one can be used as a backup.
Electric bike batteries are either mounted in the frame itself or there is a small cage or basket that carries the battery externally. Leeds offers both types of battery mounting setups.
The motors for electric bikes for either hub-drive mounted or mid-drive mounted.
- Hub-Drive: These are typically located inside the hub of the rear wheel, but sometimes can be located on the front wheel. Rear-wheel mounted hub-drive motors give the rider the feeling of being pushed. It can be somewhat challenging to replace a flat tire on a rear-wheel motor. Front wheel-mounted motors handle similarly to a front-wheel-drive car.
- Mid-Drive: These motors are located on the bottom bracket, below the pedals, and are more common. The benefits of a mid-drive motor include a more natural feel when pedaling and the bike can feel more centered and balanced when the weight of the motor is centrally located.
There are dozens of electric bikes to choose from, many with different features and components. Here are a few additional accessories that you may find.
- LCD Displays
- Smartphone Integration
Leeds Bicycle offers a range of electric bikes that are made with high-quality materials and components. You can choose between several mile ranges and between 250 and 500-watt motors, and if you’re looking for an e-bike conversion kit, they are easy and quick to install. Because electric bikes are an investment, if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a brand new bike, our e-bike kits are the perfect solution.
Whatever bike or conversion kit you choose, Leeds is dedicated to providing our customers with honest and reliable support. If you have any questions about our electric bikes, our warranty, the installation process, or one of these other common questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!