Yes, you read that right – north of £4k for a bike. But then, this is basically the top end of the mountain e-bike market, and you do get a lot of bike for your buck: a Yamaha Lithium battery, masterful Magura brakes, mud-slaying tyres, and – my favourite flourish of all – a hydraulic seat post that you can adjust on the move (surprisingly useful when navigating tricky downhill trails, as it means you can depress the saddle out of the way with the press of a button).
The second type of electric bike is a much smaller, often foldable unit designed for convenient urban (or suburban) commuting and for easy storage in minimal space. These compact electric bikes are perfect for trips of a few miles, and many are small and lightweight enough to be carried onto trains or buses, allowing their rider to make use of multiple types of transportation in a single trip, and to store their bike in a closet or even under a desk at work, at school, or at home.
It really is a simple e-bike, and while I could go on about the frame (aluminium), and the weight (very light), the experience of using this bike for a few days is more interesting. While it feels like a less high-tech product than others in this list (no gears; a shorter battery life of 30 miles; two modes not three), it basically retails at half the price as those competitors – and I certainly didn't find it to be half as good.
With asthma, the commuter was just what I needed to get up these hills in the DC area without having an attack. With the 20 miles range, that gets me though my day, I can almost get about 35 miles in, since I only use the assist for hills, and I call any incline a hill. It came in two days, was very easy to install. I did it myself. It took me over an hour because I was scared, and watch the video over and over. Before I install this, I never did any work on my bike, not even changed a flat. When I do group rides, people notice that I'm no longer the last person up the hills and tell me to slow down! They are impressed that I was able to installed it myself. I brought this in Feb. 2017, had one problem with the on/off switch which customer service addressed, sent me a new switch and instructed me on how to install it myself. They actually sent two switches, other than that, I had no problems with it. Great customer service that stands behind their product, great product, equals happy customer.
“Second, even if you do make bikes in the US, they will be multiple times more expensive than their overseas counterparts and 99.9% of consumers won’t pay that price. When my shop tried selling a US-made bike next to a Chinese bike, with signage that explained why the US-made bike was more expensive, we couldn’t even sell one. Customers would stand there and talk about how they want American-made goods, then they would buy the Chinese bike.”
I picked this bike because it’s definitely one of the lowest cost 28mph bikes out there that is still high quality. Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes keep you good and safe. The geometry provides a comfortable ride. Personally, I don’t always think a suspension fork is totally necessary since they are less efficient. If you’ve got a pretty smooth road to ride this is a great option.
To be honest, this bike is really designed for city commuters or kids riding around the suburbs. The fact that it’s foldable will let you carry it on the bus, on the train or even on the plane. It’s just not designed for heavy riding, long distances or tough terrains. If you want something sleek and fabulous at a fraction of the cost of most other e-bikes, this baby’s for you.
In a friction drive motor, a small, solid wheel rotates against the side of the tire in order to drive it. The first motorcycles used the same concept, with a motor mounted above the front wheel. The problem is that the drive rubs at the side of the tire. It's inefficient, and it quickly wears the sidewall away. Tires need to be replaced every couple hundred miles. For this reason, you'll seldom see electric bikes with this type of drive anymore.
As electric bike options continue to expand, more brands are integrating the battery more seamlessly. That makes them look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Batteries are expensive, so make sure there's a good way lock the battery to your bike if you'll be keeping it outside. Overall weight is important. Some battery and motors can add 15 pounds or more to the bike. With assist, you won't feel that much when you're riding, but you will if you have to carry your bike up stairs or lift it onto a bike rack.