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Buying an Electric Bike: How to Choose the Right Electric Bike (2024)

Buying an Electric Bike: How to Choose the Right Electric Bike (2024)

April 25, 2024

Thinking of buying an electric bike (ebike)? That’s great news. Ebikes have been revolutionary in the two-wheel market these last few years, allowing more people access to economic means of transportation, ease of mobility, and a whole lot more fun.

This innovative technology has changed the landscape of what’s possible on a bicycle, and is only getting better. According to a 2023 article by The Guardian, ebike sales “leapt 269% between 2019 and 2022 in the USA, with an expected market size of $2.69 billion in 2023” and will continue to rise into the 2030’s.

As the market continues to grow, there’s going to be more and more options to choose from.

So how will you know which ebike to buy and which one is best for you? In this electric bike buyer’s guide, we hope to answer some of your questions and roll you along the right path to ebike riding ecstasy.

What Is An Ebike?

Simply put, an electric bike (ebike) is a bicycle with a motor and a battery attached to it. This allows for pedal assistance and/or throttle assistance so the bike does most of the work for you, ultimately extending riding range and conserving energy for a more enjoyable ride.

You can find out more about ebikes by reading our article ‘What Is An Ebike & How Do They Work?’ to learn all the ebike basics.

Be Aware of your Budget

Ebike costs can quickly rise from below $1k all the way up to $10k. Having a budget in mind can keep you in the wheelhouse and narrow your options to make a more confident choice. Ebikes are a great investment and alternative to other forms of transportation, including cars, public transit, Lyft and Uber, and can help save you money over time.

Aventon’s ebikes are perfectly priced with high performance technology and quality components. That’s why we released the first sub-$1000 electric bicycle and we were featured on Bicycling Magazine for having one of the most affordable ebikes.

The ebike market has certainly grown in the last couple of years. Many companies are popping up all over the place. When browsing around for an electric bike, it’s especially important to be mindful of which ones are using quality products and components for the right price.

Not sure if an ebike is in your price range? Many states, and counties, offer considerable rebates on purchasing an ebike to help save you money and move us toward a more sustainable future. Learn more about ebike rebates on our blog ‘Ebike Rebates: Saving BIG Money In The US By Switching To Emobility’.

11 Things To Know Before Buying An Ebike

There are several key criteria commonly used to evaluate how to choose an ebike. Here are 10 things to know before buying an ebike:

1. Safety Features & Certifications

Ebike safety features include integrated, high-visibility lights for night riding, reliable and powerful brakes for secure stopping, quality tires designed for specific terrains, and safety certifications such as UL and UL-equivalent.

Aventon ebikes and their electrical components, including the batteries, are TUV-certified in compliance with the UL 2849 standard. TUV is a universally accepted safety certification and has been acknowledged by OSHA in compliance with UL standards.

2. Motor & Power

The efficiency, power output, and type of motor (hub motor vs. mid-drive) can affect the bike's performance, especially on hills or when accelerating.

3. Battery Range & Speed

A balance of battery range and weight ensures long distances on a single charge without compromising on speed. This achieves maximum speed with safe, controlled handling, blending convenience, usability, and performance efficiently.

4. Types of Sensors

  1. Two types of sensors can be found on an ebike: cadence sensor, or torque sensor.

Cadence sensor: A cadence sensor engages when a rider begins pedaling. It then sends a prescribed amount of power to the motor that propels the rider’s momentum forward until it reaches its maximum output.

Torque sensor: Considerably more intuitive than its cadence counterpart, the torque sensor recognizes the amount of pressure placed in the rider’s pedalin and matches it, creating a smoother, more natural riding experience. This can ultimately conserve battery life and extend riding range.

Aventon offers both cadence and torque sensor models. To learn more about the difference between these two sensors, check out our blog ‘Torque Sensor vs. Cadence Sensor on Electric Bikes’.

5. Frame Material

The strength, durability, and weight of the frame material (e.g., aluminum, carbon fiber) contribute to the bike's overall performance and lifespan.

Most ebike frames are made out of aluminum alloy, a light and durable material, though more frame options are becoming available, including steel and carbon fiber. Frame material, as well as design, along with the size of the motor and battery, play a huge role in the total weight of the bike and how it rides. Material makes a difference.

So, if you get stuck choosing between two comparable bikes, choose a model more preferable to your use case. You’ll recognize the right feeling bike when you take it for a test ride.

All Aventon ebikes are made with aluminum alloy.

Besides the materials, there’s also the traditional step-over frames as well as the step-through frame. The step-through frame, as opposed to the traditional step-over, has no crossbar and allows for easy access for more rider’s to find joy in emobility, specifically those with physical limitations.

6. Components & Warranty

High-quality components (gears, brakes, suspension) improve ride comfort, safety, and longevity.

Aventon ebikes use name-brand components such as Tektro mechanical and hydraulic brakes, as well as Shimano derailleurs. On top of that, we also provide a two-year warranty on all Aventon-branded components, ensuring you can ride longer and leave the worrying to us.

7. Convenience Features

Convenience in ebikes hinges on intuitive controls, easy charging, and user-friendly interfaces, coupled with the bike's portability. This includes a foldable frame for storage and transport, especially vital for multi-modal commuting, enhancing the overall riding experience.

8. Maintenance & Test Rides

The availability of replacement parts, ease of repairs, and overall maintenance requirements. Aventon has over 1,800 partners that can assist you in all your maintenance needs and free test rides so you have the support you need when you need it.

9. Value For Money

By balancing cost, features, and performance provided, alongside the value added through comprehensive warranty coverage and responsive customer support, enhances the overall purchase and ownership experience.

10. Aesthetic & Design

Ebike aesthetics involve subjective yet crucial elements like style and design, emphasizing sleek integration of components like batteries and wiring to enhance the bike's appearance, reflecting the rider's personal taste and the bike's technical sophistication.

10. Innovation & Extras

Ebike innovation encompasses smart features like smartphone integration, anti-theft systems, and GPS, alongside high-quality accessories such as cargo racks, fenders, and lights, significantly boosting utility and user experience through technological advancements and practical enhancements.

8 Common Electric Bike Types

Electric bikes come in various types, each designed for specific uses and riding experiences. Here are the main categories:

1. Commuter Electric Bikes

Designed for urban environments and daily commutes, commuter ebikes often feature comfortable seating positions, integrated lights, and fenders for practicality in city conditions.

2. Electric Mountain Bikes (eMTB)

Electric mountain bikes are designed for off-road use with features like suspension systems, durable tires, and powerful motors to handle rough terrain. They're divided into subcategories like cross-country, all-mountain, and downhill, depending on the specific type of mountain biking they're designed for.

3. Lightweight Electric Bikes

Built for speed and efficiency on paved roads, lightweight ebikes often feature aerodynamic designs. They're ideal for long-distance rides and cycling enthusiasts looking for a little assistance.

4. Cargo Electric Bikes

Cargo electric bikes are designed to carry heavy loads and often have a longer wheelbase to accommodate cargo space either in the front or back. They're ideal for transporting groceries, goods, or even children.

5. Folding Electric Bikes

Perfect for those with limited storage space or commuters who use multiple modes of transport. Folding electric bikes can be easily folded down to a compact size for carrying on public transport or storing at home or work.

6. Fat-Tire Electric Bikes

Equipped with wide tires for stability and traction on challenging surfaces like sand, snow, or mud. Fat-tire ebikes are versatile for adventure riding in various terrains.

7. Step-Through Electric Bikes

Featuring a low or no crossbar, step-through ebikes provide easier mounting and dismounting, making them accessible for riders wearing skirts or those with limited mobility.

8. Cruiser Electric Bikes

Cruiser electric bikes are designed for casual riding with an emphasis on comfort, these bikes often have plush seats, an upright riding position, and are easy to handle, perfect for leisurely rides around the neighborhood or park.

Each type of ebike caters to different preferences and needs, from the rugged terrain explorers to the urban commuters, ensuring there's an electric bike out there for every kind of rider.

What Are The Best Electric Bikes?

The best electric bikes are determined by a combination of factors that match the needs and preferences of the rider. What constitutes the best ebike for one person might not be the same for another, due to differences in riding styles, budgets, and specific use cases (e.g., commuting, mountain biking, leisure rides).

Best Electric Mountain Bike - Aventon Ramblas

Experience the thrill of the trail like never before with the Aventon Ramblas, the all-new electric mountain bike powered by the Aventon A100 mid-drive motor. This innovative design offers riders complete command over their journey, allowing for the customization of their ride through three distinct motor settings for a tailored riding experience.

The Ramblas doesn't just boast a torque sensor; it's also outfitted with dependable high-quality components. Expect nothing less than Sram DB8 mineral 4 piston hydraulic disc brakes, Maxxis 29” x 2.4” tires, a Rockshox 35 suspension offering 130mm of travel, and a Sram NX Eagle 12-speed derailleur, ensuring a ride that's as reliable as it is exhilarating.

Voted Best Budget Electric Mountain Bike by Bicycling.com (2024)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 20 mph
  • ✓ Range: 80 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 300 lbs
  • ✓ 250W mid drive motor
  • ✓ 100 nm torque
  • ✓ 3 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

Best Fat Tire Ebike - Aventon Aventure

Explore more with Aventure, a versatile bike with 4-inch wide tires and a comfortable front suspension, perfect for various terrains like rocks, sand and snow. The 750-watt motor propels it to speeds up to 28 mph with pedal assistance, supported by a 720-watt-hour battery for a decent range.

Featuring a sleek design with a frame-integrated battery, it's available in two frame sizes with step-through and step-over styles. The Aventure. includes an excellent display, controls, fenders, lights, a rear rack, and turn signals, suitable for adventures or daily commutes.

  • Best Fat Tire Ebike by Electric Bike Report (2023)
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Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 28 mph
  • ✓ Range: 60 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 400 lbs
  • ✓ 750-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

Best Commuter Electric Bikes - Aventon Level

Why is the Level the best ebike for most people? This ebike stands out with its rear rack and fender, shielding from debris and facilitating the transport of hefty loads during commutes. Boasting a top speed of 28 mph and an impressive range of up to 60 miles, it covers more ground quickly and can be conveniently parked anywhere.

But that's not all—its torque sensor elevates the riding experience, ensuring a natural feel by evenly distributing power to the rear hub motor. The integrated lights and a more compact, user-friendly display further enhance the appeal of this commuter ebike, making it even more remarkable

Voted Best Overall Ebike by Bicycling.com (2023)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 28 mph
  • ✓ Range: 60 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 300 lbs
  • ✓ 500-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

What Are The Best Electric Bikes For The Money?

The best electric bikes for the money are pocket-friendly options that won’t compromise on quality just because of the lower price.

Best Budget Ebike - Aventon Soltera

Discover an enhanced riding experience with the Soltera, featuring innovative elements like its torque sensor at a low cost of $999. This technology improves pedal assistance, ensuring a smoother and more efficient ride with better mileage.

The Soltera not only includes the torque sensor but also practical additions like built-in turn signals, wider tires, and a larger rotor for better biking on rougher roads and hills. Though it slightly increases in weight, the torque sensor's ability to provide an excellent experience, especially for new ebike enthusiasts, makes the Soltera a worthwhile investment.

Voted Best Urban Ebike by Bicycling.com (2023)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 20 mph
  • ✓ Range: 45 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 300 lbs
  • ✓ 350-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

What Are The Best Electric Bikes For Adults?

The best electric bikes for adults offer functionality and ease of use, including step-through frames, intuitive displays that offer all the necessary data, and plenty of power to assist on long rides, up hills, and everywhere else you need to go.

Best Cruiser Ebike - Aventon Pace

Riders from bike forums seeking a throttle-equipped cruiser ebike for leisurely days favor the Pace. It offers a cushioned saddle, swept-back handlebars, and an upright riding position, along with a powerful motor ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. Specifically, the step-through model combines functionality and is a perfect fit for urban commuting needs, catering to a 5' 4" rider to 6' 1".

Riding the Pace provides genuine pleasure, with comfortable city paces in Tour or Sport modes and a swift option in Turbo mode for time-sensitive situations. The rider's experiences emphasize the bike's versatility, guaranteeing an enjoyable journey.

Rated Affordable Power and Comfort by Bicycle.com (2023)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 20 mph
  • ✓ Range: 60 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 300 lbs
  • ✓ 500-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

Best Cargo Ebike - Aventon Abound

The Abound cargo ebike is equipped with a pedal assistance system featuring a rear hub motor and torque sensor, delivering a smooth boost based on your pedaling effort. In its most energy-efficient Eco mode, you can achieve an impressive 50 miles on a single charge. With a payload of up to 440 lbs you can haul it all, and bring the kiddos too.

The Abound is as versatile as a multitool able to be equipped with interchangeable accessories for all your cargo needs, including seat pad and rails, bamboo board, and a rear basket with a cargo net.

Voted Best Value Cargo Ebike by Bicycling.com (2023)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 20 mph
  • ✓ Range: 60 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 440 lbs
  • ✓ 500-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

Best Folding Ebike - Aventon Sinch

The Sinch is foldable and compact-able, ready to go wherever the road takes you. Its torque sensor delivers instant power, eliminating delays at stoplights, and conquering long, steep hills effortlessly, even on Eco mode. Designed with comfort in mind, it accommodates riders of different heights, offering an adjustable handlebar height for a personalized cycling experience.

Discover the transformative experience of the Sinch ebike, where fat tires redefine your ride on varied terrains. Unleashing confidence on rough gravel paths, it navigates challenging landscapes effortlessly. While loose sand poses a challenge, packed sand is a breeze, and snowy adventures await exploration. Its manageable weight ensures ease of transportation, and folding into a car trunk is a seamless task.

  • Best Torque-Sensing Folding Electric Bike by Electric Bike Report (2023)

Top Features Include:

  • ✓ Top speed: 20 mph
  • ✓ Range: Up to 55 miles
  • ✓ Payload: 300 lbs
  • ✓ 500-watt motor
  • ✓ 4 PAS modes
  • ✓ Torque sensor
  • ✓ 2-Year warranty

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