Reasons to Not Buy the Aventon Soltera e-bike
Today we’re uncovering eight reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. Yes, it is a minimalistic, sleek, lightweight electric bike geared towards an audience of commuters and performance enthusiasts on a budget. Still, it isn’t perfect.
At first glance, this bike doesn’t even look like an electric bike, thanks to its minimalistic build that conceals the battery.
The low price tag makes many potential e-bike buyers drool in anticipation. After all, there must be some catch when an electric bike costs so little. While it is a decent bike, we can easily think of eight reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. Let’s talk about them.
Reason #1: There’s No Suspension
Not every e-bike comes with a suspension. This is true. However, the lack of a suspension on this bike ends up in a rather bumpy ride. Not to mention the wheels are a bit thinner than your typical e-bike at 27.5 x 1.3”, which doesn’t help too much in this department.
Aventon does advertise this bike as a “performance” bike for those interested, and while we respect that the lack of a suspension likely helped keep the down, this certainly did not help with the overall performance aspect of the bike. If you’re planning on using this bike on a gravel or dirt road, you might want to reconsider your purchase.
As the owner of this bike myself, I can say that the few times I took it on a little off-roading adventure, I was wishing I had a suspension.
With that said, they did advertise this bike as a commuter bike for city dwellers. So, if your commute is all pavement then this bike will get you where you need to go. No problem! Just be sure to avoid any stray pebbles or potholes if you enjoy staying on the bike for the duration of the ride.
Reason # 2: Uncomfortable for Above Average Heights
One of the biggest reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera is it won’t be comfortable if you’re extremely tall.
The Soltera comes in two sizes and two frame options. For the step-over model, they have the regular and the large. For the step-through model, they have S/M and M/L.
The regular size accommodates riders between heights of 4’11” and 5’7” for the step-through model and 5’3” to 5’10” for the step-over model. So far, there have been no complaints from individuals of shorter to average heights for these bikes.
However, the larger bikes are advertised as accommodating for riders between heights of 5’7” to 6’1” for the step-through model and 5’10” to 6’4” for the step-over model. There have been numerous complaints that these bikes are actually not accommodating to people on the taller side, despite the ability to adjust the saddle height. It just isn’t enough to ride comfortably.
One reviewer even mentioned that is 5’10” felt uncomfortable on the M/L step-over bike despite being on the shorter end of the spectrum. There have been other reviewers who highly recommend sizing up if you’re debating between the two sizes. Unless you’re on the shorter side, this bike is likely going to be uncomfortably small for you.
We do appreciate what Aventon was doing by attempting to accommodate a range of sizes and preferences of design. For the most part, many people are content with the feel and overall comfortability of the ride. If you are on the taller side, just get ready to make some adjustments when your new bike arrives for optimal comfort while riding.
Reason #3: The Battery is Lacking
The Aventon Soltera e-bike comes with a removable but integrated 36V, 9.6Ah lithium-ion battery with LG cells. Despite the design of this bike allowing this battery to be conceal beautifully into the frame, there have been plenty of complaints about the overall battery performance.
The first complaint isn’t a mark against the bike itself but against Aventon’s delivery practices. Many buyers receive a bike with a fully depleted or drained battery.
Aventon does state that the battery needs a chance to “wake up” upon arrival and may require upwards of 48 hours on the charger before it’s functional. That’s unideal for multiple reasons. But if it never even works, then it’s just a massive waste of time.
Many experts have also deemed this battery as “below average” in comparison to other e-bikes and their overall functionality. Given the difficult start for numerous people with their batteries, this, unfortunately, does appear to be the case. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of actual power behind these bikes, you might end up feeling like you’re riding a regular bike for a much higher price.
While it is on the smaller side, even by just a few volts, it is pretty impressive, all things considered, that the battery has an average range of up to 41 miles before needing a recharge. It also only takes an average of 3 to 4 hours for the battery to fully charge, and in most tests, the battery does what Aventon says it will do, so they were true to their word and didn’t necessarily oversell its capabilities.
However, when you realize there are plenty of e-bikes available with a much higher range than 41 miles, you can see why the price tag is so low.
Reason #4: Minimalist to the Extreme
This bike is advertised as having a minimalist design. Aventon took that word to heart. This bike comes with no fenders for added tire protection or racks on the front or rear. The lack of a suspension and torque sensor is also apparent in regard to how little you get with this bike. It’s truly just the basics.
While some aspects of the minimalistic design are desirable, such as the beauty of the frame in concealing the battery, they also went minimalistic with the overall capabilities of this bike. In comparison to most of its competitors on the market right now, the motor and battery are lacking in power and stamina. Many reviewers have reported that this e-bike often feels like riding a regular bike with an occasional push.
With that said, the minimalistic design did likely contribute significantly to Aventon’s ability to sell this bike as an affordable option. Not everyone has several thousand dollars to spend on the best e-bike out there, and Aventon didn’t try to break the bank with this offer so everyone could enjoy an e-bike that wants one.
Also, they do have fenders, racks, and other accessories for additional purchase for those that want them. Still, it won’t match the mule-like carrying capacity of something like a Specialized Globe Haul.
Reason #5: No Torque Sensor
Between that lack of a suspension, the less-than-ideal pedal assistance we’ll be covering a bit later, and the nonexistent torque sensor, this bike is going to give you a bumpy and heavy ride.
This isn’t the only e-bike on the market that doesn’t have a torque sensor. But on this one in particular, there have been many complaints that the pedal assistance doesn’t kick in properly, if at all, when you need it.
Theoretically, the lack of a torque system should actually make it easier to pedal with. A torque sensor is essentially there to measure the amount of force you’re pedaling with and kick in the pedal assistance accordingly. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this bike. Not only is the sensor nonexistent, but the bike remains difficult to pedal with on several accounts anyway.
Despite the lack of several bells and whistles on the Soltera, including the torque sensor, it’s worth noting that Aventon left this out in order to keep the price within an affordable range. While this is often a desirable quality on an e-bike, if someone is just looking for a truly minimalistic e-bike, just a bike with a little extra push, then this is likely the bike they want.
Reason #6: Issues Upon Arrival
This might just be one of the biggest reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera e-bike. There are countless complaints about the arrival state of this bike from consumers, and from their description, Aventon’s customer service takes their sweet time trying to fix it.
Firstly, there’s the battery issue already discussed where the batteries just straight up don’t work upon arrival. There have been reports of the charger itself not working right out of the box as well.
While Aventon’s customer service seemed attentive enough regarding these issues, many customers were displeased with their lack of urgency and several shipping issues for the replacement parts of bikes they had just received. Several buyers said that customer service outright didn’t even respond to them.
Others reported they were sent used or defective bikes, such as with a bent wheel, despite paying for a new one. If you have any issues with your Aventon Soltera upon arrival, you might have to put up with them for a while.
It is worth noting that several people complained about their bikes arriving with a dead battery. But once charged, it worked. We know it’s frustrating when this happens. But in Aventon’s defense, it’s pretty common to receive pieces of technology with a dead battery that needs charging. It’s highly dependent on how long it was stored before it shipped. As long as the battery does turn on within a reasonable amount of time, you can expect this behavior.
Additionally, if you buy your bike from a specialty bike shop, as I did, you’ll skip all of the delivery problems. Buying your e-bike in person means you can inspect it and make sure everything works perfectly before taking it home.
Reason #7: The Pedal Assistance is Subpar
We’ve touched on this briefly above, but let’s delve into it. Despite the lack of a torque sensor, the pedal assistance should still kick in automatically when you need the extra push. The most common complaint about this bike is that this is not the case.
I can say from experience that this definitely is not the most powerful e-bike. In other words, the acceleration won’t knock your socks off. It’s a little slow to get up and go.
One reviewer even described this bike as “…an economy car with a bad automatic transmission” due to the severe lack of actual assistance the bike provides and its inopportune timing of assistance.
There have also been complaints that pedal assistance levels 1 and 2 don’t really provide any noticeable assistance. It still feels like riding a regular bike until at least level 3. After all, levels 1 and 2 only help you up to 5 to 8 miles per hour.
Given that the Aventon Soltera is advertised as having five levels of pedal assistance, this is not ideal.
We will say that while this bike is lacking some of the advanced equipment, at least it comes with options like a single-speed and 7-speed variant. Plus, the range and capabilities of the motor are actually quite impressive compared with what’s on the market.
Even if you do have to go up to a level 3 or higher, it still travels further than many other electric bikes with more power and accessories in nearly every test conducted across the board. That’s no small feat.
Reason #8: Ergonomics Were Not the Goal
This is one of the less significant reasons to not buy the Aventon Soltera. But it is still worth mentioning.
Maybe the goal wasn’t to do away with ergonomics completely, but it doesn’t appear to have been the priority in the design of this bike. This bike was designed for “performance” meaning that you aren’t really able to sit up straight on this bike, it forces you to lean forward quite a bit.
For some, this might be ideal. For most, you’re going to be pretty uncomfortable on long rides if you aren’t used to this type of positioning.
Secondly, the saddle, Selle Royal, was reviewed as pretty uncomfortable by several users, especially women. Some found it so uncomfortable they went as far as replacing the saddle, which could wind up yet another additional cost to you given everything else this bike doesn’t come with.
Many people reported that they couldn’t find a comfortable position despite the adjustment capabilities of the saddle due to the general discomfort of the cushion combined with the forward leaning position required to ride.
We will say that the choice between a step-through and step-over style frame is much appreciated. It can be difficult for riders to mount and dismount comfortably due to the height of the top tube, so this added consideration is worth shouting out on Aventon’s behalf. They also did provide ergonomic grips on the handles that did not garner any complaints, so at least one aspect of this design is comfortable for bikers.
Reasons to Not Buy the Aventon Soltera e-bike FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the warranty period on the Aventon Soltera e-bike?
There is a two-year warranty period on this e-bike. Should something need replacing after the warranty period is up, Aventon also sells several replacement parts for purchase.
How can I make my Aventon Soltera go faster?
Once you get your app connected with your bike (there are provided instructions that come with the bike on how to do this), you can go into the settings portion of the app and adjust your top speed preferences there. The top speed capability of this bike, as advertised, is 20 mph. The only real way to go faster is to break a sweat and start pedaling harder once you hit the maximum electric-assisted speed.
What is the life expectancy of an Aventon Soltera battery?
This answer is highly subjective on how long and how frequently you use your bike, so it varies. Statistically speaking, your battery should remain at full capacity for at least two years if you use your bike every day, or up to five years if you’re more of a weekend-only rider. Aventon does have e-bike batteries for purchase should your battery need replacing in a few years.
Does the Aventon Soltera have a throttle?
Yes. If you don’t want to rely on pedal assistance alone, you can use the integrated thumb throttle. This will take the bike all the way up to its top speed of 20 miles per hour.
About the Author
Tyler Von Harz
Tyler Von Harz is a writer with a passion for computers and technology. When he isn’t writing about graphics cards, processors, and computers, he is working in his computer store, where he builds and repairs PCs. Outside of working on computers, Tyler also enjoys creating coding tutorials and sharing stories about what it is like to run a computer store on his blog: tylerthetech.com
Reasons Why the Aventon Sinch Step-Through Electric Bike is Perfect For RVing
If you are intrigued by the idea of purchasing foldable eBikes for your RV adventures, then take a good look at the Aventon Sinch Step-Through. The brand new Sinch is an incredibly good looking eBIke that also boasts a fine-tuned fit and finish that will please the pickiest camper. It is easy to fold and store in your RV or truck, and it will perform on sand, grass, gravel, snow, and pavement. We recently tested two Aventon Sinch Step-Through models in Cape May, New Jersey for four days–and had an absolute blast doing so. The four inch fat tires allowed us to ride on the beach at the edge of the water and on some light off road trails around Cape May’s bay beaches. The Sinches 500W motor was quick and responsive and everything about the bike was easy and fun to use.
Choosing a folding eBike can be confusing for consumers that are not familiar with the market. We think that Aventon is a reliable brand. They have been in business for more than a decade and receive consistently good reviews from consumers and vloggers. The Aventon Sinch Step-Through is also moderately priced in relation to other eBike brands in the foldable category. At 1,799.00 it is neither the cheapest or the most expensive eBike on the market.
We will be bringing our Aventon Sinch Step-Through eBikes on every trip we take next year. Here are 9 reasons why you might want to purchase one (or two) of your own and do the same.
Aventon provided us with two free eBikes in exchange for an honest review of our experience using them. Our opinions and thoughts about the Aventon Sinch are entirely our own.
Easy to Fold and Store
The Aventon Sinch takes less than a minute to fold up and it was relatively easy to pick up and move into the back of our truck. The Sinch is significantly easier to move than our non folding electric bikes. We also loved that the Sinch could still be rolled around when folded up. Once we lifted them into the back of our pickup truck they were able to be maneuvered without further lifting. We would never bring our non folding ebikes on an RV trip. They are just too big and bulky. But we will be bringing both of our Sinches on every RV trip that we take in 2023–and beyond.
Easy to Unfold, Lock, and Ride
Unlocking and unfolding the bikes is just as quick and easy as folding them–it really is a Sinch (sorry, had to do it!). We really can’t imagine a simpler and more efficient folding and locking mechanism. As many of the reviews on YouTube also point out–the bike does not shake or rattle when locked–it feels just like a one piece eBike when you are riding it. When it comes to the Sinch–the ease of use is near perfect. We cannot wait to get them back to the campground.
Comfortable for a Wide Variety of Riders
Aventon claims that the Sinch fits most adults from 4’11” to 6’3″. They also suggest a max payload of 300 pounds. During our long weekend in Cape May, NJ we had eight different people test the bikes out. They ranged in height from 4’10” to 6′ and in weight from about 95 pounds to 275 pounds. All eight riders were incredibly comfortable on the bikes once the handlebars and seats were adjusted to their desired specifications. So the Sinch would make a great “shared” eBike for a family with different sized riders.
Super Fun To Ride
We have tested a variety of eBikes at this point, and the Aventon Sinch wins very high marks for overall ride quality. These bikes are just super fun to ride on the road, on the trail, and even on the beach. They don’t feel big and bulky on the road, and they don’t feel small and wimpy on the trail. We don’t intend on using the Sinch in one type of riding situation. We want to use these bikes in a variety of different conditions based on where we are traveling–and we are certain that they are up to the task.
4 Inch Fat Tires for Trails and Beaches
The Sinch’s 4 inch fat tires are one of our favorite features on the bike. They provide great stability on the road and provide the opportunity for riders to get off-road as well. We were impressed with how well the Sinch performed on the beach. We had to walk the bikes down to the harder packed sand near the water–but then we were able to ride for miles. Sand is, of course, terribly invasive. So if you do take an ebike like the Sinch down on the beach makes sure to clean it up good when you are done.
Digital Display and Controls are Easy to Use
The Sinch’s digital display has a backlight and it is easy to read. The display will show your speed, pedal assist number, and more. Overall, we liked the display but thought it could be just a tiny bit brighter. It can also be linked to an App that allows you to set goals, keep track of rides, and connect with the Aventon community.
The throttle and controller are comfortably placed and were easy and intuitive to use. The throttle is on the left side on this eBike, as opposed to our other eBikes, where it is on the right. Initially we thought this might feel weird, but that was not the case at all. You don’t really think about its left side positioning at all when in use. The Sinch is a class 2 eBike–which means it can be electrically powered by its pedal assist, or the aforementioned throttle, or a combination of both. It can also be pedaled without using its motor. But we did not try doing so for any significant amount of time. The magic is in the motor.
Attractive and Outdoorsy Look
The Aventon Sinch Step-Through should also win a prize for its good looks. We love the Moss Green and Bonfire Red color options. They both manage to be attractive and rugged looking at the same time. Too many other foldable eBikes come in boring color options, if they have color options at all. We struggled to pick between the Moss Green and the Bonfire Red–but ended up requesting two of them in Moss Green. We love this color so much–and it looks great with the gum sidewalls on the 4 inch fat tires.
Room for Racks and Storage
One thing we love about our full-sized, non-folding ebikes is that their rear racks can hold a large storage basket. This allows us to bring towels and gear up to the beach. Thankfully, a reasonably sized rack also comes with the Aventon Sinch (at the time of this writing). Riders can easily attach a bag to this rack for snacks, a towel, a rain coat etc… We are currently shopping for baskets or bags to attach to the racks. These are must-have accessories for us. We think they will be for you too.
40 Mile Average Range for Big Adventures
If you are an RV owner that would love to park your rig at a campground and then take off for an adventure on an eBike, then take a good look at the Aventon Sinch Step-Through. Everything about the Sinch is easy and fun. It’s 40 mile average range will let you leave your truck or motorhome behind for all kinds of adventures around the campground. One of the great advantages of an eBike is that it allows you to get to popular trailheads or downtown areas without worrying about parking, and without spending money on gas. Now that we have taken a trip with two Sinches in tow, it is hard for us to imagine traveling without them. We are looking at them as essential gear for our RV adventures in 2023.
Aventon Sinch Step-through
Folding E-bike. Call before ordering to ensure the model and size is in stock.
Aventon didn’t call this ebike the Sinch for no reason. Foldable, portable, storable, powerful, comfortable, and ready for anything, the Sinch folding electric bike lives up to the definition of “doing it with ease”. Your Sinch compact electric bike will fit in your closet and under your desk, meaning it’s almost infinitely portable! Making this electric bike foldable means that it’ll even fit in the trunk of your car or easily into your RV so you can take it anywhere with you. With 4″ fat tires and a front suspension fork this ebike is ready to both cruise the pavements and conquer the trails!
The powerful motor and stealthily integrated battery mean that you’ll never be short of power, and 5 levels of pedal assist and a no-nonsense, no-need-to-pedal throttle mean that you can go as hard or as light as you want. Cruise around town or through the park on this and you’re sure be turning heads!
Backlit LCD Display
Keep track of your speed, pedal assist level, how far you’ve gone, and how far you’ve got left to go with this perfectly placed LCD screen. Located on the handlebars of your folding e bike this easily viewable, backlit LCD means you can go anywhere with high levels of confidence.
Take your ebike anywhere, without the need for a bike rack. The Sinch electric folding bike will fold up and fit in your trunk, in your closet, and even under your desk. Folding it up and down is a breeze with two quick release clamps being all that’s needed to open and close your ride.
Built to conquer the trail as well as the streets, the lockable front suspension tempers any surface you may find beneath your wheels.
20″ x 4″ fat tires take you anywhere and provide excellent stability whether you be on the pavement or the trail. Trust in the tires beneath your foldable electric bicycle as you go wherever your heart takes you with confidence.
Hub Motor Battery
You never thought you’d find such a powerful motor and battery combination in a portable electric bike that fits in your trunk! The stealthy, integrated battery is designed for fast charging, whilst the powerful motor means that you can conquer almost anything!
Pedal Assist Throttle
With five levels of pedal assist, getting yourself anywhere on the Sinch folding electric bicycle can be as much of, or as easy, a workout as you want. If you need that little extra boost to get you home, or just want to enjoy the scenery, then the throttle function will take care of powering you along.
Electric Bikes Guide
Electric bikes are the fastest growing category in the bicycle industry. People all over the country are discovering how much more they can do with a little boost from a pedal-powered motor.
Our Top Electric Bike Categories
Road cyclists are enjoying riding longer loops, climbing with less difficulty, and riding at consistently faster speeds. Urban commuters can ride to work faster, more often, and without all the sweat. And mountain bikers can spend less effort grinding up the hills and more time shredding through more trail than ever.
So check out our great styles of e-bikes from top brands that are redefining what’s possible on two wheels. Explore the individual styles below or shop all electric bikes.
Electric Commuter Bikes
If you currently have dreams of ditching the car and riding your bike to work, or even if you already do, you’ve probably thought about how much better your commute would be on a bike that works as hard as you do. Electric commuter bikes make life on two wheels more fun than ever, and have proven to be an incredibly functional tool for urban transport and recreational riding.
Electric Mountain Bikes
Electric mountain bikes are powerful, capable, and surprisingly agile. Built from the ground up as bikes that can hang tough on the trail, the geometry has been slightly tweaked to accommodate the pedal-assist motor and battery so it handles just like the mtb in your garage. It’s just a lot more fun.
Electric Road Bikes
Electric road bikes are helping riders everywhere discover new limits and possibilities by bike. If you still want to get in a great workout but want a little help up the hills, e-bikes are a great solution. Designed to keep the same light and nimble characteristics of regular road bikes, these e-bikes give you all the benefits you’re used to with an added bonus of extra power when you want it.
Our Best Electric Bike Brands
Specialized Electric Bikes
With great models in every category, Specialized electric bikes are perfect for commuting, trail riding, or road cycling.
Giant Electric Bikes
Giant also makes great electric bikes for mountain trails, city streets, and everything in between. Momentum and Liv ebikes are also made by Giant.
Aventon Electric Bikes
Aventon makes great electric hybrid bikes that are perfect for urban commuters and people who like to get out and explore.
Best Electric Commuter Bikes
Specialized Turbo Como
Best unisex electric commuter bike
Comfortable body position
Fenders keep your feet dry
Specialized Turbo Vado
Best all purpose electric commuter bike
Excellent handling and performance
No bulky battery attachment
Best Electric Mountain Bikes
Specialized Turbo Levo
Best electric mountain bike for trail
Ultimate capability wherever you ride
Giant Trance X Advanced E
Another great eMTB for trail riding
Flip chip geometry changes
Specialized Turbo Tero
Best electric hardtail mountain bike
Tons of trail capability without the elite price tag
Best Electric Road Bikes
Specialized Turbo Creo
Best electric road bike for long rides
Ultra responsive handling
Can I ride an e-bike in the rain?
Yes. Our electric bikes come waterproofed right from the factory. As long as you don’t submerge the whole bike in a lake, you won’t have a problem.
How fast can I go on an electric bike?
Most electric bikes have a top assisted speed of 18 to 22 mph. Above that speed, the electric shuts off.
How far can I go on one charge?
Electric bike range varies from 15 to 60 miles by model. How far you go on a single charge will also depend on your weight, the weight of your cargo, the terrain, and wind. How much you pedal and which power setting you use (if any) also affect range.
How much does it cost to operate an electric bike?
Based on the price of electric, it typically costs 6 to 14 cents a mile to charge and maintain. Compare that with a car at over 50 cents a mile.
Will a conventional bike keep me in better shape?
Yes — but only if you use it as much as the electric bike. Many e-bike users find that the electric’s benefit on hills and into wind eliminates their fear of riding and gets them out on the bike when they otherwise might not ride. Some are more fit because they ride more often.
Electric Bike Facts Tips
Electric bikes sound space-age yet they’re simple in concept. These modern marvels are akin to your favorite two-wheelers and are equipped with battery-powered electric motors that help propel you, all or part of the time. E-bikes as they’re often called, are popular because they’re quiet, non-polluting, and can make cycling a lot more fun for a lot more people. Read on to learn more about electric bikes and how to choose the right one for you.
Electric bikes make riding easier
For example, they’re ideal if you’d appreciate a little boost when climbing hills, fighting headwinds and riding for transportation or distance. Commuters find that the motor provides enough extra oomph to eliminate sweating.
In fact they typically generate from 100 to 700 watts, which is a lot (750 watts is about one horsepower, 350 watts is the average a pro cyclist can sustain for an hour). So, you arrive at work calm, cool and collected. Plus, the motor makes it easier to carry the extra weight of your work clothes and lunch, laptop, cellphone, etc.
Ebikes are incredibly versatile
Electric bikes are wonderful for other uses, too. They’ll let you keep up so you can enjoy riding with a significantly fitter person. They’ll let you travel further with a lot less effort so you can consider biking places you used to drive to. And, they make it possible to do things you might not be able to without motorized assistance, for example, pulling a trailer with the kids or groceries in it. Once you go electric you’re sure to find that it makes your everyday life easier and more convenient.
You don’t need a license or registration to ride an electric bike
Because electric bikes are classified as bicycles, no license, registration and insurance are required, saving you a bundle (and there are no gas costs and only cheap, basic maintenance needs). What’s more, these zippy (top assisted speed is about 18 mph) bikes let you sneak around traffic jams, are a breeze to park and the most common battery type used, Lithium Ion, can be recharged in a few hours so the bike’s always ready to roll. These advantages have prompted many city dwellers to buy battery bikes as a viable and hip transportation alternative to the automobile.
Ebikes are great for fitness and fun, too
Don’t think that you won’t get any exercise buzzing around on your assisted steed, either. You’re repaid for pedaling with longer battery life (ingeniously, some models also use the energy produced by braking to recharge the battery). Plus, it feels great to pedal when it’s so easy to, so most e-riders actually pedal a lot. Some even ride their green machines as much for fun and staying in shape as they do for basic transportation. It’s nice knowing that you can head out to parts unknown unconcerned that you might tire out and not be able to pedal home. No worries. Just let the motor assist lend a helping hand!
Are the different types of electric bikes?
There are two basic categories of electric two-wheelers:
Pedal assist (also called pedelec) is an electric bicycle on which you must pedal in order to use the motor. It’s just like a conventional bicycle except that there’s a motor that senses that you’re pedaling and kicks in to aid the pedaling effort. It feels like you have the best tailwind of your life on a permanent basis.
Power on command is an e-bike equipped with a motor controlled by a throttle. On these electrics, you don’t have to pedal to benefit from the motor. When you want power, just crank the throttle and away you go. You’ll be able to accelerate in the middle of a corner thus increasing traction. Of course, the less you pedal, the sooner you run out of juice in the battery. So, it’s best to help the motor by pedaling.
Besides the motors, electric bikes usually come equipped with comfortable seats and handlebars, flat-resistant tires, wide-range gearing and quick-release seats for easy adjustment. You’ll find other nifty features on some models such as fenders, removable batteries, anti-theft alarms, sturdy kickstands and built in locks and lighting systems. It’s also possible to add other accessories you like to your e-bike should you want a bell, mirror or rack.
If you already have a bicycle you like for getting around that you’d like to upgrade to electric power, you’ll be happy to hear that there are also electric-bike kits available. We’re happy to help you choose the best kit and set it up.
Which e-bike type is best?
Both types of e-bikes work great and the best way to choose is to check some out. Keep in mind that they’re essentially still basic bicycles, so the things you would consider when shopping for a standard bike apply when looking for an e-bike, too. For example, what kind of drivetrain do you want? If you ride long distances with hills, you’ll probably want a bike with more gears than someone who sticks to flat pavement and shorter routes.
Likewise, how much braking power do you want? If you ride in wet, sloppy conditions you’ll appreciate all-weather, low-maintenance disc brakes. If you prefer not to bike in bad weather, you’ll be fine with standard rim brakes.
Other considerations to think about include whether you want suspension to smooth rides and enhance your comfort, how much carrying capacity you need, whether you want maximum flat-tire resistance and on-road/off-road capacity out of your wheels and tires or lightness and agility for easier pedaling.
And, there are other intriguing options. We already mentioned electric-motor kits to motorize almost any bike. There are also folding e-bikes that make storage and parking easier and even let you collapse the bike for tossing it in the trunk of a car should you need to catch a ride home. Another interesting product is an electric trailer that actually pushes you along, a setup that lets you simply remove the trailer anytime you want to ride your bike without power.
Electric bike motor matters
As you shop for your electric bike you’ll also find a wealth of technical information on motors. How much power do you need? Does it matter where the motor is located? Here’s some information to help you weigh the pros and cons.
Location Motor location varies widely and goes a long way toward determining how your electric bike rides. The motor and battery are relatively heavy components on a light bicycle, so their weight affects steering, cornering, acceleration and aerodynamics. The motor’s position relative to the drivetrain also affects what drivetrains can be used as well as their function. We’ve shown the placement and the pros and cons of common motor locations in the chart below.
|Motor location pros and cons
|Balances bicycle weight distribution between drivetrain and motor.
|Motor weight puts a strain on fork and head tube.
|Compact motor form (in front hub).
|Front wheel-drive traction.
|Puts weight just where you want it.
|Often requires a non-standard frame. This may look odd or require hard-to-find components if you need to repair anything.
|Any drivetrain possible (allows internally geared hubs).
|May reduce available bottle mounts.
|Doesn’t affect wheels, easier acceleration.
|Allows regenerative braking.
|Bicycle weight placement favors a sitting position. Standing and high-speed cornering trickier.
|Not compatible with internally geared hubs.
Watts under the seat? How much power do you need? Will a 250-watt motor be underpowered? Do you need 700 watts? It’s important to realize that comparing watts is not necessarily comparing apples to apples. One manufacturer may list peak (maximum) wattage while another may list continuous (power consumption in a normal condition) wattage. isn’t always 100% better.
What’s more, wattage isn’t torque. Without getting too scientific, we can explain torque as the amount of twisting force that your wheel applies to accelerate — it’s the amount of force that turns into acceleration. Wattage measures the amount of energy expended when velocity is held constant. This means that a bike with a lower wattage could provide more torque and thus feel faster and zippier than a bike with a slightly higher wattage (because the 20mph speed limit on electric power will eventually handicap the higher wattage motor). And neither consideration fully takes bike weight into account.
The takeaway is that you shouldn’t value a high-wattage engine over all other factors. Come in, test ride a few bikes and talk to us about which bike is right for you.