Choosing the right model of EV for city use
Electrically assisted bicycles (EABs) are on the rise because of the many benefits they offer. Whether it's for ease of travel, reducing your carbon footprint or promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, there are many good reasons to use an electric bike. However, taking the plunge and buying an EAB can be complicated when faced with the multitude of models available on the market. Whether it's an electric city bike, an electric mountain bike or a folding electric bike, it's difficult to choose the model that best suits your needs.
For example, if you are interested in this type of vehicle for use in the city, you should take into account several criteria when making your choice. Specific needs related to urban travel, essential characteristics and the main models of suitable EABs, let's analyze everything you need to know.
Choosing an EAB for urban use: the specificities of the urban environment
Using an electric bicycle in the city offers many advantages. However, it is essential to choose the right model so that it is adapted to an urban environment. Indeed, the latter differs significantly from the rural environment or walks in the countryside. Making the right choice requires a good understanding of the challenges and particularities of urban traffic.
The challenges of riding an electric bike in the city
While electric bikes are helping to relieve traffic congestion in cities, they still have to deal with high traffic density. In theory, E-bikes can easily weave in and out of traffic, reducing travel time. Nevertheless, this implies owning a manageable electric bike model. It is indeed difficult to face traffic jams and narrow streets with a heavy and difficult to handle vehicle. In the same way, the autonomy of the battery is an important criterion, since this one must be sufficient to ensure the daily displacements without having to be recharged at each moment.
It is also important to keep in mind that parking is a real headache for vehicles in the city. Therefore, it may be wise to choose a light and compact EAB, such as folding electric bikes, which are easier to carry, store and park.
The particularities of city traffic on an EAB
Stops at traffic lights and crosswalks are frequent in the city. That's why it's best to choose an ACE with efficient brakes and a motor with excellent torque. On the same principle, electric bikes with several levels of assistance allow you to adapt the power of the motor to each situation.
It is also important to remember that urban routes can include a variety of surfaces. This is the case for example:
- bicycle paths
- speed bumps;
- slopes ;
Faced with all these constraints, you will have understood that it is preferable to choose a bike equipped with quality tires and a robust frame, capable of resisting shocks.
Choosing an EAB for city use: the essential criteria of an urban EAB
To choose the right electric bike for city use, several essential criteria must be taken into account.
The performance and autonomy of the EAB
The power of the motor is undoubtedly one of the most important criteria to consider when buying an EAB for use in the city. A powerful engine makes it easier to move around, especially when restarting frequently (crosswalks, traffic lights, etc.). Also, good city bikes should have excellent torque.
Battery life is another key element for city use. Of course, as a consumer, you will be tempted to choose a model with a long battery life so you don't have to recharge your battery frequently. However, for urban use, a multitude of other elements are even more important. So you shouldn't focus solely on this point, especially since the average battery capacity is more than enough for city trips.
Comfort and handling
The suspensions and brakes of the city bike should ensure the necessary comfort and safety during your trips. On this principle, be sure to choose models equipped with disc brakes, for a better braking performance. Also, make sure that the suspension is of good quality, to allow your electric bike to absorb shocks and surface differences.
The maneuverability of the electric bike must also be taken into account for the urban environment. Indeed, light and compact models, such as folding electric bikes, are easier to carry and store. Also, the size of the frame and the position of the saddle must be optimized to ensure optimal comfort for the user.
Safety and visibility
To ride in the city, it is essential that EABs are equipped with safety accessories. This implies all the elements related to front and rear lighting, without forgetting the reflectors and retroreflectors, which are essential for the cyclist to be seen by other road users.
Similarly, the riding position on the electric bicycle must allow good visibility and promote the driver's responsiveness to urban obstacles. It is for this reason that it is essential to choose a model adapted to your morphology and your size.
Choosing an EAB for city use: the models to choose
As you may have noticed, there are many electric bikes on the market, some of which are more or less adapted to city use. Among those you can choose, we can mention :
- classic electric city bikes;
- folding electric bikes;
- fast electric bikes, also called Speedelec.
Classic electric city bikes are designed to provide optimal comfort for daily commuting. They are usually equipped with a sturdy frame and offer an adapted riding position. In addition, they are often sold with accessories, such as a luggage rack to make it easier to carry your belongings. If you're looking for a practical and comfortable way to get around town, as well as being environmentally friendly, this is probably the choice for you.
Folding electric bikes are ideal for urban travel where space is often at a premium. They are designed to be easily folded and unfolded, which has the advantage of making them convenient to take on public transport. They are also easy to store in the trunk of a car. In other words, these models are best suited if you need to combine several modes of transportation when traveling around town or if you have limited storage space.
Finally, fast electric bikes or Speedelec can be very useful if you want to travel at higher speeds than with a classic EAB. They can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h, which can reduce your travel time. However, it is important to note that these electric bikes are subject to specific regulations. This last one concerns not only the safety equipments, but also the possession of an adapted driving license.
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