Choosing the right electric bike for your needs

The electric bicycle or VAE is more and more present in the cities and the countryside. Its use has indeed become widely democratized in recent years, especially because it offers an ecological and economical alternative to cars and public transport. Unfortunately, this growing popularity can have some disadvantages, such as the increase in the number of EAB models available on the market. Indeed, this makes it very difficult for potential buyers to choose, especially since there are different types of electrically assisted bicycles. But then, how to choose the right EAB according to its use?

To help you see more clearly and choose the most appropriate electric bike, let's take a look at all the situations and criteria to take into account.

Quel vélo électrique choisir en fonction de son utilisation ?-1

Which electric bike to choose for short trips?

There are many models of electric bikes on the market, but for short trips, a light and easy-to-handle electric bike seems preferable. A few criteria can help you choose the best possible EAB for this type of situation. These include

  • the size, since a foldable model can be more practical;
  • autonomy, even if for short trips, an autonomy of 20 to 30 km is sufficient;
  • the weight, because the lighter a bike is, the easier it is to handle and transport;
  • the motor, knowing that for short trips, a 250 watt model is largely sufficient, except if the route includes difficulties due to the relief;
  • comfort, because no matter how long the trip is, a comfortable seat and an ergonomic driving position make the trip more pleasant.

Among the most appropriate electric bicycles for short distances, you can easily choose the folding electric bicycle or the city electric bicycle.

Which electric bike should I choose for long trips?

As we have just seen for short trips, an electric bike for long trips must take into account several factors.

Inevitably, you need an electric bike with enough range to cover the distance you plan to travel. High-end electric bikes generally have a range of up to 120 km. However, depending on your needs, a range of 50 to 100 km may be sufficient.

For long trips, comfort is also important. For this reason, electric bikes that allow for an upright riding position are to be preferred. Indeed, they reduce the pressure on the back and wrists.

The size of the wheels is also important, since the larger they are, the more stability they offer at high speeds and on rough terrain. On the other hand, smaller wheels are best used in tight spaces or urban environments, especially because they are more maneuverable.

On the other hand, over long distances, the power of the engine is a determining factor. This criterion is essential if the route consists of slopes, hills, etc. In this case, a motor of 500 watts or more may be appropriate.

Which electric bike to choose for public transportation?

Choosing an electric bike for public transportation involves taking into account the size, weight and ease of folding or storage of the EAB. Some of the options to consider include:

  • the folding electric bike, which is light and compact and easily transportable on public transportation or in the trunk of a car;
  • the light electric city bike, which is often smaller than the classic VAE.

In the end, the main thing is not to embarrass yourself with an electric bike that is too heavy and imposing and that you would have difficulty handling in a confined space.

Which EAB model should I choose for city use?

For use in the city, an electrically assisted city bike is obviously the most suitable, since it offers a balance between comfort, maneuverability and practicality. Before making your choice, however, you should consider a few key features, including

  • comfort, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time on your electric bike (comfortable seat, upright riding position, wider tires, etc.) ;
  • agility, because in the city, maneuverability is essential to weave between cars and avoid obstacles;
  • practicality, because an electric city bike equipped with a luggage rack and a mudguard allows you to carry objects and protect your clothes from dirt;
  • a removable battery, because if you live in an apartment, it can be convenient to recharge indoors;
  • a powerful motor, but not too powerful, for sufficient assistance.

Which model of EAB to choose for a rural use?

For rural use, a trekking or all-terrain electric bicycle is generally the most suitable. The latter offers better performance, but also greater versatility on unpaved roads and rough terrain. Some of the criteria to consider include:

  • wide tires, which provide better grip and stability on country roads;
  • good front or rear suspension, which can help absorb shocks and improve rider comfort
  • a powerful battery, because for rural use, it is preferable to bet on a good autonomy;
  • a powerful motor, to be able to climb steeper slopes or ride on complicated surfaces;
  • comfort, which is particularly important for longer or shorter trips over changing terrain.

In other words, if you think you will be riding your electric bike regularly in rural areas, you should choose a solid and efficient eBike for all types of terrain.

Quel vélo électrique choisir en fonction de son utilisation ?-2

Which eBike to choose for mountain use?

To choose an eBike for mountain use, it is important to take into account several criteria.

First of all, the suspension is an essential element, because mountain roads are often bumpy and uneven. Thus, an electrically assisted bike with front and rear suspension will offer better performance and a more comfortable ride on these difficult terrains.

Second, tires should not be underestimated either. Wider tires offer better grip and stability on mountainous terrain, whether it's gravel roads, dirt roads or trails. Off-road eBikes are also usually equipped with adapted tires, especially for better traction on difficult surfaces.

The motor is also a crucial element to consider for mountain use, as it needs to be powerful enough to climb steeper slopes. Here again, all-terrain bikes seem to be the most appropriate. Similarly, the battery must be of sufficient capacity to provide autonomy for long distances or significant changes in altitude.

Finally, pay attention to the brakes, which are particularly important for mountain descents.

Electric bike and seaside: which model to choose?

If you want to use an electric bike by the sea, you must first make sure that it will resist to corrosion. Indeed, the salty and humid air of the sea can quickly damage the components of the bike, starting with the metal parts. It is therefore better to choose a resistant EAB, with, if possible, an aluminum, carbon or titanium frame.

Also, the tires of the bike should be able to run on sand and gravel without sinking. For this, it is recommended to choose wide tires with studs.

Also, be careful to choose an electrically assisted bicycle with waterproof equipment to avoid damage due to humidity. In particular, the motor and battery should be protected from water and sand.

Finally, be sure to choose an EAB that is easy to maintain, as frequent cleaning is required when used regularly by the sea. Again, the goal is to avoid damage from moisture and corrosion.

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