Choosing the right electric bike for short trips

In a world increasingly aware of environmental issues and the need to rethink our modes of travel, sustainable mobility has become a real hot topic. In this respect, electric bikes are the ideal solution to combine ecology and practicality in everyday life. Indeed, they are an excellent alternative to public transport or to the traditional motorized car, especially for short distance trips. Home-work, shopping in the city or walking in the open air, there are many opportunities to ride an electric bike. However, with the increasing number of models available on the market, it can be difficult to make the right choice and find the right EAB for you.

You are in this situation and you don't know which electric bike to buy for your short trips? Discover our advice to guide you through the most important criteria in your situation.

Quel vélo électrique choisir pour des petits déplacements ?-1

Understanding the different types of electric bikes

Choosing the right electric bike for your needs is essential to fully enjoy the benefits of sustainable mobility. It must be said that there are indeed different types of e-bikes on the market, each with its own specificities, advantages and disadvantages. Before going any further with your purchase, you need to understand what distinguishes the different categories of electrically assisted bicycles. Only then will you be able to determine which model is best for your short trips.

Electric city bikes

First of all, you can get an electric city bike, designed specifically for urban use. This model generally offers a robust frame and a range adapted to most of the journeys of this type. It is undoubtedly the ideal model for an optimal driving position in the city (ergonomic saddle, tires adapted to urban surfaces, etc.).

Folding electric bikes

Folding electric bicycles, also called folding EABs, are particularly practical for short trips and multimodal travel (several modes of transport). Thanks to their compact size when folded, these models are easy to take everywhere, including public transport, and to store. In addition, they are also lighter than electric city bikes, which makes them easier to handle.

Electric mountain bikes

If your short trips are not necessarily urban, but rather off-road, you can opt for an electrically assisted mountain bike. These are usually equipped with a powerful motor and a high capacity battery. However, they are not suitable models if you are looking for versatility, i.e. an EAB that is compatible with travel in the city and on rough terrain.

In other words, to choose the right electric bike model, it is important to take into account several factors specific to your situation.

Criteria for choosing an EAB suitable for short trips

If you are looking for an electric bike for short trips, you should focus your attention on some essential criteria for this specific use.

First of all, you might be tempted to look for the best possible battery life. However, for short trips in the city, an average range of 30 to 50 km is more than enough. So there's no need to dwell on this criterion, especially if the other features are consistent with your intended use.

The same goes for the motor power, because even if it influences the speed and the electric assistance of the bike, a classic power of 250 watts is, there too, sufficient. Of course, more powerful EAB models offer more assistance, especially when dealing with hills, steep slopes, etc. Nevertheless, these bikes are also more expensive. However, nothing justifies such an investment for short distances in town. If your short trips are on rough terrain, it may be wise to consider the power of the engine.

When you say short trips, you often mean daily trips, or almost daily trips. In this case, comfort becomes an essential criterion when choosing an electric bike. Not only do you need to make sure that the seat is comfortable, but also that the handles are ergonomic and that the riding position is adapted to your size. To be on the safe side, it's best to try several E-bikes before making your choice.

The weight and general size of the electric bike can also influence your decision. For example, if your short trips are planned in the city, a light and compact EAB is easier to handle and transport. This is even more the case if you need to combine it with other modes of transportation. In such a situation, folding bikes seem to be the most appropriate.

Don't forget that, depending on your needs, certain features may become essential. Whether it's a luggage rack, puncture-resistant tires or other options, don't skimp on anything that might guarantee you a little more safety and comfort when traveling.

Quel vélo électrique choisir pour des petits déplacements ?-2

Features adapted to short trips with an EAB

For short trips with an electric bike, certain features seem necessary. It is among others the case :

  • a good lighting system ;
  • efficient brakes;
  • accessories to carry your belongings;
  • equipment to ride in all weather conditions;
  • anti-theft devices.

For starters, good lighting is essential for your safety, especially when riding in the city. If you ride early in the morning or late at night, it is even a primary criterion of choice. It is best to choose a model equipped with powerful and visible front and rear lights, so that you can be seen by other road users. In the same vein, effective brakes are essential to ensure your safety in the city, where emergency situations are likely to arise quickly. In this regard, disc brakes are generally more efficient than skid brakes, especially in wet weather.

To carry your belongings on the road, a rack can also come in handy. Some e-bikes also offer baskets or panniers for easy and secure storage of your belongings.

If possible, don't omit equipment for riding in the rain or other types of weather. Indeed, weather conditions can sometimes make electric bike trips more complicated. Also think about the mudguard and the chain guard to avoid water and liquids of all kinds (mud, etc.).

Finally, protect your electric bike against theft, as this type of crime is particularly widespread since the emergence of the EAB. This is particularly important if you regularly leave your bike outside. You can choose a model with a built-in anti-theft system, just as you can add a sturdy lock to the frame of your EAB. Also, accessories such as alarms or GPS trackers increase the security of your vehicle.

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