Electric bikes are quickly becoming the ‘it’ item that everyone seems to want. The heart-pumping thrill of an electrified ride, combined with unbeatable functionality and much-appreciated efficiency, have resulted in more holiday wish lists including a new e-bike. And as their popularity rises, so has the number of companies offering new e-bike brands. As a prospective buyer, it can be extremely challenging to sort through so many choices and understand what makes one electric bike different from another. AND, more importantly, which features and specs are most important to consider when making a purchase.
If you’re an e-bike newbie, you’ve come to the right place. Juiced Bikes is a pioneer in the electric bike industry with more experience than almost any U.S.-based micro-mobility brand. We’re going to break down the seven most important things you need to know before buying a new e-bike for you or your loved ones this holiday season!
#1 Battery Size: Bigger is Always Better
This is a common regret of new e-bike riders, ‘I should have paid more attention to the battery specs’ Many riders greatly underestimate how often they'll ride and how long their rides will last, which can lead to disappointment when they realize their e-bike’s battery can’t keep up with their riding distance.
When considering an e-bike, it’s critical to understand the importance of battery capacity and how a battery’s total watt hours determine riding range. More watt hours = more power. More power = more riding range. To find the battery size of an e-bike model, simply multiply volts by amp hours to get the watt hours. For example, the battery on the HyperScorpion has a 52 volt/19.2 amp-hour battery, so 52x19.2 = 998.4 watt hours. Compared to a commonly used e-bike battery with 48 volt /14 amp-hours of power, and just 672 watt hours, it’s easy to see the power advantage of a Juiced e-bike, which directly equates to the e-bike’s riding range. Purchase an e-bike with the biggest battery that you can afford to ensure you’re going to have the most riding miles you possibly can. Also, don’t just look at a company’s riding range claims. Most brands promote 30, 40, 50+ miles of riding range, but their batteries will only provide that range in very specific conditions: very light rider with no cargo, no uphill riding, and all pedal-assisted riding. There is a lot of room for interpretation when factoring riding range, so it’s best to just compare battery watt hours to determine which will deliver the most miles of riding on a single charge.
#2 Look closely at motor size
Another important component of an e-bike is the size of the motor. The motor powers the bike and impacts speed, torque, acceleration and hill-climbs. The size of a motor is measured in watts and there are two types of measurements that you will see when shopping for an e-bike: nominal power and peak power. The tricky thing is that many e-bike companies l list the peak power to make the motor appear larger than it actually is, and that can be deceiving.
The peak power of a motor can only be sustained for a short period of time while the nominal power is the amount of power that can be continuously applied without damaging the motor. So how do you know what the true motor size is? It’s important to dig into the motor specs and truly understand the motor you’re getting on your electric bike. Don’t just look at the first number, every reputable electric bike company will list the motor size in peak and nominal power. At Juiced, we list the nominal power of our motors as it more accurately represents the power you’re going to get while riding. All Juiced Bikes are equipped with the most powerful motors available – either 750 or 1,000 watts of NOMINAL POWER with peak power ranging from a whopping 1,000 watts to 2,000 watts.
#3 Learn about pedal assist sensors
When initially shopping for an electric bike, a new buyer may be confused by the amount of unfamiliar jargon used to explain the bike’s specifications. Amp hours, wattage, torque and cadence pedal assist (just to name a few) can be confusing. Many riders don’t learn enough about the technical aspect of e-bikes and are often left disappointed with the lackluster performance of their new e-bike. Another regret of new riders is not buying an e-bike with both TORQUE and cadence pedal-assist sensors.
Most e-bikes under $2,500 just have CADENCE pedal sensors, and these simply measure if a rider is pedaling and then lends power to that pedaling. More premium bikes, like most Juiced models, include both the standard cadence sensors, plus TORQUE pedal sensors. Torque pedal assist is a feature that also measures the force of each rotation of the bike’s pedals and outputs an equal amount of torque to match your riding power. Experienced e-bike riders usually find single pedal-assist technology to be jerky or laggy, while e-bikes with torque and cadence sensors deliver a smoother and more responsive pedaling experience. Once you ride an electric bike bike with cadence AND torque sensors, you’ll absolutely feel the difference.
#4 Don’t skimp on safety essentials
As more and more Americans discover the advantages of e-bikes, there’s a greater emphasis on riding safety. It’s disturbing to see the number of “budget” e-bikes that don't include basic safety features to help keep riders safe and protected. At Juiced Bikes, we’re passionate about the well being and safety of our riders. That’s why our bikes include premium components like, super-bright headlights with up to 2,000 lumens of light that not only light up your route but alert riders of your presence on the road, puncture-resistant tires to help prevent flats, and hydraulic disc brakes that have enhanced stopping power. One of the most important components every new e-bike rider should be looking for is hydraulic disc brakes. When you’re riding at up to 30+ mph, on a bike that's much heavier than a traditional bike, you absolutely need upgraded hydraulic brakes. Do not buy an electric bike with mechanical disc brakes, it is not worth the risk.
#5 Don’t miss the upgrades
E-bikes can be ridden very long distances so it’s important to look for upgraded features that will add more comfort and functionality to your e-bike. Don’t get stuck spending hundreds of extra dollars on upgrades after you purchased a new e-bike. Look for an e-bike with upgrades like racks, fenders, and comfortable grips included in the base price of the bike. Many e-bike companies offer upgraded components and features for more money, and they quickly add up to nearly as much as the price of the e-bike. Almost all Juiced Bikes come equipped with a rear rack for carrying cargo and a full fender package to keep you clean. Most Juiced Bikes also feature upright handlebars that remove unwanted pressure from your wrists and ergonomic grips for a super comfy ride.
#6 Buy from a company with U.S.-based support
Far too many e-bike companies, especially those that only started selling e-bikes in the U.S. market in the last year or so, don’t have ANY presence in the United States and are shipping bikes directly from an overseas factory. There is no support team, no service technicians, not even a local warehouse. A high-quality electric bike is a significant investment and should be expected to last for several years. If you have a quality or performance issue with your e-bike, a robust, experienced and reliable support team, based in the U.S., is critical. And if you happen to get the dreaded lemon of an e-bike, you’ll need a comprehensive warranty to protect your investment.
If you’re unsure or uneasy about the Customer Service provided by a specific e-bike company, put them to the test to ensure you’re comfortable with their communication tools and response time. For instance, if you plan on calling a customer service team for post-purchase support, then make sure the company has a working phone number with live agents. Juiced Bikes is proud to provide best-in-class support and service from a team of e-bike experts, all of whom work on-site at our San Diego headquarters. In some cases, it might take a village to properly support an e-bike customer so be certain your purchase is from a company capable of living up to its commitments.
#7 Look for a reputable, experienced brand with a network of satisfied riders
As with any high-priced product, it’s crucial to purchase from a reputable brand that has verifiable experience servicing their customers. . Juiced Bikes has been a pioneering and leading e-bike brand in the U.S. market since 2009. Since our start, more than a decade ago, Juiced Bikes has become a favorite of e-bike experts, winning dozens of BEST E-BIKE awards, because of our superior e-bike features like higher capacity batteries, powerful motors, upgraded pedal-assist technology, and so much more!
For most consumers, a new electric bike is a big investment with a myriad of safety considerations. Spend a bit of time digging into the bike specifications and the company before you purchase to avoid buying an underwhelming, unreliable, and potentially unsafe e-bike. When shopping for an electric bike, it all comes down to doing your research and truly understanding the bike that you’re getting. By following these seven tips, you’ll be able to make an educated purchase and avoid buying an underwhelming, unreliable, and potentially unsafe e-bike. If you’re in the market for an electric bike, take our bike quiz to find the perfect ride for you or your loved one. And don’t miss out – our Early Holiday Deals are going on now with savings on all e-bike models!