Charging bikes: The 17 Best Electric Bikes in 2023

The Best Cheap Electric Bikes of 2023

Bicycling Photo Director Amy Wolf tests the Rad Power Bikes RadMission singlespeed.

Trevor Raab

The joy of riding e-bikes and the cost-effective convenience they bring to everyday transportation have helped electric-assist bicycles, especially the cheap e-bike models that cost less than $2,000 recommended here, skyrocket in popularity. Concerns about the volatility of gas prices have made these lower-cost e-bikes an even more attractive option for short trips or leisurely recreation.

Best Cheap E-Bikes

  • Best Overall Cheap E-Bike

    Aventon Level.2

    $1,799 at Aventon Bikes

    $1,799 at Aventon Bikes

    Read more

  • Best Value E-Bike

    Aventon Pace 350

    $1,199 at Best Buy

    $1,199 at Best Buy

    Read more

  • Best Singlespeed

    Ride1Up Roadster v2

    $1,095 at ride1up. com

    $1,095 at ride1up.com

    Read more

  • Best Cruiser Cheap E-Bike

    Electric Bike Company Model E

    $1,899 at electricbikecompany.com

    $1,899 at electricbikecompany.com

    Read more

  • Great for City Riders

    Aventon Soltera

    $1,199 at Aventon Bikes

    $1,199 at Aventon Bikes

    Read more

The Expert: I’ve been testing bikes and other gear for more than 20 years, leading the product review and gear teams for half a dozen magazines and web sites. For four years, I oversaw product testing for Bicycling, in addition to Popular Mechanics and Runner’s World. I’ve been testing e-bikes since 2013, when the Haibike entered the U.S. market with its first electric mountain bike.

I commute to work and anywhere else I can on a Benno Boost e-cargo bike (often with my kids riding on the extended rear platform) and typically have three to four e-bikes in my garage to test at any one time. Last year, using a decibel meter, I compared the loudness of various e-bike motors to see which had the least offensive output (the Bosch Performance line CX used on many premium bikes had the lowest noise to torque levels).

We use the term cheap electric bikes here to describe their price relative to the more expensive electric bikes you can find in bike shops and some online retailers. We’ve tested many of those premium e-bikes and electric mountain bikes too and some are truly exceptional. But they can cost three or four times the models here. Some run as much as $10,000.

These bikes cost less, but our testing and research show them to be very reliable for everyday commuting and riding. To make these reviews as helpful as possible, we focused on lower-priced options from brands like Aventon, Rad Power Bikes, and others that you can purchase directly online. In addition to bikes for everyday riding, we included folding e-bikes and even a fat-tire e-bike.

If you are looking for a higher-performance e-bike, or specifically want the help and service you can get from a specialty retailer, be sure to check out recommendations for our Best High-Performance E-Bikes. You’ll find 18 exceptional, award-winning bikes rigorously vetted by our editorial team.

Hub Motors Save Cost

Every e-bike here uses a hub motor rather than a mid-drive motor. Hub motors (the original industry standard and more affordable of the two) can be located on either the front or, more commonly, the rear wheel. They typically don’t allow for the same natural maneuverability as today’s increasingly more common mid-drive motors because their weight is concentrated at the front or rear of the bike. In contrast, a mid-drive motor’s weight is low and centered over the bottom bracket, resulting in better control and a more balanced ride feel, much like a traditional bike.

Hub motors, like the one on Aventon’s Soltera, are an economical way to add reliable electric assist to bikes.

Trevor Raab

The Three Classes of E-Bikes

In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes are defined as class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to only a 750w motor (aka 1 horsepower), but can assist you up to 28 mph.

Both are allowed in most states and cities without the need for a license. Rare just a year ago, Class 2 models are becoming more popular, especially at lower prices. These models have a throttle that can propel a bike up to, and maintain, 20 mph without having to continuously pedal. Some bikes blur the lines. Aventon’s popular Pace 500, for example, is technically a Class 3 e-bike in that it reaches speeds up to 28 mph, but it also has a throttle that tops out at 20 mph (the maximum legal speed for a throttle).

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Cheaper E-Bike Components

Usually, the cheaper the bike, the cheaper the parts. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be riding around on a rattling tin can. It just means that the bike’s designers took into consideration where they could include lower-level parts without sacrificing safety while putting the money where it counts most—hydraulic disc brakes, decent tires, and a reliable e-system.

Although the electrical components on some of these bikes might not be plastered with a familiar name, like Bosch or Shimano, that doesn’t mean they’re not capable. Aventon, for example, pieced together its own e-bike system for the Pace 350—rather than buying a complete one from someone else—to keep the price down and allow for higher-quality parts elsewhere.

E-Bike Battery Range and Integration

It used to be that most bikes at this price point didn’t hide their batteries with much elegance. Instead, companies installed them prominently on top of the down tube. But we’re beginning to see more batteries hidden within the down tube or tucked discreetly behind the seat tube.

Don’t expect to ride across the state on these bikes, either. The highest range in this list is 70 miles, but most average about 45. Like gas mileage in a car, real-world results vary depending on what assist level you use, terrain, and more. Still, it’s worth checking the bike’s battery range before you buy it to make sure it fits your daily needs.

How We Tested These Cheaper E-Bikes

Our team of experienced testers spent many hours and miles using most of these bikes for their intended purposes. I’ve personally ridden and tested many of them to and from work, used them to stock up on groceries and beer, tested their passenger-hauling capability, ridden them on questionable terrain to see how they handle, and run their batteries down to officially see how long they last on one charge.

The Bicycling gear team evaluated every model on performance, price, comfort, handling, value, reliability, fun, and overall e-factor to come up with these recommendations that we believe will best serve the needs of anyone looking to add a little pedal assist to their ride.


BEST OVERALL CHEAP E-BIKE

Aventon Level.2

Best Overall Cheap E-Bike

Aventon Level.2

Best Overall Cheap E-Bike

Aventon Level.2

$1,799 at Aventon Bikes

Pros
  • Excellent performance and value
  • New torque sensor, lights, and LCD head unit
  • Rack, fenders, and hydraulic disc brakes
Cons
  • More expensive than the original

Key Specs

Power 500W
Weight 59. 8 lb.
Top Speed 28 mph
Range Up to 60 miles

Aventon’s Level e-bike delivers smooth and linear power from its rear hub motor, giving this bike has a natural and intuitive feel when riding. The addition of integrated lights and a small, easy-to-use display help make one of our favorite commuter e-bikes even better. In our testing, the Level.2 performed better than expected in every situation. The Aventon Level.2 remains the best commuter e-bike you can purchase for less than $2,000 and one of the best commuter bikes you can buy overall. This e-bike has everything you need for commuting or getting around town.

Available in Step-Through Read Full Review

Take a Quick Spin
  • Aventon’s 6 Best E-Bikes

BEST VALUE E-BIKE

Aventon Pace 350

Best Value E-Bike

Aventon Pace 350

Best Value E-Bike

Aventon Pace 350

Now 14% Off

$1,199 at Best Buy

Pros
  • Five levels of assist
Cons
  • Mechanical disc brakes aren’t as powerful as hydraulic brakes

Key Specs

Power 350W
Weight 46 lb.
Top Speed 20 mph
Range Up to 40 miles

Drop below the $1,000 price level and e-bikes start to get sketchy. Most use lithium-ion battery technology, which is still pricey, and including it could mean cutting corners elsewhere if the overall price is that low. At $1,399, the Aventon Pace 350 gets close, but our test revealed it’s not too cheap to be high quality. The Class 2 e-bike tops the assistance out at 20 mph, whether you get there by pedal-assist or a throttle.

There’s a 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain and five levels of e-assist, giving you various pedaling options. Of the e-bikes we put through our handling circuit, the Pace 350 felt the most balanced and planted on pavement and dirt. You don’t get lights or fenders, but the Pace 350 felt viable for daily commuting. Aventon also offers the Pace in a step-through model.

Read Full Review


BEST SINGLESPEED

Ride1up Roadster V2

Best Singlespeed

Ride1Up Roadster v2

Best Singlespeed

Ride1Up Roadster v2

$1,095 at ride1up. com

Pros
  • Lightweight, simple design
Cons
  • Shorter range than some

Key Specs

Power 350W
Weight 35 lb.
Top Speed 24 mph
Range Up to 30 miles

There’s a lot to like about the Roadster. It’s discreet, lightweight, and makes getting around a big city or small town a breeze. Plus, it’s priced very competitively. It does give up lights, a rack, fenders, gears, and disc brakes to hit both its price point and weight, and the range is shorter than other more expensive options. Because of that, the Roadster is ideal for short commutes on mostly flat roads and paths. But, if you’re looking for a low-cost, durable e-bike, then it’s worth considering the Roadster.

Read Full Review


BEST CRUISER CHEAP E-BIKE

Electric Bike Company Model E

Best Cruiser Cheap E-Bike

Electric Bike Company Model E

Best Cruiser Cheap E-Bike

Electric Bike Company Model E

$1,899 at electricbikecompany. com

Pros
  • Impressively customizable for the price
  • Sturdy, high-quality frame design
Cons
  • Add-ons hike up the price quickly

Key Specs

Power 500W
Weight 53 lb.
Top Speed 25 mph
Range Up to 70 miles

The new Model E is a sturdy, elegant beach cruiser assembled and painted in the U.S. We tested the brand’s model X last year and it impressed us with its high quality. All Electric Bike Company models are assembled in the U.S., and the attention to detail is immediately evident. Unlike the Model X, this one is sleeker, with an integrated battery. But like that one, it’s fully customizable and built to order with your options.

The Schwalbe Fat Frank tires and steel frame and fork combine to deliver a smooth ride, and the comfortable saddle and retro handlebar beckon you to relax and let the e-assist do most of the work. And despite its weight, the disc brakes help you come to a smooth stop, whether you’re dodging squirrels on the bike path or avoiding tourists on the boardwalk.


GREAT FOR CITY RIDERS

Aventon Soltera

Great for City Riders

Aventon Soltera

Great for City Riders

Aventon Soltera

$1,199 at Aventon Bikes

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Integrated Battery

Key Specs

Power 350W
Weight 43 lb.
Top Speed 20 mph
Range 40 miles

This relatively affordable seven-speed model from Aventon delivers simplicity and style that is tough to beat. Simply push the throttle to get started and the brushless hub motor kicks in, assisting you more gently as you start pedaling. It features disc brakes and an integrated light. The battery is hidden in the bike’s frame, a surprising feature compared to the bolt-on vibe of many bikes in this price range. Best for smoother roads and bike paths, the Soltera delivers the most essential features a city rider needs in a strikingly light 41-pound package.

Read Full Review


BEST STEP-THRU E-BIKE

Schwinn Coston DX 27.5 Step-Thru

Best Step-Thru E-Bike

Schwinn Coston DX Adult Electric Hybrid Bike

Best Step-Thru E-Bike

Schwinn Coston DX Adult Electric Hybrid Bike

$1,100 at Amazon

Key Specs

Power 250W
Weight 55.8 lb. (small/medium) or 56.8 lb. (large/extra-large)
Top Speed 20 mph
Range Up to 35 miles

It took some time, but one of the most well-known bike brands has embraced the fastest-growing bike category: e-bikes. Judging by Schwinn’s first offerings, which are appealing, it should have made the move sooner. The Coston is one of several new electric-assist models that offer a lot of attractive features at a low price. This one has a 250W hub-mounted motor and up to a 35-mile range, making it a capable option for commuting, cruising, or exploring.

There’s an integrated front light, and one on the battery that makes you more visible when riding at night. There’s also an easy-to-use control unit, 7-speeds, and mechanical disc brakes—nice features for the price.


BEST FOLDING E-BIKE

Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5

Best Folding E-Bike

Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5

Best Folding E-Bike

Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5

Now 12% Off

$1,449 at Rad Power Bikes

Pros
  • Burly tires add versatility to your ride
Cons
  • Bulkier than some competitors’ folding bikes

Key Specs

Power 750W
Weight 62. 5 lb.
Top Speed 20 mph
Range Up to 45 miles

Rated as our top value pick among the best folding e-bikes on the market, Rad Power’s RadExpand 5 succeeds the RadMini 4, the brand’s previous folding model, in stellar fashion. Shedding almost 5 pounds and sporting a 750-watt motor, the RadExpand seeks the road less traveled with plush 4-inch tires wrapped around nimble 20-inch rims.

A range of up to 45 miles makes this bike worthy of day-long excursions, and it folds up easily for storage or transit. The bike is also outfitted with fenders, a rear rack capable of carrying 55 pounds (almost the weight of the bike itself), and fully integrated front and rear lights, making this machine a more-than-capable city commuter.


BEST SINGLESPEED E-BIKE

Rad Power Bikes RadMission

Best Singlespeed E-Bike

Rad Power Bikes RadMission

Best Singlespeed E-Bike

Rad Power Bikes RadMission

Now 25% Off

$899 at Rad Power Bikes

Pros
  • Single-speed drivetrain means significantly less maintenance
Cons
  • Slightly narrower, stiffer tires than other commuter options
  • Cheap mechanical disc brakes

Key Specs

Power 500W
Weight 49. 4 lb.
Top Speed 20 mph
Range Up to 45 miles

One of the most affordable e-bikes right now is Rad Power’s RadMission, a city bike with commuter potential. For $899, you get a stripped-down single-speed that moves along at 20 mph with a throttle to help you get up to speed or the top of punchy hills. The 27.5 x 1.95-inch-wide Kenda Kontact tires are slightly narrower than the 2-inch or wider tires we typically see on commuter e-bikes, but they were wide enough to feel speedy and provide comfort on pavement and bumpy bike paths.

You also get integrated lights and a bell and a long list of options to add. The Rad Power–branded hub motor drive unit that delivers 50Nm of torque, and a 504Wh battery. The battery is removable and backup batteries are available from Rad Power if you want to have a spare at work or home. In addition to this mid-step-through version that makes it easier to get on and off, Rad also offers a traditional step-over model.

Aventon New Pace 500 Review

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

Takeaway: A zippy e-bike for stress-free cruising and getting around town, the second-generation Aventon Pace 500 proves you don’t need to sacrifice speed to have a comfortable riding bike. Loaded with comfort-driven features, the Pace has a clean, stylish appearance, a powerful motor, and remains reasonably priced.

  • Class 3 e-bike with 28 mph max pedal-assisted speed and throttle
  • Torquey 500w rear-hub motor
  • Strong Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • You get a cushy saddle, adjustable-rise stem, and ergonomic grips
  • Comes with a headlight and taillight with integrated brake lights

Price: $1,700
Weight: 52.8 lbs (Large)


Aventon Pace 500 2022 Gallery

Aventon Pace 500 Build Details

Style: Cruising e-bike
Material: 6061-T6 aluminum w/ internal battery
Wheel Size: 27. 5 inches
Fork: Pace V2 AL fork
Motor:
48V, 500w brushless rear-hub motor, 28mph max speed
Battery:
Removable internal lithium-ion 48V, 12.8Ah(614Wh) with LG Cells
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 8-speed
Crank: Alloy, 170mm length w/ 46T chainring
Pedals: Alloy platform
Rear Cassette: Shimano 12-32T, 8-speed
Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors (front & rear)
Wheels: Double-wall aluminum rims, 36H (front & rear)
Tires: 27.5″x2.2″, e-bike-rated w/ reflective sidewall
Saddle: Aventon by SelleRoyal
Seatpost: Forged alloy, 30.9mm diameter, 2-bolt head
Handlebar: Aluminum 31.8mm clamp, 15° backsweep
Stem: Adjustable rise, threadless, 31.8mm clamp
Other:
Front & rear lights, brake lights, quick release seat clamp, kickstand, ergonomic grips


Aventon Aventon Pace 500

Aventon Aventon Pace 500

SHOP NOW

Pros
  • Peppy 500 watt hub motor
  • Hydraulic disc brakes & 8-speed drivetrain
  • Integrated lights
Cons
  • Be mindful of the torque in low gears

With bikes, it’s often assumed that buyers who want a comfortable ride need to sacrifice speed or good looks to get it. But Aventon throws that idea out the window with its latest Pace 500 e-bike.

As e-bikes rise in popularity, so are their prices. Some models carry high four-digit price tags, with an increasing number of models now costing over ten grand. But if you aren’t seeking the pinnacle of performance there are still plenty of cheap e-bikes available. And of that bunch, the Pace 500 is an exceptional deal for riders looking to cruise the bike path, ride along the boardwalk with a partner, or roll around the neighborhood with the kids.

Trevor Raab

At $1,700 the new bikes cost about $300 more than the previous version but it’s still one of the best values we’ve tested. The build and features of the Pace 500 are on par with the more expensive Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus and better than the equally priced Electra Townie Go! 7D.


The Second-Gen Aventon Pace Models

Aventon overhauled its successful Pace 500 and Pace 350 models for 2022, carrying over many elements of the prior versions while updating the bikes’ looks, electronics, and overall functionality. Aventon, however, completely redesigned the bike’s chassis with refreshed frames and forks, which now have integrated batteries, and taillights cleanly tucked into each frames’ seatstays.

Integrated brake light

Trevor Raab

Integrated taillight

Trevor Raab

Aventon’s Pace platform consists of two models, the $1,400 Pace 350 and the Pace 500 model we tested priced at $1,700. Both models come in standard double-diamond and step-through frames and two frame sizes—regular and large for the standard frame and S/M and M/L for the step-through. Our 6-foot tall test rider fit comfortably on the size large frame.

Updates to the Pace’s aesthetic are a leap forward in the category. The frame and fork now have a clean and integrated look. This puts the Pace ahead of bikes from competitors in the consumer-direct segment and at—or in some cases ahead—of e-bikes with similar riding purposes from more established and pricier specialty-retail brands. In particular, the updates to the Pace step-through frame give the bike a fresh and modern look. Aventon also improved colors and graphics across the board, with the step-through bikes receiving some bright and poppy shades that just look fun. The cable routing, on the other hand, isn’t particularly tidy, but at this price that’s not uncommon to see.

Trevor Raab

The new Pace 500 also gets Aventon’s new, sleeker digital display. The updated unit has a more compact profile, a backlit LCD color screen, and compatibility with Aventon’s mobile app. We found the new display and software easier to navigate through settings and better to see in direct sunlight and at night than the previous one. Riders can change power-assistance settings and access ride data via a controller located on the left side of the bar, all without having to remove a hand from the grip to touch the screen.


Aventon Pace 500 vs 350: Key Differences

Since the Pace 500 and 350 use the same frame and fork, the models have an almost identical profile. They’re priced similarly too. The $1,700 Pace 500 is just $300 more than the 350. It’s not until you look up close at the details (or side-by-side in the Aventon technical sheets) that the differences become more apparent. For that extra $300 on the Pace 500, you get a more powerful motor, 28 mph top speed, hydraulic disc brakes (instead of cable-actuated ones), an 8-speed drivetrain, and an adjustable stem on the Pace 500. That’s a lot of extra value for a relatively small jump in price—and that makes the 500 a better proposition for most rides.

8-speed cassette and 500 watt hub motor

Trevor Raab

Hydraulic disc brakes 

Trevor Raab

The Pace 500’s more powerful rear motor and extra top speed help when riding along with vehicles or other e-bike traffic on the road. It also helps if you ride in a hilly area or are a heavier rider. While testing other models we’ve found that some lower-wattage rear hub motors can bog down a bit, especially when ridden up steeper hills or by heavier riders. Our 200-pound test rider did not have that issue with the 500-watt motor on this model.

The Pace 500’s 8-speed cassette has a wider gear range than the 7-speed one found on the Pace 350. It has both a lower low gear and a higher high gear. This extra range allows you to pedal up longer hills (with the low gear) while also enabling you to carry speed beyond the 28 mph assist limit (with the higher gear). The added range of the 8-speed cassette isn’t a deal-breaker on an e-bike in this category and price, but it’s nice to have.

90° range adjustable stem

Trevor Raab

It can be easy to overlook the adjustable stem included on the Pace 500 (it’s not included on the 350), but for many riders, this might end up being their favorite feature. Adjustable stems are many times derided for their complexity, added weight, or awkward look but in the right application, they can be a game-changer for lots of riders. If leaning forward to ride causes you discomfort when on the bike, you will potentially benefit from and appreciate the 90-degree range of adjustment offered by this stem. Combined with the Pace’s already tall headtube and upright rider position, this stem can place the bars even higher and closer to the rider.


Spending Time on the Aventon Pace

We spent two weeks riding the Pace 500, mainly on city streets around town, on paved bike paths, and gravel rail trails. For a comfort-oriented bike, the Pace 500 has a peppy ride, shedding the notion that foot-forward style cruisers are all chill and no thrill. The 500-watt motor has a noticeable amount of torque and can get up to its 28 mph max assisted speed without issue.

That jumpy torque was perhaps the only downside we found with the Pace 500. The motor assistance comes on strong when starting from a stop or slow-rolling speed. On most other e-bikes the motor engagement is less noticeable, and it has been barely perceptible on some of the mid-motor e-bikes we have tested.

Trevor Raab

That immediate and sometimes jarring application of power is related to pedaling cadence. Aventon’s motor gives you more boost when you pedal faster. So the feeling was more pronounced when any of our half-dozen test riders started in a low gear. Once we adjusted to it (and learned to shift into a higher gear before stopping) it felt more manageable. But for riders new to e-bikes, or not expecting the power curve of this motor, it can be surprising and even jarring.

In every other way, the Pace 500 proved to be a problem-free and easy bike with which to live and ride. It has a comfortable, upright position that gives you a clear view of the road or path ahead without any neck strain. And its wide, well-cushioned Selle Royal saddle adds a plush, relaxed feeling.

Trevor Raab

The Pace also features front and rear lights powered off the bike’s battery. Though the beam pattern is not very wide, the front light works well for lighting up a bike lane or path when riding before dawn or after dusk. The Pace’s taillights are now integrated into the seat stays of the rear triangle and feature a brake light function wired into the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. If riding at night without streetlamps we recommend a brighter light for the task.

The bike’s integrated downtube battery can be quickly removed for charging or transport. Plus, a lock helps keep the battery from being stolen if you have the bike locked up and can’t bring the battery along with you. Aventon posts a claimed range of 25 to 48 miles for the Pace 500 battery. Based on our test rides, that estimate should be possible for lightweight riders on flatter paved surfaces. On one outing over crushed-gravel paths with a heavier rider, the battery drained to 50 percent from fully charged over 10 miles. Another time it lost 5 percent of its charge when we rode it with max assistance over a 2-mile stretch of the bike path.

Clean looking integrated battery

Trevor Raab

Aventon sells its bikes both through bike shops and directly to consumers on its website. Our mechanic reported that the bike assembly was quick, with the only problem he noticed resulting from shipping damage and not the fault of Aventon or indicative of the Pace’s build quality. A combination pedal/axle bolt wrench and Allen keys are included for assembly.


The Right Pace for You?

For the money, the Pace 500 packs a lot of punch with both power and style. If you’re seeking a comfortable e-bike for cruising the boardwalk, RVing, or riding on bike paths and rail trails, you should certainly take a look at the Pace 500. For the extra $300 price over the Pace 350, the 500 has more power, better range, better brakes, and a wider gear range. Adding any one of these features could cost close to $300 on their own, getting them together should be more than enough reason to buy the Pace 500.

Trevor Raab

This doesn’t mean we totally write off the lower-priced Pace. If the $1,400 cost for a Pace 350 ends up being at the upper limit of your budget, it does receive the same frame styling updates, tidy downtube battery placement, and nicer LCD head unit as the 500, it just doesn’t go the extra mile (both figuratively and literally).

While the Pace models are designed for around town they are not purpose-built commuter models. Aventon does offer model-specific racks and fenders for the Pace, but the bike’s upright geometry and comfort features are better suited for cruising or riding at a more leisurely pace. For an excellent commuter model, check out the Level model we previously reviewed.


Aventon Aventon Pace 500

Aventon Aventon Pace 500

SHOP NOW

Pros
  • Peppy 500 watt hub motor
  • Hydraulic disc brakes & 8-speed drivetrain
  • Integrated lights
Cons
  • Be mindful of the torque in low gears

Aventon Pace 500 2022 Gallery

Tara Seplavy

Deputy Editor

As Deputy Editor, Tara Seplavy leads Bicycling’s product test team; after having previously led product development and sourcing for multiple bike brands, run World Championship winning mountain bike teams, wrenched at renowned bicycle shops in Brooklyn, raced everything from criteriums to downhill, and ridden bikes on six different continents (landing herself in hospital emergency rooms in four countries and counting). Based in Easton, Pennsylvania, Tara spends tons of time on the road and trail testing products. A familiar face at cyclocross races, crits, and bike parks in the Mid Atlantic and New England, on weekends she can often be found racing for the New York City-based CRCA/KruisCX team. When not riding a bike, or talking about them, Tara listens to a lot of ska, punk, and emo music, and consumes too much social media.  

read the nuances and features in the article on the site 5kwt.ru

It would seem that there is nothing easier than charging an electric bike, because it is enough to connect the charger to the battery connector and wait until the red light changes color to green. But even in such a simple process, there are some nuances and features that must be taken into account in order to maximize battery life, so we will talk about proper charging.

In the article we will look at:

  • Types of electric bicycles

  • Battery types

  • How to find out the degree of charge

  • How to properly charge the battery

Types of electric bicycles

An electric bike is actually the same bike, but equipped with an electric drive system, thanks to which the owner can ride much further and faster, overcome previously inaccessible distances. In other words, if you rode a regular bike 50 km in a day, then on an electric bike in pedal assist mode you can travel 100 km, or even more, spending the same amount of your own strength.

By analogy with conventional bicycles, electric models are divided into several varieties:

  • Mountain. They are built on a durable aluminum frame, have one or two shock absorbers and wheels with medium or large tread. On some models, the battery is integrated into the frame, which gives them a stylish finished look.

  • City electric bikes are designed to move around the city, so the frame is often with a lowered top tube, due to which it is convenient to sit on them in any clothes. Suitable for daily driving to work, on business or for walking.

  • Road bikes are the lightest bikes, designed for fast riding on smooth roads. The compact electric motor is hidden in the seat tube directly above the bottom bracket, the battery is either hidden inside the frame or shaped like a water bottle and takes its place.

  • Folding – when folded, they are very compact, which allows them to be stored in confined spaces and transported in the trunk of a car. It is convenient to take such a bike with you to a store or public transport, and some models can fit under a standard office desk.

  • Three-wheeled (tricycles, trikes) – designed for use in the country, in the village or cottage village. Usually equipped with one or two capacious baskets for the transport of goods. Suitable for older people, as they do not require balance.

  • Fatbikes – have high cross-country ability due to wide tires, including loose sand, soil and gravel. They behave well in the snow, so they are often used in winter.

Battery types

Each type of battery requires an appropriate charger. Violation of this rule may result in malfunction and fire hazard.

Manufacturers indicate the type of battery on its case or in the instructions for the electric bike on which it is operated. There are two main types of batteries used: lithium-ion and lead-acid. The advantage of lithium batteries is their lower weight and high energy density. Electric bikes with a Li-Ion power source have a range that is significantly higher than that of models with a lead battery.

In the process of development of lead batteries, a new variety of them appeared – gel. The electrolyte in them is not in a liquid, but in a thick, gel-like state, which is achieved by adding silicon compounds. They do not require maintenance and are not so afraid of mechanical shocks, but they weigh a lot, this variety is gradually leaving the field of electric transport, giving way to Li-Ion models.

How to check the state of charge

Turn on the control panel and look at the battery icon – the number of divisions inside the outline corresponds to the amount of energy left in the battery. On some models, the voltage is displayed next to the indicator, on others you will have to switch to the adjacent characteristics screen. This is done by pressing the central button on the remote control.

Some budget models do not have a display – instead they install a gas handle with a built-in indicator, or just an electric bike power button.

Most often, an additional charge level indicator is a set of LEDs and is located on the battery. To activate it, you need to press the button located next to it – the diodes will light up in proportion to the output voltage.

If it is not possible to determine the charge level by the listed methods, use a multimeter. It must be switched to the DC voltage measurement mode and touch the probes to the connector contacts – the measured value will be displayed on the screen.

But how to interpret the result? It all depends on the rated voltage. For example, for 48 V lithium batteries, the charged state corresponds to 54.6 V, the discharged state is about 40 V. For a 36 V assembly, these values ​​\u200b\u200bare respectively 42 V and 30 V.

How to properly charge the battery

Not everyone knows how to properly charge the battery of an electric bike, so it can fail much earlier than it is designed for.

To avoid this, it is enough to follow the rules:

  1. Lithium-ion batteries are recommended to be charged only with a certified charger that comes with the electric bike, avoid non-original chargers. Purchase a charger only from the same manufacturer. Do not try to charge a lithium battery with a lead charger, they work according to a different algorithm. For another manufacturer, the plus and minus may be the other way around, and when it is connected, there is a danger of damaging both components.

  2. Refuse more powerful charges than provided by the manufacturer. This will significantly reduce the resource.

  3. Do not store a discharged battery for a long period of time, such as over the winter. In the spring, it may no longer turn on, as the voltage has dropped below the minimum allowable mark. If after riding the battery is dead, try to charge the battery as soon as possible, at least by 30%.

  4. Store the battery in an average state of charge that is close to its rated voltage. Some owners charge the battery before winter by 100%. But like li-ion mobile phone batteries, e-bike batteries do not like limit values, which include a full charge, as this shortens their life. Therefore, if you have fully charged the battery before storage, drive to partially discharge the battery.

Speaking of lead-acid and gel batteries, we note that the situation is different with them – they should be stored fully charged.

If your electric bike has two batteries, but there is only one charger, then it is better to charge the batteries separately, do not connect them together – this can be fraught with unpleasant consequences.

If you follow the rules of charging and storage, the range of the e-bike on a single charge will decrease insignificantly after a few years, so you will not need to buy a new battery ahead of time. We hope that our article helped you deal with the issues of charging an electric bike and will help you avoid unnecessary expenses in the future.

Author of the article: Evgeniy Begin.

How to choose an electric bike charger?

One of the most important components of an electric bicycle is the charger. Without power, your e-bike will not be able to work.

One of the main components of an e-bike is the charger. Without power, your e-bike will not be able to work. Choosing a charger for your e-bike can be difficult because there are so many different types.

In this blog post, we’ll help you figure out what type of charger you need, then go over some popular options to make it easier for you to choose one for yourself!

Contents

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What is an e-bike charger?

The e-bike charger is an electronic device that transfers electrical energy to the battery from an external source. It is very important to use the correct e-bike charger.

The e-bike has extra power to help you when the ride gets tough. Battery power relieves muscle tension so you can travel long distances without getting tired.

To get the most out of this car, it’s worth considering not only the battery itself, but also the charger. Learn the basic rules to follow when buying!

In this article, you will learn:

  • why a good battery and a good charger are so important for an e-bike?
  • what to look for when choosing a new e-bike charger? selected charger?

E-bike chargers and batteries – why are they important?

The battery is the heart of the electric bike. The capacity of these batteries affects the distance you can travel with the extra power, and the longer the batteries last, the less frequently you will need to replace them.

By choosing the best rated batteries, you can reduce your bike costs and get the most out of every ride. But even the best batteries won’t work without chargers.

Advanced smart charger has stable performance and protects batteries during charging. It offers sufficient protection against overcharging and automatically turns off when the battery is fully charged. As a result, it increases battery life.

Good chargers also allow you to connect your e-bike anytime, anywhere. Because it’s small and compact, you can easily slip it into your sports backpack when you’re on the go.

Electric bike chargers – what to look for when choosing?

Electric bicycles are usually supplied with efficient lithium-ion batteries placed on the frame, built into the frame or on a carrier stand. Battery life is typically 500 to 700 charge cycles. Available models come with different voltages. There are basically three options: 24V, 36V and 48V.

Voltage is the first criterion when choosing e-bike chargers. Chargers must meet the requirements of the battery. You cannot use a 24V charger with a 36V battery. Make sure you know these settings before you recharge your electric bike.

When looking for an electric bike charger, it is also useful to carefully study construction bicycles. In this regard, one could trust one of the well-known manufacturers, because not only the durability and service life of the bicycle, but also its weight, size and convenience depend on the quality of the material.

Another important thing is Cable length . An electric bike can be plugged into any outlet, but due to its size and the nature of the vehicle, you’ll probably be using the garage, parking lot, or stairs most of the time. It is better to choose a longer cord so that you can conveniently plug the bike into an outlet anywhere.

Another thing you might want to consider would be additional features that allow you to monitor the battery level and its status. Practical LED indicators will show you the charging process, and special safety measures will cut off the power when the battery is fully charged. All this will help you avoid battery damage and optimize charging time.

Finally, consider where you will charge your e-bike. If you plan to charge it at home, then a standard charger from a wall outlet is fine. But if you plan on charging it on the go, you’ll need a portable charger that can be plugged into a USB port or car adapter.

You have batteries but cannot be charged. We have prepared a list of typical problems why you can not charge Li-ion batteries LEV .

Types of chargers available on the market today

The e-bike market continues to grow exponentially, and with this growth, there are more options for e-bike chargers. While it’s always best to choose the right charger for your e-bike, there are six main types of e-bike chargers available on the market today:

  • Universal charger (for use in any outlet)
  • Portable (can be connected to a USB port or car adapter) – connects directly to the e-bike battery.
  • Home Charging Station (requires installation at home by a certified technician)
  • On-board/removable power supplies (some newer bikes allow you to remove the built-in batteries when they are dead and then simply replace them.

Electric bike chargers extend battery life

You already know that you need to properly care for any lithium-ion battery to extend its life. First of all, make sure that the charging process is regular and timely. This will reduce power loss. Do not wait for the battery to run out before plugging the e-bike into the charger after a long ride.

The battery needs special attention even after a long pause when the bike has not been used. You can also monitor the battery level in winter and recharge it, for example, once every three months. You can reach the charger when the battery level drops below 50 percent.

And the last point, not related to the charger, but to the battery itself: the lithium-ion battery does not like extreme temperatures. Do not leave it in cold or hot weather. This is especially important if you usually keep your e-bike outside. If possible, remove the battery and take it home.

Charger Safety Tips

Now that you know how to choose your e-bike charger, it’s time to learn how to use it. Here are some basic tips for charging your e-bike:

  • It is not recommended to charge the e-bike batteries overnight as this may shorten their life. Instead, try charging them during the day.
  • Make sure the battery is completely dry before charging. Water and electricity are incompatible!
  • Use only chargers approved by the manufacturer. Using an unapproved charger may damage your e-bike battery or even cause a fire.

Charging your e-bike is easy if you know what to do. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to an amazing ride with a full battery.

TRITEK Your one-stop partner for high quality lev batteries for electric bikes , cargo bikes , scoo erov , motorcycles etc.