Electric Bike Buying Guide
Where do you want to ride your e-bike?
Around the city or to work - Urban Commuting
You need an Electric Commuter Bike
- Commuter bikes combine speed, efficiency and comfort
- A great alternative to travel by car or public transport - plus no more getting stuck in traffic!
- Incredibly cost effective form of transportation, costing less than a typical years parking in major cities
- A commuter e-bike makes riding to work every day a pleasure
- Folding electric bikes are also available for easy transport and storage - great for the bus, boat or caravan
Along the cycle paths - weekend cruising
You need an Electric Cruiser Bike
- Designed for laid back cruising in comfort and style!
- Perfect for the beach or making a statement
- Generally one size fits all
- Electric motor makes the ride even easier
- Available in a range of stylish colours
On the trails - mountain biking with ease
You need an Electric Mountain Bike
- Designed for off-road use but can be great for the city too
- More durable frames and stronger wheels
- Just like a traditional mountain bike, with the addition of a motor
- Make going uphill easier, enables you to ride further and have even more fun going down
- E-bikes with suspension make the ride more comfortable too
How does an e bike work?Our electric bikes are pedal assist bikes. They function just like a normal bicycle with the electric pedal assist kicking in for an added boost and to help with those hill climbs! You are able to choose from varying levels of assist, however you will still need to pedal lightly for the assist to remain active.
An electric bike can be ridden using battery power, pedal power or a combination of both. If you plan on using minimal battery power, we highly recommend purchasing a geared electric bike rather than a singlespeed.
How is the power controlled? What is the difference between Throttle control and Pedal Assist? All our electric bikes feature pedal assist but only some come with a throttle control. Pedal assist (or pedelec) allows you to set an assistance level (there are generally 3-6 levels) where the power is applied automatically when you start pedalling. When you use the brakes or quit pedalling the pedelec stops - you then need to pedal lightly again for it to reactivate and continue pedalling lightly for it to be active. A throttle control works just like a moped or motorcycle - you twist the throttle to accelerate and hold it to maintain your speed. The throttle control does not require pedalling for the power to be applied.
How far will an Electric Bike go?An e-bike range is typically 40 - 200km on a single battery charge, dependent on battery size. However there are a number of factors that will also affect range; such as weight of the rider, the level of pedal assist you have set, any load that is being carried, if you are riding hilly or flat terrain and head or tail winds.
How fast will an Electric Bike go?Electric bikes with a 300W motor will typically average between 27-30km hour, although this will vary depending on the input of the rider, the gears on the bike, any tailwinds, headwinds and weight being carried etc. You can potentially increase the speed of your e bike - but be aware that anything with a motor power output over 300W needs to be registered as a moped in NZ. You can read more about this here.
Are there limits to riding Electric Bikes in NZ?When used on roads, paths and in public access areas, the legal limit for a motor in NZ for a "power-assisted cycle" is a maximum power output not exceeding 300W. Power-assisted cycles follow the same regulations as regular bicycles - all you need is a helmet! Anything exceeding 300W in power output is legally classed as a moped and so must be registered and ridden by a licensed driver etc. You can read more about this here. There are no limits for offroad use.
What should I look for in a Battery when buying an e bike?There are a number of things to look for in a battery when buying an electric bike.
Volts (V) and Amp Hours (Ah)
Electric bike volts are essentially the "horsepower" of your bike. Amp hours are the amount of range you will get with your bike. The higher the Ah the further you will generally be able to travel - however it does depend on a range of other factors such as riding up hills and into headwinds which will reduce your range. Larger electric bike battery sizes have increased capacity to store the energy used to power the bike. Larger batteries will also take longer to charge and can be physically larger and heavier than their smaller counterparts.
E bike batteries typically take between 4 and 8 hours to charge. If you want quick charge times and won't be using your pedal assist a lot, a smaller battery may be best for you. The battery can be charged as often as you like - the Lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes don't discharge over time so don't need to be run completely flat before charging. Topping up the charge after each ride is a great idea.
What are the types of eBike Motor Systems?E bike motors fall into two main categories:
Hub Drive Motor
Where the motor is mounted to one of the wheels. The motor drives the wheel to assist in powering the bike. These motors are sealed and quite low maintenance. Their simplicity means they also tend to be cheaper.
Crank Drive (or Mid-Drive) Motor
Where the motor is mounted at the crank. These tend to be better going up hills. The motor drives the crank which works with the bikes gears and increases the power efficiently. The weight of the motor feels more evenly distributed due to it being mounted low and central. These tend to more expensive than hub drives.
Electric bike motors tend to come with a 2 year warranty, but it always pays to check the individual bikes.
What are the top Electric Bike Motor System Brands?
Shimano StepsThe Intelligent, Silent And Easy-To-Use E-Bike System
A system with components that cater to everybody's needs and delivers ultimate performance and reliability. That's the heart of the matter. With SHIMANO STEPS you'll push boundaries and feel energized while doing it.
Shimano Steps Highlights:
- You can use fully automatic shifting when combined with either our DU-E6001 or DU-E6010 SHIMANO STEPS drive unit with the Di2 internal gearhub.
- High-quality, long-lasting lithium-ion battery pack
- Available for rear carrier (2,550 g) or down tube mounting (2,660 g)
- High 418 Wh capacity (36V, 11.6 Ah)
- 1,000 charge cycles with no significant power loss
- New charger (EC-E6000) offers reduce in charging time - 80% in 2 hours, 100% and 4 hours
- Intelligent power assistance gives an easy, natural feeling
- Walk Assist Mode for extra support while walking next to the bike
Bosch Active LineThe Active Line is perfect for anyone who leads an active, mobile lifestyle. The harmoniously agile power delivery of the drive guarantees a safe, reliable riding experience. An intelligent sensor concept provides the perfect amount of support at all times. The drive unit is also available with the optional backpedal function.
Bosch Active Line Highlights:
- Outstanding support - The intelligent three-sensor concept for the drive unit takes more than 1,000 measurements per second to provide outsanding support and ensure a harmonious power delivery.
- PowerPacks - PowerPacks for the Active Line are available with 500, 400 and 300 Wh as frame or rack batteries. The new DualBattery doubles battery range.
- Attractive - The design of the Bosch eBike-systems has already won a Red Dot Award.
- Perfect amount of support - Perfect balance of force with every pedaling action - ideal for tours and greater mobility in everyday use, up to a maximum of 25 km/h.
- Minimal wear - The gear shift detection function of the Active Line preserves the components and ensures an easy, fluid shifting action.
- Extremely versatile - The Active Line can be used on eBikes with a derailleur and hub gear system - the latter can also be equipped with a backpedal function.
ImpulsePassion, performance and perfection combine in the philosophy of German Engineered. German excellence in the engineering sphere is an international guarantee of quality. The pinnacle of design and technology is reached through constant development in top-flight competition. German Engineered allows this to be accessed by all riders who demand the best.
Impulse Evo RS Highlights:
- Enhanced performance thanks to a more efficient e-motor. - Stronger gear unit, designed for a maximum torque of 100 Nm. - Background noise reduced by 50%.
- Additional pedalling cadence sensor integrated in the motor for even more sensitive control of the power assist function.
- Impulse Evo Speed version for assistance up to 45 km/h. - Based on the Impulse Evo, the RS version boasts a more powerful Evo drive. Even hardened e-bikers will be surprised at how the Impulse Evo RS accelerates in Ultra mode. But that's not all, the housing has also been optimised for sporty use including the shortening of the wheelbase. Only the Impulse Evo RS Speed motor, which assists speeds of up to 45 km/h, has greater power reserves.
Impulse 2.0 Highlights:
- Drive system Made in Germany
- Shift-sensor technology for smooth shifting
- Faster, gentler shifting
- Quicker, more powerful start-up and acceleration
DapuDapu motors are renowned for producing high torque with exceptional reliability, which is why they are used by some of the leading ebike brands in over 40 countries across the globe. Our motors are brushless and planetary-geared which allows for higher torque and improved efficiency at low speed. The exceptional reliability of Dapu motors systems from a strong company culture implemented with pride and commitment from the Japanese corporate management all the way to the factory floor. In-house production of our motor controllers and operating software allows perfect compatibility. Dapu motors are found on SmartMotion, Pedego and Everglide Bikes.
What maintenance do electric bikes need?How often will I need to get my e-bike serviced? What maintenance is involved with an electric bike?
Electric bikes typically require little more maintenance than the regular servicing associated with normal bicycles. As with standard bikes, it's important that you have your e-bike serviced regularly to extend the life of your bike and ensure your safety. All our stores offer electric bike servicing, including Bosch diagnostics.
What happens if I get a puncture?
Any puncture will need to be repaired, just as you would with a normal bicycle.
Other eBike FAQs
How heavy are electric bikes? Can the bike be loaded onto my car?
E-bikes are heavier than regular bikes due to the weight of the battery and motor. They can still be transported on your car with a quality bike rack. We recommend the Evo Bike rack available here
Can I ride in the rain?
Our electric bikes are weatherproof, but please note they are generally not waterproof. They will handle showers but riding through deep water or submersion will likely cause the system to fail.
What happens when the battery power runs out?
If your battery goes flat while out riding you will still be able to use your bike as you would a standard bicycle. Just be aware that if your ebike does not have gears, you will be riding a single speed bike.
Is the battery weatherproof?
Electric bike batteries are weatherproof but generally not waterproof. They will be fine if you are riding in the rain but you must ensure they are not submerged in water.
How much does it cost to charge an ebike?
Ebikes generally take 0.5-1kWh to fully charge a battery. This equates to approximately 10-30c per charge, provider dependent. If you're commuting to work it's a great idea to charge it when you get there.
Does the battery recharge as you pedal?
Unfortunately not. Regenerative braking is not often utilised with electric bicycles due to the need for the motor to be constantly engaged.
How do I charge the battery?
E-bike batteries can typically be charged while still mounted on the bike OR removed from the bike and charged elsewhere.
Does my electric bike come with a warranty?
Electric bikes typically come with warranties on the motor, battery and frame. The warranty times vary depending on the product so check with one of our bike experts or see the product specifications on our website.
- How heavy are electric bikes? Can the bike be loaded onto my car?