This article describes in significant detail, methods that explain how to check the quality of an electric bicycle, and how to avoid making mistakes when purchasing one.
List of Top 10 Common Mistakes while buying an e-Cycle
#1 Don’t assume that a bicycle without gears is pointless
A bicycle with lots of gears and different speed levels seems fancy. We have the notion that the more speed combinations a bicycle offers, the more sophisticated it is. Many speed combinations allow you to ride on a variety of terrains with different intensities. But, don’t make the mistake of assuming that only geared bicycles can do that.
Gears and speed combinations serve a specific purpose: adjusting the difficulty of your pedalling. They give you a mechanical advantage so that you can operate on steep slopes with little stress on your ankles; and on flat roads without hurting your glutes with the high frequency.
An electric cycle does this through Pedal Boost and Throttle mechanisms. Pedal Boost Sensors gauge the amount of effort you are putting in, let you modulate the level of assistance you want from the motor. In the end, the effect is the same: you get to control the effort you apply.
#2 If the company states an unrealistic range on a single charge, ask them for details
When you are purchasing an electric bicycle, check the e cycle’s advertised battery range. Ask yourself: Is the advertised range measured assuming that the cyclist will rarely engage the motor? On average, a 7.8 Ah battery gives a range of ~35km, a 10.4 Ah battery gives a range of ~50km, and a 13 Ah battery gives a range of ~65km. Unless the bicycle is lighter than 20 kg, the range is not likely to be much higher than what is mentioned above.
#3 Wait for a while before purchasing an extra battery; most people don’t need such a large range
When you first purchase an electric bicycle, there is a temptation to increase its range. After all, just one extra battery suddenly doubles the range that your electric cycle requires. However, an extra battery has a considerable cost.
First, ride your electric cycle and check for a month or two if you ever run out of battery, or have to limit your riding routes because of a lack of range. Most people do not ride more than 50km in a day.
To get to the point where you need a spare battery, you will need to hit a certain usage limit. When you start noticing that your existing battery range is limiting your exploration, only then consider purchasing an extra battery.
#4 The cheapest is not necessarily the best
Price is hardly a gauge for quality. Neither the cheapest nor the most expensive products are guaranteed to be the best ones. Price has always been a shortcut for us to estimate the value of a product. Instead, we recommend that you check an e cycle for its components and the overall look and feel. Also read the experience of others who have bought the same product. A good way to gauge the success of a brand these days is to look them up on social media. Check the brand’s fan following and compare it with others to truly gauge how well the market has accepted it.
Probe for more information about the electric bicycle, and make your decision slowly and carefully.
#5 Avoid paying more for things you do not need simply because they are branded
This has become more relevant than ever in today’s times. We have seen people value the brand of their phone more than what they actually do with it. In a primitive time, judging a product by its brand would make a lot of sense, because there was hardly any way to check a product’s quality. We could assume back then that if a product was made by a big brand we could spend our hard earned money on it. This is what most people did, and brands used this fact to their advantage. Many brands started charging a premium just because they could get away with it.
Today, you can find many sources of information which will help you make a well balanced judgement about a product, whether the manufacturer’s brand is old or new. Check an e cycle for its look and feel, and features; reconsider whether you are paying for the product or for the name.
#6 If the electric bicycle you like does not have a portable battery, consider where you will charge it
Your electric bicycle will need to be recharged regularly, especially after you have used it. It would be more convenient if the charging process was simple and quick. It is cumbersome to take your entire e cycle near a charging port.
Most e cycle brands have solved this problem by making the battery portable. Check an e cycle to see if the battery is portable, before making your purchase. If your e cycle battery is portable, you can just detach the battery and connect it to a port at your office desk or at home, while your cycle stands in the parking lot.
If the electric bicycle that you are considering does not have a portable battery, reconsider.
#7 Check the electric bicycle to see if it has Pedal Boost Sensors
Electric bicycles engage the motor using different mechanisms. Most e cycles have a thumb throttle or a full twist throttle, as well as a responsive Pedal Boost or Pedal Assist system.
Your e cycle can be much more than that if you have a Pedal Boost mechanism. Having a Pedal Boost mechanism means that you can use your e cycle for exercising as well as commute, without turning it into a scooter or moped. It also ensures that you will not need multiple gears and speed combinations in your bicycle.
An electric cycle without a Pedal Boost is no different than your regular scooter or moped. Check the electric cycle for Pedal Assist Sensor. If the electric bicycle does not have this feature, what makes it any different from a moped?
#8 Check the e cycle brand’s customer reviews and ratings on the company’s social media page
In the age of social media, we can gain access to plenty of information about a product, brand, and a company’s attitude towards customers.
When purchasing a battery operated bicycle, check the electric cycle company’s Facebook page. Look at the customer ratings, comments and engagement of various posts, and most importantly how the company is responding to its customers’ queries. If there is a feature that is really good, it will show up in multiple features. There might be isolated complaints. If many people have the same complaint, it means that there is something wrong with the product model or the product batch. Find out about these details and talk to the manufacturer about it.
#9 Don’t purchase your electric bicycle from a company whose employees are unreachable and inaccessible
When you purchase an electric cycle, the after sales support you receive will often dictate the quality of your experience with the product. You may have general queries, or problems with certain equipment or features. You may even require assistance with usage. If the after sales support is not up to the mark, you will not be able to enjoy your e cycle as you may have planned.
Unreachable and inaccessible people in a company signal a malfunctioning organization or one that is under existential threat. If there is lack of clear communication even before a sale is made, after sales support can hardly be expected. So when you want to purchase an electric cycle, make the purchase from people who are available, pleasant to interact with, and have a strong, active social media presence.
#10 Check if the e cycle is available on EMI, and look for press mentions to gauge the reliability of the company
Even after you have made the purchase, you will still interact with the company for quite some time afterwards. It is essential that you gauge the reliability of the company before you enter into a transaction with them.
See if they offer an EMI. Being able to offer EMI means that the banking system has validated the company with some amount of financial trust.
Look for mentions in the press. Does the company have press releases or local media coverage? What about their social media page? Are there enough fans and followers? Have any of them made any posts complaining about something? What are the social media fans saying?
When you are convinced of their reliability, go on and test the EV, and gauge it using the above tips on how to check an e cycle.