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  • Mon May 22 2023
  • Posted May 22
We received a question about purchasing an E-bike.

This is how we responded and figured it might help others with the same questions.

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Q: Do you have an advice on electric bikes for a senior who sold his motorcycle and needs to get an e-bike for some exercise but mostly enjoyment? ~ Cycling Senior

A: While we are no E-Bike expert, we can provide some solid advice.

Thanks for reaching out.

We also ride motorcycles, so we know the feeling of both. We don't have an e-bike (yet), but have also test ridden some pretty nice ones.

There are many different types of E-bikes and the type you get should fit your lifestyle.
Do you want to run errands, ride gravel or fire roads and even a camping trip here and there?
We'd get something with beefier tires and good racks

Do you want to ride trails/roads with the speed of a road bike?
They make those too. You can barely tell they are e-bikes these days.

A few bits of off-the-cuff advice.
  • Shop local - We'd recommend starting with your local bike shop... See what brands they carry or have access to. Tell them how you plan to use it. They'll be able to recommend something that fits your needs.
  • Buy a "Feel Good" bike - If you feel the bike looks dorky, you'll be less apt to ride it. If you think it looks cool, you'll ride it everywhere!
  • Good E-bikes are expensive, but in the long run, a pretty good deal for what they offer as far as transportation, cheap to run and ability to ride and park just about anywhere. The better the bike you can afford, the more you will like it. You only live once!
  • Pedal-assist and throttle only bike are available - We'd only buy the pedal-assist as you'll get exercise and you'll be able to ride many more trails legally with a human powered vehicle
  • Aging and Mobility - think about your mobility in the future. Will you be able to step-over a normal sized bike in 5 years? Maybe a step-through or lower-slung model would fit your lifestyle better?
  • Stay away from the cheap China brands. getting parts is near impossible and their batteries and wiring are sub-pa.
  • Serviceability - E-bikes are easy to purchase online, but there are so many brands and if it breaks down or you need parts, who you gonna call? Probably your local bike shop.
  • Buy a brand that is readily popular in case you need parts/service in other states if you are traveling.
We don't know where you live, but we can help recommend some bicycle shops or you can search here: https://www.bikeiowa.com/BikeShops

Reach out with any additional questions.

Scott Sumpter
biker@bikeiowa.com

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