Travel more safely and efficiently in the city than ever before with the innovation of ebikes. Ebikes offer a ton of benefits for riders, including increased speed and endurance that you just can’t find with an old-fashioned bicycle. But above all, riding a bike has never been more fun—we’re talking an ebike for city riding!
However, with every new technology, people often question the necessity of such conveniences. You might be asking yourself, for instance, “why do I even need an ebike?” And that is a good question. And the truth is that you don’t necessarily need an ebike, but only in the same way that you don’t need a cellphone or a dishwasher.
The fact remains that there’s never been a more convenient and practical option for city riding, and here we’ll address some of the most commonly asked questions about ebikes, and what you need to know before choosing the best ebike for city riding.
Are There a Lot of Ebike Commuters in the City?
Ebikes are quickly becoming a popular option for urban travelers. It’s hard to say the exact number at this time, but the numbers are growing as people discover the benefits of ebike travel over standard bicycles.
In many cases, the number of bicyclists is less than 1%, but according to the United States Census Bureau, more than 1% of Californians are riding their bikes. Other popular areas for cyclists include Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Maryland. In these areas, in particular, bike commuters are quickly discovering the benefits of ebike commuting.
Is it Expensive to Be an Ebike Commuter?
Probably one of the greatest benefits of ebikes, besides the added health benefits of exercising, of course, is that ebike commuting is exceedingly more cost-effective than driving a car, and that’s true even if you are currently driving an electric car.
Gasoline prices are getting any lower these days, and you shouldn’t expect them to get much lower either. Many people are making the switch to electric car models but these are costing drivers a pretty penny as well, making their electric bills skyrocket, depending on how often they need to charge their vehicles. Ultimately, ebikes are a cheaper option, because charging an ebike will cost you no more than a few dollars per month.
Maintenance is relatively simple with an ebike. Other than charging your bike every day, you’ll want to make sure your bike is properly lubricated every week, just as you would with a regular bike, as well as tire pressure. You’ll also want to ensure the parts are in working order, which might at most mean a simple, cheap fix like changing the brake pads every six months.
The only real cost concern you might have when it comes to ebikes is that they’re more expensive than a standard bike. But with that said, you really can’t put a price on the convenience it affords. And again, spending a grand on an ebike is astronomically more affordable than the upfront cost and maintenance costs associated with an electric car. But if your next question is do the benefits outweigh the cost, we answer that here.
What are the Rules of the Road for Ebikes?
Be familiar with the rules of the road before you choose your bike. You won’t be required to have a license to operate one, even in the state of California. Some states, like Alabama, may require you to register your bike and have a license, but you can get away without having insurance, unlike in New York.
On top of this, in many states, your speed cannot exceed 20 mph maximum, and you’ll also still be subject to the same helmet laws you have with a motorcycle. But be sure to know the rules in your state before you head into the city. Nevertheless, it’s recommended to wear a helmet with your ebike anyway, as safety is paramount.
Top 5 Ebikes for City Riding
- Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5
- Aventon Sinch
- Aventon Soltera
- Schwinn Coston DX
How We Chose
- Speed – Ebikes are divided into three classes of speed, a point that we took into consideration in the creation of this list. Class 1 ebikes offer pedal assistance but don’t have a throttle system. Class 2 ebikes are capped at 20mph and the motor will actually stop if you exceed that number. And Class 3 ebikes, where permitted, usually have a top speed of around 28mph.
- Design – When it comes to the ebike market, no two options are alike. We considered the features, specifications, durability, and functionality of their parts to determine which ebike would be most suitable for city riding.
- Portability – Portability is one of the most significant concerns for ebike owners as a lack of it can be a huge hindrance in terms of the bike’s convenience factor. Foldable models are among the most desirable on the market because they offer the greatest portability.
- Battery – What is the best battery for an ebike? Battery power affects both the range of the bike as well as the charge time, but it’s also important to consider the life of the battery.
- Price – Pricing for ebikes usually ranges from $1,000 up to $3,000 in many cases. We chose the best moderately-priced options with the consideration that spending the most money doesn’t mean you are getting the best product every time.
Why We Chose Emerald
The Emerald Bike was the best ebike for city riding in all five categories: Speed, Design, Portability, Battery, and Price.
The new Emerald Ebike offers one of the quietest and most comfortable rides on the market. Its hydraulic brake system performs more smoothly and more powerfully, while also requiring reduced maintenance. In terms of speed, the class 2 bike caps at 20 mph, making it well-suited for most riding conditions, including trails.
The Emerald Ebike offered the greatest portability as a foldable ebike, and it beat out one of the most popular foldable bike options, the Aventon Sinch, because of its superior design features—including an elegant, genuine leather grip, durable tires, and Shamano-brand derailleurs. We also found front and rear lights to be a welcome addition lacking in most ebikes. The battery featured in the Emerald bike is superior as well, using a more reliable Samsung one versus an off-brand.
Overall, we found the Emerald bike to be a more comfortable, smooth-performing option that requires minimal maintenance while boasting a charge time between as little as 4-6 hours, with a convenient display that will assist you in monitoring your power levels. The 500W motor delivers a noise level below 55dB, a quieter ride, and it weighs just 5.8kg, contributing to its portability. The frame of the bike can be effortlessly folded for simplified storage.
Combine all these features, and Emerald is the obvious choice of ebike for city riding.