Best Electric Bikes 2021 Reviews
|ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike||136 x 25 x 73cm||50.7 lb||Check current price|
|Cyclamatic Power Plus CX1||67 x 25 x 51 in||47 lb|
|Prodeco Phantom X2||70 x 10 x 39 in||57 lb|
|Cyrusher Extrbici XF660||72.8 x 23.6 x 39.4 in||55.1 lb||Check current price|
- 1 Best electric bikes under $500
- 2 Best Electric Bike for Hills
- 3 Best Electric Mountain Bike
- 4 Best Electric Bike for Commuting
- 5 Essential Tips to Consider Before Buying an Electric Bike
Best electric bikes under $500
Best Electric Bike for Hills
Best Electric Mountain Bike
Best Electric Bike for Commuting
Essential Tips to Consider Before Buying an Electric Bike
The goal of any competitive cyclist is to be as light and as strong as possible, both in body, and in bike. Now, it’s simple physics.
The more or less you weigh, the more or less energy is gonna be used to pedal your bike uphill. But this is an e-bike ride, who cares? The battery and the motor have got your back at all times more energy, free energy. So, who cares about such things as power-to-weight ratios? Well, we often talk about the power-to-weight ratio, especially on road bikes, and on cross country bikes. But what actually happens when you lose a big chunk of your body weight? What’s going to be the effect on the battery, and your speed up that hill? Well, today we’ve got a real hill, and we’ve got a variety of weights, to see what the difference is between the climbing speeds, and the drain on the battery.
So, how are we gonna do it? Well, I’ve got this specialized Kenevo, which is 180mm travel I’m gonna be riding in trail mode. The hill behind us is gonna be about 1,000 feet, which is 305 meters, spread out over 5k, which gives us a gradient of about 7%. The trail itself is gonna be a mixture of fire roads, and technical single track. Gonna do two climbs.
The first climb is gonna just be me, and my body weight, and my water bottle full. And then the second climb is gonna be again, myself and the water bottle, and a 15K backpack, which is gonna be pretty tough. So, why 1,000 foot you ask? Well, it’s about the height of a World Cup downhill track in terms of vertical descent. So, I’m really interested to see how much battery the bike uses and how quick it is to get to the top of 1,000-foot, 305-meter hill. Right, so run one, 1,000 foot is not an insignificant climb, but during the run I’m going to be trying to output about 180 to 200 watts through the cranks.
My heart rate’s gonna be about 132. So, there’s a bit of. There’s a quite moderate pace. I’m gonna be going up this hill to kind of sustain that speed. I’m gonna be using the Specialized Mission Control App, which is gonna give me outputs on battery usage, how much power I’m putting through the cranks, and the run time, and the elevation. There you go Run one, steady pace 18 minutes and one second.
Now, at that climb, I tried to keep a steady pace, and because it was of that gradient, you never went beyond the 25 kilometers an hour barrier. So, yeah, 18 minutes, and we’ve used 16% of the battery, so, it’s about 75 watt hours. Now, the battery on this bike is 504 watt hours. That means, on a 1,000-foot hill, I could actually get about six to seven runs done. Which is pretty good for one battery life.
But, do you know what? I’m not gonna be doing seven runs today So here we go, run two. Got the backpack on me, 15 kilos. Now, the boss told me to go easy with the weights, but this is like having a World Cup downhill bike on my back. Could’ve left a halfway point with a 15K backpack.
I’ll tell you what, it’s quite a grind, quite different. But, so far, I’ve just about managed to keep the heart rate, and the watts through the cranks about the same as my first run without a backpack I’ll tell you what, though, you don’t want to try this It’s ridiculous. To put it in perspective, my colleagues, they did a similar test on power to weight a couple years ago, and they did a 5K climb over a seven degree gradient, in about 22, 23 minutes.
But they were a lot fitter than I am. But if you’re interested in seeing the time, this backpack on, I can tell you 20 minutes and seven seconds, that’s over two minutes slower with a 15K backpack. It was actually quite different to ride that as well I was constantly changing gears to maintain the momentum and the cadence, so that my heart rate, and remember, the power through the cranks, was equal to my first run.
But, yeah, wow, that’s quite different to the first run. But what does all this mean? Let’s go to the pub, and find out. So, I’ve been analyzing all the figures over lunch, and I was wondering. You might be thinking: Why on Earth did I chose a 15 kilo backpack to pedal up that hill? Well, there’s a reason behind it, and that’s because, me, on a good day, fighting fit, weighs about 90 kilos. And, to put it in a mountain bike perspective, Enduro World Series champion, Sam Hill, weighs about 75 kilos, and World Cup Downhill champion, Aaron Gwin, 75 kilos.
So, I really wanted to get insight to how it felt, going up that hill at different weights. So, as we mentioned earlier, the more or less that you weigh, the more or less energy it takes, to pedal your bike uphill. So, what do the figures tell us? Let’s go into the detail one by one. Okay, first up, let’s have a look at the actual time difference between each run. First up, the run without a backpack was 18 minutes and one second.
Now, compare that with a 15 kilo backpack. Two minutes slower 20 minutes and seven seconds. Now, that’s a huge, huge margin for one run. You try standing on the side of a fire road for two minutes.
It’s a lifetime. But, I think the important thing here is that, imagine doing six or seven runs and the time difference it would be when you do that. Okay, let’s move on and see how much actual battery was used during each run. The first run, without a backpack, the bike used 16% of it’s battery life, so obviously quite a lot. But the second run, with a 15K backpack, 19% of the battery.
Now, that’s actually closer than I really thought it would be, considering the amount of weight that we’ve put into the system. So, that kinda gets me thinking: Well, if the 15 kilo backpack only uses 3% more battery, then kind of implies that a five kilo difference is only gonna make a one percentage difference in the battery life,
These are rough figures, I know, but, from that, it’s made me think that: Well, if my bike was five kilos lighter, then it’s only gonna make 1% difference? That’s not very much, And then, it also makes me think that: If I was to lose 5% or five kilos of my body weight, then, that’s not gonna make a huge difference either, So, maybe we should be looking at watt hours used as an indicator of battery life instead, So, let’s have a look at these numbers, Now, without a backpack, 75 watt hours,
That’s quite a good chunk of battery life, yeah? With the backpack, 89 to 90 watt hours, Now, Specialized Mission Control App is really good at giving you all this data, to analyze this. And, it’s got me thinking: Well, that’s quite a big difference, actually. You’re looking at the difference between, if you’ve got a 504 watt hour battery, you’re gonna be able to get six to seven runs without a backpack, 15 kilo backpack. Yet, if I put my backpack on, that’s gonna knock it down to about five to six runs.
So, you’re gonna get a whole 1,000-foot difference between that weight. So, it is actually quite significant So, I did the two tests, and then I sat around thinking: Well, I’ve still got a ton of battery left. So, What would it be like if I stuck the bike in turbo mode, and actually buried myself, gave it maximum beans on the climb, and that’s what I did So, my time was actually 13 minutes.
That’s a whole four minutes quicker, in turbo, than it was with me in trail mode and, what was quite interesting, was that I actually only used 100 watts of battery during that run. So, I could actually get five runs down on turbo over a 1,000-foot hill, which is actually a load more than I thought I could. Obviously that was on a smooth kind of gradient. So, There’s loads to think about here, and we’re really gonna be exploring this over the next few months, and when it comes to e-bikes and battery life and weights. So, there you go.
Related Buyer’s guides: