What Should You Look For While Buying An e-Cycle?

  • Oct 2, 2022
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There are several aspects you need to consider while buying an e-cycle. Here are some of the key points.

E-cycles, belonging to a relatively unknown genre a couple of years ago, have been gaining traction amongst the masses lately. They are easier to ride which opens up the cycling community to broader age groups and demographics. Exercise feels more rewarding, longer commutes effortless; and city traffic, just a small hitch in your daily routine. 

That said, just like regular cycles, there are way too many options to choose from. So how do you narrow down on the one e-cycle that would do it all? 

Set a budget 

E-cycles don't come cheap. They are comparatively more expensive than their traditional “pedal-only” counterparts. So choosing the right e-cycle that's durable, fits within your budget and meets your lifestyle is extremely important. Your budget will also dictate the brand and kind of cycle you could be looking at – helping you narrow down your search.  Hero’s Lectro range of e-cycles, for instance, starts at Rs 28,999 for the C3

Battery performance and range

It's absolutely crucial to keep your daily travel distance in mind -- a factor people often overlook. Running out of charge while returning from work may put you in a predicament, especially when the route involves steep inclines.  

You need to consider several factors while determining the cycle's range, including the speed at which you travel, the distance to work and back, your weight, weather and terrain. 

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Most e-cycles these days use the same rechargeable lithium-ion batteries seen on electric two-wheelers. Their overall weight is relatively low, and they charge quickly. On most e-cycles, these batteries are usually positioned on the down tube or placed on the rear rack, making them easily accessible. The Toutche Electric Heileo M100 or Essel Energy GET 7 are some examples of this. 

More expensive models, like the SVITCH XE+, have them integrated into the frame for a cleaner look. Most of Hero’s Lectro range comes with frame-integrated batteries. While they are removable, they aren’t really accessible since the battery opening is positioned at the button of the down tube. So you better have a power outlet where you intend to buy and store such a cycle, or you'll have to drag it into your house every time you want to charge it.

A rule of thumb is to look for the best battery capacity that fits your budget. Below are some of the most commonly used battery capacities, along with an approximate range. Please note that the range is determined through pedal assist instead of throttle alone.

36V 10.5Ah battery – 26-51 km

36V 17.5Ah battery – 41-85 km

48V 10.4Ah battery – 34-68 km

48V 14Ah battery – 45-90 km

52V 10.5Ah battery – 37-74 km

52V 17.5Ah battery – 61-122 km

Waterproof capacity

The next thing you'd want to keep an eye on is the components' waterproof capacity. The best electric bikes are the ones that can withstand heavy rains. So ensure that the cycle's LCD, battery and motor are water resistant.

Cycle weight

A full-sized e-cycle weighs around 22-25kg – noticeably heavier than traditional cycles. The extra mass is down to the weight of the battery, motor, controller, throttle etc. So if the weight of the cycle is a concern, you might want to consider a smaller style of e-cycles, such as the folding SVITCH MXE, which are easier to carry and store. 

Overall comfort

There's no point in choosing a cycle that's uncomfortable to ride because you won't end up using it. So keep two points in mind: classic versus step-thru frames and the rider triangle.

More traditional road bikes or mountain bikes have a sharper rider triangle, meaning you lean forward quite a bit. This could get tiring on longer distances. So if you're looking for a comfortable ride, opt for something with a more upright riding style. The only way to find out what suits your riding style is to try and experience the bike. Small changes in bike geometry, such as adjusting the seat height or the handlebar positioning, can make a huge difference to the feel of a bike.

Alternatively, a step-thru frame is definitely worth considering. They are much easier to mount and dismount than classic straight-bar frames.

Service and maintenance

It's important to consider the bike's service and maintenance costs as well. E-cycles are fairly complex in nature compared to traditional cycles. So you'll need to account for the extra service costs.

Also, consider that motors and controllers on non-branded cycles are difficult to fix due to the lack of parts or diagnostic tools. So ensure that the brand you choose is fully committed to offering the best customer and post-sales service.

Hero Lectro C5
Hero Lectro C5
Rs. 30,999
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