Which electric bike to choose?

„Buy factory electric bike or do it yourself? How about buying a used one or ordering a company to make one for us? Which electric bike will be the best?”

These are very common questions we ask ourselves when thinking about owning an electric vehicle. After all, we all want a good electric bike. Good, which is what? Therefore, in this article, we will try to help you make the selection and pay attention to things that you may have missed in your analysis.

Which electric bike is the best??

In fact, when choosing an ebike, it’s hard to talk about better and worse bikes (apart from the actual condition). We would put it in other terms:

  • cheaper ebike – more expensive ebike
  • stronger drive – weaker drive
  • central drive – hub drive

When analyzing the choice, it is worth answering a few basic questions.

5 questions to ask yourself
before choosing an ebike

Of course, there may be more questions, but we consider the following to be the key questions:

1. What type of bike will be the most suitable for me? Division according to the type of frame: city, trekking, MBT or FAT-BIKE (with front shock absorption, rear shock absorption), enduro:

Which electric bike to choose? Excerpt from the guide: „Do it yourself - Convert your bike into an electric bike"
Bicycle type - frame / Excerpt from the guide: „Do it yourself - Convert your bike into an electric bike"

2. What type of drive should I choose? The motor in the rear wheel, front wheel or central drive:

Which electric bike to choose? Excerpt from the guide: „Do it yourself - Convert your bike into an electric bike"
Types of electric drives / Excerpt from the guide: „Do it yourself - Convert your bike into an electric bike"

3. What kind of electric assistance do I want? Cadence sensor / pedal torque sensor / throttle

PAS - Pedal Assistance System
PAS - Pedal Assistance System
Torque sensor for MPe computer - eRider T9
Torque sensor for MPe computer - eRider T9
Gas throttle
Gas throttle

4. What is my budget for the purchase?

5. Do I know how to use the drive that I have chosen?
You need to take care of the electric drive and the bicycle. Let’s take care of the appropriate bicycle service so that the ride is comfortable and, above all, safe. For rear wheel drives, it is a bit easier, because they do not require such frequent service, while for mid drives, we must reckon with more frequent service (grease, gears or bearings). 

The central drives require us a little more involvement with shifting gears on the derailleur. While in HUB drives, when driving with a cadence sensor or on a throttle, changing the gears is not necessary, for a mid-drive it is even a requirement. It is therefore worth getting to know the details of the selected drive before the purchase, because each of them has its own specificity, operating characteristics and requires a different service effort from us.

Of course, when choosing, we should also take into account such aspects as:

  • Where do we mainly want to ride this bike?
  • What range do we want to cover on a single battery charge?
  • What drive power do we expect?

Which electric bike should you choose?

When choosing an electric bike, it is mainly about the type of electric assist. Some will be satisfied with:

  • the use of a cadence sensor (commonly known as PAS support),
  • the second will depend on the pedal torque sensor, which, however, would be a bit like riding a bicycle and to be able to work on your condition
  • and still others will be satisfied mainly with the throttle.
Which motor / drive to choose?

Rear wheel hub motors

Rear wheel hub motors
Rear wheel hub motors

For rear wheel hub motors: for example, adding an MPe COMPUTER to e-bikes will enable all three of these electric assist solutions. Adding this drive often increases the weight of the bicycle. These engines are rather not as frequent servicing as, for example, central drives.


Mid-drive - TSDZ2 - city bike
Mid-drive - TSDZ2 - city bike

On the other hand, central drives seem to be the perfect solution for people who are looking for a light ebike with good off-road handling or want to train a bit with a torque sensor. Most of the factory electric bikes are based primarily on this kind of sensor.

Additional tips for analysis:

  • It is worth being „flexible” in choosing or modifying an ebike. If this bike can’t be upgraded too much, then maybe it’s worth selling it and buying another one.
  • Pay attention to the quality of the bike, e.g. whether the frame is solid.
  • Let’s not be afraid to ask someone for advice and ask for help in choosing.
  • If we have the opportunity to test ride an electric bike, let’s take advantage of it. We used the loafing room ourselves and such a test drive helped us a lot.
  • It is also worth testing the size of the bicycle frame and the suspension, e.g. with full suspension.

The art of compromise

We can see from our own experience that choosing the right electric bike is often an art of compromise. We are looking for and selecting a bike and drive that at the moment will best meet our expectations for the driving style and terrain on which we most often want to ride. And often when investing in one drive model, you have to give up the advantages that a second drive would give you. For example, for Ana the bicycle model „Cube AMS 125 pro”:

eMTB - mid-drive TSDZ2 (light bike 20,4 kg)
eMTB - mid-drive TSDZ2 (light bike 20,4 kg)

The art of compromise:

Definitely „YES"

  • Light ebike (20.4 kg)
  • In the off road ride, the ebike is great
  • Pedal torque sensor (TSDZ2 drive) and the feeling of cycling
  • Full shock absorption front and rear
  • Certain „shortcomings”

Certain „shortcomings"

  • TSDZ2 drive is not super powerful (after uploading the open firmware max. 750 W)
  • Frequent service of the drive
  • It’s definitely louder to use than gearless HUB motors
  • Resignation from the throttle for the temperature sensor
  • The frame may be a bit too big for her height

Fortunately, the electric bike is not with us forever. We can sell it and buy another one. We wish you fruitful analyzes and successful compromises in choosing your electric bikes. We encourage you to leave comments on your selection. You can also WRITE TO US.

the Bikel.pl crew

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