It’s great that you’ve finally decided to purchase an electric bike. Electric bikes are a great way to get from one point to another without overexerting yourself. They’re also a great way to beat the traffic without breaking a sweat.
However, if you’ve been searching for electric bikes, you’ll probably find out that choosing your first electric bike isn’t easy. There are various factors to consider. Top on your list is the power rating of the bike.
Power Rating of an Electric Bike
Power rating can be very confusing, especially for a beginner. 1000 watt, 250 watt, 48 V… what does all this mean?
There’s one thing that you’ve probably figured out by now: electric bicycles are not the same. Even two bikes that have the same wattage level can be quite different.
In general, however, higher wattage bikes provide greater power. However, you should note that the actual power of the bike may not be well represented by the bike’s label. Many companies use the label on the bike as a marketing gimmick or to sneak high-powered bikes past government regulations. Here, the best thing to do is to find out about the actual wattage level of the bike directly from the manufacturer.
When you want to know the electric bike’s power, there are 2 numbers to consider: the peak current limit of the controller given in amps, and the battery voltage. You can determine the actual wattage of the bike by multiplying these two figures.
For example, most electric road bikes have a 15A controller and a 36V battery. The wattage of such a bike would be 15A x 36V = 540 watts. That’s the power that the bike is capable of producing.
How much power do you need?
The required power of an electric bike depends on your weight and the terrain you will be riding on i.e. will you be riding up a steep hill most of the time?
It goes without saying that the heavier you are, the greater the power you need to propel you. You’ll also need more power if you are planning to spend lots of time climbing steep hills.
The power requirements on e-bikes are high for people over 100 kilograms. You may be looking at 750 watts for flat terrain and over 1000 watts for those with long uphill climbs. Be cautious, however, when shooting for over 1000 watts. Many bikes begin to experience problems with overheating at this point, especially when they have to maintain this peak power over a long period.
Finding the right power for you: The best way to determine the best power for your electric bike is by going on a test ride. Test different brands and models at different power levels. Be sure to try them on the terrain that is similar to that on which you will be using the bike on. Does the bike feel sluggish, or do you have a smooth ride? Choose the bike that you’re most comfortable riding.