"Get the Right Fit for the Most Enjoyment"
Here is a quick questionnaire to get you thinking and help you select an ebike that makes sense for you. You definitely want the right ebike fit for your lifestyle, a bike that matches your budget, and one that looks great too.
1. Where do you plan on riding your ebike?
Will it be on paved streets, bike paths, dirt roads, sand, off-road terrain, or hills? The answer to this question will help you select the right ebike model, equipped with a right-sized motor, battery, tires, and other features.
2. How often will you use your bike?
If you see yourself as an avid rider, a higher performing bike makes sense. However, if you are an occasional rider, then there are nice entry-level ebikes that will make sense for you. Open Road has ebike solutions for all riders, including entry, mid-level, and avid riders. We term avid riders as athletic hobbyists, and others as recreationalists.
3. Is exercise a prime motivation for your ebike?
If so, you will benefit from an ebike’s peddle assist mode. Peddle assist is accomplished with sensors on the bike’s peddle crank that determine your peddling force, and turns the gears accordingly. Studies show the use of peddle assist takes the sting out of hills, and you end up riding much farther, peddling more, and even burning more calories than a regular bike. While a regular bike may often hang on a hook in the garage for years, an ebike is used frequently and provides a lot of enjoyment.
4. Can I get there without peddling?
If exercise is secondary, then a throttle on the bike will be your friend (twist or thumb). Motorcycle riders are familiar with twist throttles (part of the handlebar grips), but it can take a little time to become familiar with their use. A thumb throttle will be easy to use, but practice first in a safe and open area as you use it. Learn where your brakes are and how to use them, while maintaining vision on the path ahead. Be aware that if you throttle a lot rather than peddling, the battery will drain much quicker.
5. Where can I ride my ebike?
Know that some locations (national parks, state parks, etc.) prohibit throttle only use on their paths and trails. You will want to check with authorities prior to riding. Also, become familiar with what the ebike rules are for the paths, trails, and roads on your desired routes around your home and riding area. Different locales may have different speed limits and rules of use. Your bike can be easily and quickly programmed to change your top-end bike speed to comply with local regulations. Also, most throttles have simple, pluggable cables for unplugging when required.
6. What battery size and capacity do I need? Math and electronics simplified here … Voltage and amp/hours determine battery charge longevity. Multiply these together to get watt hours, which is the common measuring stick used when comparing batteries on ebikes, motorcycles, and automobiles. For example, you might see an ebike battery rated at 36 volts and 10 amp hours. In this case, we multiply the two together to get the common rating we are looking for – 360 watt hours. A couple other examples - 48v x 15 AH = a battery with 720 watt hours, or 52v x 19 AH = 988 watt hours. Your range and cost increase as watt hours go up. If you plan on riding for a longer period of time, a higher watt hour battery makes sense. FYI - an electric car's capacity can exceed 100 kilowatt hours (100 x 1000 watts).
7. How many hours can I expect my battery to last before being drained?
Here is an example … if you are superman or wonder woman, and run your ebike full speed, continuously utilizing the full capability of your 750 watt motor (nobody does this!), and your ebike has 988 watt hours (a higher-end battery), you would run your battery dry in 1 hour and 19 minutes (750 watts = 1 hour, PLUS 238 more watt hours (238/750 x 60 minutes) = 19 minutes). The reality of average Joe bike rider for this example – with that good-sized motor and battery, and riding steadily on pretty level streets, it would yield 3-4 hours of continuous riding - both you and your bike are tanked! And, if your battery runs dry, with the regular bike gears, just continue and finish your ride as a normal bike.
8. What are some of the factors that drain your battery?
The range of your ebike will depend on a few factors, including not only your battery size (watt hours), but also your use of throttle and pedal assist, the steepness of the terrain, wind, your weight, and other factors that require your motor to work harder. If you plan on going farther, you need a bigger battery. Larger capacity batteries add weight and cost. Shorter rides can be accomplished with lighter, lower capacity batteries. Bigger batteries cases with more internal cells may be available for your bike if you want more range, or you can carry a second battery with you on a rack or bagged.
9. Watts Up?
Electric bike motors are typically 250, 350, 500, 750, or 1000 watts. The higher the motor wattage, the more power you have on your bike, which can translate to a higher top-end speed, the ability to climb steep terrain, or perhaps quicker acceleration (torque). Most ebikes can be programmed to lower wattages, which will extend the bike’s range by decreasing battery draw while lowering the top-end speed. If you anticipate shorter, flatter rides, on paved neighborhood streets, a smaller motor and battery may suffice, and provide economy on purchase. Open Road has a strong variety of ebikes that can match up with any rider’s preferences and habits.
10. Is a mid-drive or hub motor preferable?
A mid-drive motor (where it is assisting in, or turning the peddle cranks for you) are typically better on hilly and off-road terrain, while a hub motor is great on bike paths and streets. Both have their place. A mid-drive motor is typically found on higher-priced bikes. We have found that most riders quickly become familiar with either. It is like a new car - a month later you are familiar with the feel and are efficient with its operation.
11. Will you be lifting your bike onto a rack? Know that ebikes can be heavier than a non-motorized bike, so you will want to pay attention to your lifting limits. Your rack will need to be certified to support the weight of the bike. If needed you can remove the battery from the bike to make it easier to lift. Open Road offers bike racks fully assembled and ready for mounting on 2" receivers.
12. Why are prices so varied on ebikes? Fashion, style, and brand are three of the factors of ebike prices. Of course, there are differences in quality and performance on many of the components used in bikes that directly affect the final price. Seats, gear shifts, batteries, suspension, and other choices make for a big difference in price. Ebikes selected as part of our fleet offer a variety of options on quality, performance, and price. Fashionable items with recognized brand names are often more expensive, but for many, fashion is of overriding importance.
13. Bike accessories, upgrades, and options add comfort and increase enjoyment. Popular items include racks, cup holders, phone holders, spring seats, fork suspensions, and more. Ebike base models offer a wide selection, with choice of frame sizes, styles and colors, bike tire widths (fat tire means a wider tire with knobs), battery capacity, LCD displays, and motor wattage.
14. Secure your ebike and battery with locks to avoid the heartbreak of theft. Ebikes are very popular and targets for thieves. Protect your assets!
We gladly welcome people to our showroom to test drive an ebike that makes sense for them. Stop by with any questions and to explore the best ebike for you.
Use the chart below for help with sizing and choosing your ebike:
Open Road Motosports
1275 E. Red Hills Parkway, St. George, UT
We offer some great Ebikes for sale and rental, Sand Hollow Ebikes, Vanderhall Three Wheelers, Used Motorcycles for Sale, and Cheap Electric Bikes for Sale