Summer is fast approaching, and you know what that means…more people. More people means more traffic, and that means parking can be a real headache. If you’re the walking type of person, then more power to you. This post will cover a relatively new transportation platform that’s much better than cars when it comes to getting around, and it’s much greener. I’m referring to electric bikes!
The technology has now matured to the point that electric bikes or e-bikes are much more reliable, and the cost of the technology has come way down. Now obviously there’s the regular old bicycle; the kind you grew up riding. And the reason I’m not covering those is due to hills. Depending on where you live, Almuñécar and La Herradura have some pretty nasty hills. These hills can be real leg burners on regular bikes, and I want to discuss e-bikes as replacement or augmentation to automobiles. Something that can be easily ridden up and down hills.
What are Electric bikes?
Put simply, it’s a bike that looks like it’s unpowered counterpart, but it has an electric motor. This motor is driven by a battery that is on the bike. When I say battery, don’t think of a car battery. E-bike batteries are much smaller, weigh less, and are easily charged with the power from your house or apartment.
What types of e-bikes are there?
Just like regular bicycles, there are many different styles. From ultra-compact folding electric bikes to full-on electric mountain bikes, there are a myriad of choices to suit your needs and budget. I won’t cover the small bicycles as they are not going to have enough torque to get you up the steep hills. They are more of a flat, even terrain type. I also won’t discuss the bikes at the other end of the spectrum; namely the mountain bikes. The cost of this type of e-bike can be very high, and they are more geared towards off-road riding.
Benefits of having an e-bike
The benefits are the same as a regular bike. The health benefits of exercise of course. Also getting around town is much easier, especially during the summer. While cars are stuck in traffic, it’s simple to maneuver past them. It’s much easier parking a bike than a car during those high-tourist months. And as I mentioned earlier, there’s, the benefit of being able to climb hills in a much easier manner than a regular bike.
If you live in a hilly area, or need to commute to a hilly area you’re more likely to ride an e-bike over a normal bicycle. There are also great bike paths for you to enjoy a leisurely ride.
What to look for when selecting an electric bike
With such a large selection available, it can be hard to know where to get started. Here are some recommendations when you’re looking at buying an electric bike.
Consider your needs
Are you planning on riding within the local area, or do you want a bike that you can ride long distances? This is where the size of the battery comes into play. A person who is interested in riding to the local market doesn’t have the same power needs as someone who wants to ride to Motril or even Granada. (I know crazy people that do this!)
Are you going to want to carry groceries or throw a kid on the back of the bike? You’ll want a bike that’s geared towards carrying things. These bikes, typically have dedicated mounting points so that you can attach luggage racks, child carriers, etc.
What type of power delivery do you need?
There are generally two types of power delivery. The most common one is a power-assist type of “pedelec” where the rider’s pedaling is automatically assisted with the motor. Depending on the type of pedal input (pedaling fast downhill or the heavier pedaling force required for hills), the motor is smart enough to know when you’re running out of steam, and will help you reach your goal.
The other type is more of a manual system where the user decides when they want the motor to help. This is normally done by twisting the grip, very similar to a motorcycle or moped.
What type of motor do you need?
There are two basic types of electric motors. Those attached at the crank (where you pedal), and those that are mounted within the wheel. Generally, those models that have the motor attached to the crank are going to provide more torque for climbing hills. The downside is that they can be noisier than those systems where the motor is attached to the wheel.
It’s all about the battery
This is probably the biggest factor when it comes to purchasing an e-bike (after cost). The bigger the battery the further a rider can go. A bigger battery also means more weight, and more expense, so be realistic when choosing a bike. If you want maximum range, then a bigger battery is definitely the way to go.
Also make sure you get a good warranty on that battery. I would recommend getting a warranty of at least two-years. Ask your retailer; they can really help you here! And that leads to the next topic…
Where to purchase an e-bike?
There are local sellers, and buying local is always a good thing. The other option is to purchase online through Amazon. The selection will be much larger than a local carrier, plus Amazon has a good return policy. And even if you decided to purchase from Amazon, when it comes time to have your bike serviced, you’ll most likely take it to your local bike shop.
Examples of highly-rated e-bikes online
I’ve done some research and found some very good e-bikes in a wide range of capabilities, styles, and cost.
Small size / Lower cost
While I didn’t cover this type of bike, I have to admit that this is very portable, and cute too.
Short on space? Why not try a folding electric bike?
A electric mountain bike -mid-range bike built for comfort
A more expensive mid-range e-bike with great specs
A higher-end bike geared for cruising and comfort. Great specs too
If you’re looking for a go anywhere, do anything type of bike that will stop traffic this one is a beast
If you’re the type of person who really needs to make a statement, then this one’s for you
Try something different
Rather than a bike, why not zip around town on an electric scooter?
Remember your accessories!
Cascos – Helmet
A Cable to lock
Good luck with your research and purchase. Safe riding!
- Spain Bicycle Rentals – Costa Tropical and Costa del Sol
- Of course there is no shortage of Hiking and walking options for all fitness levels and all ages!
- Explore Almunecar by Walking – Self guided walking tours. Get to know the old town, have spectacular views from Cotobro or discover the boat house!
- Mountain Biking Trails