88 STYLE | cycling Top tips for buying an e-bike 1. Consider your individual needs – with so many models on the market, it’s best to first identify what features are most important to you. If comfort is key, then a step-through frame may be best. If hill climbing is your buzz, a middle motor or high torque hub motor may be essential. There are mountain bikes, such as the Specialized Turbo Levo Hardtail (cycleways.co.nz), which are designed specifically to tackle tough descents while using less battery power. If riding long distance is your cup of tea, you’ll need a meaty battery of at least 400 watt-hours (Wh), or look to an additional battery pack, as compatible with the eZee Sprint range (actionbicycleclub.com) and your capacity can extend up to 1000Wh. 2. Weight – pick up a few e-bikes and feel their weight. They vary considerably. You might need to be able to carry it over a stile or pick it up to put it on your bike rack. If your battery runs out, could you still move it with leg power alone? 3. Choose your retailer wisely – are the staff approachable, knowledgeable and helpful? Does the store have commitment to bikes, e.g. a visible workshop, brand range, stock? Places like Christchurch Electric Bicycles (christchurchelectricbicycles.co.nz) have years of know-how to back their in-store expertise. 4. Test ride several – get a feel for the different types available. Try out the power assist systems to see what suits you best. 5. Warranty matters – two years is standard. Make sure you are protecting your investment on parts, motor and battery. 6. Choose for the long term – make sure you love the one you choose, it’s a substantial purchase. You should expect your bike to last five to 10 years with regular service and your battery should last 1000-plus charges (this equates to 30–40,000km of riding). 7. Quality counts – but service counts just as much. Choose good componentry and a service plan if you can’t maintain your e-bike yourself. If it’s a Bosch motor, for example, you can be pretty assured it’s good as they are selective about who sells their systems and they provide great support and parts in New Zealand. 8. Buy local – go for a bricks-and-mortar store where you can see the actual bike. Avoid purchasing from pop-up stores, Trade Me or overseas websites where you might be left in the lurch when it comes to parts and support. You usually get what you pay for.
STYLE | promotion 89 eZee Sprint Alfine T4 $4250, ACTION BICYCLE CLUB Specialized Turbo Levo Hardtail $4600, CYCLEWAYS The Rev Coaster $3400, ELECTRIFY NZ E-BIKES: EVERY RIDE IS A TINY HOLIDAY Once you decide to power up your cycling adventures with an electric bike, the hard part will be deciding on your fave. Specialized Vado from $4800, CYCLE WORLD DUNEDIN 2020 Moustache Samedi X-Road 2 $5495 (pre-order) CHRISTCHURCH ELECTRIC BICYCLES