I bought my first Ebike.
This is everything you need to know before you buy one too.
About a month ago I bought my first Ebike.
battling right back there, the red runner from Red power bikes but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Before I talk about that I want to talk about how I came to the decision to buy that specific bike.
Now full disclosure, I've never been a big fan of biking but riding an E bike looks like a lot of fun.
I see Seen some of my favorite YouTubers riding them around the city.
I've been seeing them all over my Instagram feed and I've always wanted to get one but I've been hesitant to pull the trigger on the purchase but right now I'm looking for new ways to get outside and get a little activity and I figured when everything goes back to normal, maybe it'll make a good car replacement.
So where did I start?
Well, the internet Of course, I googled best e bikes and read a lot of articles looked at a bunch of buyers guides for which features I should be looking for.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos And the bike that seemed to come up the most often was the RadRunner1 because of its value and functionality.
But doing all that research in a silo can be a bit overwhelming., and you never know if you're on the right track.
So I wanted to talk to somebody that reviews a lot of e-bikes and in my research, I came across ElectricBikeReview.com.
And so I got in touch with the founder, Court Rye.
Hey guys, this is Court Rye.
I do electricbikereview.com He reviews dozens of Ebikes and so I figured he was the perfect person to talk to.
So of course when different types of Ebikes are there?
Got cargo bikes, that's one category that to me is just like perfect fit for Ebikes.
There's a lot of people might be trying to do kind of a car replacement or live in a busy city.
Parking is an issue and you're like, well, this is fun.
I'll get a cargo bike.
There aren't trikes for how somebody like an older rider or someone who's balanced might be an issue.
You know, you just need that extra stability.
They're really cool trikes and then there's this category of like fat tire bikes which are fun, stable off-road capable little bit But it's almost kind of like a look like an SUV.
So it sounds like I'm looking for something between a commuter and a cargo bike.
So what kind of features should I be looking at?
Some of the features that I look for actually start with like, Is there a dealer nearby?
Who can services help me assemble it Do maintenance stuff does this company have like a decent warranty?
Do they have a good reputation before I start getting too much of the features?
I'm like, What is this company all about?
And then from there, I would look at a lot of does this have fenders?
Is it going to rain where I'm at?
Am I riding at night?
Maybe I want lights.
And then I look at what's the environment like if you don't have these tires with puncture protection, then you can find yourself in a really.
Have you positioned with like a flat tire a bike walking back home.
Most electric bikes are heavier.
I want a drive train that has lots of gears or at least a good spread.
And what that means is like 10, tiny little sprocket and like 50 and that gives you leverage.
Over the wheels and it means that I can climb very efficiently.
And then of course, like the motor people probably waiting this whole time like without the motor.
[LAUGH] Which motor Do you need if you're really heavy person and maybe you're just getting back into cycling, or you just want that little scooter experience You're going to want to heavier heavy duty motor.
So we have up to 750 watts nominal, which means it can peak higher than that the drives are going to be more efficient, more balanced, like the lower and more centrally mounted that way is for the motor or battery, the better the experience is going to be.
I think I'm leaning toward buying a router because it seems to check all the boxes for me.
I know you reviewed it and knowing what I'm looking for now, do you think I'm on the right path?
As much as I liked the Rad Runner, I also really liked the Rad Mini.
I don't really care about the folding feature, and that's gonna add a bit of weight and stuff, so it's like well, what's the difference?
If you care about comfort, there's really suspension fork, suspension seat post.
Your back, your neck, your shoulders, think about you're riding on that This thing you feel those bumps a little bit more and you're not going to be able to really do suspension without spending hundreds more dollars a lot of work.
This is really your chance to get like comfort or affordable lightweight cool.
What do you think?
You've given me a lot to consider and some options to weigh.
This is, it's so tough man.
I mean, my first job I had a buyer's remorse cuz I bought the cheaper bike or in like almost immediately I was like I should have spent more and gotten like, everything I really wanted.
So I'm comparing the, Rad run into the RAD mini on electric bike review calm and I gotta say the arguments for comfort are very strong However, because I'm not 100% sure how invested I am in writing an E bike, I think that lower price point is a lot more compelling for me.
So I just got to confirm my address and purchase.
And now I just gotta wait for it to get here.
Well, this is it, the RAD writer from rad power bikes.
Now I have to do is assemble it before I can take my first ride.
I did have to go to a bike shop so that I can buy things like a pedal wrench and some biker oil for maintenance and for attaching the pedals to the bike, but now it's just a matter of opening this box up and putting it together.
There is It's the battery, right there.
Let's find out what's in this box shall we?
Okay, opens that way.
We have peddles, a box within a box, toolkit inside is a wrench, another wrench Allen key flathead screwdriver, another allen key, and last LED.
The instructions manual.
Something that I'm sure I will find out as I read these instructions.
And last but not least, LED light bulb.
Look at that.
Let's find out what's in the smaller box now.
It is the power supply this big battery pack Red power on, charging red, all charges green
There you have it assembled ebike All right, let's take it outside and give it its first ride The key into the ignition to power on the battery.
Right here's the controls.
The battery indicator on the front side.
Control panel for power assist.
It's got 123 and four and a button for the high beams.
For the first ride, I'm gonna start with just cool, full throttle.
Just to see how fast he goes on to.
Try not to have a smile on your face the first time you If you do it, this time, I'm gonna do some pedaling.
I'm gonna progressively use more and more assistance to see how the difference and effort is starting on one
Okay, so It kind of felt like when you're riding a normal bike and you lower the gear and you feel less resistance against your pedaling, except for when I felt less resistance I was actually going faster.
So almost the opposite effect as soon as I powered up to the fourth one, it was way faster than it was just when the electric load so I can't wait to try this out more.
I'm gonna keep trying it over the next weekend.
But you know how it goes.
So that's where everything went wrong.
during that first lengthier ride, I was having a lot of issues with the chain falling off the bike.
So I took a closer look and realized that the part of the chain that goes around the back of the bike and comes down before it goes back to the pedals was bent inwards a little bit during shipping and that was causing the chain to fall off as I was passing Pedaling.
So I got on the phone with rad power bikes and they were really cool.
I sent them some photos of what I was seeing and they sent me the replacement parts in the mail which took a couple of business days to get to me.
Then I took the bike to a bike shop nearby and they fixed it read reimburse me of course for the cost of the repairs and was back on the bike within a week.
It was a little disappointing that I wasn't able to take it out the first week that I got it but I was able to get it fixed and now I have the confidence of knowing that my bikes not going to fall apart on me while I'm riding it.
Now am I feeling any buyer's remorse?
No, not at all.
I'm writing it about as much as I expected I would in fact, I'm writing it even more than I expected I would, but there's a couple of different ways I'm finding I'm using this bike.
One is for exercise.
I'll keep the assists pretty low, usually at like a Want to offset the weight of the bike but I'm still pedaling that whole time I'm feeling nice burn in my legs, my heart rate is up, I'm definitely feel like I'm getting a good exercise.
The other way I ride this bike is when I'm just trying to get from point A to point B with little effort.
And that's usually when I'll keep the system to a four so that accelerates faster, and then I'll use the throttle to just maintain that speed.
Feels almost like I'm riding a electric moped, obviously not going as fast as the real moped can go, but I feel safer because I can take this on bike paths and avoid the main traffic of the road.
So I've taken at least two pretty lengthy rides to test out the battery and I've been pretty impressed with the results.
One was more of an exercise right where I was using a lot less assist and I wrote for about 30 miles and when I gotten back had realized that only one of the five bars of battery on the indicator had dropped.
So I still had about four fifths of battery left.
The other one was a similar distance but I use the system a lot more and pretty much rode that throttle the entire way.
When I got back from that ride, I was pleased to see that only about two bars of battery had dropped.
So I still had about three fifths left.
I definitely think I can get pretty far on this bike.
Especially since I tend to pedal a lot more than use throttle.
Now I have to admit I am having a little bit of regret not taking Courts advice and going for the RAD mini, but not really for the reasons he pointed out.
One reason I think the RAD mini probably would have been a better purchase for me is I live in a second floor walk up apartment.
So anytime I go for a ride I have to lug this 50 pound bike up in Going down some stairs, and I think being able to fold it would make that a little less awkward.
The other reason is I'm hoping to store this bike outside on the balcony where my wife stores her bike, but because of the weight and the size, it really takes up too much room out there.
So instead I find myself having to store the bike in my office where I have to track dirty tires through my apartment every time I come back.
There's a pretty cool office decoration though.
Lastly, this is a big one.
I can't fit this thing in my car.
I drive a tiny little Prius C and I can barely fit a normal bike in the back, let alone a huge e bike like that one.
So this is now starting to lead to discussions like Should we get Get a bike rack Should we get a bigger car to support the weight of that bike rack and I can feel myself going down a costly rabbit hole that said I am completely satisfied with my purchase and expect to be riding this thing for at least the next year, at which point I may sell it and trade up for an even better bike depends on if my interest in this wanes over the coming months.
So do I recommend that you buy a new bike?
Well, that really depends on your situation.
Here's where I think EBI can really come in handy.
Are you able to use it to commute?
If so great gas is expensive and car insurance isn't any cheaper?
Do you live in a bike friendly city?
I live near a lot of bike paths and I'm having fun exploring them further and further every time I go out.
I do get the occasional snarky comment accusing me of being a cheater, but honestly, I don't care because I can't hear them when they're in my dust And third, do you want the option for exercise or mobility assistance?
Or do you just want to be lazy and cruise around your neighborhood?
Then an ebike is definitely for you.
So if you're considering buying one just make sure you remember these three major points.
Feel good about the company you're purchasing it from.
Explore the options that fit your needs best cuz that price is Is that function is that your lifestyle only you can determine that.
And lastly, when in doubt, ask for help.
bike shops are great resources.
There's online communities with lots of enthusiasts that are ready and willing to help.
Well, that's it.
Everything you can expect if you're gonna buy your first e-bike.
I wanna thank Court Rye, from ElectricBikeReview.com, for all his excellent advice.
And if you're thinking about getting your first e-bike, what kind are you considering?
If you're a veteran, what starter tips do you have dropping down in the comments?
Make sure you check out cnet.com for more excellent ebike articles and until next time, I'll see you out there on the road.