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How to Pick Your E-Bike

Follow the steps below to find the perfect fit for you!

Femme sur son speed bike : un vélo électrique très rapide.

1. Determine which category of electric best suits your needs

City / Hybrid E-Bikes

Also known as a Commuter or Urban Bike, the Electric City Bike is perfectly suited for regular short-medium distance commutes around town. These bikes prioritize comfort and utility for people who ride them daily. For example, City Bikes typically come with mudguards, chain guards, lights, and integrated pannier racks for luggage or shopping.

They also typically offer a more comfortable position for the rider and are often step through, allowing for easy dismount and access.

Some popular brands in this category include Rad Power, Wing, and Cowboy! 

Cargo E-Bikes

Cargo E-Bikes are designed to move large amounts of goods, whether that's groceries, a small delivery, or even your kids. There are models with a large trunk in the front, a platform in the back, or even an enclosed space for kids. While buying an electric cargo bike is more expensive in general, due to a larger frame, and stronger equipment, they are still far more agile and cheaper than a car.

They are increasingly popular in urban city centers for families looking to invest in an efficient and durable method of transportation. 

Some popular brands in this category include Urban Arrow, Xtracycle, and Tern! Check out this video by Stanford on the benefits of cargo bikes for more!

Mountain/Off-Road E-Bikes

These bikes are for the adventurous, combining electric power with a frame built to handle rough conditions. With a powerful motor, an Electric Mountain Bike can make short work of a tough climb. You'll be able to handle new routes that you thought weren't possible with the capabilities of these bikes. 

The geometry of the frame, the type of tire, and choice of engine are all designed for pure rugged performance.

Some popular brands in this category include Trek, Giant, and Specialized!

Folding E-Bikes

As their name might suggest, the main benefit of Folding E-Bikes is their portability and reduced footprint. This makes it easy to bring them with you on the subway, store them in your home, or park them in your office! Some even fold down to the footprint of a car tire!

However, these bikes are anything but weak, with certain models featuring 750W motors. 

Some popular brands in this category include Brompton, Lectric, and Rad Power!

2. Choose the size of your electric bike

Every electric bike listed on Upway will have a recommended minimum and maximum height in their description. The saddle and handlebar will then allow you to make fine-tuning adjustments to precisely adapt the bike to your needs.

Finding the right-sized electric bike is particular important with mountain bikes and other high-end models. For example, some mountain bikes recommend users to check the length of their legs to match them to a particular frame size. Upway will specify additional details as recommended by the manufacturer for these products.

Other types of electric bikes such as commuter or cargo often have wider size ranges per model. Some even offer a one-size-fits-all solution that can accommodate people ranging between 5ft and 6ft.

Reminder: Upway provides a 14-day trial period, during which you can make returns (for example if the size of your bike does not suit you).

3. Consider the range of electric bike you'll need

The capacity of your battery determines the distance you can travel on a full charge.

The real-life mileage you'll get out of your electric bike depends on many additional factors, such as your weight, any additional loads (groceries, children), road conditions, or even wind. Thus, manufacturers typically provide an average range expected in normal conditions.

For city use, check the distance of your daily commute. In most cases, a range of 20 to 30 miles is quite sufficient and will only require you to recharge your battery one to three times a week.

If you want to ride for several hours or in conditions that consume more energy (steep climb, child seat, strong wind), we recommend extended ranges such as 40 to 60 miles.

Reminder: At Upway, the state of each bicycle's battery is fully evaluated. When necessary, the battery is reconditioned or replaced in order to regain range as close as possible to the original level. Each battery is guaranteed for 1 year.

4. Consider battery and motor placement

Motors on electric bikes can be located in multiple locations: the front wheel, the rear wheel, or on the crankset. 

When the motor is located in the front or rear wheel, electric support tends to be relatively binary: the motor activates fully when you pedal, regardless of pedaling force. This may offer an easier start, but some find the boost less smooth.

When located in the crankset, your motor often offers progressive support: the level of assistance matches the force with which you pedal.

E-bike batteries are typically either embedded on the frame or on a rear rack.

Batteries placed in the frame help to lower the bike's center of gravity to improve balance and control, which is particularly useful for more sporty usage, such as mountain biking. However, this configuration is also typically more expensive. A rack-mounted battery is still perfectly suited for city rides.

With Upway, the position of the motor of our electric bikes are specified in the product description. The position of the battery is clearly visible in our product photos.

5. Decide on your budget

Refurbished electric bikes under $1500 correspond to the entry-level of products by e-bike manufacturers; Upway offers these at very affordable prices.

These e-bikes tend to be more budget-friendly and are made with less expensive materials. They often have limited range and less powerful motors compared to higher-priced e-bikes. They are suitable for casual riders looking for a convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation.

Some notable brands that offer bikes in this price range include Rad Power and Aventon.
$1500 - $3000
Entering the mid-tier range of e-bikes gives consumers a wider variety of options, with greater quality as well. 

These e-bikes offer a better balance between price and performance. They are made with higher quality components, providing a more comfortable and efficient ride. They also tend to have longer ranges and more powerful motors, making them suitable for longer commutes and light off-road riding.

Some notable brands in this price range include Super73 and Specialized.

These bikes are the cream of the crop. You'll find many powerful electric mountain and cargo bikes in this group, which offer extreme power and utility. 
These e-bikes are designed for serious riders who demand the highest level of performance. They are made with top-of-the-line components, offering a smooth and powerful ride. They also often have advanced features such as multiple riding modes and a large range, making them suitable for demanding terrain and extended adventures.

Some notable brands in this price range include Urban Arrow and Reise and Muller.

Ready to choose?

Upway offers the widest range of certified pre-owned electric bikes, reconditioned by professional mechanics. Thanks to Upway, you'll get a great electric bike at a price that's up to 60% off retail, with a one-year warranty!