SEB E-bike Buyer’s Guide
The Electric Bike market has exploded in the last couple of years and the number of models and brands available is phenomenal. SEB has been selling ebikes since 2009 so we have a great deal of experience with ebikes and sell the widest range of any shop around. With a great range comes great responsibility to help guide prospective customers in choosing the correct bike. We have refined this process over the years and have distilled it down to five key decisions you need to make when buying yourself an electric bike. We will go over these in store before you test ride and use the guide as a way to find out more about your riding experience and where you expect to use your new and very exciting ebike.
1. Style of Bike:
The style and type of E-bike is choose is extremely important as it will dictate the experience you have on your bike and its suitability to the terrain you are riding on.
• Are you going to be riding primarily on road and paved bike paths?
• Are you riding on gravel and road?
• Is it for pure MTB where you can shred?
• Do you want something more upright?
• A step through frame to cater for injuries or a more comfortable riding style?
• Something with the ability to carry a load?
These questions are important to really refine your perfect bike down amongst the hundreds of E bikes out there. We have all styles covered as we have the biggest range in the country. It’s crucial you come in and try at least three to four bikes of varying design as you might just find you end up buying a bike that is very different to what you expected. For example many customers walk out with a mountain bike design for a daily commute even though they aren’t necessarily planning to hit the trails on a regular basis. All our shops have been designed with key bike designs grouped together. You will find a section for Step through, Step Over, Mountain Bike, Folding/Compact and Conversion kits.
There are two distinct power outputs on all ebikes, High torque and Low torque. We have written a seperate guide to the differences which we recommend you read but it’s important to pick the right ebike for the type of area you plan to ride and what your planning to use your new ebike for. There is a distinct relationship between overall weight and power. As the bike gets more powerful the motor will become heavier. That’s for both hub and Middrive motors. As the bike battery capacity increases so too does the overall weight of the ebike.
If you live in a very hilly area which is highly likely in Sydney, you will benefit from a higher torque motor. Especially if you are planning to use the bike to haul stuff like work gear or shopping.
Ultimately it’s a personal preference and should be based on your riding experience and fitness level. Your gut instinct after you have test ridden a range of bikes can be trusted. Don’t trust a picture online or how the bike appears in our showroom. Buy an ebike that you have taken out for a proper ride. Ignore the temptation to impulse buy.
How far are you going? Do you have many hills to get up? What power mode are you planning to be on when you ride it?
All of these factors will affect the amount of range your bike will have. Going up hills requires more battery and motor power. Being on Turbo mode all the time will affect the amount of battery power used as well. Of course the larger the battery capacity the more range you will have.
Here is a quick trip guide based on battery Amp Hours. This is conservative and based on using the power liberally. Most brands will give very optimistic range estimations based on relatively flat terrain and using a low level of power assist. From our experience most ebike users embrace the power and want to get to their destination as fast as possible especially for a commute. You don’t drive at 40km on a 60km zone do you. As a motorist you drive at the maximum speed allowable. If however you are touring or happy to use the power in eco mode then you can expect about 30% more range based on the following figures.
9AH > 30 to 40km
10AH > 35 to 45km
12AH (400wh)> 50 to 65km
14Ah (500wh) > 65 to 85
17Ah (612wh) > 85 to 115km
4. Motor Design:
This is one of the hardest decisions to make as its not always obvious after test riding what is the best design of motor for you.
This is our suggestion. If you're an experienced rider and love to pedal hard, want lots of aerobic exercise and your adept with using your bikes gears through all of its range then a mid drive motor is going to suit you. The weight distribution and power delivery of the motor is going to feel very familiar to you. You already understand the technique of correct gear shifting on a bicycle.
If you are looking at buying an ebike because you want to get back into riding and haven't ridden much before and you want maximum assistance for less effort then a hub motor will suit you better. The choice of gears you select is not as crucial and you'll be able to ride in work clothes and not break as big a sweat. The weight distribution is not as nice as a mid drive but you probably won't care that much anyway. You just want power baby!
We have written a seperate guide to motor designs here.
There are so many ‘cheap’ options out there for ebikes… so many promises of power and speed and an ‘affordable cost’. Best piece of advice here is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Our e bikes are no means ‘cheap’. But we can help you find the right ebike within your budget. We pride ourselves on sourcing reputable brands with a strong customer support office in Australia to solve any warranty of technical issues that may arise. With our prices starting at $1500 for entry level ebikes, there can be an option for everyone!
The saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more accurate in the ebike game. It’s similar to the quality and price of standard bicycles. As you pay more you can expect to get better quality components that are more durable and cost less to maintain. You should also expect to get a better quality ride experience, more refined power assistance and for high mileage riders a better long term value for your investment.
So what’s next?
The only way to buy an ebike is to head into a store that has a wide range of electric bikes on offer to view and ultimately take out for a decent test ride. As we have the widest range of ebikes of any store in the country we would suggest you can’t go past one of our stores. We have three stores in Sydney and one in Canberra.
We will get you on at least three to five ebikes of different designs and price points so you have a proper understanding of what is available and become an afficiando of all things electric. It’s not an easy choice when there is so much on the market now but let us guide you in store so that you get the ideal ebike for you. It’s going to be the best money you’ve ever spent on yourself and will transform your life from the day you buy it. 👍⚡️🚴🏻♀️🚴🏻🤘