CHOICE membership

Electric bike (eBikes) review

Thanks to our friends at Consumer NZ, we’re able to provide this electric bike review (member content). See which model performed the best for motor system, stability, comfort and safety.

We’ve also updated our free electric bicycle buying guide. If you own an electric bike, let us know your thoughts about its performance in the comments below.

6 Likes

Since there is a limited number of tested e-bikes, the Buyers Guide, linked to the test report, is most valuable.

a ‘How We Test’ (OK, how the NZ partners test) supplement could be even more so.

4 Likes

As this was done in NZ, to be clear, it should say in the introduction whether or not all the bikes are available here in Australia.

3 Likes

Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) has information on electric bikes and electric scooters, as well as larger electric vehicles.
On their website and on their Facebook page.
https://www.aeva.asn.au/


(there are also separate pages for state branches of AEVA)

5 Likes

Sorry for any confusion, they are all available in Australia (some stores are out of stock of some models though). Buyers may need to order online depending on location

5 Likes

I’m not con… What aren’t I? :grin:

I was suggesting that something like the statement below goes into Matthew Steen’s introduction to the evaluation so readers are in no doubt about local availability.

4 Likes

Some of the e-bikes are worth more than my car! Does the “e” stand for expensive?

1 Like

With everyday bicycles selling for $100 and up at the larger variety chains it’s a good question? Online E-bike Conversion kits start under the $1,000 mark.

Standard, IE not e-bikes, at the specialty bike stores start around $1,000 typically $2,000 and head fast to the value of a 2-3yo used motor vehicle. Apparently shaving a kilo of the bike weight saves. I’ve several extra keen riders in the extended family who at 60+ can quite comfortably complete Hundreds of kms in a day. No ‘e’ required although the commitment to their rides in dollars would buy a popular small family sedan.

Whether the price difference of high quality alloy or carbon fibre frames and wheels, disc brakes, and a host of other features justify the difference? Yes, there is a marked difference in the ease of riding a well set up competition style or training road bicycle when compared to the K-mart and Big-W hacks. Durability might be another difference.

I’ve ridden casually e-bikes full frame with derailleur system and pedal mounted drive motor. I now use a folding portable e-bike with front wheel hub motor and 3 speed rear wheel hub gearing. They all do the same job for me.

As an aside there appears to be premium pricing for most renowned brand imported bikes compared to OS pricing, E-bike and not E-bike alike.

2 Likes

Interesting review. I’m planning to purchase an electric bike soon. I feel that it is safer for me to run outside errands while using a bike and not a public transportation

What shops have you looked at for the best product, support, and prices? Do you expect missing the EOFY will be detrimental for your purchase?

3 Likes

I find the latest eBike review a bit limited - it did not even include one CUBE model from one of the largest German manufacturers. Quite a section of their range is commonly sold around Austyralia. Number one Dutch manufacturer Gazelle is represented only by a (quite expensive) folding bike.

I understand that there’s a BIG market out there and CHOICE could not possibly review a representative range. However, it should point this out to readers and supplement the review with a comprehensive reference list to other trustworthy resources, including for learning technical details on the subject. It is a mine field out there and it is very difficult for non-technical persons to compare apples with apples.

Before buying my first eBike I spent a lot of time just comparing specifications and confusing details. I wonder if CHOICE, in addition to physically testing bikes, could produce a comprehensive market review with specs, features and prices side-by-side for most eBikes sold in Australia, accompanied by some plain English comments . This would make it easier for the un-initiated to home in on a range of suitable models while saving a lot of time and effort.

2 Likes

Hi @drquark and welcome to the community.

There is a topic already in place re electric bike reviews. Your input is welcomed. You may find your post relocated to the existing thread to keep similar content together. :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

Welcome to the community @drquark,

@mark_m wrote it all.

Choice staff will see your request. The specific products Choice tests are those products getting purchased in volume, sometimes with an exemplar or two added as points of comparison. Sometimes a single product review by request of a manufacturer gets published under an ‘honesty’ arrangement - eg Choice will tell it like they see it.

Beyond the buying guide approach, making a comprehensive catalogue would be a Herculean effort, even without ‘plain English comments’.

3 Likes

It wasn’t actually done by Choice, but rather:

so the range will be a bit different to what is available here in Oz.

3 Likes

I’m now considering an electric 3 wheel bike instead of a mobility scooter. Its a way of getting the exercise I so badly need, but with the assistance of a motor. Any chance of having those included in a test?

1 Like

Up to 20/25kph assisted but you do need to be able to pedal. One of the neighbours had one, but only came down from the top of the road once. The standard designs don’t provide motor braking, hence you need a good grip for the rim or disc brakes to slow down if you are somewhere a bit hilly.

P.S.
E-bike options appear to be improving and possibly pricing for everyday models is decreasing?

Lithium battery and all!

Time for another look at the market and test a few out?

1 Like

A gentleman near us has a 3 wheel scooter called an Afikim Afiscooter S3 max speed about 10-15 kph with a range of about 45 km, the S4 version has 4 wheels. He likes it but I’m guessing pretty expensive.

https://afiscooters.com/scooters/afiscoooter-s/

A provider also has their C3 model

https://www.lifestylemobilityscooters.com.au/product/afikim-c3-mobilty-scooter/

Might or might not interest you and sadly it won’t get you the exercise you would with an e-Bike.

1 Like

Be careful about wheel size- small wheels provide a very uncomfortable ride over rough roads. Of course if you have nice smooth bike paths and hotmix roads free of potholes, then small wheel are fine. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I’m here as the owner of two e-bikes, both of them from a well-known and established company Specialized. One is a road version and the other specifically for MTB. Yes they are high-end specific use objects, and both bring me a lot of enjoyment.
The price of e-bikes will come down as the technology advances, as both motors and batteries get smaller and lighter.
I think that Choice should take some time to look at the lower-priced models. There are always going to be trade-offs, and the quality of something like the suspension system for the Leitner may be a downside. Folding sounds great, until you need to get it into the car and you are faced with lifting a heavy and awkward object - if that is what you need to do.
Tyres, brakes, gears are things that all need to be considered to ensure that riders are safe.

4 Likes

On reading your reviews on e-bikes I noticed that load capacity wasn’t one of the comparison criteria. I’ve been shopping around and noticed that some shops indicate what the load capacity of a bike is and others don’t. As someone who has put on a little weight I figure just any bike is no longer an option and this is a criteria that matters. Do you have this information for the bikes you reviewed?

5 Likes