5 Things to Know When Buying Your First eBike

Riding an ebike is just plain fun, but there are some important pieces of information to know before making the big purchase, things that can easily be hidden behind clever marketing or in the fine print.  

  1. There are only 3 types of regulated ebike systems.  Class 1 is pedal assist to 20mph.  Class 2 is pedal assist/throttle combination to 20mph.  Class 3 is pedal assist to 28mph.  If an “ebike” is not labeled as one of these 3 classes, it’s not technically legal to ride on streets or on bike infrastructure.
  2. Mid-drive motor systems provide the best pedal assist experience, making for a more “normal” cycling feel.  Mid-drive motor systems are much higher quality than hub-drive motors, but cost quite a bit more.  For a discussion on quality vs. low priced ebikes, click here
  3. There are only a handful of high quality motor companies.  We believe Bosch offers the best mix of quality, tunability, range, power output and availability.  Other brands like Fazua and Shimano also produce excellent motors.  These motors will run longer, stronger and come with signicantly larger warranty periods.
  4. Make sure to purchase an ebike with a UL2849 compliant motor/battery system.  Cheaper ebikes without this certification have been the cause of battery fires you may have read about, and the U.S. government will most likely require this certification for all ebikes in the near future.  Even some very well known brands are out of compliance with current standards.
  5. Make sure you have a local bike shop nearby that will help you maintain your ebike.  Generally speaking only “ebike specific” bike shops will work on hub-drive -powered ebikes.  Your high quality mid drive motor will require a certified shop to ensure proper work.  Certification is a free service offered by quality motor manufacturers.


When it comes down to it, ebikes are just like any other major purchasing decision.  Ask yourself how often you intend to ride and in what ways.  If you only plan to do the occasional short ride and have space outside your home to store an ebike, then perhaps a cheaper hub-drive motor is a good option for you.   

If you’re looking for an ebike that will deliver consistent power, spec’d with durable name-brand components and great customer service, we suggest you consider investing in a quality mid-drive ebike that will pay dividends for years to come.  We, of course, believe BULLS ebikes to offer one of the best values for high quality ebikes, with a longer mid-drive history than just about anyone.


Interested in an eSUV bike for around town?  Check out our Iconic EVO line.

Want to spend more time on the trails?  View our Copperhead EVO series.

Not sure what you’re looking for?  Read our Bike Chooser blog post.

Learn more about life with an ebike via our Community Article center.