How to Choose the Right Electric Bike: The Complete Guide

Electric bicycles have added a new option for Canadians to commute, exercise, and explore outdoors. The latest features and new technologies make the best e-bikes more reliable, versatile, accessible and more fun than ever! Now that there are more options on the market, it’s important to do your research, so you choose the best e-bike for you.

This guide walks through the benefits of electric bicycles, the different types, key features to think about, and buying tips.

Why Choose an Ebike in Canada?

Electric bikes are a great choice for transportation, recreation, and fitness in Canada.

Explore and Embrace the Outdoors – Vast and diverse landscapes, from the Rockies to scenic East Coast routes, are perfect for exploring on an electric bicycle. Commute, tackle a mountain trail, or enjoy a leisurely e-bike ride along the lakefront to enjoy the natural beauty of Canada.

Eco-Friendly Transport – You can do your part to help Canada move toward zero emissions goals with an electric bicycle. This is an environmentally friendly alternative to a car and taking public transportation. Help reduce air pollution and your carbon footprint.

Cost Savings – Cheaper than a car, you save on gas, parking, insurance, and maintenance costs. E-bikes even have lower costs than most traditional bicycles. These lowered costs are due to new battery technologies and the affordability of high-quality models.

Health and Fitness – The most effective way to get in your exercise is to build it into your daily activities. Ride your electric bike for a great workout with the flexibility of some electric assistance. Change how much assistance the electric motor gives you to help you reach your fitness goals. This makes it easier to tackle hills and ride for longer distances.

Traffic Jams and Parking Hassles – Zoom past slowed traffic on your way to work or school. And imagine not having to worry about parking downtown! Check for dedicated bike lanes and other ways your city has made cycling safer and more convenient. Save time on your commutes and have fun riding an e-bike!

Year-Round Use – Did you know that modern electric bicycles can handle weather conditions, so you can ride year-round in Canada? You get excellent traction on snow and ice with fat tire e-bikes. Look for good fenders to ride safely in the rain. Mounted head and taillights help you ride in low-light mornings and afternoons in winter.

Government Incentives – Check to see if your province has a rebate program for e-bikes to save even more.

5 Types of Electric Bikes

These five popular types of electric bikes have specific features that make it easier to choose which is right for you.

1. Fat Tire E-Bikes

Fat tire e-bikes are versatile and stable. Wide tires provide excellent traction on snow, mud, and sand. These larger tires give you a smoother ride by absorbing shocks and bumps better than standard tires. Choose a fat tire e-bike if you want to explore off the beaten path and want an electric bike that handles diverse terrain and weather conditions.

2. Folding E-Bikes

Hop on your electric bike to take you from home to the bus stop, subway, or Go Train station. Then, quickly and easily fold it up and carry it with you onboard. Take it with you camping! Carry up to 400 lbs (180+ kg) and go up to 55 miles on versatile fat tires. That’s the idea behind the design of the Heybike Ranger  S Folding E-bike.

3. Cargo E-Bikes

Want an electric bicycle designed to run errands, take the kids to school, and pick up groceries? A cargo e-bike is just the thing. A reinforced frame gives an extra weight allowance with an extended rear rack, baskets, and built-in cargo space.

4. Off-Road E-Bikes

Looking to seek adventure riding on rougher trails, tackling steep hills, and experiencing Canada’s back forty? An off-road e-bike is just the thing. A durable, rugged frame, advanced suspension system, and powerful motor will handle challenging terrains.

5. Commuter E-Bikes

Tired of fighting traffic and spending a mint on gas and parking? Time to switch to an electric bicycle for your commute. Optimized for daily urban travel, a commuter e-bike is comfortable and efficient for getting around in town.

Check for features like lights and fenders to make even winter commutes safe and comfortable. A rack holds a change of shoes, your laptop, backpack, or whatever you need once you get to work or school. Replace your car on your daily commute with a commuter e-bike to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Key E-Bike Features and Components

Here are some of the key features and components of an e-bike that are crucial to choosing the right one for you.

Battery Capacity and Range

The battery determines how far you travel on a single charge. Battery capacity, measured in watt-hours (Wh), is easy to compare. A higher capacity means a longer range. Simply put – you can go farther with a bigger battery. Look at what you expect your typical riding distance will be.

NOTE: battery life is affected by terrain, rider and cargo weight, and how much assistance you get from the motor.


Like any motorized vehicle, the motor is the heart of any e-bike. The motor provides the electric assistance to make your riding easier. Evaluate the ebike motors based on these specs:

  • Motor Power – This gives you an idea of how much assistance the bike provides. Options range from 250W to 750W, with the most common being 500W and 750W. A higher-power motor is better for heavier loads and steeper hills.
  • Motor Types – Check options for a hub motor or a mid-drive motor. Hub motors are in the wheel hub and tend to be easier to maintain and more affordable. Mid-drive motors are near the crankset. A mid-drive motor gives more even weight distribution and better performance, especially on hills.
  • Torque – The torque is the motor’s rotational force. For more acceleration and hill climbing ability off-road, choose an e-bike motor with more torque.


Canadian provinces cap e-bike speeds at 20 mph (32 km/h) or 28 mph (45 km/h). If you want the best e-bike to commute, a higher top speed shortens travel times. For leisure riding, look for features, and don’t worry much about the top speed.


The best e-bike gives you a comfortable ride no matter where you go. The frame and suspension impact the ride.

  • Frame – The material and design affect weight, durability, and comfort. Aluminum, steel, and carbon fibre can all make for a comfy ride if you choose a frame to fit your riding style and body.
  • Suspension – For the smoothest ride for off-road and mountain biking, get a full-suspension (front and rear) e-bike. For a lighter, more efficient ride on paved roads, get a Hardtail e-bike with only front suspension.

Finding the Right E-Bike Fit for You

Finding the best e-bike fit for you takes some research. You’ll want to choose the right type and features for your body and lifestyle.

Here is a checklist to help you find the best e-bike

  • Start by thinking about when and where you’ll ride. Are there paved paths in flat parks in your area? Do you want to ride to the closest public transport station or stop and take your e-bike onboard with you? Will you carry groceries or other cargo? How about dropping off the kids at school? Or are you an adventurous sort looking to go off-road on more rugged terrain, tackling hills and riding through mud?
  • What’s comfortable for you? Have you sat on or ever ridden an e-bike? How tall or heavy are you? What feels right for you may not feel right for someone else. Comfort is a personal choice. Test different models to see what you like.
  • Do you need to carry your e-bike? If you need to put yours into the back of an SUV or carry it up the stairs, you’ll want to make sure it is manageable. If you’re taking it with you on the bus, subway, or train, the best e-bike is likely lightweight and foldable.
  • Every province has its own rules about riding e-bikes. Check age limits, speed limits, and where you can ride. Also, check helmet laws.
  • What fits into your budget? Electric bicycles are a cost-effective choice as compared to other forms of transport, but there’s a range of costs. The best e-bike for you may not need all of the more expensive features to get you from point A to point B.
  • Warranty and Customer Service – The best e-bike is backed by a solid warranty and a great customer service program. 


Choosing the best e-bike gives you an enjoyable, sustainable, and cost-effective way to get around. Take the time to understand the different types of electric bicycles, their key features, and how to find the best e-bike for you. Have you decided on a sturdy fat tire e-bike for off-road adventures? A compact folding model like the Heybike Ranger S? Or a versatile commuter bike? There’s a perfect e-bike waiting for you!

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