Electric Bikes For Heavy Riders
If there is one thing that most electric bike manufacturers overlook is electric bikes' availability for heavier riders. There aren't many e-bike models in the market that is particular to heavy cyclists.
Some manufacturers ensure that the vehicles aren't loaded anywhere near the maximum safe limit. However, it is up to the electric bike manufacturer on how heavy their bikes can cater. They have the freedom to either go above or beyond the legal limit that the national law or international standards have specified.
There isn't much recommended maximum weight that you can find on electric bike descriptions, but Rad Power, for example, consistently displays their weight ratings.
Electric Bicycles For Heavy Riders | What To Look For In An E-bike As A Heavy Rider
Through these benchmarks below, you can classify yourself as a heavy rider or not.
- Average US male weighs around 200lbs/90kg
- Average female around 170lbs / 77kg
The first fundamental step when buying an e-bike that suits heavy riders is to check the specifications and ensure what the weight capacity is. This includes the weight of the electric bicycle and the weight in total when added with cargo or extra passengers.
Other manufacturers include the total weight limit of an e-bike on the specifications, and this often includes the weight of the bicycle itself. However, some phrases can be tricky such as "maximum load" or "maximum rider weight," since these don't include the weight of the electric bicycle yet. If unsure, clarify the specifications with the manufacturer prior to purchasing.
What to Look for In An E-Bike for a Heavier Rider
Below are the fundamental features that make a good electric bike for heavy riders:
This factor serves as the strength of an electric bike. Bulky frames with big section joints and enough weld between the parts of a bike frame make a good fit for heavy riders. With that being said, bike frame constructions and frame build have always been a standard by trusted manufacturers that make an electric bike high-quality.
Furthermore, a full-suspension frame where a rider's weight is over the rear suspension is another consideration. Ensure that there is enough resistance and travel on the rear suspension to prevent it from pulling out of the suspension, causing impairment to the vehicle.
Motor Power and Battery Size
To be comfortable on your ride, wear the proper clothes that meet the season but ensure thinner layers than bulky ones. You should also wear visible or reflective clothing as they are more apparent when the day begins to get low.
Always prepare a rain jacket just in case it rains. You would also want to get rid of wearing pants when driving as they may get caught in the chain.
Prepare Your Bags and Cargo
An electric bike will need a powerful motor and battery when carrying a heavy passenger. Mid-drives are inherently excellent at carrying heavy loads since they can leverage the grip over various speeds to move the load with ease.
On the other hand, large hub motors with a high torque rating can do a great job as well. However, small or lightweight hub motors don't make the best choice for heavier cyclists.
Heavy riders that will need an e-bike for commute use must opt for a 500Wh battery capacity. This will allow riders to cover longer distances. Also, keeping a spare battery is always a smart option to ensure safety when driving long distances.
Strong Rims and Wide Tires
Double-wall rims are the standard since they offer a lot of strength for load-bearing. Wider options are great since they help expand the forces all over the rim. In terms of wheels, thicker and more spokes are better, and they are considered a good standard.
Also, small wheels are stronger and offer a livelier ride than bigger ones. Have a test ride before choosing the type of wheels for your electric bike since the movability might not fit your riding style. But wide tires also have their advantages; they are great for grip and stability – over 2" are considered wide.
Seat and Seatpost:
A good platform with enough comfort to sit on is an excellent option for heavy riders. Aside from comfort, it also minimizes stresses from the bodyweight moving into the seat post and frame. Suspension seat posts aren't the standard feature, but they serve the same purpose as the previous options mentioned. Other models allow the rider to adjust the spring and optimize it to carry extra weight.
Hydraulic brakes have more stopping power compared to old models such as linear-pull brakes. A heavy rider must choose hydraulic disk brakes since they provide a better stopping power – anything higher than 160mm is considered a large rotor for electric bikes.
Gears and Drive Chain
Heavy riders may have to pedal riders and exert more force on the bike gears, cranks, and pedal. A heavy-duty spec pedal is an excellent choice, it can be upgraded without spending too much.
If you are cycling regularly on challenging terrain or steeper hills, the powerful motor and other elements written above will be extremely important. Keep in mind that hub gears are more robust compared to derailleur gearing systems and offer low maintenance options.