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Frame Styles and Sizes: What is the perfect ebike?

Find out what options you have and what the differences are

Over the past two decades, worldwide e-bicycle usage has grown exponentially.

While the origins of the electric bicycle can be traced all the way back to 1895, e-bikes only began to experience widespread acceptance starting in the mid-90s. Between 1993 and 2004, e-bike sales surged 35%. As of 2021, the e-bike market has become a $15.4 billion dollar industry with more than 40 million ebikes expected to be on the road by 2023.

As consumers across the globe continue to focus on convenience, their personal health, and their environmental footprint, expect to see even more e-bicycles in your own neighborhood.

Interested in getting an electric bicycle of your own? Ridepanda can help you find the perfect model. Check out our frame size and style guide below to get started! 

Picking the Right Frame Style

When it comes to profile and aesthetics, electric bikes aren't so different from regular bicycles. There are a wide range of available styles suited to an equally wide range of tastes and preferences.

Let's take an in-depth look at some of the popular ebike styles that are currently on the market.

Traditional Frame

Many people want a traditional frame electric bike. They are sleek, slender and nobody can tell it's an ebike just by looking at it. More and more manufactures are coming out with options that resemble traditional bicycles.

The drawbacks to a traditional frame are the limitations it presents. For example, there is room inside the frame to hid a battery, but the size of the battery that will fit is limited. Therefore, the power and range will also be limited to some extent compared to other models that affix larger, more powerful batters onto the frame.

The Ride1UP Roadster V2 is our choice for the ebike that looks the closest to a traditional frame bike.

Step-Through Frame

The step-through frame offers riders easy access on and off the bicycle. This style is preferred by people who do not want to lift their leg up and over the center bar on the bicycle.

There are no drawbacks to a step-through, it is designed to make the bicycle easier to use.

We have a lot of great choices available, the Espin Nero has become a popular step-through ebike.

Moped Style

Not everyone wants to be on a traditional frame or even some variation of it. For those who want something unique, the moped style ebike offers riders the choice to buy an ebike that looks like a moped or even a motorcycle.

Often this style will have a large seat that is capable of holding a passenger.

The drawback is that their size is often slightly larger than a traditional style bike and often they weigh a bit more too.

Take a look at the Monday Motorbikes Presidio if you are interested in a moped style ebike.

eMTB / Adventure

The acronym eMTB stands for "electric mountain bike."

This particular style is one of the most common e-bike configurations you'll find. Just like it's manually-powered counterpart, the eMTB is designed for off-road use. Featuring thicker, notched wheels, more aggressive suspension, and often a higher wattage motor, these bikes are designed to help you move across any terrain.

The Delfast Top 3.0 is a great choice for an electric mountain bike.

BMX

BMX, an abbreviation for bicycle motocross is a style of ebike that is often minimal and lightweight. The frame and tires are usually smaller than a traditional bicycle.

The drawback to the BMX style ebike is that it is not an actual BMX bike. You will not be able to use it at BMX parks and going around terrain parks will prove quite a challenge with the extra weight and no suspension.

Take a look at the Aventon Since for a BMX style ebike.

Cargo / Delivery

These ebikes are the modern workhorses for those who use a bicycle for delivery. People love cargo bikes also known as delivery bikes because they can replace a car.

Cargo / Delivery bikes can hold up to 400pounds of cargo, you can pull a trailer, the pedal assist and/or thumb throttle makes it easy to reach top speed, and they have significant range.

The drawback to this style of bike is that they are typically larger and heavier than a traditional ebike frame.

The Blix Packa is one of the best choices out there for a cargo or delivery ebike.

Hybrid Styles

One size certainly doesn't fit all in the world of e-bikes. Hybrid-styled electric bicycles look to strike the perfect balance between road and off-road.

They will have moderate suspension and upright seats, but thinner tires like street style. These bikes aren't as capable in deep off-road conditions. Instead, they are ideal for riders who causally traverse various types of terrain in a single session.

The Espin 21 Sport is a popular hybrid style ebike.

Fat Tire

Fat tire e-bikes have similar tires to those found on eMTBs but with a subtle difference. Fat tire e-bikes typically feature tires bigger than the aforementioned styles.

Despite their rugged, hardcore look, these type of tires aren't exclusively designed for off-road purposes. Instead, they offer a smooth ride with excellent traction on street surfaces.

The Sondors X is an excellent choice for a fat tire ebike.

Folding Frame

Folding e-bikes frames have become very popular over the past few years. As the name implies, these particular frames fold up so that you can store or transport the bike more easily.

The trade-off with a folding e-bike is they are usually smaller in size.

The Blix Vika+ is a highly recommended foldable ebike.

Getting the Right Sizing for Your Needs

Style isn't the only important element when it comes to selecting the perfect e-bike for your needs. Getting the right frame size is essential as well. 

In order to figure out what size frame you need, you should take two factors into account: your height and your inseam. When taken together, these two measurements can help you determine the ideal size, regardless of which frame style that you choose. Both the height and the inseam work in conjunction to help you determine the most appropriate frame height for your body.

It should also be noted that there are subtle differences between each frame style when it comes to the perfect fit. For example, a slightly smaller street bicycle might be more appropriate for your height and inseam whereas the sizing for an electric mountain bike might run slightly bigger.

If you are struggling to figure out the appropriate size, there are numerous sizing charts available online, including Ridepanda's own Ridefinder quiz that can help you determine the right fit for your needs.

Tips for Picking the Right Package

Given the range of e-bike options available, there are literally hundreds of products and configurations to choose from. How do you know that you're getting the right ebike? In the end, it comes down to your individual use case.

When selecting your e-bike, ask yourself where you'll be riding (dirt, pavement, or sand), what you need it for (commuting, leisure, hauling items), and then compare your answers with your own aesthetic preferences.

If you're still having trouble, the experts at Ridepanda can help. Head over to our electric bike collection page to get an idea of the wide range of e-bikes that are available.

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