7 Ways Ebikes Need to Get Better

I’m entering my fourth year of ebiking and have reviewed & ridden close to 100 e-bikes in that span. Suffice to say, I’ve learned a great deal about what’s good and bad when it comes to the features of an electric bike.

2024 Ebike Wish List

Generally speaking, most of the e-bike companies tend to copy each other in terms of form and function but if they actually gave it some deeper thought they could really improve the products being shipped today.

In short, we need more forward thinking e-bike companies.

So here are seven ways I think e-bikes can be better. Hopefully at least a few of the many ebike companies will read this and learn what ebikers want.

  1. Different Lighting – I rarely ride my ebikes at night so brake lights and turn signals are useless features for the vast majority of ebike riders. Instead I propose the ebike come with blink read taillights and blinking front ones. That should be the default for shipping. Maybe those brake lights could have two modes (constant blinking or brake light mode).
  2. Hydraulic brakes – An obvious one but ebikes need hydraulic brakes as a standard option. Mechanical ones suck and require too much maintenance.
  3. Better Gearing: Ghost pedaling needs to die. All ebikes should ship with a minimum of an 11-28T freewheel and at least a 48 or 52T chainring.
  4. Display the Battery Percentage – Battery bars are very unreliable on most ebike displays.At the very least we should get a percentage and/or voltage readout to exactly know how mucf battery is left. This metric should be a standard across the industry.
  5. Better Ergonomics – There are way too many flat/straight handlebars that make you lean too forward. I’d like to see more of a rise/sweep on the standard handlebars that ship. Help ebike owners feel more comfortable and reduce that reach.
  6. More Tire Options – So many fat tire ebikes ship today with knobby tires. But ebike companies ignore the fact that most people ride on pavement. Create two versions of your ebike with a street tire option. Or offer models specifically designed for streets (see the Yamee XL as my favorite example)
  7. Better Shifting: Stop using those thumb SIS shifters and move to a paddle shifter. If I never see that silver Shimano shifter again I wont miss it. It takes up too much room on the handlebar and looks ugly.
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There are more things to add to this list (like standard UL certification) but to me these are the items that can immediately make ebikes better. All are relatively cheap to add (except maybe the hydraulics) so I hope ebike companies take this free advice and use it.

If you want to sell more ebikes you need to keep innovating on their functionality.