Is a Lightweight E-Bike Right for You?

Many factors to an ebike’s weight and the weight contributes to performance and overall quality.

Woman sitting down after carrying her e-bike to the top of stairs

Many factors contribute to an ebike’s weight, and likewise, the weight in many cases contributes to its performance and overall quality. Let’s dig in further to explore what adds weight and what’s important to consider when researching electric bikes.

An ebike’s weight is determined by several things, including frame thickness, battery size, tire size, accessories such as front and rear rack, and so on. Some obvious components like tire size and the battery can add a lot of weight but also directly impact speed, portability and the overall range.

An E-bike Comparison

For reference, some bikes can weigh very little – take the Wing Bikes Freedom 2, for example, at just 40 pounds. On the heavier side you have ebikes like the Delfast Top 3.0 at 154 pounds.

What are the components that make one bike 114 pounds heavier than the other? Looking at the Wing Bikes Freedom 2 more closely, you can see various aspects that contribute to its lightweight form factor.

It has a small 36V battery (5lbs), a small 350W motor and very narrow and light tires similar in width to a standard road bike. It also has a modest-sized frame. The cross bar, down tube and forks are slight, compared to thicker-framed ebikes.

The Delfast, on the other hand, is a thicker-framed ebike. Its rear swing arm and its forks are much larger than other electric bikes. Also note the thicker and heavier three-inch-wide tires. These add considerable weight to the e-bike.

The Delfast also has a large 72V, 48Ah battery (33 pounds), which is among the biggest in the industry. The sheer size of this battery is easily three times the weight of the Propella’s battery.

The Delfast’s huge motor is also a large factor to its weight. Compared to the Wing Bike’s 350W motor, the Delfast has a large 5,000W motor – which is a lot more powerful but also much heavier.

Lightweight for Easy Portability

When selecting the right ebike for your needs, portability is a big factor for many.

If you live anywhere that you have to go up steps, for instance, you do not want to be lugging a 154 pound ebike up the stairs. The same goes for single story residences with a multiple-step entrance. It’s easy to strain your back if you have to carry it up and down the steps over and over.

If you plan to travel with your electric bike, you may need to put it in your trunk, truck bed or camper and take it out every time you want to ride it. In these scenarios, you will want a lighter bike as well so you can do this with little effort and reduce the strain on your back.

Consider the Bike for the Terrain

The terrain you ride on and how you ride your ebike are two large factors to consider. By and large, lighter ebikes are not as off-road capable as heavier models.

In addition to their narrow frames and tires, most come with tires better suited for on-road riding.
Dual-sport ebikes that are designed for all-terrain typically come with larger, fatter dirt tires that have knobs on their tread for increased traction. These tires do add weight to the bike though and are often not considered “lightweight.”

In addition to tires, the front forks and rear suspension are often much heavier than the bikes designed for on-road use.

If you plan to ride on dirt trails, you could consider an off-road ready ebike – but it will likely be on the heavier side and will cost a little more. If you do not care about off road or dirt riding, then you might consider a less expensive and lighter ebike.

What Performance Standards Are Important to You?

E-bikes with heavier components typically come with increased performance and therefore will be heavier.

Torque, top speed and overall range are all affected by a bike’s weight and its components.
From the example earlier, the Delfast’s heavy 72V battery and 5,000W motor will unleash mind-boggling torque, unbelievable 50 MPH speeds and a whopping 200 miles of range.

Whereas the Wing Bikes Freedom’s 36V battery with 350W motor provides low torque, a modest 20 MPH top speed and just 60 miles of total distance on a single charge.

To summarize, be conscious of an ebike’s weight and associated performance when considering your selection. And keep in mind when shopping online, there’s lots of low quality e-bikes out there. If the vehicle’s stats and price are too good to be true, it likely is.

If you are unsure, you can always ask us.

At Ridepanda, we go out of our way to consider all the components in a vehicle. We have sorted 10’s of thousands of e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds and listed some of the best vehicles that are using top-quality components in terms of sustainability, reparability, safety, durability, and performance.