In order to have good traction and a smooth commute outdoors, you should not overlook the choice of an e-bike frame when buying an e-bike. A good e-bike frame will help you to ride better, be more comfortable and more durable. In this article we will show you how to choose the perfect e-bike frame, depending on various aspects, of course.
1. What is an e-bike frame?
As the name suggests, an e-bike frame is the main component of an e-bike, on which other parts are mounted, such as wheels, handles, etc. It plays a role in running through the parts of the e-bike.
It is extremely important to consider what type of frame to purchase when buying or modifying an e-bike. The material and design of an e-bike frame affects its durability, stability, load capacity and shock absorption. Therefore, buying an e-bike frame that meets all your requirements is a matter of discretion, and we'll tell you more about e-bike frames next.
2. What types of e-bike frames are available?
When you look at e-bikes, you will see that there are different types of e-bike frames, however, they may also have some unique features and they can meet the specific needs of certain types of users. E-bike frames are divided into low step frames, medium step frames and high step frames.
- Low step frames
Low step frames are characterised by a low top tube. The low step frame can be mounted and dismounted more easily and allows you to get a casual and comfortable upright riding position, this design makes it ideal for female riders. The gender specific design of the low step frame makes it one of the more popular frames for women who prefer comfort and freedom of riding, this frame is approximately 20 inches or less in height.
- Mid step frame
This frame is arguably more perfect, it falls between the high step and low step designs, you can expect to get the stability you need from its top tube, which gives you a more balanced ride. In addition, the mid-range frame will increase the weight-bearing capacity of your rear frame. In addition, mid-rise frames use a comfortable geometry which reduces the stress on your back and places more pressure on your legs and hips, it also provides an upright riding seating position which can help you improve your vision, typically between 20-30 inches in height for this frame type.
- High step frames
Many people like the design of the high step frame, which is also known as the diamond frame. A high step frame allows you to get a more powerful ride and on top of that you get an integrated battery and a slick look. This frame has the highest standing height at around 30 inches or even higher, so if you want a sporty feel and superior comfort and quality you may want to consider choosing this frame.
As well as these three types of frame you need to go and compare and consider before you buy, there are also different materials you need to refer to and compare.
3. 4 different materials for e-bike frames
Steel e-bike frames
E-bike frames made of steel have increased in popularity, but are beginning to decline. This is because other alternative frame materials are becoming more popular as the quality of the frame improves day by day.
However, steel lasts longer than aluminium and is more convenient than other e-bike frame materials, such as titanium or carbon fibre. In fact, when we compare steel frames to any other material, we find that it is the easiest e-bike frame to repair, more durable and cheaper. Steel is easy to repair and easy to use, it has excellent corrosion resistance, plus it is highly resistant to vibration and its shock absorption provides a smooth ride without suspension support. Steel e-bike frames are more popular with riders on off-road rides because of their high shock resistance.
Aluminium e-bike frames
Aluminium frames are the most popular e-bike frame material, with approximately 75-85% of mainstream e-bikes using aluminium frames according to surveys. This is due to the material's affordability, light weight, ease of handling and simplicity. The use of aluminium e-bike frames is also easy to install and robust, and these frame materials provide e-bike performance that is good enough for the average or casual e-bike rider.
There are two types of aluminium available on the market today, 6601 and 7005 aluminium alloy. 6601 is the most common material used for e-bike frame construction and is more cost effective and easier to work with than other aluminium materials. 7005, on the other hand, is not as common, but it is stronger and more resistant to corrosion than 6601.
Titanium e-bike frames
Titanium is not very popular in the formal e-bike frame manufacturing industry, but you can expect titanium to perform with a higher level of corrosion resistance. Plus, you'll find repairs are more straightforward than with carbon fibre and aluminium. Titanium is long lasting and some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty, which is testament to its durability and efficiency, so choosing titanium is better for those looking to customise their e-bike.
However the fact that the titanium material is not easily available has led to it being more expensive. For this reason, titanium e-bike frames work best for premium mountain bikes or cargo bikes.
Carbon fibre e-bike frame
This is the ultimate and most innovative frame material currently in existence in the frame manufacturing industry. It is stronger than aluminium, as durable as titanium and steel and a much lighter material. The carbon fibre is bonded together by moulded resin, which means that there is no metal involved in these types of e-bike frames and it is almost as long lasting as steel and titanium.
This e-bike frame material is more commonly found for those who need a lighter weight for racing, long distance touring or mountain biking.
4. Pros and Cons of each material for e-bike frames
Pros and Cons of steel e-bike frames
* Easiest to maintain and easy to handle
* Natural shock absorption
* Durable and more cost effective
* Corrosion resistant
* Not readily available in the market, requires customisation
* heaviest e-bike frame ever made
Pros and Cons of aluminium e-bike frames
* Reasonably priced and cost effective
* Lightweight and well balanced
* Common material and readily available
* Rapid corrosion, corrodes in 3-5 years
* No natural shock absorption
* Not suitable for rugged mountain riding
Pros and Cons of titanium e-bike frames
* Long life and easy to maintain
* Best corrosion resistance
* Provides the best weight support for a smooth ride
* Less popular in the industry
* Most expensive
* Difficult to integrate wires
Pros and Cons of carbon fibre e-bike frames
* Lightest weight
* Lightest corrosion without metal involved
* Best for creating unachievable and exotic designs
* Easier to work out than titanium or steel
* Requires strong suspension support as it is too light
* Rougher and rawer riding feel
5. How to choose the material you want for your e-bike frame?
There are a number of essential aspects to consider when choosing the material you want for your e-bike frame. We have listed for you some of the aspects that you should consider.
One of the most important things to consider when buying an e-bike frame is the budget you can afford. Aluminium frames are the most affordable option if you are on a tight budget. However, due to their limited durability, these e-bikes may not last more than 5 years, but may last longer if you are able to maintain them properly.
Titanium and carbon fibre e-bike frames are simply perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts. However, titanium is harder to find and more expensive than carbon fibre frames.
If you need an e-bike for your daily city commute, a carbon fibre or aluminium e-bike frame would be an excellent choice. Frames made from these materials are light in weight and offer fast acceleration for riding in the city. However, we recommend that you opt for a carbon fibre e-bike frame when it comes to quality.
Due to their light weight, carbon fibre e-bike frames are an excellent choice for off-road or racing. Carbon fibre provides fast acceleration and optimal battery life for your e-bike. However, you should be aware of your weight when choosing a carbon fibre e-bike, as e-bike frames made of carbon fibre are not friendly to heavier riders.
If you are tall and heavy, then a carbon fibre frame is not for you as it is very light and has more potential for damage than other frames. Therefore, if you are heavier or taller, consider buying a steel or aluminium e-bike frame.
6. Summing up
With regard to what material you choose for your frame, it really depends on what you intend to do with your e-bike and your own experience and preferences as to whether you should go for an aluminium, steel, titanium or carbon fibre frame. When you ride, where you ride and how you ride will all need to be considered as a way of deciding what kind of material you need for your frame.
Although we have listed these considerations for you as best as we can, there are still many different factors you will have to consider when buying an e-bike frame. GreenPedel, as an e-bike manufacturer, offers more possibilities for more wholesalers and also offers customised products, so if you have a lot of questions, ask the staff at GreenPedel, who are doing their best to make better e-bikes, as a way to adapt to the different customer groups!