When you ride an electric bike for a living as a courier, you need the best bike that will match your riding style. Not every bike is suited for tough city driving, especially when twists and turns are numerous when you may need to weave in and out of traffic.
I have watched courier ebike drivers when I lived in Vancouver, BC and they literally were taking their lives in their own hands. They were all excellent cyclists that had bikes that were evidently durable and suited their bodies to a T.
Not only do they have to feel comfortable with city electric bike driving, but they also need to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. They are paid by the drop or the delivery.
Having an electric bike as a courier is crucial in cities that have numerous hills, such as San Francisco. In Vancouver, there are hilly areas that lead to bridges and having an electric bike would save a lot of energy.
When looking for an electric bike as a courier, there are certain aspects that are crucial. Here is a quick list of those attributes:
- We can assume that the average courier would need to travel at least 35 miles on a given day within city limits. They need an electric bike that has a range of at least that amount per charge.
- Also, the gear systems on the electric bike have to be able to handle hilly areas. Brand new gear systems that work well with the motor on an electric bike is tricky business but they do exist.
- The speed required to keep with the flow of traffic in a city is around 20 mph. A lot of e-bikes have that ability or close to it, which is necessary since a courier has to travel fast to complete more deliveries. Nevertheless, an electric bike that reaches 30 mph is overkill, That speed could be dangerous in a city setting where the traffic can come to a halt quickly.
- Slick tires are a plus in the city since most city streets are smooth and rugged dirt bike tires are not required. Slick tires will also let the courier turn quickly which is always necessary when weaving in and out of traffic at a seemingly dangerous speed.
- Some couriers use hybrid bikes, but I feel that a stronger bike that is a super durable electric bike is best. Also, getting a cheaper hybrid or homemade conversion bike to electric is going to cost you more in the way of maintenance.
- Getting an electric bike that has a mid-drive motor system is a good plan. A mid-drive motor will have the gear system that is necessary for stable hill climbing.
- If you pick a mid-drive motor model, you will have some trouble pedaling in the off motor mode. However, if you are in great shape, it should not be a major concern.
- Purchase an e-bike that has a small motor. The motor is one of the heaviest parts on an e-bike, and as a courier, you need a lightweight bike.
- As a side note, get a bike that has multiple power levels since it is best to be able to reduce the power to a low setting when on a flat surface.
- Buy a bike that is able to quickly climb hills when in the electric mode. Some will reach easily 20 mph. These ebikes require more juice, but they are worth it. You will be able to complete more deliveries without using up your personal energy too quickly.
- Geared hub motors are also great for delivery use, they are very powerful.
- Avoid purchasing a direct drive motor, they are not plausible for courier use.
- Make sure to buy an electric bike as a courier that has a battery that you can easily remove and replace during the day. Having two batteries that are charged is advisable for a courier so that you do not have to worry about running out of juice throughout the day.
- The batteries should only be medium-sized so that you can carry one easily in one of your knapsack pockets. You will need to have this second battery close-by so that you can quickly swap out the present battery once it has died.
- Another option is to get the larger battery possible for your model of ebike so that you will not have to swap it out during the day as a courier. However, make sure to check the range that is possible and you may need to be willing to use some pedal power to extend this range.
- With respect to gear systems, the best is Shimano, since it is world-renown. If your gears work well, you will have no problem switching to a lower gear as you climb hills which will save on battery juice.
- Get an ebike that comes with thinner tires that are under high pressure. This type is best for city biking and for making quick turns during a delivery run.
- Tires that great for courier work as the Schwalbe balloon tires.
- A good trip simulator will save you on battery juice. It should be able to monitor speeds, motor power and battery capacity during your day as a courier. They can be confusing at first, but it will help you to extend the range per charge.
Here are my recommended ebikes for courier use:
The Ancheer is a great bike for courier work because it is super strong and very dependable. You might feel that it not so good for city driving because it is considered as being a mountain bike, but it is powerful and light at the same time.
- The Ancheer ebike has both front and rear brakes. Braking is crucial as a courier driver just in case a car stops suddenly in the front. Also, quick turns and lane changes require ample braking ability.
- Removing the battery quickly is a breeze on an Ancheer. Quick battery changes will allow a courier to complete more runs per day in the city.
- The Ancheer also has a one year warranty that covers the motor, the battery, and even the charger.
Being a courier in the city requires that you can reach 30 mph maximum in extreme situations where you are late on a drop. Even though I would advise a biker not to max out the speed in the city, this Speedrid ebike can reach 30 mph with some pedal assist.
If you are climbing a hill and you are exhausted, you can full throttle and let the ebike do all of the work at a maximum speed of 15 mph. When you take into consideration that most cities are not considered as being hilly, you should have zero regrets if you were to purchase this electric bike.
This bike has a battery that is medium weight, so carrying with you a second charged battery in your backsack is possible. It is always best to be extra prepared in case you bike past the average of 35 miles per day.
Besides having a good possible range, it also has adjustable handlebars. You can set it up to make it racy, aggressive and aerodynamic. Any time that you are able to reduce the impact that air has on the speed of an ebike, you will be saving on the amount of electricity that is required which increases the range on a charge.
Its structure is aerodynamic and the gear system is advanced. It has 21 speeds which will allow you to climb any hill that you encounter during your courier delivery.
Here are the plus points that I noticed that are specifically great for courier work:
- It has a hub motor that is relatively light which will allow you to reach a good speed based on the strong frame. Some ebikes have a strong frame along with a heavy battery which reduces a lot of the range.
- I read comments from reviewers stating that it was a breeze to change the battery. So, you can easily extend the range of your biking during the day so that you will not have to worry about running out of power.
- It comes mostly pre-assembled. Even someone with zero tech ability will be able to finish the assembly. Some ebikes I have noticed, are shipped with multiple parts and it practically takes a rocket scientist to assemble the components.
- The Speedrid can sturdy frame, strong wheels and a powerful motor which will reduce the maintenance requirements in the long run for a busy courier.
The optimal speed for a courier ebike is 20 mph. This Cliensy model can reach that easily. Also, it has 21 gears that allow hill climbing without needing to use up your personal energy during the last portion of your day as a courier biker.
Here are the top attributes for the Cliensy Electric Bike:
- It has a keyless start. This is a benefit for those of us that tend to lose tiny keys. The way that it works is that you hold in the mode button (M) for about two to five seconds, then the instrument display will turn on. Next, you can just ride away.
- It has a long-range of 37 miles when it is in the assisted mode. The assisted mode is when you also use some pedal power along with the battery power.
- Gear changing is important for a courier that has to cope with different inclines and declines. It has shimano gears (click here to see shimano gears that are available on Amazon), which I feel are the top ones for an electric bike that needs to be durable for riding the city on a daily basis.
- Being comfortable during the long day as a courier delivery person is important. This bike is exceptionally comfortable.
For cities that have rough roads, this bike is perfect. As a courier, you may need to deal with potholes and other uneven areas in a city that has a harsh winter.
Here are the reasons that I had selected this electric bike for the typical courier:
- It has a stable battery that has been well tested. You need to be able to have a battery that will charges properly so that you will not be late on your deliveries.
- It is lightweight. The lighter the bike, the easier it will be to maneuver between moving cars on busy city streets.
- It has the trusted Shimano gear system. You can depend on the bike to switch gears safely and quickly.
- It has tektro disc brakes which will let you stop on a dime during a challenging delivery.
- We all know that a broken chain can ruin a day’s earnings for a bike courier. It has a KMC chain (available on Amazon), which is a top brand.