Minimum age requirement for riding ebikes in UK
Maximum power in Watts (UK/EU Regulations)
Maximum speed in Km/h (UK/EU Regulations)
Battery last in km (medium rider weight)
Electric bikes. What are and what are the benefits of a pedal assisted bike
In recent years, electric bikes are becoming more and more popular. On the other hand, electric bikes are extremely comfortable: they promise to cover greater distances with much less effort.
Some benefits of using an electric bike:
- The ability to travel long distances without serious physical training.
- When the battery is low, it is possible to reach the destination point “on the pedals”.
- Battery charging, even from a domestic power supply.
- It is not necessary to obtain the driving license and the vehicle registration and insurance.
- Convenience and reduced travel commuting times especially in cities with high traffic.
These pros clearly demonstrate that an electric bike is a great option for getting around town. Without too much difficulty, anyone can drive tens of kilometers every day, avoiding annoying traffic jams and not polluting the environment.
The pedal assisted electric bike enjoys the same advantages of a velocipede, such as the possibility of following cycle paths and limited traffic areas, the exemption from compulsory insurance, no license plate and we can even deciding not to wear a helmet.
It is certainly influenced by the overall quality, light weight and performance. At the initial purchase price we must always consider the cost of recharging and the cost of maintenance to always have a reliable and safe vehicle.
Today there are various types on the market designed and conceived to satisfy specific uses. The question we must ask ourselves to choose well our electric bike is: "Where and how will I use it?"
How to choose the electric bicycle
It will be precisely the places and methods of use that will guide us in choosing the right electric bike for us. In fact, there is no absolute best, but there is the best eBike for a particular use.
- The city eBike is a comfortable and agile means of transport that can easily load shopping.
- If you want to climb hills or mountains in your free time then you will need a mountain eBike also called eMTB.
- Do you travel a lot by train? Are you at risk of theft and never want to part with your bike? There are folding electric bikes that become small and compact to be transported everywhere.
Riding on any terrain, even snowy or sandy, is now possible with the fat tire eBike.
Of course, each type contains within it shades designed to satisfy every personal need.
How to choose the correct motorization of an electric bicycle
The choice of motorization will determine the nature of the eBike. There is no absolute best engine but there is the best engine for a given use.
What are we going to do with our eBike: flat routes, hill routes or mountain climbs? Each type of engine has its own characteristics and aptitudes. Let's see them in detail to help you choose consciously.
- The hub motor is suitable for flat routes because, like the roller motor, it has direct wheel drive and does not use the transmission gearbox to vary its drive torque (as the central motor does).
- The central motor is suitable for tackling steep climbs and uneven terrain where maximum agility and maneuverability are required from the eBike. All this is possible thanks to the use of the bicycle gearbox in traction and its position which guarantees a low and balanced center of gravity.
- The roller motor has the advantage of weighing less than a kilogram, thus making it very light compared to the others which oscillate from 2 to 6 kg. The most recent engines are very small they can be mounted and removed using supports in a few seconds.
How to choose the right battery for an electric bike
The choice of the battery is very important because the reliability, autonomy and maneuverability of the electric bike depend heavily on it. We need to evaluate the chemistry of the battery and placement on the eBike.
Chemistry determines electrical performance while location affects ease of driving. The most common battery chemistry currently is lithium which guarantees high performance with low weight.
What are the best battery positions in electric bicycles?
- The battery on the down tube (instead of the bottle) is quite low and in the center, while the same cannot be said of the battery on the luggage rack. Absolutely avoid bikes with battery on the handlebars because the weight at the top and unbalanced on the front will slow down the steering.
- In some models the battery is integrated in the hub together with the motor. The aesthetics of the bike are cleaner and more essential. This solution concentrates all the weight in the rear hub and can make the wheel very heavy.
- A separate discussion for the battery in the backpack because not being on the bike it is the only position that leaves the chassis of the electric bicycle free from any impediment. With this configuration we get great maneuverability in the face of a minimum increase of 2 kilos more in the backpack.
As with motors, the battery should be as close to the ground and central as possible. In the low position because when we turn, tilting the eBike, we will move less mass. Central because on uneven ground the only area of the bicycle that tends to remain immobile is the one around the bottom bracket.
How to choose the frame and materials of an electric bike
The frame of an electric bike must be sturdy and moderately elastic to withstand the weight and stresses in a safe and lasting way. The most suitable materials for this purpose are steel, titanium, carbon and aluminum.
In electric bike with hub motors, in addition to the additional weight, another destructive force for the frame must also be considered: the torsion of the motor axis during acceleration. When the motor moves it meets the resistance of the ground and the motor axis tends to rotate in the opposite direction.
Which is the most suitable for an electric bicycle?
- Steel is tough, elastic, economical and durable. Its weaknesses are its weight and its tendency to oxidize.
- Titanium is a lighter material and is almost as robust as steel, without the problem of rust. Its disadvantage is the high cost.
- Carbon is very light, strong and elastic, relatively expensive. It does not rust like steel but is fragile on impact with blunt instruments.
- Aluminum is the most popular material for the production of bicycle and eBike frames, thanks to its low mass production costs. It gives a lot of rigidity to the frame which is very reactive but less comfortable on roughness.
Best Electric Bicycles 2022
But how exactly are these hybrid bikes made?
Components of the electric bike
If the design of an electric bike can vary a lot, the mechanism is always composed of 4 fundamental components, that is an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery, removable or not, a display where various parameters are shown, obviously including the state of charge. A control unit and the controls to activate or deactivate the electrical function.
The market is still expanding and many types of engines are produced, variants of lithium batteries and various accessories are proposed that complement a wide range of hybrid electric bikes models, so as to really satisfy many needs. In fact, thanks also to the incentives launched by the UK Government, this means of transport is experiencing a very interesting moment and producers are certainly not keeping the expectations of an increasing number of customers waiting.
How many types of batteries are there, and how long do they last?
The most common and certainly the best performing batteries to power the electric motor are lithium batteries. On the market, depending on the model of electric bike, there are different types with different power that can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally the average range is between 300 and 500Wh. The durability guarantee is also expressed in kilometers of travel: sometimes there is autonomy for 25km of continuous use, but many manufacturers guarantee it up to 70km and even more.
Of course, even if manufacturers try to specify the life of a battery as precisely as possible, there are multiple factors to consider that can affect performance, such as the type of bicycle itself, posture, weight and type of pedaling of the cyclist, the weather and track conditions - many climbs, uneven terrain, etc. - consequently the values indicated are certainly precise and transparent but must be considered with a certain flexibility.
Generally a high quality lithium battery can be recharged up to 1000 times, and it takes 4 to 6-8 hours to get it fully charged. Nowadays almost all the batteries installed on electric bikes are removable: it is a very important factor to consider when choosing the preferred model since it is very convenient to be able to recharge them even at home. To keep a battery in good health for a long time, it will be sufficient to practice some small attention, such as avoiding exposure to high temperatures or below freezing, use the manufacturer's chargers, regularly clean the contacts and possibly avoid exposure to strong showers of water. In this way the battery will always be efficient for even very long periods of time.
The display of a hybrid electric bike
This accessory is installed in all electric bikes, generally in the center of the handlebar, and acts as an interface between the cyclist and the bicycle itself; the controls are usually positioned on the sides, closer to the handlebar, to make it easier to choose.
The display shows data and status information, and obviously there can be different types, from the most basic to the most innovative and with accessory functions. In the basic displays there is usually a LED that indicates the battery status, the speed and the selected assistance level; in the LCD displays, which are also aesthetically more modern and pleasant, you will find more detailed information such as the kilometers traveled, the status but also the residual battery life, perhaps even the calories consumed during the performance and obviously the type of assistance in place.
The most advanced displays, such as bluetooth, allow you to connect the device to your mobile phone and then manage calls and messages, set the GPS and even listen to music during the bike ride. This is also a factor to take into consideration when looking for the hybrid electric bike that best suits your needs, habits and expectations.
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