The electric bicycle market is changing rapidly. Only a few years ago most people wouldn’t have considered buying an electric bike. However with changes in ideas and the environmental benefits of buying an electric bike making sense, there is now a strong argument for owning one. For more information and some great deals on electric bikes visit www.cyclomonster.com
Why Buy an Electric Bike?
It’s not uncommon to hear people say it’s cheating or it makes you lazy. In reality, it’s the opposite. Many electric bike owners will ride their bike much more often than they would have without a motor. This is because some of the barriers to riding are removed when you have an electric bike. You can go further and ride harder routes than previously possible.
Here is a list of benefits of buying an electric bike:
Hills become much more pleasant to ride up. How many times have you avoided a certain hill or decided not to head in a particular direction because of what lies ahead?
Commuting becomes a viable option as you can travel much further distances without getting too fatigued or arriving hot and sweaty.
Carrying additional weight becomes much less of a problem such as with full panniers or a child seat.
It’s significantly cheaper than driving a car or taking public transport and depending on the route it might be quicker.
It’s a great way to increase your fitness and ease yourself into cycling and make it more accessible.
Electric bikes are good for the environment because they have a much lower carbon footprint compared to other vehicle types.
You can get to places that would have been hard to reach without strenuous effort.
Electric bikes give the elderly and people recovering from illness or lack of fitness the chance to ride again without getting too tired.
Fit riders will also benefit significantly as their effort will be enhanced and allow very hard rides to be completed at faster speeds. Very steep climbs most riders wouldn’t have thought possible can now be ridden and it can be done all over again afterwards.
Electric bikes encourage you to explore.
How Do Electric Bikes Work
So how does an electric bike work? As luck would have it riding an e bike is very similar to riding a standard bike. When you start to pedal the motor kicks in and provides additional assistance at the chosen power level. Most bikes have 4-5 power levels. With power levels ranging from 50-820% assistance depending on the equipped motor. It is also possible to ride the bikes with the power level set to off. One of the other benefits of buying an electric bike is that if you want to work harder you can turn the power down.
Electric bikes tend to have 2 main motor types. Crank driven or hub drive. Generally, crank driven or mid-drive motors are regarded as the best type of motors as they give the bike better balance and tend to be smoother and more efficient than hub motors which tend to deliver the power quite forcefully. The most popular motors are crank driven which are for people who want a more refined ride and intend to use the bike regularly for longer distances. The newton meters (Nm) of torque outputted by the motor is the best way to work out the power rather than the wattage. Typically in the range of 40-120Nm. All legal motors operate at a max wattage of 250W so using the motor wattage when considering performance isn’t really relevant as two 250W motors can deliver completely different amounts of torque.
Electric Bike Batteries
Charging the batteries can normally be done on or off the bike and takes around 3-6 hours from completely empty. This depends on the battery size and charger supplied. Charging speed will be determined by the amperage of the supplied charger. A charger of 4A will charge a battery twice as fast as a 2A. Quality batteries as seen on Bosch or Shimano systems will usually allow for 500-1000 full charges before the storage capacity levels start to tail off. This is plenty for most people, meaning the average user could get 8-10 years or more from the original battery without seeing much of a drop in performance.
Electric Bike Range
The range depends on many factors. Size of the battery, overall system weight, the power level being used, terrain, weather conditions, temperature, pedalling cadence, tyres etc. In practice on a route with some hills and a 500Wh battery, a range of 60-100 miles is quite possible.
How Much Do Electric Bikes Cost
Electric bike prices can vary hugely, a quick search on the internet will find many electric bikes for sale in the UK. Cheap electric bikes can be found from £400 to high-end electric bikes over £10000.
How much you need to spend should be based on what you need from the bike. The old phrase that you get what you pay for very much applies to e-bikes. For a hub driven bike £1000 – £2000 is a reasonable target price. For a crank driven hybrid or hard-tail mountain bike £2000 – £3000 gets a very good bike. Capable off-road full suspension e-bikes with a good spec go for around £3500 upwards depending on the specification.
For more information and some great deals on electric bikes visit www.cyclomonster.com
Phil Topliss Spondon Derby