What is an Electric Bike?
An electric bike, or e-bike, is a bicycle with an added battery and motor hub. These elements are to create electric assistance for the rider. E-bikes require less effort to ride than a normal bike and are a practical solution to several transportation issues that affect our current society.
They are convenient, money saving, environmentally friendly, time efficient, stylish, fun and easy to ride!
How do you use the electric assistance?
There are two forms of electric assistance for e-bikes. Pedal Assisted Systems (PAS) and On-Demand Systems (ODS).
Pedal Assistance Systems
Essentially, PAS electric bikes are just conventional bikes, but with an added battery and motor, that are ridden normally. Once the ignition is turned on, all you need to do is pedal and the assistance is activated. Pedalling triggers the motor and gives you a helpful push. This gives you that cruising feeling for a much more enjoyable and relaxing journey. All this as well as getting some light exercise!
The electric assistance in ODS electric bikes is activated by a handle bar mounted twist-throttle (similar to that of a moped) which activates the motor. This system requires no pedalling and gives immediate assistance. Therefore the rider can travel up to 15mph without breaking a sweat.
Most of the e-bikes at Electric Bicycle Company incorporate both systems.
Why an electric bike?
Electric bikes have been steadily rising in popularity with the urban commuter, simply due to the fact that they are a fun, cost effective and environmentally friendly.
They are now an affordable alternative to the time consuming, painful and expensive methods of transport that the majority use for short journeys.
An added battery and motor hub are what give you the electric assistance to go 15mph with minimal effort, giving you that cruising feeling.
More accurate journey times-Never be late again at the hands of slow traffic or the unreliability of public transport.
No Sweat!— Even on the hottest of days, you can arrive at your destination as fresh as the moment you left. No need for showers!
Hill Climbing—Never strain to get up another steep hill again. Let electricity do the work!
Personal Fitness—With the option of pedalling, you can use the electric bicycle for light exercise or add it into your usual health regime.
Money Saving - With the cost of fuel increasing at an unpredictable rate, traveling around the city in a motor vehicle or public transport has become more expensive than ever.Electric bikes also gain exemption from all road expenditures such as MOT, tax, insurance, licence, congestion charge, etc.
With these cost effective factors, an electric bike can realistically save you a great deal of money on your travel expenses.
Environmentally Friendly— By only consuming energy through electrical charges, an electric bike can reduce your carbon footprint and help preserve the environment. Especially in comparison to a car or any other CO2 emitting motor vehicle.
An electric bike takes 4-5 hours to charge and uses no more energy than a T.V or computer. Once fully charged, an electric bike can run for 20-30 miles on pure electricity with no pedalling at all! This makes it one of the most environmentally friendly forms of motorised transport.
How long does it take to charge?
Electric Bikes usually take about 4-5 hours to fully charge. If the battery is completely flat, it may take a little longer. Most electric bikes come with ‘intelligent chargers’ that indicate when the battery is fully charged through an L.E.D light that turns from red to green.
At Electric Bicycle Company, we suggest to our customers that they charge the bike after every use to ensure a full battery when coming to use the bike again.
Does charging the bike use a lot of energy?
Charging an e-bike is no different to having a T.V, computer or even a light bulb on for an evening. When you consider their efficiency in comparison to petrol or diesel based vehicles they are extremely energy efficient and can go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint.
What is the distance range of an electric bike?
On a full charge, an electric bicycle will usually cover between 20-30 miles with fairly heavy electric assistance. There are however certain factors that can be used by the rider to preserve and prolong the life of the battery by much further than this, up to 50-60 miles.
Basically, the more that the rider pedals, the longer the life of the e-bike’s battery will last. There are also certain times when pedalling will become especially helpful. For example, using on-demand electric assistance for starting from stationary, going up steep hills and riding on uneven terrain are considered to be very strenuous on the battery. However, pedalling in these situations will greatly increase the batteries life.
Correct tyre inflation and a generally well looked after bike will also make a difference. Essentially, the more you do for the bike, the longer the bike will run for you!
How fast do they go?
A standard 36v battery / 250watt e-bike will go approximately 15mph. These specifications are capped by U.K law and electric bicycles must adhere to these limits in order to gain exemption from tax, MOT, insurance, motor licensing, wearing a motor cycle helmet and other form of road expenditure that other motor vehicles incur.
You can of course go faster than this when pedalling but with purely electric assistance this is the maximum.
Do I have to pedal?
No. With an on-demand system, pedalling is at the rider’s discretion and can be used as little or as much as one wants. Strictly speaking though, no pedalling is needed because of the handle bar mounted throttle that now come with most models. Although there are occasions where gentle pedalling will be very useful (such as starting off and going up hill to maintain speed and preserve battery.)
However, e-bikes without a throttle do need to be pedalled.
Does the battery recharge when pedalling?
Unfortunately not. This is asked by most people that enquire about the bikes, but sadly the answer is no. The technology is not yet affordable or advanced enough to continually charge the battery on the move by pedalling. However, you do save copious amounts of energy when you do pedal.
Can an e-bike really save me money?
Yes, an electric bike can save its user a great deal of money. Especially if the user is planning to use their bike on a regular basis as a replacement for their usual means of commuting.
With the costs of fuel increasing at an incredible and unpredictable rate, travelling around town in a motor vehicle or on public transport has become, and will continue to be, more expensive than ever.
Not to mention that with added expenditures for the car owner of tax, MOT, insurance, parking, licence congestion charge (now £10 a day) and maintenance of motor vehicles.
We’ve now reached a time where other viable and cost effective forms of transport should be considered
Can I test ride a bike before I buy one?
Yes, at the Electric Bicycle Company we encourage people to have test rides. call us or come in to the shop to arrange one.