BASIC OVERVIEW
An electric bicycle is, first and foremost, a bicycle. It uses the same designs, geometries, and components as any other bicycle, but also includes an added electric motor. This is fueled by a rechargeable battery, which gives riders an extra
boost of power and ultimately provides a smoother, more convenient, and less
strenuous cycling experience. By eliminating many of the obstacles that keep
people from cycling—obstacles such as headwinds, steep hills, and bike commutes that leave riders tired, messy, and sweaty—electric bikes help make the
freedom, exhilaration, and satisfaction of cycling available and accessible to a
wide range of potential cyclists.
The idea of creating an electric bike has intrigued cyclists since the late 1800s,
when several American inventors experimented with the possibility of combining the potential power of electric motors with the simple mechanics of the bicycle. It wasn’t until the technological advancements of the 20th and 21st centuries, however, that this idea finally became a viable reality. With lightweight
motors, high efficiency rechargeable batteries, smoothly shifting drivetrains, and
huge advances in bicycle components, today’s electric bikes provide a way for
cyclists of all ages, fitness levels, and physical needs to enjoy the benefits of cycling, whether it’s a leisure ride, a workout, or part of a daily commute.
For many, electric bikes are an attractive alternative to both conventional bicycles and traditional automobiles, providing an environmentally friendly, fun, efficient, and convenient way totravel.
THE GLOBAL POPULARITY OF ELECTRIC BIKES
Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, as
more and more people look for efficient, affordable, and eco-friendly modes of
transportation. In recent years, electric bike use has skyrocketed in Asia, most
notably in China, which has established itself as the world leader in electric bike
use. There are now an estimated 200 million electric bikes in China, with millions
more added every year.
The explosive expansion of electric bikes in China has helped spur similar
growth in other parts of the world. In Europe—the second largest market for
electric bikes—electric bicycle use has been steadily on the rise. In 2006, there
were approximately 98,000 electric bikes sold throughout Europe. A decade later, this number had risen to almost 1.7 million in annual sales.
The dramatic improvements in electric bicycle technologies and capabilities, as
well as the rapid growth in the popularity of electric bicycles in recent years,
have all made the prospects of owning and riding an electric bike particularly
exciting. Whether they’re used by people looking for a low impact way to get
back into shape, older cyclists seeking a more accessible way to enjoy leisurely
bike rides, urban professionals attempting to simplify their daily commutes, environmentally conscious travelers hoping to decrease their emissions footprints,
or anyone in between, it seems increasingly likely that “electric-assisted bicycles
will change how people think aboutbikes.
For many people, the thing that makes an electric bike particularly intriguing and
exciting is its status as a unique type of hybrid vehicle, effectively straddling the
worlds of leg-powered bicycles and motor-powered vehicles. This combination
helps make the electric bike especially helpful, appealing, and accessible to a
diverse range ofriders.
While electric bikes share many similarities with both conventional bicycles and
motorized two-wheeled vehicles, they are ultimately in a class of their own. In this
section, we’ll explore more thoroughly just what it is that makes an electric bike
unique, especially when compared to other types of vehicles.
ELECTRIC BIKES VS. CONVENTIONAL BICYCLES
As mentioned in the Introduction, electric bikes are, in the most basic and simple
sense, defined as bicycles with the added feature of an electric motor. It is this
motor that makes an electric bike different from all conventional bicycles, and it is
also the feature that enables electric bikes to offer users a different type of riding
experience than that of a conventionalbicycle.
Electric bikes are built in one of two ways: they are either designed specifically
as electric bikes and feature built-in electric components, or they are conventional bicycles that have been converted through some sort of modification. In
either case, there are many similarities between electric bicycles and conventional bicycles. Many ebikes feature commonly used bicycle components suchas
standard-sized wheels, tubes, stems, handlebars, forks, seats, and multi-geared
drivetrains comprised of standard-sized cranks, pedals, chains, and derailleurs.
Other components, like tires and brakes, are usually ebike-specific in order to accommodate the additional loads and wear. This makes it relatively easy to find
replacement parts and to make basic repairs. It also makes the transition from
a conventional bicycle to an electric bicycle smooth, natural, and effortless—it
is, in the end, simply riding a bike, but now, with the added benefit of power on
demand.
The purpose of adding a motor to an electric bike is to give riders an additional
source of power. Most electric bikes allow ridersto control when the motor kicks
in and how much power it provides. This makes possible a wide scope of riding
options ranging from fully leg-powered pedaling, a combination of pedaling and
motor assistance, and fully motorized riding, allowing the cyclist to finetune
their riding experience to meet their specific needs and demands. With an electric bike, for example, elderly or inexperienced cyclists can confidently head out
on rides knowing that if the terrain becomes too difficult, or if they start feeling
tired or worn out, they can rely on the motor to help them get back home. Similarly, an electric bike can be helpful to a person trying to get back into shape,
allowing them to gradually transition from lighter, primarily motor-assisted
workouts to more intensive workouts that rely less and less on motor-generated power. Urban commuters might also use the motor to help them pedal up
hills without breaking a sweat, so they can arrive at the office clean and ready to
work.
Along with providing a specifically tailored riding experience, the added components of an electric bike also introduce some differences from conventional
bicycles in terms of overall cost and specifications. Electric bikes tend to be more
expensive than their conventional counterparts, thanks to the extra components
included on an electric bike. They also tend to be heavier and bulkier, which can
mean that transporting an electric bike can become more difficult than transporting a conventional bike. The added weight and bulk of an electric bike also
means that pedaling it without any motor assistance may be more challenging
than pedaling a lighter weight, more conventionalbicycle.
In the end, both conventional and electric bikes have pros and cons to them. If
you’re looking for a bike that offers power-on-demand and can make it easier to
ride further and more frequently, an electric bike may be a good choice for you.
ELECTRIC BIKES VS.MOTORIZED SCOOTERS
Electric bikes are sometimes confused with motorized scooters, mopeds, and
small motorcycles, and while each of these represents a different type of motorized two-wheeled vehicle, there are some key differences between them that
need to be highlighted. The primary features making electric bikes unique from
all other motorized two-wheeled vehiclesare:
Pedals.
As discussed above, the electric bike’s status as both bicycle and motorized vehicle is really what makes it such a unique way to get around. The fact that an electric bike has pedals that can be used either exclusively or in combination with
the motor is one of the things that makes electric bikes different from motorized
scooters, or motorcycles, all of which have no pedals and are powered exclusively by motors.
Speed and Power.
Typically, the motors used on electric bicycles are less powerful than the motors
used on motorized scooters, mopeds, or other similar vehicles. In Australia, the
majority of electric bikes utilize motors that generate between 200 – 250 watts,
and that have a maximum speed of around 25 kph when being used in motoronly mode (of course, an electric bike can go faster than 25 kph depending on
how hard the rider is pedaling). Motorized scooters and mopeds, on the other
hand, travel around 50 kph and utilize more powerful motors. These distinctions
in speed and motor capability have a direct impact on the le- galstatuses of
these different vehicles, which brings usto the final key difference between
electric bikes and other motorized two-wheeledvehicles.
Legal Status.
In general, the federal definition of an electric bike is more similar to a conventional bicycle than a motorized scooter, moped, or motorcycle. That means that
in most cases, an electric bike can be ridden in bike lanes, on bike paths, andcan
be locked up to bike racks as if it were a regular bicycle. In most cases, riders are
not required to have a driver’s license to operate an electric bike and are not required to obtain any special licensing or registration for their electric bikes. Conversely, motorized scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles are all generally classified
as motor vehicles that require a driver’s license, registration, and are allowed
only on the street. It’s important to note, however, that the specific laws, rules,
and guidelines governing electric bike use may vary across each state. Before
you begin riding an electric bike, it’s a good idea to check out the laws in your
specific location.
ELECTRIC BIKES VS. CARS
Electric bikes represent a possible alternative to traveling by car, especially for
those who live in urban settings or who might be looking for a different way to
travel shorter and more frequently traveled routes. Obviously, cars can travel at
much higher speeds and are capable of covering much larger distances than
electric bikes, but as a means of traveling across smaller distances and at slower
speeds, electric bikes offer a few unique possibilities.
Leg-Powered Transportation.
Electric bikes offer the unique possibility of combining some level of physical activity with your day-to-day transportation, helping contribute to a more active
and fit lifestyle.
1. Eco-Friendly Travel. Since electric bikes use small, highly efficient, rechargeable
electric batteries instead of gasoline, riding an electric bike can be an environmentally friendly way to travel, reducing fossil fuel consumption and helping to
decrease pollution fromautomobile emissions.
2. Cheaper Travel. Electric bikes can help riders cut back on the amount of money
spent on gasoline and overall upkeep—in general, electric bikes are much cheaperto repairthan cars, and replacement partstend to be cheaper as well.
3.Easy Urban Commuting. For urban commuters, an electric bike may provide a
more convenient way to travel, allowing ridersto use bike lanesinstead of waiting
in traffic, lock up at bike racks instead of paying expensive parking fees, and allowing for the additional flexibility of walking the bike on the sidewalk or using it
in tandem with public transportation. With many urban environments gridlocked
during rush hour, commuting by ebike can often be faster than driving.
When compared to other commonly used vehicles, the electric bike clearly occupies a unique position as a vehicle that is simultaneously people-powered and
motorized. The combination of a conventional bicycle drivetrain and a rechargeable electric motor makes electric bikes particularly flexible, accessible, and capable of being tailored to the specific needs, demands, and lifestyles of its unique
riders.
There are a number of reasons why a cyclist—whether beginner, expert, or
somewhere in between—might choose to ride an electric bike. This section will
cover three of the most important factors to keep in mind when deciding
whether or not an electric bike is right for you.
ELECTRIC BIKES SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Increasingly, people around the world are turning to electric bikes as an effective
solution for their day-to-day transportation needs, which might include such
trips as commuting to and from work or school, grocery shopping, short errands,
or going out for social events.
Using an electric bike for this type of daily travel can help riders save time and
money in a number of ways, including the following:
• Electric bikes allow riders to save time by using bike lanes and paths instead of sitting in traffic in a car or waiting for public transportation.
• Locking an electric bike to a bike rack immediately in front of your destination isfaster, cheaper, and more convenient than parking a car in expen-
sive, crowded parking lots that may or may not be located close to your
actual destination.
• Depending on where you live, electric bikes may help you save money
by allowing you to avoid tolls or other car-related fees.
• Recharging an electric bike battery is significantly cheaper than filling a
car with gasoline or paying to use publictransportation.
• The costs of repairs and general upkeep for an electric bike are far less
than the costs of maintaining and repairing acar.
• On average, an electric bike allows you to go much further for much less
money than any other form of transportation. In fact, one study found that
an electric bike can travel as far as 500 miles on just $1—roughly 100 times
further than a car or public transportation, and 35 times further than a hybrid car.
ELECTRIC BIKES CONTRIBUTE TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Whether it’s used as a vehicle for your daily commute or more specifically as a
means of working out, an electric bike helps contribute to a more fit, active, and
well-balanced lifestyle.
Introducing an electric bike into your regular travel transforms your daily commutes into an opportunity for some light physical activity and a chance to catch
some fresh air. Electric bikes are particularly well suited for daily commuting
since the motor assistance helps eliminate challenges such as steep hills and
headwinds, and creates a smoother, less demanding cycling experience. By
using an electric bike, commuters no longer have to worry about arriving at
their destination feeling tired, sweaty, or worn out—the bike’s motor takes care
of the overly strenuous portions of the ride while still allowing you to mix some
physi- cal exercise into your daily routine.
Along with using an electric bike for day-to-day transportation, many cyclists
use electric bikes specifically as a means of working out and becoming more fit.
Electric bikes offer riders a high degree of control over the level of physical exer-
tion required to ride, making them particularly helpful for anybody who would
like to become more fit, but who may need to gradually and carefully ease into
increased physical activity. Electric bikes, therefore, may provide an especially
helpful way to exercise for those who fall into the following categories:
• recovering from an injury orillness.
• looking for a low-impact workout.
• elderly cyclists.
• people who are new to workingout.
• returning to physical activity after a prolonged period of inactivity.
ELECTRIC BIKES ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
The third main reason why people choose to ride electric bikes is the comparatively small environmental impact they make. Most immediately, the fact that
electric bikes require no gasoline or oil, emit no pollution while being operated,
and require only a small amount of electricity to recharge a battery make electric
bikes an attractive option for environmentally conscioustravelers.
In fact, the small environmental footprint of electric bikes has gained increasing
attention in recent years as researchers from a variety of fields begin studying
the ways these bikes might fit into efforts to make cities and communities ecofriendlier and more sustainable. An article published by Scientific American, for
ex- ample, reports that “transportation experts say ebikes—along with electric
cars, light-rail trains and more pedestrian-friendly cities—could become one of
the pri-
mary drivers of cleaner air and reduced global greenhouse emissions across much
of the urbanized world.”7 The same source also noted that “the bicycle is an
enor- mously efficient vehicle”and that ebikes emit ten timesless carbon dioxide
when compared to an electric car, once electricity sources are taken into account.
CONCLUSION
While there are any number of reasons that a particular cyclist might choose to
ride an electric bike, three of the most important ones to take into consideration
are the ways that electric bikes can help save time and money, the ways they
help contribute to a healthier lifestyle, and the fact that they represent an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. At the end of the day, however,
many cyclists choose electric bikes simply because they’re fun to ride. Perhaps
one of the most important reasons for choosing an electric bike, then, is that
they make it possible for people of all ages, skills, fitness levels, and abilities to
enjoy the pure pleasure of riding abike.
Now that you have a better sense for what makes electric bikes unique and why
people around the world are increasingly turning to them as their vehicle of choice,
it’stime to start focusing more on the bikes themselves—how they work, how they’re
designed, and what they’re capableof.
This section will outline some of the specific details that make one electric bike
different from another so that you can eventually select the electric bike that’s
right for you.
ELECTRIC BIKE CLASSIFICATIONS
Currently, electric bikes fall into three broad classes, and while these categories
have been created largely as a way of helping lawmakers figure out how to approach the growing influx of electric bikes, they also provide a nice way of sorting
electric bikes according to factors such as speed and power. The three primary
classes of electric bikes are:
Class 1: Pedal Assist – Pedal assist electric bikes, also commonly referred to as
“pedelecs,”are equipped with electric motorsthat only work while the bike is being pedaled, and that are activated by some sort of pedal action sensordesigned
to detect when the bike is being used. In Australia, pedelecs are limited to 25
kph and cannot use motors that exceed 250 watts.
Most pedal assist ebikes allow riders to select the degree of power provided by
the motor, enabling them to tailor the performance of the bike to fit theirspecific needs and geographies. A rider may adjust his/her level of motor assistance,
for example, going from low to high and back to low again, as his/her commute
to the grocery store carries her initially across flat ground, up a hill, and then
back onto flat ground again.
Pedelecs are good, flexible electric bikes perfect for all-around use, and are a particularly good option for those seeking the convenience and experience of a bicycle, but who know they’ll be using a relatively high degree of motor assistance
every time they ride.
Class 2: Power on Demand – The key difference between power on demand electric bikes and pedal assist electric bikes is that power on demand bikes allow ridersto activate and controlthemotor,regardless of whether or notthey’re actually
pedaling. Most power on demand bikes give riders full control of the motor by
using a throttle, button, or trigger located on the handlebars; some models may
also include a pedal activator as well. As with pedelecs, power on demand bikes
are limited to 25 kph and 250-watt motors.
Power on demand bikes tend to offer an especially wide range of riding options
since riders can choose precisely if and when the motor kicks in, as well as how
much power it provides when it is in use. Cyclists using this type of bike can go
anywhere from fully human-powered pedaling to fully motor-powered riding,
and anywhere in between. Forthisreason, power on demand bikes generally give
riders more control over their riding experience than any other type of electric
bike.
Perfectly straddling the worlds of conventional bicycles and motorized vehicles,
power on demand bikes are an ideal option for those who want the best of both
worlds. They are very often the electric bike of choice for people who are looking
for a way to ease into cycling, or who are interested in a way to control and gradually increase or decrease their level of physical exercise while riding. Power on
demand bikes are also great for the all-around generalist, making it possible to go
on a physically strenuous bike ride one day and then a quick and easy commute
the next, all on a singlevehicle.
When attempting to figure out which type of electric bike is right for you, it’s
important to think about just what it is you’re trying to get out of your cycling
experience. Are you looking for a low-impact way to get back into shape? Are
you trying to find a bike that will allow you keep up with your grandchildren or a
faster-cycling partner? Will your bike be used primarily for leisure or for practical
everyday needssuch asrunning errands and making daily commutes to and from
work? Do you want the option of a physically challenging bike ride, or are you
specifically looking for an affordable, easy to use, fully motorized mode of transportation? Will you be spending a lot of time riding up and down steep hills? Will
you regularly be facing headwinds or otherobstacles?
The answersto these questions, along with your understanding of the basic types
of electric bikes currently being built, this book will help point you in the right
direction as you begin searching for the perfect electricbike.
While the electric motor is most definitely the defining feature of an electric
bike, it cannot exist or operate on its own. Rather, it works in cooperation with a
number of other important components, most notably, the battery and the bicycle’s drivetrain.
In order for you to become an electric bike aficionado—ready to make a fully
informed decision about which specific electric bike model will best meet your
needs and objectives—it’s important that you understand how these components work together as well as the various ways they’re configured on an electric
bike. This section will outline and describe the primary types of motors, batteries, and drivetrains currently used on electric bikes so that you can begin figuring out what your ideal electric bike might looklike.
MOTORS
Asmentioned throughout this guidebook, the motoristhe single most important
feature of anelectric bike—it’swhatmakes anelectric bike anelectric bike. Forthis
reason, it is extremely helpful to become aware of the different types of electric
bikemotors currently available, and to have a sense forthe advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Hub Motors-Ahubmotorissituated in the hubof one ofthe bike’swheels, providing propulsion by spinning whichever wheelto which it’s attached. As electric
bikesfirst began gaining popularity,these were themostfrequently used type of
motor, and while the increasingly widespread use of mid-drive motors is
beginning to shiftthistrend, hubmotors continue to be a dominant component
in the electric bikeindustry.
Hubmotors are described primarily by whetherthey’re located in the hub ofthe
frontwheel orthe backwheel:front hubmotorsprovide additional power directly
tothe frontwheelwhile rearhubmotors give extra torque tothe rearwheel.Hub
motors are generally abitlowerin power and torque, buttheir advantage isthat
they are less expensive tomanufacture -which resultsin a less expensive bicycle.
Front hub motors create the sensation that the bike is being “pulled “forward.
Because fronthubmotorsdon’timpede inany way thebike’sdrivetrain,riders can
benefit from combining both the mechanical power generated by having multiple gearson the rear wheel and themotorized powerin the frontwheel. Front
hubmotors are also quite easy to install and remove because they don’t have to
workaroundchains,derailleurs,or cassettes,whichalsomakesitrelativelyeasy to
performrepairs.
Onthe other hand,front hubmotorshave a tendency to “slip” or “spin out”
since the bulk ofthe rider’sweightislocated behindthe frontwheel.
Additionally,the extra torque introduced by front hubmotorstypically requires
the use ofmore sturdy forks,rims, and spokesthanmay be usual.
In contrast to front hub motors, rear hub motors “push” the bike forward,
which often feels more natural to those accustomed to riding conventional
bicycles, since they alsogenerate power atthe rearwheel using a chainand gears.
Similarly,
because the bulk of the rider’s weight is above the rear wheel, rear hub motors
tend to spin outless often than front hubmotors and, in certain riding conditions,
can provide a smoother,more efficientriding experience.
However, rear hub motors can be tricky to install or remove since they have to
work aroundderailleurs, chains, andcassettes,whichcanalsomake it difficultto
performcertain typesofrepairs.Despite the familiarfeel of power being generatedatthe rearwheel,the addedbulk ofthe rear hubmotor cannegatively affect
the overall handling ofthe bike,making it a feelbit back-heavy. Finally, like their
fronthubcounterparts,rearhubmotorsintroduce extra torquetotherearwheel
whichmeansthey should be used with particularly strong spokes and rims.
Mid-Drive Motors-It’sbecomingmore andmore common to seemid-drivemotorsinuse ona varietyof electric bikemodels, andformany riders,thesemotors
provide an especially versatile, balanced, and powerfulriding experience.
Instead of being located in the hub of one ofthe wheels,mid-drivemotors drive
powertothe bike’sdrivetrain,typically atthe crankset.By directly powering the
bike’s cranks,mid-drivemotorswork in tight coordinationwith the bike’salready
existing gears, amplifying the mechanical advantage they provide. This becomes
particularly helpful when it comesto climbing steep hills or navigating extended
inclines.Onthistype ofterrain,mid-drivemotors “canleverage thelower gears
of the bike and keep their RPMsin an efficientrange without getting ‘bogged
down’ like a hubmotor.”
In addition to efficiently complementing the bike’s existing gears, mid-drive motorsoftenallowformore intuitive anduser-friendly designs.Typically attachedto
the bike somewhere around the bottombracket,mid-drivemotorsleave the huge
majority of components untouched, whichmakesit easy to repair orreplace parts
asneeded. Similarly,the placement ofmid-drivemotorsmeansthatthe additional
weight introduced by the motor is located closer to the bike’s natural center of
gravity, creating amore naturalriding sensation than hubmotors. Lastly, having
themotor drive the crank allowssome design flexibility forthe rest ofthe bike,
such as allowing the use of an internally geared hub and/or a belt drive transmission.
Withallthatsaid,however,mid-drivemotorstypicallyusemore proprietarydrivetrain components. Additionally, most mid-drive motors come only on complete
electric bikes, and inmany cases are harderto use when attempting to convert
a conventional bicycle to an electric bike. Lastly,the advantage ofthemid-drive
motor come at a premiumasmost electric bikeswith thismotor configuration are
more expensive than the oneswith the hubmotor placement.
HUB MOTORS
Pros Cons
• Most affordable option on the
market today, due to its
popularity and cheaper
components
• Quick and easy way to
convert a conventional
bicycle to electric
• Front hub motors are
relatively easy to put on
and takeoff
• Front hub motors don’t
interfere with very many
components, making
maintenance and repairs fairly
simple
• Rear wheel hubs can be
difficult to put on and take off
• Rear wheel hubs can make it
difficult to repair or replace
parts
• Tend to produce an
unbalanced riding sensation
(front hub motors“pull”
bike,rear hub motors “push”
bike)
• Hub motors do not take
advantage of gears; inefficient
use ofpower
• Tend to spin out on hills or in
slippery conditions
• Additional torque may
damage spokes, rims, fork,
or dropouts
MID-DRIVE MOTORS
Pros Cons
• Provides power directly to
bike’s drivetrain
• Works in coordination with
bike’s gears to maximize
efficiency, speed, and power
• Located near the bike’s
centerof gravity to provide
natural riding sensation and
smooth handling
• Doesn’t interfere with other
components; simple to
performrepairs or
maintenance
• More expensive than hub motors
• Harder to use for converting a
conventional bicycle to electric
• May add wear and tear to
bottom bracket, cranks, chains,
derailleurs, or cassettes
BATTERIES
Batteries are, in many ways, the fundamental reason electric bikes have emerged
assuch promising vehiclesin the 21st century.The highly efficient,relatively lightweight, and rechargeable batteries currently in use ensure that electric bikes have
a reliable source of power that contributes to creating a more enjoyable and effective riding experience.
The evolution of batteries, especially over the course of the last couple decades,
has had a direct impact on the evolution of electric bikes. According to ElectricBike.com, “the turning point between electric bike ‘history,’ and our modern era”
of widely available and regularly used electric bikes is “the mass production of
lithium batteries,” which resulted largely from the explosive growth of the computer industry. Once these lighter, more compact, more efficient, and more
powerful rechargeable batteries became cheaper and more accessible, electric
bike builders began using them to create more visually attractive, lighter, more
reliable electric bikes.
The primary consideration to make when looking at electric bike batteries is the
range of the battery, which istypically described in terms of how many miles you
can get out of a single charge. Obviously, the distance you can travel before having to recharge your battery depends on how much motor assistance you plan to
use while riding. The more you pedal and the less you use the motor, the more
miles you can get out of the battery. Conversely, if you use more motor assistance
and pedal less,then you’ll get fewer miles out of your battery. In any case,though,
today’s electric bike batteries are efficient enough to provide any rider the power
needed to make their bike rides fun, convenient, and productive.
Today’s high quality electric bike batteries should typically give you somewhere
between 30 and 100 klm per charge, and they should be lightweight enough, and
compact enough to blend in with the design of the bike—a good battery should
not get in the way or in any way detract from your ability to ride comfortably.
DRIVETRAINS
The third piece of componentry that you need to be aware of is the drivetrain.
“Drivetrain” refers to a system—typically comprised of several smaller parts
working together in tandem—that provides the power and torque necessary to
turn the wheels of a vehicle. On most standard bicycles, the drivetrain is made
up of the crankset, chain, and some sort of gear system, almost always attached
to the rear wheel. Bikes use either a single gear or a multi-geared drivetrain to
help convert the power required to turn the cranks into actual propulsion power.
Electric bikes work in conjunction with already existing bicycle drivetrains, and
while this means that there are typically fewer variables involved with electric bike drivetrains than with other components like motors and batteries, you
should still be familiar enough with them to make a well-informed decision
when it comes time to select your own bike. Since electric bikes are focused on
providing efficient, convenient, and accessible transportation, we’ll focus only on
multi-geared drivetrains, as these mechanisms play an important role in helping
cyclists—whether riding an electric bike or a conventional bike—navigate hills
and other obstacles.
Multiple Gears With Derailleur – Having been established as the go-to technology for conventional bicycles, derailleurs mechanically move the bike chainacross
a range of differently sized gears that change the efficiency of each pedalstroke;
some gears are better suited for climbing up hills while others are best for cruising along level ground.
Many electric bike motors work in coordination with already existing gears and
derailleurs, allowing riders to shift through their gears to find the best efficiency
for any given riding condition, while also utilizing the motor’s power to provide
an ultra-smooth, convenient, and fun way to ride.
Internal Gear Hubs – In contrast to drivetrains that use a derailleur to shift
through a set of external gears attached to the rear wheel, internal gear hubs or
transmissions feature a range of gears housed inside the hub of the rear wheel.
Unlike the traditional multi-geared drivetrains, the internally geared hub transmissions house the gearing inside a factory-sealed hub. This setup completely
removes the need for an unsightly derailleur and allows for better shifting under
load and while stopped. Instead of shifting from one gear to the next, cyclists
using this type of drivetrain turn a knob located on the handlebars to increase or
decrease the amount of leg effort required to turn the cranks.
Electric bikes combine components and technologies from various industries
and fields in exciting and innovative ways in order to produce a truly unique cycling experience. By becoming familiar with the basic components and technologies that make electric bikes particularly efficient and convenient vehicles, you
empower yourself to choose the specific electric bike—equipped with the perfect type of motor, battery, and drivetrain—to meet your cycling needs, expectations, and goals.
Now that you’ve become familiar with what electric bikes are, how they work,
and why they’re a unique and effective mode of transportation for many people
throughout the world, you may be wondering what the actual costs are of buying,
using, and maintaining an electric bike. This section will give you an overview of
what these costs look like and will attempt to answer the questions people typically have asthey begin thinking about the possibility of buying their own electric
bike.
THE COST OF PURCHASING ANEW ELECTRIC BIKE
Motor – The power and performance capabilities of an electric bike’s motor play
a key role in determining the overall cost of the bike—in general, the better the
motor the more expensive the bike.
As discussed in the previous section, there are two main types of motors, hub
motors and mid-drive motors. While both have their own distinct advantages and
disadvantages, when it comesto a motor’s price tag, power isthe primary factor.
Most standard electric bike motors in Australia come with a power rating of
250 watts.
Higher rated motors generate more power than those with lower ratings, and as
a result provide a snappier, more responsive, more versatile motorized riding
experience.
Whether or not you need a more powerful motor depends primarily on the type
of riding you’re planning to do and the terrain on which you’ll be riding. If you live
in a city with a lot ofsteep hills, for example, and you need a motorthat will propel
you up hills quickly without having to pedal, then paying a bit more for a more
powerful motor may be a goodinvestment.
Keep in mind, though, that the power output is not the only specification worth
consideration. For example, a rear hub and a mid-drive motor can both be rated
for 250 watt but have very different abilities to get you up a steep hill; that’s because a mid-drive motor will have a mechanical advantage and typically generate
higher torque than a hub motor. Always pay attention to torque in additional to
watts.
Battery – Along with the power of the motor, the battery used to fuel an electric
bike motoris a key factor in how expensive a particular bike is. Most electric bikes
use lightweight, efficient,rechargeable lithiumbatteries, and the primary variable
differentiating one battery from another is how many miles ofriding a battery can
provide before it needs to berecharged.
As explained in chapter 5, the exact number of klm a rider gets out of abattery
charge depends on a number of different variablessuch asthe weight of the bike,
the rider’s weight, whether or not there’s a headwind, the number and steepness
of the hills the bike is climbing, and the proportion of human-generated andmotor-generated power a rider uses. If, for example, a cyclist pedals for most of the
ride and uses a low level of motor assistance, she’ll get more miles out of her
battery charge than she would if she uses the motor as the sole source of power
throughout the entire ride. Similarly, a rider whose trip to the grocery store is entirely on flat ground will get more klm out of his battery then a rider who hasto
go up two steep hills to get to the store.
Since there are so many variables affecting the number of miles a battery can provide, electric bike manufacturers and retailers usually describe batteries in terms
of mileage rangesthat attempt to account for a variety of riding styles and conditions. A good quality electric bike battery should provide, on average,somewhere
between 30 and 100 klm ofriding per charge. In general, the more klm a battery
can provide, the more expensive it will be, so before deciding which electric bike
is right for you, it’s important to consider the type of riding you plan on doing.
Drivetrain – Just like a traditional bicycle, a basic electric bike configuration comes
with a derailleur and mechanical gears. Upgrading to a mid-drive configuration
creates room in the rear wheel for a more sophisticated transmission, like an internally geared hub.
An internally geared hub transmission is factory-sealed, requires less maintenance and has fewer components sticking out and at risk of being damaged. Of
course, these benefits come at a premium and can add hundreds of dollars to a
cost of an electric bike.
Bicycle Components- Because an electric bike isfundamentally a bicycle, the mix
of all the other non-electric, non-motorized bicycle components used on an electric bike is another important factor affecting the bike’s overall cost.
When you pay to upgrade bicycle components, you’re generally paying for components that are lighter weight, that have greater strength and increased durability, and that work more effectively and efficiently than cheaper, lower quality parts. High end derailleurs, for example, shift quicker and smoother, and are
usually lighter weight and more sturdy than cheaper derailleurs. Likewise, more
expensive suspension forks will generally be stronger, more rugged, and will
respond to changes in terrain more smoothly than cheaper suspension forks.
As with everything else, the type of components you need on your electric bike
depends largely on the kind of riding you plan to do. If you know you’ll be using
your electric bike exclusively on well-paved city streets to run errands and commute to work, then you probably don’t need the same type of heavy, rugged parts
a cyclist might need if he plans on using his electric bike for off-road riding or
riding on rougher bike paths.
In short, it’s important to buy an electric bike with high quality components that
match the type of riding you plan to do. This will ensure that your bike is reliable,
efficient, and fun, and will also help limit the need for repairs.
Materials- The fourth and final factor that affects how much an electric bike costs
isthe actual material used to build the frame. Low quality bike framesmade out of
heavier, less durable materials will generally be cheaper than higher quality bike
frames, built from lighter, stronger, more durable metal alloys.
It’simportant to invest in a high-qualitybike frame since the frame is, quite literally,the skeleton ofthe entire bike. Framesthat are sturdy, reliable, and lightweight
ultimately provide a better riding experience, giving you a bike that handles well,
that’s comfortable and responsive, and that you know you can depend on.
THE COSTS OF USING AND MAINTAINING AN ELECTRIC BIKE
After the upfront cost of purchasing an electric bike, there are some additional
ongoing costs associated with regularly using and maintaining an electric bike.
Fortunately,though,these costs are relatively small compared to both the upfront
cost of buying the bike and the cost of using other forms of transportation.
The most frequently recurring cost of riding an electric bike isthe cost of charging
the battery. Interestingly, this is also the point at which electric bikes distinguish
themselves as a particularly affordable and efficient vehicle. In fact, multiple studies have confirmed that electric bikes are the most cost-effective motorized vehicle currently available.
To be more specific, one study reported that, on average, it costs roughly 8 cents
to charge an electric bike battery. Given that most batteries get somewhere between 30 and 100klm per charge, that’s a total of 800klm on just $1 worth of
electricity. In a similar project, ElectricBikeReport.com determined that it costs
between 0.0625 cents and 0.245 cents per mile to operate an electric bike,
depending on the time of day a rider charges their battery.
The other primary expense associated with using an electric bike is the cost of
periodic repairs, which will arise from time to time as parts wear out or break. Fortunately,since the huge majority of electric bike components are standard bicycle
parts, nearly all repairs can be performed at a local bike shop for a relatively low
price. To put the cost of repairing an electric bike into perspective, think about
how much it costs for even the most basic car repair—clearly, paying a localbike
mechanic to replace worn out brake pads on your electric bike is noticeably more
affordable than a comparable repair at a car garage.
While riding an electric bike requires an upfront investment, the incredible costand fuel-effectiveness of using it pays out huge dividends in the long run. When
the low cost of operating and maintaining an electric bike is combined with the
convenience, pleasure, and ease of using an electric bike—whether it’s as avehicle for running errands and commuting, as part of a workout routine, as an accessible form of recreation and leisure, orsomething else entirely—it becomes obvious why people around the world are relying more and more on electric bikesto
meet their everyday transportation needs.
While many people find it easiest and most convenient to simply buy a new electric
bike, others might find it more appealing to convert their existing bi- cycles to electric
by adding a motor and battery. This option has its own set of advantages and
disadvantages, and ultimately, whether you convert your conventional bicycle or buy
a complete electric bike depends on your unique needs, interests, and expectations.
In this chapter, we’ll highlight some of the best methods and products currently available for converting a conventional bicycle into an electric bike. We’ll also
provide a brief discussion of the pros and cons of this type of conversion, especially when compared to purchasing an electric bike.
CONVERTING TO ELECTRIC
By far the most common method for converting a conventional bicycle to an
electric bike is to add a hub motor to either the front or the back wheel. This
method is generally the easiest, most seamless way to make a conversion, as it
leaves the huge majority of the original bike and its components intact—you’re
adding only a new hub and some sort of controller, nothing else on the bike is
affected.
The seeming simplicity of this type of modification can be a bit misleading,
however, since making the change from a conventional hub to a motorized hub
is actually a fairly complicated task. To begin with, taking apart and rebuilding
wheels is always a challenging project, involving intensive work installing spokes
and truing the completed wheel. Similarly, the extra weight of the motorized
hub and the additional torque it will generate means that, in most cases, the entire wheel will need to be upgraded to include a rim and spokes sturdy enough
to handle a motorized hub. In the end, you would end up with not only a new
hub, but an entirely new wheel.
THE PROS AND CONS: IS A CONVERSION RIGHT FOR ME?
The two biggest advantages to converting the bike you already own are familiarity and cost: converting a conventional bike to electric allows you to continue
using the bike you already know and love, and buying a conversion kit is generally
going to be a cheaper option than buying a complete electricbike.
On the other hand, though, there are some significant disadvantages to converting a conventional bike, especially when compared to buying an electric bike.
In the early days of electric bike manufacturing, a complete ebike was not that
much different from a DIY conversion. Today, most manufacturers are building
purpose-built frames to neatly house various electric bike components, like the
battery, the controller, and in the case of the mid-drive configuration, the motor.
A conversion will not be as smooth or efficient as a complete electric bike, which
hasseamlessly incorporated the motor, battery, and controlsinto every aspect of
the bike’s design.
Similarly, all-in-one wheels rely on hub motors, which tend to produce a less natural and less efficient riding experience. As discussed in chapter 5, adding a heavy
motor to the front or the rear wheel without carefully considering the overall balance islikely to result in an ebike that is difficult to ride and maneuver.
Whether you decide to convert your existing bike or purchase a complete electric
bike depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your motor assisted bicycle.
Either option will significantly increase what your bike is capable of, giving you a
convenient, fun, fast, and affordable way to travel. In the end, though, while a
conversion kit offers a quick and easy way to completely transform your bicycle,
many riders have found that there’s simply no way to replace the high level of
performance provided by a complete electric bike, designed from the ground up
to be a uniquely convenient, efficiently motorized hybrid vehicle.
At this point, you’ve become much more familiar with what electric bikes are,
how they work, and why many people see them as a particularly appealing way
to travel. Equipped with this foundation of knowledge, it may be time to start
preparing to actually purchase an electric bike of your own. Below are some tips
and pointers that will help you navigate the electric bike marketplace so you can
find the right bike for you.
WHERE TO BUY AN ELECTRIC BIKE
Electric bikes have become much more widespread in the last several years and
there are now more options than ever when it comes to purchasing one for
yourself. If you are in a market for an electric bike, there are three types of places
you can buy from – traditional bike shops, specialty electric bike shops or online
direct-to-consumer brands. Let’s consider each one inturn.
Traditional bike shops – While initially resistant to the idea of an electric bicycle, many bike shops now carry at least a few electric bike models from which to
choose. The two big advantages of buying through a traditional brick-and-mortar shop is that they are local and you
can test ride one of their ebikes. On the other hand, the selection is likely to be
limited, compared to other channels, the value is not always there, and the store
associates are unlikely to have a deep knowledge of the components and the
technology.
Specialty electric bike shops – In response to the increased popularity of electric bikes, there is also a small but steadily growing number of shops dedicated
entirely to selling ebikes. If you’re interested in checking out and purchasing an
electric bike from a brick and mortar shop, this is a good option. An ebike store
is likely to carry a much greater selection from many different brands and they’ll
have the knowledge and expertise needed to answer your questions. They’ll also
be best equipped to deal with any repairs or warranty issuesthat may arise.
The biggest drawback is a very limited availability of dedicated electric bike
shops around the country. Major metropolitan areas are lucky to have one or
maybe two electric bike shops, which means that if you rely solely on thesebrick
and mortars, you’ll have access to only a very small range of ebike options—
you’llsee only what that store happens to carry.
Online direct-to-consumer brands- With most consumers now comfortable purchasing big ticket items online, the direct-to-consumer market for electric bikes
is thriving. There are now many options to choose from and increased competition between manufacturers has resulted in a better value for the consumer than what you’ll likely to find at a brick-and-mortar bike shop. In fact, some
of the most successful ebike manufacturers in Australia. are direct-to-consumer
brands that sell primarily online.
Of course, shopping online also has its disadvantages. One potential drawback
to buying an electric bike online is the difficulty of test riding a bike before you
buy it. While a brick and mortar store makes it possible to immediately hop on a
bike and give it a test ride, shopping online requires that you contact the manufacturer or retailer to see if they can arrange a way for you to test ride a bike. The
other drawback is the paradox of choice. Shoppers can get overwhelmed with
the multitude of brands, components and other options. In fact, that is the rea-
son I have put together this buyer’s guide – to help you become a more educated
consumer.
THE DETAILS: WHAT YOU SHOULD ASK RE-TAILERS
Whether you buy your electric bike online or from a brick and mortar retailer, there are a number of important questions you need to ask to figure out if a
particular ebike model is right for you. The familiarity with electric bikes you’ve
gained by reading this guide will help you have meaningful conversations with
ebike retailers since you’ll go into these conversations with a strong foundation
of knowledge already in place. This foundation will ultimately become the base
from which you make your purchasingdecisions.
When you start talking to ebike retailers, here are the ten most important questions you should ask:
1. Does the bike have a hub motor or a mid-drive motor? As discussed earlier, the two dominant ebike motor configurations are the rear hub and the middrive. The two types of motors are suited for different applications.
The mid-drive motor generates significantly more torque, resulting in more power to climb steep hills. The power also comes through the chain, resulting in a
more natural feel. However, ebikes equipment with the mid-drive motor are usually more expensive.
The hub drive motor often has a comparable power output rating but does not
benefit from the torque multiplication and gearing reduction of the mid-drive
motor. As a result, the hub drive ebikes are typically less capable of climbing
steep hills. That said, hub drive equipment electric bikes are more affordable and
can be a good first ebike for a new owner.
2. How powerful is the motor? The power of an ebike motor is described in
terms of how many watts it generates; most electric bike motors fall somewhere
in the range of 200 – 250 watts.
In general, if you’re riding in an area that has a lot of steep hills, if you plan on
using motor assistance sparingly a 200 or a 250-watt hub or mid-drive motor
should be enough to give you a great riding experience.
3. What type of electric assistance does the bike provide? The main thing you
want to know when asking this question is whether the bike offers electric assistance only while the pedals are being cranked or if it also offers a power on
demand option. If you know there will be times when you want to stop pedaling
and let the motor take over, then be sure the bike you’re looking at offers a full
throttle mode within the laws of you the state you live in.
4. What’s the bike’s maximum speed? In most places in Australia, electric bikes
cannot legally go faster than 25 kph using the motor.
The speed you need your electric bike to travel depends on where you live, how
quickly you’d like to ride, and how heavily you plan on using the bike’s motor. In
general, though, e-bikes capable of hitting the top legal speed of 25klm prove to
be the most convenient and helpful, allowing riders to run errands, complete
commutes, and get from here to there as quickly and efficiently as possible.
5. How do riders engage and control the motor? Ebikes come with a variety of
different mechanisms for engaging and controlling the motor, including sensors
that gauge a rider’s speed or pedaling torque and then trigger the motor to respond accordingly, throttles or triggers that give riders manual control of the
motor, digital control panels, and any number of combinations of sensors, controllers, throttles, and triggers. Understanding exactly how any particular ebike
engages the motor is an important factor in determining whether or not it will
give you the kind of riding experience you’re looking for.
6. What sort of drivetrain does the bike have? Effectively combining the mechanical efficiency of the bike’s drivetrain with the power and torque of its motor
is one of the best ways to fully maximize the overall performance of an electric
bike. You’ll want to know whether the bike is a single speed—which limits your
ability to fine-tune your riding experience and may force you to rely more on the
motor—or if it has multiple gears—which gives you a broader range of riding
options and makes it easier to climbhills.
You’ll also want to know if the bike uses a derailleur to shift through gears or if it
comes with an internal-gear hub. Derailleurs require riders to have a good grasp
of how to shift through gears to respond to changing terrains, while something
like the internal-gear hub transmission offers a more seamless, intuitive
approach to adjusting to changes in terrain, weather, or other factors.
7.What type of battery does the ebike come with? Currently, lithium batteries
are the lightest, most efficient, best batteries to use on electric bikes, so be sure
the ebike you’re looking at uses a high-quality rechargeable lithiumbattery.
8. What’s the battery’s range? Once you know that the bike, you’re interested in
uses a high-quality lithium battery, it’s important to figure out what thebattery’s
range is. In the electric bike industry, this is generally described in terms of how
many miles a rider can go before needing to recharge the battery.
The range of the battery you need depends on the type of riding you plan on
doing. If you plan to use more motor power than pedal power, then you’ll be using your battery’s charge quicker and will therefore need a larger range. If you
plan to pedal a lot and use the motor assistance only periodically, you can probably use a battery with a smaller range. The length of your rides similarly impacts
the type of battery you need: if, for example, you have a long daily commute then
you probably need a larger range than someone who only goes a few miles each
day. In short, be sure the range of the ebike you’re looking at will conveniently cover
the distances you plan totravel.
9. How long does it take to charge the battery? This information is helpful in figuring out more concretely what the actual experience of using an electric bike will be
like. This will also help you figure out if a particular ebike model realistically fits your
lifestyle and how well it meets your ridingneeds.
10. What sort of warranty does the ebike come with? One of the great thingsabout
riding an ebike is that the majority of repairs can be done quite easily using conventional bicycle parts by a mechanic at your local bike shop. However, because electric
bikes also include their own unique components, most obviously the motor and battery, it’s a good idea to buy an ebike with a strong warranty—just in case anything
goes wrong. Shoot for an ebike that comes with 2-year comprehensive warranty.
As electric bikes have proven their usefulness as incredibly efficient, convenient,
quick, and fun vehicles for everything from leisurely rides with friends and family
to daily commutes and weekly errands, they have become more widely available to
consumers in the Australia and while the number of brick and mortar ebike stores is
still relatively small, there is already a huge variety of ebikes available online.
Regardless of where you end up buying your electric bike, it’s important that you
know the right questions to ask before making a purchase. Doing so will ensure that
when you do finally buy your own ebike, you’re getting the one that best meets your
unique needs, interests, and expectations.
As we begin wrapping up our discussion of electric bikes, it will be helpful to provide
an overview of some of the most important information we’ve covered so far. To do
this, Section 9 will summarize much of what you’ve read, bringing it all together into
a comprehensive list of the pros and cons involved with owning an electric bike. As
with everything else in this buyer’s guide, this list will be helpful to you as you
navigate the world of electric bicycles in search of the perfect bike.
PROS
Cheap transportation – Especially when compared to other types of transportation, electric bikes are very clearly one of the cheapest ways to get around. With
an electric bike, you don’t need to worry about paying for any sort of special
license or registration, you don’t have to pay for parking, and the cost of recharging a battery is immensely cheaper than both public transit fares and a tank of
gas.
Improved health – Using an electric bike as part of your regular travel is a great
way to introduce some physical activity to your everyday routine, and can con-
tribute significantly to improved overall health. By using an electric bike, you
guarantee yourself time and space to exercise your muscles, lungs, and heart
while enjoying a bit of fresh air.
Exercise that’s right for you – Electric bikes can be especially empowering for
those who would like to exercise more, but who have a health condition that
limits the amount of physical activity they can perform. By controlling the
amount of assistance, they receive from the motor, ebike riders can tailor the
difficulty level of their rides to meet their unique health and fitness needs. This
can be es- pecially helpful to those with joint pain, exercise-induced asthma,
heart or lung problems, or who are overweight.
Enjoy time with friends and family – For many people, electric bikes make it possible to spend more time having fun with friends and family members, allowing
them to join in on recreational bike rides. If you’re new to cycling or struggle
keeping up, an electric bike may be the key to getting out more often to enjoy
leisure rides with those you love.
Travel further – The assistance provided by the electric motor enables ebike riders to go further than they might otherwise be able to. The amount of effort
required to cover 10 klm on a conventional bike, for example, can carry riders
closer to 20 klm when combined with the power generated by an ebike motor.
Sweat-free commutes – One of the biggest drawbacks to using a bicycle for your
daily commutes is showing up at your destination hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable. By using an electric bike, however, you can complete the exact same rides
while exerting only a portion of the physical effort. Electric bikes make twowheeled commuting a much more viable possibility for many people, letting
riders enjoy all the benefits of commuting by bicycle while eliminating many of
its messiest drawbacks.
Tackle obstacles – The extra boost of power provided by an ebike’s motor make
it possible to zip up hills, plow through headwinds, and tackle any other obstacle you might encounter on a bike ride without wearing yourself out or getting
burned out. As a result, electric bikes provide a convenient, accessible, extremely
enjoyable cycling experience to a wide and diverse range of riders.
CONS
Significant upfront investment – It’s not uncommon for people learning about
electric bikes for the first time to be surprised by the cost of an ebike, which
typically ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. And while there’s no getting
around the fact that using an ebike requires a significant upfront investment,
the good news is that once you’ve spent the money to purchase a high-quality
electric bike, there are relatively few expenses required to operate it. Similarly,
the cost of purchasing an electric bike is actually not too bad when compared to
what it costs to buy a car or even a high-end bicycle.
Heavier than conventional bikes – Even after dramatic improvements in ebike
technologies and components, electric bikes remain noticeably heavier than
conventional bicycles. This becomes a problem primarily when you’re trying to
transport the bike or when you’re out on a ride and the battery dies.
More specialized, complex parts – While the majority of ebike parts are standard bicycle components that are easy to find, replace, and repair, there arealso
a handful of highly specialized components that are unique to ebikes. Because
these parts tend to be a bit more complicated and can sometimes be harder to
find, it can often be more difficult and more expensive to repair a specialized
ebike component than a more conventional bicycle part.
Confusing legal status – Because electric bikes are still relatively new to the
Australia, there can be a bit of confusion when it comes to the way they’re
viewed by the law. In general, electric bikes with a maximum speed of 25klm
and motors rated at 250 watts are treated the same as any other bicycle, which
means they can be ridden on bike paths and in bike lanes and don’t require any
special licensing or registration. There are some places, though, that have a
different set of rulesthat may limit or change the way you’re allowed to use your
electric bike.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to check the rules in your specific city and
state when riding an electric bike.
The table below summarizes the primary advantages and disadvantages of using an electric bike, giving you a quick, at a glance resource to use as you consider becoming an ebike owner:
Pros Cons
• Cheap transportation
• Improved health
• Tailor exercise to yourneeds
• Time with family and friends
• Increased range
• Sweat-free commute
• Tackle obstacles for easy ride
• Expensive initial investment
• Heavier than conventional bicycles
• Specialized, complex parts
• Potentially confusing legal status
FINAL THOUGHTS
Electric bikes can help riders of all ages, skills and physical abilities live more
active lives, but they are not perfect. Being aware of the ways that ebike use
can be incredibly beneficial, as well as some of the challenges involved with
buying and using an ebike, will make you a well-informed, savvy consumer,
ready to make the best possible decision when it comes time to select and
purchase an ebike of your own.
As you make this decision, keep in mind that while there are certainly disadvantages to owning and using an electric bike, it seems that many people have
decided that the advantages of riding an ebike far outweigh any potential
drawbacks. Perhaps this is one reason why ebikes are fast becoming one of the
most popular and widely used forms of transportation in the world today.
There has never been a more exciting time than now to become an electric bike
owner. Having established itself as a hugely popular, effective, and important
mode of transportation in countries around the world—most notably China and
several nations throughout Europe–the electric bike is beginning to take off in
the United States as well.
The primary appeal of an electric bike is its unique ability to combine pedalpower with motor power, giving riders an unprecedented level of control over their
riding experiences. By allowing riders to choose precisely how much power the
motor will provide, ebikes have quickly become some of the most flexible and
accessible vehicles in the world.
Whether it’s used to go on recreational rides with family or friends, as a way to
get back into shape, or as a vehicle for completing your daily commutes, anelectric bike is the key to easy, comfortable, and convenient travel.
AN UP-AND-COMING TECHNOLOGY
By becoming an ebike owner in 2020 you place yourself at the forefront of a
transportation movement that’s revolutionizing cycling, especially as it becomes
increasingly important for Australians to find affordable, quick, easy, and convenient ways to get around. With a huge jump in ebike ownership in the last
couple of years and plenty of room to grow, the Australia electric bike market
will continue to expand quickly.
One of the key reasons for the rapid growth in ebike use is improved technology—as batteries and motors have become more efficient, durable, and lightweight, electric bikes have become increasingly viable vehiclesfor everyday travel. These improvements are also what make now such an opportune moment to
become an ebike owner. With today’s superefficient, lightweight components,
an electric bike can empower you to travel conveniently and affordably, all while
having a good time.
CONCLUSION
Now that you’ve completed this buyer’s guide, you should have all the knowledge you need to make a smart and well-informed decision as to preciselywhich
ebike is right for you. As you start looking at specific ebike models, talking to
retailers, and figuring out which bike you should buy, be sure to keep in mind
yourspecific needs, interests, and expectations. These should include the type of
riding you want to do, your current health needs, your goals for getting an ebike,
and what sort of terrain you’ll be riding across.
With all this in mind—and equipped with your expert knowledge—you can confidently dive into the exciting, dynamic, and rapidly expanding world of electric
bikes. Good luck and enjoy the ride!
When trying to transport an ebike, weight, shape, and size
are some of the most important factors that need to be
taken into consideration. And while in the past it may have
been difficult to find ways to transport an ebike,
manufactur- ers and bike rack companies today are
developing new transportation solutions in response to the
rising popularity of electric bikes. Below we outline some of
the best, most convenient methods currently available for
transporting electric bikes.
The next thing to think about is weight. Since many car racks
are designed to hold and carry conventional bicycles, which
are typically much lighter than ebikes, it’s important that
you pay attention to the weight capacity of a rack when
figuring out which one to use. In general, go with racks that
can hold at least 60-pound bikes. Most racks are made to
hold more than one bike at a time, so be sure that if you’re
getting one of these it’s rated to carry multiple 60-pound
bikes.
Today, it’s becoming more common for rack manufacturers
to sell racks built specifically for ebikes. But even if a rack
isn’t necessarily designed for ebike use, if you get one with
the proper hitch size and weight capacity you should be fine.
Here are two of the most popular racks currently available,
both of which are good options for carrying electric bikes:
FOLDING E-BIKES
Another possible method for transporting electric bikes is to
use a folding ebike. Folding bicycles typically use some sort
of hinged joint and quick release fasten- ersto allow riders
to quickly change the bike between rideable size and
collapsed transporting size. This type of ebike could be a
good option if you know you’ll be using your bike in
conjunction with some other form of transportation—a
train, boat or RV—or if you have very limited storage space
at your home or office.
Folding electric bike design has improved significantly over
the last couple of years. Electric folders used to have an
awkward frame design, tiny motors and a very limited
range. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Many of
today’s folding ebikes feature comfortable ergonomic
frames, fully integrated batteries and even powerful middrive motors on par with their full-size siblings. In other
words, technology innovation has largely eliminated the
necessary tradeoffs be- tween size and capabilities.
Whichever solution best suits your needs and lifestyle, the
popularity of electric bikes means now there is a myriad of
options when it comes to transporting your electric bike. So,
go ahead and take your new ebike on that road trip or bring
it along in your RV to explore new areas you visit.
ABOUT
We are an Australian owned and operated company
in Fremantle, Western Australia. We stock a range
of Perth’s best electric bikes, conversion kits and
more. There are few reasons why we’re the best,
but what sets us apart from our competitors is our
experience. We’ve been in Fremantle for years,
supplying Perth and W.A with the latest products
and services from all over the world.
Our mission is to provide the world with a fun, clean,
eco-friendly alternative way to travel that is
inexpensive regardless of age or physical fitness. RYDER
electric bikes are specifically designed to give you the
freedom to enjoy a more active and healthier lifestyle.
Start your journey today atryderelectricbikes.com.au
Have questions about any topic covered (or not
covered!) in this book? Send me an email at
mitch@ryderelectricbikes.com.au and you’ll hear back
from us in 24 hours or less or better yet give us a call at
(08) 9430 5500.
Regards and god bless
Mitch White
Certificate 3 & 4 Health and Fitness/Personal Trainer
Sales and Marketing
mitch@ebikers.com.au