Everything You Need To Know About Electric Bikes
Electric bikes otherwise know as e-bikes are bikes that receive varying levels of assistance from electric motors. These bikes come in many forms from electric mountain bikes, folding electric bikes, electric trikes, electric hybrid bikes, and many more. Electric bikes are great for those looking to go further faster or those looking to improve mobility. The best electric bikes are great for leaving the car behind and help with moving toward less congestion by allowing all rider levels the opportunity of commuting to work with assistance. Alternatively electric mountain bikes make that uphill trek much more accessible to riders and are a great way to see more when out on the trails.
What Are e-Bikes?
Not quite a scooter, nor a motorbike. Is it really cycling? What is an Electric Bike? They've grown in popularity in Europe and have since made a huge impact in the NZ Market. There is a still a lot of confusion as to how they work and the actual difference between an E-Bike versus a regular bike. In the simplest sense, an Electric bike is an electric bike that will provide extra power when you're pedaling. Electric Bikes are commonly referred to as E Bikes, Electric Bicycles, Electric Push Bikes or Motorized Bicycles. Given that they provide more power, they are heavier, more expensive and somewhat more complex than your average push bike. They weigh in at more than 15kg, making it difficult to push uphill without motorized assistance. Some models do have a walk mode, be sure to check the specifications when purchasing an Electric Bicycle.
There Are Two Types of Electric Bikes
Pedelec (Pedal Assist)
Power on Demand (Throttle Based)
What is The Difference?
Pedelecs are Electric Push Bikes that assist you only when you pedal. They make for an easy ride and automatically turn off when you stop pedalling or hit the brakes. Pedelecs are also compliant with NZ Regulation as they closely resemble a standard bicycle with pedals.
In contrast to Pedelecs, Throttle Based E Bikes require no pedaling. You would have the option of cruising along with pure motor power as the pedals and the motor have been designed independent of each other.
Popular Styles of e-Bikes
They come in a few different shapes, sizes and models, but the same principle applies as when choosing a regular bike; make sure it is comfortable and it suits your style of riding.
Electric Mountain Bikes
Don’t dismiss them so easily, at least try them out! Electric Mountain Bike are a great option for a more enjoyable ride on the trails. Extra power means that uphill trails are now a breeze and basically feel like descending the entire time. Their ease of use won’t have you huffing and puffing on trails, giving you more time to enjoy the views. They are designed with more durable frames, stronger wheels, treaded tyres and come in both Hardtail and Full Suspension Models.
Electric Hybrid/Urban Bikes
One of the largest segments of E Bikes, the Hybrid is often seen as the city alternative to the car and the perfect solution for getting around town easily. They are seen as lean, green, commuting machine; a new age solution to catching public transport and getting around a congested city with ease.
Electric Bike Usually come with the following Motors:
2. Mid Drive (Crank)
The two main motor types found on E Bikes are commonly Hub Motors or Mid-Drive Motor. Even though the difference between the two continues to narrow with advancements in technology, there are a few notable variations.
Mid-Drive motors are known for higher performance and torque as it drives the crank instead of the wheel, allowing it to take greater advantage of the bike’s existing gears. This in turn delivers more power and range.
Maintenance on mid-drive motors are simple and easy. The motor can be removed by taking out two bolts without affecting the rest of the bike; this means any regular bike shop can perform maintenance. Hub Motors on the other hand, are complex.
Batteries have a limited life span, ability to store and deliver electric energy diminishes with time. Most brands use an intelligent battery management system, which allows for protection from excessive temperature, overcharging and discharging.
New Zealand E-Bike Laws and Legislation
According to New Zealand legislation no Registration, Licensing or Third Party Insurance is required for Motorised Bicycles with a motor size under 250 watts (for Pedelecs). However, riders are bound by the same rules as that of other bicycles (eg. Wearing a helmet, effective brakes etc) There is also a maximum assisted speed limit of 32km/h.
As you can see Electric Bicycles are available in a range of different styles and prices to suit all riders. Visit your local e-Bike Expert at one of our 99 Bikes stores in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.