For many cyclists the thought of using an electric bike is simply cheating, defeating the whole object of why they own and use a bike. But for some, an electric bike is exactly what they need to get them to start commuting or becoming more active. Here is the beginners guide to electric bikes:
What Is An Electric Bike?
An electric bike, sometimes called an e-bike, pedelec or power-assisted bicycle, uses an electric motor fitted to the bike which creates extra propulsion. The power generated is stored in a battery pack attached to the bike which is recharged through the mains. The motor assists the users pedaling making it easier to go uphill or cycle into a headwind, helping you cycle further and easier than on a regular bike.
Why Do I Need An Electric Bike?
For cyclists who are very fit and enjoy using their normal bike regularly there are not many clear advantages. For everyone else, electric bikes can offer many advantages including making hills much easier to deal with, it gets you there quicker and allows you to wear whatever you want without sweating. They also let you carry more around with you and allow you to ride further and faster than on a normal bike. This in turn will give you more control and confidence when cycling on the road.
What Types Of Bikes Are There?
There are two main types of electric bike; the most common is what is now known as the pedelec. This type of system monitors the riders pedaling and automatically adds the required amount of motor assistance depending on pedal rate, force and bike speed.
The other kind is called twist-n-go, which is where a switch is used by the rider to activate the motor. They work with either a simple on/off switch or a twist grip system, which uses the handle bars to operate. Current regulations only permit the twist-n-go assistance to be delivered if the system detects the rider is pedaling.
How Legal Are They?
The law in the UK requires electric bicycles to reduce the power supplied by the motor as the bike’s speed approaches 15mph. This doesn’t prevent you to go even faster, it just has to be with your own legs as the motor switches off once you hit top speed. The minimum age to ride an electric bike is 14, preventing younger children from causing any accidents. The bike also has to weigh less then 40kg, still have pedals for manual control and must cut the power to the motor as soon as the brakes are applied.
If you would like to find out any more information about electric bikes, please have a look at Electric Bike. They offer a wide range of electric bikes, as well as a great selection of electric bike accessories. You can try any of their bikes at one of their safe, traffic free test tracks in London and Buckinghamshire, where experienced staff will be available to ask any questions you may have. For more information call 020 7378 4728.