Tot ce trebuie sa stii despre bicicletele electrice

Many of us learned to ride a bike with someone behind to push us lightly from behind to give us a little boost. And for the most part, this is what we can say that the motor of an electric bicycle does today, except that the impulse it provides is maintained as long as you continue to pedal.

Why should you consider an electric bicycle?

It is not (yet) true that everyone rides an electric bike today, but sales have increased in recent years.

Reasons to get an electric bike (pro arguments)

The motivations of e-bikers are varied, but there are some aspects that are cited most often as reasons why it would be good to consider an electric bike:

  • You think that cycling is fun and healthy, but you don't want to be limited by hilly routes, long distances or the logistics of the fact that you will arrive sweaty at your destination.
  • Speaking of fun, new e-bike owners always say that riding an e-bike always means lots of fun times.
  • You want to keep up with a friend or your partner who is an avid cyclist.
  • You want to commute to work and you are motivated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, do sports and have more fun on the road.
  • You want an alternative to driving a car for various errands around town.
    The common denominator is that an electric bike simply opens up more possibilities for individuals: from new parents who can carry small children in a tethered way, to older or injured cyclists who are no longer as strong as in youth. Commuters can keep up with traffic. Those who ride mountain bikes no longer have to rule out routes with steep hill climbs. And those who go shopping can carry several bags of groceries.

We must also note that e-bikes do not deprive you of a good workout. It is very true that some journeys can be easier, but those who opt for electric bikes can travel longer distances, pedal at a faster pace, climb steeper hills and ride an electric bike more often than they used to do it with an ordinary bicycle.
We also have to note that electric bikes (most of them) are called "pedal assist" bikes, because the motor generally works only when you actuate the pedals, which means that you will still be working quite a lot.

Arguments against e-bikes, compared to traditional bikes

  • Electric bikes cost more than non-electric ones, but if your electric bike replaces the commute you normally do by car and the various roads you take, then you will be able to recoup that investment.
  • The greater weight of an e-bike means that lifting and transporting an e-bike (in a car boot) can also be a challenge.

Where can you go with electric bikes?

A general answer to the question "where can you ride an electric bike" is "on the street". From here, however, things are less clear, because the laws and regulations are still in full evolution.

Also, trips with electric bicycles in nature , especially in the mountains, are very popular.

Another essential thing to remember about access by electric bike is that you need to inform yourself about the local rules and regulations for your class of electric bike vis-à-vis the places where you intend to ride it.

In order to understand the access rules for electric bikes, it is important to first understand what the three classes of electric bikes are.
Most bicycle manufacturers and state, local and other entities have adopted this system, which defines an electric bicycle as a low-speed bicycle with fully functional pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (about 1 horsepower).

The three groups are:

  • Class 1 – The engine starts only if you pedal actively, and the engine assistance stops when you reach 32 km/h.
  • Class 2 – These e-bikes have a pedal assist mode up to 32 km/h and also offer a throttle powered mode that does not require pedaling.
  • Class 3 - It works like class 1 (only pedal assistance), but the engine only stops assisting at 45 km/h.

Class 1 electric bikes are the most generally accepted. This is one of the reasons why they are the most popular choice. But class 1 bicycles are not allowed on all bicycle lanes, especially those where the speed limit is 25 km/h. Also, some mountain bike trail systems prohibit all classes of e-bikes, although in general, class 1 bikes are starting to gain more access.
Class 2 electric bikes may be allowed in non-electric bicycle areas, if not clearly prohibited. Some cities, for example, may ban the use of these throttle-powered electric bikes. Also, class 2 e-bikes will not be allowed on mountain-bike trails where motorized vehicles are prohibited. For the access of Class 2 bicycles, a safe bet will be city streets and areas for off-road vehicles.
Class 3 electric bikes they are mainly allowed on city streets. The higher the speed offered by the engine assistance, the more advantage you will have when you want to keep up with vehicle traffic, if you are commuting or if you are trying to do any kind of errands on your electric bike.

How do you ride an electric bike?

Although it is different from riding a regular bike, most e-bike beginners quickly get the hang of how things work. Practically, you only need one "drive test" for the body's muscle memory to adapt to the sensation that a vehicle with pedal assistance gives.
Keep the following tips in mind when you start riding an electric bike.

  • Brake earlier, because electric bikes are heavier (and faster). The power of the pedal assist exceeds the slowness that a heavier bike can have, but a heavy mass moving at high speed also requires careful braking. Electric bikes come with robust braking systems that help you, but you still need to be in control when riding an e-bike.
  • Pedal at a faster pace. An electric bike is most efficient when you pedal at a faster cadence than you normally would on a regular bike, especially when going up hills. You can also have a lower cadence, but an electric bike will go smoother and have a better battery life if you pedal faster. So get used to using lower speeds.
  • Go as much as possible in low assistance modes. The engine settings vary from "eco" to "turbo" (terms vary), with one or two variants between them. The choice of mode has a direct effect on battery life - autonomy - so it's better if you can go to eco mode. Call on the turbo only when you really need it. If you feel that eco is not helping you much, try driving with the engine off, and after that eco will seem like it has more speed. Less assistance from the engine also means that you will have a better workout.

How long do electric bicycle batteries last?

The declared autonomy of electric bicycles is generally very high. And the explanation is that the driving range is influenced by many variables. The size of the motor matters, of course: at a certain battery capacity, a more powerful motor means a higher performance and a lower autonomy. But it also matters where and how you ride an e-bike.

Here are the factors that affect battery life and autonomy:

  • More time in eco mode extends battery life. Turbo mode reduces it.
  • Traveling with an e-bike on steeper hills reduces the autonomy. Hills often required stronger modes.
  • The higher total weight reduces the autonomy. (Bicycle + cyclist + additional weight).
  • Pedaling faster can extend battery life. Slower pedaling reduces it.
  • Low temperatures reduce battery life. Storing and charging it inside helps, but the autonomy will still be less when you move during the winter.

Anything that makes it difficult to ride a standard bike can have an effect on battery life. And here we also include details such as the correct inflation of the tires.

Tips for taking care of an electric bike

The charging configuration differs slightly from one electric bicycle to another. Many variants allow you, for example, to remove the battery to charge it inside. If you commute by bike, it may be a good idea to invest in a second charger to keep at work. Also keep in mind that cold temperatures can reduce battery power, so storing your battery indoors during the winter will be a wise idea.
Apart from the battery, the basic maintenance of an electric bicycle is quite similar to that of a regular bicycle. Therefore, the basic advice for bicycle maintenance also applies here. Always do an inspection before a trip, checking the essentials: air pressure, chain and brakes.