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What is an electric bike?
A bicycle with an electric motor and battery which supplements your natural pedalling power. Also known as e-bikes or pedelecs, no licence is required and you can ride them in the same places as regular bikes.
How does an electric bike work?
Riding an ebike is very simple, just start pedalling and the electric motor will help you along. The assist is most noticeable when starting off and climbing will seem almost effortless.
How fast can I ride an electric bike?
The electric motor is restricted by law to offer assistance only up to 15.5mph. You can of course ride an e-bike faster than that but you will be relying on your own pedal power over 15.5mph.
Are they heavier than ordinary bikes?
Electric bikes are 7 to 10kg heavier than ordinary bikes due to the extra weight of the motor and battery. You won’t really notice this extra weight while pedalling thanks to the electric assist. E-bikes handle well too as the extra weight is slung down low making them nice and stable.
Can I vary the power output?
Yes, the motors have different power modes so you can choose how much assist you need. The higher power modes will get you up to speed quicker but will use up the battery capacity faster.
How far can I ride on one charge?
The range of an ebike will depend on the battery size as well as the amount of assist the motor gives you. For example, cycling up hills requires more assist than riding on the flat. Battery capacity is measured in Watt Hours (Wh). A 400Wh battery pack will give you a range of 20 – 90 power assisted miles. While a 500Wh pack offers 30 – 140 miles
How can I tell how much charge is left in the battery?
The batteries have a charge indicator so you can easily tell how much is remaining. In addition to this many e-bikes have a display unit on the handlebars. This shows battery capacity as well as other data like speed and predicted range.
Can I still ride it if the battery is flat?
Yes, it will ride just like an ordinary bike (if a little slower due to the extra weight) once the battery is flat. You can also choose to switch the power assist off to save battery power.
Can I take the battery off the bike to charge it?
Yes, electric bike batteries can be charged either on or off the bike. The batteries are locked on to the bike, for security, but are easy to remove so you can charge them in work ready for the commute home.
How long does it take to recharge the battery?
The lithium ion batteries on most e-bike are quick to charge. A 400Wh battery pack will take about 3.5 hours to fully charge from flat. A 300Wh battery will charge in about 2.5hrs.
What type of electric bike should I choose?
As with any bike, the type you choose will depend on where you want to ride. The difference with ebikes is that you don’t have to worry so much about rolling resistance as the electric motor will overcome that. Up to 15.5mph an electric mountain bike will be just as quick as an electric road or hybrid bike. Road and hybrid bikes will offer an increased range however as they are more efficient.
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