Electric bikes are a great alternative if you are looking for a more economical way to travel around or commute to work. Add to this a more exciting way to travel around compared to a regular bike. They come with an integrated electric motor (run by the battery) which propels the rider forward without having to pedal like they would on a regular bike – the motor assist’s the rider’s pedaling (i.e pedelecs). More powerful e-bikes would be similar to mopeds, but all e-bikes have the function to be pedaled by the user (except models the Woosh Krieger, Infineum, GoCycyle, Volt Kensington and the Volt Metro all have a throttle as well as pedal-assist) and you can turn this function on and off which means if lets you use your e-bike for purely exercising or allows you to mix it, for instance when making it up a steep hill you can just use the electric assist and boost yourself up effortlessly, as if you had a benevolent strong tail wind pushing you all the way up – that’s how it feels! Regular bikes, good as they can be, just do not come with all of the benefits that are provided by the electric-assisted bikes sold here. If you are in the market for one, there are some important questions to ask when doing research about electric bikes for sale.
What is an electric bike?
Electric bikes are similar to regular bikes except they are much more fun to ride. The electric assist has the ability to boost you throughout your ride and carry you up hills effortlessly, safely through intersections, or to help you win a race against your friends. You won’t have to break a sweat or go take the obligatory shower after you’ve cycled into work in the morning! The battery is mounted to the frame of the bike and the electricity is transferred to the wheels via a throttle or pedal-powered assistance.
How fast can an electric bike go?
Most electric bikes for sale are limited to 20mph. There is a selection of bikes for the speed racers out there that top out at 28mph, but require a great deal of effort to reach this superior speed. These are helpful when travelling for longer periods of time.
Are they comfortable to ride?
Electric bikes offer many of the same comforts as a regular bike, but the electric assistance makes them even better. This provides a great level of comfort because riding does not have to be as strenuous. On a hill, the rider can easily coast up it without breaking a sweat! This is a wonderful way to travel; it is far better than sitting in traffic. In a strong headwind, the rider can activate the electric assist to blast through the breeze. It will feel as if you have your own personal air conditioner.
How much do they cost?
Electric bikes have different price tiers but generally range from $500 upwards. For someone interested in buying their first bike, it is not necessary to get the most expensive model, although the salesmen would appreciate it. There are great options for the beginner looking to get into electric assisted bikes. More expensive bikes may have more features or larger batteries but are often not that much more specialized than the first bike you buy.
What do I need to know about batteries?
Batteries come in many different shapes and sizes. Most batteries have the ability to carry the rider for 20 or 30 miles, equivalent to the length of a marathon! Some bikes offer larger batteries with extended lives. These are great for people with very long commutes or people who ride for long periods of time as the range for these large batteries is up to 100 miles! Larger batteries are typically more expensive and much heavier. Many batteries can be charged at your place of employment which decreases the need for such a long battery life. It typically takes between three and six hours to charge. Depending on the municipality and utility provider of the rider, this means it costs between $.03 and $.10. This is extremely economical and contributes to the appeal of the electric bikes for sale. Also, If the battery does happen to go flat, it’s not like an electric car: you will still be able to pedal. Some batteries can even be charged by regenerative braking, like in electric cars, or by the simple act of pedaling!
Are there different kinds of electric bikes?
In short, yes. The bikes that can reach 28mph are called pedelecs. Additionally, you can choose a bike with a higher wattage (see next question). This allows you a higher overall speed. Another decision to be made is whether the rider would like a throttle assist or a pedal assist on their electric bike. Throttle assist gives you the ability to decide how much power is transmitted to the wheel. A little power can help on a straightaway but the rider may need a large boost when going up a hill. Then of course you have electric mountain bikes, electric foldable bikes and all the variations you have when it comes to regular bikes, except these are electric powered.
Are there special laws for electric bikes?How much power do they have?
No! Electric bikes are governed by the same rules as regular bikes despite the lightning speed they can accomplish. The only rule for electric bikes is that must produce between 250 and 750 watts of electricity. This is roughly equivalent to 1 horsepower. If it were any higher, there would be special rules about where they can be ridden or having to be licensed to ride one, such as with motorcycles or large scooters. The registration process would be similar to that of a motorcycle if it were any faster. This would limit the popularity and ease of use.
I don’t like to sweat… Is an electric bike right for me?
Don’t worry! Even on a hot summer day, the ability to boost through your commute makes it extremely easy to get going. There is no need to strain when the rider has an easy head start at the push of a button. Even when faced with a hill, there is no need for heavy exertion: lightly pedaling with electric assistance is more than enough to get you over an obstacle.
Are electric bikes heavy?
Yes and no. They are heavier than standard bikes because they are equipped with battery packs, but they are by no means heavy. If weight is a concern, there are many lightweight models to choose from. Typically, however, these bikes range from 45 to 60lbs although there are many exceptions to this. A top of the line commuting and hauling bike may have an enormous battery and tons of equipment, while a bike designed for speed could be well under 45lbs. These bikes are light enough to be handled by any sized rider. After all, once they are in motion, they’re incredibly stable and easy to ride.
I love my current bike and do not need another. Can I add an electric assist kit to it?
Good news: yes, there are electric kits for standard bikes. If a brand new electric bike for sale is too much of an initial investment, there are many kits on the market to help convert your standard boring bicycle into an electric bicycle of the future. Installing one will make friends jealous of the technology and may even encourage them to get involved as well!