Nowadays electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular modes for transportation in cities. They’re fast efficient, reliable, green and enjoyable to ride. There are, of course, certain disadvantages too. This article outlines the advantages and disadvantages of electric bikes, to aid you in deciding whether e-bikes are suitable for you. I’ll also discuss some of the most important aspects to consider before purchasing one.
What is an electric Bicycle?
Electric bicycles, sometimes referred to as e-bikes, are bikes equipped with electric motors and batteries that can be used to propel. The motor is normally placed near the crank or an hub. The battery is mounted on the seat tube, downtube or on the rear rack. The majority of e-bikes can reach a maximum rate of 20 miles an hour (32 kilometers/hour) and the range is between 20 and 35 miles (32-56 km) per charge.
A range of electric bicycles are offered. Some of them only have pedal assistance. This means that you have to pedal when you ride. The motor assists you in your journey. Certain models are similar to mopeds that allow the motor to push you forward without pedaling, If you like. The capacity of the battery, the position of the motor and the size of the motor are also different.
Eco-friendly- This is among the primary reasons why people opt to commute by e-bike rather than driving around in a vehicle or taking a bus. E-bikes have electric motors that aren’t releasing pollution into the atmosphere similar to internal combustion engines. They’re among the most eco-friendly and sustainable methods of transportation that are available. The e-bike is an ideal way to lower the carbon footprint of your vehicle. The most efficient option is to walk or take an unpowered bike.
You aren’t sweating as much. One of the primary reasons that more people don’t cycle in the morning is discomfort that comes from wearing sweaty clothing all day. No one wants to be soiled or smelly. The majority of employers don’t provide the luxury of showers and changing your clothes as you show up at work every day is a headache. Electric bikes can solve this issue. On an electric bike your heart rate remains less because the electric motor takes care of most of the task for you. The pedal assist feature can assist you in climbing the big climb. With certain models, you don’t need to pedal if do not wish to. This means you sweat less. You’ll feel dry and fresh the moment you arrive.
A lot less expensive than driving. On average the cost is about 50 cents per mile for a compact car. E-bikes cost between 5 and 10 cents. The initial cost is less. If you’re working on a tight budget, you can purchase an e-bike that’s decent for just $1500. A reliable car for commuters is more than twice the price. Furthermore, you do not have the expense of insurance when you ride an electric bike. Repairs and maintenance are considerably less expensive as well.
There’s no need be charged for parking.
E-bikes allow you to explore more terrain within a single day. E-bike range has been greatly increased in recent years due to new batteries. A typical e-bike can cover an average range of 20 to 35 miles (about 32-56 kilometers). If you are able to pedal part of the way without the aid of electric motors it is possible to cover more miles. This lets you travel more than you can with a standard bicycle.
It’s faster than a traditional bikeThe majority of e-bikes are restricted to a maximum speed of between 20 and 28 miles an hour (about 30 or 40 km/h). Most cyclists cannot achieve those speeds on their own ability. It’s not possible, at least for a long time. The average speed is greater on an e-bike, and you’ll reach your destination quicker. If you can cut the duration of your commute you will be able to sleep some more.
Silence- Electric bicycle motors are almost silent. When you ride, you’ll be able to be aware of what’s happening around you, and enjoy the surroundings without having to listen to the sound of engine noise. It’s also less disruptive to people around you with the noise pollution. Motorcycles and cars are more blaring.
Very little maintenance is requiredThe majority of the time electric bikes need about the exact amount of care as other bikes that are not powered. All you need to do is ensure that the tire pressure stays at a good level, wash and lubricate your chain on a regular basis and replace the tires and brake pads once they get worn out. It’s easy to do all the maintenance yourself using some basic tools and some expertise. The battery and motor aren’t really requiring any additional maintenance, other than maintaining the battery’s charge and replacing it after a few years as it gets worn out. E-bikes need less maintenance than automobiles or motorcycles.
A lesser amount of regulationThere is less regulation to deal with. In the majority of areas, electric bicycles are considered as bicycles that are not powered. There is no need for an driver’s license to ride one. There’s no age limit or minimum or testing requirements and there are no hearing or vision conditions. There is no need for registration, and you don’t require insurance. You can simply purchase an e-bike and start riding.
The use of an electric bike reduces the wear and tear of your vehicle. Owning cars and an electric bike lets you pick the right vehicle for every excursion. If you’re only going to the store for groceries or local coffee place, take the electric bicycle. If you want to take a trip through town, you can use the car. When you decide to ride an electric bike instead of the automobile and save money, you’re not paying for fuel and maintenance
Pros and Cons of Electric Bikes
It is essential to have electricity. The majority of e-bikes can travel between 20 and 35 miles (about 32-56 km) when charged. In the end, you’ll need to locate a spot to rest and charge your bike again. When your bike is equipped with enough battery to last a whole circular trip, this shouldn’t be an issue. You’ll be able to plug your bike into the outlet after you return at home. If you’re able to use more than 50% of your battery on the journey to your destination, you’ll need to charge your bike prior to returning to your home. Most offices and companies don’t have charging facilities for electric bikes at the present time. Because of this, electric bikes aren’t the best choice for long trips. Most times you won’t have the ability recharge the batteries until you return home.
Long charging times – The majority of battery packs for e-bikes take 3.5-6 minutes to charge fully. It’s a long time to wait for if you have to travel to a place. However, of course you are able to continue to ride on a part charge, but the range of your ride is reduced. Certain e-bikes have quick charging that allows you to reach 80percent capacity in 2 hours using a 10 amp charger. This is great, but it’s difficult on your battery.
A short range- Many electronic bikes can cover 20 to 35 miles (about 32-56 km). This is adequate for journeys, commutes and short journeys to the grocery store and return. The battery can last for about three to five hours, based on your speed and terrain. It’s not enough for an entire day of cycling. Therefore, the e-bikes aren’t ideal for cyclists or bicycle couriers. However however, there are electric bikes available with huge batteries with ranges of over 100 miles.
Costly – An e-bike costs between $200 and $3000. A moderately priced non-powered bike is approximately $1200-1500. E-bikes cost about twice more than the non-powered bike. The additional cost is mainly due to the batteries. The battery alone is priced between $500 and $800. It’s a significant expense to add a motor too. If you’re on a strict budget, go riding a normal bike with the motor.
Heavy- An average electric bike weighs between 40 and 70 pounds (about 18 to 32 kilos). The battery and motor are a major contributor to weight. A typical bike that is not powered weighs between 25 and 35 pounds (about 11-16 kilograms). The weight difference doesn’t have any significance until the battery goes out and you’re forced to pedal up a hill without assistance. E-bikes are also difficult to keep in storage. It’s not a good idea to transport a 70-pound bike up three steps to your home every single day, for instance.
Expensive battery replacements- E-bike batteries cost $500-$800. The cost varies depending on the dimensions and the model of the bike. The price of proprietary batteries is usually higher than the standard size batteries. The majority of e-bikes have lithium-ion batteries capable of holding charge for up to 800 cycles if maintained properly. If you commute every day you’ll likely get a couple of years of use from every battery. It is important to take into account the cost of replacing batteries when calculating the price of owning your e-bike.
Did you know? Bikekits.co.uk supply a range of electric bike kit with battery.
You cannot fly using an electric bike – according to the FAA lithium batteries that you carry included in carry-on or checked baggage must be at least 100 watt-hours, or less. Some airlines will allow batteries with up to 160 watts. They are typically only allowed for medical devices. The majority of e-bike batteries fall around the 300-500 watt hour range. They’re too big for an aircraft. The limit of 100 watts is simply too small for an electric bike. If you want to fly on your bike, you might be able of shipping batteries to your self, and then fly the bike. You may also be able rent or purchase a battery at the location you are heading to.
Certain e-bikes have exclusive parts – these are the parts that are specifically to your specific model of bike. They can only be purchased from the manufacturer. A lot of e-bikes come with proprietary components in the drive system or battery. There are a variety of issues that you might encounter when using proprietary components. They make replacement parts difficult to locate because you need purchase them directly from the dealer or manufacturer. They don’t adhere to what is called the ISO standard. If you’re far from an outlet, you may not have access to the components you require. The second reason is that proprietary parts tend to be more expensive than the standard size parts. Manufacturers may charge more since they understand that you are stuck with no choice for keeping cycling. Additionally, parts made by proprietary manufacturers could be difficult to locate when the manufacturer is shut down in the near future.
Electric Bike Designs
Electric bikes are available with a range of styles. The main differences in design are the kind of motor and the place it is placed along with the size of the battery and its placement as well as the method by which the power is managed. Each electric bicycle has its own unique set of drawbacks and advantages.
In this article I’ll go over the two major designs you’ll need to make when purchasing an electric bicycle. I’ll also discuss the most significant and expensive component the battery.
1. Pedal Assist (Pedelec) In contrast to Trottle Controlled Electric Bicycles
These systems let you manage the power of the bike. There are three types of electric bicycles:
Pedal assist electric bikes (class 1)In this type of technology, the motor is propelled only when you are pedaling. When the electronic assist system is on the motor begins to work once you begin pedaling. If you stop pedaling, the motor stops working. Its pedal assist feature helps you pedal more easily. This is the most popular type of electric bike. They usually have 20 mph maximum speed.
Throttle controlled electronic bikes (class 2)are similar to the motorbike or scooter. A twist-grip or button placed on the handlebars allow users to control the power. It’s not necessary to pedal if there’s no reason to. Most e-bikes feature an electronic throttle along with electronic assist. This kind of system is popular across America and Asia. US and Asia however, it is banned across Europe.
Speed pedelec E-bikes (class 3)They operate exactly like regular class 1 pedal assist ebikes. The only difference is in the maximum speed. Class 3 e-bikes typically have speeds of around 28 milliseconds or 45 kph. They are equipped with powerful motors that allow them to reach the greater speed.
2. Hub Motor Vs Mid Drive E-Bikes
This design option refers to the place where the motor’s electric power is located to the bicycle. In this article I’ll discuss the major distinctions.
Hub motors are installed on either the rear or front hub in the middle of the wheel. These motors can be used in place of a normal hub. Hub motors function independently from the other parts of the drive system. Hub drive bikes typically make use of a cadence sensor pedal-assist or the throttle.
Hub drives are popular on e-bikes with lower end prices since they are less expensive and less complex mechanically as mid-drive engines. They usually require less maintenance. They also work with a wide range of bikes, if you intend to convert your existing bicycle into an electric bike.
The main drawback of hub motors lies in the fact they typically only have only one speed. They are therefore less effective. They also weigh a lot, that makes the process of changing tires or fixing flats a little more difficult. Hub motors also limit the wheel components you can choose from because of their size.
Mid Drive Motors
The mid-drive motors can be placed on the front of the bike close to the crank. The motor is integrated with the lower bracket and crankset. Sometimes, the frame and motor are integrated too. The majority of mid-drive motors utilize sensors to measure torque to control the pedal assist system.
The primary advantage of this design is that it allows you to benefit from the bike’s gears as the motor is able to power the rear wheel via the chain. This boosts efficiency and allows you to operate the motor at the right speed. It also helps to prolong the life of your motor since it is possible to reduce the gearing so the motor doesn’t need to be as efficient. Additionally, mid-drive motors have more torque and have better distribution of weight. They are also lighter and smaller than hub drive motors.
The biggest drawback with middle-drive motors lies in the fact that they can be extremely damaging to components of the drive. This is due to the fact that the motor produces greater power and power than the human body could. Chains that aren’t durable can’t deal with the strain. Motors with mid-drive are more complicated and expensive.
The battery capacity of E-bikes
When you are choosing a battery one of the primary aspects to be considered is the capacity. This is the most important factor in the amount of performance you’ll get from your electric bike. The most effective method to gauge the capacity of your battery is in watts (Wh). A battery that has more than watt-hours typically has more range.
Sometimes, watt-hours don’t appear in the specifications of your bike. To figure out the watt-hours your battery produces simply divide the voltage of your battery (V) by the number of Amp-hours (Ah). Once you have figured out the watt-hours you can evaluate the power of various electric bike batteries.
I prefer to think of watt hours as the amount of watts batteries can run at all times for an hour. If, for instance, the battery is rated at 500 watts then it will be running at 500 watts for an hour. It could also run at 250 watts over two hours. This will give some idea on how long the battery can last depending on the motor size of your electric bike.
Of course there are plenty of elements that affect the range of your electric bike, including the weight of your body and your load as well as wind the terrain, hills battery age as well as temperature, speed and driving posture, tire pressure and many more.
Electric Bicycle Kits for Conversion
If you already own an existing bike you love or you’re on a strict budget, you could save some cost by installing an e-bike conversion kit. Many options are available , including mid-drive and hub drive and throttle control as well as pedal assistance.
The most basic kits typically cost between $200 and $300. They comprise everything you require, including the controller, motor, the handlebar-mounted display, the pedal-assist sensor, throttle, brake levers, security switches and torque arm the necessary installation equipment, and an instruction manual.
The only thing that’s not included in the convertor kit includes the battery. The price range is typically $200 to $400, depending on the dimensions and the quality. In all, you’ll be in a position to convert your bike into electric power for about $500. When selecting an e-bike battery, ensure that the voltage is within the voltage range of your motor was built for.
Final Thoughts about the pros and cons of Electric Bikes
Today, e-bikes are becoming more well-known than ever before. They’re a great option for commuters, recreational riders, and those who use them for exercise. If compared with an automobile or motorcycle, electric bikes are less polluting and more sustainable for the planet. They are also considerably less expensive to maintain and operate.
However, they do have some disadvantages that should be considered. In comparison to a traditional bicycle electric bikes cost more and are a bit more difficult to maintain. They also need to be regularly charged since the distance is still very small on the majority of models.
Personally, I am a fan of e-bikes and am excited to see how this industry evolves in the near future. I’m hoping for faster charging and a longer distance as battery technology advances. I anticipate seeing an increasing number of electric bikes on the roads in the next few years. Many cyclists find them to seem sensible.