The electric bike (VAE), more commonly called electric bike, is spreading more and more because it is an ideal means of transport for getting around town or going for walks in the countryside.
What Are Your Motivations?
The first question to ask yourself is: Why will I buy an electric bike? For what use?
You should know that there are several categories of electric bikes: some are folding and thus take up little space in the trunk of a car, in a boat, in the hold of a motorhome or on a balcony, others are specialized for urban or rural routes, and finally others are more sporty and are real mountain bikes with electric assistance.
Choose the type of electric bike. It would help if you analyzed the technical characteristics of specific components that will influence the comfort of use, the autonomy, the level of assistance you want, the sensations experienced during driving, the practical aspect of using certain accessories, etc.
The Battery Of An Electric Bike
You have to analyze two aspects: who is the manufacturer of the battery and what are its technical characteristics.
It would help if you prefer the big names: Samsung, Sony, and Tranzx, which have recognized experience manufacturing batteries for electric bicycles. These batteries will certainly be of good quality, but if possible, choose a battery directly from Samsung or Sony.
Types of battery: there are several (lead, lithium-ion, etc.). Nowadays, all batteries for electric bicycles are of the lithium-ion type because it is the latest, most reliable and most efficient technology. In addition, storms of this type are less heavy, have no memory effect, can be recharged between 600 and 1200 times and worn out.
It depends on two factors. The voltage expresses in volts (V), and the capacity expressed in amperes/hour (A/h). There are several voltages, but the most common today is 36 volts for electric bikes. Then the power can vary between 8 Ah and 15 Ah, and it is this last parameter which will have a significant impact on the autonomy of the electric bike: the higher the number of amps/hour, the more the number of kilometers you can doing without recharging the battery will be necessary. Examples: with a 36 V and 8 Ah battery, you can drive an average of around 30 km. With a 15 Ah battery, you will be able to travel up to about 80 km, all other things being equal because apart from the characteristics of the battery, certain other factors influence the autonomy: the weight of the person transported,
The battery charges using a simple power outlet. Contrary to some beliefs, the battery does not recharge while pedaling or going downhill! Even if you don’t use your bike often, you should recharge the battery regularly (once a month) because an uncharged battery wears out quickly.
Motor Power For An Electric Bike
The motor power of an electric bike is limited to 250 W. For example, buying a VAE equipped with a 36 volt and 15 amp/hour battery gives a power of 36*15=540Wh. However, the manufacturer is obliged to limit the motor to 250 W: indeed, according to the legislation, if this motor power is more significant than 250 W, there would be an obligation to register the electric bicycle. Much larger traffic. Another restriction imposed by the legislation: the speed must not exceed 25 km/hour.
Note: it is necessary to pedal for the motor to come into action on an electrically assisted bicycle: pedaling sensors transmit the information to the controller, which activates the motor.
The Position Of The Motor In An Electric Bicycle
There are three possible positions: in the hub of the front wheel, the rear wheel, or the crankset.
According to specialists, the feeling is different depending on the position of the engine
- If located in the front wheel, the in-wheel motor is more linear. It’s like having a push behind your back.
- As for the difference between the motor in the front wheel and the rear wheel, there is very little. Often, manufacturers decide to put it in the front wheel (or the crankset) to put a rear hub with integrated gears. The only problem with the motor in the front wheel is that it can lack a bit of grip on unstable ground (gravel, sand, ice), but if you ride in town or on paved roads, you won’t feel the difference.
- The best-known competitors in the crankset motor market are Panasonic, Bosch, Yamaha, and Tran. This type of motor is equipped with multi-sensors to avoid the jolts of the assistance, which can seem jerky. In terms of feeling, bikes with a “pedal” motor are preferred by those looking for sensations close to a classic motorcycle.
- According to some enthusiasts, the advantage of the bottom bracket motor is that the engine is located in the center of the bike, thus bringing the center of gravity to a more favorable position.
Type Of Assistance For An Electric Bike
There are two types of assistance which define the nature of the sensors that activate the motor:
- The rotation sensor: the motor starts as soon as you pedal and stops as soon as you stop pedaling. It’s the simplest.
- The torque (or pressure) sensor measures the pressure you exert on the pedals: the more you push on the pedals, the greater the assistance provided by the motor. This way, you can climb a hill more easily because the bike knows the level of difficulty you are in and therefore adjusts the level of motor assistance accordingly. Therefore, this type of sensor has advantages: it ensures better reactivity of motor operation and lowers energy consumption. However, it is a more expensive component and generally fitted to higher-end bikes.
Driving Position Of An Electric Bike
- The upright position (handlebar high and close to the driver) is characteristic of city bikes.
- It allows you to have your arms relaxed, your head and back straight, and see far. It is the most comfortable position.
- An intermediate geometry involves a slightly leaning forward position: this will reduce comfort but increase sportiness and driving pleasure.
- Finally, there are real electric mountain bikes which allow a much more sporty use: in this case, they are not equipped with the accessories described above and are fitted with larger tires to be able to go everywhere (forest path, for example)
- The riding position indicates a drawing in the description of each bike in our shop.
Gear Shifting For An Electric Bike
- Gear change by derailleur: this is the most classic. You can change gears while pedaling. In a sporty driving position, this is the most pleasant system. In addition, combined with pedal motorization, it allows the latter to deliver a greater torque.
- Gearshift integrated into the rear hub: has many advantages:
- It is possible to change gears when stationary, without pedaling
- It is impossible to derail: this avoids getting your hands dirty to reposition the chain correctly!
- Requires low maintenance.
Electric bikes are trending mostly in this generation. They are growing very rapidly. Indeed, it is economical, ecological and good for health. But what are the criteria to take into account to choose the one that meets your needs.