What’s the difference between a regular bike and an electric bike?
Technically, the main differences are that en e-bike has a motor and a battery. For riders, the differences are clearly evident in the range and the power that must be applied per kilometer ridden. An e-bike makes you five times more powerful.
When you transfer 60 watts of power to a normal bicycle, the output is also 60 watts. However, when you transfer the same power to an electric bike with a 250 W motor, your output is 310 W.
Can I convert my normal bicycle to an e-bike?
Yes, it is possible to add a motor, a battery and a controller to a regular bicycle. However, this requires very good knowledge on how bicycles are built and how e-bikes work. The resulting e-bike will most likely not run very smoothly unless built by a professional.
What’s the difference between pedelecs and fully supported e-bikes?
E-bikes are classified according to when and how the power from the motor is applied. Pedal-assist e-bikes (pedelecs) are bicycles where the electric motor is regulated by pedalling. For fully supported e-bikes, however, the motor is activated by a switch – independent pedalling is not required here.
What’s the difference between pedelecs and S-pedelecs?
Pedelecs are bicycles that support up to 250 W at a speed of 25 km/h. For S-pedelecs, the maximum output of the motor is 500 watts and the support goes up to 45 km/h.
In most countries, it is mandatory to register and insure a S-Pedelec with license plate. In addition, you can only ride the bike on regular traffic lanes, not on bike paths.
Why are e-bikes so expensive?
E-bike prices range typically from 1,000 – 4,000 €. This is mostly due to the cost of electronics inside the electric bicycle and the cost of the custom design that these electronics need.
Typically, e-bikes need to have components that don’t exist on normal bikes, such as long-lasting and reasonably-sized batteries, powerful motors, a controller to regulate electrical flow from the battery to the motor, and control mechanisms for the rider. All this requires professionals to integrate the components and make sure the bike runs smoothly.
Are e-bikes safe?
Yes, e-bikes are just as safe as regular bikes. However, since you are a lot more dynamic on an e-bike and get up to speed faster, a forward-looking and considerate behaviour is of course important.
Are e-bikes legal?
Yes, pedelecs are legal as long as they follow the rules and limitations set on e-bikes. In Europe there is a general rule that a pedelec may have a 250W electric motor capable of a maximum speed of 25 km/h, and the engine may only assist instead of completely replacing pedalling.
Do I need a license to ride e-bikes?
E-bike laws may vary from country to country. According to the general rule, if the wheel has pedals and an electric motor with 250W output or less, it is legally considered an electric bicycle and can be driven by anyone over 16 years of age without a special license or driver’s license.
How much does an e-bike weight?
The average weight of an e-bike is around 20-23 kg, but there are models that are as light as 13,5 kg and as heavy as 43 kg. The weight depends heavily on the components used in the bicycle.
What are the differences between e-bike motors?
A mid-drive motor is placed between the pedals at the bottom bracket of the bicycle. It uses the bicycle drivetrain to transfer the motor’s power to the rear wheel and move the bike forward.
Hub motor is positioned in the front or rear wheel of the bicycle, placed in the wheel hub. Instead of placing the motor where the pedals are, hub motor is integrated into the wheel making the connection between the motor and the ground direct.
Can e-bike batteries be taken out?
Yes, many e-bikes have a removable battery. While removable batteries can be handy, they can often look clunky and are less protected against external influences, damage or theft.
Some e-bike brands like Ampler have integrated the battery pack inside the bicycle frame, making the e-bike look and feel like a normal bicycle. There’s no need to remove the battery for charging — the charging is done by connecting the bike to the charger. If the battery gets damaged or slows down after some years of usage, the battery can easily be replaced by the service.
How long does it take to charge an e-bike?
The average charge time is 2 to 6 hours. The charge time depends on the size and type of battery. Powerful Li-ion batteries charge up fast. The charging time of the Ampler e-bikes is 2.5 hours for a complete charge.
Do e-bikes charge while pedalling?
A few e-bike models include a function to recharge the battery while pedalling or breaking. As nice as the thought is, however, there are currently no systems that are able to completely charge the bike via pedalling, thus it is not a very common practice.
Why should I ride an e-bike?
E-bikes remove the physical barriers from cycling – hills, wind, and sweat – and open up the activity to more riders than regular bicycles. They also extend your range compared to regular cycling.
Are e-bikes worth the cost?
The prices for e-bikes can seem steep at first glance. However, when looking more closely at costs, benefits and added value, you will notice that e-bikes can save you money in the long term, as you just have the cost of the bike and minimal upkeep. Other methods of transportation such as public transport or a car come with lots of associated costs such as public transportation tickets, petrol, car insurance, maintenance, parking costs etc.
Are e-bikes eco-friendly?
Yes, while a car emits almost two tonnes of CO2 every year, e-bikes do not produce exhaust fumes at all and just use the power to support your pedalling.
The batteries that are installed in e-bikes are also relatively environmentally friendly. They are rechargeable, designed for many years of intensive use and can be charged with electricity from renewable sources.
Riding e-bikes is also better for road conditions. Cars and trucks can damage roads which leads to costly and environmentally-damaging repairs. Electric bikes, in contrast, won’t have the same wear and tear, helping to cut down on these large infrastructure construction projects.
Are e-bikes practical?
Good e-bikes are very practical, reliable and make your life easier. They remove the physical barriers such as hills, wind, and sweat from cycling. This means that, compared to regular bicycles, you can easily cover longer distances with an e-bike while carrying large grocery bags or a child trailer.
Are e-bikes difficult to use?
Good e-bikes are very easy to handle. You can ride them just like a normal bicycle and get used to the extra “tailwind” very fast.
Can I ride my e-bike in the rain or in cold?
Yes, e-bikes can easily be driven in wet conditions and left in the rain. For charging, it is advisable to store them indoors, as the chargers may not always be waterproof.
Although low temperatures can temporarily reduce battery capacity by about 10-20%, you can still ride your e-bike in winter without any problem. Winter riding requires proper gear and a little extra preparation to winterize your bike, but otherwise, you can still ride if you want to.
Can I still get exercise when I’m riding an e-bike?
Yes, research suggests that e-bikers tend to ride more frequently than those with traditional bikes. The percentage of riders who rode daily or weekly increased from 55% to 91% when switching from a regular bike to an e-bike.
Even e-biking just three times a week for 40 minutes can improve cardiovascular fitness and blood sugar levels.
Can I ride my e-bike if the battery dies?
Yes, even if your battery runs out of juice during your ride, the pedal-assisted e-bike still functions like a regular bicycle, allowing you to pedal as normal.