An In-depth Comparison: Electric Bike vs. Regular Bike

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Cycling is a staple past time all over the world. Aside from providing leisure it also has tangible health benefits some of which include:

• Lowered body fat content. 
• Stronger bones. 
• Better mobility of your joints. 
• Stronger and more flexible muscles. 
• Reduced degrees of stress. 
• Improved cardiovascular health. 

While today’s world is busy and full of urban sprawl, bicycles still manage to offer convenient transport despite growing traffic levels. Technology has brought innovation to cycling and e-bikes are now seeing rising adoption as an alternative to traditional ones. If you’re contemplating cycling here is a detailed primer on both types of bicycles to assist your decision making.

How Does An Electric Bike Work?

Regular bikes are a pretty straightforward affair in how they work. You hop on a bicycle, start pedalling as you steer and you’re on your way. Pretty simple. An e-bike, however, works differently. So how does an e-bike actually work? 

An electric bike differs from a regular bike primarily because of the motor. Broadly speaking there are two types of e-bikes based on the difference in the way the motor powers the bicycle: 

• Full-power e-bikes: They are crafted for the least pedalling level over relatively short distances. They are big and feature a hub motor and a battery. If you like the idea of using a bike but detest having to pedal, then this is the bike for you. They have a limited range of between 16-30 kilometres primarily because they are always on power. They can be difficult to pedal as the hub-motor effectively acts as a generator as you need the power to turn it. 

• Power-assist e-bikes: They are designed for more pedalling and can cover relatively long distances of 80-145 km. The greater range is due to the fact that they aren’t on power all the time. Rather, power-assist bikes behave like hybrid cars in that they utilize traditional pedalling but can deliver electric power when necessary. They spot a separate electric motor mounted on the back wheel which turns with little to no resistance when you pedal.

Related Article: A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Bike Maintenance

What Distinguishes an E-Bike from a Traditional Bike?

While a regular bike shares several parts in common with an e-bike, there are three things in particular that distinguish the latter from the former:

• The Motor 
The motor is what generates the e-bike’s power. There are three different positions where you can find the motor on an e-bike depending on the riding style you prefer and its function. 
The front hub motor’s located at the center of the front wheel, and it gives you as a similar feeling to that of the front wheel of a vehicle. The central drive motor is located on the frame, and it makes you feel like you’re on a traditional bike. That’s because it directs all the energy you generate when pedalling into the drive system. Given that the motor lies lower on the bike you don’t feel a great difference from a conventional bike. 
The rear hub motor delivers better traction (since it’s located at the rear) via interacting with the gears and other parts

• The Battery 
The battery stores the power you need to go electric. It generates about 350W-500W and charges in five to six hours. Lithium-ion batteries are the most preferred type over the lead-acid ones as they are lighter. 
If you opt for the latter, know that you will expend a significant amount of the charge bearing its weight as you cycle along. You can always carry a spare battery to change and extend the total time you can cycle with an e-bike. 

• The Sensor 
The sensor regulates the amount of power the bike can receive based on your activity. There are two types of sensors you can find on an e-bike. Torque sensors ease cornering and speed maneuvers as they increase the amount of power when they detect you are exerting more effort by speeding up. When in slow traffic it will kick in just a touch of power to help you cycle along. 
Speed sensors automatically inject power into the motor when they detect you’ve started pedalling. You can feel it kicking in, and as a result, there’s a discernable on and off feeling when using them. 
In contrast to the above, a normal bike will accelerate or decelerate in direct proportion to the pedalling effort you put in. There is no power assistance when facing various terrain.

Is Maintaining an E-Bike Different From a Normal Bike?

Since both types of bikes share some psychical components, there are maintenance issues that cut across the two. Problem areas such as the handlebars, the brakes, the frame, and the gears are handled the same way. 
The only difference will come in when the electrical components of the e-bike need repair or servicing. With the connecting leads, you need to look for potential water ingress that might cause damage. To remedy this take them out, clean them and apply fresh grease to keep them water resistant. 
Another electrical component that should receive special attention is the battery. You need to measure its charging capacity levels to determine whether it can still serve you in an optimum manner. If you don’t do this regularly, you will begin to notice shorter periods between charges as it loses its capacity to store charge due to chemical wear and tear.

How Fast is an E-Bike?

Fundamentally speaking an e-bike provides the advantage of generating more power as you pedal faster, implying more speed. But this is only up to a point. Regulatory consensus places the average speed limit for an e-bike at 20 mph. The bike is designed to throttle power when you hit 20-28mph. It is worth noting that just like vehicles many e-bikes come designed with a speed setting for you to choose the level of assistance you desire.

Is It Still Exercise When I Use an E-Bike?

Although an e-bike has a motor to power you along, it still requires you to pedal just like a normal bike. Therefore you still exert yourself and reap the health benefits associated with cycling. Research from a Colorado university study discovered that when 20 men and women who don’t exercise rode e-bikes for 40 minutes thrice a week, they got healthier. Their blood sugar and cardiovascular health improved within 30 days of this regimen. 

survey of almost 1,800 e-bike owners in North America showed that using power-bikes leads to more cycling, which leads to better health.55% of the surveyed bike owners rode daily or weekly before owning e-bikes. After they switched to e-bikes 91% of the surveyed bike owners cycled daily or weekly. 

E-bikes present a distinct advantage in today’s world where not many people have the time to cycle long enough for it to positively impact their health and fitness. If they use an e-bike for an hour, they will cover significant exercise that will help improve their health.

How Much Does an E-Bike Cost?

The cost of e-bike averages at around $2,500-$5,500 for a premium model spotting a motor from a major maker. An average e-bike will cost at least $1,500. 
Cycling has immense health benefits. As a result, more and more people seek to tap into them and break free from their sedentary lifestyles. Whether you’re a hardcore cyclist who lives for traditional pedalling or an adopter of e-bikes, there is something for everyone via the variety of bike types and the needs they serve.

10 Best Electric Bikes in 2019

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Picking out the Best Electric bike

If you’re just discovering electric bikes and are weighing your options, or you’re a seasoned veteran of the electric biking, the following information was created to help you sift through the best electric bikes and find one that fits your lifestyle and wallet. 

There are 4 classes of electric bikes to consider. In other words, what do you want the bike to do for you? These classes exist to help determine the legal difference between an electric bike and a motor vehicle.

Class 1: Pedal Assist–This means you need to pedal to activate the electric drive and its maximum speed is 20 mph. You can use this class of bike anywhere a normal bike would go including on the street and bike paths.

Class 2: Throttle On Demand–This class uses a throttle or triggers to activate the electric drive and reaches a top speed of 20 mph. Since this class can be operated without pedaling, there may be riding restrictions. Check with the BPSA (Bicycle Products Suppliers Association) for their map of where you can ride which class. Also, check local laws and restrictions.

Class 3: Speed Pedelec–This class uses the pedals to engage the electric drive system. If you pedal this type of bike faster than 20 mph (28 mph max), you can have even more riding restriction. Class 3 is often combined with Class to get the pedal and throttle benefits. Again, Check with BPSA (Bicycle Products Suppliers Association) on riding restrictions.

Class 4: Moped or Motorcycle–Since this class has the electric drive activated by pedaling or throttle and its top speed is above 28 mph, this actually considered a motor vehicle. Because of that distinction, you would need appropriate licensing and insurance like any other motor vehicle.

Related Article: How To Choose An Electric Bike? A Complete Buying Guide

 

City and Commuting Electric Bikes

Trek Dual Sport

  • An electric bike that’s road worthy and trail savvy. Tires are puncture resistant with super knobby tread traction. Larger air volume allows the tires to be stable and resistant tires with tight knobby tread offer traction, stability, and comfort.
  • The spring suspension fork can adjust on the fly to compensate for level surfaces and rocky trails. The brakes are easy to use with an adjustable hand lever.
  • The drive train has 10 adjustable speeds and a clutch keeps the bike from dropping the chain. The chain guard protects clothing, and the pedals come with custom grips and safety reflectors.
  • Lantern-style headlight for maximum visibility that turns with you. There is also an 11-LED backlight. This bike also comes with the options to add high-quality extras like bottles, rear rack, fenders, and locks. An extended warranty is also provided.

Budget-friendly Electric Bikes

Condors Foldsport

  • Budget-conscious yet stylish, this folding electric bike has 4 colour choices, as well as a housed battery with cables that stay tucked away as well. It also has points for adding extras like a rear rack or fenders.
  • A 350 watt motor with 12-magnet cadence sensor plus smaller wheelbase gets you moving through 6 levels of pedal assist. A trigger throttle gives power when you want it.
  • The Shimano 6-speed drive train helps keep costs down but still gives climbing capability. The shifter is easy and comfortable to use.
  • Nice extras include a plastic chain guide, steel derailleur to protect shifter and power cables. A magnetic clasp helps secure the bike when folded. An easy read LCD display and ergonomic grips with gel saddle round this bike’s amenities.

Electric Mountain/”Fat” Electric Bikes

IZIP E3 Peak DS

  • A true trail style electric bike with full suspension and frame built just for trail riding. It also boasts two frame size choices, custom motor, and internal cables.
  • 2.6 inch “fat tires” offer balance, comfort, and control. The 11 speed SRAM NX 
drive train gets you across the terrain of your choice.
  • The Bosch motor generates 120 rpm pedal power on demand instead of at a preset level.
  • IZIP boasts black accents for the motor and battery on the light frame background. 
The pulley system limits kickback with the top of the line Magura hydraulic disc brakes.

Full Suspension Electric Bikes

Riese & Müller Culture GT Vario

  • * Full suspension made for the city, the electric bike touts a Bosch mid-motor, gel saddle and urban commuter electric bike with high-torque Bosch CX mid-motor, comfortable gel saddle, superior Ergon grips on swept back handlebars.
  • A 500-watt-hour battery powers the LED headlight that moves with you. Another safety feature is reflective tire package that allows for a greater vision of the rider.
  •  This bike also comes with an alarm clock, extra wide fenders, protective chain cover and powerful hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Rear rack for passengers or cargo, extra heft added to the frame with 3 size options available.

Cruiser Electric Bikes

Raleigh Retroglide iE

  • A comfy and stylish cruiser that features oversized wheels, handy rear rack, impressive pedals, and kickstand.
  • Both step over and step through bodies are available with the Retroglide along with 4 color options the will match the saddle and grips.
  • This electric bike comes with a 7-speed drive train for the local commute but is equipped with 11-32 Raleigh racing cassette for climbing with quick release wheels and mechanical brakes.
  • The display is simplistic but allows for USB port accessibility.

Folding Electric Bikes

EVELO Quest Max

  • This folding electric bike features an extendable stem and adjustable seat height with centered weight distribution.
  • The Bafang Max mid-motor and NuVinci CVT Hub allow for pedal speed change on the fly.
  • Available in light blue and metallic grey this Evelo is a heavier electric bike than its predecessor, the Evelo Quest One, but has unsurpassed power and versatility.
  • Nice perks included are a double-leg kickstand for added stability and ease of folding, padded saddle, and grips, premium fat Schwalbe tires and 2 USB ports.

Electric Cargo Bikes

Pedego Stretch

  • An electric cargo bike with cruiser style versatile enough to use the extending cargo tube supports as a backrest or accommodation for a second rider
  • Two battery options long distances ad pedal assist or throttle capabilities.
  • Front and rear racks for generous cargo space, “fat” tires, cushy saddle with seat shock, protective chain guard and disc brakes make cargo hauling a joy

Light Electric bikes

Haibike XDURO Race

  • Speedy, well balanced, a light electric bike with the unusual addition of drop handlebars.
  • The Bosch center drive motor produces 28 mph and 65 miles before recharge.
  • Adding to the lightness of this bike is a Petscher self-retracting kickstand and two sets of controls for the mechanical disc brakes. Paired down front and rear LED lights to complete the package.
  • The Haibike offers deep set, quick release wheels and an 11 speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain

Electric Trike

Daymak Florence

  • This electric trike offers ample forward and aft cargo baskets for shopping or supply toting.
  • Full-length fenders for protection and headlight and generous reflectors for safety.
  • A 500-watt front wheel hub motor plus 48 volt 12 amp battery for handling and distance as well as drum brakes for stopping power.

Electric Recumbent Bike

Travel E-Azteca

  • Sliding, adjustable seat, and handlebar features make this recumbent electric bike perfect for almost any rider.
  • Saddle and backrest plus ergonomic hand grips add to the comfort of this bike. 
Plastic fenders cover the chain and protect the rider.
  • The E-Azteca comes in maroon and white and with a stout year long warranty. Canadian trike builder Travel and bike manufacturer Velec have combined to produce this electric bike.
  • The large LCD screen, snappy pedal response, fine stopping power and twist throttle round out perks of this recumbent electric bike

 

As you can see, electric bikes offer a wide range of options for your lifestyle and budget. There are few things to keep in mind when considering an electric bike:

  • Decide what you want the bike for. Are you going to use it for transportation to and from work, running errands or trail riding?
  • Decide what you’re willing to spend and what you expect for your investment. The price range on electric bikes can start at less $1,000 and top out at over $7,000 or more.
  • Check what class the bike you’re interested in belongs to. You might want to check with your local motor vehicle department to see what, if any, special licensing or training you would need to operate the bike where you live.

 

Finally, just remember that the electric bike is an eco-friendly way to get fresh air and a little exercise. So, what are you waiting for?

Are e-Bikes really Economic?

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E-Bikes

Electric bikes are starting to become all the rage. Bicycles were already the world’s most popular form of transportation, and now it’s been upgraded! No longer will you be stuck pedaling up steep hills, or worried about your extra load. An electric bike can help with carrying people, and things!

An electric bike is a simple bicycle with an attached electric motor. It sounds basic but there’s a little more to them than just that.
Electric bikes are a relatively new technology. Due to its newness, you may feel tentative about purchasing one. You probably have dozens of questions. Well, we’re here to help guide you along and make the most economic decision possible. Not only will e-bikes save you money, but they’ll also help save the environment.

What is an e-bike? Are there different types? What are the pros and cons of an electric bike? Is it really worth the cost? These are all questions you probably have. Don’t worry, in the following, we’ll tackle everything you need to know before buying one of these bad boys.

I’ll go over the basics of what an electric bike is and does. The different types. I’ll also highlight the advantages and disadvantages of an e-bike. Finally, we’ll answer the question you came here looking to get answered. Are e-bikes worth the money?

Related Article: How Much Does An E-bike Cost? What Affects Its Price?

What is an e-Bike?

First off, electric bikes may seem pretty self-explanatory but there is some complexity involved. As noted above, an electric bike is just a regular bicycle with an attached electric motor. E-bikes have the convenience of cars and combine it with the simplicity of a bicycle. They are considered zero-emission vehicles. Even with the environmental cost of disposing of electric batteries, electric bikes have a far lower environmental impact than cars.

What Makes an E-bike?

An e-bike is made up of several components. This includes a traditional cycling system, controller, electric motor and battery, as well as a pedaling sensor. You can charge your battery at traditional charging stations or at home through the electrical grid.
E-bikes are also known as power bikes or booster bikes. E-bikes utilize rechargeable batteries and can reach speeds up to 45 KM/H. E-bikes are closing in on the conventional bicycle market, more and more people are opting for electric bikes.

There are more and more sought after as people look towards a more environment-friendly alternative. Powerbikes are classified depending on the power of the attached motor. E-bikes will differ between two main classifications: pedal-assist and power-on-demand.

Next, we’ll get a bit more detailed on the different types of electric bikes.
Pedelec bikes, the e-bike’s most popular form, requires you to constantly pedal. This is great as it constantly forces you to exercise while still providing that motor assist. A lot of e-bikes allow you to change the level of assistance the motor gives you. This means you can bike with minimal assistance as well as have it provide you with that crucial boost when necessary.

The E-bikes Motor

As noted above, electric bikes can range from pedal assist to being full on electric-powered. They will never really top 45KM/H, most electric motors are designed to hit a certain speed limit and never surpass it. Most electric bike motors will start when you begin pedaling and will stop automatically once you apply the brakes.

Most e-bikes have different settings that typically range from low to high. Sometimes you’ll want that turbo boost when climbing a steep hill or running late to your next doctor’s appointment.

Electric bikes are highly customizable. I suggest starting off with a factory model to gain a sense of familiarity. It’s important to become comfortable and ensure that an electric bike is for you before going overboard with customizations.

E-bikes are undoubtedly more complex than regular bicycles. This requires further maintenance, more chances of something going “wrong”. Just be sure to keep up with your e-bike maintenance, and to regularly take your bike for maintenance appointments.
Unfortunately, with the attached the motor, e-bikes can be quite heavy. Pedaling a pedelec bike can be difficult if the battery is dead. In that case, pedaling the full weight of an e-bike without assist can be strenuous.

If you’re already a bike enthusiast and feel like you take out your bike all the time, then an e-bike is perfect. Studies show that owning an e-bike substantially increase the amount you bike.

The Pros of E-Bikes

They are far more cost-beneficial and environmental friendly when compared to fuel powered cars and motorbikes/scooters. The money that you’ll save in the long run really make an e-bike a great economic selection. It’s truly a money-saver. E-bikes are also cheaper than buying an electric car. They are becoming more popular in cities and places with a lack of public transportation.

Even for individuals that aren’t on the cycle circuit, e-bikes are excellent to build confidence and stamina. You’ll find a definite improvement in your health. Cycling is a great way to exercise while living your everyday life. Electrical bikes allow less fit people to bike where they want to go.

They can also aid seniors that miss feeling the rush of the open road. The assistance you receive pedaling up steep hills can make all the difference. You may not be initially fit to ride 10-15 KM at a time, but on an e-bike, the sky’s the limit!
Unfortunately, as e-bikes aren’t as widespread as we like you may have some issues locating spare parts from time to time. E-bike parts are not always completely interchangeable.

E-Bike Batteries 

Battery maintenance is really vital, it’s advisable to regularly run your e-bike to keep your battery in good shape. Without consistent use, your battery’s charging capacity will decrease with the lack of activity. E-bike batteries tend to have a life of 2-5 years before needing replacement. This is why it’s so key to stay on top of your battery maintenance and extend its “life”.

The electric revolution is here to stay. The electric bike industry was worth nearly $65 million in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down. I feel like they are definitely worth the money when you consider an e-bike’s cost-savings, environmental impact, and health benefit.

Environmental Impact of E-Bike 

Electric bikes definitely have a more positive impact on the environment than cars. The batteries are where e-bikes do “damage”. The disposal of electric bike batteries can be hazardous. Also, you have to keep in mind that the energy powering your electric motor comes from SOMEWHERE. Whether it be solar panels or coal energy, you never can be quite sure.

E-Bike – A Real Money-saver

Electric bikes are being adopted by people around the world as an alternative to cars and buses. Right now, China is the world’s largest producer of e-bikes. They are also rapidly gaining popularity in Western Europe and North America. They are especially useful in big cities where car transit can be inconvenient.

Bicycles have the ability to go everywhere, and on an e-bike – you can go even farther! Electrical bicycles are an excellent alternative to traditional forms of transportation.

They can be especially beneficial for your health, and save you money on automobile costs. They’re great for cyclists of all ages and fitness. You don’t need to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy an electric bike, they’re for everyone!

It’s a great way to get back in shape and maintain your wellbeing, but you’ll also be doing good by the environment. If you’re living in a big city an e-bike will safely and reliably take you to where you need to go. E-bikes are the transportation of tomorrow, available for you today,

Magnum i6 Battery Charger (USA)

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The Magnum i6 Battery Charger is a high quality 48v charger that provides a continuous charge at 2 amp. The integrated smart technology ensures a safe charge and will automatically turn off once the battery has been fully charged.