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FIND OUT MORE about the electric bike

What is a power assist bike (called PAS in Japan or e-bike or Pedelec for less 25km/h in Europe)?

 

Pedelec is a bike with an electric motor that provides power assistance when you ride. A sensor measures if you are pedaling and sends the information to a controller. The motor stops at 25 km / h (according to regulations). You can ride without helmet, driving license or insurance wherever it is possible to ride a bike. Energy is supplied by a battery that can be recharged at any outlet with a suitable charger.

 

What is the difference between electric bike and classic bike?

 

A pedelec is a conventional bicycle which is added different elements:

- An engine
It can be located in the rear wheel, in the front wheel or in the pedal or remote belt. European laws requires that its power is less than or equal to 250 W. You will be able to reach a speed of 25 km/h with assistance beyond this speed, it will only your strenght and muscles. Warning, the engine is only a pedaling assistance. The user should therefore always ensure the rotation of the pedal to activate the power assist. This assistance will cease beyond 25km/h. There are three possible locations (on the front wheel, the pedals or rear wheel) for the engine and no simple answer to the best position. Like a car for which the engine can be at the front, middle or back, there are pros and cons to each solution. For example, the central position is not compatible with the use of every type of derailleur and place the engine in a sensible positions for shocks on non flat ground, but it ensures the best weight distribution and enables to change the wheel like on a regular bike. The wheel position enables to customize a bit more the cycles (derailleur...), and naturally protect the bike by the wheel. It rear position offers a good grip. But front or rear wheel position can make the wheel changes quite difficult.

Warning, the engine is only a pedaling assistance. The user should therefore always ensure the rotation of the pedal to activate the power assist. This assistance will cease beyond 25km/h.

- A battery
Depending on the technology used, the battery will bring you more or less autonomy. It can be recharged at any outlet with a suitable charger. The needed capacity of the battery depends on various factors such as the weight of the user, the level of assistance, the way the bike is stored (if it must be lift up and therefore lighter), the type of routes traveled, time. Under optimum conditions, depending on the manufacturer, the batteries can give a range of over 100 km (130km for our wisper series). Batteries are often mounted on the rear carrier or on or in the bicycle frame.

- An electronic controller
It allows you to control the various components on the basis of information from the sensors.

- A handle to the control box
This handlebar control box is not present on all models. If present, it will more or less, depending on the model, allowing you to have a certain number of information and functionality such as: modulate support, know the city, to know the battery charge level ...

 

Can the electric bike ride without assistance?

 

  Yes, you can use only the assistance when you want, you can activate at will. Some electric bicycle models have a control on the handlebar to activate, deactivate and adjust its level of assistance (mostly from 3 to 5 levels)


Electric bikes have they all have the same technology?

  

No, there are different types of electric assist:

- Assistance by rotating the pedals: :

This mode is the most common. Rotation sensors simply determine whether the cranks are moving, and power assist is switched on once pedaling has started. A turn of the pedals is often required that the engine starts. The motor releases its entire energy instantly.

- Assistance by pressure sensor: :

The motor starts as soon as he feels the pressure on the pedal. The more user presses the pedals, the more the engine helps, even if his cadence is low. This system is particularly popular with athletes who have the sensation to keep control of the cycle and print acceleration but it needs to maintain a constant pressure on the pedals is not always within reach of amateur cyclists;

- - Assistance by force sensor: :

The pedaling cadence is what control the motor power. The more cyclists pedal at a high rate, the more it receives assistance. This system helps to start in slopes. This system is cost equivalent to pressure sensor system.

- Assistance by chain tension or cardan: :

The assistance will start whenever the chain is under tension. This system is highly responsive because the chain is stretched when the foot is on the pedal. It therefore promotes hill starts, but has the disadvantage of always having to press the pedals to move forward. The central positioning of the motor balance the bike.

 

What are the different types of batteries?

  

- Gel-cell, flooded lead-acid batteries : Low cost, energy efficient and without "memory effect" they are less and less used. They are very heavy (over 10 kg), with a limited maximum power (50 watts / h / kg) and a sensitivity to freezing temperatures (- 25 ° C). Their lifespan is around 350 charge cycles and discharge;

- nickel metal hydride batteries (NI-MH) : Marketed in the 1990s, they replace the batteries nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd). Much lighter than lead batteries, they have a higher peak power (90 watts / h / kg). If their lifetime is of the order of 500 charge / discharge cycles, the rate of self-discharge is important. Unused winter, they will be fully discharged in the spring. They may be prone to "memory effect" which then limits their capacity;

- The Lithium-Ion (LI-ION) batteries : they have a prominent place on the portable electronics market and currently equip most of pedelecs. Maximum power is of the order of 120-150 Wh / kg and weight is limited. They do not suffer from the « memory effect » and support more than 800 cycles of charge/discharge.

- The Lithium-Polymer (Li-Po) : they are a real technological leap since they are more powerful than any actual batteries (140 Wh / kg)

 

Maintenance of a battery

 

The batteries require no maintenance. However, certain precautions are to be taken to prolong their lifespan:

- Use a suitable charger, chargers are supplied with electric bikes..

- Avoid heavy discharges regardless of technology, do not wait for the battery to be fully discharged before recharging.

- Wait one hour after charging before using the bike.

- After using the electric bike, wait an hour to recharge its battery.

- In winter time, it is normal to see a drop of autonomy, the batteries are more fragile and less efficient with cold temperatures.

 

The advantages of the electric bicycle

 

 After a few days with an electric bike, it is surprising to see that it is used for trips that we did not used to cycle. The electric bike eliminates the concept of fatigue, it can replace bus, subway and car (or motorcycle) on domestic trips too long or too tiring (slopes..) to be made in conventional bicycle.

- Save time on your journeys

You will not go much faster with an electric bike with a bike, but save time on urban journeys compared to other modes of transport. Because it is not afraid traffic jumps, electric bike is faster than the bus, subway or car.

- Economic

We compare it to a transportation pass (Carte Orange, oyster card ...) or the costs per kilometer of a car, the electric bike is depreciated quickly. Its purchase cost is in the order of 800 to 2500 euros, its power consumption is negligible (a few euros per year), its maintenance quite inexpensive.

An economical solution

- Do not sweat !

No need to go through the shower or change into arriving, heart rate, breathing, and sweating are the level of that of a walker.

- Easy to park

Electric bicycles are also easy to park a standard bike. Thanks to their performance, it is estimated that 30% of car drivers would be ready to get the bike and we may dream of greener, less congested cities ... (source: Umweltmaterialien Nr.173 Luft "Elektro-Zweiräder Auswirkungen auf das Mobilitätsverhalten" published by the Bundesamt für Umwelt, Wald und Landschaft BUWAL, Bern 2004 and bP page 56 'zum Landrad' ')

- Green

Of course, it runs on electricity, and consumes more electrical energy than a non-assisted bicycle, but much less than any individual or collective motorized transport. The components of the battery are heavy metals, pollutants if left in the wild, but recyclable. Furthermore, it is silent and does not emit CO2. For comparison, for a 33km ride with power assist, you would need the same energy than for a minute under a hot shower.

An ecological solution

- Health and safety ally

With its speed and lightness, electric bikes are safer in traffic. Statistics show that the risk of premature death caused by lack of exercise is significantly lower when you ride every day. The electric bike allows maintenance of physical exercise as discreet and effective. Because the user does more miles he would do with his standard bike, it finally did so much exercise. It also enables seniors to pursue their favorite activity. They will not have the worry of a ride back made difficult by a headwind or a steep run underestimated. According to the World Health Organization, 30 minutes of daily exercise can increase the life span of 8 years.

- Easy

Its handling is almost immediate, the control unit allows you to adjust the level of assistance you want. And no need to manage the assistance, it sounds and off automatically. In addition, the use of the derailleur is less important. Allergic to the derailleur can do without. You will quickly be surprised to use for trips that you were not cycling.