Electric bikes are in vogue and its utility is similar to the conventional bicycle. It gets an extra aid from an electric motor to accelerate in its forward motion.
Federal Law has fixed a limit on the category of its motor, which up to 750 watts of power and a speed contained within 20 miles per hour. Electric bikes commonly to adhere to the specification and there are brands that give higher speeds. The electric bicycles are in the market at cost ranging within $400 to $3500 dollars or kits costing within $500 to $800 dollars can make you one.
The quality of electric bike depends on the cost paid similar to any product purchases. The source of power in electric bicycles is from chargeable battery(s) and a single charge may take you for a ride of an average 20 miles. The mileage said are based on parameters like the heaviness of the bike, age /weight of the rider, wheel dimensions, the way of riding and the quality of surface of the road.
Electric bikes variants and dimensions are many that start from tiny e-bikes that folds with 16 and 20-inch wheels designed for commuters and apartment dwellers to 28 inch and 700c sizes for others. The legal requirements for electric bicycles do not insist on licenses or insurance coverage but age restrictions are in practice in lot of states.
All electric bikes in normal practice go for hub motor. They get fixed in the front wheel or alternatively in the rear wheel and get no support of chains, belts or gears.
The motor takes the role of the hub of the fitted wheel, which have dual concentric rings of opposing electromagnets. The battery transfers the charge to the motor so that the wheel starts rotating with the help of the opposing magnetic force. The need for maintenance as well as noise from such motors is very absent.
The wattage of the motor is the precursor of power for the motor and have a directly proportional relationship. As a buyer, here you have to be wary. The bench mark to quantify wattage are yet to come, so sellers of electric bikes project their crest output numbers as compared normal operating numbers.
An example to it is that a 1000 watts crest output number may have just 500-watt motor in its normal operating output. So, strive to know the normal operating output, which are the only gauges that are worth to match with your other alternatives in hand.
The batteries are vital in the case of such products. The amp hours (Ah) clocks the top and cost wise less in the case of the all normal sealed lead acid (SLA) battery. But, in the case of heaviness and life, SLA batteries are three times more and one third as compared to lithium battery. The cost wise, a Lithium LiFePO4 battery tops and the least ah, however, they rank high among its genre in terms of weight and life.
The one equivalent of a 48 volt LiFePO4 battery will be 12 number of 12volt SLA batteries. As far as Nickel cadmium and other batteries are in the middle of the road state. The easiness of charging is much in lightweight lithium battery as it smoothly comes out the battery rack for easy recharge within the four walls.
On the other hand in other batteries, you have to locate an outlet wherein to plug the whole bike. The ecological protection through lithium batteries are high as compared to all other batteries in the market. The cost and function of electric bikes made out of kits are better.
The existing all bicycles run well as compared to the electric bikes. If you put strain in opting for a good kit, a better motor and a battery are the rewards out of it and a best electric bike better than factory make will be in your hand. The heaviness of such bike made out of kits are lighter too.
The essential features in a good kit are motor pre fixed into a wheel (the installation part is simple for front wheel kit), two brake motor cutoff, a twist or thumb throttle, a motor controller, wiring harness, and a tamper proof battery mounting rack .
A standard kit consists of diagrams on wiring, mounting hardware, wire ties and full instructions. The electric bicycles made from hi-fi factory appear like motorcycles and weigh high. The riding comfort is poor with tough pedaling as compared to the low-priced bike or bicycle made out of kit. They also have a good appearance. It is also advisable to buy kit from a dealer who can help you out in case of difficulties and snags, which usually happens rarely.
If you plan to reassemble the existing bicycle, ensure that it is in a working condition. If the plan is to make a bike from a kit of 500 watts or more, it is advisable to take a bike with a steel front fork. The reason being the high power front wheel motors can pierce out or break the aluminum and suspension forks.
Gearing in an electric bicycle are rarely done unless you intend it to use it for mountaineering. The option of six or seven gears are enough for street bikes. The choice of a factory built bike is ideal in the case of your whole control over the vehicle as well as find it easy to ride and make sure all the desired features are in it. Electric bike allows for pedaling with freedom of the motor.
You can also pedal with the motor for extensively and use for workouts range. The noise generation is almost minimal, petrol cost and tune ups are not necessary. The emissions are not there and are freely allowed in zones where other motorized vehicles are stopped.
An electric bike can be carried in any subway and bus systems, bike trails, and bicycle lanes. The storage of electric bicycles can be easy in the house as compared to the petrol based vehicles.
All can ride can ride an electric bike and along with basic tool skills can make an electric bike conversion kit. There exist adult electric tricycles and conversion kits for adult tricycles well. These operate the similar way and can help provide best transportation options for the elderly and handicapped.
Electric bicycles are the real green transportation. They can provide very real replacement to the automobile for short range use and help clear traffic congestion, air pollution, dependence on imported fossil fuels and give you a less exercise while going about your daily life. It won’t solve most of our problems but it’s a good beginning.
If you have an idea of converting your bike into an electric one making use of a conversion kit, your first attention has to be on the type of bicycle you plan to convert. Most of the kits are compatible to all bicycles, but there are a few bikes more adaptive for electrical conversion. The points discussed here make the process of conversion easy and fault free.
How you want to use the electric bicycle is the first consideration, before selecting a bike. If it is used for a comfortable ride from place to place on regular basis, your bike needs fenders and chain guards to protect from splashes and mud.
You may need the gears of 5 -10 speeds, most likely used for such rides. But for fast rides and mountain climbing, opt for a bike that can perform all such heavy tasks. Mountain bike would need more gearing than the usual street bikes.
The second point is the front fork and suspension. If you want to install a powerful motor of the capacity of 350 watts or above as front wheel drive kit, your bike should necessarily have a steel fork than an aluminum one.
The aluminum forks are not powerful enough and may tend to bend or break easily. There is no need to use a shock absorber or suspension fork. It is rather easy to install a front drive kit. If you install a rear drive kit, go using an aluminum front fork also at your choice.
The third point is the way how you have to mount the battery and the controller box. In most of the kits the batteries are mountable on the rear wheel on a rack. A controller can be mounted at your choice but most often it is mounted to the under side of the rack or the seat post. As the rack has no flexible frame, a bike with a flexible frame is unsuitable for this purpose.
The flexible frames are used mostly in mountain climbing bikes. The fourth point is how the bike shifts the gears. In electric bikes, a twist grip activated throttle is provided as one of the hand grips or a thumb throttle is fitted as a substitute. If the bike is fitted with the twist shifting on both ends of the handle bars, the shifter is moved towards the center which possibly shortens the throttle grip.
The next point is to reduce the weight on the bike. The lighter the bike, the better and also costlier it would be. If you are installing a battery, motor and controller for conversion into an electrical bike the additional weight it most likely to bring in is 30 pounds or more.
Hence it not ideal to buy a lighter bike at a higher cost, only for saving a few pounds. A low cost solid steel framed bike is preferable for electric kit installation. The brake system is the last but one most important point to pay attention to. The electric bikes require front and rear hand brakes which are mostly in the form of “v” or “u” style friction brakes.
For a front drive kit, a rear coaster brake is used with a front hand one. The electric bike is fitted with a safety device that cuts off the motor charge, the instant you apply the brake. An electric bike will be unsafe for riding without at least one hand- operated brake. It should be ensured that the conversion that you acquire is compatible to the bike that you have, to avoid the problems of buying several additional parts later. Consider these installation points and make your bike ride a pleasure.
Some people may find it difficult to distinguish the features of an ordinary bike and an electric bike. There are people who pedal electric bike to reach a place as the motor bike can carry them along effortlessly. Many still doubt why some of them look like bikes while some have the appearance of scooters.
The confusion in appearance occurs mainly because of the designing of the e-bikes in two categories. Some of them have the looks of traditional bikes, with an attached motor on the frame. There are electric bikes looking like scooters. Hence it is not always easy to distinguish an electric bicycle and a scooter from external looks.
An e-bike is never called a scooter or a moped. An electric bike can be styled and designed in any way you would like to look it. It can be given the look of a scooter.
According to the stipulations of law, it should not have the specifications of a scooter. The speed limit of an electric bike in most countries is restricted to 15 mph only. Hence such a bike needs a motor that would not drive it faster than the stipulated speed limit.
It is quite likely that your e-bike may go faster than this speed limit even without operating the motor or pedaling, while you descend a hilly route. An electric scooter is designed to take a speed of 30 mph and classified as a moped scooter. In most of the countries the law requires a normal driving license to ride the moped scooters without a motor cycle test. But you need to undergo a driving test to ride any type of vehicle higher than this speed.
For riding an electric bike you need not undergo any test although some restrictions prevail in some of the countries. In the United Kingdom, any person aged below 14 should not ride an electric bike on the roads.
There are several advantages in using an electric bike:
- Primarily there is no need to undergo a driving test.
- There is no need to register such vehicles with the authorities.
- There is no need of paying tax and registration fee.
- Similarly there is no need of taking an insurance coverage or wearing a helmet.
The people generally have an apprehension why the electric bike is fitted with pedals, even though the motor makes the vehicle to run. But there are modern electric bikes such as Salisbury LPX, which is feasible of performing three types of operations like normal cycling using the pedal. The motor also operates simultaneously and makes the peddling easier and softer, thus freeing the rider from fatigue.
In motor- only types, you can ride twisting the grips leaving the motor to take the burden. Hence this class of bike is very useful and dependable. You can pedal an electric bike normally in plain grounds. You can pedal-assist while the motor is used for climbs when the cyclist even feels that he is pedal driving.
You can ride in a total rest with the motor thus making the electric bike a slower type of scooter. With more and more advancements in battery technology, the electric bikes are becoming more popular. They are more environment-friendly than a motor car.