This is a general article introducing ebikes to those who are new to the subject. We will delve much deeper into the topics discussed here in a series of subsequent articles.
What is an ebike?
An ebike is very similar to a normal bike, except for the fact that it has an electric motor to assist or substitute your pedalling efforts. In some models, the motor can be activated by pressing a button or activating an accelerator, and the pedals may be turning or not; in other models (especially in Europe) the motor is activated automatically when you pedal.
What are the advantages of using an ebike?
An ebike combines the advantages of a normal bicycle with those of a motorbike. It is an ecological means of transport, with low management costs, allowing you to move freely and easily without sweating.
It is almost as ecological as a bicycle, because electric motors need very small power to propel you effectively; batteries however need to be disposed of correctly.
It has low costs, because the cost of recharging the battery from your mains socket is very small (just a handful of cents for each charge); you will need to buy a new battery every 2 or 3 years though.
An ebike can make you regain your optimal shape, due to the fact that you can combine the electric assistance with your own pedalling effort, allowing you to make some beneficial exercise, increasing the assistance of the electric motor when you are tired or when the road goes uphill.
There are also many instances in which an ebike can be safer than a normal bicycle.
Where can I buy an ebike?
You can consult our map of ebike dealers [coming soon] to find the one closest to you. In order to choose the ebike that better suits your needs, please refer to our ebike buyer’s guide. We have also some articles dedicated to special kinds of ebikes, such as folding ebikes, cargo ebikes, or e-mtb.
How fast can I go on an ebike?
The speed you can reach on an ebike depends very much on the motor your ebike has. Most ebikes can easily reach a speed of 20-25 mph, and these are classified as normal bicycles according to the law. If you want to go faster you’ll have to buy a model with a more powerful motor; this normally means that you have to register your ebike just like you would with a motorbike, and be subjected to the same law requirements.
What are the main components of an ebike?
There are three main components to an ebike:
- the motor
- the battery
- the display/controller
Another very important component in some ebikes is the pedalling sensor, which can “understand” whether you are pedalling or not; as we were saying earlier, in some models of ebikes the motor can be activated only when you pedal.
Is it possible to save with an ebike conversion kit?
Yes indeed! An ebike conversion kit is made of all the main components we just mentioned (plus all the cables to connect them of course). You can modify your normal bicycle by installing one of these kits and save a lot of money. You also get to keep the bike you are used to and fond of. Before buying a kit, however, there are a few issues to consider. Please refer to our article on ebike conversion kits.