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E-bike jargon buster

E-bike jargon buster

Here's a handy guide to what's watt when it comes to e-bike jargon

Hybrid: A hybrid is a bicycle that’s part road bike, part mountain bike. Its design makes it ideal of a wide range of riding – in towns/cities, on rough terrain, off-road, and over distance. Hybrids typically have fatter tyres than a road bike, and have flat bars with mountain bike style controls for ease of use, instead of the drop bars of a road bike. The riding position will be relaxed and the frame will usually be able to accept mudguards and luggage racks, which makes it an incredibly versatile electric bike. 

Voltage: Voltage is the amount of power your e-bike battery can supply to the motor. The higher the number, the greater the output of the motor.

Watts: Watts is an expression of the power output of an ebike motor.

Amp: Amp is short for ampere, which is a unit of electric current.

Amp Hours (Ah): Amp Hours is an expression of the range you should get from your ebike. The greater the amp hours figure, the greater the range you can expect. You can work out the amp hours by multiplying volts by amps.

Range: Following on nicely from amp hours, range simply describes how far you’ll be able to ride on an e-bike before the battery goes from full charged to discharged. Manufacturers will often state ranges for their bikes and it’s important to know that the range you’ll get from a bike will depend on how much assistance the motor is giving you – use it at full power all the time and you’ll get less range than asking it for minimal assistance. Range depends on the capacity of the battery.

ebike on Cyclescheme

EAPC: EAPC stands for Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations, which is what electric bikes have to conform to in order to be legal in the UK. Find out about electric bike regulations here: https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

Assist level: Many electric bikes will offer you various levels of assist, usually via a controller on the handlebars. Often, it’ll be as simple as high, medium and low. As you can imagine, selecting a high level will ensure the motor delivers the most assistance, resulting in quicker acceleration and less rider input, but at the cost of diminished range and a shorter battery life.

S-pedelec: An S-pedelec is an electric bike that provides assistance beyond 15.5mph or has a motor that produces more than 250 watts. A bike is also classed as an S-pedelec if it has a throttle and delivers power without the rider pedaling. S-pedelecs are treated as mopeds in the UK, and require insurance, type approval, registration with the DVLA and can’t be used on cycling paths.

Twist and go: A twist and go e-bike is one with a throttle (or it could be a switch or lever), which you turn to get the bike moving. Electric bikes with throttles usually don’t require the rider to be pedaling for the motor to offer assistance but require approval by the DVLA, which treat them as they would any other motorized vehicle (see S-pedelec).


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