Electric bikes work much like a normal bike, with the rider pedalling to drive the bike forward. As you pedal, the motor measures the rider input and adds assistance depending on the effort given, therefore the harder you pedal the more the motor will assist.
On top of this, different assistance modes can be selected, to adapt how much the motor assists. This design makes ebikes highly intuitive and easily adopted by anyone who has previously ridden a bike.
The display on an ebike is the user interface which displays all the important credentials to the rider; such as battery capacity, range, speed, trip distance and the assistance mode selected. These are usually mounted on the handlebar for easy reference, so that the system can be safely operated whilst in motion. Most designs are backlit for use in all light conditions.
Depending on the model of bike, these may be frame or rack mounted, and most are designed to be removable for charging on or off the bike. This feature is particularly useful for those without a power source where they plan to store their bike, or those wishing to charge the battery at work. Most removable batteries feature a locking system for peace of mind.
By far the most popular of motor configurations is the mid motor drive, in which the motor is mounted centrally into the frame. This keeps the weight nicely balanced between both wheels. Some ebikes feature hub motors which is where the motor is mounted in a wheel, usually the rear. These are generally found on cheaper electric bikes or used to convert standard bikes to electric. Hub motors tend to place most of the weight to the rear of the bike.
Within the UK, electric bikes with a maximum assistance speed of 15.5mph and maximum power output of 250 watts fall into the category of EAPC’s (electrically assisted pedal cycles). EAPC’s can be ridden by anyone over the age of 14, and do not require a licence or to be registered, taxed or insured.
Whilst the assistance of the system will cut out at 15.5mph, it is worth noting that it is possible to exceed this speed under your own efforts.
Learn about the scheme
With thanks to Martin Brown @ e-bikeshop.co.uk
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