These vehicles are called worldwide electric bikes. In Europe there is a distinction between those that can also travel without pedaling at speeds from fifty that are referred to e-bikes and those which shall be regarded as muscle bikes that have a speed limit of 25km/h, the engine power of 250W and in need of pedaling because the motor assist and electric pedal bicycles are called. In Europe you define peddle. E-bikes are not usable in Italy because there is still no legislation which considers. Pedal assist bicycles are assimilated totally muscle bikes and therefore subject to the same rights and duties. Read the details on how to choose a bicycle pedal assisted electric bicycle.
What are the main types?
The maximum power is 250W for all; this is the continuous power which can be paid out at the motor; but the electric motors have the characteristic of being able to express, for a short time, much greater powers; it is easy to 500W which is the power that an athlete like Pantani developed in record time. Another common feature is the maximum speed that does not exceed, per the rules of the road, 25km/h (actually the law tolerates it get to 27km/h); after this speed you can March but only with their muscles because the electric motor is disconnected.
There are essentially two types of motorization: those inside to the wheel hub (front or rear) and those in the area of the pedals. The first (referred to as “hub motor hub” or “engine”) has on his side for greater simplicity and, by operating directly on the wheel, is not affected by the gear that can be entirely at will. The placement of the engine to the hub in front or rear position has great effects on normal running; is usually chosen by the manufacturer in order to balance the weights based on the position of the battery
The most common brand for these engines is Bafang. The second (referred to as “Central” or “engine crank-motor”) turn the crown to which are attached the pedals and has the advantage of being able to exploit the bike gear to go more smoothly even on extreme climbs, but is more complex than constructively
The most common brands are Bosch and Panasonic. To give a rough indication, with the hub you can climb up to the order of 10-15% slopes (which are already very steep slopes for a bicycle), while the “Central engines” you can get over the 25% (which is a gradient from mountain-biking).
On the other hand, the “hubs” have a lower consumption on the plain of about 10-15% (gets more street with the same current consumption).
There are mainly two ways to check how much power we have to put the engine. The first is a cadence sensor; it means that the engine delivers power when the pedals are standing still, depending on the level of service chosen with handlebar controls; usually they range from 3 to 7 levels or there is a rotary knob like a motorcycle throttle.
With this system you can exercise even less effort on the pedal and the engine pushes anyway based on the selected layer. The second system controls the pressure on the pedals and, based on this, increase or decrease the power sent to the motor; also here you can adjust on multiple levels (generally from 3 to 5).
What does it mean in practice? That with the first system (cadence sensor) you must rotate the pedals for a certain angle (from a few degrees half a turn depending on the model) to have the engine ignition, the second when you push on the pedals even when stationary the engine starts immediately and this facilitates reboots at traffic lights and uphill, but stressed more the battery. The second system (current sensor), you must, however, exercise a certain push on the pedals even in the lowlands while with first this effort may be minimal.
I like to call them thus: what cadence sensor makes it look always the road downhill (or makes the climb less drooping) so I can push on the pedals to go faster or accompany the bike with pedals with little effort, very suitable for those who do not want to arrive at your destination even with sweaty Sun This virtual gradient is adjusted with various selectable levels
The second system is like having professional muscles suddenly: you must still push but our strength is multiplied by the system selectable levels increase or decrease this virtual force this system tends to practice without realizing it, but in the summer a little sweat is required.
Electric bikes have all possible combinations of these four alternatives and there is no “best” solution, but only the one that best suits your needs and taste. Generally the simplest models have pedal rotation sensor, engine speed hub and a few adjustment layers of assistance the more expensive ones have central engines and current sensor or special hub motors for climbs and fine adjustment systems of the electric assistance.
What characteristics should an electric bike to be of good quality?
Essentially the same characteristics of a good muscle bike: strong frame, good brakes and quality components to ensure good durability. There are specific standards that relate to the strength: the electric bikes must comply with standard EN14764 which also includes evidence of braking.
Then there is the norm EN15194 certifying compliance with the requirements of the highway code to the electrical part. Finally there is the EMC standard which prescribes that the electrical-electronics don’t emit interference that could affect the operation of electronic equipment (such as mobile phones or, more important, the pacemaker used by some cardiac patients serious)
The compliance with these regulations is shown on the chassis by the letters quoted above. These are minimum requirements; then you should consider all the components that must be of at least enough for example one thing clear is that should not be plastic brake levers or worse the brake and the chassis handlebar and saddle tubes must not be of small diameter or material concerns.
For the electrical there are special recommendations: engines and electronic systems are generally very reliable and all of a good standard.
For a signal of goodness is the length of the warranty which, being on a “consumable” is generally shorter than that of the whole electric bike: most reliable builders give a guarantee of at least one year, while 6 months may indicate a lower quality.
What are the components that require more maintenance? The electrical-electronics requires no maintenance for several tens of thousands of kilometres: many of us have exceeded 20,000km without significant problems; the only part that is useful to check the battery contacts, but their cleaning operation must be carried out by qualified personnel (never use “abrasive” because it removes the layer antioxidant that is always present on the contacts).
The mechanical part requires the same maintenance of muscle bikes: control of brake wear and the integrity of the wires that control them; checking the tire pressure and good condition; cleaning and lubrication of the chain, sprockets and brake pins; steering control and any shock.
How many km you can do with a charge? There are several types of batteries? How many Watts?
The normal size of the batteries is 36 volts (V) and 10 ampere hour (Ah) equal to 360 Watt hours (Wh); with this ability you can travel, on routes mainly flat, from 40 to 60km. But beware: the electric bikes are electric-hybrid reason muscle by increasing its contribution to the pedals and/or selecting lower levels of assistance, you can get runs even much higher.
This fact implies that the information provided by manufacturers are often unclear: are over 100km with small batteries autonomy in the vaunted, but are calculated on the basis of minimum assistance from the engine. The experience on the street says that, at equal effort on the pedals, the values of autonomy do not deviate much from model to model and only change depending on battery capacity.
Since the size of the batteries mounted on electric bikes is generally between 8 and 12 Ah (300-450 Watt hours), if you want to have far greater autonomy (or if their itineraries include substantial climbs) is becoming common practice to have a second battery. Some models can be equipped with an optional larger capacity batteries –-up to about 650Wh.
A separate chapter is the battery chemistry: there are those in the lead, now rather in disuse, which are very heavy but cheaper at the time of purchase; not the cheapest during their lifetime because they run out in much less time than other chemicals.
Then there are the lithium batteries, which are the most used currently, why read, and small size; cost more at the time of purchase but last for years without problems, but among the “lithium” there are many subcategories: there are such as “Li ion” that are small and light, the “iron them” that are a bit larger and heavier (always far less than the lead) but that last twice as long.
Manufacturers often do not specify what kind of chemical is used (they say generally “lithium”), but uses the “iron them” generally the show because they are more expensive.