EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ELECTRICALLY ASSISTED CYCLING
HOW DO YOU GET INTO RIDING AN E-BIKE?
If you already have a big grin on your face after pedalling just a few metres on your bike, then you're probably sitting on an e-bike. This is a familiar feeling for many e-bikers and more people are quickly discovering the joys of e-biking. You can spot e-bikers everywhere you go now. The e-mobility revolution has only just begun and many will switch to an e-bike over the coming months and years. You’ll find everything you need to get you up to speed on e-bikes included in this guide.
PEDELEC OR S-PEDELEC?
If you are interested in a bike with an electric motor, it’s important to know which versions are available and which ones are likely to suit you. All e-bike types share some common features and the differences mostly come down to how much power you need.
The most popular electric bike is the pedelec (pedal electric cycle). It’s a bike with an electric motor, which only provides support when you pedal yourself. To put it simply, if you don’t pedal, you’re not going to move!
What's a pedelec?
Electric bikes are known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs). You don’t need a license, insurance, driver's license or number plate
Everyone over the age of 14 is allowed to ride a pedelec
A pedelec only moves when pressure is applied to the pedals
The motor provides a maximum of 250 watts of power
It can reach speeds of up to 15mph
A pedelec is permitted to have a pushing aid that can be used up to a maximum of 15.5 mph
Riders aren’t obliged to wear a helmet, although it is recommended
Where possible, pedelecs must stick to designated cycle paths
Pedelecs are allowed to transport children in trailers
The faster variation of the pedelec is the s-pedelec. The "s" stands for speed, and with speed comes great responsibility.
What is an s-pedelec?
An s-pedelec is classed as a moped and requires a moped license, insurance and a number plate
Everyone over the age of 16 is able to apply for a moped license
An s-pedelec only moves when pressure is applied to the pedals
The motor provides more than 250 watts of power
It can reach speeds of up to 28 mph
A helmet must be worn when riding an s-pedelec
S-pedelecs aren’t permitted on designated bike paths
S-pedelecs aren’t allowed to transport children in trailers. Child seats, however, are allowed
IN TERMS OF EQUIPMENT, WHAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN PURCHASING AN E-BIKE?
E-bikes are naturally a bit heavier than their non-motorised relatives. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the following things:
It’s important to have strong brakes on the front and rear wheels. Many manufacturers are already using disc brakes for their e-bike models. Hydraulic rim brakes or V-brakes which offer good braking power are recommended as a minimum.
It’s advisable to use slightly wider tyres or specific e-bike tyres from renowned manufacturers. E-bike tyres are designed to deliver optimum comfort and puncture protection at higher speeds and weight.
Suspension on the fork, on the rear wheel or even on the seat post isn’t just something fun for mountain bikers to play with. A little extra comfort and increased riding stability on bumpy roads is good for those on speedy E-bikes. Forget the small extra weight that comes with the suspension – it’s more than made up for by the added power of the motor.