More E-Bike Facts
E-biking is now a trend, and there is good reason for that! Because e-bikes are becoming more and more popular and they are also getting better and better both in the city and the mountains. There are city-specific bikes with motors and also e-mountain-bikes. These are constructed specifically to meet the demands of uneven terrain. Apart from different components, e-bikes also vary in their motor system, their charging time and the distance you can achieve on one battery charge.
Taking your e-bike into the city or up the mountain
First of all: e-bikes are not always e-bikes. What we call e-bikes are most of the time so-called pedelecs or “Pedal Electric Cycles”. The difference is very simple. Some e-bikes support you while riding your bike, even when you are not pedaling. Pedelecs on the other hand, reinforce your pedaling. Meaning, when you are on your pedelec without using your feet, you will not move forward. The e-bikes we have in our online shop and our stores are all pedelecs.
There are many good reasons why you should buy an e-bike. On the one hand, this bike makes it easier to climb those really steep uphill parts of your mountain bike tour, it will reduce the strength needed but certainly not take away all the effort it takes to go up the mountains. Why would you want to make your way up easier? Because that way, you can tackle longer trails and tours, you can reduce the strain on your body and keeping it fit for the downhill part. And also, because it will enable you to ascent some of those really steep parts where you would usually have had to push your bike. On the other hand, e-bikes are good training partners. If you want to keep your pulse steady but at the same time want to do tours that take you through different speeds and altitudes, having a motor will enable you do some steeper parts as well. But your e-bike is not only good for sports, it is also a good means of transport. For those, who love taking their bike to the office, but do not want to get there all sweaty, e-bikes are just perfect. Also, it is a great alternative to your car. Of course, you will not be able to take loads of stuff with you as in a car, but you will do the environment good and be able to enjoy being outdoors!
E-bikes and regular bikes do have a lot in common
Just like regular bikes, e-bikes vary in their different components. There are city e-bikes and mountain e-bikes. City e-bikes will take you to work, to do your shopping or wherever else you need to go. Their seats are a more cushioned and you can easily add luggage carriers. Mountain e-bikes, as the name already tells, are used for bike tours in the mountains and are built just like the regular mountain bikes:
Fully vs. Hard-Tail: This is about the suspension of the bike. Full-suspension (fully) bikes have suspension both in the back and the front, which lets the bike absorb more bumps on the trail and gives you more control in rough terrain. Hard-tails only have suspension in the front. Both let you adapt the suspension to your needs and also block it entirely. Those who are doing more descent oriented biking will usually chose a fully. Hard-tails are perfect for those who stick to paved trails, gravel roads or flowy trails. When the terrain is bumpy, hard-tails require more skill and less speed.
Brakes, size and weight: E-bike brakes are generally stronger than those of regular bikes. This is because these bikes weigh more, which demands more braking power. Therefore, e-bikes are always equipped with disc brakes. Then there is the sizing of the bike. The different brands offer bikes in various sizes, which refer to the height & length of the frame. When it comes to wheel sizes, there are various options. For a very long time, 26 inch wheels were the standard. 29 inches were introduced later on and now there are also 27.5 inch wheels. This midsize gives you the advantages of both extremes: agility of the smaller wheels, and stability and a better roll resistance of the larger ones. E-bikes weigh around 20kg, depending on used material, components and battery.
The motor makes the bike!
What you will not find on a regular mountain bike is a motor. For e-bikes, these have different systems, different charging capacities and battery systems. Generally, they all function the same: when you start pedaling, the motor starts running. It supports you electronically, can be adjusted to your needs and of course also be turned off entirely. The motor capacity lays at up to 250 watts. With this, e-bikes can reach up to 25km/h. This does not mean that the bike will not go faster, it only means that the motor will support you going up to 25km/h and then turn itself off automatically. You can then of course go faster! There are also some e-bikes that will support you going higher speeds, but these have to authorized and insured.
Now on to the batteries: Most batteries are lithium-ion batteries. They have quite a high energy density. This lets them store a high amount of energy while being light-weight. They are also very long-lasting, but obviously their life span depends on how much you use them. The charging time of the battery can be one hour, going up to several hours. You can either charge it at home right on the bike, take the battery off to charge or take your bike to a charging station. These are becoming more and more common in public areas! Also, there are some handy apps for your smartphone that will let you find these stations more easily.
There are different motors used in e-bikes. Popular ones are the Performance Line by Bosch and the Shimano Steps motor. All these motors vary in their weight (Bosch 4kg, Shimano 3,1kg) and their reach (Bosch up to 145km, Shimano up to 120km). These systems are equipped with various sensors, measuring torque, speed and pedal frequency. These measurements allow the motor to find the right amount of energy to be supplied. Motor systems also have different levels of support, most giving you 3-4 levels to choose from: from eco mode to save as much as possible to turbo, which will support you with the most power.
E-bikes offer a lot of fun while doing sports in the outdoors or being the perfect means of transport in the city. But still, safety first! Make sure you have good helmet, lights, protectors if needed and some tools with you. And if your bike needs a service, our experts will be glad to assist you!