Don’t be fooled, an electric bicycle is not the same as a moped. Electric bikes have a battery on board but you still need to pedal at least some of the time. They’re limited in how fast the power can make them go, too, so once you’ve hit 15mph, the motor cuts out and it’s all down to you. Most electric bikes are pedal assist, while a few have throttles. All here are pedal assist apart from the Woosh Krieger, Gocycle, Infineum, Volt Kensington and Volt Metro which have a throttle as well as pedal assist.
Mostly these are for commutes and road use but some have the thick, knobbly tyres familiar to mountain bike riders and are suitable for off-roading. Batteries are usually, though not always, lithium ion and take three to four hours to recharge. Tech companies such as Bosch and Panasonic make excellent batteries for bikes.
Remember, when you’re using an electric bike, you’re carrying extra weight – often about 7kg or more compared to a regular bike. Electric bikes cost more than regular bikes, too. Bikes were tested on various terrains and any big variations from stated range noted – though the more effort you put in, the further they’ll go. If the battery does go flat, it’s not like an electric car: you can still pedal.
As with all electric vehicles, it’s the recharging that takes the time. Most here need around three-and-a-half hours, so it’s worth factoring that in.
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