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We know it sounds confusing. So here is your 101 of the E-Bike Life.
Imagine being able to ride a bike, suddenly you glance at the watch and time is short for that important dinner. Well have no fear - Joulvert has you covered.
Switch on the power button and let Joulvert do the work. Before you know it, pedaling seems like a thing of the past. You are literally flying down the street and back in time getting ready to impress that dinner party.
The electric or E-bike as we like to lovingly call it is just like a regular bike and does everything it can do however add a motor that you can charge with a controller [think video games] which lets you get around unlike ever before.
How electric bikes work
Just like a regular bicycle.
Same components, parts, wheels, spokes, etc. The motor/battery aka electric boost is only there to improve your experience.
No longer will getting tired happen - because it will allow you to customize your time and ride. When you feel like getting some extra heart pumps, go manual and when you are feeling the need to relax, go electric.
Electric bikes use the following to get going
Bike + Motor = E-Bike. So any e-bike works?
They all work - however as you decide the look/feel of your E-Bike, it is also important to understand the components involved because not all ebikes are created equal.
Electric bike motors come in a wide variety of power ratings, from 200W to 1,000W or more. The legal limit in the US is 750W, although different states can set their own limits.
Think of this limit kind of like horsepower. A higher rating means that the bike will be able to pull more weight with greater ease – but at the expense of using more battery capacity while doing so. Consequently, a 750W motor will drain the battery much quicker than a 250W one, but it will be more powerful.
One more factor needs to be considered, however. The design and location of the motor plays an important role in how electric bikes work.
The most common type of motor for electric bikes is called a hub motor. It is generally integrated into the rear or front wheel. When engaged, it pulls or pushes the wheel along.
While most hub motors have plastic gearing inside them, we at Joulvert took it a step forward and produced a motor baring metal gears. The metal gear motor has a longer life span, increased performance and practically almost no wear and tear on the motor.
- Easy to operate.
- Much better hill climbing power, since gear can take more resistance and weight.
- No need for complicated gear switching.
Since the battery affects the weight, style, and range of the bike, its choice is crucial. Batteries play a huge part in how electric bikes work. The majority of the batteries you’ll find offered on the market fall into one of the following two categories:
SEALED LEAD ACID (SLA)
These batteries were once the standard battery type for most electric scooters and electric bicycles. These days, most electric scooters still use SLA batteries, while electric bikes (which often require human input) have opted for newer battery technologies to keep the bike as lightweight as possible such as lithium polymer.
- Heavy and bulky
- Offer a shorter riding range
- Shorter life span of about 100-300 full cycle charges
- Require more maintenance, and need to be charged immediately after use
These are the newest technology in batteries. A lithium battery has a lifetime roughly 2-3 times that of an SLA battery. Lithium batteries are much lighter and also are largely maintenance-free.
- Lightweight – high-capacity, 36V11Ah Lithium-Polymer batteries can weigh ~ 6 pounds!
- Offer a longer riding range – battery can travel up to 40 miles in pedal-assist mode (or 20 miles on throttle-only).
- Longer life span of about 1000 charges/ 30 months of virtually daily use
- More expensive – starting at about $1,200 to $2500 and above
Available in a variety of styles, the controller lets you operate the electric assistance on your electric bike and is an important part in how electric bikes work. The controller is located on the handlebar for ease of use. There are two main styles of controllers – pedal-activated and throttle-based controllers.
Pedal-activated systems offer electric assistance as you press down on the pedals. There is no need to engage a throttle – simple pedaling will do the trick. Electric bikes with pedal-activated systems have a controller mounted on the handlebar that lets you adjust the level of assistance that you receive as you pedal. You can dial in the amount of assistance you want, ranging from no assistance to a great deal of assistance.
Throttle-based controllers work with a simple throttle mechanism. The throttle will either be a twist-grip type or a thumb-press type. With a throttle, you simply pull back or press the throttle to receive the electric assistance. Some electric bikes require nothing more than activating the throttle, allowing you to ride without pedaling.
By and large, electric bikes are simple to use, ride, and maintain. Overall, they require little maintenance beyond that which a standard bike requires.
GOT MY EBIKE - NOW LETS RIDE!
It's like riding a bike! Just better.
This mode of operation allows you to sit back and take a break, as you let the motor do the work. To use “electric only” mode, simply twist the throttle located on the left handlebar and you’ll feel the motor kick in and propel you forward. Keep the throttle turned to continue along or let go if you’re ready to start pedaling or wish to come to a stop.
**Federal regulations, the top speed in electric-only mode is limited to 20 miles per hour - be mindful of all local speed and motor laws**
You mention laws - does an E-bike rider need a license?
In USA, people are still getting use to electric vehicles hence laws are being developed to ensure appropriate regulation is in place.
Per the Federal law electric bicycles fall under the regular bicycles area, however they must adhere by 2 conditions:
1. Top speed of 20MPH when using motor only.
2. The motor power must be no more than 750W.
Therefore be sure to check all local laws and abide by them. Always ride in the bike lane. Otherwise e-bikes do not require any special licensing, city registration, or liability forms of insurance to use.
Always where a helmet and check to make sure your lights are working. When at night use appropriate reflecting gear, even if the law does not specifically require them.
Ready? Get your Joulvert now.