Electric Bike Sales - FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is the range of an electric bike?
The range of a fully charged battery varies dramatically. It is usually between 5 to 60 miles with gentle pedaling depending on the many variables. There has been a trend for manufacturers to over estimate the range of their products. The Voltage times Capacity (measured in Watt Hours) gives an indication of the range. Aside from battery capacity factors effecting range include:

  • Bike, rider and luggage weight
  • Hills, terrain and tyres
  • Tyre pressure makes a huge difference
  • Suspension and rolling resistance caused by components
  • rider input and gearing used
  • motor/controller power rating

Motors with a higher nominal power rating may offer more hill climbing ability (torque) but will reduce the range.
Most of the power is drained when moving off and on hills so pedaling at these points will preserve the power.

If you have specific requirements it is best to talk to us and get some advice before spending your hard earned cash.

2. How fast will it go?
To gain exemption from road tax, road insurance, MOT tests, vehicle registration, the requirement of a driving licence and wearing a motorcycle helmet the speed under power is restricted to 15.5 miles per hour. They can of course be cycled beyond this speed.
To go faster requires more power, so a more powerful motor is required to go faster. And motors are “wound” or designed to operate at a specific speed. For example, a motor that is intended for a 20” wheel must turn much faster than a motor intended for a 26” wheel to achieve the 15 mph UK limit.
Because of this, just being powerful is not enough to gain higher speed. It is possible to have a powerful motor that will not turn any faster - limiting speed.
A 180 watt motor intended for a 50 kg office lady in Shanghai who cannot go faster (by law) than 12 mph is not going to help a 90 kg European go 15 MPH. Most electric bike motors are, in fact, designed for places where people are smaller and bikes are limited in speed.
Like people – as batteries age, their performance decreases. (Actually, in the first 25 or so charge / discharge cycles, many batteries get better, and then start a gradual decline).
If the battery has been poorly treated – such as heavy use (deep discharge cycles, non pedal assisted starts), the wrong charger, stored in a hot damp place, exposed to excessive cold, then the performance will suffer.

3. Do I need to pedal?
Strictly speaking when on the road the law requires you to pedal with the power assisting your pedaling (PAS), however on some models you have a throttle which can be used without pedaling or in conjunction with the pedals.
Hills slow you down so you need to pedal to maintain speed, although bikes designed for hill climbing are better at maintaining speed on hills.

4. What are the running costs?
Other than charging the batteries at a cost of approximately 7 pence per full charge there are no other significant running costs. You should carry out basic maintenance as you would with a normal pedal cycle, however the electronic parts of the bikes are designed to be trouble and maintenance free.


5. How can I tell a good electric bike from a bad electric Bike?
Clicking here will take you to our buying guide!

6. Does the battery recharge when I pedal?
We are asked this question by many customers. The answer that applies to most electric bicycles is no but you do preserve the battery power by pedaling! There are a few exceptions using re-gen for braking but this technology adds weight, more expensive components, and the benefit is pretty negligible considering bike stopping distances and the power lost in the system.
Re-gen is slang for “Regenerative”. Some motors (direct drive) can generate electricity when the rider propels the bike by pedaling, or while when going down hill or braking.
A motor and a generator are actually the same thing. If you turn a motor shaft, you will generate electricity. If you energized a generator you would get a motor.
So on an electric bike that does not have a planetary transmission, or a free-wheel between the motor and the hub, and has a controller that will allow the motor to become a generator – you can have re-gen.
Re-gen, however, is not as useful as it sounds. To recharge the bike while riding requires you to ride a long way against the resistance of the motor. You must create more work (due to efficiency losses) to recharge the battery than the work that the energy in the battery can do through the motor. (Awkward to explain.) Basically, you have to work harder to charge the battery enough to propel the bike 10 miles than it would have taken you to ride 10 miles by yourself. Also charging lithium batteries is complicated and regen motors in use tend not to generate a stable enough supply of power.
So for most purposes, Re-gen captures a small, very small, amount of extra range. Maybe 100 meters in a 20 mile ride.

7. Are there any UK laws I need to be aware of?
The UK law differs slightly from the EU law and hence there is some confusion but if you adhere to the following you should be acting within our current regulatory guidelines.
· average continuous motor power output no more than 200 watts
· maximum speed under power 15 mph.
· must have functioning pedals.
· the use of a throttle is currently allowed.
· weight must not be more than 40 kg unless a tandem or tricycle.
· riders age must be at least 14 years of age. (sorry kids, your time will come)
*NB* Laws can and do change without prior warning. These are accurate at the time of writing and we shall endeavour to keep them up-to-date.

We were the only UK eBike retailer invited to the DfT review of the EAPC regulations. Our goals were to:

  1. Remove the weight limit
  2. Ensure the throttle remains an option for UK e-cyclists
  3. Get the UK to adopt the L1e category allowing speed pedelecs

The laws should be changing in 2016 and you will have to wait and see what was agreed.

For those of you with a real thirst for information and a bit of time on your hands follow the link below to the draft European Standard likely to pass into law shortly.




 

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Special Offers

Announcements

03/04/14 - We're recruiting for a new full time shop manager at our Oxford shop.

03/04/14 -  Come and try some PHENOMENAL ebikes on our test track at the Gadget Show, NEC, Birmingham next week 8-12 April 2014

14/10/13 - We're stocking the remarkable SBU V3 from Focus Designs. We thought we'd seen everything in the electric bike world until we discovered this one wheeled version - the Self Balancing Electric Unicycle! Incredibly addictive, satisfying and surprisingly easy to conquer, this is a phenomenal amount of fun - Channel 5's Gadget Show think so too. Try before you buy at any of our 5 stores (by prior arrangement). Buy from us and we will set your machine up expertly and provide any back up parts and servicing that your machine needs. Could this top the xmas list this year?

10/10/13 - We're able to supply BionX parts and kits = contact us in the usual way or visit the distributor's website at www.BionXuk.com or www.REGENebikes.co.uk for more details.

26-28/09/13 Come and see us at the Cycle Show at the NEC in Birmingham. We'll have bikes on the test track for you to come and have a play with!

04/09/13 - KTM 2014 model details release with new lower prices -  click here

18/07/13 - SMARTA GT in the York Press click here.

16/07/13 - Which is faster across town during rush hour - an electric bike, a non electric bike, a motorcycle or a car? Of course it's an electric bike - see here.

19/06/2013 - Great news - our stunning, spacious, fabulously located YORK store is now up and running and will be delighted to show you a fine array of bikes from our carefully chosen range of manufacturers. No single manufacturer has all the boxes ticked when it comes to e-bikes, so the space to demonstrate a careful selection is essential and this is what we're trying to achieve here. York is a top cycling city, so why not take the time to come and try a few bikes and see this stunning destination at the same time? Opening offer: £100 off the SMARTA LX8 and SMARTA GT when collected from the York store - expires 19/0713!

01/06/2013 -  Delighted to announce that we've won a bid to supply Cambridgeshire County Council's Travel for Work partnership with Bosch bikes and a managed service enabling selected local employers in the A14 -A10 corridor to try an electric bike out as a great way to beat the traffic and get to work sustainably.

08/06/2013 - We're proud to announce that we've been selected to supply Electric Bikes for our local VW, Audi, Skoda and Bentley dealership. The idea is that while your car is being serviced, you can nip in to town for a latte, stress free parking, wind in your hair, and enjoy our beautiful city with the minimum of effort or fuss!

20/03/2013 - FREE - Up to 2 week ebike loan / hire for your business (if located in the same town as our shop). Drop us an email and we'll deliver a fantastic ebike for you and your colleagues to try.......  great for getting the lunchtime sandwiches!! Or try your commute on one...  you might be surprised at the results!

11/03/2013 - Ask us for a demo of an INCREDIBLE Storck Raddar ebike. Demos currently in London, Cambridge, Oxford & Bristol

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