Electric Bicycle: Everything You Need To Know About An E-bike
What is an electric bicycle?
The prominence of e-bikes is growing on the Indian roads, with many making the leap to drive to work via an e-bike. The betterment of technology and the popularity of battery-operated vehicles all support the e-bike. This humble invention proves itself to be a great alternative to cycles and even cars. An electric bicycle comes with many benefits, making it an excellent investment for anyone interested in saving up on fuel expenditure and curbing carbon emissions. Electric bikes in India are seeing rapid growth, especially after the pandemic when people have started to appreciate the outdoors. While e-bikes are excellent options, many questions arise in potential buyers' minds.
In simplest terms, an electric bike can be defined as a cycle that runs on an electric motor and a chargeable battery. The electric bike comes with lithium batteries that can be charged in the comfort of your home. Every charge lends approximately thirty-five to forty kilometers of drive, making it the perfect option for commuting. E-bikes have a motorized drivetrain and require minimum maintenance. An electric bicycle comes with various modes, such as the pedal assist, making pedalling easier.
Types of electric bicycles:
When it comes to an e-bike, the classification isn't as direct and neat as an MTB. In fact, the classification of an e-bike is done through classes instead of individual sub-categories. These classes are made due for legal reasons. Many countries have placed these legal ramifications on differentiating between a moped, bicycle, and a motorcycle. Let's understand the different classes of e-bikes:
- Class One: the class-one e-bikes are also referred to as pedelecs. The electric motor in this e-bike requires a pedal assist in regulating the motor. Generally, these types of e-bikes power up to only 250 watts and, therefore legally classified as bicycles. There is yet another kind of bicycle; they are referred to as s-pedelecs and can go greater than 250 watts.
- Class Two: these include two types of bikes. The first is power-on-demand; in this bike, the motor is engaged through a throttle. This throttle is available as a handgrip on the bicycle. The second type includes a combination of power-on-demand and pedal-assist, this is also referred to as the PAS, and either comes with or without a throttle. The Meraki 27.5T by Ninety One Cycles comes under this category and boasts a variety of features.
Electric bicycles Vs Standard Bikes
It is very easy to differentiate between an electric bicycle and a regular bicycle. One of the first things that differentiate the two is the usage of a battery. A standard bicycle does not require charging, while the battery of an e-bike does! Since the electric bicycle is chargeable, there is also a motor, whereas a standard bicycle does not possess a motor. The electric bicycle also comes with an LCD screen that assists the rider by providing a variety of information like speed, odometer, and the mode of riding a rider has chosen. There are also chances that an e-bike might be slightly heavier than a regular bike because of the presence of an electrical drive system. Otherwise, there isn't much difference when it comes to the appearance of a standard and an electric bicycle.
Electric Bicycle: Deconstructed
There are various parts and components of an e-bike that everyone should be aware of. Let's take a look at some of them:
- Motor: E-bike motors are available in various power ranges. They can start at 200W and go up till 1000W; in fact, certain e-bikes can also go way above. The higher the wattage of the e-bike, the more it'll be able to handle the torque. However, the higher the wattage, the higher will be the battery consumption as well. There are various types of motors, as well such as hub motors and brushless motors. Brushless motors are, however, the most common in the newer variants. They are also called BLDC. The Meraki 27.5T comes with a 250-watt BLDC motor with high power.
- Battery: The most crucial part of the e-bike is the battery. Most electric bicycles either go for lead-acid Nickel Cadmium or lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion bikes are the most common types the modern e-bikes are using. Lithium-ion batteries are lighter and have a long life cycle as well. One can get a good few years of use through these batteries.
- Motor Controller: These controllers are important as they help with the functioning of the actual motor itself. There are two main types of motors. The first is the pedal-activated controllers, and the pedals offer electric assistance as the rider pedals. The second is the throttle-based controller; the rider introduces the throttle either through a twist-grip type or a thumb-press type.
- Brakes: Like every bicycle, an e-bike also possesses brakes. These are also referred to as e-brakes. Most electric bicycles these days possess an e-brake with a power cut-off. The brakes on an e-bike are responsible for a smoother ride. Most mechanical and hydraulic brakes also come with an e-brake switch sensor that can be used in an e-bike.
- PAS and Torque Sensors: some e-bikes have them, and some dont. However, a Pedal-assist system or PAS allows the torque sensor to be controlled through pedalling. These PAS sensors are installed in the crankset and send signals whenever we start peddling.
- Gears: Majority of the e-bikes possess derailleur gears while some also possess hub gears. Both the gears are a popular choice, however, derailleur gears are lightweight and more budget friendly. They are also efficient and give a wide range of gearing options. The Meraki S7 27.5T by Ninety One Cycles comes with a front and rear derailleur mechanism with 7 hi-speed SHIMANO gears. This makes the e-bike a perfect ride for everyone.
Distinguishing between a man's and women's electric bicycle
Most features of an e-bike are similar to both men's and women's e-bikes. However, the changes are mostly in the structure and size of the frame; gone are the days when women were only meant to ride pretty bikes. Women's electric bicycles are generally smaller in size and often come with a low-step frame; this is because it gives them ease of riding in skirts and dresses. However, women can use men's bikes as well which features a step-over or crossbar frame. Some women bikes might also have wider saddles to support their pelvic areas. Some differences can also be due to designs; women's bikes are generally given a feminine look.
Reasons to go for an electric bicycle:
- Now, you can smash your fitness goals and commute to work simultaneously. Most working professionals often suffer from the famous work-life imbalance, and their fitness goals usually suffer. You're getting some essential minutes of workout done and making a significant change in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle by cycling to work.
- By investing in an e-bike, you contribute to a greener, cleaner and healthier environment. The ever-increasing carbon footprint is detrimental to the precious ice caps and causing an increase in sea levels. It is essential to look into sustainable development and make some vital changes in how we approach our environment.
- By investing in an e-bike, you're lowering your reliance on fossil fuels. The ever-increasing petrol and diesel prices are often a point of stress for a middle-class family. However, with an e-bike, you don't have to worry about standing in long lines outside a petrol pump and paying hefty prices.
- Cycling has many benefits, and one of them is improved mental health. Cycling around the city will enable a change in our perspective. It is essential to engage in a lifestyle that induces positivity and a sense of independence. Indulging in cycling will help us become happier and healthier and promote an understanding of free-spiritedness.
Maintenance of an electric bicycle
Maintenance of electric bicycle is very difficult. You need to take care a lot of things. Let's take a look at it:
- It is essential to wash a bike regularly. The drivetrain often gets dirty, and to have a safe and smooth ride, one must wash the bike regularly. The chain should also be washed and cleaned with a degreaser, after which a lubricant should be applied.
- The air pressure on e-bikes should be checked frequently. Low air pressure raises the potential for accidents.
- Regular servicing is recommended; like every bike, an electric bicycle goes through wear and tear. With regular servicing, you stay on top of any damage or deterioration.
- Store the e-bike in a cool and dry environment, preferably with a charging point close by. Extreme temperatures can be damaging to the battery.
- An e-bike should have at least thirty to seventy percent of charge before a ride. Anything lower only puts pressure on the motor and battery to work harder.
A Buyers Guide to Electric bicycle:
- Understand your requirement, and it is important to understand what you require from your bike. Are you going to ride it to work? Are you going to ride it on rugged trails? Understanding requirements always helps in making a better purchase.
- An e-bike comes with a lot of features and components that a regular bike doesn't have; make sure to learn about these components and increase your knowledge about the same.
- Interact on forums or have a conversation with pro-cyclists; they might provide you with ample knowledge and tips about an e-bike as well.
- Test drive, just like we test-drive a car, we should also try out a bike. If this is not possible, you can get in touch with a customer care executive will help you arrive at the best decision.
- Do a market survey of the most popular bicycles and create a budget accordingly; this will help you arrive at your decision quicker.
The e-bike sector is ever-evolving, and it is coming out as a lucrative option against motorcycles and even cars. Electric bicycles are an excellent investment as far as mental health and physical health are concerned. It is also a step in saving our environment from the evils of fossil fuel emissions. Overall, an e-bike is an effective way towards a healthier life, greener environment, and financial betterment.
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