Ezy bike blog about electric bikes in Cape Town pedal assist levels

Understanding Your E-Bike: Pedal Assist Levels

Owning and using an electric bike offers you the freedom to easily travel in and around town for work or leisure, or even embrace your adventurous side and explore some difficult terrain. 

Using the pedal assist system (PAS), your ebike can become more or less powerful depending on your needs. For beginners, understanding these different levels can help you to choose the right level for your ride. 

Below we discuss the different pedal assist levels and what they mean for your ebike experience.

Low Pedal Assist

Ezy bike blog about electric bikes in Cape Town pedal assist levels

This is for when you feel confident powering the bike on your own. Low pedal assist provides a small amount of electric assistance while you provide more pedal power. It can also be seen as level 0 to 1, as it provides only a small boost. 

This is a great option for those who want more of a workout while using their electric bicycle. If you feel that you need to increase your pedal assist system level, you ramp up the pedal assist system and gain more assistance. This is useful if you do not need as much power or if you prefer the more natural “bike-like” feeling when riding an ebike.

Medium Pedal Assist

Ezy bike blog about electric bikes in Cape Town pedal assist levels

Medium pedal assist is for when you feel like you need a bit of help or a power increase. It provides a good balance between pedal power and motor power, ideal for slightly more strenuous terrain. The medium pedal assist level can also be seen as levels 1 to 3. 

Using this pedal assist level, the ebike will be easier to propel forward but you will still need to put in some effort yourself. This level is ideal for those times when you need extra help on hillier terrain, or for when you need to add some speed to your journey. It provides a balance between your own physical power and the power of the motor.

High Pedal Assist

Ezy bike blog about electric bikes in Cape Town pedal assist levels

High pedal assist is perfect for those times when you need to be somewhere fast or if you need assistance on a difficult road. It provides more power from the PAS system, allowing you to pedal very little and stress your body less. 

You could see this as levels 4 to 5, which provide a much-needed power boost. You will require much less effort to use the ebike, and can access the maximum power that the bike offers. However, higher pedal assist levels use more battery, which could lead to a reduction in distance between charge cycles.

Pedal Assist Sensor Types

Pedal Sensors: Pedal sensors are used on most models of ebikes in South Africa. They engage the motor when you begin pedalling and turn it off when you stop. You can easily adjust how much power you receive by manually changing the assist mode. These are ideal pedal assist sensor types for leisure cycling and less strenuous trips. 

Torque Sensors: Torque sensors are more precise, and measure the force being used on the pedal. This helps the sensor to automatically provide the right amount of electrical assistance. They are helpful for commuting cyclists who want a bit more power behind their ride.

What About The Throttle?

Ezy bike blog about electric bikes in Cape Town pedal assist levels

Many electric bikes have a throttle mode, which also provides power much like a pedal assist system. The throttle mode propels the ebike forward when it is engaged. 

It works in a similar method to pressing the accelerator in your car – once it is in use, your electric bicycle will be propelled forward whether you are pedalling or not. Throttle mode is popular with those who want that extra boost of power without having to put in too much effort. 

You can choose from a half-grip twist throttle type, which needs to be twisted in order to be engaged, similar to that used on a scooter or motorcycle, or a thumb throttle. A thumb throttle is engaged by pushing the small paddle forward with your thumb and is controlled by the pressure of your thumb.

So, What Is Best For Me?

PAS’s are most popular with experienced cyclists who prefer a more natural riding experience. They are wonderful for long rides on relatively flat terrain, as you can relax and enjoy the ride. The different pedal assist levels also allow riders to improve their strength and abilities.

Throttles provide full power on demand, making it easier for starting from a traffic light, stop sign, or hill. They provide a burst of power for safely cycling through busy roads or intersections. The Pedal Assist System (PAS) senses your pedalling pressure and provides assistance automatically.

At Ezy Bike, we believe that the best of both worlds is the answer. Discover why with our selection of ebikes today.

Which electric bike should you buy EzyBike electric bikes in Cape Town

Which Electric Bike Should You Buy?

Electric bikes, also known as ebikes, are now one of the most popular categories of bicycle in the world, and this popularity is growing steadily in South Africa. With this in mind, if you want to join this exciting cycling revolution, the first question you likely have is, “What type of electric bike should I buy?”. 

The answer depends on a wide variety of factors, such as your fitness levels, the different types of ebikes on offer, and what you might be using the ebike for. Below we take a deeper dive into which electric bicycle you should buy for your needs.

What Is Your Fitness Level?

After asking, “What type of electric bike should I buy?” you will need to ask yourself what your level of fitness is. This will have a direct effect on the ebike types you should look at. 

  • The Elderly: If you are in the 55 upwards age range, you might feel that you are losing the body strength and flexibility you once had. An ebike allows older cyclists to continue their hobby. For older people who want to remain active or take up cycling as a form of exercise that will not put too much stress on their body, an ebike is ideal.
  • Partners Of Cyclists: Partners of cyclists who have previously watched their fit counterpart enjoying cycling can experience the same benefits using an electric bike. You can cycle with your partner, eliminating any stress or fatigue you might feel from a normal bicycle. 
  • Overweight Cyclists: If you are overweight, cycling can be a highly effective form of exercise to help aid in weight loss. However, normal bicycles can be intimidating and work on a power-to-weight ratio. An ebike makes it possible for an overweight person to easily enjoy cycling, which will lead to more cycling and ultimately, better overall health. 
  • The Injured: People with injuries might want to take up cycling to maintain their health, but are not able to do so because of the pedalling involved. Using an ebike that has a throttle and PAS option allows injured people to cycle and improve their health without putting too much strain on their bodies. 

Serious Cyclists: Now, you might think that a serious cyclist would not have any interest in an electric bike, but more and more cyclists are turning to them for an improved experience. Cyclists can work on improving their skills without experiencing too much strain.

Which electric bike should you buy EzyBike electric bikes in Cape Town

What Are The Different Types Of Electric Bike?

Understanding the different types of electric bike you are interested in, such as an electric mountain bike or a leisure ebike can help you to make a decision. Below we look at what the different ebike types have to offer.

 

Mountain Bike:

Which electric bike should you buy EzyBike electric bikes in Cape Town

An electric mountain bike is ideal for the more adventurous types. The added power of a motor and PAS feature allows you to tackle difficult hills and trails with ease. Electric mountain bikes are available as hardtails with front suspension or full suspension. Hardtails are better suited to lighter trails and full suspension models are more versatile.

Hybrid Or Leisure Bikes:

Which electric bike should you buy EzyBike electric bikes in Cape Town

Hybrid electric bikes provide power to those who might need it while riding around town, on trails, and even bike paths. Some models have a front fork with suspension to absorb the bumps, while others have a more rigid fork.

Commuting Bikes:

Which electric bike should you buy EzyBike electric bikes in Cape Town

Commuting ebikes are ideal for commuting to and from work or to the shops and back without working up too much of a sweat. You will need to look at the type of terrain you will be riding on, as more difficult terrain might call for a sturdier ebike than a hybrid model.

Final Thoughts

Thinking about which ebike you should buy can seem daunting at first but if you consider your fitness level and the type, you can quickly choose the right one for your next adventure. 

Interested in an ebike for exploring a trail or getting from A to B? Speak to Ezy Bike today for our options.

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycles in Cape Town

The Technical Side Of E-Bikes: From Start To Pedal Guide Part 2

Last month we dived a little deeper into the history of and general information of electric bikes. Now, we are going to look at the technical side of e-bikes, including electric bike maintenance, the different types of electric bike batteries and e-bike  motors, as well as the speed of an e-bike. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the technical side of e-bikes.

Brush Up On Batteries

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle batteries in Cape Town

Lead-acid (SLA)

Lead-acid batteries are affordable and are easy to recycle, however, they need to be maintained and may not last as long as other options. If you will be using your e-bike for a long commute, then this is not the right fit for your needs. Lead-acid batteries use affordable raw materials and are much heavier than other options. 

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) electric bike batteries have more capacity than SLA batteries, but can be expensive and difficult to recycle. While they last longer than SLA batteries, they are much more costly and, because you cannot recycle them easily, they are not as popular with those who want to be more eco-friendly with their commutes. 

Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMh)

NiMH batteries are slightly more efficient than NiCD batteries and they also offer more capacity, safety, and reliability. You will also find that they are more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle. These batteries, while popular, are slowly being phased out by lithium-ion batteries. 

Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

Lithium-ion batteries are ideal for use in high capacity, low power applications, such as electric bikes. They can be molded into different shapes and can fit into different devices and extra spaces. Due to their high rate of charge/discharge, they also provide a higher level of power. 

Lithium-ion Polymer (LiPo)

LiPo batteries have become the go-to for electric bike batteries. They are easily rechargeable, inexpensive, and easier to discharge at a higher C-rate. Many e-bike enthusiasts choose both the Li-ion and LiPo batteries as their ideal solution to power and ease of use.

All About The Pedal System

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle system in Cape Town

The Pedal Assist System (or PAS if you are in the e-bike community) is the device that powers the e-bike motors automatically when you pedal, without the need to use the throttle on the handlebars. They work in response to the speed at which you are pedalling and the torque that you are applying to the pedals. 

There are different types of PAS’s, as outlined below:

  • Pedal Sensors: Pedal sensors are available on most basic models of electric bikes. They will engage the motor when you begin pedalling, and turn it off when you stop. You can easily adjust how much push you receive by manually changing the assist mode. They are the ideal choice for  leisure cyclists.

  • Torque Sensors: Torque sensors are more precise than pedal sensors. They measure the force being used on the pedal and automatically provide a suitable amount of electrical assistance. They are hugely helpful for commuting cyclists and those who want a bit more power behind their ride.

Make The Most Of That Motor

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle motor in Cape Town

There  are numerous different types of electric bike motors, which can be confusing if you are new to the electric bike world. There are two main types that you should look at which we discuss below:

  • Hub Motor: Hub motors can be fitted to the front or rear wheel. They are more affordable to produce and are easier to maintain, making them ideal for novices and leisure cyclists alike. Many e-bikes with hub motors are gearless, which makes them suited to flat, urban riding.

    Rear hub e-bike motors provide more power and can help with improving the speed of the e-bike. They are best used with a throttle. Front hub e-bike motors are more affordable but do have less torque and power. They offer 250W to 350W of power, and are best suited to casual pavement riding. 

  • Mid-Mounted Or Centre Drive Systems: These are centrally mounted e-bike motors. They replace the crankset and deliver power directly to the chain, providing them with an improved centre of gravity and better power maintenance. Many of these models have built-in sensors for improved riding efficiency. However, they could cause the chain to wear down quickly.

Better Braking

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bicycle brake maintenance in Cape Town

All electric bicycles need to have effective brakes because the bicycle is heavier than traditional models, largely due to the engine and other components. In order to maintain your brakes, you should regularly check and adjust them before every outing. 

Look for issues such as loose parts and excessive wear and tear. Remember to replace brake pads and rotors as soon as they need it, and always check the manufacturer specifications for the wear level that warrants replacement.

Think About Tyres

EzyBike Blog guide on electric bikes in Cape Town

Your electric bicycle runs smoothly and speedily, but with the added weight of the motor, you will need to ensure that the tyres are well maintained and taken care of. As part of your e-bike maintenance, you should always keep your tyres inflated properly, and have replacement tyres for your e-bike. 

When it comes to fixing a flat tyre, the tyres on a mid-drive motor are the same as on a regular bicycle, but those  with a hub drive motor require you to know how to disconnect and reconnect all of the various wires needed to power the motor.

Live An Ezy Life With Ezy Bike

Understanding the technical aspects of your electric bike will help to make the maintenance easier and more efficient. Look at the type of batteries on offer, and rememdriber to ask about the PAS based on your needs. 

If you would like to start your own electric bicycle adventure, Ezy Bike has a diverse selection to choose from. Contact us today to find out what we can offer you.