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Interested In An Electric Bike? Here’s Our Guide From Start To Pedal Part 1

Cycling has quickly become a popular method of reaching destinations, and it is not limited to the young any more. With exercise and health becoming more prominent in our minds, it stands to reason that cycling instead of driving is the way forward, and as with everything in our ever-evolving world, even bicycles have had a technological upgrade – the e-bike or electric bike. 

You might be wondering why an electric bike is worth choosing for your next great adventure. You can transform this effective method of transport into part of your fitness programme by riding up a steep hill with a simple twist of the throttle for better control over your speed, or you can enjoy a stress (and sweat) free trip into town thanks to the ability to control the intensity of your cycling with a pedal assist system. 

Still not convinced? Below are some of the reasons why you should choose an electric bike for your transport needs.

The History Of The Electric Bike

The electric bicycle might seem like a futuristic invention, but they were introduced to the world just before 1900. In 1881, the Trouve Tricycle was patented by Gustave Trouve, who wanted to experiment with electric propulsion. Originally, it was a lever-drive but was updated to a rotary-pedal drive by the factory. 

Fourteen years later, in 1895, the history of electric bikes started to get interesting. This was the year the direct-drive rear hub-motor was patented. It used a permanent-magnet direct-current to function, and we use a similar component today because it can be powered at a high-watt level. 

1896 saw a patent filed by Charles Theryc, which used a brushed planetary-geared hub-motor. In the same year, James O’Brien built a bicycle which had a motor under the seat and a woven silk belt driving the rear wheel. This belt rotated the rear wheel hub, helping the rider to gain more power while cycling.

In 1897, Hossea W. Libbey invented the first true electric bicycle. It was powered by a double electric motor and was reinvented more than once afterwards. This led up to the creation of the modern electric bikes we have today.

ezy-bike-blog-electric-bike-our-guide-from-start-to-pedal-history

How Does An Electric Bike Work?

Now that you know a little bit more about the history of the electric bike, you are probably wondering, “Well, how does an electric bike work?” An electric or motorised bicycle has pedals, steering handlebars, and normal bicycle tyres, but it is equipped with a motor which helps you with extra power when you are riding up a hill, against a headwind or when you are simply feeling tired. 

While it does not have the same speed as a motorcycle, the electric bicycle provides a much smoother ride than a normal bicycle. The motor of the motorised bicycle works to supplement the power which you, as the rider, are putting into the ride. 

The average motorised bicycle uses up to 250W of power, which allows it to reach speeds of 32km/h. This is a decent speed for those who want extra “oomph” during their rides. In terms of battery life, the charging time can take anywhere from four to eight hours, but new technology means that the intelligent digital battery charger communicates with the battery management system to prevent overcharging.

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How Fast Can Electric Bikes Go?

How fast do electric bikes go? That depends on where you are riding. For example, if you are going on a long journey, you will find that an electric bicycle is not a fast mode of transport. 

But, if you are going for a bike ride around your local park or joining your family for outdoor activities, electric bicycles certainly pack a punch. The average speed of a motorised bicycle in South Africa is 32km/h, which is the legal speed for electric bicycles in South Africa. 

You can easily take advantage of routes and paths that avoid too much traffic. You could also go on more strenuous bike paths, using the power of the motor to improve your endurance and speed. While an e-bike is not as fast as a car, it is certainly more affordable in terms maintenance and cost-of-running.

Electric Bikes And Their Health Benefits

Using an electric bicycle provides multiple health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health and better fitness and aerobic capabilities. If you want to get started with cycling for exercise, a motorised bicycle is ideal, as you can power your pedalling and boost your abilities. 

If you are unfit or have certain disabilities, you can use electric bicycles to make up for these. You still need to pedal the bicycle as you would a normal one, but if you become fatigued, you can let the bicycle take over and rest your body for a while. 

For those wanting to burn calories and lose weight, you can still achieve this with an electric bike.

Why Buy An E-Bike?

If the health benefits are not convincing enough, there are some other reasons why you should buy an e-bike. 

  • Pedaling is easier when using an e-bike, thanks to the power of the motor helping you move, making them an ideal choice for those who may not have the leg strength they used to.
  • E-bikes are easy to use, which means that you will cycle more, improving your overall mental and physical health 
  • There are e-bikes for every use, too, such as mountain bikes, off-road adventures, and everyday commuting
  • Thanks to the smooth pedaling and speed boost, you can easily commute around your local area, allowing you to maintain social interaction and physical activity 
  • The technology is continuously evolving, meaning that your electric bike will remain up-to-date and useful for years to come
  • They are sustainable and eco-friendly, making you part of the future of transportation

 

Ready to become part of the e-bike revolution? Contact Ezy Bike today to find out about our models. 

 

Now that you know a little more about the basics of electric bicycles, read Part 2 of our From Start To Pedal Guide, where we dive deeper into the technical side of things – out next month.

EzyBike Electric Bicycle Why Choose An Electric Bike And Are They Worth It?

Why Choose An Electric Bike And Are They Worth It?

Cycling has quickly become a popular method of reaching destinations, and it is not limited to the young any more. With exercise and health becoming more prominent in our minds, it stands to reason that cycling instead of driving is the way forward, and as with everything in our ever-evolving world, even bicycles have had a technological upgrade – the e-bike or electric bike. 

You might be wondering why an electric bike is worth choosing for your next great adventure. You can transform this effective method of transport into part of your fitness programme by riding up a steep hill with a simple twist of the throttle for better control over your speed, or you can enjoy a stress (and sweat) free trip into town thanks to the ability to control the intensity of your cycling with a pedal assist system. 

Still not convinced? Below are some of the reasons why you should choose an electric bike for your transport needs.

Improved Health

There is already a large body of work out available which outlines the health benefits of cycling, and when it comes to electric bikes, these health benefits are only heightened. For those who might have difficulty engaging in meaningful exercise due to age or other factors, electric bikes can lower this barrier, allowing you to take part in a healthy activity on a regular basis. 

With an effective pedal assist system, your electric bike can sense your pedal pressure, providing support when needed. So, are electric bikes worth it? When it comes to health and improved exercise, that is a resounding, yes!

EzyBike Electric Bicycle Improved Health

More Independence

As we become older, maintaining our independence becomes more important. With an electric bike, you are able to run errands without having to rely on an expensive vehicle and while remaining physically active. You are able to cycle to your local store without worrying about inconveniencing a friend, neighbour, or family member for a lift.

Part of this independence is the option to enjoy the outdoors easily and whenever you feel the need to. Want to spend the afternoon exploring a local mountain trial? Have an itch that only a hike in the local woods can scratch? You can simply hop onto your electric bicycle and arrive at your outdoor destination within minutes. 

EzyBike Electric Bicycle More Independence

Zero Emissions During Operation

With the digital age has come a larger awareness of how we are affecting the environment, which is why an electric bike is worth it for those who are environmentally conscious. When the bike is in operation, you are emitting zero harmful emissions into the atmosphere, curbing your own carbon footprint at the same time. 

Because you are using battery or pedal power and not fuel, the bike is not emitting any fumes or gas. If you use your electric bike on a daily basis instead of a motorised vehicle to reach your destination, you will be contributing to a more environmentally friendly world for current and future generations (and looking stylish while doing so).

EzyBike Electric Bicycle Zero Emissions During Operation

Make More Memories

We all have memories of riding bikes together with our friends and family when we were younger, but many of us allow age to prevent us from making more memories like this, which is why an electric bike is the perfect solution to the problem. 

All you need are the skills you already have to ride a bicycle. This is combined with the power of electric bike technology, allowing you to take your grandchildren on an adventure or to spend a leisurely afternoon cycling through town with your partner. You will no longer need to put off making more memories because of age or physical fitness. 

EzyBike Electric Bicycle Make More Memories

Are Electric Bikes Worth It?

Aside from the obvious financial savings that come with riding a bicycle instead of driving a car, there are numerous reasons why an electric bike is beneficial. You can improve your health by spending time outdoors and increasing the speed and throttle for added resistance, will have more independence by not needing to rely on a vehicle for your errands, and you will also be emitting zero harmful chemicals. 

An electric bike can empower you to make more memories with your family, friends, and can improve your physical fitness at the same time. With Exy Bike, you never have to stop seeking mountains, so choose your bike from us today and start your next adventure.

how to choose an ebike in south africa

How To Choose An E-Bike in South Africa.

In this blog series, we’ve been exploring EVERYTHING electric bike, and, when it comes to the importance of finding the perfect fit, an e-bike is no exception. 

You don’t want to be the person who buys a bike, names it “The Truth” and then can’t handle it. 

In our last blog post, we spoke about the differences between an originally automated e-bike and conversion bikes; a standard bicycle which has been converted to an e-bike by installing a conversion kit.

As you continue reading, we will explore all of the options made available to you on the Ezy Bike website, and have placed them into four categories of bikes below. 

These include mountain bikes, commuter bikes, folding bikes and hybrid bikes.

how to choose an ebike in south africa

We believe that it’s important that you do your research before making any purchasing decisions to make sure that the bike you have chosen is perfect not only for your lifestyle but your future needs as well. 

The beauty of e-bikes is that it facilitates a flexible approach to biking as it accommodates the ability and exercise objective of the rider. Whilst e-bikes may appear to take away the majority of exercise work that would usually be placed on the rider, the gearing options still allow for the strengthening of your core, balance and personal space awareness. 

Electric Mountain Bike

Electric Mountain bikes are like the slightly less good looking sibling. They have all the perks and none of the high-maintenance.

EzyBike Electric Mountain Bike

Normally on the lower end of the price range, these e-bikes are perfect for the beginner rider and are often bought as a hardy commuter bike.

They are the ideal bike for those who enjoy relaxed rides in the country, easy trails or a smooth ride to work. 

Urban/ Cruiser E-Bike

The Urban/Cruiser bike is what Aubrey Hepburn would have used if Vespa’s hadn’t existed when they filmed “A Roman Holiday”.

EzyBike Electric Commuter Bike Couple

When considering the Crusier/Urban e-bike (sometimes referred to as a Commuter), ask yourself if you see cycling as a hobby or as a serious sport. If the answer is a hobby and you simply want to have a good time without putting too much stress on the body, then the urban e-bike is a fantastic option for you.

As many of the e-bikes on the market share similar characteristics, understanding the minor differences can help you make the correct choice when it comes to purchasing.

Designed to minimise personal effort and place the majority of the work on the motor. 

The Cruiser/Urban e-bike is the definition of an Ezy ride. 

Sporting wider tyres and a more “user-friendly design” (aka designed for comfort) Cruiser/Urban e-bikes are cheaper, easier to use and maintain, and are fantastic when you just want to get home after a long day.

Folding Electric Bike

The folding electric bike is perfect for undercover hoarders. You could buy 10 before your significant other noticed the growing pile of metal and tyres in the backyard.

Folding electric Bike

Perfect for the On-The-Go traveller or those with a small or limited amount of storage space. 

The Folding e-bike is typically suited to urban areas, this light-weight e-bike is perfect for those who want to get the most out of their city. 

Ideal for those who use public transport such as trains or Ubers, it takes up a minimal amount of space and is easy to operate.

Hybrid E-Bike

The Hybrid e-Bike, a popular option amongst enthusiasts, presents the best of both worlds in biking.

EzyBike Folding Electric Bike

This bike is ideal if you want both a commuter and a mountain bike.

Built to handle the stress of a rocky trail as well as gain considerable speed on a road. 

A Hybrid Bicycle is a great option for those who can’t pick a side and rather choose to have it all. Aka, the best of both worlds. 

Built to have a sturdier frame than a standard mountain bike, urban bike or folding bike, the hybrid is attractive for multiple reasons. Including its swiftness on the roads due to narrower tires, the ability to smoothly jump down 10m on mountain trails thanks to its duel suspension and its sheer size. Which makes you an unlikely target for road accidents as you’d be rather hard to miss.

Which Rider Are You?

Now that we’ve outlined the four main categories of bikes, which rider are you? 

Are you the intrepid mountaineer? Or the laid back land cruiser? 

Would you rather have the best of both worlds? Or do you simply want to see your city without breaking a sweat? 

Let us know in the comments below, and if we’ve missed a category please tell us! We can’t wait to further explore the Ezy bike lifestyle with you.

Electric Bike vs Conversion Kits. The Pros and Cons Explained.

Electric Bike vs Conversion Kits. The Pros and Cons Explained.

The world today is moving towards a more sustainable future. 

With many people converting to a greener way of traveling like the e-bike.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Conversion kit by outlining the pros, cons and general information you need before choosing which route to take on your electric bike journey. 

Below you can find the pros of converting your normal bike into an electric road bike.

Now, if you’re anything like us you’ll probably end up searching YouTube for “how to install a conversion kit”, picking the one with the most views, watching it for 10 minutes and then end up trying to figure it out for yourself.

Now we cannot stress this enough, don’t do that.
Talk to the person trying to sell you the kit, read the instructions or take it into a bike shop to get a professional opinion.

THE PROS!

The pros of a converted bike can be listed rather easily: 

  1. There’s Affordability. Due to their nature, conversion kits are substantially less expensive than the average e-bike, with the most common conversion kit being the Air Suspension option.

  2. Install at home. The DIY aspect of the conversion kit is attractive to hands-on people who like to know exactly how their machinery works.

  3. Customisation. A lot of people take years to find and perfect their bike, so the notion of enhancing their favourite toy can be a very big incentive. 

Each of these points should be taken into full consideration when thinking of purchasing an e-bike, by gathering accurate information on e-bikes you can make informed decisions and walk away with exactly what you were looking for.

THE CONS

Many of the cons of the conversion kit lie in the fact that when we design things, we have purpose in mind, a book is for reading not swimming, a car is for driving not flying and a standard bike is made for pedalling not automation. 

The issues below are often not considered when making purchasing decisions, please take the time to consider each point as it directly affects the physicality of the rider. 

  1. The first issue is the excess weight that comes with installing a bulky conversion kit, this extra weight makes it harder to move nimbly on trails as the bike becomes rather cumbersome and heavier to lift.

  2. The second issue is the stressors placed on the frame and tyres of a standard bicycle. This extra weight often leads to a loss of tyre pressure, and an increase in the amount of maintenance needed to keep the bike in top shape.

  3.  The risk of accidents due to badly installed conversion kits.

After that, we have one other con as the others could be written off as mere annoyances and not fully-fledged issues (we’re not fans of making mountains out of molehills). 

This point is a very common misconception that needs immediate attention… 

A higher price doesn’t mean better quality when it comes to conversion kits.

We’re going to say it together this time…, A higher price doesn’t mean better quality. In fact, what it means is that you’re buying a specialised kit that in no way benefits a regular rider.  

As we’ve laid down the pros and cons of the conversion kits themselves, keep reading as our Electric Bike vs Conversion Kits. The Pros and Cons Explained. CONTINUES.

THE IDEA THAT WE DESIGN WITH PURPOSE

When an architect sits down and dreams up a building, she doesn’t consider that one day someone may come along and add wings.

When a shoe designer creates a pair of sneakers, he doesn’t consider that one day someone may come along and wear them as gloves.

Similarly, when an industrial designer builds a bicycle, they don’t factor in the idea that one day someone may come along and automate it.

Which is exactly what the conversion kit does, it automates a bike frame that is built to carry out a certain purpose with precision and ease. By altering it, you bypass its purpose and stand the risk of compromising the integrity of the original design.

Now the other side of the argument is that the conversion kits themselves are created with that very thought in mind and are designed to complement the original structure of the bike, serving only to enhance rather than detract from it.

Below we’ve outlined some of the major and minor differences that should be considered before making any purchasing decisions.  

  1. The E-bike as we’ve established is designed from the ground up, meaning the chances of faulty installations are basically nil. Conversion kits, on the other hand, are installed at home, linking the risk of accidents directly to the skills held by the installer.

  2. The “ready to go” factor of originally automated bikes is undeniable. Walk-in, ride-out if you would. The tinkering that goes into installation can be tedious if you don’t have the mechanical version of a green thumb.

  3. The upgrade of an E-bike conversion kit is always available, allowing the rider to continually improve on the bike they own. When it comes to originally automated electric bikes, it’s not always possible to physically upgrade the technology as it’s built into the bike.

  4. When it comes to electric bike conversion kits the cost is substantially different from that of an E-bike, making it an attractive option for first-timers. When you buy an E-bike, the cost can be daunting, but the ease of use, increased mobility and pleasure is said to more than make up for it.
  5. The Warranty if things go wheels up. When you buy an electric bike you’re also buying a promise that if things go wrong, you’re covered. When you buy an electric bike conversion kit you’re almost outsourcing the job of creating an E-bike to yourself, which means you’re the only person liable when anything goes wrong.

  6. Getting what you want and what works for you. When you buy an electric bike in store, you have access to a team of professionals who can help you find an e-bike that suits your needs.

The comparisons above are carefully researched and considered with an aim to inform you of the downsides and upsides of each individual product.

What are your thoughts and opinions? Do you own an e-bike? Or perhaps a converted bike? Are you thinking about getting into the electric bike lifestyle, and if so, which option is for you?

Let us know in the comments and continue reading our blogs as we explore the lifestyle of the Electric Bike Community.

Midsection of unrecognizable businessman commuter with electric bicycle traveling from work in city. Copy space.

Should You Choose a Hub Mount Motor or Mid Mount Motor Electric Bike?

We are asked many questions about e-bikes with one of the first usually relating to the choice between an e-bike with Mid Mounted Motor (MMM) as opposed to a Hub Motor (HUB).

Our answer is that before choosing any model electric bike, end users must be brutally honest as to what purpose they require an electrically assisted cycle. As an e-bike that can be used for everyday use as a commuter type cycle, for exercise in the evening or on week end rides, for use primarily as a commuter cycle with occasional off road use, or to used exclusively as an off road “mountain” bike.

MID drives are, by some, perceived as the Holy Grail of power-providers for e-bikes. If you want to know how you can spend a lot of money on an electric bike and get the ultimate in efficiency and performance, a MMM is a good start. MMM drive are not the easiest or the cheapest electric bikes to build, but can be the cream of the crop once you are out riding, especially off road, particularly climbing hills (or mountains).

When compared to a hub motor, for exclusive, serious off road use a MMM drive is a sophisticated solution. This is because MID drive allows you to use the bike’s chain driven transmission as the motor’s gears, so the electric motor can run in its optimum RPM range. This translates to a happier more efficient motor and a better balanced e-bike.

Having said all this, for non-serious mountain climbing users, a hub motor is ideal and more suitable for commuter cycles that will occasionally be used off road. Hub motors are “Direct” drive as they drive the powered wheel directly, not through the cycle’s chain driven gears. They are less expensive and there is less wear and tear on the e-bikes chain and gear system.

It ultimately comes back to the first question, what is going to be the primary use of the e-bike?

Midsection of unrecognizable commuter with electric bicycle and helmet traveling in city.

Do you need a licence for an Electric Bike in South Africa?

When you are looking at buying an electric bicycle, one of the first questions you probably have is, “Do you need a licence for an electric bicycle?” Because it is propelled by an electric motor, you might assume that you need a licence – after all, it is much more than just a simple bicycle, right? 

Luckily, the answer is no, but there are some regulations that come into play with this statement. The electric bicycle laws in South Africa are largely positive for those who prefer to get from A to B using a more technologically advanced bicycle, and in this piece, we outline the rules and regulations of licensing for electric bicycles.

Do I Need A Licence For An Electric Bike?

According to regulations set out by the South African government, a licence for an electric bicycle is not required, as long as it looks like a bicycle, weighs less than 40kg, and does not exceed a continuous 250W power level, as well as having pedals as the main means of propulsion. Your electric bicycle should also not exceed a maximum speed of 25mph or 32km/h.

Electric bikes are perfectly safe to use on the roads, meaning that their not being licensed is not an issue. If you are more adventurous and venture off road with an off-road electric bike, the power of your electric bicycle can be increased without the worry of needing a licence.

When you use an electric bicycle, you still need to abide by the rules of bicycling: wearing a helmet and not going onto motorways.

do-you-need-a-licence-for-an-electric-bicycle-rules

Is An Electric Bike A Legal Form Of Transportation?

Now that you know the answer to, “Do you need a licence for an electric bicycle?”, the next common question is, “Is an electric bike legal?” The answer, of course, is yes. Ezy Bike’s electric bicycle range meets both the South African Standard SANS 311/2007 as well as the European Standard EN15194:2012 and an EN15194:2012 compliance certificate is issued with each bike. 

These regulations state that the motor power on PAS mode must be 250W or less, that it must be fitted with a control which limits the maximum electric powered speed on PAS mode to 32km/h, and that the electric bicycle must be fitted with all the safety equipment that normal bicycles have. 

Our bicycles also weigh less than 40kgs and look like a bicycle, with working pedals that are used as the principal mode of propulsion. By meeting these legal requirements, our electric bicycles are ideal for using on a daily basis.

do-you-need-a-licence-for-an-electric-bicycle-legal-as-transportation

Final Thoughts

If the question of needing a licence for an electric bicycle has been putting you off of starting your next big adventure, you no longer need to worry. With Ezy Bike, you are guaranteed to have a product that meets all the rules and regulations, while still providing an optimal riding experience. 

Never stop seeking mountains – contact Ezy Bike today to find out more about our products.