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.
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.
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.