Bicycles have become a solution for congested urban mobility due to its simplicity, efficiency on short journeys, and its low cost, especially when compared with the private vehicle. However, they continue to represent a challenge that is not suitable for all audiences if they travel long distances or with a certain unevenness. It is here that the electric bicycle makes its appearance.
If you are thinking of buying one, in this guide for shopping for electric bicycles, we analyze what to consider and propose some attractive models.
Rules of circulation of the electric bicycle
With the rest of the bikes, a helmet is mandatory for inter-city roads and highways for the electric bicycle, but not in the city. Similarly, you cannot drive on sidewalks unless specified, having to drive along the road like other vehicles.
It is not necessary to have a license to use an electric bicycle, but it is essential to know the traffic code, traffic signs, and respect them. In case of driving in conditions of reduced luminosity or at night, the bicycles must have a white front light and red rear light.
It is also not necessary to have third-party damage insurance, nor is it essential to pay a traffic tax because electric bicycles not homologated to mechanical traction vehicles. Of course, in case of an accident, if we do not have insurance, we will have to take care of the damages caused to vehicles and pedestrians.
Specific legislation of the electric bicycle
The regulations that we have seen so far on the electric bicycle is identical to that of standard bicycles. However, electric bikes consist of battery and motor that assists with pedaling the driver, and on these components, there are certain limitations, as we see below.
The electric bikes must be approved by the Ministry of Industry, according to the standard UNE-EN 15194: 2009. They will resemble mopeds if they have an accelerator similar to that of a motorcycle or if its engine exceeds 250W, or the pedaling assistance does not stop when it reaches 25 km / h. In these cases, it would be necessary to register the vehicle, take out insurance, and have a driver’s license.
In this way, they framed as:
“Bicycles with assisted pedaling, equipped with an auxiliary electric motor, with a maximum continuous nominal power of 0.25 kilowatts, whose power decreases progressively and is finally interrupted when the vehicle speed reaches 25 km / h, or earlier if the cyclist stop pedaling “
Types of electric bicycle batteries and autonomy
The characteristics of the cell play a critical role when choosing: not only its specifications but also if they integrated into the bicycle or if they are removable. The advantage that they can retire is that they allow us to take them with us if we leave the bike on the street, which gives us more security, in addition to being able to load them at home or work. On the other hand, models with integrated battery offer a more discreet aesthetic and similar to conventional bicycles.
Concerning the battery, we will have to look at the charging cycles of this and the ease of replacement in the future, when they run out. In this sense, the simpler it is to access it to proceed to its replacement and the longer useful life they offer, the better.
Regarding autonomy, this will be linked to its capacity (as with other devices such as telephones) and to the type of battery that is: lithium-ion ones are more efficient than first ones, cheaper but heavier.
However, the autonomy provided by the manufacturer is a mere orientation that will differ from the real experience, where the weight of the cyclist and the terrain play a fundamental role: it is not the same a cyclist of 90 kilos to climb slopes than a cyclist who weighs 75 and take a flat tour. The usual thing is to find models that allow about 50 – 60 kilometers with assistance to pedal without problems.
Another critical factor is the amount of pedaling assistance it provides since the electric bike allows you to regulate how much we want the electric motor to push.
The engine situation
To end the peculiarities of electric bicycles, we will look at where the engine is. There are two trends: on the axle or the wheel, two options that provide different sensations and efficiency.
If we opt for a model that integrates the motor in its axis, the sensation of pedaling is similar to that of the classic bicycle, a more suitable option for sports activities such as mountain biking or road bike. Besides, by having a torque movement sensor on the shaft itself when the pedal pushed, the electric motor starts running, and the bike goes off.
If the engine integrated into the wheel, a motion sensor included, so it is necessary to take a couple of turns to get it into action. This alternative is the most common in urban models, where it is decided to place it in the rear wheel or, in the front wheel, if double traction sought: that of the front wheel by the engine and the rear fruit of the “manual” pedaling.
What type of electric bike to choose?
Before buying an electric bicycle, we must think about the use that we are going to give it and with what intensity, if we have space to store it or we will have to carry it from home to the street or the budget that we can afford.
As with standard bicycles, there are several types of electric bikes on the market: folding, walking, urban, hybrid, mountain. In this sense, the starting point is the same: what do we want from it?
Finally, if you want to find out more about electric bikes, please step forward to our site Performance Bicycle.