E-Bikes The Ultimate Guide
E-Bikes The Ultimate Guide
E-Bikes continue to soar in popularity and it’s for good reason. No longer are they chunky, heavy and unreliable. You now get state of the art technology and motors combined with amazing ride and handling characteristics that you would expect from any other bike!
Chevin Cycles is proud to be one of Yorkshire’s leading experts on E-Bikes, stocking bikes from top brands Orbea, Trek, Cannondale, Whyte, Raleigh and Haibike. Browse our range online or pop in-store and chat with one of our sales team for more information and a test ride.
This guide is here to give you all the information you need to help answer as many questions and equip you with the knowledge to rock the E-Bike scene, whether that’s shredding down the mountain or reaching those milage goals, they can help you get there.
Let’s first look at where your motor is positioned. The two main motor locations are firstly in your rear hub like the Orbea Gain, or in the cranks like the Whyte E seriese, however there’s a third that’s becoming increasingly popular that’s in line with the battery just like the Domane +, But what’s the difference?
Hub Driven motor, these motors are extremely light and great for quickly getting up to speed and giving you that extra push up a hill when you need it, however this type of motor commonly has less efficiency and pushing power as their larger counterparts. All in all, these motor configurations are amazing for those beautiful roads and touring paths however might lack the umph for the mountain climbs.
Crank Driven, the crank driven motor is the powerhouse of the E-Bike world, plenty of torque, power and efficiency however these much more complex designs come with a weight penalty, Great for the mountain however may be a second thought for the road.
In Line motor setups,these are the half-way house of the motor world, light weight, efficient and extremely flexible allowing you to transform your E-Bike into a standard bike in less time than it takes to make a good cuppa. Not as light weight as the hub driven setups and not as much power as the crank driven motors but they squeeze right in the just in-between.
Let’s take a look at battery types, on bike in bike what’s the difference. Well, your main difference with any battery is can It be quickly removed? Systems like the Bosch power tube can be removed.
This means firstly that a battery can be removed for charging unlike bikes with an internal battery that can only be removed for servicing. Another positive for removable batteries is that a rider can carry more than one battery in their bag, whereas to push more range out of an internal battery you’re relying on a range extender. However, there are benefits to internal battery’s, the main one is weight, internal battery bikes can often be made much lighter than bikes with an internal battery.
In the world of E-Bike motors there’s an endless stream of numbers and jargon that go along with them so rather than regurgitating a load of numbers lets actually look at what the numbers mean. Torque, what’s torque? in basic terms torque is the pulling power your bike has, the more torque the motor has the steeper the hill that bike can climb.
The next that gets a bit confusing is the W or watt number on a motor, the most common number you will see is 250W, this number just refers to the power usage of that motor, this normally corelates with torque, the larger the power usage number the more torque a bike has however we would say, don’t get bogged down by this number.
And finally, there’s physical size, a smaller motor will have less pulling power than a larger motor however there is always a weight penalty when you have more power which is why you will find smaller systems on E – Road bikes as they prioritise the weight of the bike as they do not need as much torque.
Now let’s talk about battery specifications, just like motors there’s a whole world of jargon for these numbers so let’s get this down. The main number to consider with your E-Bike battery is the Wh number or number of Watt Hours, this means how much juice your battery has in it, for example a 650Wh battery has much more juice than a 400Wh battery and this is purely dependent on how far you want to take your rides. If they are short rides to the shops or into town then you could use a smaller battery, and if they are adventures into the mountain we would always recommend as large as you can carry. Don’t want to get stuck out there.
On to the next question, how long will my battery last and how much does it cost to replace? Well, these numbers can vary however Bosch actually guarantee their batteries for 2 years or 500 charge cycles (whichever comes first). This doesn’t mean your battery will pack up after 2 years and 1 day. In fact, Bosch themselves state that the battery should be good for around 8-9 years or 1000 full charge cycles. After 1000 cycles the battery will still work, but any battery will age over time so it will start to lose capacity and therefore not power your electric bike so far. On average a replacement E-Bike battery will cost around £500 to £900 depending on brand and capacity.
What's Right for you?
When trying to find the right E-Bike for you there’s a couple key areas wed look at. Firstly, there’s the core, what riding are you wanting to do, this is where we find out exactly what category of bike you fit into, Road, Mountain or anything in-between. From there wed look at why you’d like an E-Bike and what problem it may be serving, if you have been a long time off of the bike and want to get back out or you have a mobility issue that prevents you from riding a traditional bike then we’d look for the best bike for pulling power that will give you the assistance you may need.
If you’re an established rider who just wants to add a bit more range to their ride or gain the ability to do twice as many laps at your local trail centre, then we may look at smaller light weight systems that will mean you are able to thrash those climbs while descending on a super lightweight m bike allowing the best of both worlds.