Ultra Beginner Guide for Electric bike

May 16, 2022

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Technological advancement has been nothing less than a blessing for us, and one such boon is the electric bike. The significance of these bikes has accelerated with the current pandemic situation calling for stricter health measures. These bikes are equipped with effective motors and batteries (high capacity) that make them considerably more viable and reliable when compared to transportation means even a decade ago. 


So, now that these advanced bicycles have piqued your interest, here's an ultra-beginner guide on these power-packed machines for you. 

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How do we choose electric bike

While you may be new to this kind of bike, it doesn't mean you have to waste your hard-earned money on something that won't work for you. Take a look at the following points that will help you find the bike that best suits your requirements:


POWER


These bikes come with motors ranging between 250W-350W, which is sufficient power to cruise across plain terrains. But if you live on a hilly region, you might want to opt for a bike with motor power above 350W. Bikes with power reaching up to 750 miles per hour (class 3) are perfectly-suited for rough terrains and up.


Also, ensure that the speed of the bike can at least power up to a speed of 18 miles per hour in case of cities and towns with heavy traffic flow. The ones with power reaching up to 750W can offer a speed that reaches 28 miles per hour.


 THROTTLE


There are bikes with peddle assists only, and there are the ones that include throttle as well. It is recommended that you opt for a bike with throttle to maximize power output.


TIRES


Again, if you are planning to bike within the city limits, smaller tires will do the job. However, if you are a fitness-enthusiast who prefers biking on steep terrain, you should look for tires with large diameter. The wider the tire, the larger will be the contact patch in terms of braking and traction. You can select tires that are as wide as 4 inches to glide comfortably through any uneven terrain. Alternatively, you can choose tubeless tires, if you have the access and money to do so.


SAFETY


-These bikes are mostly designed to be safe. However, you should ensure that your bike comes with rear and front lights that receive power from its main battery. Keep these lights on whenever you go on a ride. If you feel that you need additional light, consider incorporating factory lights as add-ons.


Also, consider buying a bike with horns, and make sure that they are loud enough to be heard on bustling streets. If you can't find a bike with sufficiently-loud horns, you can alternatively add a bike bell (traditional) to ensure safety while riding.


BRAKES


It is a must for an electric bike to include disc brakes. Opt for hydraulic disc brakes instead of the mechanical ones because the former can self-adjust. Additionally, consider incorporating brake pads (that are mostly affordable), but remember, these need replacement every now and then.


FRAMES


A crucial part of find the right bike is the frame size. The chances of customizing the frame of a bike is rare, so you need to be careful while selection. Not to mention that a wrong-sized frame can induce back pains, mostly when you use it to commute. That's why the following measurements will help you with your search for a bike with proper frame size:


Measurement of the inseam, which includes the length between the floor and the inner thigh.


The stand over height' measurement, which is the gap between the bike's top tube and the inseam. For community within city limits, this measurement can be 1 inch, but for cruising purposes, the measurement should at least be 2 inches.


Also, the overall height' matters, so measure up and find out which bike would support your overall height.


SERVICE


While servicing is mostly available in bike shops, there are ones that are focused on bikes that are high-end or concerned with liability issues. Such shops won't be available for servicing. Nevertheless, components for such bikes are mostly standardized, making it convenient for you to purchase parts whenever required.


UPGRADES


Opt for a bike that comes with a rack' because you never know when you need to carry cargo. You can additionally secure some foldable baskets if necessary. If you live in a wet region, opt for waterproof panniers' that will last for a long time.


You can also considering upgrading to cushioned' seats for comfortable biking experience, and rear light that are' motion-activated' to save some battery life.


What is electric bike?


You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes' to find out what this bike is. It is a modified form of the regular bicycle, in which an electric motor' is incorporated for assisting with efficient pedaling and additional power as and when required.


The pedals help you with normal cruising, while the motor helps with tough biking like climbing long or steep hills, dealing with headwinds, and helping you comfortably pedal when tired or to catch up with fellow bikers.


The point where it differs from a motorcycle or scooter is that this bike is not as fast as either of these two. Moreover, you have the option of powering this bike up manually.


How does ebike work?


These motorized bikes include a powerful motor for assistance with pedal movement that makes it physically more comfortable and less stressful to ride the bicycle. While a few varieties make the bike move forward using its motor's power, there are others that move only when you pedal.


Such bikes fall somewhere between a motorcycle and traditional bicycle, making it a hybrid. And though it may not move as quickly as a motorcycle, it does ensure a noiseless and smoother ride. The bike's motor functions to supplement the action of the rider instead of replacing it.


With the battery and motor added to the bike, the overall weight of the machine is increased, making it tough to carry this bike around. But this added weight to the bike doesn't affect your ride, especially with your own weight placed on the bike. In fact, using the motor can help you manage heavier load.


One of the greatest benefits of opting for this bike is that it enhances the cardiovascular health of the rider. You can improve your fitness level using this bike to commute to workplace, or as a daily exercise form. Moreover, the planet can benefit from the use of such bikes because they don't emit any polluting agent when in use.


What is the difference between e bike and e bicycles


There is a common misconception that electric bike and e-bicycles are synonymous. However, is reality this idea couldn't be further away from the truth. The difference lies in their performance and mechanism. Electric bikes include a seat post, pedals, handlebars, stem, and drive chain. These bicycles differ from the traditional ones because they also include a motor, controllers, and a battery.


In contrast e bikes or electronic bikes are essentially battery bikes, which appear to be similar to fuel-driven bikes. However, these bikes run on electric power, and they don't require gas, diesel, or petrol to run.


The advantages of using either e-bike or electric bike is that both are affordable and eco-friendly when used for daily commute.


Electric Bikes vs Regular Bikes


The difference is that electric bikes are just regular bikes that have an additional electrical drive' system. The system includes a motor, a battery, a process of integrating the bike's motor power into its drivetrain, and another separate process for controlling that power.


How does electric bike’s engine work


The basic functioning of the engine involves translation of electrical energy of the motor into usable mechanical energy. These bikes incorporate the use of BLDC motors or brushless DC' motors, which unlike previous electric motors, don't utilize brushes for alternating the current-flow's direction to the bike's motor. The brushes used in earlier models of electric motor were not as efficient as the brushless' ones, and they also were subject to wear and tear over time. That's the reason why brushless motors' have grown to become the standard DC motors over the past decade.


When you open a BLDC' motor, you will notice several wires bunched together and twisted around poles that lie in circular series. This is known as the stator' and it turns into an electromagnet at the time of motor controller' drawing current from the bike's battery and making it flow into the motor's wires. Another thing that you will notice is permanent magnets' lying in a circular series' either outside or within the stator'. While the magnets' orientation in relation to the stator' is dependent on the BLDC motor' type, nevertheless it is regarded as the rotor'.


It is the stator' and rotor's interaction that dictates the working of these bikes. During the flow of current through the electromagnet' within the stator' in circular motion (or sequence)', these electromagnets' either attract or repel the interiorly or exteriorly located permanent magnets, making the rotor' spin. The bike's stator' being connected to a shaft, causes the shaft' to spin for generating torque (in case of a mid-drive' motor). This torque provides assistance while pedaling through a tiny chainring' that is attached to the shaft'. If the bike works on a hub' motor, the shaft' converts into an axle', preventing it from spinning. In a hub' motor it is the rotor that spins, leading to the spinning of the whole hub' motor, to create torque for spinning the rear or front tire. 


How does electric bike's throttle work


The throttle in such bikes have similar functioning to that of a throttle in a motorcycle. The controls for throttle are found generally on the bike's handlebar. Engaging the throttle requires twisting the handlebar to make the bike accelerate. Once the throttle is let off, it will cause the bike to stop.


But here's the thing, throttles don't feature in all electric bikes, and there are some bikes that come with thumb throttle' in which you have to push the throttle button' for engaging the bike's motor.


What you must remember is that whenever you decide to engage the throttle, you shouldn't pedal the bike at all. The throttle will work to make the bike to take off. Also, make sure that you do this in an easy way instead of over-accelerating the throttle, especially if you are new to this feature.


Again, if you realize that the bike's motor is functioning without you having any control over it, you can either consider applying the brakes to stop it, or just switch the controller' off, which will cut off the bike's motor completely.


How does the motor of electric bike work


Such bikes are equipped with motors, batteries, and motor controllers. It is the function of the controllers to modulate how much power flows into the bike's motor. Based on what numbers you input on the controllers, they convey the required current amount from the bike's battery to its motor.


Bikes that feature pedal-assistance will probably use a cadence' or speed sensor to regulate the e-assist through detection of a rider's pedaling cadence' (also called torque sensors') that can sense the amount of torque that rider is placing onto the bike's pedals. Bikes with throttles give you the advantage of using the bike's motor independently (without any dependence on your pedaling). However, there are laws in different regions that define exactly where throttle-featured-bikes can be used and where it cannot.


 How can you get electric bike charged


Based on who the manufacturer is, charging can vary from bike to bike. However, certain principles are common that can be applied while charging this bike.


While unpacking a brand new bike, you will find a battery pack' in it containing the battery for the electric bike. It will also include a bay area' on the motorized bike on which you can place the charger for connecting the battery with the bike. There are a number of places to set down the bay, depending on the bike you choose, but mostly the bay is placed immediately at the back of the seat, or in the bike's middle portion.


Also, most bikes include a charger to provide power supply to the battery. This power supply consists of slots for a cable at one end to connect to the main power outlet, and another cable that connects to the bike's battery.


Chargers for such bikes come with red colored LED that displays when the battery is charging, and turns green when the charging of the battery is complete.


When the power to your motorized bike is used up completely, you must take out the battery from its bay and turn it off. Next, connect this used-up battery with the power supply', which should be connected to the main power outlet. All you have to do now is wait for the battery to charge completely.


How does electric bike controller works


As mentioned earlier, these motorized bikes feature controllers. The speed controller for the bike sends signals through various voltages to the motor hub' of the bike. These signals then detect the rotor's direction in relation to the starter coil'. The speed control's proper functioning is dependent on the numerous mechanisms being employed. Bikes that are purpose-built' feature Hall effect' sensors for helping in the detection of the rotor's orientation. If the bike's speed controller is not equipped with such sensors, which is the case in adaptive' bikes, the rotor's orientation is detected using the undriven' coil's electromotive force.


How fast can electric bike go


On an average, a motorized bike can speed up to 20 miles per hour. But, the maximum speed limit of such bikes is 28 miles per hour. Not even the high-end bikes can exceed this speed limit, and their motors are built to reach up to 28 miles per hour only.


How e bikes powered?


In most cases, such bikes feature pedal-assist' that are backed by battery power. There are also bikes that feature a throttle for additional power. In a pedal-assist' bike you must push the bike's pedals for engaging the motor to boost up the bike's efficiency while cruising over tangential altitudes and uneven terrains without exhausting your body.


Can electric bike be charged at home


The answer is yes. It is possible to charge this bike in your house. The charging process is simple to follow because almost all such motorized bikes include removable batteries.

For charging the battery, you must:


First, unmount the bike's battery from its place on the bike

Next, plug in the power supply' of the charger into the main power outlet

Next, connect your bike's charger to the bike's battery

After the connection is made, red LED light will appear and/or blink, indicating that the charging process is underway. It will turn green in color once the charging is complete.


Should I buy an electric bike or an electric scooter


When compared to regular bicycle, electric scooter or bike offers more versatility or efficiency as a transport vehicle. If you are commuting through crowded lanes or by-lanes in a city on a daily basis, an electric scooter might appear to be a wise choice, but motorized bikes too offer convenience and comfort while gliding through cities or hilly regions.

Here are some strong points in favor of opting for a motorized bike instead of an electric scooter:


If you need to exercise- A bike is a great option for exercising. You will be shedding calories over time, which will affect your overall health in a positive way. Also, exercising will keep you stress-free and happy most parts of the day. Such a bike is a must-have if you are considering to exercise and not just commute conveniently.


If you want commuting vehicle an economic - Bikes are also a good choice over electric scooters if you are tight on your budget. You can easily avail a good bike within $200. But an electric scooter that costs less or up to $200 are mostly for children, or of inferior quality.


Again, you can purchase a bike within $300 to $350 range, if you are not interested in

 purchasing a budget scooter'. Although, a bike in the $350 range will not be a high-end one, but it will at least be more useful than an electric scooter costing $350.


If you have cargo to carry- While it can be convenient to add a trunk or seat to an electric scooter, bikes offer much more comfort and efficiency when you have to carry cargo. On a daily basis, whether you are student or work as a delivery executive, a bike will be a better option when compared to an electric scooter. 


Do I need a permit or license to operate an e-bike


In the U.S. there is no requirement for you to get a license for using such a bike (all three classes). The HR 727 of the Congress Law specifically allows all motorized bikes that have a speed limit up to 28 miles per hour to be free of licensing. But any bike that has a speed-limit over 28 miles per hour can only operate when you receive a license for it.


Since the concept of electric bikes are considerably new in the U.S., there are certain federal laws that put these bikes in the category of regular bicycles, on condition that:


Their top speed reaches only 20 miles per hour in the electric only' mode

The power of the motor does not go beyond 750W


Conclusion


Using this bike offers you convenience in neglecting traffic or parking. It also gives you the thrill of riding comfortably while enjoying the view.


Moreover, you get to contribute to the control of environmental pollution, but lowering your carbon footprint'. This is a major contribution to a healthier and safer environment. With the growing demand for electric bikes these days, choosing to own one will not only offer you flexibility, but also efficiency and comfortable commuting option. 

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