An electric bicycle (or e-bike, e-bicycle or electric bike), is a bicycle with a built-in electric motor. Electric bicycles come in a variety of types. Some have only a small “pedal assist” motor, which won’t power the bike all on its own, but will assist the rider up hills as he pedals along.
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Others have larger, more powerful motors that can propel the bike and rider along without any need for pedaling. Some electric bicycles’ motors have different settings, so that the rider can decide whether he wants an assist or a free ride.
The more powerful electric bicycles may resemble mopeds, in that they can be ridden without any human power. They are not, however, considered electric motorcycles because they still give the rider the option to pedal the bicycle without any motor assist. If the motor dies on an electric bicycle, there’s no need to call a tow truck or push the bike home. All electric powered bicycles allow the rider to pedal the bike with or without motor assistance.
The motors on electric bikes are powered by rechargeable batteries. Lighter motors can power a bike up to twenty miles per hour, while the more powerful versions can reach twenty-five to thirty miles per hour. However, whether they can reach higher speeds or not, the laws in the United States govern top speeds of electric bicycles at twenty miles per hour.
This is for registration purposes. A bicycle does not need to be registered or insured to be operated on the road. Because the average person riding a bicycle without a motor can reach twenty miles per hour, this is a good top speed for electric bicycle motors.
Why Don’t I See More Electric Bicycles Around?
The idea of a motorized bicycle is not a new one. In the 1890s, several patents were granted for battery-powered bicycles. Interest in motorized electric bicycles seemed to wane for a few decades after this, though, until 1969, when a patent was granted for a design using four small motors connected through a series of gears. After that, there was little news on electric bicycles until the early 1990s.
With the development of power controls, torque sensors, and advanced battery technology, over the past twenty or so years, the electric bicycle has made leaps and bounds. They’re now getting more affordable, lighter, and more dependable by the day; all of which are driving sales up. While the motor failing on an electric bicycle has always just meant that the rider had to do all of his own pedaling, this has not always been an easy feat.
Further, with newer battery technology, the motors are getting more and more reliable, and buyers can choose from three basic types of motors when choosing an electric bicycle.
They can purchase a pedal-assist only e-bike, where they’ll have to pedal to engage the motor and to keep it running.
They can go with a power-on-demand motor, which has a throttle, and can be used to propel bicycle and rider along without any help at all from the rider. The buyer can also choose a motor that does both of these things, on different settings. Electric bicycles are new, improved, and here to stay.
Check out the eZip Men’s Trailz Electric Bicycle, one of the most popular electric bicycles around.
For people with a larger budget available the Prodeco V3 Phantom X2 8 Speed Folding Electric Bicycle, Matte Black, 26-Inch/One Size is worth looking at.