In keeping with our recent blog posts, this week we will try to answer the questions you guys put to us based on the HOW of your bike! If you’re like us and you like to know the basics of how your shiny new product works – lets dive in!
How electric bikes work
The best way to describe an electric bike is that it’s about 80% traditional bike and 20% electric. Your e-bike has a frame, wheels, tyres, breaks, handlebars, gears and a chain just like that trusty old steed that’s been parked up in the shed for years! Now comes the fun part – electrics! By adding a battery, motor, sensor, display and control unit the bike is transformed. Put simply, the battery provides the power (fuel) which is used to run the motor (engine) which propels you along with substantially greater ease than those two pins that connect to your hips can manage. How exactly does the bike know what power to give? That is where the sensor comes in, there are 2 types:
- Speed/Cadence sensor
This is a small disc which is mounted down at the bottom bracket (where your pedals cranks meet the frame) when you pedal, it rotates past a sensor telling the motor “We’re moving let’s get some assistance” these are a tried and tested sensor but they are less intelligent than a Torque sensor as they tend to deliver all the power at once instead of a graduated response.
- Torque sensor
These guys are located within the bottom bracket of a rear/front hub motor bike or within the motor of a mid-drive. Torque sensors are more efficient, they detect when you are pedalling but crucially, they also detect how hard you are pedalling. This means the assistance from the motor is more gradual and provides a feeling of being in sync with bike, a more natural experience.
Finally, the controller sits between the battery & motor and works in conjunction with your handle bar display. It allows you to modulate the assistance levels, control the lights, speedo, odometer and timer.
How electric bikes are charged
Electric bikes run on DC power and are charged from your household socket through a charger supplier with the bike. NOTE – it is extremely important to ONLY use the charger supplied with your electric bike on your electric bike. Never use a charger that is not specified by the manufacturer on your bike. For example, if you were to use a 48v charger on a 36v battery that could not only damage the battery but could possibly cause a fire. Safety is key folks, so only use the charger you get with your bike on your bike and nothing else!
Once the above is ticked off, it’s easy as pie and cheap as chips to charge your bike! Electric Avenue’s bikes run on a 36v system, our batteries are made using Samsung 18650 cells, are between 250 & 500Wh in capacity and take up to 5 hours to charge fully. You can also pop them on a quick charge for an hour or two which will get you up to a 40% charge.
How much do electric bikes cost
A common question is; what’s the price of an electric bike in Ireland? Before we approach this, I always revert back to the old saying, you get what you pay for…. But within reason!
If you are new to electric bikes or even if you are trading up from your first one, there is really no need to be spending many multiple thousands on a bike. Obviously, this is dependent on what you use the bike for. Most people we meet are looking for a bike to commute and from work or a bike to use recreationally on the road or to take a spin on greenways or light trails. As a rough rule of thumb, a good quality electric bike will start around €1600. If you stretch your budget to €2k then you will get something that comes with premium brand components like Shimano/Samsung/Tektro/Sun Tour/Bafang & if you stretch to €2.5k you will get these brands with maybe a larger battery/more gears/better brakes etc.
Remember, a bike is the sum of its components not the sum of its name! Check the components on a bike to measure them up against the competition and you will often find the leading names entry level bikes are using the same components of other less well-known names at a lower price. It pays to shop around, get proper advice from a helpful person and most importantly test out the bikes to see what you like. If you follow these basic guides above you should have a good basic understanding before you set out on your purchasing journey – why not give us a go first and see can we help you!