Whether you are thinking about getting an E-Bike for your commute or want to try riding one, there are some things you should know before you make your decision. Luckily, this article has everything you need to know to get started.
E-Bike Pedal-Assist Levels
Pedal-assist is a term used to describe the use of an electric motor to provide power to an e-bike while the rider is pedaling. It is often used to assist in a long commute. It also may be used to extend the life of an e-bike battery.
Pedal-assist systems can vary in complexity, from simple crank speed measurement with an optical system to complex algorithms that control pedaling to provide power. Some systems can even sense the amount of pedaling torque to provide additional assistance.
The best pedal-assist systems will be able to match the power of the rider’s pedal strokes. For example, a level three pedal-assist system may assist up to 15 mph on flat ground. A more advanced system may assist up to 28 miles per hour.
Pedal assist is arguably the best way to extend the life of an e-bike’s battery. It allows the rider to get around faster, which is especially useful when commuting to work. When you ride an electric bike, you can also discover new trails. Additionally, it makes biking more approachable for the typical person.
E-Bike Derailleur Gears
Whether riding an e-bike or a traditional bike, you need to know the difference between derailleur gears and hub gears. These two types of gear systems have different benefits and drawbacks.
Derailleur gears are named for the derailleur element, which is a bracket with two cogs. The derailleur element changes gears by moving up or down a cassette of cogs.
The derailleur element is attached to a handlebar mechanism. The handlebar mechanism is usually connected to a cable. The cable guides the chain over larger sprockets and down to smaller ones.
Derailleurs are lightweight, easy to maintain, and are a cheaper alternative to hub gears. They are also much more efficient at shifting gears.
On the other hand, the internal gear hub was invented before the derailleur. Internal gear hubs are chain-driven but can shift multiple gears simultaneously. They are not as technologically advanced as derailleurs and may require some maintenance.
Having multiple gears can help riders climb steep hills without stopping. However, shifting multiple gears at once can cause a chain to drop.
Having a set of mudguards on your e-bike isn’t just for the cold weather – they keep you dry during a typical British drizzle, help you ride faster in wet conditions, and prevent rucksacks and panniers from getting dirty. You can save money to get one of these essential items. There are many different options, ranging from clip-on mudguards to full-length mudguards.
While clip-on mudguards offer a lot of versatility, they offer less protection than full-length mudguards. With full-length guards, you can avoid the hassle of mounting the mudguard and then removing it after a rainy ride. You also don’t need to worry about making a gap between your seat post and the frame.
Some full-length mudguards have a flap on the end of the front mudguard that helps keep water away from your face. This is only sometimes an ideal solution, especially if your front wheel kicks up a lot of sprays.
A full-length mudguard is also more durable than a clip-on. They’re attached to your frame with mounts, which allows you to change the guard without changing the frame.
E-Bike Loaner Programs
Several major employers have launched e-bike loaner programs to help employees get around town on two wheels. Companies like Amazon and Google are offering incentives to make commutes easier.
These programs allow employees to try out e-bikes and decide whether they fit. They may be a more convenient option than a conventional bike and may even help to reduce SOV commuting.
Bicycle lending programs are part of some employer-based transportation demand management (TDM) programs in the United States. Some studies have shown significant increases in bicycling due to these programs.
Google began a pilot program to loan electric-assisted bikes to its employees. This program was designed to help the company increase its bike commuting mode share from 10% to 20%. It also included free maintenance, bike insurance, and lights. The results were positive.
The company selected employees who commuted by car to work and lived within 20 miles of their work. They also agreed to participate in program audits and surveys.
The program provided electric-assist bikes for free and included a free lock and emergency van pick-up service. After two years, the participants could keep the bikes.
Laws and Ordinances
Several states have specific laws and ordinances for e-bike commuters. In most cases, these laws are not based on federal standards. However, in some states, e-bike riders must wear helmets and follow other safety guidelines. These laws and ordinances vary from state to state, and it’s essential to be aware of them.
In the United States, e-bikes must be registered with the state Motor Vehicle Commission. They cannot be used on expressways, 400-series highways, or multi-purpose trails. Depending on the state, e-bikes may also be prohibited on sidewalks. In Massachusetts, for example, e-bikes may be prohibited on sidewalks but may be used on bicycle paths.
E-bikes must be operated by a user who is at least 14 years of age. Riders under the age of 16 may be required to wear a helmet. In addition, e-bike operators may be required to register the bikes with the state.