Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here we have compiled the answers to some FAQ’s (with thanks to all our suppliers!)

 

How fast will it go?

The law says that an electric bicycle should not be capable of more than 15 mph (25kph) under power.

The bike will go faster than that (going downhill or if you pedal really hard!) but not under power.

The average leisure cyclist rides at 8 to 12 mph – so 15 mph is actually quite quick!

 

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Not if you don’t want to but we would recommend it!

 

Do I need a license, tax or insurance?

No, as long as the bike conforms to the regulations for electric bikes it is classed as a bicycle and can be used on cycle paths etc.

It’s a good idea to have 3rd party insurance for any activity. You can purchase this through us.

 

Q. Will my Electric Bike need an MOT?
   

No as long as your bike has a continuous rated power of 250W or less and does not exceed 15.5mph under power, your electric bike does not need an MOT.

 

The Law

In the UK the minimum riding age is 14. The bike must weigh less than 40kg (60kg for a trike). Be restricted to 15mph (25kph). Maximum continuous power output 200/250 W.

 

Will it go up hill without me pedalling?

Electric bikes are designed to assist the rider and by their very nature will not climb the steepest hills without assistance from the rider. They take the strain out of joints allowing the rider to exercise without over exerting or arriving hot and sweaty.

Some older bikes still have a Twist & Go system that will work without pedalling but this reduces the battery range considerably and has been withdrawn in the UK.

 

Are there different battery types?

Yes but the main thing to consider is the charge capacity: A higher Ah (Ampere/hour) value gives a longer riding range (but costs more and is bigger or heavier)

Different battery technologies are available but Li-ion is becoming the most popular due to it’s performance and lighter weight.

 

 

 

 

 

How do I recharge my Electric Bike?
   

Your electric bike comes with a charger that simply plugs into any 230 or 240V mains outlet. To maintain the health of your battery, you must charge it at least once every 2 months even when you are not using it. Never leave your battery fully uncharged for more than a day.


 

Battery Charging – how long does it take?

Standard Charger – 6 to 8 hours

Advantages – Kind to the battery, suitable for low power situations

Disadvantages – you can’t recharge over lunch!

Fast Charger – 2 to 3 hours

Advantages – Fast!

Disadvantages – can reduce the life of the battery

Charging from 12V – generally not available as a direct charger but can be done via an inverter.

 

What is the lifespan of my Electric Bike battery?
   

The life of your electric bike battery varies depending on how much you use it and how well you look after it. They are usually guaranteed for 2 years against a 40% drop in Voltage or failure. They should be checked and charged at least every two months especially when the bike has not been used. Store at room temperature at 60% full charge.

 

Do I get a warning when my battery needs recharging?
   

Every electric bike has a battery level indicator. When the battery level indicator shows one light or bar the battery will need recharging. However as a general rule it is best to recharge your battery after every use.

 

What does battery charging cost?

This will of course depend on how much you pay for your electric but typically between 5 and 20 pence.

 

What is the battery replacement cost?

This may seem very expensive (at around £300) but when you consider the distance you can ride on them it actually is very reasonable. Even if you only do 20 miles per charge for a thousand charges that gives you 20,000 miles. For a £300 battery that equals 1.5p per mile.

 

Does the battery charge during peddling?

Some bikes offer a system whereby a small amount of power can be put back into the battery during braking or long downhill runs. Advantages—can extend the range per charge and offer downhill braking. Disadvantages—only effective in hilly areas. Some slight resistance when pedalling the bike without power.

 

Are there different types of motor?

Hub Motors – fitted to the centre of either the front or rear wheel. Independent of gear.

Crank Motor – drives the bike through the normal gear system, only used on specialist bikes

 



 

 

 

What’s on the ‘dashboard’?

Battery Meter – ideally choose a bike that has a battery indicator on the handlebars. This can be in the form of an LCD/LED display or a series of lights that go out as the battery charge is depleted.

Some displays may also show extra features such as Speed and Distance Travelled.

On Battery Meter – some batteries incorporate a meter, which is useful if you have more than one battery and can’t remember which one you have charged.

Power level – shows selected level of assistance.

 

Normal brakes, gears and suspension?

Brakes these can be any of the normal bicycle types, blocks or discs. The important thing is that purpose built electric bikes have an additional wire from the brake lever which is for a cutout switch that shuts off the motor when braking.

Lights – these can be powered in several ways, directly from main battery, separate battery for individual lights, dynamo. Be aware that if they are powered from the main battery and it goes flat you will be without lights.

Suspension – Can be in the forks, frame or seat, depends on model.

Gears – Exactly the same as conventional bikes….. between 1 and 27 depending on model! Also 3 or 8 speed hub gears or NuVinci and Rolhoff automatic.

 

What servicing will my Electric Bike require?
   

We recommend that you have you bike serviced once a year or every 1000 miles.


We can take care of that. Ask for a price depending on your choice of bike.

 

And finally…..

 

Why do people keep looking at me when I’m riding my E-Bike?

You are grinning. Stop it!