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ADD: HuangLang Industrial Zone, Jinqing Town, Luqiao District, Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China 

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Some information you need to know about electric bicycles

Augmented bicycling is about to hit the “hockey stick” on the product adoption curve. Translated into English: We are all about to have a lot of fun. Electric bikes are powered by small motors traditionally on the frames of the bike that assist with pedaling.

These “E” bikes have been around since the 1890s. But those early e-bikes were heavy, short on range, slow to re-charge and expensive. During the last few years they have evolved into lighter, smarter versions. As goes Tesla, so goes the e-bike.

Their power supplies have lightened and their range increased. The e-bike market has quickly expanded from a novelty to a credible choice for both road and mountain bike fun. They have become cool.

Electric bicycles have gradually entered our lives and are being accepted by more and more people.For sports enthusiasts,they Prefer a fun and convenient way to ride.For the office workers, the deadening commute, traffic, tolls and parking fees that were grimly tolerated (because riding your bike to work involved sweating, finding a shower and sometimes being late) now become a question of how fast or slow you want to get there.

To help you get a better understanding of electric bicycles, here are some information you need to know.

So do I have to pedal an E-Bike?

It depends. There are three classes of electric bike in the US, says Morgan Lommele, e-bikes campaign manager at People for Bikes. Classes 1 and 3 are pedal-assist only, meaning yes, you do have to pedal. But Class 2 e-bikes can be powered solely by a throttle, as well as pedal assist.

How fast can E-bikes go?

How hard can you pedal? The CPSC regulations say that the motor alone cannot power the bike faster than 20mph. Of course, you can ride an e-bike down a hill at faster than 20mph just as you can a normal bike. Class 1 and 2 e-bikes have motors that stop propelling the bike when speeds reach 20mph. But Class 3, which you may sometimes see called “speed pedelec,” has a motor that continues to provide power up to 28mph, as long as the rider is pedaling too. Those speed limits are not the same thing as an average speed, Lommele points out. “Think of e-bikes as 2-3mph faster than a conventional bike on flat terrain or climbs,” she says. “Going downhill, there’s no real difference to a normal pedal bike.”

How heavy is an E-bike?

That varies from bike to bike depending on the type and power of the motor and the size of the battery pack, but you can figure on e-bikes being about 20 pounds heavier than similarly equipped conventional bikes. Larry Pizzi, general manager for Raleigh Electric, says the motor, battery pack and controller add about 15 pounds. Another five or so pounds comes from parts of the bike that have to be reinforced to handle the extra weight and, most importantly, torque. Frame tubes are thicker, rims are wider and tires have thicker treads and reinforced casings, to name three common areas that manufacturers modify to deal with motors. Most e-bikes start around 40 pounds; long-travel full suspension mountain bikes can be closer to 50, and longtail or cargo bikes are even heavier. It’s something to consider if you’ll have to take the bike up flights of stairs, and when transporting them on a rear hitch rack on your car (most racks have per-bike and total weight limits).

What happens if it rains while I’m riding an E-bike?

You’ll get wet; the bike will be just fine. Quality e-bikes today are generally waterproof for normal use, particularly if you buy a bike that has an integrated system (motor, battery, controller) all from one of the major manufacturers that most bike brands use. You wouldn’t want to submerge the motor, says Pizzi. But you don’t want to submerge your car’s motor either, and it does fine driving in the rain.

Can I do DIY maintenance?

You can still do any regular maintenance on conventional bike parts. That’s one of the great things about center-drive systems, Pizzi points out: aside from the motor and battery, they run almost entirely on conventional bike parts. Because of the added weight and torque, e-bike systems do produce more wear and tear on “consumable” parts. You’ll likely have to replace things like chains and brake pads more frequently, and you'll want to keep an eye on tire wear and wheel parts like spokes, which are under more stress from the torque of the motor. What you probably can’t do, other than swapping the battery, is work on the system itself. The good part is that electric motors require far less maintenance than gasoline motors – no oil changes, for example. If you do encounter a problem, your dealer can probably help, and if they can’t, the manufacturer will handle it just like any other bike warranty issue.


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