Comfortably fast on the road with an e-bike
E-bikes are often confused with pedelecs or vice versa – those who speak of e-bikes usually mean pedelecs or perhaps an S-pedelec.
Externally, e-bikes and S-pedelecs are distinguished from mere pedelecs by a number plate on the rear. This, like the associated insurance, is compulsory, as is the rider's helmet. What you don't see is the different drive technology: e-bikes have a drive decoupled from the bicycle pedals and can be moved both with and without muscle power. It is therefore possible to start off without pedalling, which is an advantage on hills or sloping ascents. Speed is controlled with the right handlebar grip. This makes e-bikes more like light motorbikes or mopeds than bicycles. Speeds of up to 45 km/h require practised and safe riding, because even with a helmet on, the risk of accidents and injuries is high at this speed.
With the right infrastructure, the daily commute to and from work becomes a sporting pleasure and can often be completed faster than by car or public transport. When parked in a secure, preferably covered bicycle parking system, the annoying search for a parking space is also a thing of the past. In view of the purchase price of your bicycle, you will want to make sure that it has a high-quality lock and that it can be connected to a solid bike stand.
All known bicycle types are now also available as e-bikes. New to the range are so-called SUV e-bikes or crossover e-bikes – a combination of e-mountain bike and e-city bike, equipped with the chunky tyres and suspension of e-mountain bikes, which can be ridden in a comfortable seating position both off-road and in the city.
Depending on the battery power, an e-bike can cover up to 100 kilometres before recharging or using a spare battery. E-motors with a rated power of up to 500 watts (slightly less than one horsepower) also pull heavy loads such as child trailers or cargo trailers effortlessly. There are a wide range of battery and motor designs, such as batteries integrated into the frame, middle motors on the bottom bracket or front or rear hub motors.
Conventional bicycles can also be electrified with special e-bike retrofit kits, but brakes in particular must be able to withstand the strong propulsion of the e-motor and the high travel speeds at all times.