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Understanding E-bikes

Answers to common questions, and some you hadn't thought of.

E-bikes FAQ's: FAQ

E-bikes are expensive what are the payment options?

The prices of e-bikes are falling in real terms each year, however they do cost more than a regular bike. Thankfully we have a few options for you to to make owning one easier than ever. 

First is the Energy Saving Trust interest free loan. This is available for up to 2 bike per household with a maximum price of £6000 combined. It is a very simple process which typically take 4 weeks to complete. 

Call 0808 808 2282 to start your application.

More details can be found here Energy Saving Trust e-bike Loan

HMRC increased to limits for bikes purchased on the cycle to work scheme and most employers are happy for you to buy bikes upto £5000. This option relies on your employer offering the scheme and is usually capped at 2 years repayments but does bive you approx 30% off the retail price. More information can be found at  Cycle to work scheme information

How far will it go?

Just as in your car many factors can effect the range of the bike such as:

  • Size of battery

  • Efficiency of the motor

  • Terrain cycling across

  • Weight of rider and luggage

  • Pedaling style

Batteries are rated by their W/hr i.e. 300Wh, 400Wh, 500Wh; the larger the battery the greater the potential range.

If we take a Yamaha motor used in Giant bikes, which is a very efficient due to low friction internals, an average 80kg rider with no luggage, riding on rolling roads, who pedals at an average of 80rpm in the mid power setting, then you could expect the following distances for each battery size:

300Wh 30miles/48km

400Wh 50miles/80km

500Wh 62miles/100km

What is the difference between  front/rear hub drive and mid-drive motor?

This is where the motor is located and effects the power and riding feel of the bike. Most modern bike now have mid-drive motors and only lower priced or folding bikes come with hub drive. This is due to the many factors but being able to apply the power to the cranks make the power delivery feel most natural.

How powerful is the motor?

All e-bike motors are capped at 250w of power but that isn’t what you “feel” when you push the pedals, you feel torque. Tourqe id the amount of grunt the motor gives and is the thing that will shove you up the hill, the more tourqe the bigger the shove.

All brands state thier tourqe figures and some of the very best are from Giant which are:

Syndrive Life 60Nm

Syncdrive Sport 70Nm

Syncdrive Pro 80Nm

What is the brand support and what spares are available?

E-bikes make the simple’ish bicycle more complex and therefore the availability of spare parts and knowledgeable staff to diagnose any problems becomes more important. If you add in the fact that it is currently very difficult and expensive to legally ship an e-bike then we would caution against the “cheap internet deals”.

The technical and spares support offered by the large bicycle brands ensure you aren’t stuck without your £2000+ bike, for months on end because you need a new switch or screen after you dropped your bike and broke it. Companies like GIant carry the vast majority spares in UK warehousing and are shipped in a few days.

What is the weight?

E-bikes are heavier than normal bikes, the weight of the motor is about 3.5kg and the battery is between 3.5-6kg, add in the extra structre to suport a fast moving ebike and it adds up to approx 22kg. There are lighter bikes such as Battribike folding bikes which weigh from only 16kg but at the end of the day bikes are for riding with wheels on the ground and the additional weight when riding soon disappears.

How long will my battery last, what is the warranty, how much will it cost to replace?

We a big fans of Giant bikes and believe they have some of the best, and most durable batteries due to them being sourced from Panasonic (they only manufacturer able to do this). 

Bosch only warranty their batteries for 2 years OR 500 cycles

Giant warranty is also 2 years but also state that they would hold a minimum or 60% upto 2600 cycles

(500Wh = 62miles / 80% = 50miles x 2600 cycles = 130,000miles)!!!

As for cost Giant quote approx £1 per Wh thus making a 300Wh will cost £300.

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