There are many misconceptions circulating around the practice of electric bikes. This article aims to answer all your questions with our expert point of view. We will sweep the subject up and down in order to bring you the real answers . Discover without further delay our decryption of the ideas received about the electric bike .
No need to pedal an electric bike: FALSE
The term electric bike is rightly overused. In France, the law requires that a cycle having a motorization is in fact an electrically assisted bicycle (VAE) . That is to say, unlike a moped like an electric scooter for example, you have to pedal to activate the electric motor .
The assistance makes it possible to cross steep slopes without too much fatigue, as well as to travel longer distances than a simple classic bike.
Electric assistance cuts out at 25 km/h
The assistance comes only in addition to your effort. You thus remain in control of the power, both through your pedaling rate, but also through the riding mode chosen.
Depending on the technology of the bike, a sensor detects your effort. Either by a pedal rotation sensor, generally reserved for entry-level electric bikes. Either by a pedaling sensor integrated into the crankset .
You can control the speed of your electric bike with the power of your legs. Be careful, however, because the maximum speed of the assistance is 25 km/h . Beyond that, you have to rely solely on your physical effort.
The acceleration trigger prohibited on public roads
If you have installed an acceleration trigger on your handlebars, be aware that it is prohibited for use on public roads. In case of control, you risk a fine by the police. However, you can use it on private land.
Electric bikes must be registered: FALSE
No, the National Cycling Plan or the Mobility Orientation Law of the Ministry of Ecological Transition do not provide for the registration of electric bicycles. As seen previously, the electric assistance cutting off at 25 km/h does not make them mopeds. There is therefore no need to have a gray card, registration or even compulsory insurance to ride a VAE.
Only Speedbikes traveling at 45 km/h are concerned
On the other hand, if your electric bike is sold with a speed greater than 25 km/h, it falls into the category of Speedbike, also called Speedelec. He must then have a license plate and take out insurance to drive legally on public roads.
The electric bike is heavy: TRUE and FALSE
It is true that an electric bicycle is generally heavier than a conventional bicycle . The VAE indeed has a battery and a motor necessarily adding weight compared to a conventional bicycle. But since their arrival on the market, electric bikes are equipped with increasingly light components.
Taking the example of lithium ion batteries which are much lighter and more efficient than the old lead acid batteries. These are even prohibited for sale.
More than just a bike to which electrification has been added, VAEs are specially designed to be as light as possible. Their weight has been reduced compared to the older generations and it is possible to find some under the 20 kg or even 15 kg bar.
Electric bikes are dangerous: FALSE
Although the average travel speed of an e-bike is higher than its non-motorized counterpart, studies show that there are no more accidents on e-bikes. If the number of accidents has increased in recent years, it is mainly due to the fact that there are more cyclists on the road .
Although a bicycle helmet is not compulsory, we can only recommend that you wear one for more safety .
The electric bike is for the lazy: FALSE
If the effort provided is certainly less important on an electric bike, it is still wrong to say that it would be reserved for lazy people. According to statistics, electric bike users are mostly dynamic young people who prefer to do without their car to get around. The average age in France is 40 for electrified cyclists.
It is a means of transport allowing both to reduce travel time (on average 2 times less than by car) but also to extend travel distances.
With an electric bike, it is much easier to make a trip of 20 to 25 km . Where this journey would be reserved for the most athletic without an engine, it is possible to do it without fatigue by VAE.
Going to work by pedelec is good for your health: TRUE
According to a study published by North Carolina University, people who ride an electric bike 30 minutes a day and 5 times a week are half as likely to cardiovascular disease as others . In VAE we get out of breath less quickly and we reduce high blood pressure.
Vélotafeurs or vélotaf as they are called all say that they are much more relaxed at the end of the day after returning from work on an electric bike. The same goes for the way to go where many employees admit to being more productive after this morning sports phase.
You can also take advantage of the sustainable mobility package to get to work by electric bike. This makes it possible to obtain aid of up to 500 euros per year .
Practicing the electric bike is therefore both good for the health of the body but also for the mental health . With the many cycle paths being created every day on the territory, it is increasingly easy to ride without the inconvenience of urban traffic.
Moreover, it is also inaccurate to say that we breathe more pollution while cycling. If we can believe we are more protected against pollution inside a car, this is unfortunately false. The front grille of a vehicle is closer to the exhaust pipes and therefore transmits CO2 particles more efficiently inside the passenger compartment.
While on a bike, we are higher up on the road and therefore less exposed to fine particles spat out by thermal vehicles.
Autonomy is lacking on electric bikes: FALSE
We often read that as with electric cars, autonomy is the weak point on electric bikes. If these 2 vehicles have an electric motor and a battery, the comparison stops there. An electric car is very heavy, often close to 2 tons.
The VAE is much lighter and is only coupled with electric assistance . It is therefore much less energy-intensive to propel an electrically assisted bicycle with a small motor with a power of 250W than to move a heavy load of an electric car at much higher speeds.
Today many bikes offer a range of between 50 km and up to 200 km thanks to a battery of around 500Wh.
Beware of cheap electric bikes with very small batteries
You still have to be wary of entry-level electric bikes, which often have a battery of 8Ah or less . The battery being the most expensive element of an electrically assisted bicycle, some manufacturers take advantage of it in order to be able to offer attractive prices.
But with this kind of low quality batteries and controller, you will only have a low autonomy of about 20 to 40 km in the best case. If offering a low autonomy may be enough for some, another problem is also that of quality. A noname battery will wear out much faster over time.
How is the autonomy announced by manufacturers calculated?
It is also quite complicated to calculate the autonomy of an electrically assisted bicycle. The manufacturer generally announces a capacity of use often superior to the majority of what users encounter. It should be understood that autonomy depends on many parameters. The weight supported, the level of assistance, the maximum speed as well as the course greatly influence the use of a motor.
The manufacturer data is mainly established in the lowest level of assistance with a rider weight of approximately 60 to 70 kg.
No need for battery charging when braking and going downhill
The argument of a VAE today is no longer based on its regenerative battery capacity. Regenerative braking is often far too expensive compared to the extra range generated. Driving a bicycle being very different from an electric scooter or an electric scooter, this is of little interest and has therefore gradually been removed from VAEs.
The electric bike battery is polluting: FALSE
Lithium ion batteries are now all recyclable . Many cyclists are sensitive to environmental issues. It is therefore normal to want to ensure the recycling of old batteries once used.
Batteries at Weebot are recycled
At Weebot we are sensitive to the cause and we are committed to taking back used batteries in order to recycle them . As providers of eco-mobility solutions, we are fully committed to the process of ensuring the sustainability of our machines.
Electric bikes are stolen more: FALSE
The risk of theft is no greater than a conventional bicycle. The main thing is to secure your bike properly when you attach it. By removing the battery and the digital display from the handlebars, this can even discourage thieves who will then find it more difficult to resell it.
Mandatory marking of new bicycles against theft
In order to fight against theft, it has also been mandatory since January 2021 for retailers to offer engraving or marking on new electric bicycles. At Weebot, we have selected the offer of lock manufacturer Auvray with its ICA Bike tamper-evident labels .
This makes it easier to find your electric bike in the event of theft. With a unique identification code registered in a national file, your bike can easily be identified to be returned to you.
The bottom bracket motor is more efficient: Partly TRUE
It is common to read the superiority of a central motor in the crankset compared to a motor in the rear or front wheels. The advantage of a crankset motor is to offer better acceleration torque .
Unlike an electrically assisted bicycle with motor in the rear wheel, the crank motor will tend to support the cyclist's pedaling movement more thanks to the pedaling sensor.
However, a rear engine is not necessarily bad on a two-wheeler. This allows a more attractive price while offering a good level of power for the electric assistance of a bicycle. The motors in the rear wheel of an e-bike have an equally good lifespan and require no maintenance to ride all year round.
The electric bike is expensive: TRUE and FALSE
If the starting price of an electric bike may seem expensive, it must be taken into account that it is currently the most economical means of transport .
With the purchase of an electrically assisted bicycle, it is possible to benefit from a subsidy of up to 500 euros on the price .
In addition to this, the Sustainable Mobility Package allows you to obtain up to 500 euros over the year to go to work by electric bike. No more paying a monthly subscription for public transport. No more paying for fuel. It is generally reckoned that recharging a battery costs a few cents.
In addition to being pleasant, this makes the electric bike an excellent means of daily travel.
Conclusion on the electric bike
A bike's level of electric assistance is ideal for urban commuting . This modern and ecological means of transport is transforming the way we travel. With the sustainability of cycle paths, it is important to take advantage of them in order to reduce our pollution. The electric bike is no longer just the future but already the present .
More and more users are trading their car in exchange for cargo bikes which are on the rise in 2021. With an increase in sales of more than 354% compared to the previous year, the cargo bike makes it possible to transport equipment , but also his children in an extremely practical way.