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E-Bikes

Rediscover the fun of cycling

In our range of bicycles, we also provide you with e-bikes. Get to know the advantages and disadvantages of e-bikes and the difference between e-bikes and pedelecs.

A bike in the yard
An e-bike on the bike path
A man rides his e-bike between rapeseed fields

Advantages and disadvantages

You will quickly notice that riding e-bikes is a lot of fun. But the fun doesn't stop there. Electric bikes have many advantages. We have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of e-bikes for you.

Benefits

  • Faster goal achievement
  • Increase in average speed
  • Comfortable, upright and back-friendly sitting position
  • Improved mobility
  • Less effort
  • More fun on longer bike tours
  • environmentally friendly
  • Almost noiseless
  • Suitable for any age group

Disadvantages

  • Upgrading the bike means increasing the weight at the same time
  • Initial feeling of getting used to driving

 


Difference between e-bikes and pedelecs

It makes sense to make a distinction between e-bikes and pedelecs. We would be happy to explain the difference between the two electric bikes so that you know what you are using for your bike tour.

What is a pedelec?

Pedelecs are motorized vehicles that are considered bicycles despite supporting motorization. Pedelec is a so-called suitcase term for "Pedeal Electric Cycle".

How does a pedelec work?

The principle of pedelecs is easy to understand. The motor support is controlled by a motion sensor and only released when you actually pedal. In addition, the degree of support and the speed are controlled by a "throttle grip". This means that thanks to a special electric motor and electronic control, the driver is more or less supported when pedaling. This is determined by sensors. An accumulator generates the necessary energy.

According to EU guidelines, pedelecs can be motor-assisted up to a maximum speed of 25 km/h. If the limit is exceeded, the support switches off automatically.

Experience the most beautiful Cycle tours in Germany with the pedelec.

What is an e-bike?

An e-bike is an electronic bicycle in which the engine power, like that of a moped, is completely controlled by a twist grip.

How does an e-bike work?

Motorization and muscle power act independently as drive systems on an e-bike. Like pedelecs, electric bikes can be used in mixed operations or as conventional bikes. At the same time, e-bikes can be operated using pure engine power. To ride an e-bike you need an operating permit in Germany. The maximum speed was limited by law to 20 km.

Whether it's an e-bike or a pedelec: we wish you a lot of fun on your cycle tours with these supportive bicycles.

 


Tips for traveling with e-bikes

We would also be happy to give you a few tips for riding e-bikes. For safety reasons, we therefore recommend that you always wear a helmet when using an electric bicycle or a pedecle. Even if there is no legal obligation to wear a helmet for either of them, we recommend wearing one for safety reasons.

Drive yourself in! The first ride on an electric bike may be unfamiliar to you. Therefore, first do a couple of laps on an e-bike to get used to the feeling of riding. As with conventional bicycles, the seating position on e-bikes must first be adjusted to the body before you go on a bike tour. Allow yourself enough time for this. Under Wheels you will find more information about our range of bicycles.

Experience our group cycle tours with e-bikes. For example along the Mecklenburg Baltic Sea coast with the group tour - Baltic Sea coast with "E-Bikes.

Or discover the northern German islands of Hiddensee, Rügen and Usedom with electric bikes on the 3 islands - group tour with "E-Bikes.

The characteristics and components of an e-bike

An e-bike is basically built like a conventional bicycle. 3 elements turn a normal bicycle into an e-bike or pedelec. These include the electric drive (motor), the traction battery (rechargeable battery) and the control electronics for the engine. A pedelec also has a special sensor that detects the movement of the pedals. This is particularly important because on most e-bikes, the motor only starts when the rider is actually pedaling.

The controller

It is the link between the driver, the battery, the motor and the sensor. The controller recognizes the signals from the sensor, which in turn provide information about the cyclist's activity. Based on this data, the controller controls the motor of the e-bike.

The e-bike battery

The battery of an e-bike is also known as a traction battery and consists of several battery cells connected together. The drive energy for the electric bike is stored in the battery. The battery is therefore the main factor influencing the electric range of the bicycle.

Stand for e-bikes 4 different battery types to disposal. Lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride and lithium ion batteries. Lead-gel batteries are only rarely used. Nowadays, high-quality e-bikes mainly use the Lithium-ion batteries installed, which have the highest performance among all 4 types. In addition to the longer range, the lithium-ion batteries are particularly characterized by their long service life. In addition, with them there is no risk that the so-called Memory effect occurs, which weakens the service life and performance from charge to charge.

The range of an e-bike battery

The following runtimes can be expected with rechargeable batteries:

  • Nickel-cadmium batteries: 25-30km
  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries: about 45 km
  • Lithium-ion batteries: over 50km

However, the actual range depends not only on the battery cells, but on many other factors. These include: The selected support, the shifting behavior, rider and luggage weight, the tire pressure and the road surface. With a few tricks, ranges of up to 140 km can be achieved.

  • Enough air in the tires
  • Shift into an appropriate gear
  • Chain and Drivetrain Care
  • Streamlined cycling clothing
  • Sporty seating position
  • Keep baggage to a minimum
  • Even driving style with a "round kick"

The designation of the battery capacity of pedelecs is usually in watt hours (Wh). You are responsible for the range of the electric bike. However, some manufacturers also use the specification of capacity in ampere hours (Ah). To get the actual power from the specified ampere-hours, multiply the ampere-hours by the voltage (volts). We remember: Pedelecs are limited to a battery capacity of 250 Wh, whereas S-Pedeles can have a capacity of up to 450 Wh.

In general, the batteries should not be run completely empty. Frequent recharging and avoiding deep discharge increase the service life of your battery. Don't be put off by frequent loading. No memory effect can occur with the high-quality lithium-ion batteries. Memory effect means that a voltage drop occurs with frequent partial discharge, ie the usable capacity of the battery decreases. Now you might be wondering about charge cycles. Manufacturers often state a maximum of 1000 charging cycles. That doesn't mean you can only charge your battery halfway 1000 times. 2 charging cycles at 50% are the same as 1 charging cycle at 100%. This means you can do partial charges of 50% a total of 2000 times.

Otherwise, you can only ride with an empty battery if you completely switch off the battery support. Then every e-bike can be used like a normal bicycle.

Before using the device for the first time, please read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. When charging, it is important that you only use the original charger from the manufacturer. Anything else can cause irreparable damage to the battery. When charging, the mains plug should be the last thing to be connected to the socket. Conversely, it is the first thing to be drawn again after loading. This is how you avoid a short circuit.

The performance of a battery decreases over time. If you have reached half of the specified charging cycles, your battery still has around 60-70% of its original capacity. However, frequent recharging and avoiding running empty will extend the life of the battery.

Would you also like to be able to use your e-bike unhindered in winter? Then you should definitely take a look at the user manual. In general, it can be said that rechargeable batteries do not like the cold. However, high-quality branded batteries are generally less susceptible to the cold than discounter goods. The ideal temperature for storing and charging the batteries is around 10°C. In winter, it is advisable to take the battery with you into the apartment and only replace it shortly before you set off on your journey.

After the long tour uphill, you are often rewarded with a rapid descent into the valley. You can rest your legs and you don't have to pedal a lot. How practical would it be to use the relaxed ride downhill to recharge the previously used battery capacity? Some e-bikes now make this possible. However, this is only possible on selected models with hub motors in the front or rear tires. They continue to turn even when you take a break from pedaling and when you brake. Providers of these drive systems, which also serve as generalors, include: Xion, BionX, Greenmover.

Recharging a battery when driving downhill is also referred to as recuperation.

The electric drive of an e-bike

In e-bikes mainly DC motors are installed. AC asynchronous motors, on the other hand, are rarely used. The most commonly used methods to power an e-bike are as follows:

The front wheel drive

The front-wheel drive As the name suggests, an e-bike is installed in the front wheel, or rather in the hub of the front wheel. Since this construction is relatively simple, it is often found on e-bikes in lower price ranges. This electric drive is compatible with any gear system (hub or chain) and back pedal. Of the Drive via the hubs of the wheel can be retrofitted relatively easily in contrast to the mid-engine. So if you want to turn your normal bike into an e-bike, the best way to do this is with a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. Since bicycles usually have rear wheel acceleration, you should be aware that front wheel acceleration can take a lot of getting used to due to the electric drive.

Advantages and disadvantages of front-wheel drive at a glance:

Benefits

  • Traction advantages due to higher weight in the rear wheel
  • The engine effect goes directly to the wheel
  • Compact design and high efficiency
  • A high contact pressure enables sporty driving
  • Less noticeable than front-wheel drive
  • Insertion of a hub dynamo is possible
  • Energy recovery is possible
  • Easy replacement of the motor possible

Disadvantages

  • Removing the rear wheel is more complicated than removing the front wheel
  • Cabling is often cumbersome
  • Usually only a combination with derailleur gears is possible
  • Coaster brake is only possible to a limited extent

 


The rear wheel drive

Here comes one too hub motor to use, of course installed in the rear wheel is. As a result, the center of gravity of the e-bike is further back, which ensures more stable riding, especially on mountains and in wet conditions. In addition, a rear-wheel drive is particularly suitable for cyclists who have sporty demands on their bike. The rear-wheel drive, like the variant for the front wheel, can be retrofitted to a normal bicycle, but is a bit more difficult due to the gears.

A bicycle with an electric motor

Advantages and disadvantages of rear-wheel drive on e-bikes:

Benefits

  • Traction advantages due to higher weight in the rear wheel
  • The engine effect goes directly to the wheel
  • Compact design and high efficiency
  • A high contact pressure enables sporty driving
  • Less noticeable than front-wheel drive
  • Insertion of a hub dynamo is possible
  • Energy recovery is possible
  • Easy replacement of the motor possible

Disadvantages

  • Traction advantages due to higher weight in the rear wheel
  • The engine effect goes directly to the wheel
  • Compact design and high efficiency
  • A high contact pressure enables sporty driving
  • Less noticeable than front-wheel drive
  • Insertion of a hub dynamo is possible
  • Energy recovery is possible
  • Easy replacement of the motor possible

The mid-engine

The middle motor is used on e-bikes directly at the bottom bracket installed, which requires a special frame. Due to the more complex design, e-bikes with mid-motors are in the medium to high price segment. That's why you won't find cheap variants with mid-engines. Together with the rider's pedaling power, the motor drives the chain and thus the bicycle. E-bikes with central motors come closest to normal bicycles in terms of handling and are therefore very popular with many cyclists. It's mainly because of that low center of gravity, which ensures stable driving. In the case of sprung bicycles, the motor is also located in the sprung area, which promises a particularly high level of comfort. Experts therefore believe that mid-engines have the greatest potential in the long term. Probably the strongest argument in favor of a mid-engine is that increased efficiency, with which such engines work compared to front and rear wheel drives. Greater efficiency means lower power consumption, which is very important for long distances.

Advantages and disadvantages of the mid-engine at a glance:

Benefits

  • Direct transmission of power to the chain
  • A low center of gravity and a long wheelbase ensure that the bike runs in a straight line
  • Compact cable routing is less prone to failure
  • Can be combined with all circuits (hub and chain)
  • Changing front and rear wheels is not a problem
  • Natural driving experience

Disadvantages

  • High price for special frames
  • Only a few models with coaster brakes
  • Higher chain wear due to increased load on the chain and sprocket
  • Often only in combination with derailleur gears
  • With derailleur gears, only one chain ring is possible at the front
  • No energy recovery possible

Retrofit e-bike yourself

Do you already have a good bike and still want to switch to the motorized version without having to buy a new bike? Then you have the opportunity to convert your old bike into an e-bike with a special kit. For that you can either the front wheel or the rear wheel against an e-bike wheel exchange. If you already have experience changing tires you should be able to assemble the new kit yourself, with a front wheel motor being easier to install. Gear shifting can cause problems in the rear tire – it is therefore better to seek advice from a specialist retailer.

What does an e-bike retrofit kit include?

In addition to the new front or rear wheel, the retrofit kit should contain the following components: holder for the battery, battery (not supplied by all providers), cable, screws, control unit for the energy management.

What do I have to pay attention to when converting?

  • the decision between hub motor and central motor: hub motors are usually easier to install because they do not place any special demands on the bicycle frame
  • a front wheel hub motor cannot be combined with a hub dynamo
  • Rear wheel motors can only be combined with derailleur gears
  • the specified performance must correspond to the requirements of the e-bike. If you want to upgrade to a normal pedelec, the motor must not exceed the power of 250 W.
  • the bike must have a stable frame; Handlebars, fork and frame must not exhibit any fatigue decisions
  • very good brakes that can handle the increased weight of the e-bike

 

Young man retrofitting a bicycle

Legal regulations

Before you start converting your bike, you should do a few things legal ground loading be sure to note. If you convert your e-bike yourself, the manufacturer's guarantee will expire, since from a legal point of view you are now the manufacturer of the bike. It is therefore advisable to hand over the installation to a specialist dealer or workshop. With the installation of the retrofit kit, the specialist dealer becomes the manufacturer with all warranties, ie he may have to serve claims for damages in the event of an accident caused by a defect in the bicycle. For this reason, many specialist dealers refuse to install the retrofit sets from the outset.

Another benefit of having an expert install is that they are yours at the same time Check bike for suitability can. The frame, fork and handlebars must not show any signs of fatigue and the brakes must also function perfectly. It can often happen that the components of an actually good bicycle are not suitable for use on an e-bike.

If you convert your bike to an S-Pedelec, you must also have a Liability insurance complete and you S-Pedelec to TÜV bring. An operating permit is a prerequisite for these bikes.

Before the purchase

Have you decided to buy an e-bike and now want to visit your trusted specialist dealer? Then we recommend you the Purchase advice for e-bikes read to avoid making ill-considered decisions. Don't be afraid to stand up for your wishes. Because only an e-bike that fully meets your requirements is a good e-bike.

Document for purchasing advice for an e-bike

Free purchase advice - How to find the right e-bike

  • Print PDF file
  • Answering questions
  • Show the checklist when buying an e-bike
  • Choosing the right e-bike

 

Download guide now

When buying

After you have prepared for the purchase, you can start. Go to specialist dealer you can trust and let us show you the right e-bike models for your needs. One is particularly important when buying an e-bike extensive test drive. Test different drive systems to test the driving style with front and rear drive and mid-engine. Shift through all the gears once and put the brakes to the test.

Try out which e-bike you feel safe with and which one the best driving experience promises. Some providers even offer longer test drives. This is the only way you can make a good purchase decision. Also take a test ride to see if you can operate all the elements on the handlebars easily. Can you see the display well and operate it easily? Take your time to make the purchase decision.

After the purchase

Before you set off on your new e-bike, you should try out the new bike have it adjusted by a specialist dealer. Handlebars and saddle must be individually adjusted to body size and seating position. This is the only way to guarantee comfortable progress. In the case of e-bikes with suspension, this can also be adjusted to the rider's wishes. Your bicycle dealer will be happy to help you with this. For new owners of an e-bike, it is particularly important Manual regarding the dealing withBattery and maintenance of the e-bike to read. Pay special attention to the initial charge of the battery and recommended charge cycles

Cost of a good e-bike

Just as there are different price ranges for classic bicycles, the different models of e-bikes also differ in price.

A good entry-level model for the city traffic and the first bike tours you get for around 1000 €. Consumer protection advises against models from €600 upwards, as the battery and workmanship are often poor.

They're a class higher city ​​bikes settled. They offer enough space for bags and shopping and a comfortable seat is a priority here. City e-bikes are available from around €1.300, but can easily cost up to €2000.

If you like to travel a lot by bike and take longer bike trips, you should opt for a Touring bike with electric drive decide. The main focus of these pedelecs is on a long range and high travel comfort.Trekking bikes are priced at around €1700 and up.

For sporting use at speeds of over 25 km/h we recommend a sport bike. The material and motor of the sporty e-bikes are specially designed to meet the increased demands. But you also have to dig deeper into your pocket for this. The models are often at 2000 € upwards.