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Electric Bike Guide


The basics to understand-The basics to understand


Article by Talkena Wasungu
Passionate cyclist and co-owner of Sports aux Puces VéloGare and Giant Granby
Published in the Granby Express newspaper, May 11, 2022


You see more and more of them: in town, in the mountains or on the bike path. Maybe you already own one? Although we are still a bit behind Europe, the electric bike is now the flagship of the industry in America. Roughly two electric bikes are now sold for every one conventional bike. And the trend is not about to fade away according to the manufacturers' forecasts. But there is still a lot of education and popularization to be done on the subject

Not just for seniors

Several myths are gradually being dispelled about electric bicycles. Clearly, the aging population, here in Quebec as elsewhere, remains one of the important factors explaining the strong demand for the product. But in the last few years, the clientele has really expanded to all types of users. For example, one of the strongest segments is the electric mountain bike. Instead of climbing Bromont once with a hike-a-bike, it is now possible to do all 5 summits and come back refreshed and ready for an evening barbecue with friends. The same democratization can be observed for the other segments: road bike, gravel, to go to work, etc.

How to choose?

In many ways, choosing an electric bike is more like shopping for a car than a conventional bike. There are many variables to consider and it is easy to be intimidated by the process. The investment is quite significant, usually between $2000 and $10,000. Here are the most important things to consider.

Who am I?

The first step is to establish your needs and get an idea of the available budget. The intended use of the new bike will determine the most appropriate solution. Do you plan to ride mainly on the bike path? Do you plan to ride 20 km or 200 km? Do you have back problems that require a particular position? And so on. The better your needs are defined, the better your choice will be!

Batteries and autonomy

The battery can represent up to 50% of the value of the bike and is probably the most important technical element. What you need to consider is its capacity expressed in Watt-hours (Wh) or Ampere-hours (Ah). This is the equivalent of a liter for a container of liquid. As a general rule, the higher this quantity, the greater the range in kilometers per charge cycle. However, some bikes are more efficient and require less capacity for the same range. Rider weight, wind and topography will also have a direct influence on range. A good rule of thumb is to consider a range between 25% and 50% higher than the distance you plan to ride.

The myth of the engines

There is still a myth about motors, that crank motors are superior to wheel motors. But in reality, they are simply two different technical solutions and you have to choose the one that best suits your needs. Crankset motors generally have a greater number of sensors, which coupled with the bike's operating system, provide a more natural pedaling assistance. Wheel motors, on the other hand, are often accompanied by a throttle on the bike's handlebars, allowing the rider to command the bike to move forward without the need to pedal. It's best to try both systems to determine which you prefer.

Another element of confusion exists as to the importance of motor power. Sometimes it is expressed in Watts (W), sometimes in Newton-meters (Nm). If you plan to use the bike for long hills, or if you're bigger than the average rider, power should clearly be a consideration. Otherwise, it's not the primary consideration.

The most important thing - the after-sales service

An electric bike is a complex machine, like a car. Would you buy a car without knowing who will be able to repair it? Who will have the original parts to honor the warranty? Regardless of the brand and the price you pay, you have to think about maintenance, repairs, and not to forget the positioning of the bike to ensure your comfort. For these reasons, nothing is better than a local service point with people who know the product well. Costo, Amazon and Alibaba will not be there to help you with a failure, gear adjustment, etc.

We are lucky here in the region. We are served by several specialized bike stores, competent and able to advise you well. Let's take advantage of it!

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