While e-bikes have remained a small market for many years, they are now in full expansion and are becoming more and more appealing to various cyclists.
Manufacturers now produce bikes with electric assistance in all styles, such as urban bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes and all-purpose commuters. Whether you want to commute to work in a more efficient way, or ride longer and stronger on the road or in the trail, there’s now an e-bike for that.
The anatomy of the e-bike
An e-bike uses a motor and a battery in order to assist cyclists when pedaling. A control interface is located on the handlebar allowing you to select the level of power assistance you want. Most bikes offer various assistance levels including a full-auto mode with a top speed of 32 km/h.
Motors can be housed in the back wheel (hub motor) or in the bottom bracket for better integration (mid-drive motors). Mid-drive motors offer a much smoother power delivery and a lower center of gravity which improves bike handling greatly.
With integration as a priority on most models, manufacturers these days choose to place the battery in the downtube of the frame for a more polished look and better weight distribution. Some bikes still have an external battery placed on the downtube or on a rear rack.
E-bikes also come with reinforced parts and accessories to support the greater weight of the motor and battery. Wheels are more robust with more spokes and a more resistant rim, while tires are wider with a better puncture protection. The frame will also be optimised and reinforced in order to provide great weight distribution and part integration.
Most motors are made by Bosch and Shimano.
A mid-drive Bosch motor
An integrated battery
A rear mounted battery
A control unit for electric assistance
The battery life of an e-bike will be drastically affected by the way it is used. Most bikes can give you 50 to 110 kilometers on a single charge, and most batteries will last from 500 to 1000 charge cycles, but terrain, wind, weight and temperature will have an incidence on the rate at which the battery will drain. More powerful batteries are usually found on mountain bikes to provide more range to the more powerful motors that have to be used.
While high capacity batteries might take up to 7 hours to fully recharge, for most batteries, charging time is usually around 4 to 5 hours when the battery is flat. Charging time is different between brands.
The different types of e-bikes
Urban and hybrid e-bikes
Urban and hybrid bikes with electric assistance are best suited to casual riders and commuters. They use frames with geometries that emphasise comfort and all-day fun. With electric assistance, you can now ride longer and not have to worry about hills or windy conditions.
Bikes such as the Electra Townie Go! provide a super comfortable seating position as well as ease of use. If you’re looking for a great e-bike for Sunday rides, definitely check them out.
Commuters can also benefit from electric assistance by being able to cover greater distances to get to work without having to change clothes after their ride. Usually, e-bikes with commuting in mind will offer a sportier fit in order to increase efficiency. Bikes such as the Trek Super Commuter, Giant Quick-E+ and Cannondale Quick Neo are perfectly adapted for fun commuting.
Mountain and road e-bikes
For more specific uses, manufacturers even produce electric mountain bikes and electric road bikes. Giant and Trek and have real trail-ready hardtails and full-suspension bikes with electric assistance. These bikes use proven mountain bike parts such as suspensions, brakes and drivetrains allowing you to ride like you’ve always did. Mountain bikes with electric assistance use more powerful motors and batteries in order to provide the torque needed when mountain biking. This explains the rise in price when compared to more “regular” e-bikes.
The Trek Powerfly and Trek Dual Sport+ are great exemples of such bikes.
Road bikes with electric assistance allow you to tackle hard rides with epic climbs, and to follow your younger or stronger riding buddies. You don’t have to fear getting dropped ever again with these legit road bikes.
With e-bikes, you’re now certain to reach your objectives and ride even further. Be sure to check our wide selection of e-bikes.
Let yourself be tempted by our wide selection of electric bikes and come try it in one of our stores located in Blainville, Brossard and Laval.