Author Topic: Electric bikes  (Read 14910 times)

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Electric bikes
« on: September 03, 2015, 04:46:19 pm »
Thinkin about getting an electric assist bike. Back problems now mean can't pedal properly for a few weeks. Dog needs 10 miles a day which gets by going alongside bike. So what are the electric options (not self built). Most look like BSO's knocked up in china and made of cheese - what's worth looking at?
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 04:55:40 pm »
I would suggest talking to a specialist dealer.  There's a good one in York (https://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/yorkstore) if you happen to live in the area.  Lots of options now for electric bikes, depending on how much 'assistance' you want.

And good information and reviews in the 'A to B' magazine - http://www.atob.org.uk/electric-bikes/

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2015, 05:10:21 pm »
I am in London. Ideally looking for a rental before I buy. Plus interested to know if they are cheaper on the continent - might be going to Spain so could get one there.
Specialized seem to have some very nice looking ones that don't look like grannies shopper.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2015, 05:30:17 pm »
KTM do some that look pretty cool:

KTM eCross P
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 06:28:41 pm »
So what are the electric options (not self built).

Self-built can be as simple as a front wheel swap, bottle cage battery and a funky new bike computer, but fair enough...


Quote
Most look like BSO's knocked up in china and made of cheese - what's worth looking at?

That's mainly because of "bikes cost a couple of hundred quid" syndrome, but isn't helped by eg. rear hub motors' reliance on freewheels leading to BSO-grade transmissions.  The market seems to be dominated by low-end MTB/hybrids and granny bikes.


Try to have a play with a few e-bike systems (even if attached to BSOs) before buying.  Perhaps most fundamentally, there's a big difference between torque sensor and hand throttle (usually combined with crank rotation sensor for EU compliance) control.

10 miles of London shouldn't be too challenging battery-wise.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 08:40:35 am »
self build might be way to go. I have a spare bike that might work.
Anyone know of a London (west) stockist that might do this? Currently my mobility is limited.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 08:58:16 am »
nope, but you may want to ask on this forum

http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/forums/electric-bicycles.2/

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2015, 09:04:03 am »
self build might be way to go. I have a spare bike that might work.
Anyone know of a London (west) stockist that might do this? Currently my mobility is limited.

If you can get across the ditch, the French equivalent of Halfrauds - Norauto - have discounted high bar, open frame, electric bikes at prices that are significantly lower (in Euros) than most UK bike shops (in ££££s)

Obviously, I don't know how limited your mobility is but it's the end of 'the season' and they want to clear them out and there are some good deals to be had considering the exchange rate ATM. There are four depots between Calais & Dunkerque.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2015, 11:39:25 am »
I think you should speak to these people:-

http://www.nationwideebikes.co.uk/

On both our trips to Germany, where electric bikes are very common, we drooled over some lovely ones. By far the best, in my opinion, and given that I have never ridden one, are the Flyers. Swiss-made, absolutely lovely to look at, but certainly not cheap. There was one in the shop window in Kempen which was about €3200.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2015, 12:18:53 pm »
Also look into the difference between crank drive and hub drive bikes. I believe crank drive gives more torque and better hill climbing but can't be retrofitted into an existing frame. Modern batteries (not lead acid) seem to be good for 2 or 3 years at which point you may have to factor in the cost of a replacement.

I believe the hand throttles mentioned above will no longer be type approved for new pedelecs onroad from sometime next year but of course that won't bar existing bikes
“There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.”
― Douglas Adams

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 02:10:18 pm »
I believe the hand throttles mentioned above will no longer be type approved for new pedelecs onroad from sometime next year but of course that won't bar existing bikes

By definition a 'pedelec' only applies power when a sensor of some kind detects the cranks rotating.  This is frequently combined with a hand throttle to vary the power provided (the usual crank rotation sensors are an on-off affair), but obviously won't allow the bike to start off on motor power alone, and the motor stops when the pedals stop turning.  Pedelecs are an EU-wide definition.

Torque sensors detect how *hard* you're pedalling (so also qualify as 'pedelecs') and apply power in proportion to that.  It feels more like a bicycle in a tailwind rather than a motorcycle, but these systems tend to be more expensive and sometimes need to be overriden to do the Right Thing when you change down to climb hills.

There are old British EAPC standards that bikes can comply to, which allow a hand throttle alone.  Nobody build bikes to this spec, as the allowed power is lower (200W for an EAPC vs 250W for a pedelec solo bicycle) and you'd only be able to sell them in the UK, after type approval. 

Leftpondians and other countries have a hodge-podge of regulations, many of which are extremely non-fussy about controls and power ratings.  So there's a buoyant market in electric assist bikes and components that would be classed as non-road-legal motorcycles in the UK.  Some Brits use this stuff legally off-road, or take the pragmatic view that you're unlikely to be prosecuted if you don't take the piss.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2015, 03:04:10 pm »
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2015, 03:45:32 pm »
Road.cc did a buyers guide the other week

http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/162436-buyers-guide-electric-bikes

They make the erroneous assertion that torque sensors are only avaialable with mid-drive motors, which is untrue.  Several rear-wheel hub motor systems sense torque at the hub.


Also, don't read the comments.   :hand:
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2015, 04:50:08 pm »
Interesting about the licencing requirements though (assuming they're correct).
Quote
An e-bike is not just an electric scooter. To be road legal in the UK, it has to have pedals that can propel the bike, hence the designation "electric-assist". As long as the motor doesn't operate if you're travelling at more than 15.5mph (25km/h) and puts out no more than 250 watts, 14-year-olds and over can ride it without a licence, tax, insurance or helmet.
So basically you can't legally ride one in the UK if you're under 14. This makes sense, mostly (what about disabled kids, for instance?) but I don't suppose it's ever enforced. If anyone even knows about it.

Quote
In Europe there's another option: S-pedelecs. These higher-speed e-bikes are limited to 45km/h (28mph) and 500 watts. In countries where they are permitted, you need a moped licence, insurance and suitable helmet to ride them on the road, and they must have rear view mirrors. Buzzing long effortlessly at almost 30mph is exhilarating, but it's a thrill that's technically not permitted in the UK. S-pedelecs available in the UK are usually marketed as 'not for use on public roads’ or ‘for off-road use only’.
I didn't know about these. Basically, electric mopeds. But I wonder if they're subject to the same licence, insurance etc requirements as i.c. mopeds? Obviously those are often pretty near zero anyway, but not always!
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2015, 05:09:12 pm »
Quote
In Europe there's another option: S-pedelecs. These higher-speed e-bikes are limited to 45km/h (28mph) and 500 watts. In countries where they are permitted, you need a moped licence, insurance and suitable helmet to ride them on the road, and they must have rear view mirrors. Buzzing long effortlessly at almost 30mph is exhilarating, but it's a thrill that's technically not permitted in the UK. S-pedelecs available in the UK are usually marketed as 'not for use on public roads’ or ‘for off-road use only’.
I didn't know about these. Basically, electric mopeds. But I wonder if they're subject to the same licence, insurance etc requirements as i.c. mopeds? Obviously those are often pretty near zero anyway, but not always!

They would be in the UK.  Except they wouldn't pass type-approval for a moped.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2015, 11:09:36 am »
I have opted for a fairly low power nano conversion on my spare brommie, on the basis it is a spare bike and an experiment.
Has got me thinking thought that maybe there ought to be a topic on electric bikes here on YACF. they are getting more popular and whatever the pure pedal power pedants may wish electric assisted bikes are going to become part of the cycling future. I can't find much helpful stuff out there on the internet as it stands now...
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2015, 12:05:10 pm »
I have opted for a fairly low power nano conversion on my spare brommie, on the basis it is a spare bike and an experiment.
Has got me thinking thought that maybe there ought to be a topic on electric bikes here on YACF.

I've wondered about that, but we only seem to have a handful of threads on the subject.


Quote
they are getting more popular and whatever the pure pedal power pedants may wish electric assisted bikes are going to become part of the cycling future. I can't find much helpful stuff out there on the internet as it stands now...

Sod the pedal power pedants.  Even if you consider that it's not really 'cycling'[1] the "one less car" principle applies.  It's all good.


[1] Which I don't have much time for, given that many electric assist users use it to supplement rather than replace pedal power.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2015, 12:49:00 pm »
I think freewheeling would be the natural home for it...
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2015, 04:49:01 pm »
I happend to walk past this shop in Camden the other week.

https://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/

They sell some quality electric bikes like Haibike, Gazelle, KTM and even Bromptons. Some with Bosch crank drives (pretty much the best on the market).

Not cheap but worth every penny. They also sell pre-owned ones if available.

EC

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2015, 05:30:30 pm »
Yes, I had to choose between a nano DIY retrofit for my brommie and the Camden shops sparticle system, which is a bit more and has to be fitted by them. I went for the nano in the end because it is smaller and lighter. Mostly Mrs Tiger will use it, and if that means she can come out with me for a poodle that's a win.
The process of research has convinced me that these bikes are here to stay and the quality available now is way ahead of what was around a few years ago. Apart from utility/commuter riding where there is an obvious market, there are also some serious off road beasts that will get you to the top of the mountain so you can frolic down.
As the biking demographic ages but refuses to get old, I can see these machines really going well. As an urban transport option, they have to be a winner.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2015, 12:44:57 pm »
Quote
In Europe there's another option: S-pedelecs. These higher-speed e-bikes are limited to 45km/h (28mph) and 500 watts. In countries where they are permitted, you need a moped licence, insurance and suitable helmet to ride them on the road, and they must have rear view mirrors. Buzzing long effortlessly at almost 30mph is exhilarating, but it's a thrill that's technically not permitted in the UK. S-pedelecs available in the UK are usually marketed as 'not for use on public roads’ or ‘for off-road use only’.
I didn't know about these. Basically, electric mopeds. But I wonder if they're subject to the same licence, insurance etc requirements as i.c. mopeds? Obviously those are often pretty near zero anyway, but not always!

They would be in the UK.  Except they wouldn't pass type-approval for a moped.
I saw one yesterday morning. It had no numberplate. It was definitely a scooter-styled moped, with electric motor and no pedals. I do not know if it had come in on the back of someone's RV or was bought here, but it wasn't registered anywhere. If, as seems quite possible, it had been brought in as luggage from a country that doesn't require reg etc, is it then legal to use here? I imagine not.

Curiously, I also saw a larger electric scooter (with reg, foreign, didn't see what country) the same morning.

They are among us.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2015, 12:57:05 pm »
I saw one yesterday morning. It had no numberplate. It was definitely a scooter-styled moped, with electric motor and no pedals.
  Explained by UK seller http://eriderbikes.com/ 

Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2015, 01:21:39 pm »
Mine is a 'normal' bike that cuts out at an illegal 18.5MPH. It lets me average 16mph on a hilly commute and gets me there relatively sweat-free. Horrible, sluggish thing to get going though.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 02:09:13 pm »
I didn't notice pedals on the one I saw but I could have taken them for footpegs. Which is also interesting; obviously you don't have to pedal with these to get the motor going. To my mind, that makes it an electric motorbike with pedal assist, albeit a slow one, rather than an electric pedal cycle with electric assist. I thought that legally the motor would only power the bike while you were pedalling, but no.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Electric bikes
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2015, 02:20:05 pm »
I didn't notice pedals on the one I saw but I could have taken them for footpegs. Which is also interesting; obviously you don't have to pedal with these to get the motor going. To my mind, that makes it an electric motorbike with pedal assist,

That makes it a British Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (Assuming it meets the relevant power, speed and weight restrictions, has a plate with the power rating displayed and so on), for which it has to be a working pedal cycle, but there's no requirement that you actually use the pedals.


Quote
I thought that legally the motor would only power the bike while you were pedalling, but no.

That's only a requirement for the EU pedalec standard, which through harmonisation is also legal on British roads.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...