Can the bicycle and tricycles be ridden as "normally"?
Yes. The choice is yours - battery power and pedal power provide the best results and is they only way we recommend the use of the electric bicycle.
When should I recharge batteries?
We recommend you recharge battery after each usage or at least when 'battery status indicator' shows 'half flat' or less. This ensures you get the most power. Regular charging using a high quality switch mode battery charger will prolong the life of you batteries.
How long does it take to recharge the batteries?
Depends on state of exhaustion of battery. If battery totally flat - recharge time about 5-6 hrs. If half flat - about 2-3 hrs. Best to recharge overnight.
How far will the bicycle travel between recharges?
There are many variables that affect distance covered between recharges such as weight of rider, type of terrain, number of stop / starts, riding speed, amount of pedal assistance etc. Laboratory tests have indicated a maximum range of 65 km at 250 watt 36 volt 9 AH. Our experience shows that most riders get an average of 20 – 50 km’s. Correct tire inflation and pedal assistance will increase the distance you get from each charge. Electric Bicycles are required to be pedal assisted to ensure they achieve their specified ratings including rated power outputs. Remember cheap high power output motors often sold over the web are not only heavy and inefficient but use so much power they are not useful for commuting applications.
What maintenance is involved?
Basically there is no ongoing maintenance of electrical components other than recharging batteries. Many of our bicycles use the latest generation Brushless Hub Drive motors where there are no contact point inside the motor that can cause wear and tare. It is advised to keep bicycle clean at all times. Under normal use, motor doesn't need readjustment and maintenance except that its outer surface needs cleaning at regular intervals.
How e-bikes work is by assisting your pedaling. Electric bikes are everyday bicycles with an added battery-powered electric motor. Although capable of pushing you along without your help, electric bikes perform noticeably better when you pedal. The average "couch potato" who normally rides at 10 mph can ride at 15-20 mph using the same effort. He can also expect a range of 10 miles, with a recharge time of several hours. Do you remember that easy pedaling after you get your bike up to speed? That's the cruising feeling you get all the time with an electric bike.
Power, when activated by a switch on the handlebar (power-on-demand) or in response to your pedaling, gives you an immediate, nearly silent push. When you release the switch (or stop pedaling), the motor coasts or "freewheels" - like when you stop pedaling a regular bike.
"Power-on-demand" means just that - no pedaling required! Although all electric (or "electric-assist") bikes are designed to work with your pedaling, power-on-demand allows you to break the rule. Most systems offer a variable speed control, although some are simply on/off (like the yellow switch pictured). It senses you are pedaling. And it's "power output to pedal pressure" ratio is often adjustable. Most people find 250-watt motors adequate for their needs, although folks with steep hills may want more power.
How e-bikes perform depends on many factors. The most important factors are listed here with the (generally speaking) most important at the top:
- terrain (number and incline of hills)
- e-bike speed (range at 10 mph is 8 times as far as at 20 mph)
- wind conditions (going 10 mph against a 10 mph headwind feels like 20 to the bike)
- pulling a trailer (which is like pulling another bicycle)
- correct tire inflation (under-inflated tires slow you down)
- battery size (measured in volt-amp-hours)
- weight of rider and baggage
- motor/controller/drive system efficiency
As you can see, battery size and system efficiency rank near the bottom. The speed you go makes a big difference in how far you go.
All else being equal, range is a function of either 1) battery capacity (amp-hours X volts) or 2) speed and ease of recharging (high-power chargers provide lots of miles in less than one hour). There is a close relationship between battery capacity (A/hrs) and both weight and physical size (total volume). Generally speaking, the bigger the battery, the greater its capacity. For hill-climbing, expect about 3 feet of elevation gain for every volt-amp-hour.
All else being equal, speed is a function of motor (watt rating) and controller. Most scooter motors are capable of higher performance characteristics than the controller allows.