Do you want to buy a power-assisted bicycle but are unsure how to use it?
Power-assisted bicycles (PABs) are specially designed bicycles that provide the rider with an extra "boost" of energy when needed. Which helps the rider reach their destination faster and with less effort. PABs require some maintenance and knowledge of how to operate them properly to function at their peak performance.
Learning how to operate and maintain a power-assisted bicycle is essential for its longevity and proper functioning. In this article, we will explore topics such as the benefits, life span, battery maintenance best practices, assembly instructions, and more. With the information provided, you can be confident that your new PAB will remain reliable for many years!
What Is a Power Assist Bike?
As the name implies, a power assist bike has a device (an electric motor) attached that helps assist in powering or moving the bike. Some people call power assist bikes electric bikes, and they are right since the terms are interchangeable.
For a bike to be categorized as a power assist bike, it has to have an electric motor with a maximum power rating of 250W, pedals that work, and move at a maximum assist speed of 25 kilometers per hour.
Some other features that you can expect power assist bikes are:
- Steering handlebars.
- A maximum weight of 120kg.
- Wheels with a diameter of at most 40.64cm.
Another thing you can expect from a power assist bike is a conspicuous label that highlights that the bike is a power assist bike and conforms with the rules of the country where it is ridden.
Benefits of A Power Assist Bike
Now that you know what power assist bikes are, we think it's time to highlight some benefits of owning or riding one. Let's go through some of them.
While biking can be great fun, constant biking could wear down the cartilage in your knees and take a toll on your body. However, with an electric or power assist bike, you have more comfort while riding. Apart from less strain on your body while riding, the bike is made in such a way that it offers much comfort to the rider.
Most power assist bikes come with batteries that can go an estimated 40-80 miles on a single charge. Imagine the aches and pains your body would experience if you had to pedal for eighty miles at a stretch. Therefore, getting a power assist bike will not only get you to your destination but also get you there in comfort.
The power-assisted bike can help you complete your riding goals and never have to turn back halfway or wait for help again.
Great for The Climate
One of society's greatest problems is the damage fossil fuels are causing to the environment. With the rising sea levels, adverse weather conditions, and rapid changes in vegetative conditions, it is clear that climate change is already here.
However, there's one thing that postpones the pace: the rise in power assist bikes. With electric bikes, there are zero fossil fuel emissions while they are moving, so you don't have to worry about the environment. The reason for this is that a battery runs the electric motor that drives the bike.
With a battery-run engine, riders of power assist bikes don't have to worry about polluting the environment. The climate-friendliness of these bikes is enough reason to get them.
Offers More Speed
A manual bike's maximum speed is about 12km/h. All power-assist bikes go faster than that. Using the Eskute Polluno Electric City Bike as an example, the bike can move at a maximum speed of 25km/h. So with relatively less energy expended, your power assist bike moves faster.
Furthermore, power-assist bikes offer more protection to riders. Features like pedal assist allow the e-bike to adjust its speed at a moment's notice. Some power-assist bikes even have advanced features like collision warnings and responsive brakes.
Improved Physical and Mental Health
Like bike riding, e-bike riding is also a great way to maintain and improve your physical and mental health. While the physical exertion used in moving power assist bikes is not as much as an ordinary bike, e-bike riding is a great way to exercise.
Also, nature riding is a great way to improve one's mental health. As an introvert, joining a bike club is a great way to socialize and enjoy bike rides with other people. Doing things in common with other people is a great way to make friends, so joining a group of fellow bikers will help with improved mental health.
A Viable Alternative to Cars
Having a power assist bike is a great alternative to owning a car. It's more energy efficient, cheaper to maintain, and can make those hard corners that cars can't make. Those who need a vehicle for intra-city commutes will do well to get an electric bike rather than a car.
Most power-assist bikes will travel at least 40-80 kilometres on a single battery charge. This should be enough to get you to work, take you on your grocery runs, and strolls through the city. What's more, with a power assist bike, you are sure you aren't polluting the environment.
When compared to cars, storing power assist bikes is much easier. You can keep them in your apartment and lock them up safely. There are even some foldable electric bicycles that you can store in tight places. The same can't be said of cars.
Imagine the time wasted looking for an ideal parking spot when all you have to do with a bike is to use a bike chain to keep it safe. In crowded urban areas, getting from one place to another is one of many problems. You have to consider where to park when you get to your destination. Power assist bikes offer an advantage to their owners because they don't need to worry about this.
UK Rules On Power Assist Bikes
In the UK, electric bikes are also known as electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs). Power assist bikes are regulated in the UK, and contravening government rules can have serious consequences. Here are the rules you need to know if you plan to own a power assist bike in the UK.
- You have to be at least fourteen to ride one.
- The electric motor must not exceed a 250W power rating
- The maximum speed allowed is 15.5mph.
Before a bike can be considered an EAPC in the UK, it must have a pair of pedals that propel it. The cycle must also have a sticker that shows the motor's power output and the manufacturer's name.
The regulators also expect the sticker to show the bike's battery voltage and maximum speed. It's not compulsory for the EPAC to have two wheels, as the regulations also apply to electric tricycles.
How Long Do They Last?
Give or take; an electric bike should last for about ten years. The primary factor that determines the lifespan of your e-bike is how well you take care of the bike.
You can prolong the lifespan of your bike by cleaning, oiling, checking, and replacing faulty parts regularly. In addition, understanding the life expectancy of the major parts and when to change them helps.
While the electric motor is the heart that drives the electric bike, the battery is the brain that runs everything. A battery should last for about a thousand full charges if everything goes well. Since most batteries last fifty miles per charge, it means you can expect your bike to go fifty thousand miles before you need to replace them.
The electric motor drives the power assist bike, which is one of the bike's most important parts. They are also one of the longest-lasting parts. Normally, an electric bike lasts about five years if maintained properly.
You have little to worry about if your power assist bike has a rear hub motor. Rear hub motors are usually sealed, so you don't have to worry about mud, water, or corrosion damaging the electric motor. If your electric motor isn't a rear hub, clean it often.
Here are some maintenance tips to help you elongate the life of your bike parts and power assist the bike itself.
- If you are not going to use your e-bike for a while, make sure your bike's battery isn't fully charged. A fully charged battery discharged for a long time will damage the battery. You can leave the battery at sixty to eighty per cent charge.
- If you ride through wet trails often, ensure you dry and oil parts like chains and gears to prevent rust.
- If you want to clean your power assist bike, don't spray. A gentle cleaning of the electric motor and drivetrain is enough.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly. Once the pressure is low, inflate that tyre to the recommended level.
The power assist bike is ideal for moving around, whether within the city or off-the-road. While you don't need a license or insurance to ride a power-assist bike in the UK, remember to ensure that your bikes conform to UK's rules. You can check here for more information about electric bikes.