Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, are divided up into three categories. We distinguish between pedelecs, S-Pedelecs and e-bikes.
(Electric bicycle with pedal-assist only)
The widest range of models can be found in the category of pedelecs. The term “pedelec”, short for pedal electric cycle, refers to an electric bicycle with a pedal-assist electric drive system. The cyclist is supported when pedalling, that is when he is actively depressing the pedals of his bike – also called pedal-assist. The pedal assistance of a pedelec can be adapted to the needs of the cyclist and to the driving situation via various support modes: from no support or eco mode up to power mode. Of course the intensity of support influences the mileage with motor support or rather the energy consumption of the accumulator. For pedelecs the power output is limited to 250 W. Electric bicycles with more engine power are categorised as S-Pedelec or e-bike. Some pedelecs possess a starting aid, which is limited to 6 km/h. It provides a boost at the push of a button and thus makes it easier for the cyclist when starting or pushing the bicycle up a hill or from the bicyle storage in the basement. The motor support of a pedelec automatically cuts out once a speed of 25 km/h is reached. If this speed limit is undercut, the pedal-assist automatically starts again. Therefore pedelecs are legally classed as bycicles – there is no liability to be insured and no compulsory wearing of a helmet necessary.
(Schnell-Pedelecs, i.e. Speedy-Pedelecs)
S-Pedelecs, the more powerful pedelecs, work like regular pedelecs, i.e when actively pedalling the cyclist is being supported by a motor. In the case of the S-Pedelec, however, the motor automatically cuts out at a speed of 45 km/h. S-Pedelecs are therefore classified as mopeds. Engine performance is limited to a rated power of 500 W.
The third category of electric bicycles are e-bikes. In comparison to pedelecs and S-Pedelecs e-bikes have a power-on-demand function where active pedalling is not necessarily required. E-bikes are therefore categorised as mopeds. By operating a throttle or pushing a button an e-bike can reach a speed of 20 km/h with the support of an electric motor. Engine performance is limited to a rated power of 500 W – in this case an e-bike counts as a light motorcycle. In general there are various types of e-bikes: Some offer a motor support of up to 45 km/h as is the case with S-Pedelecs. Yet there are also models that exceed the characteristics comparable to an S-Pedelec as far as engine power, assistance rate and motor-assisted maximum speed are concerned. Make sure to take your specialist bicycle dealer’s advice with regard to insurance and licence regulations as well as a required driving licence.
Before you purchase an electric bicycle, you should go on an extensive test drive. Only then you can assess whether you feel good and safe on your chosen bicycle and whether you will enjoy riding your bike in the long run. For your own safety you should consider wearing a helmet as protection against accidents due to your own fault or caused by another person. Safety first! There are pedelecs, S-Pedelecs and e-bikes for everyone and for every requirements specification: mountain bikes, road bikes, comfortable city and touring or trekking bikes as well as light folding bicycles. Even for the business field there are transport or cargo bikes with a high payload. Yet one of the most important factors before you decide to buy an electric bicycle is a test drive – your buying decision should not only be based on the price or on the good rating a certain bicycle received in a test. The type of drive, frame or the equipment as well as other factors have an influence on the dynamics of an electric bicycle. Various driving situations should be taken into consideration when test driving, too: shifting gears and starting on hills or the cycling on various terrains are just a few aspects that should influence your buying decision. In the decision-making your individual impression during the test drive should be decisive. When you feel comfortable and safe on your bike, you have found the perfect bicycle for yourself. ebike-base.de offers an extensive market review of electric bicycles and gives its readers the possibility to specifically search for a suitable bicycle. For some brands you can easily find bicycle dealers in your vicinity and enquire about a test drive directly via the website.