Is An Electric Bike Considered To Be Exercise?

One hesitation about purchasing an e-bike is the thought that they don’t give you any exercise and it’s cheating. It’s not real cycling. 

Is that true? Do e-bikes provide exercise?

They do! In fact, studies have shown that there’s only a 10% difference in relative effort levels between riding an electric bike and a standard bicycle.

One thing you often hear people say about e-bikes is that the electric bike does all the work and therefore you don’t get any exercise or at least, you never really strain your body enough for it to be counted as exercise. 

A lot of this comes from the belief that e-bikes are similar to scooters or mopeds and that simply isn’t the case. 

I’m perhaps jumping the gun a little bit in saying that because there are electric bicycles out there that don’t require any effort on your part to use them. Though in the UK they face the same restrictions that mopeds face so they aren’t terribly popular. 

As an e-bike does assist you when you’re pedaling, surely you aren’t getting the same amount of exercise you would if you were doing all the work?!

Can You Count Using An E-Bike As Exercise?

It’s a natural thought process, having a motor has to mean that the amount of calories you burn is minimal, right?...it’s certainly a thought I had, though now I’ve discovered that’s not the case. 

Yes, the actual cycling is made easier when the motor is switched on but what you have to factor in is that the cyclist is still using energy to rotate the pedals and engage the motor. 

It gets even more interesting when you look at the studies…

It has been shown that the effort difference between using a traditional bike and an e-bike is actually less than 10%.

A real plus about electric bicycles is that because you can vary the amount of assistance you get from the motor, you can decide how much you want to exert yourself on each ride. 

In fact, studies have shown that there is a huge psychological benefit to using an e-bike. 

Whilst cycling on an electric bike seems less strenuous, you’re actually more likely to go out on your bike more often because it increases your motivation to go out.

As someone who has a road bike and an electric road bike, I can relate to this. Sometimes I fancy cycling to the coffee shop, just to get a bit of exercise in. To get there, there’s quite a hill and it’s a busy road or I can take the less busy road and face a steeper climb. 

It’s far less appealing on my traditional road bike. I know I’m going to end up sweaty and it’s going to be hard work. I know I can do it but motivation is lacking when I just want a coffee.

That’s the serious upside to an electric bike. I’m still going to put some effort in, I’m still going to get some exercise but it doesn’t seem like such hard work so I’m up for it. 

As a result, I end up riding more often than I would if I didn’t own an electric bike so I’m actually getting more exercise in. 

Can You Go More Quickly On An E-Bike?

This is another question that is debated often. A lot of people believe that because an electric bike has a motor that it’s naturally faster than a traditional bike. 

Something which isn’t strictly true.

UK law states that once an e-bike reaches 15.5mph, the motor must cut out, meaning you are left to pedal power alone - just like a conventional cyclist.

[Want to learn more about the laws surrounding e-bikes? Read this!]

15.5mph is a speed that many traditional cyclists achieve, some averaging speeds higher than 20mph. If you want to achieve an average of 20mph on an electric bike, you’re going to have to put the work in, not the motor. 

Having said that, there’s no getting away from the fact that the acceleration on an e-bike is far better than that on a standard bicycle. 

There are certain models out there that even have launch control so you get a nice boost when you start - especially handy when you’re at the traffic lights. 

Whether or not your e-bike has launch control, you’re still going to get off the line more quickly than a standard cyclist but whether you can keep up with them, is possibly going to be down to you!

What Is Cheating About Using An Electric Bike?

Sure, you get a small advantage with acceleration but does that really mean that using an electric bike is cheating?

You could argue that there is some speed advantage as you can get assistance from the motor until you reach 15.5mph but don’t forget, you still have to work and how much you have to work is depending on the setting you choose. 

The key thing to take away from this is that you burn almost the same amount of calories using an electric bike as you do using a standard bike. 

Let’s also not forget that you don’t have to have the motor switched on all the time and you probably won’t. An e-bike is heavy, much heavier than your traditional bikes so you’re actually working harder than your conventional counterpart when you’re using pedal power alone! 

Can E-bikes Replace Cars?

When the alternative is jumping in a car, it’s difficult to say that e-bikes are cheating. 

Studies have shown that electric bikes reduced people taking journeys in their cars. People were choosing to ride an electric bike instead of driving their car 35 - 76% of the time. That’s a whole lot of exercise people wouldn’t be otherwise getting!

What seems to be common is that those who buy e-bikes don’t realise quite how much they will end up using their bikes instead of their cars. 

Another study in 2017 showed that people in the Netherlands were buying e-bikes to replace their conventional bikes but they ended up taking fewer journeys in the car as a result.

So is an E-bike Cheating? - Final Verdict

We’ve looked at the physical benefits and found that e-bikes and traditional bicycles are more similar than most people realise. 

When e-bike users use the pedal assist, they tend to go further so even though they may put in marginally less effort, it balances out as they go further. 

[How far can you go on an e-bike? Find out here]

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how you got out and went for a ride, it’s the fact you got out at all. You didn’t grab your car keys and you got some exercise and really, that’s all that matters.

What are your thoughts? Could you replace your car with an e-bike?

Am I Allowed To Ride My Electric Bike In The UK?

There is no denying that electric bicycles are becoming popular. I'm a huge fan of them so I totally get the appeal. 

Though there is some grey area around whether or not you need a license or in fact, whether or not e-bikes are legal..so are e-bike legal?

The short answer is that some electric bikes are legal. However, to meet the definition of an electric bike, it must fit some requirements, including the need for human power. There are laws surrounding the maximum speed the motor will output, currently set at 250w.

As e-bike riders, it's worth having a good understanding of the laws and what that means for you so let's get to it!

What Is An E-Bike?

Let's start by understanding what an e-bike is before we delve into the laws of electric bikes!

In many ways, electric bicycles look a lot like traditional bikes. They have gears, a saddle, handlebars, etc. 

The giveaway is the motor, which is usually found around the pedal area (otherwise known as the bottom bracket). 

There are some e-bikes where the motor is built into the rear hub but this is becoming less common due to the weight of the motor making the bike less stable overall. 

This motor is fantastic! It will get you up hills more easily and generally increase your average speed.

For a more in-depth guide, check out this post!  

Depending on which type of electric bicycle you go for, it can either be powered using a pedal-assist or a throttle. I will say now that the law is different for these two types of bikes so you'll want to keep reading! 

What Is The Law Surrounding E-bikes?

The law came into force in 2015 and it clearly outlined the rules surrounding e-bikes, what you can and can't do etc.

Some electric bikes can be powered using a twist and shift throttle - do they meet the legal requirements?

Sadly, they do not, not in the UK anyway.

In the UK if you control your electric motor using this type of throttle system then it will not be considered to be an electric bike. 

This rule applies to electric bikes with a twist throttle since 2015. They are not allowed to go more than 3.7mph. 

3.7mph is not quick. It's also incredibly difficult to keep your balance on a bike traveling at that speed. 

The requirements state that electric bicycles' power output must be regulated by your pedals...and of course you pedalling! 

If you are getting your bicycles power from elsewhere (i.e a throttle), then it is considered that you're riding a moped and as far as the law is concerned, you have to have a license, insurance, and pay road tax so it is definitely worth making sure you know the rules for e-bike riders!

When you're riding a motor vehicle, you will have to wear a helmet too and you aren't allowed to join the traditional bikes along the bicycle path either so it's fair to say that there are some restrictions. 

So now maybe you've ruled out getting a throttle-powered e-bike?

For most people, that's a wise move. 

However, there are some restrictions as to the type of e-bike you can have. 

An e-bike that has a motor output greater than 250w is liable to the same guidelines as a throttle-powered bike. This is even the case if you're using pedal power to some degree. 

Age Restriction On E-Bikes

In the UK an e-bike rider must be over the age of 14. 

Are E-bikes and Pedelec's Different?

In a lot of ways, they are similar. The one big (and key) difference is that a pedelec is usually capable of achieving greater speeds. 

Now given UK laws, this means you don't see many Pedelec's over here. 

A pedelec is often considered to be a bike that can achieve speeds greater than 25kmph using a motor. 

Due to the increase in speed, they a regulated more strictly (and rightly so in my opinion!). 

Before you consider trading in your moped for a pedelec...

They are (or at least should) be restricted to a maximum speed of 45kmph. 

So whilst they can't replace your moped, they do face the same restrictions. 

Three Classes Of Electric Bike - What's The Difference?

If you have done any research on electric bicycles, you have most likely stumbled on people referring to different classes of electric bicycles. 

Before you go out and buy one, you ought to know the differences as this too can affect where you stand legally.

Class 1 E-bikes

Class one is the most popular. They are pedal assist and totally legal in the UK. 

Class 1 e-bikes should be limited to a speed of 15.5 miles per hour and the power output shouldn't be greater than 250w. 

This type of e-bike use is straightforward and whilst I wouldn't exactly say that they're low-speed e-bikes as they certainly give you enough speed for most situations - the motor will cut out when you are traveling above 15.5mph so if you do want to go more quickly...you're going to need to use your legs! 🙂

The level of assistance this bike provides will depend on the setting. This can usually be changed easily as there should be a button either on the handlebars or top tube to change it. 

Do keep in mind that if you use more powerful settings, your range will decrease and you wouldn't want to get left 30 miles away from home without any charge left in the battery! 

Overall, these types of pedal-assisted e-bikes provide electric bicycle riders with the most realistic feeling of riding a regular bicycle. 

[Ever wondered what it's like to ride one? Find out here!]

Speaking as someone who flips between a traditional bike and an electric bike, I can confirm that it does give the most realistic feeling out of all the classes!

Class 2 E-bikes

This type of electric bike will have a throttle to power the motor and isn't like a pedal-assisted electric bicycle as it doesn't require human power to make it move. 

Due to the policy in the UK, class 2 e-bikes are not often seen as they are treated as motorized vehicles are. 

Class 3 E-bikes

Pedelec's fall into this category, meaning there are insurance requirements, helmet requirements and you won't be able to take these bikes onto a bicycle path due to the speed capability. 

Are E-Bikes Legal In Florida?

The electric bike is not allowed to exceed 20mph. Once you reach that speed the motor will shut off. 

Otherwise, an e-bike faces the same laws as a traditional bike.

Are E-Bikes Legal In Australia?

This varies state by state so let’s break it down:

New South Wales E-Bike Rules

NSW has two classes of e-bikes. 

By law you are allowed to ride your electric bike on every public road and designated bike area if your bikes meet either of these classifications:

Victoria E-Bike Rules - 

This one is nice and simple. Victoria’s laws surrounding e-bikes are the same as NSW. 

Queensland E-Bike Rules - 

Queensland legally allowed two types of e-bikes, these are:

All bikes must use pedals as their main source of power. This means that any motor on the bike can only operate when the user is pedaling. 

However, there is one exception and that is from a standing start, where you are allowed the initial take-off to be self-powered, though this is restricted to a 6km/h limit. 

South Australia E-Bike Rules - 

Very similar to the laws in NSW. You are legally allowed to ride an e-bike if it meets one of the following requirements:

Western Australia E-Bike Rules - 

The law is simple in Western Australia. It doesn’t matter whether you’re riding a pedal-assisted bike or a human-propelled bike, the power output should not exceed 250w. 

North Territory  E-Bike Rules - 

There are no dedicated e-bike laws, there are only laws for cyclists. 

Tasmania E-bike Rules - 

The laws in Tasmania are the same as SA and NSW.

Are E-Bikes Legal In Colorado?

Like the UK, Colorado defines electric bikes by giving them 3 classifications and they are the same as the UK. 

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes can be ridden on the sidewalk - unless your county doesn’t allow that. Class 3 bikes cannot. 

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Ireland?

Since 2020, Electric bikes have been under the same EU standard. This means that they are legal, providing they do not exceed 15.5mph and are pedal-assisted, not throttle-powered. 

If it’s the latter, then they are to be treated as mopeds are. 

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Massachusetts?

Currently, e-bikes in Massachusetts are considered to be “motorized bicycles” and this means that users must be over the age of 16. 

They also must hold a driver’s license and e-bikes aren’t allowed on bike paths or sidewalks.

As you may have realised, this is very different from a lot of states and countries so there are a lot of people campaigning to change this. 

Are E-Bikes Legal In NY?

In 2020, the State of NY changed the laws surrounding e-bikes, and whilst there are 3 classes of electric bikes, all three face the same restrictions. 

You are allowed to ride to a speed limit of 25mph within the city limits.

Are Electric Bicycles Legal In Singapore?

Yes, e-bikes are legal in Singapore but the bike does need to be registered and approved by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). This involves having a number that has an orange seal. 

If you’re looking at buying a new electric bicycle, then you won’t need to worry about the bike being approved as retailers are only allowed to sell LTA-approved and registered e-bikes. You will need to accept the transfer of ownership to remain legal though. 

FAQs

Can I Remove The Battery From My Electric Bike?

I'd love to be able to give you a straightforward answer on this but it does depend on the model of your bike. 

Some allow you to remove the electric motor and this obviously brings lots of benefits. Being able to charge the battery away from the bike means you can take the battery into the office if you commute so you do get a better degree of flexibility. 

It also means that you can buy a spare battery and swap it out when one goes flat so you don't need to wait for the battery to recharge. 

Final Thoughts

To summarise, electric bicycles do face some e-bike laws. For me, I'd aim to purchase a bike that falls into the class one category. 

Why?

It's going to give most people the power assistance they need and falls under standard e-bike use requirements, not moped use! 

What bike do you have? Traditional bicycle or electric bicycles?

It feels like everyone is riding around on electric bicycles these days and if you want to get in on the action, you might want to educate yourself on how to they work so you can pick up the best type of bike for you.

So how do electric mountain bikes work?

Mountain e-bikes work by providing assistance to the rider when they're pedaling. The level of assistance is chosen by the rider and that's part of what makes e-bikes so appealing...they can get people who aren't used to riding a regular bike out and enjoying life on two wheels!

So what do you need to know about these bikes? Let's find out!

What Is An Electric Mountain Bike?

An electric mountain bicycle is a bike that has a built-in motor. The motor provides assistance to the rider when they're pedaling. 

E-mountain bikes won't have a throttle, so basically if you don't pedal, you won't receive any assistance from the motor. 

[Do you have to pedal when on electric bicycles? Find out here]

What Are The Different Types Of E-Mountain Bikes?

If we just take conventional bikes for the moment, they fall into different categories for mountain bikes and they all have different features.

Downhill MTBs for example is designed to be used largely for steep descents. They have smaller wheels to get better control. 

This is very different from cross-country mountain bikes as they need to have a great amount of stability. 

The difficulty is that currently not all of these specialisms transfer to the electric bike range. It's difficult to achieve because in some cases the weight of the battery doesn't work well with the type of cycling the bike is aimed at - downhill is a good example here. 

As things stand you can get electric hardtail mountain bikes or full suspension eMTBs. Whilst some are better in certain sectors of their sport, it doesn't really get narrowed down further than that...yet. I'm sure it's going to as time goes on and the technology develops.

Should I Get A Full Suspension Or Hardtail E-MTB?

This is going to come down to personal preference and your skill level. 

If you're new to mountain biking, then I would recommend that you opt for a hardtail. It teaches you how to handle the bicycle and what lines you should be taking when on a trail. 

Whereas a full-suspension is much more forgiving - which I know sounds appealing but it does limit your skill development. 

For riders who will be taking their pedal-assist bikes on the road, then a hardtail is more suitable. You can lock out the front suspension and your pedaling is reasonably efficient. 

As there are more components with a full suspension, they are more expensive so you may want to factor that into your decision. Then there is also the fact that they are heavier, for the same reason, there's more to them. 

However, if you want to be hitting the trails big time, then an electric full suspension could be the perfect purchase! 

Consider what type of riding you like to do and that will help you decide which suspension is best for you. 

How Does The Controller On An E-Bike Work?

A lot of electric bicycles come with a controller either on the handlebars or some come with a button on the top tube of the frame (this is becoming more common). Depending on the bike, there may be a display on the handlebars too - this will display the battery level and which power mode you're currently in.

These controls will allow you to choose between different levels of power - i.e, the amount of assistance you'll get from the motor. 

They're usually incredibly easy to use and just one press will change the different modes so when you're needing to get power in an instant, you can!

One thing to keep in mind is that the more assistance you use, the less your range will be. 

[How far can electric bikes go? Read more about it here]

Different Types Of Motors On Electric Bikes

Different manufacturers develop electric bikes with different electric motors. 

Let's take a look at the types of motor and the different pros and cons.

Front Hub Motor

Some electric-assist MTBs have the motor on the front wheel - think of it like front-wheel drive for your car.

This means that the front wheel is basically pulling the rest of the bicycle along. 

The upside to this is that it's usually pretty stable and the weight distribution is well balanced - particularly if the electric bike batteries are at the rear of the bike. 

Having said that the downside is that if you're going uphill or on tricky terrain, you will struggle to get traction and therefore any benefit from the front motor. 

Rear Hub Motor

Think of a rear hub motor like a rear-wheel-drive car. the motor drives the rear wheel. This feature is more popular than the front hub as it has more benefits.

Firstly, you get more traction. As you're sitting in the saddle, your weight is sitting on the rear wheel, this means that the rear wheel is able to hold itself in place better, essentially, it'll perform better on a steep hill!

You can usually get more powerful motors than a front-wheel option as the e-mountain bikes are able to take the power when it's delivered from the rear. 

A downside is that they do tend to be more expensive...but you do get what you pay for!

Bottom Bracket Motor

Finally, we have my favourite! The mid-drive or bottom bracket motors. The motor on these e-bikes is located in the middle of the bike, attached to the bottom bracket, where your pedals are.

The reason I like these electric motors is that they perform really well on challenging terrain - making them perfect for MTBs. 

They are tucked away on the frame so you get a decent amount of ground clearance - something you do have to consider when on a mountain bike. 

As the power is coming from the same area as where you pedal, you get a great distribution of power and they're incredibly responsive. 

There may not be my number one choice for every time of bike but they're my number one choice for a mountain e-bike. 

The downside to this type of motor is that they do tend to be quite expensive but for good reason. 

Which Electric Bike Motor Is Best For An E-MTB?

When electric mountain bikes first became a thing, hub motors were fitted onto the rear wheel. This isn't the best way to do things, especially not for a mountain bike as they can quickly overheat when you're climbing.

They work ok for electric road bikes because the climbs aren't as steep but even for a road bike, I'd try to avoid them. 

You will see hub motors being used in the lower end of the electric bike market. 

Bottom brack or mid-motor designed bikes work particularly well for mountain bikes. 

Final Thoughts 

There we have it. Your guide to what a mountain e-bike is. 

I'm a huge fan of e-bikes generally and I firmly believe they have their place. I know some people believe that they are cheating...but you might be surprised to learn that they aren't! Read more about that here!

If you're looking to get yourself a mountain bike with some power, then I would start by looking at those that have a bottom bracket motor, for a mountain bike, they offer the best performance. 

What's it like to ride electric bicycles? Find out here!

Do I Need To Pedal To Make My E-bike Work?

Electric bike sales are soaring, in fact, sales increased 31% last year and this is only set to rise. So if you want to be able to keep up with your friends, you might want to start thinking about an e-bike!

Do electric bikes work without pedalling?

To be used legally in the UK, an e-bike must have a motor that assists you when you're pedalling. A motor can not be the bicycles only source of power...you must be a source too! With electric bicycles, there will be a torque sensor that monitors your power output and will match the electric motors. 

The Basics Of An E-bike

Electric bikes do vary from county to country but in the UK, most of our models come with different levels of assistance. 

You can usually control this using a button, often found on the top tube or sometimes on the handlebars. This allows you to change the amount of assistance the bicycle gives you. 

Let's say you're about to hit some steep hills, you may want to increase the level of assistance you receive. Simply press the button and the motor assistance level will change. 

Do keep in mind that the more assistance you require, the harder the motor is working and therefore, the range of the batteries is going to be less. 

In other words...save the power boost for when you need it!

When Is A Bike Not An Electric Bicycle?

Alright, so for the avoidance of doubt, any bicycle without a motor is a simple bicycle - a normal bike if you will. 

However, it gets more complicated when we talk about throttle bicycles - do they fit the criteria for bikes?

Not in the UK, no. 

If you have to control the motor on the bicycle with a throttle or a twist grip then this wouldn't be considered an e-bike. 

The power has to be regulated with the power output from your pedals (and you).

If not, then you're effectively riding a moped and in the eyes of the law, this type of bike is treated in the same way as a petrol-powered moped. 

What does that mean for you?

For starters, you would need a licence, you would have to pay road tax and have insurance. 

You will also legally have to wear a helmet at all times and you wouldn't be able to take a ride on a bike path. You would be required to ride alongside other road users and motor vehicles on public roads. 

For those cyclists tempted to get the most powerful motor, you can afford...a word of warning! 

E-bike riders who have power assistance greater than 250w will need to follow the same rules as those who ride moped too. This applies even if you still have to use some degree of pedal power. 

If you're still wanting a throttle electric cycle then you might want to check out the best one's right here

Can I ride an e-bike as a regular bike - without the electric power?

You bet you can! 

Electric bikes are heavier than regular bikes so it can take a little more effort if you're going up a hefty hill but otherwise, you should find cycling straightforward, just like standard bikes.

As I've got more comfortable with electric bicycles over the years, I've tended to use the motor less frequently, saving it for the hills or the slog back home - that is a treat, let me tell you! Just as everybody else is wearing out, pop your assisted speed on and reap the benefits! 

Can I Recharge The Battery On My Electric Bicycle When I'm Pedalling?

The very short answer is that you can! 

Though it does depend on your motor and bike and there's a little bit more to it than that.

If I'm being totally honest, the e-bikes that are currently able to re-charge through pedalling aren't all that brilliant at it. 

However, there is more than one option, pedal power isn't the only answer here! Some electric bike owners recharge their battery when the brake is applied. 

On these electronic bikes, it's known as regenerative braking. This is actually worth having as it can increase your range by up to 15%! 

If that's tempting you then I should probably add that a electrical bicycle with regenerative braking does come at a premium. The technology is still quite new and new things tend to be more expensive until the technology becomes more established. 

So as things stand, it can be an expensive way to get more power out of your bike, although you will get yourself a very nice high-end bicycle!

For a more in-depth explanation, you can check out this post.

Do I Need Insurance To Ride An Electric Bike?

In 2018 the European Commission introduced a rule that means if your electrical bicycle has a motor that is 250w or still receives assistance above 15.5mph then you will need third-party liability insurance.

That's not to say you shouldn't have insurance for your bike anyway. 

A electrical bicycle can be a large expense, it's worth protecting it. I even have my standard bicycles insured.

Hey, I love them and I wouldn't want to pay to replace them. That's the question you want to ask yourself. 

Would you want to pay to replace your e-bike outright if you needed to? 

If the answer is no, then consider insurance! 

Looking for the best value for money electric bike?

FAQs

How long does it take to charge an e-bike battery?

If your battery is totally empty then you're going to be looking at it taking around 3 and a half to 6 hours to fully charge. I'll be honest, the time does depend on the model and the battery itself.

How fast can an electric bike go?

In the UK, an e-bike will stop providing assistance when you reach a maximum speed of 15.5mph. 

After that, you're on your own, just like you would be on a normal bicycle. 

In my experience, this is more than enough. Anything more than that and your average speed will be too great.  

Final Thoughts

So there we have it.

Pedal assistance is necessary if you don't want to have your bike be considered a moped. 

I think it's a positive thing, after all, having a bicycle is all about getting some exercise and if you just had to twist the throttle and go, it wouldn't be the same, would it?

Related Post: Do E-bikes provide exercise or is it cheating?

Tips To Keep Your Electric Bike Safe

Electric bicycles are changing the way we ride bikes, how we get to work, how we exercise, they’re brilliant.

They’re also quite expensive, making them desirable to thieves. So how do you lock an e-bike?

A chain should be placed through the main triangle part of the frame and fixed to an object. Ideally, you should remove your front wheel too. If you’re storing your electric bicycle at home, you should take safety precautions such as adding a privacy zone on your Strava profile.

There are many more little steps you can take to keep your e-bike secure and they’re worth knowing about so let’s get to it!

Locking The Main Triangle Of The Frame

Whatever way you want to go about it, one thing you must do is to run a chain through the main triangle part of the frame and through a fixed object. 

To be honest, that’s probably not going to be enough but it’s a start and if you’re just quickly nipping in somewhere then this could be enough - though I’m not saying it is!

[Want to know why e-bikes are so expensive? Read this.]

Remove The Front Wheel On Your E-Bike

This method is really easy if your electric bike has quick-release wheels - a lot nowadays. 

What I like to do is to remove my front wheel and lock it through the mainframe too, this adds an extra level of security.

Depending on how long your lock is you can also take it through the mainframe triangle, front wheel, and rear wheel. 

The idea behind this is that when your e-bicycle isn’t fully assembled, you’re making a thief’s job more difficult...which is exactly the aim!

Most of the time a bike thief is looking for an easy target, if it looks too difficult, they may well move on...make sure your bike isn’t the easy target.

Use Extra Locks On Your Electric Bike

So you know it’s all about making things so difficult for a bike thief that they don’t feel like it’s worth trying.

Another security tip is to add another lock.

Have you ever looked at something that you can’t figure out and rather than trying to work it out, you simply move on?

That’s what we’re going for here. 

Don’t just add two locks in the same place. Make sure to place it somewhere awkward but somewhere that will do the job. 

Keeping Your Electric Bike Secure At Home

Getting your e-bike stolen at home is a risk and you need to minimize that risk as best you can.

There are lots of different ways to do this depending on where you’re storing your bike. 

When I bought my first expensive road bike, I kept it in a spare bedroom with a chain on it. It felt like the safest option and gave me peace of mind. I also always kept the blinds closed in that room as the window faced out onto a park so nobody knew what was in that room.

That’s the key, if nobody knows what’s there, they don’t know if it’s valuable. I was fortunate that my house was on a private road and I was at the end so nobody ever really saw me with my bike. 

If you have two bikes, it’s worth locking them together, nose to tail if you can. It makes it just that little bit more difficult to steal and sometimes that can be enough. 

Anything that isn’t on the floor is more difficult to take. Securing your e-bike to the walls or ceilings is another deterrent that I’m a fan of and I promise you it isn’t that much of a faff to do as you may think! 

Cameras are relatively inexpensive these days so if it’s an option to get some installed, I’d highly recommend that. 

Change Your Strava Settings

If you do record your rides on Strava then you might want to adjust your settings and introduce a privacy zone, which will increase your overall security.

What this will do is create a radius of your choosing around an address (your home address for example) so nobody will be able to see where you start/end your ride. 

This means that nobody on Strava will be able to work out where you keep your bikes.

I understand that this could sound like overkill but if your profile is public or you don’t know every follower you have, this can leave you open to risk and it genuinely happens.

A cyclist posts a nice picture of what type of bike they ride, clearly showing where they started and finished their ride and a bike thief has everything they need to know.

Don’t be that person!

While we’re on the topic of Strava, do you know how you can add equipment? It’s great, isn’t it?

I have several bikes so it’s nice to keep track of how many miles each one covers. I recommend it, highly!

What I don’t recommend is clearly stating the model of your bike. 

Let’s say you ride an S-Works Turbo Creo SL EVO, firstly I’m rather jealous but more importantly, this bike retails at £11.5K so don’t advertise where you store it!

If you’re tracking your mileage on Strava, give it a nickname. 

I’m not the best to come to for inspiration as my indoor bike is simply called “Indoor Bike”...but that’s the point. You can’t work out what type of bike I’ve got kitted up to on my trainer. You don’t know whether it’s worth breaking into a house for and you don’t even know where I live!

[Just for the record, it’s not an S-Works :(]

Get Yourself A U-Lock or D-Lock For Your Electric Bike

There is some temptation to buy the biggest U-lock you can find but don’t do that. 

Get the smallest one recommended for your e-bike. You may think I’m a bit mad for saying that but stay with me on this!

The smaller space, the more difficult it is to get crowbars or bolt cutters in. 

If you get a really good one and both sides of it are locked in place, a thief is going to have to make two cuts and that could be too risky, take too much time and they might move on. 

Register Your Electric Bike

If you’re unfortunate enough to get your electric bike stolen, your best chances of getting back are if you have registered your bike. 

If the Police have all the information they need, then you do stand a better chance. 

Make sure to keep a record of your serial number somewhere safe. As well as other places, I do keep it handy on my phone in the notes section.

[Should you insure your e-bike? Find out here.]

Store Your E-Bike Securely At Work

This is a bit of a tricky one but it’s important.

Cycling is encouraged in a lot of workplaces, many even run the “Cycle To Work’ scheme. Thankfully that has been improved so you can now purchase an e-bike using that scheme. 

Which is genuinely fantastic and really opens up plenty of opportunities for people to use cycling as a way to commute. 

However, what needs to happen in workplaces needs to provide a secure place to store these expensive electric bicycles, secure bike parking is a must.

If a few of your work colleagues feel the same, it could be worth an email to someone higher up to request more secure storage of bicycles...you never know! 

Remove The Battery

If you have a removable battery or motor and you're planning on putting your bike in a bike rack then you should remove the battery and take it with you.

Don't leave your battery with your bicycle. A battery pack can be expensive and something regular bikes obviously don't have, which will stand out in a bike rack!

If you don't have a removable battery, then you don't have to worry about it!

Some e-bikes these days come with a pre-installed battery lock and this functions to keep the battery safe, with the need to remove it every time - a nice security feature!

Final Thoughts

Food for thought I hope. 

Keeping your electric bike safe is something which I think about a lot. Heck, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep my traditional bikes secure!

It sounds cruel but if you’re locking your bike up in a public place, you need to make sure your bicycle is more secure than others. That way, a thief is more likely to go for someone else’s bike...sorry for whoever that person is but it’s true.

At the end of the day, it’s about not catching the attention of a thief. If they don’t know what you’ve got, they can’t take it. If you make it too hard for them, they will find another e-bike to target.

Keep your electric bikes safe, people, and ride on! 

The Law For Ebikes In UK

Cyclamatic Power Plus

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, come with built-in motors allowing them to reach far greater speeds than your average push bike. By providing pedal-assisted power through the built-in motor, many e-bikes are capable of reaching great speeds. However, due to government rules, the power of electric bikes is often regulated and their capabilities limited.

So, is there an age limit for riding an e-bike? Do you need a licence? What are the power and speed restrictions? Where are you permitted to ride it? These are all valid questions which you will need to consider before venturing out in public on your e-bike.

At present, the UK and Europe share a set of rules put in place to regulate e-bikes. Although these may be subject to change as a result of Brexit negotiations, they are presently some of the most restrictive rules when compared to other countries such as Canada. This is why it is so important to study the regulations before embarking on the roads on an e-bike.

Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know in order to ensure you are safe and within the law when riding your e-bike.

What Counts as an E-Bike?

The first thing you’ll need to consider when it comes to e-bikes and the law is what actually counts as an e-bike? Electric bikes come with varying power outputs which affect their classification. There are several factors which presently define an e-bike under UK and EU law, which are laid out here:

An e-bike must tick each of these boxes if it is to qualify for the rules laid out under electric bike laws. But what happens if your bike exceeds the limitations laid out above?

What If It Doesn’t Meet EAPC Standards?

Ion Unisex Alloy Folding Electric Bike by Ride

If your e-bike does not meet the requirements for an EAPC laid out above, then it will be classified differently. Anything with a higher specification than this will be classed as a moped or motorcycle rather than an e-bike.

Who is Permitted to Ride an E-Bike?

Now that we know what counts as an e-bike, or EAPC, in the eyes of the law, what restrictions are placed on who can ride one? If your bike qualifies as an e-bike under EU and UK law, then the rules are as follows:

However, if you reside in Northern Ireland, things are a little trickier:

Where Can You Ride an E-Bike?

If your e-bike qualifies as an EAPC  according to the standards laid out above, then it is classified in the same way as a normal pedal bike. You are therefore allowed to ride it anywhere that a normal bike is permitted, such as cycle paths and bike lanes.

However, if it does not fit the requirements of an EAPC classification, this is not the case. For high powered e-bikes which exceed the limits of an EAPC, these are not generally permitted for on-road use or use on normal cycle paths.

Keep It Legal

In conclusion, when selecting your e-bike, speed should not necessarily be the selling factor. If you’re planning on utilising your e-bike on the roads, then be sure to check that it fits the regulations before buying.

If you’re considering buying a bike which exceeds the UK limitations for an EAPC bike, then be aware that you will be required to have a licence and all of the relevant paperwork. Depending on your local regulations, you may only be permitted to use it on private land.

Now that you’re up to speed with the legal restrictions pertaining to e-bikes, you can venture out safe in the knowledge that you’re on the right side of the law.

Best Way To Bypass The Speed Limiter!

As a result of legal restrictions, the majority of electric bikes come with speed restrictions. This is not only a rule but a reality, as sensor installed on most e-bikes causes the motor to cut out when a certain speed is reached.

In the UK and Europe, this speed limit lies at 15.5 miles per hour. For those of us with a need for speed, it can be more than a little frustrating being forced to maintain this speed even when travelling off-road.

For many e-bike users, the hindrance of their speed being cut short is too much to bear. This is when it’s time to consider making some adjustments to allow your bike to go faster. There are many different ways to achieve this, some more complex than others. In a lot of cases, you are far more likely to succeed in owning a fast e-bike if you build it from scratch, although there are some ways in which you can improve the speed of your ready-built bike too.

Consider All Components

When you are attempting to adjust your e-bike to make it go faster, you will need to consider all three interlinked components to ensure that they are all able to handle the extra power: the motor, the battery and the controller.

This means that it is not possible to increase the speed of your bike by simply increasing the battery’s voltage alone, as a motor which is unable to handle the voltage is likely to burn out. This is why a more powerful battery will in turn require a more powerful motor. In addition, your controller’s voltage must match that of your battery pack in order for it to handle the power. The speed and torque of your motor will all depend on its wattage – the higher, the faster. In order to cruise at 30mph, you are likely to need between 800-1000 watts of power. However, the effectiveness of this theory will depend on the gearing of the bike too.

If you’re looking to fight the restrictions placed on your electric bike, then here are some tips and hacks to help you on your way.

Look After Your Tyres

Increasing the air pressure on your tyres generally results in less resistance as you roll along, making this a very simple way to maximise your speed. For this, all you will need is a decent tyre AEROBIKE X-Ride Electric Men’s Hybrid eBike Reviewpump, and if you want to get it just right then an air pressure measuring device too. The exact values you should follow may be found written on the tyres themselves, or otherwise in your user manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

In addition to this, better quality tyres can also have a significant impact on the performance of your bike, allowing for a faster, smoother ride. In order to ensure your tyres can withstand faster, off-road speeds, you may want to consider replacing the tyres with moped or motorcycle tyres for added wear.

Wind Resistance

At higher speeds, wind resistance is a big factor that stands to slow you down. This is why it pays to tuck in your posture when you cycle and wear tight fitting clothing in order to reduce this effect. If you are just cycling for fun rather than to get somewhere, you may also want to consider cycling with the wind rather than against it for added speed.

Remaining in top gear is another simple trick to give your bike the resistance it needs to go faster and give it that extra push against the wind.

Tuning Devices

You can purchase and install tuning devices specifically designed to override the speed cut off restriction, allowing you to explore the real power of your e-bike. These work by tricking your system into thinking that the speed at which you are travelling is slower than it really is, thus preventing it from deactivating the motor at 15.5mph as it is likely programmed to do.

Your bike determines your speed via a magnet sensor placed by the wheel which is linked up to the computer unit. A tuning tool consists of a small electronic device which can be installed in between these two components to alter the electric signals created by the magnet. The tuning device sends a lower speed reading back to the central computer system, in turn preventing it from cutting out as it usually would, despite your higher travelling speed. In general, these can allow you to at least double your speed, although they will not provide any extra acceleration power.

The type of device which you purchase will depend on a few factors, including:

Some tuning devices are also capable of altering throttle control functions, whilst others can be controlled easily via your bike’s LCD screen. Other factors you may wish to consider when selecting a tuning device are as follows:

The downside of tuning devices is that the extra power required of the bike necessitates additional electricity, meaning lower output per battery charge. In addition, this increases the heat going to the battery which in turn decreases its lifespan. The added strain put on the bike overall will also result in increased wear over time.

What Do You Need to Install A Tuning Device?

First of all, you will require the relevant tools. Other than your standard multitool, which should include a Torx key, an Allen key, and a wrench, certain motor types will require specialist tools, such as a crank puller, a Spider or even a welder. Each motor type and tuning device will come with its own specialist method of installation, so it is best to research the exact method online for your particular components.

Following the installation of a tuning device, you may experience some issues which require further fine tuning. For example, the pedalling cadence is likely to increase dramatically when you’re travelling at higher speeds in comparison to how it was before, which can make for an uncomfortable ride. The solution to this is to install a bigger chain ring with more teeth, along with a longer electric bike chain to match.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the ways in which you can increase the speed of your e-bike. The key thing to be aware of is that if your bike can exceed the local speed limits, then it is probably only legal to ride it on private land. Always put safety first when it comes to increasing the speed of your e-bike and be aware of your local rules and regulations.

E-Bike Reviews

The electric bike, sometimes called an e-bike, is in many respects a regular bicycle. The exception is that it is fitted with a motor and a battery.
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